Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another fruity gummy

So, there have been places we could have posted about... we just forgot to take photos of things while we were there so I'll try to sum some of it up:

1) Breakfast at home- didn't know what to cook for dinner and didn't have much to cook with at the house so I did a breakfast spread for dinner. We had over easy eggs (aka pop eggs), bacon, pancakes, burnt toast, and hashbrowns. It was pretty nice. I enjoyed it. Dad seemed to enjoy it too and said that we should do this for dinner again sometime, not soon but sometime. He is never too confident about my cooking and thinks once I cook something he likes I'll cook it over and over again. I will... but I do know better than to not cook it within the same week!

2) Mardi Gras grill - hot oysters that burned my tongue for several days- tons of butter on the bread that was warm and addicting. I had the crawfish pasta which was heavy, oily, and crawfishy. I was starving and it was good at the time. Ryan had a cup of gumbo which has a very dark roux and a poboy with regular and sweet potato fries. Brian had some crab bisque. To sum it up= alright food, crawfish looked small for 6.99/lb, waiter was hard to catch- most likely be back since it's close to the boys.

3) Thought we might have a place to post about when Ryan took me up to San Jacinto to show me his office and where he works. Too bad they shut down I-10 and we took this huge detour, made it to San Jac and the building was locked. Since we took that detour we didn't have as much time to eat like we thought we would and just had whataburger.. nothing much to post about there.

4) Instead of our usual Sunday place that we're getting somewhat tired of, dad wanted to go down to Hong Kong 4. It's like the gathering place on Sundays! It is fun to people watch some and I'd probably enjoy it more if I were showing people around that haven't seen what that mall is like... but I was starving by the time we got down there. We ate some broken rice with so much stuff on top of it that I couldn't finish it all. I was hoping I wasn't too full and could order a few lbs of crawfish as dessert... no luck I was stuffed!!! Followed dad around, visit his old neighbors from Vietnam as they ask questions like "is she the youngest?" "when are you getting married?" "how old are you now?" etc etc etc, run into people from church as I try to be polite and greet them yet hide behind dad so I don't really have to talk to them then bow and leave, watch all the people eat crawfish, see two separate tables-one of men one of women playing old games, nice to see they added a yogurt shop to the food court with more interesting flavors, look for some sour lemon candy (Stacy- I was wanting some and I was going to bring you some!) with no luck, bought some peach gummies instead, and so on.

For some reason I have become interested in these fruit gummies- their flavors are so strong makes you think you are having a piece of the real fruit but it's candy. Anyways- posted about the mango ones so I thought I'd add the peach ones too. I'm not one who really likes sweet peaches- If my finger moves at all when I squeeze a peach it's too ripe for me. Same with apples, nectarines (my favorite), etc. How do you like your fruit?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


In one of our first posts, we posted the end result of our chili experiment. We made the chili again on Valentine's Day and shared it with Brian and Jonathan (how romantic), and took pictures to post step-by-step. This chili is nice and rich, has good amount of meat and a nice silky, not too thick, broth to it. Kimmy found the recipe online, and we're pretty happy with it.

- Chop onions, garlic, bell peppers (omitted this time bc I forgot to buy them)
- break/slice up meat. I use less ground beef than the recipe calls for, bc i like the stew meat better - small chunks of stew meat is the way I like to go.
- Toss onions/garlic/bell into pot with a little oil, then drop in the meat.
- When the meat is browned, dump in can of diced tomatoes, bottle of dark beer (brown ale last time, st. arnold's spring bock this time), cup of coffee (we used the chickory coffee used in ca phe sua da), tomato paste, and beef broth.
- stir and simmer for a bit - then dump in spice mixture (brown sugar, chili powder, cocoa powder, etc) - this is what makes this chili really stand out I think. The mixture of spices is really nice - along with the addition of the beer.
- dump in 2 cans of red kidney beans and 3 finely chopped fresh anaheim peppers (the fresh chiles give a nice taste as well)
- cook the crap out of it - at least 2 hours
- serve as desired - kimmy likes frito pie, and i tried (unsuccessfully) to make some cornbread to eat with it, but it still worked for me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sugar Biscuits/Donuts

I had my first "sugar biscuit" or donut at E*Star buffet here in Houston. I use to always pass them up because I was more interested in the mediocre food all out there for you to eat as much as you want even though you shouldn't. One day, my mom decided to give them a try and fell in love with them. From then on, any time we went there she would have a couple of them and then put some in a napkin to take home as a snack later. They never made it home and she would eat them right there in the car. We always think of her when we go to E*Star and I think it might be why my dad loves going there so much. Her memory and the shrimp. Now, every time we go we also take one or two of these, put them in a napkin, and bring them home for her.

