Monthly Archives: October 2014

Purple Yam Soup

Recipe as a result of: My attempt to make something Halloween-ish that is spooky and sweet but does not require baking (and I got it)

purple soup

I was in elementary school when my dad took us with him from Tokyo to San Francisco, while he was invited to attend a 6-month business training program at the headquarters of the American company he was working for. It was the first time for all of us to live outside of Japan, even for a short term. We arrived late summer, spent a hectic few weeks getting settled in, then October came around.

Halloween is fairly established and enjoyed by many in Japan nowadays, but at that time not many Japanese even heard of it unless they had been in the States. So, imagine you are in the 3rd grade, never had Halloween before, and your mom (who probably just learned what it is, too) explains to you what will happen.

This is EXACTLY how it was processed in my 8-year old brain:

Wait – Let me get this straight.

… I get to dress up.

… Then I go around neighborhood, while still being dressed up, knocking on everybody’s doors.

… And they give me candy?

NO. FREAKIN’. WAY.

I’m in!!!!!

We went back to Japan in following winter after dad completed his program, but this miraculous event was thoroughly ingrained in my memory. To this date, Halloween is my favorite holiday – It MAY be somewhat responsible for the fact that I now live in US. Continue reading

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Pozole (A love story)

Recipe modified from: Believe it or not, I found the original recipe in special edition of Self magazine (“Healthy Eating Made Easy”) – Apparently hominy is a “good carb” that helps you reduce waistline. I’ll go with that.

pozole

There is a big Latino supermarket around the corner from my house and their deli section is always busy whenever I stop by. It also has the small food court next to it where people can sit down and eat what they bought, and I noticed there is this one dish that everybody seems to be having. It’s not usual Mexican fare like Tacos or Enchilladas – It looks like a kind of meaty stew or soup. Kids are excited, women are giggly, and I have seen even toughest-looking men crack a smile on their leathery face over this steamy magical bowl of something.

For the longest time I have been dying to know which item on the menu that is. I would stalk people when they were making orders while pretending to check out the meat section nearby, but that didn’t quite work out as pretty much 100% of the time the exchange between customers and a server was in Spanish, which I don’t speak. Then I tried more straight forward approach where I walked up to the counter and attempted to order the dish myself, but somehow ended up with a bag of beef taquitos (they were delicious, nevertheless – although I’m still unsettled by the fact that my hand gesture of “bowl” could be interpretted as a long, cylinderical object). Continue reading

Avocado Chocolate Ice Cream

Recipe inspired by: My determination to resolve dilemma with mushy avocado

avocado chocolate ice cream

With the ridiculous amount of avocados I consume, I would say I have become quite proficient in projecting when they will reach desirable ripeness.  However, occasionally under rare and unusual circumstances, I miscalculate and end up with ones that are too mushy to use in salad – like this summer in LA when it was 250,000 degrees with heat wave and they went from green and firm to black and super ripe in a flash.

Fear not, though, fellow avocado lovers!  No avocados shall be wasted on us. Ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my chocolate ice cream rich and creamy with full dairy fat and full sugar (and whatever it is Häagen-Dazs puts in – If they said there is baby octopus in it, I would probably be OK with that).  And I would have been happily settled with making guacamole if this was less than decent.  Well it is actually more than decent.  As a matter of fact, I totally nailed it. Take THAT, heat wave. Continue reading