Friday, November 12, 2010

Random Bits: Ming is Coming to Hawaii!, Giada's Sauteed Shrimp Cocktail, Iron Foodie Challenge Update & My Kabocha Cupcakes Need Some Votes Please!

I seem to be saying this a lot lately but it has been a really crazy-busy week. I had a bunch of projects and three events going on and I got behind on everything else by working on them. Then there was another few hours with the doctor yesterday trying to figure out why my bronchitis didn't go away and getting more drugs to hopefully get rid of it this time (fingers crossed). So my friends, you are getting a whole lot of random things that I didn't get posted during the week. Starting with a little Ming Tsai news, moving to my I Heart Cooking Clubs dish this week, and finally a little update on challenges.

Look at that face! I had to break my limiting cookbooks vow to buy Ming Tsai's new "Simply Ming One Pot Meals: Quick, Healthy and Affordable Recipes" because Ming is coming to Honolulu Tuesday! Through Macy's Culinary Council, Ming will be demonstrating his "East Meets West" cooking style at Macy's Ala Moana, sharing quick and easy recipes and signing books. As many of you know, I really loves me some Ming Tsai so I of course will be there with a few friends watching Ming and having dinner at Alan Wong's Pineapple Room after. (The night will be perfect if Alan's Ginger-Crusted Onaga is on the menu!)

If you are going to be in Honolulu this Tuesday, November 16 at 6:00 PM, you should definitely check it out--it is free, open to the public and a must-see since we so rarely get these kinds of events here in Hawaii. Here are the details.

And here's a little picture of the last time I saw my man Ming at a charity "walk-around" two years ago. Here's hoping for a better photo next week!

I could feed you a big story about how Giada's Sauteed Shrimp Cocktail is the perfect fit for the "Kid At Heart" theme. Maybe something about kids liking to dip things, or kids liking shrimp, or maybe the maple syrup and mustard in the dip--but frankly my friends the truth is I was just cooking out of my freezer and pantry at the last minute and looking for something as low-effort as possible. I had everything I needed to quickly whip up a batch of the shrimp, sauteed with herbes de Provence and for the dip--right down to the brand of whole grain mustard Giada recommends. I was also really curious how the shrimp would pair with the interesting combination of ingredients in the dip.

You can find the recipe here at Food Network.

Sauteed Shrimp Cocktail
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
(Yields 4-6 Servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled, tail left on, deveined
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard (recommended: Maille)
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and herbes de Provence. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes each side.

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, maple syrup, turmeric, and basil until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Place the yogurt mixture in a dipping bowl.

Place the bowl of dipping sauce on a serving platter with the cooked shrimp.

Notes/Results: Shrimp + herbes de Provence = really delicious. I wouldn't really have thought of partnering them but it works so well together. The shrimp were succulent and slightly sweet and the combination of herbs really enhanced that. The dip was a little odd but actually pretty tasty--the maple, mustard, turmeric and basil give a little sweet and savory contrast and the yogurt adds a little tangy zing. Together with the shrimp it is different but good and it certainly sets itself apart from the normal shrimp cocktail. Not sure that it really channeled my inner child this week ;-) but I will definitely make the shrimp again and would probably make the dip.

You can see how the other IHCC celebrated being a "Kid at Heart" by going to the post here and following the links.

Thanks to all of you who left such nice comments on my entry post for The Foodie Blog Roll and Marx Foods "The Next Iron Foodie" post last week.

I am happy to say that I got selected as one of the 25 challengers and will be receiving my box of 8 mystery ingredients next week and using at least 3 of them for a dish for the contest. (I am pretty sure it was my Mom's Chicken Fricassee food porn that got me in.) I am excited to get creative with some great ingredients from Marx Foods and nervous too--there are so many talented bloggers in the mix. I only hope I can keep up. I'll keep you posted and let you know when the voting begins!