One day, I asked Ryan how he thought they made them. He said he's pretty sure it's just a fried biscuit from a can. I didn't believe him so we tried it one day. Sure enough it is! Open a can of biscuits, heat up some oil, fry them up, coat it in sugar, and enjoy. Each time we make these dad ends up eating about 10 of them in a few hours. He didn't even want to bring them over to a friend's house to share because he was afraid there wouldn't be enough for himself. Try it out- they're good!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bo Luc Lac

So I wanted to cook dad some dinner real quick before I left the house Friday. I was a good "stay at home person" and did the laundry, dishes, trash, ironing, etc. For a quick dish that I love- I cooked rice with bo luc lac. Literal translation= shaking beef. This is the breakdown of it:
1) thinly slice some onion- put it in a bowl, pour white wine vinegar over it and allow it to soak as long as possible
2) cut beef (sirloin steak) into cubes, add fish sauce, salt, sugar, pepper, and chilies- allow it to marinate
3) Wash spinach or watercress - spread it over a big plate
4) cut tomato into slices or wedges and put it over the greens
5) mince up some garlic- heat up a skillet- add oil and garlic
6) once it's really hot- dump in meat, let it sear, then shake it around until it's cooked doesn't take long
7) turn it off and let it rest, drain onions, spread over tomatoes
8) pour meat over everything and enjoy!!!!

Additional photos of mango gummies- Ryan and I got them from the Vietnamese market. These are so addicting and seriously taste just like real mango. I can even taste the stringiness of the mango. Just thought I'd share it as well. Gone the same day we bought it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Kimmy and I had our 5 year anniversary on Sunday, and since Sunday was the Super Bowl, I took her out on Saturday night instead. We went to Patrenella's, which is an Italian place that my grandparents have recommended before, though the chef that had been there before left. New chef or old chef, the food was really good. The main restaurant, which is the Patrenella family's old house converted into a restaurant, was full when we got there, so they asked if we wanted to go wait in their bar behind the restaurant, called Corleone's. We went back there and there were people eating there too, so we just ate there. It's the same kitchen, same menu, so I'm not sure why they call it something else, but whatever. We ordered an eggplant appetizer - very thin fried eggplant parmigiana topped with marinara and cheese. With a serving of pasta that would have been a really nice meal, but it was a good appetizer too.

The waitress came by and told us the specials, and I really debated ordering the ribeye with bleu cheese sauce she mentioned, but I had already picked out Veal Piccata from the menu. Kimmy ordered something else I was eyeing on the menu, the seared scallops. My veal was good, nice and lemony and caper-y sauce, which is how I like it, and the pasta was cooked well. The meat may have been a little overcooked, but it was still good. The stars of the evening were Kimmy's scallops though. Seared Scallops on top of a REALLY good and creamy basil risotto, topped with tomato jam and pancetta. They were delicious. Scallops were perfectly cooked, nice sear on the outside and buttery soft on the inside. The tomato jam and pancetta were a nice match on top, and the risotto was amazing.

I also ordered a glass (and then another) of "whatever white wine they had open," and I was proud that I knew it was a Pinot Grigio when I tasted it. I don't know if I should be proud of that or not, but whatever.

We also played a quick Bocce match on the court out in front of the restaurant, which is always fun, even though Kimmy didn't throw the boccino very far.


Last week on Wednesday I think, Kimmy felt like having a burger, so we decided to go to P.O.'s. My family used to go there every other month or so when we first moved out to Cypress, so I've got plenty of memories of greasy burgers and playing pinball there after baseball games and stuff. I decided to try the ostrich burger that they have there to tell you all how it is. It is... thin and dry and not very flavorful, I wouldn't recommend it. I wouldn't really recommend it. They have Buffalo burgers too though, and those are usually pretty good. Kimmy got a regular Bacon Cheeseburger, which I think they call a Bob burger there, and that was much better. I'll rate it as a "meh, good enough to try once," but childhood memories have me ending back up there every once in a while when I'm in Cypress.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Schmaltz- Waco, TX

I went up to Waco this past weekend for a short trip to reunite with some Gra(n)d girls- Jenny, Katie, Emily, & Rachel. Rachel and I stayed at a nice hotel which is surprising because you wouldn't really expect it to exist in Waco. Anyways, we went to dinner at the Elite Circle Grille off of the crazy circle that is in Waco. I forgot to take photos of our food here, but it was good. Big portions. I think I left about half of my mahi mahi and mashed potatoes on the plate. The next day, we had lunch at Schmaltz's deli. There are actually two locations in Waco- the one downtown was closed so we went to the one off of Valley Mills. It's in a small shopping center in the corner. The place was pretty crowded when we went- most of the tables were full. Simple menu on the wall, huge tubs of tea set out, and a counter to order your food. I think we all got the same thing- Turkey with swiss on white or wheat. The side salad was huge but seemed like they chopped everything up- like shredded lettuce (same one that goes on your sandwich), chopped olives, chopped ham, onions, etc. After you order, they give you a ticket stub and we were all hoping they would call our number next. Katie said it's feels like the lottery- waiting on your winning number. Anyways- fun trip to see the girls again. Good o Waco food. Not so good Waco water- blech.