Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yard House: Late Night

Just like what they say in the picture above. We were there last Friday night. I was a little disappointed to hear that they don't offer late-night happy hours on Friday nights.

We ordered a pomegranate margarita and some beers. (Can't remember what kinds.)
And some foods, too.

Turkey burger sliders (with pickles and potato fries). Really yummy.
Sweet potato fries. I liked the sauce.

Later we were still feeling a little hungry so we ordered a barbecue chicken pizza.

Overall, it was delicious but sort of pricey (unless you go there during the happy hours). I mean, the foods were a bit too small for me. And the place was a little too crowded for my taste. The foods were good (at least alright), though. Don't have much to say about the drinks since I don't really drink, though they seem to be okay. Anyway, to sum it all up, YH is good but a little bit overpriced in my humble opinion.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quick & Easy Shrimps with Tomato Sauce

One easy and delicious way to eat shrimps. This recipe only requires 2 very simple steps.


Onions, finely chopped
Polish sausages, sliced
Sweet corns, cooked (I used the frozen ones)
Olive oil
El Pato tomato sauce with jalapeño (You can substitute this with any other tomato sauce)

(I'm a huge fan of this tomato sauce brand!)


1. In a large pot or wok, drizzle some olive oil and add shrimps, onions, and sausages.

2. Add corns and tomato sauce. Stir occasionally until everything is cooked.
That's it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dinner at Norm's Restaurant

I went to Norm's last night with my family.
Dad and I ordered filet mignon, and my sister and mom got the trio's.

Chicken tortilla soup.
Didn't eat breads, had to save room for the meat!
Filet mignon. Medium rare with mashed potatoes and zucchini.

The Trio.

Finally, dessert. Chocolate mini waffle a la mode for only $.99.
I had a good meal and a great time with my family. The price was reasonable...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quick & Easy Hot Pot

Hot pot, also known as Shabu Shabu, can be roughly interpreted as the East Asian version of fondue. There are several varieties of hot pot, but they're basically very similar to each other and all really simple to make and eat. As the name suggests, you just dip various kinds of ingredients in a simmering hot pot of stock at the center of the table. That's basically what hot pot is about. You don't actually need a bunch of directions. Another thing I love about hot pot is that it allows you to be creative. You can add ANYTHING. Seriously. You've got all the freedom in the world. Vegetables, meat, seafood, mushrooms, etc. It's all up to you.

By the way, be prepared before you go ahead and make hot pot, because, trust me, you'll end up stuffing yourself more than planned. (And still be happy about that, of course.)

Alright, so here's my recipe. All the ingredients are available in Asian markets.


Mushrooms (Any kind is fine. I like to add enoki mushrooms)
Thinly sliced meat of your choice (I used beef)
Napa cabbage, sliced
Ssukgat, a.k.a crown daisy
Cellophane noodles, soaked in water (You can add other kinds of noodles, for instance, udon noodles are also good and they hardly need any preparation)

(For hot pot base)
Onion, sliced in half
Dried kelp
Dried anchovies
Fish sauce

You also need a metal pot and an equipment (like a portable gas burner, which is what I use) to keep the stock simmering at the center of the dining table.


1. In the pot, add water, kelp, anchovies, onions, and fish sauce. Bring to boil and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Take them out with a strainer. Don't turn the heat off, keep it simmering.

2. Start adding the ingredients. When they're cooked, bring them to your plate, dip them in the sauce, and eat them. Add more. Repeat...until you're full!

There are so many dipping sauce options available. I simply dip them in soy sauce and peanut butter sauce.

It's hard to stop once you start eating hot pot. If you haven't tried it yet, you should definitely try it--you'll be hooked!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quick & Easy Crêpes with Sautéed Pears

My favorite desserts of all time would be crêpes. Mmm...I'm starting to drool. I often just eat them with my mom's homemade apple jam or Nutella. Crêpes are delicious no matter how you serve them, but crêpes with sautéed pears are really, totally, absolutely amazing. It's also super simple to make!


1/3 cup water
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 eggs
A pinch of salt
Olive oil

(Sautéed pears)
Pears, peeled and thinly sliced (I used 1 ginormous Korean pear. If you're using regular pears, you probably need more)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter


1. Mix all ingredients for crêpes. (Using a blender saves time!) Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan and scoop the batter onto the pan. Cook each side for a couple minutes.
2. Heat butter in a saucepan and add pears. When they become tender, add brown sugar and cinnamon. Keep cooking for a few more minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Serve sautéed pears with crêpes.

You can save the leftover sautéed pears and serve them with regular fluffy pancakes, waffles, or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Easy Goulash

I love goulash. It's one of my top favorite dishes ever. Originally a Hungarian dish, goulash is popular in many other countries, and every family has their own recipe. Some use tomatoes, some make it very thick, etc. This recipe, however, doesn't use tomatoes or bell peppers and the consistency is more like soup rather than stew.


Beef, cut into little chunks
Beef broth or water
Paprika powder
Olive oil
Bay leaves


1. In a large pot, drizzle some olive oil and cook beef over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. You can add paprika now or later.
2. Add the veggies, all peeled and diced. Cook for a few minutes.
3. Add broth or water. If you're using water, add salt. If you haven't added paprika yet, add now. I use imported Hungarian paprika.
4. Close the lid, bring to a boil, then simmer. Goulash is a slow cooking food, so the slower you cook the better, but 30 minutes is enough since this is supposed to be a quick and easy recipe.

