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  1. Just a 20 mile ride from miss Suzy and were here, still in the far northern reaches of NJ. Ok the fire is started and I am only running 2 hours late Yes we are smokin' today, let me go get the piggy on the grill. Tracey
  2. Good morning, all! Welcome back to New Jersey. The 34B in the description is not my bra size but the exit off of Rt. 80 where I live in the northern part of the state. Now for a very sad,sad sight empty toast dope containers
  3. Hello, everyone! I've foodblogged before, both here and here - and believe me, props I got from all of you during my first attempts at cooking meant a HUGE amount to me and I will never forget them. A lot has changed since then. Brief recap: about a year and a half ago, I tossed my whole life up in the air, and with a lot of help and support from family, friends (among them the incredible Eric_Malson), and some people who had never met me before (some still haven't, in person, at least), came down squarely on my feet...in Madrid. Basically, in January 2006, I went to Spain to sing Violetta in a tour of La traviata. It was my first biggish gig (which is to say the first of any size that anyone would be interested in), my first important leading role (as in, uh, the title role???? In an opera that has been sung by every great diva since the damn thing was composed???) and my first - well, technically second - time in Spain, the other one was 3 days in Bilbao back in 1999. To say that I had a huge blast is the understatement of the year. In fact, I fell passionately in love - with the country, with the people, with the whole idea of working to live, rather than living to work, and, possibly most of all, with the food. Oh my god, the food. At the end of the tour, I took the single least planned, most spontaneous step of my entire life. I was supposed to get on a plane from Alicante to Madrid, and from Madrid to NYC, to go back to "normal" life, the day job, and all that involves. Instead, I got on a bus in Valencia, went to meet Eric in Gijon, traveled with him for several days, then went to Alicante for several days to see my friend Iva, and then found a room to rent in Madrid and just...stayed. The most amazing thing happened. As most of you know, in NYC I had to make a living working a day job (legal secretary ahoy!) in addition to the very few singing gigs I could scrape up. Here, I have been working as a full-time singer since I got here. Violetta was followed almost immediately by another Violetta in Italy, followed almost immediately by my first Lucia di Lammermoor...you get the picture. Almost everyone I audition for hires me...and I just appeared on the cover of a magazine, if you can believe it (if you can't, go here for the proof), as part of the festival Músicos en la Naturaleza, with whom I'm singing 8 recitals throughout Castilla y León this summer (with the utterly amazing Eric_Malson at the piano!). I am booked solid through summer of 2008 at this point, and more gigs are coming in all the time. As you might imagine, I keep thinking someone's going to wake me up and say "PSYCH!!!!" Anyway, on to blogging! I have a fun week in store for you - a few of my favorite places in and around Madrid, then will be heading up to Salamanca, possibly my favorite city in Spain, around Thursday with the man my father calls my gentleman friend and I will just call "C," or perhaps "Mr. Trouble," to visit his sister and her new baby. On Saturday we'll be joined by Eric_Malson for lunch in Zamora, I hope, if the restaurant is open (Spain. August. Entire country on vacation. You do the math), and Saturday night I have the latest of this series of recitals in Fermoselle, which should make for some great pix. Sunday we'll head back to Madrid! Before I head on to the foodblogging part of the foodblog, I would just like to give one unsolicited piece of advice: if you decide to drop everything and move to Spain, it might behoove you to speak more Spanish than "sí," "no," "gracias," and "una cerveza, por favor," although some here would say that's all you need . I did not speak any more than that. Shockingly enough (yes, for the humor-impaired, that's sarcasm), considering it's a country in which the first language is, yanno, something not English, remarkably few people SPEAK English. I do speak much, much more Spanish than that now, although the subtler subjunctive forms (or, perhaps, el puto subjuntivo) continue to elude me. On to the food! Later in the blog you'll get pix of my apartment, but right now I'm at C's. I'm cheating a bit, because I ate dinner after midnight, so technically it was Monday. Last night I drove back from Riaño, the site of Saturday's concert, which is a solid 4.5 hours from Madrid. I arrived about 11pm and drove to C's house, where he made me dinner (bless him. I was tired). A bit of background: C is a pilot for a large airline (they fly all over Europe and to Mexico, Central and South America, although not yet to the US), recently divorced, two kids ages 3 and 5 who are adorable (you won't get any pet porn in this foodblog, as neither he nor I have them, but if I can get his permission you might get some cute child pix, although I'm not sure we have any of them eating). How we met is, to me at least, amusing and an indication of the technological age. I won't post it here, but feel free to pm if you are curious. We've been dating for almost 9 months now, done a fair amount of traveling together, and share passions for great music, the beach (or the pool, or really anywhere we can swim) and really good food. We cook together a lot, we cook for each other a lot, and we go out to really good restaurants, too. Yes, he speaks fluent English. Together, we speak fluent Spanglish. We had filets of fletan (halibut), cooked with olive oil, garlic and butter, a salad (just lettuce this time, it was late) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and clara con limón, which is beer mixed with lemon soda (I know how it sounds. It's delicious, especially in summer in Madrid, when it's hot, hot, hot). filets in the pan, slightly blurry (these first two pix were taken with C's phone, as my camera batteries were dead). C says he forgot to put lemon on the fish for decoration. Oops. the whole thing, on the table Then we had some raspberry cheesecake ice cream, which uh, I forgot to get a pic of, and hit the sack. This morning's breakfast - coffee (unfortunately instant. There are a few reasons C drinks instant coffee, one of which is he frequently has to leave the house at 4 or 5 am to fly and doesn't want to have to think about anything at that hour more complicated than putting a cup in the microwave. Later in the week you'll get some Bialetti Mukka porn from my house) and Pastas de la Montaña, which are butter cookies from the region around León. The mayor of the town gave me a HUGE bag of regional products, including a longaniza (similar to chorizo), a salchichon (regular cured sausage, less spicy and more pink than chorizo), a goat cheese, some creamy blue cheese and these fabu cookies. The cookie box Plated Then C went off to a paddle class (like a combination of tennis and raquetball) and I went off to the store to get batteries for the camera and some groceries for later today. He has to go to work at 6, so we'll be having lunch fairly soon here. More pix and postings to come, and I hope you enjoy your virtual trip to Spain with me! K edited to add, oops, January 2006 is when I came to Spain, not 2007.
