Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chicken Wars

There are some pissed off people out there.

McDonald's recently released its Southern Style Chicken Sandwich, which (to me, and most other people) seems to be a direct knockoff of the beloved Chick-fil-A version. With a fried chicken breast, 2 pickles and a little bit of mayo, there isn't a whole lot of room for variation.

A Chick-fil-A franchisee is so upset that he is offering a free sandwich to those who bring in the lame McD's impostor sandwich.

I'll admit that I have been curious about trying the McD's one but I know there will never be a substitute for Chick-fil-A!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New Series: Food With Faces

By popular demand (*ahem* R_Dub), I am debuting a new kind of post called "Food With Faces". You are intrigued already; I can tell.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bacon, Extra Bacon, With a Side of Bacon

To continue my posts about bacon, here's a complete list of things you can do with bacon. 50 things, to be exact:

I sure would love some bacon-wrapped tater tots!



It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that I give you the following tragic foodie news: The Department of Health in LA has decided to ban the sale of bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Some representative reportedly said that "Bacon is a potentially hazardous food." Get this guy a hangover and some brunch and we'll see what he thinks then.

Vendors can continue to sell the bacon-wrapped delights, but only if they cough up $26,000 for a new cart. Without it, they aren't allowed to sell bacon. Makes no sense to me.

Because of this outrage, I feel compelled to share the following graph with you:

Time to heat up those frying pans!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Awesome Book: Let's Cook Japanese Food!

Back in the beginning of the year, I bought a book called Let's Cook Japanese Food by Amy Kaneko. It's full of amazing imagery and great descriptions of everything you need to make the perfect Japanese dishes. I highly recommend picking it up from Amazon if you enjoy the cuisine and want to make simple meals yourself.

My new favorite thing to cook at home is oyakodon. While I loosely follow the recipe, I find that making my own small tweaks makes it even better.

(Unfortunately this isn't a pic of the oyakodon I made! It's from Flickr user egseah.)

Oyakodon is "parent and child" donburi, since it involves chicken and eggs. Everything is simmered in a sweet sauce containing mirin, soy sauce, sake and rice vinegar. I like mixing my chicken in a bowl with oyster sauce, corn starch, soy sauce and sesame oil first since it helps thicken everything later in the pan.

I definitely recommend experimenting with your own Japanese comfort food dishes!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Off Hiatus!

Hello there, lovely fans. I realize it has been quite some time since my last post but I'm BACK. Now that Lent is over, I'm able to indulge in all things fried once again. This weekend I satisfied my craving for tempura (french bean, to be specific!) as well as french fries (garlic truffle). I'm getting hungry just thinking about all of it.

Rob and I ferried up to Sausalito for the weekend, which was every bit as relaxing and fun as we thought it would be. We shopped, ate, walked through the small town, enjoyed some great Japanese food and played a game of Scrabble right near the water.

Pizza was on the agenda also, which we had with a lovely SF view.

I can't wait to go back to Sushi Ran, which is where we ate on Saturday night. We ate:

scallop-chive dumplings
vegetable taster (fried potatoes, bok choy, ginger eggplant, spaghetti squash)
miso black cod with french beans (insanely good; not sure I can eat fish anywhere else now)
chicken teriyaki (don't laugh)
french bean tempura
some kind of hamachi dish with grapefruit and avocado

...and a huge bottle of sake.

Good thing I am getting back into running shape!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ladies Who Lunch. (And brunch.) (And eat donuts.)

It's official. Paula Deen is trying to kill us all. The Food Network star uses butter like it's going out of style, but I have (which I am reluctant to admit) been enticed by her shows including fried chicken, brownies, chicken pot pies and casseroles. After stumbling upon her Lady's Brunch Burger on the Food Network site, I was intrigued then repulsed.

The sandwich is basically a standard burger, except with a few modifications. Instead of hamburger buns, she recommends using glazed donuts. She also includes bacon and a fried egg. Whoever thought the Red Robin burger with the egg on it was decadent, this is a completely different level of unhealthiness.


Cut Calories From Your Breakfast - One Easy Step!


