Apr 29, 2009

Stir Fry Spinach

Let's eat healthier during this swine flu outbreak period!

Stir Fry Spinach-


One bundle of spinach
1 tablespoon of fried shallots
3 cloves of garlic (peeled, thinly sliced)
Sea salt
Olive oil
1 tablespoon of ponzu sauce
(or just substitute it with some lemon juice or orange juice, and use more salt)


Wash and dry the spinach, remember to cut off the bottom part of the stem,
Set aside.

Drizzle some olive oil in the pan and toss in the garlic slices and the fried shallots,
Sprinkle some salt and cook for a little bit.

Before the garlic gets burned, toss in the spinach,
As it starts to wilt, add one tablespoon of ponzu sauce, or add the substitutes listed above.
Give it a quick stir, cook for about 2 minutes, this dish is ready!

Cindy's rating: 8

Pretty refreshing!

Apr 20, 2009

Pizzeria Ortica

As a student, there is one golden rule for selecting your classes,
Never take anything on Fridays,
Do you find it reasonable to sacrifice an extra day staying at school rather than having a relaxing outdoor lunch?
Well, as a foodie, of course I'll pick the second choice,
So here I was, at Pizzeria Ortica close to South Coast Plaza.

Lunch menu-

We (me and my boyfriend) didn't go for the 3 course menu,
Instead, we started out with one antipasti, farro con frutti di mare-

The taste was quite clear and simple,
That's not a bad thing, in fact, its light and fresh flavor makes a perfect appetizer.
One footnote though,
I do feel like I can easily recreate this dish at home, maybe give it a try sometime.

We also ordered this pizza, Milanesa-

"Fontina, asparagus, Parmigiano Reggiano, fried egg."
I instantly picked this one right after I saw "fried egg."
It has to be my favorite thing to put on a pizza,
Seriously, if I can make it myself, I'll put one egg for each individual slice,
That gooey yolk mixed with baked pizza dough...heavenly!
Pappardelle al sugo d'agnello-

"Pappardelle pasta, braised lamb ragu, sheep's milk ricotta."
Kinda gamey, but personally, I do like this "interesting aroma" coming from the lamb.
Pasta was cooked al dente, pretty good dish.

Overall, based on the dishes we ordered, Pizzeria Ortica deserves a 7 from me,
However, the total waiting time was...slightly over my acceptable range,
First we waited for the table,
It took out hostess almost 10 minutes to seat us.
In addition,
I guess they had too many orders of pizza that day, so we waited at least 30 minutes for our entrees to arrive,
Just feel like they should be better with time management.

Overall Rating: 6
P.S. Please please try the fried egg on pizza if you never had it!

Pizzeria Ortica
650 Anton Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 445-4900

Apr 14, 2009

Shrimps and Tuna Fried Rice

This meal is so yummy that this monster can't even resist!

Ingredients (for 4 to 5 people)?

3 cups of rice
1 can of sweet kernel corn
1 can of tuna (I used the one soaked in vegetable oil)
1 lb of shrimps (peeled, deveined)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 stalks of scallion (chopped)
1 medium sized carrot (chopped)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 tablespoons of Japanese mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of ponzu sauce
Some dried seaweed flakes
Some toasted sesame seeds


Some people prefer to use cold, cooked rice for fried rice dishes,
I have no preference at all, but making fried rice surely is a good way to get rid of leftover rice.
If you don't have any leftover goodies, just cook 3 cups of rice and set it aside.

Drizzle some olive oil and mayonnaise in the pan,
Toss in chopped onions and sprinkle some salt,
Let it cook till the color turned translucent.

Add the scallion and carrots, cook for about 30 seconds, add the shrimps,
Wait till the shrimps turned slightly red, add the corns and tuna,
Meanwhile, pour in 3 tablespoons of ponzu sauce,
Give it a quick stir and wait till the shrimps are fully cooked.

Add the rice into the mixture,
Make sure everything is well combined,
We don't wanna see chunks of white rice, instead of that, try to get all the rice separated and coated with the sauce.

Taste it first and sprinkle more salt if needed.
Sprinkle some dried seaweed flakes and toasted sesame seeds before serving.

Cindy's Rating: 8 (I really really like it!)

So what happened to the my fried rice?

Green monster: What?? No I did not eat it....(oops..)

Apr 7, 2009

Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls with Nutella

My Spring break has officially ended on Monday.
Happy time can never lasts long enough..

