Cidney the Dog Grad Night!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cidney PetSmart Beginner Education Graduation
Yes, this should have been a Tuesdays with Dorie posting but I just didn't get around this holiday weekend to making this week's selection. Check out the TWD crew that did make Caramel Pots de Creme!

How was your holiday weekend? I worked one day, put up some mini blinds, went to the Farmer's Market, saw Kung Fu Panda 2 with my UCLA roommate and her family (such cute girls Lucia & Julia!), and Cidney graduated!! Whoo hoo!

Cidney the Dog (a girl, by the way) completed the PetSmart Beginning Education class. Six weeks of sit, loose leash walking, down, drop, leave it, shake and come. She's doing well, but needs more practice and the intermediate class. We had a good time and our trainer Blythe was awesome. As an adult, I've only had cats so this whole idea of actually training an animal is kinda cool. :)

Cidney with Blythe the Trainer - PetSmart Beginner Education Graduation
Cidney's trainer, Blythe. Cidney always listens when Blythe is talking. Well, almost always. Unless another dog comes by. Or a kid. Or....well, it was Beginner class! (The six week class was $109 - totally worth it!)

Cidney PetSmart Beginner Education Graduation
The profile of 1 1/2 year old Cidney. She's from the shelter so we aren't sure what mix she is... but there sure is a lot of cute in there, huh?! :) (Yes, I'm a proud Auntie Mary!!!)

Also, Cidney didn't mind the hat on her head. I never thought I would become someone who dressed up pets...but just wait for Halloween and Christmas.

Cidney PetSmart Beginner Education Graduation
Joanne Chang's Flour book has homemade dog biscuits. I think I'll have to try to make some for my graduate! Congrats to the class of 2011! :)
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The Spice Table, Los Angeles

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Spice Table Restaurant, Los Angeles
The Spice Table in Downtown Los Angeles

My friend Susan and I went to The Spice Table for lunch. This Southeast Asian restaurant "celebrates the culinary heritage of Chef/owner Bryant Ng (Singapore) and his wife Kim (Vietnam)." Thus, banh mi for lunch.

The Spice Table Restaurant, Los Angeles
Located in a former Cuba restaurant in Little Tokyo (walking distance to the awesome Japanese American National Museum), across from the Japanese Village Plaza (get the imagawayaki) and next to the Yogurtland.

Spice Table collage 1
Next time, I want to get the chips! They have shrimp chips ($2) and spicy sweet-potato chips ($1.75)

The Spice Table Restaurant, Los Angeles
The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating. The menu is different for lunch and dinner - I will definitely want to come back for dinner and try the menu. They have an interesting way of saying no substitutions; the menu reads, "Changes and modifications are politely declined."

The Spice Table Restaurant, Los Angeles
At the Spice Table (at least for lunch), you order at the front, pay and get a number. Wait staff brings your order to your table. I got the guava juice ($2.50) and my friend Susan ordered the Vietnamese Coffee ($3.)

The Spice Table Restaurant, Los Angeles
Curried eggplant $7 - Pickled red onions and cilantro
 Although a little messy, this was really good. I'm pretty weak with the spices (I am Japanese American) so it was spicy to me.


The Spice Table Restaurant, Los Angeles
Chicken Sandwich $7 - Lemongrass, pickled shallots, watercress, garlic mayo, scallions, peanut sauce
My friend Susan got that and I tried a bit. I like it but would get it again without the mayo.

The Spice Table Restaurant, Los Angeles
Slaw $3 - napa cabbage, carrots, crushed peanuts, scallions, mint, fried shallots, pepper-lime dressing 
I really liked the slaw. I'm not a fan of regular cole slaw (too much mayo), but this was only lightly dressed and those peanuts just make it delicious.

The Flying Pig's restaurant in Little Tokyo
And guess what is coming directly across the street? The Flying Pig's food truck's brick and mortar restaurant. I just hope they don't do any filming there...

