Thursday, December 07, 2006

the finals crunch

haven't really been cooking anything moderately time consuming or complicated (aka more than 1 ingredient) this quarter 'cause it's been super busy with school, work, extracurriculars, etc. don't think i've had a quarter with this much multitasking before. or been very motivated to cook. it's kind of boring cooking for myself at times, 'cause my usually primary goal is to just make something nutritious and filling FAST. sorry, racheal ray, your 30 minute meals aren't quick enough. can we cut it down to 5? therefore i've been eating a lot of cereal, bread, pasta, exploded hotdogs, frozen dumplings, and other boring yet filling repeats. plus coffee. i don't like drinking too much coffee, but i can't stand that acrid instant stuff anymore so i'm thinking of buying a coffeemaker. i was so against having bad bad caffiene close at hand that i actually turned down a coffeemaker one year. i doubt i will buy Luwak "processed" coffee though.

anyhoo, i always try get in a good amount of nutrients at some point of the day and eat balanced food, even if it sucks. so here's some very unappealing pictures of food. forgive how i always post in a largish size rather than thumbs. until someone has a solution that takes less than 30 seconds, they're simply too much work for lazy me.

baked monterey jack quesadillas and a hardboiled egg. the black spots are ants. i like the protein on protein crunch.

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some of that mutigrain hot cereal that i finally had the patience to stir every 5 mins on low for half an hour. with a large dollop of strawberry jam and butter. i should make a photo album of just porridges, gruels, and congees. it'd be exciting.

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the promised frozen dumplings, wood ear and pork. some really delicious premade dumpling sauce. and some pork and beans. gotta get the fiber from somewhere...

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look what happens when i invite a friend over to study and for dinner. they get the star treatment of eating canned/prepared food on the floor of my room on a pile of newspapers. some persian cucumbers, fried spam, kimchi, and hot fully baked par-baked bread from TJ. Are you thinking Tijuana?

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surprise surprise. the rest of the loaf, some more persian cucumbers, and a turkey drumette i hoarded with me from thanksgiving. ok, so you've got 5 dollars in your pocket and you walk into your choice of an overpriced Ralph's or a slightly frou frou new age Trader Joe's. you get to choose one carb, and 1 veg/fruit. what do you choose? for me it was a pound and a half of persian cucumbers and a loaf of parbaked bread. that was some good bread and cucumbers. i could eat that for two days straight, literally.

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a baked natural casing hot dog, more pork and beans (can you tell i bought the super large can size?), and some plain XO stirfried pasta (repeat with udon... rice... [carb]...). my roomate tried canned pork and beans for the first time... she hadn't tried them before b/c she told me they were considered hick where she was from.

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BBQ baked chicken, greenbeans in a tomato garlic mush, and quesadillas x 5 were the most elaborate i got in a while and i didn't even take a picture.

snacktime! apples, blackberries, and sliced up radishes.

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do you think this is a message?


Sunday, November 19, 2006

business time continues

i'm not really sure how i managed it, but i somehow haven't been to the market in 2 weeks. note all the instances of kimchee. just.. two more weeks to go.. gah! super-crunch time = more strange semi instant food concoctions.

on top of rice: some prepared marinated kelp bowties from 99, some kimchee, some ong choi (hollow heart vegetable) i stirfried with fermented shrimp paste and garlic.


yeah, so i don't really care about presentation, and i like all my foods to be separated, so uh, it always looks bad. i bought this chicken from costco who lasted me almost a week in several reincarnations. ah, the dear soul. this was her first appearance at the dinner table. that grey mass is eggplant sauteed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pizza packet of red pepper flakes, and garlic. not much to look at, but it was tasty.


i got hungry.. so i decided to have a midnight "snack" of that poor rotisserie chicken, kimchee, stircooked lotus root, and yu xiang egglant.


a meal made with leftovers. a previously frozen peach bun from someone's wedding. and some more kimchee. i have a large jar of it, and must consume it so it stops stinking up the fridge for the roomies. also needed some more veggies. kimchee's a veg! kind of. see The ABC's post. that goopy vegetable stuff had gai lan in it. i was very disappointed though.. limp and overcooked. and in goopy sauce! i hate goopy sauces!


