Tagged food

Caught My Eye 09.March.2013

Fascinating and creepy at the same time:

Google Glass: How It Feels

Contribute to Catholic Mom’s Project and help provide spiritual support for pregnant women (click on the pic to get there):
catholicmom — I just sent in my donation.

Heritage House is holding a Free Pro-Life T-shirt Survey at their site. Only thing is, I don’t know when the deadline is, if there is one. But may be worth a try: (click on the pic to get to the survey)

Heritage House National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day Survey

And this post from Erin made me scratch my head, shake my head, lift my eyebrow, say HM several times, and annoyed me a bit…. and then by the time I got to the comments it was… ho-hum. What haven’t we heard/read yet about homeschoolers? Maybe one of these days I’ll do a “Why We Homeschool” post, since it seems to be a popular topic these days. Even at the forum someone started a new thread, which is quite exciting — to be where we are now in our homeschooling life (going on 15 years I think), have a 21-year-old who’s almost done with college and doing well, have one going to college soon, and at least 3 more waiting in the wings…. and then seeing all these new homeschooling families just starting out. I’m not a pioneer by any means, but to some of the young ‘uns I guess I look like one :D. Anyway, Erin’s post: Homeschooling: Revenge of the Nerds?

And then this, from the Ruth Institute Blog: Homeschooling Not a Fundamental Right Says Justice Department. That same week I was listening to Al Kresta and, I believe, Michael Farris of the HSLDA, speaking about laws that are being attempted to pass or have already passed, etc. right here in the good ol’ US of A. Oh, here it is: German Homeschool Case May Impact U.S. Homeschool Freedom. Couldn’t find a podcast but it’s all covered in that article. Good to keep aware.

Interesting article on CSAs and health insurance rebates.

Lamest video ever, but I still couldn’t keep from laughing:

This one from the hilarious Eye of the Tiber blog: Catholic School Children Offended by Dumbed Down Homily.

Oi. Notre Dame again. Are there are any real Catholics left at that university? What are they doing?

Lastly, LOL:


Hidden Rose Apples

Found this today in the organic section at Jungle Jim’s. At $6.99 a pound (!!!) I wasn’t going to get a whole pound just to try. The cashier did a double take when she rang it in and asked, “Is that right? $2.59 for a single apple?” I said it was my splurge for the week. What intrigued me was the name. I was thinking of all sorts of possibilities, esp. liturgical ones. Maybe St. Therese’s Feast Day (she with the Roses), or maybe Mama Mary’s (she being the Hidden Treasure). I found out it won’t work for St. Therese, as this apple supposedly is only available around November, and St. Therese’s feast is in October.

Despite it being pretty, it just didn’t deliver enough flavor to justify a second purchase. It’s tarty and crunchy enough, but a bit too starchy, almost like a (icky) Red Delicious. It was fragrant, though, and the pink is a nice watermelony hue that would be beautiful atop a tart or some other pastry crust, if it maintains color throughout the baking process. I’m not interested enough to try. The price doesn’t help either, even if it is organic. I do want to give kudos to the growers for introducing us to this heirloom variety.

I’ve Had It! Converting to Mac

It’s about time I switched. This is the first time I’m able to blog in WEEKS!! My laptop is always at 100% CPU usage, it’s driving me crazy. Something that used to take 10 minutes to do now takes me 3 hours.

This is our third Dell. Hubby’s on his third too…. but his is company-issued so any problems that he encounters he just has to take it in and they take care of it. I don’t have that kind of luxury and I’m tired of spending time and money on repairs.

So I’m making the switch. I figure better do it now before I’m old and crotchety and refuse or unable to learn new tricks.


