Monthly Archives: January 2014

Taste of Asia Burgers

OK, I had planned on writing a blog up about other things today.  I am trying to keep up with my plan to post a blog of some sort on each Saturday or Sunday.  Had a plan; an idea too… Apparently my plan slide sideways as my health pulled rank on me and I had other things on my mind, so I am falling back on another idea that was being held in reserve for just this reason…

I had a hankering one day recently to make something of a fine parcel of ground pork, originally bought to make a particular recipe, but that didn’t happen as planned and I wanted to get it used before it went bad.  After hunting around the internet for an idea of what else I might make with it, the idea of going with Asian spices and a burger format sounded like a fun way to go.  I read through a few recipes and made notes of the various types and amounts of spices and finally settled on what I was going to do.  Knowing my gauze-like memory, I made notes on my notes as I was working to be sure any changes or additions were recorded before they escaped me like dust in the wind.  When it came time to cook them, I decided to bake them and then heat them up as I planned to eat them later

Once the mouth-watering smells [and the timer] said they had cooked enough, I pulled them out to find a pool of tawny juices lurking in the bottom of the pan.  Not wanting them to go to waste, I went to reach for a container to pour them into when a light bulb flickered in the dim interior of my mind…  This would be fantastic to cook up some onions in, like those Harmony Burgers [ARCHON] has mentioned here, but with an Asian Flair to them.  Be still my growling stomach!  Onions, juices, pan, heat and it looked good already, but that bulb went off in that dim brain of mine once again and suddenly a secret ingredient was added to the pan – Pickled Ginger!  Wait!  What do you mean not everyone keeps a jar of pickled ginger in their fridge?  No worries, I’ve added a substitute recipe for that too.

I lost track of time as I nibbled one of the finished patties, warm off the pan, while I tossed the onions around and worked at getting them cooked up right.  Soon the juices from the pan and the onions created a nice caramelization, they were declared done and ready to taste test.  My mouth was saying they had turned out mighty good for a slap-dash-into-the-pan idea, so I dished out another patty and tried the two of them together, in a word, yum; just yum.  Once again I was excited how a glimmer of an idea had turned out into a fantastic food idea.

Notes were transcribed to the computer before my scribbles turned into untranslatable squiggles and I started making notes at the bottom of the digital copy with an idea for making the onions if you decided to grill the burgers and didn’t have the juices.  Since there were not enough onions to go around for those remaining, I set out another night to test my noted ideas. A fine set of ideas they were too!  Wandering back to the computer to make a few minor adjustments and what do you know here was a full service recipe is born and ready to share.

So for the few who follow me, my gift to you and anyone you wish to share it with:

Image

Asian Flair Burgers With Ginger Caramelized Onions

Taste of Asia Burgers © 2014

Serve these Orient-inspired burgers topped with the Ginger Caramelized Onions listed below on sesame buns with a side of stir-fried veggies or a nice salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce [like Siracha]
  • 1½ tsp garlic chili paste
  • 2 tsp grated ginger root
  • 1½ lb lean ground pork

Mix & mash all ingredients together in a bowl until well mixed, cover and place in refrigerator for at least one hour.  Take out and divide into 12 equal balls and form each into a patty.  Place patties in a flat baking pan with sides and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, move patties to a platter and reserve juices for the caramelized onions.  Re-heat the patties under the broiler or throw them on the Grill/BBQ to really give them some flavour!

Ginger Caramelized Onions

The perfect accompaniment to the Asian Flair Burgers, these onions borrow the flavour from the juices left from the burgers to create a unique version of an old classic. 

Ingredients

  • ½ Cup reserved juices from Asian Flair Burgers
  • 3 Tsp finely chopped pickled ginger
  • 2½ cups slices onions

Cut each onion in half and thinly slice each half.  In a frying pan on medium-low heat, carefully pour in juices, add pickled ginger and onions.  Gently break onions apart and stir until ginger is well incorporated. Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes, stirring regularly until onions turn translucent and the sauce thickens.  Add salt & pepper to taste, serve as desired.

** If you want the special onions and don’t have reserved juices, here is a substitute recipe.  Using this version of the onion recipe might require longer cooking time [approx. 45 minutes] to get the sugars in the sauce and onions to caramelize properly.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup broth of your choice [or water if you just don’t have any]
  • 1  tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1  tsp oyster sauce or fish sauce
  • 1  tsp dry sherry
  • ¾ tsp of your favourite cooking oil + ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp chili garlic paste

No pickled ginger?  Put 3 tsp regular minced/finely chopped ginger in a small bowl, add ½ tsp sugar and 1 tsp rice or white vinegar and let sit for ½ hour before adding to recipe.

