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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another reason why I heart All Clad 

When Dick and I got engaged, we joked that the only reason why we wanted to get married was so that we could register for All Clad cookware. We were kidding, of course, but we did receive many wonderful All Clad pieces as gifts, and we use them all regularly.

It's been almost five years since we got our non-stick 12" frying pan. We use it at least once or twice a week, sometimes more.

Over time, it began to lose some of it's non-stick qualities. It never went away completely, but a non-stick pan isn't non-stick if it sticks, even just a little.

I remembered reading a long time ago that All Clad cookware comes with a lifetime warranty against any product defects. I didn't know if this included the non-stick surfaces or not, because I figured that was something that just wouldn't last forever.

I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask anyway, so I called All Clad a few weeks ago, and described my pan. They told me to send them the pan, along with a note with a description of the problem, and that they would review it. I asked if a non-non-stick pan was something that would be considered for replacement, and she said it certainly would.

I figured we didn't have anything to lose, so I wrote a nice letter describing my pans non-non-stickiness, along with how long we've had it, and how we use it. As instructed, I boxed it up, and sent it with a confirmation of delivery to All Clad's return center in New Jersey.

I tracked my package, which took less than a week to get to them. That was about two weeks ago.

Yesterday, the nice UPS man delivered a brand-spanking-new 12" non-stick frying pan!


I wonder how many people have had the non-stick surface wear down over time, but don't know or don't bother to send their pans in for review.

I was already a huge fan, but now I'm loving All Clad even more!

Thanks, All Clad!
(and see, you even got a nice blog write up!)

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Grandpa Chan's Egg Foo Young 

My Maternal Grandfather used to make the best Egg Foo Young. He didn't cook for us very often, so when he did, it was a real treat.

I don't make it very often, but every time I do, I wonder why I don't cook it more frequently. It's so easy, and it's so yummy. It also makes me think of him, and that always makes me happy. :)

I don't have the recipe written down (as is probably par-for-course for family recipes), so I just try to remember it off the top of my head.

Here's the recipe as I made it tonight. It turned out pretty well, so I figured it would be a good time to jot it down, while it's still fresh in my memory.

It's super easy, and really delicious.

I make it in a vegetarian style, but you could always add chopped up Chinese sausage, chicken or shrimp. :)

Grandpa Chan's Egg Foo Young

1/2 large white onion - chopped (about 1 cup)
4 stalks of celery - chopped
2 eggs - beaten
about 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth
about 1 Tb cornstarch
Vegetable Oil

Chop the celery and onion, and put them into a large bowl
Beat the eggs, then mix in with the celery and onion.

Heat a non-stick skillet (trust me, I learned the hard way) on medium/high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom (maybe 1 Tbsp)

Spoon the egg/celery/onion mixture into the pan by using 1/2 cup measuring cup.

Cook for about 3 minutes (I'm guessing on the timing here, but long enough for the egg to set, and be brown on the underside.)

Flip, and cook the other side.

Remove the egg pancakes, and keep them warm in a warm oven.

Add more oil, and repeat.

I had 5 pancakes total tonight.

Dilute the cornstarch in the chicken broth in a small bowl.

Pour the cornstarch/chicken broth liquid into the same pan that you've been cooking the egg pancakes in. Stir for a minute or so, until the liquid becomes a nice, thick gravy.

Pour the gravy over the egg pancakes, and serve. :)

It's super easy, and pretty quick.


(and thanks, Grandpa!)

Here's a photo that I found from our Family's Chinese New Year Dinner, 2007. This was the last time that Grandpa made his Egg Foo Young for us. (he passed away in December of that year.)
Looks like he added Green Onions to the top of it. I'll have to remember that for next time I make it. I love green onions. His is also saucier than mine was tonight. Next time, I'll make more sauce, too! :)

Grandpa Chan's Egg Foo Young

...and here's another picture from that day, just 'cause it makes me happy. :)

Grandpa Chan and Tiffini, 2007

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Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Day Dinner 

Happy New Year!

In the Southern Tradition, we cooked a meal with Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas. We tried something different this year, and made Eastern Carolina-style BBQ Pulled Pork - it was outstanding!

There are several interpretations that I've found for what each item represents. Some say the greens represent paper money, and the black-eyed peas represent coins. Others say that the greens represent wealth, and the black-eyed peas are for luck.

