Saturday, June 30, 2012

水餃 (Taiwanese Dumplings)

I have been craving good home cooked Taiwanese food. Maybe it is from missing family. Maybe it is from wanting a change from ooey gooey cheesey comfort foods. Maybe it is because Taiwanese food is just so good. Fortunately I have inspiration and help this weekend. Thank you Stella and Kyle! 

Napa Cabbage. Ginger. Green Onion. Chives.


So of course nothing is measured out. We made it the old school way, by sight, feel, and smell (can't taste it since there's raw meat). If you're looking for a recipe, heads up, this one doesn't provide nitty gritty details (like measurements).... We started out with about 2lb ground pork and divided it up in thirds to make three batches of dumplings. For a binder, we beat two extra-large eggs and divided that in thirds as well between the batches. Below are the ingredients in each batch. Once the ingredients are all mixed together in a large bowl and seasoned, start your pot of boiling water. Note, we used 80 dumpling wrappers but probably could have used another 80 because we had a decent amount of leftover filling. Place a heaping teaspoonful of the meat mixture in the center of each wrap. Using your finger, wet the edges of the wrap with water and fold in half creating a half-moon. Pleat towards the middle,on one side, pressing the edges firmly to seal. Continue until you run out of wrappers or you run out of filling! At this point, you can boil the dumplings and eat immediately or freeze them uncooked on a tray and then store in Ziploc bags. We froze two trays and ate the rest. Here's the tip for boiling dumplings. Add them one by one (but not too crowded) into boiling pot of water. When they start to float and boiling resumes, add a cup of cold water. Do this three times. Then remove the cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon, or strainer, or skimmer and spread out on a cookie sheet or large plate so they don't stick together. Enjoy!

Zucchini Dumplings
- ground pork 
- finely grated zucchini (water wrung out in a dish towel)
- minced garlic
- beaten egg
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- sea salt

Shrimp Dumplings
- ground pork
- chopped raw shrimp
- finely chopped chives
- beaten egg
- minced garlic
- sesame oil
- sea salt

Napa Cabbage Dumplings
- ground pork
- shredded napa cabbage
- chopped green onion
- beaten egg
- minced ginger
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
- sea salt

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Then & Now

Over time, we grow up, we go to college, we graduate, we move to start our first real job or to attend grad school, we graduate again, we move again. We get married. We live in different states, in different time zones. We may not talk for months, but when we do, we pick up right where we left off. 

So much may change over the years but the memories we have and the love we share will always be with us. Thank you Steven, Albert, Janice, and Zane for stopping by from over 1,000 miles away. By filling our house with your laughter, it felt a little more like home.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pink Zinnia Mint Sweater (0-3 Months)

I tried something a little different with this sweater compared the previous ones. The sleeves are more of a drop shoulder. Instead of buttons, there's a sweet bow to be tied. Loving the delicate pop of color. Made a matching mint beanie (not pictured). Perfect gift for a Mommy-to-be!

Zucchini Bread

This week we picked a 1lb 10oz, a 2lb 10oz, and a 3lb 10oz zucchini (not sure what's going on with the 10oz thing)! We didn't really mean for them to get this long. You wouldn't think something this big could hide in our little garden but you'd be surprised! These zucchini could take someone out. Who needs a bat for protection? I've got zucchini clubs.

By the way, used the food processor shredding blade for the first time and cannot believe I've gone this long without it (well, second time because I used it for the first time for zucchini fritters last night)! 

Prep: 20 minutes     Bake: 45-50 minutes     Oven: 350F     Yield: 2 loaves

3 c unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 beaten extra large eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
2 c finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/2 c olive oil

  1. Use a ceramic 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (never have to grease it and bread always comes out perfectly) or generously grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the mixture and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine egg, sugar, zucchini, and oil. Add the zucchini mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just until moistened, the batter should be lumpy. Spoon batter into pan.
  3. Bake at 350F for 50-55 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on wire rack, then wrap in plastic wrap and store overnight in fridge prior to slicing or else you'll end up with a crumbly mess (or you can be impatient and enjoy the bread and crumbly mess).

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Roasted Garlic Spread

For an easy appetizer, you've gotta try this roasted garlic spread. It's extremely easy and richly flavorful. For a dinner party, this can be made ahead of time or be roasting while you prepare other dishes. Ready?

  1. Peel away dry outer layers from a head of garlic, leaving the skins and cloves intact. Best to pick heads with fairly uniform clove heights.
  2. Cut off the pointed top portion, about 1/4 inch (if they aren't the same height, you end up cutting off more). Leave the bulb intact but the individual cloves should be exposed. 
  3. Place the garlic head, cut side up, in a muffin pan (if making a bunch) or custard cup (if making one or two). Drizzle with olive oil. 
  4. Cover with foil and bake in 425°F oven for 25-35 minutes or until cloves feel soft when pressed. Note, if you prefer not heating up the house in the middle of summer and have a toaster oven, loosely wrap garlic heads with olive oil in foil (enough foil so that the olive oil doesn't leak out everywhere), sitting cut side up. 
  5. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Squeeze out garlic paste from individual cloves into a small bowl. Use as is on toasted baguette slices or crackers. Or mix with soft cheese to go on toasted baguette slices? Or spread beneath a poached egg on an English muffin with fresh basil???

