Nov 28, 2009

Simple Marinated Pork

This is what I made for Thanksgiving (small bite appetizer)-

The whole process is extremely easy,
Especially only little dish washing work is required afterward,
How good can this be?

Marinated pork-


1 lb of pork loin (cut into bite sizes)
2 stalks of scallion
5 garlic cloves
Few slices of ginger (I used 4)
2 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
2 teaspoons of ponzu sauce
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
Some freshly ground black pepper
Some toasted sesame seeds


Mix all the ingredients together and let it marinate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
I used a Ziploc bag because it's easier to mix the sauce together with the pork,
I also toss the marinade about every 4 to 6 hours, just to make sure that the sauce is soaking in all the pork pieces.

Before cooking,
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit,
Line up aluminum foil in a baking sheet,
Trust me, it saves a lot of dish washing effort later on.

Transfer the pork over, preferably fat side up so you'll get a nice caramelized color with semi-melted fat,
It'll ooze in your mouth later.
You can also add some marinade if desired, I left it out for mine.
Cook for about 35 minutes, or till the edges turned slightly brown.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving,
I sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds,
Just to make me feel better that there's at least one "vegetable" type of ingredient in this dish....(like it'll help...)

Cindy's Rating: 7

Nov 22, 2009

Mitsuwa Giant Blue Fin Tuna Cutting Performance

Yesterday I went to Mitsuwa to see the giant blue fin tuna cutting performance,
You know? Where your lovely otoro came from?
I even marked my calendar 10 days ago just to make sure I won't miss out this event,
It was written clearly in blue ink, "Sat 2 p.m. Costa Mesa Mitsuwa."

So this is what I saw when I got there around 1 p.m.-

Ehh??? What happened to my giant blue fin tuna?
Where's the whole fish? Where's the head? How come only the body left?

A giant piece being left on the side waiting to be cut into smaller portions-

I walked towards the back, they even started selling the fish already-

Next to the stand I saw a sign saying something like performance started at "12 noon."
What? 12 noon?
No way, no way no way,
I was looking forward to take the very first picture of the whole fish, the one with head and tail...
This can't be happening...

My friends kept saying I must wrote down the wrong time,
We even bet on taking two shots,
If I did remember the wrong time, then I'll have to punish myself with alcohol (nice..)

So I checked online again, it said 12 noon...
Luckily, I still kept one of the flyers in the magazine rack,
Here it is, "2 p.m."-

Gosh, what a relief, now they'll have to take those two shots!

Anyways, the head and tail were gone...
As I wiped out my tears....(I really really want a big tuna head picture!)
Me and my friends decided to get a small box of otoro and just finish it at the dining section right next to it-

We also got some aji sashimi from the market-

Good thing we're still in time for the best part - otoro,
It just melts in your mouth,

Now, my friends, please take these two shots!!!
(I'm so gonna pour shots into two gigantic beer mugs for them! evil grin*)

Nov 17, 2009

Instant Pizza in 20 Minutes! (My Very First Try)

I've been trying to shop in a smarter way nowadays,
Back then, I'll just grab whatever I want at the grocery store,
But time is different now,
My wallet is getting skinnier (seriously!),
And I don't wanna let go all these organic goodies down the aisles...
Plus I've got to save some $$ for my dream camera, can be tough....

So now I'm always searching for a bargain - by stocking up my kitchen cabinet when things are on sale!
Canned corns, canned soups, and occasionally some fresh meat,
There's always this thing called freezer to store them,
What a wonderful invention!

One day, I came across discounted premade pizza crust,
Looks interesting because I've never made pizza myself,
Ended up I brought 2 of them home, one extra just in case I mess it up!
But I'm so glad my first try turned out a total success!


1 can of refrigerated pizza crust
1 sausage (use any flavor you like)
1 cup of frozen spinach
Some mozzarella
Some parmesan
Some marinara sauce
Some red pepper flakes


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (or simply follow the instruction on the package).

Line up some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and roll out the pizza dough on the top,
Smooth out the surface and make the edges thicker and higher,
It helps to prevent the sauce from dripping everywhere while baking.

Meanwhile, remove the casing from the sausage and break it into small pieces,
For the spinach, thaw it according to the package instruction and drain out all the remaining liquids.
Remember to grate some parmesan cheese that we gonna use later.

So first I spread out some store bought marinara sauce over the crust,
Add the sausage pieces along with spinach,
Just spread them out evenly.
After that, break the fresh mozzarella cheese into smaller pieces by hand and sprinkle them all over the dough (I love mozzarella),
We also need some salty flavor for the pizza; some grated parmesan will do the trick,
Just add as much as cheese you want,
It's a pizza! Don't be afraid to go bold!

Into the oven for about 15 to 17 minutes or until the crust turns slightly golden brown,
I opened the oven door and took a picture while the pizza is still baking,
I know I shouldn't let the heat was so tempting...-

Sprinkle some red pepper flakes before serving, Tabasco works well too!

