Saturday, December 26, 2009

asian pork tenderloin

on christmas day some people prepare ham. i prepared pork tenderloin asian style. i tried this recipe a couple of years ago, and it's become a bit of a tradition for me.

this year i got a thicker tenderloin which i don't recommend. it takes much longer to cook so the pork got a bit dried out. so i recommend getting a tenderloin that has a diameter of 2-3 inches, no bigger.

in a bowl i combined:
1/4 cup of soy sauce
5 garlic cloves chopped
3 T olive oil
2 T brown sugar
4 T honey
4 T hoisin sauce
1 tsp pepper
* for those who are a fan of ginger, you can add 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger.*

after mixing it well, place the tenderloin in a ziploc bag and add the marinade. store it for 8 hours or overnight in the fridge.

the next day discard the marinade and place the tenderloin in a pan and bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 145 degrees. when it's done, let the meat rest for 5 minutes. top with green onions (sliced julienne) and serve with pan drippings.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

lemon meltaways

i was at someone's home, and they made these delicious lemon meltaway cookies! she said i could find a recipe online. so i searched on and i found this recipe for lemon meltaways.

i did make a few adjustments. i added more lemon juice in the cookie batter as well as the icing. i wanted to give it more of a lemon kick! you can probably add more lemon juice if you want more tartness. also, watch the baking time. i had to bake them for at least 14 minutes to get the bottoms slightly brown. it might have been b/c i had the dough refrigerated overnight. if i had refrigerated them for only 2 hours, then it might not have taken so long to bake.

they turned out pretty well! and they make great gifts during the holiday season.

i put some in a cellophane bag, tied it with a ribbon, and added a christmas tag (stamped of course my yours truly).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

peppermint joe joe's

one of my favorite supermarkets is trader joe's. they have great prices on food, but also just great food! around the holiday times, they make specialty food likes their peppermint joe joe's.

this year i saw these goodies! they are the dark chocolate covered peppermint joe joe's. imagine an oreo cookie with bits of peppermint candy inside the filling covered with dark chocolate sprinkled with more peppermint candy...

yes, they taste as good as it sounds.

but if you want them, you have to go quickly. i went to my local trader joe's on friday, and they were all gone! luckily, another trader joe's nearby had some in stock.

don't miss out on these yummy peppermint delights!

Monday, December 14, 2009

what is a foodie?

what is a foodie?
i googled it.

this is what i got.

wikipedia says a foodie is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. The word was coined in 1981 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr, who used it in the title of their 1984 book The Official Foodie Handbook.

merriam webster defines foodie as a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.

how would i define a foodie?

a foodie is person who has a strong passion for food. they eat for enjoyment not for survival. a foodie appreciates the look of food, the taste of food, the texture of food, and the amount of work that goes into making a dish.

my friend said, "i wish i was a foodie." can you become a foodie? i think so, but it just depends on how you see food and how much you enjoy food.

do you have to be a food critic to be a foodie? absolutely no.

i think you just have to love food! that's a foodie.

lesson learned

last night, my friends and i were at the climbing gym out in thousand oaks. instead of driving back home, we decided to try and grab dinner at a thai restaurant nearby. so we asked the owner if there was a good thai place nearby.

he told us there was one in walking distance and it was really good!

so we headed over to the restaurant.
okay, our first clue. a white guy was telling us about a good thai restaurant.
clue number 2:we were the only asians eating at the restaurant.

the prices were high, and the food was mediocre.
but then again, we were in thousand oaks were it's predominantly white, and this complex is a high rent area.

it was so dark in the restaurant i couldn't see my food. yeah, i won't be posting pictures of the food because really, nothing to brag about.

why am i posting about this? a lesson learned.

1. don't ask a white guy for a recommendation on a good asian restaurant.
2. check out the patrons. if you're the only asian person in the restaurant, it's probably not all that (unless you know he/she is a total foodie).
3. if it's dark, is there a reason why they don't want you to see the food?

we should have gone to president thai or somewhere else. it would have tasted better and cheaper too.

lesson learned.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

my first taste of LA

on the way back from the airport, i had a restaurant already picked out. porto's, a great cuban bakery located in glendale.

i ordered two potato balls and half a dozen cheese rolls to go.

the potato balls are deep fried meat fillings surrounded by a layer of mashed potato. and you gotta have it with some tapatio hot sauce!

oh, and the cheese rolls. so light and flaky. the cheese has just the right amount of sweetness. not too heavy. and they're sprinkled with a little bit of sugar on top.

