Friday, January 29, 2010

Gorguyeo Korean BBQ {Garden Grove, CA}

Ah, Korean BBQ, how I love you so...
Though my all-time favorite Korean BBQ in Orange County is Cham Sut Gol, Korean BBQ anywhere usually makes me happy. This one was no exception to that rule.
The jap chae was delicious, but then again it always is :)
They serve the traditional sauces, though I like the ones at Cham Sut Gol better. And of course, with any all-you-can-eat, tons of meat!!
Chin chin! Here's for good times!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nem Nuong/ Grilled Pork Spring Rolls

I've been on an ongoing spring roll 'kick' recently. I just can't get enough of them! I'm working my way through making every kind imaginable and in existence. My newest conquest? The nem nuong or grilled, cured pork roll. It's delicious and if you live in the Southern California area, you've probably heard of Brodard.
Brodard is a restaurant which is famous for these little rolls. They've perfected it almost down to an art. And to top it off, have created a dipping sauce that no one has ever come close to mastering or even replicating. Now mine are no where near Brodard's, BUT they are still delicious to boot. Served with a traditional 'nuoc cham' they are still a healthy and satisfying lunch.

I found the recipe from The Ravenous Couple, a blog I love! I basically use this blog to dust off my Vietnamese cooking skills, because when I grow up and have a family, I need to learn how to make this stuff! Just because I sadly, cannot speak Vietnamese doesn't mean that all of my culture has to go down the drain! This recipe isn't at all complicated; sure, there are some steps involved but if you take it one at a time, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results AND if you happen to live near a Vietnamese grocery store, they also sell pre-cured pork that you can just grill yourself!

Nem Nuong Cuon/ Spring Rolls with Grilled Pork Patties

Yields: enough for 5 - 8 people

Original recipe can be found here.

For the crispy chive rolls (optional):


Egg roll wrappers

1 egg

2 tbsn. water

For the nem nuong patties:

2 lbs. ground pork

2 heads of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves (use more or less to your taste)

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbsn. salt

1 tbsn. pepper

4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup water

1 package of rice paper wrappers


Cucumbers, sliced into thin rectangles (1x2 inches)



Pickled carrots & daikon (optional)

Nuoc Cham, for dipping

First, to make the crispy chive rolls, mix the egg and water and beat well, set aside. Take your chives and cut then in half, to make them short enough to fit inside the egg roll wrapper. Take an egg roll wrapper and place some chives (about 5 - 6) near the top of the paper and then roll downwards to form a cigarette. Use some egg wash at the bottom to seal it all together. Deep fry until golden brown, drain and set aside.

To make the nem nuong patties, using a food processor, process the garlic until it is a fine puree. Combine the pork, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder and water and stir. Add it to the pork and fold in, then chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Form the refrigerated meat mixture into patties or mini sausages (sausages are easier to roll in the spring rolls). Keep a bowl of water handy to keep your hands wet in order to help with forming the meat. Grill the meat until cooked, about 4 - 5 minutes per side.

To make the spring rolls, have all of your veggies ready. Grab a large bowl of warm water and have it ready for the wrappers. Take a rice paper wrapper and moisten in the warm water. Tap off any excess water and then place on a flat surface. Place some lettuce, cucumber, a fried chive roll, and pickled carrot/ daikon slaw near the upper top of the rice paper. Top with some fresh chives, if you have them, and some of the grilled pork. Do not overstuff them or else the rice paper will break. Roll the rice paper over the veggies and tuck the sides in (see tutorial below).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tailored Tuesdays

Because charcoal & crimson make my heart sing.
As does Marc.

1. Splendid 'V-neck merino blend cardigan'
2. Bottega Veneta 'Pleated strapless dress'
3. Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Bird cage Jennifer quilted bag'
4. Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Double wrap bolt cuff'
5. Miu Miu 'Leather multi strap sandals'

all images can be found

Monday, January 25, 2010


"If you can't do what you imagine, then what is imagination to you?"
I just love these photos, I feel like the combination of them perfectly represents the imagination.

