12 October 2010


04 September 2010

Video Games

While the boys play SC2, I finally have time to blog...

Let me just say, I love love love working at home. While it may not be the most efficient way of getting your work done, you actually have time to do things like laundry, cook & clean. (I know, when did I ever start being domestic... and liking it??) I cannot believee it is September already! Time begins to fly when you work full time. Sighs. A few things I stumbled upon today that I just love...

  • The ladies of joielala have a wonderfully dreamy photographic style & what a pretty and whimsical name.
  • I barely allow myself to buy anything these days, especially with a ridiculously high sales tax here in California... and I try really hard not to look at anything that I might want for this specific reason... I neeed this.
  • I even had time to YouTube today! I had heard about this little songbird before and thought whatever another YouTube sensation but she is really good! Such a full bodied voice that's naturally beautiful. Loves.

This is kind of random but it's part of my Google searching lately. We watch a lot of Cupcake Wars in our apartment and I've been thinking of challenging Best to a cupcake war. I have been searching for a Red Velvet Cheesecake cupcake recipe! One of our good friends is a big fan of the Cheesecake Factory version much like this one. But it's not good for a cupcake. This might work in the shape of cupcakes and I'm a little skeptical about the one on this site because I don't want the batters to marble. But hmm... wonder when I'll have time for this idea.

02 August 2010

Waiting for Change

Yeah, I'm tired of looking at my Fireworks & Food post all day everyday too. I'm not really hungover but it's our roommates birthday & we have a friend visiting so we drank last night. While I got a decent night's sleep, I just don't feel like doing any work whatsoever.

Not that I'm a Tisdale fan but I already decided that I was going to grow out my hair super long and perm it for my next look/persona. But then I came across this InStyle look of the day & I love it! I love the natural looking blend of the chestnut & espresso with a twist that makes it a little bit edgy. Can't wait for my hair to be nice & long again. That is, if I can make it through the horrible in between stage!

06 July 2010

Fireworks & Food

I love love love the 4th of July and one of the biggest reasons being that you get to watch fireworks! I love sitting outdoors, whether in a park, field or beach, waiting for the sky to light up in beautiful colors and patterns. It's really a moment that is magical and I'm so happy that I finally got to share it with my someone special this summer. Wish I took some pictures at Berkeley Marina but it was too cold and of course nothing beats seeing it in person. I'm just glad the sky wasn't cloudy and we had a clear night to watch the pretty fireworks. :)

One of my most favorite things about summer are the backyard barbeques. I miss being back East where the heat comes in waves and you're forced outside to enjoy some refreshing beer & juicy watermelon. The best barbeques are hands down over 4th of July weekend. Sometimes, you'll plan a beach barbeque before the fireworks or all your friends will gather at someone's house. There are even times you'll have to decide which invitations to take to enjoy the best food you'll have all year. I remember having some of the most delicious chicken, corn, skewers... all made fresh and hot off the grill at summer barbeques.

This year was a little bit different, my first 4th of July out West. While it was nice & sunny and we had our hearts set on grilling, it was too windy to be outside all day so we didn't quite make it to the pool. Even though it was a 4th different than I'm used to, I enjoyed the company and we got to share our new apartment with our friends. I surprised myself by playing hostess & cooking up a whole batch of yummy barbeque foods! It made me really happy and felt natural somehow to be in the kitchen preparing everything before our guests arrived. I wanted to share the homemade creations of our delicious feast because it turned out great!

I'm kind of lazy about getting every exact ingredient when I find recipes online so these are all my own adaptations. :)

Deviled Eggs

10 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup mayo
2 tbs hot sauce
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper
ziploc bag
cilantro, for garnish

1. Combine mayo, hot sauce, dijon mustard, salt & pepper in a small bowl.
2. Halve the eggs and scoop out the yolks, adding of the 6 yolks into the bowl with the prepared mixture.
3. Mix the yolks and mixture until smooth and spoon into a ziploc bag.
4. Arrange the egg halves onto a serving dish.
5. Cut a small corner of the ziploc bag and pipe into the eggs.
6. Finely chop a small amout of cilantro and garnish!

Super easy & gives your guests something to munch on while you fire up the grill! Very simple crowd pleaser.

