Monday, October 5, 2009

Korean Instant-Food Fail

Just wanted to say that, if you're ever trying out an instant-food (e.g. ramen, packaged rice boxes) from another culture with a different language for the first time ... you might want to check and make sure you can read the directions!

For future reference, Ottogi's seafood risotto takes only 1:15 to warm up before making a mess of the microwave.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting a Handle on Burmese: Mohinga

It's been a while, huh? Well I don't have much time to elaborate, but I decided to try making a couple Burmese dishes: mohinga and curry chicken noodle (shwe-taung). Both are noodle dishes, and I know I've tried one, but I don't know which one! Basically, I'm making these dishes rather blindly, without much of a clue as to how it's actually supposed to turn out.

So tonight, I attempted mohinga. Shwe-taung will have to come later. To accompany this post, I have pictures rather than a recipe (but maybe I'll get around to including that later).

Gotta love "fresh" noodles. I think I just love the feel of flour and soft loose noodles!

Ground up most of the ingredients, then made a paste of it.

Fried the paste, then tossed in cooked fish. It's supposed to be catfish, but I couldn't find any at the Korean/Japanese store I went to. What you see here is monkfish.

End result! I ended up using a cup of fish broth for the base (I like soupy noodles), added some of the gravy (which I didn't show .. it's basically fish stock, corn starch and mashed chick peas), then topped with egg, limes and cilantro.

Overall? Not bad! If this is the comfort food of Burma/Myanmar, then I've been comforted.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quote - 090610

"I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pictures, Finally!

I've finally gotten around to editing photos from my kitchen "adventures"! I could always format it more, but I think it's a better trade-off ... less formatting, more photo postings.

Dutch baby (a.k.a. German Oven Pancake), recipe from Joy's blog. Mine has a funny shape. :)

Herb garden! The plants are now about 50% bigger than they appear in this photo.
Left planter: purple sage, cilantro, ginger mint (not very minty, unfortunately) :(
Right planter: Mexican chili, sweet basil, rosemary
Unseen: plum tomatoes, growing in a Topsy-Turvy planter!

Red pepper jelly! I wanted to buy some, but didn't know where to find it, so I looked up Chowhound. Lo and behold, someone suggested making some yourself, which I obviously did ...

Citrus-mint cooler (non-alcoholic!), which I made for a friend's birthday since he doesn't drink. Unfortunately, the mint wasn't minty enough. Sadness!

Jalapeno poppers--these were AMAZING when fresh out of the oven! I'm definitely making this again.

Salad with chicken hearts and orange segments, in a balsamic-honey dressing. Shrimp in honey and rice vinegar (didn't have any lime, which I think would've been a great add). Boiled potatoes tossed with garlic and rosemary cooked in butter. (I usually roast my potatoes, but I think we were trying to save time?)

I hope you enjoyed the photos! I'll be taking photos more often, since I'm going to be the food blogger for (yay!).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thrown Back into the Fire that is Manual ...

Here's a quick recap of round two of driving manual (alone!) ... and yes, this time the assignment was more difficult:
  • The Boy needed someone to re-park his car (a Subaru WRX) to the other side of the road while he was away. Street cleaning was the reason.
  • WRX was currently sandwiched between two cars.
  • The Boy's roommate knows how to drive stick, but couldn't move it 'cause he doesn't have a license in the States. I'm the opposite. We made the worst combination. He stayed in the apartment while I went out to attempt the impossible by myself.
  • I propped a pillow in front of the car that's behind the WRX.
  • Going backwards actually went smoothly. I had perfect control with the reverse gear.
  • But I stalled going forward while trying to get out of the spot.
  • People were walking by.
  • Cars were driving by.
  • I got over my embarrassment.
  • I stalled about 5 more times before I finally got out of the spot.
  • Continued to roll forward (still in 1st gear) and made a clean U-turn into a perfect parking spot behind a line of cars.
That's all ...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Getting a Move On ... Finally!

Winter was such a lull. If you asked me "what's new" anytime during the winter months, I most likely said "nothing." All I really remember doing was working, cooking dinner, and watching TV.

