The Nightmare that became Christmas Dinner

posted in: Regrets | 8

I’ve finally garnered the nerve to document my ill-fated cooking adventure on Christmas. I’d had a half-baked notion this year of roasting a chicken stuffed with sticky glutinous rice spiked with Chinese sausage, shittake mushrooms, and other seasonings commonly found in a zongzi, or bamboo leaf-wrapped rice dumpling. The original idea was to serve this in individual Cornish hens, but after taking a glance at the tennis ball-sized fowl wrapped in plastic in the grocery store, I realized that this … Read More

Christmas Hot Pot

posted in: Recipes, Ruminations | 13

The meal my family eats on Christmas Eve, a stark contrast to the all-American holiday meals like Thanksgiving, is usually an all-out feast of 5-10 Chinese dishes cooked by my uncle and my mom, a roast duck or chicken from the store added on, and a dessert of some type that we’re too full to eat. This year, we decided to do something different and serve hot pot. I’ve seen some places refer to this communal meal as “Chinese fondue,” … Read More

Christmas Morning Quiche with Pineapple Salsa

I’d like to think there’s an old Hawaiian tradition of serving Christmas ham with pineapple. I’d also like to think that I’m in Hawaii instead of New Jersey this Christmas as well. But unfortunately, neither are most likely true. But because ham is not on the menu for my family’s Christmas this year, or for our traditional night-before-Christmas elaborate Chinese feast (which will be posted and explained soon), or any time really this year, I thought I’d pay my respect … Read More

Potage Parmentier avec Lardon

posted in: Recipes | 6

I began reading Julie and Julia, Julie Powell’s memoir about her year of cooking every single recipe in the 1961 classic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her first success is the potato soup, or potage parmentier. The soup’s ingredients are potatoes, leeks, butter, cream, and salt. Not such a hard thing to swing on a weeknight when you’ve already got most of the ingredients in your kitchen. Alright, with a little improvisation (substituting red onions for the leeks, … Read More

Orange You Glad I Ate Out in Cincinnati?

A quintessential plate of 4-way chili at Skyline Chili: that’s cheese on top of chili on top of spaghetti. Yes, spaghetti. I was pretty sure that Ohio wasn’t the cheese state. But what did I know? It was my first trip to anywhere in the midwest, not including airport layovers. I found myself there last weekend because my college buddy Aaron had gotten married to a Japanese girl while teaching English in Japan, and had brought her back to his … Read More

NY Times Recipe Disaster: Stuffed-Under-the-Skin Chicken

posted in: Regrets | 10

braised whatever Technology, bitter foe. I came home excited to make this recipe I saw in the Times, along with a fascinating article on Hungarian Hannukah cooking. Nevermind that I had really only read the article, and barely glanced at the recipe. I could remember well enough what kind of supplies I would need at the store–chicken quarters, Hungarian paprika, mushrooms, green beans, and carrots. But once everything was home, of course it was time to really follow a recipe. … Read More

Park Slope vs. Fort Greene

posted in: Ruminations | 8

Good-bye, Park Slope. Hello, Fort Greene. It’s been about 2 weeks after moving into my new apartment, two days since I got the gas stove working, and before the cooking begins, a good assessment on my former and current surroundings. After some thought, I present the culinary pros and cons of Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, and Park Slope. Two neighborhoods that vaguely border one another in Brooklyn, one definitely larger and more developed, the other up-and-coming and containing a block that … Read More

Eat Drink One Wonderwoman

posted in: Ruminations | 3

In case you haven’t checked out one of my favorite blogs, which also happens to be written by a young female foodie living in Brooklyn, it’s a fine time to begin. Eat Drink One Woman hosted by Ganda Suthivarakan has a Q&A with me on it, but there’s plenty better stuff on the site to read. In other news, the gas has officially turned on in my apartment, so you’ll probably be seeing a series of very quickly written recipes … Read More

Birthday Recap

posted in: Ruminations | 3

photo of The Cherry Tree’s backyard courtesy of Meredith–thanks! Over the weekend, I celebrated my 25th birthday with a few friends by bar-hopping around my old streets in Park Slope. Little did I know you can now bar-hop on Fourth Avenue. We began at Sheep Station, at 4th Ave. and Douglass, and I was dismayed to discover it had changed overnight into primarily a sit-down restaurant (no doubt thanks to the NYTimes review), and there was no room for us … Read More

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