Okay not completely new but new to me. I found a great deal on this dining table set and china cabinet. Both came out of a model home. I saved at least $1,500, not including savings from tax and delivery. I love it when I find great deals. The bf knows that I love to spend money but I always spend wisely. Gone are the days where I will stroll into a Neimans and pay full price for jeans. I love finding great deals. It makes me really happy.
I realize this post is another non-food post. But I think is slightly food related. After all I will likely be doing a lot of entertaining with this table. I currently have six chairs. I am considering ordering two additional chairs.
The pictures are from the model home. The set is currently in the new place and it is not completely assembled yet but will be in a few days. I plan on using the same color scheme. I love red and the contrast of red and dark espresso brown is perfect. I initially wanted a square bar height table with seating for eight but unfortunately the dining area in the place is rectangular rather than square.
I want new stuff but it will have to wait. I still have many pieces from my downtown highrise condo. The building was modeled after many NYC buildings and included a door man. The furniture I purchased for the place was a little more on the modern style. I bought a lot of chrome. My couch was beautiful red with chrome feet. I loved that couch. My dinette, coffee tables and end table were all chrome and glass. My bed is even chrome and pleather. I sold many of the pieces as I moved throughout this city but I still have some of them. I'll have to make the old stuff work with the new. I'm reading a lot of apartment therapy right now to see how I can make it not look so eclectic.
We are approximately 75% moved. I have a few little items and all the large furniture items left to move. The bf has a wonderful friend who does contract work moving furniture out of foreclosed homes. He is moving all of our furniture.
The bf's idea of moving is not exactly my idea of moving. I usually pack my moving boxes (I am very picky about using actual moving boxes), tape, and label them and then wait for the movers to come. Yesterday the bf stuffed my car and his car full with my stuff and moved it all over to the new place. It took several trips. He said it was easier this way. My legs were very sore and I was not a happy camper. I broke a nail.
I haven't been cooking much. We got back from vacation last week and are now packing because we are moving next week. I still want to post about food. I took these pictures are Moongate Asian Grill. It was taken a few weeks ago. We were on our way to the Nuggets vs Lakers Conference Finals game and grabbed some dinner. I didn't want to eat food at The Pepsi Center. (The Nuggets lost that night and eventually lost the series.)
I ordered the Royal Chicken. The restaurant describes it as the Thai version of Cashew Chicken. I'm not sure if it is authentic Thai. I love the stuff but I don't know how to make it. There is chicken breast, an assortment of veggies and cashew nuts in a sweet soy-based sauce. The bf ordered Drunken Noodles (his favorite) and Crab Cheese Wontons (aka Crab Rangoon). The Drunken Noodles in Denver a a little different from the Drunken Noodles I am used to ordering from Thai restaurants in San Diego. The Denver version is still very good but it is just not the same. One of my dear friend's mother showed me how to make a version but her version used a paste of red bell peppers.
The bf loves Crab Cheese Wontons. I can't stand the stuff. He orders it at every Asian restaurant. He says my mom's version is still the best. He ate over 30 when my mom made it for my friend's baby shower. My mom usd Knorr powder, chopped green onions and frozen peas in addition to the imitation crab and cream cheese.
I think I am going to bed a little earlier today. Maybe right after the Rockies game ends but perhaps a little earlier. I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to go pick up my iPhone 3G S at AT&T. The lines were not that bad. Maybe because this time around they sold a lot of pre-ordered phones that were delivered directly to the customer. I had to go in because I pre-ordered in the store and had to trade in my old one.
Although I am trained to make wonderfully gourmet dishes, my bf has very simple taste. It makes him really happy when I tell him that the package of chicken breasts is for chicken fried chicken.
The first time I saw chicken fried steak I thought about a regular dish that we used to make in culinary school. It looked very similar and when I went searching for a recipe, the method was nearly identical to Wiener Schnitzel. I told him I can make his chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken in my sleep. The first time I made it, he said, “good stuff Maynard.” (It is his way of complimenting me.)
This weekend, after eating out for every meal for the last week, I really did not want to eat out for another meal. I was uninspired and was not craving anything so I decided to indulge the bf by making one of his favorite dishes. I made a large batch because he loves leftovers. I told him to freeze the leftovers and reheat portions in the oven. I suppose you can cut the recipe in half or even quarter.
The methods demonstrated in this dish are the three-step breading technique and shallow frying technique. Three-step breading is used for dishes such as veal francese, Weiner Schnitzel and of course chicken fried steak.
Chicken Fried Chicken
4 pounds chicken breast, pounded to about ¼ inch thickness using a meat tenderizer Sea salt, to taste Pepper, to taste Cayenne pepper, to taste 4 cups All-purpose flour Garlic powder, to taste 4 eggs 1 cup milk Canola oil
1. Start by pounding your chicken breast with a meat tenderizer to about ¼ inch thickness. Be careful when you pound. There is a method you want to employ where the goal is to strategically pound the chicken in the right direction instead of haphazardly pounding the chicken and tearing the chicken breast into several pieces. Season the chicken breast with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. 2. In a flat dish (such as a pie tin), season flour with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Set aside. 3. Beat eggs and place in another flat dish. (Some people prefer to mix eggs with milk but I find that the flour coating is better when I use just eggs.) 4. Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium heat and add just enough oil to immerse approximately a third or half of the chicken. Let oil heat up. Meanwhile, take a piece of your chicken breast and dip in seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour, and then dip in eggs and then dip again in seasoned flour. You should have a nice coating. When oil is hot, carefully place chicken in skillet. Cook until golden and then carefully flip chicken and fry the other side until golden. (I like to put all the pieces of chicken in an ovenproof pan and finish them off in the oven.) Repeat until all pieces of chicken are cooked. 5. To make gravy: When done cooking chicken, pour off all but about three tablespoons of oil, reserving the brown bits. Add about three tablespoons of the leftover seasoned flour and cook the flour until browned. You want to make a brown roux. Add milk and cook until thickened. Adjust seasonings.
