Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’

Sweet Red Corn09.19.10

Camping Summer 2010 We’ve got a whole bunch of posts piled up over here, and I’m determined to get them posted this week!  This summer, we took our annual family camping trip to the Sonoma County coast.  We always bring along easy to cook and eat foods for our meals, and divide up the days – my parents plan for one entire day’s worth of meals, and I usually do the other day.  This year, my mom picked up some sweet red corn, something we hadn’t tried before.  We’re all corn fans, so it wasn’t a real challenge-worthy choice, but certainly, it was novel.

There was some discussion over how to cook it – we could have grilled it over the fire, but we were hungry and didn’t want to mess with trying to time it right, so we opted to remove the husks and steam them in large pot over the cookstove.

Camping Summer 2010 (more…)

Posted in Side Dish, Summer, Sweet, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Vegetarianwith No Comments →

Okonomiyaki (Cabbage Pizza)06.12.10

055I spent a few weeks in Japan when I was 15. I stayed in the suburbs of Osaka with a lovely host family, who introduced me to Okonomiyaki. In train stations and little restaurants all over the place, you can point to a bowl of ingredients displayed in a glass case, and then take your seat around a table with a frying surface embedded in the top. Servers bring your ingredients to the table and add an egg, and then you fry up your own and top it as you like with sauces and cheese.

While my host mom insisted that this was a form of pizza, the actual base of this treat is cabbage and other veggies, in a thin batter. There are some traditional Japanese ingredients that give real okonomiyaki a distinct flavor. For my family, I tend to just clean out the produce drawer, adding whatever leftover meats or cheeses we have on hand.

Around here, it’s called Garbage Pizza. And it is delish.

Here’s what we started with:
Okonomiyaki veggies
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Posted in Comfort Foods, Exotic, Main Course, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetablewith 6 Comments →

Cabbage and Ramen Noodle Salad05.13.10

032First of all, let me just get the obvious out of the way.  My child is not wearing a shirt in the photo.  This is fairly common dinner attire around here in warmer weather, and while I’m not exactly proud of the fact that he’s not wearing a shirt while eating, it doesn’t trouble me much.  This year, produce.  Next year, manners.

Anyhoo… the salad wars rage on here at the Circus.  One of my favorites, precisely because it is complete trash, is a salad made from shredded cabbage and some other stuff, topped with crunched up ramen noodles and almonds that have been sauteed in butter and then sprinkled with that packet of death that comes with it. Ramen isn’t so bad you say?  Let Maki over at Just Hungry give you the rundown on why ramen is very, very bad for you.  I could top the salad with Doritos for the same nutritional effect.

Let it never be said that I’m high-brow over here.  Here’s what we started with:

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Posted in Salad, Savory, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetablewith 3 Comments →

Cherimoya and Star Fruit05.05.10

070Oh, how I love the random produce that ends up in our major grocery chain here and there.  While shopping a few weeks back, we stumbled onto some star fruit and cherimoyas, and thought it was high time for a special two-fer edition of What The?  Foods.

Since we started this challenge of ours, we find ourselves poking around a bit, looking for odd shapes and colors.  And okay, I’ll admit my first real exposure to the idea of either of these fruits was through some sort of Baby Einstein knock-off video.

In any case, I’ll admit that up until this point, I’ve never been all that curious about strange looking fruits.  The basics, available year-round, more than filled my personal needs.  But when a kid says “Mom, we should try THAT ONE!”  it seems like a pretty good thing to do.  So!  First up:  The Cherimoya.

According to good ole Wikipedia, in 1866, Mark Twain called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men.”   We shall see, Mark Twain.  We shall see.

The fruit itself is a lizardy looking green, shaped like a heart.

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Posted in Exotic, Fruit, Spring, Sweet, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, What The? Foodwith 1 Comment →

Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup05.04.10

052 I have found them.  I found the lost photographic evidence of our foray into cooking like Pioneer Woman!  On a cold, dreary night in February, back when I was still on my soup bender, I realized I had all the ingredients on hand to attempt Pioneer Woman’s Cauliflower Soup.

None of the kids were excited, and thinking back on the soups I’ve put in front of them over the last couple of months, I get it.  I really do.  But Ree is An Expert.  So I figured this had a shot at pleasing them, even if I’ve failed over and over previously.

