• DSC_0049

    Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad

    January sure is flying by, isn’t it? We’re already halfway through the month! This is crazy! Only 17 days ago we celebrated the new calendar year. But do you know what other new year is rolling around? Chinese New Year … Continue reading

  • DSC_0160

    Mango Sticky Rice

    In Dallas, there’s a modern Thai-Vietnamese restaurant called Malai Kitchen that has one of my—and my family’s—absolute favorite desserts: mango sticky rice. It’s to die for! I don’t even need to eat there for a meal… all I need is dessert! … Continue reading

  • DSC_0073

    Udon Stir Fry with Bok Choy and Vegetables

    I’ve always loved udon noodles, whether it was in a stir fry or in a soup. Maybe that was a product of living in Tokyo as a baby, but I’m not sure. Maybe a love for udon noodles—or noodles of … Continue reading

Mom’s Spaghetti

Ever since I was young, I’ve always thought that my mom makes the best spaghetti ever. And I do mean that very seriously—nothing compares to the orange heaven that is my mom’s spaghetti. A few years ago, a family friend from Italy invited us over for dinner. While she made some of the most delicious pastas I’ve ever had, my mom’s spaghetti still reigns supreme.

In the Philippines, spaghetti is seen more as a snack than a full-fledged meal, and it’s usually very sweet when compared to the spaghetti we eat here in the United States. That’s why if you go to Jollibee or a McDonald’s in the Philippines, you’ll notice the spaghetti will taste totally different! (And, yes! They have spaghetti!) My mom says that every Filipino person has a different way of making their spaghetti. Hers has more garlic, is less sweet, and uses bacon instead of hot dogs. But for what it lacks in sugar, it makes up for in flavor.

DSC_0005

In the summer before ninth grade, I took a cooking class as part of Senior DECATS, a selective summer program only available to academically talented students who attended a Catholic middle school. It was my first real exposure to cooking—and also where I learned I enjoy tasting food more than making it! For our biggest group cooking challenge, we had to prepare the best spaghetti we could.

Well, actually, we were told we needed to find one of the teaching assistants who had been hidden in the park across the street, with the first group getting to pick their ingredients first—much like a MasterChef competition. But that’s a story my thirteen-, almost fourteen-year-old self told on my personal blog, Kuya’s Notebook, after it happened, complete with blurry iPhone pictures and full recollections of middle school students trying to get out of cleaning for the day. Continue reading

Welcome to Bok Choy and Broccoli! (Yes, we’re back!)

Wow, it sure has been a while, hasn’t it?

It’s been a little over a year since I last posted on here, and a lot has changed. I decided to move back to WordPress.com and stop paying for hosting. A bunch of craziness has happened in my personal life, which I’d rather not get into here. I’ve stopped being a vegetarian/pescatarian/self-righteous-“plant-eater”-who-actually-still-eats-meat… whatever I was! But most importantly, I’ve figured out what I want from Bok Choy and Broccoli.

Food is a universally important aspect of my culture, your culture, our world’s culture. We may like and eat very different things—and we may start combining foods to make something new!—but at its very core, food is something that brings us together. It shapes us.

Bok Choy and Broccoli is my story told through food. It’s about the story of my family, the story of our shared experiences, and the story of who I am, who I have become, and who I am becoming—just with more food pictures.

This blog started as a way to document the foods that my mom made in our house: mostly some type of Asian food that she put her own twist on. But that doesn’t mean we don’t eat a lot of other foods. Through this blog, I want to share you with my food. Our food. Now that I’m one year away from leaving for college (sorry Mom and Dad, but I’m not staying in Dallas!), I want this blog to go forward with me no matter where life takes me.

Because of this, I’ve decided to not force Bok Choy and Broccoli to stay vegetarian. I eat some meats, and I’d like to share the stories and recipes of foods that aren’t completely plant-based. Some recipes in the future will still be vegetarian (or easily adaptable to be vegetarian/vegan!), but I don’t want to limit what I can share.

