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About SJMitch

  1. The Spice Bible? Is there an ebook version of that? I do see Spice Companion by Lior Lev Sercarz for $1.99
  2. The two girls helped with last night's meal (above) but didn't want to cook tonight. So my husband and I made two mealkits. For the girls, I cooked up Gobble's Parmesan crusted chicken with orzo salad: Both girls loved the chicken and the more adventurous eater liked the pasta salad. The other did not (her preferences are more limited). My husband made Vietnamese shaking beef with roasted ginger sweet potatoes from Sun Basket for us: Surprisingly, the both girls loved the beef in this dish and loved the simple lime juice + salt + pepper dipping sauce and dipped both the beef and their chicken in it. Neither of them wanted any sweet potatoes.
  3. We have two teenaged guests this week. They cooked two dishes from Blue Apron. Chicken tenders with potato salad, marinated cucumber and spicy honey dip And Salmon with freekeh salad and herb salsa They loved both the salmon meat and chicken tenders. One is a more adventurous eater than the other and she liked the freekeh pilaf after picking out the dates (the other kid didn't like it). Both liked the potato salad and neither seemed fond of the cucumbers. My husband and I thought it was all just fine. At the same meal, my husband and I prepared a dish from Sunbasket: Brazilian shrimp stew with yuca-coconut mash Proportions were off for the yuca mash had to boil it down a long time, but it was tasty and the two girls even tried a bite of the mash. They passed on tasting the stew. I thought it was very good. It should also have had some cilantro mixed in fresh at the end but the cook for the salmon accidentally grabbed the cilantro and added it to the herb mix for that dish. We had 4 people making 3 meal kits at the same time. With an Echo Show coordinating named timers for everyone. A bit of a zoo, but all the food worked out in the end!
  4. Quick Gobble meal: Thai red curry with shrimp and brown rice. Quick and easy. We extended it with additional mixed seafood and cherry tomatoes (they provided one roma).
  5. Very cool! Sun Basket now lets you pick 4 recipes in a week, and if you do drops the price to $10.99/serving. And, as always, allows ordering multiple(s) of any dish. So now you can choose any 2 ($12.49/serving), any 3 (11.49/serving), any 4 (10.99/serving) or just skip. Several of the services have been sending out surveys lately asking for opinions on various options for flexibility and different categories of purchases (deserts/sides/wines/etc). I also noticed that Gobble now offers higher priced entrees sometimes ($35/serving) in addition to the lower-priced soups/sides as add-ons.
  6. I was sorting some photos from our visit to family in Shanghai last March and wanted to share these photos from the vegetarian restaurant Wujie (they have 3 locations, these are from the one in The Bund). I'm always on the lookout for food I haven't tried yet and these were all firsts for me! Sea grapes: Cattail "noodles" in a cauliflower-yam-onion broth: Lilium bulb and winged beans: Tempura aralia sprout: OK, this last one didn't have anything in it that was a first for me, but it's a neat presentation of a classic marinated rice-stuffed lotus root:
  7. I had fun with this one, although it needed a little help in the end: Chopped salad with charred vegetables and orange-ginger-miso dressing Some veggies were to be prepped raw and some charred in a skillet. It reminded me of making a coffee blend where you blend the same bean at different roasts, so I ran with it a bit and charred some of the scallions and left some raw. I also 'massaged' the chopped kale to break down some of the cells in advance. I also roasted the provided thai chili to tame it a bit but then added chipotle powder to the garbanzo beans when I crisped them up. Ingredients prepped: There are: orange segments, massage chopped kale, whole mint and cilantro leaves, chopped raw scallion, crisped chipotle garbanzo beans, charred chopped savoy cabbage, a ginger-orange-miso-sesame oil dressing, chopped mint and cilantro, sautéed chopped zucchini, nori-sesame seed mix, and charred scallion and thai chili pepper. Served it up so: The orange juice didn't provide enough acid to make a good balance, so I added fresh lime juice to the dressing at the end to make the recipe work. I enjoyed this one.
  8. And the dish from Purple Carrot I was so interested in from their regular menu that I skipped the TB12 offerings for: Okonomiyaki with vermicelli noodle salad Here is 1/3 of it: Not bad -- not amazing. Decent. Pancake is a mix of flours with shredded Japanese yam and savoy cabbage. Noodle salad is savoy cabbage and vermicelli with scallions and flavoring They provided nori for garnish. We also added sesame oil and sesame seeds.
