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Singaporean food + Avocado Chimichurri + HTC EVO 4G

2 Jun

The weather is finally warming up although nights are still brisk here in San Mateo. We went to visit a friend in Menlo Park in hopes of having dinner and seeing a movie after. We ended up eating out and then sitting at her place talking while petting her cats. She has two boy kitties almost the same color as my cats! I should have taken pictures. She took us out to have Singaporean food, which was delicious.

The restaurant was called Shiok! and has a large menu with many delicious sounding dishes. They had many desserts too but we didn’t splurg. The serving sizes are normal, meaning that you can finish it in one sitting without bursting your stomach unlike most other restaurant serving sizes.

I (a.k.a Athena – I got cast as Athena from BSG because Brian was Helo..) got the Hor Fun because it’s my favorite noodle. Hor fun is a broad rice noodle and can be cooked “dry” or in soups. This one was cooked in a egg gravy with veggies and seafood (squid and shrimp). I didn’t love the gravy but the dish was tasty overall.

Brian (a.k.a. Helo) got the Singaporean Chicken and Rice, which I know as the hoy nam gai fan from Malaysian restaurants I used to go to in Brooklyn. I LOVE the rice, it’s cooked in chicken broth and aromatics.. super flavorful. The chicken is served room temperature with dipping sauces (soy, ginger, chili). There are also cucumbers under the chicken so they catch the chicken drippings. Chicken broth on the side but it was very oily so uneaten. Pictures like this makes me hate my camera because I cannot tell from the screen that they’re blurry. =( My camera is old.

Our friend Anya (a.k.a. Starbuck) got the vegetarian Mee Goreng. This dish was really, really good. If I get to go back, I might have to get this one. Chock full of veggies in a yummy tomatoe-y sauce.

For lunch today, I made avocado chimichurri because I have lots of parsley to use up from the CSA box. It turned out delicious even though I don’t like parsley. I followed this recipe but halved it, substituted sushi vinegar, added a chopped scallion, and left out the jalapeno simply because I didn’t have any. I put it on a half a sourdough torpedo with pan fried zucchini and pickled carrots. It was super satisfying and the flavors were so bright. I think the sweetness from the pickled carrots and sushi vinegar really makes it better.

Onto something not food related…

Look at this awesome phone! Brian went to Google I/O a few weeks ago and got a “free” HTC EVO 4G (there was a registration fee). I’ve been using it for the past week and a half and we just realized yesterday that it wasn’t even on the market yet! Haha, now I feel special. It comes out June 4th for $199 with contract from Sprint. =( I don’t have Sprint. It’s currently running on a month’s subscription of voice and data service.

It’s soooooo fast and really sexy. The screen is huge and super responsive. It’s an android phone and has “4G” service (4G in quotes because nothing is truly 4G yet). Only drawbacks so far is that the battery life is short since it can do so much; the four menu buttons are too responsive in that I accidentally touch them by just holding the phone; GPS sucks compared to iPhone; and it’s a bit less intuitive to use than the iPhone so it has a bigger learning curve for non-tech savy people.

a lot bigger than my Env3 but sleeker

Check out this review by IntoMobile for a more in depth look and more pics. I want one! Ugh.. too bad my phone plan doesn’t end for a long time.

Earth Day

22 Apr

I didn’t realize today was Earth Day because I was confused by Earth Week. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if today was Earth Day or if tomorrow is Earth Day because EVERYDAY should be Earth Day. Earth Day is one day to promote respect towards mother Earth and the creatures who live on this planet, including yourself. You should take this opportunity to reflect on how environmentally green you live your life. I am very aware of how I could be damaging our planet with my choices and behaviors. No one is perfect but I do try my best. We live in a world where convenience tops all and there is simply too much waste. Everything you buy comes with waste in the form of packaging and while that’s unavoidable, you can do your part by reusing and recycling.

Easy things I do to be more green that you can try too:

1. Always carry a reusable shopping back. Choose paper over plastic. Reuse plastic shopping bags for trash or pet waste.
2. Recycle! Paper, plastic, metal, electronics, batteries..
3. Reduce:use less of everything if you can. If you don’t need to print the document, don’t. I hate printing out stuff when I can just read it on my computer. Granted, that’s probably why my eyes are so bad..
4. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse! I save plastic containers to store odds and ends, grow my plants in (see previous post), etc. Check if the plastic is safe to reuse for food, some are not. I even save soap free water used to rinse not so dirty dishes to water my plants. When things are at the end of their life, recycle. If something is perfectly usable, donate it or post it on Freecycle instead of dumping it in the trash.
5. Along with use less of everything: take shorter showers, retro-fit your toilet to be low flush.
6. I always carry my own BPA free water bottle. I recommend Thermos Intak. Super leak proof and no funky smells or tastes. I stopped buying water bottles.
7. Use bento boxes and pack your own food. Saves you from all the fat and salt from restaurant foods anyway. Laptop lunch boxes are great systems and are convenient.
8. Grow your own food! Eat less meat! If you don’t know about how damaging the agriculture and meat industry is to the Earth and animals, read Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan or The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason or just watch Food Inc.! You will be shocked by the truth.
9. Use energy efficient light bulbs.
10. Unplug electronics you don’t use on a daily basis.
11. Buy less stuff. Earth day has turned into a giant commercial holiday. Don’t be sucked into buying a brand new “green” item unless you will really use it and it is truly green (made from recycled products). Otherwise, you are just allowing companies to create more waste.
12. Get crafty, make stuff instead of buying it. Need a grocery bag? There are tons of tutorials online to help you make one. Check out Instructables. Join the DIY movement.