I'm still trying hard to get my lazy ass back on track,
No more late night movies, no more afternoon tea by the beach,
Now I can only stare at my textbooks..my powerpoint slides..and my computer screen..

But whether my Spring break ended or not, I still need to eat yep?!
Tummy always comes first.

Since I can't go out and enjoy the sunshine by the beach anymore (at least during weekdays),
At least I can still feed myself right,
Feed myself with something yummy and can be done quickly so I'll have enough time to catch up with school works (> __.<).

So here it is, my 15 minutes snack-


1 can of Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
8 tablespoons of nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Separate the dinner rolls and lay them on the baking sheet,
Put one tablespoon of nutella on the end of each triangle dough,
Roll it up and shape it into half moon figure.

Bake for 12 minutes or until the top turns golden brown-

This simple dessert is done, only takes me 15 minutes!
Cindy's Rating: 7
P.S. Have to eat it when it's hot, otherwise just heat it up in the oven before serving.

I put a "miss you" note in the snack box together with the nutella roll for my boyfriend-

But...sigh...guys...or maybe just him,
At the end of the day, I asked, "did you see anything in the snack container today?"
Mr. Confused: "?? Huh??"
Me: I looked at the container, the note was laying there on the bottom. Sad and lonely.

Mr. Confused only saw the nutella roll and possibly ate it with a big smile on his face,
The note? Sitting on the bottom..waiting for someone to notice its presence...
Even after closing the lid himself, Mr. Confused never seen any unnatural object in the box...

Maybe I should just be glad that Mr. Confused did not swallow the note with the nutella roll..

Apr 1, 2009

Grand Canyon Trip - South Rim

I'm back!
After spending 2.5 days in one of the most magnificent natural wonders in America,
Man, I am exhausted!
But my mind was definitely filled with new knowledge and energy from our mother nature!

Let me show you some pictures during the trip.

We dragged our feet to Mather Point around 5:40 a.m. in order to let the first sunlight shine on us,
I really mean it when I say "shine on us."
It was freezing, -7 degrees Fahrenheits that morning! We really need that sunlight,
And it was worth the wait-

The sun shining on the rocks-

After embracing the sunlight, we immediately head back to our hotel and nap for 2 hours.
Can't keep our eyes open,
We napped till 10 a.m., still early.

Later on we decided to do an easy hike around the Rim Trail,
Met this little guy during our hike-

Besides that, we also encountered a group of...not so smart (I was gonna say stupid!) creatures-

Can't see clear enough? Let me show you a closer view-

What a group of...$(%&$(*%$$...
We have no idea how in the world they got down there,
There's no trail and no smooth rocks lead to that edge,
What if someone slipped?
Want a visual of the the depth of the canyon?

And remember, it was freezing that morning, so some of the ice were not melted yet..it was very slippery...
I don't know what happened to them later on...too painful to watch.

During our hike, we also saw two deers, many crows, and two condors!

Condor is one of the many endangered species,
Before they were almost gone, only 22 left in the entire planet earth,
Good thing we finally realized the situation and trying to bring them back,
So far there're few hundreds of condors in the world,
Not enough, but it's a progress.

The main reason why they're dying off..
Well, human of course.
Taking away their natural habitats, food sources,
Also hunting, not necessary killing them directly, but the use of bullets made with lead.
They might eat those bullets falling on the ground and poisoned to death.

If any of your friends hunt, tell them not to use lead made bullets.

As you know lead will stay in our body and that is a serious problem.
So far California has banned the use of lead made bullets, but how about other states?
Imagine you're eating deer meat or even fish,
Do you know if they were killed by lead bullets? do you know if the fish was not poisoned by lead leaking to the river?
(I got carried away here, just makes me so mad when I talk about these kind of things)

So yeah, the picture of the condor seems small,
But our lovely park ranger showed us the wingspan of a mature condor, 9 feet!-

What an amazing creature.

We also saw this on the way back, I called it snake-wanna-be tree-

The trip was wonderful,

Sometimes I wonder...how long these natural wonders will last?
It makes me feel like I should travel as much as I can..one day some places might be gone forever,
Great Barrier Reef in Australia,
Glaciers and icebergs in Alaska,
Galapagos Islands, Amazon River,
So many places that might be gone in a glimpse if we don't take care of our planet.

Put more effort in protecting our environment,
Do something is better than do nothing.