Mar 1st, 2010
Ditching the blizzard in New York and being delayed twice thanks to frost on the planes, I finally arrived in Madison, Wisconsin Friday evening, well-fed from my carry-on meal. I was picked up at the airport by Jonny Hunter of the Underground Food Collective, and from that point on, taken on a whirlwind tour of one of the most inspiring food destinations I've been. It was also at this point that I decided to let things happen as they may -- to eat, out or in, whatever was on the menu, so to speak. To be sure, my trip had a few eaten-in missions: I would be cooking for a collaborative dinner between three supper clubs, and leading a guest chef menu at Slow Food UW's Monday night dinner series, too. It turned out I was the only member of Hapa Kitchen who could make it to Madison, but I knew that I was in capable hands.
Week of Eating In Days Six and Seven: Making Food in Madison
Feb 27th, 2010
That is the question. It is quite possibly the most perplexing thing about not eating out. We live in a culture that travels a lot -- whether it's just a twenty-minute commute to work each day in a car or perpetually being "between" two coasts, or countries, by plane. I wonder about our wandering if it isn't the reason why take-out or fast food was created in the first place. Eric Schlosser certainly makes a causality seem logical in his tour of interstate highway development in Fast Food Nation
: the more we hit the road, the more we press the brakes on preparing meals ourselves.
Week of Eating In Days Four and Five: To Travel and Not Eat Out
Feb 3rd, 2010
Guys, I'm almost due. On February 18th, this blog will give birth to numerous identical hardcover books, each named The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove
. Published by Gotham/Penguin, it's my first book, a memoir of the two years I spent eating in, solely, all the while trying to keep a somewhat normal life, a paying, nine-to-five job, a boyfriend, social engagements, etc. It didn't turn out being so normal in the end, but what I ended up losing (jobs, boyfriends) over those years was miniscule compared to what I gained from learning to appreciate everything about making meals from scratch, on a daily basis. It's my requiem to an unconventional urban lifestyle, and all the characters and experiences I encountered while not eating out and blogging about it. The book has nothing rehashed from this blog, but let's just say that it shares the same genes.
Compete with Crostini at my Book Launch Party! (and everyone wins books)
Oct 28th, 2009
I do love a good fool. Not the kind that walks on two legs (or tries to), but a gag, a practical joke, and especially when it has to do with food. Like translucent off-white cubes of soft-cooked celeriac instead of tofu bobbing in an otherwise traditional miso soup. It's a culinary deception, and I think it's in fair form because the soup is still uniquely delicious, despite it all.
Celeriac Miso Soup
Sep 7th, 2009
A cook's gotta do what a cook's gotta do. That usually includes dealing with the whole vegetable or grain from its raw to fully-cooked and plated states. Sometimes, it means the same for an animal. And the way I see it, all the better for the person cooking it.
Reason For Not Eating Out #35: The Whole Side of the Story
Aug 22nd, 2009
Psst... Hapa Kitchen is having a luau next Friday. Stay in town! Get down! See more details here!
Jun 25th, 2009
Goodness, did I cook a lot of whole animals this past week. First it was the glorious goat spit for The Greenhorns. Then Tuesday was the Hapa Kitchen's third dinner, "Paris of the East," featuring a fusion of French and Chinese cuisines -- and lots of duck, duck, and more duck (no goose). We dressed the dining room with Chinese lanterns, flowers and curling garlic scapes, put on some Django Rhinehart and the soundtrack to In the Mood For Love
, wrote menus on the backs of Chinese poster art prints from the 1930s (of girls in high-collar chipao
dresses), poured five different wines from Wolffer Estate, sourced vegetables from nearby Sang Lee Farms, and cooked nine six and a half-pound ducks from D'Artagnan. It's taken me a bit of time getting myself out of this "mood." To be perfectly honest, I could stay there for a while.
Dijon Duck Buns with Pickled Cucumber and Scallions
Jun 10th, 2009
A hapa holy trinity? Hey, there's a first for everything. Sweet and pungent (coleslaw), smoky and spicy (beans), and some of the aforementioned with savory with herbal tossed in (potato salad), these were the flavors that drenched the side dishes at our Hapa Kitchen BBQ on Saturday. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera on hand that day; if I'd had it, I would not have had a clean hand to use it. Therefore, this photo is stolen from Robert Sietsema's recap of the meal in Village Voice
's food blog. (The three sides are pictured on the bottom half of the very stylish paper plate.)
Honey Miso Coleslaw, Hoisin Chipotle Baked Beans and Curry Rosemary Potato Salad
May 12th, 2009
Nobody was to-fooled by what was in their food Sunday at the Highline Ballroom: it was the first-ever Tofu Takedown. As an antidote to last month's Bacon Takedown, Matt Timms turned his popular Takedown series upside-down by taking on that versatile and very un-carnivoric delight. Tofu, in all forms, firmnesses and flavors found their way into the contestants' 17 unique dishes. And as one half of the lucky ("celebrity"?) judging squad (the other half being my half-Asian sista, Akiko), I got a taste of them all.
The Takedown Tackles Tofu
May 8th, 2009
I have an absolutely sensational, hysterical and eye-opening book on my shelf: Asian Ice Cream for You and Your Kids
by Arron Liu. It's not intended to be funny, but it is. I also don't have any kids, so I'm not sure it's intended for the sole delight of an adult beyond growing age, either. But, it's a powerhouse of serious ice cream recipes, and while flipping through it, I was struck by the saffron glare of a full-page spread depicting one called "Japanese Curry Ice Cream."
Curry Carrot Ice Cream
Apr 21st, 2009
Guac and corn chips it is not. Plain-old hummus and pita it's neither. Just as munchable as either of the above, I'd say definitely, as well as easy to prepare. It's edamame, or soy beans, cooked and mashed up just like chickpea hummus (minus the tahini), and eggy wonton wrappers baked with a coating of oil and sesame seeds. And -- with a little modification -- it's one of the four canapés that will precede the five-course dinner on May 1st, at Queens County Farm Museum.
Edamame Hummus with Wonton Wrapper Chips (and a May Day menu teaser)
Apr 11th, 2009
It's been a busy spring, and this holiday weekend I'm excited to finally share two projects that I've been cooking up. (When it rains, it pours!) First up is the Hapa Kitchen, a supper club and collaborative cooking project co-founded with my friend and frequent kitchen comrade, chef Akiko Moorman. To kick off its launch, we're proud to be working with Queens County Farm Museum for a local lamb-based benefit dinner on May 1st, or May Day.
Introducing Hapa Kitchen and May Day benefit at Queens County Farm Museum