Restaurant:
114 S. Central Avenue (between 1st and 2nd Street in Little Tokyo)
Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 620-1840
Lunch menu - Dinner menu
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Zunda Mochi from Sendai Japan

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Zunda Mochi (Sendai speciality)
Zunda Mochi from the Sendai region of Japan

It has been awhile since the Japanese earthquake on March 11, 2011 and the recent tragedies in the mid-west reiterate the power of natural disasters. Japan may have fallen off the front page of the newspaper, but the people in the affected areas are in need of long-term assistance. There are still thousands of people in shelters because their homes were destroyed in the tsunami. One of the hardest hit regions is Sendai, Japan.

Last month, my friend and fellow librarian Jun taught me how to make Zunda Mochi. Jun’s family is from  Sendai and she still has many relatives there. Last year, she visited Sendai and came back with a package of Zunda Mochi which she shared with me. I was immediately smitten. I love all things mochi and the combo of slightly sweetened soybeans or edamame and mochi is a winner.

After the earthquake and updates from Jun about what her family went through, I thought about Zunda Mochi. I wanted to make Zunda Mochi as a celebration of the region's perseverance. Jun said this is a home cooked comfort food; it is sad that so many people do not have homes to return to. I hope you contribute financially to the continuing relief effort in Japan and here in the states. I've listed one way to support Japan at the end of this post.

Zunda Mochi collage 3
Zunda Mochi uses very few ingredients. Really, it is just mochi (rice cakes, unsweetened) with a paste of edamame that has been slightly sweetened. Remember my family's annual mochi making day for New Year's? Well, I still have some mochi in the freezer and we cut some of those pieces. You can also find mochi in the Asian grocery store....just make sure it is plain and unsweetened.

Zunda Mochi collage 1
You need to defrost the edamame (just run it in a colander under water) and remove the outer skin. Yes, one by one! This doesn't take long and if you have a friend with you, it goes by in the flash. You can squeeze them with your fingers and the inner pod just zooms out. The edamame paste freezes really well so you can make a big batch and freeze it. Jun's relatives always have some in the freezer in case a visitor stops by!

Zunda Mochi collage 2
Whiz the naked (skin-off) edamame with some sugar and a bit of water in a food processor. You should get a fairly fine paste...but if you like things a bit chunky, you can leave it more chunky too. You don't want hummus...there should be a little texture.

Zunda Mochi (Sendai speciality)
Boil the mochi (How long depends on the type of mochi you are using. Ours only too a few minutes) and then place it on a plate with a dollop of the paste.

Zunda Mochi (Sendai speciality)
Like all recipes, especially comfort food, there are many variations of Zunda Mochi. The ratio of edamame to mochi pieces varies, and some pastes have more liquid. And some people cook the edamame or the paste...Jun and I didn't do that. Here is I Nom Things version. Google the recipe, find one you like and sit with a friend and shell some soybeans.

Jun - Zunda Mochi
My friend (and soon-to-be mom!) Jun with the dessert of her peeps.

Buy my friend Azusa's Humble Bean Cookbook and help Japan!

One way you can help Japan is by purchasing Humble Bean’s recipe booklet. Azusa, an awesome artist and cook, has created this booklet with proceeds helping the victims in Japan. Buy it here!

Recipes include this lovely Shiitake and Bacon Pasta and...
  • Quick Japanese Pickles
  • Milk Misoshiru with Kabocha
  • Daikon and Scallop Salad
  • Pan Fried Gyoza
  • Chilled Tomato Somen
  • Shiitake and Bacon Pasta
  • Bacon and Shiso Fried Rice
  • Kuwayaki Donburi
  • Sukiyaki Donburi
  • Tuna and Avocado Donburi
  • Matcha Pancakes
Show your support and get a great cookbook to add to your collection by purchasing Humble Bean's booklet!
= = = = = =
Recipe:
Zunda Mochi
Yields: 2 cups paste

One 16 ounce bag of frozen shelled edamame
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon water or more as needed
2 pinches of kosher salt

Mochi pieces

1. Remove the skin from the defrosted edamame. You should yield 14 ounces or about 2 1/2 cups of edamame.
2. Place edamame, sugar, water and salt in a food processor. Process into a paste of desired consistency.
3. Boil mochi pieces until soft. Remove and place on dish.
4. Top mochi with edamame paste.
Note: Paste freezes well.
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Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones - Tuesdays with Dorie
Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Patricia from Life With a Whisk chose Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones on page 30 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.