Some notes:

  • We’re finally on our last week of the Africa Unit Study. Since I wasn’t able to blog the rest of the study I’ll just put everything into one document and post it sometime.
  • I shopped for school supplies early this year! Which I never do since we shop for them year-round anyway. But this year we’ve got piles of (15-cent at Target and Meijer!) notebooks, and a new case of Ticonderoga pencils and gluesticks from Costco, and a new pack of washable markers.
  • Aisa and I have been inducted into the Ranger’s Apprentice fan club here at home. We are ALL eagerly awaiting the 9th book in the series, Halt’s Peril, due out October 5th. I’m thinking of pre-ordering to surprise Paco, but he’ll probably see this post anyway. 😀 I’ve allowed Migi, who’s 11, to read the books up to Book 7, which to me is quite violent… but no further, at least for another year or so. I’m *so* tempted to order that book on Amazon that someone brought in to the US from Australia. But. I will be patient and set a good example.
  • Paco has decided what to do with Kolbe. Going for honors but not Summa which isn’t flexible. Nice to see my curriculum still holds sway over him. I’ll try to post it sometime, perhaps after I get the Mac.
  • Aisa’s paying for 1/4 of it since she wants it for Garage Band. I’d RME but I know she’ll make good use of it. Now if I could only find software that will transcribe music for me, so I can get all these songs off my head and onto paper.
  • Our big ones are off to Santa Clara, CA for the YFL-SFL conference.
  • Hubby’s best friend of 25 years (?) was here with his family last Tuesday. B got home that evening from a 10-day trip to Germany and Bogie and family showed up a couple of hours later. Soooo good to catch up with old friends. We really miss the brods out in NJ. Fun fun fun evening looking at old pics (Alex’s comment, that was you, Dad? You were so ugly!) No he wasn’t, but he was (and Bong too) way THIN in those days. LOL.
  • Hubby brought home my much-coveted Greengate spoons from Koln, along with really cute clothing for the kids. I’m married to the sweetest guy ever.
  • This week I am cooking from Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Spanish food tour cookbook simply titled “Spain”. Tonight it’s grilled fish with a garlicky vinaigrette. Sometime this week Caldo Gallego, with shelling beans I got at the farmer’s market. Gravel Knolls is the only one who’s got them! A mix of cannellini and some black and greenish beans whose names I forget.
  • Nino, the little imp 🙂 , is having fun signing. I was getting a little worried there for a bit, but he’s catching on quite nicely, I think. Thank goodness I had a brother who didn’t talk ’til 2, and Migi didn’t talk much until this age either. But prayers for his tongue to be loosened more would certainly help. The not-talking seems to not affect his naughtiness and sense of humor though.
  • I’m trying, again, to get back to once-a-month shopping. It’s been a while since I did this — let’s see how I do. Supposedly I’ll be saving time and money doing it this way. Don’t even remember how it turned out the last time. I’ll post a list of my monthly shopping list next time.
  • I have *lots* of pictures to upload. But again, will have to wait until I have a working computer again. I’ll have my computer whiz brother convert the Dells into Linux so we can get a bit more mileage out of them.

Too Many Brownies, QoTD, Faith Talking, the Menu, Devotion #2

It’s 2:09 am and yes, I’m still awake. Made allergy-free brownies for Aisa’s party with her college friends (+the Walshes) and I forgot that I made it with regular coffee, STRONG-BREWED even… and now everyone’s asleep and I’m still awake. I’m going to be dead in the morning, just when little one will be running around wreaking havoc everywhere. But yum. Haven’t made those in a while and forgot how good they were!

Yena’s Question of the Day:

“Mom, when I’m older, will I go through “the phase” too?”

What phase?

“You know, the one that Paco’s in right now and that Ate Aisa went through….?”

Oh, *that* phase. 😀

I love eight-year-olds!!

So Michael and Amy Walsh and Josh, Aisa’s friend, were talking and talking and talking tonight. Bibles (Douay, 2 NABs, Navarre AND Google — we couldn’t find our RSV-CE) on the table. I interjected a comment or two here and there. Aisa too, of course. But wow, *love* these conversations. I wonder if that’s the kind of exhilaration Augustine and his friends felt all those centuries ago…. talking about the faith, asking each other questions, challenging each other’s beliefs, reasonings, etc., mulling, turning things over, digging, scrutinizing. I *love* being around people with this kind of passion for Christ and for understanding His teachings. It probably could have gone on forever were it not for the kids who were sleepy and the homework (and real work, as in JOB) that the college studes had hanging over their heads…. but yeah, we have to do that again.

