What is Australian Food?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

 ~~~Sponsored Post~~~

While recently attending a Tourism Australia event, it dawned on me that I don’t know what Australian food is. This bothered me immensely, as I associate each destination on my bucket list with all the foods I will eat when I get there. I dream about the noodle shops in Japan, the gravlax in Scandinavia, and the day I will taste pho in Vietnam. Sure, I licked some vegemite (an acquired taste I have not acquired) back in culinary school, and a friend once gave me Tim Tams (which I couldn’t eat because of the food coloring). Some close friends once smuggled back some conch for me (amazing!), and of course I’ve had Australian wines, yet I still couldn’t put boundaries around the cuisine. What is Australian food? I was ready to find out…

What is Australian Food?

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posted by jessica at 02:47 PM

Cheesecake Brownies

Saturday, March 16, 2013

As a blogger, I’m often asked to explain, “Why do I blog?” Frequently people assume the goal is to get a cookbook deal.  That’s not why I blog and I’m not working towards a cookbook deal nor have I pitched one to a publisher. However, I have said that should one ever fall in my lap, I would certainly take it. I have said that to so many people over the years and I can still hear my voice saying that. It’s always been more of a joke and I was sure that would never happen.

Here I am in total shock. Last week, I was offered a cookbook deal! By a really lovely editor!! And… I didn’t take it!!!

Cheesecake Brownies with Text

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posted by jessica at 03:29 PM

Asianesque Brussels Sprouts

Thursday, March 7, 2013

This was a recipe originally post on December 10th in 2008. Can you believe 2008? My initial motivation for the update and re-post was in order to re-do the photos. I’m embarrassed how bad some of the photos from the earlier days were. As soon as I finished re-shooting these photos, I sat down on the couch next to Lon and started eating this bowl of Brussels sprouts. Yum! Then it dawned on me that these brussels sprouts would be good shredded too. As I suspected the shredded brussels sprouts with the same flavor profile is also a fantastic dish, yet it feels completely different. Here’s the new post, old post included with the original recipe (version 1) and a recipe using the shredded method (version 2).

Asianesque Brussels Sprouts

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posted by jessica at 11:25 AM

Easy Chicken with Sun-dried Tomato and Capers

Thursday, February 28, 2013

This may be the easiest recipe I’ve ever written.

It came about as a very last-minute decision just minutes before serving dinner to my little family. Dinner had already been prepped and planned during Caya’s nap as usual. Lon had just arrived at home, which is usually 15 minutes later than ideal. We rush through a hand-off of Caya to Lon and I need dinner on the table in under 10 minutes.

In my mind, I was pretty much set: a carb, a veg, a protein; the three minimum requirements I have for a meal. As I looked at my dinner, it dawned on me that it’s incredibly plain. I love plain bread (with good olive oil or butter) and I often keep veggies simple, sauteed with garlic and oil. Good meat is also just fine seasoned with salt and pepper. Nothing is wrong with any part of my dinner when paired with other dishes but when all three are so plain, that is a boring meal. In a moment of panic, I dug through the fridge to see if I had any left-over sauces to dress-up dinner a little. I saw a jar of sun-dried tomatoes next to a jar of capers and I thought, hey I could make a sauce with that but making a sauce might take too long so I just chopped it up, added garlic, warmed it up and put it on top. I threw it on the table and thought, that looks pretty nice. Hope it tastes good…

Chicken with Vase

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posted by jessica at 10:53 AM

Making Olive Chicken Thighs with Chef Tim Love

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I could get used to this…

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posted by jessica at 02:09 PM

Celebrate Lantern Festival: Tangyuan and Fermented Sweet Rice Soup Two Ways

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Lunar New Year! I hope you are having lots of dumplings (representing silver & gold ingots) during the next two weeks! We wish all of you an amazing Year of the Black Water Snake.

If you haven’t had enough celebrating, you’re in luck. Lantern Festival (a.k.a. Yuanxiao Festival) occurs on the 15th day of the lunar calendar, which is just around the corner. This year, it will be on February 24, 2013. Here’s a great tutorial I found for making paper lanterns! During the festival, you post riddles on your lanterns. When someone gets the answer right, you award them with a small prize. Make sure to get your ingredients for Tangyuan Soup, a warm dessert soup traditionally eaten during this festival. Here’s two very easy preparations that only take a few minutes to make.

lantern festival

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posted by jessica at 01:03 PM

Sanibel & Captiva, Florida

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We just got back from a brief family vacation in Sanibel & Captiva Islands, two little places connected by a causeway to Fort Myers, Florida. The weather was perfect throughout our stay: a low of 58 and a high of 80 and clear blue skies. This is a truly unique destination, where it never seems crowded, there are very national chains, and no high-rises. The area is known for it’s wild-life preservation and the beaches are famous for shelling. Despite vomiting the first night and an E.R. visit due to dislocating her elbow the second night, Caya had a blast!

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posted by jessica at 11:57 AM

Chorizo and Butternut Squash Hash

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I’m really into roasting potatoes with some fennel and sweet bell peppers and when I’m not serving vegetarians, little bits of ham or some bacon can add some smoky saltiness. Then one day, I wanted to turn that side dish into more of a meal. I crumbled some sausage in instead of the ham/bacon and threw an egg on top. Last weekend, my cousins came over and I mentally prepared to make that dish but when I started prepping, I realized we were out of potatoes. I dug through my fridge and thought maybe butternut squash would work. It did! The added sweetness counters the saltiness of the meat perfectly and the pop of orange color makes the whole dish so vibrant. I now wanted to write a recipe and post it so badly. I had more of all the ingredients except for the Italian sausage. That’s when another swap happened. This time I tried it with chorizo.


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posted by jessica at 11:49 AM

Stoke’s Purple Sweet Potatoes + Give-Away

Friday, January 4, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I went to the New York Produce Show for the second year in a row. It’s one of my favorite recurring events because of my love for all things fruits and vegetables; and especially for learning about new produce. The mom and daughter team (Karen & Alex) that represent second and third generation owner/operators of Frieda’s, the original specialty produce distributors, introduced me to a new product that just hit the market in November – Stoke’s Purple Sweet Potatoes. They are gorgeous and just as delicious!

Stoke's Purple Sweet Potato - with text

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posted by jessica at 04:50 PM

Happy Holidays 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

posted by jessica at 05:40 PM