Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Game Day Fixin’s

February 22nd, 2011

For the Superbowl a few weeks ago, I decided to try an oven-fried buffalo wings recipe that I’ve been wanting to try since last year! I found this recipe after the 2010 Superbowl was already over, but I made sure that I wasn’t going to miss out on making it for this year’s Superbowl. This recipe does take a bit more prep time, but the results are well worth it. I was amazed at how crispy the wings came out and you don’t even need a deep fryer! Make this for your next big game get together and I promise you there won’t be a wing left.

Oven-Fried Buffalo Wings
(adapted from


  • 4 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce
  • Blue cheese or Ranch dressing
  • Celery sticks


  1. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and set a baking rack inside. Dry chicken wings with paper towels. Place wings in large bowl, sprinkle with baking powder and salt, and toss until thoroughly and evenly coated. Place wings on rack, leaving slight space between each wing.
  2. Place baking sheet with wings in refrigerator and allow to rest, uncovered, at least 8 hours, and up to 18 hours.
  3. Place oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Bake chicken wings for 20 minutes. Flip wings and continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, about 15 to 25 minutes longer.
  4. Meanwhile, combine butter and hot sauce in small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking until combined. Transfer wings to large bowl, add sauce, toss to thoroughly coat, and serve immediately with blue cheese/ranch dressing and celery sticks.

Wings ready to be placed in the fridge over night

Fresh from the oven...crispy goodness...

Frank's Red Hot Sauce - You can find this at your local grocery store

Wings tossed with the buffalo sauce

Oven Fried Buffalo Wings paired with Celery and Ranch - Crispy, juicy, and tender!

Can't watch a game without some guacamole!

Game day guacamole

I’m Back

November 7th, 2010

Took a bit of break from my blog, not because I wanted to, but because I’ve just been so completely busy lately. This is the first week that I’ve gotten a chance to catch up on things. Everything has been so hectic that I haven’t even had time to bake (except for quick box mixes which I will post later). I completely missed out on Halloween baking this year, which makes me so sad, but oh well what can you do. I’ll try to make up for it during the upcoming holidays. Even though I haven’t had time to bake, I still find time to eat of course, so let me update you on my recent food/dessert adventures.

I took a trip to San Diego and visited a popular desert shop called Chocolat Cremerie that specializes in gelato and of course I had to make a stop at my favorite dessert place, Extraordinary desserts. I also finally got a chance to visit Mozza, which is co-owned by Mario Batali. I’ve been hearing about their pizzas for a long time and I thought they were good, but not as good as NY pizza. Sorry, Mario. Next place I went to was MILK, which is a cafe, bakeshop, and ice cream parlor. I love their homemade ice cream bars and sandwiches, pretty unique and delicious as well. Last adventure took me to Doughboys which is a small cute cafe and bakery that is famous for their red velvet cake. Food was good, but the dessert was better and I could literally just eat the cream cheese frosting by itself. And now I will leave you with the most important part, pictures!

Raspberry & Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato from Chocolat

Extraordinary Desserts Viking Cake - Chocolate creme brulee and milk chocolate cremeuse between chocolate cake layers with crushed chocolate almond pralines.

Mozza- Envelope filled with utensils.

Bone marrow al forno - Spread it on bread, delish!

Squash blossoms, tomato & burrata pizza - tasty, but not really worth the $23

Butterscotch budino, Maldon sea salt & rosemary pine nut cookies - So creamy, so good!

MILK storefront

MILK's infamous blue velvet cake

French macaron ice cream sandwich and red velvet poppers

Brownie ice cream sundae

MILK homemade strawberry shortcake ice cream bar

Best strawberry shortcake bar! SO GOOD!

Doughboys afternoon special - Big bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Hits the spot on a cold day!

Doughboys famous red velvet cake - Really good frosting!

Adventures in Foodieland

August 29th, 2010

What a weekend! Started off yesterday with the first annual OC Foodie Fest, which was essentially a food truck festival. There were 50 different food trucks that participated and the turnout was madness! Around 8,000 people attended the all day event which resulted in long lines, trucks running out of food early, and sunburns. For these events you have to come with a strategy: 1) Come early 2) Bring a group of friends and 3) Split up, go to different trucks, order an array of food and 4) meet back with your group and EAT! Unfortunately, I didn’t follow this strategy completely (we came late) and so the lines were ridiculously long and the worst part was that some trucks had started running out of food! All in all it was a still a good first experience. I was still able to try a variety of trucks and we were lucky enough to run into friends who offered to order food for us since they were close to the front of the line.  Some of my favorites were Cool Haus, a gourmet ice cream sandwich truck and Dogzilla, a Japanese style hot dog truck.

