Saturday, October 18, 2014

Recipe: Wontons

Sometimes I miss my mom, and when I can't get home to see her, I tend to make food that reminds me of home. Wontons were popular growing up, but usually served in soup. On my last trip to Flushing I discovered wontons in this style at White Bear and I've never looked back.

  • 3/4 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb shrimp
  • 1/2 head of medium sized napa cabbage
  • 1 T of minced ginger
  • 2 T of minced scallion
  • 2 t of sesame oil (if you like sesame oil like I do, add some extra)
  • 1 t of white pepper
  • 1 1/2 T of soy sauce
  • 2-3 T of sake
  • 1 package of wonton rappers
First, dice your cabbage finely. You can use a food processor if it's easier, but I find using a knife is faster for me. Add some salt to the cabbage, mix it, and let it sit - you want to release some of the water in the vegetable. 

Next you want to mince your scallion and ginger together. Then, you want to mince your shrimp (you basically want to chop it until it looks like ground shrimp). I like to chop the scallion and ginger right into the shrimp - I feel like I'm incorporating the ingredients better.

In a bowl mix together the ground pork, your shrimp mixture, the sesame oil, white pepper, soy sauce, and sake. Take your cabbage and squeeze it out over the sink to get out the extra moisture. Add the "dehydrated" cabbage into meat mixture. Mix like a crazy person until your filling looks uniform.

Now to make the wontons: I present to you my first ever video tutorial, filmed by Joe. I fold them this way, but you don't have to. Before you fold them - put some water on the stove to boil. By the time you have made enough for dinner, your water should be boiling (if not, you are fast or don't eat a lot).


When the water is boiling, add your wontons while stirring. Once they start floating I like to let them cook for another couple of minutes to ensure they are cooked through. I usually cut one open to make sure before I take them all out.

Once they're done I like to top them with the below hot oil and chili and fried garlic sauce. You can always have them in soup. If you're feeling aggressive you can fry them. I find them to be delicious with just some hot oil.

Go back for seconds - they're healthy. Sort of.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Restaurant Review: Blue Hills

A couple weeks back we went to Blue Hills as part of our Anniversary-thon (have to do it up big for the first one, right?)

I really enjoyed the place. I loved the ambiance, the attention to detail in each course, and the whimsical nature of the food served. Gags was much less impressed, and found the 4 oz. pours of his beer into a wine glass awkward, the course in the special room gimmicky, and he felt a little underwhelmed for the price tag.

If you're celebrating and want to feel like you've been transported to a different world, I'd recommend it. If you like meat, I wouldn't. It's one of those things, I would definitely do once (and maybe again), but it would have to be a special occasion.

The Meal

Vegetables from the garden.
Grilled nectarines wrapped in house cured prosciutto.
Weeds. Served with...
Charcoal mayo.
A trio of something with tomatoes.
Liver with chocolate.
Probably my favorite dish: tomato burger. Delicious.
Apparently this was a play on man and woman. Two different tomato shooters.
Heirloom tomato with basil seeds.
Tomatoes with some type of cheese...there were a lot of tomatoes...I'm guessing they were in season.
Oysters three ways. I think one was a BLT oyster.
Home made ricotta (which apparently is served year-round) served with...
Brioche toast. I love warm bread.
Fish tacos with kohlrabi as the shell. Superbly creative, but a little light on the fish.

Another favorite. Farm fresh egg with chorizo. 
The special course! Duck.

You get to have a course with just your date in the barn. Even though Gags found it gimmicky, I found it romantic.
Goat - usually I hate goat because I find it gamey, but this was actually pretty good.

First dessert course (kind of savory, kind of sweet). Corn ice cream and tomato sorbet were both refreshing.
Anniversary cake aka special occasion cake aka everyone got one.
I actually thought the white chocolate egg shells were actual eggs.
So as you can see, NY hasn't been good for my wallet, but I've found some great little joints as well that I will share soon!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rounding Out the Summer of Weddings

We're 75% through our weddings this year, with two more the past two weekends (read: we had weddings for 4 weekends in a row).

