Posts Tagged 'FOOD'

 
August 18
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Bo Luc Lac in Vietnamese basically translates to “shaking beef”.  I posted a bad late night picture of this dish awhile back on my Instagram and I got a lot of questions and requests for the recipe…along with just requests to come over and eat it! So today I finally had the chance to not just make the dish, but also photograph it in nice daylight just before the rain came.

This is a dish I grew up eating. My mom doesn’t make it as often as I’d like, but when she does, it’s a big treat and we’re all over it!  This recipe is adapted from my aunties and mom, and is a standard and really easy recipe that I use very often on a cast iron skillet.

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On a recent run to Costco, we decided to stock up on fish. I don’t cook fish very often, but that’s going to change because I love to EAT fish! I love the Costco Atlantic Salmon filets because they are the perfect size: thin so they’re extremely easy to cook everywhere, individually packaged for optimal storage in the freezer, and they defrost fast. I don’t like baking/roasting as much as pan frying these because I haven’t mastered the timing yet. Pan frying is also faster since you don’t have to preheat an oven, and I can keep an eye on the fish at all times. The final result is so good. The heat is amazing with the salmon, and this is going to be a staple dish in my home, so I’m blogging it here to remember and share!

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July 02
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Back when I lived in CA, we use to frequent this amazing boba place called Tastea.  Every summer, they had a seasonal drink called Watermelon Heaven. It had chunks of watermelon in the blended  mix and mashed to perfection. I lived for that drink. Now that I’m here in Hotlanta [right now it really is Hotlanta], all I’ve been craving for is cold juices and ice cream. We got a HUGE watermelon along with large boxes of fruit from Costco last night and I just didn’t have any room in my kitchen to store all this fruit. I youtubed some different ways to make watermelon juice, but this one by FullyRawKristina [you can view the video to see how she does it] is the one that I thought was the best. She uses herbs to infuse into her watermelon drink, and I so happy to grow all those herbs in abundance on my balcony!

By the way, I still have no idea how to tell if a watermelon is good and ripe. Please leave a comment to help me out!

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June 19
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We took an impromtu road trip to Savannah on Monday and I’m so happy we finally got to see this amazing town. As the oldest city in the Georgia, Savannah still holds on to most of its history in its architecture, in the large oak trees with Spanish moss, and the wrought iron structures that came from all over the world. We ate so much good food and I yelped about it all here at Debby L.   I also made a list of all the places I went to in Savannah so you can check it out here. If you ever get a chance to see Savannah, be sure to walk through all the little niches and you’ll discover some amazing local artists, hole in the wall Caribbean food, and memories to last a lifetime.
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 Forsyth Park is a great place to set up a picnic on a warm day, sit under the oak trees and people watch!

 

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The Paris Market in the Historic District has amazing old Parisian things for sale. The outside decor completely caught my eye and I had to make a run through the store  to see what they had, and also grab a macaroon or two! They also have a really cute coffee area inside the market and if I didn’t JUST come from Coffee Fox across the street, I would have stopped in for some coffee here! It’s bookmarked for the next time I’m in Savannah!

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The Coffee Fox has great quiches and coffee! We tried the Mexican Mocha and the Horchata Latte. Both are amazingly tasty.

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Gotta stop at Paula Dean’s place and see what it’s all about! Butter, of course.

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Finding old and new friends

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Alligator Soul is one of those restaurants where you tell your facebook friends that you’re going to Savannah, and immediately everyone says Alligator Soul. I ran into a girlfriend at the waxing parlor in Atlanta, and told her I was taking the next few days to go to Savannah. She is pregnant and constantly has pregnant brain….but not when it comes to Alligator Soul! This place did not disappoint at all. The oysters a la soul are something to be reckoned with. The habanero sauce that accompanies the dish brings it just to another level. The Hilbo sauce is the chef’s signature, and it is incorporated into many of the dishes like the ribeye and lamb.

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Candy stores are all over the Historical District, so we stopped by the River Street Sweets near our hotel. The praline bites are made in house, fresh, and they let you sample a piece as soon as you walk in. They are quite addicting so don’t be shocked if you walk out with a fresh bag of them to take home!

