Oct 19 Menu

I will have to take a brief pause from menu writing until after the closing of our new house - Oct. 31. So, please check back sometime in mid-November.

I am sorry to all my fans. I know you're out there. Don't try to deny it.

Oct 12 Menu

On Sunday, I had the bitter-sweet opportunity to have dinner at our friends who will soon be moving to Los Angeles. Bitter because they're moving to Los Angeles. Sweet because we had some great braised chicken, broiled acorn squash, and steamed artichokes. The chicken was pot braised with thin slices of ginger and a hoisin like sauce, which I didn't ask but will next time. The acorn squash was put in a bath of water until tender and then baked high with butter and brown sugar, making a nice crystalline crust. The artichoke was simply cut, steamed, and delicious.

Well, this week, I have to continue relying on some impromptu cooking as I continue to trudge through the purchase of our home. We finally did arrive at a P&S and now the going really gets going. We need to budget, budget, and budget, and the banks don't want to have any fun in this. They are as straight laced as they come and in fact BofA reneged on their offer to me regarding an FHA program. A program that promised all the goods but a program that couldn't deliver a closing date. What good is a program that can't deliver on the closing date? So I am in a scrambling mode, trying my best to piece together the pieces so that I can find a lender.

Tonight, we have some oxtail brewing in the slow cooker, so you can bet that is tomorrow's dinner. On Tuesday, I'll take advantage of the local farmer's market and bring home some hearty vegetables, ala our friend's dinner this Sunday. We'll also be having some fried fish and korean side dishes, as that is in our fridge. And of course, I have thinly sliced beef for the favorite gyu-don.

Oh, and going forward, I'll be bringing lunch to work now, to save money for this house.

Oct 5 Menu

Are we buying or not? That is the question that has been putitng me into knots for the past week. Our offer to purchase a 2 family in belmont was accepted about two weeks ago and still I don't have a signed P&S. The sellers have been less than straightforward is all I can say and they are lucky we're still around. I'm practically bending over backwards for them. If we don't get anywhere soon, I'm going to have to part ways and search for another - it's ridiculous that at this point in the negotiation, the Seller is not laying down their cards and calling a spade a spade.

So all of the above, of course, is another excuse for not having a menu for another week. It is tough, I tell you, to juggle a daughter, work, and house buying. And then on the weekends, we're trying to spend as much of it as possible with our friends who, much to our dismay, will be leaving for the sunny shores of southern Los Angeles. I think I'm still in denial.

And to top it all off, we went to HMart again this week. That means a lot of stuff was bought, much of which only my wife knows what to do with. HMart was packed, even on a Saturday night. But it seems the taste testers were not out and the grand opening sales have fallen off a bit. The food court vendors still had ridiculously long lines - for $15 short rib plates. A bit too steep for my taste.

What will this week bring? Lots of gyu-don, oden (fish cake) noodle soup, oxtail soup (not sick of it yet), and perhaps a pasta dish with the mushroom and beef.

Sept 28 Menu

The korean supermarket chain, HMart, opened this Friday. Highly anticpated by us, and probably the rest of the korean community, we were not disappointed. As expected, the aisles were packed, not only with shoppers, but demonstration tables, and ridiculously low prices on many items. Live lobsters were $5 a lb, huh? I don't think these prices will stick around for much longer, but I'm sure they'll remain competitive. The HMart is up in Burlington, where the Middlesex turnpike meets US-95 - http://maps.google.com/?q=9+Old+Concord+Rd+Burlington,+MA+01803&ie=UTF8&ll=42.473537,-71.20928&spn=0.008024,0.014248&t=h&z=16&iwloc=A.

Anyways, you can imagine, we went without a menu and then bought tons of food. So this week, my wife and I will try to do an impromptu so that I can focus on finding a recipe for this coming weekend's apple bake-off challenge.

But if you want to know, we're having ox-tail soup again and I'll try to do the bak haddock from last week.

Sept 21 Menu

These past few weeks have been frantic, at best. Mother visiting from Vegas really knocked me off the wagon. The sore neck, which turns out to be a pinched nerve. Tomorrow is my daughter's baptism. And I have this huge monkey on my back to buy a house. Oh my! So I've been late with the postings and I apologize.

At any rate, this week we'll have to resort to the real fast and easy menus since I suspect my time will be very limited.

Monday - Oxtail Soup
  • Before mad cow, I was a nut for this soup. Now, I'm dipping my toe back in the water since I haven't heard anything of late regarding mad cow. No, everything's about H1N1.
  • Very easy, rinse ox tail, drain and boil in new water; add garlic, onions, salt, green onions. It is a clear broth korean recipe. Serve with kimchee and rice.
Tuesday - Oxtail Soup
  • Rinse and repeat. Just kidding, usually when I make this soup, it goes for a day or two, like curry.
Wednesday - Eggplant, Prawns, Soy sauce
Thursday - Baked Haddock
Friday - Sushi?
  • I think I'm only supposed to have one serving a month, right? Because of mercury levels.
  • Oh well, I have a craving.
Shopping List for me:
  • Meats, Poultry, Fish - ox tail, prawns, haddock fillets
  • Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs - eggplant, thai chili, shallots
  • Other - Ritz crackers
Shopping List Addtl:
  • Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs - potatoes
  • Other - Ritz crackers

Sept 14 Menu

After a week full of home-made mother's korean cooking, you just don't feel like you're doing anything right in the kitchen. At any rate, I got a late start on posting the menu since mother left Sunday morning and the rest of the day was spent trying to figure out if we will ever move out of this small apartment. And for this week, mother left several tupperware worth of korean food, mostly for our daughter, but more than good enough for us. Our daughter doesn't eat much anyways. So, this week's menu will be really specific to our present circumstances with all the korean food in the refrigerator.

Monday & Tuesday - Japanese Curry Rice
  • Round up some chicken or beef, add diced vegetables like carrots, squash, bell peppers, even celery, add some water to boil, add curry cubes, let simmer.
  • Don't forget to cook up rice.
  • Mother's korean food.
Wednesday - Miso Soup, Rice
  • Boil water, add diced tofu, add some vegetables like sprouts and spinach, add miso paste, let simmer.
  • Don't forget to cook up more rice.
  • Mother's korean food redux.
Thursday - Bibimbap
  • Cook up rice and let cool.
  • Take all of Mother's korean food and mix.
  • Serve with kimchee.
Friday - Sushi
  • Yes, another favorite. I frequent a place called Hana Sushi on Mass Ave right after Porter Square.
  • Good service, good sushi, low key.

August 31 Menu

Actually, no menu. My neck and back has now been in a state of pain for five weeks now. I will take a respite from cooking. We did buy "stuff" and I'll let you know what comes of it. Other than that, I will see you in two weeks since my mother will be visiting next week and every time she does, the kitchen becomes hers. I think it's a mother thing.

August 24 Menu

This will be another week of improvisation. Last week we randomly searched the store. This week, we will attempt to clean out the freezer. So, hopefully these dishes will lend themselves from taking frozen food to the dinner table in "30 minutes." Just kidding, just thawing the sucker will be require some time.

