AmandaCA's Profile

Title Last Reply

How come we don't salt japanese/korean rice? or do you?

Another agree here! I researched great rice brands and bought one at our local Korean market and it was life changing. Great rice is so lovely and almost creamy. Not to mention it stays soft and supple even when cooled. So good!

about 17 hours ago
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Pairing Korean Banchan

I understand what you are saying but I know that there are some rules regarding banchan. For example you are supposed to serve only an odd number of dishes for luck. Also you want balance on the table, something spicy, warm, cool, sweet, etc. But I was looking for more direction than that if there is any.

I do know also that truly banchan, soup and rice is considered a complete meal. But as I said, some banchan seems to pair with certain dishes better than others. I have been making my own banchan for August since we are eating Korean for the month and that is why I was asking.

about 18 hours ago
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Not your average Christmas Cookie.

Sorry this reply is two years late. We had a baby and well... lol, it takes up a lot of time. Anyway, per the recipe you are supposed to bake off the cookie portion completely. I suppose you could try and bake the cookie with the fruit but since it is dried fruit I would be careful of over drying it. Also, the mixture has cornstarch in it which can only handle so much heat before breaking. But try it, it might come out great!

1 day ago
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Pairing Korean Banchan

Are there any guides for which banchan should be served with a meal?

To elaborate: I really like kimchi with galbi and I have seen recommendations for bean paste and garlic with the thin sliced pork belly that you dip in salty sesame oil. Is it just whatever you like or are there certain guidelines? I am aware of serving an odd number of dishes but nothing for flavor combinations.

1 day ago
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Soy Sauce: Does the Brand Matter?

Here is what is in a cheap soy sauce, easily distinguished by the ingredients on the label. Now, it is up to you if you don't mind eating these "ingredients" but personally, I think a few extra bucks is worth real food. From On Food and Cooking:

Nowadays, defatted soy meal, the residue of soybean oil production, is broken down—hydrolyzed—into amino acids and sugars with concentrated hydrochloric acid. This caustic mixture is then neutralized with alkaline sodium carbonate, and flavored and colored with corn syrup, caramel, water, and salt.

Apr 27, 2014
AmandaCA in General Topics

Savory Fall Favorites

I will have to try to make something like this. I am borrowing a Wild Mushroom risotto from epicurious and I thinking I will dice up some pumpkin and saute it on the side to stir in with the risotto. Thanks for this great memory.

Aug 25, 2012
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Savory Fall Favorites

I'd love a copy of the recipe for your persimmon pudding.

Aug 25, 2012
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Savory Fall Favorites

Several years ago I was at the RedHook Brewery in Washington state for dinner with a friend. I ordered this delicious butternut squash ravioli in a sage brown butter sauce and it was absolutely divine. Fall is around the corner and I am craving dishes like this: dishes that sum up the essence of fall. Recipes are great but if you just had a great meal once that seems very fall; I'd love to hear of that too. Looking for some inspiration for great meals in the months to come.

Aug 24, 2012
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Bread Baking at Home

I bought a loaf of bread at my local farmer's market. It was super delicious! I went back the next week to find out what type of bread it was. The kid working the tent said it was applesauce bread. He also recommended oatmeal bread. Does anyone have any tried and true recipes for these breads? I'd never heard of them before.

For reference they were like half wheat/half white sandwich breads with a touch of sweetness. The crumb was full of tiny bubbles that gave a pleasant spongy or bouncy texture to the bread. And the crust was a thin pale brown.

Jun 18, 2012
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Not your average Christmas Cookie.

You tart cranberry bars sound good! I think there is so much sweet stuff around during the holidays it is nice to have something with a tangy punch, would you share the recipe?

May 18, 2012
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

50 Desserts That Every Cook Should Know

Whatever I think. I didn't include Christmas cookies in my first list because I have about a dozen of those alone. But lets just say like 5 cookies, 3 cakes, 2 cheesecakes, 5 French desserts, 5 Italian, 5 pies, 5 show stoppers, 5 from Asian including India, 5 frozen, 2 something different, 3 soft desserts (like pudding or mousse) and 5 holiday specific.

