Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Now for some fast food (and an award!)

A few weeks ago I was singing the joys of slow food, the kind of lazy weekend cooking most of us like to do now and then. But equally satisfying is a speedy weeknight dinner, like sesame-drizzled sockeye salmon with stir-fried vegetables.

This isn't much of a recipe; I wasn't even going to post about it. Sometimes I'm not sure what makes a dish blogworthy. Most of the food I make is fairly pedestrian, occasionally dressed up for the sake of a photo, but originally conceived of and ultimately executed with the sole purpose of being something delicious to eat.

Anyway, this one turned out pretty good-looking, so I thought I would post it. I roasted the salmon first on the stove and then in the oven, and stir-fried bok choy with carrots, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and Chinese rice wine. When everything was done, I drizzled sesame oil over the fish. A quick, satisfying dinner.

In other news, I am thrilled and honored to accept the Honest Scrap Award from Kate at Serendipity. Thanks, Kate!

If you haven't checked out Kate's blog, you are missing out. Not only is Kate a wonderful cook, writer, and photographer, but she has a life most of us only dream about. She's an American living with her husband in Belgium, and her blog details her incredible experiences living, cooking, and eating abroad. I highly recommend you add Serendipity to your daily reading list.

In addition to the nifty badge, the award comes with a few instructions.

1) Post the award on your blog and present the award to seven others whose blogs you find brilliant in content or design, or those who have encouraged you.

2) Tell those seven people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP, inform them of the guidelines, and ask that they link back to you.

3) Share 10 honest things about yourself.

I'd like to first pass the award to some fellow bloggers who early on encouraged me. There are several other loyal bloggers who I would happily pass the award to but I think they've already received it.

Food Gal. Food Gal is in entirely different territory from The Hungry Dog: she actually makes her living through her blog. And, she's probably already received this award about 100 times. But, I wanted to mention her, because I really enjoy and admire her blog and she has always been kind about reading my blog and posting comments.

egg to the apples. Mark encouraged me from the beginning, and was the first to link me from his site! That was very exciting. And, if you haven't checked out his blog, which is a cool mix of recipes, music lyrics, and gorgeous photography, you should.

Test with Skewer. Shaz's blog documents her ambitious cooking and baking experiments in Australia, which range from Malaysian Mondays to Eating our Way Through the Alphabet. She has boundless creativity and energy and has always been an avid commenter at The Hungry Dog.

For all around coolness, I'd like to give the award to:

wasabi prime. She's very funny and has a great approach to food. Plus, she loves dogs. I suspect we'd be fast friends if we met in person.

The last three are blogs I've recently discovered that I really like, for both the design and writing.

And finally, for my 10 honest things.

1) I love Los Angeles. If you live in San Francisco, you're supposed to hate it, but I don't. I went to college in L.A. and in the years since I graduated, I have always had a little longing to move back. The husband is entirely on board with this. So, one day The Hungry Dog might be coming at you from sunny Los Angeles.

2) I used to think blogging was stupid. It seemed like a very self-indulgent thing to do, and one which I mocked freely until I took the time to actually read some blogs. I was surprised to discover that among the dross, there is some incredible writing out there. I still kind of hate the word "blog" but have resigned myself to it.

3) When I go to work, I feel like I am in a little play. Every day I put on my work costume and go to the set and exchange lines with my fellow actors. Don't get me wrong: I like my job fine, and I like my coworkers quite a bit. But, the Hungry Dog that goes to work is not the real Hungry Dog.

4) I am a terrible movie watcher. I often space out and miss some small but critical detail and then am completely lost. Also, I frequently fall asleep. I cannot tell you how many movies I have been informed by the husband that I have already "seen."

5)  I have a fantasy of moving to the north shore of Kauai and opening a little bakery. Because it's a fantasy, I don't have to worry about all of the reasons why this would be a difficult and probably foolish endeavor.

6) The most comforting smells to me are brewing coffee and steaming rice.

7) Four years ago I had the chance to help out the pastry chef at A16 for a few weeks, while I considered pastry school. The experience, though fun, convinced  me I am not cut out for the restaurant world.

8)  I've hardly traveled and feel it is a hole in my life that I want to begin filling in 2010.

9) I'm constantly learning how to be a strong, kind, optimistic, and forgiving person from my dog. She has comforted me in times of grief; made friends out of strangers; forgiven us for leaving her in strange places; and survived shots, baths, surgeries, and chemotherapy with  her cheery disposition intact. In addition to loving her absolutely, I admire her.

10) In spite of my food snobbery and everything I have ever written on this blog, I really like In-N-Out burgers.


  1. That is a great picture.

    Ha! My girlfriend does the same thing with movies. She still doesn't believe she saw X-Men 3. :D

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Hungry Dog. You are too kind. I dunno if I'm actually making a living from my blog. Hah. But a girl can dream, can't she?

    I like your comfort smells -- fresh brewed coffee and fresh steamed rice. I agree wholeheartedly. I think the other aromas that always make me smile are garlic sauteeing in olive oil, any kind of bread or cookie fresh out of the oven, and anything with ginger. But then again, you already know that last part about me. ;)

  3. Thanks so much for the shout out Hungry Dog! I'm with you on 2,6 and 10 :) Well, we don't have the In and Out, but I sometimes indulge in a fast food chain burger complete with fake cheese.

