Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vivi

Yum Yum in my Tum....


Si mangia bene in casa, or in other words you eat well at home. Italians are always so passionate about their food and eating. I like to say I took a bit with me after my experiences abroad. Cooking to eating and finally enjoying a good meal is like building a relationship. First comes the preparation. Adding in various spices, ingredients. Tasting it along the way, making sure everything is combining well. Then suddenly, yuck. Why did I add too much/too little of this? Now you must find a way to mend this relationship with your food, taking sniffs of other spices which may "fix" what you've done. If your lucky and your senses cooperate with you, the result is a masterpiece. Just as with food, relationships take time, care, preparation, mending and hopefully it becomes close to a masterpiece.


Perhaps, this is why Italians are so passionate about their food. It is similar to "l'amore." 


Speaking of "l'amore." I fell in love with Eggs Benedict this weekend. This was my first time trying/eating it and after some conflict with poaching eggs, I found this to be one of the most tastiest breakfast items. 
The hollandaise sauce alone was mehhh but combined with the salty premium thick slices of bacon topped on an asiago sprinkled whole grain toasted english muffin...was perfection. The first bite is crucial, as one must arrange for all the ingredients to be contained on the fork. As soon as I had my first bite, my eyes lit up, my mind went amuck and I was so content it came out so spectacular on my first try. I added a bit of cumin to the hollandaise sauce since I added a bit too much of lemon and it was a perfect complement.


Live Passionately, Laugh Wholeheartedly, Love Profoundly
America is so fast paced, it's difficult to sit down, relax and take a breath. One suggestion, take some time and enjoy your meal whether your alone or with someone. It always amazes me how well ingredients mix together and how the chemical reactions that underlie each and every cooking process can become such marvelous creations. I made this painting a while ago which always reminds me to appreciate each day through simple gestures.


HAPPY EATING=) 

More delights to come....

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mangia

So a lot of eating has been going on for the past couple of weeks. First of all I tried Wings N Things for the first time and their wings were unimpressive. For having a restaurant including the name wings, you would think they would be delicious but they're really not.

Wings Checklist

1. El Torito- Can't go wrong with these boneless chicken wings for 5 bucks during Happy Hour, pair that with a Margarita on the rocks.
2. Applebee's- Eating good in the neighborhood? Sure their wings are pretty tasty but I would rather order their spinach cheese dip.
3. Casa de Pico- This Mexican restaurant in the Grossmont town center has THE BEST CHICKEN WINGS I think I have tasted in the San Diego County. The wings are well seasoned, not too spicy yet not too mild and the flavors just burst in your mouth. The difference is that these chicken wings are actually seasoned and not just doused with buffalo sauce or hot sauce. 
4. Wings N' Things- NOT impressed. Seems like Tobasco and buffalo sauce were just dumped on the wings. Would never go back unless I had to pee...desperately. 
5. Pizza Hut- Addicting, Too Hot to Handle. Caution! These wings will make your butt-hole burn. 

Soups and Truffles

I haven't really been cooking lately, but I did attempt to make some cake balls. They came out more like truffles and are really easy to make. You can use regular cake mix and bake accordingly. Crumble the cake once finished and mix in with some frosting. Dip in your favorite candy coating. (I didn't have candy coating readily available so I just melted chocolate chips :)

I have been really into soups and I've made three different cream-based soups.

1. Mushroom Soup

2. Asparagus Cream Soup topped with Bacon

3. Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup topped with Garlic Cheese Croutons. 


My favorites were the last two. The soups are surprisingly simple to make except you have to be extra careful when blending the ingredients... especially if the contents are hot. I learned my lesson as my blender exploded broccoli and heavy cream all over the kitchen counter and cabinets. 

That's it for now folks. Happy Eatin'!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pavlova

Last night me and Stephy decided to make a wonderful chicken bowtie pasta, chocolate dipped strawberries and pavlova infused with fruit custard for dessert.
The pasta came out fantastic, I was pretty happy with it except I overcooked the pasta a tad. Pasta should always be al dente. Anyways I received lots of compliments, so I'm gonna go ahead and write down the recipe =)
What you Need:
Chicken Bowtie Pasta


5-8 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Onion
Olive Oil
Chicken Fillet
Salt
Pepper
Sundried Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Rosemary
Seasoning Blend
Parmesan Cheese
Bowtie Pasta


Start with dicing fresh garlic cloves (5-8) and half an onion. Heat some olive oil on low heat and once hot, add the garlic and onion. Simmer until golden brown and proceed to add in sliced chicken. As chicken cooks start to add salt, pepper, rosemary and seasoning blend. Continue to sautee the chicken and add a bit more olive oil. Once chicken is ready, add in sliced mushrooms as well as 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes. Wait till mushrooms are golden brown and bring pot to a simmer.
In different pot cook pasta. Wait till water boils, adding some salt makes it boil faster. Once pasta is ready, drain and pour into pan with chicken and olive oil.


Mix the pasta and chicken, adding a bit more olive oil, dashes of rosemary and salt as necessary. Finally, mix in parmesan cheese, freshly grated is even better but bottled will do the job too.
Lastly, enjoy with a glass of white wine surrounded with happiness, friends and family.


Pavlova:


As for the pavlova, it's relatively easy but I made the mistake of turning the heat a bit too high. The trick is to keep the oven at around 200-250 and leave the mix in the oven for 60-90 min. My pavlova ended up golden and it folded in =/ It still came out delicious but today I'm going to adjust some things.


Firstly, you need about 4 eggs with just egg whites. KEY: Let egg whites come to room temp. before mixing, for at least 10-15 min. This helps them achieve the soft peaks and become fluffier =) I will be doing this today. Then mix in one cup of sugar, one tsp at a time. Continually, mix the sugar in. Add in a tsp. of cornstarch and a tsp of vanilla extract as you whip. Electrical hand mixer is easiest to use and keep whipping until the egg whites are super shiny and fluffy.


