December 29, 2009

Pie o my

My sister and I attempted to make a lemon meringue pie a few days ago. This was definitely trickier than the other pies I've made and required a lot more work and time. The crust was made first, then the filling, then the meringue.
I rolled out the the dough for the crust for the first time. It's gonna take a while before I can get it down, but man, it was not easy (nor pretty).
The finished product.
After letting it cool and fridging it, it was time to taste test it.
Failed. What pie? It was a friggin soup. While everything tasted good, I had baked the meringue too long, which is why you can see some droplets. The bigger problem was the filling. It was thick before I had topped it with the meringue, but somewhere and somehow along the line, it became watery. Upon some research, I'm guessing I either did not completely cover the meringue over the pie or I didn't let it cool enough, which resulted in the pie becoming "weepy." I am going to have to ask the baker what I did wrong and try again.
With some leftover crust pieces. I quickly (as you can probably tell) squished them, dipped them in some cinnamon and sugar, and baked it with my pie. I called them "crusties." =p
still messing w/ the blog as you can see. Not really sure what I want for the picture for my header nor do I really know what to do with the size.
Almost January. It never ceases to amaze me every year how fast time goes. Days are mere minutes...

December 26, 2009

gone fishin

This month's adventure is brought to you by Transderm Scop.

I went deep sea fishing for sand dabs with some friends last weekend at San Pedro's 22nd Landing. Way too early for all of us...

Cutting up the squid for bait...

and putting it on our 10 hook line and waiting while the pelicans eyed the poles. Some of these guys would try to jack you as you were pulling your fish up.

Winna. It was more manual labor than fishing, but still fun. Great money value since there was no limit. Everyone caught at least 60 of these babies.

Took a break every once in a while and went into the kitchen. Coors light for breakfast anyone? The true breakfast of champions right there.

She made an awesome cheeseburger.

Closeup. I ended up getting two. First time she added some bacon. Second time, she put in some jalapenos. Everything fresh and delicious.

Two people caught Mako sharks.

I had one on my line, and I lost it. That could have been me, enjoying a tasty shark steak. =**(

It was so peaceful and quiet out there, and thanks to the patch, I didn't get seasick either. I came home, stinking of fish, took a shower, cleaned the fish, pan fried the tasty morsels, ate em, and passed out.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday...

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I know my posting activity has slowly been dying, but I will be changing that over the break/sprucing up the blog a bit. It was a long and stressful semester, but I'm very happy that I finished strongly, so now I can chill over the holidays and rest easy. One more class to take, and I'm DONE. And while the waiting game continues, it's only good times from here on out...
Enough of the small talk. Let's go onto the food. For the break, some family came back home, so we had a pre-Christmas feast at my cousin's/-in-law's.
They had grilled up some lemon chicken and tri tip(sorry no picture of that, was too busy eating). We were all starving by the time we got there, having to deal with some horrible traffic, and let me tell you, I ate way too much that night. Also a thumbs up to the salad (no picture), which I had 4 helpings of.

Some Duvel to get the party started.
My other cousins also made some brownies for dessert, and this blurry picture does not do this any justice...It had a good balance, and I enjoyed that it was dense but at the same time cakey.
As I sat there gluttonously stuffing my face, enjoying good company, and playing Taboo, I thought to myself, this is what the holidays are all about, and it was great to just enjoy the night without having any worries at all. Thanks to my cousins who made this all happen.
Merry Christmas everyone!

December 11, 2009

going to california

SF that is.

school's out, work's done, and it's time to play. i'm loving the rain....lord knows california needs it.

I am still messing around w/ the blog and learning a few tricks about html on the way. i know i have a lot of blogs missing on the links section. i lost them all somehow, so i'll have to add them one by one if i can find/remember them all. but overall, i like what i have so seems a lot less cluttered.

here are some pictures of some goodies my sister brought back with her from norcal a few months back...(which also shows you how far behind I am in some of my posts...)

a fruit tart w/ an excellent cream filling from La Farine Bakery

A half baked veggie pizza from Zachary's. Of course, our oven is a joke compared to theirs, so it didn't come out as well, but still, it was nice to eat.

I'm going to pass out now...I still have to pack...

December 9, 2009

foolin around

w/ a new "under construction" for now

December 2, 2009

My first pie(s)


I SAID, ahhhgawddddddddamnnnnnnnnnnn

Sorry everyone. I know that I've been neglecting the blog lately, but I'm still alive. Life has been quite busy, and this week is no exception w/ finals coming up. So here's a quickie on my past Thanksgiving.