But with the help of warmer weather and good dance music, I think my productivity has shot through the roof ... relatively speaking, of course! I'm still as lazy as ever, only I'm a bit more proactive in doing things that I'm interested in. So if you can humor me, I'd love to tell you what I've been up to lately.

(1) Looking for simple good eats
Yesterday, I decided to visit Formaggio Kitchen and Pemberton Farms for the first time. I've passed by these places countless times, and my foodie friends keep talking about Formaggio in particular. Now, I don't consider myself a foodie at all. I'm a fan of technique and the overall process of creating a product--but having discerning tastebuds is something that kind of escapes me.

For example, I tried a comte cheese off a sample table at Formaggio, and I thought it was good. I tasted the brebis that the cheese counter guy picked out for me, and I thought it was good. Then I tasted the comte again and realized that the brebis was far far better! But that's about all my tastebuds tell me. Nuttiness? what? Fruitiness? what? Acidity? wha--okay, I know what these things MEAN, but I can't really identify the elements that make a particular cheese special. The only things I learned was that I bought a sheep's milk cheese, and that there is a difference between a "strong" cheese and a "full flavor" cheese. I think I'm okay with learning a little at a time, but until I develop a discerning palate, I'm definitely not a foodie.

Anyway, in the vein of keeping it simple but trying something new, I got the brebis and a ficelle onion loaf from Formaggio, and dried blueberries from Pemberton Farms. I'm considering getting a small bottle of truffle oil, but I wonder if it's real or imitation ... not that I'd be able to tell. ;D

(2) Turning that brown thumb into a vibrant green one
When I was at Pemberton Farms, I saw that they had cilantro plants! Now, I know it's hard to keep alive and that I might as well start from seed, but remember ... I'm lazy. So I got the cilantro and picked up a ginger mint and a purple sage as well.

When I got home, I promptly transfered the plants into a planter, and set it next to the pepper+basil+rosemary planter that I already have. I also recently bought a Topsy Turvy (which grows plants upside down) and a tomato plant to go with it, so I set that up as well on the back porch. I am a bit worried though, since that corner of the porch looks like it's too windy ... I'm half expecting to see my plants blown over and the Topsy Turvy on the ground by the time I get home tonight! Eek.

Well, we'll see how long this growing experiment lasts. If it all dies within a couple weeks, I'm going to be so sad.

(3) Photo-photo, moto-moto?
I recently attended a photoshoot on Friday for Yin Chang of Gossip Girls (she plays Nelly Yuki). I didn't do the shooting, but I guess I helped direct? Either way, it adds to the list of photo stuff I've been working on.

So far, I'm done with Harvard's Eleganza09 photos, a sorority's chapter photo, and images for a few Mochi articles. I realize I still have photos to edit and post for a friend's wedding, but that's personal stuff. :) I also need to do a photo for an upcoming Mochi article, but it involves make-up, of which I know very very little. Gah! Anyone want to help?

(4) Last minute is the way to go
I received an email yesterday about joining others from BCNC for a gala/fundraiser/annual(??) dinner by the Mass Asian American Commission. Free tickets that usually cost $80? The possibility of meeting gov't officials including Sam Yoon? The opportunity to dress up? I'm so there!

Why am I in such a talkative mood??

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Try, Try, Try Again

If you never understood why I choose the handle "LittleMissPossible" for this blog, let me explain a little. I'm not really your most optimistic person, but I'm really not your least, either. I've a penchant for trying new cuisines and skipping around from industry to industry, yet sometimes I feel like I'm too practical that I don't think certain things can be done. (I like to call it being realistic!) But really, I'm just depriving myself and others by being a Debbie Downer.

Anyway. I think I can do more, and I think I should do more. I figure that giving myself an optimistic-sounding URL will in turn be a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. I am Little Miss Possible! I can install that AC unit by myself (with my roomie helping me lift it first)! I can move that fridge by myself in order to clean the coils! I can make sopes! I can make chicken hearts appetizing!

