japanese style beef stew – Wahu Beaf Sichu

Japanese Beef Stew

a common theme around these parts lately
is simplicity.
2017 was an overwhelming year,
and a coping strategy i’ve taken to
is simplifying our meals –
it’s one less item on the
To-Do List,
of which i have many tasks.
even as a staunch non-resolution making person,
i do have a few loose goals,
that when strung together will hopefully lead
to more thoughtful,
less-stressed living.

here’s to Simplification in 2018!

Japanese Beef Stew

japanese style beef stew – Wahu Beaf Sichu
adapted from NHK: Dining with the Chef
video episode found here

*note: most friday night you’ll find us on the couch watching NHK and right around 9:10EST is Dining with the Chef. i am obsessed with this show, specifically when they feature chef Rika. (she has a fantastic credenza/buffet in her home that is so beautiful.) what was previously a strong aversion to japanese food, now has bloomed into an appreciation for their simplistic cooking, using seasonal ingredients with minimal fanfare, which leads to delicious but easy meals. a pressure cooker is featured in this recipe, but since we don’t have that toy, yet, i adapted it to use a slow cooker instead.

2 lbs beef chuck, cut into just larger than bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, rough chopped
2 carrots, cleaned, skin on, rough chopped
2 celery stalks, cleaned, rough chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 can tomatoes – 14.5 oz
3 very generous TBL tomato paste

seasonings:
healthy splash of olive oil (optional)
1 cup sake
2 tsp miso
1/2 TBL salt
1 TBL sugar
1 TBL honey

in the crock pot, layer meat on the bottom.

in a food processor, add the onion, carrots, celery stalks, garlic, tomato paste and tomatoes. process until reached desired chunkiness.

in a bowl, mix the seasonings.

pour both sauces into the crock pot, over the meat. cover and turn on low.

ignore for about 4-5 hours.

serve with rice.

BAM!

Japanese Beef Stew

4 years ago: coffee chocolate chip ice cream
3 years ago: carne rustida de navidad
2 years ago: spiced mexican wedding cookies
1 year ago: mohinga – burmese fish noodle soup

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garbage plate

Garbage Plate + Asian Challah

i don’t remember thanksgiving growing up.
sure, we had school off,
but thanksgiving meals were …
non-existent?
i seem to recall a time when
we had black duck soup.
other than that,
it was just another meal.
this resulted in me as a grown up
with lukewarm aspirations for
turkey and all the fixings
(though, i will eat the shit outta some stuffing).
despite this,
most years we’ll mark the occasion
with something special.
this year,
dw re-created a regional favorite,
that region being Rochester, NY.

i won’t lie,
i only managed 1 1/2 sittings,
out of like 5 sittings,
but dw,
he was in a fog of nostalgia each time.
he planned this meal for weeks,
dissecting various recipes,
discussing with friends,
and all i did was take pictures.

it is a season of gratitude,
and i have much to be thankful for,
notably,
you all.

Garbage Plate + Asian Challah

Garbage Plate
as written up by dw, with proper punctuation and complete sentences.
this was served with healthy slices of molly’s scallion pancakes challah

Meat Sauce (I used this one. Very good taste and texture. Doubled the spices) – (Warning – Plays a MIDI song on load)

1 lb. ground beef
2 tablespoon minced onions, plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed thyme leaves
2 ½ cups water (I just used as much as needed, and added more when it cooked down.)

Method: (This is my method that I wrote)
Saute some finely diced onion in oil.
Before the onion takes color, add the ground beef breaking it up and stirring constantly until it is cooked to a fine consistency.
Add spices, stirring well. Perhaps double the amount of spice for extra flavor
Add water to the sauce so that it has a bit of a runniness. It should have enough that it will trickle through the other elements for added flavor.
Let it simmer as long as you want. Add water as needed.

Home Fries
Potatoes – Cubed
Oil
Salt/Pepper
Place cubed potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover
Bring to a boil and continue boiling for about 3-4 minutes.
Drain very well
In a large skillet, using a generous amount of oil, fry the potato cubes. Take care not to move them too much, but careful to keep them from sticking. Cook until beautiful.
Season generously with salt and pepper

Macaroni Salad
Elbow Macaroni
Mayonnaise
Carrot
Celery

Cook the elbows perhaps a bit too much for soft texture
Dice the carrot and celery to a fairly small size.
Add a bit of mustard if desired. Ties in the plate flavor and reduces the amount of mayo needed.