1. 'IMG_8256' by Jason Benjamin
2. 'The Fair' by Marie's Shots
3. 'Peacock' by Marie's Shots
4. 'Old Labels' by Marie's Shots
5. 'Elephants' by Marie's Shots
6. 'Ramsey' by Bakinbitz74
7. 'Cupcake2' by Marie's Shots

(There are numbers on the photos, and I know they're tiny but if you click on the photo it should enlarge. Sorry about that!)

Nutella Banana Wontons

What to do with extra wonton wrappers?
Make dessert wontons!
These are really simple and impossibly easy. Stuff some wonton wrappers with anything your heart desires; mine heart happened to flutter with the thoughts of Nutella and banana combined. Mmmmm. Topped with some creamy vanilla bean ice cream and simple raspberry coulis? Simply divine. These are best, best, best fresh out of the fryer but they were still good warmed in the oven later on.
Nutella Banana Wontons

Yields: 20 wontons

Original recipe can be found here.

For the wontons:

20 wonton wrappers

2 medium sized ripe bananas, sliced


Vegetable oil, for frying

Water, for sealing

For the raspberry coulis:

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed

2 - 3 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

Place a dollop, about 2 tsp. of Nutella in the center of the wonton wrapper, then place a slice of banana on top. Dip your finger in water and use it to wet the edges of the wrapped. Fold the wrapper in had and pinch the edges together to seal the wonton. In a pan, heat a 1/2 inch later of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot, about 365 F. Place the wontons into the oil and cook them in small batches until golden brown, about 2 - 3 minutes per side. Once golden brown, remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate. To make the coulis, combine everything in a food processor and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve and then refrigerate until used. Once they have cooled slightly, top them with ice cream, dust them with powdered sugar, serve them with the coulis, or do whatever you'd like!

Mmmm banana & Nutella filling:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cream Pan {Tustin, CA}

Ahhhhh the joys of Cream Pan. With a name like that, I just knew I was going to love it. I looooove cream, custard, pudding, all things as such. As you can see below, the people from Yelp love Cream Pan, but in reality, I think ALL people love Cream Pan.
Just look at it, look at that beautiful, gorgeous, sight for sore eyes. This is their most famous item, the strawberry croissant, that almost always sells out midday. That's why you have to make sure you get there early enough to get your grubby paws on them. It's a delicate croissant, slathered in custard, topped with fresh strawberries then snowed with powdered sugar.
The custard bun was equally as good. Again, if you love custard as much as I do, you'll be very pleased with this one!

Empanada's Place {Costa Mesa, CA}

Ever since I came home from Chile, I've been missing everything about it, even the food. Why wouldn't I miss the food, you ask? Well, to be honest, Chile has some of the most non-exciting and non-delicious food I've ever encountered. But, the one thing I did like was the empanadas.
In the search for them, I came across Empanada's Place, a restaurant that specializes in all things empanadas. And that, they do. The varieties here are awesome, and you can choose from 10 + different kinds!
While these empanadas are fried and not baked, they are a bit heavier than what I'm used to and can get a bit on the heavy side but they are delicious none the less. My absolute favorite was the onion & cheese (last picture) - it was so savory and gooey and just perfect. But really, almost all of them quelled my cravings!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blackened Ahi Tuna with Mango Salsa

My family loves, loves, loves ahi tuna. And by family I mean everyone except my mom. My mom prefers her food fully cooked whereas the rest of us just live for that perfectly pink, raw center. Mmmm pink. We had some tuna steaks so my dad found this amazing recipe that we had to try!
The recipe was simple enough. Marinate tuna, rub in spice mix, blacken in a skillet, top with salsa. Simple and simply delicious. The spice rub provided a pop in your mouth, while the salsa with curiously sweet and spicy, in the best way of course. Served with some rice, this was just the perfect meal to end the evening. How delightful!
Blackened Ahi Tuna with Mango Salsa
Yields: 4 servings
Original recipe can be found here.

