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Must…Find…Food!!!

18 Apr

080922135227[1]So…you read one of my posts and your mouth started watering. “How can I get some of this food for myself?!?” you wondered.

Perhaps you have a hot date tonight and want to impress your sweetie with your cultural savvy and taste for fine cuisine.

Or maybe you’re at a loss as to what to cook for dinner tonight but don’t know where to get the ingredients for one of my recipes.

Or maybe you’re like me and love to throw a dinner party for friends.

Whatever the case, I don’t want you to end up looking like these ladies as you seek out some delicious international cuisine.

Thanks to technology, Google maps is here! For your convenience, I have mapped out all the local restaurants and markets that I have written about. It can’t get any easier than this…you don’t even have to Google the location yourself!

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Beyond the Potsticker – Jiaozi!

17 Apr

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When I was 20 (long, long ago), I taught English in Beijing for a summer. While I was there, one of my students invited me over one weekend and her family taught me how to make jiaozi.

My life has never been the same. 😉

Last week, I went to cook this dish for my friends Tim and Amy and their family. They lived in China for several years and these dumplings are still a family favorite.

A few years ago on Chinese New Year, we threw a giant jiaozi party at their house. There were at least 30 people there. Everyone helped wrap the jiaozi, and then we had a feast.

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Since then, every time I make jiaozi, I have to share some with their family. It just doesn’t feel right to keep all the jiaozi deliciousness to myself!

“Ooohhh, I’m so full,” Tim groaned. A few minutes later, he was snacking on another dumpling.

I was in the same boat. The little morsels are irresistible.

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An Ode to Herbs for Spring

11 Apr

basil-74219_640[1]This time of year, I get especially excited about planting a variety of herbs. There’s nothing like cooking with fresh herbs from your garden!

Last year I enjoyed fresh sweet mint, basil, and rosemary throughout the summer and fall. This year, I am thinking about adding cilantro, parsley, and thyme to my herb family.

I remember one late summer day last year when I picked an entire large bowl full of basil, my absolute favorite fresh herb. Heavenly.

I especially enjoy turning fresh basil into pesto. The following is a great recipe from my friend Jan Secrest. She and her husband have a little greenhouse in their backyard where they grow a variety of plants and herbs.

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Kanpai and Chuck Norris

9 Apr

Kanpai Sushi and Asian Bistro has long been my favorite restaurant here in Evansville to get my sushi fix.

048I was delighted when Kathryn Russell, assistant manager at Kanpai, agreed to let me interview her. I knew it was going to be great!

I have loved Kanpai’s sushi for years, especially the S.O.B. roll.

The happy marriage of tuna, cilantro, onions, jalapeno, spicy mayo and lime makes my tastebuds dance!

After making the slideshow, Kathryn generously let me sample all the dishes we had photographed.

While all the food was delicious, the Seared Ahi Tuna simply blew me away!

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Fruit Dating

31 Mar

Carambola_fruit[1]Have you ever wished your food could be as adorable as it is delicious? I mean, I’m talking food that just makes you want to put your hand over your heart and croon “Awwwwww…”

If you, like me, appreciate cute food, I have the perfect little gem for you: Starfruit, aka carambola.

Here’s a picture of the little guys from the side, the top, and sliced.

See, I told you. Adorbs, right?

It’s extremely juicy, and has a mild, sweet flavor. Besides all that, it is good for you, too!

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Wednesday $5 Bang Bang!

28 Mar

002If you love seafood, this dish is for you.

If you think seafood is ok, this dish is for you.

If you are trying to like seafood, this dish is for you.

If you are allergic to seafood…er, well maybe this dish isn’t for you.

But for everyone else, Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp is a dish you don’t want to miss!

“Tender, crispy shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce” is how the restaurant’s website describes it. I would add “…that will make your tastebuds dance!”

It is served on a bed of mixed field greens, the perfect complement to the rich shrimp. It is meant to be an appetizer, but combined with the complementary bread, it is more than satisfying.

The bread, served with an olive oil and pesto dip, is also amazing. Tonight we had to wait to get our bread, because it was still baking. Oh. My. Goodness. Incredible.

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Chinatown Philly

25 Feb

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So a couple of friends and I took a road trip to Philadelphia over the weekend to go to The Justice Conference. It was exhausting, since we spent 30 of the 70 hours we were gone on the road and encountered snow, ice, and car trouble.

One redeeming part of the trip, however, was that Chinatown was only 3 blocks away! We ate Dim Sum one afternoon where I was so excited I completely forgot to take pictures. Oops.

The servers pushed their carts of steaming little delicacies around and we picked whichever plates we wanted. My friend chose exotics such as jellyfish and shark fin dumplings, the latter of which are controversial because the sharks are killed just for their fins.

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Perfect Plantains!

20 Feb

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Plantains are an easy, delicious treat. You might be wondering “What is the difference between plantains and bananas?” Bananas can be eaten raw while plantains are starchier and served cooked. My friend Tigui from Mali recently showed me how to fry plantains.

At first I got a little worried because her plantains were very green on the outside and mine were black and yellow (more black than anything). So I did a little research and was relieved to find that plantains can be friend at any stage of ripeness. Just like bananas, the more yellow/black they are, the sweeter they taste.

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Happy taste buds, empty wallet

17 Feb

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Ever since I sampled their delicious food at a downtown event several years ago, Eclipse Spanish Tapas and Bar has been at the top of my “must try” list.

The concept of tapas, small dishes that everyone shares, reminds me of one of my favorite Cantonese Chinese traditions, Dim Sum.

Adventureous friend in tow, I finally checked it out last night. The ambiance and decor were delightful. We were seated quickly. I drooled over the menu. But *gulped* at the prices.

We decided to try three different dishes…

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