Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here they are. I especially love my miniature pumpkin. So cute!! And so were all the little trick or treaters. The most memorable one was also a classic. It was a little kid no more than 3-4 years old in a pumpkin costume. Awwww! :)
I hope everyone had a great Halloween!
On the way home from work, we stopped by Lucky to get some veggies for the soup. Since I'm on a somewhat low carb diet, I wanted to pack the soup with tons of vegetables so I wouldn't still be hungry after dinner. I got some Napa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and green onions.
When I got home, I prepped my ingrediants and all of the sudden a lightbulb went off. I looked at my ingrediants which were exactly what I needed to make Lion Head Stew (http://jadedskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/04/cooking-lions-head-stew.html). Instead of the pork meatballs, I would use won tons as my protein/starch. The only thing I was missing were the dried shrimps, but the soup still came out well.
I sauteed the mushrooms, ginger, garlic and green onions first.
When everything was fragrant, I added the washed, chopped Napa cabbage. Once that wilted down, I added the chicken stock.
I let that come up to a simmer before adding the won tons which cooked for 10 minutes. In restrospect, I would've cooked these for about 15 minutes so the skins could soften more.
Here's the final product. It was flavorful, spicy (I added red chilies) and very comforting for a brisk fall day.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The waiter stopped by to drop off the sauces. Hot chili paste, soy sauce, hot Chinese mustard, chili oil, and white vinegar. The next thing he did was explain each of those sauces and their flavor components. OK *screeeeeech noise* What?! He said "soy sauce is the equivalent of salt and chili oil is like Chinese pepper" OMG. Do I really need someone to tell me what is what? I think I know just based on my appearance. If I don't look exactly like a Chinese person, I sure as hell look Asian. I'm not going to give the waiter anymore crap because corporate HQ or policy probably mandates what the waiter says and does regardless of who the customer is. I just thought it was pretty funny. Justyn says that he probably knew what everything already was and probably felt stupid for having to do so.
My salad was extremely bland so I used "salt" & vinegar to make it taste better. The only things I appreciated in the salad was the nice frisse and cucumber to offer differing textures. The beef was lightly battered and deep fried to the point of jerky. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not, but it was sure hard to eat. As for the vegetable curry? I have no complaints. It had broccoli, carrots (blech), snap peas, mushrooms, peanuts & the tofu. The tofu was deep fried, but extremely mushy in the middle. I suspect they didn't know to buy the extra firm stuff so it would hold up. The curry sauce was decent though. I wouldn't mind having it again.
So there's my rant about PF Chang's and I agree with Justyn when I say if you eat there and like it, you don't know any better. And hey, that's OK because everyone's entitled to their own opinions.
In other news, we just got hit with a pretty hard earthquake (5.6). I was sitting in my living room watching Beauty & the Geek while Justyn was in the garage working. All of the sudden, I feel the couch shaking and the first thing I think of us getting up and running. Then it hits a little harder and I yell for Justyn. He doesn't respond and I immediately remember that he's in the garage. I run into the bedroom and open the garage door. I almost tackle Justyn to the ground hugging him because I was so scared. He led me to the front steps of our place in case an aftershock followed. Luckily *cross my fingers* one hasn't hit yet. My hands and knees were literally shaking for a good 20 minutes. What a night!
Oh yeah and in the picture where I'm drinking Cutty Shark (Shit), I'm pretending to stir around some chicken curry that Jason made. It was really spicy! He also made some beans which were out of this world. I just had to post that to make it somewhat food related right? I haven't been cooking lately hence the lack of cooking posts. It's this low carb dinner thing. I started eating low carb for dinner so I haven't been making what I really want to eat! I promise I'll post up some food posts sometime this week.
Thanks for inviting us Jason! We had a great time despite.. you know haha. Thanks to Helmi for the pictures. I'll have more to post as soon as my sister emails them to me.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The only things I needed to get at the store were chicken (I used skinless bonless chicken thighs) and garlic. For a veggie side dish, I wanted to do Chinese broccoli, but Justyn said I used that too much (who complains when their loving wife is making them dinner?) so I ended up getting regular broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.
