Sep 22, 2008

A Trip to Getty Villa

It's just one of those days that I don't feel like writing a food related post,
No recipe, no restaurant review,
Simply pictures.

Pictures of where I've been and what I've seen,
I would like to show you the images that were captured through my camera, and through my eyes.

This is the very first thing that caught my attention-

His name is Silenos-

Fig, well, I guess there is still a slightly food-related picture in this blog entry-

Absolutely love love LOVE this picture-

Lotus after photoshop-

C'est moi.
I can still feel the breeze flowing between my fingers and the sun shining on my face just by looking at this picture-

Getty Villa

Sep 15, 2008

Chocolate and Blueberry Bread Pudding

I don't know if it has anything to do with my sickness these few days,
(coughing, sneezing, running nose, nasal congestion....the list goes on and on...
Yes, I was one of the victims during this flu season.
Somehow I wonder,
How in the world I can suffer from running nose and nasal congestion at the same time?)
But I've been craving for chocolate dessert like crazy,
Especially the warm and gooey kind of chocolate dessert.

It's time to make something sweet to boost up my immune system again!
Ok I admit, it's just one of my excuses to enjoy a simply and delicious dessert..
Come on...I was sick!

Chocolate and Blueberry Bread Pudding-


Half loaf of filone bread (cubed)
*According to the package, "this bread has a hearty crust surrounding a full-bodied, slightly tangy interior." *Brioche or ciabatta are other two ideal alternatives
2 palmful of fresh blueberries
3 eggs
3 ounces of 60% cacao dark chocolate
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Small pinch of salt
Optional: chocolate sauce
Optional: vanilla bean ice cream


Let's do the preparation work first,
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheits.
In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and set aside.

Prepare a big bowl,
Whisk the eggs for about 2 minutes,
Add milk, whipping cream, vanilla extract, honey, and melted chocolate into the bowl,
Mix till well blended.

In another container,
Mix the sugar and salt and pour them into the big bowl,
Whisk them well, add the blueberries and give it a gentle, quick stir.

Pour the mixture into a buttered baking dish,
Put the cubed bread into the mixture,
Make sure the mixture is absorbed by all the bread cubes before transfer the baking dish into the oven.
Bake for about 55 minutes to an hour,
You can stick a knife in the middle of the bread,
If it comes out clean that means your bread pudding is done.

Served with chocolate sauce and vanilla bean ice cream if desired.
Note that these two optional ingredients do make a big difference for the bread pudding!

Cindy's Rating: 6 (one bread pudding a day, keeps the doctors away!)

Sep 9, 2008

Salmon and Seaweed Onigiri - My Delicious First Try

I have a confession to make,
This post was supposed to be "pork slice wrapped enoki mushroom and ohba,"
But....I screwed that dish up...
In the beginning, everything looked so good in my head,
First, I'll lay out the thinly sliced pork on the working surface,
Gentally, I'll pick up a few enoki mushroom and ohba leaves and place them on top of the pork slices,
Then I'll dip those yummy looking rolls with flour, eggs, and then panko,
Heat up my skillet with some butter and olive oil,
Sear those soon to be eaten pork rolls, transfer to the oven for 10 or 20 more minutes,
In the meantime,
I'll grate the daikon (radish) and soak it with few dashes of ponzu sauce,
The final step,
I'll pour the sauce all over the cruchy yet juicy pork rolls....


My grated daikon with ponzu sauce turned out a disaster,
It was bitter and spicy,
Only tastes a wee bit better than the powder inside your flu capsule.
Let's put it this way,
If you can compare food with movies,
It's like.....Mariah Carey's Glitter or Nicolas Cage's Wicker Man,
There were only two options left for me,
One, write about it and show you guys my disastrous dish on the blog,
Second, swallow my pain and make something else, something edible.
One way or another,
I decided to embrace my sorrow and made this onirigi (rice ball) today-

If you can compare food with movies,
This onirigi is like a good old Japanese film Tokyo Story,
Or Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki,
Ok maybe it's not THAT good, but for sure it's one tasty dish!

Ingredients (for 3 medium sized onigiri)?

1 cup of steamed rice
4 tablespoons of salmon flakes
(You can find it in Japanese market or just buy a salmon fillet and make it yourself)
2 tablespoons of dried seaweed
1 tablespoons of roasted sesame
Sea salt


We have to cook the rice first,
Use a little bit, only a little bit less amount of water while steaming the rice,
We want to have a chewier rice for our rice balls.
Another good alternative is to cook the rice with dashi,
It might sound like a lot of work,
But it'll definitely worth it once you have the very first bite of onigiri.

