Saturday, November 29, 2008
In chronological order...the delicious times that were had at living with soy sauce and masala...
So, I follow quite a few food blogs. I am almost addicted to food blogs because I have some ridiculous fears that if I don't subscribe to them, I'd run out...of food blogs. In reality, the more I subscribe, browse, the more I find of blogs that I like and it is so bad that at this point, I just don't have enough time to browse/read them all. However, good food blogs have motivated me to improve MY food blogs with one of the goals being - to take better pictures. So I did some research and learned that one of the best things that you can do to take better pictures is take them in natural light. The problem for me now is during the weekdays, I don't get home until 5:30ish and by then, it's already dark! I can't believe it get so dark so fast in AZ. The solution to this is very simple. I can cook on the weekends and take pictures then and there but I rarely feel like cooking on the weekends. Weekends are time for the hubby and I to go out to eat or for relaxing on the couch while watching TV. Good times but definitely unproductive. As a result, my pictures are a little bit over-exposed but I am working on it.
Now, my memory is a bit cloudy as these things happened awhile ago but by looking at the food choice, I can safely gather that I was on another one of my journeys toward a healthy lifestyle and diet. That means, eat lean protein and vegies so dinner was baked tilapia and grilled asparagus (seasoned with garlic, salt/pepper, tossed with olive oil and topped with Parmesan cheese). I have never used asparagus before but there was a big bag of yummy looking asparagus on sale at Costco so why not.
It was also beginning to cool down in Arizona (apparently for only that lone weekend). I decided to make us a hearty Italian soup (pasta e fagioli) to warm up the soul. This soup was DELICIOUS!! 5 stars and more and very easy to make. It's italian sausage with vegies, beans, and pasta. This soup will become a regular in this household.
I finally cooked during the weekend but it was a slow cook meal and thought I started cooking it at 12:30 in the afternoon, it wasn't finished until 8:30 PM. I have always wanted to try making a pot roast but it was just too meaty a dish for me but I had a change of heart after purchasing a slow cooker. I have heard so much about how convenient a crock pot is so I went out and bought my own crock pot. Unfortunately, after bringing it home, I broke the lid while washing it. I was forced to substitute another lid that did not fit well. Lastly, I didn't realize that if you open the lid during cooking, you basically added more time to your cook time and I opened that thing a few time during the roasting. The result was a pretty good pot roast but I bet it would have been more tender if I didn't open the lid. Next time, I will just leave it alone. Nevertheless, we finished the pot roast within 2 days. Dinner that night was pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions with a side of butter garlic mashed potatoes. It was late and I was hungry (ie. grumpy) so I was in a hurry to eat but hubby insisted on taking pictures. I am glad that he did bust out the camera to capture our pot roast moment.
oct 27th - Diwali
After work, I rushed to the market to pick up some food and tried to make an Indian dinner in celebration of Diwali and a little surprise for the hubby. Diwali is one of Kar's favorite holidays and I know that he miss celebrating it in grande fashion with lights, fireworks, and SWEETS in India. He suggested that we visit India during festival time next time we go there so that will be what we will do, later. I went to the market and picked up some sweets, Jelebi, some milk sweet, and some vegetable samosas. I also made some coconut burfi for our neighbors (who weren't home when we visisted to drop of some sweets). Dinner was potato roast and drumsticks sambar. Unfortunately, we took only one picture of everything so this were all that we had captured.
Halloween was PJ, unibrow, ugly moles, bad make-up, and moo shoes. I actually went to work like this...all of my coworkers were dressed up in PJs...I am contemplating whether I wanted to post my ugly make up face but I will at least post my moo shoes. We got to experience our very first "trick-or-treat" this year and the kids that came to our door were so cute. We decided to do that again from now on because this time I had to cut our candy giving experience short to catch a Hindi movie (Golmaal Returns). It was OK. It was "very expensive movie--hint hint" (Kar finally got a speeding ticket while we were driving to the movie via photo radar). This type of ticket is usually pretty expensive but does not add points to your driving record and/or insurance.
