breakfast for lunch

(but not quite brunch, since we usually eat at 1pm.)

starter

fruit salad: bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, & oranges

sweet

homemade pancakes with real maple syrup

savory

scrambled eggs with italian sausage

plenty of tater tots

drinks

earl grey tea

milk

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dough!

learned 2 classic taiwanese dishes by using one large lump of dough: green onion pancake & chive vermicelli dumpling/box.

the trick to making the dough, i was told, is to use hot water (warning: to prevent burning yourself, you’ll need to knead the dough in a kitchen aid mixer  or with a spoon, and not with your hands!).  start off the flour + not water mixture with a 3 to 1 ratio.  and then continue kneading in a TBS of flour until the dough stops sticking and has some resistance when squeezed.

green onion pancake: i’m surprised at how easy this is.

  • roll a 2 in. ball of dough with 1 TBS chopped green onions.  to get a layered look, fold and roll the dough a few more times.  and then pan fry.

chive vermicelli dumpling (jiu tsai he zi, “chive box” is what it’s called in chinese): it’s actually a giant dumpling!  which explains why it’s called a “box.”

the filling for the “box”:

  • 1 cup cooked chopped vermicelli (clear rice noodle)
  • 2 cups chopped chives
  • 3 eggs scrambled
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS tiny dried shrimp *optional

mix all the ingredients together and cook in pan for 5 min.

roll out dough into 4 in circle, fill with chive-vermicelli filling, fold in half, and press edge together all around.

pan fry each side for 3-4 minutes.

the other advantage to using hot water for the dough is that the dough doesn’t take as long to fry.

almost done…

my original goal was to try to read through the new testament once every 4 months.   i am in the book of revelation so i’m a-a-almost done, but it’s looking more like once every 6 months for now.  yesterday, i ran across this blog that was sharing about “the bookends of the bible”–genesis and revelation.  it was an interesting read on mirroring topics and themes that show up in the first two chapters of the bible, genesis 1-2, and then in revelation 21-22, the last two chapters of the bible.   this is his first installment, so i’ll be checking back on his blog for installment two!  (hopefully, before he posts the second installment i’ll be done with the new testament!)

here’s his second installment.  it’s wonderful to see that there is a “building” work that God is doing.  this building that is taking place isn’t a physical church building, but a building of all the believers on Christ as our foundation (matthew 16:18).  God is still carrying out His building work in us believers today! (2012 may 6)

first attempt at hot & sour soup

a friend was craving hot & sour soup…and then her craving became my craving.  in the past, whenever i wanted hot & sour soup i would order it from a chinese restaurant or buy a soup mix from ranch99.  this friend, who we so fortunately have staying at our place until she becomes a mrs. (which is only 5 weeks away), happens to know how to make hot & sour soup.  what i thought was a complex, unattainable recipe, that can only be cooked by master chinese chefs slaving away for hours in a hot kitchen, is actually a very easy dish that can be whipped up in under an hour (if you have all the ingredients ahead of time).

and the best part about being able to make the soup myself is i can put in more of my favorite ingredients, like tofu, and less of what i like, such as mushroom.

and true to the art of chinese cooking, this recipe was given to me with vague measurements.

here’s what you’ll need:

soy sauce, rice vinegar, white pepper, extra/firm tofu, canned bamboo shoots in strips,  shiitake mushroom, dried black fungus (literal chinese translation is “wood ear”), carrots, eggs, green onions, ground beef/pork, corn starch.

slicing all the ingredients into thin strips is what takes the longest time. (see picture for how thin to slice everything.  tofu doesn’t need to be extremely thin.)

  • soak the dried black fungus in hot water before slicing
  • marinate the 1-2 cups meat in some soysauce + 2 tsp corn starch

in a big pot of boiling water (14-16 cups) throw in:

  • 2 cups tofu
  • 2 cans bamboo
  • 1/2 cup shiitake
  • 1/2 cup black fungus
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • drop small balls of meat into boiling water.
  • add soy sauce, rice vinegar, white pepper according to how salty, sour, and spicy you like the soup to be.
  • beat 4-6 eggs and slowly pour in swirling motion into boiling water.
  • 1/4 cup cold water + 4 TBS corn starch (more corn starch for thicker soup)
  • garnish with chopped green onions

soup can be served with rice or thin chinese noodle (not clear rice noodle) or angel hair pasta.  i was so excited about serving my first pot of hot & sour soup i forgot to take a picture until i was down to my last few bites.