Monday - Sausage, Kale, and Beans
  • When I was first introduced to this dish, I guess I went overboard with the sausages. So, I have frozen that my wife wants out.
  • The recipe, again, is easy as can be. Gut an italian sausage, add some garlic and olive oil, stir fry til the meat is done, then add the beans and kale for additional cooking.
Tuesday - Sausage & Shrimp Jambalaya
Wednesday - Dashi, Fish Cake, and Soba
  • Every korean families' freezer is bound to have some fish cake in the freezer, also known as oden. Please folks, these things do not last forever.
  • Prepare some dashi, add in the fish cake, add in some vegetables, cook up some noodles (soba, udon).
  • Break out that side of kimchi - another thing that in my taste lasts just shy of forever.
Thursday - Pesto Pasta
  • Thai food take out - we love this place called Roddee in Brookline. We're also partial to Sweet Ginger in Union Square because it's close to one of our friends/playdate buddy's house. Their moving in about a month to a foreign country called Orange County, so we should probably visit Sweet Ginger as much as possible.
Shopping List for me:
  • Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs - fresh seasonal fruits, onions, bell peppers, kale
  • Fish, Poultry, Meat - shrimp

August 17 Menu

Alas, I neglected to mention that this week we are going sans menu. My wife and I thought it would be fun, and a good summer respite, to just drop into our neighborhood grocers and pick out things at random. We ended up with a box of mangos, jicama, corn, chicken, various greens, cilantro, and yogurt. We've also been busy trying to find a house, so I've been spending countless hours in the evenings and weekends to find one. And my 16 month old daughter is taking all the car trips in stride, although we coax her with a box of raisins every now and then.

Monday and Tuesday - My wife conjured up a stir-fried rice dish with some peculiar looking mushrooms. She also used a mandolin to make a sumptuous mango jicama salad with cilantro and olive oil. Taste was fantastic.

Wednesday - I sliced up the chicken and used the leftover mangos for a mango chicken thai dish, http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipes/r/mangochicken.htm based on this recipe.

Thursday - we switched Friday night take-out to Thursday.

Friday - I came home to a fantastic soba noodle and fish cake stew brewed in a just right dashi.

I could get used to a week like this, especially the way my neck and back is going - four weeks now, no?

August 10 Menu

We had a wonderful beach day that started with a hefty lunch at the Village in Essex with good friends. Fried clams, lobster rolls, clam chowdas, broiled fish, etc. The day almost had me forget about my stiff neck, which has been plaguing me for two weeks straight now. I'll be going to the doctors just to be safe it isn't Lyme disease. In the meantime, I'm going to have to revisit some favorites since it pains me to sit in my typing position.

Monday - Broiled Fish
  • Nice and easy - salt, olive oil, maybe lemon.
  • Rice and some edamem beans and vegetables.
  • Save the left over fish for Wednesday's fried rice dish.
Tuesday - Gyudon
Wednesday - Fried Rice and Greens
  • If you have left over rice, fish, and beef, it'll be perfect (substitute the spam in the recipe with your leftovers). Have the rice at room temperature to make this dish work.
  • http://korean-cuisine.blogspot.com/2008/10/bokeum-bap-fried-rice.html
  • Separately, take greens, add chopped garlic, some oyster sauce, little salt and pepper, and call it a day.
Thursday - Sausage, Kale, Beans
  • Serve with rice or pasta.
  • I've done this dish with sweet and hot italian sausage and I prefer the hots.
  • Remove casings and put sausage into pan. Add garlic and olive oil. Add beans once sausage is cooked through. Add kale to cook.
Friday - Takeout!

  • Finally, something different, right? Maybe some good thai food.

Shopping List for me:

  • Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs - carrots, brocolli, kale
  • Meats, Poultry, Fish - whole fish, sukiyaki sliced beef, hot italian sausage
  • Dairy, Eggs, Cheese - eggs, milk
  • Frozen - edamame, peas, corn
  • Other - protein powder

Shopping List Addtl:

  • Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs - ginger
  • Grains, Beans, Canned - white beans
  • Specialty - hondashi

August 3 Menu

Last week was hot, weather wise. But what really bothers me about Boston summers, unlike my fond memories of Las Vegas summers in high school, is that it is humid. Then imagine an apartment with no central a/c and hopefully you can sympathize with us and understand why we didn't get around to cooking up last week's braised monk fish, nor the soft tofu stew, or the fried rice. Frankly, we resorted to spinning the chicken soup into several days and added a pasta dish to break up the monotony. This got me thinking that this coming week, we should look for recipes that don't require turning on the oven. Here's a few, and if the weather keeps at it this way, you'll see more each week.

Monday - Ceviche Tacos
  • You just got to love fish - it's versatility just amazes me. It's ease of preparation just makes you smile. The flavor - well, distinctive, if not delicious for some people. I'm convinced that people who don't like fish grew up without ever trying good fish.
  • http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mexican-Ceviche-Tacos-354303
  • A lot of great fresh vegetables and citrus flavor just for the summer.
  • I might put the jalapenos on hold.
  • Pair with a fresh fruit salad?
  • Oh, and this is my gazpacho substitute.
Tuesday - Ham, Manchego, Fig Tartine and Avocado Soup
Wednesday - Navy Bean Nicoise
Thursday - Pesto Pasta
Friday - Pizza!
  • Finally my wife did something that measures up to my goofball passport debacle.
  • So, we'll call it even and celebrate with pizza. Maybe even bon chon next week.
Shopping List for me:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - tomatoes (5), red onions (2), romaine lettuce, avocado (4), cilantro, fresh seasonal fruits, dill, lemon
  • Meat, Chicken, Fish - sushi grade fish, prosciutto
  • Milk, Dairy, Tofu, Eggs - butter, manchego, buttermilk
  • Grains, Breads - baguette
  • Frozen, Canned - green beans, navy beans, pesto
  • Other - lime juice, lemon juice, canned jalapenos, taco shells, salsa, dressing
Shopping List Addtl:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - potatoes, baby spinach, parsley, basil
  • Meat, Chicken, Fish - shrimp (optional)
  • Milk, Dairy, Tofu, Eggs - eggs

Notes of the week:
1. Salmon Ceviche couldn't be better. I wouldn't change or modify any part of that recipe.
2. The avocado soup was good, but for those less adventurous folk, you'll constantly wonder if you're having soup or guacamole.

July 27 Menu

Due to an unforeseen and very much unfortunate set of circumstances, we did not go to London last week. And I riase my hand solely in a "mea culpa" and hope my daughter will be able to forgive me when she gets old enough to realize what she missed out on. And of course, my wife has forgiven me, or rather, has extended to me a bargain that I couldn't refuse - ten years of servitude, to put it bluntly. So this week's menu is going to be all korean, and this may be a regular thing, as that is her favorite menu of choice.

On a side note, if you are bemused by this little blog, I would suggest another that I have started: www.hybridskeptic.blogspot.com. This blog is a result of a contest that Lexus is running, the winner of which will be able to test drive their new hybrid for a year. When we first bought our car, an RX350, we quickly dismissed the hybrid version because of the fact that the cost clearly outweighed the slight environmental benefits. Lexus promises this version to be different, and I'm willing to take them up on on their promise and see if they really deliver - on all fronts. So, if you believe in what I'm proposing, please vote for me.

Without further ado, here's this week menu (and I apologize that I'm posting this on Sunday, probably well after everyone's done their grocery shopping for the week). All dishes come with rice, I mean served with rice.