Right away, I knew I was going to be making a few modifications to the recipe, based on my hope that the addition of cheddar cheese would make this soup more Boy-friendly.  And we typically replace sour cream with plain Greek yogurt – and my kids haven’t been big fans of tangy recently, so I figured I’d just top my bowl with it and let everyone else get a pass.

Here’s the cast of characters:

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Local Eats, Main Course, Savory, Soup, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Winterwith 1 Comment →

Rice Paper Salad Rolls04.07.10

Salad Rolls.  Sorta. Do you see what I see? That is lettuce on The Boy’s plate, and he’s not making the barf face.  How did this happen?  Is my campaign for Pleasant Salad Eating paying off?  Or is it all about novelty?

It was The Chef’s 11th birthday, and she requested barbecued pork ribs and salad rolls.  I don’t think she’s actually ever eaten anything wrapped in the translucent rice paper spring roll wrappers, but I had picked up a package a few weeks back, and she was intrigued.

We decided to get basic, and stick with some of my favorite salad components.  Here’s a look at what we started with:

  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced carrot
  • sliced avocado
  • sliced mint leaves
  • sliced green onion
  • mixed, washed salad greens
  • rice paper wrappers

Salad Rolls.  Sorta.

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Posted in Exotic, Salad, Side Dish, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Vegetarianwith 4 Comments →

Spinach Salad with Bacon, Red Onion and Egg03.22.10

Spinach SaladThe Salad Wars rage on here at headquarters and I’ve struck a blow for the side of leafy greens by wielding one of my favorite weapons:  bacon. As Buffi says: “Jenny, bacon is ALWAYS the answer.” One of the things The Boy has complained about with regards to salad is he doesn’t like the crunchy pieces. I don’t even get that, considering he’ll eat croutons until his palate is shredded. Being that this is the case (for now, bwahahaha) I figured a nice, tender, baby spinach would be a good starting point.

And then I remembered this salad that my mom and her girlfriends used to have when they’d gather to catch up on life while the kids ran around half-naked in the backyard. Granted the ladies never served theirs with boxed stuffing mix, but they also weren’t trying to appease The Boy.

Spinach Salad

I don’t know if this is the classic spinach salad or not, but it is always delicious and filling. I have seen a lot of recipes that include button mushrooms, but I’m not a fan. What I am a fan of is garnishing with mandarin orange segments. Mmmm. Here’s what we started with:
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Posted in Bacon, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetablewith 9 Comments →

Quince with honey and Greek yogurt03.19.10

036Well, hello, honey!

At the farmer’s market this last weekend, we picked up two quince.  Quinces?  What the heck is the plural of quince?  Anyway, I had never seen a quince before, to my knowledge, although I believe I have had quince jam before.  Maybe.

I asked the farmer how someone with produce-resistant kids would be advised to approach these awkward looking fruits, with their scummy fuzz on the skins and rock-hard texture.  She winked and said “slow bake them with honey.”  That sounded do-able, but when I got home, I just wasn’t all that motivated to get it going.  I’m the same girl who let a cherimoya rot on the counter because I kept forgetting to get to it, and then they were out of season and we missed our big chance.

Am I ever glad I got over that particular hump.  I wish I had bought a dozen. Quince rocks my socks off.

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Posted in Exotic, Farmer's Market, Fruit, Local Eats, Side Dish, Spring, Sweet, Uncategorized, What The? Food, Winterwith 3 Comments →

Confessional03.11.10

Blog Backlog Ahoy! If you read our family blog, you’ll know that we’ve had a hectic couple of weeks that resulted in more meals out of the house and more takeout pizza and Chinese food than I’d rather admit to. But today, it dawned on me that all I have to do is stop with the lazy and get back to photographing The Boy trying to choke down produce and it will all be fine.

A few weeks back, I watched Jamie Oliver’s TED talk, and then made my husband watch. We’ve had quite a few conversations about the kind of foods we want our family to eat. We’re in agreement that we need to be sitting down as a family and sharing in the preparation and enjoying of homecooked meals. But as soon as life gets hectic, or the workday runs long, or a kid has a project due, we tend to sacrifice the family meal in favor of bolting down pizza or grabbing burgers and fries. The thing is, the trip to the drive-through is often no faster than it would be for me to make a pot of rice, and quickly assemble a quick curry, or some stir-fry, or heck, scramble some eggs and chop up some veggies to toss in.