We make some form of this meal each year on January 1st. I've really learned to love this tradition with my husband. :)

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Today's Tomato Crop & Dinner 

Our tomato plants have done quite well for us so far this year! (who knew?)

Here's a picture of the tomatoes that I picked today!

...and here they are as tonight's dinner: Capellini Pomodoro



Saturday, April 25, 2009

Coffee Cake 

I made a coffee cake this morning. It was probably the first time that I've made one in over 15 years.

That's kind of funny, because years ago, I used to bake coffee cakes quite often. Back in the days when I was 19, I had just moved out of my parent's house for the first time, and was living in Dayton, OH. For some reason, I baked a lot. Most kids smoke, drink, do drugs, or party hard when they're 19, and out on their own for the first time.

But, not me. No, Ma'am. For some reason, I decided to embrace my inner Betty Crocker and bake. Go figure.

The coffee cake from this morning turned out really well. I had forgotten how much I enjoy them!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tonight's Dinner 

Dick is out of town tonight, so my "Stunt Husband", aka "my Gay Boyfriend", aka "Bro", whose actual name is Christopher, came over tonight for dinner.

I had a couple of new things that I wanted to try out. I had recently found a recipe for Mac & Cheese that sounded really good, but Dick doesn't eat cheese, so it's not something I would ever make just for the two of us.

I also had a couple of artichokes ($1.50 each for a large) that I wanted to try grilling.

The result: a really, really yummy meal! The mac & Cheese was fantastic, and the artichokes turned out great as well! I really love trying out recipes, and love it even more when they turn out well! :)

Thanks for a really fun evening, Bro!


Monday, February 02, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen... 

Presenting Trina's first-ever Roasted Chicken! (I know, it's about time, but better late than never!)

Special thanks to my sister-in-law, Kathy, for all the helpful tips! It was delicious!


Friday, April 04, 2008

The Unintentional Vegetarian 

that should be the name of a movie or novel.

This doesn't happen very often. It turns out that I am on Day 5 of a unintentional vegetarian diet.

Unintentional? How does that happen?

I've recently realized that when I cook at home, I tend to cook a lot of vegetarian meals. I think it's because I like fresh produce so much, and Dick and I both love veggies of all kinds. Plus, it just makes me feel good.

But, it's not intentional. I don't go out of my way not to cook meat, it's just that most of my favorite recipes don't incorporate it.

I've been trying to cook at home more often. I think it satisfies some domestic goddess in me that I didn't ever know existed.

This week's dinner menus have included: vegetable chili (2 nights), Egg Foo Young (my Grandpa's recipe) and last night, Capellini Pomodoro. It was all very yummy!

Since I work from home, I usually will eat leftovers for lunch, so it's just more of the same. Although, come to think of it, there was a day this week when I had an unexplainable craving for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (It's the Cheesiest!). Not the best lunch ever, but still fits into the non-meat category.

Hmmmmm..... now we'll probably go out and have a big, fat steak this weekend. lol.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Steel Cut Oatmeal 

I'm a big fan of having oatmeal for breakfast, and had heard about Steel Cut Oatmeal for years.

I finally picked some up last week. On a side note, I found it odd that my local (smaller) grocery store had it, but my emi-local ginormous Safeway did not.

I had seen a segment on TV recently (okay, I admit it - it was on Oprah!) that mentioned the nutritional benefits of Steel Cut Oatmeal.

Steel Cut Oatmeal takes a lot longer to cook than my regular 3-minute Quaker Oats. The recipe on my can called to let it come to a boil, then let it simmer for 30 minutes. I remember hearing that the longer the oatmeal takes to cook, the better it is for you.

I made the Oatmeal for the first time this morning. My verdict? I really liked it. I really liked the texture, and I really liked the taste. I added my usual milk, brown sugar and cranberries to sweeten it. It was really good.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Day Dinner 

the Chinese girl from California is learning...

In the Southern tradition, we made Greens (Collard) and Black Eyed Peas (in the form of Hoppin' John) for dinner.

The black eyed peas represent good luck and the greens signify prosperity.

We do this meal almost ever year on New Year's Day. We used a new recipe (for us) for the Hoppin' John - gotta love the Mama Dip's Cookbook. It was both of our favorite version by far. Mmmmm.

Which brings me to to the question: who is John, and why is he hoppin'?

