Since we have moved, we no longer have a Little Red Kitchen but a bigger, brown kitchen. These days, not much cooking has been going on aside from R.'s birthday dinner, but that will be in another post (I made a cake worth posting about, so stay tuned), once I figure out how to get photos off Instagram.
Grandma M. and Uncle R. came over two nights ago for Grandma's 61st birthday. I quickly googled up a dressing for the salad I was going to make, and let's just say it was pretty swell.
Baby Spinach and Shrimp Salad with Tasty Dressing
For the dressing you will need:
3 tbsp minced onion
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp vinegar
1.5 tbsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
dash of salt
For the salad I put:
Baby spinach sprouts
1 grated carrot
Half a grapefruit cut into small pieces
Of course, you can add anything you want in your salad, Grandma M had a special request for shrimps.
A green soup for Saint Patrick's Day!
Actually, we haven't gone out to get groceries in over 2 weeks so I went through my empty pantry and found about 300 grams of split pea...
I wasn't really looking forward to my lunch but it was actually quite tasty! And very fast to make.
Fast, simple, healthy, and low surveillance, these are a few of my favorite things...... when it comes to making food now.
Split Pea and Lemon Zest Soup (for 4 small servings or 2 big servings):
250 g of split pea
1 L water
zest of an organic lemon
coriander, salt, and pepper to taste
1. Rinse your split peas, toss them in a pot with your lemon zest and some salt, cover with water, and let it cook for about 20 minutes once you've brought it to a boil.
2. Remove the lemon zest, puree the whole thing and serve with pepper and coriander.
Madeleine met her Ahma for the first time on the 4th of February. Ahma flew all the way over from Taiwan and stayed for two weeks, helping me out primarily in the kitchen department. She made me lots of good ol' taiwanese food I had forgotten after 7 years of being away.
One thing she made was Hong Dou Tang (red bean soup). According to the ancient Chinese post-partum confinement tradition that lasts one month ( 坐月子 zuo yuezi ), red bean soup is what you have to eat to boost your blood supply since you lose so much blood and helps with water retention. Zuo yuezi literally means to "sit the month," meaning you don't do jack during a whole month ater giving birth, you eat a bunch of really nutritious food and put on a couple of kilos, you drink some nasty chinese medicine soup that's suppose to cleanse your insides, and you don't take a shower. I lasted only 3 days without taking a shower. On the 4th day I was like enough of this, I can't look ugly AND smell bad at the same time. I'm sure they only tell you not to take a shower because they didn't have blow-dryers back in the day.
Anyway! Back to Red Bean Soup, it supposedly boosts your milk supply on top of all that. This is my way of making it, you're supposed to not use water but rice wine but since I'm breatfeeding, I decided to go with water....as much as my mother reassured me that "all that alcohol evaporates since you cook it so long!" Yeah, well...no.
Hong Dou Tang
- adzuki red beans (soaked in a large amount of water over night)
- brown sugar
1.Bring lots of water to a boil in a large pot and toss in your pre-soaked beans (I always just put a bunch, like 300-400 g).
2. Let it boil boil boil while checking from time to time to see if your red beans are cooked. This will take a while (like more than an hour), and you may need to add more water if you see it's drying out. They should be soft but not mushy.
3. Add sugar and let it cook for another 20 minutes.
4. Eat it hot!
Since my instructions are so precise, here is a picture of what it should look like:
I had a corndog craving the other night and had to get my hands on some, but it seems like in Paris, you can only get them at fairs.
Ingredients were very basic and they weren't that hard to make! I followed Martha Stewart's Baked Corndog recipe. I didn't want to be feeling guilty for having too much fried food, so I opted for baked and they are just as yummy! I guess the only tricky part is when you coat your dog with the corn batter. My batter happened to be a little thick so it wasn't that simple...maybe it's because I let it sit. And also, there is a reason to why they strongly suggest you get ice-pop sticks --- I forgot my sticks were metallic and burned myself while grabbing one...
R. was very excited about having corndogs for dinner and said, "This is why I love you." Oh now, isn't that sweet :/ ???
Ok, next time I get all carried away thinking I can make cupcakes, somebody please kindly remind me that I can't.
Most people blog about the beautiful dishes and desserts they cook up in their kitchens, well, I'm going to have to blog about my ugly cupcakes...
I'm sure there's a store out there in Paris somewhere dedicated to everything Baby Shower, but since I'm not supposed to be travelling far these days, I went to the supermarket in my quartier. Actually I went to all four of them and just about killed myself looking for anything related to "cute".
Conclusion: your best bet is still probably Monoprix. But not during Christmas season, otherwise you'll have your dose of reindeers, snowflakes, christmas trees, and elves...I know what you're saying, "Elves could do the trick!" I guess so, except they are all green and have beards...I couldn't even find just boring pink paper plates or napkins!!! I should have gotten the hint when I realised I couldn't even get proper cupcake gear at Monoprix. Come on!!! It's Monoprix! You can get anything at Monoprix!
