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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

Key Lime pie is a favorite of mine, although the best kind involves eggs, and lots of cream. This version however, has none of that, and it's healthier, and vegan, and delicious. I wasn't going to share this with you, rude, i know. But I felt that if I didn't, it would be a terrible injustice. So here it is, and please make it soon, like tonight.

this pie is what i'm making in place of cake for a special someone's birthday.
yes; this pie, in-n-out, and a movie rental; he wouldn't want it any other way.

happy friday.
and happy birthday husband.

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In elementary school I remember my friends loving to smell the inside of my backpack because it always smelled like fried rice, or some kind of savory, greasy, oyster saucy food. Everyone loved the smell of my father's cooking, unless it was daikon cake day. My mother prepared herself for the annual daikon cake steaming day by closing all the doors and opening the windows so the smell wouldn't permeate every single part of the house.  Although now I don't think she cares as much as she used to, she just leaves the house or stays downstairs when it's being made. Although this year my father didn't add in the shiitake mushrooms which helped lessen the blow. Let's just say the smell is, distinct.

I feel as though I am sharing such negative information with you in relation to some of my most beloved foods. I wonder what that says about me. Hello, my name is Jen. I love to eat smelly, nasty textured things, they're my favorite.

but really, I promise they are so good.

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"Good cooking is no mystery. You don't need years of culinary training, or rare costly foodstuffs or an encyclopedic knowledge of world cuisines. You need only your own five senses. You need good ingredients, too, of course, but in order to choose and prepare them, you need to experience them fully. It's the many dimensions of sensual experience that make cooking so satisfying.

You never stop learning."

Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

Over the holidays we inherited a jar of organic sierra honey from my husband's parents. It was purchased in the seventies, maybe sixties? but apparently it doesn't matter because it'll last longer than I will. I learned a couple things about honey that day, like the fact that it never expires, and that it relieves your allergy symptoms if you eat it local. I now attribute my lack of watery itchy eyes and the miserable allergy haze that sets on the beginning of april through october to eating organic local honey for the past couple years.  And I just thought I was supporting local farmers. Thank goodness for those happy bees because my allergy medicine was $150 a pop.
Isn't' nature awesome?

learn more about honey at today's zupas post, here.

talk about shock factor. want to read a  horrifying story I found about honey? go here. consider yourself warned.

I was planning on posting my father's daikon cake recipe with you today, but then I realized I left the recipe at his home, 60 miles away. Thanks to modern technology I will have a scanned copy sent to my e-mail within the night. But since I don't have it at the moment, I will be posting it next week instead of today night; sorry for the delay. I know you were dying to try some. In all honesty I'd have you over for a square if you lived around the corner, but instead I'll share a photo of a salad I ate yesterday with a lemon agave dressing.
Yes, another one of hers, and yes it was delish.

Have a great evening, go USA!

I knew my husband was the one when he would eat with my family, both at restaurants and at my parents' home. He wasn't afraid to try everything, the seafood (fish, octopus, etc.), the pig and chicken feet, ox tongue, and daikon and coconut cakes. He not only tried them all, but liked most of them too.  Of course there were a handful other times I knew he was the one but then if I got started on that I would go on all day and never get back on track.

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I'm recovering from the great food, company and noise from last night; Jane is too. The weekend was fantastic, here's a small recap.

- On saturday baba leung and I were all a bustle the entire morning, preparing for sunday's new year celebration. He taught me how to make princess chicken, daikon cake, har gao, roast duck, and I relearned how to make char siu and char siu bao. And even though the har gao was a disaster -wheat and corn starch got everywhere, and the char siu bao didn't steam well - because there were about 6 steamer levels, we had fun together talking about food, goals, family, and past new year traditions.

- On sunday, my parent's home was full of family and friends, twelve girl band played in the background while everyone snacked on pig tongue,char siu and licorice beef as appetizers. Every course was served with an explanation of how it would bring luck and prosperity and within it's second round of the table the platter was practically empty.  After dessert was finally served, we said good-byes and traveled home with our li cee, leftovers, and full tummies. It was a great kick off to the new year.

- Although sunday ended with chinese new year, it started with a valentine's/sunday pancake breakfast. aaron and I decided that each week we will try a new pancake recipe as we search for a favorite. Last time I was searching for a good pie crust recipe, I got some awesome suggestions. So if you have a favorite recipe to share, you know where to leave them.

- I am testing a handful of recipes for melissa's up and coming raw cookbook that will surely earn a place next to only my tried, true and beloved cookbooks. I've been a follower of her blog for a long time, and once I recognized her at my local market but was too shy to say hello. hello melissa! I always knew she had great recipes, and the one's i made this weekend validated her talent of combining fresh foods to make insanely nutritious and crazy delicious nosh, like the salsas shown above. Plus they're all dairy free, which makes me happy. I really can't wait for this cookbook, really. although today i'm more excited to make some of her peppermint fudge, that should cure my chinese food hangover. maybe.

