Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Easy Crockpot Thai Chicken

The other day I was solo parenting and desperately needed to have an ace supper ready by the time I came home so that way I would not be subjected to the horrors instant of macaroni and cheese. As I was packing kid friendly snacks and putting on rain boots a flash of inspiration came to me and the Easy Thai Crockpot / Slow Cooker Chicken was born.


1 pack Chicken thighs
1 onion, sliced
1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised
1 handful crumbled sliced dried shitake mushrooms (optional)
1 can cheap beer
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumb ginger, chopped
1 fist cilantro stems, really chopped
1 sq inch of tamarind concentrate block
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Tom Yum paste
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Bang everything into your crockpot / slow cooker except for the cornstarch.  Put on low and let cook away all day.  Before serving add cornstarch to thicken liquid.  Serve with steamed rice and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.  My kids loved it and my parenting sanity was saved.  How can you go wrong with that?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pasta Parchment Parcels

The other night after my kids went to bed, my wife was feeling frisky and she grabbed the video camera and we...

cooked pasta.

Check it out...
Yummy Summer Grilled Veggie Pasta in Parchment Paper!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Struesel Muffins

My wife is away for 3 days taking a very deserved break leaving me to be super daddy and to not go crazy while she is gone. This should not be hard. Joanna cares for our 3 children by herself all the time as do millions of women and single moms all over the world. It is not like I am looking for a medal or anything here. The only issue is that I am night weening my son cold turkey and I lack the female bits necessary to give him what he really wants. And so far, things have been going great.
So in order to keep my girls occupied and to stop them from turning on each other like caged rats I thought we should make some Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins! I found this recipe on Epicurious.com and it rules.
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Zack Van R.I.P.

So yesterday was fairly eventful. It was the one year anniversary of when I cut off my beautiful dreadlocked mane of glory at Sandra's birthday party. Here is a before picture...

Baby Eleanor and me chillin' at our GQ shoot...

and here is an after pic.
I would like to propose at toast to my follicular hero, Kramer...

Yesterday Joanna, Sophia and Pax were also in a car accident in our faithful 94 Ford Aerostar minivan, which the girls had dubbed "the Zack Van". (Affectionately named after Zack de la Rocha... (the antenna was bent in a Z shape and our license plate ended in RGE).

Before you panic, everyone is just fine. No one was hurt at all, and today we took everyone to the doctor's and chiropractor's for thorough check overs, and everyone is OK. But the Zack Van didn't fair so well and he no longer looks like the picture below whatsoever.
Well, he would if you removed the enormous dent in the passenger door shaped like a tool-loaded, speeding construction van, and if you replaced all the shattered glass, and if you could still open the sliding door, and if you put the front bumper back on, and stuffed the driver's airbag back in the steering wheel, and if you repaired the crushed front right rim and flat tire. Obviously, all that is not going to happen, and the Zack Van is gone for good.

I'm having difficulty processing all my emotions about yesterday. Above all, I am eternally grateful that my family is safe and healthy. I am very thankful for all our emergency services who were able to care for my loved ones with such kindness, gentleness (the firemen even gave Sophia a teddy bear!), and professionalism and for the invention of child car seats. (Make sure to educate yourself about the BC Paramedic Strike). I would also like to give a special shout out to Chris, Hillary, Stu, Jacqui, Mike, Gordie, Peter, and Sandra for taking such good care of us.

But I am still working through my feelings of helplessness and loss on top of the reality check about what really matters most in life. I wish I could celebrate the safety of my wife and kids without having to deal with the business of doctors and insurance companies and liability. And I feel robbed and cheated.

I kinda liked the Zack Van. I have never been a "car guy", but Joanna's cousin, Kelly, and her family gave us this van in September and helped us with $$$ to insure it. Their kindness and generosity was overwhelming and was a huge blessing to us as a family. The Zack Van was not new, the roof leaked, and my kids had done short work of getting cracker crumbs everywhere, but it had provided a new level of freedom and convenience to us that made our busy lives so much easier. It was also a sign of provision, hope, faithfulness, and goodness to me. And now it is gone. The really ironic thing is that in morning six hours before the accident I got a $50 parking ticket out in front of our house and Joanna also went and got an $85 massage for her tense shoulders.

Obviously I know that the world is not going to fall apart because I no longer have use of an aging chunk of rolling fiberglass, but I'm just trying to work through all of it, d'ya know what I mean? I guess the lesson here, kids, is to be grateful for whatcha got before it's gone and to cherish the ones you love every day. Can I have an Amen, brothers and sisters?

And now this next one goes out to the Zack Van.

We didn't have a lot of time together, buddy, but it was a good time. Thank you for your faithful service to our family and may you rest in peace.