By the way, sometimes when I have extra time I add handmade egg noodles, like in the photo below. This is optional, of course.

Serve with bread and/or sour cream.

Om nom nom!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Semi-Homemade IKEA Swedish Meatballs

Disclaimer: This is not a traditional Swedish recipe! This is my simplified version of IKEA style Swedish meatballs a.k.a köttbullar.
Remember my last posting on Swedish meatballs with cream sauce at IKEA? I wish I can go to IKEA whenever I want some of their meatballs, but sadly it's a little too far from my house. So I've decided to make them at home! I've made a few alterations to the original recipe, since I didn't have all the ingredients or time. If you want to see the original recipe, please click here. (Awesome blog, by the way.)
Instead of making meatballs from scratch I'm simply going semi-homemade and using pre-made meatballs from the frozen food section. This is basically what makes it keep it quick and easy!

Ingredients (About 2 servings...because I eat like a Viking):

Precooked meatballs (use Swedish style meatballs for best result. Kroger has them.)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup water (replacement for beef broth, but still, it'd be better if you used beef broth)
1/2 cup milk (replacement for cream)
Salt or soy sauce


1. Heat meatballs in a saucepan. Transfer them to a plate. (Or you can just use microwave oven to save time. Heat on high power for 2 minutes, turn meatballs, and heat for an additional 1 minute. Do not overheat since they're already cooked.)
2. In the same pan, heat butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, reduce heat and add flour. Stir well.
3. When the mixture becomes brownish, add water or broth. Keep stirring for a couple minutes.
4. Add milk. Stir well until it becomes creamy.
5. Add salt or soy sauce and stir well. Personally I prefer using soy sauce because it gives the sauce a nice brownish color. If you're using broth this may be optional.
6. Serve meatballs with sauce.

Optional: serve them with boiled or mashed potatoes. It's also a great idea to serve them with lingonberry jam (you can buy them at IKEA). You can use raspberry jam instead.

By the way, I like my sauce thick, so if you want your sauce thin, add less flour.

By the way, I accidentally burned my elbow while making the sauce...It's pretty bad. Man, I've gone through so much stuff just to eat some meatballs.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Sunny Day in Laguna Beach

I went to Laguna Beach with my friends two weekends ago. (Yes, two weekends ago. I'm posting this just now because I'm such a lazy bum.) We had a great time! The weather was so nice and sunny. It was hard to believe that summer was already ending. Well, it's October but I'm still too attached to summer! I know it's about time for me to let go. This post will be the closure between me and summer, haha.

Anyhow, here are the pictures (and some reviews) from a sunny day in Laguna Beach.

As soon as we got there, we faced an unfortunate conflict with a group of random people at the parking lot. Dun dun dun! Okay, I'm exaggerating, it was hardly a conflict. The parking lot was full so we were wandering around looking for an empty parking spot, and then we finally spotted one and were about to park there. Then, suddenly, some people just walked up and blocked our car with their bodies. They claimed, "we saw this spot first so you guys can't park here." I was like, are you kidding me? I mean, what kind of logic is that? And, boy, they were so stubborn. Since we are peace loving people and didn't want any parking lot drama, we didn't have a choice but to give up and find another place. That almost turned us into divas. Almost. Actually, we were a bit annoyed by those people at the parking lot, but that's not what really was bugging us. It was hunger. We were starving! We were just about to turn into 3 fierce divas. To prevent such disaster, we quickly went into the nearest restaurant--BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse.

It was quite small. Much much less spacious than most other BJ's.
We ordered Chicken Fettucini Alfredo and a Half & Half Deep Dish Pizza (Barbecue Chicken and Great White).

Their Chicken Fettucini Alfredo was yummy. Not so different from other BJ's restaurants.
I loved their barbecue chicken pizza. I don't like cilantro, but it didn't bother me at all.
There is no picture of Great White pizza. In fact, I don't even remember eating it. What happened? All I remember is that I was starving and not myself.

After stuffing ourselves full, we finally came back to our own selves and headed to the beach.

The beach was beautiful. We had fun.

After having fun at the beach we decided to walk to our next destination--The Rooftop Lounge. It was quite hot and sunny, but we wanted to avoid another parking lot drama. We also thought it would be nice to look around as we walk on the street.

By the time we were starting to get tired of walking, we finally reached our destination.

The view was gorgeous. And...that was about it.
It was extremely sunny and hard to keep our eyes open. They didn't have enough parasols. As I write this I just realized that none of us remembered to put our sunglasses back on. I don't know why...Seriously, something must have gotten into us.

Anyhow, we ordered 3 glasses of mojito--one regular, one raspberry, and one virgin (obviously mine). $5 for mine and $12 for the others. Honestly, I wouldn't order them again. I didn't like the bartender. I wasn't even expecting friendliness, but I was expecting him to at least make decent mojitos. It was quite disappointing. Overall, the service was alright, but not great. Everyone seemed to be busy, maybe that's why, but still, this place is a little overrated in my humble opinion.

By the way, look at those teeny tiny salt and pepper dispensers. Aww, aren't they so cute?

And this is the last shot of the beach I took on the way back home.

Bye bye summer beaches...See ya next year!