Showing posts from 2018

Unfussy Eggplant Parmesan

When I read this recipe, it was so simple and genius it blew my mind.  I couldn't wait to try it.  Who doesn't love eggplant parmesan?  But the breading, and frying, and layering can all be a bit time consuming and laborious. This proved to be a great recipe with all the great flavors of eggplant parmesan, that really was unfussy.  And delicious.  And probably slightly healthier with no frying.   I made it even more 'unfussy' by using pre-made tomato sauce, but adding a few fresh tomatoes for a better taste.  The idea came from this Food52 recipe.

Unfussy Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 4

2 large globe eggplants1 24 oz. jar tomato sauce (or you can make your own like the Food52 recipe)1 Roma tomato, cut in quarters1/2 c. shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese2 tbs. grated parmesan 1/2 c. roughly torn breadsaltolive oiloptional: Basil leaves for garnish, Parmesan curls Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut eggplants lengthwise in half.  Score cut sides in diagonal …

What I learned while on Whole 30

We celebrated Tet this year in Houston with my family and it was loads of fun and excitement for John.  I made red longevity noodles for the first time and looked with forlorn envy as everyone ate my aunt's bun bo hue, I skipped out on my mom's homemade banh tet, and even bypassed my birthday cake.  Ok, it was only 1/3 of my birthday cake.  It was the 'February birthdays' birthday cake within my dad's family and I actually brought it so there was no surprise there.  All this sacrifice and withholding is due to my new resolution to try a month-long elimination diet trial.

You heard right, I'm attempting Whole30!
But Christine, you freaking love grains, alcohol, added sugar, legumes and dairy!
Why yes, I do, but for the sake of my continued health, and to see if there is a nutrition-related link with Bell's Palsy (every holistic health person tells me this), I'm going to do some self-experimentation.  Let's see if cutting out sugar, grains, alcohol, …

2018 Austin Best Eats: Vietnamese Restaurants around Austin

(This is an update of my 2017 Austin Best Eats guide)

When I moved to Austin over 10 years ago from Houston, finding Vietnamese restaurants helped me with my homesickness.  When I don't have the time to cook or want to eat out, some of these places have been solid!  I think the Austin Vietnamese scene has really blossomed over the last few years as Vietnamese food has become more mainstream.  
Vietnamese food in Austin is plentiful! Sometimes, you just need to know where to look.  Here is just a SAMPLING of a few popular places around town.  The hours and addresses are listed and website linked when possible.  If I left out your favorite, please comment below!
In an effort to keep this post from being repetitive or way too long, I left out places my fellow food blogger over at The Smoking Ho has included in his Banh Mi roundup
888 Pan Asian Vietnamese Cuisine* 2400 E. Oltorf Suite 1A, Austin, TX 78741 M-Sat 11:00 am-2:00 am Sun 5:00 pm-11:30 pm Like the name says, this is pan-Asian cu…

Marfa and West Texas

I took a road trip with my dog, Jake, to Marfa, TX a few weekends ago.  It was a much needed recharge/self-care retreat and good bonding time with my #1 buddy.  Jake is 13 years old, which is getting up there as far as lab mixes go.  I adopted him from the Austin Humane Society when I was in undergraduate and volunteering as a dog walker and dog trainer there.  He was so smart and picked up commands so quickly, I easily fell in love with him.  Jake moved with me to College Station and endured the tortures of being a vet student's pet (helping me with anatomy by letting me palpate his bones; allowing me to practice surgery when I volunteered him for a stomach tacking surgery called a gastropexy).  He was my first buddy before I met Reid.  In fact, I always have to remind Reid that if it hadn't been for Jake, we would never have started dated.  We had Jake in our wedding.

He has welcomed a cat in our household.  Well, not so much as welcomed as cowered away from Julius.  And n…

Bubble (Boba) Milk Tea

I love bubble tea.  I remember having my first bubble tea when I was around 10 years old.  I loved the sugary and fun drink.  I was a bit disappointed when I tried to share the drink with an American friend of mine and she wrinkled her nose up at it and said it tasted like "boogers".  Luckily, milk tea is pretty mainstream now and most major cities have at least a few tea shops.  One summer, my sister, her boyfriend, and I spent nearly every day buying bubble milk tea.  It was our summertime treat.  But it was an expensive habit for a high schooler, with each serving costing around $3 each.  So we tried making it at home.

It was a disaster.  We boiled the tapioca pearls for what seemed like an eternity but they never seemed to get soft.  So we went back to purchasing the drinks.  And working summer jobs to pay off our habit.

So after that one at-home disaster, I was put-off making it at home.  Until I came across...QUICK-COOKING TAPIOCA PEARLS!!!!! They were at my Asian gro…

I'm (semi) famous!!!

Another year of feeding ourselves is behind us, and here we are, scraping the dried bits of dough off the kitchen counter, scrubbing the sheet pans that worked so hard, or replacing the 9-by-13-inch casserole dishes we forgot to retrieve at summer and fall potlucks. Anyone who cooks knows that it’s often a thankless job, yet one so necessary. But when there is creativity or inspiration...

love, C