I love Chinese eggplant. Almost more than Star Trek:TNG, but not quite. I ate this recipe while watching Picard do stuff. It was an awesome combination.

I love Chinese eggplant. Almost more than Star Trek:TNG, but not quite. I ate this recipe while watching Picard do stuff. It was an awesome combination.

Ingredients for vegetables*:

  • 4 Chinese eggplants, halved and sliced
  • 3 Red Peppers, cubed
  • 1 large onion, quartered or sixthed
  • large handful basil
  • teaspoon of garlic
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of grated ginger

*um, I guess the true ingredients for vegetables would be water, plant matter, etc, but I’m stupid.

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil (but I used sesame oil and it was good)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cooking directions:

1. Soak the eggplant in water for 30 minutes if you want. I think this is weird, personally, but a lot of people suggest it. whatevs. To each his own.

2. Throw all the vegetables in a pan with some vegetable oil, with the exception of the basil and ginger. Throw the basil and ginger in when the rest of the vegetables are soft.

3. Mix ingredients for sauce together. Put in pan with vegetables once the onion is browned, pepper is slightly soft, and eggplants are slightly brown but not overcooked. Overcooked eggplant is gross.

4. Eat over rice or noodles if you like.

This is how you’re supposed to make this recipe:

• 1 cup all-natural plain yogurt
• Juice of half lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 6 chicken thighs (bone-in)

In food processor, combine yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic and spices; process until smooth.

2. Place chicken in zip-close bag; add yogurt mixture, turning to coat. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chicken from marinade and arrange on baking sheet with sides. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until done all the way to center.

…but I didn’t notice the “refrigerate for 2 hours” thing so I didn’t do that. Oh, I also didn’t put the ingredients in a food processor. Also, instead of chicken I used grapes. And instead of baking it I threw it off the roof.

1/2 cup natural (not homogenized) peanut butter
2 tbsp peanut or sesame or vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp hot pepper flakes
pinch salt
2 tbsp rice or cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce or light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 lb chinese wheat noodles or spaghetti or linguini (OR soba, I used soba)
2 cups shredded skinless cooked chicken (I used tofu, turned a few times in a hot frying pan full of toasted sesame seeds until it went golden)
1 1/2 cups julienned cucumber
2 green onions, thinly sliced
coriander sprigs

  • Place peanut butter in heatproof bowl. In small skillet, heat peanut oil over low heat; add garlic, hot pepper and salt, and fry until garlic is softened and very fragrant and oil is reddened, about 5 minutes. Scrape into peanut butter; with fork, thoroughly mix. Whisk in vinegar, soy and fish sauces, sesame oil and sugar; whisk in at least 1/4 cup water, adding more, if necessary, to make a thick yet easily pourable sauce. Set aside.
  • In large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package directions; drain, rinse, chill under cold water and drain. Place in individual bowls or on serving platter. Top with peanut sauce, chicken (tofu), cucumber, onions and coriander.
  • Makes 4 to 6 servings.


    Okonomiyaki is one of my favorite things to eat in the whole world. If you live in Toronto, and you want to enjoy them in their sweet, authentic glory, I would go here – http://www.dine.to/okonomihouse

    What is Okonomiyaki? A japanese grilled pancake of sorts, usually composed of shredded cabbage and/or grated root vegetable, with some fillings/toppings of various sorts thrown in for good measure, topped with some special BBQ sauciness and mayo.

    When I was a meat eater, I quite enjoyed the squid and pork variations at Okonomi House. But now I opt for the straight veg kind, which has yummy bits of green pepper and green onion and maybe carrots or something in it. I forget. Why do I forget?

    Because now Brenton, the hubster, makes them for me special! At home! And he’s going to make them tonight! For me! Me? Me!

    How does he make them? I forget right now but I’ll edit this post later with an update. I swears. For reals.

    When I consume these, I eat them minus the porky pork pork porkiness. Pork pork pork pork someone pinch me so I stop writing pork pork pork pork OWWWWWWWWW!

    When I consume these, I eat them minus the porky pork pork porkiness. Pork pork pork pork someone pinch me so I stop writing pork pork pork pork OWWWWWWWWW

    corn corn corn corn cakes.

    corn corn corn corn cakes.

    This is super-good food- easy to make, yummy, and a total man-pleaser. While I made these, I listened to a great video of John Hodgman telling a funny story about aliens.

