Min always encourages me to try new recipes and has been requesting Moroccan for awhile. I kept putting it off, thinking it would take too much time, but the other night, I went for it, and it was easy and delicious. Beef tagine with dates and chickpeas over pearl couscous. Min whipped up a Moroccan coffee to go with it that involved fresh grated nutmeg, lots of ginger, and a healthy dose of cinnamon and sugar. I used a Jamie Oliver recipe that Min deemed “inauthentic,” according to the YouTube cognescenti. But for my first try, I was happy with it. Maybe a tad on the sweet side. Next time I’d reduce the amount of dates and tomatoes and up the spices.

Great bourbon list at a new spot in Kalamazoo, Brick and Brine! Unbeknownst to us, it was restaurant week, so we got to try their fried chicken sandwich for a mere $10 and it was sublime. Hope it stays on the menu! Great bartender there who really knows her stuff and collected a fun, diverse assortment of bottles to try. We didn’t get any of the cocktails on this first go-round, but watching them go out, they looked right up my alley: complex flavors with a bitter/tart edge and not overly sweet. Looking forward to future visits!

Prairie Ave North was gifted this gorgeous cookbook (and another I’ll write about soon) that I have been loving. The hand-pulled noodles Ash Street South and I made during her visit northward were drawn from a recipe in this book, with delicious results. I was halfway through reading To Asia With Love before realizing the author was the very same lovely person behind one of my favorite blogs, Arthur Street Kitchen! Clearly I wasn’t reading the header of her blog, which has Hetty McKinnon’s name right at the top, LOL.

My lunch today is an homage to Hetty. In the cookbook, she ruminates about growing up Asian in Australia, and how food was a crucial component to figuring out her ethnic identity. Much like the recipes she has in the book, the dish above has a Vietnamese-inspired pho base with some Korean twists in the addition of tofu, turnips, and gochujang, all boiled together into a pan-Asian hot pot for lunch this afternoon.