So when Mike, my neighbor downstairs, suggested we switch car keys so that we can move each other's cars when needed (we have tandem parking), I said sure. But then he asked, "Do you know how to drive standard [manual]?" Uh. My boyfriend taught me some? When in doubt, press the clutch, right? Apparently, my minimal experience was enough for him. We switched keys, and I was secretly happy at the prospect of practicing a bit of manual on his car.

Fast forward to today. I wanted to switch the cars because I might need to pick up an easily-inebriated "friend" and his licence-less roommate tonight, and Mike's car was parked behind mine. I was hoping one of the neighbors would be home to help me move around the cars, but alas ... there was no one home. I was hoping to have a roomie or two help me look out for pedestrians just for safety ... but again, the entire HOUSE was empty. I was totally on my own for this! And here's how it all went down ...

I couldn't shift into reverse for some reason. It's right next to the 1st gear, so when I thought I had it, I ended up going forward and (lightly) hitting my car. I was kinda embarrassed at this point. If I left the car like this, then Mike would see that I totally failed. I decided that if I still couldn't find reverse, then I would put the car in neutral and TRY to push the car back to its original position.

So I ran into the apartment to Google "volkswagen golf manual rear" to look up tips, and I found that I had to slightly depress the clutch to get it into gear. I tried shifting in this way, succeeded(!), then accelerated out of the driveway ... but a little faster than I wanted. Okay, make that a LOT faster than I wanted. It really would've been nice to have extra eyes to make sure no one was in the way ...

However, it was worse getting the car back into the driveway. After I moved my own car out of the way, I had to put Mike's car back at the end of the driveway. I must have stalled FOUR TIMES in a distance of 10-15 feet. I'm so glad that no one was there, 'cause I think I've totally embarrassed myself.

But I finally got the job done, and I now know how to put the car in reverse.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Has it really been almost 1.5 weeks since I last posted?? Usually this would mean that my life isn't boring.

Anyway, this weekend I did some spring cleaning and house errands. It was mostly stuff I wouldn't do often, such as cleaning the fridge coils, installing the AC unit, cleaning out the cleaning supplies closet, scrubbing the oven, scrubbing the bathtub ... etc.

So I realize that I can sum up the household personalities in a few words--
  • Yuling: sanitize
  • Tammy: organize
  • Jess: bake
That's pretty much all I wanted to say for now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Interpret This

My dreams last night were utterly random. They made sense in a way, but still very random.

Some elements from last night:
  • shrimp in random tupperware,
  • kids on the street throwing a rock at a friend,
  • going to a conference on the wharf as a boondoggle/junket (which is what The Boy is doing right now in FL!!! jealous),
  • realizing my company doesn't know I went to the conference, thus creating a dilemma,
  • a hamster that freaked me out because of its scampering,
  • walking home in heels from The Boy's place, and
  • a homeless man sleeping the night at a cafe.
So, I also dream in color, which really isn't that uncommon. But my question today is ... do you TASTE food in dreams? 'Cause I tried eating the aforementioned shrimp, and it was RANCID.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Workin' the Fridge

This past Sunday, I went to Barnes and Noble with The Boy, and I spent practically the whole time there looking at this book. There were chapters on budgeting (duh) and saving money on big purchases (e.g. cars and houses). My attention, however, was caught by a whole chapter on saving money on food purchases--totally up my alley! The main take-aways, though? Firstly, cut down on the number of grocery trips (ideally to once a month ... wHAT?). Secondly, freeze. Literally, freeze everything ... even the milk! Well, at least it works for them. They spend $350 per month on food for 7 people. I spend almost that much on myself. Hm.

So, my fridge is packed, so I thought I might as well do my bi-weekly scourging of the fridge to see what can stay, what be used, and what should go. Apparently, my freezer revealed that I'm still very much a victim of buy-'n-forget. In other words: I bought, I froze, I forgot ... and I forgot much more than I thought I did. I had boneless chicken thighs, chicken quarters, chicken hearts, half of a frost bitten steak, flat iron steaks, pork chops, and some unknown (to me) cut of pork. Oh, and shrimp. Obviously, my desire to have better "husbandry" of my food purchases has "slightly" evaded me.

