February Notes & Scribbles

Hi! Hello! So this one’s a different kind of post, but still food related of course! If you’ve been following the blog for a while, then you may have noticed I post a lot – and I mean a lot – of sweets. But truth be told, I don’t survive solely on slices of cake and chocolate chip cookies. *sigh* There are actually many things I cook and eat throughout the month that don’t make it on here. This post, which I’m considering doing regularly every month, serves as a way for me to sift through all the food failures and successes I have, and share them all with you!

rilakkuma pajama cookies fork to belly

Have we all given up on our “diets” yet? I hate the word “diet”. It makes me think of plain chicken breast and boiled broccoli, long lists of what you can’t eat, when I’d really like to be thinking about what I can eat – the foods that are good for our bodies. I read this really interesting article a few months back that talked about the CO2 emissions of certain proteins (here’s a similar article). Lamb, beef, and pork were on the higher end of the list (cheese too, I’m still very upset about this), while chicken, fish and tofu sat towards the bottom. It’s pushed me to be more conscious of how often I eat red meat, which has definitely gone up a bit since living with a lumberjack (Roy’s been wearing a lot of flannels and growing out his beard). During the weekend, I always make sure to cook a meal that can feed us for dinner for the rest of the week. So far, we’ve been really good with sticking to chicken dishes or have successfully substituted chicken for pork and/or beef in some scenarios.

Here are February’s successes:

Ama’s Pork Noodles (ground pork -> ground chicken, 50/50 dark and white meat)
I successfully made Ama’s Pork Noodles with a mix of ground white and dark meat chicken. It had a little less… POW to it, but tasted pretty dang similar to the original recipe. Definitely worth making when you’re trying to eat better.

Shoyu Chicken
This is a classic favorite of mine. Served with white rice and furikake with bok choy and a little oyster sauce, this is a great dish to come home to after a long day. My Mom adapted the original recipe from Sam Choy, and changed things up a bit. I suggest eliminating the cilantro entirely and adding green onion instead. I made this in the slow cooker, which is basically a dump and cook kind of deal. Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker, cook on high for about an hour to cook the chicken through, then turn down the heat to low for 4-6 hours until ready to eat.

Squash, Bacon, Kale & Chicken Sausage Cassoulet
First of all, Jillian’s photos are simply gorgeous and are what initially drew me to making this. Secondly, this is a great way to get everything you need out of a meal in one dish. The only substitutions I made were to eliminate the bacon and use a nitrate-free chicken sausage, it turned out delicious.

toffee cookie test fork to belly

Back home in Hawaii, I missed our annual Punahou Carnival (again) during a gorgeous weekend in February. I got through it by staring at photos of malasadas, which is one of the biggest sellers at Carnival. Check out Michelle and Cynthia’s posts about ’em.

I had dinner at Otium, which recently opened in Downtown LA. The meal was absolutely amazing, and the restaurant itself was gorgeous… open shelving and the most beautiful serveware. Yes please. The plates come from local studio, Irving Place. I’ve got my eye on one of their Camper Platters. They’re absolute beauts, but definitely won’t be a purchase light on my wallet.

toffee cookie test fork to belly

Let’s Talk About Cookies

I’m a huge fan of The New York Times’ chocolate chip cookie recipe, one I dubbed my favorite cookie recipe ever. But then I finally got around to trying the chocolate chip cookie from Serious Eat’s, and WHOA. Did that one blow me away. I substituted the chocolate chips for butterscotch and crushed toffee bits, which produced one of the butteriest cookie I’ve ever eaten. Both the NYT and Serious Eats recipes are solid. It really depends on what your favorite cookie is. I like mine slightly crisp around the edges and ooey gooey in the middle. So if that’s your kinda thing, then definitely check out that Serious Eats recipe! Though both recipes are definitely worth the day of waiting for your cookie dough to chill!

rilakkuma pajama cookies fork to belly

PS – The Rilakkuma cookies I posted on Instagram got such an unexpected response. I’m planning on giving them a post of their own in the future, but for now you can find the sugar cookie recipe I used here.

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About Courtney C.

  • I just made the NYT cookies for the first time over the weekend, so good! Another chocolate chip cookie recipe you should try is Ashley’s on Not Without Salt. It’s been my go-to for a few years now… definitely a contender for best CCC.

    • Omgosh OK. Definitely trying Ashley’s recipe next time. Ahhh I love exchanging cookie recipes, they’re the BEST!

  • Honestly your blog posts just get better and cuter everytime.

  • I love this post idea so much, what a great way to share! I can’t wait to see the next one and p.s, I totally feel you on the word diet. So true.

    • Aw yay! It makes me so happy to know you enjoyed reading 🙂

  • I love posts like this! and those cookies are SO CUTE.

  • Looks like you’ve been cooking up some good stuff lately, Courtney! Those Rilakkuma cookies are SOOO cute!