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Archive for April 2008

Sunday Nite Dinner Roundup

April 29, 2008 | Chuck
Sunday Nite Dinner Roundup

Hungry Bear and I are almost done moving. It's been non-stop packing, unpacking, organizing, purging, contractors coming and going, dusting, sweeping, vacuuming and crying... we can't wait to finish so we can finally enjoy the renovated digs. The first SND in the new kitchen is this coming Sunday and we're going to prepare a major feast to celebrate!

Over the last few months, we've had many great Sunday nite dinners. Sometimes I took pictures and other times I just wanted to eat and not bother with documenting the meal. Who wants to carry around camera equipment, a tripod and a lighting rig all the time? I'm kidding about the lighting. Although, I would bring my own lights if it weren't such a hassle.

In the slideshow, you'll see a roundup of SND meals going back to January. For some reason (waiting for recipes, bad lighting, awful photographer... me) or other, I haven't shared these meals until now.

Mexican at Deb and Brennan's  (January 7)

  • Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
  • Caesar Salad with Chili-Cilantro Dressing
  • Turkey Enchiladas
  • Crème Caramel

Chinese Hot Pot at Jane and Mark's  (January 27)

  • Chinese Hot Pot (beef, lamb, chicken, tofu, meatballs, spinach, mushrooms, etc.)
  • Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Hawaiian at Tracie and Eric's (February 16)

  • Japanese/Hawaiian-Style Potato Salad
  • Salmon Tofu Salad - tofu, salmon, onions, tomatoes, watercress, and bean sprouts with a soy sauce-based sauce
  • Broiled Sushi - crab, mayo, plain yogurt wrapped with nori
  • Steamed Dungeness Crabs
  • Clams
  • Lemon Cream Napoleon
  • Butter Mochi with Coconut Milk

Simple Sardines at Jane and Mark's (March 2)

  • Grilled Sardines with a French baguette
  • Mixed Green Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Sorry for not including any recipes. I'm hoping to get back on a normal posting routine shortly. I'll leave you with a picture of our new range. The next Sunday nite dinner has to take advantage of all the new features (pot filler, wok grate, griddle, savory oven and sweet oven). We're thinking a pasta course, a stir-fry, a big roast and a baked dessert. Any suggestions on what to make?

Viking Double Range

[tags]roundup, soup, enchiladas, chinese, hawaiian, mexican, sardines[/tags]

Asparagus Crab Pasta with Leeks and Mushrooms

Last week, I planned on making a tomato based penne. But as we were grocery shopping, I saw a cheap can of crab meat (1 pound for $7.99). Since we are on a recession budget, I decided to give the canned crab a try. And the penne dish morphed into an asparagus crab pasta with leeks and mushrooms.

I tried to keep the pasta simple and make it a one pot dish... well two pots, you need another one to cook the pasta, but you get my point. After I sautéed the garlic, leek, asparagus and mushroom mixture, I gave it a taste and it was great by itself. I opened the can of crab and finally realized it was all claw meat... damn it! No wonder it was so cheap.

Continue Reading and Get the Recipe »
Regular Kiwis vs. Hardy Kiwis (Baby)

A few years ago, Hungry Bear and I were shopping at the University District Farmers Market in Seattle where we stumbled upon hardy kiwis (a.k.a. baby kiwis) for the first time. These miniature kiwis are the size of a large grape (about 1 inch long) with an edible, fuzzless skin.

According to CFRG, baby kiwis are native to northern China, Korea, Siberia and Japan. When fully dormant, the vines can withstand temperature drops to -25°F, hence the name hardy kiwis. They vary in color from green to purple. In the States, the growing season starts in June and the fruit is harvested between September and November. That's the short version of the agricultural lesson. I'll spare you the rest.

In addition to seeing them in Seattle, we found hardy kiwis in the Columbus Circle Whole Foods (NYC) and more recently at our local Trader Joe's. We were stoked to find them in San Francisco, even though they were imported from New Zealand. I'd prefer them locally grown, but I couldn't pass up the baby kiwis.

There are a few things I don't do in life and one of them is peel fruit. I attribute this phenomena to my mom spoiling me and always cutting fruit for me (even to this day). Hungry Bear hates this fact and she begrudgingly puts up with my no fruit peeling policy.

Needless to say, I love hardy kiwis. They are sweeter and more flavorful than regular kiwis with a slightly sour skin. They are a great pop-in-your-mouth, healthy snack. And it's the perfect kiwi for us no peeling fruit eaters!

Bowls of Hardy Kiwis and Kumquats

[tags]kiwi, fruit, kumquats, baby, hardy kiwi, baby kiwi, whole foods, trader joes, farmers market[/tags]

Trader Joe's Organic Clusters Cereal

We love Trader Joe's. It's our favorite place to pick up staples for the pantry. While the quality of the produce and meat isn't as good as Whole Foods Paycheck or our neighborhood supermarket, the remaining items are just as good or better. And it's definitely the best value among our local grocery stores.

Besides saving us money, we go to TJ's for their unique and interesting products. We loved the Emperor's New Cloves garlic, but sadly they don't carry it anymore because the garlic was grown in China. Anyway, there's always something new to discover at Trader Joe's and I'm constantly on the lookout for them.

My one complaint with TJ's is the overabundance of cookies, chocolate and candies in the aisles. It's so hard not to grab a box of treats with each visit. Damn you TJ, for constantly pushing your sweet crack on me!

Most of the time, I'm strong enough to resist picking up a box of cookies. But there are a few items I never leave without. So, here are a few five of my favorite things...

  • Organic Clusters Cereal - a good combination of textures and flavors. Our three favorite cluster cereals are the raisin bran, vanilla almond and maple pecan. The raisin bran is the healthiest one.
  • Organic Peanut Butter - by far the best store bought natural peanut butter. You won't go wrong with creamy or crunchy.
  • Tempting Trail Mix - it has several types of nuts, dried cherries, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips! Salty, crunchy, chewy and sweet... yum!
  • Cinnamon Swirl Bread - a thick wheat bread full of cinnamon. You can make a great open face peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich with it.
  • Cheap, Interesting Wine - we can always find inexpensive, but good, wine at TJ's. From the slideshow, the question mark wine is a 2005 red table wine from Oreana Winery. The happy face wine is a 2005 syrah from Project Happiness. We have no idea if the wines are good, but we couldn't pass up the labels.

That's my top 5 list. If you shop at Trader Joe's, what are your favorite things? I would love to know.

[tags]trader joes, favorite, pantry, peanut butter, cereal, trail mix, cinnamon, bread, wine[/tags]