Oatmeal Maple Scones Collage 1
Hot damn. These scones are good. They're not your Starbucks super-sweet scones. They are nice, slightly sweet and have a great texture with oats and dried fruit.

Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones - Tuesdays with Dorie
Don't you just want some of these?! They come together in a jiffy. I make my scones by hand and I added currants to the scones.

Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones - Tuesdays with Dorie
Check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and see their creations!

Recipe:
Patricia from Life With a Whisk blog,
or, Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 30)
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Maple Cornmeal Biscuits - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Maple Cornmeal Biscuits - Tuesdays with Dorie
Maple Cornmeal Biscuits

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, May 17, 2011 – Lindsay from A Little Something… Sweet chose Maple Cornmeal Biscuits on page 24. of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

These are sooooo good! I could eat a hundred of these light, slightly sweet biscuits. The maple syrup flavor is subtle yet delicious!
Maple Cornmeal Biscuits - Tuesdays with Dorie
I made half the recipe and used a cookie scoop to dish out these drop biscuits. Yes, no rolling or forming...but scoop and bake. So easy! My scoop was small as I got 12 small biscuits (the full recipe yields 12 larger biscuits)

I hope you get a chance to make these soon. They are perfect with breakfast, lunch or dinner! 

Maple Cornmeal Biscuits - Tuesdays with Dorie
Check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and see their creations!

Maple Cornmeal Biscuits - Tuesdays with Dorie
Recipe:
Lindsay from A Little Something… Sweet blog,
or, Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 24)
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Spinach and Ham Quiche - French Fridays with Dorie

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spinach and Ham Crustless Quiche - French Fridays with Dorie
Spinach and Ham Quiche

This week, the French Fridays with Dorie group made Spinach and Bacon Quiche from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Around my French Table.

I did make and eat this on Friday, but ran a little late in my posting.

I'm going to tell you something. In confidence. You know, between you and me.

I stepped on the bathroom scale the other day and there was a number (in big, bright blue digital characters) that is just not right with the world. I mean, the biggest number I've ever seen. Ever.

I'm afraid the state or feds are gonna come barging through the door, while I'm standing in front of an open refrigerator, and arrest me for perjury...for the weight shown my driver's license is, um, not close to the actual number. Oy vey. I need to move a lot more and eat a lot less.

Spinach & Ham Quiche
So, I tried to lighten up my little quiche. I dropped the crust and the bacon. I replaced the bacon with small pieces of ham (way less in fat). But it didn't lose any flavor.

Finally, I know this probably isn't anywhere "around my French table", but I did eat my second half with some Salsa Lizano sauce from Costa Rica. It goes perfectly with egg dishes. :)

Spinach and Ham Crustless Quiche - French Fridays with Dorie
Be sure to check out my fellow French Fridays with Dorie members and see their creations!

Spinach and Ham Crustless Quiche - French Fridays with Dorie
Please note: French Fridays with Dorie will not be posting recipes. Please support Dorie and purchase the book or find it at your library.

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LA Food Blogger Bake Sale - Saturday, May 14th

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Los Angeles! Plan your weekend around this awesome bake sale!!!

What: More than 40 Food Bloggers across Los Angeles come together to bake their favorite treats from their blogs to raise money for Share Our Strength in the 2nd Annual Food Blogger Bake Sale, to help the fight against childhood hunger in America!

I'm going to bring Espresso Mini-Bundt Cakes!

When: May 14th from 11:30 – 2:00pm

Where: BLD Restaurant (7450 Beverly Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036)

Why: Because we want to raise a TON of money for Share Our Strength and help END childhood hunger in America! Don’t you want to help?? Did you know that nearly one in four—children in America face hunger, that’s more than 17 million kids!!