For the marinade:
2 tbsn. olive oil
2 tbsn. lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tuna steaks

For the salsa:
1 fresh mango - peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 tbsn. chopped, fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (seeded if you don't want it spicy)
2 tbsn. lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

For the blackened spice mix:
2 tbsn. paprika
1 tbsn. cayenne pepper
1 tbsn. onion powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsn. garlic powder
4 tbsn. olive oil

Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and garlic in a bowl. Rub the tuna steaks with the mixture and then place in a sealable container and chill in refrigerator for 3 hours. To make the salsa, combine the mango, bell pepper, onion, green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno in a bowl and stir. Add the lime juice and olive oil. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. To make the spice mix, combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, oregano and garlic powder and mix.

Remove the tuna steaks from the refrigerator and gently rinse with water, then dip each side into the spice mixture to coat. Heat 2 tbsn. of olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Gently lay the tuna steaks into the hot oil. Cook the tuna on one side for 3 minutes; remove to a plate. Pour the remaining 2 tbsn. of olive oil into the skillet and let it get hot. Lay the tuna with the uncooked side down into the skillet and cook another 3 mintues, remove from heat immediately. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mango salsa onto 4 plates. Lay the tuna steaks on top and serve immediately.
Perfectly pink!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Prefuse 73

I've loved Prefuse 73 for some time now.
Sometimes all you need are some good instrumentals.
As of now, I'm especially loving Perverted Undertone; enjoy.

Tailored Tuesdays

1. Tucker "Silk crepe de chine printed dress"
2. Chloe "Heloise large shoulder bag"
3. Belle by Sigerson Morrison "Leather gladiator sandals"
4. Halleh "18-karat gold ripple hoop earrings"

all images can be found at

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reeses Smores Cookies

Pretty recently, I made Smores cookies. Well those were quite the hit! My cousin basically scarfed a whole plate down in a matter of minutes, that's how good they are. Well I owed my other cousin some baked goods because he did me a favor. He specifically requested something peanut buttery and I had a glorious idea: Reeses smores cookies!
Well, my great idea turned out to be a great cookie! I just love this cookie; there's something about the graham crackers in the batter and the marshmallows that create this deliciously, perfectly chewy cookie. And this version, with the addition of peanut butter chips and Reeses cups was amazing! If you love peanut butter, this is for you! Such a delicious cookie!
Reeses Smores Cookies

Yields: about 3 - 4 dozen

Original recipe can be found here.

1 3/4 cups flour

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup peanut butter chips

1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

8 Reeses cups, cut into pieces

In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars and mix until fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, graham crackers, salt and baking soda and mix well. Stir in the peanut butter chips then cover and refrigerate the dough for about one hour. Preheat oven to 375 F. Take a tablespoon of the dough, roll into a ball, and drop onto a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of dough, leaving about 2 inches between each to allow it to spread. Bake for 6 minutes, then remove from the oven. Push a 3 - 5 marshmallows and a few pieces of the chopped Reese's bar into each cookie. Return to oven and bake for another 2 - 3 minutes until golden brown and the marshmallows are a bit toasted. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

I love oatmeal! It's especially great for breakfast now that I'm back at school. It's funny because when I'm at school I seem to get extra hungry than normal - I guess it's because all of that hard brain usage. That's why it's really important for me to have a good, nutritious breakfast that fills me up and tastes delicious.
I love baking oatmeal because I can just bake large batches at a time and re-heat it for school during the week. I know this isn't the optimal way to eat it but it really helps when I'm in a pinch for time. If you're not, share this warm, yummy oatmeal with your whole family! I love finding new ways to eat oatmeal, otherwise it can get quite boring. My favorites? Fresh fruit always keeps things interesting! Bruleed? Even more interesting! You can add so many things, it's so fun! Nuts, granola, yogurt, chocolate, spices, honey or anything your heart desires - so have fun with it!

Baked Oatmeal
Yields: about 6 - 8 servings
Slightly modified from original recipe, which can be found here.

