Khoplama (Uzbek Beef and Black Radish Stew)

Change is definitely in the air. A new year (happy 2009, everyone!), a new President (hurray!), and … in about a week, a new apartment for me and Nathan!

While moving grows into a bigger and bigger pain the older you get, I like to focus on the fact that it motivates me to purge my belongings – an early spring cleaning, if you will. Coincidentally, our move this time happens to coincide with Chinese New Year, so the purging will be doubly appropriate. Goodbye, novelty T-shirts from college! Goodbye, baggy sweaters! Goodbye, three out of six very-similar-looking pairs of khaki pants!

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Cochinita Pibil (Yucatecan Slow-Roasted Pork)

Shame on me… waiting until the last possible day to make sure December 2008 is not entirely void of entries! But wait, don’t get mad — I have a gift for you! Yes! Think of it as a holiday treat! Made just for you! …Are you ready for it?

*Drum roll*

I present to you, hot off the press, the shiny and new Index of Recipes page! [July 2010: That page is no longer updated but now we have Search! Check it out!]

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Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelette)

Ahh Thanksgiving… an entire day devoted to cooking, eating, and hanging out with friends and family. My sister and I spent a relaxing and mostly lazy Thanksgiving day cooking various things from my ever-growing collection of cookbooks: roast chicken with bread salad a la Zuni Cafe, Heidi’s always-awesome brussels sprouts (you will not want to eat them any other way after you try hers), a simple creamed spinach from Alice Waters, plus freshly baked French bread (courtesy of The Bread Bible), topped with tapenade and white bean-garlic spread. To round out this already giant meal (remember, we only had two people!), my sister made a cranberry-apple crisp. Oh and let’s not forget the big pitcher of sangria to quench our thirst. Cheers to another successful Thanksgiving!

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Butternut Squash Lasagna

Many apologies for the severe lack of posts, but weirdly enough, I’ve been traveling an extraordinary amount lately. I find this turn of events quite strange because on the job description of a grad student, travel is usually at the bottom of the list (unless you’re in anthropology and work for someone Indiana Jones-esque, of course). I left in early October for two weeks in Hong Kong (3 days of conference, then 1.5 weeks of touristy fun with Nathan interrupted by 1 day of laying in bed with stomach flu – bleh!). Then, while still recovering from jetlag, I had to spend a weekend at Asilomar for my graduate program’s retreat. Now, I’m off again to Boston for another meeting next week. Whew!

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Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches) with Homemade Baguettes

On this sunny Sunday, Nathan and I joined some friends (as well as the entire city of San Francisco, it seemed) in Golden Gate Park for some free live music, courtesy of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Really, how can we turn down a line-up of Bonnie Prince Billy, Iron & Wine, and Gogol Bordello? And of course, you must know by now that I would never even think of setting out for a day in the park without packing some rations. Due to lack of time, though, we decided to just walk through the Sunset and buy some Vietnamese sandwiches to snack on. Which then reminded me that I have delayed blogging about Banh Mi for far too long.

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Omnivore’s 100

I think this is my first non-recipe post, but it’s so fun I thought I’d share it anyway.

I learned about this from one of my favorite foodie sites, Serious Eats. Apparently, a blog called Very Good Taste published a list called Omnivore’s 100, where bloggers are asked to copy the list onto their blogs, bold the items they’ve tried, and strike out any they’re not willing to try.

Here’s mine — not bad, right? ;)

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Gazpacho (Chilled Tomato Soup)

With the sudden appearance of sweltering summer days in the city, I’m finding it really hard to motivate myself to turn on the stove. Add to that a huge pile of work plus the adventure of trying to sell my car (long story short: it’s sold. And I even managed to not sell it to this crew of ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ kids who kept offering me $2100 when another guy already told me he’ll pay me $2200), and you’ve got one not-very-active blogger!

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Sausage and Potato Flatbread

In order to get my sister and I to finish every single grain of rice in our bowls, my grandmother used to tell us that leaving rice grains would mean our future husbands would be ugly. “What do you mean ‘ugly’, grandma?” we asked. “Lots of pockmarks. Or freckles. Or both!” exclaimed my grandmother.

Unfortunately for my grandmother, marrying yucky boys was the last thing on our minds. So she quickly revised her strategy: not finishing all your rice would mean we would grow up with lots of freckles! Yikes! From then on, not one grain of rice was seen in anyone’s rice bowl. Funny thing is, little did she know that we would one day grow up and live in a country where people actually think freckles are cute!

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Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Summer Rolls)

I’ve been making these Vietnamese summer rolls (or spring rolls, whichever you prefer) a lot lately. I first had a craving for them on a particularly hot day since it requires minimal stove time and makes for a refreshing light dinner. Besides, Nathan had bought a bag of frozen shrimps for a Thai curry or something, so I saw it as my duty to help clean out the freezer.

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Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)


You may have noticed that when you mention ‘summer’ to us San Franciscans, we like nothing more than to complain about how our summers are freezing. Woe to us who have to live with foggy, misty days and frigid, windy nights! This summer, though, we’ve been getting more than our fair share of sweaty summer days so we (at least, I) haven’t been complaining as much. At first glance, it’s pretty awesome to not have to bundle up in sweaters in the middle of July and actually be able to wear those cute summer skirts hiding in the closet. But then when you realize the randomly hot and dry weather is literally burning up our state, being able to wear cute summer skirts hardly seems worth it.

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