Memorial Day at a beautiful log house in West Virginia!

Memorial Day weekend this year was extra special, for we went to West Virginia with a bunch of friends. We ate, ate and ate, starting from kimchi soup to s’mores! If you are tired of your everyday brats and corn on the cob, go to H-Mart and buy some galbi marinade for your meat. :)

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It was my first time ever to go to West Virginia and it was awesome! We used AirBnb again, which makes a lot of sense if you have more than a couple of people in your group. While we were busy stuffing out faces, we did get to do some fun things too: horseback riding, hiking, fishing, star watching and some boozing in the hot tub!

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I have a feeling that we might end up doing the same thing every Memorial Day weekend from now on. I know I had lots of fun when I still have that John Denver song in my head: “country roads~ take me home~ to the place~ I belong~” ;)

How to gain 10 lbs in 3 days: go to Pittsburgh!

Never did I know that Pittsburgh was such a food city! We were expecting lot of sports and history but Pittsburgh wowed us beyond that, BIG TIME.

A few things:
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Walked 5K, gained 5lbs!

The girls at work decided to participate in Race for the Cure this year. So many people came out to support breast cancer survivors, patients and the families! It was quite a scene. :)

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Knowing that we would be hungry after walking a 5k (3.1 mile), we had asked my hubby to cook us lunch! ;) (Thank you!)

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Homemade guacamole and chips, pasta salad (andouille, grilled zucchini, summer squash, red bell peppers, cheese, basil-garlic oil, parsley, red wine vinegar, etc.), pulled pork (with homemade barbecue sauce) and cabbage-carrot-apple coleslaw on Hawaiian rolls, corn on the cob and Korean short rib BBQ (HT Merylin) aka Galbi! Of course, there was lots of boozing involved as well: margaritas, red and white wine!

After a series of multiple foodgasms, we were all in some serious foodcoma lol ;)

Lots of laughs, delicious food and good company; couldn’t ask for a better weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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[Restaurant Review] Oriental East Restaurant

▣ Location: 1312 E West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910
▣ Tel: 301-608-0030
▣ Dim Sum
▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★☆☆ (as of April 12, 2014) – Click stars for more info!

Oriental East is supposed to be one of the best dim sum places in the area. A & J Restaurant is said to be another great Chinese restaurant but today was a dim sum and dim sum ONLY kinda day. ;)

I won’t say much, though. It was AWESOME. Been to Beijing only once and never been to Hong Kong or anywhere down south so I don’t really know what’s “authentic”. However, some of my Chinese friends have approved this place to be authentic – if not, very close.

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On the table is the empty bill, which is to be filled up as your tummy gets fuller with delicious Cantonese food.

Tip1! They open at 11am daily and BE THERE EARLIER! We showed up around 10:40 and were part of the first round of seating. A lot of people had already been there a while. Those 20+ minutes of waiting can save you 1 hour or more! (Hmm… This sounds like the GEICO commercial…… lol)

Tip2! Pick-up is another great option if you are not a big fan of hustle and bustle. I didn’t even know if that was an option until I saw another line forming in the restaurant for pick-up orders. Duh.

Caution! You don’t necessarily know exactly what you are getting here but that’s part of the experience, right? The ladies with carts try to explain but not all details are accurately delivered. ;) As long as you know it’s pork or shrimp, you are good to go. :)

So enough said. Here are some of the dishes from the restaurant. Add this to your restaurant list! :)

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(☝️Btw, the dish above here was my personal favorite. Had eggplant and pork… Don’t know what it’s called but it was MONEY!)

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Korean fried chicken – Let’s make it at home!

If you live in the DMV area, you cannot help running into the name of the chicken joint, Bonchon!

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Bonchon chicken is found in different locations, mostly on the east side of the country. This Korean style soy garlic fried chicken is so delicious that it haunts me day and night so I decided to make it at home.

Here’s what we need (2 servings):

- 8 drumsticks (washed and scored)
– flour (lightly seasoned with salt and pepper)
– sauce : 4 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp molasses or honey, 2 Tbsp sugar, 4 Tbsp mirin or cooking wine, 1 Tbsp flour (My secret ingredient is a Tbsp of sriracha sauce!)

Once you figure out the ingredients, the hardest part is done!

1. Put the chicken in a zipper bag with seasoned flour. Shake it.
2. Pour some oil in a pot and keep your stove at medium heat.
3. When the oil gets hot, put the chicken into the pan. When it becomes light brown, take it out and let it rest on a paper towel.

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4. KEY STEP: When it cools down a little, put it back to the pan to finish cooking! This way, the chicken gets super crispy even when smothered in the sauce!

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5. While chicken is frying, put all the ingredients for the sauce in a separate pan and cook it at low heat so the garlic doesn’t burn.

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5. Poke the chick with a chopstick or a knife to make sure it’s done. No one likes undercooked, bloody chicken. ;)
6. Let the chicken rest on a paper towel for a couple of minutes. Then, put it in the sauce.
7. Mix it well till the chicken gets all nice and saucy!

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Now, we have this awesome chicken HOMEMADE!

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I gotta say, it wasn’t exactly the same but was PDD, pretty damn delicious! :) Much more affordable, much healthier but still mouthwatering!

