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Recipes that include onion

Chinese Borscht

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fusion food sometimes sounds new and modern, like a fanciful restaurant theme. We forget that borders between countries and cultures have existed since far back in history, where ingredients, flavors, and recipes have been shared.

Chinese Borscht Title Pic

My late grandma Olia (on the right, below) grew up near the border of China and Russia, where she ate lots of this Chinese version of Borscht. She taught my mom how to make it and my mom taught me. My mom admits removing the potatoes and sour cream from the version Grandma Olia taught her (most Chinese versions don’t include sour cream) and I’ll admit, I made a few changes too. My mom always used canned beets and since I’m not a fan of canned products (due to the BPA in the adhesive), I use fresh beets. I also cut the veggies into smaller pieces just to make it easier to eat. (Caya obviously in mind.) The result is a healthy and hearty soup with meat and veggies that glow pinkish-red (which totally amuses Caya). It comforts to the core and I get nostalgic every time I take a sip.

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Rosemary Turkey Meatloaf

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Meatloaf ain’t pretty but a good one is so tasty, moist, and comforting. It fills in those spaces left by the winter blues and it can be all that without being a heavy and fatty meal. This meatloaf is so tender, you could eat it after your wisdom teeth are pulled. It’s so moist, you won’t be reaching for your glass of water. Yet, I only used turkey meat, a lean protein, and besides one egg for the whole loaf, no fat is added.

As we ate it, Lon asked me, what’s making this meatloaf so moist? I listed ingredients and he kept saying, and…and…Well, that was it. No mystery gob of lard. This comfort food is healthy!

Rosemary Meatloaf

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Calabaza and Butternut Squash Soup

Monday, January 3, 2011

I’m extremely proud to serve up this soup as the first recipe of 2011. It’s actually a soup that I made for Thanksgiving, when I decided to work with Calabaza pumpkin for the first time. Being unfamiliar with this pumpkin, though it is not so far off from sugar pumpkins, I didn’t expect to get a winning recipe on the first try. I made the soup intending for it to be a work in progress.

When I served the soup, it got such rave reviews, I quickly tried to jot down notes for what I put in. Luckily, the steps are simple and the soup was easily re-created. I made it again in New Year’s Day for some guests, and again, I received such sweet compliments. Lon reiterated: this is a winning recipe. Why haven’t I posted it? I am. I am…

Calabaza and Squash Soup 8

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Cheating Enchiladas

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let’s not talk about the food yet.  Let’s talk about the reason for this dish or more specifically the recipe.  In previous posts for chili pepper-based recipes, we have received notes about how the chili peppers we use are often hard to find in certain areas: cascabels, chipotles, pequins, anchos, guajillos, etc.  Other people have asked for chili pepper flavor without so much spice/heat.  We’ve heard loud and clear, so this post is about making an authentic-tasting chili pepper sauce, using readily available ingredients with a rich taste that is not spicy.  Let’s hope it works out!

The first part is making a Latin-flavored shredded pork.  I’ve done BBQ-style pulled pork before; even though this uses the same cut (pork butt) and is shredded, it tastes totally different.  Plus we’re going to use it to make an enchilada casserole, which we’ve done before (last time the enchiladas were beef with a green sauce), so this is quite different.

Pork Enchiladas with rice and salad

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Lentil Soup

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lon works in midtown and often buys lunch from Food Exchange, right downstairs. It’s a modern deli, a little fancier and more organized looking than the old-school NYC deli. It wouldn’t be special enough to blog about except that Lon has been raving about their Lentil Soup for months. He complains on the days when he arrives too late and they’ve sold out. If he’s still thinking about that when he gets home, he must really like that Lentil Soup.

About a month ago, still raving about the lentil soup…he started suggesting I taste the soup and make it for him. One day, he came home with a cup of that lentil soup, heated it up while I was sleeping on the couch, woke me up and fed it to me. Two days later, he came home with a four pound bag of lentils. He was getting serious about this lentil soup.

Lentil Soup 2nd round 6

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Roasted Poblano and Chorizo Black Beans

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I make black beans several times a year and I posted about it way back in April of 2008. This time, I made a large batch and felt compelled to post about it again. Why? For one thing, I needed to make sure that readers who were not with us in 2008 are made aware of this easy, healthy, and delicious recipe. And, I also realized that making it in bulk changed a lot of things in the process, which could help you when you need to feed an army. (If you want the smaller-sized recipe, feel free to go back to the original post.)

