Hello, It’s me.

I know I introduce myself in my about page, but this blog has been around a long time and I’ve barely ever spoken about myself. Also, I know I come and go as I please with this blog so it can be a little obnoxious. I’m sorry, I’m hyperactive and sometimes I forget that things are important to me until I cycle back around to them. But I’ll always come back. So here goes nothing.

I have a job that I like to be very private about since we are in a day and age where just about anything that a person does or says can get them into trouble. So I tend to be the most private loudmouth you will ever meet. Instead, I focus here on my love for food and taking pictures of it. You’ll get some allusions to what I do here and there, feel free to guess what I do! I doubt I’ll answer though.

I have lived in the DMV (DC, MD, VA) area my whole life. We’re the only area in the whole USA that doesn’t thing about the Department of Motor Vehicles when you say that acronym. the DMV is the area directly around Washington, DC. Which some may not know but it is the Capital of the United States and does not belong to any state all. It’s both a blessing and a joy and no, New York is not the Capital.

I have lived in DC for the past three years and I have loved every minute of it. When I started my job almost 5 years ago, I knew that I would never be able to live where I grew up, almost 45 minutes outside of DC and commute every day. So I steadily moved closer until I now live just east of the Nation’s Capitol building in the heart of DC. If you’ve ever felt like you live both in the suburbs and a major city at the same time, that’s the feeling I get where I live. Parts of DC have such a small town feeling and yet also a BIG MAJOR CITY feeling simultaneously that it’s just a little out of whack.

But, the best part is the ever evolving food scene here. That’s the major reason why I started this blog is because I like writing and taking pictures about food and restaurants. So here I am, slowly learning little by little and really just doing what feels right. Stop by to take a look and don’t mind me with my little off the wall rants, it’ll happen every now and then. And with that, I say HELLO THERE!

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Broiled Chicken Thighs and Broccoli Tomato Rice

I recently received a new cooking toy, the Ninja Foodi! No, I’m not special enough to receive such things from sponsors or anyone else, so this is just a simple review from a food loving simpleton who can barely cook. My skills are decent for a home cook, but this Foodi makes me look like I have real skill!

A Ninja Foodi is similar to the famous Instant Pot, however, it’s better! It’s a pressure cooker and air fryer all at once! It also has the Tendercrisp features which allow you to bake, roast, broil and dehydrate as well. So, It basically destroys the Instant Pot all in one go. The secret to this machine is two lids. One for crisping and one for pressure cooking. All the extra parts make for a heavy machine and a need for a little bit of space, but on the other hand, I got rid of 3 machines and replaced it with one. I had the Instant Pot, a slow cooker and a dehydrator. I have yet to try the slow cooking and dehydrating yet, but after research, I’m confident enough to get rid of the rest of my toys. I sadly have not taken a decent picture of my Ninja Foodi yet, edits to be had later. ON TO THE FOOD!

Chicken Thighs on Rice

The best part about the Foodi is that I can pressure cook first and then bake, or broil after! This gives the chicken the speed/moistness of pressure cooking and the crispy skin of baking and broiling in half the time!

Here’s how I made it! Total Cooking Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 medium tomato with top sliced off. (allows tomato to cook properly)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 4 chicken thighs with skin
  • Seasonings to taste
  1. Place rice and water into Foodi bowl.
  2. Place the tomato in the center with the broccoli florets around it on top of the rice. Make sure the tomato is top side down and there is enough room in between the broccoli for the rack!
  3. Place the included reversible rack in the high position on top of the rice, tomato and broccoli.
  4. Add chicken thighs onto the rack, place the pressure lid on top and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. (I seasoned my chicken with salt and pepper at this point to give it some extra flavor for later)
  5. Quick Release the pressure and then season the chicken to taste. I use a mix of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  6. Set the pressure lid aside, close the crisping lid and broil the food for 12 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through the cooking.
  7. Once the food is finished cooking, set the chicken aside, season the rice to taste and stir ingredients together.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

I love the Foodi because I’m able to cook food all in one pot with minimal effort. My only concern is that I don’t like the included rack and will have to find a suitable substitute. The rice gets stuck to the rack legs since they’re so large and I end up having to poke at it more that I would like to. Also, since the rice is a little crisp since I’m using so little water, it can make the rice cling to the rack legs before I stir it all together. The crispiness of the rice does not effect the over all texture or flavor since the tomato will release its juices and combine to make the rice the perfect texture!

