flailing in my kitchen v3

How can I be sad when I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Showing posts filed under: holiday traditions

New Year Tacos

As part of my newly established Lunar New Year tradition, I made fish tacos! I have no idea how long I've been keeping these tilapia fillets in the freezer, but I'm really trying to actually clear out the food in my kitchen. I've made these spiced catfish tacos so many times, and it's become one of my go-to recipes.

Overhead shot of all the components of our fish tacos
I even made a recipe card for it! And then I forgot to take a picture with it.

I am frying up some spiced tilapia
My tiny kitchen space does not make it easy to get a picture from this angle

In the past, I've sliced up the sweet potatoes in thin quarter circle shapes, but this time I went with dicing, and I think that makes their flavor stand out more in the taco. And in my continued effort to not accumulate more food in my kitchen, I bought a bag of "RAINBOW VEGGIE SLAW" instead of buying a head of cabbage. Plus it's easier since I don't have to cut up any cabbage.

Closeup of a fish taco
And look at all the color it adds!

I cooked five tilapia fillets and we just about finished all of it. That mayonnaise + lime + sugar dressing makes it so good. We just had a single half of a fillet left, which I ate the next day (as well as a pork taco using leftover pulled pork from another meal).

One pork taco and one fish taco
Yes, it is always worth it to spend the ten minutes assembling tacos for lunch

Thanksgiving dumplings

Since I didn't go and see my family on Thanksgiving, my friend invited me over for a (very small) Friendsgiving. Small in the number of people, but definitely not in the amount of food. I offered to bring dumplings, which ended up being a huge hit. I had fish tacos during Chinese New Year last year, so I figured dumplings for Thanksgiving was appropriate.

Making dumplings

I actually already had dumplings in my freezer, because of course I did, but I decided to make more because you can never have too many dumplings. At this point, I don't really even use a recipe anymore. This is what I put in the filling this time:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • Half a cabbage, shredded
  • 4 oz mushrooms, diced
  • A knob of ginger, grated
  • A few cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Some splashes of fish sauce

And for the sauce (No measurements, because who knows how much of everything I added):

  • Tamari
  • Mirin
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Green Onions
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Chili Garlic

Of course, the key to making good dumplings is to just microwave a small bit of filling and try it, and if it needs something, add it.

Dumplings in the pan

I also had to buy a new non-stick pan because my last one was ruined when we brought it on our last camping trip. This is the first time I attempted to arrange the dumplings in a fancy circle. It did not end up that fancy. I don't know how my sister makes it look so nice.

But as always, it was delicious.

Eating dumplings

Close up dumpling

Look at the bottom of that dumpling! You don't want to know how many times I attempted to take a close-up picture of one.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Also known as Mayonnaise Shrimp.

I know I've eaten this at Chinese restaurants plenty of times, but I never really got excited for it until my aunt decided to make it for Thanksgiving one year. Ever since then, it's become one of my family's most requested Thanksgiving dishes.

This might be the most action-y shot yet.

And this year my family had it for Chinese New Year. But my sister and I didn't get to go home so we had to make it for ourselves. Shrimp was on sale this week so I had to buy it!

Having extra veggies in your meals is always a good thing.

We used this Walnut Shrimp recipe from The Woks of Life. It was delicious, but I think it could have used more breading though. It also only called for a pound of shrimp and it claimed to make 4 servings, but those must be some tiny servings. We made 1.5 lbs and I think that might have been enough for 3 people.


I'll definitely be making this again.

Happy New Year!

I know we had fish tacos yesterday, but our official new year's celebration happened on Sunday, making and cooking dumplings.

Our dumpling filling consisted of ground pork, onions, and chives. We actually had to look in three different grocery stores just to find ground pork. Giant Eagle only had a pound left and Whole Foods sells pork for $5.99/lb! It's a good thing I have a lot of grocery store options.

My friend also made a filling with ground turkey and carrot. It kind of reminded me of shumai.

So beautifully arranged.

We pan fried the pork dumplings and boiled the turkey dumplings. Everything was delicious. Next time I think I'll up the ratio of chive to pork. I love chives.

The tupperware filled with cilantro makes another appearance.

All in all, it was a successful dumpling party. I definitely want to have more of these in the future.

We remembered the dipping sauce in the pictures this time.

That crunchy bottom is so good.

Fish Tacos

Happy Chinese New Year! Today we celebrated by making tacos.

Because leftover salad mix tastes way better in a taco.

I've always thought Blue Apron was a huge waste of money. I have to pay $8+ for a meal that I need to prep and cook myself. I actually like going to the grocery store, and I don't like cutting vegetables, so why would I ever pay extra money to cut veggies?!

However, all of the Blue Apron recipes are available online for free! And they have a pretty great cookbook with useful pictures. My favorite of their recipes is Spiced Catfish Tacos with Roasted Sweet Potato and Coleslaw.

Except I use tilapia because even though I don't know how much catfish costs, I know it costs way more than tilapia.

My sister's taco.

My taco.

Tacos are always delicious. I'll have another new year's post coming soon!

I don't let holidays dictate what I eat.

Showing posts filed under: holiday traditions