Sweet Potato Salad

I lovee sweet potato lately so I thought this would be a nice way to mix things up.
Not bad but I think I prefer warm roasted/fried sweet potatoes.

2 sweet potatoes
1/3 cup of mayo
2 tbs cajon seasoning
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled
4 green onions
1/2 white onion
4 strips of bacon, cooked & chopped

1. Peel & dice sweet potatoes into small cubes.
2. Boil until tender and then drain & cool.
3. Chop white & green onions.
4. Mix mayo & cajun seasoning.
5. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Stuffed Burgers

Stuffed burgers are so much yummier because they have all the flavor already packed inside them.
Another plus is that you don't have all the extras sliding in your bun and making it a mess to eat!

20 burger patties
4 bacon strips
1/2 white onion, chopped
shredded cheddar cheese

1. Cook bacon and chop into small pieces.
2. Sweat onions out until tender in bacon grease.
3. Combine bacon and onions in a bowl and set aside.
4. Taking 3/4 of each burger patty, roll and flatten into thin round patties on a baking sheet lined with foil.
5. Spoon 1 tbs of bacon and onion into eat patty and top with some cheddar cheese.
6. Cover with another thin rolled patty and seal the edges.
7. Grill for a few minutes on each side.
8. Eat with bun & ketchup, it's all you need!

Please don't mind the poor quality photo & squished burger bun!
I didn't get to have one until much later in the evening, it's even yummy after being reheated in the microwave!

Strawberries with Sweet Cream

4 oz cream cheese, about half a package
one box of strawberries
powdered sugar
ziploc bag
vanilla extract (would have been even yummier with this but I didn't have any)

1. Rinse strawberries and cut the ends, placing them flat on a plate.
2. Cut cross wise for almost the whole length of the strawberries.
3. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar to taste until smooth.
4. Put mixture into a ziploc bag, cut off a small corner & pipe into center of strawberries.

Et voila! Everyone will be surprised at how you can whip up something that looks fancy in just minutes while they are all chatting away.
Perfect amount of sweetness without being overindulgent.

We also had some yummy Italian sausage (which goes great with dijon mustard I must say), chicken legs & corn (try grilling it before removing the husks, mmm!).

22 June 2010

10 Things I Can't Wait To Do in SF! Part II

Just wanted to do an update on this... make sure I'm putting enough time into my personal goals. I totally didn't even notice that I numbered this wrong the first time. And, note to self: take more pictures!!

10. Go to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building and pick up some fresh flowers & baguettes! I'm actually dying to go to the Fresh Flower Market!
9. Replacing That Takes the Cake with a trip to Carmel by the Sea in Monterey! It looks dreamy!
8. Binge on an In-N-Out Burger! Animal style! Nom nom! Nom nom indeed when B came to visit 05.12
7. Hunt for the yummiest egg tart and pork buns in San Francisco's Chinatown! Must make an attempt #2!
6. Stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge. :)
5. Find a pilates class or a tennis court so I can stay fit! I found the perfect workout! Now I just have to get myself to go! :P [still not accomplised, bleh]
4. Take a class at the Culinary Institute in Napa. Mmm!
3. Create some DIY art for my future apartment. [can't wait to show you this upcoming DIY! withheld it from my design inspiration series & keeping it a surprise hehe]
2. I still haven't ridden a cable car yet! Got to do this with Little! ♥ 05.04
1. Spend a day at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Done! With my other half & Kx2 over Memorial Day weekend!

Bonus: Maybe try learning some samba or rhumba! Totally not realistic but I can dream. :)

10 Lessons for the Kitchen

  1. Vietnamese Curry
  2. Thai Pad See Ew -- one of my faves!
  3. Korean Ddukbbokki
  4. Hollandaise Sauce & Poached Eggs
  5. Vietnamese Spring Rolls -- sometimes I think I want pho just so I can get this as an appetizer
  6. Moules Frites a la Leon de Bruxelles
  7. Camarones al Ajillo a la Cafecito -- I cannot find a recipe for anything like this!! :(
  8. Kimchi Bokkeumbap -- I just can't seem to get this one right. Hmmph.
  9. Baguettes -- how awesome would it be to have warm, homemade bread fresh out of the oven!
  10. Tarte Aux Pommes

Some foods only taste yummy when you're out eating, the food's tastes are somehow enhanced by the atmosphere. But some foods are soo yummy that you want it all the time and you'll do anything to figure out how to make it for whenever your tummy might fancy. And for some of these, it seems to be a mother's touch that make these dishes perfect. :)

21 June 2010

Design Inspiration II



Design Inspiration

The Bedroom

Simple, Clean & Neutral

20 June 2010

Taylor Inspired

Still looking for a dress for Biggie's Hawaiian wedding... came across these two looks that reminded me of InStyle's Look of the Day. Her shoes look similar to the nude heels I was planning on wearing and I love the look combined with soft chiffon & a pretty flower in her hair.