    Stir it up: Whisk 3 eggs in a big bowl. Stir in a can of drained corn niblets,

    3 tablespoons cornmeal, 3 tablespoons flour, 3 chopped green onions,

    1 cup shredded sharp cheddar, and some Salt n Pepper. It’ll make a thick, lumpy batter.

    Bling it up: Maybe add some extra stuff like hot sauce, or sugar, or crumbled bacon, or chopped jalapenos, or somehing else. Or maybe not- I didn’t.

    Cook it up: Heat a teeny bit of butter in a nonstick pan. Drop in big spoonfuls of batter to make pancakes, and mush ’em down flat while they fry. When the corncake edges are golden, sprinkle the raw tops with a big pinch of cornmeal and a wee pinch of salt, then flip ’em and brown the other side.

    Serve with a dab of butter, & a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

    Source:  this recipe. Makes 5 or 6 medium-sized pancakes.

    OH MAN!

    We ate this with a deli rotisserie chicken and some pan-fried beet greens with goat cheese.

    Rating: Hell yeah.

    Saucy Buckwheat Noodles (with Peanut-Honey-Soy-Sesame Sauce), Chicken Tikka Masala, Snow Peas, and Corn corn corn corn.

    Saucy Buckwheat Noodles (with Peanut-Honey-Soy-Sesame Sauce), Chicken Tikka Masala, Snow Peas, and Corn corn corn corn.

    I made a yummy dinner tonight, with help from this Rachael Ray recipe.

    Snow Peas
    Peanut Butter
    Soy Sauce
    Sesame Oil


    Boil up some NOODLES. Rachel suggests whole wheat spaghetti- I used Japanese buckwheat noodles. Doesn’t really matter.

    When the noodles are just about ready, toss in a couple handfuls of trimmed SNOW PEAS, and cover the pot again, just to steam them fast.

    In another pan, make the sauce. You can eyeball the amounts. The amounts listed below will make enough sauce to dress about 3 servings of noodles.

    Fry up some GARLIC & GINGER until slightly browned.

    Add a big whop of PEANUT BUTTER (2 tablespoons), stir til it melts.

    Add the same amount of SESAME OIL (2 tablespoons) and stir til it emulsifies.

    Add SOY SAUCE (4 tablespoons) and HONEY (2 tablespoons) and stir again.

    Lower the heat a bit so the honey doesn’t burn.

    Grab the snowpeas out of the noodle pot to keep them seperate, if you feel anal. Leave em in if you don’t care.

    Rinse the noodles & snow peas under cool water & drain. At this point, I pulled out the snow peas to keep them seperate & plain, but you don’t need to.

    Dump noodles (and snowpeas, if you want) into the sauce & stir to coat.


    Sprinkle with GREEN ONIONS, TOASTED SESAME SEEDS, or CHOPPED PEANUTS if you have ’em. If you don’t, big whup.

    I served these Saucy Noodo with President’s Choice Chicken Tikka Masala (for a sort of pan-continental thing, to help our dinner feel “diverse”), and a can of corn corn corn quickly pan-seared with garlic, green onion, & salt-n-pepa.

    Spinderella cut it up one time.  Hit me.

    Spinderella cut it up one time. Hit me.

    Rating: yes. Thanks, Rachael.

    Sweet Potato Oven Fries

    Sweet Potato Oven Fries

    Preheat oven to 350′

    Cut sweet potatoes into thin french fries.
    Each person will easily consume one full potato’s worth of these fries. Don’t be stingy.
    It will look like a lot, but trust me.

    Place in glass pan thingies or on cookie sheets.
    Spread ’em out so they aren’t overlapping too much.

    Throw on:
    a glug of olive oil
    4 crushed cloves of garlic per pan
    lots of sea salt
    coarse-grind pepper

    (Fun fact! Loosen the little knobby thing on your pepper grinder to get a coarser grind!)

    Mess it all up with a spoon til all fries are a little shiny with the oil.
    Shake the pan to even it out a bit.
    Put ’em in the oven for a bit.


    Toss ’em around, add a little more olive oil if they’re sticking.
    Put ’em under the broiler til the smoke detector goes off just before the smoke detector goes off.
    Curse at smoke detector.
    Climb on chair & yank smoke detector off wall.
    Throw smoke detector down stairs.

    Stir em up and add more salt.
    Yam Yam Yam.