I decided yesterday that I had enough to cook with at home, and did my usual list-making of what I had:
  • meat (as described above)
  • salad lettuce
  • cabbage
  • mushrooms
  • red onion
  • mangos
  • rice stick noodles
  • mochi blocks
  • fresh noodles (called "vermicelli" but they were much more like udon)
  • quail eggs
I knew I wanted to use the chicken hearts and mango together in some sort of salad, and the pork and quail eggs together for a main dish. I ended up making the following:
  • salad, using: lettuce, mushrooms, mango, red onion and chicken hearts (with my usual dressing of rice vinegar, soy and sugar ... but with minced-but-more-like-pulverized red onion)
  • noodle soup, using: fresh noodles, cabbage, unknown cut of pork (sliced thin) and quail eggs
Both roomies and The Boy actually really really liked the salad. I did as well, and I'm sure I'll make it again. (I have another mango and chicken hearts left.)

Now for the rest of the meat!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

France > Yonne > Tonnerre

I finally found the town I visited during my exchange program! It took me a loonnggg time to remember or figure out the name of the town since I went when I was fresh out of junior high. I knew it started with a "T" and that it was in the l'Yonne province (because it sounds similar to "Lyon"). However, because my sister once worked in Torrance, all I could think was "To--rrance?" It was something similar. And now I've found it: Tonnerre.

Seeing pictures of the place through is so fantastic. I remember walking around an overgrown, mossy pool, walking through the town streets by myself, the view of the town from the Catholic church up on the hill, and field trips with the exchange group in a historic hospital while developing a crush on one of the guys.

I wrote a short script based on this trip for a screenwriting class, and it sums up my experience there pretty well (even though it had a small element of fiction in there). A few of the "awkward" scenes even elicited a good chuckle from the class, most of which was unfortunately something that actually happened!

I'm a bit tempted to re-visit someday, and maybe even seek out the family I stayed with while there. Anyone wanna come with?

Monday, April 6, 2009


Short recap, but nonetheless ...

Pillow fight on Saturday!
Note to self, handkerchief over mouth next time. Don't wanna think about how many other faces got slammed with the same pillow, and feathers flying into mouth ain't tasty.

Made lunch for Mosaic (again)!
Kalua pork is the easiest tasty thing you can make. You just gotta leave it in the slow cooker long enough for it to almost fall apart on its own.

Played Ultimate for the first time!
I tried playing once before, but it was for only 3 minutes so I don't count it. This time, I threw it to someone not on my team within the first minute of playing. Woops! Anyway, I kinda had fun.

Drinking (coffee flavored) soy milk!
This is actually the only way I'm willing to drink soy milk. I remember finding coffee flavored soy milk at the supermarkets back in CA, but I couldn't find any at the Stop & Shop here. Instead, I decided to make my own by doing what I think my sister does: mix instant coffee with a wee bit of hot water, then add vanilla flavored soy milk. The result is simple concoction that's almost like a soy latte--much better than a breve latte!




Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Next "Ambitious" Undertaking

I signed up to bring lunch for church this Sunday, and I think I'll take care of it by myself 'cause it's (somehow) easier ... don't ask how, it just is. I practically made the past few lunches by myself anyway, and it does force me simplify the menu.

I plan on making ...
  • kalua pig (rub w/ red clay salt and liquid smoke, then leave in slow cooker--easy!)
  • rice and buns (to be bought for anyone inclined to treat the kalua pig like shredded pork)
  • stir fried cabbage (simple ... it's actually supposed to be mixed with the pig, but I'm keeping it separate for the vegetarians.)
  • macaroni salad (I'm obviously going for the Hawaiian theme here ... besides, I just need to cut, boil and mix.)
  • tofu "poke" (for the vegetarians and the wannabes. We'll have enough meat, as is.)
  • hurricane popcorn (to make on hand in case there's not enough food!)
See? Not so ambitious after all! Well, it'll be a lot of cutting, but the "cooking" is pretty hands off.

Now I'm craving hurricane popcorn ...

