Crowdsourcing Dinner and Other Requests

by Lian on March 27, 2012

Last week, I opened my organic produce box and there was a big bunch of bok choy. While I’ve enjoyed bok choy over the years, I’d never actually cooked any myself.  My rationale? What’s the point of  of Irish girl attempting  Asian cooking  here in Southern California? It almost seems insulting to the many fine Asian eating establishments here for me to cook anything that requires “rice vinegar” or “five spice mix. ” But that aside, I still had this big bunch of bok choy to consume.

So I took my bok choy dilemma to Facebook.

And, without judgment, I crowdsourced dinner.  You left 22 comments, many with links to recipes. Thank you so much, my Facebook friends. My original plan was to grill it with a little soy, ginger and rice vinegar, but that didn’t work out. (Thanks anyway, Professor Kerry) So, last night, I went with the Beef and Bok Choy Hot Pot suggested by Kim Hall, then followed up by Dana Carroll with an actual link.  I had all the ingredients except the fresh ginger, so it required a trip to the store, but not a huge outlay of cash. Kim, Dana– the Hot Pot was a hit! Fresh and delicious.

Click here for the recipe for Beef & Bok Choy Hot Pot from Cooking Light Magazine. Thanks, Crowd


Here is the recipe in case you find yourself with a big bunch of Bok Choy: Beef and Bok Choy Hot Pot from Cooking Light


In the meantime, I thought I’d crowdsource a few other items that I have questions about:

  • I need to create a picture thank you card. What’s the best place to do that if it’s a non-holiday?
  • What’s our collective stance on those brightly colored jeans for women over 40? Are we pro-color pop or should we stick to blue?
  • Thinking about throwing some tomato plants into a bed in the back yard. What kind of tomatoes should I grow?
  • Anybody got a good  hard wood floor guy in Pasadena? I need to have the floors redone at some point this year.
  • Looking for white palazzo pants for an event. Any suggestions?
  • What should I do with all that leftover ginger?

Embracing my Chaos, Lian

Thanks, Crowd. If you need anything from me, let me know.





t3zoo March 29, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Ginger: Butternut Squash Soup from The Joy of Cooking.

Bright jeans: I’ve been thinking about this too. While I often adhere to Teresa’s rule about not wearing a trend if you wore it the first time around (i.e. o-ring bracelets, fingerless lace gloves, drop-waisted miniskirts), I have recently re-embraced a couple looks that I rocked in the 80s, such as an updated black and white Bass loafer with jeans (think Michael Jackson). I think that the bright jeans might be doable with an understated shirt (No large prints), and ballet flats. But I am clearly in the minority here!

Sonita March 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Hmmm. Colored jeans? Maybe if you have a nice tan/glow and can carry it off with a little sass? Personally, I’d have to be in a really outgoing mood to pull it off. Think I’ll stick with my stone colored ones. Ginger: agree with crowd: freeze it and microplane when needed. Tomotoes: we grow heirlooms for our CSA folks, so I’m sharing their/our collective faves. (Is that a crowded crowdsource report? Or crowdsource squared?! Anyhoo…) Most popular fresh/salad/sandwich varieties are Green Zebra (citrus-y), Wapsipinicon Peach, and Stupice (in between a “cherry”-size and small–we find they are easier to pick in quantity than trying to harvest gazillions of teeny little tomatoes for multiple families, just sayin!). For fun on the larger/meatier end of the tomato spectrum, we like Gold Medal and Nebraska Wedding (yellow). As for reds, well…the options are unlimited. Depends on how you like to eat them and what you want the experience to be, you know? My husband likes a tomato to be classic: big, red, meaty, sweet. I like a little more dry and tang…you see how it gets complicated. We probably grow 7 varieties, on average, to cover all the bases!

Ma Schmidt March 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Wow! I sent you a link on Facebook about “ginger infused vodka” but came here looking for the colored pants answer — Thanks crew – ‘check’ – I’ll pass! Re: tomatoes – I agree that the sungold is amazing and I’ve seen many many kids devour them. The Brandywine is so fine, too – and there’s another – a “juliette” that’s a “sturdy” italian plum-like fruit that we put out in a fruit bowl for snacking — they don’t bruise too quickly, so they travel well…If you want to have fun, you could consult any number of Heirloom catalogues like “seed savers” (from iowa, of course!)

Cyndi March 28, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I also like Teresa’s rule about not wearing a style that returns if you’ve worn it the first time – good solid advice! I don’t know how many years it takes for something to come back around, but certainly enough to leave it to the younger women … My daughter just bought a pair of red jeans from American Eagle – she has long lean legs so they looked great on her. On me? hahaha

Lisa March 28, 2012 at 4:05 PM

A big NO on colored jeans! As for tomatoes, our new favorite is an heirloom variety called Black Krimm. Delicious.