Speaking of mystery ingredients and voting... here is my quick, last minute pandering for votes for the Recipe Impossible Joanne Eats Well With Others Edition--Squash. The poll was broken until this week and I didn't get a chance to mention that it was working again. As of right now my carrot-cake style Kabocha Cupcakes with Maple-Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting are sadly, embarrassingly, in last place. ;-( If you haven't voted and you liked my cupcakes, I would love for you to pop over to the poll here and give me a vote.

Not expecting to win, but a few more votes would be nice for saving a little face. ;-) They really were delicious! Maybe I needed a catchier name...? In any case the voting ends at midnight, this Sunday the 14th.

Max says "Vote for My Mom's Cupcakes!" (At least I think that is what that last meow meant, it is either that or "Give me a snack now!") Actually this is just a picture of Max stuck in for his favorite fans Foodycat and Ed & Rene' who have mentioned that they haven't seen any Max pictures lately. ;-) Here he is in his favorite spot on top of the glass table on my lanai.

So that is one whole bunch of random for this week!

How is your week going?


  1. you are so lucky to see Ming Tsai again :) I hope you feel better soon too. I went to vote for you also!

  2. I totally understand about the busy schedule so no worries. Just gotta keep on truckin. So cool that you get to meet Ming!

    For what it's worth, my brother ordered shrimp cocktail no matter where we went when he was a kid. So many it really IS a kid food! Looks good either way!

  3. My son is a very picky child. I'll make these shrimps, I am sure he will like them.

  4. You and Ming make a great couple ;-) I'm glad to see that you broke down and bought his new book. It sure is going to be exciting for you to see him again. Hope you'll tell us all about it.
    I've wondered about Giada's sauteed shrimp cocktail. I have to say that I usually like those pairings which are different and unique and should probably give this one a try!
    Congrats on the Iron Foodie Challenge. I think you'll love participating and I'm sure you'll do great.
    I voted for your Kabocha cupcakes yesterday. Good luck!

  5. I love Ming too!! I'm so envious!! I remember watching his show rerun in the middle of the night when my son was born and I was up feeding him.

    Congratulations on making the challenge! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Keep us posted!

  6. Wow, you did have alot of news! Love the shrimp, Ming and especially that cat :-)

  7. You're going to see Ming Tsai? I am so jealous! On top of everything else he's done in the culinary world, he's also a real hero to the food allergy community. Feel free to go fangirl at him on my behalf!

  8. Great pictures! The shrimp looks awesome! Your cupcake looks awesome!

  9. Very envious you are going to see Ming - pretty much no possibility that I'll ever see him this side of a TV screen.

    Your shrimp looks great, and I really love the idea of that dip - really interesting combination of flavours that I'm pretty sure I would really like. I sooo have to try that. The idea of shrimp cocktail definitely brings back a lot of youthful memories for me, but it was never like this :-)

    I'm off to give you a vote now.


  10. Ofcourse i don't know mins tsai either, but i see why you love him. I deffinatly would love his new cookbook. Healthy, and affordable one pot meals great book i would say. Love you're sauteed also!

  11. Oh, have fun!! The shrimp sounds wonderful! Max looks adorable. And I'm off to vote. Did I miss anything?

  12. Lots of exciting stuff going on! Love the shrimp, and the dip is intriguing!

  13. Oh that cocktail looks so good! And if Max tells me to vote for you, I will. I always listen to my cats, they are so smart, hehe.

  14. Thank you! Max is such a beautiful boy. As is Ming ;)

  15. You have my vote! I love those cupcakes. I'm catching up on my reading and love the new look of the blog!

  16. Thanks everyone for all the positive comments, feedback and voting. really appreciate it. ;-) Oh, and Max appreciates all the love too! ;-)

  17. I'm so excited that you'll get to see Ming again! Yay Ming ;)

    The shrimp looks and sounds great...hard to go wrong w/ delicious sauteed shrimp, I think!

    Congrats on being chosen, I'll be rooting for you...cannot wait to see what you create :D to vote!

  18. I'm so happy you get to see Ming again! Was sad to see him get thrown off Iron Chef. The shrimp looks different but sometimes different is good! Congrats on the Iron Foodie Challenge! Hope you're feeling better!
    (I think I'm in last place now!)


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