Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have too much to put on this Blog!

Well I just realized that I have so much to put on this blog that I'm not getting around to doing. I guess my New Years resolutions to cook better food for my family AND get to bed early are preventing me from having the time to write and at the same time giving me more to write about. Today I have to talk about my Asian Food Extravaganzas I had this January in honor of the Chou family who are our in-laws and who are Chinese (well I guess technically Taiwanese) and so we celebrated Chinese New Year with three days of Asian food. I had a ton of recipes planned out but I bagged most of them when the second meal we did the HOT POT and fell in love. The hot pot is basically the same in China and Japan and is a boiling pot of water or broth that you cook small chunks of veggies and meat in at the table. I remembered eating it when my family lived in Tokyo and I always wanted to do one of my own...but forgot until my bro in law reminded me how yummy they are. I went to Lotus Market and spent hours familiarizing myself with the ingredients and vegetables while Henry ate Hi Chews. We ended up loving all sorts of strange mushrooms and the baby bok choi or Shanghi Tips. Chinese cabbage, huge white radishes, bean sprouts, tofu, carrots, and string beans were some of the things we cooked. You basically can't go wrong with this dish. If you can't stand anything exotic, just throw in what you usually eat. I used my electric wok as the hot pot and along with shrimp, beef and a large bowl of udon noodles in broth we ate to our hearts content. We each made our own dipping sauce out of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, green onions, garlic, ginger, and spices -- yum. The best part about the Hot Pot is that even though it takes a decent amount of preparation at first, I had leftovers for an entire week and when water boils in the wok after just two minutes, it was easy to pull out my ziplock bags of veggies and boil me up a healthy lunch. I'm going to make this a staple in my house. The best part about it is that Henry LOVES all the veggies and noodles. Bea was even giving me the eye while I was devouring my concoction.

I also have to tell you about my cool bud vases I got for Christmas. The flowers last longer and you don't require as many to make it look beautiful. I just love the way it looks and it's even pretty when there are no flowers in it. I also got this tulip that has a leaf that couldn't decide if it was a petal or a leaf. What do you think?


Erica said...

That vase looks cool, what is it? Will you send me the link, I'd love a vase that keep flowers longer.

Tracie said...

How does that vase work? Stef told me about your yummy chinese food. Is the hot pot like fondue, but you dip it in boiling water?

Sarah said...

ditto on the fondue comment. We love to do fondue for special occasions. (deep frying in oil isn't an every day meal). But now I'm excited to try this new variation.

Amelia Hohl said...

There is a little disk with pins sticking up in the bottom of the vase. You can put up to like 8 flowers on this one. I also have a smaller one with a tiny hole in it for just one flower.

Hot pot isn't like fondue in the sense that you are just cooking the food in the pot and then dipping it in sauces after it's cooked. I guess the whole dipping something in a pot is the same, but that's about it. If you look up Chinese Hot Pot on google you'll find a million recipes and variations and there are no right or wrong ways to do it.