  4. Welcome to Portland, Maine, at the mouth of the Fore River on Casco Bay. I, johnnyd, will be your designated foodblog pilot for the next seven days. The teaser photos are taken from Spring Point Battery, one of three fortified defense points for Portland built in the 19th century. Some members might recognize the following shot from my first foodblog: Dining Downeast I The forts were fitted with giant gunnery... ...which, these days, are a perfect setting for Shakespeare and Wilde... We had beautiful weather this weekend so I took these photos to introduce the area to members and visitors of eGullet who may not know or have heard much of our part of the world. Hey, you never know - I knew zip about Surinam (and it's fascinating foods) exactly one week ago - hats off to Mr. Morse for his soon-to-be legendary blog. This a view of Portland from "Ferry Village", where I live, in South Portland. Momentarily, I am headed out on my friend Jeff's Lobsterboat to help him lay a few strings, re-bait a few traps, and hopefully bring home some you-know-what for dinner. I won't be back at the computer for at least ten hours. You can come along on our day by listening in on the NOAA Marine Forecast for Casco Bay: ** Clickity ** choose "open with" If you are patient enough to slog through the terrestial forecast and conditions, you eventually hear the current ocean buoy readings - wave height, wind direction and speed - and what the weather has in store for people foolish enough to agree to haul traps on a drizzly day in Maine. Jeff, however, has been a friend for a very long time, and his charm won me over. Pics to come.
  5. How-do. I'm Mark, I've just grown a very big moustache, and I'll be your blogger for the next week or so. I live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands....yes, the very same Amsterdam that is home to one of eG's more revered foodbloggers, the lovely and talented Chufi. When snowangel asked me to do this here foodblog thing, of course my first concern (understandably) was that my blog would do nothing more than serve up a healthy slice of relative suckitude. ...but then I thought about it a little....and as many common tastes as The Chufe and I seem to have, we come from quite obviously different perspectives: I'm an immigrant here (5 years in March), and an American, and that immediately plunks she and I down at two distinctly different reference points: I think the Dutch Cooking thread (the reason I joined eGullet, BTW) and her foodblogs beautifully articulate where she's coming from. I think I may be coming from an almost opposite direction. What i eat here in Amsterdam happens to consist primarily of other immigrating cultures' food...Indonesian, Surinamese, Antillean, Turkish, and Moroccan foods show up in our apartment on a daily basis. And what fascinates me about the Amsterdam versions of these kitchens is that they reflect all of the compromises and constant adaptation that immigration requires, and what we ultimately end up with is a set of multicultural cuisines that you can't really find anywhere else in the world. So, in showing you a normal* week for us, I hope I can show you some of the interesting hybrid grub that makes up our daily eating life. * Actually, there is nothing normal about this week. It is the dead of summer holiday here: all of the music venues are closed, most of our friends and neighbors are out of the country, and a good number of our normal eateries are on on vacation as well. I just realized how strange this sounds: "all of the music venues are closed". This directly affects our life because we are closely tied to one of the, eh..."alternative" music scenes here in Amsterdam. I'll probably elaborate on that eventually, but what it means is that most of our friends are musicians, producers, label owners, etc...and going out and seeing or playing music is the cornerstone of our social life. But every July and August the citywide music scene shuts down and almost everyone we know leaves town, either to play in festivals around Europe or to just get away until the season restarts in September. We have not yet mastered this "getting out of town" bit. +++ I'm a bit of an insomniac, and summertime is especially tough because of all the daylight hours. So, I'm off to (hopefully) sleep for awhile, but I'll put my nose to the grindstone here as soon as it wakes up.
  6. Good morning! I'll be your food blogger for the week. I seem to be unknown enough that the only thing you guys guessed correctly from my teaser photos was the city, so I hope you're not too disappointed. My name is Jen, I do in fact live in the Kansas City, more specifically in Wesport. There's no where I'd rather live, and I'm really excited to show you guys my favorite food-related things. I just had my usual breakfast (part 1), juice and a cigarette on the rooftop that serves as a porch for my apartment: Classy, I know. I need nicotine and a little sugar to bridge the gap between sleep and functionality. I'll eat an actual breakfast once I get to work. Which is where I have to go now, so, more in a little bit!
  7. Howdy! I'll be your blogger this week and would like to show you my little part of the country. A few things come to mind when one thinks of Texas -- barbecue, cowboys -- but this week I want to share with you some of the lesser known aspects of Texas food and culture. I was born in Shanghai and lived there until I was six. I moved with my parents first to Baltimore and then a few years later to Galveston, an island southeast of Houston. I consider Galveston to be the home of my formative years of middle and high school. My mother is a terrific cook, having been cooking since she was thirteen. During the Cultural Revolution in China, her father was imprisoned for being an intellectual and the family fell upon hard times. Her older siblings all had to work to make ends meet, so as the youngest child she learned to cook from her grandmother. (See Food stories from the Cultural Revolution). When I moved out on my own to Austin to attend the University of Texas, my mother's only stipulation was that I learn how to cook. So, armed with three months of basic lessons and a dozen of her recipes, I moved to my own apartment in Austin. That is when I first began to develop my passion for food. I'll tell you a little more after I fix myself breakfast, but let's take a look at my teaser photo: Any ideas for a caption?
  8. Hi, my name is Jessica, and I'm very excited to be doing my first food blog. I'm also a little nervous because I don't normally post that much, so hopefully I'll be able to live up to the previous blogs. Anyway, a little background. I was born and raised in NYC near Columbia University (where my mom and sisters still live). I've been living in the East Village/LES area for the last 8 years or so. 2 years ago I got married and about 4 months after that my husband Josh and I opened a housewares/home accessories store on avenue B. The store is called Live It Up, hence my screen name. Having our own business has totally changed our lives. The store is open 7 days a week from 10am to 9pm. That means that either Josh or I have to be there during those hours because we have no employees--well, except my youngest sister who we force to work for us for free when she's home from college (like now!). So, while it's really nice Josh and I see each other a lot, we have very little free time, and even less free time together. Also, we both have other interests (I kick box 4-5 days a week, Josh is in 2 bands and plays hockey), so that puts even more of a strain on the free time we do have. So, basically that's the topic of this blog: how we find time for good food with our wacky schedules. The main way that having this schedule has changed our eating habits is in the shopping. I used to have time (and money) to go out of my way to find specific ingredients or go to the farmer's market for in season produce. Now I'm pretty much bound to my route between home/work/gym/home. Here's a map showing the boundaries: clicky Well, that's the basics. The funny thing about this "working" constantly is that most of the time I don't actually have anything to do here at work, so I spend more time on the internet than ever before. So, bombard me with questions--I'll just be here waiting to answer them.
