Fresh Yogurt

Homemade yogurt: 


This was an easy cooking project and one I plan to make again. I didn’t allow my milk to “ferment” for a full 12 hours but definitely will next time as I prefer a tart and tangy yogurt. I also went for the Greek version so I strained my mixture overnight and wound up with a thick, rich and creamy yogurt. This version was almost akin to a velvety, mild fresh cheese so I think it would work well for desserts. Now I have an excuse to whip up some lemon curd and make parfaits!


Where Oh Where is My Runner’s High?

That elusive runner’s high appears to be impossible to achieve if one isn’t, well, running. Believe me, I have tried. I am still trying. I have been on a mission to capture that pure and overwhelming sense of exhilaration since I injured my foot after my last run on December 28th. Yes, I am counting.

Clearly this is not my usual food-centric topic, but when I am not in my kitchen or at work, I can often be found trying to “chase” down, so to speak, that runners euphoria. Oh how I miss it!

That silly, goofy, grinning, all-consuming sense of well-being does not appear to be attainable without logging in my usual miles on the street. I tried yet again yesterday to no avail. This was my morning:

15 minute walk to the gym.

15 minutes climbing stairs.

60 minute barre class.

60 minutes on the upright bike. With interval sprints.

15 minute walk back from the gym.

Another 20 minutes or so on the treadmill during my physical therapy session.

Alas. No high. No giddiness. No bizarre yet urgent need to just stand up and clap. It’s madness I tell you! Madness! If you are a runner, you understand. If you are not, perhaps now it’s time to start. Will you enjoy the actual running part? Probably not. But the intoxicating bliss afterwards is magic. Sort of like the 9 course tasting menu at Per Se.

For those who can, lace up your shoes and go jog a mile for me. For now, I am going to curl up with kitty and play cat. That looks pretty darn blissful too.


Meal in a Bowl

Vietnamese-style noodle bowls: sliced flank steak, pickled carrots, pickled eggs, steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, peanuts and a shower of fresh herbs — YUM! And fun to eat to boot.

noodle bowl

I took the marinade from this recipe for Vietnamese ribs and used it to slather flank steak instead. I let the two party in my fridge for 2 days and then my husband tossed the meat on the grill. Fabulous! I reserved the marinade, boiled it down and then used that to dress the noodle bowls. This was a delightful one-bowl meal. I even made my own Five-spice powder for the marinade, which was easy and well worth it.

Grab your chopsticks and dive in. This is a super user-friendly recipe and a great way to use up anything in your fridge.

Burmese Sunday Supper

The verdict? My husband threatened to steal all the leftovers in the night and hoard them for himself at work. I am thinking this Burmese pork stew  was a hit! I served the stew over a version of these zero calorie “miracle noodles” and also added broccoli florets, peanuts and a shower of freshly chopped cilantro and green onions.


I have made this dish a few times now and have tweaked the recipe to suit our tastes. I omit the pork belly and use boneless pork loin instead of pork shoulder as I don’t think the dish needs all that extra grease. It’s plenty flavorful on its own. I also decrease the sugar in the caramel sauce and stir in about 1/2 cup of high quality fish sauce after removing the melted caramel sauce from the heat. The result is a silky, umami-licious sauce that just dances in the mouth — salty, savory, spicy and sweet.

The star-anise eggs are wonderful:


I happened to have a few cucumbers on hand so I threw together a spicy pickle to accompany the stew. I simply whisked together vinegar, a bit of sugar, black pepper , sesame seeds, crushed dried curry leaves and Korean hot pepper flakes (any kind will do). I then added thinly sliced and peeled cucumbers and let it mellow for a few minutes. That’s it. I look forward to trying them again in a few days after the flavors have really had the opportunity to mingle.