Thursday, May 28, 2009

How I got here.

The topic of how I got here could become highly philosophical very quickly, so lets talk about how this blog became. My mind is ever changing, there are not many things that I am able to settle upon, except for my love of my husband and food. When anyone who I have not seen in a while asks how whatever I last told them I was doing is going it is usually 42 careers/ideas/jobs/thoughts ago. I've wanted to be everything from a nurse, artist, fashion designer, photographer, chef, teacher, business person, to pretty much anything else. I'm 25 now and have had over 22 jobs (that I can remember) including my current job. I have attended 5 different colleges/trade school with 7 different majors i've tried. There is only thing that has remained constant through all of this, my love of food (and my hubs!). 
Now I'm in my final stretch of school. This round I started out doing a double major in Asian studies and linguistics, with the ultimate goal of moving to Japan to teach English (that's another story) and was talking into doing a teaching program to be an ESL teacher. Short story short teaching is not for me. One night while sitting on the couch watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, having my usual "what I am going to do when I graduate/the rest of my life" moment, I declared "That's what I want. I want to eat and travel. That's it."

That's it. Eat and travel.

My personal secret to happiness. "Maybe you should take some journalism classes." my husband suggested. Really why did I never think about this before. (I could see the thoughts in my husbands head, here we go again). I am majoring in Asian studies and minoring in journalism. and will be done in a year. 

So this blog is my new project. I am going to love it and, I need to love it. Just like my love for food (and my husband!) When you are passionate about something you glow when you speak about it. Anyone who knows me knows this is true! Just ask me about a cupcake I just fed you, or the beer that we just brewed, or a the dosa I ate last weekend and you will know exactly what I'm talking about.  


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baked Mac N Chee, the easy teenage version

Driving home from work the other day all I could think about macaroni and cheese, specifically the baked variety. I had no desire to stop at the store to pick up things to make such a dish. I knew I would be eating macaroni and cheese from the box. But I really wanted the good stuff. I debated in my head, should I stop at the store, but it's 5 o'clock, it'll be a zoo. Ugh! I though about the block of parmigiana cheese in my fridge drawer... 
  When I finally got home, I investigated the contents of the icebox, and found some a block of cheddar, monterey jack, and a small carton of heavy cream. "I will make this work."I said aloud determined. 

Here's how it went down:

1 box of annies naturals mac
plus what the box of macaroni and cheese calls for (milk, butter)

1/4 heavy cream (or milk)
3/4 c shredded cheese i used a mix of motery jack, chedder, and parmgiana
a few spoons of panko
1 tbs butter melted

1. Prepare the boxed macaroni and cheese according to the instructions on the box. 
2. While the macaroni is boiling preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. After the macaroni is prepared from the box, mix in the heavy cream and shredded cheeses. Then transfer into an oven safe casserole.
4. Sprinkle panko on top of macaroni and top with melted butter. 
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden on top and bubbly. You can also broil the casserole on high for a few minutes to get the top nice and golden. 

This came out great, it was exactly what I was craving. My hubs absolutely loved it. Next time I make this I'd like to add some chicken and broccoli to it. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Food review: Starbucks Gluten Free Valencia Orange Cake

Starbucks Gluten Free Valencia Orange Cake

A little over a year ago I discovered that I had been misdiagnosed with Celiac disease, after 2 years on a gluten free diet. I've been on a regular diet which I keep high in fiber to help control my IBS (which I was diagnosed with instead). Since then i've been noticing an abundance of tasty looking gluten free goods on the market. And then last week I saw it, the mother of all gluten free goods, at Starbucks! So today as I camp out at my local  Starbucks writing final papers, I will take a break to review this little gluten free goody. Keep in mind I have not eaten any gluten free specific products in over a year, so I suppose this is a good unbiased review since i'm sort of broken out of that being used to GF foods.

Price: $1.95 + tax
Ingrediants: (from the package) Whole eggs, Valencia orange pulp, almonds, sugar, orange peel, G/f baking powder & orange oil.

Nutritional: 290 Calorie, 16gm of fat, 4gm of fiber, the whole cake is one serving.

This cake come individually wrapped protecting it from being exposed to cross contamination. Beware they are super moist and the first one they handed me had started molding so check it out before you leave! The high on this cake is pretty nice for something gluten free almost 2" high, not flat at all. Like I said very moist which is nice especially considering some gluten free things tend to be on the dry side. Very orangey, great flavor.  The crumb is very nice and tender not dry at all. There could have been a little less orange peel in it, the finish leaves my mouth a
 little dry until I eat another bite. Overall, Big win for Starbucks and Celiacs! This is something I would pick up again, finding it very satisfying and enjoyable to savor slowly!
Ratings (1 Lowest- 5 Highest):
Price: 5 Something tasty and G/F for under $2,who knew?
Taste: 4 really good, just a tad too much on the orange peel
Presentation: 5 individually wrapped, as to not make anyone cry
Value: 5 bargain!
Satisfaction: 5 Super yum! Celiac or not you need to try this one!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stir fried pork in Nom sauce

Since school has been in full swing, the devil, the death of me i've been neglecting cooking, laundry, feeding my husband and myself a proper diet. This week i've had it. Tonight I decided at 11:30pm I needed to get my self in the kitchen and cooking (like a good housewife!) And now at 1:00am i'm going to tell you about it. 
Along with all the other neglect i've been neglecting my bento-ness. And since in my teaching class tomorrow, I will be teaching my class a Japanese lesson on food, and bento I thought I should make one to prepare and not look like a fake!
Lately at school, more specifically in my Japanese class, we've been obessing over lol cats, even more specifically the "noms" that they make. Ie: Anything yummy! 
This sauce= exactly that! 

Pork in Nom Sauce!
This recipe makes one Man sized bento portion.
  • 1 porkchop, cut into strips
  • sesame oil, for cooking
  • 2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce) , Please buy the legit stuff, read the label if there anything hydrolized put it down. I beg you! That stuff is crap!
  • 2 tsp. mirin (aka: sake, cooking wine)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp or so of light agave nectar or honey. I like the agave better it mixes up nice!
I do this in the big pyrex measuring cup I have. Mix all the ingrediants other than the pork up in the cup bowl what-have-you. Make sure you taste it! Adjust the ratios if need be. I also wing this, and I think you should too. After it's kosher add the pork to the mix, stir up good and find something else to do for 15- 20 min. Heat a smallish skillet up and add about 1 tbsp of sesame oil, let heat up, throw down the pork strips and reserve the marinade on the side. Once I see the white creeping up the side of the pork, I add in the excess marinade, put a lid on it and let it simmer till its cooked all the way through. Only a few minutes or so depending on the thickness of the pork. Remove pork from sauce. 
Optional: You can crank the heat back up on the pan with the remaining sauce to thicken and coat the Noms all over the pork!

What's in the Bento?
Clockwise from top left: Basmati rice (from the freezer stash) with edamame, hard boiled egg with nori faces, gyoza (from trader Joe's), pork in Nom sauce, steamed carrots, wax beans & haricots verts in mirin. Packed in DH's 900 ml bento.