  9. I was delighted to be asked to do this blog. It’s exciting, sort of like getting a new job or something. At my age I like some new excitement. Obviously, it’s my first blog so bear with me as I stumble through it. So you have some background; I am an American, retired, and living in rural France with my wife Linda, who is British, and our dog, Rupert, who is a 2 1/2 year old standard poodle. We’ve been here full time for nearly 5 years now and absolutely love it in France. I’ll answer the question that I expect will get asked right up front; namely: “How did a native Californian end up living in rural South West France?” As you might expect the answer ain’t that simple. Firstly, I lived and worked in Europe for over 20 years; Spain, Belgium, France, Germany & mostly England. During all of that time my work responsibilities covered all of Europe so I traveled widely. Thus, Europe is very much a second home. When Linda finally persuaded me to retire we were living in Rhode Island and planning upon retiring to our home in Carmel Valley, California. But then as the reality hit we realized that all of the family (kids from previous marriages for both of us & Linda’s extended family.) lived in the UK. Why were we going to locate 6,000 miles away? Stupid! So we sold the house & thought this retirement out. Closer to family & kids, Yes. Good weather, Yes! Good food & wine, Yes! South West France which we had visited many times qualified. Weather, good communications, food! Cheap (at the time) property was an added bonus. So, here we are. The kids & grandkids & family & friends from all over visit frequently. Between our French & expat friends we have an active social life; so life is very very good. And, of course, we’re in one of the great food & wine regions of the world. So, now that I have the time I can indulge my passion for cooking; thus my interest in eGullet and thus this blog. My focus will be upon food & cooking. The meals will be things we eat fairly regularly. In a couple of instances I am going to try to give you recipes that I’m going to do the next day. Using the time zone difference to our advantage you can, if you are so inclined, cook the same dish (s). As a result I’ve tried to pick things to cook that have ingredients that are readily available in the states. I’ve not always succeeded, but I’ve used nothing so French that you just can’t get it any where else. Because the 4th of July holiday falls in the middle of my blog I’m going to cover that in a special way by describing a local yearly event. Think you’ll enjoy it. Also, we will be going to one of my favorite restaurants. Michelin starred & one of the top 5 female chef’s in France. Since I was asked, I’m going to do a little rant about drinking & buying wine in France. I’ve been asked to comment upon wine, cheese and cooked meats (sausages) so I’ll do that in essay form to get a topic started and to impart some general information. After that its open to anybody to contribute, ask questions or whatever. We’ll also do a bit of touring around our local countryside & I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about France. I understand that on blogs there is a certain amount of ‘off topic’ latitude so here’s your chance. I only hope that you, my audience, enjoy this blog as much as I’m going to enjoy doing it. Bon appète! (No cringing, friends on the French forum!)
  10. Greetings and welcome to another foodblog from a Pacific Northwesterner. Although I live in Seattle now, you won't be seeing any food from that region for I am on my summer holidays in not-so-sunny Sydney. I have to run off real soon so I'll leave some of the introductory stuff for a bit later. I was asking for advice from some former foodbloggers once I knew I was going to be doing one, and one of them told me that many foodblogs start off a bit slow so I'm going to start this one off with a dinner I just cooked in Melbourne for some of my friends: Melbourne and Sydney are the two largest towns in Australia (although neither are the capital). I did my High School in a small town quite close to Melbourne and so many of my High School friends are still living there. I hadn't been back since I left High School 6 years ago so this was the perfect time to return and catch up with a lot of old friends who I hadn't seen for a long time. As part of my last day in Melbourne, I was going to cook a big going away meal. The main problem I was facing was trying to find someone who could donate their kitchen and house to me hosting a party. It was a bit touch and go for a while with a few people saying they might be able to do it, and then not being able to and I was structuring my menu around being adaptable to any kitchen I would have to walk into but, fortunately, on the noon of that day, someone finally came through and things were very quickly organised. So in the end, I had 2 hours to shop and then 3.5 hours to cook 7 courses for 19 people. Here's what I managed to pull off: The Inaugural Fitzroy Garden Salad - Milkweed, Radish, Apple & Lemon Thyme with a Raspberry Vinagrette. I love using the combination of Radish and Apple and it's appeared a bunch of times in different salads. I'll tell a story of how the milkweed got into the salad in a later post. Someone at the table suggested this salad needed a name and we were dining near the Fitzroy Gardens so that's how the salad got it's name. Irish Lamb Stew with Onions, Potatoes, Parsnips, Turnips, Carrots & Roasted Garlic. This was a great dish for a cold, winter's day and it was deep and hearty with all the different root vegetables. Dead easy to make as well Mushroom Risotto. At this stage of the night, I was pretty drunk so I pressganged people into stirring the risotto for me. The great thing about cooking for friends is, if you're clever, you can push them into the kitchen while you're quaffing red wine at the table and being belligerent. Roast Leg of Lamb with Minted White Bean Mash and Sauteed Silverbeet. The Lamb was rubbed with garlic, rosemary, lemon thyme, anchovies, & olive oil and roasted in a low oven until perfectly medium rare. The beans were pretty magical. I simmered them until almost tender with some trimmed off lamb fat and the silverbeet stems and then I placed the entire thing underneath the lamb when it was roasting so all the fat and drippings dripped down onto it. A bit of mint at the end really brightened it up. The silverbeet was just sauteed lightly with some garlic and chilli flakes and they were great too. Apple & Rhubarb Crumble with a Feijoa Sabayon. Anytime I'm drunk and get to play with fire is a good night in my opinion so once I found out the kitchen had a blowtorch in it, sabayon was put on the menu. Rhubarb was looking great at the market and a crumble is always a good way of doing a dessert without needing much equipment. Feijoa is an interesting and rather unusual fruit. I had never had it before that day and I bought a bunch not knowing what I could do with it. It tastes sort of a cross between sour apple and kiwifruit and, according to wikipedia, it grows in South America and now New Zealand/Australia. It went really well in this dish as it played off both the apple and the rhubarb quite well. Passionfruit Truffles. I always love ending a meal with Truffles now since they're so easy to make but give such an elegant finish to a meal. I hadn't eaten passionfruit for almost a year as they're either impossible to get or absurdly expensive in the US. So when I saw them, 7 for $2 at the market, I snagged as many as I could and just went on a binge. Anyway, I'm going to go be nerdy with my friends now at Dorkbot but I'll post something later tonight (It's 6pm here in Sydney so later tonight means in a few hours).