I've seen a lot of weird things on the Internet lately and inflatable toast definitely makes the cut.

Purchase your very own at

Hybrid Utensils

Sporks remind me of childhood trips to Taco Bell, using the fork/spoon combo to eat my Mexican Pizza. My diet has probably changed slightly but my love for hybrid utensils remains.

Some clever people have started to put their own spin on flatware, making the spork seem like a very basic item. From Neanderthal-inspired forks and knives to a utensil that will make ramen eating much more efficient, there is something for everyone. Take a look:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Free McSkillet Burritos!

McD's breakfast items (especially Sausage McMuffins with Egg) are full of calories and fat, but they are oh-so-delicious. I think it's worth the occasional splurge; what's another few hours at the gym anyway, right?

McSkillet Burritos will be given out for free this Thursday and Friday with any purchase of a medium or large drink. Of course this pertains to breakfast hours only, so don't sleep in!

Any way you slice it...

The lunar eclipse last week was somewhat disappointing, since there was too much fog around Coit Tower to see anything, even from the top of Lombard Street. The BF and I strolled back down the street in search of food, too hungry to wait for a full meal back at my apartment.

Of course we are both suckers for great pizza (who isn't?!) and Za always delivers (pizza pun intended). The slices are bigger than my head and are no more than $4.50/each. And thankfully, they also serve beer.

Please note that these are normal sized slices from Za, in a medium pizza box. Mmmmm. We were finished by the time we got back to my place...with only minor pizza sauce burns on our fingers. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend Domestication

Today I bought my first Le Creuset piece of cookware- a beautiful cast iron skillet in their Kiwi color. I don't normally spend $70 on anything for the kitchen but this was an exception. Plus, it's usually $99! After gazing longingly at several pieces over at Williams-Sonoma, this pan called to me from the clearance section at Macy's. Hardcore collectors may laugh at my purchase of a piece in what I can only assume is an outdated color, but I am excited for all the recipes I can try.

Never satisfied with a bargain, I started searching online for Le Creuset, just to make sure I had truly found the best deal. Of course I happened to fall in love with every Le Creuset piece I saw on, including trivets, ramekins and casserole dishes. Especially this one:

Coming soon: Recipes cooked with my new skillet! The BF and I are looking forward to arroz con pollo and roasted brussels sprouts, just to name a few.

Buon appetito!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Don't be so shellfish

Okay. Don't tell anyone, but I really don't like shellfish very much. I know, I know...I've heard the whole lobster + butter = heaven argument before, but I can't get into it. These Nike Dunk SB Lobster kicks, however, may have converted me:

From the picnic table motif to the claw bands, I'm sold.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cut a Rug!

I've been looking for a rug for my foyer for quite some time now. Preferably something understated yet elegant, versatile yet...meaty?

Designed by a German company, you can choose from mortadella, salami, liverwurst and blood sausage. Mmmmm.


Weekends in the City

Saturday mornings at the Ferry Building, Blue Bottle coffee in hand, are just another reason to appreciate living in San Francisco. When the sun is shining and people are perusing the endless stands of apples/pears/artisanal cheeses/breads/pasta, you know it is the start to a great weekend.

My love for the Farmers Market is almost as great as the love I have for Slanted Door. I know it has seen a lot of hype, but I think there is something to be said about Charles Phan's ability to create innovative dishes without compromising authentic Vietnamese characteristics. While it is often impossible to get a reservation, Out the Door, the to-go version of the restaurant, is always a trusty standby.

I recommend getting any of the rice dishes, since the broken rice is nothing short of addicting. The grapefruit and jicama salad is a nice accompaniment, so look for it when the season is right.

Lemongrass pork and vegetable:

Grilled 5-spice chicken sandwich:

I also recommend the following places/items in the Ferry Building:
  • Lulu Petite- their homemade potato chips are amazing
  • Ciao Bella Gelato - I'm not a fan of their gelato, but their blood orange sorbet is to die for
  • Acme Bread - green onion bread or epi loaf (same bread they serve at Salt House)
  • Delica-rf - Japanese deli that specializes in bento boxes; try the mabo tofu salad
  • Blue Bottle Coffee - best coffee in the city (permanent residence in Hayes Valley, but they have a Farmers Market booth on Saturdays)
During the summer, the Farmers Market has a booth with fried asparagus. The line will be long, but I assure you that it's worth it!