I decided to step it up this year and attempt to make two pies, crust and all. Sprinkles and that cupcake craze? Nah kid. Pass me the pie son cuz I got five on it. Gimme a fatty slice, and you better make sure to put on some of that freshly made whipped cream too FOOL.

The first pie I chose to make was Uncle Richard's sweet potato pie, recipe courtesy of Homesick Texan's beautiful blog. I had actually made it the week before as a trial run and because I had never had a spp before. It turned out well, so for Thanksgiving, I decided to tweak the ratios of the ingredients. Baking that pie made me feel confident, but I got too big for my britches because I should have just left it as it was. The first pie wasn't too sweet, had a good sweet potato taste, and went well w/ whipped cream. But this pie oh deed on the spices and ended up tasting very close to pumpkin pie although you could tell that the texture and taste were slightly different. Lesson learned. Also, I don't know what I did wrong, but on both pies, there was a paper thin layer of some white froth after it was done baking (you can see it in this picture too). Any suggestions/ideas? Oh, and a holla to my sister who made the crust. It was a little bit too thick, but certainly better than the frozen stuff you can buy.

The second pie I made is a favorite of mine: banana cream pie. I got the recipe from my dad's manager, an excellent cook and baker from the east coast(she makes an apple pie for us every year, and i'd put my bollocks on the table to say that it is the best apple pie I've ever had).

The graham cracker crust was easy to make: crumbs, sugar, and butter. And yes, I am well aware that I could take a few classes on presentation, but I tried damnit! When I read the recipe, I was surprised that bananas didn't actually go into making the cream/pudding. I layered the bottom with bananas before I put on the pudding and found that the flavor had infused overnight. It was pretty fun making it, especially whisking the liquid and feeling sweet satisfaction as I felt it getting thicker. I had to skip the end part, which called for putting the pudding through a mesh sieve. I didn't have a clean one, so I didn't want to do it. Overall, I thought it tasted good, and next time, I will make a thicker crust because it came out a little too thin for my liking. I will also get some nilla wafers and put them on top too.

I'm out folks. Going up to SF once I finish my tests, so see ya in a few.

November 26, 2009


As of today, I have successfully baked my first banana cream pie! Woohoo! Pics to come later.

Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2009

Taps Meal Deal

A friend did me a huge favor, so I offered to take him out to dinner, and he chose Taps. So off we went. The pictures didn't turn out too well because the place was dimly lit. You can either sit in the main dining area, the oyster bar, or the bar area. We chose the bar.

Warm, crusty sourdough bread with some olive oil/balsamic vinegar came out quickly

as did my order of liquid bread, the Porter.

I had seen them advertising their 3 course meal for 25 buckeroos and decided to go for that.

For my appetizer, I chose seafood ceviche that came with some thin tortilla chips. It had pieces of fish, shrimp, scallops. I didn't like it too much because it was too sweet. I prefer plain ketchup please.

My friend ordered the Seafood on Ice, which came with two crab legs, two shrimp, and two oysters? But they actually hooked him up with another crab leg.

Although it's a seafood place, I had come from the gym and wanted a , so I ordered their petite New York steak Oscar style, which I found out was asparagus, crab cakes and bearnaise sauce topped on the steak. I didn't like it too much because it ended up being way too heavy and overpowered the steak. I ordered it medium rare, and it came out a little bit more cooked than I would have liked it to be. . It was served with a generous portion of mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables (squash, zucchini, carrots, green beans).

The biggest surprise of the meal was that the deal came w/ a 10 oz of their signature cream ale. Winna! If I had only read the fine print...I wouldn't have ordered that porter! Nah, I still would have =)

Creme brulee topped with some strawberries and garnished with mint. Damn, did I choose the wrong dessert to go with such a heavy meal. By the time I was done with this, I was bursting at the seams. I let out a groan of content to the dismay of our neighbors, loosened my belt, and somehow carried myself out of there.

Even though we were at the bar area, our service was attentive, and everything came out in a nice and orderly fashion. The food may not have wowed me(at least what I ordered), but I still thought it was a pretty good deal for everything we got.

Taps Fish House & Brewery
101 E Imperial Hwy
Brea, CA 92821

*A note about parking. While they do offer valet parking, I like to park behind the Yardhouse or the parking structure next to the movie theatres a couple blocks down.

Liked what you saw and read and want more? Read here for apast visit in which I puke my guts out after a night of oysters and good old fashioned debauchery.

Can't believe it's going to be Thanksgiving soon. Going to bake a pie today as a test run =) Have a nice and peaceful Sunday!

