Saturday, January 31, 2009

cooking inspiration needed!

It's nice to be back to blogging again. I think I missed the connection the most. It was lovely to have comments to read again!

I'm not much of a cook (mom, Hannah, stop laughing!) but I have more time now so for the last year or so I have tried to discover one new recipe each season that I can make my own. I've learned how to make a lovely Parmesean-crusted baked chicken, Shepherd's Pie and okonomiyaki to add to the list of standard meals that I make each week (yakisoba, spaghetti, burritos, curry rice etc.). My husband and the girls love each new addition and look forward to when I make each one which is awesome but lately I'm lacking inspiration. I've searched for a new recipe to try out this Winter but nothing stands out. I see a lot of slow-cooker recipes but I don't own a slow cooker so that doesn't help me!

Can you help me out? Please share your favorite wintertime recipe with me! I am in desperate need of inspiration.

Thank you.


Kim said...

Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by my Binkie post! It is so good to hear from you again!

Do you all like oden? Ryu loves it. It is kind of spendy, though, if you buy the ingredients seperately. We usually wait till we get a pack or two on sale.

And...stew, stew, stew. Corn bread goes well with stew. Oh, and shogayaki! With gomae spinach. We love that. Do you make that yet?

That parmesean chicken sounds great!

thefukases said...

I'm glad you're back. I've missed hearing about your family. :)

I second shogayaki and If you want to jazz up a stew, put it in a casserole dish and add a batch of scone dough on top. Cook until scone dough is cooked and it's amazing! Takikomigohan is a big hit here, too. I love it because you just throw everything in the ricecooker and walk away!

Hannah said...

If you're looking for a good way to keep the girls busy and make dinner at the same time, try buying pizza dough from Costco and have them make up their own pizzas. You can make pizza dough ahead of time and freeze it, too. I usually just put spaghetti sauce and pre-shredded cheese on ours, but you could probably find some interesting toppings at Costco.

We also really like perogies, which are apparently really easy to make ahead of time and freeze. They cook up really fast and they're so yummy with just butter and sour cream. You can also put them frozen in a casserole dish, mix in a can of mushroom soup and veggies, top it with cheese and bake it for half an hour.

I think my other favourite easy dinner to make is chili, and I have an awesome recipe from Rachael Ray that I can send you. I like this recipe because it takes less than an hour to make. If I'm working that day I'll chop the veggies up on my lunchbreak then it goes really quickly. If I have more time I'll make buttermilk biscuits to go with them, which are super easy. Chili is nice because it's actually full of healthy stuff and it's really filling, and it keeps really nicely for lunch the next day.

I have to say, though, I still have not had anything as good as the yakisoba you made when we visited you. I've tried copying it a few times and it's just not the same. Maybe we could swap recipes...

I miss you lots, and I'm glad you're blogging again. It reminds me that you're only a webpage away, instead of an entire ocean.

illahee said...

simmered pork with daikon:

(about) 300g pork belly (butabara), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 daikon
1 carrot
3-6 small shittake mushrooms

3 cups dashi stock (or water)
2.5 Tbsp. sake
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce (or regular)

peel the daikon, then cut it into bite-sized pieces. soak in cold water, then drain. peel carrot and cut into bite-sized pieces. wipe dirt off mushrooms with a wet paper towel.

in a little oil (maybe 1 Tbsp., the pork is fatty), fry the pork in a medium pot. after the meat changes color, add the daikon and carrot. when the edges of the daikon start to turn translucent, add the mushrooms and stir fry quickly. add the three cups of dashi stock or water and bring to a boil, skimming off scum. add sake, salt and soy sauce, reduce the heat to medium. place a wooden drop lid on top and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. probably don't NEED a drop lid, just stir often so the veggies cook at the same time. you can also top this with chopped parboiled daikon leaves before serving. a good (easy) winter recipe!

Mom said...

what about fish soft tacos? Steam or fry any white fish and wrap in a burrito wrap with lettuce, couscous or sushi rice, tomatoes and onions, sour cream or yogurt - guacamole and/or salsa are great too - and yum! Daddy likes them with grated cheese - and chocolate cake!
Love Mom

Christie D. said...

Our yaoya-san guy told me this recently...

Cut up some bacon strips & spinach, and slice up a 1/4 pumpkin (or more). Put layers of bacon, then spinach, and then pumpkin, in a non-stick pan (about 3 or 4 sets of layers). Squeeze some mayo over the whole thing. I also sprinkled a mixture of water, sake, shoyu, sugar and mirin over the whole thing, but apparently this isn't necessary. It was good that way, anyway!

Now cover the whole thing with a lid and cook on low (without stirring) until all the ingredients are cooked. This is a yummy side dish for a Japanese-style meal with rice, or you can serve it over rice as a simple donburi.