I want this blog to be like you’re having a meal with me, like you’re getting to know me over a meal. So the focus won’t be entirely on recipes like it has been. Sometimes it’ll just be stories, other times it’ll be just pictures. Or maybe it’ll be a mix of both. Like how you can’t plan life, I don’t want to plan too much with this blog.

I’ll see you soon. I promise!

– Joshua

A Special Birthday at Rasika

If you don’t like Indian food, we can’t be friends.

With a different mix of sauces and spices in every dish, there’s something about Indian food that I find truly special. There’s so much energy in Indian food—an energy that also moved east to Southeast Asia in the foods of countries like Thailand and Malaysia—that the food is just so much fun to eat. Indian food is practically an edible party.

DSC_0277

A lot of people I know simply can’t handle the pungent flavors of South Asia, but I don’t associate myself with them. (Or at the very least, we don’t eat much together.)

On June 18, I celebrated my sixteenth birthday at Rasika in Washington, D.C. Well-known for their Indian cuisine, Rasika attracts many eager food enthusiasts to come and try their food, including President Barack Obama, who ate at Rasika on his birthday as well.

DSC_0240

Continue reading

Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad

January sure is flying by, isn’t it? We’re already halfway through the month! This is crazy! Only 17 days ago we celebrated the new calendar year. But do you know what other new year is rolling around?

Chinese New Year is coming just around the corner, and I can’t exactly say I’m ready for it. By the stroke of midnight on January 31, the calendar shifts over from the current Year of the Snake to the Year of the Horse!

DSC_0038

A few weeks ago I went to the Chinese Lantern Festival in Dallas and they devoted a whole section to the Chinese Zodiac. I’ve heard a couple different legends on how Chinese New Year began, but the one presented at the Chinese Lantern Festival was that once upon a time, the Jade Emperor summoned all the animals to a meeting. Only 11 of them, plus the dragon, arrived, and the Jade Emperor rewarded them by giving each of them a calendar year in the order that they arrived in. Because the Rat arrived first, it got the first calendar year that begins the 12-year Chinese Zodiac.

DSC_0046

Continue reading

White Toblerone Macadamia Cookies

Wow, it sure is crazy to think that 2013 is taking its last few breaths. Pretty soon, the full force of 2014 will be upon us! It’s weird to think how quickly this year went by. But as the seasons change and our calendars change dates, some things always stay the same.

The last day of the year will always be December 31, and it’s been that way for a very long time. If I’m not mistaken, December 31 was created back when Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 45 BC, where December was given 31 days instead of the 29 it had under the old Roman calendar.

Mixing the Toblerone with the cookie dough

On this last day of the year, people everywhere will begin making resolutions to themselves. Some of that will include eating healthier, losing weight, exercising more, getting more sleep, procrastinating less, etc. Personally, I don’t have my list of New Year’s resolutions ready yet, but I will! I’ll probably post them on my personal blog (kuyasnotebook.com) later today or tomorrow when I finally have the list finalized.

Before midnight rings, it’s also important to clean the house and get everything ready for the new year. Today has been filled with cleaning, tidying things up, and just getting the house ready to soak in all the luck that 2014 has to offer.

Preparing the cookies

Filipinos have always been superstitious about New Year’s, probably a product of our Chinese ancestors. A few important things you should do before the calendar rolls over to January 1 include:

  • Cleaning your house
  • Fill your wallet with money (no empty wallets unless you want an empty wallet all year!)
  • Scatter coins around the house and outside your door
  • Eat round grapes at the stroke of midnight
  • Have long noodles for long life

I’m also going to be jumping twelve times at midnight to increase my height this year. :)

Cookies in the oven

Also, on New Year’s Day, it’s very important that you don’t clean anything and don’t spend any money at all! You wouldn’t want to wipe away the good luck that came in on New Year’s Eve, and your spending habits on January 1 will last for the rest of the year! As in, if you spend money of New Year’s Day, you’ll spend away too much of your money this coming year!

