Thursday, January 31, 2013


My Aunt Mary bought us the Momofuku cookbook a couple of yours ago. This recipe for their Octovinaigrette is AMAZING! I've had similar sauces, but this one gets the proportions perfect. It is seriously yummy. We had it on the wings, dipped Dungeness crab in it and on roasted pork. Each and every one was AWESOME! Seriously, this is my new favorite sauce.

Per the cookbook it is great on seaweed, fried chicken and grilled octopus too.

Caveat...I add chopped cilantro so I guess it really is a nine-O vinaigrette!



2 T. finely chopped garlic
2 T. chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 t. chopped bird's eye-chili or other hot chili (I've substituted 1 t. chili-garlic sauce when fresh chilies weren't on hand)
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. grapeseed or other neutral oil
1/4 t. sesame oil
1 1/2 T. sugar
freshly ground black pepper


Combine the garlic, ginger, chili, vinegar, soy, oil, sesame oil, sugar, and a few turns of black pepper in a lidded container and shake well to mix. This will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, and is good on everything except ostrich eggs, which is really more the ostrich's fault than the vinaigrette's (per the cookbook, not me).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Healthier Wings

Did you know that their is a chicken wing shortage? I love chicken wings. I haven't run into a chicken wing that I didn't like. The shortage makes me want to eat them even more than usual! The problem is that most wings are deep fried which is not the best for you. If you are going to slather the wings in sauce, they should at least be a little healthier if possible. Fortunately, there is an answer!

Simply heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Lay your separated wings on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.

Bake the wings for 20-25 minutes until the skin is golden and they are cooked through. They will be crisp and juicy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Funny Boy

While tidying up the living room last night I saw a flash of color on the piano. On closer inspection I found cars parked between the keys. Only one of our kiddos is so methodical...Nate.

Sure enough it was him! Here he proudly shows off his "clean up" job.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fishy - update

My last post I told you about the too sudden demise of Alpha our new Betta. Well, say hello to Flower. He (Nate is adamant that it is a he) seems much more content. Let us hope that this little guy will prosper where his cousin-fish did not!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I admit that I was wrong. Yes, wrong. It doesn't happen often (Ha!) but I was really wrong this time. We thought that Nate was a great age to get a pet fish. His godparents also thought it was a great idea and jumped at the chance to get a scaly buddy for Nate as a Christmas gift. They got a cute little Betta that we named Alpha...Alpha the Betta or Alphabetta.

What I neglected to remember was that fish die. Alpha never really seemed to get comfortable in his new environment and didn't eat at all. This weekend Nate noticed his fish was swimming upside down. Uh oh. I really wasn't prepared to have the death conversation. I stumbled through it, nervous that I would say the wrong thing. Amazingly I made it through my explanation. Nate said that Alpha was a good fish "while he lasted".

We're going to the pet store tomorrow to find a new fish.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This weekend we watched our very talented niece Laura dance in the ballet Sleeping Beauty. It was a local production but had all of the sets, costumes, and pyrotechnics a larger production would typically have. We've been planning to see this show for a while so have been prepping Nate for the evil Maleficent. He doesn't usually like any tension in plots and avoids watching any show with a bad guy so we were a bit worried how he would handle the ballet.

Nate's really good friend Elise came with us to the show. Right before the curtain went up Nate turned to Elise and said "I will protect you from the scary parts."


There are moments where he just melts my heart. That was one of them.

Apparently it melted Elise's too. After the show, they were chasing each other when she suddenly fell to the ground "asleep." She would only wake up with a kiss from Nate. (Seriously wouldn't mind if they got married one day...can arranged marriages come back into fashion?)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Apple Pie

Apple pie is by far my favorite type of pie. I will eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack time in between!

A good apple pie is all about the apples. I prefer apples with a little tartness and some firmness. Braeburn apples are typically my pie baking apples of choice.

Start by peeling, coring and slicing about 9-10 apples thinly.

Sprinkle on top the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss together and set aside.

Take out one disc of dough that you had in the fridge. Roll out so there is a 1-inch overhang for the bottom crust.
Set into a pie dish.

Pour the apple mixture into the pie dish. Dot a couple of tablespoons of butter across the top.

Roll out the top crust and cover the apple mixture. Pinch together the top and bottom crusts so they seal.

To make a pretty edge, simply use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the dough all the way around the rim of the pie dish.