Monday - Sam Gae Tang (Chicken Soup)
  • http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/samgyetang
  • I've had this menu on before. If you don't have the dates, feel free to use any dried fruits. I've used apricots once and it was fine. You can also leave it out. Hopefully, you'll have some leftover ginseng root from last time.
  • You can always opt to get the prepackaged sam gae tang herbs/ spices at the local korean grocer.

Tuesday - Soft Spicy Tofu Stew

  • http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/soondubu-jjigae
  • Don't be afraid of "spicy." Like many things, it's in the eye of the beholder - just tone down the hot pepper flakes.
  • Also, this dish can be 100% vegetarian, as I have had it that way many times.
Wednesday - Braised Monkfish

Thursday - Leftover Fried Rice

  • So, after having cooked up Yang Chow Fried Rice, I've come to the realization that fried rice can really be an incredibly flexible dish. So, I'm proposing to take the left over monk fish to make fried rice.
  • Follow the Yang Chow Fried Rice recipe, but use monk fish instead of the salty fish. You can also skip the shrimp because the monk fish is going to bring a lot of salty/ spicy flavor.
  • http://www.nibbledish.com/people/chaditz/recipes/yang-chow-fried-rice

Friday - Pizza?

  • Probably only if I beg.

Shopping List Addtl:

  • Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs - summer fruits and vegetables, shitake mushrooms, soybean sprouts,
  • Meats, Poultry, Fish - whole chicken, monkfish
  • Dairy, Cheese, Egg, Tofu - tofu, eggs
  • Frozen - Peas
  • Specialty - dates, ginseng root, kelp

July 20 Menu

We'll be on vacation this week in London, returning Wednesday. In the mean time, I thought I could suggest the following website which I will crib from again in the near future. This is where I got my carne asada recipe a while back.


Have a great week, friends.

July 13 Menu

We will be off to London on Friday, making this an abbreviated week and one without my wife, who's traveling on business. Hence, to serve this predicament, my friends helped me come up with a theme that I think later on should be revisted to consider more recipes. The theme of the week will be recipes that taste better on the second day. Two popped up immediately. First, my friend offered her own recipe of sweet italian sausages, kale, and white beans. The second is japanese curry. And that's all there is too it. I'll be serving rice with each meal, which is great for my daughter because these days her favorite is seaweed wrapped rice - virgin sushi.

Monday - Sausage, Kale, White Beans
  • Remove casings for sweet italian sausages into pan of chopped garlic clove and olive oil. Once cooked, add kale and rinsed white beans (canned). Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Serve with rice or some pasta.
  • Of course, this is probably not the first recipe that comes to people's minds, but my wife had already bought a couple of pounds of sweet italian because they were on sale at WholeFoods.
Tuesday - Cold Sausage, Kale, White Beans
  • Unpack into a plate of greens if desired.
  • Side of warm rice is nice too.
Wednesday - Japanese Curry
  • We've had this one on before and this menu really does get better on the second day.
  • Gather up a meat, some potatoes, carrots, onions, and of course, the box of japanese curry. Following the box directions is all you need. Some also add hand made apple sauce for additional texture and flavor.
  • If possible, use up the burdock root and make some miso soup, again this will be better tomorrow too.
Thursday - Japanese Curry v. 02
  • Just reheat, nothing special necessary.
  • I forgot to mention kimchi, that tastes better on the second day too. Actually, waiting a year makes it vintage.
Friday - Off to London
  • A 16 month old on a five hour flight, with only one seat to share between us. Many have already forewarned us that we will regret the one seat. Ah well.
  • She's been an angel so far in the all the flights we've taken her on. I think this is where the lucky streak comes to an end.
  • Pray for us!
Shopping list for me:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - kale, zucchini, carrots, corn, seasonal fruits
  • Canned, Bakery - canned white beans
Shopping list addtl:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - potatoes
  • Specialty - japanese curry cubes

July 6 Menu

Many apologies for the delay. We had a packed Independence Day weekend, so I didn't quite find time to post.

This week, it's chicken, chicken, chicken. I believe I had mentioned that I had a good friend who loves chicken. So, in his honor, we're going to try having chicken this whole week. Of course, we'll have to ease into it. Also, my friend's favorite is fried chicken, but without a deep fryer, I'll have to resort to a chicken bake, sorry. But I assure you, it's good.

Monday - Chicken Katsu
Tuesday - Chicken Caesar Salad
Wednesday - Sam Gae Tang (Korean style chicken soup)
Thursday - Oven Fried Chicken
Friday - Pizza!
  • Oh, how I crave for pizza from Pepe's in New Haven. I'm kicking myself for not having stopped by during my 10th reunion a month ago. Darn!
Shopping List for me:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - salad mix, fresh vegetables & fruits, potatoes
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish - chicken breasts (1 lb), pre-chopped chicken
  • Dairy, Juice - buttermilk
  • Grains, Pasta - macaroni
  • Breads - french baguette
  • Condiments - Casesar dressing, dijon mustard
Shopping List Addtl:
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish - chicken tenderloins, cornish hens (or whole chicken)
  • Dairy, Juice - shredded cheeses for macaroni
  • Grains, Pasta - sweet rice
  • Other, Specialty Grocery - ginseng root, chestnuts, red dates (or korean stores have a pre-packaged sam gae tang ingredients pack)
Notes of the week:
1. It was great to have our friends over for the culminating menu of oven fried chicken. I also stirred up some bonchon style chicken sauce of ginger-garlic-soy-honey which came out better than expected. What didn't come out was my feeble attempt at a double fry method to mimic the bonchon. Already against me was that my chicken was skinless, so it kind of defeated the double fry purpose. Second, I didn't watch the temperature too well on the second fry - oops!
2. Salad for dinner really leaves one craving for more.
3. A week of chicken was less torturous than I thought it would be.

June 29 Menu

Last minute plans have us going away this weekend preceding the menu, so I've been forced to resort to a website a friend referred to me some time ago and which I linked to last week. This was going to be a chicken themed week for a good friend of ours that is known to be more than an aficionado of the fine feathered friend - fried, baked, steamed, broiled, etc. But I guess we'll do that next week and that'll be good since they're on vacation themselves and it wouldn't be the same if they didn't come over. So without much ado, this week we'll do pasta!


I'm not a big fan of pasta dishes (especially as stand alone dinner dishes in themselves which my Italian friends would never "sit" for), but it defintely brings simplicity and taste together in every meal. Also, as I experienced when doing a japanese theme week many moons ago, being focused on a particular cuisine makes the most efficient use of resources. And most importantly, our daughter very much enjoyed the fettucine alfredo like we've never witnessed before.

Like rice for asian cuisine, let's make sure there's a simple salad at every meal (or antipasta if you're really up to it).

Monday - Penne, Salmon, Arugula, Chives

Tuesday - Ravioli with Roasted Zucchini

Wednesday - Hot Italian Sausage and Pasta

Thursday - Last Minute Lasagna

Friday - Definitely bon chon chicken.

  • Although, my wife is finding more reasons to ban fried foods from the menu. This may be my last bon chon in a good while.
  • So long, bon chon. It is so oxymoronic, I can't let it go, can I?