Also liking this one, in my latest favorite color -- the one on the left.

07 May 2010

10 Products I Want To Try

I've always been a magazine buff but lately I've been reading Self magazine because I love the great eating tips and that it's more focused on well-being which has been my priority these days. This month's issue featuring the gorgeous Zoe Saldana listed the season's best new beauty buys with products for hair, body & face. My hair and skin have been unruly since I've moved to California so I'm hoping some of these products can help tame them!

1. Best Finishing Hairspray - Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Anti-Humidity Hairspray $4

2. Best Smoothing Cream - Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Finishing Touch Cream $5 Please help my crazy baby hairs. I feel like they're getting worse as I get older!

3. Best Fragrance Free Body Cream - St. Ives Intensive Healing Body Cream $6 Perhaps it's the lack of humidity here but I hate being itchy!

4. Best Hand Sanitizer - Bath & Body Works HandiBac Anti-Bacterial Hand Spray $4 I love that it's a spray!

5. Best Pore Refiner - Clean & Clear Finishes Pore Perfecting Cleanser $7

6. Best Mask - Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask $23

7. Best Oil-Fighting Moisturizer - Formula 10.0.6 Seriously Shine Free Mattifying Oil-Free Moisturizer $7 I wish this was easier to find! Seems like you can only buy it online!

8. Best Firming Face Cream - Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Pro Gravity Defying Cream $17

9. Best Self-Tanner - Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer $9 Would love to find a great self-tanner for the face too! I hear Clinique Face Self-Tanning Formula is amazing!

10. Best Foundation With SPF - Origins Youthtopia SPF 15 Skin Firming Foundation With Rhodiola $27

16 March 2010

A Girl's Girl

Women's Wear Daily quoted Victoria Beckham saying,

"I'm an open book. I don't mind what anyone asks me. I'm a real girl's girl."

While I totally agree, that I aspire to embody all things womanly--a classic style, poise, & charm--I will be the first to say that I'm not that girly. I love girly things like fashion, manicures, shoes... but I just never learned about those things early on. I can't put up my own hair or do my make up beyond eyeliner and mascara. Much like how I love food and cannot cook for my life.

So like any girl, I love being pampered. Shortly after I chopped off all my hair, I visited the Nars counter at Saks. It was part of my resolution for this year to create a new look for myself, especially since I was moving to California. I explained to Victor that I was a real novice when it came to cosmetics and as I attemped to answer his questions about what I like to use or what kind of look I wanted, I was relieved when he finally got the hint that I really didn't know what was good for me. He picked out colors that I would never choose myself and patiently taught me how to take a look from day to night. I was amazed that even I could pull off a smokey eye! Make up really does wonders! He wrote down everything he used and drew a diagram of where to use what.

I even asked him to jot down the tools he used because I thought they really made a difference. While Victor didn't push me to buy any of these fancy things (he knew I had just come looking for a new eye shadow, and plus he wanted me to perfect using that first), I wanted remember the exact brushes so that I could get them whenever I was ready. As I mentioned in my last post, he used a flat liner brush and a domed smudge brush. I know that Nars isn't cheap but being that I'm unemployed and until I'm really making bank, I don't plan on shelling out almost $60 for two make up brushes.

So I began a search for some more affordable brushes. I turned to Sephora, of course, and found these two at basically half the price. Not bad. But then! I found this!

Sephora Double-Ended Smokey Eye Brush $18

For just a few bucks more I could have both brushes in one! The liner end might be angled but it's okay, the brushes are purple! I was excited about my find and had to share!

12 March 2010

10 Things I Can't Wait To Do in SF!

10. Go to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building and pick up some fresh flowers & baguettes! My Ferry Building visits have been nicer than I imagined but I never make it during market hours.