  11. Hello and good Monday morning. Welcome to my Foodblog. First off, let me congratulate Little Ms. Foodie-a fellow Northwesterner and former resident of my home, Spokane, Washington. She correctly answered the location of the 'teaser' photo, and correctly answered the variety of the little berries in the second 'teaser' photo: You are looking East from Spokane through the pine forests to Mount Spokane, the little dark bump in the background. We are in the far Eastern corner of the state, about a 5 hour drive from Seattle to the West. Seattle is a one hour flight from Spokane, which I do every day. Yes, I commute to work on an airplane, every day. I live in Spokane but work in Seattle. The flying bit comes in because I am in management for an airline. That's the day job. Food and writing is really my passion. More on the work schedule later. Now on to photo #2, a personal favorite of mine: Sorry to the folks who guessed these little blue nuggets were wild Maine blueberries. No, they are wild huckleberries. I am so excited that a fellow Washingtonian, (is that a word?), correctly identified the secret ingredient photo. I am making an offer right now to Little Ms. Foodie that I will bring you a bag of wild huckleberries to Seattle later this Summer in recognition of being the first to spot the huckleberry photo. We will arrange delivery details later. Huckleberries are simply the most flavorful little beauties you will ever taste. In fact, I actually have goose bumps right now as I write to you about huckleberries-they are that precious to me. They are about half the size of a blueberry and range in color from red to purple to black. I can't really describe the flavor of a huckleberry other than to say it is sweet yet tart, much more tart than a blueberry. What sets the huckleberry apart in my opinion is it's fragrant aroma-a cross between rose, orchid and just about any other tropical flower you can name. The scent is unmistakeable, and wonderful. If you smell a huckleberry, the aroma will be forever stored away in your senses and then, even 10 or 20 years later, if you smell another huckleberry it will transport you back to that original huckleberry sensation. The subtitle to my blog-Black Pearls of Gold-is in honor of how highly I prize the huckleberry. We pick them wild just a mere 20 miles out of downtown Spokane, our main competition being black bears and grizzly bears. We'll visit more about huckleberries later this week-how my Grandmother used to buy them from an American Indian woman who sold them door to door out of a hand-woven basket, how to cook them and where to buy them. For now, welcome and I hope I've whetted your appetite for what I promise will be an insightful, fun and funny, informative and personal look into my world of food and cooking and how it really defines who I am. I hope we'll form some new friendships along the way and that I'll learn about you and the food and cooking in your life. Now back to the pesky day job for a bit and I'll be back to you soon.
  12. Good Morning from Exeter, ON( Pop: 4,400). Exeter is about 30 miles N. Of London. We're also 2.5 hrs from Toronto and Detroit. When Susan( Snowangel) asked me to blog again, I thought about it for a short while. I said Yes, because this foodblog is going to be a lot different than my last two . I blogged last year with eG member Pookie and the year before by myself. ( you can find the links to my other 2 foodblogs under my signature) A lot has changed since I last blogged. I have 3 part-time jobs and they are all in the food industry. My main job is a Sous/Pastry Chef for a caterer in Grand Bend. I work the second job on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. I am the Chef for a Senior Dining program also held in Grand Bend. I work the 3rd job once a week although it didnt start out the way it has ended up. When I moved here from California, I couldnt work until I became a permanent resident. My Spouse Robin is a Director for a social service agency and through her I met Shelley. Shelley runs a program that helps young adults with a developmental disability to make a successful transition from school to a range of community participation/activities/work. She matched me up with Marley. Marley is now 19 and has Down's Syndrome. Last year Marley worked at a day care center and she did not enjoy it. I suggested we cook together and that has been very succesful. We cook dinner together at her house once a week. I wanted to start this blog today, rather than Saturday because this weekend is going to be crazy. I'm working for the caterer on Saturday and Sunday. We're catering a BBQ for 60ppl in London( the big city). My boss won't be attending the job so it will just be myself and a server. I'm really not sure what to expect yet. I believe the menu is chicken, salmon and ribs. I'm not sure what the sides are. Here is how the week will go. Today- I'm very excited. I'm going to a food show( sysco) in Goderich. Robin is joining me because before the show, we're going to West Coast Kitchens. We're going to pick out counters, cabinets, etc and then tomorrow West Coast is coming here to give us an estimate on a kitchen remodel. We're going out for dinner too ( buffet Chinese, please don't get me started). Friday- The kitchen people come!! Sat/ Sun- work Monday- Baking for a catering job on Tuesday morning, Marley in the afternoon. Tuesday- breakfast catering, prep for Wednesday Wednesday- I'm filling in at another dining program. Thurs-Sat - work for caterer. Prepare for 3 weddings!! Here is my breakfast. I went to Port Huron, MI yesterday and brought back my favorite cottage cheese. I had that with some fresh berries and a glass of non-fat milk. I'm not a coffee drinker!!
  13. Good morning! Here are the two teasers hints from Friday: Good guessing, this is Atlantic Canada. Looking left from the above vantage point you see a fairly well known Canadian landmark: This is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove (its also a post office) as it appeared a few months ago. I have to say I am really pleased and excited to be doing an eGullet foodblog. It’s a new experience for me and I’m not so sure how it’s going to unfold – which is a big part of the appeal. The past blogs that I have seen are fascinating to me; to get such a candid look into somebody else’s food routine as it goes down so far away is totally compelling. I am just going to “share as I go” and hopefully reveal something interesting or authentic about my region and food traditions. It certainly seems to have worked in the past for other bloggers.