gai lan.. chinese broccoli.. is my favorite vegetable of all time. sliced into scallop egg white fried rice and just plain boiled/pan cooked with a dribble of oyster sauce on top is the best. regular broccoli stems taste a bit like it. it's almost never on sale though =(


i stayed up most the night studying for exams. bad, i know. anyhoo, i finally went home in the morning to eat breakfast which consisted of coffee, some multigrain hot cereal, and a tin of smoked herrings before leaving immediately for school again to take a test. that's right. herrings. don't think i drank much of the coffee, but it was nice to have around smelling good and warm even though those tiny little pull-out desks barely have room for a sheet of paper. a cup of coffee is like my security blanket during crunch-time in class.


udon, gai lan with oyster sauce, kimchee, and some frozen bourbon chicken my roomate didn't like. mmm.. free protein... this was actually my second dinner that night. i'd had a can of chef boyardee beef ravioli (mm.. reminds me of elementary school hot lunches) an hour earlier b/c i was HUUUNGGRRRRYYY at school. i keep all sorts of instant food in my locker just in case, along with a can opener. i think there's also half a dozen bagels in there right now...


it's the biscuit stick man! this guy, and his band of gun-slinging brothers, traveled all the way from Hong Kong to get eaten by me. the japanese says.. bisuketto! i cannot read the chinese, alas.


my teeth (and dignity) hurt

i've always wondered what Grapenuts cereal was like. so i bought a box of generic Nutty Nuggets right next to it on the shelf. the name was a warning. it was health-packed, but it tasted like cardboard and reminded me of super extra hard bread crumbs. even BBQ sauce failed to make it better. i'm not quite sure what to do with them now. i wonder if it'll work in meatloaf? or perhaps i'll feed the birds..


fried rice with lap cheong, broccoli, eggs, green onions. it's brown 'cause i used lotsa that thick sweet soy sauce.


udon, cabbage, and a fried egg.


part of a dried preserved duck leg that i reconstituted in the rice pot.


more ong-choi (insert boring picture here)

egg flower soup. 2 eggs whisked into my boiling soup. my standard 1 can chicken stock, 1 can ceramed corn, 1 can water recipe with a bit of corn starch for the thickener. top with green onions (not shown).


i usually only eat it at home, 'cause i can't finish it fast enough, but i hadn't been home for months so i'd been craving roast duck for weeks. positively dreaming about it. ok, never ever ever ever go to sam woo in san diego for roast meats ever again. i went tehre to get my duck when i went grocery shopping b/c it was convenient. they have horrible service. first, the roast-mastah wouldn't let me get the duck i wanted, then he berated me for only ordering half of a duck, and as a final insult, he skimped and didn't give me the whole half a duck! i didn't notice the last insult until i went home and found that there were no parts above the shoulder. when i was there too, i wasn't watching carefully enough... he had another duck on his chopping board so i thought some of the pieces were someone else's. i'm pretty sure he did it was because i was young or thought i was some spoiled rich kid. b*****d. however, the quacker was tasty.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

it's business time

i've been super busy lately, so i've been eating really nasty crud. or eating out. i'm also ashamed to admit, i have eaten at mcdonalds twice in the past week out of fatigue and convenience.


right after i went to the market. it's vegetable bean beef soup. cooked it really slowly so the brisket didn't get tough. brisket is cheap! yay! ginger in it was not a good idea. it tasted funny, but it provided all the veggies and nutrition i needed. for a week.


i'd left my rice cooker at The Estate and didn't retrieve it until recently. that's why when i had a hankering for fried rice, i had to find a substitute... i needed some sort of grain since i'd run out of bread and pasta, so i cooked up some sausages and chinese leeks... except i didn't have leeks so substituted green onions and put that on top of oatmeal...


a couple stalks of limp celery, and an onion. sauce makes everything taste delicious.


i had cabbage, carrots, and onions. what a luxury. now i only have cabbage to enjoy.


this was from the rare week that i had both fruit and cereal (cheerios) at the same time. just white nectarines and cereal...


i'd run out of both rice and pasta, but i had some canned green beans left for dinner with a granola bar and a pear. oh joy.


i was really really hungry so my roomate offered this masterpiece. it's a hot dog wrapped in pilsbury cruissant dough.. it was delicious. note how gourmet it is. it's a "blackened pig in a blanket"


it's business time, so i packed myself a quick lunch to eat during a study break. pasta, and tossed some frozen chicken into the water to they'd cook at the same time, and some canned green beans. just garlic and olive oil for flavor. exciting huh? i'd run out of cabbage at that point. i'm sure the cabbage would have given it +394 mana.


i filched a slice of chicken pizza from an unsuspecting box that was sitting on the countertop when i hobbled back home during the witching hour. pizza is proven to ward away evil spirits, werewolves, and vampires when drowned in BBQ sauce.