Lavender Chamomile Sweater (3-6 Months)

Sweet and cozy like a cup of tea on a rainy day.

10.5 inch base width (21 inches around)
10.5 inch length
11 inch sleeve length
5.5 inch yoke width

Available on Etsy!

Apple of My Eye Sweater (12-18 Months)

With 100+ heat and an unexpected monsoon this afternoon, one can only dream of cooler weather and autumn apple picking.

Available on Etsy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Red & Blue Chevron Infinity Scarf

I instantly fell in love with this balance of red, navy, cobalt, aqua, white, and bluish-gray. There's so much energy vibrating between the lines. It airs nautical and southwestern??

Check it out on Etsy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beth & Josh's Wedding - June 9, 2012

Congrats to a lovely couple from our alma mater! 9.5 years later, our dear Beth and Josh tie the knot. We come together from all chapters of your lives to celebrate the joining of two families. We love you and wish you years of laughter and adventures!

The Beautiful Bride

Color is Beth


Groom with Sister-In-Law

Bouquet Toss

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Garden Update - June 6, 2012

Since the last garden update, 6 weeks ago, we've started harvesting! The tomato plants are taking over the garden bed and the squash is finding its way over the sides. What a palette!

Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner.
Hot Banana Peppers. Green Onion. Zucchini Blossoms.
Green Kumquat. Green Peppers. Green Husky Red Tomatoes.
Sunset Mesquite. Bougainvillea. Garden.

Garden Penne

Cook/Prep Time: 30 minutes

tomatoes (hot off the vine!)
zucchini (accidentally broken off by husband when mowing)
penne (soaks up flavor)
olives (tangy salty)
Parmigiano Reggiano (mmmm nutty gritty goodness.....)
garlic (gotta have garlic)
basil olive oil (so earthy)
splash of Marsala wine (sweet)

While waiting for pot of water to boil for pasta, wash and chop vegetables. Start with mincing the garlic. Heat olive oil in medium saute pan on low-medium and add garlic. Chop up tomatoes and zucchini and add to the sizzling garlic. Throw in some olives if that's your thing (it's my thing). While waiting for vegetables to start bubbling, grate your cheese and try to not eat it all while grating. Give you vegetables a splash of wine and make sure it comes to bubbling again to boil off the alcohol (we aren't going for a "Drunken Penne"). Hopefully your water is boiling by now, cook pasta to al dente (mine took 11 minutes). During this time of waiting around, clean up your mess and set the table (or pull out a bowl and fork or something if you're not the table-setting type). When that timer goes off, drain the pasta, plate it, pour on the vegetable sauce, and sprinkle on some cheese!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Beach Bag

Dreaming of the Beach.
(...and a really big tote of baguettes, cheese, wine, fruit, cups, and plates for a summer picnic!)

Soil and stain release cotton duck canvas exterior.
Sunshine yellow lining.
Deep double exterior pockets, fits magazines.
Magnetic snap closures on sides to adjust width.
Straps are quadruple-stitched at stress points for reinforcement
Firm interfacing for stability.
Machine wash and dry low to medium.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Yellow Floral Tile Handbag

Sunshine yellow. Happy flowers. Repetition. This cheerful print reminds me of floral tiles in a vintage kitchen. After pleating the exterior (♥ pleats), I lined the handbag with a Kelly green cotton and a matching deep floral pocket. Have to say, I'm a big fan of magnetic snaps. Until I figure out how to sew zippers, magnetic snaps are the way to go!

Check it out on Etsy!

Purple Batik Print Belt

My favorite color is purple. I love all colors but if I had to pick one, I'd live in purple. Prints I also cannot live without. This batik print and I were meant to be. I knew it had to be turned into something!

What's your favorite color? Do you prefer prints or solids?

Check it out on Etsy!

Happy Birthday Edible Thoughts!

1 year has passed since this blog was born. It is a collection of recipes. It is a photo album. It is a journal. Each post is a celebration of the beautiful and delicious!

What have you celebrated in the past 365 days???

Blog stats since June 2, 2011:
  • 188 published posts
  • Readers in 38 countries 
  • 7, 653 page views
  • Post 1 Year Ago: Garden Inspirations

We celebrated today by waking up at 6:30am to do yard work before triple digits hit (not my plan initially ... I woke up halfway between Home Depot and Lowe's...). Then brunch time (now we're talking celebration)!

Sauteed garlic, mushrooms, and spinach topped with feta.

Fresh strawberries with spiced walnuts (Worcestershire+olive oil+sea salt+350°+15 min), peach preserve, and Nutella®)

Cause for Celebration since June 2, 2011:
  • bought a sewing machine
  • learned new crochet techniques
  • nourished an abundant garden
  • planted a peach tree and the birds had a feast
  • blessed with good health
  • harvested Meyer lemons
  • opened an Etsy shop
  • started StePhotography
  • went on our first cruise
  • met up with old friends
  • installed shelving in the walk-in closet
  • almost 10 years since my husband and I first met
  • congratulated engagements
  • danced at weddings