  14. Hello and welcome to my foodblog! I am back home into the loving,cosy- sometimes suffocating- arms of Malaysia. I only had about 30 hours between actually buying the ticket and leaving The Netherlands (it was a bit of an emergency which is over now) so apologies to Kim Shook and Lindsay Ann for not sending the stroopwaffles (in exchange for Girl Scout Cookies) yet! Short update: Farmboy and I DID go for the relationship visa in the end which I received approval for shortly after (to the jealousy of other foreign spouses who have been waiting for nearly a year). He's coming at the end of June for nearly 2 weeks to meet my family and to get to know Malaysia. It should be fun This was my foodblog's teaser: No, it is NOT a potato! It's a very old-fashioned fruit. That was my first time trying it. This fruit is called buah nanam and I believe it is a relative of the guava family. It's a little sour,slightly bitter (because of the skin which you eat as well) but quite addictive. It is small (about the size of a very large strawberry) and rather flat. I guess it's time for fridge photos. I have a very messy fridge. Freezer Middle compartment Fridge Next: Pictures of breakfast (I woke up late and will have brunch soon) and Ma's Kuih Talam (Malay dessert/snack)
  15. So, amapola guessed my identity, I should have remembered that there are actually Amsterdam residents on this site. Welcome to my foodblog! When snowangel asked me, I hesitated at first. I’ve done 2 blogs and have shown you many of my favorite foods and favorite places in Amsterdam. Will I have anything new to tell and show you? I hope the ‘new adventures’ part of the title is going to provide some entertainment. I’m going to try to eat/buy/cook something competely new and unfamiliar every day, or go someplace I’ve never been. Besides that, here are a few things that are scheduled for this week: Tomorrow we’re having dinner with 4 people, 3 of them I’ve never met, the other one only once. Is that adventurous or what? Can anyone guess who they might be? Thursday is a very special day, because it’s our wedding-anniversary. I’ll be making Dennis a special dinner, with a couple of items that I don’t like, have never cooked, but that he loves. I won’t tell you what they are because he’ll be reading along and it has to be a surprise! Sunday we have some friends coming for dinner, one of my old friends from University and his girlfriend who is pregnant. I still have to find out about her food dislikes and what she will/won’t eat at the moment. Adventures aside, I am very much a creature of habit and that won't change during this blog. I’ll still take you to some places that have featured in previous blogs, and I will eat some things I love and eat often. Like rhubarb... I promised snowangel there’d be rhubarb! I made this compote yesterday and this was breakfast: yoghurt, granola, rhubarb. I adore rhubarb and eat a lot of it while it is in season. Here's what the rhubarb looked like in march, when it first came to the market: and here's what it looked like yesterday: darker, thicker, and coarser in texture and flavor. But still wonderful I love the bright tangyness first thing in the morning. Dennis had a bowl of buttermilk and granola, which is what he has had for breakfast almost every day for the past 14 years, so I won't mention that again this week I'll leave you while I go on a couple of errands. Questions, assignments and suggestions very welcome! To keep you entertained, here are the fridge-shots (I've done 2 blogs but never showed you the fridge )
  16. Good evening! My name is Hiroyuki, I'm 46 years old, and I live in a rural, snowy, rice-producing district in Niigata prefecture, Japan, 210 km to the north of Tokyo. I work at home as a freelance translator. Just an introductory post for now, before I go to bed. It's about 10 o'clock in the evening in Japan. I have a wife (45), a son (11), and a daughter (7). Unfortunately, my wife cannot join in my foodblog for the reason to be described later. I'm not a food lover, I'm just a food eater, and now that I'm in my late 40s (and besides, my children are still small), I'm more concerned about health aspects of food than other aspects. Shortly after she gave birth to her second child (daughter) in 1999, my wife developed some kind of disease, requiring me to help her a lot, especially in cooking. Early this year, her symptoms got worse, and now I am the main cook in the house. When I received a PM from Suzan (snowangel) in early March, asking if I was interested in foodblogging, I was in a very awkward situation. On April 13, my wife was finally hospitalized. Ironically, her hospitalization has made it possible for me to start foodblogging. I still feel uneasy about foodblogging, considering the situation I'm in, and I also feel somewhat guilty, but I hope I can finish my foodblog to the end. Teaser photo: The photo was not meant to be a teaser photo. It's the Komako statue, standing on the premises of Yuzawa Station. Komako is a geisha who appears in Kawabata Yasunari's masterpiece, "Snow Country". I was in need of a teaser photo, and I selected that one because I thought it was representative of the area where I live. Here is a full version of the photo: My foodblog will focus on home-style Japanese cooking because that's what I can talk about Japanese cuisine, and it will also focus on a tour of Snow Country and surrounding areas. As you can tell, English is not my native language, and I'm not very familiar with colloquial expressions because I studied it mainly from books. If you find any errors in my posts, fell free to let me know. Lastly, my sincere thanks to Susan, who did all she could so I could start blogging in time. (I notified her of my intention to start blogging only a few days ago.) My blog officially starts tomorrow. Until then, good night! P.S. Pan: How did you know it was me? Edited to add: Made a correction.
  17. I have to start cooking tomorrow. I haven't cooked dinner since the beginning of the year. I don't even know where my pots are, but somehow I have to find them. Hi, I'm Jennifer, and this is my foodblog. I have been posting about my kitchen remodel here. for the past few months. With all my heart, I wished my remodel would have been complete on Friday, but there are a few details left to handle (like dusting out my cabinets) before I can begin moving back into my kitchen. With luck, I'll be able to actually start putting things away and getting to know my new kitchen this week. I definitely have to start cooking again, as the homecooked frozen dinners I squirreled away last fall finally ran out at the end of last week. My husband and I live in San Francisco. He's a technical writer; I'm a pastry cook/production manager at a French bakery. We're both "near" 40. Join me as I try to settle in to my new kitchen, adjust to the taller counters and expansive storage, fine tune where everything goes, and adapt to having to cook again. I have a new professional-style range. I'm not entirely sure that I won't just burn everything with the intense heat it produces. Right now it's quite late for me. Typically I go to work about 5. As in a.m. Today, being Easter, I went in at 3, which meant getting up at 2:15 a.m. I did get a nap, but a good amount of wine at my brother's Easter fest and plenty of good food means that by now I'm just about wiped. I apologize in advance for the typos I know are lurking in this, but I wanted to introduce myself and get this foodblog rolling. Answers to snowangel's post of my teaser photo tomorrow. At least one of you had one ingredient right. See you tomorrow morning!