Wedding 5 of 8: Phil Lamy & Valerie Xenakis
The Granite Rose, Hampstead, NH
August 30, 2014

The best man from our wedding got married in a beautiful ceremony in NH. Joe (who was the best man) gave a wonderful toast and we boogied the night away.
Joe walking his God Mother and the Groom's Mom down the aisle.
I love catching the groom waiting for the bride.
Valerie looked gorgeous in her mother's dress.
Exchanging vows.
Mr. and Mrs. Valerie Xenakis everyone...I mean Mr. and Mrs. Phil Lamy.
What a heartwarming first dance.
With the Bride & Groom!
Wedding 6 of 8: Brian Lee and Lydia Chan
Colonial Church of Bayside / East Buffet , Flushing, NY
September 7, 2014

B Lee and I go way back, to when we were 3 or 4 when I used to get baby sat by his friend's mom. We became actual friends at BC and he and Joe were actually roommates for a year. Lydia was a stunning bride and it was awesome to see another BC couple get married!

Lydia had multiple outfits and looked stunning in all of them, but the dress was my favorite.
B Lee looks so happy.
That one time where B Lee vowed to Lydia he would laugh with her in times of sorrow.
Old BC Friends!
With Jess!
With the Bride and Groom!
And that rounds out our wonderful summer of weddings, but we have two more left for the year! Until then, it's time to eat, eat, and eat.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dude, it's been a year?

This post will be a little out of character, but since I've done nothing else, the least I could do, is acknowledge it in a blog post. If you are easily nauseated by mushiness (like me), I'd stop reading here. Unless you're Gags, then you're required to continue, since (per your words) you are subscribed to me for life.

There are two questions Joe asks me often, the first is: "Who is your favorite boy?"
My answer never changes: "Daddy"
I mean, the man has dealt with my craziness for 27 years, it's hard to compete with him, but as Joe deals with me on a daily basis now, he's a close second. Like, really close. In fact, just for today, Gags, you are my favorite boy.

The second question is: "Are you happy?"
My answer almost never changes: "Yes, very"
I'm in good health, I have the most wonderful friends and family (I know people say this all the time, but seriously, mine would kick ass in a framily-off), and I have Joe - there's nothing else I need to be happy, but it hasn't hurt that other things have fallen into place as well.

Most (maybe everyone?) will say that I "wear the pants" in the relationship, but really all that means is that I've married someone so selfless, so strong, and so awesome that he has always put me ahead of him and has been willing to support me through anything and everything. I used to think Joe wasn't romantic because he wasn't the type to plan surprises, randomly bring home treats, or make the large     romantic gestures you see in movies. What I've realized is that I had romantic all wrong. You know what's romantic? Picking up a life you were happy with and moving to a new city where you have no connections, because your fiancĂ© (now wife) would be happier there. If Disney movies were realistic (wait, they aren't?), they'd model Prince Charming's character after Gags, and Mr. Charming would help with household chores and tell you he would be happy to support you if you wanted to give up your stable job to start a restaurant (one day!).

It's been a crazy and hectic first year of marriage with all the running around we've done, but one filled with a lot of joy and a lot of love. 1 down, infinity to go. Happy Anniversary Gags, I love you.

Some wonderful memories from our wedding (since that never made the blog!)
My favorite ladies! Love you gals SO much.
Best friend and beautiful mother.
Joe and Groomsmen
Emotional ceremony.
Tough guys!

Pretty ladies.

Kung Fam Bam.

Gagnon Fam.

Us and the wedding party.

Our entire relationship summed up in one photo.

Thank you for always carrying me, both literally and figuratively.
First dance when Joe broke out the Grease Lightening.
Dips are scary.
Maid of honor speech! Loved it so much!
Best man toast!
BC Family + Joe's Cousins
There is always a need to throw up WWP gang signs.

Bridesmaids + BC Fam

More BC Family.

Other half of Joe's BC Family + Sister in Law + Phil and Valerie (who just got married yesterday! Congrats!) 
Super attractive cousin photo.
As a side note: Jiu Ma, if you've made it this far in the post, Happy Birthday! We will never be able to thank you enough for all you have done for us and are honored to share our special day with your special day. We love you!
Happy Birthday to the cutest aunt (and obviously my favorite)!!!!!
One last kiss for good measure.