Honey (or maple) fried ham

3 September 2015
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My 9-year old discovered ham this summer. He won’t venture out of his safe island of starchy food at home, but lo and behold he came home from his cousins’ house raving about newly discovered exotica…ham sandwiches! Suddenly ham is the best thing ever. I never used to buy ham – there are a million […]

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Macho salad

24 October 2014
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I love this hefty-not-heavy salad, featured in a number of Hillstone restaurants, in spite of its goofball name. I’m not sure what makes it macho – lots of dates; very corny? And shouldn’t a macho salad be beefy, not chicken? But name aside, it’s the mix of flavors and textures – greens, chicken, chopped dates, […]

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Chopped taco salad

9 July 2014
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At the end of our friends’ visit to Ohio last summer, Paul left wistful for more pie, and Venus dreamed of Jeni’s ice cream. This year they came again for a longer stay, and we indulged in so much pie and Jeni’s that by the end, the only food they wanted more of was this […]

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Crunchy curry chicken salad

21 October 2011
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To me there’s one problem with most chicken salads: too much chicken. Plain old chicken and mayonnaise seems like a lost opportunity when instead you could add in fruit, nuts and spice have something crunchy, savory, sweet, nutty, creamy and tastebud-tingly. In my house, curry chicken salad makes leftover chicken a reason for celebration. The […]

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Leftover soup

30 March 2011
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Turning so-so leftovers into something different and better is almost more satisfying to me than making something great from fresh ingredients. It pleases my frugal chinese grandma genes, to be sure, but I also find it delightfully magical to conjure up something new from nothing special. I love playing fairy godmother to the orphaned containers […]

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Creamy chicken and rice soup

20 October 2010
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This is comfort in a bowl – chicken and rice in a thick creamy soup. Dress it up with some roasted fingerling potatoes, a parmesan crouton, or a crumble of crispy bacon. Or just have it in a mug with a grilled cheese sandwich. This soup demands nothing but a cold day outside to appreciate […]

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Fried rice: Leftover Chinese takeout makeover

11 October 2010
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Fried rice is the chinese grandma way of rescuing the old and making it new. In today’s modern version we’ll use tired leftover Chinese takeout and turn it into a fresh one-bowl meal. Fried rice is made with cold rice (hot fresh rice is too moist), so by definition it’s a leftover meal. This is […]

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New life for old bananas, part 2

20 August 2010
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This is my holy grail banana bread recipe – super moist with deep banana flavor; springy and not heavy. The recipe is simple and perfect – and bakes into a beautiful gift-worthy loaf. I also cherish this recipe because it comes from my old friend and fellow chinese grandma Lisa, who was my first friend […]

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New life for old bananas, part 1

18 August 2010
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Rorschach test: do you see nasty old bananas, or do you see possibility? Guess what chinese grandma sees? I love old bananas, because they call out “BAKE ME!” There’s pretty much nothing I love better than a good baked treat. Put that together with a compulsive desire not to let anything go to waste, and […]

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