chinese hotdish

a few months ago, i was flipping through a few of eggmum's old church cookbooks when i found my stripper name in the casserole chapter of the 1984 our savior's lutheran book: chinese hotdish. it was nestled between beef pie and oriental hotdish, and i took it as a sign for my true calling. not to be a stripper, but to finally become a true woman of the north by making a hotdish. 

ok, what is a hotdish.

if you're not from the northern midwest, you probably know it as a casserole. from what i understand, all hotdishes can be considered casseroles, but not all casseroles are hotdishes because a true hotdish has three main components--meat, vegetables, and creamed soup--which are dumped into a casserole dish, and then, in the words of sam sifton, you cover the bitch in tater tots and bake it. some hotdishes use wild rice or mashed potatoes or another type of grain or starch instead of tater tots, although covering the bitch in tater tots is really fun to say.

so, like, technically you can make a mac and cheese casserole, but without meat and a vegetable, it wouldn't totally be a hotdish. 

all of this is obviously up for debate and i am in no way an authority, i'm just going by church cookbook research, wikipedia, and the delicious hotdishes that eggmama makes. (and whether it's hot dish or hotdish is still something i do not know.)

hotdishes are as comforting as a new fleece blanket on a cold winter day and they make excellent leftovers. here are some examples of things that you can put into a casserole dish in order to make a hotdish:

hamburger meat + peas + cream of mushroom soup + tater tots

pulled chicken + wild rice + celery + cream of chicken soup

chopped spam + macaroni noodles + cream of mushroom soup + velveeta cheese + onions

i have never tried that spam one, but if you were to place the other ones on an x/y chart where x = how much it looks like barf, and y = how delicious it is, they would be maxed out on both accounts. that's the charm of a hotdish. 

for my first hotdish, i've made a variation on the chinese hotdish in the our savior's lutheran book. as much as i loved the sort of imaginary camaraderie of standing in the creamed soup section, piling cans upon cans into my basket, and then coming home and placing them on the shelf marked with a handwritten label for "cream of mush" that egggrandma must have made decades ago, i couldn't actually bring myself to use it without first trying some less processed options.

i know, coconut milk isn't technically a creamed soup, but it is creamy, and slightly sweet, and the results even got the eggboy seal of approvali used brown rice to up the healthy ante, and scallions to add flavor and greenery. a little ginger here and some ground pork or chicken there, and this guy might even be ready for the annual hotdish competition.

chinese hotdish

makes 3-4 servings


1 pound ground chicken or pork

2 tb soy sauce

1 tsp chopped fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger

black pepper

3/4 c brown rice (short or medium grain)

1 c chicken broth

1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk (regular or light)

4 stalks scallions, minced

crispy noodles or crispy fried shallots, for topping



preheat oven to 375.

in a small* dutch oven or other stove-safe/oven-safe dish, brown your meat with the soy sauce, ginger, and a few turns of black pepper.

*the dutch oven that's pictured has a 2 quart capacity. also, if you don't have a stove-safe/oven-safe dish, you can certainly brown the meat separately and then add it to a casserole dish.

add the brown rice, chicken broth, coconut milk, and scallions, and give it a little swirl.

bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until the rice is tender. it will still be slightly liquidy. let it cool for about 10 minutes, top with noodles or shallots, and enjoy!


pictured: dutch oven // knife // measuring cups

day-after-thanksgiving rye steamed buns + friday links

ok so i have had just enough corn casserole to get me through the next few weeks until eggmama makes it again for christmas. how about you?? how was your thanksgiving?! do you own stock in stretchy pants yet? my thanksgiving was spent making lindsay lohan (oreo + peanut butter) pie and dancing around to on the town in front of the television as eggboy miraculously avoided a train wreck while making his first ever turkey (and stuffing and more stuffing and pie). i'm so proud of you, eggboy!!!

most of the things we ate were delicious: the corn casserole, tennessee's brussels sproutshawaii's mochi stuffing, and california's sourdough kale stuffing were my favorite. we are still deciding what we thought of the salty pluff mud pie. and i don't know if i had eaten too much by the time the grape salad was passed around, or if the sour creamy slimy appearance got to me... but i just couldn't do the grape salad. i'm sorry, grape salad, i wanted to like you. 

now it's snowing and i am back to working on my gingerbread village: i've assembled all of my buildings, i figured out how to make royal frosting icicles, and rudolf is taking a dip in a jolly rancher hot tub. mum kept asking where the sukkah was, but i opted for a huppa to be more relevant with the timing because holy eff, i am getting married in less than a month!!!!!!! ahh!!!

for my final west elm recipe, i have these day-after-thanksgiving rye steamed buns, which were inspired by the typical day-after-thanksgiving sandwich and milk bar's thanksgiving croissant! turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, all cozy in a bun. so don't eat all of those leftovers yet, go proof some dough and steam some bao! get the recipe here.

friday links!!

instant ramen with american cheese 

"Do you ever dream up what the Big Gay Ice Cream menu would have looked like in 1621?"

emoji search at nyt cooking is the best early christmas present ever.

