Month: April 2013
Izakaya Blue Ocean Restaurant: Ramen
After hearing many great things, and being recommended this place often, I finally got the chance to try Blue Ocean Restaurant. I hear their sushi is GREAT and their ramen is flavorful. But that would be too much for me to judge on at once, so let’s break it down by food. Today we are talking soup. Ramen noodle soup to be exact.
I ordered the soy ramen soup. And that was it. It came out in a perfect portion, for me. Meaning it wasn’t a huge bowl that I was doomed to waste. There was bamboo, a seaweed sheet, scallions, half a boiled egg, and piece of pork. Your standard ramen bowl. No extras to add in were even offered on the menu. Just straight up ramen.
And that was all it needed to be. The noodles were a perfect texture, the soup full of flavor. WOW. I did not expect this from a non dedicated noodle joint. I am happy. Maybe all the other places had too many choices? And I made the wrong choice? Now I have to reevaluate and try ALL the soups every where else. Or maybe not. But yes. It was GOOD. and I am satisfied. Better than Tanpopo for me.
Life with Bawse: Puppy Graduation
He made it!!! I was worried, because I’m always worried. But he passed. How could I doubt my smart little guy? Puppy class is for pups 3 months to 5 months. They are INTRODUCED the basic commands…sit, come, stay, wait/watch me, lay down, leave it, drop it.
He gets these concepts, but he still chooses to do them when he WANTS to. But that’s why he’s starting his intermediate classes RIGHT AWAY. The following week actually.
We also taught him to sit and high five. Now if only he would “come” and “stay” when we tell him too. Oh, that and get him to stop MARKING and peeing in the house. You live here, you don’t need to leave your mark! All the toys are yours buddy!
And he sleeps with his eyes open and his tongue out. Silly Pup.
Hot & Juicy Crawfish
How have I not written about this place before? I’ve gone here a couple times already, to quickly satiate my cravings for crawfish, when my brother can’t whip me up a pot “real quick”. Out of the two places in the area that I’ve been to for crawfish, this place is only second best to my family’s boil.
I took my little there for her birthday the other weekend. It was her first time EVER having crawfish. But being the adventurous eater she is, she opened them like a pro. She even sucked the head for the sweet brains, and loved it. I was a super proud big. They also have crab legs, clams, blue crabs, oysters, calamari…basically its a down and dirty seafood joint.
They take their spices really seriously there, so their “mild” is spicy enough for me. So tread carefully when you are ordering your spice levels. My favorite is their Juicy Cajun flavor for the crawfish. Since it’s not like Ai Toy’s crawfish, I have to dip the meat back in the sauce…but at least it doesn’t taste like pond water!
Virtue Feed & Grain
Another year older for my ride or die chick Vitya. Due to a long day, and bad allergies, we had to opt out of friday night shenanigans. To make it up to her the OG CFFs (couple friends forever, yes its a real thing) took her to Virtue Feed & Grain. We got in right on time. The chefs were leaving the establishment, and we had one final chance to taste the amazing food before they got new chefs.
Duck LEG confit. Duck anything confit. I love. I ordered. It was perfect. OH and the steak. I had to trade plates half way through my duck, because I wanted to fill the rest of my tummy with steak. The chef brought out ALL the desserts to our table in celebration of her birthday, so we got to try a little bit of everything. Thanks to Killa DEE and her knowing the chef 😉
It was great, and I am nervous about the chef change, but I wish them the best!
So you might have remembered, I was away in Hawaii for the week of my birthday. So by the time I came back, most of my friends forgot my birthday even happened. Deanna didn’t. She took me out to fill me with my heart’s desire at Society Fair in Old Town. Ever since I left Paris I’ve yearned for that perfect baguette, the best charcuteries/fromage and the beautiful pink wine to rinse it all down with. I’ve tried multiple places for charcuteries, Bistro Cacao, Lyon Hall, Birch & Barley… but nothing really did it justice…until now.
We literally sat there and ate about 4 bowls of baguettes slices with our charcuteries. And the best part? It’s a market, so I can just pick some up for a girl’s night WHEN EVER. Definitely my new favorite market. I even got to pick up a copy of “Little Paris Kitchen” and some TCHO chocolates.
Plus! One of the chefs was nice enough to give me tips on how to roll my baguettes! *sigh HAPPINESS IN FOOD!
Life with Bawse: Breed Discrimination
Bawse is an American Pitbull Terrier. At 16 weeks old, he’s 24 lbs of solid muscle and excess wrinkly skin. He loves his mama and his papa. He knows our pack. He follows our pack. Sometimes he gets distracted, like all small children, but he can behave, is smart, sweet and stubborn. He’s a puppy. He didn’t choose to be born, he didn’t choose to be born a pitbull, but we CHOSE to give him a good home, love, and training.
Bawse goes to puppy school. He goes to puppy day care. He goes to the dog park. He’s socialized with other dogs, small animals, small people, and big people. He knows when to play rough and when to be gentle. Yet despite all this. People judge him by his looks.
