Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vietnamese Crepes

For my mother's birthday, and her day off from work, she made Vietnamese Crepes for lunch/dinner (linner!). Um, you're probably asking why my mom is cooking when it's her birthday AND her day off. Well, I was still sleeping when I heard her in the kitchen, and she didn't tell me she wanted to eat Vietnamese crepes. She just came up with the idea when she woke up that morning. Besides, I made it up to her by buying her a wallet she wanted when we later went shopping.

Anyway, I find it funny that Wikipedia has a really good description of what Vietnamese Crepes are. And here's an online recipe I found. As for the pictures below, it's my documentation of what my mom did in the kitchen on her birthday.
First, mix the batter for the crepes.

Next, get the pan nice and hot.
Add a little oil to the pan.
Pour thin layer of crepe batter to the pan.

Cover and let sit.
Then add the shrimp. Cover and let sit again.
Then add the beansprouts. Cover and let sit.
Fold half the crepe over.
Remove from pan and put on plate, with a piece of foil inbetween crepes so each crepe doesn't stick to the other (also makes it easier for serving).
Serve with fresh veggies and dipping sauce (aka nuoc mam).

Friday, November 28, 2008

dim sum in Boston

Emperor's Garden early on a Sunday morning, where the crowd doesn't come in until a little before lunchtime (we were there at 9:30am).
See, the dim sum cart ladies were just standing around because they had already circled the diners four million times with the same dishes.

Siu Mai -- pork dumplings
Shrimp and Chives dumpling
Ha Gow -- shrimp dumplings
And a deliciously sweet way to end a meal -- fresh soft tofu in sweet ginger sauce.

It's a good thing we were going shopping and thus could walk off all the food we ate because I was ready for a food coma right after eating.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


What's a good addition to a day of outlet shopping in super cold weather? Hot, greasy food goodness of course.

A few days ago, we were shopping at the Wrentham Premium Outlets and took a lunch break at Friendly's. I was starving and freezing, so I was ready for some warmth and food. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait eons to get seated, and it didn't take forever for the food to come out.
My little cousin had a bacon cheeseburger, which from the looks of her eating it, it must have tasted pretty good.

T and I had the chicken tenders. I asked for two things of honey mustard sauce because it is the best honey mustard I've ever had. And I like to drown my chicken tenders in it. Fries too.

As I'm procrastinating from my paper to update my blog, I wish I had some chicken tenders right now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

homemade favorites

My mom is blaming me for requesting all my favorite home cooked meals because she claims she's gained ten pounds since I got to Boston five days ago (and still another five days to go!).  Usually, my mom would cook the dishes, but I've been preparing dinner lately since I don't want to wait until 10pm to have dinner (parents don't get off work until 8pm).
My mom wanted to go to Costco on my first night here, and she went gaga over how cheap the pork was, so she bought a ton.  As a result, she told me to boil and shell a dozen eggs to make "braised pork with eggs in coconut juice" for dinner.  Basically, I just boiled the pork and then washed it clean.  Next, I put a liter of coconut juice into a large pot, added about three cups of water to the pot; waited until the liquids came to a boil before adding the cooked pork and shelled whole eggs into the pot.  I added some fish sauce and black pepper for taste.  Then I let it sit over medium high heat for a couple hours.  Here's a similar recipe I found online.
The next night, we had my all time favorite meal -- Make Your Own Springroll!  Okay, that's my name for the dish, because it's like fondue and you basically do roll your own springroll.  This is just a shot of what is laid out for the dinner.  My dad went out to buy a new electric griddle since we couldn't find the electric cord for the one we had.  So while he was out, we used the Lean Mean Grilling Machine to grill the beef in butter.  And once the beef was done, you make your own springroll with rice noodles and veggies, then dip it into a sauce for eating.  YUM!
And then the next night, I made Bun Rieu, which surprisingly is best described by Wikipedia. =)  I would have described it as a seafood gumbo of sorts, or maybe Vietnamese sphaghetti.  Either way, it was good.  I probably ate more than I should have too.  Still, YUMMY!
Last night, my mom gave me a break from cooking and ordered fresh eggrolls from someone she knows.  So you call this lady, tell her how many eggrolls you want, and she'll make it, fry it and have it ready for you to pick up in a couple of hours, which was easy enough for my mom to swing by the lady's house after work to pick it up.  And since we had plenty of rice noodles and veggies left from the Bun Rieu, I just made a bowl of Bun Cha Gio with the leftovers.  It was a nice meal to end a long day of shopping in the cold weather.  I was hoping it would put me into a food coma, but due to a massive headache, I laid in bed staring at my eyelids for two hours before going to seek out sleeping drugs.

