Category Archives: food finds

super-blizzard comfort food

the wind has just picked up, right on schedule. we’ve been glued to the Weather News–all the local channels are covering the super snowstorm and we are just holed up at home, keeping warm and watching the snow pile up.
sandwich loaf
from a King Arthur’s Flour recipe which i made before in my trusty bread machine.
to ease my mounting anxious restlessness i made some bread to go along with the little baby bries we got from Trader Joe’s. really tender and mild, you can eat the rind too!
soft and tender brie bites

when it’s cold, it’s perfect for making pastries. this recipe i’ve bookmarked for the longest time, i finally got to attempt. i recommend it highly! a tasty little appetizer treat. my two boys loved them. (daughter’s stuck in the dorm at her university.)
i would make it with stronger cheese next time too, instead of the cheddar and cream cheese.

they were made in muffin cups, and the pastry had to be blind-baked first. i puzzled over it for a while, and came up with the idea of using some muffin cup liners, instead of cutting out parchment circles, then putting the pie weights on before popping them into the preheated oven:
dough-filled, butter-greased muffin cups
blind-baking the little tarts before filling
tomato and cheese tartlets
i imagine a hearty red wine would accompany it very well. keep warm and safe, and make pastries!

the Ski Queen gjetost cheese

i vaguely remember having gjetost, this most unusual cheese. it must have been sometime in college, and i didn’t enjoy it at the time. if i remember right it was tough and dry. :faint:
i’ve been stumbling into vivid and tempting descriptions of it in the course of bloghopping through the years, and decided to give it another chance. a trip to the Big Fancy Organic expensive Food Store yielded double Devon cream, smoked salmon and the cute little red cube from Norway…and one bite of a little curl of gjetost, and my first thought was wow, it’s a cheese! because the soft caramel notes were so pronounced.
on the wrapper, it says it’s made of mostly whey, goat milk and cream, and to serve it with slices of fruit.
this time i had it with fresh figs and almonds all together in a mouthful and it made my tastebuds stand up and cheer.
so all those years ago it must been a past-due-date sample.
tomorrow i think i’ll get some Golden Delicious apples and walnuts.

green tea noodles

file this under exciting food finds: green tea noodles, “chasoba” which i pounced on when i saw on the shelf at Ebisuya Market, Medford, MA.

i thought we would use it for our favorite family dinner lately, hot pot.
hot pot fixings, plus chasoba
prepare it like angel hair pasta, making sure it doesn’t overcook (3-4 minutes). this packet is made with buckwheat flour, green tea and fragrant gardenia and saffron.
i bet it would go really well with miso soup too.

faraway food foraging

we have been waiting for this new grocery to open up–news had been buzzing around the web, ever since our favorite (one and only) Japanese food purveyors in Cambridge closed down.
new Japanese grocery
we organized a little trip on a sunny cold Sunday afternoon to Medford, to look for our favorite green tea soy milk and soba noodles (chasoba); the kids had a grand time looking up and down the candy and soda aisles, which were blissfully not crowded. yet?
oh no Mom's taking a picture
husband wanted to give the takeaway sushi counter a try. in the process #1 son bumped into his Japanese language professor who took the opportunity to grill him on his skills.
#1son being grilled by professor
the best sushi
after a long wait: fresh, beautiful, perfectly assembled sushi and sashimi. very well worth the time spent. their pickled ginger was the best, crispy and all-natural. (pictured in the trays above, next to the little splotches of lime green wasabi paste.)
fresh and natural wasabi
i picked up a tiny jar of the real thing, freshly grated Japanese wasabi. the difference is unmistakable: the searing hit of the paste is very subtle at the start but then you get that brain buzz, all in a good way.
it was just like that, on our way home we were buzzing with excitement, happy at the thought of this new place not too far from home.
H Mart, Burlington, MA
not like here, a much longer ride to Burlington, and the two times we’ve gone, both on Saturday evenings the chaos was too much that we were not able to enjoy the shopping experience much.
we vow to return when all the fuss and novelty have died down, hopefully. they have food stalls and a bakery with the most delicious red bean doughnuts.

and when we finally made it back, after a quick hop into Chinatown, double-parked in suspense on Harrison street, to pick up a roast duck, i tried to sooth #2son’s craving for miso soup with ingredients we had at home: dashi no moto, miso paste, silken tofu, udon noodles, the magic wakame seaweed, and sliced scallions.
miso and udon soup

a new leaf

debated whether to change out of my soaked clothes into a new outfit, or just to slip back into my flannel pajammies and fluffy bathrobe…the flannels won, and i’m just drying out the old outfit.
it was a day just like today, pouring rain with flashes of lightning and grumbling thunder, when i attended what i call a “diabetic convention” (really a community outreach program from our hospital)–it was a Saturday early morning and no it wasn’t the free breakfast and lunch that made me bounce out of bed. it was a grim determination to finally confront the demon diagnosis from three years ago. i wanted to learn more about my disease instead of just always pushing it down into the dark recesses of my mind.
i am really still mournful about it, but i learned so much about carbs, and diet, and how insulin works and how my organs will fail if i don’t attend to my body. i have mostly banished Ms.Information and Ms.Conceptions and Ms.Givings from my awareness; sadly i have turned into a rabid food label reader, a fervent new member of the food police force. i hope that my kids and husband won’t get too resentful and even actually benefit from the vigilance i’m trying hard to maintain. kids, i am also always donating to diabetic research requests (kahit piso piso lang). i am so sorry but it’s hereditary, and i want diabetes gone in your lifetime.
healthy tasty breads
part of our new regimen is the search for delicious multigrain stuff, and these loaves from Nature’s Pride fit the bill exactly. we spread almond and peanut butters and have it for breakfast, and the #2son specifically requested a sandwich with turkey breast slices for his school lunch. that’s phenomenal! he’s more of a subway rolls kind of guy.
success, what? just disregard all that chocolate in my categories.

sweet seduction

i am very reluctant to shop at this behemoth chain-store, thinking about the way they run their business and treat their employees and how they’ve bulldozed and bullied away all the little mom-and-pop stores in the neighborhood. but the prices are low, so sometimes i just swallow my pride and sell out.
and i never thought i’d ever rave over anything food-related from this store until i found this…
i’d been getting alarmed at how the ice cream tubs and buckets at the supermarket are shrinking ever smaller. so when i found a nostalgically big tub at almost a gallon, for a very impressive price…
mouth wide open
just before i dove into it
i’ve been going back for more. me bad. me very bad.
not just pistachio! but pistachio-almond! shockingly gaudily neon green. but oh so creamy and nutty.
seduction, thy name is pistachio ice cream
forbidden!…temptation, thy name is blue bunny pistachio-almond ice cream.

jars and jars

under the guise of food scientist i made these not-quite-but-somewhat-instant pancakes and brought out the mainstays of my refrigerator: Europeans jams and preserves and maple syrup.
the mix is Carbon’s golden malted pancake and waffle flour (just add buttermilk, eggs, and butter).
it must be prolaimed that i bought all of these at grocery salvage outlet stores.
verdict: i prefer raspberry by Hero, and Bonne Maman strawberry. i will get some Favorit cherry when the Hero runs out.
i cooked them in my double griddle pan and had some trouble adjusting the heat, hence the two toned pancake effects.
this is not an experiment that will be replicated for result verification too often–i ended up eating too many pancakes for my daily ration of carb allowance. bleh. :tragedy:

but no matter, today is a warm spring day, finally!!! and thus begins our April/spring vacation week.