November 8, 2009

gimme some soup

Sweet Jeebus. 1/3 way into November already and hot dog! 5 more weeks of school! Apologies to my few readers for the lack of updates. Along with working more hours because money makes the world go round, the start of the NBA season aka fantasy madness has put my productivity/motivation for the blog straight in the toliet. Go Clippers! That's right. I said it.

The semi cold weather (this is socal after all) has gotten me thinking about those summer nights. One particular night, leaving the Anthill's Pub drunk and hungry, I desperately wanted something else besides the usual fried and heavy bar food. My cousin suggested Gen Grill, a favorite past high school hangout of his that was right across campus. So off we went.

Sukiyaki Bowl around 7 or 8 bucks. I know this isn't really soup, but it sure hit the spot. Noodles, large blocks of tofu, thinly sliced beef, and some random bits of spinach(?) over a generous bed of rice drowning in a sweet, warm broth/sauce. I wished that they had given me a bit more than the sad thin layer of beef that meakly covered large amount of rice given. I always do appreciate extra rice, but not at the expense of the other goodies on my plate.

4143 Campus Dr
Suite C-196

Irvine, CA 92612

We wanted some dessert afterwards, so on the suggestion of Elmo Monster, we checked out Strickland's, which specializes in frozen custard. Having frozen custard is rare, and I can't really think of a place that offers it. The last (and possibly only) time I remember having it was about 2 years ago in Philly.

When we went, we were taken aback that they only four flavors were being offered: vanilla, chocolate, mocha, and ? I forget. We were sad as we were hoping for some more exciting and interesting offerings.

I also saw that they offered pineapple and strawberry (?!!) Dole Whip. I remember some of my friends who all had Disneyland Passes would go on some days just to get this treat at the stand near Adventure Land (I think...wherever the Jungle Cruise is located). I opted for the good ol pineapple.

A beautiful tower of the soft serve, which I had no problem devouring.

Read about Paestry's experience with the whip, in which she one ups me by getting the float at Dland.

On a partially related note, I finally found out what "ghost riding the whip" means. Hilarious.

4523 Campus Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612

Been craving some floats and ice cream lately, so time to look around the area for some good eats. Hope you had a good weekend!

October 25, 2009

Revisit to Foo Foo Tei

One of the many posts that is long overdue. A couple months back I went back to Foo Foo Tei in Hacienda to get a bowl of ramen before class.

The usual suspects.

Nasu miso to start. It was a little too salty for me. I'm no expert though on this dish, only having it at one other place, which made it more on the sweet side. Anyone have a recipe for this?

Yasai Shio Ramen with Chasu. Lots of veggies in a good sized bowl. Personally, I am a miso fan, but I decided to take a risk and to go for the shio. I didn't like the consistency of the broth because it was kinda thick. If you ever cooked those non freeze dried / "fresh" noodles in the soup base instead of cooking them separately, you'll know what I'm talking about. Not sure what was going on that day. While I did enjoy the taste, I still like miso better =)

Oodles of noodles.

Friend ordered the Shin Shin ramen. It was supposed to be very spicy, but he said it wasn't too bad.

I finally experienced the horrendous wait here, so it's best to come during the off hours. Service was quick and efficient despite the growing crowd.

Foo Foo Tei
15018 Clark Ave
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

Have a nice Sunday!

October 19, 2009

K-town to J-town

Location: Los Angeles, Koreatown, The Corner Place.

Objective: To take grandpappy out for lunch.

The menu.

Banchan to the right of the gas grill: Some sweet black beans, vinegary radish and carrots, and some cool radish kimchi chilling in a light salty broth. Also some sesame oil and some scallions in a light oil dressing and lightly dusted with red pepper for the meat.

Banchan to the left of the grill: Kimchi, sprouts, some nonspicy cabbage kimchi, spicy squash, and I forget what the last dish was. It looks like ginger, but it wasn't...Overall a decent selection of sides.

The bulgogi. One thing you immediately notice is that they give you a lot of meat. We just put in one order, and this was about half of the serving. I'd say 1 order of bulgogi is good for 2-4 people, depending on how hungry you are.

*Caveat: I was a bit wary this time around when we ordered. On a past visit, I bit into a piece of meat that tasted horribly off, like it had been wallowing around on the dirty floor and then decided to jump back into the tub with the rest of its doomed brethren. It didn't happen this time, and I thank the sweet lord above for that. My cousin also said this had happened to her once. =/
Otherwise, the bulgogi was good. The meat was tender and marinated nicely with a good ratio of sweet and salty.