I think when I first started this post I was looking for those solid dessert recipes that I may not have read or seen but that other foodies are familiar with. Also, those solid recipes that can be adapted to a number of variartions. Like the best cheesecake you have ever had but then I can top that with any sauce or decoration that fits when I serve it.

May 18, 2012
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

passion fruit recipes

When I lived in Hawaii, you would see lilikoi (passion fruit) replacing almost anything lemon or orange. I had an absolutely delectable lilikoi bar. It had a macadamia short bread crust and then lilikoi curd on top. A tropical version of the lemon bar if you will. Another interesting way was made into juice and then frozen around vanilla ice cream like an orange-creamsicle.

You can mix into mustard which is tangy with a touch of sweetness. I've had it on hot-dogs to surprisingly good effects. It goes really well with creamy desserts: mousse, souffle, cheesecake, ice cream. And of course you can make a syrup and top pretty much any dessert or breakfast sweet with it: waffles, pancakes, crepes, fresh fruit - I really love it with strawberries.

But I think of all the ways I have eaten lilikoi, my favorite is in a simple curd or jam. I used to buy the jam from a local farmer at the market.
http://artfulhawaiigirl.blogspot.com/...

I think I might love lilikoi more than chocolate and am seriously considering driving from Virginia to the southern tip of Florida just to buy some fresh ones to feed my jam and jelly fix.

May 18, 2012
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Foodie Moving to Manassas, VA

Thank you all. This is great stuff. I can't tell you how excited I am to be moving to VA. It will be quite a shock moving in October since we are coming from Hawaii but that hasn't damped my spirit.

Where do you guy go for baking supplies? Would specialty stuff (like Wondra flour, malt powder, variety flours and sugars) be available at the Wegman's in Gainesville or is there some place better?

The same for international produce/pantry items?

Apr 15, 2011
AmandaCA in Mid-Atlantic

Foodie Moving to Manassas, VA

Thanks, this is great information from both of you guys. We are looking at buying a house in Gainesville so I will definitely check out the Wegmans. We don't have those on the west coast.

It's funny you mention the wine thing as my husband and I were originally stationed in WA and did a lot of wine tasting there. Then when we were moved out to HI, it was like wine desert as the only wines you get here are imported and prices reflect as much. I also just happened to read an article on Southern wine and spirits that said that VA is now the 5th state in wine production.

Mar 23, 2011
AmandaCA in Mid-Atlantic

Foodie Moving to Manassas, VA

Hi all! My husband and I are being stationed in Manassas and I have some foodie questions I was hoping you would be able to answer.

I saw that there is a Whole Foods in DC, do you have Central Market? Are there other less expensive gourmet/organic grocers?

How's the seafood out there? We have been in Hawaii for the past 3 years and I was wondering what type of fish we would get on the Atlantic coast?

Highly recommended CSAs? Organic? I saw a few posts on this but they mostly recommended against some farms. I also saw that most deliver to the DC area which is an hour away. Any closer?

Are there any butchers within an hour or two whom you can buy grass-fed free-range beef from? We are looking to buy a 1/4 to 1/2 a cow from a reputable butcher. Same with chickens.

Any other tips of must go to restuarants or things I should know about living in Manassas and surropunding areas as a foodie. I know I have to learn to make sweet tea being in the South now. Other tips?

Thanks in advance. We're really looking forward to spending some time with you all in VA.

Mar 20, 2011
AmandaCA in Mid-Atlantic

Pry This Breast-Milk Ice Cream From My Cold, Dead ... Oh, OK, Have It

So I get WHY they confiscated it, but it does seem (at least from this article) that the donor went through proper checks to prevent contamination of the milk with communicable diseases. Other things like anti-biotics and medications, drugs and alcohol can all be transmitted through breast milk but I am sure they wouldn't have used milk containing these elements.

Being a breastfeeding mom myself I don't think there is anything wrong with breast milk ice cream if the milk is clean. Human milk is the most easily digested food for humans, contains a plethora of antioxidants and antibodies not to mention perfectly balanced fats, carbs, proteins and vitamins and minerals for ultimate absorption. Plus, my husband and I think it tastes like sweet skim-milk so its not like the flavor is bad.

