What do you do when your kid wants mac and cheese and you don’t want to give him that gross boxed stuff? Make it from scratch, and fancy it up!
By now you know that Nate and I love our food. We love to cook / grill / barbecue it, eat it, sample it outside, wander around farmer’s markets and taste what’s in season. We love the textures of food, and the aromas and the visual appeal of foods.
Sadly, most times our two kids are happy to eat junk foods like french fries, chips, and – to Nate’s disgust – the so-called “Hawaiian” pizzas with ham and pineapple. As for our son Daniel, who loves all things cheesy, his most requested meal is…Mac and Cheese. It doesn’t have to be any fancy kind either (he snubbed the truffled mac and cheese at Alexander’s Steakhouse); he’d be super happy if I fed him that Kraft Mac and Cheese boxed stuff everyday!
One day, our friend Felicia served this amazing baked Mac and Cheese at her house. She said that she got the recipe from Ina Garten on the Food Network. My son devoured it in a minute flat and came back for seconds even before we adults had started on our meal! It was really delicious, so I decided I would have to try to make it too.
Pork is so tasty here in Malaysia compared to the US. I don’t know what it is but there is just more flavor to the pork meat here. It is unabashedly porky and isn’t dry like what I have found in the US, where I always have to brine the pork for it to taste like anything at all. Maybe it is also because the pork we get here at the market is really fresh and mostly locally raised. Whatever the reason, it’s just delicious.
The interesting thing about buying pork in Malaysia is that if you go to the wet market, you will find all the pork vendors in a separate part of the market away from the rest of the other meat vendors. Pork is non-halal for Muslims so whenever you want to buy pork, you need to buy it from a special section. The same happens if you go to a grocery store—they have a special section for all the non-halal items including some imported desserts and foods that may contain lard, gelatin and other pork parts.
The other day, I was at the grocery store in the non-halal section and found some pork belly on sale at a 25% discount. Though it was a thin slice, it had beautiful layers of meat and fat and was just calling my name. I decided that I had to buy it and figure out something to cook later on. (more…)
All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…
I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I last posted that the House of Annie is moving to Malaysia. Since then, our house has been a frenzy of activity, with running multiple garage sales, re-sodding the backyard, selling off almost all of our furniture, and seemingly endless trips to drop off donations at Goodwill. I have had no time or energy to blog at all!
Well, the movers have come and gone. All our kitchen supplies and other stuff are in a big box heading to Malaysia. We’ve turned our keys back to the landlord and now we’re actually living out of our suitcases, staying at our Pastor’s house in these final few days before we fly off as well.
Since we don’t have our kitchen to cook in and our pots, pans and ingredients to cook with, this week has been a whirlwind of eating out with many of our friends. While it has been very nice to spend time with them over a meal without having to fuss over a stove, eating out is taking a toll. We’ve found ourselves longing for some good, home-cooked food.
How many of you are thinking about going Hawaiian?
Kahala Beach, O’ahu, Hawai’i
While most of us aren’t able to fly to Hawai’i, we can bring the tastes of Hawai’i to our homes – by throwing a lu’au! A lu’au is a Hawaiian feast featuring traditional foods such as poi, kalua pig, poke (“POH-kay”), lomi salmon and haupia. Often, there will be music as well as hula dancing.
Not many of you might know how to throw a lu’au. Being from Hawai’i, I wanted to share some of these traditional lu’au foods with you all. So if you’re looking for lu’au food recipes, this would be the place to come.
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