  9. Another Gobble, the Pork tenderloin with peaches, bourbon sauce and farro-arugula salad in sherry vinaigrette. This is about 1/3 of it, we split 3 ways. I added a citrus-chipotle rub to the pork tenderloin. Skillet cooked instead of grilled. Very good.
  10. Fresh Sesame Products

    This is the kind of black sesame paste mix we use for desserts: Besides black sesame, it has rice flour, sugar, and more oil added (and some preservative). Yeah, it's more gray than black. We usually boil some rice/sweet potato/taro balls to add to it and serve it warm (here with coconut flakes on top): Although we were out of balls today, so I just had some cold with added coconut cream, blueberries, and chocolate chips. Fast junk food. No photo, ate it all, ugly anyway (ugly-good). Heh.
  11. And Gobble again tonight -- this one a winner dish. Their various gnocchi dishes are always quite good. The one is ricotta gnocchi with fresh cubbed zucchini, roasted red pepers, kalamata olives, fava beans, and a pre-made pomodoro sauce. Basil and parmesan cheese to garnish. I only added onion, garlic, and swapped the fine grated cheese for shaved parmesan. Oh, and I was wrong about the extra packet of food for a pork dish, it was actually this dish we got double of (cool, because it's veggie and complete, though since this is an extra large order for us, 4 dishes plus 2 sides, 2 soups, and dessert, it'll be a bit before we can make and eat the extra). We were properly charged for what ordered.
  12. Another so-so dish. This one from Gobble: Salmon cakes with salad and gribiche sauce. This week's Gobble box has one error so far: but this time it's extra food: they shipped two bundles of one of the meals we ordered (we only ordered one). The meat is separate from the other ingredients and they included the correct amount of meat. So we have all the fixings except the meat if we want to make a second portion of that dish (a pork dish). I worked late so my husband cooked this one up. He's a bigger fan of salmon cakes made from fine ground salmon, so he liked it much more than I did. It was fast, easy to make, and filling.
  13. You need to have Amazon Echo Silver for that function.
  14. I had a lot of hope for this dish from Purple Carrot: Strawberry tomato gazpacho with avocado toast Gazpacho made with a full pound of strawberries (ours arrived nicely ripe, a good batch), a red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, 4oz of cherry tomatoes, and various seasonings. But the balance was off -- too sweet for a main course (even with the jalapeño and Sriracha). Would have been better with double the tomatoes and half the strawberries. Good thing we still had leftovers from yesterday, we each made it about halfway through the soup before switching to leftovers. It was like having a smoothie for dinner. We polished off the avocado toast (which was covered in provided hemp seed). Avocado toast was ordinary but tasty (the provided avocado was perfectly ripe on arrival).
  15. Absolutely agree! Our mealkit usage exactly tracks to a transition from having more time than money to having more money than time. I've had an amazing food journey for a kid from a midwestern trailer park who grew up on overcooked, over-salted vegetables. Then I hit Boston, in a little basement apartment with one slim window looking out on a Beacon Hill cobbled street 30 years ago (it was under foreclosure, so had cheap rent for about 1.5 years before it went up for auction). Boston launched my interest in food. My food explorations really exploded when 3 of us lived in a 500 sq ft 2-bed 1-bath apartment next to the freeway in East Palo Alto, CA in the 90s (when East Palo Alto was briefly "murder capital of the US"). Still co-own many of those early kitchen gadgets with various people. That little galley kitchen was so heavily used. My trek to the Tennessee farm was done by car from California and back, throwing up a tent along the way. That's also when I went to judge at the American Royal in KC. Had the car, had time, might as well make the side trip! Now I don't have time like that for those adventures, alas. Honestly, though, if I could get restaurant food like what the meal kits are doing? I wouldn't do meal kits. Where we live now, there aren't any restaurants that serve food like that black rice ramen I recently made, so restaurants aren't even an option to get interesting food like that (and we live near several really good ramen places). And the very few options for food like I want cost 1.5 to 4 times as much as what Purple Carrot and Sunbasket are doing (especially with tax and tip). Might be different if I lived in a big city like SF or LA or NYC, tho. So for us, it isn't really a time savings over restaurants: it's a time savings over planning and shopping for home cooked meals (and a reduction in food wastage) while it's a money and availability savings over restaurants. And yet, in a few years we may give up the detached house, front yard orchard, and wonderful bay area weather for a cramped apartment in Shanghai and more time. Change is the only constant.