  18. "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." -- Hunter S. Thompson Greetings, fellow food freaks! Wow, has it only been nine months since my last food blog? Feels like I've crammed a couple of lifetime's worth of changes into that short span of time. And two of the more noteworthy ones are definitely on-topic for eGullet and this blog: --On the weight management front: when last I blogged, I was 20 weeks into my weight-loss project, with about 47 pounds lost to show for my efforts. I am now 60 weeks in, have lost a total of 114 pounds, and am still going strong. All of that progress, along with corresponding improvements in my mobility and overall general health, has been accomplished the good-old fashioned way: no fad diets, no drugs, no fasting, just basic day-in and day-out healthy cooking and dining, plus whatever physical activity my bod feels up to. I have managed to make this healthy eating thing into a way of life that is pleasant and maintainable even for a foodgeek like me; I will be showing you a little of how I work it in the course of this blog. --And regarding the quote from The Good Doctor with which I started this post: since last I blogged, I've finally done it--I have at last managed to slip over the line from crazed amateur food blogger to paid professional food writer. I am now the editor of and a contributing writer for a brand-new restaurant-recommendation website known as SanDiego.Eats.It. As you will see if you follow that link, we are still in beta test mode, so there are still little bits and pieces needing to be filled in. But already it's looking pretty darned spiffy, if I do say so myself. I've been having a helluva lotta fun with my part of this project--if nothing else, I now have a professional justification for my obsession--erm, I mean hobby, of casing every little hole-in-the-wall eatery I spot on my rambles about town. In fact, the teaser photos for my blog were both taken on restaurant rambles that resulted in write-ups: This is the so-called "Goat" salad (goat cheese, dried cranberries, and candied walnuts on mesclun) served by Influx, a lovely modern little coffeehouse in the Golden Hill neighborhood. And this is the beautiful verandah (it seems inadequate to just call it a deck) of Krakatoa, a rather funkier coffeehouse in that same neighborhood. All of which hints at how I manage to stay on a weight loss regimen even while doing my food-writer beat: I put in for the "healthy/light dining" beat. As the blog progresses, I plan to take you all along as I check out a couple of restaurants I might write up in future. Other dining extravaganzas on my schedule for the week include a dinner at The Linkery, an innovative little restaurant that makes some fabulous sausages and other "handmade cuisine," as well as a Saturday dim sum brunch. Ethnic cookery, especially Asian cuisines, remains one of my passions, so there will be visits to various ethnic markets and a cooking experiment or three. And it wouldn't be one of my blogs if I didn't work a food-and-music connection in there somewhere, now would it? For now, I will leave you with this foretaste of things to come: This was my dinner just prior to coming home and getting this post ready: a big bowl of Nagasaki style champon from Dao Son, a very good (and very spicy--"Dao Son" literally translates to "Hot Chef) Japanese/Vietnamese restaurant in San Diego's North Park neighborhood. Onward and outward ...
  19. Now how do I start this? Funny, for a writer I am suddenly tongued-tied (or should I say writer's/blogger's block?). I have never written a blog before and never had an inclination to start one. When I became a member of the eGullet community, I would spend hours reading about food blogs by Ann, Ah Leung, Mooshmouse, Alinka, Torakris, etc. I would marvel at their writing, drool over the food pics, dream about visiting their country. Then snowangel wrote to me and asked if I wanted to do one. I said "Heck, why not?" So now here is my very own blog. To introduce myself, I'm a Filipina who's married to an American, living in South Korea for the past 4 years now. My husband is an English teacher for one of the many language institutes in this country while I stay at home and reign supreme in the kitchen. We have two sons, Jai who is 12 years old and Billy, 6 years old. We live about an hour and a half away from Seoul in a tiny sleepy town of Janghowon. Janghowon has a population of about 7,000 and is mainly an agricultural town. It is famous for its peaches, rice and chili peppers. We actually have numerous statues of peaches and peppers, I'll post pictures of them later. I have always loved cooking. I grew up in a long line of family cooks. My mother is from Cavite City in the Philippines. Cavite is famous for its fiesta food, namely the seafood & Spanish dishes. As a littler girl, I would remember being handed a sharp knife and asked to cut up veggies and meat on my very own chopping board. I never complained because I would be so intrigued in the marvelous preparation of the different viands and sauces. It was in high school when I finally was given a chance to cook for the family and have never stopped since. Now I am married, with kids. Fortunately I have not only married a wonderful guy but a great cook as well. He has cooked for several restaurants and hotels and it is neat to have someone cook fluffy hotel-scrambled eggs for you for breakfast. My hubby taught me how to cook Fried Chicken (he's a Southern boy, from Henderson, Ky), burritos, Ky BBQ Ribs and a lot of mouth-watering Southern dishes. So now, our boys are growing up with vast taste for both western and asian food. It is my pleasure to show you how our typical meals would be during the week and I will also include several Korean dishes (mostly from the local restaurants here). So sit back, relax and let me share my world with you.
