Tuesday, November 14, 2017

M A T C H A
R I C E  K R I S P I E S


Hello my sweet cheeks! I cannot believe it's already November 2017- not to mention yesterday it SNOWED for the first time! Life moves way too fast it's scary. That being said- it reminds me to make sure I spend my time doing what I love. What do I love to do? Well, besides snuggling my husband + kitty I also love to nap, cook/ eat, & also practice calligraphy! 

I've been super busy turning my passion for hand lettering into a more real-life hobby/ side thing & I can't explain how happy this has made me. I also have my first pop-up shop next month on December 21st! *If you're in the area please stop by J.Crew at the Rockingham Mall!

Side story: I always knew I loved the art of calligraphy & fonts/ pens/ markers/ stationary but it wasn't until my wedding that I realized how much I love it! So if you have Instagram & want to know more please follow my new page

Okay, so about these matcha rice krispies! GOD THEY ARE EASY TO MAKE! In all honesty I am only using this super easy recipe as an excuse to come back & say hello to you all :) Also, I freaking love matcha anything.

One box of Rice Krispies makes enough for TWO batches- so make sure to buy not one but TWO bags of mini marshmallows when at the market. Also, you can find matcha powder online like I did here.

Ingredients:
1 12oz box of Rice Krispies
2 10oz bags of Mini Marshmallows
2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
6 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Matcha Powder


1. Get out your biggest wok or pot! You want the most roomy one in case you spill krispies all over the place. Set your heat to MEDIUM.

2. Melt 3tbsp of butter & add 10oz of mini marshmallows. Start stirring! Use a rubber spatula :)


3. Once you get a little melting action add 1tbsp of vanilla extract. Mix until you don't see any more marshmallow lumps.


4. Keep on stirring! Don't stop! Now turn off your heat & add 1tbsp matcha powder. Feel free to sift this in but I wasn't that concerned.


5. Add 6oz of rice krispies & stir until it is all evenly mixed. Get out a nice pan & spray with coconut oil or butter it up. Dump it all in & flatten!



6. Let it cool & flatten it out more if you'd like. Don't forget to eat that goodness off the spatula :)

7. Cut up into squares & sprinkle more matcha powder + powdered sugar on top (if you want to be extra). Enjoy & try not to give away all of them!


Make the next batch now or wait a day or two! I promise you'll be running out of treats sooner than later.

I know.. it's almost too easy I shouldn't have even had to post a recipe.. BUT I really hope you make some because of how easy it is! My little sister & her friend both think they taste like Green Tea Kit Kats- but I think they taste like green tea rice krispie treats!

Hope you all have a magical Thanksgiving & Christmas! Maybe I'll be able to post another blog before then but maybe not! There's so much to do for this pop-up & I am just casually freaking out but extremely excited to share my goods to the world. Love you! 


Friday, August 11, 2017

S U G A R
A P P L E


Mmmm.. don't you just love how certain foods, aromas, places, etc. can bring back memories.. the good ones at least. This particular, peculiar looking fruit brings me back to my childhood. Sitting with my legs crossed watching cartoons I would devour as many as my mom would give me. The sugar apple, aka custard apple/ sweetsop/ cherimoya, is one of my top favorite fruits of all time & I will tell you why.

1. It looks like something from a sci-fi movie.. so kewlzzz. Alien eggs? OK! Lemme eat dat.

2. The taste! It is unlike any other fruit. Very sweet yet subtle. Very smooth & creamy yet has texture. Not pungent, not overly juicy to the point it's all on your arms. So exotic. Think asian pear + lychee had a bambino!

3. The names are all super. freaking. adorable. *squee!*

So if you can get your hands on one of these, how do you eat one? First off, look high & low at all your local asian markets! If you are in the Lowell, MA area check out Bangkok Market on Chelmsford Street. Then wait for it to ripen. You can tell when the outter "shell" starts to crack & seperate. 

I was especially lucky to have my aunts from sunny Florida ship these to me. I look forward to this time of year so much. Thank you aunties!

Now to break this little fucker open. No need for knives. I also like eating purely with my hands so note that as another reason. Slowly remove each segment of skin to reveal a chunk of flesh. Take a bite & be ready to spit out the seeds! *Even though there are lots it doesn't take away from how stupid good this fruit is.


What's left are a bunch of little outter pieces & shiny, pearly seeds. Ahhhhh so good! Plus, they are apparently really good for you?! Check >> this site << out for more info because I don't feel up to typing about all of them.


This sugar appple had such an effect on me that I am going to try to sprout them & possibly attempt to grow one into a tree! (VERY WISHFUL THINKING) But just look how cute. Hi I'm Jeannie & I'm in kindergarten. 


What next? I'm gonna find some more of these sugar apples so I can purée the shit out of them & add Tito's vodka to it! YES PLEASE. Sugar apple martini oh myyyy..