i miss hong kong!

this linda lomelino interview!! i love her so much.

ok, thanksgiving is over, i know, but i still want to make these stuffing dinner rolls.

it is a loaf of bread, it is a bagel. it is a bagel bread loaf. omg.

michelle's asian style thanksgiving though!!

this gingerbread cake is gonna get made today.

happy friday, everyone!!


p.s. i also did a fun little thanksgiving-y radio interview in the midst of my pie making, you can hear it here!

rich little brownies with matcha glaze + a giveaway

as first time guest-bedroom-having humans, we have a rule: whenever someone braves the small planes, long drives, and lack of 4g or l.t.e. or whatever in order to just visit us, we have to be as hospitable as possible. five-star hospitable. so hospitable that they would easily brave the planes, trains, and automobiles all over again to come back for another visit. every pillow must be fluffed, every towel must be warm, every political stance must be taken into account when curating the guest bedroom library. and obbbbbbbbviously, there must be plenty of little welcoming snacks, representing sweet and savory, and addressing any applicable dietary preferences.

so before my pops arrived on monday, we scurried around, cleaning, collecting apples from our backyard, combing through our magazine collection, and putting out these itsy bitsy brownies. like why have a chocolate on your pillow when you can have a chocolate brownie on your pillow?

pops was in and out before you could say sugar beet but we had such a delightful time! we strolled around town and ate many kinds of cake. we ate ribs and roamed around the fields. more on this later...

my point is, if he wasn't my dad and also already in possession of a plane ticket to come back for the wedding, i'm pretty sure that eggboy and i made a very convincing argument that yeah, he totally needs to leave chicago for a few days again and come back soon.

i overlook brownies entirely too often. which is silly because not only are they very good, but also these ones are so quick and easy to make. no softened butter, weird ingredients, or even cooling time necessary. (ok, some might consider matcha a weird ingredient, but it shouldn't be. it's wonderful. i keep one little bag on hand at all times and i rarely need to buy more because a little goes a very long way.) my mom used to make these and instead of matcha, she'd spike the glaze with peppermint schnapps. addicting. they'd never last more than a day. so if you're having a chocolate emergency of medium intensity, meaning you can wait about 45 minutes but no more than an hour, i'd highly recommend these little bites of joy. 

rich little brownies with matcha glaze

based on my mom's recipe!

makes about 24 little brownies



1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 c sugar

1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 c butter, melted and slightly cooled

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla


3 tb butter, melted

1 tb matcha tea powder

1 tb honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 c powdered sugar


preheat oven to 350 and grease and line an 8-inch square pan (or a pan of similar size).

in a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. add the butter, eggs, and vanilla.

pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.

whisk together the glaze ingredients and pour the glaze on while the brownies are still warm. cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. give to all your friends, otherwise you'll eat them all yourself.



thanks so much to kiss me organics for sponsoring this post! enter to win a bag of their organic matcha tea powder by leaving a comment here or on Facebook with the craziest use for matcha that you can think of! open to u.s. residents only. update: this giveaway is now closed.

matcha mochi yogurt pops + hello, brooklyn!

this morning i woke up in brooklyn, in my old apartment, on my old couch. i had coffee in my old kitchen as memories of my 23-year-old self with a pre-eggboy eggboy came hurling back all projectile-like: sitting at the counter and giggling uncontrollably when he accidentally called me his girlfriend for the first time, making roasted squash pizza in the wee hours of the morning after a bike ride over the brooklyn bridge, having scrambled eggs and soft boiled eggs and a lot a lot of kale and eggs. it's all so very weird being back in this place! everything here is pretty much the same, although my successors appear to be much cleaner than i was, and they have cool things like milk glass mixing bowls and fishs eddy salt shakers. 

i've yet to venture out. the hum of the falafel truck kept me up (or maybe that was jet lag), so i'm getting a late start to my morning, which is now the afternoon. i forget how to dress in new york... are birkenstocks at all ok? as long as i call them normcore? i need a bagel. and i think it's rather warm out this week, which is a good time to segue into my recipe for the day...

matcha mochi yogurt pops!

for popsicle week! you could say these little guys are like an inside out version of mochi ice cream balls. they've got cynthia's mochi bits scattered about within, which make for a texturally exciting and deliciously chewy experience. and the fact that they're made with yogurt makes them a perfectly acceptable breakfast (of course, an ice cream or any other kind of pop is also an acceptable breakfast, especially during popsicle week). i like my yogurt on the tart side, so i've only added a teensy bit of honey, but you can certainly add more if you please. 

be sure to check out the other popsicles that are being posted throughout this tasty week! and three cheers for billy for organizing this and three more cheers for the official unofficial spokesperson, mariah carey.

matcha mochi yogurt pops

makes 6


2 c plain yogurt

2 tb honey, or more to taste

2 tsp matcha powder

a pinch of kosher salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 c mochi bits


whisk together all ingredients except for the mochi. taste and add more honey, if desired. fold in the mochi. spoon into popsicle molds, insert popsicle sticks, and freeze for a few hours.

run the molds under warm water for easy removal.