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Monday
Oct022017

Ground Meat to the Rescue!

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

What would we do without ground meat? It’s the hands-down, most versatile choice for that last-minute, what-to-cook dilemma. Whether you use ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey, there are infinite ways to turn this dinnertime staple into quick, delicious meals.

Here are some ground beef safe storage and handling tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

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Monday
Sep252017

From Noodle Bowls to Banh Mi Sandwiches

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

When I was a magazine food editor years ago, one timesaving strategy we promoted was what we called planned overs. Unlike leftovers, which could be an unexpected boon or curse, depending on how you felt about eating something twice, planned overs were exactly that: something you cooked more of, with a plan for using the remainder in a second meal.

Today, most home cooks can’t count on planned overs because few people seem to plan meals ahead of time these days. And even if you meticulously plan ahead, with everyone’s busy schedules, unforeseen things seem to happen to make the plans go awry.

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Monday
Sep182017

A Vietnamese-Inspired Noodle Bowl

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I don’t know about you, but chicken is our go-to meat and it gets boring. Recently, I was mulling over what to do with some chicken thighs.

What did I want to eat? What kind of flavor would excite me to cook?

I started thinking Vietnamese—something with high flavor and a different taste profile from what I’d been cooking over the past few days.

So, I boned the thighs, marinated them and Steve grilled them when he came home from work.

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Monday
Sep112017

Easy Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

It used to be that kids went back to school the Tuesday after Labor Day—that bittersweet time when summer is officially over, and the excitement of a new school year begins.

These days, school is in full swing by Labor Day. Little Miss T. returned to preschool two weeks ago, and I am back to the grandma routine, fixing the Friday bento lunch. (Mom and dad do the other days.)

You may remember that I started to make the bento lunches because my grandchild is such a picky eater and lunches were returning home uneaten. I started out armed with great tips from bento expert Sheri Chen.

Here are my bento pics, as posted to Instagram. Click on each photo for a brief description. You’ll see that mostly, I just use vegetable cutters to add eye appeal.

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Monday
Jul312017

Your Summer Recipes

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Each summer, Special Fork goes on hiatus in August, returning after Labor Day. So, this is our last post for the summer. We will return on Monday, September 11.

Steve and I always take our traveling vacation in the spring or fall. This year, if you’ve followed my blog posts, Instagram or Twitter feed, you know we were in the South of France and Turin, Italy, visiting food markets and eating great meals.

August is a staycation time for us. A time to chill and regroup. We are fortunate to live in an area where there are lots of destinations for day trips—the Napa Valley, St. Helena, Monterey and more. It’s also time to visit museums, putter in the garden and do home projects.

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