Elvin and Candice, if you happen to see this, we missed you. You would have loved it.

Oh and yeah. The menu. We made/served

spaghetti puttanesca
crisp spiced nuts
mild cheddar
smoked whitefish salad with water crackers (I promised Paco we were going to get this and we did, finally!)
warm lentil salad
olive oil citrus cake with grapefruit glaze (Yena made this), and strawberries
iced chai green tea
allergen-free brownies

Michael and Amy brought salmon fish head curry and quinoa
PJ brought some potato casserole with chex mix something that was all kinds of delicious
Alyssa (?) brought a marbled yellow/chocolate cake with chocolate glaze
Josh brought a mesclun salad topped with blue cheese, pine nuts and cranberries
Aaron brought palmiers and pastry cream
and Joe brought quinoa and his guitar
Navid brought chicken that looked very tempting (it’s Friday!)

So it was actually a feast, on a Lenten Friday, no less…. but there were reasons the party had to be held today….

while they use the world and the things of this life, they use all such purely and honestly, and no further than is needful for their condition—such are the truly devout.

To the devout, EVERY SINGLE THING can and will be and is used solely as a tool to draw oneself closer to the Almighty.

This is Why Pinoys Don’t Get Depressed.

Only Pinoys would get THIS passionate about food. Yup, believe it or not — this song is about a guy walking into a restaurant and not getting any of the things he wants from the menu. It’s the nearest thing to “hard rock” you’ll ever see on this blog. And talk about uninhibited. Hee!

Here are the lyrics for your edification (as an old boss of mine loved to say) LOL. (Warning: Depending on who you ask — there is one word there that could be heard either as a cuss word, or not.)

Two Sides Yellow


1 16-oz package firm or extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
oil for pan-frying or deep-frying
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek), or to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onions/scallions
1/4 cup soy sauce (if using Kikkoman, undiluted is fine; if using a Chinese brand dilute with a couple of tablespoons of water to tone down the saltiness if desired)
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

In a wok or large skillet, pan- or deep-fry tofu cubes in oil (preheated for a few minutes) — in batches to avoid crowding — over medium-high heat until golden, 7-10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard oil except for one tablespoon. Return to heat. Add garlic and chili paste, stirring, about 10 seconds. Add green onions/scallions and tofu cubes. Stir briefly, about 1 minute, then add soy sauce and sugar. Stir another minute or two to coat tofu cubes with the sauce. Serve hot over rice. Serves 3-4.

a repost of a recipe I wrote at aboutweblogs.com/asianfood now aka noodlesandrice.com

Spinach, Shrimp and Mango Salad


I’m not too fond of most Asian-style salads, because I find some things are usually “off” or the combination of tastes just screams WRONG! This is one exception to the rule.

1 package baby spinach, washed and spun dry
2 cups large shrimp, steamed, peeled and deveined
1 large ripe mango (Champagne mango if you can find it is best), peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1/3-inch slices
1/4 cup red onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon grated zest and 3 tablespoons juice from 1 orage
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup canola oil, expeller-pressed preferred
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Place spinach, shrimp, and mango slices in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a small non-reactive bowl, macerate onion slices in 1 tablesoon rice wine vinegar for 5 minutes.
Whisk orange zest, orange juice, ginger and remaining vinegar, as well as salt and pepper to taste, in a small bowl. Whisk oils in until emulsified.
Add onion slices to salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss and serve immediately.

a repost of a recipe I wrote for aboutweblogs.com/asianfood, aka noodlesandrice.com

Cambodian Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry (Cha How Lang Tao Nung B’Kong)

My uncle’s wife who’s from Pangasinan, Philippines, makes a similar dish, except that hers is more a veggie dish, with the emphasis on the snow peas. She also adds shelled peas and cashews to hers, a nice variation to this dish.


Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry (Cha How Lang Tao Nung B’kong)

adapted from a recipe in The Elephant Walk Cookbook

For 4-6 servings

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and butterflied
1 pound snow peas, topped, tailed and de-stringed
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until just beginning to turn color, about 15 seconds. Add shrimp, snow peas, fish sauce and sugar. Continue stir-frying until shrimp are just cooked through and snow peas are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with the freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.

Thai Spicy Lobster and Pineapple Curry (Kaeng Kung Mangkawn)


1/4 cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons red curry paste (I’ll have a recipe up sometime)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups pineapple wedges (fresh preferred, but canned is acceptable)
lobster tail meat from a 1 1/2-2 lb. lobster, sliced into 1/2 inch medallions (you may used precooked)
3 makrut/kaffir lime leaves, 2 torn apart and 1 shredded
1 tablespoon tamarind puree
1 cup Thai sweet basil leaves
1 large red hot pepper, sliced finely

Simmer coconut cream in large skillet or saucepan, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until oil separates. Add curry paste and stir well; cook for 2-3 minutes. Add fish sauce and sugar and mix well, cooking another 4-5 minutes. The mixture should be darker in color now; if not, keep cooking a few more minutes until color has turned. Add coconut milk and pineapple. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until pineapple has softened. Add lobster tail meat, lime leaves, tamarind puree and basil leaves. Cook 5-6 more minutes or until lobster is just cooked through. Garnish with basil leaves and hot pepper slices, and serve hot over rice.

Rod Dreher and Michael Pollan Table Talk

Two of my favorite writers — Rod Dreher and Michael Pollan — talk food. Must read!

Some helpful resources:

Slow Food USA
Local Harvest
Eat Wild

And information:

a YouTube Playlist: Torn From the Land: The story of the take over of American farmers’ land by financial manipulation of world grain, interest, prices. The end result was the acquisition of family farms by corporations for 5 cents on the dollar.

Plus, how timely is this? Archbishop Migliore: Investing in Sustainable Agriculture

Cambodian Grilled Corn (Poat Dot)



For 6 ears of grilled or steamed corn:

In a saucepan, mix together 2 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons minced green onions, a tablespoon each of water, sugar and fish sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over high heat until scallion starts to wilt. Brush or spoon sauce over hot corn and serve.

This is a simple dish, but truly delicious. In Cambodia this is sold by street vendors. A nice dairy-free alternative. You may use steamed corn, but I think the strong flavors of the sauce is better put to use as a counterpoint to the somewhat smoky sweetness of grilled corn. (I grilled mine indoors as the weather wasn’t cooperating today.) Putting fish sauce on corn may sound a bit unusual, but the combination works well. My family was pleased, and I bet yours will be too!

Recipes Coming Up…

Now that I’m starting to feel a bit more normal, I thought I’d pick up a project I started way back that I never got to finish. Last night I finished adding the links to recipes I posted at Like to Cook when I used to write there. The recipe links can now be found at the Recipe Index. Those, I cannot re-post here because they paid for all the rights. So I can only link. Today while I’m on reprieve from nausea I’m taking time to re-post recipes that I posted at Noodles and Rice. Enjoy!!

Comedy of Errors, or a Very Special Kind of Corned Beef

Mama asks what we want for lunch. (Mama is visiting from St. Louis and helping out in the cooking department because I still can’t cook much.) She asks Tops (my brother who’s also visiting from Philly for the weekend). Tops wants corned beef.

We look for the tomato. Mama is convinced we had one more. Turns out Aisa chopped both tomatoes that Daddy bought, so we had already used them up. I said no worries. I have tomatoes somewhere, I know. But I can’t find the canned tomatoes that I transferred to the Prego jar…. hey wait, what about the freezer? Jar not here, but oh, here you go, Mama, here’s some red stuff.

Mama proceeds with the cooking. I’m in the next room, the study, trying to find our long lost lessons in two months’ worth of MESS.

