Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Khao Moo Daeng: Thai BBQ Pork

I don't profess to be a great cook or even a good cook. I think of myself as more an experimental cook. And I love food. Good food. Real food.
My favorite cuisines are Thai and Indian and I've some great cookbooks. But usually the recipes are very involved and I'm the only one crazy enough to use them.
Then I found this recipe and HAD to share!
KHAO MOO DAENG (Barbequed Pork with Rice)
2 lb porkloin, cut into strips
SAUCE:
6 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 cup soy sauce (I used Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce instead)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp red food coloring
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
Once cooked, serve with:
4 cups steamed jasmine rice
1 cup cucumber slices
6-8 scallions
1/2 cup cilantro
In a baking dish, pour sauce over pork strips, let it marinate for 30 minutes then bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve pork on a rice bed, pouring residual sauce over the meat and rice. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, cucumbers, or whatever combination you desire.

Easy, eh? I thought so! Even my husband, the food snob, called the recipe "a keeper". The only change I could think of to this perfection was a dash of fresh, grated ginger in the sauce. Otherwise, this is a very sweet and tender dish.

Let me know if you like it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Latest Obsessions

I've been fixating lately on a few things I just had to share:

1. Vitamin Water:My friend gave me a bottle last week and now I'm hooked. (You know who you are and it's all your fault!) But they have no caffeine, just fructose and electrolytes. I especially love the lemonade one. Go and try some and tell me what you think!

2. Prenatal Yoga:
Can you believe the big D-day is only about 7 weeks away?! August 10th is my scheduled induction and with my body slowing down and walking not very easy with the current complications, yoga has been a life saver. My body did, however, let me walk the ACS Relay for Life for my Mother (who was just pronounced cancer-free a couple months ago). It was a great, bonding experience for our family and my favorite moment was watching my Mom walk with the other survivors, her hair the shortest of all, and my kids waving ecstatically at her as she passed. When my eyes and hers met, I admit I bawled. I'm just so grateful to have her. To have her be a Grandmother to my children.
Okay, sentimental moment over....
3. The Beatles Anthology: Both the film, the CD, and the book.

My new WIP is pressing at my head and though I didn't make my deadline to get it written (got into editing Courtesy and Patience instead), my fingers itch to get this one down before the baby comes. I love learning all the cool facts about THE BAND and having an excuse to listen to their music all day long. And for you curious few, here's a snippet out of the MC's head from the WIP:
My father often said that if you gave him a life circumstance—any life circumstance—there was a Beatles song for it. Yes, he was a fan. A huge fan. John Lennon was the idol he lowered his chest before. And with a last name like Pilchard he couldn’t resist: he convinced my mother to name me Semolina. Semolina Pilchard. As in dripping from a dead dog’s eye. Turns out he may be a big fan but an ignorant one, extracting my name from a horrid English pudding and a house cat delicacy, John Lennon’s two most hated items intended for digestion. And though he failed at baby naming, he is right in one respect—life does seem to be one endless strain of Beatles’ lyrics.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Reading

I'm not so great at giving friends reading suggestions. Mostly because I'm picky myself and am afraid of giving a recommendation then having that friend hate the book. But since people are asking, I thought I'd post a little list of some books to keep you, your kids--or anyone really--occupied for the summer. Bear in mind this list is highly incomplete and devoid of any real order. Even the genre headings are loosely given. Also bear in mind that I only like CLEAN books. Not as in no-splatters-on-the-cover clean, but as in I'm-not-a-fan-of-gratuitously-foul-language-or-sex clean. My preference only.




CHAPTER BOOKS (Ages 5-8):

~ Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park (Can one kid be entirely unique and yet sooo like every Kinder and First Grader I know?! It's great that the endings are usually unexpected too.)

~ Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo (I love to laugh. And I love just about anything Kate Dicamillo writes.)

On my To Be Read (TBR) pile this summer:

Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker

Goonie Bird Greene series by Lois Lowry



MIDDLE-GRADE BOOKS (Ages 9-12):

~ Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull (Great for kids that are looking for a "like Harry Potter but not.")

~ The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Told partly in pictures and partly in novel, it has a beautiful historical setting.)

~ The Tale of Desperaux by Kate Dicamillo (Did I already mention that I loved her books? And yes, they just made a movie out of this one, but read the book still. It's worth it!)

~ The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins (Good for boys and girls, this one is an adventure story about a boy falling down the rabbit hole... or rather the NY sewer system.)

~ Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale (I love Shannon Hale's books, but this one is her first graphic novel and is a good Wild West/Fairy Tale/Adventure/Gorgeously Illustrated book! Did I miss anything in the description?)

~ Three Good Deeds by Vivian Vande Velde (I've heard many of her books are wonderful, but this is the only one I've read. It's about a naughty boy who is turned into a goose and can't become a boy until--you guessed it--he can accomplish 3 good deeds.)

~ The Willowbys by Lois Lowry (This book is very different from other Lowry books I've read, and I loved it--a bit of a parody about all those books out there with orphans. It's very funny, in a satirical and twisted way... so basically right up my alley.)



I've others, but these are recent favorites. In my own TBR pile:


Alcatraz and the Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson

The 13th Reality series by James Dashner




YOUNG ADULT (Ages 13-18):

~ Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer


~ Eugenides series by Megan Whalen Turner (The first two of the three are my favorites, but I'll let you know in 2010 if that still stands because the 4th book is coming out.)


~ Book of 1,000 Days by Shannon Hale (Also check out her Books of Bayern series. Really anything by her is too good to pass up for me.)


~ The Golden Dreams of Carlo Chuchio by Lloyd Alexander (I love many of his books, but the sense of humor in this one is by far my favorite. I just love the voice in this one!)


~ My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison (A recent read and a fast, fun lark of a book.)


~ Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I dare you to try and put this book down once you pick it up. Its simplistic language, engaging story, and non-stop action make you want to inhale it. Unlike my other picks, it's not funny nor for the faint of heart. And don't be sad when you finish it--the sequel's due to come out in September.)


~ Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (Another one written with simplistic language, beautiful settings and fun characters. I had a hard time putting it down there at the end! Also, check out her Dragon Slippers series--they get better and better the more she writes. Also Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, a folk retelling set in Scandinavia.)


~ Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (Okay, I admit I've only read the first, but I really want to find the time to read the rest. They are just too fun!)


~ The Gatekeepers series by Anthony Horowitz (So far there are 4 books to this series and I'm on the 4th one. I didn't really like the Alex Rider series Horowitz wrote, but I got into these. The action is exciting and I love how he incorporates real world mysteries, such as the Nazca Lines.)



I'm sorry these are mostly series books, but lately I just keep picking up the next book for a lot of these. Here is my (long!) list of YA TBRs:


Artemis Fowl #6: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer


Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway


Graceling by Kristin Cashore


The Unameables by Ellen Booream


The Gatekeepers #4 (Also called The Power of Five series): Necropolis by Anthony Horowitz


Inheritance #3: Brisingr by Christpher Paolini


Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson


Savvy by Ingrid Law


Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison


Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech


Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley


I know I left a lot out. So go ahead and post your additions to the list in the comments! I'm always looking for another good read and love suggestions. HAPPY SUMMER READING!