If you have any penchant for food blogs at all, you know Cynthia. She’s the quiet, quasi-anonymous beauty behind Two Red Bowls. The kind of writer who uses just enough big words to make you feel a little shy about your own prose while keeping everything warm and casual and best-friendy. A food-styling sensation. And creator of such culinary masterpieces as these beautifully storied umami-bombed noodles; these temptingly grabbable (steamed) buns; and this nostalgic Korean stew that is topped with not one but three of my favorite post-war convenience foods: spam, hotdogs and American cheese. (I die.)
If you’ve been reading along in this space for a bit, you might remember when Cynthia popped in with bacony tomato soup and sammies (the bacon being in both the soup AND the sammies, because we are clearly of the same mind) when Chris and I first welcomed Lana.
And if you happen to know Cynthia as a fellow blogger, you know she is famous for leaving the best comments ever — friendly and personal and anecdotal and sweet.
In short: she is one magnificent gal, oozing with talent and charm and irresistible appeal and completely humble despite it all. And now she’s a momma! To a little hapa (*roof-raising hands*) baby boy named Luke who is as cherubic and beautiful as babies come. I am beside myself with excitement.
Which is why today’s post is completely dedicated to #threeredbowls — Cynthia, her hubby (B2) and their new little Baby Bowl, Luke — courtesy of virtual baby shower hostesses Steph and Alana. (Technically, B3 wasn’t scheduled to arrive until today, but I think it’s fair to say all his Internet Aunties are thrilled with his early arrival. 😉 )
In keeping with the #threeredbowls shower theme — that being “bowl-friendly food,” of course! — I wanted to put forth something that would complement the dreamy, baby-scented and assumedly time-warped haze in which Cynthia and B2 might find themselves these first few weeks. Cozy, filling and so simple to put together (you can even use ground beef right out of the freezer), this warming, savory and only slightly exotic stew is subtle on the spice so as not to upset a nursing babe’s tummy. Sans yogurt, it’s also dairy-free, in case sweet Luke follows in Lana’s dairy-averse, spit-up-on-all-the-things footsteps. (From a laundry standpoint alone, I hope not, Cynth!)
Speaking of babes, it’s also familiar enough (hello potatoes and carrots) that little ones in solid mode will happily gobble it right down. And if you’re looking to feed a crowd or stretch this out over several extra meals, it’s pure comfort food when served over white or brown rice. But then again, I’d eat almost anything over a bowl of hot rice. No really, my mom and I were just talking about this last weekend. Canned tamales. Dinty Moore. Marie Callender’s pot pies. Ok, maybe it’s just institutionalized pantry items from the 1990’s. Oh wait, no, fried hot dogs. So, lunch meats, too.
Big bowl-cheers and a thousand happy-teared hugs to you, sweet Cynthia. Despite the moments of complete madness, of which there will be many, I can imagine few things more awe-inspiring than the arrival of a tiny human whom, but the way, you made with your body. This period of time — that is, the snuggly, lip-smacking, sleeping-on-your-chest time — is just as short-lived as everyone will tell you. Hold it close. <3
p.s. Visit Fix Feast Flair and I am a Food Blog today for the full list of #threeredbowls recipes – there are almost 40!
p.p.s. That time Cynthia made these gochujang pigs in a blanket for my virtual baby shower!
p.p.p.s. (← that’s a lot of p’s) Last week’s Totoro Donburi + Pumpkin Cannelloni!
- 1 lb ground beef, crumbled (frozen is ok, see note)
- 1 lb baby potatoes, quartered
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin
- ½ can (use the pumpkin can) beef stock
- 1 generous T fresh sage, finely chopped (or about 1 tsp dried rubbed sage)
- 2 tsp (or more, to taste) sweet curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- For serving:
- plain yogurt (we like whole milk Greek)
- toasted cashews
- chives or scallions
- Combine all ingredients in a large slow-cooker and stir lightly to combine. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs, stirring occasionally if you have the opportunity. Remove bay leaves and serve topped with yogurt, toasted cashews and chives. Enjoy!
OH! before you go…
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hello curry! and pumpkin! i’m with you on the big ol’ bowl of fluffy rice 🙂
thanks for participating em 🙂 hope you and lana and chris are doing well!
Everything is better with rice, right? I feel like when potatoes are involved it becomes dangerously debatable for some people, but you know how I feel. 🙂 Thanks for hosting, Steph!
HI HI HI! First of all can I just say that I’m really loving your photography/graphic design skillz recently 😀
PS now i know what to do with my leftover pumpkin puree from last month!
Thanks Courtney! And yes, bust out that leftover puree and get it in hurrrr! 😀
Oh my goodness, Em! You are way, WAY too kind. A million thank you’s for these super sweet words I definitely do not deserve, and for this incredible pumpkin curry, which I am SO excited about — how did you know pumpkin curry is one of my favorites ever? And recipes that last over several meals are SO needed. So happy that we met through the blogosphere and grateful for your kindness and friendship (also your pictures of Lana, who I can NEVER get enough of). So many hugs your way, friend <3 and PS every time little man smacks his lips after feeding I think of what you wrote and get prematurely nostalgic already. You've described it perfectly.
You are every bit deserving, sweet friend! So happy to be able to celebrate you and these joyous moments in some way, even from afar. One day we’ll have to get together in the real world — and make a playdate of it for our littles, of course. I can’t wait. <3