If you read the menu and were wondering what in the world was "Cold Noodles in Soup," it is dong chimi gooksu, a dish that Gil Mok/The Corner Place is known for. Above is the regular size. A very minimal dish made up of noodles, green onions, and a slice of tomato for garnish in a cool radish soup...the same salty brine that the white cabbage/radish kimchi, but slightly modified. It was a bit sweet, which made me wonder if they used sugar or even 7 up. I remember when I was younger and visited Korea, we visited this nengmyun place that used Chilsung Cider (think 7up/Sprite) in their broth. Some may find it plain, but I enjoyed it with the banchan and found it to be a nice remedy for the hot weather.

Service was prompt and friendly, and no real complaints besides that one time w/ the meat. My grandpa seems to like the place, and although he is a bit demanding to say the least, the staff was patient with him.

2819 James M Wood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

*Parking can be quite a hassle since everyone in the tiny plaza decided to each put "Parking only for ___" on a few spots in an already small parking lot. I hate that! So, if you park in the wrong spot, you may be chastised by the local parking security officer and shooed away. So far though, I've been lucky*

We also stopped by Little Tokyo to pick up some manjoo. I ended up dropping my grandpa off to get the goods while I aimlessly circled around trying to find parking.

These were freshly made and still steaming...

and filled with red beans that had been sweetened with honey.

Simple and delicious.

I never did find out where he got it, but he told me it was from a little street vendor in the plaza between 1st and 2nd. Perhaps you readers have a better idea of where it is than I do.

October 14, 2009

Hump Day Randoms

I love Wednesdays. Well, Wednesday nights to be more exact as I drive home from work. I have one easy class on Thursdays, and even though I have to work part of the weekend, I don't mind because the worst of the week is over.

Last Sunday, I finally got to try one of the many recipes I've had bookmarked for a good while now and made some Rosemary Apricot Bars that I saw on Gastronomy's blog.

Here's a piece. Mine was nowhere as pretty as hers, but I was happy with the taste. The only thing I think I messed up on was the consistency of the topping. I didn't mix it well enough and I could have added a little more butter to avoid some parts that had a gritty feel from just being unmixed sugar. Still it was a lot of fun to make and even better to eat!

I also met up with some of my cousins last weekend, and one of them surprised me with a few beers he had picked up for me. So without further ado, the beers of the month:

I've only tried the Franziskaner before, so I look forward to drinking them one sitting. Kidding!

Hope your week is going well, and huzzah huzzah, tomorrow is Thursday!

October 11, 2009

Golden City

Last bit on my past SD trip. I had the chance to get lunch with several other food bloggers: Kirk and Cathy from mmm-yoso, Carol from CABcooks and Dennis from A Radiused Corner. No shyness this time. Camera was out without hesitation. =) Kirk took care of the ordering.

Some egg rolls and crispy things were served as a part of their lunch special.

Soup or soup? I chose soup. Hot and sour (other choice was egg drop I believe)

Our waiter putting on his gloves and ready to get down to business w/ that duck. The man deftly cut the duck and wheeled the cart away.

The product: slices of crispy skin, compliments of the man's knife skills. Now grab a little of that along with some scallions...

Slap it one of these piping hot buns, fresh from the steamer. Dab a little hoisin sauce on it and...

boom! My sammwich. I have never had peking duck before and found it to be a fun experience. The total was $20, which I was told was a good deal.

The second course of duck: lettuce wraps with duck meat and some water chestnut.

Pork Intestine w/ pickled vegetables. Another new dish for me. It tasted just like you'd imagine it to be. The pickled vegetables were sweet, reminding me of pineapple/sweet and sour, and helped to cut through the offal taste. Overall though, not bad, and I got to try something new.

Steamed pork w/ preserved vegetables. Very fatty and just enough to give you a heart attack. Enjoy!

Beef stew w/ daikon.

Kwai Fei Chicken. Cold chicken in some kind of ginger sauce. Nice to gnaw on.

Fish w/ black bean sauce. I liked eating this over some rice.

So there you have it. If you're not in the mood for Mexican, San Diego is a place with few late night options, but luckily Golden City is one of those place you can go to for some cheap eats. The total for five people came to around 17 bucks/person (?)

Want to read more? Check out Carol and Dennis' take, or check out mmm-yoso for a multitude of posts as well as Kirbie's Cravings, who has recently written about GC as well.

I always liked the colors of this sign. You'll see the plaza right off the 163.

Golden City
5375 Kearny Villa Rd
San Diego, CA 92123

Good company along with trying new food made this lunch a lot of fun, and I hope to do it again sometime soon. Afterward, I saw some new massage place that opened up that had an hour massage for around 20 bucks. So to work off my food coma, off I went. Not a bad deal at all.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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