Success! People kept coming back for seconds of the kalua pork that I ended up having only cabbage and mac salad as leftovers for work. I'll have to make it again for The Boy and friends. I did, however, help a friend make it for a work lunch, and I shall have to ask her how it turned out.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm gonna be ...

... an aunt!

to a baby girl!
though of course, I'd have to wait until she's born.
nonetheless, I am excited.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What's in YOUR Kitchen?

Take a look at this article on the "gadget graveyard" and tell me what your "gadget graveyard" consists of! I'll tell you mine, and I'll categorize them as similarly to the article as possible.

Wok Accessories
... or rather, the wok itself. See, my apartment has one, but no one uses it. Needless to say, we don't have any wok accessories. I do have steaming accessories to use in big pots, but I use those. The least used (but still used) pot accessory would be the strainer and steamer add-on's to the stock pot.

An Inexplicable Plastic Thing
Indeed, I have one! Or two, really. I have microwave plastic contraptions for either "boiling" eggs or poaching them. I still use the one for hard boiled eggs because it gets the eggs just perfect, whereas the other one is now useless because I now know how to poach eggs by hand in a pot ... and it's better.

Various Coffee Makers
Okay, the coffee maker at home isn't mine, but nevertheless, I don't think we have replaced the glass plunge pot yet. Also, at work I have a french coffee press and 2/3's of a bag left of coarse ground coffee. Maybe I should just bring it home since I'm more likely to drink coffee on Saturday mornings than I am to drink it at work. (Caffeine makes me sleepy.)

The Random Culinary Souvenir
Oh gaw, yes! I got two things while I was in France: a petite madeleine pan, and a garlic ... "scraper"? I'll explain that one later. For now, the madeleine pan. It's not bad! I've used it once, but the molds are so TINY that I baked only one batch when it would've taken me about 5 times to get through the rest of the "dough." I also had to run out to go somewhere, so next time I'll use it when I have more time.

Some Really Bad Kitchen Knives
It's really just the cleaver, I think. It's not mine, otherwise I would replace it (IF I actually have a use for one). The rest ain't too bad--at least a few of the knives are pretty sharp and reliable. However, I'm pretty tough on my equipment in general and will probably have to get the knives sharpened sometime soon. (Not the same as honing.)

Garlic Tools
Okay, now onto the darn little garlic "paste-r" thing. I'm not sure if you can imagine it, but it's a small card with ridges so that you can "scrape" the garlic until it becomes paste like. However, it doesn't really work. Sucks.

And the rest ...
  • Juliene peeler: I've used it once or twice, but I really want to use it more often. Come summer, I'll be adding strips of carrot and jicama to salads! Hopefully.
  • Slow cooker: I've used it only once, and my roommate who actually owns it has probably used it for a total of 2-3 times. However! I now have liquid smoke on hand, am on the hunt for Hawaiian red salt, and will one day make Kalua pig.
  • Strawberry huller and melon baller: Another thing that will hopefully get more use when summer rolls around. What is July 4th without a watermelon rind basket, full of melon balls??
  • Mortar and pestle: I thought I would use this more often for herb rubs and crushing garlic into a paste. However, I usually just mince the herb really really finely instead since I'm cutting it anyway, and I haven't needed to use garlic paste yet. Hm.
  • Yolk separater: We all know how to use the shell to separate yolks, and who wants one more thing to wash?
So, what non-basic kitchen gadgets DO we use fairly often? So far, it's been the cake holder, pastry blender (doubles as a masher), and silicone mixing bowls (love those). As for something that has arisen from the "graveyard"? The immersion blender. Yummm ... more of Michael Bras' mushroom soup!

So ... what's yours?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ham and cheese sandwich done up fancy

For lunch today, two sets of:
  • a slice of country bread (whatever that means)
  • toasted
  • buttered
  • with sliced romano
  • and prosciutto
  • then topped with crumbled goat cheese.
Not the most expensive or fanciest of ingredients (e.g. foie gras and caviar ahahah), but better than deli ham and Kraft cheese on Wonder bread! I think this is one way of treating myself after yesterday's (successful) presentation. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spoiled by produce

I've been going to Russo's consistently ever since I made my first visit. Some items are really well priced, though most things aren't, but nevertheless I couldn't help going because the produce is just that good. Perfect tomatoes, perfect herb packages, perfect pears, and especially perfect garlic! (My roommate recently bought a package of 4-5 bunches, but they were all dried out and sprouting.) Let's not forget to mention the variety of chili peppers and the availability of fresh black trumpet mushrooms.

So, last night was another one of those nights where I tried to make too many things at once:
Well, all of these are actually pretty simple to make. (Just a lot of washing and chopping.) I think I was especially excited that the mushroom soup was so simple, even though it's from a revered French chef. Execution was super easy--the end result was essentially what you see from the recipe page--and the taste left me craving for more. I still have bread and cream left, so maybe I'll just get more mushrooms ...

Anyway, I have a presentation in 20 minutes, and I'm super nervous. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gotta love lists

Yah yah, this ain't a real post, but I like lists. Even better, I like lists that remind me of things I've been lucky enough to do in the past.

(and yes Emily, I stole from you!)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch (does cooking count? :P)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (does Wii Sports count??)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt (I don't remember ... we sat there for a while, so I guess so?)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (does fast food count?)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (do short films count?)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (kinda ... it was for class, but we earned money.)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (almost, but not quite. I put together a couple squares for a bigger quilt.)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (what counts? does pulling her away from the tracks when she didn't know a train was coming count?)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (though it depends on your definition of famous.)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (or rather, bitten by a yellow jacket 'cause I stepped on it ...)
100. Rode an elephant

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gin and Robitussin

I have this little joke that alcohol and Robitussin are interchangeable ever since my dad gave me Robitussin (a cough was keeping me up at night) and said that I might as well have alc. A friend and I also once wrote a song (at 10pm on a beach nonetheless) called "Gin and Robitussin." The first couple of lines go:

Hey dear, will you buy me some gin?
'cause I'm getting really tired of Robitussin.

(It's funnier in person, I swear, and even better when you don't know the words yet.)

Anyway, last night I took the last teaspoon of Robitussin left in the bottle (a usual dose is 2 teaspoons), and was woken up perpetually by a cough or two. I ended up taking a cough drop and falling asleep with it still in my mouth ... stuck next to a tooth. That's probably not too good for tooth health, but it sorta helped with the cough. It was annoying!

I called in late to work since I didn't sleep well, I picked up an even bigger bottle of Robitussin on the way to work, and I have an afternoon appointment to get checked out by a doctor. I've been sick for over a week, so I figure it's about time I got it checked out. The last time I did this, though, I had mono and found out 2 weeks late. I wonder what it is this time ... strep? bronchitis?? Hahah, probably not, but with my luck, who knows.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"

If any of you know Rufus Wainwright, then you probably know his song about addictions and cravings (as mentioned in the title). If you don't know him, then I say you should check out this (eccentric) crooner.

Anyway, the point of the post is ...

I'm addicted to breve latte's. Also, thanks to my roommate, I know to order it extra hot at Starbucks. Now my standard drink is a tall/grande extra hot breve latte. (I would add "no foam" as well, but I hear that's really hard to do with half and half.)

But I really gotta stop ordering breve lattes for two reasons:
  • It's terribly fatty. And the numbers in the link are for a 12oz!!
  • It costs more.
I told Alvin that I really gotta stop ordering breve latte's because I've seen a change in tummy size since I started drinking them; however, I just discovered that the Panera near work won't charge extra for half & half!!! That's a total of $3.14 including tax for a cup equivalent to SBUX's grande, but is around the same cost as a tall.

I guess that tummy of mine will just have to compromise size for TASTE 'cause I can't give up this drink just yet!

In other news, I've been sick with a cold for the past week. It kind of explains why I haven't felt like posting. Besides, why would you want to hear me talk about being sick when you're probably sick yourself? Anyway, I haven't had much to say until today ... because I found out that I have a small case of pink eye. Eek? My coworker thinks I should go home, but I've taken off too much time from work to take any more off.

Another find of the day: my Rhapsody account is online! I just found out a couple days ago that my Rhapsody software has erased everything from my personal library, and I was slightly horrified. However, today I see that my entire library is accessible from the Rhapsody website! This means that I can use my Rhapsody account without installing the offline software, which I think is fantastic.

Also, the BCNC fundraising banquet was this past Friday, and I believe it went well! It feels good to see rich people throw their hands in the air to increase the bid on live auction items. Why? Because I like to believe that they really want to support the Chinatown community, enough to spend over a thousand Washington's without hesitation for something that doesn't normally cost that much.

(Oh, if you didn't know, I volunteer for BCNC by participating on the marketing committee. I love it because it's a great way to use my college degree for a non-profit, and at the same time, I gain marketing experience and learn from experienced marketers on the committee.)

Wow ... that was a super long post. I find it so hard to write on just ONE topic!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Restaurant Week and a need for greenery

Restaurant Week in Boston is coming up, and I've settled on doing T.W. Food and Dante. I would like to check out Lala Rokh, but I don't think it's normally priced highly enough for this to be considered a "steal." Either way, I really really want to do T.W. because the menu features a 70-min poached egg, and y'all should know that I really really really love raw egg yolks!

So I'm not supposed to go grocery shopping until tomorrow, but I'm sick and I feel like I'm in need of some greenery. Maybe I'll get just produce for today and do the rest tomorrow? I'm totally tempted to get Mediterranean stuffs from Sevan Bakery and duck/goose fat from Savenor's.

I'm also trying to come up with recipes to try before planning a dinner party of sorts ...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Challenge update

Alright, I guess the challenge isn't quite working the way I'd hope. No, I didn't go grocery shopping (though I was tempted when I checked out Sevan Bakery and when I took people grocery shopping a couple times). Yes, I did use what I had in the fridge and pantry, but I think I cooked only once. All other meals either were from eating out or were cooked by friends.

Thursday--Alvin had a bad day, so I treated him to a sushi dinner at Genki Ya.

Friday--I ate two oranges and an avocado for dinner because I had to rush out for small group, so I got more food at Cafe Luna afterwards.

Saturday--The roomie made us oatmeal for breakfast, then I steamed chicken and rice for lunch (the only time I cooked the whole weekend). Fondue for dinner at a friends place.

Sunday--Lunch is always provided at Mosaic (church), and dinner was graciously provided by the other roomie and friends even though I didn't expect to be included.

Monday--Alvin cooked. :P

And right now, I'm tempted to grab something at Panera. I already had a bowl of cereal from my stash, but it's not lasting me and I refuse to eat cereal twice in a day!

On a side note, I originally planned on taking Alvin to Mr. Sushi, but I picked a pretty random parking spot along Harvard St. We walked one way to find the place, but then realized that we went 1-2 blocks North when we should've gone South. However, when walking past my car on the opposite side of the street, I realized that I had parked RIGHT in front of Genki Ya without seeing it. We were going for sushi anyway, so why not just check out the place in front of which I unintentionally "landed"?

It was a pretty good gamble. We got four rolls, three of which we liked. Overall, the fish ain't so great--it's all pretty bland. That being said, the Triple Torch was kinda salty-soggy, I liked the Spicy Scallop roll and the Boston Flower roll, and Alvin liked some sort of tuna concoction w/ flying fish tobiko on top of rice that's wrapped and fried in seaweed. I don't remember the name.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A week without grocery shopping

I'm beginning to really love the food blogs at, and I'm super envious that the blog owners get PAID to do these blogs! Well, I'm sure they get paid to do other things as well, but I'm envious nonetheless.

The lastest find from the Diner's Journal blog is an eGullet challenge to go one week without grocery shopping. We're not talking about grocery shopping once a week, but rather to forgo a grocery trip you would usually make and try to use up whatever you've got at home. Waste less, spend less!

But the idea is not novel, nor is it something that I've never done. For over a year, I didn't have a car and consequently got groceries once a month on average. (Twice a month if I'm lucky.) Not only that--half of the time I would be on foot, so I never bought that much at a time. I ate out a little more often than I do now with the car, but all the money I've saved by not eating out?

It's now being spent on groceries. (ka-ching!)

And my stockpile of frozen and dried goods has grown. (eek.)

So! I'm going to do the "challenge" and will document my meals for the next 7 days. My last grocery run was last Friday, and I'm not allowing myself to do another grocery run until next Thursday. As described in the forum, dire necessities or small small small purchases are allowed, but I'm pretty sure I can avoid that for the most part. But maybe some OJ 'cause I need the vitamin C when everyone around me is getting sick.!

Stuff I currently have on hand:
  • 1.8 pounds of orzo
  • 2 pounds of spaghetti
  • mochi cakes
  • rice
  • egg noodles
  • lentils
  • canned tomatoes
  • canned garbanzo beans
  • canned cannellini beans
  • canned artichokes
  • canned clams
  • frozen flank steak
  • 6 frozen chicken thighs
  • frozen dumplings
  • frozen spinach
  • shallots
  • yellow onion
  • brown beech mushrooms
  • manchego cheese
  • pecorino cheese
  • eggs
  • a littttttleee bit of half&half
  • anchovies
  • olive tapenade
  • capers
All of that should definitely last me a week. The challenge, however, is whether I will be cooking for anyone else ... ?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Car woes + preferable treatment

I've had my (twice used) car for about 2.5 months now, and I'm finally taking care of some mechanical problems that have come up around a month ago. Alvin and I have feared that it's the transmission--it sounds like the highest gear I can get to is only the 3rd because it gets pretty loud the faster I go.

However, thanks to the guys at Meineke in Brighton, I'm getting a missing bearing replaced first because it may not be the transmission at all. If it's just the bearing, then it'll be about $350. If it's the transmission, who knows! I'm crossing my fingers.

The guys at Meineke are super nice, too. The service manager had me ride in the car while he test drove it, so that we can talk about what we're hearing and feeling. They also gave me a ride back to work, which is helpful. I don't know though ... I always tend to get good service at auto repair shops, even if others don't. No one even attempts to upsell me anything. Is it because I know where to go or because I know exactly what I want done? Or is it because I'm "cute"?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A slightly belated V-Day dinner

Since The Boy and I opted for a quick pho for dinner on Saturday, the dinner I originally planned on making got pushed to last night. I have to say, this is the first time I made a dinner where NOTHING came from a heavily reviewed recipe. (Yul's bday dinner came close ... only the chicken dish was a reviewed recipe.)

What I made:
  • Steak Diane (filet mignon recipe from the Bitten blog)
  • Leek and tomato tart (recipe from a baking book I got for Christmas)
  • McKinnon's Meat Market rocks! ($6.99/lb for the filet mignon cuts)
  • Frozen pie tarts from the market are a life saver. (and it was over a year old! hahah don't worry, the expiry date was for March ... whew!)
  • Hard goat cheese will not melt in the oven. Oh well!
  • That baking book rocks! (Thanks to my cousin Lyd!)
  • Cooking within an hour seems super short compared to my usual 1.5-2hr cook offs ... I gotta start being less ambitious.
Other things I've made lately include blueberry buckle, but I used only half of the blueberries recommended ... and I regret it! Now I won't eat it 'cause it doesn't have enough blueberries. Sad ...

I also made Dutch babies twice now!! All thanks to Joy. :) (Dutch babies are my fave thing to order at the Original House of Pancakes whenever I go home to CA.)

Next up? Panna cotta with a lemon-strawberry sauce (I absolutely adored the one I had in Venice) and carbonara. Oh, and puttanesca whenever I finally decide to get those fresh olives. I've made it before, but I'll do it again if anyone would like to do a dinner party. Anyone?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'm trying to make the move away from Xanga, and it almost feels like I'm isolating myself. I've liked Xanga because subscriptions make it easy to see everyone's latest posts, whereas I am unaware if has a similar function (I believe it doesn't).

Also, there's no way I'm adding blogs to my Google reader, 'cause it'll just become cluttered. Do I really want to mix news articles and food blogs with the personal rants and muses from friends? No, I don't.

I guess this means I'll use Xanga to read subscriptions while I gradually learn to post here. Anyone want to be my friend? ;D