    The whole thing will take about 35 minutes from cutting to burning completion.

    Wow. Did this really just happen?

    Today I didn’t have time to pack a real lunch, so I threw in a packet of dried soup and hoped there would be a pot in one of the kitchen cupboards where I’m temping that I could use. There was. It also had a sign near it that said, “please don’t use these plastic containers, they have an owner” but I thought, “well, this isn’t a plastic container and even if it belongs to someone, surely they won’t mind me using it for 10 minutes as long as I clean it and put it back.”

    Low and behold, the owner of the pot, a woman I had met previously and who seemed rather nice, came into the kitchen while I was making my soup. Here is the conversation that followed:

    Woman: That’s my pot.

    Me: Oh, sorry…

    Woman: yeah, that’s my pot.

    Me: Okay, sorry, do you want me to-

    Woman: I don’t like it when people use my pot and that’s my pot.

    Me: Oh, sorry, I’m done I’ll just wash it up-

    Woman: I don’t like people using my stuff, and that’s mine, so.

    Me: Right, got it. (washing pot quickly, feeling like child who has just been scolded)

    She warms up her lunch in microwave while i finish washing pot. Her pot.

    Me: Do you want to use this right now or-

    Woman: No, it’s just I don’t like people using-

    Me: Right, I got that, I just wondered if I should leave it out or if I should put it back in the cupboard.

    I put pot back in the cupboard and leave with my soup.

    So maybe she’s a vegetarian? Or kosher? Those are the only reasons I could think of for someone to have such an ISSUE with someone borrowing their pot. Thoughts?



    Waaay cheaper in Chinatown, bro.

    Chicken feet: Waaay cheaper in Chinatown, bro.

    Here is one of those things that you probably knew all along but never really thought about: Asian groceries and grocery stores are way cheap. But why? Luckily for us, the Internet knows.

    Unsophisticated Retail Tactics
    Almost no Asian market owners spend money or time on such consumer spending optimizers as fliers, advertising, competitive pricing strategies, market research, information systems, shelf-space positioning strategies, frequent shopper club memberships, or interior decorating.

    Western supermarket chains do not do these nice activities because they like you! Supermarkets do these things to bring you in the store and because they generate more revenue than they cost to perform. That extra profit comes from your pocket.

    Market’s Economies of Scale
    Economies of scale kick in in major cities with a large concentration of Asian people. There are frequently one or two major Asian markets that have more shoppers per square feet than any western supermarkets I’ve ever seen. Visit the fresh fish counter in a major Asian stores in a city like Boston or San Jose just to see the massive volume sold. I remember from some market research a couple years ago, in the US, the average Asian and Hispanic shopper buys more groceries and cooks from scratch more frequently than the average western shopper. Volume drives down prices.

    Weak Asian Brands

    Frequently, foods made in Asia are sold very inexpensively in their home country due to weak branding, low labor costs and extreme price competition. This bruising competition is carried abroad at every stage in the wholesale chain keeping prices low.

    Almost No Product Advertising
    Asian branded products are not advertised internationally. When you buy TV and print advertised products, like those from General Mills or Kraft, you pay about 7% in direct advertising expenses and frequently far more for “brand value”. If companies don’t spend on ads, you don’t learn the differences between brands without trying them yourself, but you also don’t have to pay for their ads.


    I’m very nostalgic for Chinese candy, which Scott thinks is utterly vile. He also reminds me that “sometimes Chinese factories forget not to put fertilizer and lead paint in the candies”. “Confucious say Everything in moderation“, I usually reply, squinting and bowing my head in wisdom. He never has an answer for that one.

    This is the list of words people typed into Google yesterday to get to this blog.
    I’m not sure how to feel.

    Do you like low carb, hi protein pizza, which maybe isn’t exactly pizza, but is delicious, and easy to make? Like, in under 10 minutes, prep included? Yes. FOR REAL. Here is what you do:

    this is what orange shredded cheese looks like. do not, i repeat, do not use sparingly.

    this is what orange shredded cheese looks like. do not, i repeat, do not use sparingly.


    1 small can salsa

    1 small can sliced black olives

    couple handfulls of shredded orange cheese

    one handfull of crumbled feta for shits and giggles

    pinch o’ dried oregano

    1 block extra firm tofu


    1. Squish water out of tofu.

    2. Preheat oven to 450 or something.

    3. Cut tofu in half so you end up with 2 thinner slices. Cut each slice in half so you end up with 4 square-ish pieces altogether.

