Spanish Rice

Spanish rice is one of those things that I took for granted in California — you pretty much could expect some sort of seasoning in your rice unless you went for Asian food. Even then, there were options other than plain white. Not so much a thing up here, where Finns will just toss a pat of butter on a heap of plain white rice and call it a day. This means that the “extra effort” to do otherwise tends to get a bit of recognition. Which is funny, since it really is almost as simple as boiling normal white rice, goes …

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Seafood Risotto

I like rice. I like seafood. This recipe is two good things that taste good together, what else do you need to know? Definitely my own version of comfort food, and fairly easy to make if you don’t mind putting in the elbow grease. Back home in Cali, I’d use fresh shellfish and go with larger shrimp and clams, but we are in Finland so I use what I can. My base recipe is from Allrecipes but I made several modifications due to either preference or Finnish availability. I have also provided Finnish measurements where applicable in the recipe below.

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Mystery Meat: Not only Spam comes in a can.

This is quite possibly one of the tastiest things that can come out of a can. One of the spendier items as well, true, but it was on the shelf and I couldn’t pass it by. I figured I could blame it on cravings. Served here with a simple side of steamed broccoli. Typically, there’d be a starch too but I wasn’t in the mood for it at the time. Just look at all that fat. If that doesn’t give it away, I don’t know what else will. It’s liquid gold, that fat. I have it sitting in the freezer …

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Japanese Curry Rice

Here’s something from my mom’s standard repertoire when we were growing up. It was easy to toss together and made lots of leftovers, which is great when you want a fast meal for a family of 5. We probably had it at least every month. Really, this is like the Japanese version of mac and cheese — warm, filling and full of starchy goodness. Except without the lactose issues, because Asians, yo. My version departs only a little bit from hers, which in turn departs a little from the original recipe that is printed on the back of the box. …

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Char Siu Pork

I’m often asked by locals what I miss the most about moving away from home and my immediate answer has always been FOOD. The variety, the availability, the convenience of having countless food options available with a mere phone call or short drive. This is one of those cooking experiments that came out of desperation for food I would never have tried to make back in Cali. Usually, items like char siu, soy sauce chicken (another favorite I will one day make), and roast duck are bought from a little BBQ meat shop, filled with customers slurping noodles at greasy …

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The one with the dumplings.

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Wow, look what I found lurking in my old to-post folder! The last batch of photos from my London work trip back in spring of 2011. Yeah, the one where it became my mission in life to order steamed dumplings from every place within delivery range that made them. Seriously, I’ve got the pictures to prove it. It was an obsession. Just thinking about the woeful lack of delivery dumplings here makes me sad. It’s almost criminal. Why do you hate me so, Finland?

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Pierydys vs. The Big Bird.

This gallery contains 16 photos.

I promised I would post about my turkey months ago, but time has flown by with the holidays and work and stuff. So here we go — my turkey talk in a pictorial format! The thing about planning a traditional Thanksgiving dinner when you’re not in the States is that you have to give your local supermarket lots of forewarning. Like, LOTS. I can’t stress this enough, because the first year we ended up with disappointing paper-wrapped chunks of turkey breast as a result of meat department misunderstandings. And then, even after you place your order, you have to continue …

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Mystery Meat: Secret’s in the sås.

Here is another canned delight from Sweden that brought I back from our trip this past December. Given, this one came straight from the grocery store’s prepared foods aisle and not from a gourmet food boutique. The first picture is slightly misleading, since I mixed a bowl of rice into the can o’ stuff. That disk-shaped lump of white matter on the spoon should be a clue, though. If it helps, here’s what the stuff looks like in the can, prior to being served. Any clearer? Alright, then. If you’re still stumped, click to go behind the cut…

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Chicken and Pineapple Calzones

Back when I was attending UCLA, our default place for ordering pizza was Tony Maroni’s on Wilshire. While it wasn’t necessarily the best pizza I’d ever had in my life, the staff was friendly, the food was dependably good and they were really talented at remembering our orders and faces. The place is run by this sweet older Korean couple with the help of the typical parade of chipper college students. They also were really good about substitutions and special orders, which is where the Hawaiian chicken calzone here came from. T is a hardcore pineapple fan — put pineapple …

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Pork and Shrimp Fried Rice

Back in early November, I decided to take a stab at weekly menu planning in an effort to organize my grocery shopping lists, encourage the trying out of all those recipes I had stashed in my notebook and more efficiently make use of the ingredients I already had on hand. It worked surprisingly well for a few weeks, up until the holiday season hit and I was eaten alive by gingerbread. Just started up the process again a couple of weeks ago and although it’s been hard to get back into the groove (amazing how lazy you get after a …

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