Friday, May 30, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: May 28, 2014

Christopher had gone abalone diving with a friend over his birthday weekend so we wanted to cook them up. (They were frozen.) We all really enjoy abalone, but none of us had actually cooked it before.  Christopher's philosophy was that none of us knew how to cook abalone, but since Nick and I know how to cook we had a leg up on him.  My Mother-in-Law advised to cook them in a soup for a long time or cook it very quickly.  All of the things that we read online said the same thing.  I was originally going to put one of the abalones in a crock pot and cook it over night in chicken stock, but then came across an abalone chowder recipe that looked doable and delicious. There is still one more abalone, so I might throw that in a crock pot and stew it over night to see how that works out.  I have to find our crock pot in the house first.

After chopping up the abalone into pieces, we ended up putting it in a food processor for the chowder.  Oh how it hurt us to see it ground up, but it really did make it better for the soup. We were all cringing. We also cut up slices to pound down and quickly pan fry.  We dredged the slices in a flour and spice mixture that Nick concocted and then threw them into a hot frying pan for a few seconds.  It would have been nice to bread the abalone, but it was already getting late and we wanted to eat.  The dredging method worked out just fine.

Emmy is very interested in watching my brother eat French bread.

Tonight's Dinner: May 25, 2014

After unloading my parents garage of all of the furniture that I had purchased off of Craigslist, Nick and I set off to start unpacking.  We made a sizeable dent in the stacks of boxes.  Long gone is our nice and neat empty house.  We have newspapers and flatten boxes all over the place.  Luckily, we borrowed a bunch of boxes from Nick's boss and he agreed to take them back along with the extra boxes that we acquired along the way.  So once those are gone, a lot of floor space will be cleared up.  I'm also laying out all of the newspapers in neat piles so that it fits in our recycle bin.  This means, however, that after unpacking all of our dishes, I have to sit there and flatten out the individual sheets so that they aren't in a crumpled mess.  The whole process is extremely time consuming and I hope we never move again.

We had planned to have a BBQ at my inlaw's place for Memorial Day.  I managed to pull together a Sichuan chicken marinade even though I couldn't find our soy sauce and had very little of the Sichuan noodle sauce left in the jar.  I added some water to the jar and shook it up to stretch it out between my two bags.  I marinated the chicken for about five hours while we were unpacking. As always, there was plenty of food and thankfully, my Father-in-law had a nice bottle of wine open. My feet were so tired and I needed a little loosening up.

I took a picture of these mushrooms because they were huge.  We ended up cutting them into thick slices to faster grilling.

Wild salmon

Korean bbq short ribs.  These are my favorite.

Grilled pineapple.

Tonight's Dinner: May 24, 2014

The last week and a half has been BUSY.  Between getting the keys to the house, setting up initial cleaning, carpet cleaning, last minute packing, and moving, there hasn’t been much time to cook anything.   If I had free time it was spent sprawled out on the sofa resting.  I've tried writing this post five times and had to cut it short due to lack of time.  I can’t wait to be all unpacked and back to normal life.  I’m getting really tired of takeout and I can’t find anything.  The house looks like a disaster.  It’s now Friday and we have the bulk of our kitchen gear unpacked and cleaned, but we haven’t tackled much of the upstairs. We are in need for organizational storage units.  My closet is coming together, something I’m over the moon about, but the rest of the master bathroom is still in boxes or on the counter.  I bought some nice baskets at Ikea, but need more. I told Nick that I feel like I have ADD when it comes to the house.  I start something in one room and then see something else that needs to be done in another room and then forget about the first room until I go back in.  Hopefully things will be all settled by the end of this weekend, but I don't know if we have that much energy.

For dinner on the night of move in, both of our families got together to visit the house.  At this point, the house was still pretty neat and tidy as all of the boxes were stacked and we hadn’t moved all of the furniture from my parent’s garage yet.  We headed to a new Korean chicken place called Pollo Pollo near our house that the Fongs have been raving about.  The food was really good and this might be our new "spot"... after I recover from takeout boredom.

Pickled celery (top left) and the other two are different types of daikon.

Kimchi rice

Extra spicy combination seafood ramen soup.

Regular fried chicken.

Medium spicy fried chicken.

Burn your nose hairs fried chicken.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: May 18, 2014

Even though we went to pho with my parents for lunch (it makes us very sleepy), we made great progress with packing.  Nick tackled the messy man cave while I wrapped up all the dishes in the kitchen.  I’m sure there will be broken items when we go to unpack, but I’m okay with that.  I just wanted to get it done and most of our stuff is Corelle anyway.  We had to make sure to use our time wisely because we had family birthday dinner to attend in Oakland.  Since it was a special 90th birthday celebration for Nick’s grandpa, we ordered the banquet menu, which is slightly different from our standard fare. 

Chow mein for the kiddos.

Chinese charcuterie.

Faux shark fin soup.

The roast chicken tonight was not well plucked and as a result, there was a lot left over.

Scallop and giant clam stirfry with snow peas.

Shrimp balls crusted in sliced almonds.

We cut the ball open to make sure there was no lobster in it before Nick ate one.

Ginger-garlic lobster

Duck feet and abalone over mustard greens.


Longevity noodles

Dessert buns filled with sweet bean paste.

Sesame balls with sweet bean paste and almond cookies.

Tonight's Dinner: May 17, 2014

 Tonight for dinner we got sushi take out because it is easy and nostalgic. When I was first moving into the apartment we didn’t know the area well and were hungry after painting the living room.  That was the first time we tried House of Sake.  We’ve been there several times since our first and I’m sure this won’t be our last, but it was nice having one of our first meals in the apartment from the same place as one of our last. 

Grilled Hamachi Cama

The progress we made after day one of packing. Our apartment is a fire hazard now because there are so many boxes around.

Today's Lunch: May 17, 2014

Today for lunch Nick and I took a break from packing (we had only been packing for an hour) to go to a local food truck meet up put together by a company called Off The Grid.  We’ve eaten at food trucks before, but this was our first time at the meet up.  Off The Grid hosts these meet ups all over the Bay Area, but we went to the Concord gathering.   I’m pretty sure that they rotate the trucks that show up so you can always try something new.  We’ve been meaning to go and since we had boxes everywhere, it was good idea to try it out.  There were several trucks out, but Nick and I chose Sanguchon and Drewskis because they were the most appealing to us.  Their lines were also the longest, which meant good things.

Nick got a BBQ pork grilled cheese sandwich with mac and cheese inside from Drewskis.  It was amazing.  Super buttery, but amazing.   I went to the Peruvian truck, Sanguchon, for a Pan Chicharron sandwich, yucca fries, and Alfajores.  I’ve never tried yucca, and though the texture was fine, they didn’t have much flavor so we didn’t eat them all.  The sandwich, however was really good and Nick really enjoyed the cookies.  As I write this post, I could definitely go for another Pan Chicharron sandwich. 


BBQ pork and mac & cheese sandwich

Pan Chicharron sandwich

Yucca fries

Nick also got two scoops of Lexie's custard soft serve.  I tried a little taste and it was very creamy and flavorful.  It reminded the both of us of froyo.

The look she was giving us connotes "Is this what you do when you leave me at home?  Feed me you fatties."  But really, I think it's because the sun was in her eyes and it was windy.