The bf likes his chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and corn.
The picture tutorial:
1. Pound your chicken.
2. Prep you seasoned flour and eggs. Also season the chicken breasts. 3. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour. 4. Dip chicken in eggs. 5. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour again. (My hands are finally dark! I spent a few days on the beaches in Hawaii. Now I am peeling =( but I'm dark =)) 6. Shallow fry one side. 7. Now shallow fry the other. You can completely cook in the oil or finish in the oven. I like to cook the chicken until golden on the outside and I know the chicken is not completely cooked so I cook in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
Now the finished dish. This is my plate. I didn't finish it. The bf took two pieces of chicken and finished it. He is more than a foot taller than me.
I haven't been posting because I have been on vacation and didn't take the little MacBook with me. Whenever I take my computer, I am tempted to work. I wanted to have a relaxing vacation so the computer stayed at home. (I did check emails on my phone but that was about it.)
I highly recommend the breakfast buffet at Duke's. It is located in the Outrigger Waikiki and right on the beach.
What a great way to start the day. We woke up at the crack of dawn, showered, walked on the beach and then ate breakfast. We were done by 9:00 am, leaving the rest of the day for other activities.
After laying out on the beach and swimming with the fishies, we had my birthday dinner at the Top of Waikiki restaurant. Of course I had the duck. The menu description: Tea Smoked Ginger Duck l'orange: organic free range Long Island duck with prosciutto, mascarpone, mesculin greens wrapped in a corn crepe with blackberry balsamic syrup, ginger-orange sauce & duck au jus & crispy sweet potato.
The bf had the fish special. Sorry the pictures suck because I was trying to be discreet by using the camera on my phone instead of a real camera.The next morning we climbed to the summit of an extinct volcano and then rewarded ourselves with the best snow cone in the world. This snow cone truck is located at the base of Diamondhead.
After waiting all morning at Pearl Harbor and taking the guided tour, we were famished. (The tour is definitely worth the wait. I'm a sucker for history so this tour was up my alley.) My buddy Scott took us to a local place he likes to dine at. It is called Wally Ho's Garage and Grill. It is a gas station/auto repair shop/grill. The food was really good. I thought the Coca Cola bottle shaped slat and pepper shakers were adorable.
I've never seen pineapple growing before. I loved the Dole plantation.
Me and my pineapple soft-serve in a waffle cone.
My fresh coconut I bought from one of those famous shrimp trucks on the side of the rode in North Shore. We didn't have the shrimp because we were still very full. The shrimp is supposed to be really good. This place had their own shrimp pond where they harvested their shrimp fresh daily.
Just some food posts. Maybe some other posts later. I am still tired.
I've been making this a lot. It is my favorite cake and the bf actually enjoys it. I'm still trying different variations. This time I baked it in a tube pan. It is the same recipe as Chinese Cake Take Two. This time I didn't forget the vanilla. I think I actually prefer it without the vanilla. It tastes more authentic without it. The texture was lighter this time because I inverted the cake while I let it cool.
I sliced it into two layers and layered with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
Chinese Sponge Cake (aka Chinese Birthday Cake) (Gai Don Go) 9 eggs, separated 1 cup cake flour, sifted ½ cup all purpose flour, sifted ½ tsp. cream of tartar ½ tsp. baking powder 1 c. sugar ½ c. water ¼ c. oil 1 tsp. vanilla
1. Beat egg yolks until thick, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, water, oil and vanilla and beat until creamy. Set aside. 2. Beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. 3. Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold the rest of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until incorporated. 4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven. If using a 9x13 pan, bake for about 20-25 minutes. If using tube pan, bake 35-40 minutes and invert the pan while cooling. 5. When cool, top or layer with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
My grandmother used to do wonderful things with sweet Coachella Valley corn. She made these wonderful steamed corn puddings wrapped and steamed in their husks. She would take ears of corn and grate the ear of corn on a box grater until she was left with a large bowl of liquefied corn. She would then mix it with some corn meal and sugar and wrap them in washed corn husks saved from the ears of corn. I’m not blogging about this steamed corn pudding today.
Another dish she made was stir-fry fresh corn kernels. I love this stir-fry with a bowl of piping hot jasmine rice. I bought one too many ears of corn last week and decided to make stir-fried corn kernels for dinner this weekend. The bf thought it was an interesting dish (almost as interesting as when I made stir-fried water spinach).
1 pound ground chicken breast or other meat salt pepper MSG Canola oil 1 onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 4 ears sweet corn, removed from cobb 2 carrots, sliced 1 8-ounce container crimini mushrooms, sliced 1 head of broccoli, cut into pieces 2 thai bird chilies, minced maggi sauce, to taste fish sauce, to taste oyster sauce, to taste
1. In a large wok, heat oil and add meat, salt, pepper and MSG. When meat is cooked, add onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until onions are translucent. 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until corn is tender. 3. Serve with jasmine rice.