Just a Little Pac-Man Fever

Brie and crackers served as an appetizer at our table at our recent church fellowship dinner. This arrangement happened on a whim, of course…

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Didn’t have cherry or two to go with that, unfortunately. (Wocka wocka wocka wocka…)

Snow Day Soup…

You’ve seen these matzoh balls before, but on a snowy day like today,  a nice, hot soup is what the doctor ordered. Stay safe and warm, everyone!

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What a Concept…

I tried making the roasted chickpeas again a couple of weeks later in late October. This time, I baked them ~10 minutes (maybe 15) longer than stated on the recipe. They turned out crunchier and kept their crunch days later. :)

Crunchier Roasted Chickpeas!

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and Ready to Serve (Closer)

OK… I’ve been focusing a leeeetle too much on the sweet stuff lately. Here’s my first recipe post in a little while; this one has both sweet and salty going on.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas
from the Cupcake Project

Ingredients :

  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or your spice(s) of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1) Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes. Note from the Cupcake Project: You didn’t miss anything here. You don’t oil or season them until after they are done. In fact, for an extra healthy treat, try them when they get out of the oven before even adding the oil. They are enjoyable all on their own.

Chickpeas Ready to Bake (closer)

Oven Roasted Chickpeas (even closer)

2) Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
3) Enjoy hot, or bring to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.

Here’s what the roasted chickpeas look like after they’ve been tossed in oil and spices:

Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and Ready to Serve

Instead of straight cinnamon, I generally go for fivespice to shake things up a little bit. I may try this recipe with a little pumpkin pie spice next time around. The spice combinations are really up to you on this one!

There are many things to love about this recipe.  The recipe is very simple and the finished chickpeas are easy to transport from place to place. While the chickpeas tend to lose their crunch the longer you keep the chickpeas, they are still really tasty days after you bake them. They are like beer or corn nuts, but I think a lot better tasting and possibly a little better for you. Once I pop one into my mouth, it’s tough to stop myself (sorry, Pringles ;) ).

Need to figure out a way to keep ‘em crispy/crunchy once they have been out of the oven a while, though.

Can I call it a S’mookiewich?

Via Flickr:

Well, cronuts and other hybrid desserts are all the craze right now… :p

We were making S’mores after dinner at tonight’s get together (or last night’s by now…) , when it dawned upon me that there were still chocolate chip cookies left. This was born. Tasted pretty good, but I still prefer the original graham cracker in that position…

Here’s a traditionally constructed S’more for a frame of reference…

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Happy National Cheesecake Day!

Cheesecake Brownie

While this wasn’t strictly a cheesecake, I got this cheesecake brownie with today in mind.

DC Food Truck Update: A Done Deal?

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When we last left our intrepid food trucks, a hearing over the proposed regulations were taking place. Council ended up approving many of the regulations (mostly the ones involved with health and safety), while empowering themselves to separate the most contentious parts out and work on tweaking them (source: dcist).

Ultimately, a lottery is still in place, with a 200 foot radius around each food bending zone instead of 500 feet as originally proposed. Those trucks outside the radius may park as long as they feed their meters and have six feet of unobstructed sidewalk space. A meter does not count against the six feet. The Food Truck Association of Metro Washington seems satisfied, and I haven’t heard any wailing from the Restaurant Association of Metro Washington. The regulations passed a few days ago and await Mayor Gray’s signature.

I’m glad that this fight seems to be over after…what…96 days? I still find myself mentally performing the Spock eyebrow raise.

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Yes… That one.

It may be a case where both parties realized that no one would be 100% happy, but other than to give food trucks their own set of regulations for the sake of giving food trucks their own set of regulations, I didn’t really see the purpose of this longtime exercise in the first place. Food trucks and restaurants seemed to coexist fairly well in the District. Matt Yglesias expresses his own of set of reservations.

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Maybe I just don’t know.

Will we have that thriving street food culture? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what ultimately happens once the new regulations are implemented.

“Who Am I? Why Am I Here?”

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Confuzzled cookie is confuzzled…

a.k.a … A Fine Fine Line part two.

A couple of people passed along Food Asshole’s Dilemma yesterday; hat tips go out to my friend Blair and @casaveneracion for passing the post along. Suffice it to say, I got a good belly laugh out of it, and I’d really love to see the book. ;)

Seeing this post and Floreakeats’ subsequent post revival still raised a bunch of questions in my mind last night, mostly because I’m still a padwan in this adventure we call food fandom.

