Delicious NYC!

Oh boy. Last weekend, we went up to NYC to get a couple of things done and, of course, we tried to eat as many meals as possible in a very limited time frame. ;) Here are things we ate.

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1. Momofuku Noodle Bar – We had ramen noodles. I’ve become obsessed with finding GREAT ramen noodles. One thing is that I think I ate ramen noodles that were TOO good. That was in Osaka and I tend to compare every bowl to that one, which is not fair. Momofuku ramen noodles were good but they were not mind blowing. They do have some interesting dishes I want to try next time, though.

2. Levain Bakery – While standing in a mile long line, I felt like I became one of those tourists lined up in front of Georgetown Cupcake. Haha. This bakery has baseball size cookies. Was it worth the 15 minute wait? I say yes. Cookies were nice and crispy outside but super duper moist and soft inside. The peanut butter kind wasn’t from the best batch but overall it was a very satisfying experience.

3. Gato – Another restaurant of Bobby Flay’s. We were there for some cocktails so did not get to taste their food. However, people seemed to be happy with their food and the menu looked simple yet interesting. Maybe I’ll go back for the whole dining experience. :) (Side note: are New Yorkers better looking than Washingtonians?? Sitting there watching people, I thought everyone was so pretty and handsome. Too much Riesling, maybe?)

4. Pepe Giallo – I personally liked this place a lot. It’s very small but nice and cozy. They seemed to have a terrace area where you can sit outside when weather is nice. I had spicy seafood pasta. I LOVE SPICY FOOD so I did not have any problem with the heat but apparently it wasn’t supposed to be THAT spicy. Overall, the restaurant owner (who I think is from Italy) was very attentive about it. It’s a great restaurant for a date I think. The best part? The price! They have 7 dollar pasta dishes. Unbelievable. No one can beat that!

5. 72nd Street Bagel – It’s just a small bagel place in the neighborhood recommended by our cousin. They make their bagel on site. LOX! Yup. Can’t miss that. Here’s my secret though. New York bagels are good but my favorite was the ones in Montreal!! Shhhhhhh

Next time I go up to NYC, where should I go? Suggestions?! ;)

Christmas 2014 and now entering the new year!

2014 was such a scrumptious year! For Christmas, we picked a cookbook off the bookshelf and cooked a couple of dishes from it. Fun fun! :)

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Vichyssoise, skirt steak and some red wine jus over it!

For New Year’s Eve, we decided to stay in and chill with my favorite Thai food!

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This restaurant, Thai Square, is on Columbia Pike in Arlington. Doesn’t look like anything special from outside but THEIR FOOD IS SO GOOOOOOD!

Now I’m indeed ready for 2015! It’s gonna be another fantabulicious year. :) Happy new year!!

It’s the thought that counts; better when that thought is delicious!

My father-in-law is a HUGE fan of Linzer tarts. Since the whole fam is down here with us to celebrate the holiday season, I’ve decided to make his all time favorite snack!

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I gotta say, it’s a major pain to make these little delicious treats but it was definitely worth every bad word I let out of my mouth while making them! ;) I kept saying to myself, “it’s the thought that counts, right?” However, my father-in-law, aka a Linzer tart connoisseur, gave a generous 9 out of 10! :) :) :) Now it’s time to enjoy!

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Thanksgivng 2014 and the leftovers!

Have you taken off your turkey pants yet? After 4 days of stuffing my face, nothing seems to fit me any more so I still have my turkey pants on. ;)

I just finished cooking some turkey curry with the very last batch of turkey meat!

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Yesterday, I tried making this salad below, which came out great.

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Basically, take some of dry, white turkey meat, cut up some veggies
(onions, scallions, bell peppers, etc.) and mix with this dressing I use to make a smoked duck salad. How to make the dressing (4 servings) : 3 table spoons wholegrain mustard, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons honey, 5 tablespoons of vinegar and some minced garlic. BAM! Thanksgiving food is one of my favorite but let’s admit it. It’s very heartattacky! This way, you still get to enjoy the turkey as much as possible yet in a healthier way. ;)

Speaking of awesomeness of Thanksgiving food, this year, instead of going up to see the family, we decided to stay here and cook. Here’s what we cooked and, I gotta say, it wouldn’t have been as fantabulicious without Food Network Magazine. ;)

Appetizer 1: Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms (Recipe here!)

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Appetizer 2: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp (Recipe here!)

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Side 1: Apple and Sausage Stuffing (Recipe here!)

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Side 2: Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallows (Recipe here!)

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Side 3: Swiss Chard Gratin – Special thanks to Jo for cooking this for us last year! (Recipe here!)

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Side 4: Jalapeno-Bacon Skillet Cornbread (Recipe here!)

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Side 5: Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Recipe here!) & Gravy by hubby!

Everyone was in food coma after dinner. :)

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No matter how stuffed you are, you can’t skip desserts! Thanks to Erika, who is an awesome baker, Thanksgiving night was finally complete!

IMG_0843.JPGHope everyone had an awesome turkey day! Gobble gobble!

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It’s apples and apples!

I gotta say baking has never been my thing. It’s just too much precise measuring, timing, etc. Plus, it’s TMI! I don’t feel comfortable knowing how much butter, shortening (what the heck is this white substance anyway!) or sugar is in my desserts. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. ;) However, this Fall, I’ve been kinda “forced” to since I went to Hollin Farms in Delaplane, VA last weekend.

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So, what do I do when I have bags of apples? Gotta bake!

First, we baked a cinnamon crumble apple pie. Recipe is from Epicurious.com.

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I had never baked anything but store-ready-made-frozen-dough cookies but making this pie was a lot better than I had imagined. The best part? the crumbles!

Next, we baked “apple brownies”, recipe of which is also from Epicurious.com.

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This is actually my favorite so far. Crispy on top but super moist inside. Just the right amount of cinnamon. I brought this to work and the girls were literally moaning! #Foodgasm ;)

And tonight, we made some “apple peanut butter cookies”. That’s right. Apples + peanut butter! This recipe I found on Taste of Home.

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Personally, I am not a big fan of peanut butter but the hubby is. :) They came out great. Very moist inside. The recipe says “grated peeled apple” but I chopped the apple with a knife. That way, the cookies definitely have more “texture” IMO.

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After baking the whole week, I did not feel like cooking tonight so we ordered some Chinese food. Guess what the fortune cookies said: “Apple” and “Sugar”! It’s a sign. We still have about a dozen of apples and that means we gotta keep baking! Bakers gonna bake, bake, bake, bake, bake~ Bake it up! :)

Taste of Georgetown 2014

I randomly found out about this event and had no expectations. It turned out to be awesome!

Each “taste” was 5 dollars or a bundle of 5 plates was 20 bucks. Of course, we bought a few of those bundles ;) Portions were bigger than we thought and the vibe we got there was great.

I’m not gonna say much about it this year until I go back in 2015 but I do want to share some pictures of the foods! It was such a delicious afternoon!!

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Official website : Taste of Georgetown

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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