Today, I continued my foodie adventures and went to LA to try the infamous Umami burger. I tried both the Umami burger and Truffle burger and they were both delicious. But, the Truffle burger wins my top pick. It was AMAZING. It was pretty much just meat and cheesy goodness, but not just any cheese…Italian Truffle Cheese! The burger was bursting with truffle flavor from the cheese and truffle glaze. Afterward, we made a stop at Blanc Haute yogurt, a gourmet frozen yogurt place in Beverly Hills…of course. I wasn’t too impressed by this place. Definitely overpriced and the gourmet toppings didn’t really wow me, but its fun to try something new every once in awhile.

I’m gonna need a break from eating after this weekend. So stuffed. I don’t know how Man v. Food does it.

Great Balls on Tires Truck - Meatball sandwiches

Ciao Balla - Italian Meatball Sandwich

Ball Gogi - Korean style meatball with rice noodles

White Rabbit Truck - Filipino Fusion Tacos

Ludo Truck - Really wanted to try this truck, but they ran out of food!

Dogzilla Truck - Dozilla Hot Dog with avocado, bacon, onions, the works!

Yakisoba Dog!

Cool Haus Truck - Ice cream sandwich truck

Guy making my order

They ran out of cookies, so we had to settle for cookie ice cream sundaes with the broken cookies they had left lol. Top left: Balsamic Fig & Marscapone (my favorite!) Bottom: Dirty Mint (tasted like a Mojito) Top Right: Brown Butter w/ Candied Bacon

Umami Burger

Umami Burger - with cheese crisp, shitake mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and sauteed onion. In my haste since I was busy devouring my Truffle burger, I didn't take a picture of it.

Blanc Haute Yogurt

Gourmet toppings

More toppings - they even had champange grapes!

I love how they have to mention the chocolate is from France.

My Blueberry Pomegranate yogurt with chocolate covered truffle figs, chocolate pear pieces, and nut toffee nuggets.

Sugar High Summer

August 5th, 2010

Although, I haven’t been doing much baking lately I’ve still managed to keep busy in the eating sweets department. So far this summer has been full of indulgence. I’ve been a regular at Pinkberry since they started their half priced happy hour and I’ve almost filled up my stamp card (yea, that’s how often I’ve gone in only a few weeks). On top of that the other week I went to the Essential Chocolate Desserts store, where I had a coupon for $35 worth of dessert for $15. I came home with a huge box of goodies: gourmet ding dongs, cake truffles, cupcake, cake, and the list goes on. I haven’t managed to eat through all the goodies just yet since I seem to be collecting dessert in my fridge (cheesecake, cupcakes, etc.) .

As for non-dessert news, I got to check out the Top Chef tour while it was in town.  Richard Blais from Season 5 and CJ Jacobsen from Season 3 were there doing cooking demos and question and answer sessions. It was a lot of fun and the best part was we got to try the dishes they made. So far, I’m having a good summer and the best part is it’s not over yet! Looking forward to more food and fun!

My box of goodies (from left to right) : Gourmet ding dongs, cake truffles, chocolate cupcake, moonpie, lemon bar, and a slice of lemon-coconut cake

Red Velvet Ding Dong - So so good!

A look inside

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory - Decadent all the way

Top Chef Tour

Richard and CJ doing their cooking demo

Brussels Bistro - Pot of mussels and Belgian pommes frites. I have a weakness for mussels and fries. Delicious!

Julie & Julia: The Bruschetta Recipe

February 27th, 2010

One of the most memorable moments of the Julie & Julia movie was the scene where Julie and her husband are devouring this mouth watering bruschetta, made with rustic pan fried bread and brightly colored heirloom tomatoes. It literally made my salivary glands go haywire. Now that I think about it, it would’ve been awesome to be an actor on this movie set enjoying all that delicious food.

Thankfully, the food stylist, Susan Spungen shared this bruschetta recipe which she developed for the film in an article. I tried it and it tastes exactly how the actors portrayed it in the movie, delicious! At first I made a small batch just to test it out, but I had to make more because I couldn’t get enough. It was that good. So, if you haven’t seen the Julie & Julia, I suggest you make some bruschetta or something just as delectable and watch as you eat, because you will definitely get hungry watching this film.

Beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes

Beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes

Love the colors!

