Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

At the Sun Dial

After a hard days work, a group of visiting business people made their way up the Sun Dial, enjoying the view and the buzz you get from a 73 story high elevator ride.

A couple of drinks and a lot of rambunctious stories later, the entire cast decided it's a night and walked to the elevator.

(Insert chatter while waiting for the elevator)

....

(Ping! Elevator opens)

(Everyone casually looks inside)

....

....

(Guy in the elevator is spread-eagled, trying to hide his girlfriend from everyone)

(Girlfriend is smashed, without a top on and only her hands covering her chest, looking for something on the floor)

....

....

(Everyone looks at each other wide-eyed and slowly files into the elevator. It's going to be a tight fit)

....

(4 british ladies)

....

(4 american ladies)

....

(and 2 business men trying not to look)

....

....

Brit 1 (all smiles): "Oh, carry on!"

Brit 2 (all smiles): : "Well, isn't this awkward?"

Brit 3 (all smiles): : "Oh, don't worry your pretty little head, you'll never see us again!"

Girlfriend (whispering frantically): "Where's my bra? where's my bra?"

....

(Everyone looks down)

....

Brit 4 (all serious): "It's not here love!"

Pennsylvania




Last visit to Philly and Fort Washington

Sushi Huku




We ordered a lot, but there are not much pictures of the sushi since I attacked it immediately

Nanet in ATL




Pure Taqueria
Canoe
Fat Matt's Rib Shack

The Sun Dial




The Sun Dial at the Westin Peachtree Atlanta

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Adobo



This is my version of Adobo.  I'm posting it for my best friend and baby sister (who's all alone in Australia! poor baby)
Ingredients:
4 lbs chicken thighs
2 medium tomatoes (got the tip from Nanet's BF - it works!)
1 head garlic
2 Tbsp whole pepper
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 bay leaves (laurel)
3 Tbsp oil

Prep work:
1. Mince the garlic (all of it, I know it's a lot but it's worth it)
2. Slice the tomatoes to thin strips
3. Trim the chicken thighs and remove the excess fat (Each time I look at the fat at the chicken butts I clean I am reminded of how horrid mine must look)

Heat the pan and add the oil.  Sauté garlic until slightly brown.  Add the tomatoes and let it wilt by cooking for 2 minutes and by adding a little salt. 


Sauté the whole peppercorns as well, brings out the flavor better.  Add the chicken and coat each piece well with the sautéed garlic and tomato.  Add a little salt to the chicken to bring out the chicken flavor more (not too much you still have soy sauce!)  Let it simmer over low heat until the fat and juices of the chicken come out. 



In a separate container, mix the soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar.  Mix well and taste.  Adjust the vinegar and sugar as needed.  This is the final taste of your sauce so make sure you like it enough.  If you're satisfied with the flavor add the water.

When you can no longer see pink meat from the chicken, scrape the bottom of the pan, then add the soy sauce mix.  Like the old wives say, don't touch the adobo to make sure the vinegar cooks well.  Cover and let cook for 20 minutes.  I usually let it go until most of the liquid is gone, but it's up to you.  Just make sure your chicken is cooked real well.


Let me know if it works!

Super Mario Rescues Princess

Thursday, October 2, 2008

When getting lost is worth it (Part 1)

Food... ahhh the food.  I was never a fan of French food. I've always thought of their food as just... well... pretty, fancy and loaded with butter.   So I was determined to find out and taste as much as I could in the few days I was in Paris.  I was actually panicked that a person can only eat 3 times a day (which today's story will prove wrong).

I was reading a few food blogs to find out recommended restos that are reasonably priced and decided to make Le Comptoir my first project.  Because i'm an absolute idiot, I thought the Metro line number and stop is enough to get me where I wanted to be (Building number and street be damned).  When I got to the metro stop at Odeon and walked into the sunlight, a stream of people greeted me. And as I looked around, giddy that I made it, the reality dawned on me that ... sh@#@#!! there is not one, not two, not three directions to go at the Odeon exit.  There were actually 6. Six!!!!  What?!?!?!

And so begins my tale of getting lost.

It was 11:00 AM when I got to the Odeon station, and though there were many people in the street, there was no clear direction of where people were going for lunch.   So I decided to explore the street nearest me and after 15 minutes of walking (and berating myself for being such an idiot) I decided to go back to the station and explore the other streets. 

Street 1... no

Street 2... no

Street 3... no

Aaaahhh!!! So I went back to the Odeon station (for fear of getting more lost) and I noticed the stream of people walking briskly to lunch.  So, I went and followed :-)  Unfortunately, when we went into the street, the street branches out to two more streets and after walking down both and not finding Le Comptoir, I was soooo famished I decided to go to the nearest restaurant I could see.  Les Editeurs.

