Wednesday, October 24, 2007


What's up, Doc?!

This is the gigantic carrot Lillie picked out at the Asian market. I chopped it into a million pieces and roasted them with some herbs, garlic, onions and celery under a whole spiced chicken.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Victoria found this "squid jerky" at the "skid party" this past weekend in Ft. Lauderdale with the 3 Croatti brothers. She convinced 10 people to try it - not one of them liked it. Apparently, it tasted like rotten fish and had the texture of a fruit rollup! Yum.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Caramel Apples Indeed

Tester Caramel Apples
Originally uploaded by joeywan

I was looking for some caramel apple inspiration on flickr and came across these clever offerings. Where's my caramel?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

#1 Oriental Supermarket – the Ride!

It was time for another adventure and one place I’ve been dying to take Lillie is the #1 Oriental Supermarket. This is not your average Asian market – this place is ginormous!

Not since Super 88 in Boston have I seen a market with such an impressive selection.

We quickly pushed pasted the roasted dead animals…

Lillie: “What’s THAT Daddy?”

Me: “Um…a pig?”

Lillie: “Oink oink.”

..and make our way to the heavenly produce section. I was still nervous about taking pictures in the store after the dreaded “Whole Foods Incident” so unfortunately there is only one photo.

Lillie picked out some baby Japanese eggplant, mini pickling cukes, and the world’s largest carrot. I carefully selected a sampling of one of 8 different kinds of bok choy and big bag of bean sprouts. Sadie was surprisingly quiet during the whole experience.

After the produce comes the tea aisle where we picked up some genmaicha – yummy green tea with toasted rice. The next aisle is the candy and cookie aisle and let’s just say that Lillie suddenly became much more enthusiastic.

She picked out some Hello Kitty Strawberry Pocky (of course!)

We grabbed a few more snacks in the cracker and nut aisle including a “trail” mix packed with dried whole fish! I'm going to use that for a new segment called "Will She Eat It?" Lillie is going to love that one!

We grabbed some mushroom soy sauce in sauce aisle number three. So many sauces...

By now the seafood department was filling our olfactory senses so we just made a beeline to the fishtanks.

They sell live tilapia and black sea bass along with live shrimp, crabs, lobster, etc.

I swear this one bin of cockles gives the entire store its funky aroma.

Lillie was fascinated by all the activity.

Lillie: “I love snakes!”

Me: “Those aren’t snakes. They’re live eels.”

Lillie: “No. They’re snakes.”

Maybe next time we will be brave enough to buy some fish…

like the exotic moonfish...

or the ever charming grunt fish...

or even some jelly fish heads!

We wrapped up our experience in the noodle aisle with some green tea flavored lo main. I totally forgot to pick up a bento box! Now we have to go home and cook up some grub!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gummy T-bone Steak's what's for desert

I found this while searching online for some gummy vegetable bites that the #1 Oriental Supermarket no longer carries. The veggie bites were delicious and had about 12 different vegetables listed in the ingredients including spinach and beets. They tasted mostly like carrot and orange. The fact that high-fructose corn syrup was the main ingredient no longer concerned me once I saw it was followed by a long list of nutritious veggies.

The good news is that this slab of beef tastes like strawberries. The styrofoam and shrink wrap are a nice touch.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Boston Lettuce Wraps

Healthy and decadent? Is there such a thing?

Meet the lettuce wrap.

Intense flavor, low fat, minimal carbs.

high quality ingredients make the difference

2 heads Boston Bibb lettuce

1 lb lean ground chicken

1 cup ½ inch cubed zucchini

1 cup ½ inch cubed carrots

1 cup ½ inch cubed crimini (baby bella) mushrooms

1 small (8 oz.) can cubed waterchestnuts

2 cups fresh bean sprouts

1/4 cup Harryaki sauce (recipe below)

Remove lettuce leaves, rinse, pat dry and stack. Make sure to remove any broken or "wholey" leaves.

Rinse sprouts and place in serving bowl.

Heat wok or large sauté pan to medium. Brown ground chicken, making sure to press and stir well in order to bring to relatively fine consistency. Drain and transfer to large bowl.

