Saturday, October 22, 2016

What He Cooked for My Birthday

I must be getting old because I've already started saying things like, "No presents or I'll kill you," or "Don't take me anywhere fancy because I don't want to waste money."  Despite my bitter old Chinese housewife inclinations,  Wes still made sure that this birthday was a memorable one.  He came back early from work on a Tuesday and cooked things that, if seen printed on a menu at some restaurant, I'd order right away.  These things were: (cheeseless) butternut squash risotto with broiled prawns, rack of lamb, haricots verts with tomato and mushroom, and (gasp) matcha doughnuts - that is, both glazed with matcha AND filled with matcha.

Taking the time to read through, write down, and ask Wes about his experience with these recipes has made me truly appreciate all the hard work that he put into these dishes.  I don't think that I would have had the patience or the time-management skills myself to pull this off, but maybe if I write down these recipes for the future, I'll be able to set aside a whole day to recreate everything!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hatch Chili Bison Burgers

Burgers--one of those things that you could either pay two bucks or twenty bucks for, and be perfectly happy in either scenario.  But if you could make them at home, even better.

Our last attempt at homemade burgers was inspired by hatch chili season and supermarket ads. While it's no secret that I obsess over the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer, Wes likes to stealthily browse Bristol Farms ads.  I can barely contain myself when I see something that I like in the Fearless Flyer (like that pumpkin bark that just came out? mine).  Wes almost never mentions anything as he silently folds up his fancy Bristol ads and sticks them into the trash.  Then, one day in early September, he texts me that he wanted to swing by Bristol Farms for some on-sale organic grass-fed hormone-free sustainably-farmed bison meat.  Okay, I was intrigued.

At the time, we had just bought some bright green hatch chilies, as they were in season.  Wes grilled them up a few days prior and we had them in the fridge for things like guacamole and Mabo tofu - yeah, anything that needed a kick got the hatch chili treatment.  So, when we decided that we wanted to make bison burgers, chopped hatch chilies went right in.

Thank goodness the burgers were good, because we were grilling and eating them during USC's first game of the season.  Like the copious amounts of sides that I had made, we just couldn't get through it.  The game was horrible.  So bad that we had to walk to AU79 to get some redemption tea.

Now, let's get right into the meat of it. (haha)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Pizza, Tacos, and the Milky Way (Part 2 of Our Trip to Canada)

Bamfield, Part 2!  We were treated to even more beautiful sights and delicious feasts.  I wondered initially if we would get bored out here in this small town, but of course that would never happen with Paulina, Jeff, and friends.  We had to say goodbye to Melissa and Wade, but a new group arrived and they were quite the foodies!  Ayren, Earl, and Carolyn made our fifty pounds of food look like nothing.  Paulina had designated Monday night as pizza night and Tuesday night as taco night, so we all came prepared.  Nobody really knew what anyone else was going to bring, but everything came together like it had all been pre-planned.  Generosity was aplenty, and we left with our hearts, bellies, and memory cards very, very full.  (Part One here)

 In addition to being total food enthusiasts, almost everyone photographing all over the place; we must have had at least five geeky sets of camera gear.  Nobody cared when I stopped/stooped/climbed to grab shots of everything.  When a fish was caught, Wes and I went crazy, running down to the dock with our cameras.  Even at night, the photos didn't stop.  It was fun to all be out in the cold with three tripods set up, on a beach that we could not see, taking pictures of the Milky Way while the moon was still down.  It was also totally excusable to climb onto a chair to take aerial shot after aerial shot of our amazing dinners.  And who would be able to resist stopping to zoom in on the family of neon yellow mushrooms growing by the trail??  Anyway, with great people, great home cooking, great hiking, and great scenery, we got more out of this little place than we ever would have expected.