Whipped Lardo: How to Make my Holy Grail

Whipped lardo is simply heavenly. A heavenly spread that was my holy grail of recipes. I'd eaten it at an underground restaurant type of meal and it stuck in my mind. Stuck so hard as one of the best bites I'd ever eaten that I scoured the internet, up, down and every which-way, without gaining even the first inkling of any idea how to make the dish. So it was taste and test time. For the last year I've made more attempts than I want to count, all equally failed, to recreate this dish. It had been called 'Whipped Lardo' when I ate it, so yes, I began by making my own lardo. Good, yes, but was … [Read more...]

Karama: An Exersice in Ethnic Eating

Being whiter than Weird Al, I often find satisfying my cravings for eats from random ethnicities to be a bit of an exercise in patience and rolling with the punches, though often with delicious rewards. Karama, a new self-described "East-African, Somali, Italian, Mediterranean and American" food restaurant was no different. Usually I will avoid any restaurant that claims to do that many different cuisines, but upon reading the menu and seeing what they offered, I instead rang up my friend M, who lived in Tanzania, and informed her of my findings. We made a date and headed down with our … [Read more...]

Hunger Action Challenge Day 5: Aloo Gobi and Wine

Yes, I realize food stamps do not pay for wine. That's why this is a simulation. With $7.71 cents left in our challenge, B and I went to Trader Joe's for a bottle of wine. Picking out a bottle of $3.99 Carminere, I started to the check out counter. B dragged me over for a second bottle, A Charles Shaw Merlot for $2.99. Yup, Two Buck Chuck. Ugh, B! "But we have the money, right?" he asked. We do. We did. We bought the two bottles and headed home for dinner. After another breakfast of lentils and the leftover casserole for lunch (with olives, grapes and a banana), I was ready for something fun … [Read more...]

Hunger Challenge Day 4: Risk Taking

The first thing I noticed in shopping for this challenge was that I took less risk in shopping. Normally I pull anything of the shelf and figure out what to do with it later. With the limited amount of money, I was more careful. I'm not really sure why, as I've never run into an issue with experimentation, but it was a reaction to the challenge. Yet as I prepared my dinner for Thursday (I did so Wednesday evening) I took a risk and made a new dish. Knowing that I had a soccer game at 7pm on Thursday, I prepared dinner Wednesday night. With a fridge full of leftover roasted chicken and a ton … [Read more...]

Hunger Challenge Day 3

When we woke up this morning, in addition to making our usual lentils for breakfast, I had another thing to prepare--our Holy Sh*t Pork Cheeks for tonight! When you're on a budget and buying cheap cuts of meat and plan to come home hungry, the slow cooker is a girl's best friend. It turned out to be a nasty rainy day and I was coming down with some sort of illness, so sitting at work all day remembering the deliciousness boiling away at home made me very happy. Lunch was another Chicken Bahn Mi--I was going to branch out and use the leftover steak, but B liked these so much, and I figured we … [Read more...]

Day 2 of the Hunger Action Challenge: Impulse Shopping

Worst Budget Shopper EVER: I bought rib-eye steaks. Okay, I'll be honest, they weren't that expensive and I didn't go over my budget, but it just felt ridiculous. Also I'd been sent to the store for tofu. And came home with steak. I might be the only girl whose boyfriend would complain in this situation "but I'd been looking forward to a nice meal of tofu and vegetables!" I'm dating freaking Vince the vegetarian here! With a day like today's in Seattle, there was no question that we wanted to bust out the grill, so I was off to the store for tofu. I took a little wander by the meat … [Read more...]

Hunger Action Challenge Day 1: Delicious, Can we do it again?

My first day on the $12 a day budget thing went pretty well, despite a few snafus. Last night, I came home and made mayonnaise, but I wasn't feeling very well, and wasn't paying attention, and so this task, something I'd done a million times before, I sort of screwed up. Definitely still usable, just a little runnier than my usual mayo. It will be showing up all over the place. My illness continued into today, so my appetite wasn't really up, so I'm going to tell you what B ate as his share. This morning I woke up and made my favorite lentil recipe, a quadruple batch, which might have been … [Read more...]

Holy Sh*t Pork Cheeks

Holy Shit Pork Cheeks, as in "Holy shit B, if you aren't home in 10 minutes, I'm eating these all myself" He only got the 10 minutes because that was the amount of time I was going to have to spend photographing this. I got home and took the lid off the crockpot these were in all day and tried to lift out a cheek to taste and photograph and got my first realization of how amazing these would be--I literally couldn't get one out whole, because they were so tender that they just fell apart. Into the delicious, porky broth below. This dish is certain to become a regular around here--for starters … [Read more...]

“Marinated Chicken”

"Marinated Chicken" was all the only name by which we knew our favorite dish growing up. We being my two brothers (watch Ben compete in the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions this Friday!) and myself, and the dish we are referring to was actually, according to the NY Times cookbook from whence it came, "Oven Baked Honey Chicken Wings." I like our name for it better. Ironically enough, the chicken isn't even really marinated before cooking. Ahhh, well, such are the etymolygies of family recipe names, right? Marinated chicken night at the Bishop house hold meant mountains of wing bones, people … [Read more...]

Seattle Roll Bakery

"mhhmmmm" was the noise I made as I drew a deep breath through my nose upon entering Seattle Roll Bakery. It was a heavenly smell, that of everything good that has ever been made into baked good form. My patience quickly frayed, as I felt the urgent need to step over everything that lay between me and the counter where I would be able to procure an item made with this bread. This included, among other things, a rolling rack full of freshly made baguettes, an elderly Asian woman and a refrigerator. Yes, a refrigerator. Oddly, there were a number of these hanging about in the room. My … [Read more...]