9. Try a tasty cupcake from That Takes the Cake! I've only tried Cako on O'Farrell and it is pretty scrumptious!

8. Binge on an In-N-Out Burger! Animal style! Nom nom! :D

7. Hunt for the yummiest egg tart and pork buns in San Francisco's Chinatown! I made an attempt at this one day but I'm not sure I found the 'yummiest' yet!

6. Stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge. :)

5. Find a pilates class or a tennis court so I can stay fit! I found the perfect workout! Now I just have to get myself to go! :P

6. Take a class at the Culinary Institute in Napa. Mmm!

7. Create some DIY art for my future apartment.

8. I still haven't ridden a cable car yet!

9. Spend a day at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. I've walked through the park, but haven't made my way through the garden.

10. Maybe try learning some samba or rhumba!

San Francisco is my opportunity to pursue all the things I've wanted for myself. Hobbies and interests, this is my time to do me.

[Edit]: I totally forgot about posting this and now I'm sad that more than a month has past since I originally wrote it. What's even more depressing is that I haven't been able to do most of that yet! I actually started a post about my favorite things in SF when I noticed this one, so stay tuned for that one! 04.23.10

18 February 2010

10 Things I Love... Right Now!

1. Newest sister company to Free People, Leifsdottir, a beautiful little online shop with lovely clothing! (via the Free People blog)

2. I love shoes and I love macaroons... Louboutin for Laduree -- absolutely genius. (via Club Monaco Culture Club & Vogue/UK)

3. ChloƩ's signature fragrance. Refreshingly feminine, sensuously addictive! (via Saks Fifth Avenue)

4. Prereleased Marsha Dress coming up in the March collection, currently available only at the 57th Street flagship store in New York City. (via Club Monaco)

5. Nars cosmetics -- Key Largo eye shadow duo, Party Monster eye shadow, Sin Blush, Chihuahua lip gloss, Eye Liner Brush & Brush #13... who knew I could pull off the smokey eye? ;) (via Saks Fifth Avenue)

6. Sarah and Bendrix framed 'heart art'... perfect idea for a DIY project! (via Etsy)

7. Valentine by Kina Grannis... won't you be my honey bee? (via YouTube)

8. Super cute Poomstyle stationary! Sweetly whimsical but not at all childish. (via Artbox)

9. Aprons -- hehe so I can learn to roast a chicken in it, Ina Garten style! Perhaps I'll be inspired to make/sew one instead. (via Anthropologie)

10. White cotten Luca Blazer from the February collection, a chic-ly cool look for a California bound girl! ;) (via Club Monaco)

29 January 2010

Top 10 Crave-worthy Foods

It's really no surprise that the next Top 10 post for me would be all about food. I love to eat out, try new things and although my stomach may not be large, I have the cravings of any true fatty. :) So many of the photos in my Facebook albums are food pictures so putting this together was easy. It's quality bonding time with friends and this list has some of the things that always have me coming back for more!

Hope you're ready to sit through some of the yummiest foods you've ever seen! Try not to drool all over your keyboard, k? ;)

10. As a kid, I never really had a sweet tooth. I preferred savory over sweets any day. It was probably in college that I started to indulge in things like chocolate covered strawberries from Godiva, pistachio macaroons from Paul, cheesecakes, fruit tarts... And then the cupcake craze took over the world. But still, just like all the times when I was a kid eating birthday cake or cupcakes, I'd leave the oh too sweet icing behind and just eat the yellow cake inside.

Last summer, Geo took me out for some ramen at Ippudo and we stopped by a teeny bakery called Chikalicious. She said I just HAD to try it. They had the cutest cupcakes but they weren't your typical oversized, topped with heavy buttercream frosting kind of cupcake. They were the perfect, fit in your hand, not too sweet, uber delicious cupcakes with the lightest, whippiest icing ever. With flavors like red velvet, s'mores and mocha, you just can't help but try every one. I'm in total agreement that Chikalicious is a must try. It will change the way you eat cupcakes -- forever!

