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