Monday, August 26, 2013

// roasted chicken bread salad //

Y'all know how I'm not huge on salad unless it has a protein accompanying it. When I stumbled upon this bread salad recipe, I immediately was curious. Toasted buttered bread, roasted chicken thighs? How could you go wrong with that? The only substitution I did was that I used toasted sunflower seeds instead of the pine nuts that the recipe calls for. Next time, I think I'd also add some herbs de provence to the chicken while it's roasting, too. Also, the arugula to bread ratio could be changed to MORE arugula. I know, insane coming from my mouth, but it's better with more of the greens. For the bread, I used Publix's White Mountain Bread.  You need to hurry up and try this recipe. It was soooo good! Now THIS is a salad I could get down with. ;)

the roasted chicken thighs

the toasted white mountain bread scraps

mixin' the bread, arugula, vinegar + olive oil

the finished bread salad

Monday, August 5, 2013

// quinoa salad w/lime-curry chicken //

This is a great summer recipe that my cousin, Thanh (who has guest-blogged here before), tweaked and shared with me. I left out the garbanzo beans and parsley in this pic, but it's up to you.

Thanh’s Quinoa and Kale

1 ½ cup        quinoa
2 cups          chicken broth
1 cup            water
3 cloves        garlic, minced
1 bunch        kale
1 can             garbanzo bean, drained
2                   skinless, boneless chicken breast
¼ cup           Italian parsley, thinly sliced
1                   lime, juiced
3 Tbsp.        olive oil
2-3 tsp.        garam marsala (or a curry blend)
1                   avocado, diced into ½” pieces
1.     Rinse quinoa
2.     In saucepan, combine quinoa, chicken broth, water and salt to taste. Or cook in a rice cooker on the white rice setting.
3.     Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes
4.     Drain and set aside
5.     Split chicken breast into thin fillets. Season with salt and pepper
6.     In skillet, over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil until hot
7.     Add minced clove of garlic and cook for 30 seconds
8.     Add chicken breast to skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until done.
9.     After chicken is cooled, shred meat and set aside
10.  Strip kale from stem and cut into 1” pieces
11.  In large skillet or wok, heat 1Tbsp. of olive oil.
12.  Add remaining garlic and cook for 30 seconds
13.  Add kale to pan and sauté for approximately 5 minutes until soft
14.  Add garbanzo beans and warm in pan for 2 minutes
15.  In small bowl, mix garam marsala, lime juice and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil
16.  In large bowl, combine quinoa, kale mix, dressing and Italian parsley. Stir to combine. Season with salt to taste.
17.  Top with avocado before serving

Monday, June 17, 2013

// spaghetti w/ramps //


One of our friends went and picked fresh ramps and brought these back for us. I've actually never had them before and was researching recipes online and found this one, which had ingredients that I already had in the house. If I had to do it again, I'd definitely add more ramps. Too much pasta vs. ramps in this recipe. The flavor was really good, kind of like a sweeter shallot and in a different form. Interesting to see how it blows up like a balloon, while you're cooking it, too. I've seen it on a bunch of menus in the past month, so it must be a popular seasonal thing for chefs. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

// fish tacos + mango salsa //

This is a super simple recipe that my friend Cathy (who's a pescatarian) has always made every now and then for small dinner gatherings.  The mango salsa is actually what takes the longest to make, because it's mostly finely dicing everything. Now that it's summertime (at least here in ATL), I've been craving a lot more lighter, cooler foods. This one's an easy one to whip up and it's even easier if you have a group of people helping you out. One person heats up the tortillas on the skillet and another cooks the fish while the other prepares the mango salsa (or you can prep that ahead of time). Enjoy, amigos!

Mango Salsa:

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced (about 1 1/2 cup) (See: How to Cut a Mango
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeño chile, minced (include ribs and seeds for a hotter taste if desired)
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the salsa ends up being a little too hot or acidic for your taste, you can temper it by adding some diced avocado.

Fish Tacos:
  • 1 lb of very fresh fish fillets - (I use tilapia)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 1 doz corn tortillas (3 tortillas per person)
  • Butter (to heat your tortillas)
Soak the fish fillets in cold water for at least one minute. Pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large stick-free skillet to medium high heat. Add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil to the skillet. Place fish on skillet. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillets. A thin fillet may take only one minute on each side to cook. A thicker fillet may take a couple of minutes. Fish should be still barely translucent when cooked. Break off a piece and test if you are not sure. Do not overcook the fish. Remove from pan when done to a separate plate.

Monday, April 29, 2013

// Koi Palace - Dim Sum //

suckling pig - roast pork. skin was super crispy!

chicken feet

pork buns

lamb buns - looked better than they tasted

taro puffs

peking duck, duh

On my recent trip to San Fran to visit family. My cousins took me to Koi Palace in Daly City. Everything was delicious and the place was packed for a weekday late lunch. We went around 1:30 or 2:00 and it was a full house. Definitely make reservations if you go. The funny part was that my cousin was like "Order whatever you want!" and at the end of the meal, he used his Koi Palace credit card. It was literally restaurant credit because he had booked this place as a wedding venue, put down a deposit, and ended up just eloping. So then he was stuck with a no refund policy and they just gave him a ton of restaurant credit. He said they had gone there for numerous dinners that cost up to $500 because of some specialty seafood dishes. Even after our meal, he still had a couple hundred left! I thought that was a pretty good "problem" to have. ;]

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

// State Bird Provisions //


duck liver mousse + almond biscuit

oysters with kohlrabi kraut & sesame  

garlic bread/knot

hands down our favorite. fried seaweed (tasted more like a shrimp chip) w/fresh avocado + hamachi

the state bird (fried quail) w/provisions

uni pancake

deep-fried pork belly w/citrus and mint

red ruby grapefruit & lime granita, rhubarb, yogurt

I've noticed now that I'm older, that all my travels are planned by where I want to eat. On this particular trip to San Fran, State Bird Provisions was the top of my list. I had an ATL friend recommend it since he had gone there for work the week before and sat at the chef's counter (as did I). It was listed as one of Bon Appetit's "Best New Restaurant" in 2012. You basically have to book reservations months in advance, but there's a line that forms outside the restaurant starting at 4:45 (they open at 5:30). Luckily, my friend was able to get there at 4:30 and we were the 1st in line. The line outside quickly became about 30 ppl after us and it's basically getting in line to get on the waiting list. If you're in the back, they'll put your name down and you'll have to come back at a later time. We got sat at the chef's counter right at opening.

The kitchen is pretty open and you can see how efficiently everyone works together and how much the staff loves their job. It's a super casual atmosphere where you can just wear jeans and a tee or come dressed up and still fit in. The place itself isn't that big, but is cozy and comfortable. They serve the food dim-sum style in that they're all basically small plates and the servers/chefs present each dish and describe it, then they state the price and you tell them "yes" or  "no" and they mark the item on your tab. There's also set things on the menu that you can order that are bigger main dishes as well as desserts. We had three people in our group and we split a bottle of wine and it came to $60/person. Not bad at all for all the variety of dishes!  Everything was soooo fresh. If you're in the area, it should be on the top of your list, too.

Friday, January 4, 2013

// X-mas present //

Look what I got for Christmas!!!! Thanks to my bf, Luke. I've been hinting for a more professional look for my food photos. And voila....another X-mas, another nice Canon camera. I'm looking forward to putting it to use!