Oven-baked pineapple fried rice with cashews and tofu

date08.12.14

Pineapple Fried Rice

I’m learning to measure my productivity on different scales depending on the day. It’s easy to feel accomplished on hyperactive get-it-done days, when tasks crossed off a to-do list display my success. Visible outcomes. These usually come dressed as Saturday house-wide cleaning sessions, or multi-course homemade Sunday brunches. Photographing a recipe or writing a new post are things you can check of a list.

Dissertations are much more akin to a rich homemade ragu bolognese that insists you stand vigil as it slowly reveals layer after layer of its deep flavors while you stir diligently over the stove. These things take time. Or maybe it’s more like a backyard pit pig roast that even after you spend hours past bedtime tending the coals, sometimes still comes out raw just at the moment when people are expecting to gnaw on something yummy.

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Honey roasted fig and goat cheese popsicles

date08.07.14

Fig and Goat Cheese Popsicles

Most of my Friday evenings as a kid were spent at the ballpark. If my brother was playing, I could be found scrounging around under the bleachers for lost change to buy a few 5¢ smarties pops. For the record, you can make a racket with this strategy; I once even found a $20 bill that after a week of no one claiming from the little league ballpark lost and found became mine. Do you know how many smarties pops you can buy with $20??

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Skinny black bean and veggie Mexican pizza

date08.01.14

Skinny Mexican Pizza

We make a lot of quesadillas in our house. Tortillas? Check. Cheese? Check. Random fillers from the bottom of the fridge? Boom – dinner. Lately, though, we’ve got a healthier quick and simple weeknight classic on repeat. This black bean and veggie Mexican pizza recipe is so darn fresh and tasty that I’m a little mad I haven’t been making it since I was a teenager. So many missed opportunities!

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Strawberry mochi with red bean & A trip to Strawberry Land!

date07.28.14

Strawberry Mochi Daifuku

Based on the sheer number of strawberry desserts I churn out every summer, you probably already know that I’m a strawberry fangirl. So when the California Strawberry Commission invited me and nine other bloggers down to tour a Santa Cruz strawberry farm to learn about California’s sweetest crop, you can probably imagine how giddy I was. I mean, I’m ecstatic when the organic strawberries drop to $2/lb at our local market, but this was the opportunity to get up close a personal in strawberry land, eating juicy berries right off the plant. I may have squealed.

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Ginger zucchini noodle egg drop soup

date07.23.14

Zucchini Noodle Egg Drop Soup

Zoodles! Oodles and oodles of zoodles! You know what’s got me so fired up over here? We grew a zucchini! In a bed now covering our pig roast pit. An enormous feat for the girl with the black thumb who has killed two rosemary plants and a few succulents. Indestructible plants, my big toe! I can definitely take care of your cat or probably even your baby, but it’s not the wisest idea to trust me with your garden. Signs so far indicate that I did not inherit my mom’s green thumb.

BUT we grew a zucchini!! Well, if I’m being truthful, Lucas grew it and I occasionally reminded him to water it, sometimes even nervously pulling out the hose myself when he was in China. Then after a few weeks of most everything else in our garden deciding it hated our soil clay and shriveling up, a zucchini grew!

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Backyard mint cantaloupe ice cream

date07.20.14

Backyard Mint Cantaloupe Ice Cream

I never go to the grocery store without a plan. Sometimes that means sitting in my parked car in the market parking lot searching for recipes and jotting down a last-minute shopping list on my phone. Without a list, I’ll go to the store for strawberries, whipped cream, and vanilla, but end up walking out with a box of fruit snacks and chips instead. It’s like going to the grocery store hungry. Except all the time. Shopping lists simultaneously allow me to distribute my cognition so I remember the things I actually need for a recipe, while preventing my snack-fiend stomach from guiding me directly to the ice cream and chips.

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Food lover’s guide to Taipei & Jiufen

date07.15.14

Taipei Tea Garden

Contrary to popular American belief, if you have a family of four with a fluffy dog, you don’t need a minivan. A scooter will do. Just one of the many fact jewels from our trip to Taipei.

Also, carry an umbrella at all times. And your friend’s light-weight waterproof jacket you can shove in your purse (because you don’t own one yourself). And maybe a poncho. In a pinch, you can snag one from the shopkeeper next to the bus stop who keeps a box for surprise storms. Business is great on rainy days.

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Ginger peach mojito mocktail

date07.10.14

Ginger Peach Mojito Mocktail

Do you have a friend who just won’t shut up about how great life is and how everything’s so perfect – blahblahblah- and you just want to punch her in the face every time she opens her mouth? You do now. As soon as July hits and the Monterey Market’s bins fill up with summer produce, I’ve got a running list of 101 reasons why I love California ready to spew at you at any moment. #1 on the list: stone fruit! #2: this ginger peach mojito mocktail.

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