Soon, you won't be able to start your weekend without a trip to the Ferry Building either.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hallmark Holidays

I am not a big Valentine's Day person. Of course I like getting pampered a little (who doesn't?!) but I don't need all the hoopla that goes along with the holiday. Prix fixe menus at fancy restaurants, overpriced flowers, cheesy diamond heart pendant all starts to seem a bit contrived and manufactured.

The BF surprised me with flowers at work yesterday, along with a delicious cookie! My favorite kind from Specialty's (the wheat germ chocolate one). And of course, I snapped a picture.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Burn, baby, burn

Ah, the joy of a layered dip. The guac. The beans. And oh the cheese. I love melted cheese- whether it's on a tuna melt or piled all over my pizza, it's sure to make my tummy happy.

On Super Bowl Sunday, we experienced somewhat of a cheese conundrum. Staring at a layered dip with shredded cheese on top, we realized we couldn't stick it in the oven to melt the cheese without heating up all the cold layers underneath.

Jokingly, someone suggested a creme brulee torch.
Amazingly, my boyfriend had one for us to use.

Needless to say, there was a serious tortilla chip and dip party before kickoff. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pizza Pizza!

Whether you like a basic cheese pizza or something a bit more fancy, I've discovered a great way to make a quick and easy pie at home. An added bonus is that this method is perfect for entertaining!

Pillsbury Pizza Crust is the key here, which I now choose over Boboli or other pre-made crusts. A simple margherita pizza should consist of minced garlic (layer this underneath all of the other toppings), roma tomatoes, lots of fresh mozzarella cheese and basil. What makes it even better is a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar and olive oil right after it comes out of the oven. Finish with sea salt.

My boyfriend and I have recently gotten more adventurous, and last night's pizza was created with pesto, mushrooms and red peppers. We've also tried Italian sausage, browned first on the stove with some onions and garlic.

It's a perfect weeknight dinner that doesn't take a whole lot of time. Just remember that the dough won't keep forever, so don't stockpile too much of it in your fridge.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Snack Review: Pop Chips

Since I'm still on my fried food ban, my options in the snacks/chip aisle were severely limited this weekend. I decided to try Pop Chips, a new brand that I had remembered seeing on a billboard somewhere. Of course I'm a total sucker for marketing.

I like to try new snacks in its purest form first, so the original Pop Chips made the cut (other varieties include sea salt & vinegar and barbeque). They are "not fried (unhealthy)" and "not baked (undelicious)". They apparently use a system that allows them to pop the chips without oil. No, I don't understand it either.

The verdict? I would probably buy them again, but they don't satisfy that true potato chip craving. I had a serious Kettle Chip addiction before Lent started!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Last week kicked off the Chinese New Year (Year of the Rat) and Elaine and I decided to throw a party. A party with lots of food. A party with lots of greasy, MSG-coated food.

Here is a picture of the pseudo-buffet:

Items included:
  • beef & broccoli (2!)
  • cashew chicken
  • beef chow fun
  • sweet & sour pork
  • egg rolls
  • lemon chicken
  • chicken and green beans
  • shrimp in black bean sauce
  • shrimp fried rice
  • egg drop soup
While it wasn't quite the traditional Chinese banquet meal you would have at a big event, I think it was quite a success. Beef & broccoli still reigns as my favorite dish.

Restaurant: U-Lee

Snowboarding, with a side of waffles

As a runner, I usually consider everything I put into my body to be fuel. During my training last year, I thought about the ratio of my carbs to protein and the empty calories I would often consume on the weekends (e.g. Jack & Diets and Bud Lights). Even though I'm not training for anything at the moment, any exercise makes me believe I can eat anything I want, with very few consequences.

