Category — Random
This is the third installment of my Friday Q & A, also know as “Questions from Lori & Answers from Linda.”
Myself, Lori and Amy
If you recall, my sweet and dearly missed friend, Lori, asked me four detailed questions when I first challenged all of you to pose them to me. Lori stepped up to the plate and I’ve already answered the first and then the second. This is the hardest of the four, but I don’t want to shrink from the task at hand any longer.
Lori and her adorable husband, Jonathan, have been doing business and living in Tokyo, Japan since September 2012. Lori is fabulous cook and had the most gorgeous, huge, well-equipped, workable and enviable kitchen imaginable when they lived here in Scottsdale.
This is Lori’s Tokyo kitchen! Can you imagine? When I wrote about how much of a closet Marissa’s San Francisco kitchen was, Lori wrote to say that she envied it, now you can see why! Here is what Lori emailed me at the time:
“I have attached pictures of our charming little Tokyo kitchenette. And when I say “charming” – I use that term in the loosest of senses . . . the charm quickly wore off … and we are left bumping into each other, cursing at each other and are at our wits end to figure out what to cook on our 2 miniscule burner cook top.
No oven (regular, toaster or otherwise) but a decent microwave, but little else to work with in terms of pots, pans or cooking implements. And clean-up! Did you see the size of that dishwasher? Although I have to say it is very àpropos given the fact that we have exactly 4 plates, 4 salads, 4 glasses and cereal bowls.
So, with information and visuals in hand- what the heck would you cook here? Oh-and of course I forgot to mention, there is no access to “normal” foods, spices, condiments, etc. So, Miss Linda – if you were in my slippers and kimono what would you do?”
The exact question Lori put forth on that Friday, three weeks ago, was this:
Is there a way or rule of thumb to adapt any recipes for the oven to a microwave? I literally never used the microwave except for re-heating in the US, and sadly that is all I have to use here in Japan (along with my tiny stove-top).
My problem is that, I too, only use the microwave to thaw, melt and reheat food. I do not use it to cook with. I had to turn to the internet for help. Then I tested the theories on a few small items, a chicken breast, a rice casserole, and a piece of salmon. I found all the hints and tricks below to be spot on. Lori, I hope this helps and I hope that while you’re visiting here in the States, you’ll pick up a microwave cookbook and then experiment on your own when you get back to Japan. Please keep me (us) posted on any successes and on the failures too! You have a knack for writing amazingly hilarious “fail” stories!
Here are my Dozen best tips for Microwave Cookery
February 28, 2014 No Comments
Last Friday, I answered a question that a follower emailed to me. I said that if any of you had questions for me, I’d answer them on future Fridays. Today is future Friday #1.
The only questions came from my dear friend and former neighbor, Lori, who is now living in Tokyo, Japan with her husband, Jonathan. In fact, Lori asked four questions and I will tackle one the of them today.
Here is Lori and Jonathan with their beautiful daughter, Kylie. I swiped this photo from Kylie’s Facebook page, I’m hoping none of them mind. :-) Lori’s question:
“You and I talked about this before. If you were going to take me shopping @ Trader Joe’s . . . . . . what are their top products in your mind, that you use all the time and are consistently delicious and versatile? Basically what are your “go-to’s” that you simply can’t leave the store without?”
That is an easy question to answer but so extremely hard to narrow down. Girl, I could go on all day! We shall start with these frozen garlic cubes. I panic if I don’t have at least 2 boxes in my freezer at all times.
Right when you walk into my neighborhood Trader Joe’s – you run into the produce and cheese area.
In my opinion, Trader Joe’s is the numero uno place to buy cheese. It is inexpensive, it doesn’t sit on the shelf long because everyone knows TJ’s is the best place to buy cheese, so it’s always fresh. And there is great variety.
Two of the produce items that I will only buy at Trader Joe’s are arugula and
Raisin Rosemary Crisps. They taste exactly like Raincoast Crisps, but are less than half the price. TJ’s Crisps are $3.99 a box, whereas a box of Raincoast costs $9.99!
Actually all the crackers are yummy and inexpensive.
Here’s my favorite aisle in the entire store. It has…
Fire Roasted Red Peppers…
Grains and pastas…
Olive oil, and so much more! And on the opposite side of the same aisle…
Dried fruits and…
Nuts. So many kinds of nuts.
