May 31, 2011

Movie Night: Hangover 2

I would have normally gone to Hangover 2 opening weekend but I was, well, in Bangkok. More specifically, I was dragging Greg through the red light district sampling as many cart foods as we could stomach. And, here's the thing about eating on the streets of Bangkok, it can be rather difficult to stomach. For example, it was tricky to enjoy some noodles while sitting on a plastic stool across from a man sucking on a pile of chicken feet and spitting a staggering pile of the little bones on our shared table. Different culture-I get it! Truth be told I was more comfortable the week before in Bali with it's pungent spices and sweet tropical fruits. So this weekend before we see the flick I'm going to recreate a couple of Southeast Asian favorites, including the chicken satays with peanut sauce we made in our Balinese cooking class (see recipe below). The women in the village create the most delicious sauces by grinding ginger, tumeric, garlic and chilis into a large lava stone mortar and pestle. My perfect date night: thematic eating and a little Zach G (my other boyfriend). And I've seen the trailer...the boys aren't the only ones who make friends with monkeys, we did too! I was in awe of how daintily they shucked their peanuts.
The Recipes

sate ayam
chicken satay served with peanut sauce
for 2

chicken sate
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into small cubes
8 skewers, soaked

oil sauce
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. chopped garlic
1 T. chopped ginger
1 diced shallot
2 T. oil

peanut sauce
1 C. roasted peanuts
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 thai chilis
1 T. palm sugar
1 T. sweet soy sauce
1 T. lime juice
1/2 C. water
salt to taste

-toss chicken pieces in the oil sauce and marinate at least 4 hours
-skewer the chicken and grill satays until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side
-to make the peanut sauce grind all of the ingredients and make into a fine paste
-server skewers with peanut sauce, sticky rice and vegetable curry

The Menu

chicken satay with peanut sauce

vegetable curry with sticky rice

coconut, palm sugar crepes

tropical fruits (if i can get my hands on them) w/ lime
rambutans (greg's favorite), snake fruit (my favorite), passion fruit, mango, papaya

some Asian gummies from Thai Town for the theater

May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Southern BBQ

Everyone always asks me how I learned to cook. I tell them: my mom. She made me breakfast every day before school, packed my lunches, created family dinners that were enjoyed at the table together, threw dinner parties for business and pleasure, and had masses congregate in our home for every single holiday. She was Martha Stewart. With love. I learned the art of menu planning, preparation, timing and thoughtfulness through observation. I recently told a story about my mom and realized it's her spirit that has inspired my sense of playfulness in my menus and parties. One night when I was little I went to sleep with white walls in my bedroom and woke up the following morning with hot pink ones. My mom had moved me mid-slumber and painted my room through the night. That is love. That is fun. And that is how I aim to entertain. This year for Mother's Day I created a southern BBQ menu with plenty of my mom's recipes (buttermilk brownies), as well as her mom's recipes (sweet and sour baked beans). Amy, who learned all about arts, crafts and beauty from her mom Betsey, created an unbelievable table, featuring birch bark wrapped arrangements. She made the night magical with hanging lanterns, lights and flower filled vases. We are both so very grateful to our moms who exposed us to our passions and raised us in Oregon where things like seasonal eating and nature crafts were, well, second nature. Happy Mother's Day!
The Menu

mint juleps

lemonade bar


cream cheese, pimentos, green olive & basil on baby zucchini rounds
fried oysters with creme fraiche remoulade
curried deviled eggs
pickled shrimp with pickled green tomatoes
pulled pork sliders


baby back ribs with bourbon bbq sauce
smoked brisket
fried chicken
hot dogs
sweet and sour baked beans
stewed collard greens
fried green tomatoes
cucumber slaw
tomato, corn, basil salad
jalapeno, cheddar corn spoon bread


coconut cream pie
cherry-rhubarb crostata
krispy kreme bread budding
banana pudding cups with vanilla wafers
buttermilk brownies
old fashioned yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting
strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar