hawaii: day 2

we woke up bright and early the next day so we could drop by the small farmer’s market place at the local community college.

there were some really beautiful flowers, lots of fresh veggies, and food!

pretty orchids

these cakes looked so cute!

cute cakes

cameron and i shared a crabcake benedict from one of the stands. 

crabcake benedict

it was very delicious!  there was a tasty crabcake with a perfectly poached egg in an orange hollandaise sauce.  there were also some lightly/nicely seasoned potatoes and spinach. the eggs were nice and runny. :)  this dish is winning for tastiest meal on the island during the visit.

crabcake benedict with runny egg!

for lunch, we went to the coco ichibanya curry house.  i had the cream corn croquettes with curry,

cream corn croquette curry

and cameron had the natto (fermented soy beans) curry. 

natto curry

we both had the “spicy” curry (the only other choice is mild).  the croquettes were nice and crispy on the outside and creamy and fluffy on the inside.  the curry itself was very good.  it had a good balance of sweet and salty, and the tiny bit of spiciness was perfect.  other people might like it spicier, but it was good for me.  cameron’s natto curry was also very good, and all the curry sauce lessened the strong taste of the natto a bit. 

later in the day we drove out with cameron’s parents to waianae to go fishing with cameron’s relatives.  it was raining a little, but it let up after a while so we did some fishing,

rock cod

enjoyed the beautiful scenery,

pretty ocean picture

and watched the monk seals!

hawaiian monk seals

as per tradition, for dinner we had kfc fried chicken and spam musubis.  there was also some three bean salad, cole slaw,
and gravy smothered mashed potatoes. 

kfc and spam musubis

last year after we all went swimming we were famished, and this meal was really delicious.  this year i didn’t go swimming though, since it was a little cold in the water, so i wasn’t that hungry.  i felt kinda bad after eating all that.  oh well.  but if you are really hungry, kfc and spam musubis on the beach are surprisingly delicious.

hawaii: day 1

spring break in hawaii!  mmm… tasty. 

on the night we arrived, cameron’s mom prepared a bunch of yummy food for us to eat.  yum! 
we had…

somen salad

somen noodle salad,

sushi

sushi,

beef and chicken

beef and chicken. 

it was all very tasty.  those shrimp had a real kick of wasabi!

art center

the best class ever is the drawing class i am currently taking at the art center. it even beats tom mannion’s cooking class! it’s from 9-4 every saturday at the art center in pasadena. it’s FREE because caltech and the art center have a mini exchange program, but i think most of the exchange is from caltech to the art center. i don’t know any art center students that have taken classes at caltech, but maybe there are some.

anyway, since this is a food blog, i’ll mention the food. they actually have a really good and cheap cafeteria for the students. you can get a good hearty lunch for 3.50-5.00 dollars. they have freshly made sandwiches, hot prepared food, and a small salad bar. last week they had yummy fajitas.

the following is for my legions of fans (i.e. my brother and bing). here’s pictures of my homework (draw your hand and foot using the 3-d technique we’ve been using for drawing figures) from one of the weeks:

my hand
my (giant) hand

my foot
my (gigantic) foot

mary (our instructor) said she liked the foot better. she said she’d buy the foot as a picture :) i like the foot better too. lena said my foot isn’t actually as beautiful as in the picture.

here’s wei’s ear (giant size):

my ear

and my ear collage (we had to draw an ear with our left hand, right hand, and some kind of creative interpretation):

ear collage

and finally, since this class is mainly a figure drawing class, some nude figures (but only ones with parts covered up!):

woman leaning, backside

some people in my class liked this one (above, a 40-min pose) a lot, and my mom did too, but i actually don’t like this one that much. i feel like the proportions are a little off.

unfinished man backside

this one was a short 20-minute pose so i just started working on the back. i liked the lay-in a lot though. his head looks a little big… but he did have kind of big hair.

man seated

this one is from last week. this was a 60-minute pose (with two breaks). i thought it turned out pretty well. his face turned out okay, but it didn’t really look like the model so that kind of bummed me out. i need more practice drawing people’s faces.

this class is really awesome. i really love our teacher too. she is really encouraging and nurturing. and she always has helpful comments for everyone. i didn’t know anything about drawing the human figure before this class. we started from the basics and built up, and it’s been great. i think it’s also helped me with drawing in general. last week i tackled the OPI piano…

babylon opi piano

i don’t think i would have done as good a job on this piano if i worked on it before taking this class, and i don’t think i would have had enough confidence in my abilities to tackle it either. yay for art center! and thanks to scott for also helping with the main part of the piano (ken and cameron also helped us with the lettering and keys).

thai stir-fried noodles with beef

my handy-dandy essential wok cookbook has some pretty tasty looking noodle recipes so a while ago i tried making some thai stir-fried noodles with beef (pad see yew). this dish is always really tasty at the thai restaurants and the recipe looked pretty easy so i tried it.

thai stir-fried noodles with beef

thai stir-fried noodles with beef

500 g (1 lb) fresh rice sheet noodles, cut lengthways into 2 cm (3/4 inch) strips
2 tbl peanut oil
2 egs, lightly beaten
500 g (1 lb) lean beef fillet, thinly sliced across the grain
1/4 cup (60 mL/2 fl oz) kecap manis (indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1 1/2 tbl soy sauce
1 1/2 tbl fish sauce
300 g (10 oz) gai lan (chinese broccoli), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) strips
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

1. cover the noodles with boiling water and gently separate the strips. drain.
2. heat a wok over high heat, add 1 tbl oil and swirl to coat. add the egg, swirl to coat and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until set. remove and slice.
3. reheat the wok over high heat, add the remaining oil and cook the beef in batches for 3 minutes, or until browned. remove.
4. reduce heat to medium, add the noodles, and cook for 2 minutes. combine the kecap manis, soy and fish sauces. add to the wok with the gai lan and white pepper, then stir-fry for 2 minutes. return the egg and beef to the wok and cook for 3 minutes.

comments: i bought one of those 2 lb. packs of noodles (fun) at the store so i just added more of everything. it was pretty tasty. that kecap manis is really sweet. i think i added a little too much of it. besides that, it was a pretty easy recipe, and it turned out well. i might add more eggs next time.

chinese new year

this one’s for my brother. i know he misses mom’s delicious food. i’m sure i will when i move away. gotta eat as much as i can!!

mom's chinese new year food

mmm… nothing beats mom’s food. if i had to choose a favorite, i’d choose the nin-gou (nian gao/rice cakes). they never fail.