Shopping List for me:

  • Pasta - penne, fettucine, fresh ravioli
  • Meat, Poultry, Seafood - salmon, hot italian sausage
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - arugula, chives, spinach, basil, mixed-greens, red onion, yellow cherry tomatoes, zucchini, flat leaf parsley, lemon, fresh seasonal fruit
  • Dairy, Juice, Eggs - Shredded mozarella, eggs,
  • Grains, Breads - pine nuts
  • Frozen Foods - cheese ravioli

Shopping List Addtl:

  • Dairy, Juice, Eggs - grated parmesan
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - garlic
  • Frozen Foods - chopped spinach
Notes of the week:
1. Be gentle when mixing ingredients in a fish dish.
2. For the lasagna dish, we tried a frozen soy filled wheat ravioli which should give me tons of health food cred. The fact that I ate it and really didn't think twice about it is probably due to the amount of real mozarella cheese I used and the somewhat over powering amount of canned pasta sauce.
3. It is very difficult for us to have pasta dishes straight for one week. There are tons of leftovers which I'm afraid will be tossed.

June 22 Menu

I'm not feeling inspired these days. So, this week it'll be so-so, and I do feel bad, especially since I left everyone scratching their heads for two weeks. Perhaps, we'll take a trip down to my childhood home, downtown Los Angeles, this week. Friends, if you have some time, let me know what foods you remember from your adolescent days, and I'll incorporate it into a menu so that we can all share in the memory. Please, friends, inspire me!!!

Monday - Gyudon (Beef Bowl), Miso Soup, Steamed Vegetables
  • As an adolescent in LA, I used to frequent this japanese fast food restaurant called Yoshinoya and their "big mac" was the beef bowl. Then I took my daughter to a nearby sushiya a week ago and set a small plate of this in front of her and she transformed before my eyes and started gorging on it. I took the rest home and she did it again at dinner. Whoa, the power of japanese food.
  • http://japaneserecipe.blogspot.com/2006/05/beef-bowl.html
  • Be sure not to get expensive beef, you really need the cheap stuff here to make it taste authentic. Geez, I hope wholefoods has it, but knowing them, it may be beneath them.
  • Also, if you want to make your own dashi, then go here http://japanesefood.about.com/od/soup/a/aboutdashisoup.htm and replace the water and the hondashi ingredients called for in the recipe with this dashi. Also, it may be obvious, but use the leftover dashi base for the miso soup.
  • Top with red pickled ginger.
  • For vegetables, whatever is in season.
Tuesday - Soft Tacos and Steamed Corn
  • I lived near the corner of Union Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, and you couldn't walk more than two blocks before running into a taco truck. Back in those days, you would get two for $2.
  • http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/carne_asada/
  • After the tacos, I would make my way to the corn woman. She sold steamed corn smothered with butter, mayo, paprika, parmesan cheese, and a bit of lime juice, if I remember correctly. If you don't believe me, see this:
  • http://www.mccormick.com/Recipes/Vegetables/Mexican-Style-Corn-on-the-Cob.aspx
  • Always have avocado and sour cream handy.
  • Oh, and chop and prep vegetables for tomorrow's dish.
Wednesday - Noodles in Black Bean Sauce
  • If you have a critical mass of koreans, then you will have a chinese korean restuarant that serves noodles in black bean sauce. I've had this recipe on here before, so now we can use up the leftover black bean paste.
  • In fact, for the longest time, I didn't realize that our neighborhood chinese restaurant was not really chinese food. It's like how some people think shopping mall chinese food is chinese.
  • And, I would usually order a plate of kung pao shrimp, but without a deep fryer, I'll save that recipe for a later time.
  • http://www.maangchi.com/recipes/jjajangmyun
  • I will warn everyone to prep a day ahead with chopping vegetables. It can get tedious. Oh, and this dish is usually served in a bowl, not a plate.
Thursday - Fettucine Alfredo with Broccolini
  • If you couldn't tell already, I didn't have the most worldy upbringing. It was basically either fast food, street food, or korean. I never had authentic italian food at a restaurant, nonetheless, until I was about 7 or 8. For my older sister's graduation, my sister suggested an Italian restaurant on Melrose Street. I can still remember the white trellis gateway we went through and the first taste of chocolate mousse. Even to this day, I try not to eat chocolatte mousse unless it is a very special occasion. Weird, I know, but what's even more weird is how many special occasions there are in an average week.
  • I can't seem to remember the exact dish I had that day, simply because I probably had no idea of what I was eating. In fact, the reason why I remember the mousse so fondly is because the actual dinner was pretty much uninteresting to me at that time. So instead, here's a link to fettucine alfredo, probably one of the first recipes I learned. My older sister taught me this recipe so that I would never go hungry if I lived by myself. She's such a forward thinker - but as life would have it, I have never lived alone in my entire life. I have always had roommates of one kind or another.
  • http://www.recipezaar.com/Better-Than-Olive-Garden-Alfredo-Sauce-141983
Friday - Leftovers
  • And if there aren't any, then Pizza!
Shopping List for me:

  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - shitake mushrooms (or get dried ones), seaonal vegetables, cilantro, limes, asian radish, cucumber, broccolini
  • Meats, Fish, Poultry - thinly sliced beef, flank steak 2 lb, pork belly 1/2 lb
  • Dairy, Eggs, Juice - orange juice, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, heavy cream
  • Condiments - fresh tomato salsa
  • Specialty - kombu (dried kelp), red pickled ginger, corn tortillas, udon type noodles for jiajiang myun
Shopping List Addtl:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - zucchini, sweet potato
  • Specialty - black bean paste
Notes of the week:
1. When making dashi, try not to forget to sieve out the bonito flakes - duh?
2. Nobody has the right sliced beef for the beef bowl - but we still enjoyed it. And note, the proportions in the recipe are really not that accurate.
3. Pita does make an acceptable substitution for the corn tortillas, but it definitely interferes with trying to get those memories to come rolling back. Great carnitas recipe, by the way.
4. Something about the black bean noodle dish just didn't come out right. I'll have to compare with other recipes out there, but my wife thinks it lacks sugar. I can't believe it sugar.
5. My daughter devoured the alfredo. Was it the 1/2 cup of butter? The additional heavy cream? The loads of mozarella cheese? And if not all that, the parmesan cheese?

June 15 Menu

It is great to be back and scouring for delicious meals again. Boy, the past two weeks were tough - just being away from my wife and daughter was a hardship. I just hope I pass and don't have to start all over again. It is bad enough that there are three parts to the exam. At any rate, my wife is off to Abu Dhabi once again and she has requested that I be more focused on Sydney's food since she hasn't been too happy about my prior meals ("who feeds babies black bean soup? chili?"). So here are some toddler recipes that I hope Sydney loves.