greetings from Boston!

Look at all this leg room I had on the connecting flight from Cleveland to Boston!  The downside was that I had a whole aisle to myself, but because the trays were built into the arm rests, I couldn't lift up the armrests to make use of the two empty seats.  Well, there was plenty of leg room for me to stretch out and take a nap.
So, Boston -- one word: COLD!  Want two words?  FREAKING COLD!!  Want three words?  okay, you get the idea.  It's cold here, especially when the wind blows and freezes my checks and ears.  But, I spent the weekend doing outdoor things anyway, because I was out with T and my little cousin, both of whom I haven't seen in a while.  Shopping in cold weather makes me tired.
So, this is the Old State House.  I took a picture while we were quickly walking towards downtown crossing.
Here is a shot of Newbury Street, the upscale shopping street in Boston.
We started off our Newbury Street shopping with Filene's Basement.  We were there at 10:50, and it didn't open until 11.  So we were jumping around trying to keep warm, and then taking pictures and stuff, and then I saw this sign.  We were loitering and photographing.  All we needed was to solicit something and we would have been three for three on the restrictions.
If law school doesn't work out, I think I could make a pretty good living maintaining a parking lot in Boston.  Only problem would be actually acquiring an empty lot to use as parking space...

Friday, November 14, 2008

crunch time

Dear fellow readers,

It's coming down to the end of the semester, so I've been a little swamped with homework because I've been such a slacker of a 3L all semester.  This means I've also been eating mostly non-exciting things like cereal and ramen noodles (also haven't missed a Pizza Friday yet), so there hasn't been much to post in regards to food.  

I'm going to be glued to my chair this weekend, simultaneously writing two papers.  My goal is to finish a "good" draft of each paper, so that I don't have to lug all my research with me to Boston next week.  Yep, I'm spending turkey week in Boston, so there will be lots of good eats to post about.  

Winter break starts on Dec. 6 for me, so look forward to more cupcakes-cookies-food-baking-cooking-Christmas-holiday-extreme-stories galore.  

So, until Wednesday (when my turkey vacation starts), have a happy weekend!

Yours truly,


Friday, November 07, 2008

i like to move it move it

Madagascar 2 is out today!!! I'm going to indulge myself by giving into my cartoon cravings and actually go watch it in theaters instead of waiting for the DVD (which I'm still waiting for Kung Fu Panda to come out). And, we decided to catch a matinee showing so I don't feel like I'm compromising my principles entirely since I'm not paying $10.50 to see a cartoon.

I'm not going to see the movie until tomorrow night, so for today, I'll just keep bopping to the music with the lemurs.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

dumpling bar

This week's latest restaurant outing was dinner at Po's Dumpling Bar. If you want dim sum eats at any time of the day, any day of the week, this is the place. Although it doesn't have the whole range of dim sum delicacies, its selection of dumplings (as appetizers, mostly) will suffice for those once-in-a-while-dim-sum-cravings.
We were STARVING when we got to the restaurant. The little plate of pickled cabbages held us over for about two minutes before we were agonizing for real food. And if you haven't figured it out by now, that dark liquid is a blend of vinegar/soy sauce for the dumplings, and the red oily stuff is just hot oil crushed red peppers.
Our dumpling selections: Above - Chicken Emperor Dumplings; Below - Cha Su Bun (okay, so this is not a dumpling, but it's a dim sum staple)

Above: Shu Mai (pork dumplings); Below: Har Gow (shrimp dumplings)

Above, a food interpretation of what my face would look like if I had taken a picture of myself. All the dumplings were good, and the straightness of the Emperor's Dumpling represents my mouth being full from stuffing it with dumplings.

