Monday, December 24, 2012

Reservation Soup

Now, this is a "recipe" of my own design.  Recipes are always calling for you to "reserve" things and set them aside for later.  We reserved all these ingredients for so long that we just threw them all together into a pot and called it soup.

1. Make a brisket. Decide that you don't want to throw away all that cooking fluid.  Attempt to strain out mustard seeds and peppercorns.  Leave in the fridge for about a week while you decide what to do with it.
2. Take your "stock" out of the the fridge and throw away the layer of fat that has solidified on the surface.
3. Cut up the rest of the leftover daikon (because you can only buy giant daikons apparently) after making Winter Solstice Soup and Pickled Daikon.  And the leftover carrot also from the pickled daikon because you've overestimated the amount that will fit in the jar space.
4. Cut up leftover celery from the brisket.  Throw that in there, too.
5. Throw in leftover lap cheong (Chinese sausage) from Solstice soup because, hey, it's there.
6. Add some mushrooms and potatoes, because those are good in soup.
7. Simmer about 30 minutes or whatever you feel like.  Salt to taste.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice Soup

..because it's the Winter Solstice today!

This soup is also (apparently) known as Tang Yuan. Now, this soup has been a long time coming, and I have a short-ish story about my Holy Grail of foods.  Yes, that's right, I just called this the Holy Grail.  So the thing is, my grandma used to make this for me when I was young, but hasn't made it since.  And since I was young enough to remember the soup, but not old enough to have any definite memories of it, I have never been able to recreate it, look it up, or describe it accurately enough for someone else to know what it is.  I had vague memories of "mochi-like things" and "things I remember as carrots but aren't carrots" in the soup (actual things I have said to people when trying to describe it.)  Well, I happened to stumble across a picture of dumplings filled with red bean paste on Foodgawker when I was browsing for some other recipe, and many clicks and Google searches later, I happened upon Noodle Fever's Tang Yuan soup recipe.  I almost cried out of sheer joy.

TL;DR  This is awesome soup that I've been trying for something like 15 years to find.  If that isn't a glowing endorsement, I don't know what is.


Incidentally, this is also the first time I've ever really shopped at 99 Ranch.  The poor Chinese man behind the meat counter looked to me to clarify N's order, but I couldn't help him, haha.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monterey Chicken a la the Silver Palate

So, I thought this might be a particular recipe.  You know, like, Monterey chicken is always made a particular way or with a particular uniqueness.  But a quick search of Foodgawker proved me wrong.  There was nothing that even looked like what we made out of the Silver Palate cookbook we picked up at an estate sale.

This is a really yummy recipe, and pretty light, not a lot of oil or cream or butter.

A quick internet search brings up this recipe that seems to be copied from the book.


Haha, I took it upon myself to "make it pretty" or at least I partially succeeded with the cucumber. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Little Cow

I actually made this little guy on request for my coworker's wife. 

I love this little pattern from Studio Ami, and it's free!  I did change the legs because I like these stubby little things better.

Make 4 of the same:
With black:
Ch 2, 6 SC in 2nd ch from hook. (6)
2 SC in next st, 1 SC in next stx3 (9)
In BLO, SC around (9)
With white:
SC around
SC around
SC around

Bonus! I also learned how to put safety eyes on correctly.  Or at least I think it's correct now.  Apparently, the concave part goes into the eye stem, not the convex part.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Rest of the Cuteness

By popular demand (but mostly self-pride?) here is the full set of pictures in our 2013 Calendar featuring Pumpkin the Guinea Pig!













Monday, December 10, 2012

Sriracha Eggplant Tofu

AKA the first successful tofu dish I've made!  Found the lovely recipe over at Kalyn's Kitchen via Foodgawker.  The best thing about this recipe is that she tells you exactly how long to cook the eggplant, it doesn't come out mushy like I was afraid it would.

Oh man, the first time we tried to improv some tofu, I accidentally bought silken tofu to try and stir fry it.  It turned into mush!  But extra firm fries up golden and so pretty.


We've been trying to add more meatless dishes to our usual routine, so this was a pretty tasty foray into that!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Freezer with a Face?

Ok, so I know it seems like I haven't made any crochet projects in a while, but it's mostly because of the secret project!  Here's a little yeti that I've been working on (slowly) from Voodoo Maggie's book!  He's really cute, and he has a butt!  I'm afraid that he's pretty stylized, so it may be hard to tell at first glance what he's supposed to be.  One of my lab mates was thoroughly confused and thought he might be a freezer with a face.


Haha, love all the little toes.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Secret Holiday Project!

I've been working on a secret little project with N as a holiday present.  Remember his guinea pig Pumpkin from before?  We shot a themed calendar, one picture for each month.  It's the cutest thing ever.

Here's our January shot, one of my favorites!


Isn't this adorable? N calls this "weaponized cuteness".

Pumpkin was such a cool cavy about the whole thing, he really hammed it up :)  No guinea pigs were harmed in the making of this calendar, and plenty of treats and veggies were had :)

And yes, there was definitely some frantic crafting/crocheting to make all the props.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Haha, it's not too late to post Halloween photos is it? Because I still want to show off my lackluster costume!  We got a little into the spirit of Halloween and picked up a big pumpkin to carve on the day of!  It's not too hard to carve it without the kit tools, but we did go through a few different things before just settling on a steak knife.  I guess a serrated edge is best!


And we're still procrastinating on trying to roast the pumpkin seeds.