Monday - Rotisserie Chicken and Rice
  • If you give her a drumstick, my daughter could spend hours gnawing on it.
  • So, this isn't really a menu as it is more of a pick-up take-out kind of thing.
  • Prepare some rice with peas the night before in a rice cooker then pick up a rotisserie from whole foods on the way back from daycare.
  • If you bought fresh fish on Sunday and want to use it up ASAP, move the Thursday miso cod recipe to Monday and move this recipe out to Thursday. That'll give you a chance of making a second mid-week grocery list as well since you have to pick up the rotisserie - and, if you have left over fish, you can use it for tomorrow's Yang Chow Fried Rice.
Tuesday - Yang Chow Fried Rice
Wednesday - Cold Soba Nooldes
  • My daughter's always had a thing for noodles, so this should be right up her alley.
  • http://weelicious.com/tag/asian-recipes/ and prep the sauce the night before.
  • I believe my wife made this once, as an impromptu thing, when we found out how much our daughter loved soba noodles. I guess mothers do have this magical way of just mixing things up to make dinner.
Thursday - Miso Cod and Miso Soup
  • Every time we go to a sushi restaurant, our daughter wants soup.
  • Again, prep the rice (add peas for fun).
  • http://weelicious.com/tag/japanese-recipes/
  • Note, move this recipe to Monday if you bought fresh fish on Sunday.
Friday - Pizza!
  • Or bon chon chicken? Geez, it's hard to decide these days.
Grocery List for me:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - red bell pepper, shitake mushrooms, carrots, seasonal fruits
  • Meat, Poultry, Seafood - shrimp (medium), cod (1 1/2 lbs), tofu
  • Dairy, Cheese - american slice for daughter, mozzarella sticks
  • Frozen - peas, edamame
  • Premade - rotisserie chicken
  • Condiments - agave (or maple syrup)
  • Other - dryer sheets, ice cream
Grocery List Addtl:
  • Vegetables, Herbs - ginger
  • Bread, grains, baking - rice
  • Specialty - red miso paste, bonito flakes, kelp
Notes of the Week:
1. It was a good idea to move the miso cod to Monday and use the leftovers for Yang Chow Fried Rice. Both dishes were thoroughly enjoyed by my daughter. Also, go easy on the rice wine for the miso cod. Finally, the miso cod recipe isn't anything near nobu fare, but it was still good. Is it the recipe or the chef?
2. Nix the cold soba noodle recipe from my memory bank. I should have been skeptical when the recipe called for peanut or almond butter.
3. Yang Chow Fried rice is really a great recipe, go easy on the ginger. And I also haven't figured out a good way to cut the chinese sausage so that my daughter can really eat it. She's 15 months old and all her teeth haven't set in yet.

May 25 and June 1 Menus

For this week and and next, I will have to take a small sabbatical to attend to my exams this coming June 6th.  So for those who were looking forward to a menu, please accept my apologies.  We'll be up and running again after two weeks, so the second week of June.  For those that are wondering where the heck I am these days, also accept my apologies.  I've been chaining myself up to any desk I can find.  Meanwhile, my wife has come back from Abu Dhabi to a rather grouchy 14 month old.  Well, I'll have to get her tons of flowers after the exam.

In the meantime, maybe now's a good time to try that Disney menu?

May 18 Menu

What would we do without friends? Probably not much, especially this week. I've asked a few of my friends to help me out for this week's menu and asked what they usually resort to for a quick dinner meal. Based on the responses, my friends eat quite well. I was surprised, however, at the overwhelming number of fish dishes, so I had to pare the options down to just two - one on Monday and the other on Thursday. Since the Thursday dish is fried flounder fish, go ahead and freeze it. I'm thinking that due to its thinness, it'll thaw very quickly. I also had to pick and choose the other menus to give the whole week some kind of consistency so that my groceries wouldn't go to waste. In the following weeks, I'll continue to add menus by friends. So if you don't see your recipe this week, don't despair, it's probably being treasured for another week. And thank you to all my friends. My wife is again away this week on a business trip, so it was a really big help. (NOTE: Each day, be sure to serve with rice, except for Wednesday, obviously.)

Monday - Broiled Fish & Vegetables
  • Don't forget to set the rice before starting dinner. Also, we're not using the flounder, that is for Thursday.
  • Take filet of fish and salt, pepper, oil (olive), and place in broiler. Finish with squeeze of lemon wedge.
  • Take broccolini and chinese watercress, heat olive oil and garlice in pan, add vegetables, add chicken broth, optional add oyster sauce for additional spicyness. Pince of salt and pepper.
Tuesday - Ma Po Tofu

Wednesday - Yang Chow Fried Rice & Miso Soup
  • My friend forwarded me her own recipe which was given to her by her mother?, but due to copyright issues, I have posted a link to a comparable recipe on the internet.
  • http://www.nibbledish.com/people/chaditz/recipes/yang-chow-fried-rice
  • Her recipe doesn't add salty fish and also coats the shrimp in cornstarch and pepper and is fried in the wok and set aside.
  • I always keep coming back to the miso soup, so easy, tasty, and it's nice to have soup with dinner. Boil water, add tofu, add some vegetables if you wish, add miso paste. Top with chopped scallions.
Thursday - Crispy Flounder & Vegetables

  • Another simple and sweet dish.
  • Coat flat fish with flour, salt, and pepper. Pan fry in olive oil. For sauce, grate ginger and mix with soy sauce.
  • Take baby bok choy, oil and garlic in pan, add vegetables, add chicken broth, add oyster sauce. Pinch of salt and pepper.
Friday - Bon Chon Chicken Take Out

  • This chicken is seriously making me consider buying a deep fryer so that I can have this whenever I want.
Grocery List for me:

  • Meat, Poultry, Seafood- ground pork/beef, filet of any fish for broil (european seabream is recommended), filet of flat fish for frying (flounder, maybe) freeze because it's for Thursday, medium count shrimp
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - chinese watercress, brocollini, baby bok choy
Grocery List Addtl:
  • Dairy, Eggs, Tofu - silken tofu
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish - chinese sausage
  • Specialty Grocery - miso paste
Notes of the Week:
1. So when trying to make fish crispy, best not to immediately place the fish on a dish without a paper towel or something of that nature to absorb the moisture.  Notice I'm not referring to excess oil, I'm referring to heat/ moisture that will eventually make it soggy.
2. It is very difficult to make ma po tofu baby friendly, but I was amazed to see our daughter chow down.  It seems, true to her korean genes, she's partial to savory foods.
3. When working with cornstarch, always, always, mix in a little water before adding.
4. Another week where I missed a menue - Yang Chow Fried Rice.  My sister-in-law, bless her heart, cooked up dinner to help out while my wife was away in Abu Dhabi.  So, now I have chinese sausage sitting in the refrigerator.  I wonder if I can persuade my wife to try making the dish next week.

May 11 Menu

Super Foods?!?! I have relatives who believe in the merits of "super foods" and got me thinking about it recently. I can honestly say that my health probably peaked senior year in highschool - due to tons of after school sports and scholarly endeavors that kept me from intoxicating libations. College hit and my health took a bump. Grad school crashed into me, and my health went on vacation. Marriage then put my health into a coma (oh yes, I'm happily married, but I had to carry the imagery through). Anyways, with the advent of my daughter, I've taken a cold turkey approach to resuscitating my health. I have a gym membership and have cut down on my food intake. Now all I need is some "super foods." You can read about it here: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs. So this week, I'll attempt to find recipes that incorporate super foods into each dinner meal.

