(Stir-Fried) Water Boiled Fish

"You'll like it." These were the words that I was told the first time I tasted the Sichuanese dish known as water-boiled fish. That phrase may just be the most epic understatement in the history of my life, up there with descriptions of me such as 'a little competitive' and the usual elementary school report card 'can be bossy.' For once, I had found a Chinese restaurant that 'got' me. That didn't dumb dishes down when they saw my skin color, that didn't come running with a fork and a glass of ice water at my pronunciation of Chinese words. No, Chiang's Gourmet had made a dish suggestion … [Read more...]

L’Shana Tovah and Happy Shakshouka Season

A glass of wine, thick, crunchy bread and a pot full of shakshouka is all a girl needs to get through fall. I hadn't timed my serving of this Israeli (breakfast) stew to match with the Jewish new year, the holiday of Rosh Hashannah, but perhaps it was all on my mind, so I'll embrace the timing as I tell you the story of this delectable stew. Shakshouka is a soul warming dish, a centerpiece to a table around which strangers or family can gather and dip their bread together. One of those dishes that can call people to dine with aroma alone, as it wafts from the kitchen. The weather was … [Read more...]

Ben is on Jeopardy Tonight

As most of you already know, my little brother is, well, suffice it to say, ridiculous. You probably already watched little Ben Bishop answer (ask?) his way to $116k back in December. Now he's back, on the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. And I'm there, in the audience! Remember this when I was in Vegas? Well, there I was, cheering Ben on as he continued to amaze the audience and, really, his own family. So calling all you Ben fans out there, be sure to turn on your TV tonight and cheer him along! … [Read more...]

A Valentine’s Day Meal

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've already heard about how great of a foodie's companion B is, and probably are thinking, 'enough already, tell me about the delicious eats'. And I'm getting there! "You have two options" B told me over the phone. As an old hand from the restaurant industry, I knew going out to eat was his last idea of a good time on Valentine's Day. But apparently he had gone way down south and scoped out a tiny hole-in-the-wall comfort food restaurant that he felt would be a good dinner, and going there was my first option. "Or," he said hopefully, "I can … [Read more...]

Ben Bishop Jeopardy Update from the Big Sis…

Okay, lots of people asking, so a quick update on Ben's Jeopardy winnings. As of the Friday show he has won $114,800. He won on Friday and will be back on Monday's show. Combined, his winnings so far make him the biggest money winner on Jeopardy for the year 2008. He will be returning to the show for the Tournament of Champions, which airs in Mid-March. Not bad, kiddo, not bad... Other random Jeopardy related musings, since I've been asked a few times: -This show was taped in early October. They did not limit Ben on who he could tell, but he refrained from telling anyone outside the … [Read more...]

My Little Bro’s a Jeopardy Rock Star!

Okay, I was going to try to food relate this in some way, but unfortunately I'll be at pub trivia (it runs in the family) tonight and will have to watch the Tivo version and won't be able to put up a post, but my little brother is on Jeopardy again tonight! His name is Ben Bishop, so look for him and root for him because he is awesome! Last night he was on and won $25,000 so he is back for a second try tonight. … [Read more...]

Rediscovering Culinary Heritage… and Fat.

What, you might ask, are these little darlings? Well, that is a gribene. Did I know this until like 10 minutes ago? No. Because I'm apparently too far from the New York home of my family's culinary heritage, I've never before had a gribene. Luckily I don't need to learn this at the foot of my mother's stove because Wikipedia can teach me in 5 minutes what previous generations spent years learning. Allow me to explain. After spending a therapeutic and much needed long day in the kitchen (making chicken sausages with Traca, from Seattle Tall Poppy, if you must know), I had still not made … [Read more...]

Food and Family

The other night at dinner with some old high school friends, the topic of food books came up. I know I'm obssessed with food, but neither of these girls are, so I was surprised to hear them tossing around names like "Julie and Julia" and "The Omnivore's Dilemna". I was excited to have people to talk to about the books and immediately inquired about borrowing them, when an interesting pattern arose "Oh, I loaned that one to my mother," M said of her copy of Omnivore. I mentioned my mother had just loaned me "Heat" by Bill Buford (a great read, might I add). K said that her mother had just … [Read more...]