So yeah, basically.. you need this in your life. As always, thanks for reading!  

Monday, April 3, 2017

L A O T I A N

B E E F  J E R K Y



AHHHH.. The time has come. My beef jerky has been perfected! This winter I've picked up a new, super tasty hobby & that is making my own seen hang (beef jerky in Lao)! Every snow storm we've had up here in New England gave me an excuse to make a new batch. I'm so happy to say that after a handful of tries (all which were edible thank god) the winner has been chosen. May I present to you my Laotian Beef Jerky (sticky rice + jeow not included).

Are you thinking: "I don't have a dehydrator, how am I going to make this?" Fear not! I made all my jerky in the oven. Traditionally, I remember growing up & my parents would actually hang beef in the kitchen from the tops of the cabinets. I'd bring friends home after school & seeing their WTF faces from the cuts of meat dangling was priceless. 

This method in the oven is a little less 'beef-in-yo-face'; although on a hot summer's day I feel like hanging it up to dry would be a funny thing to do to my husband!

If you are worried about your beef jerky being too bland or too salty, you can always do a taste test. Snip off a tiny piece of the marinated beef & nuke it in the microwave for a minute or until cooked. I usually do this with my eggroll filling, too! 

As far as cuts of beef goes I tried sirloins, flanks & also both top + bottom round roasts. The winner? The cheaper cuts taste just as good as the more expensive ones! I will buy the best deal at the market & trim it up. I like to leave some fat for flavor but feel free to get rid of it if you want.

Pleeeaaase let me know if you plan on giving this recipe a try! I know it's been awhile but I would love to hear from you, my readers. Yes.. you are reading this therefore I can actually say that! As always, thanks for the support. This .com ish ain't free so I hope someone out there appreciates this!

Ingredients:
3lb Top Round Beef Roast 
1/2 cup Soy sauce
2 tbsp Fish sauce
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
3 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Black pepper
1/2 tbsp Garlic powder
1/2 tbsp Onion powder
1/2 tbsp Red pepper flakes
1 tbsp Sesame seeds

Skewers + Aluminum foil

Directions:

1. Start by taking the beef out of the package & rinsing. If using a big roast, slice in half and transfer onto a plate. Place into the freezer for 20-30 minutes, enough to firm up the beef for easier slicing. *Use a serrated knife!


2. In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients. 



3. Again with the serrated knife slice beef into 1/4" thick pieces. You can do more of a thin strip or do a big, flat piece. Cut the beef against the grain (this site helps explain). Also, feel free to cut off most of the fat (but leave some for good ol' naughty fun!) 


4. Mix sliced beef in with marinade & let sit in fridge covered for a day.


5. Next day! Hello again [: Put one oven rack at the lowest and one at highest setting. Line bottom rack with aluminum foil. 


6. Drain any remaining marinade and start to skewer the beef- one skewer should fit 6 pieces. Dangle them in the oven on the highest rack with the pieces in between each slot. 


*Here's another picture! The foil helps keep your oven clean from marinade drips.


7.  Now slide those racks in real nice & set your oven to the lowest setting. Mine goes to 170°F. To allow air to flow in the oven wedge a wooden spoon in the door like this.


8. NOW TO WAIT! I set my timer for 4 hours. At the last hour check out your jerky. The smaller, thinner pieces may be done! They shouldn't be hard but firm. Take those out. Leave the chunkier guys in there for the full 4 hours. You can tell it's ready by the color & firmness. 


9. Are we done? NO!! We're not done yet! Remove the rest of the jerky from the oven.




10. Now, it's time to flash fry these suckers! FLASH FRY. This is where Laotian beef jerky differs from American styles. It not only gives it a shiny gloss but also a nice smoky flavor. Heat up some vegetable oil in a wok, pan or fryer if you have one & throw them in! Just a few seconds will do, you don't want to burn your jerky.



11. Line a tray with paper napkins and drain the ready to eat beef jerky. The picture below shows the freshly-flash-fried pieces on the left next to the batch that are waiting their turn.



Serve with sticky rice & a nice spicy dip like jeow mak len.. mmmm & you have yourself a damn tasty Lao meal! 



What do you think? Going to try it or nah? If you do, please please please let me know! Or don't. Whatever. Do you. If you made it all the way to the end of this blog post then high-five to you! Happy Spring!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

N O V E M B E R  E A T S:
N E W  Y O R K



NEW PHONE. WHO DIS!?

Please forgive me for I have sinned.. it's been 7 months since my last blog post! Things have been insanely busy in those months. I literally became a new person- hi! My name is Jeannie Richardson now! Although I still haven't gotten around to legally changing it..

Yes, on October 8th I married my best friend in the whole wide universe :) We're pretty pumped. Our cat, Yumi, is too.. she really loves it. Here's a picture from our big day!