Mama: Ikaw ba ang nag-puree nito? (Did you puree this yourself?)
Me: Hindi ko na maalala. (I can’t remember.)
Mama: Iba. (It’s different.)
Me: thinking… what would be different about it? Siguro nga po. (Maybe.)

5 minutes later.

Mama: May kulay. (There’s color.)
Me: thinking… why would there be color? I only buy natural stuff. Po? (Polite way of saying “really???”)

5 minutes later.

Mama: May, sigurado kang kamatis ito? (Are you sure these are tomatoes?)
Me: Bakit po? (Why?, politely)
Mama: Matamis! (It’s sweet!)

Me, finally going into the kitchen: Po??? (What?)

Finally seeing the way-different redness of the “frozen tomatoes” — Oh no!!!

It’s raspberry!! More accurately, raspberry sauce, for chocolate cake!

Me: Inilagay n’yo na po? (Have you used it yet?)
Mama: Kanina pa! (A while back!)
Me, looking at the purply corned beef in the skillet. thinking YUCCCCHHHHH….. : Baka po puedeng i-drain tapos lagyan na lang ng patis. (Maybe we could just drain it and add fish sauce.)
Mama: Nilagyan ko na ng asin. (I already put salt.) ‘Wag na lang nating sabihin. (Let’s just not tell them.)

Too late. Paco heard us talking and announced to everyone before lunch: Raspberry corned beef!!!

Needless to say, we were all laughing and joking all throughout lunch. Numerous references to the Friends episode where Rachel puts beef and peas in the trifle (warning: some material not suitable for kids). Mama says something about not trusting first-trimester pregnant women in the kitchen.

Good thing I have my own personal Joey (Dad).

What’s not to like? Potatoes? Good. Raspberry? Good. Corned beef? Goooooood!!!

Okay, he didn’t really say that, but he and Tops ate a lot. I love men with strong stomachs. Tops predicts we’ll be talking about this 5 years from now.

St. Louis Eats

This post is for our good friends D&L & their kids, on college tour right now….

They’ll be visiting Washington University tomorrow, dh’s and my alma mater and where our 17-yo went for preschool

Here you go:

The Queeny Tower is actually located on the 17th floor of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, so it’s relatively unknown to foodies (or at least when we lived there) but they always had a great selection and service, and the fact that there’s rarely a crowd helps. And of course, sweeping views of the Forest Park area, esp. if you happen to get the corner table. The current menu can be found here. This is where my dh ordered his 16-oz. prime rib which, LOL, he had difficulty finishing — this was a year or so before we got married. I helped him a bit:). If you’re going to eat here you can find parking across Barnes-Jewish hospital either in the underground carpark just opposite the lobby/entrance. There’s always construction in this area though, so traffic may get annoying at times. However, if you’re already touring the medical school, it’s a good place to stop.

Southwest of Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University Medical Center (where dh and I met, at the Dental School which no longer exists!), and southeast of the Washington University main campus on Skinker is the Hill — the Italian-populated area dotted with restaurants all over.

Here’s a listing. Our old faves include:

  • Amighetti’s for their sandwiches (mine was a salami and red onion on a crisp Italian bun)
  • Rigazzi’s where there was always a loud crowd, so our rowdy gang of mostly Asian studes never felt out of place — this is the place for beer in a giant “fish bowl”, although our friends probably won’t go for that 🙂
  • Gian-Tony’s
  • Favazza’s, and
  • Cunetto’s

Again, haven’t eaten there in years so I wouldn’t know which ones are the “best” now, but I’m sure you’ll find a place with great toasted ravioli, a St. Louis tradition!!

Just in case there are readers wanting some food shopping recommendations, there’s also Volpi’s — which offers delicious sausages made just like they do in Italy, and Viviano and Sons where you can find De Cecco pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano cut to order from a giant wheel, also Locatelli Romano, and if I remember correctly, salt-packed anchovies.