Heat wok to medium high. Add a splash of sesame oil and sauté the vegetables. Add the cubed carrots first - they are the most dense and will take longer to cook than the others. Move around every 30 seconds to insure even browning. After the carrots begin to caramelize on a few sides (about 3 minutes), add the cubed zucchini. Use the same technique and then add the mushrooms. The veggies should cook for about 10 minutes. Make sure the pan is hot enough that most of the moisture is cooking off the veggies. You want them to be firm - not mushy. Throw in the drained waterchestnuts right at the end so they stay nice and crunchy.

Reduce wok to medium. Return ground chicken to the pan and mix well with veggies. Stir in Harryaki sauce and sauté a few more minutes making sure to cook garlic and ginger thoroughly. Stir well to combine all the flavors. Transfer to large bowl.

Serve with Boston Bibb lettuce leaves, sprouts, and Percy Wants a Peanut sauce. Enjoy!

Harryaki Sauce

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/2 tsp roasted peanut oil

1 tsp honey

Whisk together ingredients until thoroughly blended. I usually make a gallon batch of this stuff and have it on hand at all times. That recipe is on the way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Percy Wants a Peanut Sauce

swedish chef loves percy's p-nut sauce. bork bork!

This versatile sauce works its way into many of our favorite fun dishes. Toss with chilled buckwheat noodles and add to a ginger salad with some grilled Harryaki chicken. Use as a dipping sauce for Boston lettuce wraps, Vietnamese summer rolls, or baked Harryaki wings. Recipes forthcoming...

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/4 cup of hot water

1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Juice from 1/2 a lime

1 tbsp honey

1/2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp ketchup (trust me)

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp onion powder

Blend hot water and peanut butter. Whisk in remaining ingredients until creamy and smooth.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

random pickle image

pickle puppet onstage

I ran a few image searches for the word "pickle" while doing some research for the blog and I was surprised at just how many funny pickle pictures there are out there. Just make sure your "safe search" is enabled. ;) I decided to save a few and randomly post them as we go along. I like this guys little pickle nose...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Insalata Caprese Dorata

Lillie and the biggest bite ever

October is here!

The leaves are starting to change and hot apple cider is in the mug…

Who am I kidding!? Here in Central Florida, we can finally go outside again without melting! It was one HOT summer indeed.

While everyone else is thinking pumpkin, we are fixated on locally grown Zellwood corn and ripe heirloom tomatoes. Grab a sweet tea and meet me on the lanai!

Heirloom tomatoes, smoked bufala mozzarella and roasted golden beets
topped with basil chiffonade, cracked pepper
and a blackberry balsamic vinagrette

Insalata Caprese Dorata

(golden caprese salad)

This charming simple salad is my variation of the famous Capri-style offering from the Campania region of Italy. The smoked mozzarella adds a little heartiness and complexity. The sweet and mild golden beets bring an earthiness and more texture to the salad. Lillie gobbled this one up!

1 heirloom tomato – sliced 1/4 inch

6-8 1/4 inch slices of smoked buffala mozzarella

1 roasted golden beet - sliced 1/4 inch (recipe below)

1 tbsp basil chiffonade

Cracked pepper to taste

Blackberry balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

ready for my drizzle....

Arrange alternating slices of the tomato, mozzarella and beets in a wide circle on the plate. Add a light layer of the basil and drizzle on the vinaigrette. Finish with some cracked pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 cup Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 small shallot

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp cracked pepper

Slowly add vinegar to olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Add remaining ingredients and whisk again until fully combined. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour (preferably overnight) to let the flavors combine. Shake well before serving.

Roasted Golden Beets

3 Golden Beets

Aluminum foil

Golden beets are worth tracking down. They are a little sweeter and less “beety” than your traditional red beets. If you have never had fresh beets, give them a shot. They are nothing like their bitter and intensely flavored canned beet relatives.

I used to boil my beets until I came across this technique. I love the richer, sweeter flavor the roasting imparts.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut off greens and vigorously wash each beet. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and place in oven for 45 minutes. Remove when center is soft – use a skewer to test. Let cool, remove from foil and peel off thin layer of skin – it should slide right off with your fingers.

happy salad girl