Wednesday, July 25, 2012

a passion flower

A friend of the shop, Carly, brought a flower for me the other day. She told me it was a "Passion Flower."

It was so beautiful. I had never seen anything like it.

Carly said this passion flower was from the garden of one of her friends'. It was grown in Utah. Wow!

The passion flower closed itself up after a day, but it was still beautiful...

Thanks, Carly!

Monday, July 16, 2012

fried rice

I make fried rice sometimes just so I can use up some veggies or meats in the fridge. 

One of the "known secret" to make fried rice that's not all clumped together is to use "old" rice... rice that's been chilled in the fridge that is. An awesome Taiwanese chef shared his method on making "golden" fried rice once, where he mixed the whisked eggs with the cold rice before frying it. This way (almost) every grain of rice get coated with eggs and when it's done being fried it's golden!

I used some diced Taiwanese sausages and carrots, and I also added some blanched spinach (so it was easier to mix with the rest of the ingredients) and then seasoned with a little bit of hondashi (a Japanese bonito "soup stock" seasoning) and shichimi.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

the thousand-year-egg experience

I personally love Pidan (皮蛋), also known as Century Egg or thousand-year-egg. They look and taste crazy, but I grew up with them, know what they are, and actually enjoy the flavors of these black eggs.

John is not a big fan of Pidan. I guess by looking at them they look totally wrong. Jello-O like "egg whites" and soft cheese gooey "egg yolks" don't seem to be components of eggs. I'd offer him a piece of Pidan every time I'm having some, but he'd kindly refuse.

Growing up we would have the Pidan sliced and topped on tofu,with special sweet and thick soy sauce, bonito flakes, and maybe some Asian mayo (!) such as Kewpie.

I also really like diced Pidan in rice soups (Cantonese style.) Some of the Chinese restaurants in town serve them and all the ones I've had so far are delicious.

When I enjoy Pidan at home I'd simply just dip them in Taiwanese black vinegar. Yum. And then I read about how you can enjoy Pidan with slices of pickled ginger (like that besides your sushi.) I tried it and it was yummy! The acidity from the pickled ginger blends with and balances out the flavors of the Pidan so it tastes milder, smooth, and actually very good!

So I wrapped a piece of pickled ginger around a little wedge of Pidan and convinced John to give it a try.


uhh... it was not THAT scary, dude...

bite it, John!


John looks all silly in the photos, but I think he actually enjoyed the Pidan wrapped in pickled ginger slices. In his own words, the pickled ginger-wrapped Pidan is "like strong, aromatic soft cheese. Strangely good."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

anniversary dinner at Franck's

You probably know by now that Franck's is one of my favorite restaurants in the city, and for John and my anniversary we visited Franck's again. It was fabulous.


And of course John found a wonderful Pinot to go with our dinner.

Wild mushroom tart.

Artisan French Toast.

Lavender soup with butter popcorn.

White Shrimp Stew. (Chef's comp.)

Franck's Meat Loaf.

Pan Seared Duck Breast.

Dark Chocolate Tart with Sea Salt. (Chef's comp.)

Coconut Cake.

Oh my. Everything was again cooked to perfection. I adore Franck's attention to details, and how beautiful and honest his food is. I am a HUGE fan! Thanks Franck for a wonderful anniversary dinner.

6263 S. Holladay Blvd.
Holladay, Utah 84121

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

5:30 in the morning

I don't quite remember when I was last up before dawn. Maybe it was when I was really excited about a trip or something.

But I was up around 5 this morning and I drove downtown. The story behind it? Not really that important. Silly, even. But I "learned my lesson."

I'm not that much of a morning person anyhow, and getting up at 5 this morning is now catching up with me. I need my Americanos throughout the day I'm sure.

I did, however, saw a beautiful sky driving back home around 5:30 a.m.:

Saturday, July 07, 2012

happy anniversary to us!

It's John and my 11th anniversary! We're not planning on anything big, but just a dinner reservation at Franck's along with some wines both of us love... and then we'll just chill with the animals at home and relax.

♥ !!!

Happy Anniversary to us!

Friday, July 06, 2012

cucumber curry

Can you put sliced cucumbers in curry?

I say YES. I put them in my Japanese curry, along with carrots and pork. (I also mixed two different curry powders in, plus a little bit of peanut butter!)

And that curry was yummy.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

yum yum sunday brunch

One of the restaurants John and I really enjoy is Yum Yum Kitchen. We've been going there frequently for a while now, and they serve some of the most authentic Nothern Chinese cuisines in the city.

But today I'm going to write about their weekend brunch, and I will be telling you all about their spicy and delicious foods in another post.

On Saturdays and Sundays Yum Yum serves Chinese breakfast items, such as youtiao (fried bread sticks,) fresh soy milk, rice soups, meaty buns, sticky rice buns, and such. I think I've tried everything on the breakfast menu throughout the many Sunday brunch-time visits! Here are a few photos from one of my Sunday brunch visits:

"you tiao."

"niu rou juan bing."

"tian jin gou bu li bao zi."

"jian bing guo zi."

"dou fu nao."

And of course there are many more dishes I've tried. I love them all! If you don't know what to get when you visit Yum Yum, ask the boss lady what Yiching gets. hehehe. I think the boss and the servers pretty much all know me by now. *blush*

Yum Yum Kitchen
23 East 2100 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115