My friends and colleagues got into a festive holiday Recipe Exchange this week. The idea is to send a recipe that is something quick, easy, and without rare ingredients (that last bit was a challenge for me.) As the game goes, “the best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. Don’t agonize over it because it is the one you make when you are short of time.”
For me the reply was easy: Asian Aioli
Perfect as a sauce/dressing for fresh steamed vegetables and anything grilled/BBQ.
I have even put it on pasta when I am r-e-a-l-l-y lazy.
- 1 cup Japanese mayonnaise
[Kewpie is my fave! How can you resist something that is yummy and cute?]
- 3 tablespoons shoyu/soy sauce
[try any you like, I dig this one]
- 3 tablespoons mirin
[I like this one, it is not too sweet]
- ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
[if you like garlic add more, if you don’t add less – if you are super lazy, use powdered garlic (but it won’t taste as good)]
- Pinch of black pepper
[add to your taste]
- A few drops of sriracha or hot sauce
[again to taste, and do pick your favorite hot sauce, I am partial to Huy Fong]
Instructions: Put all the ingredients into a big bowl and whisk until you have a smooth, creamy consistency. Yes that is how easy it is!!!
It keeps for at least a month in the fridge!
I am fortunate to have access to several fantastic Asian Grocers near me. For this recipe I find everything needed at Daido in White Plains, NY.
Get yourself one of these squeeze bottles from The Container Store (conviently located down the street from Daido in White Plains) to keep your yummy aioli in.
P.S. The cute stars I used on my recipe card came from funtosee.com. They have some sweet room decor items for keiki (kids). Also, here is the Recipe Exchange email if you want to try it yourself.
We are participating in a collective, constructive, and hopefully Tasty experiment. As such, you have been invited to be part of a recipe exchange concept. We hope you will participate. We have picked those we think would make this fun. Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don’t know him/her) and it should be something quick, easy, and without rare ingredients. Actually, the best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. Don’t agonize over it because it is the one you make when you are short of time.
After you have sent the recipe to the person in position 1 below and only to that person, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1 and put your name in position 2. Only my and your name should show when you send your email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy). If you cannot do this within 5 days, let us know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas. The turnaround is fast as there are only 2 names on the list, and you only have to do it once!
1. A Friend’s Email Address Here
Oh, and I am not affiliated with any of the stores or products mentioned. I am just really fussy about food and what I eat.
2. Your Email Address Here
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Crepes are on the menu at our house this year. The first will be a savory dish with shrimp, mushrooms and goat cheese. Then a sweet version for dessert – a combination crepe + souffle – yum!
Just one of the many critters who live in the back yard.
Still have some Beaujolais Nouveau as well. This year’s is Antonin Rodet. Picked it up at Le Wine Shop in Greenwich, CT. Etienne’s shop is a local gem, specializing in smaller vineyards and second labels. Amazing selections for fantastic prices.
What’s on the menu at your house?
Wishing you a very Happy Fourth of July!
Stars and stripes party favors from Target.
I was traveling on business for the better part of last week. Ah, there is no place like home. It is so nice to come back to the comfort of familiar surroundings. I do always travel with a few things that make the experience more personal. For example, I always carry a Pareo (Hawaiian Sarong) I picked up from Sig Zane Designs in Hilo, HI. It is, I guess, my take on a grown up version of a security blanket. Great for draping across the foot of the bed or as an impromptu yoga mat for morning stretches (much nicer than hotel carpet I can assure you).
Do you travel with a little piece of home sweet home? Would love to hear about it.
So I needed to open a mailbox for a new business venture and they required two forms of photo ID. The challenge was, at the time, I was commuting between two ends of the country and, well, my Passport was at the other end – only my driver’s license was at hand. The UPS Store says to me, “No problem. Just stop by Costco and get a membership card.” And so my love affair began.
Momoko (Kyoko Fukada) from the film Kamikaze Girls
Before then, I would drive by the local Costco and not give it a second glance. I didn’t stick my nose up at it exactly, more I assumed it was for a different target audience, I don’t know, say new parents who need a palette’s worth of diapers. But I was wrong.
Here are my 5 favorite things about Costco and how it helps with Life’s Sweet Essentials.
- The price. I know, no surprise on this one, but Costco is easy on the wallet and therefore great for Life’s Essential #4 – $$$. Because of their buying power as America’s #3 retailer, they get a huge discount that is then passed on to us. While I admit, I personally tend to average a $100 minimum every time, I always walk out with my money’s worth and a heck of a lot more then I get from my local grocer.
- Rebate!! Their Membership Rewards programs are fantastic and again ideal for #4 $$$. And the kicker here is, if you get their American Express card you get a rebate from both!!
- High quality produce. These guys have a huge customer base, and when it comes to Life’s Essential # 1 – Food – Costco has a high turn over which means that the produce is going to be fresh. Did you even know they had produce? I didn’t originally.
- Bulk. If you are a family of 4, no problem, you will benefit from this big time. But even if you are single this is a cool tip. Buy it and share it with 3 of your friends. They chip in for their portion and you get the stuff you need plus your rebate for the full amount of goods. Sweet.
- TVs, pillows, towels and more. I know this is a totally random mix but I have purchased all of these items to help make Life’s Essential #3- Shelter, more cozy. Why pay full price for Pacific Coast down pillows or Sony’s latest LCD big screen TV. Remember discount + rebate = sweet life.
So if you are wondering about the Jusco reference from Kamikaze Girls, here is the deal. While I would normally agree with Momoko – do not buy Life’s Essential #2 – Clothing, from the supermarket… I must admit I have purchased Lacoste Ts and Tommy Bahama shorts from my Costco. Sorry Momoko-san, I too love Baby the Stars Shine Bright … but I have fallen victim to Jusco on occasion.
Hello – Aloha – Konnichiwa! Welcome to Life’s Sweet Essentials, a blog about those things we all need and how to make the most of them. We’ve all been given this
amazing opportunity and I believe in embracing every moment. Life’s too short to settle
for anything less. So lets discover the wonder in what could otherwise be mundane.
A yummy cupcake to celebrate the launch of Life’s Sweet Essentials.
- Food. We need food and water for sustenance, but why stop there. If there is one thing that can bring people together it is food. I am very fortunate to have a friend who is an exquisite cook. I have learned so much from him and hope to pass along some of the delectable tips that I have picked up over the years.
- Clothing. What was originally critical for protection from the elements has grown to be what I think is the most accessible art form on the planet. Society demands we have it, so why not flaunt it. For me what I wear is usually a reflection of my mood. Sometimes simple and sometimes frilly. I love to shop, and thanks to a childhood spent at my grandmother’s side, I also adore sewing.
- Shelter. Like clothing, shelter is critical for protection from the elements. But I firmly believe in the saying, “Home Sweet Home.” Home to me is a sanctuary; it is where I feel safe and free to be myself. I invest a great deal of time, money and energy into it making my home a bright and happy place. That extra investment puts me in the right mental state to tackle what ever the world throws at me.
- Money. It is a reality of the world we live in, so go for it! I remember starting out after college with $200 in the bank, a full tank of gas and nothing else but big dreams. I have been very fortunate and hope I can pass on some of the wisdom that has helped in my success.
- Lucky Pack. The cool thing about life is that it is full of surprises. Let’s see what happens.