salt & pepper shrimp – tôm rang muối

Tôm Rang Muối - Salt & Pepper Shrimp
Tôm Rang Muối - Salt & Pepper Shrimp

my grandfather appreciated food.
likely, too much.
upon further reflection
i cannot decide what he loved more:
the sweet or the savory.
let’s say he liked both,
and the everything in between.
he enjoyed all the bad things that caused
his cholesterol to spike:
sunny side up eggs
liver, specifically my grandmother’s homemade pâté
seafood, in particular fried and heavily salted

this week marks a year since his passing.
in the last 12 months,
at the most random moments,
i will turn to dw and say:
oh gpa would love this dish!
gpa loved him some spice and salt.
more often than not
my memories of him are about food.
in memory of him,
i made one of his favorite dishes,
a dish we grandchildren would sneak to him
as it was something gma would expressly forbid him from having.

Tôm Rang Muối - Salt & Pepper Shrimp

tôm rang muối – vietnamese salt & pepper shrimp
adapted from Luke Nguyen

*note: this is inauthentic, in that i did not deep-fry the shrimp. click on the link if you want to make it the “correct” way. i broiled them super quick in the oven. to keep the shrimp on the side of under-done, i worked quickly, make sure your mise-en-place is done accordingly.
**note: also, this dish is best with head on but the local Whole Foods doesn’t carry it. asian markets will carry head on prawns, but it’s not guaranteed organic and/or sustainably caught.
***note: this is a finger food, meant to be consumed in a group, with ice-cold beers and plenty of napkins. which is why, dw and i ate with a side of carrot+celery salad and brown rice, with chopsticks.

1/2 lb prawns, with head on, or in our case, large shrimp, cleaned/deveined, careful to keep shell on
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup give or take corn starch or potato starch
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno, sliced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 green scallions, sliced on the diagonal
drizzle of oil
lemon or lime wedges, optional

first, preheat oven to highest it’ll go, broil or in my case, 550F.

next, prep everything and have all the ingredients ready to go. clean/devein the shrimp. there were some shrimps that lost their shell because i was a little indelicate but it was a price i was willing to pay to not eat poop. wandering chopsticks has a pic tutorial you can refer to. pat dry the shrimp.

dry roast the salt, ground pepper and 5 spice powder. (NOTE: you will not be using ALL of the blend in this recipe). set aside to cool. when cool, mix in the sugar.

line a shallow cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. if using foil, oil it. dust the shrimp with potato or corn starch. or you can do it my lazy way, holding by the tail, dip the shrimp into the starch and shake semi-vigorously to let loose excess powder. lay on the prepared sheet. broil in oven for TWO MINUTES.

meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat up a drizzle of oil on medium high. saute the garlic, onion, green scallions and jalapeno. you’re aiming for fragrance, not so much burning or caramelization. this can be anywhere from 3-5 minutes. which means, in the middle of this sauteing you’re doing, you need to take the shrimp out of the oven. make haste. set aside the shrimp. when the onions and garlic have softened, add in the shrimp. WORK QUICKLY. sprinkle the shrimp with a few teaspoons of the salt/sugar/pepper/five spice mixture. (i ended up using 3 teaspoons, season to your taste). gently mix everything, heating the shrimp through. REMOVE from heat. this step should take 2 minutes, 3 minutes TOPS.

the end result should be on the dry side, unless you’re like me and gpa and got a little generous with the drizzle of oil.

serve with lemon or lime wedges.


Tôm Rang Muối - Salt & Pepper Shrimp

last year’s gpa post: citrus curd mille-feuille
1 year ago: spiced coconut pecan ice cream
2 years ago: portuguese chicken curry with chorizo + olives

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tangerine ice cream

Tangerine Ice Cream
Tangerine Ice Cream
Tangerine Ice Cream

because we are all hurting
and baltimore burned this week:
ice cream.
it’s the start of a new month,
new season,
and hopefully,
a new city.


tangerine ice cream
makes about 3 1/2 cups

*note: use organic tangerines (or any citrus fruit) as you’ll be using the zest of the fruit.

4 egg yolks, from large eggs
scant 1/2 cup sugar
3 cups lactose free half/half (this was on hand, i’d make this with canned coconut milk, or any plant/nut based milk)
1/2 TBL cornstarch or potato starch
zest of 3-4 tangerines
juice of said tangerines, reduced down to 1/3 cup syrup

in a saucepan gently heat the half/half with the sugar, medium heat. whisk until warmed though and the sugar has incorporated. in a bowl have your egg yolks ready. ladle in a bit of the warmed milk, whisking the yolks all the while. add in another 2 ladle-fuls and whisk. the temp of the yolks should be warmed through. add the yolk mixture to the saucepan, but leave about a ladle-ful in the bowl, and continue whisking all the while. the mixture will thicken slightly.

for the remaining mixture in the bowl, add the cornstarch or potato starch and mix until incorporated. add to the saucepan. mix some more. throw in the zest and take off heat.

pour into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. allow to cool completely, ideally overnight.

when ready, combined the custard base with the reduced tangerine juice. pour into ice cream maker and churn according to machine’s instructions.



other ice cream concoctions:
coffee chocolate chip ice cream – lactose free
peppermint chocolate chip ice cream – lactose free
spiced coconut pecan ice cream – dairy free, gluten free
strawberry ice cream + almond waffle cones – gluten free, dairy free

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seaweed sushi bites

Sushi bites

in lieu of our staple winter soup/stew/chili this week
i made a finger food for our lunch
it was not warming
or even thoroughly filling
(though, it’s not like it left us starving after consumption)
it made me realize that
i apparently harbored some kind of
HOPE in my heart for spring,
seeing as how it’s MARCH.
but no.
the sky is still shitting.
you know what henry rollins said about hope:
“Hope is the last thing a person does before they are defeated.”
i’m pretty much defeated,
with this cold weather.