Picture 013

first year, the dorms didn't have any stoves or ovens. there was a broken microwave and a toaster oven that shorted out halfway through the year. this is what i had stashed under my bed in case of emergencies.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

tea broth

for lack of a teapot or pitcher, i make my roasted barly (muji cha) tea in a pot and store it in this classy plastic tupperware-ish thing.


here's some udon sitting in a mixture of 1:1 canned chicken broth and that tea. sounds weird, but it's surprisingly tasty. not too salty, light, and kind of smoky tasting. some more mushrooms. and part of someone's chunk of roast beef. i'm not sure how old or whose it is, but i found it at The Estate and took it back with me thinking it was my frozen foil wrapped hunk of leftover ground beef. and yes, i ate the mystery meat.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

fruit punch sangria

bread, microwaved zuchinni, stircooked brisket. brisket is a bad choice for anything but slow cooking. but i'm hungry and impatient. it wasn't too chewy. add a little water to the bowl of cut up veggies, cover, then microwave. usually a 1 serving size for me is like 3 mins on high. less if it's less dense. the crispy brown thing is fried beef... my aptmate was breading and frying stuff that night. including homemade banana dumplings or whatever they're called.


mushrooms. heated 1-2 tbsp butter in a pan and added 3 cloves of smushed garlic, half a chopped onion, and then 3/4 lb white mushrooms (sliced ~1/4 in thick). sprinkled random dried herbs like savory, basil, celery salt on. after they turned kind of brown and exuded liquid, then added some red wine and cooked until the liquid was almost all evaporated.

chicken. chicken tenders from costco defrosted in microwave, sprinkled some garlic salt on em, tossed into an oiled pan on med-high heat. haven't got the timing right yet. still need to cut 1 open to figure out when it's -just- cooked. i don't like tough chicken.

rosemary bread from la brea bakery via costco.


in the corner you can see my "sangria". i figured that if i was going to have wine out i may as well drink some of it. though mixing it with fruit punch (from kiddy birthday party concentrate) just isn't the same as what the spaniards make... i don't suggest you try it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

the non-mandatory potluck

a couple of weeks ago, we had a bit of a going away party for my friend Lara who is spending part of the year studying in spain. it seemed cheap and fun to eat in so we planned a "food-optional" potluck. as some of my friends noted, it's probably better off that way unless we wanted frozen burritos for dinner and stomachaches for dessert. i made some appetizer-type things with a recurring theme of about 3 ingredients in different combinations.. kind of like pho. seriously, those pho restaraunts could cut their menu in half if they just had a single listing of types of meat to put in their noodles instead of listing every possible combination of rare steak, well done flank, tripe, etc. hmm.. i'm deviating. well, i had rounds of toasted french bread i'd rubbed with garlic and topped with either tomato with herbs, thick-cut ham, or brie cheese. and on a brilliant suggestion from a comrade in college cooking, wrapped some of those foul pillsbury instant croissants around fillings of vegetables (leftover from lara's dish) and ham and baked as the istructions dictated. it didn't turn out tasting bad and people thought they were cute.

much cuter was the vegetable lasagna lara and her friend made from scratch! check out the bell pepper octopus and sea star. that ups the tastyness 10x because of the cute factor. it had bell peppers, mushrooms, zuchini, tomatoes, onions, and a whole lot of other stuff in it which i can't remember. they layered it with mozzerella and topped with parmesan and a little bit of gorgonzola. the gorgonzola really added a bit of kick to it.

that and a really ripe pineapple was enough to feed 7. i heard that a good way to tell if a pineapple is ripe is to smell it and if you can pull out one of the topinner leaves easily.


mmm green beans and daikon

salad. lettuce, green beans blanched in chicken stock, olive oil canned tuna, capers, minced garlic, olives, green onion, chili pepper, lemon juice.


tossed a couple whole italian squash and simmered in canned chicken stock + random dried herbs and those pizza parlour hot pepper flakes. added couple handfulls of tender green beans to simmer ~ 3 mins before finish. soup plus a veggie fix.


taro bread from 99 ranch. soft purply bread with ribbons of sweet taro paste baked into it. and yes, i eat off of newspapers. they make classy recyclable dishes.


