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A lot of you might have realized that my food isn’t really fancy, and with my kitchen, a Thanksgiving dinner might really just consist of a pitiful roasted chicken drumstick or something of the sort.

So I thought I’d do y’all a favor by asking for a guest cook to come and spice up 食べ物 eXploZion for the Thanksgiving weekend!

And so…-drumroll- I present to you Sara Kosuth, who will be today’s (first!) guest blogger/super chef, as well as her mouthwatering Coconut Almond Tart, which is sure to amaze your guests and their taste buds.

Sara is the College Cooking section editor at Wolverine CuiZine, University of Michigan’s cooking blog. A current undergraduate student, she plans to attend culinary school after officially becoming a UM brainiac and to strike “fear into the hearts of Iron Chefs across the world.”

Although I’m not an Iron Chef, I think she struck something in my heart (or my stomach) as I tried to resist that tart that was sitting right in front of me in her kitchen…

But without further delay, I officially present Sara Kosuth and her method of making a fabulous Coconut Almond Tart.

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It feels like a lot of people are trying to scrape by until Thanksgiving break here in the States, and I’m one of them. Motivation just isn’t the “in” thing right now.

Sometimes I try to have tea to wake myself up/get a boost of energy, and recently, my friend Angel gave me a tea strainer that’s perfect for an individual person and gives me something fun to look at while I’m working.

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When I say an accident, I mean it.

I had a salad the other day, and I felt like making something other than the dressing I used in the Apple and Breaded Chicken Salad, so I thought I’d come up with the “brilliant” idea of making a miso-based dressing. Honestly, it wasn’t too bad…I guess. Separately, the dressing and the salad probably would have tasted better. So it might not be unsurprising that I had a lot of this murky dark dressing leftover.

As I was doing the dishes, I was trying to figure out what to do with all this leftover dressing. I didn’t have enough vegetables leftover for a salad, and I just couldn’t figure out what the taste and texture reminded me of.  And then it hit me! I had jajang myun for the first time a few weeks ago, and I figured by adjusting the flavor a little would give me the same type of taste (if not the color). I then added glops of peanut butter to thicken the mixture and poured it all on top of a bed of rice noodles before topping it with some cooked slices of pork shoulder butt, shallots, and nori.

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When you tell people that you’re a college student, the first few images that come to mind are probably:

1. Beer

2. Instant Noodles

3. More Instant Noodles

4. Caffeine

For some reason, it seems to be a little difficult for people to believe that college students can cook real food. It might be even harder to believe that college students can cook well.

Well, I proudly prove these beliefs wrong with my discovery of Wolverine CuiZine.

Wolverine CuiZine is a newly opened food-related blog/webzine/magazine that opened at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (aka, my Uni). The blog is manned by students who, like you and I, love food. I discovered the blog one day when I was walking out of a computer lab and actually paused to write the contact information down on my arm in pen!

CuiZine covers a variety of topics and doesn’t focus on cooking only. The blog team also covers various food-related events on, or close to, campus, such as the Ann Arbor farmer market, as well as restaurant reviews and segments on eating healthy.

Despite it being a fledgling club/blog, CuiZine welcomes everyone as long as they like food. Even though I had only just contacted the editors of the blog, I was immediately and warmly invited to a potluck CuiZine was hosting on  campus.

For you parents with children in University or college, CuiZine just goes to show that Instant Noodles aren’t the only method of surviving. With reader-friendly posts, Wolverine CuiZine offers “College Food 101” to all those who visit its pages.

A photo taken by Cathy Fan when Wolverine CuiZine bloggers visited the Farmer's Market

So I had a friend staying the night and I told her I’d make dinner for her and one of my roommates, Maggie. When I asked the visiting friend, Mikuni, what she’d like for dinner, she replied with “Asian food!” and, surprise surprise!, I made Asian (style) food.

I’ve tried these pork wraps before, and they aren’t particularly difficult except for when you’re actually combining everything together into the final piece. My previous attempt also included cooking everything all at once together, but I’ve learned my lesson…that isn’t that easy and it’s just darn difficult!

Luckily, I’ve learned from my mistakes, and here is now an easier-to-make and maybe even tastier version of the wraps from the past (hey it rhymes!…kind of)

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November 2009
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