CLSD OPEN March 28, 2012 at 4:45 AM

Initially, I thought the colored jeans would be OK, but after reading Teresa’s comment, I’m changing to the “if I wore it the first go around, I won’t wear it this time” rule. I’ll let my daughter think that it’s really a new idea and certainly not for us old folks! ;)

As for the ginger, yes, freeze it in slices and just pull out what you need. Great for making tea when you’re congested, and in soups, stir fry, lentils, etc.

Picture thank you cards: Costco. You can make them on your computer and pick up in your closest store. I don’t think anyone can beat their price or convenience.

Palazzo pants: $19.99 on! :)

Cheryl Gordon March 27, 2012 at 9:36 PM

For cherry tomatoes, go for the Sungold. Quick, plentiful and sweet, and a nice orange color. Check with your local nursery for larger tomatoes that grow well in your area. And put crushed eggshells in bottom of the hole you plant them in to avoid the dreaded blossom end rot(that brown blotch on bottom of the tomato). Also, plant them deep, you can even pull off a few of the lower leaves. They will grow roots all along stem that way. I also freeze ginger and grate it with a microplane zester.

yvonne madvig March 27, 2012 at 8:16 PM

We grow tomatoes every year and our absolute favorite is an heirloom tomato by the name of brandywine. They are quite large and juicy. Perfect for a blt. We also love sweet 100′s cherry tomatoes. Happy gardening, Lian!

Carol March 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

I agree with Paula — Sungold tomatoes are my favorite. I also freeze ginger as Erin suggests but don’t mince it. I cut the rinsed and unpeeled root into teaspoon-sized sections and grab them out of the freezer as needed. I usually don’t peel them (I hear a TV chef say there is no need to) and run the semi-thawed piece of ginger over my Microplane to finely grate. Works great!

Paula March 27, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Not sure about bright colored jeans. I got some peach cargo slacks from Talbot’s last summer before a cruise. My then-7-year-old daughter talked me into them even though I wasn’t sure I could pull them off. I did end up liking them. But, the first time I wore them on the cruise, she kept pointing them out to everyone and giggling “Mommy’s wearing orange pants!” I like them anyway, but not sure I would do really bright colored pants.

When we used to grow a garden, we always included at least a few Sungold cherry tomato plants. They’re an orange cherry tomato. Sweet and delicious. When they would first start getting ready to pick and there would only be a few, I’d never get them. The kids would eat them right off the vine.

Natalie March 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I don’t feel comfortable with the colored jeans, because I think they look great on those who are very slim. Since I am a bit over my ideal weight I don’t feel comfortable venturing down that path.

I do have a question for the Chaos crew though. I periodically see women with cropped jeans that are rolled up once. I think they look so cute, but I can’t seem to find that style anywhere. Have I just not been shopping enough lately? Would Chico’s have this style?

chpdlivr March 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I like pear tomatoes. They are solid which I like. Makes for good eating or cooking.

ErinM March 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I made a picture thank you card on the Walgreens website once. They have a lot of different styles to choose from.
Ginger will freeze for forever. It’s actually easier to grate when it’s frozen. My favorite use for it is in a homemade carrot soup.

Teresa Smith March 27, 2012 at 8:17 AM

No on the brightly colored jeans. I’m over 40 and wore them in junior high school so….. I’m sticking with the rule that if you’ve worn the style once, you should not wear it on the second go round.

mary cardas March 27, 2012 at 8:11 AM

I’ve had great luck printing with both psprint and mpix – fast, beautiful work, great prices.

Peggy March 27, 2012 at 7:57 AM

I have grown tomatoes for 20 years here in Pasadena. I suggest that you put in a few hybid disease resistant reliables like early girl, celebrity, champion, or better boy, along with a cherry tomato variety. They are great and always produce lots of tomatoes. Then go crazy and pick up some fun heirloom varieties that may be striped, purple, green, orange, or whatever looks interesting and fun. These will be variable in what they produce depending on the weather this summer. In Pasadena Burkards nursery has a great selection of good plants. Have Fun!

pat in o.c. March 27, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Ming Tsai makes ginger syrup, and then uses that for a variety of recipes for a pop of flavor, in cocktails (like a mojito w/the ginger syrup), ice cream topping, and ginger candy. I made the ginger candy per his recipe last year for Christmas gifts. Came out great.

Jane in N.H. March 27, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Grate the left over ginger in a cheese grater or microplane ( peel first ) Then freeze in ice cube trays with a little water . Or do what I do. Just break a small piece of the ginger at the food store . No one says you have to buy the whole entire root. Right?

Erin March 27, 2012 at 7:31 AM

Lian, I used for our holiday card. I picked one that I could use my own photo and create my own message. There was no holiday theme design at all. I’ve also used a lot. They both have good quality card stock.

If you only need one, you can often find a coupon code for a free card at either site.

I store my ginger, minced, in the freezer and pull it out for recipes. I have a great recipe for hot and spicy shrimp that calls for 2 TBSP minced ginger, if you want it. Email me if you want the recipe.


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