Category Archives: Food

Forgotten Tomatoes

I’ve never understood those who dislike tomatoes. Especially those who hate tomatoes but like ketchup and spaghetti sauce – choose a side and stick with it! A fresh, ripe tomato on a sunny day is as welcome to me as a peach or apple. When I can get my hands on heirloom varieties my heart goes pitter-patter. Suffice it to say I don’t care if it’s tom-AE-to or tom-AW-to, I’ll steal them away before you decide on the proper pronunciation.

too ripe tomatoes

I noticed these tomatoes last night, though they had been sitting on my dining room table for close to two weeks, and realized I needed to do something with them right away. Instead of turning to a salad, my normal tomato disposal method, I decided to make a fresh tomato sauce.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes into uniform pieces. Size is a matter of taste, but uniformity will ensure even cooking.

My next impulse was to chop garlic, but to my dismay I couldn’t find any in my pantry. Cue despair. Thankfully I did find red onion and capers. Dice these finely (and add in garlic if you have it.) Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan.

Did you know capers are a pickled flower bud?

Toss the onions into the heated oil and saute until soft. Add the capers and seasonings to taste. This time I used dried basil, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Yes, that is a pot not a pan. I had already used it to boil the ravioli and didn't want to dirty a second dish.

Continuing sauteing over medium/medium high heat until the onions are slightly brown. Add the tomatoes and stir gently. The key to this recipe is to not overcook the tomatoes. You want them to be just heated through.

Spoon the sauce over your pasta of choice, sprinkle with grated parmesan and enjoy. I stuck a few pieces of Romain lettuce in on the side and drizzled with a Balsamic Fig Glaze.

Found this gem at Whole Foods. Can also be drizzled over ice cream.

Sit back and enjoy the unadulterated taste of fresh tomatoes. I dare you to not like this, but if you don’t – more for me.

Enjoy!

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Taste of the Town: Chopstick Express

Chopstick Express 10

I have been craving Asian food for exactly 3.15 months. Yes, exactly. Last night I finally acted on that craving and ordered out some local Chinese food. The take out menu for Chopstick Express in Tempe was in my kitchen drawer, and after a quick conversation my dinner was being prepared.

I ordered…

1 quart of Hot and Sour soup
1 order of Potstickers (6 pieces to an order)
1 Hunan Chicken combo (for my dad)
1 Almond Chicken combo (for moi)

(the combo orders came with two Crab Puffs and one Egg Roll)

Chopstick Express 3

Hot and Sour Soup
3/5
I liked the flavors involved in this soup, but the texture really turned me off. Texture is something I’m picky about, and this soup was a little on the gelatinous side (especially as it cooled.) I enjoyed the pieces of tofu (a soft tofu – I don’t know if it was always very soft or if it was a result of being in the broth.) I also enjoyed the pieces of bamboo shoot which added a nice crunch.

Chopstick Express 4

Crab Puff
2/5
I love Crab Puffs (also known as Crab Rangoon) but I would not eat them from Chopstick Express again. The wrapper was nice and crisp, but the filling was incredibly sweet and had the consistency of cream cheese icing. When paired with the sweet and sour sauce, it was almost too sweet to handle. I couldn’t decipher any pieces of crab meat within the puff.

Chopstick Express 6

Egg Roll
3/5
Ehh. This Egg Roll wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. There were multiple layers of the nice crispy wrapper and a classic, albeit rather bland, filling of what looked mostly like cabbage.

Chopstick Express 7

Potsticker
1.5/5
Let me cut straight to the chase here: The wrapper was terrible. It was chewy and stiff, slightly oily, and too thick. The filling wasn’t bad, but I barely made it through the wrapper.

Chopstick Express 2

Almond Chicken
4/5
I’ve loved this dish since I was a kid, it is usually the first thing I order when trying a new Asian restaurant. While I am by no means a connoisseur, I have sampled my fair share of Almond Chickens in my day. This Almond Chicken was very tasty (I’m currently enjoying the leftovers.) It didn’t blow me away, but it was a good, solid, classic Almond Chicken. The fried rice that came along with it was flavorful and perfectly cooked. Yum!

Chopstick Express 5

Spicy Hunan Chicken
N/A
This is what my dad ordered. I took a picture of it but forgot to taste… 😦 My dad said he enjoyed it though.

Chopstick Express 8

Chopstick Express 9

Overall Rating: 2.7
While Chopstick Express wasn’t phenomenal, I enjoyed my dinner and if I was in a pinch and craving Chinese I would order there again.