I got up bright and early (ok, 9h30...) to make them. Found a nice recipe for vanilla cupcakes, found a video on how to swirl frosting, and headed to the kitchen feeling quite confident....
Yes. Go ahead and say it, there's some bad icing action going on...I was trying to go for that rose petal effect and well, it DID say "easy" on the video, and I was just like "Wow! Look at Amy go!" as she swirled on that pretty icing (Amy is the girl from the video). I guess it'd be easier if there weren't HOLES in my pastry pouch! I made a separate batch of small cupcakes but half the cupcakes were stuck to the muffin crate :-(. They had to be gobbled instantly.
You must be wondering what on earth that is on that poor cupcake on the bottom right. Well, since I couldn't find any sort of baby shower decor, I decided to garnish them with a few pieces of chocolate chip. That idea was short-lived because I realised it looked more like doodoo than anything else.
I would have whole-heartedly labeled this baby shower cupcake ordeal as an epic fail but there is one silver lining to every cloud: the icing color is 100% natural! It's made from organic beet juice! And these cupcakes actually taste good (none of that nasty beety taste)!
Sorry Baby, yo mamma ain't no good at cupcakin'. But hey! It's the thought that counts ;-)!
Who knows, maybe people will catch on to chocolate-chip-for-baby-doodoo decor on baby shower cupcakes...Spread the word!
This is Véro's recipe. We used to work together back when I was at the Saint Germain des Prés store. She's about my dad's age, and is like a second mother with all her tips and tasty recipes.
Here is one that's good for everyone, and especially pregnant ladies in need of folates and iron! I made this for my friend Muriel who is 4 and half months pregnant.
Lentils with Duck Confit
(for 3 bigger portions or 4 smaller portions, or 2 VERY big portions):
250 grams of green lentils
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
750 ml of water
1-2 tbsp olive oil (or any cooking oil you can get your hands on!)
enough duck confit for 3-4 (I bought mine at PICARD, they came in a box of 2 duck confit thighs, and since I was cooking for 2 it was perfect, and I had left over lentils for another meal. I think you can buy ready-made duck confit just about anywhere, non?
1. Cook onions with oil until they become a little transparent, then put your carrots in for about 5 minutes.
2. Add lentils. I rince mine off before putting them in.
3. Add water, and let simmer on medium-low heat until lentils are cooked (around 40 minutes). You can leave it but come back to stir it once in awhile! If you see that it's getting a little dry and the lentils aren't cooked yet, add some water.
4. Taste and salt accordingly.
5. Add the duck confit, and continue to let it bubble on low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
6. Serve! Mmm! C'est si bon! ;-)
Parisian flats are very small for the most part when you are a poor student with a part-time job (I'm no longer a student since I've been pregnant, but maybe I'll get back to that later on in life). Therefore, the kitchen is usually tiny, and especially when you have a huge fridge like I do and a dishwasher (the black thing under the oven).
We decided to invest in a dishwasher when I was about 4 months pregnant because quite frankly, with what experienced mothers have been telling us about how you'll never have time for yourself anymore once Baby is here, I don't intend on spending very much time in the kitchen doing dishes if I'll be swamped with other things to worry about. And I know how I am: although I have certain hygiene phobias, I've always been a messy, messy girl. So watching dishes pile up will definitely not make my day and will most certainly not make me want to jump in there and clean up! Also, no arguments about who's turn it is to do them ;-).
I spend a good amount of my time in the kitchen (especially now) making things to eat because I am a glutton. This must be due to growing up in Taiwan where food is available almost at any hour of the day, and you can get all sorts of local xiao chi (literally meaning "small eat" but doesn't that sound retarded in English, I guess the appropriate word is delicacy/dish?). R. is always telling me I'm obsessed with food, that the only thing I talk about all day is Food food food. He often wonders if there's anything else in my head. Well, wasn't he surprised when he went to HK two weeks ago (his first time in Asia) by himself and realised that it was more of a national/cultural obsessive-compulsive disorder (need I say more?).
Looking back, having worked at a cafe as a line-cook back in those carefree Montreal days really did teach me a thing or two! That was 6 years ago though, and I've come a long way since and I can do more than flip quesadillas now...
My mother was/is a good cook too, and made sure we ate healthy things because most restaurants in Taiwan use a ton of MSG in food to accentuate flavor in their dishes.
Anyway, all this blah-blah to say welcome to my little kitchen where I'll be posting some food photos (surprise!!!) and recipes up from time to time.
And I'll try to refrain myself from doing this in them:
|Honey and the Moon||