Category Archives: kitchen doo-dads

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.

hot pot, at home!

hehe, very predictable yeah?
hot pot at home fixings
hot pot at home
a light and flavorful broth, and any or all fixings you could possibly think of: fish cake, crab legs, thinly sliced meats (beef, lamb, chicken) and fresh vegetables.

it was so much fun, there was only one hitch: we ran out of table space. there was also necessary vigilance, for the large fondue pot had an electric cord which thankfully had a safety feature of being magnetically attached to the electric probes (?) so the danger of accidentally tripping on it would not cause the pot to up-end… also became a bit of a problem when it easily got nudged out of position. no worries, we had a great meal.

cook’s notes: serve with bowls of short-grain (Tamaki Gold) rice; thick udon noodles; sa cha and XO sauces, alongside finely minced garlic, chilis, and scallions. ooh i’m making myself hungry… :melodramatic:

Ibarra chocolate

i found the little hexagon box, opened! and with a little bite out of one chocolate packet.
it was easy to find out the “mouse” who did the deed. :detective:
i bought the chocolate mix (“genuine Mexican chocolate”), from the “Mexican Food” Aisle of the L.A. ‘burb supermarket where my sister regularly shops, during our quick visit in July to celebrate my dad’s birthday. and had then put it away in my baking supply cabinet and promptly forgotten about it.
until today.
it is a solid chocolate compressed cake, individually wrapped and marked into wedges. two wedges per cup of hot milk makes a hot steamy mug, just perfect for the rainy nippy days of fall. daughter plays flute for the school band and they have to attend the football games. someone spread the rumor (proven false since) that the band director serves hot chocolate after the games. NOTTTT!
so i searched for something when she came home cold, damp, and chilled to the bones…and found the missing Mexican chocolate.
Ibarra chocolate
it is mostly “sugar with cacao nibs, soy lecithin, and cinnamon flavor.”
oh well, zero cholesterol and zero trans fats and a smidgen of Vitamin A and iron..
instructions call for heating up some milk (really hot–i used the microwave) and then adding the chocolate wedges, mixing in a blender (i used my stick immersion blender);
and the three kids pronounced it perfect for today.

good enough.
frothy Ibarra chocolate

play time

i thought a bread machine would be fun to have in the kitchen.
i wanted a Japanese one..but have you seen how much those cost? i couldn’t justify spending too much on a brand new Zojirushi that i might not use much in the end. or that i’d feel pressured to use, to make it worthwhile…so i turned to eBay. i got really lucky and got a barely-used Dak (out of business, but parts are still available). i made our first bread machine loaf the day it arrived…

it was a bit alarming in the beginning, with all the noise it made. but 3 and a half hours later i got the best surprise…

it worked! and it was beautiful, moist-inside-crusty-outside kind of loaf. oddly shaped, but the magical way that it kneaded the dough, “fermented”, baked and cooled it…all you do is measure everything in, in proper order.

freshly baked, i slathered on some carabao butter…*sigh*
thank heavens for all the people who share recipes (the machine didn’t have its original cookbooklet)–i hope to try out as many as i can, who knows how long this machine will last?!

chickpea salad & coconut rice

in our neck of the woods, when the weather hits 70 degrees F and above, and it’s October, and you know

you’re supposed to be cold and wet but instead it’s warm and sunny…

you have a cookout.

with #1son home for the long Columbus Day weekend, balmy breezes, and after discovering the source of plentiful hardwood charcoal (after a long and futile search all week long because the big box stores had packed them away for the season)…. it was time to skewer up some pork and marinate the chicken wings.

i made these dishes which were really easy and tasty sides for the grilled meats.bbq

i made green papaya atchara, using a new vegetable peeler which i’d read about as great for peeling thin skinned fruit and vegetables (tomatoes! nectarines! peaches! no need to do the x-ing on the bottom, blanching in hot then plunging in cold ice water! method described here) and discovering that the swiveling serrated blades worked great for the thick hard green papaya skin as well. (and no this is not a sponsored post 😆 )
the sharp curved tip is useful for poking out eyes from potatoes and pineapples too. this one’s by zyliss.

the garbanzo bean salad is easy and quick to make! i adapted the recipe from the back of the can, substituting crushed garlic cloves and adding juice from half a lemon.


the garlicky tart garbanzos were especially good with nasi lemak (coconut-pandan rice) which i made with basmati rice.
nasi lemak
recipes ….. Continue reading