Friday, December 23, 2011

Sautéed Su Su–No guarantees your kid will like it, but it’s good!

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The Chayote, or as my family refers to it in Vietnamese, su su is a very versatile vegetable. Well, technically it is a fruit, but as with tomatoes, it’s treated not so much as a fruit but more like a vegetable or squash.

This year, my family has a vine in the backyard, with a fair number of fruits. Due to a combination of perhaps bad luck and horrid squirrels, we haven’t been harvesting as much as some of our other friends have done, who have been abled to boast harvests of hundreds of the fruit this year.

Happily, one family was generous enough to grace us with a big box of them, freeing me up to pursue a slightly different take on su su than is typical for my family.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Japanese Christmas Cake! Week Zero of 52 Weeks of Cooking!

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First of all, hi to reddit and those taking part in the 52 weeks of cooking challenge. This is indeed my first entry for week zero, with this “week’s” theme being holiday food. After perusing the very helpful wiki link on Christmas dishes around the world posted by rach11, I settled on Japan, because Japan is awesome, and the Japanese Christmas Cake seemed very appealing. On that note, I send my holiday wishes to r/japanesefood and r/asianeats!

As an admittedly big time anime fan, I find great humor in the trope of the Christmas cake as a metaphor for women in their mid twenties fearing becoming one. No matter how delicious a Christmas cake is, no one wants it after the 25th. If you still don’t get it, the saying means that women won’t be able to marry if they haven’t married by the time they are 25. It is an utterly ludicrous and highly old fashioned sentiment, but still pretty funny in anime format. Ok, on to the Japanese Christmas Cake!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Make Your Kids Eat Their Veggies: Roasted Broccoli!

In the common experience of many former vegetable avoiders, one trend seems particularly: A mother who does not know how to maximize the deliciousness of the ingredient she has been given. While I have never truly hated broccoli, for a long time it was simply a vegetable I was forced to eat, and nothing I really looked forward to.

This recipe makes broccoli something I could almost make an entire meal out of. And sometimes I do.

For the recipe, I used two cloves of garlic, a tablespoon or so of olive oil, pepper and salt, and a three pound bag of broccoli from Costco, though you can certainly just buy a head of broccoli and use the stems too.

First preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Then cut the broccoli into medium sized pieces if you’re using a head, and any oddly huge pieces from a bag if you find any. Place pieces on a baking sheet.

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Mince the garlic cloves and toss onto broccoli.

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Sprinkle a tablespoon of olive oil onto the broccoli. Add a bit more if it won’t be enough to coat the pieces.

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And finally sprinkle some salt and pepper on. You want each piece to have some flavor, but don’t go overboard. If you need a measurement, then a scant teaspoon for three pounds should be plenty. Then a good shake of pepper, a scant half teaspoon.

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Place the tray into the preheated oven and roast for at least twenty minutes, tossing at least once halfway through. Once the broccoli takes on some brown around the edges you are set.

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If you’re feeling particularly decadent, toss in some grated parmesan cheese! It’s still delicious without it though.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Just a Sunday Dinner with Friends

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Friendship is a wonderful thing, and manifests in many forms. Chums, associates, buddies, pals, pirate crews, fellowships, bowling leagues, partners, lovers, acquaintances, barflies and comrades to name a few such relationships. To have friends is to have fellow human beings (and pets) with which to combat those hours of solitude together, hopefully pursuing constructive activities with one another. Though being lazy with friends is perfectly fine too.

One of my favorite ways to spend time with friends is preparing a group dinner. One of these past weekends I was able to visit some friends who are just a month into their marriage. It is really strange to think of it that way actually, I mean they’ve been together forever, but now they are actually married!

It almost makes me feel self conscious of my enduring bachelorhood. Almost.