Place the egg white mixture in either muffin molded pans or pie pan for a larger pavlova. Put in the pans in the pre-heated oven and leave for about one hour. Make sure the egg white mixture still stays cream colored, if it starts to brown, turn the heat down. Wait until the mixture has become hardened.


Once the mixture is hardened, take out and let cool. In my case, I added a vanilla custard infused with fruits in the middle. You can just use a vanilla pudding and add some fruit cocktail.


For the sauces, I mixed strawberries with blueberries and passion fruit drink. I also made a mango sauce with mango pulp, passion fruit drink and leftover fruit cocktail. You can add more sugar if necessary but the fruits have a lot of sugar in them already and the taste comes out wonderfully.


Finally top the pavlova with diced strawberries and blueberries, drizzled with the two sauces along the edges


HOPE YA'LL ENJOY!!
MORE TO COME =)
P.S.
Use the leftover egg yolks for a delicious creme brulee or an egg yolk mask.
Mask: add a tsp of honey, tsp. of olive oil and 2 egg yolks. Make your face feel refreshed and treat yourself to a tasty treat at the same time =)))

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ingenue Creations

Its been a while since I last posted. Lots has happened, firstly I was supposed to be in Boston this week for my interview but due to the weather I had to postpone =( On the brighter side I decided to spend some time at home during this little break.

As for food updates, I made a delicious fish soup with wonton noodles, tamarind base, and bok choy. This was my first time making a fish soup and I was a bit weary but it turned out great. I ended up adding lots of vegetables and extra noodles which I sort of regretted because it ended up with less water for the soup part. Overall it was a pretty good first try.

I tried Hodad's for the first time the other day, boy it was delicious. I really enjoyed my half bacon cheeseburger and potato wedges. The portions are humungous. The key to what makes these burger's so yummy is definitely the meat. The meat is so fresh and the simplicity of the ingredients really adds to the deliciousness of the burger. I must say this may have been one of the best burgers I have ever had.

Lastly, I have decided to create my own little project which is going to be named Ingénue Creations. Im going to try my hand at creating designed fruit baskets and see how they turn out. Perhaps people will be interested in buying. I am going to play around with my designs and ideas and practice making my first one for my mom for her birthday. I will be posting pictures up soon to show you all how it came out!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dreams

Last night I had such a hard time falling asleep. I felt anxious, my stomach was upset and I didn't fall asleep until a little after one, which for people who know me is completely unusual. I had quite an interesting dream last night about someone really special to me, my grandpa. Although he passed away several years ago, I still miss him dearly and wish he could have been here to see all that I have accomplished. He passed a year before my graduation and I really wish he could have seen that.


In my dream, my grandpa appeared in Boston wishing me luck in my endeavors and when I saw him, I ran to him, hugged him and started crying and telling him how much I miss him. All day I have been thinking about what he said to me in my dream, "No se preocupe mamita, que todo va salir bien." (Don't worry, Everything will turn out fine) I believe it will although it seems now that the road ahead is uncertain, tough and full of obstacles.


I know I will make my grandpa proud and I know he's watching down on me giving me little spouts of encouragement.


One thing I have definitely learned in life is don't take anything for granted, be content with what you have and work for what you don't. In a blink of an eye it can all be gone and you don't realize how much it's worth until it's gone.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

THE Weekend

So after much debate and consideration, I decided to start a blog. I picked up the courage after going through a friend's blog. So here it goes....I guess. 

Well I figure I should start somewhere so why not talk about my weekend. Friday I had a very nice dinner at this Mexican restaurant in Old Town called Cafe Coyote. I went on a dinner date with the boo and since the restaurant participated in restaurant week, we decided to go with the three course meals. I first ordered a Tinga which was basically a chicken tostada topped with lettuce. The first couple bites were amazing and then I realized how spicy it was. My mouth was on fire. (I don't do too well with spicy) After two gold margaritas I was feeling cheery and enjoyed my second plate with three different enchiladas topped with nice sauces. The handmade tortillas are to die for. My dinner was complete with a nice ice-cream topped churro-like dessert. Overall the meal was very yummy.

My passion for food has fueled my writing abilities and I think I might focus on food in my blogs along with other adventures. 

Saturday I woke up relatively late for what I am typically accustomed too and decided to buy a caesar chicken wrap. Theres a place called Extreme Pita that has all types of wraps. As I waited in line, I noticed my wrap being poorly made. I HATE wraps that fall apart. It was pretty much eating a pita bread with salad on the side. I watched a movie with the boo as I tried to piece the wrap together and it totally ruined my food experience.  Anyways later in the evening I finished my leftover enchiladas and proceeded to get ready for a girls night out on the town.

Us gals decided to hit up FLUXX, gotta say I love this place. We started off to a great night which ended pretty interesting. Perhaps details will be given at a later date. 

Today I woke up and made a nasty sandwich. It was quick and easy, not appealing to the eye but it did the job. I think appearance really has a lot to do with how good the food tastes. For lunch me and the roomie had some pho with rare steak in it. It was good but my stomach was still upset from the previous evening. I did however love their lemonade with club soda. SO SO GOOD, I ordered two. 

Here I am, a bag of chips and slurpee later. Deciding to try something creative and write a blog. I know food may not be the most exciting thing to write about but to me dining and eating is an experience. The way different food blend together, complement each other and satisfy one's sense is an overall amazing process. So perhaps you will endeavor into my adventures in trying various foods and learning a bit about me in the process =)

P.S.

I LOVE CHICKEN WINGS. My goal is to try chicken wings from various restaurants and compare them. Ill keep you updated =))