Just north of Barnes-Jewish hospital (where my mom has worked for 22 years now), is Central West End, which is (was?) the hip and happening place to be (if you’re that kind of person anyway:)). So many restaurants here, and again, I’m not really the best authority anymore — but if it’s warm enough you might have fun eating at one of the European-style bistros with outdoor seating. There are only a few familiar names now:

  • Llywelyn’s (now a Celtic pub — used to be billed as “traditional English”; I see they still have my fave fish and chips on the menu)
  • Sansui on West Pine — a little quieter since it’s at the corner of Pine and Kingshighway, and farther away from the other restaurants
  • Silk Road, which I loved for their hot and sour soup — I don’t remember how the rest of their food was though; there’s a vague memory of green peppers that were too raw for my taste

Further north is Delmar Loop, which is more cosmopolitan, and more youthful I suppose. Central West End is frequented by doctors working at BJC, and med students; Delmar Loop plays host to more of the Wash U undergrad population. A restaurant listing can be found here. Note: parking can be difficult esp. around lunch time and after work hours.

  • Blueberry Hill has always been known for their burgers.
  • Cicero’s was the first restaurant dh invited me to — and pardon me squeezing in a funny story here: my mom promptly looked it up in the yellow pages, found that it was advertised as a “bar and lounge” and didn’t give permission for me to go. In reality it was more like a pizza bar, with dancing downstairs. I think these days they feature bands and singers — alternative music? don’t ask me, I have no idea plus I’m old 😀 — the pizza menu is here (they do offer other things, also linked); note the “music calendar” link on the top navigation menu. Hmmm…. would Gabe enjoy this place?
  • Market on the Loop has several small places where you can order and sit in the communal sitting area; last time we were there there was pizza, Indian food, Chinese and St. Louis Bread Company (the ancestor of Panera Bread)
  • Riddle’s Penultimate is another St. Lou classic
  • Seki’s for Japanese
  • There are also several excellent Thai restaurants, but can’t remember now which one we tried most recently. It may have been Gai Yang.

If you’re in the mood for pizza by the way, a must try is Imo’s Pizza — multiple locations. Nearest to Washington U main campus is on Forsyth, but parking may be tricky.

I am including the following other options because they’re also well-known areas in St. Louis in terms of food, however they are farther west of Wash. U.

  • Clayton, for classier fare, better parking, and wider streets
  • a short listing of Asian restaurants along Olive Boulevard — not mentioned is Won Ton King which has better dim sum than Cincinnati’s restaurants save for the old Pacific Moon on Montgomery, now closed. Royal Chinese Barbecue was one of the first restaurants to offer authentic Chinese roast duck and pork, etc. We frequented this place as newlyweds. Lulu’s is known for its faithful Chinese clientele. And a little hole in the wall in the strip mall where Nobu’s is (really pricey Japanese by the way!) is Pho Long, where you can get exceptional Vietnamese Pho and other soups. The deep fried spring rolls are wonderful here.

Finally, in case one is headed west of WU — our most recent find and already a favorite: a still largely unknown Korean restaurant on Olive Boulevard in the Creve Coeur area, about half an hour from WashU: Hangook Kwan — there’s a review here. The service is friendly; and the atmosphere is definitely family-oriented. I felt really out of place when I first walked in here as the clients were *all* Korean and of course were talking in their native tongue… if I’m not in the mood to try anything new I always order the Dol Sot Bi Bim Bop. It’s nearer the residential areas so quieter and no trouble parking.

Just a few paces away is the Olive Blvd. branch of St. Louis Bubble Tea. I’m a Taro bubble tea fanatic:), or maybe it’s just because they don’t offer my best-loved flavor: avocado.

Oooh, and I almost forgot: east of Washington University, very near the St. Louis Arch, is the Top of the Riverfront Restaurant inside the Millennium Hotel. It’s a revolving restaurant so you get to see a bird’s eye view of St. Louis while you eat. Sunday brunch here, esp. on Mother’s Day, is phenomenal.

So there you have it, D, L, M, and G, enjoy your day in St. Lou!!