July 5, 2009 - Dinner One

It's summer. . .I'm done teaching summer school and I just finished reading my third book, Julie and Julia. Since I need something to do to keep my mind from melting, I've decided to take inspiration from my last book -- Julie, the author, cooked all 500 plus recipes from Julia Childs' first cookbook in one year and blogged all her hysterical adventures as she cooked. I may be as obsessed as Julie, but definitely not as hysterical (Ken - you backing me up?), so I'd like to do a much more scaled down, hopefully doable version of this by officially starting my "Sunday Dinner Project."

I'm sending this to my friends and family, so I'm accountable now - but I vow to cook Sunday dinner every Sunday for one year. Ok now that I'm writing this down on the blog, it sounds so LAME. It sounded much better in my head, but it is a little more complex than cooking once a week. Besides cooking dinner, I'll try to make it as low-fat, tasty and cheap as I can. In the book Julie, the author gained like 10 pounds or so from all the butter. I can't afford to gain 10 pounds. I'm also pake, so I love to cook with whatever I find in the freezer and pantry. If I can cook dinner with whatever I already have, that's like finding five dollars in my pants pocket. GRAVY! It's easy now because it's summer, but our life is totally chaotic, so it will take preplanning and what my mom calls gaman (that Japanese trait of not whining and just shutting up and forging on).

Tonight's dinner: Weight Watcher's shrimp scampi with pasta, garlic bread made with hot dog buns I found in the freezer, spinach salad with saimin toppings, steamed green beans, ribs and poke. Ok- I actually only made the scampi and garlic bread. Everything else was leftovers from 4th of July, but hey, it's a start. Scampi is not usually diet food, but instead of butter I use a little olive oil, wine and chicken broth thickened with cornstarch. I was supposed to use whole wheat pasta, but I didn't have any and when I went to buy pasta a couple weeks ago, whole wheat pasta wasn't on sale. Since I'm making the rules, I think I can substitute to stay with the other rule of being thrifty. That's why this project is not called the Obsessed with Alan Wong Project or the Martha Stewart Wannabe Project.

Now to start planning for next Sunday. . .It's my sister Becky's birthday next Sunday, so even if she's in California, I think I'll make something she likes anyway, or something that represents southern Cal. . . Ideas?


  1. Overjoyed at the thought of YET ANOTHER FOOD BLOG for me to read :-)

    Where, my dear writer, is the RECIPE?

  2. The Maui Titah thinks this is a smashing idea!! Make sure that you record the sidebars that went with each meal including anecdotes, reactions, funny one liners and such juicy tidbits that are calorie-less additions to the meal. And you ChingChangChinaWoman, keep a running tab of how much it cost to prepare the meal.

    Using leftovers and making something new and wonderful is the mark of a really good and sly cook!!

    Ho'omau, ho'omau and feel free to invite your parents to sample your wares any time.

  3. Yummy!!! I love the idea. I'm always scrounging & searching for another recipe for chicken (ever present in our freezer)... shoyu chicken, chinese chicken salad, chicken long rice, baked chicken. I too have a hard time to buy special ingredients just for one meal. It's like McGyver - use what you have and come up with something new.

    Looking forward to more tasty entries!


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