  20. What do an ethnic Chinese, a foodie, and a computer geek have in common? Answer: Absolutely nothing! It just happens to be me! In mathematical terms, using the modern set theory: A = set of all Chinese B = set of all foodies C = set of all computer geeks There exists a subset D where: D = A ∩ B ∩ C And I am a member of set D. Or in Boolean logic: A = Chinese B = foodie C = computer geeks D = A AND B AND C Or expressed in SQL: SELECT Ethnic_group, Hobbie_interest, Profession FROM All_population WHERE Ethnic_group = ‘Chinese’ AND Hobbie_interest = ‘foodie’ AND Profession = ‘computer geeks’ Okay… I have lost half of the audience! That’s great! I can start with my food blog now. Greetings! My name is Wai-Kwong Leung. Or in Chinese convention, which goes in the “surname, given-name” format, my name is Leung Wai-Kwong. In Chinese: Leung (the top character in the picture) is a common surname with no particular meaning. My father named me “Wai Kwong”. Wai (the middle character in the picture) means “Great” (as in achievement) or “Hugh” (as in size). Kwong (the bottom character in the picture) means “Bright”. Leung, though it seems it may not be as common in the USA, is ranked the 11th in the most popular surnames in the Cantonese region. The order that I heard many years ago was (all pronunciations in Cantonese): 1: Chan 2: Lee (or Li) 3: Cheung 4: Wong 5: Ho 6: Au 7: Chow (or Chau) 8: Wu (or Woo) 9: Ma 10: Luk Do some of these surnames look familiar to you? My wife’s family is the Wongs. This surname is quite common in the Toysanese region in Canton. Many of them had immigrated to the USA since the railroad building days. It is quite common, though not required, that the siblings in a family have either the same first given name or second given name. For example, in my family all my brothers share the same second given name “Kwong”. My first brother is Leung Yuk-Kwong. My second brother is Leung Hung-Kwong. Father told us that it is for the sake of identification of our generation – since most people in the same village may have the same surname. When we say we are the “Kwong’s” generation, the villagers will know. They keep the genealogy and naming book in the small village temple. My father was born in a small village near Guongzhou (old name Canton). At the age of 13, he took a train to Hong Kong to look for work – and didn’t look back since - except during years of the Japanese occupation. Both my brothers and sister and I were born and grew up in Hong Kong. I came to San Diego, California for college and later settled down in the US. I like to be addressed as “Ah Leung”. And in Chinese: The word “Ah” is just a common street salutation in Canton. Therefore there are many “Ah Wong”, “Ah Lee”, “Ah Chan” walking down the streets of Hong Kong. In Mandarin, the same street salutation would be “Xiao Leung”, where the word “Xiao” literally means “little”. It is an attempt to be modest (a Chinese’s virtue) having others addressing ourselves as “little”. The food consumed in Hong Kong is primarily Cantonese style. But Hong Kong is actually a melting pot of all cuisines in the nearby vicinities. The primary reason is the influx of immigrants, legal or illegal – well, back in the 40’s and 50’s the Hong-Kong/Mainland border was quite loose. And there was a big wave of immigrants from the mainland seemingly overnight when Mao advocated his “Big Leap Forward” campaign (and later on “The Cultural Revolution”). Many new immigrants brought their home style cooking with them. In Hong Kong, you will find a mix of different cuisines from Chiu Chow, Hakka, Shanghai, Peking, Sichuan, Hunan, etc.. Because of over 150 years of British ruling, Hong Kong also iss influenced greatly by European cultures (primarily British, French and Italy, and to a degree Portuguese because of the proximity to Macau – a Portuguese colony). And in recent decades: USA, India, Japan, Taiwan, The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Hamburgers, thanks to McDonald’s, made its way to Hong Kong in the 70’s. And pizza, thanks to Pizza Hut, in the 80’s. Mexican food such as tacos, burritos and carnitas, however, did not receive enthusiastic response for whatever reason. In the late 1980’s, there was something like “Two” Mexican restaurants in the whole district of Tsimshatsui. When the eGullet blog team approached me to write a one-week food blog, I felt flattered and was very excited. The timing couldn’t have been better. The coming week is Chinese New Year. I would like to take this opportunity to mention some of the Chinese customs in celebrating this most important festivity in Chinese culture all around the globe through out this week. More to come later.
  21. Good morning! So, since Irishgirl is such a good food detective (and in possession of a ridiculous memory!), I suppose this post won't come as much of a surprise to all of you. I'm very excited to start my second eG foodblog, and I think we have some fun things in store for the week! For those of you who don't know too much about me, a quick intro. I've lived in Manhattan since graduating from college almost six years ago, and have become more and more obsessed with food over that time. I'm a fairly competent cook (nothing to some of the folks here on eG, let alone the pros), and an avid eater and drinker. I'm also a huge caffeine addict, so you'll be privy to my coffee and Diet Coke consumption (I swear, I could be their spokesperson). Last time I blogged, I was, blessedly, off of work for most of the week. This time around, the situation is reversed - I'm working for most of the blog, but will be off of work next Friday. So you'll get to see a lot of my more mundane culinary world...the coffee machine in the 8th Floor kitchen, the lunch places near my office, the grocery store... However! I also have lots of far more interesting things planned (requests and suggestions are VERY welcome)...here's a tentative agenda: Friday: Dinner at Cafe d'Alsace Saturday: Union Square Greenmarket, Schaller and Weber, dinner at home! Sunday: Laundry, a movie...Dylan's Candy Bar! Monday: Rockefeller Center, not sure about dinner yet... Tuesday: Lunch at The Modern Wednesday: Valentine's Day Thursday: Way up in the air! Friday: Breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky, Dinner at Degustation...lunch in Chinatown? Saturday: Totally open! It's pretty cold here in the city, so I've traded in my typical culinary adventure footwear (Pumas!) for some warmer trappings (Uggs!), the better to maintain my stamina and actually get to all the places promised...so, bundle up and come along for the ride! Off to get some coffee...of course.
  22. There is nothing as comforting on a cold winter night as a big bowl of soup; walking into a home with the aromas wafting through the air and heat radiating from the stove top is most inviting. This is heart and body warming stuff. It helps thaw out your toes and restore your spirit. Now, of course, there are some places in this world where a pot of simmering soup in early February is more welcome than others. Were we sitting on a beach on the coast of a Caribbean Island, we might prefer a frozen beverage more than a bowl of chicken noodle soup. But from the shores of Lake Michigan to the upper reaches of the Mighty Miss to the wind-swept Canadian Prairie - where the snow reaches your waist or higher - there's nothing better. We bloggers are proud Northerners. We are diverse and yet the same. We are cold, but know how to overcome that. Pull out your soup pots and get your bones simmering. Share a week of warm and hearty meals! We're cooking soup this week - and looking forward to cooking with you.
  23. Greetings from Frederick, Maryland, USA! Frederick is a historic town of 50,000 nestled close by the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Mountains (hills, to those of y’all that have “real” mountains). Located about an hour (depending on traffic) from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Frederick features an uneasy mix of historic buildings and high technology, corn fields and shopping malls, housing developments and dairy cows. Yes, we still have cows within city limits. But the housing developments are winning.
