A Salty Surprise

Matcha Sea Salt and Cantaloupe

There are few memories of my first trip to Birmingham, Alabama: Joking uncles, watching Spike Lee movies until sunrise with our cousins and eating sugary cantaloupe. The morning we left Birmingham, it was sweltering hot. My uncle joked about the sweat on my nose being a sign of evil. Being too young and believing every comment, I wiped the sweat off. As the final suitcase was packed into the back of Dad’s truck, our Great Aunt handed us a large container of sliced cantaloupe to enjoy on the long drive back to Virginia. My sister and I were overjoyed about eating more cantaloupe. A few hours later, Mom unsealed the container of cantaloupe slices. The first bite was a salty surprise. We’ve never had cantaloupe with salt, and we didn’t like it. Well, Mom and Dad thought the better of the situation, because it was more for them. My sister and I watched our parents gorge on our sweet cantaloupe ruined with salt.

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Summer in a Hot Kitchen… Not Me!

Zucchini Flower Quesadilla

Since making a full recovery, my weekends are super busy with events, and I barely have time to catch up on household chores, running errands… and this blog. These days, my priority is to have fun outdoors to make up for being indoors during the summer solstice. I’m searching and creating recipes with prepping and cooking times totaling less than an hour. This fast and simple quesadilla recipe is long overdue as I’m hoping zucchini flowers are still on the market.

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Welcome to The Republic of Tea

Ginger Peach Tea Mussels and Shrimp

A long time ago, friends highly recommended two dollar boxes filled with 30 bags of green tea. It was the trendy, recently discovered (in Western culture) ingredient. Everyone was talking about all its health benefits, such as weight loss, clear skin, detox and low cholesterol. It cures (fill in your health problem here). Back then, I drank a cup in the morning and another cup in the afternoon. Then, one day as I was strolling in the health food store, I picked up a nicely designed steel can of 50 green tea in unbleached bags (free of unnecessary tags, strings and staples). As a designer, I was immediately attracted to the packaging. The label had all the buzz words demonstrating good citizenry in the world: organic, The People’s Green Tea and social good activities. The first sip was refreshing. The second sip I threw the cheap green tea boxes away. The third sip, I wanted to learn more about tea inspired by The Republic of Tea.

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Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

What to do with plums left over from those last days of summer? I wouldn’t recommend serving them fresh, because they’re not quite their best anymore. However, here’s a sauce making best use of those late season, mealy plums for chicken wings or using as a dip for French fries. Where to serve them? It’s the start of another football season, and sports parties always have chicken wings. Meanwhile, my excitement for fall is because of the new television shows. This season, I’m watching Scandal and Boardwalk Empire. Read more

A Super Bowl Menu with Roast Red Pepper Chili Buffalo Wings and Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip

Roast Red Pepper Chili Buffalo Wings marinated in Beer

The commercials, half-time shows and spending time with friends are a few reasons why I like Super Bowl weekends. With the sport’s masculine influence, most menus are quick, gooey, greasy and salty. Here are a few vintage recipes ideas to serve at your Super Bowl party, including a new recipe for Roast Red Pepper Chili Buffalo Wings. Read more