Archive for January, 2012

Traditional Korean Happy New Year Soup

January 11, 2012

Minced Garlic, thinly sliced  Carrot ( because I like it ), Dark and Light chicken meat, Chicken/beef Broth, thinly sliced onion, rice dumpling, scallions, garnish with ribbons of egg crepe, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper.

Soak rice dumpling in large bowl of water. Into the broth , add in your garlic, onion, carrots, and shredded chicken meat.  Bring to a boil and take out rice dumpling and put in broth. Cook until dumplings are al dente. Make an egg crepe put on cutting board when done and cut into thin chiffinads. Take soup put in a bowl and then add on top thinly sliced scallions and ribbons of egg.

My son can type fast so he did this. Without him this would never be here. Now you need to see his blog at


Winter Salad Options

January 2, 2012

Winter time brings lots of family gatherings and big meals. To balance out all the rich dishes, I like to serve a tasty salad. There is the challenge of using seasonal produce and making it look so good that people choose it over a double helping of mashed potatoes. Here are some of the salads I enjoyed making this holiday season.

Crunchy Broccoli with Dried Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds

Hardware- knife, cutting board, big bowl to wash veggies, serving bowl, colander,

Software- Broccoli crowns, dried cranberries, shelled sunflower seeds, shredded/chopped carrots, fresh cracked black pepper, Brianne’s Poppyseed Dressing, finely diced red onion (optional)

  • Wash the broccoli and cut the florets off and cut them lengthwise into bite size pieces.
  • Take the remaining thin stems and chop them into bite size pieces. When you have the larger base stem, cut off some of the woody outer parts.
  • Set all the chopped broccoli and stems into a big bowl. You have done the hardest part. The rest is easy.
  • 30 mins before serving, toss in the shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and onions (if you are using them).
  • Pour the salad dressing just til the broccoli is barely coated. You can alway add more later but you can’t take away if you’ve poured too much.
  • Give the salad a good mix.
  • Add fresh cracked pepper.
  • Cover with seran wrap and refrigerate. Don’t make this salad too much in advance since the broccoli will get limp if it sits in the dressing too long.

Bib Lettuce with Oven Roasted Veggies and Harvest Fruit

Hardware- colander, knife, cutting board, cookie sheet, serving bowl, carrot peeler, oven proof casserole dish with a lid. small fry pan, flipper, small bowl, small plate

Software- Bib/Butter lettuce, baby organic carrots, beets, butternut squash, fuji apple, bosc pear, pomegranate, orange,  feta/goat cheese, egg, good balsamic vinegar. pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds

preheat oven to 350 F.

  • Wash the veggies. Place the washed lettuce in a tupperware and store in the fridge til later.
  • Using dishwashing gloves to protect your hands, peel the beets and cut off the ends. Put them in a cassarole dish that has a lid. Drizzle with olive oil and 2 pinches of kosher salt and cracked black pepper and mix altogether so the beets are shiny. Cover with the lid. Bake them in the 350F oven for 1 hr. til a fork can poke it all the way in.
  • “AHN” (adult help needed) Peel the butternut squash and cut into cubes. Have an adult help you because the squash is really hard to cut. You could also save time and effort by purchasing the precut squash cubes in the produce aisle.
  • Place all the carrots and squash cubes into a lasagna tray.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and 2 pinches of kosher salt and cracked black pepper and mix altogether so the veggies are shiny.
  • Bake them without a cover in the oven til you see them getting dark brown. Oven roasting them will bring out the natural sugars in them. I try to oven roast a batch of veggies on the weekend so that putting a salad together is that much faster on school nites. You can put all the beets, carrots, and squash in the oven at the same time.
  • Cut the pear and apple into thin slices. Squeeze the orange on top so that the acid prevents oxidation. Plus the orange juice can be used as the dressing. Set it aside.
  • In a big bowl full of water, carefully cut open the pomegranate. The water will prevent the red juice from splattering everywhere. The white membranes will float and the seeds will sink. Gather the seeds and set them aside in the bowl containing the apples and pear slices.
  • “AHN” In a dry small fry pan on medium heat, toast the seeds. Set them aside to cool on a plate.
  • “AHN” Add a small bit of oil, 1 sec pour, and let the oil heat up on medium heat. By the time you sing Happy Birthday Song then the oil will be hot enough for you to carefully crack an egg and carefully drop in in the oil. You should be close to the oil when you drop the egg so that oil doesn’t splatter everywhere.
  • When you see the edges of the egg getting golden brown, it is time to flip the egg. Holding the flipper in the hand you use your pencil with, scoop under the egg. Carefully rotate your wrist so your thumb is pointing down. Be sure to not flip towards you. You don’t want the egg splashing hot oil on you. So if the fry pan was a compass, flip in an East West direction not a South direction. Once you have successfully flipped the egg, turn off the heat.
  • Time to assemble. Get a salad plate. Place 2 or 3 lettuce leaves on it. Top leave with a bit of each root veggie and fruit, sprinkle it with feta/goat cheese, and top it with the egg and a sprinkle of toasted seeds. Finish it off with a small drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar. Enjoy

Wakame with Cucumbers in Rice Wine Vinegarette

This easy salad is the sweet and sour cucumber salad that they bring you in Japanese Sushi restaurants. Aka sunimono salad. The wakame is the seaweed part. Lemon juice is an unusual but nice addition to this dressing. It adds a fresh brightness to the salad. If you don’t have access to seaweed, you can substitute shredded carrots. This salad can me made ahead but not a day ahead since the cucumbers will loose their crunch and the dressing will get watery.

Software- 4 Cups of freshly thinly sliced English Hot House cucumbers, 1 C of rinsed off salt packed seaweed (wakame), 1/8 C fresh squeezed lemon juice, 3/8 C sugar, 1 tsp crushed toasted sesame seeds, 1 pinch of Salt, 1/2 C of Rice wine Vinegar

Hardware- Cutting board, knife, big mixing bowl, medium mixing bowl, measuring cups, mixing spoon, colander, Optional- Japanese mandolin (be very careful w/this. It is sharp)


  • The seaweed comes packed in lots of salt. You will need to soak it in warm water for 20 min. in the medium mixing bowl while you are slicing the cucumbers.
  • Wash the cucumbers, split them in half lengthwise, slice them as thin as you can into semi-circle slices, set them aside in the large mixing bowl.
  • Add all the other ingredients, except the seaweed, to the cucumbers.
  • Swish the seaweed around in the water to wash away the salt. Change the water and swish again. Remove the seaweed and place it in the colander to drain.
  • After the water has drained, place the seaweed on the cutting board and give it a couple chops of your knife. It doesn’t have to be a fine chop. Just enough to cut any large pieces.
  • Add it to the cucumber mixture and mix.

Keep it refrigerated til ready to serve. Cheers.

Spinach Tortellini Pasta Salad

This is another fun salad to take to pot lucks since most of it can be ahead of time.

Software- Ready made spinach tortellini ( I use Buitoni Brand), chopped carrots, diced/sliced red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes cut in half, sliced cucumbers, thinly sliced red onion (optional), pesto cilantro sauce or just pesto, red wine vinegette of your choice, black pepper

Hardware- pot, colander, mixing spoon, mixing bowl, cutting board, knife,


Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.



2 B continued

2011 in review

January 2, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.