  24. Happy New Year, and welcome to my blog! Since I’m blogging at South East Asia Standard Time, or GMT +07:00, I’ll be writing on a bit of a time-delay for those following me in North America and Europe. I’ll try to hang around at odd hours to answer any questions, but please bear with me. Although the Year of the Pig doesn’t technically start until Tet in February, the Pig decorations all over town have been quietly urging me to dedicate this New Year’s blog to pork. So though it’s still the Year of the Dog (and this being Hanoi, I could do a full week featuring food based on our canine friends), I will try to feature as many iterations of piggy goodness as possible. That being said, I couldn’t do a blog from Hanoi without featuring pho, so I shall allow incursions by other meats as well. First, a bit about myself. As you may have guessed by this intro, I’m an unapologetic meat-eater, a full-time ESL teacher, and a food porn voyeur. If you doubt this last bit, the next time you’re lurking in the “Dinner: What Did We Make?” check the bottom for “Users browsing this thread” for my tag. I rarely post, though, since these days I rarely cook. I moved to Vietnam in April of this year. Before that, I lived for almost four years in Incheon, South Korea. I’m originally from Halifax, Canada. I’m planning a slow circumnavigation of the Earth. After Sazji’s blog, Istanbul is on my radar. This week, I hope to show lots of kinds of food – lots of Vietnamese, some French, and I plan to cook Korean at least once. I mostly eat in restaurants or order in these days, as I’ve been working 12 hour days, six days a week since April. As well, you can eat tasty and well-prepared food on the street for often less than a dollar – so I limit my cooking at home to when I want traditional Western food, or one of my Korean favourites. My husband and I decided to move to Vietnam when we visited here on vacation in 2003. It’s hard to say why – I mean, what can I say that Anthony Bourdain or Graham Greene haven’t said better? We decided to come on vacation after a conversation with friends in Seoul that went like this: Nakji: So where did you guys go on vacation last year? Shannon: We went to Cambodia and Vietnam. Cambodia was wonderful. Vietnam was horrible. Everybody there is out to rip you off. You’ll get your bag stolen on the first day. Nakji: How was the food? Shannon: It was better in Vietnam. Decision made. Our first day in Hanoi, we got up at 7 am (being used to working at 6 am in Korea, this was considered a lie-in), went out on the street, and sat down and almost cried. All around us, ladies with baskets full of fresh fruit and freshly baked bread swirled around us, while pork buns wheeled by in glass cases. We resolved then and there to move as soon as we crawled out of student loan debt. Fast Forward three years, and we’re here, and all the sudden, everyone has cell phones. No matter, because the food hasn’t changed. I started off my day with a great cup of coffee made with a Christmas present from a friend: Bodum! Note the Year of the Pig decoration. I must admit, in the morning I haven’t got the patience to use a traditional Vietnamese drip, nor does it yield nearly the volume of coffee I need in the morning. I do use local coffee, however, my favourite being from a local roaster – Paris Mai blend from Café Mai, which I hope to visit later this week. It looks like dark chocolate, and tastes like it, too. After coffee and rallying my husband, we went to one of our favourite cafes for brunch. This place is (curiously, considering it’s Vietnamese-run) New Zealand themed, and serves excellent and cheap food. Like many places in Vietnam, modern restaurant practices like using ready-made mayonnaise or hollandaise are eschewed. Everything is made fresh in the kitchen. We had fresh juice, something as a reformed Canadian, I cannot get over the luxury of having. Fresh-squeezed OJ for me, and mixed fruit for Peter. To eat, Eggs Benedict for him, and a sort of club sandwich for me. Finished with carrot cake, which had a degree of moistness which is hard to find in café cake in Asia. We especially like the atmosphere in the place, and since they have wi-fi, it’s a great place to while away a few hours e-mailing and taking care of sundry internet chores. We ran into a co-worker and his wife there, who related a hilarious tale concerning dog-foot congee. His wife had recently given birth, so her mother sent over some rice porridge with dog feet in it, for strength. My British co-worker was appalled – “What will the dog think?” he told his wife. She didn’t think the family pet had much of a say in the matter, but he declared he sent it back with a stern note to his mother-in-law. When he got up to use the bathroom, I leaned over to her and asked, “So did you eat it later?” “Of course.” she laughed. Right, on that note, I must crawl off to bed. I've been up for almost 24 hours now...when I come back, I'll show you our New Year's Eve feast. Happy New Year to all!
  25. Aloha and e komo mai! Hello, and welcome to a tropical Christmas from suburban Hawaii! I'm delighted to be doing my first "official" eGullet blog this week. To give you some background, I'm originally from NYC but moved to Hawaii 16 years ago. I live in a secluded valley in central Oahu with my husband Michael, our 10-year-old daughter Wendy, my grown stepson Daniel, and our 3-year-old Japanese spitz dog Tuffy. The area where we live is dense with pine and eucalyptus forests and cooler than most of the island. With its clusters of peaked-roof, delicately gray houses, it recalls an alpine village -- and I love it! My blog will record a combination of local traditions and personal eccentricities. We don't practice any religion, but Christmas preparations (and decorations) are pervasive in Hawaii, as are those for Japanese New Year's, and we celebrate both holidays in our own unique way. My daughter is off from school this week. So all bets are off as far as "normal routine" is concerned. We may have a houseful of her friends over -- or not, if everyone else is away. (You ain't seen nothin' till you've survived a sleepover with six giggling 10 year olds! ) The mad rush of cookie-baking and holiday shopping is almost over. Later today we're planning to decorate the gingerbread house (which we didn't get around to doing last week) and tonight we'll have a family dinner, just the four of us (plus the dog, of course). Tomorrow we're hosting Christmas dinner for nine, ranging in age from 10 to 70+. To keep things interesting, we don't have a dining room table! When it's just us, we normally (or maybe that should be abnormally!) eat at our computer desks or sitting in bed. This get-together will be buffet style, served on paper plates, and we'll scrounge up seating as we clean the house. During the week, we're planning to gawk at the Christmas displays downtown; tour the North Shore, where life is even more laid-back and we can sample some local treats; and shop for New Year's foods at a Japanese supermarket. Midweek, we're invited to a friend's home for more holiday festivities. And to cap off the week, in honor of eGullet, on Saturday we'll be throwing a backyard BBQ/luau/pool party. And now for some audience participation: I'd love to hear about your holiday traditions. It's 2 a.m. here now, so I'm going to catch some sleep. Meanwhile, nou ka hale. ("My home is your home" -- and please take your shoes off in the Hawaiian custom before you come inside.) Note: Throughout this blog, I'll mostly be using anglicized spelling, without the accent marks used in politically correct Hawaiian spelling. (Example: Hawaii vs. Hawai`i.) See you in the morning! Suzy
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