Red Velvet Cupcake from Chikalicious {New York, NY}

9. Coming in at #9 for me is seafood. When I go out to eat, steak and chicken are usually the last thing I choose to eat if I'm at a new restaurant. Steak is too heavy and chicken gets boring. The first thing I always look at on the menu is seafood. I love salmon and white tuna sushi/sashimi, scallops, shrimp, lobster, crab... you name it. So if there's a dish I've never tried before, that's probably what I will choose.

I have two extremely yummy seafood dishes that I would highly recommend to anyone.

I'm a big fan of Spanish tapas and Cuban food so I was happy when our Kappa family dinner was at Cafecito in the city. I had never been there before and actually that day I wasn't all that hungry. I thought maybe I would have a sandwich. But BB convinced me to get an entree and I chose Camarones al Ajillo - shrimp with garlic, citrus and butter served with yellow rice and sweet plantains. I can't tell you how glad I was to have gotten that dish. It comes in a really delicious yellow soup. The pieces of shrimp come sitting on top of a piece of bread soaked in the sauce. If I had a bigger stomach, I would have eaten every bite, it was so good.

Camarones al Ajillo from Cafecito {New York, NY}

This next dish was something I ordered at Geo's birthday (shoutout x2 in the same post already! :P) at Basso56. It's really like nothing you've ever tried before. Faggotino alla Polpa di Aragosta - homemade crepes filled with a confit of fresh lobster, oven baked and served with a tomato and chive velute sauce. I was so surprised at how good it was and I was terribly sad when I finished. Haven't had a chance to go back again but cannot wait until the next time I get to indulge in this lobstery deliciousness.

Faggotino alla Polpa di Aragosta from Basso56 {New York, NY}

8. So I'm going to guess that most Asian people... or at least my Asian friends know what a 'dan ta' is. If you don't know it by name, it's definitely the most recognizable Chinese pastry out there and easily available at any bakery or dim sum restaurant you go to. I love egg so of course I like dan tas, Chinese egg custards.

Last May, when I went to Shanghai, I had no idea there was like an "ultimate dan ta" out there. Seriously, I thought they were all made the same and that was how they were supposed to be. They're usually cold when served and the custard center is a gelatin-y, semi sweet, with a sort of egg like taste to it. Room took me to the mall where we found a Lillian's. Queen of all dan tas, not even joking, you'll be flabbergasted that you were subjected to eat the crappy dan tas in the States. It's warm and sweet with the flakiest and fluffiest consistency... I love contrasting the sweet but salty flavor and the crispy but smooth textures. I'm telling you, your mouth will thank you. We went back there as many times as we could during my time in China, knowing we wouldn't be able to find it elsewhere.

Dan Ta from Lillian's {Shanghai, China}

7. I know that I said that chicken gets boring, but don't get me wrong, I like chicken... when it's made the way I like it. :) My favorite kind of chicken is wings! While I don't have any pictures to share, I've tried many a chicken wings so I can definitely give you some recommendations. I'm sure many of you have heard about the popular Korean fried chicken. It's good. I've tried them all -- Bon Chon, Kyo Chon, Chicken & Beer... The garlic soy at Bon Chon is yummy and the crispy skin at Chicken & Beer is addictive. Flavored wings are some of my faves! I've had Buffalo Wild Wings in Orlando. Pluckers in Austin was num, spicy ranch! Not to mention their fried pickles! Co and I are known for making chicken runs randomly... wherever we are (and over ordering!). Garlic parm is our fave!

Chicken and Beer {Cliffside Park, NJ} & Pluckers {Austin, TX} -- Photos courtesy of touch of sunshine & c'est la vy

6. Although I was never crazy about baos, I've had pretty big cravings for different kinds of baos lately so I'll share them with you. I'll start with the infamous Shanghainese xiao long bao. Joe's Shanghai is the most popular and I've known people who will find any excuse to make day trips to NYC just to have it. These soup filled dumplings can take a couple tries to learn to eat but you have to be careful too as usually they come piping hot and also in two varieties, pork and crab. When I was in Shanghai, Room took me to Din Tai Fung which is world renowned and on New York Times' Top 25 restaurants of the world! A little more petite than I'm used to, the skin is the perfect thinness while keeping all the juices in.

A second addictively yummy find in Shanghai was Yang's Fried Dumplings, also known as shen jien bao. Although these buns get pretty oily, this vendor is supposed to be famous and super cheap so the line during lunch gets wicked long. Luckily, I went during a shopping pit stop and not many people were out eating.