Pro Tip: If you do not want the chicken juices to drip into your rice, place a piece of aluminum on the rack before you place the chicken on it.

All in all, I’m in love with my new toy. Look for more homemade food in the future!

Restaurant Review: La Vie

February is a great month for celebrations of love. In V and my case, we hate Valentine’s day. Okay, actually she hates Valentine’s day. Luckily for me, our anniversary is two days before and we get to celebrate love with everyone else in this month. I get to make her feel special, and we get to eat delicious food!

It’s been three years since we began our journey together and it all started with food. So to celebrate, we do it with delicious and beautiful food! La Vie was a great choice! The place was beautiful and the food was divine. The place is beautiful. We first walked into the door and we went into an elevator. The floor is 4.6, there is not 5th floor. We walked into this beautiful room with a beautiful floor to ceiling view of the Wharf. I cannot even imagine what the view looks like in the summer. I wish we had gotten a tour of the place before we were sat, but sadly, our table was right near the door. It’s a beautiful place and I could totally imagine coming here for just a drink and appetizer, or dessert. For those of us who can only afford a place like this for special occasions, it’s a great place to start or end a date.

We started with Arancini, which is basically a ratatouille cheese ball and it was the best appetizer I’ve ever tasted. We then moved on to the best meal I’ve had in awhile. I chose Alaskan Halibut, which for the record does not need any sauce beyond what it’s provided in. It’s my anniversary though, so I sprung for truffle butter. Let me tell you, that butter is AMAZEBALLS! Okay, this entire post is just going to be different forms of that word. I have to mention the Brussels sprouts. It was full of flavor and the size was perfect for the price too. I could not stop eating that sauce they placed on the plate. Sorry, it’s just what it is. Also, I really don’t have anything to say that is bad about this place.

The only thing I could say that is negative is that the crab risotto is not anything to look at. It’s does not look special at all and is not really appetizing to look at. The taste was lemony and you cannot taste the crab unless you’re eating a piece of crab, but V loved it and that’s all the praise I need for it to be good. Seriously though.

The last thing I’m going to praise is the Cotton Candy Baked Alaska. I wish I had gotten a picture of the cotton candy. I’m a terrible reviewer that I didn’t stop everything to get a picture. But the after picture was amazing. The crunchiness of the melted cotton candy was a perfect backdrop for the meringue and the chocolate inside. Seriously, you have to try this cake. The night was perfect with this cake. We had way too much fun and will be back for more.

La Vie

88 District Square SW

Washington, DC 20024

(202) 560-5501

Restaurant Review: Paul Kee Restaurant

Okay, so I procrastinated a little with this one. I’ll say why later. We finally got to celebrate the new year this past Saturday. It was a smorgasbord of delicious and wonderful dishes. Not a single one of them were chosen because of the New Year, rather because this is what we always eat every time we get together! But, there were a couple traditions that were observed.

I had to quickly rush and take this photo, so it’s not the best picture I’ve ever taken. My poor family is all beat up and suffering from different injuries for all different things! My oldest sister needed some pain medication so I had to run out to the Safeway that is right next to the store and get some for her. She hurt her gluteus maximus while roller skating and can barely sit. Luckily, when I returned, they had waited for me so I could take my pictures!

Paul Kee never disappoints us. We have an insider tip to call and reserve roast pork ahead of time though, it’s always gone by the time we get there if we don’t! They will reserve it a few hours ahead of time. The food is always beautiful and always delicious. It’s one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in Montgomery County, Maryland.

I sat down and loaded up my plate with food. As I said in a previous post, we’re not very traditional. But one of the few things we do observe is Chicken legs for luck, and my oldest sister eats her noodles without breaking them for long life. There’s a whole bunch of lucky food that no one in my family actually likes eating, but if it’s round, or long noodles, it’s usually some type of luck or has meaning for long life or prosperity!

Paul Kee Restaurant

11305 Georgia Ave
Ste B
Wheaton, MD 20902

‭(301) 933-6886‬

Restaurant Review: Momo Sushi & Cafe

It is almost impossible to get delicious fresh great quality sushi at an affordable price. That being said, there is one place in the DMV area that you can do so! Momo Sushi & Cafe is that place!

Salmon salad

I’m always raving about this place. I dragged V to this place kicking and screaming because she hates small places with crowded tables and being placed check by jowl next to to people. And I didn’t even care that she was complaining because I knew that the minute she started eating, all the complaints would disappear. And voila! They did!