Love the colors!

Tomato & Basil Mixture

Tomato & Basil Mixture



Julie & Julia’s Bruschetta Recipe
(adapted from Susan Spungen’s recipe)


  • Provincio Artisan Roasted Garlic Bread (this can be found at Costco in a 2 loaf pack)
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ground pepper
  • heirloom tomatoes
  • fresh basil


1. Cut tomatoes into chunks and tear lots of basil leaves into medium-small pieces. In a bowl, toss tomatoes and basil with a good quality olive oil. Marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.

2. Cut bread into slices about 3/4 inch thick

3. Pan fry the bread in olive oil  to get it toasted on the outside while retaining some softness in the center. After pan frying, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

4. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper about a half hour before serving. The salt makes the tomatoes release their juices and you don’t want that happening too soon.

5. Top bread with tomato mixture. If the bread is really crunchy, let the tomatoes sit for a few minutes before serving to soften the bread.

Note: I used the roasted garlic bread as a shortcut which I highly recommend because that bread is amazing, but if you can’t find it just substitute with any rustic loaf with a stretchy interior with lots of holes and a crisp crust. If you go the regular rustic loaf route, the original recipe tells you to rub a whole garlic clove onto the pan fried sliced bread. That’s the only difference.

Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli

September 3rd, 2009

My very first attempt at making ravioli was quite enlightening:  Freshly homemade ravioli > Frozen Pre-Packaged Ravioli. Sadly, I didn’t really know any better until now. I’ve had freshly made ravioli at restaurants before, but I never thought I could replicate it at home with a simple trick, use wonton wrappers (thanks Giada!).

Making homemade ravioli, even with pre-made pasta (aka wontons) was still very much time consuming and a labor of love. But, I must say it was well worth it and definitely makes for a great special dinner for that extra special someone or just for your fabulous self.

Some things I learned during this ravioli revelation:
1) The ravioli can be frozen and cooked later with great results; same great taste and freshness.
2) When preparing to freeze the ravioli, I suggest using wax paper to separate the ravioli layer by layer in the container you use to prevent them from sticking.
3) Egg roll wrappers can also be used, but I find that wonton wrappers are easier since they are smaller and pre-cut.
4) If you want to take that extra step, make your own tomato sauce, which you can also freeze and store in freezer bags.

Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli
(adapted from an Everyday Italian recipe)


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1 package of wonton wrappers
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1/2 tsp. water
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushroom , finely chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper


1. In a large saute pan heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. When almost smoking, add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms, about 6 minutes.

2. Add spinach and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and place mixture into food processor. Pulse until you get a coarse texture.

4. Place in bowl and stir in mascarpone and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

5. Line up wrappers on a cutting board. Brush edges with the egg wash.

6. Using a tablespoon, place a dollop of the filling on the wrapper and place another wrapper directly on top, pressing around the filling and sealing the edges.

7. Use a fork and crimp the edges to seal it tightly. Place ravioli onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and keep covered with a linen towel.

8. In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 quarts water (make sure to add some salt and oil). Carefully add small batches of ravioli, about 3 to 4 at a time. This will prevent them from crowding in the pot and sticking together. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spider strainer, carefully remove the ravioli and place on the plate. Tent with foil to keep warm and continue cooking remaining ravioli.

9. In a saute pan, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. When almost smoking, add chopped mushrooms and saute until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Carefully pour in tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

10. Plate ravioli, top with mushroom tomato sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Spinach & Mushrooms from Trader Joe's

Spinach & Mushrooms from Trader Joe's

Spinach & Mushroom Filling

Spinach & Mushroom Filling

My ravioli assembly line

My ravioli assembly line

Plump ravioli

Plump ravioli

Ready to be cook!

Ready to be cook!

Just cooked and ready to be eaten

Just cooked and ready to be eaten

Finished product!

Finished product!

Top Chef Throwdown Challenge

August 2nd, 2009

The other week, my friends and I decided to test our culinary abilities and create a Top Chef/Throwdown challenge for ourselves. The four of us split into 2 groups and decided to use the BBQ grill as our theme for this challenge. Both teams had to make an appetizer, entree, and a drink. At least one of the dishes had to be cooked on the grill and there was no key ingredient we had to use. However, the day of the challenge we realized that both teams had decided to cook bacon wrapped scallops as the appetizer, so it ended up becoming a bacon wrapped scallop throwdown by accident. So much for creative thinking haha.