for anyone looking for a birthday cake, wedding cake, porto's is the place! i've had their cakes at both events. i even requested my birthday cake to be from porto's bakery one year. their cakes are absolutely my favorite in southern california. even after a few days my birthday cake (chocolate cake with raspberry filling) was still moist!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

little bites of goodness

today i met my friend, vicki, for lunch. she introduced me to this little deli in south jersey called short hills deli. i love going there b/c they have the best whitefish salad. i had never heard of whitefish salad until vicki introduced me to it.

what is whitefish salad?

whitefish salad is a jewish cuisine. it is generally made of white fish like cod, haddock, pollack and others. i love it and definitely crave it sometimes. the whitefish salad at short hills deli has a great smoky taste, not too salty, and tastes great on top of a bagel with cream cheese! the bagels at short hills deli are so nice and airy. i like that. not too dense. i enjoyed my whitefish salad on a toasted everything bagel. as i took a bite into my bagel, a soft crunch echoed in my mouth. i enjoyed the flavor of the smoked fish along with the cream cheese. oh, so good!

the best place to get whitefish salad is at your local kosher deli. they should have a good whitefish salad. i always go to the kosher section to get some whitefish salad. i wonder what the deli owner thinks when he sees a korean girl asking for whitefish salad? :) they make it the best!

we also shared their hot pastrami sandwich. they make their slices nice and thick. not too salty. however, i was so stuffed from the whitefish salad bagel, that i couldn't finish my pastrami sandwich.

whitefish salad, great bagels, these are the little bites of goodness that i love about my hometown.

5 hours in NYC

what does one eat in 5 hours in nyc? well, the question is what does susan eat in 5 hours in nyc?

my cousin's husband, J, is a total foodie so i asked him, "what should i eat in my short time in nyc?"
he asked, "well, it depends on where you are going to be?"
a very good question.

i wanted to go down to the flat iron district to visit a yarn shop there.
so he suggested a route that basically takes me on a loop.

first stop: shake shack
he thinks that they have the best burgers in nyc, some will argue better than in-n-out. i will be the judge of that. he recommended that i leave early b/c after 12:00 there is a crazy line. so i left the apartment at 11:00am, and i took a brisk walk down to the shake shack. since it was still pretty early there was no line.

i ordered the cheeseburger and diet coke. they are known for their custard, but it was too cold to order custard. there is no inside eating. it's all outside. however, they did have heating lamps available.

in just a few minutes, my buzzer went off. i went to the counter and picked up my burger. it is smaller in size than in-n-out, and it does cost more. a shake shack burger is $4.75. however, i will say that it was better than in-n-out. yeah, i said it. and i will say it again. better than in-n-out. they use romaine lettuce at shake shack. in-n-out uses ice berg. i believe the ice berg is a waste of a green vegetable. no nutritional value. it only holds water.

as i took a bite, i savored the warm juicy burger inside my mouth. i said to myself, "oh man... this is good...." okay, yes, i haven't had beef for over a week, but i am not bias. i know a good burger when i taste it. and that was one good burger. the lettuce and tomato were very fresh. the meat patty was absolutely delicious!

i didn't order the fries b/c i noticed they were the krinkle cut fries. i've never been a fan of the krinkle cut so i can't say anything about their fries.

if you go, go early. if you wait one hour, i don't know if you'll be satisfied.

but for the price, it was a pretty good burger. i think it ranks #3 on my list of best burgers. my #1 burger is still mccormicks and schmicks happy hour burger. (another post for another time.)

it was lovely to eat my burger in the middle of madison square park on a cool autumn day. after enjoying my list bite, i went over to the yarn shop and browsed for an hour. i usually wouldn't blog about this, but it is food related b/c they had these cute crocheted donuts!! they even included sprinkles and shaved coconut. how cute is that? food can also be about the appearance. they looked almost good enough to eat!

after visiting the lion yard studio, i started to head to artichoke pizza, J's second recommendation. he told me that they have this artichoke & spinach pizza that tastes like the artichoke spinach dip! mmmm... artichoke is located on 14th street between 1st and 2nd ave. it's a pretty small store, so i think i lucked out again with the line. they do have other items on their menu, but i ordered one slice of their artichoke & spinach pizza to go. my slice was from a fresh pie. before i put it away, i took a few bites of it. it was heavenly. the crust had a nice crunch to it. if you like bready pizza, you'll like this one. it is more on the thick bread side, but it works b/c the cheese and flavors are so strong. i think if it was a thin pizza, the flavors would overpower everything. however, the thicker bread balances out all the flavors. i couldn't finish the whole pizza b/c it's a huge slice, but i packed it up and headed for my next stop, ess-a-bagel. (btw, i ate the pizza when i got home later. i popped it into the oven at 400 for 10 minutes. it still tasted delicious!)