Bao is the Chinese term for bun. And while roast pork buns are quite common, Ippudo has the most amazing Hirata buns. It's moist and tender with just the right amount of flavoring, wrapped in the softest rice cake. It's probably what I crave most because it's not fried or oily at all. Just delicious!

Recently, when I went out for dim sum at Jade Asian Restaurant in Flushing (and while I was trying to avoid an awkward situation), I think we mistakenly ordered chicken meatball buns rather than roast pork buns because they look exactly alike. Once we tried the chicken bun, everyone wanted another one and sharing bites of the tiny bun wouldn't suffice. It seemed to be mixed with a bunch of things but I definitely think I prefer it over the more regular kind. Sorry roast pork bun! :P

Xiao long bao from Din Tai Fung & Shen jien bao from Yang's {Shanghai, China}

5. Finally halfway through the list, noodles come in at #5. I love noodles! Ramen noodles, Thai pad see ew noodles, Chinese crispy pan fried noodles, Vietnamese pho noodle soup... My favoritest noodle ever is Chinese-Korean jjajangmyun! It comes covered in a black bean sauce with chunks of beef and some chopped up veggies. Usually, the noodles are made fresh in house at the restaurant. While jjajangmyun jips are hard to find in NYC, (they tend to easily come and go for some reason), it's something I'll go out of my way to find and eat.

Last week I met up with S and C to do some catching up and they were nice enough to allow me to satisfy my jjajangmyun craving at Te Min Quan in Palisades Park, NJ. This variety was the spicy kind and although I'm not used to these noodles being spicy, it was indeed still just as delicious. Oh how I wish we could have jjajangmyun delivered, just like they do in the Korean dramas. :P

With S at a restaurant whose name I forget {Seoul, South Korea}

4. So in Boston, there is this one hot pot restaurant that is FAMOUS. Everyone and their mom, dad, brother, friend, sister and dog goes there. You will always see someone you know there and Kappas especially are very well known to have every birthday and get together at Shabu Zen. The waiters are used to our super specific orders of veggies and sauces. Whenever you visit Boston, you know you have to get your shabu fix. Those of us who don't have the luxury of Shabu Zen whenever we want crave the fish paste, sesame sauce, spicy kimchi broth... I actually never had hot pot before Shabu Zen but it's hard to beat when I go anywhere else.

Except, when I went to Shanghai and met up with my sisters... we tried Dolar Shop. Ah-mazing! The have a sauce BAR! You can choose any or everything! There's like 40 different options and no having to bug your waiter to bring you anything. Their meat/veggie menu is extensive. Pages and pages of fish and cuts of meat that I've never even heard of. And they have the BEST fishball! Our table was covered with plates of food. It was quite ridiculous but definitely delicious.

Sesame sauce with fried onion and Barbeque paste + sesame oil + hot oil + cilantro & Roe stuffed fishball {Shanghai, China}

3. My favorite thing about weekends is most definitely brunch. Any good weekend must include brunch in one form or another. Whether it's dim sum or IHOP. I love getting together and relaxing with friends after a night out or a long week to catch up and eat yummy. The best foods are served at brunch -- eggs and crepes! I love savory crepes, sweet crepes, eggs benedict, eggs over easy, quiches, you name it! All scrumptiously delicious to me! Here is a photo of my two most favorite things. This was at News Cafe in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. The crepe was stuffed with yummy mushrooms and a bechamel sauce and I swapped with S to try some of the eggs benedict with salmon! Even the salad, perfect with its fresh olive oil, pepper and shaved parmesan was a great complement!

Mushroom crepe & eggs benedict with salmon at News Cafe {Georgetown, Washington, D.C.}

2. As I already mentioned, I LOVE seafood. I especially love things like fresh raw oysters and steaming hot crab legs that I can break open and dip in butter. I went to my first clambake at my last co-op and it was the best thing ever, serving us New England clam chowder, corn, mussels and clams, chicken, strawberry shortcake and of course a whole lobster for each of us! It was so much food but you couldn't not eat all of it. And while I tend to love crab more than lobster, I never thought I'd find something I love even more!