    4. Mix together some of the olives from the can with most of the salsa from the small jar. Spoon over tofu. Make sure the tofu is thoroughly covered with the salsa/olive stuff, nice and thick.

    5. Put lotsa orange cheese atop the salsa, followed by a smaller sprinkling of crumbled feta for shits and giggles.

    6. Add the world’s teensiest sprinkle of oregano to each tofu pizza square.

    6. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or as soon as the cheese is nice and melty and brown but not burned. VOILA. Easiest meal ever. You could make some substitutions (ie. yellow cheese, flavoured tofu, etc), but I don’t recommend it. Do exactly as I say and you will not regret it.


    Maybe you’re like me and likey las quesadillas from time to time. Maybe you buy “flour tortillas”, ie “wheat flour tortillas”, to make them. You’re making a big mistake.

    Yesterday I purchased “corn tortillas”. They are smaller than flour tortillas (maybe 6″ in diameter), and a little tougher-feeling. Friends, I did some really advanced mathematics on these and proved that they also taste ONE ZILLION TIMES better than flour tortillas. You heard me. In the arena of tortillas (and bread, and muffins, for that matter), corn is a superior ingredient.

    Corn Tortillas.  If they were good enough for Jesus*, they are good enough for me.  (*Thats pronounced Hey-Soos, by the way.  Hes a dude I met in Costa Rica.  Very friendly guy.)

    Corn Tortillas. If they were good enough for Jesus*, they are good enough for me. (*That's pronounced Hey-Soos, by the way. He's a dude I met in Costa Rica. Very friendly guy.

    Wheat-flour tortillas are insipid, textureless, and doughy. This means that wheat-flour quesadillas require an overload of cheese to make them palatable. Never let it be said that cheese overloads are not good-possibly-great things. But my friends, why make a 2-ingredient snack that relies the fat in one ingredient to camouflage the tastelessness of the other? (Don’t answer that. Rhetorical.)

    Corn tortillas, on the other hand, make for quesadillas that are deliciously crisp at edge with a dense, toothsome texture throughout. The tortillas themselves have a slightly nutty, corny thing going on, and that thing is muy delightful. You need use only a reasonable amount of cheese because the tortilla itself has flavour and texture.

    They are delicious, my friends, and I just ate four.

    Corn tortillas. The superfood of the Aztecs of the future. That could be you.

    To get diabeetus, and LUFF it every step of the way, consume this delightful lychee float recipe I concocted.


    1 can PC lychee soda

    1.5 scoops Breyers Vanilla ice cream (French or Classic, I don’t give a hoot)

    1 or 2 overripe, in season, peaches cut into bitesize pieces


    1. Cut peaches in bitesize pieces

    2. Put sliced pieces into the largest glass in your kitchen.

    3. Pour 1 can of soda over peaches.

    4. Add 1 or 1.5 scoops of ice cream but try not to let it bubble over too much. If it bubbles over too much then you won’t get diabeetus, which is the point of this entire exercise.

    5. Drink. Get diabeetus. Repeat the process whenever you feel like your diabeetus is going away, and you miss it.

    the man among men himself, the root of all diabeetus

    the man among men himself, the root of all diabeetus


    old cold moldy tea

    splash o’ rum

    splash o’ rosewater

    sparkling mineral water

    frozen blackberries

    squeeze of lemon juice



    me miscellaneous ingrediented summer sweet tea

    me miscellaneous ingrediented summer sweet tea

    Last night I wanted brownies, so I googled the easiest recipe in the whole internet and started throwing sugar and butter into a bowl. I didn’t have cocoa powder (and neither did my corner store) so I used some semi-sweet chocolate squares I had kicking around. When the brownies had been in the oven for 5 minutes I realized I’d forgotten to add the baking powder. “Meh,” said I. “I’m sure they will turn out alright.” And you know what? They did. The lesson: brownies will never not be good. 

    Speaking of simple dessert recipes, have you ever made these cookies? Don’t forget to add the peanut butter, otherwise you will just be eating lots of sugar with an egg in it. It’s funny how you can take one thing away from something fantastic and make it horrible. Reminds me of my gorgeous blonde friend Siobhan who tried on that brown wig that one time. She went from bombshell to homely white trash in two seconds. We would have been impressed, had we not been so horrified.