A mission statement

Hello, and welcome to My Kitchen and I. Every year I choose a cuisine to explore. This year, it's the year of the Snake! And I'll be continuing to cook mostly Asian foods, particularly Chinese dishes. Have I finally found the best cuisine in the world? Come explore and cook with me and let's find out. Please feel free to share your stories and comment on anything you see here, and thanks so much for visiting. Hope you enjoy the Year of the Snake in food!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shelby's Rainy Day Potato Chowder

Hot sauce is the secret to the
zing in this potato chowder.
Today I came home from work to find a delicious lunch of soup and cheese sandwiches awaiting me, created by my daughter, who is visiting for Christmas break. It was a gray and rainy day, but I confess the soup certainly brightened things up! That's the power of good soup. It just does something good for the soul.

You'll enjoy this dish. It's so easy to prepare and healthy and delicious to boot. A definite keeper!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A detailed guide to the ultimate Red Velvet Cake

Solving dry red cake with a little cake science 

The Red Velvet Cake of my memory was soft and fluffy. Perfection on a plate topped with buttery, creamy vanilla icing. The ultimate Christmas Cake.

The cake on this plate, however, was not my Grandmother's Red Velvet Cake. Oh, it was pretty enough. It was sweet enough. And it tasted OK. But it was dry. Very. Dry. Compared to my Grandma's cake, this cake was a piece of the Sahara desert on my tongue.
My first attempt at Grandma's Red Velvet cake.

I had followed grandma's recipe to the letter, of course. I measured the ingredients exactly. And I followed all the typical cake advice. My ingredients were at room temperature. I didn't over-mix the cake or over-bake it. I waited a full 30 minutes before taking it out of the pan. I'd done none of the things experienced bakers advise against. Yet the cake had still gone wrong. Why was my Red Velvet Cake so dry?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seriously Addictive Cranberry Christmas Salsa!

Warning! Super addictive salsa!
More festive Holiday Sides here
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Part of the #letslunch series. 

Have you seen the price of tomatoes in the store lately!?

Ridickerous ain't it?

Cranberries on the other hand ...

Cranberries are fresh and in season.

Cranberries are festive and feisty.

Cranberries are 48 cents a bag and will do quite nicely!

Pick up a bag, heck take two. You're gonna need a double batch of this stuff. It is seriously addictive! This salsa has a sweet-tart tang and a smoky, chipotle bang that keeps you coming back for more. One bowl ain't gonna be enough, trust me!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Turkey Faux Pho — an Asian inspired soup

There is just one problem with a batch of good broth. Those little bitty tiny bitty bits of meat on the bones! Now I belong to the waste not want not school, so I have to pick the meat off the bones and use it somehow. But what do you do with 3/4 cup or so of teeny tiny pieces of meat?

I had been experimenting a bit with making some sort of meatballs but most of my test versions fell apart, oh well! Back to the drawing board!

But this time, I turned the idea on its head a bit. Instead of a meatball, why not a wonton? This turned out quite well. Delicious, fairly easy, healthy and frugal. All the right stuff. Here's how to make it ...