The one thing you might notice here is that there aren't a lot of pictures of each step I took. That's because I was nervous making this dish. It instructed me to make caramel! What?! I've never made caramel before. So I got all my ingrediants in place before actually cooking. Instead of mincing the lemongrass (white part only), I used my microplane and grated it into a fine dust. Chop here, mince there and I was done. The chicken was marinating in a soy sauce (I substituted fish sauce with premium dark soy here), minced garlic, curry powder and sugar. I also added a tablespoon of cornstarch to help thicken the sauce when it came down to cooking.
I heated up some water to blanch my chopped broccoli and then started making the caramel. Everything came together nicely except I misread the instructions. Instead of adding a couple tablespoons of water to the pot, I added the caramel to cold water. The caramel seized up into a pretty amber brown blob. As Wandering Chopsticks already knows, I'm horrible at following directions so she'll probably laugh here hehe. I told Justyn to help me redo it and this time it came out right.
Time to saute the chilies, lemongrass dust (sounds like a drug huh?) and shallot. Then I added the chicken and caramel mixture. The aroma that wafted from the wok was heaven. Sweet, savory and spicy. I was drooling, but I kept my mind concentrated on cooking.
It paid off.. Here's what came out.
While Justyn helped me snap pictures, I quickly washed out the wok and stirfried the garlic and shallot with some oyster sauce. Then I added the mushrooms and mixed until they wilted down a bit. Next the blanched and drained broccoli and a dash of soy sauce goes in with a tab of honey. Just combine until everything is heated through and serve!
Do you like my little pumpkin?
Rasa Malaysia is a genius. Justyn plopped down to dig in and the first thing out of his mouth was "Mmm! GOOD!". I agreed in silence because I was starving. Delicious!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
On Sunday I get a call from my mom asking me why I posted her link on RM's blog. I told her that I wanted people to know that she had a nice blog. She then started telling me that I shouldn't have linked it to others because it's purely for her "circle of friends" eyes only. What? If you post a blog on the internet, it's bound to reach other people as well. People always link others to websites. It's not an uncommon thing right? So I tell her that she should always give credit where it's due because you simply can't claim other people's recipes as your own. It's rude and it's just common courtesy. Anyway, I got pissed off at her so that's why I've taken my mom's link off my food blog. I don't want to be associated with this kind of behavior. So there's my drama for the weekend heh.
Mom - If you read this, you really should know better. It's not a matter of simply deleting your posts. Just edit them (ask dad how to do that) and include the link where you got the recipe from.
Over the weekend, Angel & Donoho came over to plan out a rough itinerary of what we'll be doing in France & Italy in a two weeks span in December. We had to knock that task out of the way so we could do some major partying. I don't remember much except doing shots in the back patio with Cupini, Justyn and the two of them, running through the sprinklers when it was really cold out, having silly conversations and playing Wii Bowling. Despite the fact that I told Justyn that I'd never bet him EVER again, we made a bet to see who would win. It was weird though. This time, I actually won under pressure! Now he has to deliver flowers to me at work haha! For dinner I made the "Asian Glazed Salmon" and some green beans from: http://www.riverford.co.uk/recipes/recipe.php?catid=5&recipeid=418. I include carrots because you all know how much I hate them. I added soy sauce, chicken stock and cornstarch to the recipe to make a sort of sauce which everyone adored.
Oh.. here are pictures of Angel explaining to my hubby, how a tampon works. Hahaha good stuff!