Make the world less of a place where birds die with plastic filled stomachs or oceans have islands of floating garbage and more of a place where you can preserve this and this.

If you have more ideas to share, post a comment. Thanks for listening. Spread the word.

Olympic Mascot Mukmuk Bento

2 Mar

I was inspired by hapa bento’s Olympic mascot Miga Bento so I set out to make my own. Mukmuk is my favorite mascot closely followed by Sumi. I chose Mukmuk mainly because he seemed easy to re-create. This was my first charaben (character bento) so I’m pretty proud of how well it came out.

mukmuk bento

Mukmuk’s body is made of yaki onigiri or soy sauce grilled rice ball. His hat is cheddar and mozzarella cheese (dyed blue). His face is more cheese and hand cut nori. His belly is wheat germ because I didn’t know what else to put. Underneath him is a layer of roast pork and onion egg scramble and he’s surrounded by broccoli, carrots and red pepper flowers. A well rounded, delicious meal.

mukmuk bento2

I hope you like it!

New Year Festival

17 Feb

The festival was last Sunday and my whole family drove into the city to try to catch it. Since parking is normally insane on regular days, my parents didn’t actually get to see much since they had to stay in the car. We originally thought it was in Columbus Park but it turned out to be at Roosevelt Park on the other side of Chinatown. We were lucky because while walking there we bumped into lion dancing which was happening on Mott St. Usually all the lion dance troupes are running around Chinatown to visit storefronts and get lucky money in exchange for a performance. I love lion dancing; the loud drums and the colorful lions are always fun to watch. As a kid, I use to pretend to be a lion dancer with chairs and a big towel. Lion dancing actually requires a lot of training similar to Kung Fu to build the strength required and for the dance moves.

We finally made it to the festival in time to “see” the fire crackers. They went off way off schedule which worked on our favor since we were late. Unfortunately, it was so crowded that we couldn’t see anything but smoke and crowds. Good thing fire crackers are so loud!

Here are some pictures I managed to take on Mott St.
red lion

yellow lions

red firecrackers

confetti

To give you an idea of the crowds:
crowd

And here’s a short clip of a lion bringing luck to a restaurant. Click on the link to watch it larger on flickr.


Lion dance – Chinatown, NY
Originally uploaded by bluealue

Past creations for your viewing pleasure..

14 Aug

Since I haven’t posted in a long time like I said I would this summer, here are some clickable links to past posts. Each post has pictures (and sometimes recipes) for your viewing pleasure. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think!

The Amazing Burger Cake (and cupcake pops)

Cantonese Style Mayo Shrimp

Homemade Char Siu (Chinese BBQ pork)

Sushi (raw)

Rustic bread and Scones

Coconut Macaroons

Caramel Apples (and Halloween stuff)

Nobu Miso Codfish

Horchata

Snickerdooles

Red bean and Green tea Madeleines

Chorizo Empanadas

Capresse Salad

Homemade Fortune Cookies

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cute Bento lunches and Jalapeno Poppers

Crochet Hat

Stuffed Elephant

Bored at work..

10 Jun

I’m very bored at work and I actually have some pictures to post so maybe I’ll get back into blogging for the summer. If you haven’t noticed, I have a bad habit of not blogging for months at a time then starting up again. Here’s a random quiz thingy to start things off.

The Very Good Taste Omnivore’s 100 List

Rules:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros yum!
4. Steak tartare yum
5. Crocodile does alligator soup count? nasty stuff
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue – ! why haven’t i tried yet *gasp*
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush yum
11. Calamari yum
12. Pho yum
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns yum
20. Pistachio ice cream – still waiting to try this one
21. Heirloom tomatoes – this one too
22. Fresh wild berries in ithaca!
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters yum
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl great in san fran and seattle!
33. Salted lassi – cool, would try this.
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O – why have i not had this??
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict yum
83. Pocky orange or strawberry are my faves
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef – sadly no =(
86. Hare – does rabbit count?
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab yum
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano – sounds delish
96. Bagel and lox yum
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Fish Tank update

20 Oct

I finally added fish. I bought three neon tetras because they’re so bright looking. I was thinking that I would get some cherry barbs at the time but now that is no longer an option. I realized that my poor Twitchy (the betta fish I had in a small tank) was freezing in his heaterless tank. I decided to save him by putting him in the big heated tank but bettas don’t do well with neon tetras – the betta’s fins will get bitten. Discovered that my local fish store, petland discounts, sells tank dividers for $12! So I did some research and found a really cheap DIY divider using plastic mesh sheets that I already had and some report cover binding things from the 99cents store (you can also find them at office stores like staples). Here are some pictures.

Supplies: plastic mesh sheet, report cover binding pieces, ruler, sissors
divider supplies

After measuring and cutting.
divider

In the tank. The tetras are on the left and Twitchy is on the right. He’s hard to see.. kinda dark blue color in the back corner.
tank new

One of my neon tetras in her shot glass cave.
neon tetra

Edit:
My dad found an old rectangular lamp in the basement. It happens to fit my tank! SCORE! He tried to remove the base but it wasn’t possible because it had a transformer embedded inside so he extended the wires. The base rests on the stand below now. Perfect.
tank light