sunday brunch

lena found a waffle maker in the house, and then found a recipe called “waffle of insane greatness,” so last sunday the roomies and i made a big, delicious sunday brunch. it was a lot of fun and tons of food. i think everyone food coma’d after that meal.

lena made the waffles…

lena and waffles
lena, the waffle maker, and her beautiful waffle

waffle of insane greatness
Recipe courtesy Aretha Frankensteins
from food network ($40 a day with rachael ray – chattanooga, TN episode)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter and syrup, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.

waffles

comments: mmm… these waffles were really delicious. nice and crispy on the outside, softer inside, and delicious all over. lena bought some maple syrup for the waffles. we also put nutella on them.

wei decided to make crepes…

sweet crepes
Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman
from food network (good deal with dave lieberman)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk (preferably whole)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter, plus more for cooking crepes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Serving suggestions:
Jam
Honey
Sugar
Chocolate hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
Peanut butter
Sliced bananas

Put the flour and salt and in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a small pat of butter in the pat and swirl around so that it lightly coats the surface.

Add 1/3 cup of the batter and move your wrist in a circular pattern to coat the pan with thin even layer of batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until the first side browns lightly, then flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

Fill with jam, honey, sugar, chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter, bananas – anything sweet that you enjoy from your pantry.

crepes

comments: wei’s crepes turned out really well too. lena and i thought wei was pretty ambitious to try making crepes, but wei said it was easy, and they turned out very tasty. i think wei doubled the recipe, so she made ~15 crepes i think. wei also cut up some bananas and kiwis. i had a couple banana and nutella crepes. soooooooooooo good.

shelley made some tasty potatoes…

potatoes

comments: shelley said she used garlic and butter to season the potatoes, and then she baked them for a while. they were nice and crunchy on the outside. yum!

i decided to make eggs benedict (because i love hollandaise)…

eggs benedict

first i made the hollandaise sauce that we made in cooking class. it was pretty easy to make. just keep that whisk moving. mmm…
buttery goodness

hollandaise

then i poached the eggs. i found a recipe on the food network site.

poached eggs

poached eggs
from food network (emeril)

3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil with the vinegar and salt in a small saucepan over high heat.Crack an egg into a cup and slide the egg gently into the water. Crack another egg into the cup and while the water returns to a boil, slide this egg into the water as well. Repeat with the third egg. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the eggs are set. Watch carefully and remove the eggs when the yolks are still soft, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. (Test by lifting an egg slightly out of the water on a slotted spoon and gently pressing the center with your finger; the yolk should be soft and the white firm.)

Drain on paper towels. Poached eggs can be made ahead and immersed in a bowl of water in the refrigerator. Reheat by immersing briefly in simmering water.

i microwaved the turkey ham we bought, and then toasted the english muffins and assembled. mmm… so tasty. look at the RUNNY EGG. WHY CAN’T MY LOCO MOCOS HAVE RUNNY EGGS???

yumminess

we also made some bacon:

wei and bacon
wei cannot deny her love of bacon.  no one can.
i like taking pictures of bacon.

yum bacon
bacon

so, here’s all our delicious food:

lots o' food

and my delicious plate:

brunch

yay for brunch! we had six people, and then we brought sam in to help the cause. it was a great brunch.

royal hawaiian bbq madness!

cameron and i were searching online for hawaiian bbq’s in the area, and we discovered this website, where there’s a list of southern california plate lunch locations. we found one called royal hawaiian bbq (158 w. foothill, monrovia), which is not too far, and we found some good reviews on it.

ok, so i cannot deny the deliciousness of plate lunches, but i don’t like to eat them too often because they are super bad for you and kind of nasty if you think about it too much. if they had more vegetables and less macaroni salad maybe they would a little better. although everything is still fried. but so tasty…

anyway, when bingus came to visit, we kind of promised him we’d take him to eat some hawaiian food. and somehow cameron convinced me that the two of us should take royal hawaiian bbq on a test run before we took bingus there. so somehow we ended up eating there TWICE in one week. i think i’d be more disgusted by this if weren’t so DELICIOUS.

round one:

someone who wrote about this place online said the kalua pork was really good, so i got that. plus it has cabbage, and vegetables make me happy. it was very tasty. the kalua pork has that nice pulled pork consistency, and the seasonings were also yummy. the saltiness of the pork balanced by the cabbage was really good.

kalua pork

cameron had the honey garlic chicken. apparently “the mainland” doesn’t offer much garlic chicken, unlike hawaii, where it is a staple. cameron thought it was quite delicious, and i agree.

honey garlic chicken

after trying the food, i asked cameron how he would rate royal hawaiian bbq. he said he would give it an 85/100. compare this to the 35/100 he would give L&L’s! he said the rice was nice, the macaroni salad was quite good, and the main part was very good. i think this is the only macaroni salad i actually like. usually it is too mayo-y and nasty, but i ate mine all up this time.

round two:

round two almost didn’t happen because bingus was pretty booked, and cameron and i were kinda busy too. then we decided to go on a week night, but then we couldn’t find anyone so it was just me and bingus. and he was all like, “maybe we shouldn’t go since there’s only us two, and it is kinda far.” but then i was like, “let’s just go! it is delicious!” i think i’ve gone insane.

then we relied on the fact that other people would hopefully help us eat because we got a lot of food…

madness!

