when none of you responded to my open tweet call for help in writing fortunes for my fortune cookies, i got worried. is this going to be more difficult than i think it will be? do the fortune cookie fortune writers actually have a difficult job and should we just give them a break when we get an utterly undecipherable fortune? (like that alliteration?)

it was a difficult task. my first few fortunes were pretty awful and i'm glad that you can't really read them in the photos, thank you low f-stop. 

and then i thought of a formula. it's based around twitter because writing a fortune cookie fortune is a lot like composing a tweet. it has to be quick and to the point, but it differs from twitter in that instead of talking about yourself or the general population, you have to talk about "you." ok here it goes. how to write a fortune cookie fortune::

1. go onto your twitter feed or someone else's twitter feed, and extract a few of the most fantastic tweets. i'm going to gather a mix of tweets from a few of my favorite tweeters:

@conradtao: in my brain, the word "macrobiotic" is always spoken through a vocoder

@contessatura: there are two types of people in the world: people who say they text while peeing and dirty liars

@gmpaiella: Well, there's a dominatrix in my kitchen.

@mattmarks: This crappy sitar patch just MADE this track.

@nattivogel: If it isn't already some racist "Royals"/Hobbit mash-up called "Lorde of the Rings" floating about, I resign from the Internet

2. put these tweets in the second person and in future tense:

in your brain, the word "macrobiotic" will always be spoken through a vocoder

there will be two types of people in the world: people who say they text while peeing and dirty liars

Well, there will be a dominatrix in your kitchen

A crappy sitar patch will MAKE this track.

If it isn't already some racist "Royals"/Hobbit mash-up called "Lorde of the Rings" floating about, you will resign from the Internet

3. alter the words a bit so they're magical and fortune-like:

steer clear of "macrobiotics," for this word will forever in your head be sounded through a vocoder.  

it is time you come clean about your potty texting habits.

beware the dominatrix in your kitchen.

the answer to your frustration lies in the crappy sitar track.

your "Royals"/Hobbit mash-up, "Lorde of the Rings," will go viral and you will achieve more internet fame than two girls one cup. 

alright i think i'm going to be speaking in fortune speak for the next 24 hours. 

here you will find my recipe for homemade fortune cookies. you will love them so much more than regular ones. they are chewy and almondy and last week i ate six in a row. (that's a lot of fortune, you know.)

this completes my chinese food posts for a merry jewish christmas! i am off to tend to some red bean paste...

merry christmas eve!!!!




you guys, i can't contain my excitement for the winter solstice this weekend.

do you know how much daylight i get up in these parts? how much time i have to shoot photos?

like, zero hours.

ok maybe two.

it makes me so stressed sometimes, i could spit!

some days i force myself to stare at the window as the sun goes down (at 3pm) just so that i can get an ounce of vitamin d. i hear people around here go to tanning beds to get their dose.

i feel like i really have to scramble to get things done.

oh did someone say scramble? in my merry jewish christmas preparations, i have made some scrambled eggs cooked in soup! it is perhaps the easiest and most magical way to cook eggs. it's an old favorite of mine, and watching the eggs cook as they get swirled into the broth is about as exciting as christmas day. well, sort of.

bacon + egg drop soup 

based on a recipe that i wrote for the beautiful but sadly defunct online magazine, the violet.

makes 2-4 servings


4 c chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks scallions, minced

1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

6 strips bacon (any kind- i use turkey), prepared and chopped into 1-inch pieces

soy sauce, to taste

red chili flakes, to taste

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp cornstarch

3 eggs


combine the first 8 ingredients plus 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper in a large saucepan over medium high heat. bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

in a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of broth. set aside.

in another bowl, beat eggs with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. slowly drizzle into the soup, stirring gently. and then slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture.

taste to adjust seasonings, and enjoy!




like the good modern family that i'm from, christmas often involves latkes. it really makes perfect sense when hanukkah overlaps with christmas and when you have a chrismukkah bush in your living room.

we listen to sufjan christmas, we make latkes, we leave out rugelach or something of the sort for santa and his reindeers...

but this year, since hanukkah is long gone (and since there's just no way you are going to get another latke inside of me until late 2014), there's been a big fat question mark over what i will cook for christmas. eggmama asked me what i wanted to bring for the eggfamily christmas and my mind went completely blank. 

what is a christmas dinner? 

is it lamb? is it goat? is it a ham?

all of the christmas dinner scenes from all of my favorite christmas stories flashed before me and i searched high and low for ideas. fruit cake? figgy pudding? marzipan things? a bird? a root vegetable gratin? i think i said something about hummus.

and then it hit me like a structure of reindeer antlers to the face: chinese food for a merry jewish christmas! duh. 

(i mean, i guess we kind of do that with our annual dumplings of the world festival, but that's not happening until january this year.)

around the same time as my epiphany, i had a violent craving for scallion pancakes. but ohmygosh i feel like such a blobbbbb because of all the christmas cookies that i've been eating! so instead i made scallion pancake croutons and then tossed a salad about it. festive, right?!


kale & sesame salad with scallion pancake croutons

makes 2-4 servings


for the croutons:

1 c flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 c boiling water

1/4 c cold water

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1-2 stalks scallions, minced

a few grinds of black pepper

a few pinches of red chili flakes

a few tb of canola or vegetable oil, for pan-frying

for the salad:

1 bunch kale, cut very thinly (i like it raw, but you are welcome to sauté it...or massage it...)

salt + pepper, to taste

2 stalks scallions, minced

2 radishes, chopped

2 slices of bacon (i use turkey bacon), cooked and chopped

1 tb toasted sesame seeds


a few tablespoons of this sesame sauce (i always have some on hand in the fridge, but if you're just making it for this salad, you can make a half recipe.)



to make the croutons:

in a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt. mix in the boiling water to form a crumbly/mealy mixture. add remaining 1/2 cup of flour and cold water to form a dough. on a floured surface, knead until smooth. transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let sit for 20 minutes. 

preheat oven to 375.

on a floured surface, roll out dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. brush with sesame oil, and sprinkle evenly with scallions, chili flakes, and black pepper. roll it up like a jelly roll, and then roll the jelly roll into a spiral shape, tucking the ends under, so you have a circle. flatten out the circle until it is 1/2 inch thick. 

heat a pan over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with canola or vegetable oil. brown the pancake on each side. once it's cooked through, remove it from heat, and then cut it into about 3/4-inch pieces. (because of the layers in the dough, they won't hold in perfect cube shapes, but that's ok!) toast them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until crispy.

let cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

to make the salad:

place kale in a bowl and season it lightly with salt and pepper.

add remaining ingredients and then dress to taste.



p.s. i have an egg-themed guest post up today over on one of my favorite blogs, joy felicity jane.

p.p.s. i literally almost barfed all over the post office parking lot this morning when i saw that this was posted, but i am this week's food & wine blogger spotlight!