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Everything posted by Beebs

  1. Looking forward to everyone's menus! This year is a triple-whammy for us - Super Bowl + Chinese New Year (Eve) + Hubby's Bday. We're having friends over but menu planning is a bit of a challenge. Kick off is 3:30 in our time zone. I don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen, must have some snacks/finger foods, no deep frying, must have pork (DH's request), should have some CNY "lucky" foods. A lot of traditional CNY dishes are off the table because too much prep or too much a la minute cooking or just not appropriate for Super Bowl (steamed whole fish, anyone???). So far I have: Pot stickers Stir fried mee fun (rice vermicelli) Marinated cucumber salad Pork - Maybe Chinese bbq pork sliders. Bacon wrapped cocktail weenies??? DH likes it. Birthday cake ??? Stuck on snacks. It'll probably end up being the usual chips, dip, salsa, etc. I'd love any comments or suggestions!
  2. Depends on where we're going, why we're there, and if it's the first time visiting. We try to eat as local as possible, try a mix of upscale & casual fare, get recommendations on what/where to eat from friends. We also try to eat things that we can't get here at home. If we're going somewhere "exotic" with a lot of unfamiliar foods, we will try as many new things as possible. Grocery stores, supermarkets, and outdoor markets are awesome. We just returned from a super-quick visit to Taiwan for a family thing, so unlike my previous visit there, we ate a lot more convenience meals this time around, like the hotel buffet breakfast (which was actually quite good). But we still managed to eat a bunch of different things that we can't get here - a lot of unusual seafood dishes, familiar ingredients but prepared unfamiliarly, and some things we really enjoyed on the previous trip. Bought stuff from the local bakery and grocery stores to bring back home. It helps that neither of us have any allergies or dietary restrictions, and that we're not squeamish with unfamiliar foods. We draw the line at eating dogs, cats, people, pandas - and spiders, because I am terrified of them.
  3. I feel like I'm having the opposite problem - mostly what I've seen here are kabochas, and not much of the other stuff! Trade you a pile of kabochas for the delicata!
  4. Beebs

    Pig Face

    I've seen flattened pig faces here, but nothing quite like your friend there.... There's something very "Silence of the Lambs" about it (Silence of the Pigs??). How would you prep it for eating? Can you just dive in and eat it as is? Do you have to soak it first? Can you deep-fry it? Is it soft or leathery? How does it compare to say, the crackling on siu yook (roasted pork)? Will I stop with these questions already? I don't know how I'd feel eating something like your friend, but I think intense curiosity would win out in the end.
  5. Beebs

    Cooking Dried Beans

    Not exactly a bean, but after making hummus from dried chickpeas, I am never (except in a pinch!) using canned chickpeas again. What a difference!
  6. Beebs

    Cooking Dried Beans

    Thanks, Cyalexa - that looks tasty, I'll give it a go next time. By "fast", I mean that it can be baked in an hour or less (as opposed to the 4 hours or so some baked bean recipes call for). Anyway, I ended up mixing up ketchup, molasses and a few other ingredients, baked it for about 40 mins at 375F. Turned out pretty well. Leftovers for breakfast.
  7. Beebs

    Cooking Dried Beans

    I had creepy crawlies infest a jar of adzuki beans. Don't know if they were weevils. A few weeks ago I threw out a bin of cornmeal, semolina and probably a bag of beans that was infested with moths. But I think it came from the semolina. I didn't try to save the beans, but then again they were regular non-fancy beans and I was so grossed out I just tossed everything. This was a week after I tossed out a bunch of boxes of nice pasta infested with grubs and beetles that were in a completely separate cupboard. You are in good company, my friend. Anyway, I froze a couple bags of cooked, non-buggy beans (great northern), and am planning to have some for dinner tonight. I'm a bean newbie (didn't grow up eating beans), and I'd like to try fast baked beans with pre-cooked beans. What's a good recipe? I will probably end up tossing ketchup, molasses, etc., bake it, and see what comes out the other end.
  8. Good timing on this topic! I have a smallish kabocha on hand, planning to make some of it Japanese-style with soy & mirin. Unfortunately out of dashi. Maybe soup with the rest? I like a little Thai red curry & coconut milk in it. My current favourite variety is delicata. It's a good small size, easy to cut, and the skin is fine. First time I had it, it came in a CSA box. Didn't know what it was, so DH called it stripey squash. We've been calling it stripey squash since.
  9. After the first bite, I worked the fruity bits off the seeds, strained it through my teeth, and spat out the seeds. But still, too many teeny tiny seeds for the fruity bits.
  10. Just had a prickly pear fruit for the first time yesterday. It was a disappointment. Nice flavour, but - bleccch! - all those hard little seeds, nearly cracked a tooth on one. I can see how it would have made a good juice or puree with the seeds strained out, but eating out of hand - no thanks.
  11. Beebs