i didn't want to feed my friend rice and kimchee for dinner so scrounged around for some "instant" food. luckily had a can of thai tom yum soup into which i threw half a diced daikon, a package of soft tofu, green onions, and an egg. then separately cooked some "fresh" store-bought udon left over from a couple days before and served with the soup. frozen chinese dumplings. the canned soup (from 99) had slivers of ginger, lemongrass, etc in it and was surprisingly good.


didn't have a camera around when i made this gross sounding dish of hamburger meat and diced onions. tossed a bunch of seasoning into it including bbq sauce. had it with more of that simmered squash and some pasta.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Got Crabs? Let's Party!


in japanese katakana, "Paa-tii Tai-mu"


yummy. very crunchy. coated in some really-bad-for-you orange sesame glaze. very salty. very good with drinks. different parts of it had different tastes... i like the rich innards, brain, and goo tasting parts. dunno what it actually is? in chinese it's "蟹膏" ?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

mort the tort eats

so i've been really really busy these days and my camera charger is up in LA (where i am not) so haven't been keeping track much. been eating a lot of salads, and tons of seasonal fruits. figs, raspberries, srawberries, peaches, concord grapes, watermelon, regular grapes, mangoes, etc. mort has also been enjoying the fruit.

here's a video of him eating bananas...

p.s. how convenient for me that qqq stole the video and it is already up.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

lotus root soup and mango sticky rice

home-cookin' style soup. don't have all the ingredients my mom uses for this, but i make do..


4 fresh lotus root bulbs
handful of dried shitake mushrooms stems trimmed and reconstituted
handful of soaked and rinsed dried foxnuts (i have no idea what they are)
1 lb of mysterious "Prok For Stew" (i usually use shoulder. pretty much anything except for superlean expensive loins and chops will do =)

broke apart the bulb segments from eachother to wash out any mud that may be in the holes. dumped everything in a large pot including some of the mushroom water (watch out for the sediment) and covered with water. brought to boiling on med-high heat and skimmed off the frothy gunk. reduced heat to low and simmered for an hour and a half (my mom uses a slow cooker overnight) salt to taste. after cooking, i sliced up the root to serve with the soup. and as with most soups, it takes about a day for the flavors to get really good.


mangos with steamed coconut glutinous rice

2 cups glutinous rice
1 can of coconut milk
.5 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

first time trying out a south asian recipe. been craving this dessert for weeks, but going out to restaraunts is too expensive for this cheapskate! soaked the "lo mai" (not regular rice. it's sole as "sticky" or "sweet" or "glutinous rice") overnight in a bowl withjust enough water to cover. the next evening, put the glass bowl in a steamer for 20 minutes. if using a bowl like me instead of leaves to hold the rice, steam for longer.. my rice came out just barely cooked. oh, i lied.. i skimped on the coconut milk b/c i didn't want a heart attack and like things on the light side. i heated in a small saucepan about 3/4 can of coconut milk and .3 cup of sugar and the salt. when the rice was done, i mixed most of it into the rice and saved some to spoon over the mangos.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a few things from august

smoked salmon and shallots with capers and lemon on rice

salmon rice

kale with garlic, apple cider vinegar, chili pepper, sugar


mishmash of leftovers plus new food. smoked salmon, capers, shallots on thickly buttered french bread. sauteed turnips and turnip greens. half a salted and peppered broiled tomato. some bruschetta for the un-special pieces of bread.

salmon bread

a bowl of really old leftover mashed potatoes and shawerma from a Mediterranean place. the kimchee is not from there.

mashed leftovers

the eggplant disaster. ok, it wasn't that bad. but don't use corn masa in place of flour to batter and panfry these. kind of gritty. there's some pork chops hidden there that've been marinated with grated onion, garlic, mustard, chili sauce, and uh, lots of other stuff. i found the recipe in Joy of Cooking for Deviled Pork Chops. i did no tuse the suggested slow cooking for and hour and a half technique suggested though.. i cooked it on the stovetop.. came out a bit tough. was very flavorful though.

eggplant disaster

kimchee, gluten and peanuts, rice

jarred and canned food

really really bitter mustard greens, egg, mozzerella on bread

the food pyramid

trader joe's chili

chili and bread

young coconut and its juice. i hacked it open with a hammer.. i left my chinese limb-chopper cleaver at home...

monkey brains