Monday, June 28, 2010

Zero Calorie Noodles? Get Out Of Town!

Matt and I are trying to eat healthy again after a 2 month fatty food splurge. I mean, it's summer and we live near a ton of beach towns where your beach bod matters! So it's time to shape up and look for new low cal, high protein, and delicious ideas. Sounds impossible after so many days of burgers, creamy soups, and whatever the hell we want!
What's even more impossible is finding a healthy bowl of noodle soup.
How could we ever survive with out it? (This is really what the diet breaker is: noodle soup)

Well, we've found it!
Yam noodles.
They have the texture that's a cross between rice noodles, vermicelli, and jelly fish.
It says on the package: "0 calories"
How is it possible?...I have no clue. But I'm taking it and running with it!
So to night, we had yam noodles in a kimchi stew with beef. Healthy, delicious, and gilt free!
I haven't felt this way in a while! (I lied! I was totally guilt free after eating all those fatty foods until I got on a scale. In fact I had a grin from ear to ear after that elk burger with duck egg, wild boar bacon, and lamb belly...damn scales!)

Who Would've Thunk

Poke and corn chips at Bear Flag Fish Co., in Newport Beach. YUM!

Home Fry

My version of home fries.

Let's just say that Old Bay is my hero.

2 Red skin potatoes (1/2 inch cubes)
Hand full of Haricot verts (cut in half cross-wise)
10-12 Mushrooms (sliced)
1 table spoon chopped garlic
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Old bay to taste

Heat a cast iron pan.
Add olive oil, when it glistens, add potatoes
When potatoes get crusty and golden on one side, flip them and season with salt and pepper
When the other side gets golden, add 3-4 tablespoons of water to create steam and cover
Cover for 5-8 mins (or until potatoes are tender)
Add the haricot verts, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and old bay
Flip after 2-3 mins
Cook until potatoes get a bit crisp again and the mushrooms and haricot verts are al dente.

(Makes 2 servings or 3 side servings)

Ah, Memories...

I recently got a blast from the past when I found out that I could order my childhood favorite candy online.
Gosh, I love the internet!

A family friend of ours used to visit Australia yearly, or bi-yearly, and every time she would return with a ziptop bag FULL of Minites for us. I would savor these candies like they were gold! But now with this amazing thing called the internet, these Minites are just a click and a credit card number away. YUM!

Each mint is wrapped with a funny comic!
I used to collect the wrappers when I was younger.
(OK, OK, I'm still doing it now)


I was watching the Food Network at the gym last week (I can't even begin to tell you how bad of an idea this is...but I still run on the treadmill and drool over food images every time I hit the gym), and I saw the handsome Tyler Florence making chimichurri. I thought to myself, "OMG! that must be that green sauce that I love so much at Peruvian restaurants." So after the gym, guess where I went?
Straight to the grocery store.

I used Tyler's recipe as the frame work of my chimichurri, but really, this is my take on it.

1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley (flat leaf or regular)
3-5 cloves garlic
4-5 stems fresh oregano
3 Serrano peppers
3 limes
1/4 cup olive oil (I eye-balled the olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop the cilantro, parsley, oregano, peppers, and garlic.
Put into a bowl.
Add olive oil until sauce-like
Squeeze limes to taste
Add salt and pepper to taste

Its great with chicken, fish, and amazing with a soft roll.

*Note: you can also put all the ingredients into a blender and then stream in the olive oil, as if you were making a dressing, for a smoother sauce.

I have definitely fallen in love with this recipe and I think you will to!


I can die happy now! (Well, almost)
Matt and I bought tickets to see Anthony Bourdain months in advance--the event was June 18, and we bought tickets, I believe, in April, as soon as they went on sale.
Why was Tony in LA?
Well, to promote his new book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World Of Food and the People Who Cook.
Pitiful to admit, but I think I might have even shed a tear as the lights dimmed and he swaggered out on to the stage. I was excited to see him--to say the least.
He was incredibly funny and charming!

Note: New Yorkers, Anthony Bourdain included, LOVE In and Out!

(A clip of Anthony Bourdain answering a question--we weren't allowed to take videos or pictures so the pictures came out horribly blurry, but I managed to snag this clip...what would the event be if I didn't have evidence of it?...I was disappointed that there wasn't a book signing after wards. But I guess that's understandable--it would have been a feeding frenzy.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

OC Fairgrounds BBQ Fest

Pork, Pork, Pork, Beer, Pork, Beef, Beer--and who's complaining? Not me!

It was the day after graduation and what better place to take the fam than a BBQ festival?!