Vegetable combo

So, you might notice there’s a piece missing from the veggie combo there. V was a little hungry and wouldn’t wait for me to snap a picture. It’s kind of hard being a foodie who likes to take pictures when you have a hungry monster about to bite your hand off…

Let me say, that a salad is not your typical choice for raw fish. But when you’re craving something a little different, it hits the spot! Especially with the salad dressing that Momo uses, you can get it anywhere better!

Even the dessert is just the perfect thing to finish a meal. You only get two choices but they’re good ones. We went with the mocha ice cream.

Check this place out!

Momo Sushi & Cafe

212 Queen St, Alexandria, VA 22314

‭(703) 299-9092‬

Happy Chinese New Year 2019!

Happy New Year! I love being multi cultural. As a Chinese American, I get two New Years! Although I have to say that Chinese New Years is much more fun than the other one. Red is o Enid my favorite colors, all of my favorite foods are served, and since I’m still unmarried, there’s lucky envelopes to look forward to! Woohoo!

In all seriousness, my family observes Chinese New Year because it is part of our culture and it’s an excuse to get together to eat dinner together. We’re not superstitious nor are we super seriousness about the luckiness of the new year. I like the fact that as the youngest, I need the most luck so I get to eat all the chicken legs!

If you don’t know what Chinese New Year is, it’s the Day that the Lunar Calender starts anew and the day’s changes every year because almost the whole world follows the solar calander now, otherwise known as the Gregorian Calender. It’s also celebrated by more than just Chinese people and the Chinese part is a misnomer since many people all over the world celebrate it.

Traditionally, it’s all about the luck! Lucky food, lucky clothes, lucky money and starting new and fresh. But for me. It’s really just about the food! I hope to get some good pictures of my family’s New Year’s Dinner to show you all!

If you celebrate Lunar New Year, what are your traditions?

A Lazy Cook Stays Healthy with Hungry Harvest

Pork, broccoli leaves, mushroom and sweet potato sauté over brown rice

I’m a lazy cook. Okay, I’m a lazy person in general but since I can’t live and also be super lazy, I’m just lazy about how I do things. If food isn’t easy to make or takes too long to make, I won’t make it. But did I mention I’m even lazy about my rules? You see, if I like making it or it’s interesting, I’ll keep making it! So I’m a bit of a conundrum. If you look back at some of my old posts, you’ll see that my cooking habits really, really quite terrible! But, you know, when I’m passionate about things I’ll do it right at least.

There are two simple ways I fixed that. I fell in love with V who doesn’t cook. And we now have a vegetable delivery subscription. She even convinced me somehow to compost too.

Pork and Veggie Soup made with Cabbage, onions, carrots and potatoes from a delivery

I like our vegetable delivery. It’s one of those companies that buys unwanted or unsold crops and sells it to its consumers for a cheaper price. I’m a cheap person who loves a deal and it’s a way to get produce without going to the store! Perfect! Also, it keeps me making healthier meals and we don’t order out as much anymore.

We get a mini harvest for about $20 with delivery and it lasts for about week and a half. Which is great since we choose to get delivery every other week. It forces me to actually cook and it keeps the like two recipes that I cook mixed up a bit. I told you I was lazy right? I can cook more than two recipes, I choose not to.

My first harvest box

My two recipes are:

  • soup
  • sauté
  • stir-fry
  • one pan bakes

Did I mention I was too lazy to count too? And since sauté and stir fry are basically the same thing, I’m going to count it as three.
Some other time I’ll put up my basic recipes for those, maybe later 😉

Comfort Food Like My Mom Makes

Growing up as an Asian American, I had an eclectic hodge podge of food. One day it would be Mac and cheese, and another noodles. But whenever it was cold or I was sick, there was nothing that could be better than Jook. It’s also known as Congee.

This is comfort food for the soul and the poor man’s favorite meal. It’s so versatile, I can just about add anything I have in the fridge on top and it tastes delicious.

Just about every Asian culture whether Northern or Southern Asia has some form of congee. I’m been studying hard so I can try all the different variation of toppings! But the basics of basics for me will always be sweet and simple Cantonese Jook.

It can be made in a pot on the stove or in a crockpot. I prefer crockpot since you can make so much more and just let it cook. The following is how I was taught to cook it in a 5.5 quart crockpot.