2 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (or more to your taste)
2 cups milk
2/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup cooking oil (I used coconut oil)
2 cups fresh fruit, of your choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a baking dish, set aside. In a large bowl combine the oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar. In another bowl, combine the milk, applesauce and oil. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix to combine. Place mixture into a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently stir the mixture, then fold in the fruit, if desired. Bake for another 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm and top with yogurt, cream, granola, more fruit or whatever you'd like!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tailored Tuesdays

Mmm perfect for a not-too chilly day!

1. Splendid "V-neck merino blend cardigan"
2. Juicy Couture "Ikat obe silk dress"
3. Lee Angel "Gold plated chain necklace"
4. Marc by Marc Jacobs "Sasha leather shoulder bag"
5. Burberry "Tumbled leather brogues"
all images can be found

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pogo - Upular

I don't know if you've ever heard of Pogo before, but you ought to!

A while ago I discovered his work, Alice, which was made almost completely from audio clips from the movie, Alice in Wonderland. I was completely enchanted. It's both mystical and intriguing. But his work has continued to put a smile to my face! He most often makes his electronic music from classic kids movies like Mary Poppins and Harry Potter. Anyways, I've had fun listening to all of his works and I hope you guys enjoy them too! The song above is my newest obsession and completely adorable!

Here are some of his works:
2. Pogo - Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
3. Pogo - Alohomora (Harry Potter)
4. Pogo - Expialidocious (Mary Poppins)
5. Pogo - Scrumdiddlyumptious (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)

For more information on him, go here and here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Velvety Apple Sauce

I don't know why but I suddenly had this urge to make apple sauce. I've never done it before but it seemed easy enough. So here it is! I kind of improvised but ultimately, in the end, I wound up with a deliciously velvety, cinnamon-y apple sauce.
I've been craving oatmeal lately so I thought apple sauce would be the perfect addition to my morning oatmeal; adding a hint of sweetness without having to add loads of sugar! It was delicious! Don't worry, a delicious baked oatmeal recipe will be up soon :)

Mmmm or enjoy by the spoonful (see those pretty vanilla bean specks?)

Velvety Apple Sauce
Yields: about 6 - 8 servings

8 apples, peeled, cored and cubed (I used golden delicious)
1/4 cup water
1 - 2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsn. brown sugar (more or less, to your liking)
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

In a large saucepan, combine the apples, water, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla (seeds and pods). Mix everything together then heat oven medium-high heat for about 15 minutes or until the apples are cooked through and soft. Let the mixture cool for 5 - 10 minutes then transfer the mixture into a food processor (making sure to remove the vanilla bean pods). Pulse until everything is well processed and the apple sauce is smooth. Enjoy warm or cold!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Arabic Tea

I am a very big tea drinker. And by very big I mean drink-every-morning, drink-to-enjoy, drink-hot-or-cold, drink-with-a-smile-on-her-face tea drinker. I love tea. I love trying new kinds of tea. When I went to San Francisco, I had the opportunity to try Arabic tea at this place calledKan Zaman. It was ahhhhhmazing! Like nothing I'd ever tried before and so beautiful to look at because of the mint leaves floating about.
After much googling, my friend found how to recreate it at home, and now I'm showing you guys! This isn't traditional, traditional Arabic tea but this is a way to recreate the flavors at home even if you can't find the real deal. It's delicious and if you love tea, please try this recipe!

Arabic Tea
Yields: 2 servings

3 cups water
10 - 15 mint leaves or sage (I haven't tried this version yet)
Sugar, to your liking (I use 1 tsp. per serving)

In a large measuring cup, add the mint leaves and tea bags. Boil the water and pour over the tea bags and mint leaves. Let steep for 5 minutes. Add sugar to your liking and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tailored Tuesdays

I just love navy and kelly green together! They are like a match made in textile heaven. Sorry about the tardiness again... being off of school has really put my internal clock at a loop. And of course, my beloved Tory Burch Reva flats; one day you will be mine.

1. Smythe "Linen boyfriend fit blazer"
2. Oscar de la Renta "Cotton blend ruffle blazer"
3. Jason Wu "Silk side pleat skirt"
4. Miu Miu "Matelasse shiny leather bag"
5. Tory Burch "Reva python effect flats"

all images can be found at