I think the big problem here is just that people relate breast milk with sex or even sexual fluids which is really silly. I suppose that's why Anthony spit out the breast milk cappuccino. Because it was a STRANGER's breast milk.

As to the chef, you make a valid point. And I personally would rather eat food from your truck than from random people who have no food handler's permits or licensing, and thus can be assumed no education in food safety.

Mar 19, 2011
AmandaCA in Features

Do you have a recipe that works so well that you have no interest in trying another?

Would you be willing to share this? I am still trying to find that perfect chocolate frosting and I love chocolate cake. Pretty please? :)

Oops just saw the frosting recipe below. Can you still post the cake recipe?

Mar 18, 2011
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Sushi Sasabune: Won't Go Again

What a different experience you had from that of my husband and I. It was late on Valentine's night, which was a Monday this year. We arrived at 9:30 for our reservation at the bar. Personally, I believe if you are going to order omakase, then you should be sitting at the bar if at all possible. As the food arrived, everything was delicious and well timed. When we finished with one plate it would be almost instantly whisked away. There would be a few minutes break for my husband and I to talk about the flavors and then the chef would give us our next plate along with information on where the fish was caught and his polite recommendations for soy/no soy sauce.

When we went here, we had previously read the "sushi nazi" comments and expected a lot more attitude but none was to be seen. The head chef didn't talk much but he was always slicing fish and forming rice. At the end of the night, as they were closing, he sliced up the remainder of the fish and gave it to the dish washer (and young teen) to take home and practice with, then winked at us and made the motions of gobbling up all the fish.

We love Mitch's as well and have been there often. The fish is always delicious and fresh. For us, the main difference was just that at Mitch's they serve just the fish where as at Sasabune's they add other elements to the fish that create new flavor combination. For example both serve the New Zealand salmon but Sasabune added a thin layer of sweet kelp and toasted sesame seeds which created a whole new flavor. Both are delicious, just different.

Feb 21, 2011
AmandaCA in Hawaii

Best Local C.S.A.?

I am thinking about getting involved with a a C.S.A. around Honolulu. I've done some research and have found several different farms, most claiming to be organic. They are:

Ma'O Organic Farms
Meleana's Farm
Just Add Water
Ailani Garden's
Kahumana Organic Farm & Cafe

So which one is best? I know Ma'O is most expensive at $32 where as the rest are around $20-$25. Is it worth the extra amount? I am not worried about a drive to pick up the produce, I just want a good selection and diversity. My husband is a huge fruit guy so I am thinking about also selecting one of the fruit only options from Just Add Water in addition to the vegetables. Anyone had any experiences with these C.S.A.s?

Feb 20, 2011
AmandaCA in Hawaii

My Dinners Are Going Downhill, Help!

Thank you all for responding and helping me out. It is much appreciated and I have read everyone's comments at least twice.

After more contemplation, I think my problem seems to be that my food isn't tasting the way I want or expect it too. For example, yesterday I made apples and pork chops. Simple enough right? After searing the pork chops and moving them to the oven, I sauteed the apples in the pork drippings then added cognac, reduced it, then added chicken stock, some brown sugar and rosemary. After reducing it down until syrupy, it came out super bitter, like I burnt something but nothing was burnt!

A lot of you have said that I should return to the basics. Where should I get those basic recipes from? I have a few basic cookbooks but the recipes i have tried taste too simple for me. I can make good burgers and spaghetti and meatballs but I don't want to eat that every week. What are some good, healthy dishes that are fool proof?

Feb 04, 2011
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe?

Could you post this recipe please?

Feb 03, 2011
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Anyone have great grapefruit dessert recipes?

I was thinking this too. And if you have a curd you can make a tart. Maybe a grapefruit tart topped with sugared grapefruit segments and lime zest? I make a passionfruit curd all the time here in Hawaii.

Feb 03, 2011
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Your favorite indian food recipe!

Thanks, I also searched here on Chow and a bunch of recipes came up for the Chicken Tikka Masala, I'll have to sift through them.

Feb 03, 2011
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Your favorite indian food recipe!

I know that chicken tikka masala isn't authentic Indian but does anyone have a great reliable recipe for that? My husband and I used to love eating it at restaurants but there are no good Indian places in Hawaii.