    That salmon sure does look good. I do salmon, veges and rice quite often too! Just ticks all the boxes doesn't it? Fast, healthy and most importantly - tasty.

  4. Thanks so much for the blog love Hungry Dog! As a beginner finding my way in the blogosphere (this word always brings visions of the former governor of Illinois to mind)I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtful feedback and support! I'm so happy to have discovered your wonderful world over here and look forward to sharing in future culinary adventures with you. I so get the falling asleep in the movies thing. Been there,done that. Repeatedly. I adore the scent of fresh brewed coffee. In another part of my life I've made scented candles and the memories brought about by fragrance are amazing. Love the playing your role and reading your lines at work : ). I'm excited to read the other blogs you posted about, they're new to me.

  5. This really made my week, I am glad to have made such a wonderful friend through the interweb. Keep cooking!


  6. I love a Double Double with cheese and grilled onions.

  7. Aw, thank you so much! What a great award title. It sums up how I feel about food in general -- I love the simplicity of ingredients but respect the complexity of old world process, as it was the birthplace of so many foods we love today. I think it's good to post everything on the blog; we all can't have a fancy rack of lamb for every meal. Sometimes the simplest things can inspire more people to get in the kitchen and cook, versus the more involved, special occasion recipes.

  8. You know what I think is "blog-worthy"? Anything that hits the spot with you. We all have simple recipes that taste fabulous. No reason not to tell the rest of us how good it was.
    And your photo is gorgeous!
    Congrats on the award!

  9. Bob: yeah. There are so many movies that I'll suggest we rent and the husband just looks at me and shakes his head.

    Food Gal: Agreed about the garlic and olive oil, baked goods, and ginger...and of those smells make the house so welcoming.

    Shaz: can't beat fish for a fast, healthy dinner!

    cookbookapprentice: My pleasure! I am happy to have found your blog and you are now on my regular reading list!

    Mark: So glad! :)

    Tracey: Shall we make a trip to In-N-Out one day soon? There's one in Daly City...

    denise: I agree, who can be fancy all the time?Also, fancy food doesn't necessarily make the best posts.

    Barbara: Thank you! My photos have drastically improved ever since I got my new EGO light.

  10. Hey, I love In-N-Out burgers, too!
    I don't really get the criteria for "blogworthy" recipes...I like a fast, simple, versatile recipe as much as a complicated, impressive one!

  11. HD, thank you for your kind words--they made me blush. I laughed at your description of going to work. When I worked as a consultant I never quite got over the feeling that I was in imposter in a consultant suit, and that someday I'd be unmasked. OTOH, sometimes I felt more like Zorro (or would that be Zorra?). Those were the good days. In any case, I never went to work without my armor on.

    A pastry chef, eh? I have had that fantasy too, but after my cooking school in Siena I knew that a professional kitchen was not for me. I love the intensity of it, though, and a couple of times I year I try to find a way to do that kind of cooking--fast, high volume, veryvery high quality. It's a buzz, but I couldn't do it every day--it would kill me.

    Let's talk about that photo. An EGO light, eh? I may have to check that out. But for me what makes that photo wonderful is beyond the perfect complementary colors and the interplay of shiny and smooth surfaces. It's the composition. That piece of salmon LOOKS like a fish: there's a speck of pepper or something on our left that's his eye, and the flaking bit on our right is his tail. He even has a frilly fin on top like the beta fish that died in my dorm room (RIP). THIS IS FABOO, as my artist friends say. BRAVA! Wow.

  12. I really love posts like this! And so many good blogs to start reading!!

  13. Your sockeye salmon photo is absolutely beautiful. If my weeknight meal could look that stunning, I am all for it!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  14. burpandslurp: In-N-Out is the best, right?!

    Kate: Thanks for your compliments about the photo! So nice of you. I'm learning how to create composition and it's hit or miss, really. The quality of the photo is greatly enhanced by the lighting: I just received an EGO light from the husband for my bday and have to say it really has made a huge difference, particularly during these dark winter months. It mimics daylight. That photo was taken at about 8pm.

    Megan: Thanks! Definitely check out those other blogs, they are all fabulous.

    Velva: Thank you! And happy holidays to you as well.

  15. HD, Beautiful photo! You did a wonderful job, I have to look into that EGO light. The winter light in New York is so hard to shoot in. I need that light!
    I think any recipe you enjoy is blog worthy. If we all waited for something "blog worthy" to post, it would be an empty internet indeed. The recipe sounds wonderful. My family loves salmon, and anything with an Asian accent so I will be making this dish!
    I volunteered to deliver your chocs if you win Kate's contest, I promise not to eat them! Pam

  16. A very fun post to read. I love many things about L.A. but couldnt' survive the epic traffic... but there is so much good food and such a vibrant food blogging community, I sometimes think about a southern migration too. Chick Fil-A too.

  17. Pam: you should definitely consider the light, it makes a huge difference. And try the "recipe," such as it is...quick and satisfying. I hope I win Kate's contest, not just for the chocolate truffles but so I can meet you in person! :)

    foodhoe: Thanks! Yeah, LA is a mixed bag, but every place is. I would have trouble with the traffic, but would love the sunshine!