family meals: week 103

family meals family meals Vietnamese Chicken Pho. I’ll never tire of this recipe. It’s so easy, and it even tastes better the next day.

family meals family meals Baked Wontons with Sichuan Red OilAfter making wontons a few times, it’s no longer intimidating and so easy to whip together. A little bit of shallots, garlic, ginger, green onions, together with lean ground turkey make a simply delicious filling. Then, with that red oil sauce… it’s just divine! Beware though, that sauce is not low calorie. Ben was eating it like soup until he realized, and then he said, “Oh my.”

family meals family meals Filipino Chicken Adobo. It’s the one Filipino dish I make, and the girls love it, especially with egg. I usually make with it chicken breast, but this was mainly for the girls, so drumsticks was the meat I had on hand.

Week of 5/25 – 5/29
Monday: Dinner out with family
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Mexican Tacos
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Tilapia Ceviche

Ben’s been working so many late nights that we only get family dinner about once a week. It’s been like this since the beginning of the year, so I’m looking forward to June when his work schedule is a little more balanced. All of us sitting together at the dinner table is something I cherish, so I can’t wait to have more of that again.



family meals: week 102

vietnamese pork and carrot relish rice vietnamese pork and carrot relish rice Vietnamese Style Lemongrass Pork with Brown Rice and Carrot RelishThis was such a busy day and I was super rushed to get dinner together that I overcooked the pork (it was too chewy) and my coarse shredded carrots became carrot mush. Overall though, the flavors were good; Ben and I agreed that we should give this dish another shot. Next time, I will pay attention and bake the pork for 15 minutes (instead of 25) and not stick the carrots in the vita-mix.

Week of 4/20 – 4/24
Monday: Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Tacos

What’s on your menu this week?



roasted carrots & fennel

roasted carrots and fennel Roasted Carrots & Fennel

Fennel seed
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F. Chop all your vegetables. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, spread vegetables, lightly spray with oil, sprinkle fennel seed on top, and salt and pepper to taste. (For those that like more structure, this recipe is what initially inspired us a few years ago.)

roasted carrots and fennel roasted carrots and fennel roasted carrots and fennel roasted carrots and fennel All these vegetables were grown in our winter garden. We had some serious ginormous fennel growing! Ben is the one who puts in all the work into the garden, but I’m very happy to enjoy it all in my tummy!


family meals: week 101

family meals family meals Mexican Picadillo. We went over to our friends’ place for dinner, and my friend Kelley made this dish for us. It’s a recipe her mom made often for her growing up, and I loved it so much that I made it at home a couple days later (I texted her for the recipe). She cooked it over the stovetop, but I wanted to see if the crockpot would work well for it, and indeed it did. It is basically lean ground turkey (she used ground beef), quartered potatoes, fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions, serranos, cilantro, with a teaspoon of cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. I cooked it on high for about 4 hours and it came out so delicious. Leftovers were even better because the flavors had a longer period to blend together.

family meals family meals Ground Turkey Tacos. You really can’t go wrong with tacos. They win in our family every time.

family meals family meals Bún Thịt Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Pork & Rice Noodles) with Chả Giò (Egg Rolls)The BFF texted me this recipe when she made this a few weeks back. She told me that its spice level made her husband feel like he was dying, so then I knew, we would love this! HA! I finally got around to making it this week, and let me tell you… oh, we loved it!!! Don’t let the name intimidate you, it’s really quite simple to make. Everything is just absolutely delicious, and I baked the eggs rolls instead of frying them! Seriously, that is amazing. This just opened a whole new world for me and my family. I’m Filipino, and lumpia (Filipino egg roll) is delicious, but so bad because it’s deep fried. I probably haven’t had any in a few years (we don’t eat much Filipino food). Now, that I know they can be baked, I’m going to try and make them for my girls. Anyway, this is noodle and egg roll recipe is one you must try! Hungry Huy is right when he says this dish is “love in a bowl.”

Week of 4/13 – 4/17
Monday: Spaghetti
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Sesame Soba Noodles
Thursday: Filipino Pork Stew with Mixed Vegetables
Friday: Tilapia Ceviche (we have this every Friday)

Have you tried any new recipes lately?


the making of chicken rice

hainanese chicken rice hainanese chicken rice hainanese chicken rice hainanese chicken rice hainanese chicken rice hainanese chicken rice hainanese chicken rice hainanese chicken rice hainanese chicken rice One of our favorite dishes in Singapore was Hainanese Chicken Rice. My friend Abby, who also was our tour guide when we were there, has been learning from her grandmother how to make this delectable and aromatic dish, so she came over to teach us.

She also taught us how to make chicken rice balls, and the girls loved getting in on the action. It looks like the simplest dish, but it is really so flavorful. It’s not really a colorful meal, but what it lacks in color, it makes up for it with the magic that happens in every bite. You eat the chicken with the rice, seriously the best rice ever, a little bit of chili sauce, ginger sauce, and dark soy sauce. It’s an amazing dish! Even as I type out this post, I’m craving it. Maybe I should change this week’s meal plan to include chicken rice.

Abby created a film about her grandmother and how to make chicken rice. The film is actually more than that; it also weaves the story of her grandmother’s making of chicken rice with Singapore’s language policies and its changes. I had the honor of being able to see Abby’s film and it was so beautifully done. You see this older woman passing a priceless gift to her granddaughter. Sure, she’s just teaching her how to cook, but there’s so much depth in it, she is passing down a part of her cultural heritage, part of her story. Now, Abby gets to take that story and mold it into her own. It made me want to go spend more time with my grandparents. In college, I recorded both of my grandparents telling me how they grew up and met, so I’m somewhat familiar with some of their stories, but I’m sure there is so much more I’m missing out on too. I need to find that cassette and keep it in a safe place, so my kids can listen to it one day.

In the film, Abby tells her grandmother, “You taught me how to cook chicken rice. This is my inheritance. This is an inheritance money cannot buy.” How precious is that inheritance indeed!



family meals: week 100

family meals family meals Easy Pozole. I used the recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s book (I shared about it here) and it is really delicious. Best of all, it’s so simple to make (and healthy!). It had been over a year since I made it last, but it was just as yummy as I remembered it. I made two batches, one for the spice lovers in the family (Ben, Brave, and me), and another much more milder batch too for the rest of them.

Week of 3/30 – 4/3
Monday: Homemade Pizza
Tuesday: Vietnamese Grilled Pork & Rice Noodle
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Sichuan Red Oil Wontons
Friday: Leftovers

Woot woot! It’s my 100th official week of meal planning. When I look back in my archives, I made so many different dishes. I started this not really into cooking, not knowing much, and now I love it! Putting it out here has been great for accountability and challenging myself. I started back in March 2012 (see the first post here) and it has helped us be more intentional with our family dinners. I love serving my family in this way, but I do appreciate a break from time to time too. If you feel like cooking or meal planning is daunting, I’m living proof that it can be done. I’m not a natural chef, but I definitely think I have gotten much better with time and practice.




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