sunday shu mai

It started as just a simple craving for shu mai and turned into a Sunday evening project. But now I have a belly full of dumplings and a couple of bags of shu mai and wontons frozen for the future.

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not the prettiest, but pretty tasty

I’ll post a recipe here in a bit.

first virus of the season (also here’s some congee)

Hubs and I are both sick with some kind of plague. We are pretty sure where we got it from, but no one is here to point fingers (Kev). Sore throats, phlegm, coughing. It’s pretty miserable. On the bright side, he’s been working from home so we’ve been able to spend a lot of time together.

Whenever I’m sick, I crave the comfort foods of my childhood. (Well, whenever anyone is sick, they crave the comfort foods of their childhood, I suppose. Though I’m talking about my specific case, so… Anyway.) For me, this means some kind of brothy noodle soup, wontons, and/or congee. Since Adam is still on a liquid/pureed diet, that means it’s CONGEE TIME.

Congee is a rice porridge that is pretty ubiquitous in Asian countries. In China, it’s frequently a breakfast food, served alongside fried dough sticks (youtiao) or with an array of toppings so you can choose your own adventure. Possibly you’ve seen it at dim sum restaurants making the rounds. It’s not that different from grits or cream of wheat or oatmeal, although congee classically skews savory rather than sweet.

Recipe below the cut.

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fall (and soup)

This time of year might be my second favorite (I’ve got a soft spot for deep winter that has yet to be usurped). But this is the time of year when the weather first starts to hint at cold. And when trees start dressing in their colorful finery, bit by bit. Then all at once the world is covered in red and gold and orange and you are suddenly surrounded by fall. This is the season of decorative gourds. Of costumes and candy. Of cinnamon and cider and houses that smell like spice.

This is the time of year when I feel most wistful and whimsical and downright sentimental. It makes me self-reflective (even more so than usual) and quiet (again, even more so than usual). What is it about fall that makes a person feel poetical and nostalgic?

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clementine’s creamery

​Oh, Clementine’s. What can I say about you that hasn’t already been said?

I remember when I first tried Clementine’s ice cream. I came in December of 2015, a little over 6 months after the original Lafayette Square shop opened. The hubs and I were living in Dallas, and we had come to visit some family. Already, there was decent buzz about the ice creamery and what it was trying to do – small-batch ice cream with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible (eg stout from 4 Hands, cookies from Whisk, fruit from farmer’s markets), arranged and mixed into interesting flavors, some completely originally and some a twist on old classics. And further, half of the flavors were “naughty,” meaning that they were based off of cocktails and contained alcohol. It’s a fun and playful theme that lends itself to some interesting taste combinations.

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black cherry ash and pistachio

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union loafers

​It has been almost a month or so since I’ve seen anyone from my previous life. So when it came time to get together with a friend from that era, I knew that I had to make a pitch for Union Loafers.

Union Loafers is a great little bread bakery in Tower Grove. It’s across the street from La Patisserie Chouquette and across the other street from Olio. That is, it’s sits on the corner of Tower Grove and McRee. The vaguely Victorian, almost dreamsicle orange exterior belies the gorgeous clean design of the inside. As is the current style, an aesthetic that I am particularly fond of, there is subway tile (with black grout, a detail I love), pipe shelving, exposed brick, and clean wood all over the place.

We showed up at the beginnings of lunch service (opens at 11a), and good thing too. In very short order, the place was filled to the brim and there was a standing wait line near the counter. When full, the place is raucous and cheerful, but tends towards the very loud side (a consequence of the exposed everything aesthetic), making it a little bit of a challenge to hear your server or your dining partner seated across from you. But hey, there’s always a price to pay for delicious food.

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I like a menu that gets to the point.

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blackberry melon something or other

​Or daydrinking for beginners.

We went for groceries today because we are high-functioning adults and our fridge only had brussel sprouts of all things. And because it is the height of summer, lots of fruit was cheap and in season. So I couldn’t resist the call of plump, juicy blackberries or the delicious sweet scent of perfectly ripe melon. I mean, how much more summer can you get? But of course, once we were home and had to breakdown the melon for storing, I thought, “WHO NEEDS THIS MUCH MELON THIS IS SO MUCH MELON.”

The solution was clear and alcohol based.

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