“Is that a pitbull?” says a woman rudely, as she hogs two tables outside a local froyo place. “Yes.” I say. She scoffs, and returns to stuffing her face with her large bowl of froyo. I was going to ask if I could sit at her table with her, but I decide against it since she gave off such a stank attitude. I walk Bawse over to the side. Ask him to sit, and wait patiently while daddy gets us froyo.
The stank faced lady’s kids asked her if they could go pet my puppy, and she promptly responds,” NO. It’s a pitbull”. The kids, having no idea what different breeds were, and just saw a small puppy asked, “WHAT’S A PIG BULL?”. The lady just says no, and tells her kids something along the lines of bad dog, or bite you. I only half listened because I was so frustrated and holding back anger.
HOW DARE SHE ASSUME my puppy was bad, or vicious? Does she also assume that I am a no good hoodlum because I am covered in tattoos? I get it. People will always judge. Be the bigger person. Blah Blah, I understand. She doesn’t know how sweet my little guy is. She doesn’t know him. Fear of the unknown is understandable. But why did I get so mad? I see breed discrimination, the same as racism. Small dogs can be vicious, and aggressive (AND they pick fights with Bawse at the dog park) yet no one gives a shit because they are small and people aren’t intimidated. If a rumble goes down at the dog park, and Bawse is anywhere near it, close minded, snotty owners will automatically assume its him. I prefer him to play with his great dane buddies who actually rescue him from the wanna be badasses like the westies that wanna dominate him because he’s young.
Pitbulls get a bad rep. I know this. I didn’t actually think I would face it in my lifetime with Bawse. My friends, and family, all have pitbulls or love pitbulls and I surround myself with open minded people. This lady is not my friend, nor do I know her personally. But she’s raising her kids to be judgmental and presumptuous. Good luck to them, and their future with a mom like that.
I hope that I am making the right choices in training and socializing him. Maybe people will meet him, and realize, that just like human children, it’s all about how you raise them.
Citrus Asian Chicken
Inspired by the soy hoison orange salmon meal I make I wanted to make a chicken version. Who doesn’t love chicken right? And a roast chicken is a classic favorite because you get that tender meat with crispy skin.
So lets do this.
For the marinade, we don’t even need to make it pretty. Also long as we can fuse all the flavors into the chicken, we win! Smash and peel the garlic, cut off the roots and smash the green onions. Don’t even need to chop it! Just release those flavors!
Wash then peel some zest off one orange, and one lemon.
Throw the zest, garlic, green onions into the bag. Pour in the liquid ingredients. Give it a good shake, and taste it to see if it’s something you are proud of.
Add the chicken to the bag, seal and mix, shake, massage. Get all the flavors in there. Lay it down in a pan and refrigerate for a couple hours (the longer the better) and remember to flip the bag over halfway through, for even soaking.
3 stalks of green onion
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
4 chicken thighs or breast
Wash and zest strips of one of the oranges and lemon. Place those in a gallon size zippered plastic bag. Squeeze the juices of the citrus in the bag. Trim the green onions, cut in half and smash the white parts. Add to the bag, along with the liquid ingredients. Shake the bag and taste. Alter to your taste.
Rinse and pat dry your chicken thighs. Add to ziplock and marinate for 2-8 hours, turning halfway.
Preheat your oven to 425F. Stick your cast iron in the oven (empty) for 10 minutes to get it nice and hot.
Remove your chicken thighs from the bag and lay them in a pan to let the marinade drip off a little. Brush the skin with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Remove the hot skillet from the oven, and place the thighs, skin side down onto the skillet and return to the oven for 20-30 minutes.
While your chicken is baking, pour the leftover marinade into a small saucepan, discarding the chunks of citrus, garlic and green onion. Bring to boil over medium high heat, then reduce to a medium low simmer. Taste and season accordingly. If you want it sweeter, add honey, if you want it saltier add soy sauce.
After 20 minutes, check on your chicken. If you think it needs a little more time to brown the skin side give it a little, if not, let’s flip! Pull out skillet. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to help loosen the skin from the bottom of the pan. Flip the chicken over, and baste with the marinade that you turned into a sauce! Cook for another 10-15 minutes, until chicken is done.
Let your sauce thicken, then serve chicken with sauce over rice.
The Spa at Black Rock
Warm weather is approaching, and even though it is having it’s off days, I really look forward to wearing dresses and skirts, but not before I get a full body scrub to get rid of all this winter skin. Yuck.
That reminds me of the great service I had at the Black Rock Spa in Maui. Part of my birthday festivities was a day at the spa. I got the Maui Mikana Body Treatment which was amazing. Smelled so good and tropical and my skin felt so smooth and nourished afterwards.
But then we came back to the mainland…and my skin got EVEN drier. Gross.
I miss Hawaii.
Macadamia Nut Pancakes and Coconut Syrup
I don’t think I will ever have maple syrup again. Which sucks, because I went to costco last year and got two huge bottles for a brunch I was hosting. Fail. Anyone need syrup?
This picture is from Longhi’s. A super cute french decorated restaurant where we had my birthday breakfast in Hawaii. We had a sidewalk seat that overlooked the street and water, which was like a combination of my France trip last year! I looooved it.
I loved it so much, that I wanted to recreate a Hawaiian breakfast myself.
For the coconut syrup, I took the simple syrup approach. But instead of water, I used coconut milk.