Morgan Spurlock, the guy behind the documentary Super Size Me, mentioned something about Sausage Egg McMuffins being one of the most calorie-laden items on the McD's menu. Naturally, it seemed like the perfect item before hitting the slopes on Saturday.

I decided last month to give up fried food for Lent, so I unfortunately experienced hash brown deprivation. Tragic, I know.

Fast-forward to the post-snowboarding hunger pangs. The "authentic" Belgian waffle stand was calling our names, and we enjoyed one of those with some hot chocolate.

Luckily, the BF and I like cooking just as much (if not more!) than we like going to fancy schmancy restaurants. Steak seemed like the perfect way to end our day, along with a salad and oven fries.

Cue the Masterpiece Theater picture!

Unfortunately I don't have any pics of our Sunday morning brunch (corned beef hash, pancakes, eggs, etc.) but needless to say we cleaned our plates once again. While I can try to believe it's just the snowboarding that made us so hungry, I can't deny the fact that I am always this hungry. :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Snack Math



MEGA crunchy peanut butter?

Friday Snackability

Some geniuses in Korea invented the Col-Pop, an all-in-one chicken nugget and soda cup. Serious research must have gone into this, since the condensation from the soda didn't seem to affect the crispiness of the popcorn chicken. I am a huge fan already. BBQ Chicken, the company behind this madness, has already revolutionized the fast food fried chicken industry by frying their birds in extra virgin olive oil. Madness, I tell you! Paula Deen would not be happy.

Ever since the heyday of our friend the Lunchable, snack food portability has been key. It will make it easier for our fellow Americans to get their grub on when they're at the beach, on a road trip, working, sitting on a conference call, etc.

I have also included a handy chart for your reference:


The Bacon Watch, v2

Bacon Watch

(all the pork fat you can handle)

This week, we have come across some very interesting uses of bacon…ranging from fashion accessories to candy to booze.

While I am the first one to buy new/cute scarves, I may have to rethink this one a little:

And now for your favorite Valentine, we bring you…bacon toffee!

For you alcoholics out there, try making your own bacon vodka:

The Bacon Watch, v1

I keep my promises. Here is the first installment of the

Bacon Watch.

Some weirdos got together and made a ship out of bacon and other meat products:

Another weirdo wrote an entire poem about bacon (I am still suspicious that Sung wrote this himself):

I’ve gripped with trembling fingers luscious pork
The golden, tender flesh of long-banned swine
Reflecting all the while upon the law
Forbidding me from chewing on this fat.
What hateful ancient dictum could declare
A fatwa on this salty meat so crisp?

Myself, I’d best try making my thoughts crisp,
With clarity proclaiming love of pork
And with my greasy lips proudly declare
My gratitude to tasty slaughtered swine
For offering so selflessly its fat
and savory self – there oughta be a law!

Well, so there is. But I’ll defy that law
And any that would bar me from this crisp
Deliciousness, bestreaked with tender fat.
Jehovah would not quarantine the pork,
Brave product of the noble trotting swine.
And this I’ll toward bright heaven now declare!

And as I scan the buffet, too, declare
That flavor is its own unbending law.
And so atop the pantheon go swine,
Their pinkly marbled pieces done up crisp;
A true apotheosis of the pork,
Illuminated manuscripts of fat.

All days, not just one Tuesday, should be fat,
We pleasure-loving creatures now declare,
With Mardi Gras beads fashioned out of pork!
For chewy, crunchy lust is now my law,
And never was a morning ever crisp
That lacked a heaping helping of the swine.

I’ll slap the face of any human swine
Who asks me if I want to chew the fat
But fails to serve me anything that’s crisp —
Then runs to his accountant, to declare
Deductions, loss and income, per the law,
Of which old Caesar makes his barreled pork.

Such metaphors do insult to this pork.
Let us instead heap blessings on the swine!
Speak not to me of the Mosaic law;
All renderings are useless, but for fat.
Let skillets, with their cracklings, declare
Your ban on trayf has been burned to a crisp.

O noble fat! O skillet’s sizzling law!
Declare me but an acolyte of swine.
Crisp logic fails — all falls in thrall to pork.