Bok Choy and Broccoli has a very international audience, many of you hailing from the United States, Canada, and the Philippines. Please in the comments leave how you celebrate the New Year and what your superstitions are (if you have any)! Until next time, have a great 2014 ahead of you!

Toblerone Cookies

White Toblerone Macadamia Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups (approx. 2 bars) white Toblerone, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
  2. In a medium bowl, comine flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend sugars at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the flour mixture and macadamia, and blend at low speed until just combined. Do not over-mix!
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto un-greased cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Transfer cookies immediately to cool, flat surface.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone! It’s about noon here in Dallas so I wanted to pop in and greet you all. Depending on where in the world you are, I hope you are either enjoying what’s left of your Christmas Day or that you had a great Christmas already!

I really wanted to put out a Toblerone cookie recipe my mom came up with, but unfortunately my computer had some issues this past week (bad timing, I know), so I won’t be able to get the photos until at least tomorrow.

So instead of a Christmas present, the cookies will have to be a New Year’s gift or something. :)

Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and great food.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

With love,
Joshua and Boots

Harry Potter Butterbeer Latte/Frappuccino

Starbucks Butterbeer Frappuccino

Back in the summer, my family and I made it out to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Despite not being a big Harry Potter person (yet), I really enjoyed it! My younger brother is actually the Harry Potter person in the family—he’s reading the seventh book right now!—so he got an even bigger kick out of the place than the rest of us did.

Here's my mom, brother, and me outside Hogwarts Castle! Notice the Butterbeer in my brother's hands. :)

Here’s my mom, brother, and me outside Hogwarts Castle! Notice the Butterbeer in my brother’s hands. :)

When I’d go around and tell people I knew that I was gonna go to Harry Potter World, I kept hearing the same thing over and over. “You have to try the Butterbeer!”

And so, that’s what we did! We actually got the souvenir mug so we could get a ton of refills because we thought it’d look best and add to the experience.

Butterbeer at Universal Orlando Resort

Butterbeer at Universal Orlando Resort

Butterbeer apparently tastes just like cream soda, but I’ve never actually had cream soda so I can’t really compare. But hey, if the Internet and all my friends say so, then it must taste like cream soda! It’s very sweet and refreshing, especially since it was a very hot Florida day! Butterbeer comes in two types: regular and frozen. The frozen one tastes a lot better so don’t even waste your time with the regular one.

Now, I understand that not everyone will be able to go off to Orlando, pay for tickets into Universal, and buy their Butterbeer whenever you feel like it. Did I mention that getting Butterbeer in the plastic, souvenir mug can cost around $10? (You can get it in a disposable cup for $3.49 for the regular and $4.49 for the frozen, but there’s no fun in that.)

Frappuccino

So here’s the good news: you can get something very similar at a place you most likely have just around the corner—Starbucks! There are two varieties of the Starbucks Butterbeer recipe floating around—one for a latte and one for a frappuccino. I like them both, but the latte is probably the smarter one considering the weather. :)

They’re both ridiculously sweet—just like the real thing!—so please, please, please don’t have too much of this. Responsible wizards and witches make sure they don’t simultaneously lose all their teeth from cavities. The amount of caffeine and sugar in here definitely isn’t something you want to have very much.

Also, you can only get this during the winter, as some of these syrups are seasonal items. So try it while you can!

For more pictures of Harry Potter World, head over to my personal blog, Kuya’s Notebook. There are a ton of pictures for anyone interested!

Harry Potter Frappuccino

Starbucks “Butterbeer” Latte / Frappuccino

  1. Fly your broom over to your local Three Broomsticks pub Starbucks.
  2. Tell the cashier you want the following:
    • For the latte
      • A whole milk steamer
      • Caramel syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
      • Toffee nut syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
      • Cinnamon dolce syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
      • Whipped cream and salted caramel (or creme brûlée topping) on top
    • For the frappuccino
      • A Creme Frappuccino base (needs to be whole milk)
      • Caramel syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
      • Toffee nut syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
      • Caramel drizzle on top
1 2 4
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,522 other followers