May 8, 2013
baking, blueberry muffin, breakfast, crumb topping, low fat, muffins, recipe, streusel
Yes, dear readers – the cat is out of the bag. I refer to my mother as Mommie. I had contemplated titling this post “Mom’s Blueberry Muffins” to avoid any potential embarrassment, but then I realized that there are a billion and one recipes out there called “Mom’s Blueberry Muffins.” So I figured, why not call it like it is?
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever… until we nom it. — John Keats, sort of…
These moist and fluffy muffins are filled to the brim with blueberries, topped with a crispy crumble of streusel, and even better – they contain NO oil. Magical, right? A worthy adversary for Starbucks’ Bountiful Blueberry counterpart. And Starbucks Gold Card carrying Martin gives my muffins his seal of approval, so that’s a vote of confidence right there! We hope you’ll enjoy this sweet intermission from our Boston recap series.
Click here for the recipe!
April 8, 2013
chicken, chicken noodle, dinner, hello kitty, homemade, pasta, quick and easy, recipe, soup, winter
April Showers make me want to curl up in our cozy house with a hot bowl of comforting chicken noodle soup, especially since the aroma of chicken will likely lure at least one of our cats over to beg for a morsel. I’ll be honest, I used to be content to opening up a can of Campbell’s (the one with the star shapes was my favorite), but after making your own chicken soup, you can never really go back. This is the perfect recipe to use up random chicken parts – wings are great for both rendering the stock and shredding up to eat since they have a good bone-to-meat ratio, but you can also use a chicken carcass (perhaps after butchering your own chicken – my latest “thing”) paired with more meaty parts. I’ve even been known to muster up the effort to prepare this soup for myself while out sick, it’s that easy. Leftovers freeze well for a rainy day, but this small-batch recipe will serve about 4.
Chicken Noodle Soup (made even more fun with Hello Kitty shaped macaroni!)
April 1, 2013
fish curry, kaffir lime leaves, nam ya, noodle soup, recipe, rice noodles, soup, thai, vermicelli
As I’ve mentioned before, my dad is awesome at tasting new foods at restaurants and then coming home and replicating (often improving) on those dishes. Nam ya (known by its full Thai name as kanom jeen nam ya or ขนมจีนน้ำยา) is one of those dishes. We had tried it at a family friend’s house years ago and every once in a while, especially when the weather turns chilly, I’ll request my dad to whip up a batch. He used to purchase whole catfish from the Vietnamese grocery stores, but then the work to flake the fish off the bones was time-consuming. He found catfish fillets, vacuum-sealed and frozen, at Costco and the final product was still pretty darn good (and less time in the kitchen means more time with family!). I found some recipes online for a traditional version that resembles noodles coated with curry sauce, but ours is a noodle soup version sure to warm your soul on a cold night.
Kanom jeen nam ya (Thai fish curry)
Read on for the recipe!
March 26, 2013
Side Noms, Small Noms
baking, gratin dauphinois, gruyere, meatless, potato chips, potato gratin, potatoes au gratin, recipe, side dish
“What’s a potato gratin?” “It’s like the mac & cheese of the potato world.” “Really?” “Yeah, seriously.”
Yup – I totally had that conversation last week. But layered with cheese, simmered in milk, and beautifully browned with a crunchy crust, the classic potato gratin really does bear resemblance to a baked macaroni and cheese dish. The fork-tender slices of potato glued by savory Gruyère and a golden crust worth fighting over both make this dish a winner!
Voilà – potatoes gratiné!
Read on for the gratin recipe and a bonus!
March 4, 2013
braised pork, caramelized pork, comfort food, recipe, rice, suon kho, thit kho, vietnamese
Vietnamese caramelized pork, also known as thịt kho or sườn kho (pronounced like kaw) depending on the cut of pork used, is one of the most common household recipes I can think of… truly comfort food. Just about every Vietnamese mother has her own recipe with its own little twists — some are sweeter, some are saltier, and some, like my mom’s, are very garlicky. What they all have in common is the time (and love) that goes into cooking the sugar long enough to caramelize it and then reducing the sauce ingredients to a viscous, flavor-packed glaze over the succulent braised meat.
The finished product – sườn kho
NomCat Tip for the Ingredients:
1. The Meat: In this recipe, we use baby back ribs, but you could also purchase pork short ribs / riblets, boneless back fat or belly, or even pork shoulder. When using a rib cut, this dish is known as sườn kho. Use of a leaner, boneless cut of pork, or thịt nạc, would then be known as thịt kho.
Baby Back Ribs!
2. Coconut Soda: Back in the 70′s when my parents came to America, coconut water was hard to come by. VitaCoco, ONE, Zico, and all those other now-common brands had not yet made it big by marketing coconut water as nature’s Gatorade. So my mom turned to available alternatives, most notably the Coco Rico soda in a green can. I’ve tasted it on its own (you know, the way soda was meant to be consumed) but I just can’t stomach the overly sweet, awkwardly fragrant flavor. Martin grew up on the stuff so when we stock up to make thịt kho, we sometimes get extra for him to drink too. I haven’t noticed it in the American grocery stores so you may have to trek out to your local 99 Ranch for this ingredient.