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Monday, September 03, 2007

There's always room for Jello! 

While I was in the hospital, one thing that I was allowed to eat on the same day as my surgery was Jello. I was reminded of my childhood love for Jello. As a kid, I was often sick, and my Mom often made me Jello to help me feel better.

When we returned home from the hospital yesterday, Jim and Cynde came over and offered to go to the grocery store for us. I asked them to get some Jello for me. It just sounded good and comforting.

They picked me up a few of those ready-made cups of Jello, which were really good, but today I realized that I had a whole other level of Jello craving: what I really wanted was fruit cocktail mixed in Strawberry Jello! How's that for old-school?

Dick and I went out for a slow, careful walk this afternoon. It really helped me to be out in the sun and fresh air, and to stretch my muscles a bit. On our way home, we stopped off at the grocery store, where I bought a box of Strawberry Jello, and a can of Del Monte fruit cocktail. I can't remember the last time I bought either one of these items!

I made my Jello/fruit cocktail mixture when I came home, and put it in the fridge. I just had a bowl for dessert.

Let me tell you: still just as satisfying now as it was when I was a kid!


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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tonight's Dinner 


Tonight's dinner was one of the prettier (and healthier) meals that I've made!

Artichokes, Summer Squash, and wild rice.

...a little red wine, and you're good to go!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Put a little South in your Mouth 

This Chinese girl may become a Southerner yet!

It may not look like much here, but we made the best batch of Chicken & Dumplings last night! We have an awesome recipe from the Mama Dip's Cookbook. We've made it a few times before, but this was the best batch ever! We finally figured out how to get the consistency just right.

Talk about a simple recipe:
1 whole chicken
1/2 stick butter butter
1 sage leaf
1 can chicken broth

Mmmmmm....Chicken and Dumplings!

We made it last night, plus we'll have enough for dinner tonight, and another meal during the week. That one chick goes a long way!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tonight's Dinner: Brought to you by The Slanted Door 

I had lunch today with Philip. We met up one of our usual places in Ferry Building: Out the Door - the take-out counter adjacent to The Slanted Door.

I love this place. It's delish. I'm a big fan of their spring rolls in peanut sauce. It makes for one heck of a tasty lunch treat.

A couple of weeks back, I thought I'd try something new for dinner. I noticed that Out the Door sold these cool little cooking kits - some of their most popular dishes available for you to cook at home. They measure out all the ingredients, and include step-by-step directions on how to cook.

One of our favorite dishes at The Slanted Door is their Shaking Beef. They sell for cooking kit for two for $19.50. Not exactly cheap, I know, but also not bad considering it's a meal for two. We pay more for delivery pizza (and when I say "pizza", what I really mean is "salad").

When I say that this kit contains all ingredients needed, I'm not kidding.

Here are the kit contents:

1. filet Mignon
2. oil
3. garlic
4. red and green onions
5. sauce
6. butter (one pad)
7. watercress
8. lime (whole)
9. salt and pepper

This meal is a real treat. I really love how easy it is to make, there are no preservatives, and I enjoy cooking it! Fast and easy!

I just found this recipe online. It claims to be by the chef-owner of The Slanted Door, Charles Phan.
I'll have to give this a try next time!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Homemade Won Ton Soup 

Poor Dick has been down with a bit of a bug for the past few days.

On Sunday, I offered to make him some homemade won ton soup for dinner. One of my favorite childhood memories was when my Mom would make us won ton soup. It was always a big deal when she made it, because it was so delicious, and she would often make it for us when we were sick. Even now, when I'm sick, I usually try to order some won ton soup from our Chinese take-out place - it's good comfort food.

I went to our grocery store, and was pleased that our local neighborhood market had all of the ingredients that I needed. I came home, shelled the shrimp, soaked the Chinese mushrooms, and called my Mom one last time for the directions. Even though I've made this recipe with my Mom many times, this was my first time making it all by myself.

Dick offered to help fold the won ton, which was greatly appreciated, because it's quite time consuming. We made and folded enough won ton to feed at least 8 people, so I ended up freezing several batches to use later, and to give to my parents and my sister.

The soup turned out pretty well. It was a little too much shrimp, and not enough pepper, but not bad at all for my first attempt!

Southern Boy wrapping won ton.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Soup a Week 

Dick and I both really enjoy soup - It's yummy, and usually very easy to make.

