PAC

So on Recipezaar they have forums. And like any site with forums, eventually they came to evolve to the point where people were playing forum games (this happened before my time). The Zaar has some that are fairly unique to their site, due to what kind of site it is. For instance, they play tag. Not your normal tag where you run around, tag someone, and then they are IT. Nope, in Zaar tag games, you run around, tag someone, and then YOU are IT – the next person to tag you agrees to make a recipe and then post a review and maybe a photo. Since the whole point of having your recipes in a public place is to ask other people to make them and have some feedback (Am I WEIRD for liking cream cheese with raspberry chipolte jelly?? Make this recipe and see if you like it, too!), these kind of games make sense for the site. One that will be played in June the boys (DH and RM) and I are really excited about: Zaar World Tour III – over the course of two months you make recipes from all over the world in a team event. Sounds like fun cooking and fun eating for the boys. They are already making pointed remarks about the timing of that game.

There is another game on the Zaar which is going on right now and needs to finish up beofre the ZWTIII starts. Pick a Chef. This is my first Zaar game, and it is . . . interesting . . . so far. The idea is that you “adopt” various chefs on the site (whether they signed up to play or not), make 3 of their recipes and post reviews. The idea is to get to know other chefs and their available recipes better, and of course get some reviews for yourself. Each chef can only be adopted once, though, so opening weekend was kind of a mad rush (this past weekend) with people scrambling to get their chosen chefs. Apparently all previous records were broken with 273 adoptions the first day. I was adopted within the first half hour. ^.^ I have 3 babies so far, and I figure if I make all their recipes in the next week or so, I may go and adopt more. I’m also trying to cycle through some freezer meals I have made, and of course there is this Asian food kick I have been on lately. So I may or may not. Some people grabbed 13 the first day. Which means they are commited to making 39 recipes in the next month. Whew!

All this was to explain some the strange choices you may be seeing on my dinner table in the next few weeks as I try new recipes and odd combinations. Like last night’s dinner:
04.22 Dinner
Mu Shu Chicken Patties with Seared Napa Cabbage and Lemon Tahini Dressing, which is dressing some carrot noodles and zucchini. The chicken patties were great, especially on a piece of potato bread with some of the cabbage and some hoisin sauce. YUM! I made enough for 6 people (my parents were over for dinner), plus some extra that got put into wonton skins for potstickers (with help from DH and RM). I was not as fond of the dressing, though. Much too much lemon for my taste, much too strong an aftertaste for DH’s taste, much too much tahini for RM’s taste, and just “Yucky!” for DD. My parents, however, loved the stuff! So it’s not a BAD recipe, just one that highly depends on your preferences. My dad loved it so much, he got himself a piece of potato bread and poured some on. When I offered the rest of the dressing (because I scaled it up for 6 people and ended up with enough for 3 times as many people) to my mom to take home, she took it. They don’t really cook anymore (except on weekends) since it is just the two of them, so this is a big vote of approval.

I had an interesting shopping trip for this week yesterday. When I dragged myself out of the produce department, I was shocked to notice my basket was already half full. With produce. Everything just looked so good! Even my DH noticed it, when he was helping unload the groceries. His comment? “I have never seen you bring home so many and in such variety!” Mmmmm, strawberries, blackberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, Napa cabbage, zucchini, red onion, iceburg lettuce, garlic bulbs and a ginger hand, cilantro and avocado, tender little asparagus stalks (at $1.47/lb! cheap!) and beautiful broccoli crowns. I love Spring.

HEB’s produce usually is horrible (at my HEB), which is why I started shopping at Randall’s every week. But my Randall’s doesn’t carry things like Napa cabbage, wasabi peanuts, and cinnamon yoghurt raisins. And HEB had IQF chicken breast tenders (boneless, skinless) for $1.77/lb. My rule two on buying meat: If it is boneless and less than $2/lb, buy it! I give myself more leeway since I’m not paying for inedible bone.

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