  • Was ‘foodie’ ever a positive term?
  • When did ‘foodie’ get co-opted by the food snobs/food assholes of the world, if it did? I have a different feeling about the term (as likely shown in “…A Fine Fine Line”), but I easily may be conflating things.
  • Should we food enthusiasts/geeks try to take it back?
  • What should we call ourselves instead? – Personally, I’d reserve gastronome for someone like Floreakeats, who has a bit more related formal education than this home cook and shutterbug Hapa does, but that’s just my gut talking.
  • Should I just go ‘Eh, it’s just a label’ and enjoy the ride?

Not earth-shattering thoughts and questions in the grand scheme of things, I know. I probably should take a cue from many academic article findings sections I’ve seen; “We still need to perform more research on this topic.”  I’d still like to see what y’all think, though.

Postscript: Personally, I feel I’m here to share my love of food and photography. Yes. I’m slack with my updates. I am definitely an amateur on both counts, and by no means do I consider myself a pro. I still have plenty to learn about both, and heaven forbid that I stop learning. I do this for the fun of it. If you don’t like what I do, you are more than free to mosey on down to another blog. To each his/her own.

Yes, even as a Hapa, I jokingly embrace the Asian stereotype of being an obsessive photographer — especially of food. I’m still half-Asian, after all. 

Edit: Come to think of it, I don’t really do selfies. Don’t worry, I’m not about to start doing so.

Honey Balsamic Five Spice Glazed…

Yep… first recipe(s) in a while. :)

Here is the base recipe for the below salmon and pork:

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon

from: Keeping it Tasty

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground (dry) mustard
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

I did not add nearly as much salt, only about 1/4 to 1/8 of a teaspoon. I added about 1/2 teaspoon each of rosemary and Five Spice to add extra flavor.

Instructions:

Mix all of the ingredients together to make the glaze. Cut small slices in the salmon every inch to allow the glaze to penetrate the fish. Place the salmon in a Pyrex dish and pour the glaze over, making sure to massage it into the cuts. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until done.

Here are the salmon fillets before going into the oven. The end result is as shown at the beginning of the post.

Rosemary Five Spice Salmon (Ready for Oven)

I also tried the honey balsamic five spice glaze with a pork loin roast, omitting the rosemary. I marinated the loin roast in the glaze overnight. Below is a shot of the loin after its 24-hour soak, ready for the oven.

Honey Balsamic Five Spice Pork Loin (Ready For Oven) #1

I baked the loin at 350 degrees for about an hour. The meat thermometer should read 160-175 degrees.  As always, let your roast rest before you cut it.

Resting Honey Balsamic Five Spice Pork Loin #1

Here’s what the roast looked like after its time in the oven. The marinade worked very well with the roast, and it was good for lunches and dinners for a good while!

It definitely was not the way the PhoWheels Food Truck seasoned their pork belly for their tacos and Banh Mi sandwiches, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention I was inspired by them. Here’s a shot of the Pork Belly Banh Mi…

Pork Belly Banh Mi on Crossaint

There is one thing I should keep in mind when I prepare a larger pork loin roast again. As long as the roast is up to temperature, do not freak out upon seeing a little pink. While we did stick with the pork slices until we finished them, I zapped all the succulence out of the pork by microwaving the slices in a moment of panic.

Moar Chocolate and Toffee!

We were in the last throes of the Spring Semester over at work (a fairly busy time at work), and a couple of colleagues brought over some treats to perk us up (or to celebrate the end of the semester…my memory doesn’t serve me perfectly).

One morning, we saw these Lacey’s Chocolate Toffee wafers with a post-it note saying “Please eat (me)!” I was able to find out later that these toffees were courtesy of one of our Course Reserves colleagues.

Lacey's Toffee Chocolate Wafers

Not too long later, Buckeye Blue Devil bought some Confectious Toffee Almond Crunch.

Confectious Milk Chocolate Almond Toffee Crunch

This is what they look like under the hood…

Inside the Confectious Milk Chocolate Almond Toffee Crunch
Since Chocolate and Toffee are among my favorite flavor combinations (and yes, chocolate and coffee, too!), I couldn’t pass these up. ;)

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