Monday - Spinach Tofu Miso and Rice
  1. Easy to make, always tasty, and will last for tomorrow's salmon meal.
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/health/nutrition/17recipehealth.html
Tuesday - Teriyaki Salmon
  1. Fish is always good.
  2. http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/9758/esal39.htm
Wednesday - Fresh Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti
  1. I saw this recipe and thought, wow, can't get easier than this.
  2. http://www.chezpim.com/blogs/2008/09/fifteen-minutes.html

Thurdsay - German Blueberry Pancakes and Sausages/ Bacon

  1. Breakfast for dinner? If there are restaurants that serve breakfast 24/7, then I don't see why I can't do the same at home. Besides, these are just your regular pancakes.
  2. In highschool, my older sister took the two us, myself and my younger sister, out for a meal at a newly acclaimed restaurant in Vegas called Keuken Deustch which is where I had my first and only try of this German pancake. It was very memorable that even to this day I think about it. Thanks to my sisters, and happy mother's day, noona (that's sister in korean).
  3. Oh, break out the cast iron for this recipe.
  4. http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com/2006/06/26/a-magickal-transformation-blueberry-baked-german-pancake/

Friday - PIZZA!!!

Shopping List for me:

  1. Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs - 4-6 tomatoes, blueberries, 1 lemon, mushrooms, spinach, fresh basil
  2. Meat, Poultry, Fish - 1 lb salmon filet, sausages/ bacon
  3. Baking, spices

Shopping List Addtl:

  1. Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs - carrots, green onions, chives
  2. Dry goods - spaghetti
  3. Baking, spices - vanilla extract, flour, cinnamon, cardamon, powdered sugar
  4. Specialty Grocery - miso paste, tofu

Notes of the Week:
1. Yes, I forgot to say that I was repeating the miso menu for Monday so really the salmon, fresh tomato sauce, and pancake dishes are the only ones I haven't tried before.
2. The salmon was okay, nothing spectacular.
3. The fresh tomato sauce recipe was simple as predicted, but definitely wait for better tomatoes.  The ones I got from wholefoods (cambridge) wasn't that great so I had to add a little sherry.  Also, don't expect a sweet sauce like the bottled stuff, this is really a bare bones dish, which I happen to enjoy.  In fact, I think this dish, because it is easy to prepare, can be a side dish for many other menus - you know, put pasta back into its place as a first course.
4. Alas, I didn't get to do the pancake recipe because my generous sister-in-law said she would cook for us and I couldn't refuse, especially since I have CFA exams coming up in June.  I'm taking advantage of any opportunity to study more.
5. I was so happy that at least someone else besides our family is getting some benefit from my postings.  In fact, one thing I really enjoy about posting this stuff is talking to other friends and getting their thoughts on what they cook, or would like to cook.  And, after CFA exams, I'll be having more invites.  And, once we move (if we ever move), I'll even have backyard fiestas.

May 4 Menu

One of my closest friends is a Japanese architect in Cambridge. They came over for dinner last week and shared some kalbi with us. We don't get to see him as often these days so in order to encourage them to take the hike across Harvard Square to our place, I'm putting together a menu of japanese comfort food. Many thanks to his wife (who will go nameless here but shall I refer to her as Mrs. Greencard?) who provided me with some ideas/ recipes of what they usually have at their home. She's not Japanese but does all the cooking, who would've "thunk it". On another note, this week would also be an homage to Kotobukiya in Porter Square. For those of us not in Cambridge, Koto is the much frequented Japanese grocery store in the much beloved Porter Exchange building which hosts a panoply of small Japanese restaurant kiosks as well. Koto will be relocating to Medford, supposedly close by, but for us pedestrian Cantabrigians anything off of the Redline is too far. So long, Koto. In fact, I think I'll get everything from Reliable in the "fashionable" Union Square of Somerville - once the most dense city in the nation (yeah like in the '70s).

Monday - Miso Based Soup Tonjiru

Tuesday - Omurice or rice covered by an omlette (hence omu-rice, yes, the japanese frequently add syllables to english words, don't believe me? ask one)

  • Even as a korean kid, I've had omurice many times growing up, and probably isn't unique to my household since the imperial island is just a stone throws from the mainland.
  • Instead of ham, use leftover pork loin from Monday. And use ketchup to make it a super comfort food.
  • I would throw in some extra vegetables too, just for my growing daughter.
  • And to really adulterate this dish, serve with a side of kimchee!
  • http://www.degourget.com/?p=1554
  • Here's another slightly more intricate version of the omurice which substitutes ketchup with tomato sauce and worcestershire.
  • http://www.recipezaar.com/Moms-Omurice-95213
  • Remember to move the chicken into the fridge to defrost for tomorrow.
Wednesday - Chicken Katsu and Miso Soup
Thursday - Curry Over Rice and Hiyayakko (Cold Tofu)
  • This is not a cop-out. This is a legitimate recipe especially for my site, which tries to balance taste and time. Try this with whatever meat you have on hand - beef, chicken, pork. Or even vegetarian, really.
  • http://www.bento.com/tr-cur1.html
  • Fine, it's a cop-out, but boy is it good. And yes, before this menu site, I used to have this all the time. Okay, here's a tofu recipe to go along with the curry.
  • http://japanesefood.about.com/od/tofu/r/hiyayakko.htm
  • Honey, where's the kimchee?
Friday - Pizza Takeout
  • What, did you think I'd forget?
  • Okay, how about served with a side of kimchee?
Shopping List for Me:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - gobo (burdock root), enoki mushrooms, green onions
  • Meats, Poultry, Fish - 1/2 lb pork loin,
  • Dairy, Eggs, Soy - tofu
  • Condiments - worcestershire sauce (I didn't buy it last time)
  • Specialty Store - dried bonito flakes, karashi mustard (???)
  • Other - cereal bars, oatmeal (not steel cut because that takes forever)
Shopping List Addtl:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - daikon, carrots, onions, potatoes, ginger
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish - chicken (I kind of like chicken tenders, easy to cook with)
  • Dairy, Egg - eggs
  • Baking, Dried Goods - white/brown rice
  • Condiments - ketchup
  • Specialty Store - dashi powder, red miso paste, panko bread crumbs, curry cubes in box

Notes of the Week:
1. I learned a huge lesson - sticking with one cuisine for the week really makes the most of all your groceries.
Tonjiru served us well for several days. It was just luck that I scheduled it on Monday and it kept going (by regularly adding water, miso, and vegetables) right up to Wednesday.
3. Omurice was good, but for some reason didn't bring back those memories as best as I thought it would.
4. The chicken katsu was wonderful. The quoted recipe wasn't very specific on the measurement for seasoning the flour, so I resorted to Ina Garten's oven fried chicken recipe that basically is 2 cups of flour with 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of black pepper. This amount is perfect for about 1-1/2 to 2 lbs of chicken. Also, the recipe had an imperfect tonkatsu sauce recipe. So I went with http://1tess.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/tonkatsu-sauce/ - good sauce. Finally, without a deep fryer, I set up a deep sauce pan with an aluminum foil cover as a deep fryer.

April 27 Menu

After a week long trip away from the family, I'm sure my wife will be thrilled to be back with us and our 12 month old daughter. So this week, I'm going to try and focus on the girls for their reunion - things that they like. This means there will be one or two repeats based and a couple of new ones that my wife is better than I, but I'm willing to iron-chef it out this week. Finally, beginning with this week I will refrain from writing down common household ingredients like salt and black pepper on the shopping list.

Monday - Pasta with Clam Sauce
  • We're moving the lentil soup to next week, just so Sydney gets some variety - the spice of life.
  • I like fresh pasta, so I put this recipe at the beginning of the week so that the pasta doesn't dry out. Last time, the clam sauce recipe didn't live up to my expectations, so let's try this one.
  • http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Linguine-with-White-Clam-Sauce-529
  • Marinate BBQ and make broth for Cold Noodle Soup for tomorrow.