February 14, 2014 4 Comments
Instead of the usual Friday Funnies, today we’re going to do a Friday Question and Answer. A loyal blog follower emailed me and asked:
Q: Linda, do you always cook your family dinners from scratch or do you sometimes buy ready-made dinners?
A: Of course, I buy ready-made! And we order take-out and delivery pizza and I cheat, not just sometimes, but often enough.
Last night for instance… after a long day working on the upstairs with Connor, we ran into Trader Joe’s and picked up a “quick cheaters” meal.
Allow me to explain. For an entire week, the two of us have been working on cleaning out and changing up the upstairs area of our house.
Upstairs there is a linen closet and five rooms; Marissa’s bedroom, a bathroom, Dave’s office, Connor’s bedroom and a big room that we’ve always called “The Playroom.”
When I say big, I’m talking about a rectangular 26 feet long by 19 feet wide room without closets or other cutout areas. Just four walls, 2 windows, 1 sliding glass door that leads to the deck, and double doors that open into it. There is so much potential for that room, now that a “playroom” is no longer needed.
More on what we’ve been cleaning out and changing up later. The point is – I was too tired to make a homemade meal after all that work and heavy lifting. So while we were in Trader Joe’s, I asked Connor what he wanted for dinner. He said, “Noodles.”
February 7, 2014 4 Comments
… it’s been six weeks since our last Friday Funnies. That’s five weeks too long!
This is how the three men in my life; my husband, son and dad see me.
Whereas, this is how I’ve been feeling lately ….
January 31, 2014 No Comments
I’m taking a break from party planning to put up a quick post about a kids recipe contest. It’s super time-sensitive – so here are the details…
The submission portion of the contest began on January 1, 2014 and ends on January 22, 2014 – that’s only 2 weeks from tomorrow!
January 7, 2014 1 Comment
A dream come true!
December 20, 2013 1 Comment
A girlfriend sent this to me and it’s just too funny to not share!
Click HERE to enjoy video. If it stops while you are watching it – pause it for a moment to let it load more and then press play again.
December 14, 2013 1 Comment
The first two of today’s funnies were sent to me from my friend, Christine Pond. Thanks Christine for thinking of me and sharing the same funny bone! xoxo
This next one may be a week late, but it is still hilarious!
Even more true!
December 6, 2013 1 Comment
Happy Birthday, Marissa!
My sweet girl was home to celebrate Thanksgiving for four glorious days, but flew back to her home in San Francisco last night, just four hours short of her birthday.
So, once again, I am not with her on her most special day. Makes a mom kinda sad.
We did have a little birthday lunch with her yesterday at The Arrogant Butcher. Along with Connor, we also had two of her BFF’s, Lindsey and Kaley, there for the celebration.
Here are the three girls – pondering the strange peanut butter dessert the waiter brought for her.
December 1, 2013 1 Comment
I needed to find a small pumpkin cookie cutter for a dessert recipe I am teaching at my class tonight at Les Gourmettes Cooking School. I didn’t have to go to the store to buy the cutter.
No, that would have been too easy.
I had to find it amongst the hundreds of cookie cutters I already own. Honestly, getting in the car and going to Sur la Table to buy one, would have been quicker and less frustrating!
I store the cookie cutters in these four jars, which I had just washed after emptying them all in search of the one elusive cutter. It’s a job that needed to be done. I store the jars on top of the cupboards in the kitchen. And we all know how greasy and nasty the stuff on top of kitchen cupboards get!
Do you want to get a taste of the huge cookie cutter collection that I’ve amassed after teaching children’s cooking classes for 18 years?
Sure you do!
We might as well start big. Not surprisingly, the largest collection are the Christmas cutters. Nearly 100 here, alone.
Animal cookie cutters are always fun. Elephant. Moose. Pig. Horse. Giraffe. It’s a regular zoo over here. When you live in the desert southwest, one saguaro cactus cutter will not do. You need at least six! Howling coyotes, boots, cowboy hats, buffalo, prickly pear, chili peppers, roadrunners, armadillo, longhorn … no cliche is to be missed.
November 20, 2013 5 Comments