Kitchen Library – 2012.12.20

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Celebrating the holidays with geeky food, fresh cilantro, entirely too much coffee, and never-ending nabe!

Image via The Mary Sue.

Happy Holidays!

First, some holiday links:

Jonathon Pallon. “Firefly’s Serenity Recast In Gingerbread.” Nerdalicious. 11 Dec. 2012. Via The Mary Sue.

You bet your gorram ship I would eat that.

Susana Polo. “Gingerbread We Saw Today.” The Mary Sue. 11 Dec. 2012.

The TARDIS, the Weasley Home, and other geeky gingerbread creations here. By the way, who’s looking forward to the Doctor Who Christmas special? Will the snowmen have something to do with Moffat’s parent-child issues? (ahem)

Jen. “Hanukkah Blues.” Cake Wrecks. 13 Dec. 2012.

On a scale from 1 to Sandra Lee’s Hanukkah cake

Around the Web
Maria Theresa Stadtmueller. “Start-Ups, Vermont-Style.” Middlebury Magazine. 27 Nov. 2012.

I have fond memories of the food at Midd’s summer language school, and it seems the area is really booming with new local farming projects. “Gardens, kitchens, and J-term classes have inspired two recent Middlebury graduates and one student to explore the business side of improving local eating options and farmers’ bottom lines.”

Ashley Thompson. “HOW TO: Find Natural Food in Japan.” Surviving in Japan Without Much Japanese. 11 Dec. 2012.

A resource of places in Tokyo and online retailers that sell natural food.

Lindsay Abrams. “The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like.” The Atlantic. 30 Nov. 2012.

The latest medical research on caffeine and coffee’s possible health benefits and demerits.

What I’m Cooking

Carrot and Coriander Hummus” on Frugal Feeding
This is delicious on sandwiches. Hooray for finding fresh cilantro this week!

Spiced Persimmon Cake
My friends and I decided that after four years of protesting, we would make a Christmas cake. Expect much nicer photo updates to that page soon!

“Olive Oil Salt Bread” from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (Kindle edition)
The easiest bread ever! This barely fits in my small food processor, but takes virtually no time to make and tastes amazing. I had it with some green salads for lunches this week and with peanut butter and jam for breakfasts last week.

Broiled Sawara with Paprika
I served this with a green salad and miso soup with dried shiitake, konbu, green onions, and tofu. A really simple weeknight meal.

Nabe
I’ve been making a lot of vegetarian nabe lately. I usually have shirataki noodles (しらたき), mushrooms (enoki [榎], shiitake [椎茸], maitake [マイタケ], or eringi [エリンギ]), tofu (silken or firm), cabbage, carrots, potatoes (sweet potatoes or regular), and green onions in a broth with dashi, a little soy sauce, and miso (added at the end). I added a really delicious heirloom purple daikon last week to one pot; another time, I used a 1/2 teaspoon of spicy bean paste with white miso. You can buy kits for nabe broth (soy milk flavor, kimchi flavor) and even precut vegetables to add. Nabe, like miso soup, is often left out of cookbooks and recipes because it’s so simple and everyone already has a favorite broth and ingredients. If you’re new to nabe, check out Just Hungry‘s guide to basic nabe here.

Almanac
Happy Winter Solstice! I’m prepping for a friend’s Christmas party this weekend and then a quiet New Year’s at home. I’m not doing osechi ryôri this year, but I did buy some mini kagami mochi from my rice shop. As for resolutions, my short-term one is not to light any food on fire this break.

Finally, thank each and every one of you for reading this year. Each one of your comments makes my day a little brighter. This will probably be my last Kitchen Library post of 2012 (though not  the last recipe post), so let me take the chance now to wish you all wonderful new year free of kitchen accidents!

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