Tuesday - Korean Cold Noodle Soup/ Spicy Noodle and Korean BBQ

Wednesday - Noodles in Black Bean Sauce AKA JiaJiang Myun and Miso Soup (moved to Thur since wife has meeting)

  • Scratch the bibimbap for jiajiang myun which was the first dish we shared before we dated. I say before because when you date, supposedly ordering jiajiang myun during the date is a faux paus in Seoul, it is a way of sending a quiet message that you are not interested in a second date. Miso is for Sydney.
  • http://www.maangchi.com/recipes/jjajangmyun
  • Soak black beans for tomorrow morning.

Thursday - Black Bean Soup (moved to Wed)

Friday - Leftovers (because it's nice to clean out the fridge every once in a while)

  • No, we do it fairly often and with these plans, there's less to throw away.

Shopping List for me:

  • Specialty Store - udon-type noodles, 1/2 lb pork belly, yellow pickled radish, buckwheat noodles
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - cucumber, garlic, bosc pear, italian parsley
  • Meats, Fish, Poultry, Dairy - 2 lb beef short ribs, chopped clams, whipping cream, milk, orange juice
  • Condiments, Spices, Dried Goods - 1 bag black bean, 1 salsa, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, worcestershire sauce,
  • Other - diapers size 3, fresh pasta linguine lemon, sunscreen

Shopping List Addtl:

  • Specialty Store - black bean paste,
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - asian radish, sweet potato, zucchini, onion
  • Baking - potato starch, corn syrup

Notes for the Week:
1. When cooking kalbi in an apt galley kitchen, be sure to manage the broil, our fire alarm briefly went off - and it's hard wired, meaning, you can't just take the batteries out!
2. My wife urged me to use the pre-packaged cold buckwheat noodles to save some time. So I did.
3. Due to mid-week logistical errors (my wife actually had a girls night on Thurs and I had a boys night on Fri) I can't say how black bean noodle recipe is. Then on Sat, my wife cooked up a storm and used up all the vegetables for her curry dish. Oops!

April 20 Menu

I'm getting a jump start on this menu because this is the week my wife will be going on a business trip. Without her help, I'll have to focus on dishes that can be done relatively quickly so that I can attend to my daughter as well as prepare meals; dishes that can feed both her and myself, which is a bit of a challenge since she's only 12 months old and hasn't fully transitioned to adult foods; dishes that taste good, otherwise, what's the use.   Any and all suggestions would be welcome.

I have a feeling I'll have more than my usual number of crockpot dishes.

Monday - Fish Tacos
  • thanks to my sister who forwarded this recipe from Rick Mooney, and what a great idea, fish, easy to prepare and tasty
  • 1 1/4 lb fish, vegetable oil with rub (1 tsp chili, 2 tsp coriander ground, 3/4 tsp cumin ground) baked in oven 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or grill, if you have a house with a backyard grill, which I don't
  • soft corn tortillas
  • taco fix-ins (greens, tomatoes, grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole)
Tuesday - Crockpot Burritos
Wednesday - Black Bean Soup (moved to Sunday)
Thursday - Crockpot Chili
  • thanks to my "sesame street live" friend, steve, here's a blog with a couple of tried recipes, I'm going with the chili, and, steve, sydney and i are in row Q, right behind you for next saturday, and what's the deal with $15 tickets but like $7 ticketmaster fees, no wonder other agencies are trying to find a way to break their hold on the market, and you also pay $2.50 for will-call, i've never bought tickets from ticketmaster before but that's just plain nickel and diming
  • http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/01/30/the-frugal-magic-of-the-five-ingredient-crock-pot-meal/
Friday - Dare I say it, PIZZA!
  • The place up the street on Huron Ave is great, straight neighborhood thin crust slices.  No fancy goat cheese, truffle oil, or whatever.  Pepperoni and grease, please.
Shopping List for me:
  • Meat, Fish, Poultry - fish, sirloin stew beef, ham hock, ground beef
  • Dairy, Eggs, Juice - grated cheese, 
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - greens, tomatoes, cilantro
  • Condiments - salsa, jalapenos, chicken broth
  • Other - Corn tortillas, taco seasoning, refried beans, dried black beans, 2 cans of beans
Shopping List Addtl:
  • Dairy, Eggs, Juice - sour cream, guacamole
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - green onions, onions
  • Spices - garlic powder, chili, cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt
  • Condiments - hot pepper sauce
  • Other - black olives, jalapenos,  tomatoe sauce, crushed tomatoes
Notes for the Week:

1. Black bean soup was moved to Sunday and was a great start for the week.  I put only 1/2 a jar of salsa and added smoked bacon.  Lastly, I pureed it for smoother texture to remind of my college days.  A book store called Atticus served a smooth black bean soup that I craved for on many occasions during study breaks.

2. We did fish tacos but I didn't follow the recipe because I ended up cooking at a friend's kitchen.  I used a mix of Old Bay Seasoning and Adobo but instead of a dry rub, I mixed it into olive oil and chopped garlic and then spread the mixture on the fish.  Either way it was a great meal.

3. Crockpot burrito didn't come out as expected because I put TOO much water in the pot.  I was going to be away for 12 hours, so I added some more water, but that turned out to be a bad idea.  Also, I realize that I am not a big fan of taco seasoning mix and I will do a better job to find a more authentic burrito recipe.

4. Crockpot chili came out much better than I had expected.  Who would have thought just a jar of tomato sauce was all it took?  I skipped the chili powder so that my daughter could have some and it still came out tasty.

5. Spending a whole week with my daughter alone has been an incredible week.  We really formed a bond and now I get emotional when I drop her off at daycare.  We finished several art projects and made real strides in eating.  She's growing up so fast.

April 13 Menu

This week, I found a disney website that puts together monthly menus. So, I'll give it a try for a week. I can already tell that we will be disappointed with the ethnic recipe selections.


On Second thought, I think I'll forego the disney month of meals plan and try to really focus on korean foods this week. For korean menus, I'll have to go to the local korean store and buy a slew of pre-made side dishes as those alone would take a whole day to prepare. So where ever you see a reference to "side dishes" check my shopping list. Oh, and it should be well known that each meal always comes with a bowl of rice. Finally, I'm so glad that there's a website like the one referenced here by Maangchi. So far, it's the best illustrated korean recipe site I've found. And it's funny that the chef's name is maangchi, it means hammer in korean.

Monday - Spicy Fish Stew and Side Dishes

Tuesday - Beef Short Ribs, Vegetable Pancakes, and Side Dishes

Wednesday - Bean Paste Stew, Spinach, and Side Dishes
Thursday - Stir Fried Squid, Kimchee Stew, and Side Dishes
Friday - Pizza (Take-Out)
  • What would you expect, I grew up in the States.
Shopping List for me:
  • Seafood, Meat, Poultry - Red Snapper or Cod, Beef short ribs
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Fresh Herbs - Korean Radish, Shitake Mushrooms, Enoki Mushrooms, Carrots, Korean chives, Zucchini, Potatoes, Spinach, Soyean Sprouts
  • Side Dishes - Kimchee, Dried Anchovy Bokkum, Marinated Perilla leaves, Marinated Hot Pepper Leaves
  • Condiments - Canola Oil, Maple Syrup

Shopping List Addt'l:

  • Seafood, Meat, Poultry - Clams, Shrimp, Scallop (opt), Squid, Pork Belly
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Fresh Herbs - Water Dropwort, Edible Chyranthemum, Green Onions, Green and red chili pepper, Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Green Onions
  • Dairy, Juice, Eggs - Eggs, Tofu (2 packages)
  • Baking, Spices - Black pepper, Brown sugar, Sesame Oil, Flour, Salt
  • Condiments, Sauces, Oils - Cooking wine, Soy sauce, Corn Syrup, Vegetable Oil
  • Other - Kelp, Dried anchovies, Soy bean paste, Sesame seeds, Hot pepper paste

Notes of the Week:

1. let's hear it for maangchi, those were good recipes.