On Sunday, we went to our favorite Japanese restaurant called Hanamaru. Yeah, remember the post I made and couldn't remember the name of the restaurant? That's it! We ordered some tako yaki, Santa Cruz roll (green tobiko, avacado, scallop and seaweed) and some other sushi which stuffed us into a food coma. By the time we got back to my house, I was exhausted from the food and the night before, so we spent the rest of the day playing video games and chilling. Towards the evening, Angel and I went to the grocery store to go shopping for beef stew ingrediants. She was so impressed with the salmon recipe that she wanted to make it for Monday's dinner. She left soon after that. Donoho helped us clean up a bit before heading out himself and by the time dinner was ready, it was past 8:00pm. That's a late dinner for us so I served the beef stew half an hour before it was supposed to be ready. The beef was still a bit tough, but still edible. After dinner, I stayed up watching The Next Iron Chef & some other shows before passing out on the couch.
It was an exhausting weekend but as always full of fun!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
VTRWeasel of BARF had his 40th birthday party on Saturday. I made some "Chinese Baklava" for finger food from Tigerfish's blog which turned out better than last time. Justyn helped me this time so the puff pastry dough wouldn't melt so fast. It came out perfect! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it. I always forget to do that when things come out good.
So we took showers at around 5:30pm (yeah, it was a lazy Saturday) and took off. When we got there, I immediately had a Bombay martini with no olive and then a ginger margarita. The ginger margarita was really good. Not too sweet and balanced perfectly with the tequila. And mind you, I don't like that stuff.
V (Jim's fiance), brought out the presents for him to open. We ended up getting him a game called Last Word, which we tried playing but due to the limited amount of space it didn't work out. Drinks flew by and the last thing I remember doing was playing pool with Justyn and betting $50. I lost, but was very close to winning. Dammit!
We left shortly after that because Justyn was tired and I was ready to go. On the way home, we ended up getting pulled over. The cop smelled alchohol on me and asked if Justyn was drinking tonight. He answered no and instead of keeping my mouth shut, I said "No! I'm drunk" in that classic drunken slur. It was hilarious when I remembered the morning after.
On Friday night we went to a Yelp meet that Walter P. set up. The meet was supposed to start at 8:00pm, but later in the thread, it said that they were meeting a half hour earlier. Luckily I caught that or we would've been late. Or so we thought. We arrived five minutes before 7:30pm and asked the hostess if there was a reservation under Walter P. She said no, so we thought that the event got cancelled. We waited 5 more minutes before sitting down at the sushi bar and looked at the menu to see what we wanted for dinner.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The first thing we noticed about this place after driving past it a dozen times was that it has been there for a long time. You're really not coming here for the fantabulous food. It's half about the food and half about atmosphere.
We walked into the restaurant around 5:30pm and the place was empty. Yeah, not a good sign but we were hungry so we stayed. We decided to get the 2 person dinner which includes egg rolls, choice of soup (we got won ton), rice and two entrees.
As we waited for our eggrolls and soup, an Indian customer walked in to order take-out (I figure that's how this place survives rather than dine-in customers). She ordered a dish that has pork in it and instead of the waiter just putting her order in, he said "This dish has pork in it, do you want to substitute it for another kind of meat?" The customer was a little taken back as was I. A restaurant that actually pays attention to that level of detail is good in my book. She ended up substituting chicken for the meat. Sweet!
So after all that took place, the waitress brought over our eggrolls which were cliche in with that bright red, probably not natural sauce. I loved it and I don't know why. The soup was pretty good too albeit the won tons tasted more like potstickers but yet again, I didn't mind. On a side note, the waitress did put more stuff in Justyn's bowl than in mine which was funny. It was almost like she was telling me I needed to go on a diet or something. She also put all the carrots in his bowl rather than in mine. I hate carrots so that was a nice touch intentional or not.
The two entrees and rice came soon after that and we dove in. Unfortunately the Mongolian Beef had carrots and the Almond Chicken had water chestnuts which Justyn doesn't like, but we still devoured almost all of it.
I really can't put my finger on it, but this place has a sort of charm to it. I had a really good experience here. I went in knowing that this place wasn't going to be a great place to eat, and maybe that's why I was so impressed.