That is, provided I have groceries in the house that will allow me to whip things up. And I’ve been finding it hard to make it to the market – meaning that that run to the pizza parlor is the default.

My sister is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer – and even though she is tired, and even though she is working as close to full-time as she can manage, she’s still managing to eat an extremely healthy diet of mostly whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and vegetarian proteins. She’s done a ton of research, and has met with a number of experts on nutrition and is treating her diet as an integral part of her treatment process. She simply doesn’t allow herself to say – oh well, I guess I will just grab a burger because I didn’t plan ahead.

If she can do it, surely two grown adults and three intelligent kids can suss out a menu plan and keep the house stocked with healthy, go-to meal ingredients. More than ever, I am realizing how important this challenge is to our entire family. What we learn through this process will have lifelong benefits for all of us.

Posted in Uncategorizedwith 2 Comments →

Red bell peppers with tomato sauce02.20.10

We’ve had some startling successes with The Boy’s willingness to try new things over the last few weeks.  That said, willingness to try doesn’t always equate to willingness to eat.   For some reason, bell peppers are on his list of buh-sgusting foods.  Like carrots and onions, I am determined to wear him down on these, because I love to cook with them.

So, years and years ago, we had an exchange student from Spain stay with my family for a few weeks.  He had prepared a dish that consisted of slowly sauteed  red bell peppers in a savory tomato sauce.  I loved it, and wanted to try to replicate it.  Here’s what I started with:

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Posted in Savory, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Vegetarian, Winterwith 1 Comment →

  • You Avatar
  • Gnomeo Test

  • You’ll Eat It, and You’ll Like It, Mister.

    A
    Alfalfa Sprouts | Apples | Apricots | Artichokes | Arugula | Asian Pears | Asparagus

    B
    Bananas | Beans | Bean Sprouts | Beets | Belgian Endive | Bitter Melons | Blackberries | Black-eyed Peas | Blood Oranges | Blueberries | Bok Choy | Boniato | Boysenberries | Breadfruit | Broccoli | Brussels Sprouts | Burro Bananas

    C
    Cabbage | Calabaza | Cantaloupe | Carambola/Star Fruit | Carrots | Cauliflower | Celery | Chayote | Cherimoyas | Cherries | Chinese Cabbage | Chinese Long Beans | Collard Greens | Corn | Cranberries | Crane melon | Cucumbers

    D
    Daikon

    E
    Eggplant | English Cucumber | Escarole

    F
    Feijoas | Fennel | Figs | Flowering Kale/Salad Savoy

    G
    Green Garlic | Garlic | Ginger Root | Grapefruit | Grapes | Guavas

    H
    Heirloom tomatoes | Herbs | Honeydew | Horned Melon/Kiwano

    J
    Japanese Cucumbers | Jicama

    K
    Kale | Kiwifruit | Kohlrabi | Kumquats

    L
    Leeks | Lemons | Lettuce, Iceberg | Lettuce, Leaf | Lettuce, Romaine | Limes

    M
    Malanga | Mamey Sapotes | Mango | Melons | Mushrooms | Micro-greens

    N
    Nectarines

    O
    Okra | Onions, Dry | Onions, Green | Oranges

    P
    Papaya | Passion Fruit | Peaches | Pearl Onions | Pears | Pepino Melons | Peppers, Bell | Pepper, Chili | Persian Melons | Persimmons | Pineapple | Plantains | Plums | Pomegranate | Potatoes | Prickly/Cactus Pears | Pumpkins | Pummelos

    R
    Radicchio | Radishes | Rapini/Broccoli Raab | Raspberries | Red Bananas | Rhubarb

    S
    Salsify | Sapotes | Shallots | Snap peas | Snow Peas | Spinach | Squash | Strawberries | Summer Squash | Sunchokes | Sun-Dried Tomatoes | Sweet Potatoes | Swiss Chard

    T
    Tamarillos | Tamarindos | Taro Root | Tomatillos | Tomatoes | Turnips

    W
    Watercress | Watermelon | Winter Squash

    Z
    Zucchini