Advertisements

Kaleidoscope

So I showed my friend her Cowl [that I wrote about on my Handmade Gifts post], that I had knit up for her and she was amazed at the work and all, but it turned out she really wanted something more in the line of a scarf than a cowl, so over-riding her protests, I ripped it all back to loose yarn, balled it all back up and started over with a different pattern idea.  So far she is happy with my plan and we shall move a bit more slowly to ensure she is on board with any changes or final stages before finishing it off.  I want her to be VERY happy with the final item and I don’t care how long it takes to get right, but hopefully sometime this winter so she has a chance to wear it.  😉

Mom’s vest continues to be a work in progress… The bloody thing weighs more than expected and it is a work-out hauling that thing around in my lap to get seams and ends dealt with.  Once mom had a real chance to take a look as the final pieces, she requested that the pockets be wider than they were long, please.  So they are getting ripped out and knit again so they are the right way around.  Then they need to be sewn on the vest and the whole thing washed and blocked to settle all the seams and such.  Hopefully things will be done soon so she can actually have the vest to wear.

I went out Thursday to a regular appointment and got stuck in the snow 5 times. The first 3 times I managed to wiggle and work my way out of the jam, but the last two times were just beyond me and the chair.  The 4th jam up was near where son works, so I made a call to ask him if he might get of work out long enough to help me, he asked me were I was and then all I heard him say was he was on his way and a click.  I can’t begin to tell y’all how bloody much I love that boy of mine!!!  While waiting for son to come rescue me, three older teen boys, immigrants from some African country, suddenly came up and started to work on getting me free from the snow.  They spoke English, but didn’t stop to ask if I needed help, they just stepped in and helped, suddenly I was free and moving on my own again.  I thanked them and they took off to get back to what they were doing, all I could think was how grateful I was for their help.  Thinking to get to the corner where things looked clear and meet up with son, I got not 100 yards down that same sidewalk and I was jammed again!  All this snow that looked packed down was, in reality, really loose in some areas and this kept causing my wheels to get jammed.  Good thing son was on his way, by then I am really tired, sore and running out of energy.  Son arrives, gets me broken loose once more and delivers me to my appointment.  From then on I take only the roads and the cars can crawl behind me for all I care.  Don’t like it, shovel your damn sidewalks properly!!  My last 2 jam-ups happened on sidewalks belonging to the Big Mall’s property, which they sort of cleared enough for able-bodies people to manage to get through… buggers!

Speaking of clearing up the snow, son was attempting to dig me out from the pile the snowplow left in my parking spot and the walkway in front of it, when the plow tried to bury him in yet another load of the white shit it was clearing off of the parking lot in my co-op.  I had to go out and have word with the operator and tell him that I didn’t care what anyone told him, this area had been maxed out for the dumping of snow and he was now blocking wheelchair access.  My son was having to dig me out so I could get out, not just for any daily access, but in case of an emergency and I didn’t give a damn where else he put the bloody snow, as long as he didn’t put anymore of it there.  Now with the plus temps we have been getting the past few days, the snow has melted off some, but I will still be ripping the snow removal guys a new one if they pile snow up next me like that again.

I have had fun cooking lately… I made Gramma Ladybug’s recipe for homemade Hot & Sour soup and tried making green onion pancakes from a recipe I found on the internet for supper Friday night.  The soup was easy, but the pancakes didn’t quite work out as I had hoped.  They were good and edible, but didn’t have the flakiness they are supposed to have.  Then last night I used some online inspiration and my kitchen-witch powers and whipped up a meal of Curried Pasta and Asian Flair Pork Burgers with Ginger Caramelized Onions that was all my own in the end.  Got smart and wrote things down ASAP so I have my recipes available to make these yummy dishes again [I might share the recipes if anyone is actually interested].  The kids were super thrilled with both meals and happily ate well both nights. *wink*

All this activity has pushed me physically, so of course I am sore and hurting, but some meds and my stubborn attitude are keeping my going.  Working at little bits every day gets things done, whether it is cooking, knitting, working with my fibre, spinning, cleaning or tidying up, I try to do at least one thing that I can count as an accomplishment… even if it is just getting out of bed that day!

Hey, I can now count this blog as something else I’ve done today… I’m doing good…

Men With Alien Brains…

OK, I am a bit steamed, so prepare for an unusual sight on my blog… a full fledged rant!

Men can pass this by; ignore it if it doesn’t apply to you and sorry to the males in my family for a potential TMI moment…

I know that many men in the world think equally with both heads, that sex ranks right up there with eating, drinking and breathing, and a relationship must include sex to outweigh the grudging willingness to express feelings or watch chick flicks now and then, yet it seems that to even be considered as worthy of dating, a woman should be prepared to put out to “get her man” in a timely fashion or he will move on and look for someone who will.