There were numerous stands handing out BBQ ribs, pulled pork, brisket, meatballs wrapped in bacon, and chicken--some better than others, but still very delicious.
It was the first time I was able to try BBQ cooked in the styles of their different respective regions back to back and compare them. There was the vinegar sauce, and the sweet thick BBQ sauce, and there was spicy and sweet BBQ sauces; all bold and full of flavor in their own way.
The brisket was a hit or miss, some were dry, bland, and relied too heavily on the sauce as a crutch, while others were surprisingly moist, flavorful, and barely needed any sauce (these were my favorite). Although I did stumble upon several different sauces that I fell in love with; mostly the ones that were spicy, sweet, and smoky but revealed it's flavors in stages.

RIBS! Probably my favorite of the day.
Ain't that just a beauty?

Juicy, juicy brisket

Bacon wrapped meatball

The pulled pork was amazingly good because it soaked up all the sauce.
This picture really doesn't do it justice! (plus, this was the last dish of the day for us)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Farmer's Market at The Grove

I seriously don't know how I let this place slip from right under my nose...
I've been to the Grove a gagillion times to watch movies and just to walk around, but it wasn't until Matt and I accidentally went on a day when the Jonas Brothers were performing (and everything was blocked off) that we wandered over to the Farmer's Market. AND WHAT A FIND THIS WAS. So, thank you Jonas were good for something.

Brazilian BBQ
Top sirloin, cheese bread, hearts of palm salad, and my personal favorite, plantains

(It was super affordable!! Fogo De Chao, you are delicious, but you rob the piggy bank. I will definitely be coming back to the farmer's market for more!!)


Crawfish soup with potato salad and a DEEEElicious corn muffin

I'll take two tubs of FRESH peanutty goodness please!

Vintage collectors store
(This has nothing to do with food, but I've been getting really into vintage shopping lately, and thought that I would just share)

Hot sauce galore

Look at how huge this place is!...Again, I am ashamed to admit that I never knew about this place until now.

Masochism: Why Do I Keep Doing This To Myself?

I know I can't keep up with Matt in the race to who can eat the spiciest foods...but even KNOWING this for a FACT, I still subject myself to the pain that is--Sichuan hot pot. Why? Well, because even though it makes my mouth want to breathe fire, my nose run uncontrollably and unattractively, and my face hurt in's delicious--which is why I like to call it, "masochism".

Looks kind of like lava, huh?
Felt like it too...

Delicious assortment of goodies to boil in the spicy broth!
I love hot pot in general because it's like a social affair. I could sit there for hours among family and friends chatting and having a great time along with a great meal.

However, this was quite a silent meal, except for the occasional blowing of the nose or sucking in of air to cool off my mouth. It was too painful to speak.
Mistake: Boiling noodles in a pot of painfully spicy broth that had reduced by half the broth from when we started...definitely lethal.

If you're up for the challenge, you definitely need to try Lu Gi in San Gabriel.

Grilled Cheese Madness!!!!

I had never craved a grilled cheese as badly as I had after watching The Devil Wears Prada--Jarlsberg grilled cheese to be exact.

Personally, I love Jarlsberg because for being a swiss cheese, it's not nearly as pungent or smelly as most swiss cheese that I've become accustomed to (and frankly, which I don't really like). But ah, I adore thee. It's got the perfect combination of smelly swiss, and stringy, melty-ness that make for a great grilled cheese.

I was hungry and ambitious this time around (usually I just slap two slices, yes TWO slices, of Jarlsberg between two slices of bread, throw it in the George Foreman and call it a meal) but...this time put a ton of other goodies in it too--sautéed mushrooms, black forest ham, arugula, sourdough bread, Irish butter, salt, pepper, and Gruyère to be exact. And that made for an incredibly hearty meal!

Korean Hot Pot

Why hello again!
I've finally have some time to sit down and do some good 'ole blogging! It's about time I catch you up on my recent food adventures! I have a month's worth of photos backed up!

Let's start here with Korean hot pot.

"How could I have not known about this?!" Was my first reaction when we walked into a nondescript Korean restaurant located in an Asian strip mall. I'm guessing that this is authentic stuff, because there were only Korean speaking staff and patrons. I really don't know a better place to try a new dish than at a place where they speak minimal English. I guess it's a good AND bad sign. Good because it's most likely going to be delicious, and bad because...well as you can guess, communicating with the staff is rough. But we did it!

A GIANT hot pot (big enough for 4) that was perfectly spicy with tons of meat

Banchan (Korean small dishes), my favorite part of any Korean meal