Monday, May 30, 2011

Onion Rings

In addition to all manner of potato goodness, I also enjoy a good onion ring now and again.  Similar to the fries that I usually make (see this post), I decided to bake my onion rings as well to turn this guilty pleasure into a not-so-guilty go-to snack.  There are tons of recipes online (like this one), but I actually didn't have any milk on hand and I felt like onion rings don't take that many ingredients to be tasty.  So, I just cut up some rings of yellow onion, dredged them in flour, dunked them in an egg wash, coated them with Panko breadcrumbs/salt/pepper mixture, and baked them at 400 until they looked done (flipping them over once after about 5 minutes).

Not the most exact recipe ever, but I think the point is that this is easy to make, and is not an exact science.  The rings came out crispy and flavorful, and perfect for dipping into ketchup.  I didn't get that deep golden brown color that comes with deep frying, but I didn't get the extra 1k calories or saturated fat either, so it was worth it!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Class of ... what the what?

I customized this plain white onesie for our friends' baby who was born in April.  His dad's a Bruin so I fabric-painted a little paw print on the front, as well as his surname on the back.  I thought it'd be cute to add his grad year on the back as well, like one of those class shirts you'd get at spring festivals at school (was that just my t-shirt-happy school?).  So I did a quick calculation and, it turns out that this baby will be class of 33.  Way to make me feel old, kid.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mmm Sugar Cookies

I get my insane sweet tooth from my dad.  A meal is just not complete until it's capped off with something sweet -- it doesn't even matter what it is.  I've been known to down handfuls of dry sugary cereal after a full meal just to get my fix.  I was shopping for groceries a few days ago when I decided that I had to get a box of cookies or something similar.  Maybe it was because I was at Costco, or maybe it's because of inflation, but I just couldn't justify spending $10 for some cookies.  So, I looked up some recipes for making sugar cookies at home -- they wouldn't require buying anything, and I could whip them up whenever I felt like it.

I found this basic recipe here.  Seems fool-proof (very necessary) and well-reviewed.  I gave it a go.  But I also tweaked the measurements, which you're really not supposed to do when baking.  Woops.  It came out fine though!  I halved the butter content (definitely do this if you make these), and reduced the sugar by about 1/4 cup.

I'd make this again.  They're chewy and yummy baked up REALLY QUICKLY.  I'd probably stick to the sugar measurement next time though, as they could've been sweeter.  If you're going to frost them or drizzle some kind of chocolate or caramel sauce, however, you can reduce the sugar in the recipe.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy News

Lots of happy news lately!  Primarily in the way of babies, but my friend W recently announced her marriage and her upcoming celebration this summer.  To give her a "virtual" hug, I sent her a little card.  I cut out the card from some card-stock that I have, folded it into a neat little hexagon with the flaps tucked in, and then cut out a rose shape with petals from wrapping paper.  Hot glued the rose onto some twine and sent it off, crossing my fingers that it wouldn't get crushed like a pancake!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Baby Ari

We just heard the breaking news that the pastor who married us will be having his first kid in September.  He was H's pastor back during grad school, and we're excited for him.  I made him a little card to celebrate Little Ari (the name they've picked out), which apparently means "Lion," according to his dad's excited FB post.  I just did the little lion face by freehand in Photoshop and cut the little pieces from paper I had around.  Hope they like it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fool me once...

Ugh, it happened again.  Remember this post?  The one in which I lamented overly-hyped foods?  Oops, we did it again.  We ate somewhere that is so overly-hyped that it's the proud recipient of almost 2,500 yelp reviews, all pretty uniformly calling this the best ramen shop of all time--Daikokuya. 

Now, since moving to CA almost three years ago, I've learned a few things about yelp.  First, you have to take the reviews with a grain of salt.  People who don't like places just naturally tend not to write about them--they should, but they just don't.  So you get this over-representation of positive reviews.  Second, I think maybe it works better in SF where it's more popular, but in LA, it's just kind of eh.  A lot of places just don't have that many reviews.  But at 2,442 reviews, and a wait that always seems to be over 1 hour no matter what day of the week (when neighboring ramen shops are EMPTY), we thought we hit the jack pot when we walked by last week at lunch time and the wait was ten minutes.  We hopped in, yelped for the best menu options, and ordered.

Both H and I got the regular ramen with "back fat," supposedly some umami-making wonder fat.  H also got a side of rice with chicken teriyaki.  A big "meh" to both.  It was okay, but no better really than the ramen I've had elsewhere.  DEFINITELY and WITHOUT A DOUBT not worth a wait of more than 25 minutes.  Plus, I got a raging MSG headache of some sort after lunch.  Ew.  Hyped foods, I wish I knew how to quit you.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Creamy deliciousness with a side of pasta

I've had a hankering for pasta with cream sauce for awhile now.  Tomato sauce, no matter how you jazz it up, just gets old after awhile.  I adapted this recipe from Epicurious by:

-- subbing in rigatoni for gnocchi
-- adding more garlic; 2 large cloves instead of just 1
-- subbing in half-and-half instead of cream, and adding a touch more
-- nixing the red pepper flakes & spinach
-- adding shrimp (add it raw to the heated cream/peas mixture), it'll cook up quickly

This was delicious and I highly recommend trying it!  The lemon juice and particularly, the zest, adds a nice freshness that you don't normally get from pasta dishes.  I also really and randomly like peas with pasta, so this was perfect.  I made this again last night but instead of shrimp, added diced eggplant.  So good we ate the leftovers too.  Portion-control is clearly not our forte. 

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