Korean fried chicken – aka ChiMac – is “a thing” in Korea. Especially when Korean people watch baseball or soccer games, chicken delivery places get unbelievably busy. Recently, a Korean soap opera made ChiMac super popular even in China. So I’m gonna enjoy my garlic soy chicken with some cold beer. Sounds darn good, right? ;)

All I want for Christmas is…. pickles?!

I already posted the recipe for my grandma’s special pickles a while ago. This time, these pickles are just for my coworkers! :)

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I usually put a lot of spicy peppers in my pickles but I stuck to the “classic” water-vinegar-salt recipe with cucumbers, garlic and dill just in case. Personally, I wouldn’t say that this batch is my best. However, it’s the thought that counts, right? ;) I hope my holiday spirit gets delivered to the tasters!! Happy holidays! :)

P.S. Girls, put the pickles on your sandwich :) Don’t forget to use the leftover pickle juice to marinate chicken!!

Thanksgiving food coma!

We all need our turkey pants on Thanksgiving, don’t we? Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Mmmmmm.. This year, our Thanksgiving dinner was extra scrumptious with some additions to the traditional menu.

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My favorite was Swiss chard gratin!
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No meal is complete without desserts and Thanksgiving is no exception! A pecan pie, ginger ice cream, orange cranberry thyme sorbet ALL HOMEMADE! Did I cook? No way! ;) Special thanks to great chef Jo :) I was so stuffed that I could hardly breathe but you know what?
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We all gotta eat three times a day :) Post-thanksgiving blueberry pancakes with local maple syrup perfected my thanksgiving weekend! How was yours other than all the family shenanigans? ;)

No flour, no meat, no root veggies… What?

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I’m about to enjoy the last bit of my gluten free brownie! Why am I eating gluten free stuff all of a sudden?

I hurt my back in October and went to see an oriental medicine doctor. After some sessions of acupuncture, he figured out my body type – “Metal Yang”! According to him, there are 8 types of body, each of which has certain foods that are recommended. I was given this RIDICULOUS list of what to eat and what not to eat.

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No meat, no root vegetables, no wheat flour, no red pepper flakes, no apples, no pears, no coffee… Basically, there are a lot more things that I am not supposed to eat than what I can eat. As a food/meat lover, this list seemed almost impossible to follow but I thought I would give it a try and, hey, I made it for 4 weeks! Cold turkey!

It’s been very hard for me, though. I still cooked for the fam: for example, delicious bibimbap and bulgogi.

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We did go out to eat a lot too.

20131117-173107.jpg I was tempted quite a few times, but I managed to follow the rules for the last 4 weeks. The duck at Peking Gormet Inn in Falls Church was the toughest one to resist but I did it!

I’m not allergic to anything as far as I know so I never had to be one of those people who are like “I’ll have the salad but no nuts or bacon please. Can I have this light dressing instead of that dressing? Also, none of this please but can I have some of that on the side?” I’d never even been on the gluten free aisle until recently either. And I gotta say that I’ve learned some new things from this experience. There are other good sources of protein such as beans, tofu and certain seafood. Some gluten free snacks are surprisingly delicious. ;) Some special food needs can be met these days in a quite satisfying way.

However, I’m ending this special diet as of today! The stress and the sense of hunger I can’t stand anymore! :) In general, I eat pretty healthy. There might be certain things that are “bad” for my body type but if I stress so much over not being able to eat what I really want to eat, it’s probably bad for me anyway. I’m so excited to go back to being a meat lover :) I’m ready for some juicy burgers and fries! YOLO!

The Pit is the $h!t!

I usually try to avoid franchises and look for a hole in the wall and underrated mom and pop restaurants in new places. When I asked people for the best BBQ in Raleigh, NC this weekend, they all gave me this name, “The Pit.” I was a little reluctant to go at first cuz that’s what EVERYONE recommended but, oh boy, didn’t that place just blow my mind.

The Pit
328 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 890-4500

They give you complimentary biscuits and hush puppies to begin with. Each item on their menu looked amazing but they offer this three course family style all-you-can-eat option so we went for it. You get to choose two appetizers, two entrees, two sides and a dessert.

Here are things we got.

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Fried green tomatoes, cornbread, collard greens, fried okra, baby back ribs, pulled pork, sweet tea and banana pudding!

I gotta say that it was the best BBQ that I’ve had in the last decade! The meat was cooked perfect. I am usually not a “saucy” person but I was pretty much licking the baby back rib sauce off the serving plate at the end of the night.

I can’t help emphasizing how great the banana pudding was. OMG is my review. I’d never tasted any desserts that delicious in my whole life. One item you must try!

So, please spread the word! All of us deserve some amazing food! When in North Carolina, go dine at The Pit!

Palm Springs! Another tasteful vacation!

Killing two birds with a stone! We participated in the Certified Angus Beef® (aka CAB) conference and made a vacation out of it. It goes without saying that the meals were phenomenal. :)

They were very creative and inspiring in preparing all the dishes. I had never seen a cotton candy wrapped beef bites until this trip! So, here’s the footage of all the delicious dishes.

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We were given great dishes every night at the venue but there’s one restaurant that I think everyone should check out when in Palm Springs. Le Vallauris! They proudly serve French cuisine and the dining experience there is beyond your imagination. They even give you different color napkins that match your dress! Besides, the whole restaurant is just so beautiful. I strongly recommend sitting out in the patio. Absolutely gorgeous!

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