Mini Party Pizzas

I’d really like to tell you that this was a quick, fun and easy recipe that makes for a great snack to bring to parties or entertain with. But it wasn’t. It was really difficult and frustrating. Hopefully next time that won’t be the case with the experience and skills learned in the two or three hour-long process. I have a newfound respect for pizzas the size that they’re supposed to be. I’m always happy to put in some effort … 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

Rosemary Pasta with Sausage, Peas, and Parmesan Beschamel

This was a leftover dish. It might not sound like one, but every ingredient used down to the parsley was already in my fridge for various reasons and past uses. It was so perfect, that because I didn’t have pasta, I decided to make pasta myself. I had flour, eggs, and salt…I even had fresh rosemary that was going to dry up soon. Dismissing the fact that I had never actually made pasta before, why not?

Parmesan Peppercorn Biscuits

posted in: Grains, Recipes, vegetarian | 4

This probably sounds like a no-brainer trick to use on a basic biscuit recipe: fold in a few of your favorite things. The other day I tasted a sample wedge of cheese, and it was an Italian cheese (parmesan or romano?) that had whole black peppercorns encrusted throughout. It piqued my tastebuds so much that I had to re-enact it in a more palpable form, something that I could literally stuff my face with.

I Love You but I’ve Chosen Karol Lu’s Champion Vegetarian Chili

My friend Karol always wins at stuff. Whether it’s the Ms. Pac-Man playoff, or the guy at the other end of the bar, Karol just wins. So it was no surprise when her chili took home first prize in the annual “Bruce Chili” cook-off at Barcade. Coming back from a 7th place finish in the 2005 cook-off, her curiously titled batch, “I Love You But I’ve Chosen Chili” struck lightning this year, and is now the reigning 2006 champion to … Read More

I Heart Baby Bok Choy

posted in: Recipes, Ruminations | 7

There’s nothing that spells cute to me more than a bunch of baby bok choy. The tenderest and most mild of cabbages, the contrast between leafy green parts and white stems has never been more appealing. When boiled, the fibrous whites turn translucent and practically melt in your mouth. The greens hold true to their shape and are delicate as a floppy bunny’s ear.

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