Nov 6th and soon after
Recently a popular Asian market in Arizona had opened another branch that relatively closed to my house. I decided to stop by Lee Lee (in Peoria) and picked up a piece of salmon and a couple of pomprets for fish fry. The salman was prepared the normal way that my mom prepared them which was frying and then topped with sauteed onions, garlic, and tomatoes. I also had some gyoza. The pomprets were prepared a few days later and it's Indian style. It was turmeric, chilli powder, salt/pepper, and ginger garlic paste. I followed Amma's recipe with addition of ginger garlic paste. Delicious, both style, Vietnamese and Indian. I really love fish and well most seafood.
Beef fry, almost Kerela style - did not have coconut oil at home and substituted desecrated coconut for actual coconut chunks. I was too lazy to run over to the store and did the best with what I had at home. This was as Rachael Ray would say, YUMM-O! This dish was gone in a flash and Kar was giving it 6 stars out of 5 stars. I tried to be artistic in this picture. Does anybody see any improvements?
Happy belated Thanksgiving! We celebrated with a Thanksgiving meal cooked by Mimi's cafe. During out lunch, we got rained on, in fact, we got hailed! We sat outside on the patio and it rained with chunks of ice. We didn't need anybody to refill our iced water. The next day, we spent it SHOPPING. I bought clothes and Kar bought an XBOX360.
Lastly, I really despise terrorists.
Our thoughts and prayers for Mumbai.
On 2nd thought, I didn't want to end this post on a bad note so I am going to squeeze in a little bit more of update. Hubby was so sweet. He surprised me (almost) with a keyboard since my keyboard had a couple of buttons that didn't work. What a thoughtful gesture--- small gesture but a lot of heart! Thank you! I love those nice things that you do for your partner without any reasons.
Until next time...
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
John and Trang
Kar & Me
You can get your food when these carts come by your table. I never know the names of these Chinese dishes so we basically pointed to what we wanted. Basic communication but very effective.
Then, how they bill you was putting a mark on a sheet like this. Dishes fall into certain price range. You need to be vigilant because sometimes it becomes very hectic and people might put an extra mark here or there. Not common, but happens sometimes.
Some of the food dishes
Special mention - Chicken feet, considered to be a Chinese delicacy. This were chicken feet that were fried, boiled, marinated in a sweet black bean sauce, and steamed. They're soft and chewy.
Mike was brave enough to try one. He said it's not bad but too chewy for his taste. He is not likely to try this dish again for awhile. My dad loves this stuff.
The full group together.
We ended the day with 2 games of Killer Bunnies, 1 ticket to ride, and some random Taboo!
Actually, on the way home, Kar and I stopped for a Korean dessert, pat bing soo which is very popular in Korea and gaining momentum in the US. It is shaved ice with fresh fruit and sweetened red bean. It is also drizzle with milk, fresh and sometimes condensed milk. Really delicious summer treat.
We ended the day with...a rainbow in the sky!
Monday, July 28, 2008
We was super excited about this chance to go eat at a nice steak house, especially since I was feeling particularly carnivorous and was craving steaks. After many days of mulling over about where to go to eat, it came down to Morton's steak house versus Ruth's Chris. Eventually, Ruth's Chris was where we decided to plop down our money.
(Above was Kar, waiting for food and feeling very hungry! See that unhappy face) *GRUMBLING TUMMY GRR GRR GRR*
We started with a Pomegranate Martini which was made with Ketel One Citroen Vodka and Cointreau orange liqueur, shaken with fresh lemon and pomegranate juices, served in colored sugar-rimmed glass accent with an orange peel. It was quite delicious and we both enjoyed sharing this drink very much.
Influenced by Crab Week on the Food Network (from watching Alton Brown), we decided to try their Crabtini appetizer. Crabtini is "Colossal" (their description - not ours) lump crabmeat tossed with the house vinaigrette & Ruth's Chris Creole remoulade sauce in a chilled martini (hence crabini!!! clever No?) glass. This was also good. Very light and fresh and creamy.