2. on the spicy fish stew, shitake and minari is a must to really bring some earthiness to the stew, i did it without the minari and the spicy-ness didn't really become part of the broth

3. for the beef short ribs, wholefoods had cleared out their meat display for easter ham so i had to settle for beef back ribs, okay but short ribs would have been better, especially since even the back ribs came out excellent, and Sydney loved it

April 6 Menu

Monday - Leftovers from Sydney's Birthday

Tuesday - Leftovers from Sydney's Birthday

Wednesday - Mussels, Honey Melon Salad, Cupcakes for Sydney

Thursday - Oven Fried Chicken, Bleu Cheese Salad, Mashed Potatoes

Friday - Leftovers from Thursday

Shopping List for me:

  • Meat & Seafood - Mussels
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - Shallots, Arugula
  • Dairy, Juice, Eggs - Agave Juice, Cream Cheese
  • Other - White Wine, Can Crushed Pineapple

Shopping List Additional:

  • Condiments, Can Food - Crushed Tomatoes,
  • Vegetables, Fuits, Herbs - Garlic, Honey Melon, Lime
  • Baking, Spices - Dried Rosemary, Red Chili, Salt, Pepper

Notes for the Week:

1. The cupcakes for Monday were fantastic. In fact, I made them for Wednesday. And, if you don't have agave syrup, maple syrup works as well. Oh, and it's important to know the temperature of your oven if you want your cupcakes to rise. I tried 475 degrees and it helped.

2. Okay, I didn't do the mussels and honey melon salad because I had an unexpected invitation to a Red Sox game. But my wife steamed the mussels anyway and made a very tasty korean seaweed soup.

3. Ina Garten's recipes were good. The fried/bake oven was simple. I skimmed off the left over oil and added butter and flour to make a quick gravy. And the bleu cheese salad was superb. Note, good Roquefort cheese is EXPENSIVE.

March 30 Menu

Monday - Linguine with Clams and Cupcakes

Tuesday - Korean Beef over Rice and Miso Soup -

Wednesday - Roasted Chicken in Crockpot (Fingers Crossed)

Thursday - Apt Friendly Pizza

Friday - Lasagna and Garlic Bread

Shopping List for me:

  • Fruits, Veg, Herbs - italian basil, plum tomatoes, napa cabbage
  • Dairy, Fruit Juice - unsalted butter, tofu
  • Baking - cupcake liner, all purpose flour, sugar, icing, cornmeal
  • Freezer - can french bread dough
  • Meats, Poultry, Fish, Deli - clams (can okay too), sirloin steak, roasting chicken, pancetta
  • Breads - sliced loaf
  • Other - breakfast oatmeal, dry white wine, veg. broth, chix broth

Addtl Shopping List:

  • Fruits, Veg, Herbs - garlic, scallions, ginger, red pepper, carrots, baby spinach, spinach
  • Spices - crushed red pepper, sesame seed, salt, black pepper, ground hot pepper, paprika
  • Condiments - soy sauce, sesame oil, veg oil, rice vinegar, white miso, tomato sauce
  • Dairy, Fruit Juice - parmesan cheese, mozarella cheese, ricotta cheese
  • Freezer - shelled edamame,
  • Meats, Poultry, Fish, Deli - medium shrimp, prosciutto
  • Breads, Pasta, Rice - fresh linguine, short grain rice, no boil lasagna noodles
  • Other - olive oil
Notes for the week:
1. I prefer a more traditional clam sauce, maybe with a little cream.  That said, the Monday recipe wasn't bad.
2. Cupcakes, that was tough.  Do not subsitute plain sugar with granular sugar.  I will try next week for Sydney's birthday cupcakes.
3. One good thing I did this week was use up the basil later in the week for the Apt. Pizza, which wasn't bad.  However, will I ever find a really good pre-made thin crust?
4. I skipped the Lasagna because family was in town - korean food for the whole weekend.

March 23 Menu

(Monday) Spring Rolls and Spring Stir Fry - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/menu/views/dinnerrush032709

(Tuesday) Spring Salad and Dinner Sandwich - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/menu/views/dinnerrush032309

(Wednesday) Grilled Scallops and Leftover Salad - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/succotash-with-grilled-scallops-and-parsley-drizzle-recipe/index.html

(Thursday) Spicy Cod and Rice - http://www.maangchi.com/recipes/daegu-jeon

(Friday) Sloppy Joes - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/neelys/spensers-sloppy-joes-recipe/index.html

Shopping List for me:
Dairy&Juice - whole milk, gruyere cheese, orange juice
Meats - 1 lb ground beef, 1 lb black forest ham, sea scallops, cod filet
Baking - flour,
Breads - sliced (any)
Condiments&Other - hoisin sauce, chili-garlic sauce, worcestershire sauce, rice paper rounds
Herbs - fresh cilantro, fresh mint, fresh thyme, italian parsley, fresh basil
Vegetables - colesalw mix, (2) onions, shallots, oyster mushrooms, baby beets, fennel, grape tomato, bell pepper (red, green)
Fruits - peaches, blood oranges

Addtl Shopping List:
Dairy&Juice - eggs, butter
Meats - shrimp
Baking - sugar, honey
Breads - hamburger (optional, i use left over sliced bread)
Condiments&Other - rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, evoo, tomato sauce, bbq sauce, walnuts
Spices - mustard seeds, dried thyme
Herbs - ginger, garlic
Vegetables - snap peas, peas, green onions, corn, lima bean, zucchini, salad mix

Notes for the Week:
1. Spring roll is much harder than it seems. Spring stir fry is a very sorry recipe - does not really have an authentic asian flavor.
2. Bad planning for the week because all the herbs from Monday were left over with not much use elsewhere. Although the fennel was put to good use this week between the spring stir fry and the salad.
3. Spring salad needs really good juice of orange otherwise it gets a bit sugary.

Just the Beginning

For several weeks, our family of three has tried www.menusformoms.com to plan our weekly meals. It really helped take the stress out of trying to figure out what to cook every night. And, the weekly grocery list they provided really helped keep us from throwing away tons of food. But when the novelty wore off, my wife protested that the recipes weren't really fulfilling her taste buds. True, most of the recipes were american comfort foods with a bit of southwest spices thrown in here and there and maybe some faux chinese dishes as well. The amount of cheese, butter, and cream was also a bit too much for our moderately lactose intolerant digestive systems. Finally, being of Korean descent, we regularly craved for that kimchee. So, I've searched high and low and have yet to find a really good FREE menu planning website. If anybody else has, please forward. In the mean time, I'll try to blog a few recipes every now and then as a personal reference.