On our August trip to Orlando last year, our friends took us to New Orleans Seafood for crawfish. I was a little anxious I have to admit because I get kind of weary about having a full bodied animal ready to eat in front of my eyes. I don't even like breaking the legs off shrimp and would prefer to have it shelled before served. I even request this with my lobster, that it be broken up for me so I don't have to do it! Fish, I can deal with and crabs aren't bad because you usually just get the legs. But with crawfish, it comes whole face, body, legs and all. And the only way to eat it is if you just break apart the poor thing. I have to say though... it is sooo good. Two pounds sounds like a lot but I actually got through all that by myself in the first sitting that I ever tried it. It takes a while to learn how to get down to the little piece of meat but it's so worth it. It is messy though and probably not a good date food. Something that you have with someone that you're comfortable with. I had hot oil and garlic ALL over me. It was quite the scene. Now everytime I'm back or think of Orlando, I can't help but crave this flavorful deliciousness!

Crawfish at New Orleans Seafood {Orlando, FL}

1. Okay, here we are! We finally made it down to #1. I'll keep it simple. Flor de Mayo. Chicken & Green Rice. My absolute favorite thing ever in the whole world. Every time I came down to New York City from Boston, my first stop would be to this restaurant. It's owned by a friend's family and is a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian food. We never really order from the Chinese menu and we've tried everything, even a few things made special that aren't on the menu. They have a yummy appetizer eggs with spicy sauce that we like with our bread, shrimp with garlic or red sauce... Ceviche and calamari, lomo saltado, porkchops and steak, seafood soup... It's all SO good. If I had to choose my one last meal ever in life, it would be at Flor de Mayo. Hands down, no doubt about it.

Chicken & Cilantro rice, Flor de Mayo {New York, NY}

Okay, so I know this is supposed to be a Top 10 list. However, after putting together my post, I realized I had 11 things! (There's actually more than that because some posts feature multiple things, too!) Anyway, I couldn't settle on taking one out so I'm just going to give you a bonus #11 crave-worthy food.

11. Burgers! Who doesn't love a good burger? Burgers are probably one of the best comfort foods. You have them at summer barbeques, McDonald's, Sonic, In and Out, Five Guys... I've tried them all! While you can't go all that wrong with a burger, there are plenty of ways to get 'em oh so right. For instance, with an egg -- it's just genius! Or you could pair it with a heart clogging fried portabello mushroom oozing with mozarella a la Shake Shack style. Yum! Or, my favorite burger craving comes from Cheeburger Cheeburger where you can customize your burger any way you like... ranch sauce, bbq sauce, sauteed onions, bacon, guacamole, jalapenos, anything! And they have the best milkshakes in the funnest flavors like bananas foster or oreo mint! Everyone will surely find something to satisfy that craving. Mmm, delicious!

Top - Cheeburger Cheeburger {somewhere in Maryland}, Bottom Left - Shake Shack {New York, NY}, Bottom Right - Kraze {Seoul, South Korea}

This post was exhausting! Took me ALL day... actually it's been a week! The things I do for food. :P Happy weekend!

27 January 2010

Top 10 in 2010

Hello blog world! It's a late start to my year (I can't believe it's almost February!) but I thought it would be fun to do a Top 10 series being that it's 2010. Corny, probably. But hey, it's something new to try. Plus, I'm not good at favorites so being able to choose the 10 things I like is the next best thing!

{I couldn't decide which blog to post this on... so it's on both! :P}

Thought I would kick things off with my Top 10 favorite moments of 2009!

10. After I graduated last May, I was lucky enough to have the chance to travel a bit. My favorite part about traveling isn't always the sightseeing. I don't like doing things that are cliche and even worse I'm not a fan of crowds of tourists. What I do love, is eating where the locals eat, walking around doing things that locals do and discovering something I never expected. I was definitely well taken care of in Seoul and loved every minute being in my motherland. One of my favorite moments was finding Ssamziegil. The cutest little shops with a couple of the sweetest girls I know.

9. In addition to Korea, I also spent about 3 weeks in Shanghai. Room moved there to be with A and I got to help her adjust and visit my girls R & P at the same time. We ate yummy & cheap and saw a lot of great sites. But there's something about kicking back and just hanging out with my girls that I just love. Sometimes the greatest things are the things unplanned. We were in a dingy and probably very dirty dormitory but a couple of cheap pijiu's and we were good to go. Nothing beats qt and laughs with my girls.