For our meat dishes, Karthik went with their Cowboy Ribeye - a huge bone-in ribeye that was well marbled and deliciously juicy. I went with the T-bone steak. I must say, their steak was my 2nd favorite. Despite very simple ingredients to season their steaks (butter, salt & pepper, and parsley) they manage to make it soooooooooo delicious. All of their steaks are prepared the same way and the only variety is the cut of the meat. Ruth's Chris is also known for their HOT HOT HOT steaks & plates. All steaks are seared to perfection at about 1800 degrees. Damn good steaks I must say. The only draw back is variety because all steaks taste the same. We also got the Potato Au Gratin side which potatoes served in a cream sauce, topped with melted sharp cheddar.
Not just a regular Ribeye but a Cowboy one - like a MANLY piece of meat, not for boys =o)
Potato side to share
Lastly, we had some Chocolate Explosion or something Molten Chocolate cake. I can't remember what it was and it's not listed on their online menu. Oh well, delicious piece of cake there...
Us, bellies fulled = Happy folks. Look at our smiles full of teeth...
I would definitely go back to Ruth's Chris.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Over the weekend, the both of us went to see Hancock starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Jason Bateman! It was a pretty good movie and Will Smith managed to open another summer blockbuster successfully. It seems like he always have some big movie opening near July 4th, every year. Anyways, in the movie, they have Thursday Night Spaghetti Madness or something like that, so I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs. Although I have made spaghetti many times before I have never made meatballs. Lucky for me, I discovered another yummy recipe from recipezaar and as a result, delicious meatballs in our tummy for dinner on Sunday.Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Garlic Toasts
Although the meal was pretty good I did not make enough sauce for the spaghetti so I made more sauce and pasta on Tuesday. Eek - toast were a little burnt this time but still good!
This was pretty easy to make and keep well so now we can also pack it for lunch! Woot!
Kar and I usually try to buy grocery carefully so we can save money! Why not right...so I was pretty proud that I was able to save 39% this time. We normally average around 20-25%! Highest rate of savings so far...
Recipe Link: Meatballs
-Please note that the recipe called for ground chicken, but I used ground beef instead.
There we were, preparing to go to Butterfields
We started with freshly squeezed orange juice - initially I didn't want any but Kar suggested I order my own (mostly because he knew that if I like it I'd probably drink all of his)...
empty one was mine (was veryyyyyyyy fresh so drank it in one gulp...practically)
Kar had the Pancake stack with Pecans and Raisins.
I had the Steel Cut Oatmeal with Caramelized Brown Sugar and Bananas. It was so filling I only manage to finish half
It was such a lovely morning...=o)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I think on Tuesday last week, I was browsing for some chicken recipe on www.recipezaar.com and stumbled upon this REALLY popular chicken dish - Japanese Chicken Drumsticks (drumsticks because they are Kar's favorite.) Over +500 people seemed to be happy with this recipe so I made it. It was easy and pretty tasty, with hardly any fat. I removed some of the skin and kept some skin (fatty!) because Kar likes the skin. The picture does not too look too tasty cuz it was dark when we took the pictures but very easy and delicious with rice.
Then, sometimes last week - can't remember now, we ate Tilapia and rice for dinner. This is why I should post regularly but ahhh I was busy browsing internet and watching movies at night. No time for updating this blog. I also made one of Kar's favorite Korean dish - normally it is a banchan (side dish) and he lovessssssss it. We eat at this one Korean/Japanese restaurant called Takamatsu and we always ask for extra of this fish cake.
Tilapia/Salad/Zucchini (my dinner)
Tilapia/Fishcake/Rice/Yogurt (Kar's dinner)
Kar was quite happy due to the fish cakes - he loves that stuff...
Below, fish cake preparation
Recipe Link: Japanese Mum's Chicken
Recipe Link: Fish Cake Stir Fry