Homemade Ramen Burger

So this is the newest crazy food thing. It doesn't seem that crazy to me though. I love ramen, and I love burgers…and now that its introduced together, you know I had to jump on that train! Since its only at the Smorgasbord in NYC I have to make it myself.

It was quite the adventure. I actually had to make it two nights in a row because I wanted to perfect it. The first night, I got the Asian flavors right. Sesame oil, soy sauce, white pepper, sriracha all the flavors that scream…ramen.

Now I can't make my own fresh ramen (yet! I dare to dream) so I had to get cheapie Japanese style ramen packets to start. It was pretty easy to make. I mixed cooked ramen noodles with an egg, then molded it in a wide flat ramekin, and pan fried it.

I seasoned ground beef with soy sauce, white pepper and sesame oil. Formed a patty, seared it then cooked it in the oven while I made everything else. Like a fried egg.

I am very proud of how it turned out, and taste testers agree, but its definitely way too intense for me to eat regularly. But I would make it again if someone wanted me to!


Curry Chicken and Coconut Rice

Yum! It's been awhile since I cooked something during a week night, but this one made this list. I used Shutterbean's recipe and its awesome.

Rosie came over for our monthly dinner/catch up night. She brought all the ingredients, she watches me cook dinner, and washes dishes. Then we eat and she gets to keep the leftovers for the week. That's our deal and I love it. I get to try out new recipes and I don't have to eat it all week! If you need me to do this, I am willing haha!


I didn't get a lot of pictures of the process because I made a video from it, but it smells great. The only thing I would change is use chicken stock instead of water for more flavor. No one else thought it was bland though, just me. Maybe because I was getting a cold when I made this.


Definitely will make this again!


Summer Iced Tea Bar

I love iced drinks, with lots of ice. For a bridal shower, I set up an iced tea bar. It was such a hit at the party that I’ve decided to share!


To start I had 3 different types of teas in fun glass gallon bottles. I brewed a ginger peach, and matcha green tea with mango and passionfruit. On the table I set out berries, herbs and citrus. And provided two types of sweetners, raw cane sugar and agave! Guests got to mix and match their teas, sugars, fruits and herbs and create their own fun summer drink! I loved this idea and hope to use it again.


Amelie’s Bakery

I don't know if you noticed but…I am slightly obsessed with macarons it seems to be the thing to do now when I go on a trip. Find macarons. So on a recent trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, I stopped in at Amelie's Bakery before heading home. This short weekend trip was no different. We went to the “petite” store, which is much smaller than their flagship store I am guessing. It was quite charming and tiny. I loved it. A chandelier made of cooking tools, and french artwork and paraphernalia all around the cozy bakery.

I had their caramel iced latte, a chocolate croissant, the gruyere and ham puff pastry and each of the macaron flavors they had out that day. Puff pastry, excellent, delicious, and I kind of want one right now, just thinking about it. Same goes for the croissant. Macaron flavors were fun. They had mixed berry (purple with a jam in the middle), ginger peach, lime basil, lemon butter cream, and raspberry. To be honest they all tasted about the same…like a sweet chewy cookie. The only one that stood out to me was the mixed berry, which was vibrant in flavor. It was a little chewy, but that's just not a preferable texture of mine. The other flavors were just sweet with a hint of whatever they were supposed to be.


In A World Like This: Backstreet Boys Concert

The last time I saw Backstreet Boys, all together live, was when I was 13, and Nick Carter was 16. It was my first concert ever. I was out with my other middle school friends. And my parents weren’t there. It was my first night on the town you could say. This was back when my room was dark because the walls were covered, every inch of magazine tear outs and posters of Backstreet boys, along with a tiny space on the ceiling above my head dedicated to Nick Carter.

Fast forward 15 years, and here they are again. Same dance moves, same energy, just a little more weight, facial hair, wrinkles. Same smiles though. Brian is still flipping and goofing around on stage. Kevin is still charming, smooth and suave. AJ is still super awesome and cool. Nick is still an attention whore trying to get all the ladies to love his magic mike moves and well Howie’s still just trying to get everyone to love him and notice him.


They were opened up by DJ Pauly D. Who did a fun set, while I was still eating my burger in the VIP lounge. It was a pretty short set. And then I got my teeny bopper squeal on when Jesse McCartney stepped out on stage in a suit and started singing his old hits, sprinkled with a couple new ones…that I DO LOVE. Realistically, Nick Carter and Jesse McCartney aren’t the type of guys I would swoon over in real life…but on stage what is it about the magic there that just wins a girl over?


My friend Megan (who is an awesome hair stylist by the way) got us the VIP package. Parking, lounge and seats. We were in row A. Close enough to make eye contact with them and share smiles. Did I mentioned, I've probably died 20 times that night? I had an amazing time singing at the top of my lungs, hanging out with Megan and friends. I was still a little sick. But worth every bit of it. If I could afford to do it again, I would. Now I feel a rekindled love for my 5 guys. To another 20 years boys!!!


I Don’t Like Lobsters

Whaaaat? How can you not like lobsters?! That’s what you are thinking right? Let’s break it down. I usually give myself at least 3 tries before I state that I don’t like something, especially if it’s something that is known to be universally good.