Last week, we decided to plan to make a soup a week. This isn't too far of a stretch, as we probably usually have soup at least twice a month. We're also planning to experiment with some new recipes. Our usual soup repertoire has about 4 different types so far: Split Pea, Chinese Noodle, Cabbage, Sausage & Potato and Butternut Squash. Last week, we made a really great Potato & Leek Soup, and last night I made a yummy Lentil soup with Tomato and Spinach.

If any of you have any great soup recipes that you'd like to share, please send me an email. Oh, by the way, Dick doesn't like anything with Cheese or Cream, so I try to stay away from any recipe with those ingredients.



Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday Parties and Star-Spangled Breakfasts 

Last night, we went to Dick's Company's Holiday party. It was a lot of fun. I saw some old friends, met some new friends, and even met people who I'd never met before who apparently read my blog! ("Shout-Out to Zeke!") I also was recognized as "The wife who plays X-Box!" and was invited to a future Gears of War game.

The Holiday Party

The party was at The San Francisco Design Center. It was a nice venue - big main floor, with 2 additional levels, all looking down to the main floor. There was lots of food, interesting booths (chocolate tasting, henna tattoos, tea-leaf reading, and bonsai trees) and a pretty good band. (Although the Solid Gold Dancers were questionable.)

The "red-shirt" guys

I met someone who asked about my blog, and said something along the lines of, "I'll check in tomorrow to see what you had for breakfast." I think he was kidding, and didn't realize that I sometimes really do take a photo and blog about our meals. ;)

So, without further adieu.....

Today's Breakfast

Dick wanted a "down-home country breakfast" complete with eggs, grits, bacon and biscuits. I have a biscuit recipe that I've only made once before, but I remembered that they were really yummy.

The recipe called for a 3" round cookie cutter. I didn't have anything that fit that description, so instead I opted for a 3" Star-Shaped cutter that I just received in the mail with a Christmas Order. I figured, "Why not? It's festive!"

Big Country Breakfast

Dick was very, very impressed that this Chinese Girl can make a good homemade biscuit. He even said they were as good as Bojangles back home in North Carolina. That's got to be the biggest compliment he could've given me! (but, can they make star-shaped biscuits?!)

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

What is Buttermilk? 

This past week, I found myself with 3 just-too-old-to-eat bananas in my fruit bowl. I was getting ready to toss them in the trash, when I heard the voice of The Muffin Man in the back of my mind. I realized that I shouldn't' toss the bananas! Instead, I should channel my inner Betty Crocker, and make banana bread!

I had almost all the ingredients: mushy bananas, flour, baking powder, eggs, vanilla. The only thing missing was Buttermilk.

Since I've been cooped inside my house most of the week, this was a good reason to get out: I happily strolled along to my neighborhood grocery store and bought buttermilk.

The banana bread was a great success! Christopher came over that evening. He made a delicious comfort-food dinner: meatloaf and mashed-potatoes. We followed dinner with my fresh-baked banana bread for dessert.

That's when Dick asked the question: "What IS Buttermilk?"

As if on cue, Christopher and I both answered at the same time, "Milk. Made with butter...."

(of course, we didn't know at all, and were totally making this up)

This morning, I realized I still had buttermilk in the fridge, and decided to shake up our weekly routine, and made Buttermilk Pancakes! (Yum!)

Again, Dick asked the question, "What IS Buttermilk?"

So, I brought in the laptop, and found the answer:

In the old days, buttermilk was a byproduct of making butter. People would churn and churn and churn. The result of churning milk was butter and liquid. This liquid byproduct was buttermilk.

These days the buttermilk we buy at the grocery store is made by adding a lactic acid bacteria culture to skim or non-fat milk. The milk is then fermented to make modern buttermilk.

Buttermilk has considerably less fat than you would think. Keep in mind that buttermilk is milk with the butter removed. It would be better named "butter-less milk". The buttermilk we have here is 90% water, 5% lactose sugar, a little live bacteria culture and just a hint of butter fat - just enough butter fat to give it that rich, tangy flavor that makes it so great to bake with.

Mmmmm... lactic acid bacteria culture added to fermented milk...

Hmmm... maybe, sometimes, it's better not to ask.

That's okay. The banana bread and the Buttermilk Pancakes sure were yummy!

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