bingus has no self control. i had to stop him from ordering even more food. and afterwards he was like, “we should have ordered more!” we also tried their spam musubis, but we were really hungry so we ate them in the car.

okay, so we got two orders of kalua pork. then, we tried the fried mahi mahi,

fried mahi mahi

the hawaiian mix (?), which had bbq chicken, pork, beef, and kalbi ribs i think,

bbq mix

the chicken katsu and bbq beef (special of the day),

katsu and beef

and finally, OF COURSE, the loco moco.

loco moco

it was pretty tasty stuff. except when we got back no one was home… but eventually people came to eat with us, and we devoured all the food. the only disappointing thing was the eggs weren’t runny again!!! so sad. maybe next week we’ll have time to make our own loco mocos, which will have very runny eggs. besides that, the loco moco (and all the other food) was quite tasty. extreme close-up!

loco moco extreme close-up

conclusion: royal hawaiian bbq is a winner. in addition, it is located by WING STOP. one day i will go there and buy 1000 wings for $500.

hop li w/ bingus

bingus came to visit for a week, which was pretty exciting. except he stole my hand mixer. punk!

anyway, five of us went out to eat dinner at hop li (855 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia) with bingus. bingus loves hop li. i think it is a good restaurant too, but it’s a little more expensive than i’m used to (because i am kinda cheap). my parents approve of it and go there semi-regularly; they know good chinese food. hop li also has good and reasonably priced dim sum at lunch.
our meal was quite delicious. we ordered four dishes (for 5 people), which was about the right amount.

string beans

first there were the string beans. lena thinks these string beans are life-changing. they are pretty damn tasty.

lamb chops

next, we had some fried lamb chops. mmm… lamb chops are always so tasty. the seasoning on this lamb had a good saltiness and spiciness.

tofu

then, there was this tofu dish. it had some veggies underneath and some of that bamboo fungus stuff on top along with the dried-scallop sauce. nice big pieces of that deep-fried tofu in the sauce… yum.

honey pork chops

finally, we had these deep-fried pork chops that had a honey sauce on the outside. i think one has to admit that deep fried pork chops can do no wrong. the honey sauce was very good – not too sweet or overpowering.

unintentionally, everything we ordered was fried, but it was really good. we also had bowls of complimentary red bean soup after eating.

pink’s

both cameron and lena saw a food network show featuring pink’s in hollywood so last weekend ken, shelley, lena, cameron, and i went there to enjoy some heart-stopping goodness.

pink's
“mmm… hot dogs!”

we went on sunday around 2, and there was a pretty long line. i think it took about an hour to get our dogs. we got really hungry because we could smell the food the whole time we were waiting.

here’s our food:
dogs
five dogs and…

fries and onion rings
fries and onion rings

it was quite tasty. i had the bacon chili cheese dog, and i didn’t feel bad at all afterwards. i think it was the perfect size. big enough to fill you up but not so large as to make you feel disgusting afterwards.

bacon chili cheese dog
bacon chili cheese dog (topped w/3 strips of bacon, tomatoes & cheese)

i took a bite of lena’s millennium dog, which was pretty good but kind of too big and messy:

millennium dog
millennium dog (12-inch jalapeno dog with chili, guacamole, grilled onions, tomatoes, lettuce)

cameron and shelley both tried the martha stewart dog. i took a bite of cameron’s and liked it a lot.

martha stewart dog
martha stewart dog (10″ Stretch Dog, relish, onions, bacon, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut & sour cream)

ken had the intense looking mullholland dog:

mullholland drive dog

mullholland drive dog (10″ STRETCH dog grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, nacho cheese & bacon)

the fries and onion rings were also nicely seasoned and had the perfect crispiness. too bad this place has such long lines. but i guess if you have time, you will enjoy a tasty dog. don’t forget to get extra bacon!

christmas eve dinner

my brother, jen, and i prepared a yummy christmas eve dinner for our family and dr. shia’s family. we spent about $20/person.

first we made a sesame crusted seared tuna with some fields greens drizzled with a mango dressing my brother made. we also had some fresh tomatoes and basil served on the side. and my brother made a mustard wasabi sauce for the fish. this was really really delicious. i love raw tuna. and the sauce and dressing were both very good.

seared tuna and salad

then my brother made his favorite salad. it is a really great salad. it has spinach and watercress, roasted almonds, and then a warm orange, red onion, and sherry vinegar dressing.

we also made some oven-roasted red potatoes with just some extra virgin olive oil, pepper, and kosher salt…

potatoes

and poached salmon using the recipe from cooking class.

poached salmon

we also made some pea sprouts (dou miao), garlic bread, and STEAK. for the steak (filet mignon), my brother found a recipe that called for lots of pepper on the outside and some other stuff. we used my handy dandy dutch oven to cook them. and we used our handy dandy meat thermometer to get them to perfect medium-rare. my brother also made some sort of tasty sauce by cooking down beef broth and red wine. and mushrooms i think.
here is my plate:

my plate

let’s get a better look at the meat…

mmm... meat

mmm… it was all really tasty. then jen baked a yummy chocolate cake with cute holiday sprinkles:

cake

and the shias brought a tiramisu ice cream cake. and we had some vanilla ice cream too.

dessert

it was a great meal. well-balanced and all the food complemented each other very well. success and deliciousness!

finally, fancy picture my brother took using his new camera (it looks so professional!):

fancy picture