Also, I once had a recipe that had cooked eggplant, cashews and raisins in a sauce on rice. I know that is a little vague but I think the sauce might have been made with cashews too. Any idea what that dish might be?

Feb 03, 2011
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

RECIPE REDUX: Recipes you've made 3 or more times that you love.

Yum! This sounds really good!

Feb 02, 2011
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

My Dinners Are Going Downhill, Help!

I am really struggling with dinner these days. I know I am a decent cook and I have all the tools but lately my food just isn't coming out the way it used to. I find myself struggling for inspiration.

I think it started when I bought a certain TV chef's book (we'll call him tf) and made a few recipes all of which came out horribly. I embarrassed myself and a good friend with a nasty salty meatball rendition for his birthday and made another dish which my husband passed on for a ham sandwich. Yikes! Normally I am known for my good cooking but these were disastrous. Ever since then I feel like I am losing my edge.

The food I want to cook I would call upscale comfort food or maybe bistro. I like cookbooks but I have a hard time finding books on the food I want to cook. I also have a one year old son so not a lot of time for cooking classes. We do eat a variety of things although I never really developed those "go-to recipes" but i am not afraid to try things. We enjoy Japanese, Italian, American and the occasional Mexican or Thai restaurant.

I should also say that I feel like my food is always better in the summer. Roast chicken with smashed potatoes and a corn and nectarine or caprese salad is heaven for me. I just want to make good comforting food that my husband looks forward to each night and brags about at work the next day.

Any tips, recipes, ideas or cookbooks that can help get me out of this slump? Has anyone else gone through something similar? Is it too much to want to make restaurant comfort food without cooking school?

Feb 02, 2011
AmandaCA in Home Cooking

Local Recipes?

Hey all, I am currently living in Honolulu but will be leaving the island as of the end of this year. Now, there are so many foods that I love here and I can't bare to leave them behind knowing I might never have them until I am able to visit. So, I am looking for recipes that are exactly or at least similar to the following foods:

From Yummy Korean BBQ -
Glass Noodles
Potato Salad
Teriyaki Chicken

A good malasada recipe

Mango Bread
Lilikoi Jam, Butter and Syrup (from the KCC farmer's markets)

From Goma Tei's
Curry
Shoyu Ramens and Tan Tan Ramens
Char Sui

Real Hawaiian Sweet Bread

If anyone has these recipes I would really appreciate it! Mahalo

-----
Lilikoi Cafe
67-1185 Mamalahoa Hwy Spc H143, Kamuela, HI 96743

Jan 27, 2011
AmandaCA in Hawaii

Eat Right America. Anyone attempting this?

I have to say that this is what has happened with me. I am eating more salad and I did buy more greens and beans this week. I also bought some flaxseed for my morning smoothies before I work out. So although I am not going all the way extreme, it did raise my nutrition a bit.

If that was their goal, I doubt I would have started this discussion in the first place though. It certainly seems that they are more of a "my way or the highway" type of attitude what with the scare tactics and marketing. I am 25 and of average height and weight, and I think we eat fairly healthy, but was told that I was a high risk for heart disease, diabetes and strokes. Just a touch frightening...

Jan 23, 2011
AmandaCA in Not About Food

Eat Right America. Anyone attempting this?

According to Dr. Fuhrman, it's benefits are a modern "myth." He says that an oil is still an oil and that the caloric content outweighs any benefits it may have.

This was one of his points that made me question this in the first place.

Jan 23, 2011
AmandaCA in Not About Food

Eat Right America. Anyone attempting this?

It saddens me to hear that WF is seemingly so involved in these rather extremest notions. I am sure that for some people, a healthier diet would solve some of their medical problems but that's not always the case. What about Type 1 diabetes or genetic tendencies? And healthy people can still get cancers, etc. too, i.e. Lance Armstrong.

It is well agreed though out this thread that we could all eat a little more vegetables and a little less bad stuff; which begs the question. Is there a sane website with good solid advice about nutrition and healthy eating habits that doesn't venture into crazy, marketing or scare-tactic territory?

Jan 21, 2011
AmandaCA in Not About Food