The first time I had lobsters, it was at a Vietnamese wedding. The meat was cooked in a ginger asian sauce. I didn’t like the texture.

The second time, I had it just steamed, dipped in butter. The traditional way right? I had that at a blogger preview of Tacklebox in DC (which has since closed down). Didn’t like the texture, or the flavor.

The third time, I had surf and turf at the Palm. It was a nice restaurant, I figured it would be done right, and I can see what it was really supposed to taste like. Nope. Still didn’t like it. Definitely a texture thing.

So here we go again. A friend of ours went to Maine and brought back 6 lobster tails. She didn’t know how to cook them, I didn’t know how to cook them, and no one that was invited to eat knew either. As the designated chef of the family, I was tasked to figure it out.

After googling things here and there. I decided to wing it and hope for the best. We started with cutting the tails down the middle, then splitting the flesh open.

Rubbed it down with olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Grilled it flesh side down for about 3 minutes, until it go its nice charred flesh. Then rubbed it down with a garlic, lemon, butter concoction I mixed together. We then put it back on the grill butter side up and let it cook and smoke for another 5 minutes.

I really liked the flavor of the meat, and the smokiness. It was very similar to scallops. But I didn’t like the texture of the meat! So I guess no lobsters for me. However, I did like the butter and the technique, so I guess I will have to save this recipe and use it on something else, like shrimp, scallops or fish!

Seafood Lemon Garlic Butter

1 stick of butter, softened
2 tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients, mix well. Refrigerate until use.

Dana’s Bakery


If you click the hashtag on instagram for macarons, I’m sure you’ve seen a post from Dana’s Bakery or of goods from there. As a lover and baker of macarons, I wanted to try these oh so pretty, and unique flavors. Since I was going to be out of town for my friend Deanna’s birthday, I wanted to send her a gift. After seeing so many pictures of macarons online, I figured I should send her a box, since they deliver, and because I got her some last year for her birthday.


They come in a cute purple insulated lunchbox with an ice pack in which you have to refrigerate immediately upon opening. I suggest that you stick them in the fridge and let them cool down before you enjoy them.  They got flavors like birthday cake, peanut butter and jelly, smores, and thin mint. American flavors if that’s what you want to call them. I think they are fun.


Visually and texture wise, they are great. The perfect size and you get that satisfying feeling when you first bite into it. I’m more of a fan of traditional flavors, so I was sad that there wasn’t pistachio or raspberry for me eat. But all of their fun flavors seem true to what they are supposed to be! A little too sweet for me though.

Not only are their macarons delicious, their customer service was great. We ran into a little shipping snafu, where the post office didn’t leave the box for Deanna, AND made her pay to pick it up. So by the time she got them, they were not refrigerated and eaten 3 days later. I immediately called the bakery, and they rectified the situation the best they can.

Definitely will order some more to try, they also have a flavor of the month club!


Bangkok Noodle


Not sure if you noticed, but I love noodle soups. It’s so comforting, and even though it could be 100 degrees outside, I could probably still have some noodle soup. A couple of people have mentioned Bangkok Noodle House in Springfield, so we decided to give it a shot one day for lunch.

They also serve a regular thai menu, but we were there strictly for the noodles. The service was attentive and friendly. I chose the floating market soup. I have never had it before. It was flavorful, but I don’t think I would get it again, it was too…liver-y for me.

But their homemade ice cream? YES. Winner. We had a scoop of coconut, and a scoop of taro. AND IT HAD BITS OF REAL TARO in it. Taro is one of my favorite flavors, artificial and real.

Chez Francois Macarons

In Ottawa they speak more English than they do French but tucked away in Westboro is a little place called Chez Francois. When we first walked in the lady was helping the customer and they were speaking in French. It was like we stepped into France…or Montreal. They had all French goods and gifts, but we were on a mission. Macarons for our pajama party. They had a tray of them on display.

Amy asked the lady for the whole tray…there was a little bit of confusion…I guess she didn't think we would want THE WHOLE TRAY, but yes, we did. Luckily there was a special, where it was buy 4 get one free. Our total ending up being $52! The flavors available were classics. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, lemon, raspberry and pistachio. They were tiny but still the same price as the ones that I would find at home.

They were alright. I still like the ones at home better. I will have to try them again from Montreal!


Fatboys Southern Smokehouse

As crazy as it seems, yes I went to Canada and craved southern food. Let me start off saying, don't go to Canada for American southern food. I just wanted to see their interpretation of it. Just like how I went to France and tried and American burger, what am I thinking. Don't judge me…too cruely.

Food aside, Fatboys was fun. There is out door seating, there is a market, and Harley themed decor. Right down to the bathroom sinks resembling motorcycle handlebars. As with most places in Canada, the service was friendly. There was also a stage that the babies found their way to, which just received smiles from the staff (where if it happened in America someone would have told us to get handle on our kids).


The boo and I shared a Kentucky Trio, we chose dry rubbed ribs, chicken and brisket. We had sides of cornbread, baked beans and bacon Mac n Cheese. It was satisfying but nothing to write home about. But because I love barbecue, I will still probably go to a BBQ place in Canada again, just not this one!