i ordered 2 everything bagels. i actually haven't tried it yet b/c i was so stuffed from the burger and the pizza. but the nice thing about bagels, you can pop them in the toaster oven, and they still taste great!

what did i spend today?
shake shack
diet coke = $2.00

artichoke pizza
1 slice = $4.00

2 everything bagels=$2.00

grand total=$14.75

not bad for 5 hours in nyc.

oh, and as a little amuse bouche, my cousin gave me these cute treats from financier patisserie, a place that my cousin loves. i had one when i got home after a 2 hour bus ride after my leftover artichoke pizza. it's a buttery taste of heaven! it had a nice thin shell on the outside. it reminds me of a combination of a madeline and a pound cake but with more of a baked shell. and they do a fabulous job with the packaging. very clean and simple.

in nyc, you can pay $$ and have an excellent meal, but i love how you can spend less than $15.00 and enjoy the tastes of new york city.

i heart ny.

**i took the bolt bus back to cherry hill for $12.00. so really my grand total in nyc was $26.75. who said ny was expensive?

Monday, December 7, 2009

24hrs in nyc

i just returned from a trip which brought me to nyc for 24 hours. i am staying with my cousin who just had a baby boy, so it was an added bonus to meet their new baby boy.

anyways... as i was riding from JFK to her apartment, i started to think...

what do i want to eat in NYC? i have 24 hours.

i believe NYC is the mecca of food. on this tiny island, restaurants compete to survive in this tough world. however, it's not just about expensive food. nyc has a wide range of food from the little pizza joint down the street to the very upscale $300/prix fixed menu. every time i visit nyc, there's always something new to try.

after being in india for 5 days, i was really craving beef! as my cousin and i were trying to decide what to eat, a friend called and offered to pick up sandwiches from defonte's of brooklyn. we quickly went online to check out their menu. oh.. the choices!

i decided on #20, hot roast beef (roast beef, fresh mozzarella, fried eggplant, natural au jus).

my cousin ordered #23, the jerry lewis (fresh mozzarella, fried eggplant, tomato). defonte's like to name their sandwiches after famous people.

even though i was craving beef, i actually preferred the jerry lewis. i also poured a bit of balsamic vinegar on a plate to dip the sandwich. the jerry lewis was so tasty! even though it was all vegetarian, the fried eggplant had a "meaty"ness to it. dipping it in balsamic vinegar brought out the flavors of the mozzarella as well. and the sesame topped bread was the right combination for this sandwich.

the hot roast beef was really good. don't get me wrong. however, i don't think they needed the fried eggplant. it gets lost in the au jus!

there were so many other sandwiches on that menu which sounded incredible. for another time.

i definitely recommend this place!

stay tuned to see what else i eat in these 24hrs in nyc.

can airplane food actually be good?

the reputation of airplane food is pretty bad. you only get food on international food now.

this past trip i flew to india on lufthansa, a german based airline. the other dishes i won't really comment about b/c honestly nothing to comment, but i had to post about this delightful treat.

the flight attendant asked me, "would you like a vegetarian pizza or bavarian hot dog?"

i responded, "a bavarian what?"
she replied, "a bavarian hot dog."

this sounded interesting. what is a bavarian hot dog?

a bavarian hot dog (by lufthansa) is bratwust surrounded by bread which has the same texture as a pretzel dotted with sesame seeds.

the initial shape was oblong and rectangular. after taking one bite, i was so happy! this is airplane food? are you kidding me?

in my first bite, i had a bit of the pretzel, bratwurst and mustard in the center. the pretzel outside was so soft and chewy. the bratwurst inside was delicious!

i may not choose lufthansa as the best airline to fly, but i give them kudos for the bavarian hot dog.

a new blog

recently, i saw the movie julie & julia, and i was inspired by amy adam's character, julie powell, who started a food blog about trying julia child's recipes in a span of one year. i've already been posting photos on facebook, but i decided why not just create a blog which allows me to write more information?

is it to gain fame? no.
is it to gain followers? no.

it's just a way to share with others food i've eaten all over the world. a place for me to share great places to eat, interesting foods from all over and recipes i've tested and tried.

(btw, for all of you foodies out there, you must watch this movie! it's excellent. meryl streep is stellar! she embodies julia child!)

i will attempt to keep it fresh and post regularly as much as possible.

so i hope you enjoy reading this blog.