You can play around with the recipe,
It's pizza! Just toss whatever things you can find in the fridge or anything you like on it,
It'll never taste bad, trust me!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Nov 10, 2009

Not Your Everyday McDonald's, This one in Downey, CA is Ooold!

I'll just assume that everyone has been to McDonald's at least once in their life time.

This fast food giant is everywhere,
Started out from America and gradually ventured to every single continents,
It's on TV commercials, printed advertisements, radio stations, internet and more,
Now there are at least 30,000 McDonald's in the world,
But this one located in Downey, California is different,
It's old, very old; in fact, it's the oldest operating McDonald's on earth! 

The mascot is different from the familiar clown,
Back then, it was more like a "bun boy!"-

The letters are too small to see from this picture,
But it was saying something like served over 500 million hamburgers!

The golden arch-

The golden arch sign was different back then too,
It got a line across the golden arch-

I read it somewhere that the arch shape was originally designed for supporting the building.


This place didn't change much over time,
The menu is about the same with several original items,
You can't find new stuff like McFlurry or McCafe here.

Another view-

French fries-

I also had filet-o-fish, chicken nuggets and other stuff,
But you all know how these food looks like right? No need to post more food pictures here.

Small museum entrance-

This door was used for the first McDonald's University.

Inside the small museum-

Started out with a big sign telling the history of this place.

The multi-mixer-

McDonald's used to make many milkshakes all at once with this machine.

Some oldies-

This is what I called the "bun boy" mascot-

Very first guy dressed up at the clown (still looks kinda creepy to me)-

One of the wall displays-

I like this clown mascot, looks chubbier-

Swing by if you every happen to be around the area,
Just fun to see the oldest McDonald's still operates here with little changes.
By the way, there's a new McDonald's just about 2 blocks away,
Guess people still need their fix for McCafe and McFlurry stuff huh?

Cindy's rating: 7 (what a historical site)

10207 Lakewood Blvd
Downey, CA 90240
(562) 622-9248

Some reference sites:

Nov 7, 2009

Baked Honey Custard

Simple dessert for my lazy Saturday afternoon.

Ingredients (about 6 mini individual servings or one big ramekin)

2 eggs
3/4 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
Hot water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a double broiler, heat up whole milk, whipping cream, honey, and vanilla,
Remember to whisk them well so everything is blended together smoothly.

In another bowl, beat 2 eggs for about 30 seconds.
Transfer the ingredients from the double broiler and mix with the eggs,
Whisk them well.

Pour the mixture into the ramekin of your chosen size.
Transfer to a baking dish,
Fill up the hot water till about half the heights of the ramekin,

Into the oven for at least 30 minutes.
I baked for about 30 minutes for the small size ramekins,
About 47 minutes for the big guy.
You can test it by sticking a knife into the center and see if it comes out clean,
If so then the custard is done,
If not, well, lick the knife clean and keep baking!
Take it out, let it cool down a little bit and transfer to the fridge for at least one hour or till the custard turns completely cold in the middle.

Cindy's Rating: 7

Nov 2, 2009

Stir Fry Chicken with Basil, Lime Juice..and Some Other Things

Currently listening: The Way You Look Tonight by Rod Stewart
Currently thinking: Upcoming spicy hot pot dinner this Friday...
Current position: Laying on the sofa with my legs on the coffee table...about to fall asleep..

*Rarely having such a relaxing Monday night,
Let me try to finish up this recipe before my eyelids fail on me.

How should I name this's say...stir fry chicken with a little bit of everything!-


1 lb of chicken breast tender (chopped into bite sizes)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1/2 lime juice
1 small bundle of basil (remove the bottom stems and give it a few chops)
6 cloves of garlic (peeled)
10 dried chili peppers
1 stalk of scallion (chopped)
2 tablespoons of spicy bean paste 辣豆瓣醬
1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
Soy sauce
Olive oil


Let's marinade the chicken first,
In a small bowl, mix chopped chicken with some soy sauce and set aside,
Give it at least 20 minutes for the soy sauce to soak in the meat.

Drizzle some olive oil in the pan, toss in chopped onions and sprinkle some salt over,
Give it a quick stir, add the chili peppers, garlic, and scallion,
Cook till the aroma comes out, but be careful don't let the garlic gets burned.

Add about 2 tablespoons of spicy bean paste and the cooking wine,
Again, give it a quick stir, cook for another 1 to 2 minutes,
Toss in the marinated chicken along with the remaining soy sauce,
Wait till the chicken is fully cooked through,
Stir in chopped basil,
Transfer to the plate when the basil just got wilted down.

Drizzle half of the lime juice before serving.
That's it, simple dish that matches perfectly with a bowl of steamy white rice!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Listening to old love songs late at night...makes me wanna spend my Christmas in NY..
Can't wait for Christmas to come...such a romantic and cozy holiday..
With a lot of food too!