Ca Kho To- Vietnamese Caramelized Fish

Vietnamese Caramelized Fish

I’ve got the enviable problem of trying to figure out what to do with a weekly delivery from my very favorite fish market.   There are the usual solutions: poke or ceviche of some sort; a comforting rice bowl with fish and furikake, or fish tacos (a summertime favorite).

But lately I’ve been longing for Vietnamese food.  Although I spent all of last summer trying different Vietnamese dishes, I failed to make Vietnamese Caramelized fish.  Now you guys know I’m a huge fan of claypot cooking.  It’s worked its magic on any sort of protein I’ve thrown at it (see these pork and chicken recipes for evidence), quickly coating it with a sticky and intensely flavored sauce that’s spicy, salty and sweet.

Vietnamese Caramelized Fish 2

And fish was no exception.  I always think of Vietnamese claypot dishes as healthier, more flavorful versions of General Tso’s.   If you’re a fan of the American-Chinese dish, then you’re really, really going to want to try this one.

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Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Living in Hawaii, it’s easy to lose track of the seasons…  I suppose I’ve got something of an endless summer mentality.  But while  sunny beach days aren’t in danger of going away come Labor Day weekend, summer produce won’t last much longer.

Since August is only a day away (seriously, where has the year gone?), I’ve decided it’s time to stuff myself with as many berries, stone fruits and other goodies while I still can.   My first priority:  watermelon.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

For twenty-something years it never occurred to me to enjoy watermelon any other way than plain ol’ slices or cubed in a fruit salad.  Delicious?  Yes.  But also a bit boring.  Thankfully I’ve been making up for lost time in recent years, enjoying it in tequila mojitos, in summery salads with tomatoes and avocado, and made into a juice with ginger and lime.  Who knew watermelon was so versatile?

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Gluten-Free Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

Is it just me, or is getting sick in the middle of summer just plain cruel?   Sometimes in the rainy season I half hope that I’ll come down with a little cold.  Staying home from work and curling up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea, without any chores to accomplish or tasks to check off the to-do list, sounds pretty good to me.

But being sick with a fever during a particularly sweltering July when I’d rather be taking advantage of prime beach season?  No thank you.   Even if it does mean that I can lounge around and watch The Italian Job and re-runs of The Big Bang Theory all day long.

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes 2

I’m finally starting to feel like my old self again, which means that the television got put away and I’ll be giving this whole blogging thing the old college try again.  I’ve long had my next destination picked out (I even have a couple recipes made, photographed and written out!), but I can’t quite seem to really get in the swing of things before I do a much-needed fridge and pantry clean out.

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How to Make Kraft-Style Mac and Cheese for a Crowd: Buy Dried Cheese Powder in Bulk

Kraft Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

As much as I love gourmet mac and cheese made from artisanal cheeses, the stuff from the blue box will always be my sentimental favorite.  I recently had a little birthday dinner for my niece and used the occasion as an excuse to make some Kraft-style Mac and Cheese (never mind the fact that at not-quite four years old she’s got a more refined palate than I had when I was in college).

Cheese Powder

Making a large quantity of the stuff can be humbug and expensive (those boxes are pretty much single servings, amiright?), but it recently became known to me that you can buy the cheese powder in bulk. In BULK, people.  Why has it taken me so long to learn this?  In the event that some of you out there are similarly in the dark, I thought I’d do a quick post to clue in any interested parties.

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