Sushi bites

seaweed sushi bites
adapted & inspired by thirsty for tea
makes about 27 balls. i have a 1.5 TBL ice cream scoop, whereas bonnie used a 2 TBL cookie dough scoop

*note: bonnie has a great recipe write up so head there for detailed instructions. i just winged it and it worked out.
**note: i made this sunday night with the intent of it being our lunches for monday and tuesday. monday was fine, but by tuesday the rice had gotten hard and dried, despite being covered. so ideally, halve the recipe if you’re not able to eat right away or just be pigs and eat it all at once.
***note: i call these bites, when you wait for the last second like i do to have lunch you shove stuff in your mouth cus you’re hangry, no matter how big. if you’re a civilized person, it’s actually two bites.

2 cups of sushi rice, cooked according to package or machine instructions, and cooled slightly
2 TBL seasoned rice vinegar, i use the marukan brand
furikake: homemade mix of shredded seaweed, sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, and salt

topping options:
thin sliced avocado
thin sliced cukes
smoked salmon

cook the sushi rice according to package or machine instructions. we’re a lazy folk and we rely on our rice maker to do the measuring and cooking for us. i know.

allow the rice to cool a smidge before drizzling with the seasoned rice vinegar. also sprinkle on the fuikake. gently mix through . (honestly, i wasn’t very gentle…just make sure the rice doesn’t break)

lay out a piece of plastic wrap. lay your sushi topping in the middle of the wrap.

wet your hands with a little bit of cold water. you may want to keep the ice cream scoop in the cold water too, it keeps the rice from sticking.

scoop out the rice and mold into balls. lay it on top of your topping that’s on the wrap. gather the plastic wrap around the ball tightly.

remove from plastic wrap and finish the rest.

garnish with a bit of the fuikake, for a kick.

serve immediately or as soon as possible, with soy sauce.


Sushi bites

other sushi option:
quinoa sushi rolls – vegan and gluten free

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overnight steel cut oats

Overnight Steel Cut OatsOvernight Steel Cut Oats

at the time of this post writing
it’s the first day of march
it’s also snowing
actually, i can hear the snow hitting the roof
so it’s sleeting
or, the sky is shitting
winter storm advisories are the norm
i’m contemplating yet another soup/stew to make for lunch
and i’m making plans for another week
of oat breakfasts

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

overnight steel cut oats
serves 2-3, depending on how hungry you are

note: i make this every night, there are recipes out there where you can make a week’s worth of oats but i’d rather make it fresh every night before bed. it’s so quick and easy, and we can re-use the containers/bowls, rather than having week’s a worth of dishes for two to contend with.

​2 cups water
1​/2​ cup steel cut oats
generous pinch of salt
optional: 1/3 cup raisins. i find that adding them after the oats have cooked is OK but i like the plumpness the raisins take on when they’ve soaked overnight

night before:
in saucepan bring water to a boil
add in oats and salt and let boil for a minute. if it boils rapidly, stir and move around burner, but keep for a minute
remove from heat, lid and go to bed

morning of:
reheat the oats on low (i usually do this step while packing lunch or making coffee)
stir to fluff up the oats

if eating right away:
portion into bowls and top with whatever you want
we’ve topped with fresh fruit (in pics, we used frozen blueberries from over the summer, pomegranate seeds and kefir milk), raisins and brown sugar. for crunch we have added slivered almonds

if transporting to work/elsewhere
portion into to-go containers
in separate containers add your toppings
when at work, the oats may still have some warmth (it’s usually at the perfect for me) but you can reheat in microwave, and top according to preference


Overnight Steel Cut Oats

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crochet | mama’s easy hat GIVEAWAY

easy peasy beanie hat

unless you live outside the US,
or don’t care,
we’ve been in the midst of
a hard winter:
record low temps
fluctuating day temps
fallout from the sky that won’t quit.
so for two weekends in a row
dw+i stayed in:
we park gandalf friday night
and don’t start him up again till monday morn.
there may have been some half-hearted cleaning
serious Blue Blood viewing
(because TOM SELLECK)
i even slept in till 9am once, or twice.
i managed to finish a book
then this hat happened.

easy peasy beanie hat

i’m not a hat person,
it’s the round face,
flat & short hair thing.
but i had a skein
of a single color
purchased out of the country
so something had to be done with it.
as it were
i had to add a white border
as i ran out of the purple.
it’s a chunky hat,
i can’t say if it’s warming
and when dw saw me wearing it
he got all bob marley-ish.
because i’m not gonna wear this
and it’ll be spring in a month anyway
i’m giving this away.
to anyone, in the US,
or otherwise.

someone will randomly be picked
from here, or,
from ig, or,
from fb
ends COB monday.
just answer this:

what book are you currently reading??

easy peasy beanie hat

this is the pattern.

other yarn creations:
crocheted broomstick lace infinity cowl – original crochet pattern
crocheted mine craft beanies – link to pattern
crocheted ombre granny square baby blanket – no pattern, but link to inspiration
crocheted owl rattle
– link to pattern
crocheted viking hat – link to pattern
knitted wedding shawl – link to pattern

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