Kung Pao Chicken (Laowai style)

           Whenever sitting down to eat in any restaurant in China, the wait staff would usually turn the menu pages to the kung pao chicken picture knowing that I, an American living in Beijing, would insist on ordering the dish.  I would say that this dish along with dumplings both have…

Spice Paw’s Chili

Much like politics, chili can be a polarizing topic in America.  Do beans belong in chili or not?  Vegetarian or a carnivore’s culinary dream come true? What to serve it with? Cheese? Sour cream? Green onions? Hot sauce? Tortilla chips? Baked potato? Rice? Garlic bread? Fries? Spaghetti? The possibilities are endless!  And because chili is…

Apple Churros

    As someone with not much of a sweet tooth who typically shied away from donuts, it was a surprise to me when all of a sudden I had a desperate craving for a good apple fritter.  Maybe it was because I missed home and Washington state apples or maybe the change in seasons was…

Natasha’s Sausage rolls

                  What is the secret to a Brit’s heart?  Wrap something meaty in pastry and that Brit will love you forever.  I should know because I have been buying people’s love with meaty pastries for a while now.  For instance, when I first met my husband, I…

SpicePaw’s Pork Ragu

I created this recipe when mentioning to my husband that I would perhaps make a pork ragu for dinner but only on the condition that he run to the store and bring back what I needed.  What he came home with was a plethora of pork and pork products and a challenge-to make a damn tasty ragu. …

Bacon Pesto Brunch Pastries

          Ever watch the Great British Bakeoff?  Contestants of all ages and backgrounds compete over who can make the best cake, tart , biscuit and/or pastry.  Using their best efforts and a small child’s weight in butter, they create stunning baked goods only to be told in critical detail that it’s…

Carrot Bhaji with Yogurt Sauce

  For me, a meal isn’t complete without a big heaping pile of vegetables.  However, I’m married to a man who thinks potatoes are the only vegetable he will ever need.  Don’t get me wrong, potatoes are a great vegetable but I like a little color and variety on my plate.  To remedy the situation,…

SpicePaw’s Chiles Rellenos

          Chiles rellenos are one of my all time favorite dishes.  Back home in Seattle, I would always order and judge how good a Mexican restaurant is based on how they made their chiles rellenos.  For me, I like a thick and crispy batter, oodles of melted cheese inside the green pepper and coated…

Hoki poached in thai yellow curry with bell peppers and potatoes

                  Moving from China to Malaysia was a bit of a change with its fresh (clean) air, warm climate and uncensored internet.  One of the best things about the move to Malaysia was experiencing the food here: Indian, Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, fresh seafood, spice!  As opposed to…

Take the time to brine

Basic Brine       Story goes that my grandmother had a little jet stream diner in NYC back in the day.  When asked what her secret to making her chicken so juicy and tender, she would tell you to soak it in salt water before cooking.  Since then, I’ve been experimenting with this technique and have subsequently…

Chicken Soup for the South East Asian Soul

Living in Beijing and teaching preschool meant that I was often sick throughout the years I was there.  My go-to remedy was always a good night’s sleep and wontons cook in a rich chicken broth with lots of ginger and garlic.  However, now that I’m living in Southeast Asia I’m fortunate enough to add some of…

Yellow Curry Paste for the lazy

          Let me begin by saying that there are a lot of really good Thai yellow curry paste recipes out there that require patience, time, and careful detail.  There was a time in my life when I would happily have spent the entire day meticulously collecting ingredients, smoking or roasting them to…