A Taste of Taiwan: Taiwanese Munchies

Hello everyone! Here in Taiwan, I have been faithfully sticking to this blog by eating several snacktime munchies every single day. This is extremely easy to do, as the nightlife in Taiwan is practically completely centered around the yummy food stands that come out. Instead of sitting down and eating a meal, why not enjoy food on a ...

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The Better Chip

A few weeks ago, we received an email from The Better Chip company asking us if we'd be interested in reviewing their product. Of course, I immediately thought it was a sham. Why would anyone want our cute little blog, which is just a tiny blip among the sea of food blogs on the net, to review their ...

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Okara Ginger Cookies

Lately, I've continued making soymilk but haven't put the okara to use as I usually have. Now, the little container I use to store my fresh okara in the freezer is overflowing to the point that I've switched to using a simple gallon ziplock freezer bag. Well, what to do with all this okara? I can’t just throw it out! It’s practically a gold mine of fiber and protein, that’d be such a waste.

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Try out these quick and tasty ideas!

  • For a sweet and tangy dressing, whisk 1 tbsp pomegranate juice and cider vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  • To make a healthy soda, mix seltzer and a splash of pomegranate juice. Add some pomegranate seeds to brighten it up.
  • Craving a banana split? Try topping a banana with your favorite sorbet and some pomegranate seeds.
  • Try a fruity salsa by mixing 1 cup pomegranate seeds, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, the juice of 1/2 lime, and salt to taste.
  • If you love fruit on your waffles, top your waffles with some diced kiwi and pomegranate seeds.

Nearly done with our pomegranate theme.
Look forward to more in the next newsletter!

 

The Kitchen Tales section is here for any food-related story, whether it's in the kitchen or not. So don't hesitate to contribute some of your interesting tales to us!

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When I was still dorming in college, my high school friends would occasionally come to visit. On one of those occasions, I decided to cook dinner for everyone since they planned to stay overnight...but mostly because they requested it. (I'm not gloating...well, maybe just a little bit...) Luckily, I lived in a suite so I had a kitchen and full sized fridge at my disposal. 

After a quick stop at the supermarket, it was back in the kitchen and my friends -- sweet and polite as they are -- asked if I needed any help. Well, while this is always a nice offer, I'm the type of person who prefers to get things done on her own in as quick and efficient a manner as possible.

Then again, it was a lot of food to prepare for a group of hungry people.

So I delegated simple tasks such as washing the vegetables to them and turned back to my skillet and contentedly continued cooking our steaks. Harmless, right?  

Turning to check on how everyone's doing, I suddenly see one of my friends washing the broccoli...with dish soap.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THE BROCCOLI?!?!

My friend, startled by my shriek of horror, just stares at me with incomprehension. "I'm washing it." The silent 'duh' hung in the air and I still have this feeling that she was fighting not to roll her eyes. After all, the look on her face clearly said that she thought I was a silly woman who'd never washed her vegetables before.

Our civility quickly devolved into a spiral of confusion and some facepalming on my end. The conversation went something like this:

"Why are you using dish soap to wash the broccoli?!"

"Because I'm washing the broccoli and I'm using the dish soap to clean it." (Insert unspoken "duh" here.)

"...Dish soap is used for washing dishes, not food. That's why it's called dish soap!...And who uses soap to wash their vegetables?!"

"My family does this all the time. How else do you wash your vegetables?"

At this point, I was so exasperated all I wanted to do was save the poor broccoli from drowning further in suds. While I wasn't dramatic enough to throw up my hands and wail "With water, or baking soda, or salt, maybe even some vinegar, just not dish soap!" I was very close to it.

Needless to say, my garlicky broccoli  dish that night had a very distinct soapy flavor. I mean really, is it actually possible to wash all the soap out of broccoli? All those tightly packed tiny little leaves in each floret...

Please, please, I'm begging you: DON'T use dish soap or any other chemicals that you wouldn't want associated or anywhere near your food to clean your food...because even though you may think you're cleaning it and getting rid of bacteria and pesticides and what have you, in the end, those chemicals don't wash off easy and then you're the ones who end up ingesting it and suffering the consequences later on (which hopefully is just a minor stomachache at worst).

Most foods shouldn't need to be cleaned with anything besides water -- obviously, this is assuming that your groceries consist of fresh fruits and vegetables from a good supermarket (organic is always the safer bet as well). However, if you really do want to stay on the safe side, some salt or baking soda do wonders for cleaning. You don't need a lot, just a small palmful is more than enough. Be sure to rinse again with clean water afterwards!

Also, for the berry lovers out there, if you want to preserve your berries longer, try rinsing them in a solution of vinegar to water at a 1:4 ratio. No need to wash again afterwards. There's so little vinegar that you don't have to worry about tasting it on the fruit.

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Do you have any kitchen stories that you'd like to share? Something you found particularly meaningful, or an event that's just downright hilarious? Maybe even a lesson learned that you'd like to pass on? Let us know!

Simply email your story to us at ssmunchies@gmail.com and we'll post them in our newsletter. Feel free to include any pictures as well. We'll be looking forward to reading them!

 

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If you'd like to share a recipe with us, by all means, post it in a comment under Reader Recipes. Including a picture of the recipe would be spectacular, but if not, that's fine as well.

For any other questions and concerns, or if you'd simply like to chat with us, email us at ssmunchies@gmail.com. We're always happy to hear from you!