With my first attempt at being independent in Paris a failure, I was kind of down in the dumps until I spied upon this at the Les Editeurs menu:  Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée

Hmmm... quite right.  I've never really wanted onion soup before.  Had it once and I was not impressed, but since i'm here....  It came to me all covered up with yellow goo that is actually half an inch worth of broiled cheese. When you cut into it, the sweet brown broth will come rushing to greet you and you'll be intrigued with the soaked bread in the soup.  Yup soaked bread.  This is not light food people.  But it is spine-tingly good.  My sister said this is a hangover meal, best eaten after drinking.  I can only imagine.

For my actual meal (as if I wasn't full enough with the soup) I decided on getting duck in honey and citrus glaze with polenta.  Now a few weeks before I left for Paris another colleague of mine was in Italy and she was cursing off polenta.  I was kind of scared to order it because I didn't want to be disappointed with my food (feet still aching at this point and I-must-be-happy!!)

Magret de Canard Rôti au Miel et aux Agrumes, Polenta

The duck was perfectly tender, didn't have as much fat in it as I thought it would and the honey with citrus sauce was just, just, just amazing. 

The polenta as you can see above looked like it was fried with the same glaze as the duck, so it was f*!#@! awesome.  My eyes were rolling in glee.

Now that I was satiated a bit,  I decided to look around and from my vantage point inside the resto, I was in prime position for people watching. As I looked outside, I had to blink a couple of times because... is it? is that resto the....Is it truly??!  Blimey.  I really am an idiot.  Oh at least I know where it is now (tomorrow I won't look so lost)

After finishing my gorgeous lunch, (notice - no dessert I was too full) I decided to go to the Eiffel tower (we were there the night before, but as lucky as I was, the bathroom was calling me and we had to run back to the apartment)  When I got to Trocadero, my intention was just to take pictures, be a mega-tourist and go up the world-famous monument.  But as luck would have it, rows of familiar brown and white bottles stopped me in my tracks.  Mmmmm... nutella... from a crepe stand... in Paris... mmmmmmmmm too good to pass up.

Whoever invented Nutella + Banana in a crepe is genius.  So in the middle of the viewing area, I slumped on the floor and faced the beautiful one then ate my warm, freshly made crepe.  One of my favorite Paris moments.

...to be continued...

Unknown Crepe Stand
Metro 6: Trocadero

Les Editeurs
Metro 4: Odeon

Inside Les Editeurs

Europe 2008 - Paris Day 6




Best meal ever with Nanet's friends in France

Fried Chicken Liver

Not all people like liver, but according to my non-liver lover friends, this one is a must try
Beer batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp kosher salt or rock salt
1 Tbsp pepper (or to taste)
1 to 1 1/2 cup dark beer
1 lb chicken liver
3 cups vegetable or canola oil
Sauce (just mix before prepping everything so the sugar is dissolved before using):
1 cup vinegar
5 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper
Prep work:
Cut liver in 1 inch pieces, make sure to remove fat and connecting tissues (not good eats).  Season with salt and pepper (add cajun seasoning if you have it)
Combine beer batter, making sure that the batter is used within an hour of adding the beer.  Try not to kill the bubbles when you mix it and gauge the liquid.  The texture of the batter should be like a lighter pancake batter.
Heat the oil.  You know it's hot enough if you put in the stem of a wooden spoon and the sides bubble up.
Drop the liver in the beer batter, then drop in the oil.  Cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side (don't over cook)
After cooking, let it dry on a paper towel.
Serve with chopped parsley on top if you have it.

People

Here are my favorite people pictures

Tourist (My sister taking a picture)

Lovers (it's an old couple, Versailles, France)

Angel and Devil? (Versailles - France)

I am mighty (Versailles, France)

Kids playing in the royal gardens (Versailles, France)

Water fountain (Segovia, Spain)

Street Soccer with Grandpa (Segovia, Spain) the ball is a little blurry hehehe, it's near gramps head

Gambling (Madrid, Spain) The guys started playing cards in the resto right after lunch

Old fashioned photography near the Royal Palace (Madrid, Spain)

This guy looks like a cartoon character I can't remember who... (Venice, Italy)

Grandma stitching lace (Burano - Italy)

Grandma waiting (Burano - Italy)

Grandma by the door (Burano - Italy)

Prepping for work (Venice - Italy)

Whatcha lookin at? She looks like Martin Scorsese's mom from my Scorsese cookbook

Artist selling his wares (Venice, Italy)

Gondoliers (Venice, Italy) No one was singing

Vaporetto (Waterbus) driver (Venice, Italy) he looks like an actor on his yacht

Perriere park after school (Paris, France)

Evolution (Paris, France)

Busking in Sacre Cour (Paris, France)

People Watching (Paris, France) most of the restaurants have chairs outside ready for people watching

San Marco Tourists (Venice, Italy)

Newly weds (Venice, Italy)