My team’s menu was:
Appetizer – Pancetta Wrapped Scallops with Mango Salsa
Entree – Grilled Shrimp with a Creamy Garlic Sauce and Spinach Orzo Pasta
Drink – Pomosa (Champagne with Pomegranate Juice)

The opposing team’s menu was:
Appetizer – Duo of Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Entree – Salmon with Lemon Butter Herb Sauce and Garlic Butter Mushroom Rice
Drink – Lychee Mojito

I’m happy to say that my team won 2 out of the 3 dishes! We won the appetizer and entree dishes, while the other team won the drink challenge. My friends and I had a great time during this challenge and it definitely gave us a good excuse to cook and eat good food. We had so much fun that we decided to do another challenge and it will be my specialty! Dessert!!! So, stay tuned to hear how our dessert challenge goes!


Pancetta Wrapped Scallop with Mango Salsa

Bacon Wrapped Scallops Duo - Lemon Pepper & Garlic Butter

Bacon Wrapped Scallops Duo - Lemon Pepper & Garlic Butter

Grilled Shrimp with a Creamy Garlic Sauce and Spinach Orzo Pasta

Grilled Shrimp with a Creamy Garlic Sauce and Spinach Orzo Pasta

Salmon with Lemon Butter Herb Sauce and Garlic Butter Mushroom Rice

Salmon with Lemon Butter Herb Sauce and Garlic Butter Mushroom Rice

Pomosa (Champagne with Pomagrante Juice)

Pomosa (Champagne with Pomagrante Juice)

Lychee Mojito

Lychee Mojito

Ultimate Breakfast Pancake

July 19th, 2009

I ran across this picture today and I just STARED. It really is a work of art, simply beautiful! I absolutely love breakfast and this is the pancake tower of breakfast’s.  Steamy Kitchen created this masterpiece with a layer of roasted potatoes, a layer of beautifully woven bacon(see post), a layer of scrambled eggs, then topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I’m definitely adding this to my “Must Make” list.


I think this should be the new breakfast of champions.
(image from SteamyKitchen)

The Latte Zoo

May 7th, 2009

I wish this guy worked at my local coffee shop! Check out these very awesome latte art designs:

Kogi Tacos

April 5th, 2009

For those of you who don’t live in LA, there’s this new craze involving a truck that sells Korean Tacos (yes, Korean Tacos!). This Korean/Mexican fusion is the brainchild of Kogi BBQ. The interesting thing about it is that they use Twitter to alert their future customers about their whereabouts for the day. Its just like a treasure hunt and your map is your twitter and for all your hard work searching, you get delicious tacos! Sounds like fun, huh? Unfortunately, because of its popularity even if you find the truck, you’ll still have to wait 1 to 2 hours in line to get these tasty tacos. But, there is a way to get around this and cheat. People can head to the Alibi Room which is a Restaurant/Lounge Bar and order the infamous Korean tacos in addition to a variety of other items, but the catch is that the items are $1 to $2 more than the truck. So, last night we decided to skip the truck and head straight to the Alibi Room (I know we don’t get the experience of the treasure hunt, but its all worth it for me if I don’t have to stand in line in the cold for hours).

The Alibi Room was a very small, but modern looking lounge. Most of the restaurant revolves around the bar and there’s only a couple couches with coffee tables. The place was packed, but we were lucky enough to find seats at the bar. Their menu was filled with a variety of Korean/Mexican treats such as Korean Tacos, Korean Breakfast Burritos, Korean Sliders, Korean Hot Dog, Korean Torta, and more! I ordered the Kogi Korean Tacos, which were DELICIOUS! These tacos are filled with Korean Short Rib (a twist to Carne Asada), topped with:

  • sesame-chili salsa roja
  • julienne romaine lettuce and cabbage tossed in Korean chili-soy vinaigrette
  • cilantro-green onion-lime relish
  • crushed sesame seeds
  • sea salt
  • garnished with lime wedge, orange wedge and red radish wedge

My friends ordered the Kogi Breakfast Burrito, Kogi Hot Dog, Pressed Torta with Taro Chips, and Korean Spiced Fries (these were the best fries!). Overall, everyone loved what they ordered and agreed that these were the best tacos they’ve tasted. I only wish that I lived closer, so I could eat them more often.

Picture of the Alibi Room sign outside the restaurant

The Menu

They give you a large playing card as your order number.

My Korean Short Rib Tacos, top left are the Korean Spiced Fries which came with 3 different sauces to dip: ketchup, sriracha, and sesame mayo