And because this is supposed to be a food blog, here is a collection of recipes taken from "Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral".
When you are chowing down make sure that you pour one out for the Zack Van.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rainy Day Malaysian Chicken Stew

The other day it was raining here in the 'Couv (not all that unusual...) and it was just the kind of gray miserable day when you wanted to be home, wearing jammies, and eating something good, warm, and yummy. So one thing led to another and soon the jammies were on and the yummy Asian food was on it's way to our bellies. Just in case you are having a jammy day, I wanted to share this recipe with you. I guarantee that it will make you feel much better.

Speaking of jammies and desperately needing some yummy Asian food, my nephew Mason has been in and out of the hospital lately while he continues to kick leukemia's ass. Although he is only 14, Mason already is a ninja in the kitchen and can do some serious Asian yumminess throwdown. Mason, this episode of DIY Gourmet goes out to you...
Mason, demonstrating a few of his Ninja moves

Rainy Day Malaysian Chicken Stew

2 lbs chicken, cubed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumb ginger, grated
3 onions, sliced
6 cups water
1 cup dried, chopped shitake mushrooms reconstituted in 2 cups boiling water
2 lbs potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup soy
2/3 cup miso paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup cold water

Throw first 4 ingredients in hot wok with a big glug of oil. Fry until browned.
Add remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch and bring to a boil until the potatoes are cooked. Add cornstarch to thicken and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve over rice and pray for Mason's speedy recovery.

Mason, here are some more Ninjas in the kitchen, just to make your day.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Asian Fish Paper Parcels

Tonight we had a bunch of friends over and Joanna was able to score a smokin' good deal on some salmon, so I was feeling inspired. But I didn't have a lot of time to marinade or BBQ so I decided to steam the fish in newspaper. "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?", you say. Yep, first you smear delicious goo and fresh herbs all over your fish, and then you wrap it in newspaper, soak it in water, and roast it in the oven. The fish essentially steams inside the paper and gets a gentle and subtle flavour from your additions. Because I live in Vancouver, and because even when my fridge is basically empty I always have strange Asian condiments around, and because I just got back from Thailand, I decided to go with a Southeast Asian groove. Here it is, y'all...

Asian Steamed Fish Paper Parcels
1 whole fish (salmon, tilapia, mahi mahi, or anything else you can get your hands on), cleaned
1 fist fresh cilantro
2 big thumbs of ginger
6 cloves fresh garlic
2 stalks fresh lemongrass
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
stapler, or kitchen twine, or packing/duct tape if you are really desperate
Assembling the fish and parcel
Using your favorite, sharp, big-ass kitchen knife, cut slits of both sides of the fish 2 cms apart. (This will allow your flavour goo and herbs more access to the meat.) In a food processor, whizzola the cilantro, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass into oblivion. In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, miso, oil, and vinegar until smooth.
The parcel, steamed, and cut open

Spread out a moderately thick sheath of newspaper. Sprinkle 1/3 of the herb mixture down on the paper. Using a spoon, smear a bit of your flavour goo on one side of the fish, making sure to rub it into the slit cuts. Place fish goo side down onto of the herbs. Spoon more goo into the belly cavity and rub some herbs in there as well. Finally, smear the rest of the goo on top of the fish, rubbing it into the cuts and sprinkling the last of your herb mixture on top.
Oh yeah!

Roll the fish up in the newspaper and fold the ends twice so that way steam will not escape. Seal the parcel however you can, hopefully with staples or kitchen twine, but I was desperate and used packing tape (yes, it does melt). Preheat the oven to 400 and soak the parcel in cold water in the sink for 5 minutes. Put the parcel on a baking sheet and bang it in the oven until it is done. Use a meat thermometer if you are sketchy, but I did mine for about 45 min. When it is done, pull it out, cut it open, and let the feasting begin! While you are enjoying your Asian aquatic yumminess, trip out on this...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Easy Miso Soup

I rarely have time to think these days, much less spend a long preparing a meal. With the demands of being a super-daddy that I face every day, relaxing moments are sometimes hard to come by. So today I would like to present to you some simple-zen-in-a-bowl...
Easy Miso Soup
- 2 litres H2O
- 1/3 cup miso paste
- 1 pack (2 teaspoons) bonito soup base powder (available at Japanese grocery stores)
- 1 cube chicken bullion.

Throw in pot. Boil. Stir. Eat.

(If you want to get crazy you can cube up a little bit of firm tofu and throw that in along with some chopped green onion and some udon noodles, but don't break a sweat.)

Now that you are feeling all nice, chilled out, and relaxed, here is some irritating, sappy, kiddy J-pop (apparently extolling the virtues of miso soup) to snap you back to the harsh reality of life.