    Codfish dessert

    Moon Festival was just last weekend, which puts me in mind of mooncakes that have a savoury-sweet meat (pork) filling. It was most definitely desserty. I don't know how well it would work with fish, but I imagine it's possible....
  12. Great blog, very fascinating! I love Naramata - it's been a few years since I've been. We're heading out there for the big marathon in a couple weeks, so hopefully we'll get a chance to visit some of the wineries there. How did you get into wine making? Do you produce mostly for consuming at home, or do you sell it? Have you grown other grape varietals or do you stick to pinot gris & merlot? (Teehee! My profile pic is from a Naramata vineyard! Can't remember which, though.)
  13. White Spot Pirate Paks? (For anyone not familiar, White Spot is a BC-based family-style restaurant chain. Pirate Paks are kids' meals that comes in a really cool paper pirate ship. You get an ice cream cup and a gold foil chocolate coin in it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Spot )
  14. I used to get leftover Chinese food sandwiches - stir-fry tofu, stir-fry pork, braised beef. I don't remember being teased about it in school, but I recall I was embarrassed about it all the same. The fillings didn't stay in the bread. The sandwiches didn't taste bad, they're just weird. Hubby recently told me about the PB & cheddar sandwiches he used to get for lunch and loved. It sounded gross so he made me one, turned out pretty tasty. I've been having it for breakfast the last couple weeks.
  15. I like cooking and baking as long as I have the time to do it, and do it well. I dislike cooking as a chore, which is most weeknights after a long work day. I dislike grocery shopping and meal planning after work as well, but I can't get my sh*t together enough to plan it out on the weekend. Otherwise, cooking is great. My mom is the main cook in the family. She used to cook exclusively Chinese, with some "western" dishes every now and then (spaghetti & meat sauce, chicken/pork cutlets, etc). Until dad became an italophile (italianphile??) in the early 90's. Then she started cooking more Italian dishes - more pastas, ossobuco, stuff with pesto & tomato.... Now mom cooks quite a wide variety of things. I started cooking more for myself when I moved out for uni with my sister. I don't like eating the same things day after day, and could only eat so much packaged ramen. Spending money to eat out all the time was out of the question. So began cooking for ourselves out of necessity.
  16. Just a young'un here - 2006. Egullet's been a life-changer for me.
  17. Great food blog - thank you for sharing! I've picked up a few tips here for my next trip to Singapore!
  18. KennethT, have you been able to find the right bread in NY for kaya toast? The closest I've come is the thick squishy white bread from Chinese bakeries, but it's not quite the same, too dense. DH calls it "ninja toast" - because it takes some mad skillz to "ninja" the toast - splitting the toasted bread cross-wise. We had ninja toast, eggs, coffee every morning there.
  19. I wish I'd done a better job of jotting down stall names - but, alas, no idea what any of the stalls were. We actually didn't do any research into which particular stalls to eat at, just eat whatever looks good and appealed to us at the time. Singapore was tacked to the end of a trip to Taiwan and our family had fed us so much, while we weren't tired of eating (is that even a thing?!), we probably didn't do justice to all the amazing food in S'pore - we certainly missed out on some things. My most memorable meal - met up with DH's college friend & his wife, they took us to Newton Centre, where we had lots of satay, fried skate & too many Tiger beers.... Followed by durian at a durian stand. Drunk durian-ing is quite an experience.... From what our friend told us, hawker centres, food courts, etc. are heavily subsidized by the government at very low rents, which makes food incredibly cheap compared to stand-alone restaurants. All the same, it is unfortunate that this model might not be sustainable in the future for lack of younger folk willing to keep it up.
  20. Oh wow - loving this blog! My DH & I were in Singapore last year in the summer for our anniversary, and it was absolutely the most amazing trip. The food was incredible, we ate as many different things as we could possibly squeeze into a week-long trip, but there was so much more we could have had (which is a good reason to go back, hopefully in the next couple years). We purposely picked a hotel near the Maxwell Hawkers Centre, Chinatown Market, & Hong Lim Centre, so most of our meals were at food courts and hawkers centres. We didn't spend much time in the restaurants, so we'll have to check out some of the places you've described next trip.
  21. I fully intended to set aside some of the grilled balsamic figs from dinner last night to have with vanilla ice cream for dessert. But they were too delicious & we ate them all for dinner. Which reminds me, a few days ago, I stuffed fresh figs with ricotta, EVOO, s&p for an appetizer, but they could have done just as well as a dessert with a dash of cinnamon or grated chocolate or something.
  22. Don't know if a cheese plate qualifies.... Technically speaking, we'd have it as the hors d'oeurves before the dinner, and then whip it out again for dessert. I haven't done this, but biscuits for during dinner, then turn it into strawberry shortcakes for dessert.
  23. Japanese Kewpie mayo & tonkatsu sauce on a smoky. Unless it's a cheap junky IKEA or Costco dog, in which case ketchup, yellow mustard, & neon green relish.
  24. My favourite lazy person's drink - Gimlet! Gin + lime cordial + squeeze of lime.
  25. I've just polished off a pack of the Windset Farms "Symphony" packs, and they were very good. A couple of them were even a bit too ripe. I've had good luck with a lot of the BC Greenhouse tomato packs, from various farms, even in the dead of winter.
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