In case you were wondering, I made 16 servings to fill 8 jars for BK Swappers last week. BK Swappers is a genius free event started by Kate Payne of Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking and Meg Paska of Brooklyn Homesteader. The idea is for people who love to cook and eat, that’s me ( and probably you if you’re reading this), to make a batch of something and come swap with others. You make one big batch of something and come home with a mix of goodies.

Roasted Poblano and Chorizo Black Beans jarred 3

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Fresh Peas with Mint

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finally! We moved, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet. We’re living out of boxes and we don’t have a kitchen yet. While our perfect kitchen is being built (which we will be talking about soon), I’m going to have to get crafty. I do have many plug-in appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, panini press, waffle maker, microwave, etc.) so we’re still going to have a ball here. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how much I (or you) can do without a kitchen. (Gulp) Determined to eat well every single day without exceptions, here goes…

I get the favorites questions a lot. What’s your favorite restaurant? What’s your favorite dish to make? What’s your favorite cuisine? I simply can’t answer a question like that. It’s like choosing a favorite child. After being asked this question for the billionth time, I sat deep in thought, on the train, trying to drown out the sounds of the obnoxious guy playing music on his ipod. (Dude, it’s called headphones!) Could I pick a favorite if I really tried?

With serious effort, I still could not. Instead, I realized that I could categorize all foods into three categories (I think). Let’s say roughly 40% fall into favorites, 10% into not-so-favorite, and 50% into that middle ground. Notice that I don’t have dislikes because I really don’t. I eat everything that is considered real food and though there are a few things that I don’t order myself, I still take a bite if Lon has it on his plate.

Fresh Pea Salad in a spoon 12

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Caramelized Onions: Slow Cooker Magic

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Finally! We moved, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet. We’re living out of boxes and we don’t have a kitchen yet. While our perfect kitchen is being built (which we will be talking about soon), I’m going to have to get crafty. I do have many plug-in appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, panini press, waffle maker, microwave, etc.) so we’re still going to have a ball here. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how much I (or you) can do without a kitchen. (Gulp) Determined to eat well every single day without exceptions, here goes…

I was late to the slow cooker band wagon. In my defense, the only appliances I ever saw my mother use was a rice cooker, a toaster oven, and a microwave. We didn’t have a blender, no food processor, no stand mixer, all things I consider essential today. I’ll admit to an over indulgence in kitchen items I really don’t need. We have a deli slicer, a panini press, a waffle maker, an ice cream maker, a grinder attachment, to name a few excesses, but I do use them. Yet, I may never have known the joys of a slow cooker, if it hadn’t been for a fortunate alignment of events and situations.

I’m pretty sure I would never have bought one, being that I didn’t really know what the advantage was. But, a few weeks ago, someone gave my mother a slow cooker, and my mom didn’t know what to do with it. Most of her cooking is done on the stove. She barely even touches the oven. She begged me to take it and considering my lack of kitchen right now, I thought, heck, this may be helpful…and that’s how this love story begins.

Vidalia Onions 4

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Slow Cooker: Kielbasa and Beans

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Finally! We moved, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet. We’re living out of boxes and we don’t have a kitchen yet. While our perfect kitchen is being built (which we will be talking about soon), I’m going to have to get crafty. I do have many plug-in appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, panini press, waffle maker, microwave, etc.) so we’re still going to have a ball here. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how much I (or you) can do without a kitchen. (Gulp) Determined to eat well every single day without exceptions, here goes…

This was my first time ever using a slow-cooker. My mom never used one. We never learned about them in culinary school. None of the commercial kitchens I’ve worked in stocked this appliance. I always figured that I didn’t need this extra contraption in my kitchen. Well, now that I’m working on just appliances alone, I jumped at the chance when my mom called and said, “Someone gave me a slow-cooker. Do you want it?” I thought, “N—Yea!” I was going to habitually say no, as I have refused these once or twice before, but now things have changed. You gotta take all the help you can get when you don’t have a kitchen. As patient as you all are, I figured you didn’t want 101 ways to use your toaster oven.

Kielbasa and Beans 2

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Crunchy Cranberry Salad

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Finally! We moved, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet. We’re living out of boxes and we don’t have a kitchen yet. While our perfect kitchen is being built (which we will be talking about soon), I’m going to have to get crafty. I do have many plug-in appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, panini press, waffle maker, microwave, etc.) so we’re still going to have a ball here. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how much I (or you) can do without a kitchen. (Gulp) Determined to eat well every single day without exceptions, here goes…

As I packed up the kitchen at our last apartment, and cooked my last few meals, I started panicking a bit. Ok, a lot. I knew we wouldn’t have a kitchen for a while. But, as I started packing up our utility junk drawer, guess what I found inside?

Crunchy Cranberry Salad 6

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