Cut vents in the top of the dough.
Cover the edges with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake in the oven at 425 for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional  10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm!

Apple Pie
1/3 to 2/3 c. sugar (depending on the tartness of your apples)
1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
dash of salt
9 c. thinly sliced & peeled apples
2 T. butter
Heat oven to 425 degrees and prepare pastry.
Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt on top. Toss to coat. Pour into pastry-lined pie dish. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Seal edges, cut some heat vents on the top crust and cover the edges with aluminum foil. For some reason the edges cook faster than the rest of the pie so if you don't cover them they will come out burnt!
Bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil edges and put back in the oven for an additional 10-15. My mom and sister like a slightly crunchy apple pie. If you are the same, take out the pie before juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust. Serve warm or cool.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Doodle Cuteness

My niece Maddie is a doodle queen. She makes funny little comics up in her head and scribbles them down on anything and everything. I knew her drawings would make fun artwork for the kiddos' bathroom so provided her with a pad of neon Post-It notes and this is what I got back.

Here are close-ups of some of my favorites:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pie Crust

I love pie. I could eat pie everyday. Sweet. Savory. Dessert. Dinner. It doesn't matter, I'll eat it! A key to good pie is the crust. I've tried probably 30+ recipes over the years using shortening, butter, fat or a combination of them. This recipe is the easiest and tastiest I've come across, it's a combination of my favorite recipes.
First, have all of your ingredients chilled. Flour too! In a bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the cubed butter.
Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour fixture mixture.

Continue until the butter is about the size of peas. Drizzle in the ice water, tossing with a fork. 

The mixture should be shaggy and loose but will hold together if you pinch some of it together.

Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a ball. Don't actually knead the pastry as you do not want to over handle the dough. This warms the butter and makes your pastry less flaky.
Divide the dough into two equal parts. Form into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

The dough will roll well and stick together yet still come out flaky and tasty. Best recipe yet!

All-Butter Pie Pastry


2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 T. sugar
3/4 t. sea salt
1 c. cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 c. iced water


Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until chilled.

Cut in the cold butter until the butter is about the size of peas.

Stir in the iced water, 1/4 cup at a time, tossing with a fork to distribute the water.

Turn the pastry dough onto n a lightly floured work surface. Press together into a cohesive ball. Do not handle more than necessary to avoid overdeveloping the dough. Divide the pastry into 2 equal parts. Shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for one hour before rolling.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Rice Pot Cuteness


My Aunt Bonnie gave me this rice cooker charm for Christmas. It is so cute and perfect for me!  I especially love the funny little rice scoop at the bottom.

She got the charm at a holiday bazaar near her house in Southern California from a booth called Clayvision.

Check out their website, they have so many cute things like this:
cpricecook.gif (32244 bytes)

and this:
ch2002ricecooker.gif (2786 bytes)

and this:

I'm not sure but I think these are little blocks of tofu with a bottle of soy...hilarious!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Kale Salad

Kale is a vegetable that seems to be garnering a lot more attention in the last couple of years for its health benefits. We cook it often but never thought of eating it raw as it seemed too tough. My friend Holly introduced me to this simple salad and now we make it regularly.

Chop the kale stems and all and add to a bowl.

 Chop a couple of handfuls of raw almonds and dried dates. Add to the top of the kale.

For the dressing use equal parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, then whisk in half the amount of honey. For a small salad I use 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/8 cup honey.

Pour the dressing on top and enjoy!

Bonus: Since kale is so fibrous the salad works very well as leftovers!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Over here in the Rice Pot Mama household we're popping out to wish you a very Happy New Year! This picture was actually taken on our Hawaii vacation. There is no way we would be wearing shorts's a cold a frosty start to the New Year at a whopping 28 degrees. Brrrrr!

Each year I make several New Year's resolutions and am pretty good at sticking with them for a good 6-7 months. One of my resolutions this year is to stick them out for the full year. The rest are:
  1. Try a new recipe at least once a week
  2. Lose the extra 5 pounds I've managed to gain over the holidays
  3. Listen more attentively to the kiddos. I've noticed I'll sometimes acknowledge "yes" that I know what they are saying and then have no clue what was just said.
I don't know whether any of these resolutions will stick but part of the New Year is to start fresh with a hopeful and positive outlook.

Whatever 2013 brings I hope your year is filled with joy.

Happy New Year!
-Rice Pot Mama