After the rice is ready,
Give it a nice stir so the steam can evaporate before we add other ingredients.
Stir in the salmon flakes, dried seaweed, and roasted sesame.
If you can't find salmon flakes,
Simply sprinkle some nice sea salt on the salmon flakes and bake it till cooked through,
Additional seasoning is optional,
I personally think good quality sea salt can do the job perfectly.
Please don't remove the skin while baking the salmon fillet,
Trust me, your salmon fillet will tastes way better that way.
Separate the fillet into little pieces with a fork, discard the skin.
Your instant salmon flake is ready to go!

Have a small bowl of water and a small plate of salt ready,
It's time to make the rice ball.
First dip your palms into the water, just a little bit is fine,
Then dip your palms with some sea salt,
You can rub your palms together to have a more even distribution of salt.
Now have a big palmful of onigiri mixture on your left hand and gently forming it into a ball shape with your right hand,
After the rice stop falling apart here and there,
Give it more pressure and gradually making the mixture into a triangle shaped rice ball.

The dish is done,
Very simple yeah?
I gonna bring some to work tomorrow,
Onirigi makes a perfect lunch for me,
It's also a nice alternative for picnic meals,
(Kick out those sandwiches, we want something new!)
I gonna come up with more onigiri recipe and post them up here for you guys!

Cindy's Rating: 8!! (Come on, it's not bad for a first try)

Sep 4, 2008

Casa De Reyes - Old Town San Diego

Where did you guys go for Labor Day weekend?
I ended up spending my holiday with Shamu, manatees, and other lovely marine animals,
Sounds like I was in SeaWorld yep?
But which one? San Diego? Orlando? San Antonio?
Well, I don't think it's a good idea to travel far far away during one of the busiest weekend throughout the year in America,
That crossed out two of the three options,
I was in San Diego!

The whole trip was fun and we had lots of food,
(I think the food part applies to all my trips..)
Before I bore you guys with endless scenic pictures,
Let's talk about food first.

On the second day of my trip,
Me and my friends paid a visit to Old Town San Diego and had a nice late lunch in one of the restaurants in Plaza del Pasado.
The place we dined at called Casa de Reyes.
Look at the line here, it was around 2 p.m....still lots of people (or tourists?),

There's this lady making fresh tortillas in the back of the line-

Basically the tortillas are free of charge,
But of course people pitch in one or two dollars for the food.
You can add salsa and butter inside the tortilla.
I'm not a big fan of tortillas,
But after having one bite, ok two bites, of my friend's tortilla,
My subjective opinion has been proven once more,
Nothing beats food that is freshly made from the kitchen and served immediately.
After waiting in the line and getting a nice tan for nearly 30 minutes,
We finally got our table,
First thing first,
Let's have some ice cold mixed fruit margaritas!-

The alcohol content is really low,
I can barely taste any alcohol in this drink,
Am I complaining? No no no, the drink was very refreshing!
And I noticed there's a well inside the restaurant-

I think by the time we sat at our table, it was nearly 2:30 p.m.
We were having lunch at 2:30 p.m....good lord I had some dessert earlier that day,
Otherwise you'll see an Asian chick fainting in the middle of a Mexican restaurant,
Calling for food.
Did I mention we probably waited for another 30 minutes for our food to come?

Menudo sopa-

"Traditional Mexican style stew with hominy served with oregano, onion, cilantro, lime, and red crushed peppers."
Very very good,
I think I'm in love with any Mexican food that uses lime and cilantro,
The more the merrier.

Shrimp ceviche-

I only had a few small bites,
Nothing special, it simply tastes like cooked shrimps with salsa.

Chicken fajita-

We also ordered beef fajita and shrimp fajita,
By far beef was the best of all,
Chicken was on the dry side.

Enchiladas de mole (with shredded chicken)-

Thanks to Wikipedia,
I don't know how am I suppose to learn bits of knowledge here and there without it,
There's no need for me to explain what mole is, just click here for detailed explanation.
Since there's chocolate in the sauce,
You can imagine that it was a little bit sweet with a hint of chocolate aroma.

Half way through our meal-

Lots of food.
What can I say?
Food makes me happy!
Generally speaking,
The food was average,
Our waitress was great but slow,
The ambience was awesome,
The great outdoor sunlight, live band or mariachi on the side,
It's a place where you can look for some fun but not truly authentic Mexican food.

Overall Rating: 6

Plaza del Pasado - Casa De Reyes
2754 Calhoun Street
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 220-5040