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Recipes that include sugar

Taiwanese Ro Gung

Friday, November 30, 2012

This Taiwanese specialty called Ro Gung seems to be a lesser known dish as I couldn’t find anything in my google search. (Does anyone know if this is known by another name?) The gist of this soup is that it’s a cornstarch thickened soup with soft pork and fish paste dumplings… ok blobs. That probably doesn’t sound enticing to those that don’t already know it (though I can hear my Taiwanese peeps cheering). On top of that, it’s not an attractive dish. (That cilantro garnish was my only hope for color.)  What it is, is delicious! Seriously, one of my favorite foods! And for food geeks, it is a flavor profile that is unique to Taiwanese food.

Taiwanese Ro Gung with Title

 

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Cranberry Sauce with Mandarin Oranges and Walnuts

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Growing up, my mom always made turkey for Thanksgiving. The stuffing was always a Chinese Sticky Rice (which I asked my mom to bring this year) and the rest of the dishes on the table were also Chinese. Basically, it was a Chinese meal with a Roasted Turkey as centerpiece. I give my mom a lot of credit for trying to provide us with the Thanksgiving experience. We certainly stuffed ourselves silly and we usually had tons of extended family over. All requisites met right? Well, one year I told my mom everyone else had cranberry sauce so from then on she started to buy canned cranberry sauce. It was that stuff that came out of the can in one solid cylinder and was then sliced into rings. While not much of it was ever really eaten, we kept up the American tradition. Then one year my mom got a recipe from somewhere ( at this point she doesn’t remember where she got it) that mixed canned cranberry sauce, canned mandarin oranges, and walnuts, plus a little gelatin to hold it together more. I loved it and never let my mom forget to make that cranberry sauce every year after.

After my brother and I grew up and moved out, my mom stopped hosting Thanksgiving. I’ve been spending it with Lon’s family for the last several years since it’s not a Chinese thing…It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do more than just bring one dish.

Cranberry Sauce with Mandarin Oranges 4

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Clams with Black Bean Sauce

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I wish I could convince more people to cook bi-valves and it’s not just because I love them so much. I hear from nearly every novice cook that they are afraid to cook clams and mussels. They just assume it’s going to be difficult. On the contrary, it’s easier than learning how to cook chicken or pork (in my opinion). The key to all proteins is to NOT over-cook them and clams tell you when they’re done. When they open up, they’re done!

Clams in Black Bean Sauce 2

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Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It’s taken a very long time for winter to come this year and I’m not complaining.  However I have been waiting for my noodle soups; they are one of my favorite categories of food. (Have you ever thought about what your favorite food categories are, as opposed to favorite foods?) Credited for getting me through the freezing cold days, I just love wrapping my hands around steamy bowls bigger than my head. I slurp away my chills with Wonton Noodle Soup, Ramen, Pho, any noodle soup, I love them all! It seems crazy that FoodMayhem is nearing it’s fifth anniversary and yet I’ve never posted the noodle soup I grew up on: Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 4

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Bullseye Cookies

Friday, December 9, 2011

I couldn’t decide what to make for #NYCookieSwap 2011. It’s a big deal with cookie greats like Dorie Greenspan attending! Lon saved the day and came up with an idea I loved: a way to combine three classic cookies that everyone loves. What’s better than your favorite cookie? Three of your favorite cookies in one! It’s a Chocolate Chip Cookie in the center with a ring of Chocolate Cookie around it, with another ring of Peanut Butter Cookie around that.

Bullseye Cookie and Tower 4

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Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffin

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Perhaps I was subconsciously still thinking of that Pumpkin Cider Cocktail. Consciously, however, it hadn’t occurred to me until completing this pumpkin muffin recipe, tasting the muffins a few times, and even editing the photos, that there are notable similarities, yet important differences. One is a cocktail, perfect for an evening affair. The other, a muffin, perfect to start your morning.

If you like to use seasonal ingredients, pumpkins and apples are going to dominate right now. And you know what?  I don’t mind that at all! These muffins taste like autumn and there’s a comforting feel that comes with that.
Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins 5 (more…)

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Plum and Brie Bites

Monday, December 20, 2010

We love that our new condo building has a sense of community. It’s something our old apartment building really lacked. Now, we have a yahoo groups message board where people try to meet up for doggie play dates, share info about our developing area, or voice concerns happening in the building.

Yesterday, my condo had a little holiday party in the lobby so we got to meet some more of our neighbors, now surpassing the number of people I knew in my old building after a few years. It felt so nice and festive with the glowing fireplace and big red poinsettias. Everyone brought treats to share, cookies, beer, champagne, fruit…I brought these Plum and Brie Bites.

Plum and Brie Bites

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Black & White Kisses

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I’m not usually a fan of meringue and meringue cookies. The main components being egg whites and sugar, I often find them too sweet. With these cookies, I’m going to call Black & White Kisses because it sounds so sophisticated. The use of 70% dark chocolate really balances out the sweetness. What I once thought of as a sugary, kiddie treat is now transformed into a light and airy adult indulgence. The bite size treat releases a puff of chocolate air that dissolves into the corners of your mouth.

cup of Black & White Kisses

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Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage, Shitakes, and Dried Shrimp

Friday, September 17, 2010

Did you hear about the ridiculous storm we had in NYC yesterday? It’s still unclear whether it was technically a tornado or just a fierce storm but the damage is horrifying. Large trees were uprooted and many streets are still completely blocked in my parents neighborhood (where we’re staying). I drove by crushed cars and houses with wrecked walls and windows.

Lon and I were in the car yesterday on Queens Boulevard when the storm hit and the rain poured on the windshield in a blinding layer and we had to stop-and-go on this major roadway. It really only lasted a few minutes but I was petrified by the sounds of I-don’t-know-what hitting the car and the fear of hitting large objects that had blown into the road. I didn’t know until later on how lucky we were. All we had to really endure was driving to my parent’s house at a snail’s crawl and not getting to watch TV since the storm killed their satellite.

Sticky Rice 6


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Chinese Beef and Peppers

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Growing up, meals were almost always Chinese family style. Everyone gets a bowl of rice and a large plate to fill-up with goodies. On any regular weeknight, 4 to 6 different dishes would be set in the center, and we’d take first, seconds, and thirds, to our hearts’ content. Sometimes we’d end with soup, and always fruit. As I got older, I realized how impressive it was that my mom, who worked full-time, put this spread on the table night after night. It was always different too. (You can tell by now, my mom’s got quite a roster up her sleeves.)

One of the tips/tricks that makes this possible is offering a mix of dishes she already made ahead of time with one or two that can be thrown together really quickly. She might have marinated cucumbers in the morning as we got dressed for school. A variety of “red-cooked” meats, egg, or bean curd was probably made on the weekend. When she walked through the door, she’d whirl around the kitchen: steaming a fish and stir-frying another two like it was as easy as skipping. This led me to some wrong assumptions. I thought that every mother in the world did that and I thought it was no-sweat, easiest thing ever. I know now, I was so wrong.

Beef and Peppers

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