Happy Birthday Philippe!

It should come as no raging shock to anyone that we three squabbling asians take our food very personally. Thankfully, as far as obsessions go, this one’s socially acceptable to share with others. Ever since the invention of hungry, people have been coming together to share meals that commemorate special occasions, or no occasion at all. And for people who love to cook, there’s a special kind of happy that comes from feeding people. Like the warm feeling you get from a big swig of whiskey on a cold day, except without feeling like you got slapped in the face by said whiskey. Sometimes we get our fix by throwing our own dinners and bbqs and the like, but somehow we also seem to think we have time to be amateur caterers, so we three occasionally provide food for various friends’ occasions and events.

A couple of weeks ago (I know, I know, I’ve been busy), we made some party snacks for my dear friend Philippe’s 3rd annual 26th birthday. A few of the highlights:

mini porcini quiches

sage-roasted garlic white bean dip with veggies

gougeres

homemade fig sesame jam with manchego

watermelon tartare with feta and mint

DJ Pepe, you’re always there with a big smile, a silly joke, and the best of the internet, always willing to defend my honor with your stealth baguette attack, and maybe most important, always reading our blog! A repeated, belated happy birthday to my favorite Frenchman – not one year older, one year better!

Garden Bounty

Living in the central valley has its perks and there is a reason why it is one of the world’s most agriculturally productive lands. Thanks to the wonders of irrigation, acres and acres of rice and other food crops are grown in a climate akin to the inside of a dry blast furnace. During the summer months, I rarely made trips to the farmer’s market (seriously, who wants to go browse for food in 100 degree weather) and it seemed like we always had a plethora of free veggies from various friends’ and coworkers’ gardens. So when our friends Jake and Kendra went out of town for a couple weeks, we got to take care of their garden….and by garden I mean their giant plot of land full of vegetables. Cucumbers (Japanese, Lemon, Pickle, Armenian), eggplants (Italian, Japanese, Thai), tomatillos, peppers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, green and purple string beans to name a few. Yuan even came out to visit one weekend and helped us harvest the garden.

Behold our bounty!

sungold tomatoes

Italian eggplant

baby Japanese cucumber