Where To Start…

I am going to rename my blog to ‘posts in dash form with food sometimes’. It might have to do with me being a little distracted by the red carpet…or the fact that Beyonce is performing in less than fifteen minutes.

-Home grounded meatballs

I finally used my new meat grinder on Thursday and life has officially changed. Picking two different meats to combine was a bit overwhelming, but I ultimately decided on a half chuck and half brisket mixture. I made the meatballs on Friday and they came out perfect. I hardly had to season them besides salt, pepper and herbs de provence.

You really cannot go wrong with a home made pasta sauce made with Roma tomatoes and white wine either. Thank you, Alton Brown.

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-Dim sum in Chinatown

Abby and I try to see each other as often as possible and we both had a window open on Saturday for lunch. I promised her dim sum for her late birthday present and made it all the way to her side of town, only to remember that it was the Chinese New Year Fair in Chinatown.

Telling you it was crowded is an understatement. I will just show you instead.

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In the midst of the crowds was Chinatown’s own local celebrity. He plays his erhu in the beginning of the movie Pursuit of Happyness (starring Will Smith).

Yes, that is a Santa hat and you better believe he was rockin’ out to Jingle Bells. I did not have the heart to tell him that he was a little too late.

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2014 is the Year Of The Horse. Chinese New Year will probably be explained in my next post, as it falls on the 31st this year. There are so many customs, traditions and celebration involved and I want to share a piece of my culture with you.

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Abs wanted to show off her jellyfish eating skills.

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I wanted to show off all the delicious things we ordered. I love taking my friends to dim sum because they get to try dishes out of their comfort zone. Come to San Francisco and it will be mind blowing, I promise.

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-Weekly cleaning

The kind people at Zabada Clean sent me a few pieces of bathroom cleaning supplies to test out and report back to you. Although household supplies is not a normal topic on my blog, I found these interesting because you do not need to use any of your normal cleaners with them- only water.

Part of living a healthy lifestyle is being responsible for your environment and trying to be sustainable. I drink out of glass water bottles instead of plastic, bring my reusable bags to the grocery store and compost as much as possible. My one vice is cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, I use so many paper towels that is it truly embarrassing. The Zabada cleaning supplies makes it easy for you to wash in their laundry bag and reuse; thus, reducing waste.

From their website:

While the water goes to work on loosening the dirt, Zabada’s ultra-fine and unique thick-pile fibers replace the whole yucky chemical process to achieve an unbeatable result – removing up to 100% of bacteria. Without getting too nerdy, it’s a deep-cleaning mechanical process that shaves off and traps the dirt, grease and bacteria deep in the fiber, and only releases them when the fibers are washed.”

My review is that I am surprised at how well they worked without using any store bought cleaners. I followed the video instructions found on their website, put a little water on one edge and went to work. Shiny clean! However, I cannot speak for heavy duty stains and cleaning jobs since I already do a light cleaning every week and only had surface stains. You can probably get it out with a little elbow grease, though.

They have products for your bathroom, kitchen and living room. It seemed a little pricy when I checked their website but you kind of have to think of the supplies as investment pieces.

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-Acme & taleggio

Nothing like a Acme baguette and taleggio cheese to celebrate the last day of freedom before school starts. I am already dreading waking up tomorrow.

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-Giveaway

Congrats to Amy H. for winning FAOT’s first giveaway! I hope to have another one for you coming soon.

What is your favorite cheese? I want to take a cheese class and expand my knowledge. Get out of my comfort zone, you know?

Chinese Thanksgiving

I know you are excited for Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, a side of greens and a delicious pumpkin pie (or rhubarb if it is up to me). My past few T-days have been less than eventful, but I always make up for it by eating very well the day before and after. In this case, two days before and two days after. 🙂

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Weryoo, a new app on the market, contacted me and asked if I wanted to try out some of their cool features while dining at a handful of my favorite restaurants. Of course! I am always looking for a new way to find pictures of restaurants in the city.

Essentially, it is similar to Instagram where there is a feed, but it focuses more on the map feature so you can see what is going on in your hood at any given moment. You can see my pictures here!

I eat out a lot. I admit it. Everything from Persian to Mexican, I love each and every type of culture’s cuisine. However, there is always going to be a special place in my heart for authentic Chinese food. Ever since I was a little lady, my family went out to eat every Sunday and the most memorable ones was at our favorite Chinese restaurant. It just felt like home.

That is how it felt tonight at the R&G Lounge. This place is quite popular in San Francisco for being the ‘best’ Chinese food, but I have to disagree. While it is delicious, there are so many different levels of greatness in Chinese food from hole-in-the-walls to fancy gourmet. It is really hard to chose just one, right?

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Lychee martini for Abs and McCallan 12 for moi.

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Before we begin, let me apologize by how horrible the lighting is in Chinese restaurants. I do not get it. Does the yellow florescence just make the food taste better or what? Because I have been to many in America and China and it is the same internationally wide.

R&G is known for it’s live battered crab deep-fried and sprinkled with salt and pepper seasonings. To be honest, this is my first time eating crab and it was amazing. I am becoming a grown-up, y’all.

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One of my favorite dishes that weird people out is jellyfish. It is so good. Everyone is always surprised when I tell them I don’t eat seafood, but I eat shrimp, jellyfish and calamari. Please fly out to SF so I can have you taste my favorite appetizer.

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Have you had Peking duck? This was a sliced lamb in spicy sauce version. I personally did not try it because I do not eat lamb (gamey and it’s my Chinese astrology sign {lame, I know}). My friends said it was tasty and paired well with the bao.

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I know I have been gloating about every dish, but my favorite vegetable prepared in my favorite way is Chinese peashoots, aka dau mui. They are sautéed in garlic and salt and taste perfect every time. These are truly a seasonal dish because they are only available in the winter time.

A little pricey, but worth it every time.

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The last two entrees were Szechuan pork and X.O steak cubes.

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One thing I noticed while hanging out with my pallies is that they like to use their plates! Friends, use your bowls!

A. Your rice soaks up all the delectable sauces and flavors

B. It makes it easier to scoop out the last morsel of rice with your chopsticks

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Last but not least, red bean soup for dessert. I have grown to love it as I got older. My dad, who loves everything about Chinese culture (hello, look at me), can not stand red bean soup. He said that dessert is suppose to be cold, so we went to get a It’s-It every Sunday after dinner.

Sorry father, I have to disagree with this one. Red bean soup is delicious and keeps my tummy nice and warm.

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Happy Thanksgiving from me and Abs!

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Looking back at the meal, it is funny how we had every type of meat except chicken, the most plentiful kind there is.

Weryoo compensated our parties’ dinner, but as always, all opinions are proudly my own.

Where are you going for Turkey Day?

Anyone doing an untraditional dinner like I am? Puerto Rican After Thanksgiving for me and it is the most excited I have been all year. Can not wait for Lily’s tostones.