Real life dating is hard, online dating is harder, add to the mixture that I am a big woman and have health issues and the dating world gets a whole different level of difficulty.

I have had real life dating encounters lately that have shrivelled by the first or second date because they were expecting the fat girl to be easy pickings for getting sex.  They are stunned when they get a big fat [but polite] NO for their troubles.  So I am labelled a waste of time.  A waste of time??  Because I was not willing to drop and give you my self esteem on a platter while you got a quickie and took off after deciding the chubby chick wasn’t as much of a thrill as you expected, but hey a lay is lay… right guys??  Don’t even bother with the lie of calling me later, I know you will vanish into the internet, block me to within a nano of every privacy setting you have and pretend like you have never met me in your life if we happen to cross paths in reality ever again.  Not happening here sweetheart, the whole “I can over look the fat thing if you put out good enough” doesn’t fly in this chick’s coop!

Meet a guy online and decide a week or so [maybe longer] of chatting online is a good start to get a feel about someone before you make a meet in real life.  Somewhere safe and public with a back up person ready to give you a check-in call to make sure things are ok.  It’s a crazy world out there and a lady has to be careful you know… but he doesn’t care, he is pissed off that he is getting all frisky over on his end of the fibre optics and can’t understand why you won’t let him come over to your place [or you won’t come to his if you are so concerned about safety] and have a good time with him the day you “meet him” via chat.  I mean for some guys, a 15 minute chat up is the foreplay; he wants the main event an hour after starting the clock on your viability as his playmate.

Seriously, in this day and age asking for medical checks from a potential sexual partner is the smart thing to do before getting into the sack with random people!  Then men wonder where they got that random STD and blame it on some woman they slept with, which might be true, but then which man gave it to her?  Men sleep around and they are STUDS, women sleep with man after man trying to appeal to one of them as a partner and she is a slut. 

No apologies for the bad language here and I am not painting all men with this brush here [honestly!], but the potential partners I find that seem worth my time are taken, gay or not into me for one reason or another, which leaves me sorting through a sea of weeds trying to find a fish worth landing.  It gets frustrating after awhile, fighting to ‘land’ one only to have to throw it back due to mental mutation!  I begin to wonder if the penile brain of all these men have found a way to overcome the main brain like some leach-like alien of old B movies on late night re-runs…

*Deep Breath* 

Ok lady, time to take a moment and calm back down…

There, sanity restored, rant vented… I am feeling much better now.

Thank you for your understanding

 

Handmade gifts for 2013 Holidays

Just a quick post to share…

I had a very good year for making handmade gifts in 2013.

A friend has opened up her studio one day a week and I have been doing some neat stuff there that ended up being good enough to offer up as gifts.  In fact I had at least two people as for certain pieces if I was in a mood to give them up.  So after hunting down some nice frames and spending an afternoon doing the work, they were added to my pile of gifts that were ready to go.

For mom

For mom

For Son

For Son

For BFF #1

For BFF #1

For BFF #2

For BFF #2

I found a sweet set of figurines that seemed to be perfect for my brother, except for the ghastly colour they were painted.  Kind of a crap brown with a few badly placed spots of cream that were meant to be highlights.  I spent the money [it was through a hospital gift shop, the money goes to fund the hospital] and decided to do a new paint job on them.  I forgot to take a before photo, but here is how they turned out.

bro's buddha's

bro’s Buddha’s

Next came the knitted goods…  I meant to try and get it all done, but I was down to the wire on Son’s socks to the point were I forgot to snap a photo, but they got wrapped and packed in time for gift giving on the big day.  Here are some of the other things I did get done, a cowl and a pair of hand-spun, hand-knit, lined mitts for d-i-l.  You will just have to imagine the socks in your head… tube style, green cuffs, purple foot… what can I say, the kids love funky socks!

k's cowl

k’s cowl

k's mitts

k’s mitts

[EDIT – Son stopped by for a few minutes to grab some stuff before heading back out and happened to be wearing his hand-knit socks so I grabbed a quick photo of them in situ to add here]

Son's Socks

So that left the items in which only some of the parts were done and some were still in progress, the house vest for my mom [which BFF #1 was helping with] and a hand-spun, hand-knit mobious cowl for BFF #1.   The Vest for mom still needs to be seamed and finished, but the cowl is done except for the sewing in of the yarn ends… looks pretty nice though, the trim has fur from her poodle who died a couple of years back spun into the yarn, so it’s a lovely memory piece for her too.

BFF #1's cowl

BFF #1’s cowl

I will have to take a photo and share the vest when it is finally done, but I hope you have enjoyed my handmade gift gallery from  the 2013 holidays.