We finished off our meal with a plate of mini red bean sesame seed balls. Not only were they cute to look at, they were just the right size to quell a sweet tooth (okay, it took two to quell the sweet tooth).

Sunday, November 02, 2008

yee haw cowboy

Here's a first -- I went to a Professional Bull Riding competition in KC, MO. Yep, I went rodeo (but I have been corrected many many times that the PBR is NOT a rodeo, or just not a full fledged rodeo). When I channel surf, sometimes I see bull riding and I always cringed when I see the bull buck off the rider, or the rider is stomped upon by the bull. It only keeps my attention for a couple minutes before I start changing the channels again.

Seeing bull riding in person, however, is a WHOLE different story. My goodness, I thought I was going to have a heart attack trying to will the rider to stay on the bull or holding my breath for what seems like an enternity because if I breathe, the cowboy just might fall off the bull and it will gore him to death with its horns. Overall, I survived, as well as all the cowboys in the competition, and no bulls were harmed in the making of this post.

So, here's a picture of the "opening ceremony," with flames and all the cowboys standing in line. The ones who make a lot of money are announced by name.
Funny story of the night: There was eight girls in our group, thus eight tickets. We decided to go with two family packs, which each consisted of four entrance tickets and each ticket came with a voucher for a hot dog and soda. So, technically, that's eight hot dogs and eight sodas total.

When we went to redeem our meal tickets, however, we got more than we bargained for (literally speaking). K was up first at the counter and asked the food lady, "So, what can I get for with this food voucher?" Lo and behold, the food lady said, "four hot dogs and four sodas. So what kinda soda you want?" SCORE! So K and I used our two tickets to get the eight hot dogs and sodas for the group. When we told the others what happened, we laughed and said that we should cash in the remaining food vouchers and get 24 hot dogs and sodas before we left the show. Unfortunately, we were either too full from the first hot dog and soda, or we were running away from a creep, that we forgot to collect our remaining hot dogs and sodas (we just really wanted the bottled sodas to take home).
During the breaks between bull riders, they had different things going on, one of which was a beauty contest for cows - the Best in Show competition. One of them black cows was the winner - I just can't tell which one.
Then there was the competition for kids, where they had to rope a calf and bring it back inside the circle in order to keep the calf. There was this one kid who chased this calf all around the arena, and then the calf decided to play dead weight, and the poor kid must have used all his energy just to get that calf back inside the circle (second video).

And of course, there was the bull riding. See the many videos below.

And here's a very blurry picture of the winner:

Saturday, November 01, 2008

more Thai food from Thai Place

For my Halloween dinner, I had Thai food again, from the Thai Place in Overland Park, KS. My selection for the night was the Shrimp Pad Kee Mow -- fat rice noodles pan fried with jalapenos, broccolli and peppers. The portion was huge, so I was only able to eat about half the noodles before I started picking out and eating all the veggies and shrimp.
My friend K never had Thai food before, so she chose to try out the Cashew Chicken and rice. She was also talking on the phone when she made this order and wasn't paying attention to my description of how spicy the food could get. She ordered her dish with medium spice. Yeah, she got burned - literally on her tastebuds.
The other dishes that were ordered (and not pictured here) was one of the curries (I don't recall which one). It looked very appetizing, and both ladies who had the dish enjoyed it.
After our Halloween dinner, we continued onward with our evening plans and took part in a dance. All was fun on Hallow's Eve!