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Hueys on the River is a must do for breakfast brunch. They are located on the riverfront, so you can walk through the whole strip to shop, buy souvenirs, get ice cream…and then have brunch here. The parmesan garlic grits are some of the best I’ve ever had, and the crab cake benedict is hands down my favorite benedict thus far.

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June 06
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Trader Joe’s from beginning to end. The only thing outside of Trader Joes is the fresh basil from my garden. I tried to sit outside to eat…but thunderstorms and rain came upon me and I had to bring it inside. As soon as I finished my plate, the sun came out again. Figures.

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I made these for the kids and their moms before we all trooped off to see Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson, the Immortal Tour. We scored good prices and tickets from TravelZoo, which took us all the way to the FRONT ROW! If you haven’t seen the show, you must. They were amazing and the music of course took us back to our elementary school and teenage days of watching Michael Jackson marathons on MTV. We were out of our seats for half the show, dancing along to Thriller, Bad, Beat It, They Don’t Care About Us and many more favorites.

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Spring rolls are one of my favorite foods of all time. They are so easy to make, tastes so fresh, and incredibly healthy to eat all the time! My mom use to pick herbs from the garden, just throw them all in a basket and put them on the dinner table. Julienne some veggies like fresh lettuce, cucumbers, jicama, carrots, add whatever meat or fish you’re making that day,  and voila…a spring roll. She usually makes a fish sauce for dipping, but I tend to prefer peanut sauces with spring rolls.

I’ve been wrapping spring rolls my whole life, and I have a few ways of doing it. My old favorite was just having my wet rice paper on a small dish, throwing everything into the middle lined with good fresh lettuce leaf without the rib, and fold in the sides to not have any open ends until you bite into them. This is my dad’s way of rolling them because he makes the BIGGEST spring rolls filled to the rim with everything and everything. He also says that he gets lazy and doesn’t want to roll a lot so just do a few enormous ones to save time. I learned to love that way of rolling from him, but for photography and aesthetic reasons, this open ended way by Steamy Kitchen is much prettier!

I usually make a peanut sauce with hoison on the stovetop learned from Ravenous Couple because I LOVE Bo Bia and they haven’t let me down on a recipe yet… but Jaden of Steamy Kitchen caught my attention on my Feedly blog roll with her recent post on Vegetable Spring Rolls and in particular, her feature of The Blender Girl’s Orange Almond Sauce for Vietnamese Spring Rolls [her cookbook is a bestseller on Amazon]. Sorry, that was a lot of links, but I’m a firm believer in citation due to law school. The sauce is easier to make because you don’t have to heat anything up. Instead, you can use a blender or food processor to mix all your ingredients. I made some adjustments to the sauce to cater to my taste: I used regular JIF peanut butter instead of almond butter [because I just love the pure peanut taste], and I almost doubled the amount of peanut butter from the suggested amount, and I used less lime juice. The sauce is quite thick with just 1/4 cup of water, so I added little bits of water as I blended until I was happy with the consistency. 

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April 25
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We take long walks a lot in the area. The tree colors are all changing from brown to green, and there is so much to take in. We stumbled onto this fair a few days ago and we decided to come back today right around sunset. We planned on having “dinner” here, which I was anticipating as hot dogs, nachos, and cotton candy. However, we ended up having the most yummy falafel, gyro, baked potatoes, and the best lemonade over. We even got in a few wine tastings from Total Wine! I took home a freshly popped bag of kettle corn too.

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April 25
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My absolute favorite grocery store is Trader Joe’s. The frozen foods section is perfect for a small household like mine, especially one that can’t cook everyday. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal from here, so I’m constantly trying out the new things they bring in. Today, I made pot roast from Trader Joe’s in my still semi consistent cast iron skillet. I thought it was going to be uber juicy and well balanced because of the cast iron, but I think I cooked it for just too long so the meat was not as pink as I’d like. Only the thickest section was perfectly cooked, but I live and learn. Next pot roast will be better I hope! As for the burrata, I’m just a sucker for burrata cheese. I also get them from Trader Joe’s every so often, and I love pairing it with different herbs, or will just throw it on a pizza for extra oomph.

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