Recipe:

  • 1 cup uncooked short or long grain white rice
  • 10 cups broth or water (your choice!)
  • Optional: large cooked bones for flavor
  • Optional: raw Boneless chicken or pork
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Rinse the rice well and place in the crockpot with the water, bones and meat.
  2. Place the lid on the crockpot and set your crockpot on high for 4 hours or 8 hours on low.
  3. When it is almost finished cooking, check on it and remove the bones and the now cooked meat. Stir the pot before replacing the lid.
  4. Cut the meat up, return it to the crockpot and season to taste.
  5. When the timer is up, stir, season with salt and pepper to taste and it’s done!

For the broth, I use whatever is on hand. Homemade broth, box broth or powder broth. If it’s powdered, I do not add the salt because there’s already a ton in the bouillon.

Almost done is a relative term. Sometimes I do it before the timer is up, sometimes the timer is beeping when I finish the last step. The best thing about Jook in a crockpot is that it’s forgiving! The worst part about it is the waiting! The best part is that Jook can be made however you want.

I even make it for my dog, Sloan, when he’s sick. I use just water, chicken breast and rice. After it’s cooked, I save some for him and then season the rest for myself! Yum!

Restaurant Review: Pike Kitchen is Cool

So, I’d like to first put this out there. I completely stink at Titles. So If you’re judging my reviews by the title, well, I’m sunk. But if stick with my anyway because the food is good. Pike Kitchen. I live in DC, so I have to get out of the city in order to get most of the best Asian food there is. While DC has some of the best Ramen places you can find, amazing Asian food must be found either in Montgomery County, Maryland or in Virginia. I say Virginia, because while Korean is primarily in Annandale, you can go to almost many places in Northern Virginia to find good Asian food. So Pike Kitchen, yet ANOTHER amazing place to find good Asian food! Oh. My. Goodness! Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, there’s something for everyone here! Baked goods, drinks, desserts, and more!

When I walked in, I could see all of the options right away. There are eight food places: Pike Bakery, Monster Tea, Bowl Play, Japomen, K Street Food, Viet, PK Chicken & Beer, and Kogyro.

img_1846

My sister and I tried the spicy basil chicken from Pk Chicken & Beer, the onigiri and the okonomiyaki from Japomen, and the crispy pork belly from Viet. There was just so many choices and you don’t have to order just from one place. It’s being in the mall food court but not having to deal with crappy food choices! It’s a dream come true! I could literally come here 10 times and still not be able to try everything on all these menus.

After demolishing this feast, we then proceeded to go to Monster Tea and get some delicious ice cream! I have yet to find an American ice cream shop that serves a delicious melon flavor like you can find in these places! It’s definitely a place to check out and chow down!

Pike Kitchen
Address: 1066 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (301) 922-1585
Email: info@pikekitchen.com

Restaurant Review: Yard House

I was practically dragged to Yard House in Chinatown that just opened about a month ago. My girlfriend has not stopped talking about how she wanted to go as soon as it opened! Little did we know that it opened on the 9th! This place has a wonderful selection of beer on tap. As I walked inside, there was a beautifully decorated interior and since it was a wonderful day, we asked to be sat outside. They walked us through the inside, past the vastly long bar that has, what appears to be a thousand taps! We were then greeted by our very friendly and competent waitress who was extrememly patient with us while we hemmed and hawed over the alcohol list, the menu and then completely disregarded her when we saw some friends walk past us on the sidewalk! She was really the best waitress I’ve had in awhile!

The beer was phenomenal! My first drink was a half yard of the Ace Space Blood Orange Cider! Roughly 32 ounces of beautifully tart cider that tastes very strongly and deliciously of blood orannges. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of it. I did however remember to take a picture of my Goblet of New Holland Dragon’s Milk Stout! It was so smooth and tasted of  vanilla, milk and chocolate.

 Do you know what pairis well with cider and beer? Nashville hot chicken! A nicely portioned slab of hot chicken, with sweet potato pancakes and a side of honey hot sauce that tasted of sweet spicy heaven, mmmmm. I’m getting a little ahead of myself. We started out with guacamole, some very non-traditional deviled eggs! My girlfriend, V, decided to check out the red quinoa salad, which was very filling. It had kale, parsley, brussels sprouts, roasted beets, cauliflower, pomegranates, blueberries, baby tomatoes and pumpkin seeds with feta and a blood orange olive oil vinagrette.

Overall, I’m a fan! This seems like a great place to take a load off after work, before a game, happy hour or just to grab a great beer!

Yard House – DC

812 7th st NW

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 962-0174

Yardhouse.com