I’m in San Diego! It was such a spontaneous, impromptu trip that I still can’t believe I’m here. It’s been over two years since I was last in the States, I’m having so much fun visiting even the most mundane of places (ie. supermarkets). Obediently waiting for me when I got here was 1.5 years worth of Food & Wine magazines my grandparents diligently saved for me! It’s been so much fun going through them and tagging recipes and ideas I like. Continue reading →
I had the most fun making these three appetizers because I found them interesting and new. Each dish was an interpretation of something more familiar. I thought they would provide an element of surprise and intrigue to the diners. I can’t take credit for creating these dishes, but I think I did a good job executing them, because they were a hit!
I thought and thought about it, but Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes would feel off. Sort of like going to the movies and getting popcorn but no candy. I was really irked by the fact that my potatoes never came out silky smooth. I don’t own a potato masher and until I came to Korea the food processor I had was teeny tiny. However, I realized that if you put the word “rustic” in front of mashed potatoes it’s absolutely acceptable to have chunks and irregularities in your mash. People expect it; it’s practically a rule; you have to have lumps.
If one of your dishes suddenly goes up in smokes or an unexpected (or uninvited) guest decides to show up, this side will save the day! It’s super easy, flexible, and the ingredients will already be on hand. Without a clue as to what I was going to cook today, I went into this dish blind. BLIND I say! No flipping through cookbooks or browsing through recipes. I simply thought about what I had and went for it! I’m like my own parent, watching my inner chef grow! My, how far I’ve come. Two years ago, I probably couldn’t tell you exactly what roasting was. Oh yea, that was me.
A few years ago, my aunt taught me an easy potato gratin recipe that sort of stuck with me. I made it for a Valentine’s Day potluck my senior year of high school. It was an interesting occasion because we were actually celebrating a belated Secret Santa gift exchange in February. Somehow with college applications, school, and all the crazy things we did in high school, Christmas was pushed back two months. There were an array of dishes that appeared at the potluck. Everything from caramel apples and macaroni and cheese to Popeye’s fried chicken. I don’t really remember the food or if the gratin was a hit, but I do remember the company I was with, being ridiculously full, and the fun moments and gifts we shared that day. I feel like that’s the essence of Thanksgiving; sharing a meal with people we love and enjoying all the laughs that spill in between. Life seems to get so busy that it seems like we need occasions like Thanksgiving or Valentine’s/Christmas just to spend time with family and friends.