Since Todd & I won't be taking our honeymoon until next Summer we decided to take a "mini-moon" to hold us over. During the summer I saw one of his favorite musicians (Seu Jorge) was going to be touring/ doing a tribute to David Bowie through the Life Aquatic movie. Obviously the Boston show had little allure compared to the New York City one! 

NY has always been a favorite of mine- mainly for the food. I nervously make a list of places to try & basically revolve my whole (world) itinerary around it. We were able to make it to almost every spot I listed- we would've thrown up if we went to all of them :)

Here are all the pictures I was able to capture:


Umami Classic @ Pokéworks

First tried this place almost 10 years ago & visited it again!
Such a neat, little izakaya :) @ Yakitori Taisho


Asparagus with Mentai Mayo

Supa Tuna Don

Yakitori! Beef tongue, hearts, livers, quail eggs, pork belly, etc!

Creamy Salmon Yakisoba

Crème brûlée Dough'ssant filled with a vanilla bean cream! UGH <3

Matcha soft serve in a churro cone

Nova Lox Bagel @ Ess-a-Bagel

Imperial Stouts @ Hops Hill

Super crunchy & fresh REUBENS 

Burrata with Anchovy Stuffed Tomatoes @ Cacio e Pepe

Food dreams come true! Cacio e Pepe tossed in a giant wheel of cheese!

I napped so hard after this

Filipino Brunch @ Maharlika Chicken & Ube Waffle 

Mango Stuffed French Toast

Arroz Caldo & Crabcake Benedict in the back! 

Yummy Aiyu Jelly Lemonade @ Baohaus

Our favorite @ Artichoke PIZZA! 

THANK YOU TO MY COUSIN ANDY & HIS WIFE ANNIE FOR PICKING THESE UP!!
Chocolate & Walnut Cookies @ Levain Bakery (Chocolate & Peanut Butter not shown but was amazing!! By far the best cookies we've ever had)

Another treat from them: Cupcakes from Two Little Red Hens

That.. was quite the little trip! I'm hoping to start blogging more now that I don't have a wedding to plan. I want to eventually start taking better photos, too. How? With the sun setting at 4pm? Lack of that good, natural light? Somehow.

Saaanku for reading! Til next time, pus pus. 






Tuesday, April 12, 2016

S T E A M E D  T I L A P I A 
w/ 
G I N G E R + S C A L L I O N


Heyoooo! Happy April~! 

My absolute #1 month because of so many reasons. Todd & I have birthdays in April (10th & 11th), adorable flower buds pop out of the ground, winter SHOULD be over! The list goes on..

Can you believe it.. we are already a WHOLE quarter in to the year! 2016.. where's it all going!?

Speaking of a "whole" I have been diving into cooking more with whole fish. I recently scored a good deal on whole tilapia & was dying to prepare them. I knew exactly what to make: one of my all time favorite & the über classic ginger + scallion mix!

If tilapia is not your thing this would work well with any other light, white fish (think cod, red snapper, haddock). The sauce really plays well on the fluffy, fish meat!

Since there are only a few ingredients make sure to grab the best of the best. Also, put on your tough girl/ boy chef hat with this. There were some moments where I was reminded at how gnarly preparing a whole fish is! As with everything.. practice [:

Ingredients:
Whole tilapia (1 to 3)
1 large Ginger root
1 bunch Scallions
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup Soy for seafood
(or soy sauce + sugar)

gut, de-fin, de-gill, score!

julienne into thin, matchstick slivers 



Directions:

1. First! It's all about the *mise en place*. This is the prep before you begin to get into the art of cooking! Wash ginger & scallion. Peel your ginger & chop ends off of scallions. Now, patiently cut into thin strips. This is how you julienne! Doing this gives the ingredients a more delicate touch to the dish. Note: add scallions to cold water to keep it fresh!


2. To prepare the fish remove guts & gills if they haven't been removed already. Trim off fins leaving just the tail intact. Don't like the look of the head?? Chop it off! Things get real intense & bloody when preparing fish- so if you don't like the dissection go ahead & use a filet- I won't judge you!

sweet action shot caught by todd!

1 down 2 more to go!

3. The style I steamed the fish in was "en papillote" which is a fancy French term for "in parchment". If you have a steamer, use that! Have a wide pan with room for a plate to steam in? Do it up. I basically took parchment & created a pouch where I put ALL the ingredients in & popped in an oven at 400º for 20 minutes! Easy peasy. Check out the full instructions on how to fold the pouch here from Bon Apetit! 

Leave half of ginger, scallions, & soy sauce mix to fry in a pan while your fish steams! 


Stuff the cavity! Pile it all in thurrrr


4. Enclose the fish with the parchment paper. Trust me, this takes practice! Start from the bottom and keep folding each fold together until you reach the top. Steam!
5. Place in a serving platter & top with the stirfried ginger & scallions. Serve with white rice!