8. Okay, so maybe I traveled a LOT more than I had planned in 2009. Much of my time was spent with my newest little sis, a charter from the University of Texas. To get to know her better, I went and visited her in Austin. We got down and dirty and they treated us to the greasiest, most delicious food you can find in the South. We had a blast with them! Poor litto was on her detox diet, but Rudy's was a must and she was a trooper as she sat by and watched us all eat.

7. Last winter was my first time trying snowboarding. It was a bit of a painful experience but nonetheless absolutely exhilarating. It's the kind of pain that you know is worth it. To be speeding down the hills and to feel the fresh cool air hit your face, it was something I knew I would keep trying and grow to love. This particular time was at Camel Back during one of my better runs. We stayed on the green trails but went up high as the sun set. I made it down feeling good and catching a beautiful view.

6. I have always wanted to visit California and I've really been wanting to move there for the longest time. We have a couple of friends in San Francisco so there was no doubt that we would visit the first chance we got. It was the quickest, most eventful, inside joke happy, craziest sightseeing packed two days ever. While I can barely remember every single thing we saw or did, I remember every moment we laughed with each other and I know it's because I was with the best company you could ask for.

5. While there are just so many days and hours that S & I spent together this past year, each moment, though trying and exhausting at times, brings us closer and closer together. I will always cherish our culinary endeavors, playing titanic, karaoke nights, chicken & beer with best friends, discovering Georgetown, endless days and nights driving everywhere... she's my other half. ♥ you S!

4. Things don't always go as you might expect and I definitely didn't expect to meet (or be with) someone like him. He was a refreshing breath of air and I felt much happiness in getting to know him and spending time with him. We didn't make it into the new year like I might have hoped. If things were different, then perhaps we could be different. It could be for the best or maybe not but either way we remain there in each others' lives. And I always said that we weren't perfect but that might have been what I liked most about us. Such a handsome and sensible guy, he was my guy and a big part of my 2009.

3. Ever since I saw photos from a wedding that Tony shot in Jamaica, I had been dying to go. It was the perfect destination for our senior year spring break, a great way to celebrate the end of our college years. We got plenty of warm sun and R&R and made sure to take advantage of the inclusive all you can eat and drink portion of our package. I was happiest when we finally got to take a tour of the Rockhouse Hotel, which is where we saw breathtaking sights from the cliffs of Negril. And remembering the pictures where I first laid eyes on these gorgeous views, it was even better than I had imagined.

2. I spent a lot of 2009 in the sunny state of Florida. My little brother moved down there for school and of course I had to fulfill my big sister duties and help him get acquainted. I have some of the prettiest and happiest friends I know down in Orlando so I was excited to get so much quality time in with them making sure that R felt comfortable and had people to turn to. But the best part about Florida was making the trip down with R & my best friend P. It wasn't the most exciting roadtrip ever but we had our share of laughs and silly moments. The most important part was that I was with two people that I love unconditionally. I know that it will be hard to find time with them like that again. They mean the world to me and I honestly don't know what I would do without them.

1. Many of the moments in this list are post-graduation moments. It hasn't been an easy road for me since I graduated from Northeastern even with all the traveling and fun I've had. Growing up and figuring out what I will be doing in life hasn't been as simple as I once thought. It's been a challenge to start a career and my motivation has faltered more times than someone with my ambition is supposed to. But I have hope that this year will bring clarity and reassurance. And although I always thought of college as a very normal and expected step in my life, what I didn't expect was the gratification of finishing school and getting a degree. I was overjoyed in the last days of class and finals. Feelings of relief and fulfillment kept a smile on my face, a constant happiness that I hadn't known for so long. It was bittersweet and things since then haven't been the same but it's what's to come that keeps me going each and every day.

Note to self: Do not include less than + 3 signs in blog posts and attempt to edit your html. *Smacks forehead* Anyway, I didn't think it would be a difficult post but narrowing down an entire 365 days to just 10 moments is a lot harder than you would think. I was even thinking about doing a two part best moments post, one for more sentimental events and then the crazy fun memories. In most cases, you can see what made each of these memories so special are the people that helped to make them happen. But along the way, I've come up with a few more ideas for future posts so keep a look out for those!