Thanks to Gaby of What's Cooking Gaby for organizing all the bake sales! Check out Gaby's blog post for a list of the bakers participating in the Los Angeles bake sale... and for other locations!
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Fava Beans with Corn and Walnuts

Fava Beans and Corn
Fava beans are in season! I've been seeing them in the Farmer's Market. When I saw the fava beans and the first-of-the-season white corn, I knew I had to make a summer side dish.

Fava Beans and Corn
Shell the beans and then blanch or steam them for a few minutes.

Fava Beans and Corn
After, the outer coating is removed, leaving a bright green fava bean.

Fava Beans and Corn
I cut fresh white corn off the cob. Some olive oil is heated in a pan and the corn and fava beans are heated through. I threw in some walnuts at the last minute. Season to your liking!

Ingredients:
Fava beans
Fresh white corn
Walnuts
Olive oil, salt & pepper
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Brown Sugar Bundt Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brown Sugar Bundt Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie
 Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Peggy from Pantry Revisited chose Brown Sugar Bundt Cake on page 179 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.


Brown Sugar Bundt Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie
Dude, it's a Bundt. You know I'm there. I love all of Dorie's Bundt recipes...and this one is no exception. I brought this into the library while it was still warm...and everyone could smell the lovely brown sugar!

Brown Sugar Bundt Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie
Instead of using pears, I used granny smith apples. I also skipped all the nuts and the raisins to make it co-worker friendly. Super easy to make and no frosting. Ah, this is why the Bundt is the greatest baked good on the planet! Darn, I Like Big Bundts. :)

Brown Sugar Bundt Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie
Thanks Peggy for a great pick! Check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and see their creations!

Recipe:
Peggy from Pantry Revisited blog,
or, Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 179)
My notes: I used 2 granny smith apples instead of pears. I skipped all the nuts and raisins.
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Royal/T JustJenn Mother's Day Tea

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Royal/T JustJenn Mother's Day Tea, May 8, 2011
Happy Mother's Day to all!

Royal/T JustJenn Mother's Day Tea, May 8, 2011
Today, I took my friend Helen and her beautiful daughters Emily and Alison (here with the cosplay waitress) to Royal/T in Culver City. Royal/T had a sold-out Mother's Day tea and comic/cookbook signing by my good friend, the super talented JustJenn!!!

Royal/T JustJenn Mother's Day Tea, May 8, 2011
O.G. (Original Grandma) and JustJenn at the totally cute book signing table. I was excited to buy Jenn's new comic/cookbook featuring her adorable and witty 90-year old O.G.'s favorite recipes. You can get your own copy on JustJenn's website!

Royal/T JustJenn Mother's Day Tea, May 8, 2011
Alison ordered the Roasted Beet salad $10... (Royal/T menu)

Royal/T JustJenn Mother's Day Tea, May 8, 2011
Emily got the Brioche French Toast $8...

Royal/T JustJenn Mother's Day Tea, May 8, 2011
Helen devoured the Salmon with Edamame rice bowl $13 (I've had this before and it is delicious!)...

Royal/T JustJenn Mother's Day Tea, May 8, 2011
I ordered the Grilled Veggie Panini with sweet potato fries. Yum! And, of course, we ate some JustJenn Royal/T cupcakes!

Helen at Royal/T Mother's Day Tea
We ended our lunch by taking some photos in the awesome photo booth at Royal T. It pops your head onto several different hairstyles! It was hilarious! Here is Helen with her set. One of mine looks makes me look like an Asian Valerie Bertinelli. Hilarious.

By the way, I took my mom and dad out to dinner last night... well, I must admit that despite my best efforts, my mom was able to get the check. I know, can you believe this? I'm 40 years old, employed, and my mom demands the check. She has stealth maneuvers! She makes direct eye contact with the wait staff and says, "Give me the check" BEFORE we even order the food. Sometimes she'll "go to the bathroom" and come back and the check is paid. Oy vey. 

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! - mary the food librarian
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