- this week i will be sharing a few of my favorite chinese new year dishes including my father's daikon cake recipe. yesterday was only the beginning of the new year festivities; it's too bad they don't give you three days off to celebrate in utah.

I love valentine's day. After Christmas is over, it's something to look forward to amidst the uneventful norm that january brings. It's fun to think back on old traditions, and how they change with age. I kind of really want to cut out my own little valentine's and deliver them to neighbors, slipping them into a valentine's mailbox they fashioned themselves out of paper and glue.

Even if that doesn't happen, I'm just happy I have a valentine; two now! I love thinking about silly and sappy ways to tell him how much i love him. Like he doesn't know.

Since we will be celebrating chinese new year on sunday, our main valentine's day tradition will be held the evening before. sushi! today's zupas post is a recipe for a sweet version of our favorite nosh. check it out, and impress your valentine this year with a homemade roll. or better yet, throw a valentine sushi making party!

whatever you do, have a lovely holiday.

After I published yesterday's post I watched an episode of Martha saved on tivo and was pleasantly surprised when they made polenta fries, it made me smile. I really love coincidences like that, and holiday preparation shows. They get me so excited for the upcoming holiday, and we have two on the same day this weekend!

This is the vegetable dish that we had with the creamed polenta. It was so simple, I made it for the first time about two weeks ago.  Since then we've had it a number of times, it's not only easy but delicious. Plus we had a ton of spinach we needed to finish off stat. As a kid I always loved spinach. I know, I was weird; spinach and tuna? I loved drizzling vinegar on my steamed spinach, but I think I like it this way of making it is a lot better, more exciting.

If you haven't decided on your valentine's day meal yet, you should consider this. It's light, fresh, and delicious. Especially if you pair it with some dessert sushi. But then you'll have to come back tomorrow for that recipe.

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During my wheat hiatus I discovered something wonderful, that there are a number of incredible grains out there significantly superior to wheat. I didn't realize how completely my life revolved around that specific grain. An entire world of taste I never knew was opened to me. It is diverse, colorful, and so very delicious. Just think about it, when you visualize dinner, how often do you use wheat flour in one of its numberless forms, or rice, or potatoes?  Have you ever tried quinoa, or millet, or amaranth as the bulk of your meal? If not, there is quite a lot that you are missing out on, and I speak from firsthand experience.  As annoying as it was, I'm grateful for the wakeup call that opened my eyes to all the delicious alternatives available to me.

Variety is the spice of life, add some to yours.

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that's a tiger growl, in honor.

Chinese new year, or the celebration of the lunar new year is in less than a week, next sunday actually. It shares with valentine's day this year. I can't wait. The celebration is the biggest holiday in my parent's home full of family, great food, lots of noise, a little karaoke and maybe our own lion dance.  My father e-mailed me this years' menu, and I will be driving up the day before to learn how to make a few of the traditional dishes I still don't know how to make. I may be a little late in learning, but I am so excited to finally know all the secrets. I guess I must have paid more attention to my li cee (red pockets) than the food preparation as a child.

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I am sure I'm not the only one who is continually trying to change for the better.  A resolution I made for myself and our family years ago, which has been more of a lifetime resolution, is to eat more fresh, raw, clean foods. It's been a long time goal but every year I seem to find countless ways to improve. I love hearing when other people are also on the adventure of eating better, finding science to back it up, and I especially love seeing things like Jamie Oliver's show that premiers friday, march 26. I have always admired Jamie Oliver, his personality and food sense.

I especially love that there are more and more people paying attention to the treatment of one of the most important and influential things we choose each day, the food we eat.

This morning, Jane and I got a sneak peek of a few commercials that will be airing during this year's super bowl.  Above are a couple from past years. We're not die-hard superbowl fans, at least I'm not, but it is recorded and eventually watched in our home, even if only for the funny commercials. Regardless, I like any excuse for a party. Check out today's zupas post if you're in need for ideas to make your party super, and delicious.

So friday night was the first pizza night since october - still haven't figured the cheeseless pizza thing. I decided to venture into other types of dairy since I'd read and heard from others that goat's milk dairy was less of a bother to baby systems. But since eating our goat cheese, pear and prosciutto pizza she's been spitting up again after every meal, something she hasn't done for a while. Of course it could have been the green beans we fed her for the first time yesterday, or maybe it was the tamales we've been eating for the past two nights, although it's probably from sucking on tomato slices and carrot sticks. Regardless, she's been sleeping for almost 8 hour stretches, so I'm not complaining, and that pizza was pretty yummy even if the photo isn't the greatest.

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