Meat (Choose one and use two per serving)
Sausage – Weisswurst is perfect to represent a white hot
Fried Egg – Runny yolk
Hamburger
Cheeseburger – Cheese should be white
Other
White Onion – Chopped coarsely
Mustard – Brown, and should be loose/runny

Final Method:

On a standard dinner plate, arrange one side with the mac salad, and the other with the home fries. Don’t be stingy.
Add the meat. If patties, use two. If a hot dog or sausage, split in half lengthwise (Sear the cut edge on a skillet or grill) and use two.
Add a generous swipe of mustard across the plate.
Add a generous scoop of diced raw onion
Top with a generous scoop of the meat sauce. It should be runny enough to wet the plate through the mac salad and home fries.

Enjoy!

Garbage Plate + Asian Challah

4 years ago: pumpkin challah chips
3 years ago: chocolate chip pb cookies, vegan & gluten free
2 years ago: chocolate espresso dacquoise, lactose free
1 year ago: kefir biscuits

crochet | granny stripe afghan

baby blanket

somehow,
my stash of crochet hooks were left neglected,
for TWO YEARS.
so much time passed
that i started purging
most of my yarn.
then the unexpected announcement
of a late in life bebe
and i took my hooks out of retirement.
a worthwhile reason,
methinks.

i used this pattern,
which i was NOT a fan of.

baby blanket

happy october friends,
what have you been up to?

baby blanket

previous crochet projects:
yarn cupcakes!
easy hat
broomstick lace infinity cowl
viking hat
ombre granny square baby blanket
starburst baby blanket
minecraft creeper hat

bento love

Variety Bento

autumn is in the air —
i vacillate between
excitement for
mustard yellows & crunchy leaves
and
utter dread for
dreary cold temps.
today marks the first day of school
for most kids in MD,
which means traffic is up,
the campus is packed,
and the kids in my building
aren’t seemingly training for the
gymnastics olympic team at 1pm.

Variety Bento

in favor of transparency here,
i’ve been in a food rut.
i’m not my usual excited self on market day,
most evening dinners have been veggies on toast,
i’m spotty with the breakfast thing
and while i still pack our lunches 4/5 days,
more often than not,
it’s PB&Honey sandwiches
or pasta salad.
just punch me with all this food blogger burnout already.

Variety Bento

enter the bento.
i tinkered with it a little last summer,
then lost interest
and for reasons beyond me
picked up the interest again.
i like the portion control,
and honestly,
how pretty it looks.
if that’ll get me out of my slump,
i’ll take it.

Variety Bento

resources & inspiration: (these are not affiliate or sponsored links)
glass bento containers
sushi maker
bentoparty
shisodelicious

jasmine tea + mango jello

Jasmine Tea + Mango Jello

hot damn,
it looks like a post
will go up for june!
barely made it.

we’re headed into july,
which means we are hosting our nephews soon,
and i’m ridiculously excited about it.
we’re headed into the woods,
where i’ll worry about bears and ticks
and mosquitoes,
oh my.

hope your summer is going well!

Jasmine Tea + Mango Jello

jasmine + mango jello
serves 2

note: dw loves him a good boba tea, i don’t care for it, but the local boba shop has pineapple jello that they add to their jasmine tea and damn if i’m not addicted to them.

brew tea according to preference, chill

1 mango, skinned, pitted and cubed
1 1/2 cup boiling water
2 1/2 tsp agar agar, i use the telephone brand, in powder form
maple syrup to taste, optional

in a small sauce pan heat up the water. when it reaches a boil, add the agar agar, remove from heat and stir to melt.

in a vitamix or blender, blitz the cubed mango, you want it as smooth as possible. add the maple syrup if the mango isn’t sweet to your liking.

carefully add the hot water to the blender and blitz to mix through.

pour into a container with a flat bottom. i used a rectangle pyrex container.

cool to room temp and then put in fridge to chill further and harden. (at room temp, it should be hard to the touch already)

when ready, cube the jello, be mindful of the size and that they’ll go up the straw.

to assemble:
add a few tablespoons (or whatever amount that you fancy) of the mango jello cubes to glass. pour the cold tea over it and play the game where you try not to eat all the jello pieces before the tea is gone.

BAM!

4 years ago: s’more donuts
3 years ago: veggie dumplings in spicy sauce
2 years ago: meringue cups + mango curd
1 year ago: raw blueberry coconut tart + nut crust