Sunday, June 5, 2016

An Overdue Update: BBQ, Birthday, and a Baby

It's been awhile since I've updated the blog, but as we settle into our new house and I have some more time, I've decided to give it another go.

So friends - let's catch up.

Last post, I bought a house in NJ, and then spent most of the fall working on it. 

In October I got to help co-host my sister-in-laws baby shower (I was in charge of food), with a menu consisting of wontons with chili oil, marinated cucumber salad, chicken satay, and pork belly BLT sliders on homemade Parker house rolls. Ask me to make you Parker house rolls - they're tasty.

Another Giants fan getting added to the clan.
Re-imagined BLT: Bourbon glazed pork belly, sun-dried tomato spread on a fresh Parker house roll.
Then in December - my niece was born!
Nugget, only a couple days after birth.
At the end of the year - we went to Taiwan.
Crossing the bridge to what was a pretty tough hike in Taroko Gorge!
Eat with Daddy Yu's Family.

Eat with Grandma and Grandpa Kung.
Eat tasty beef noodle soup.
On this trip, Joe and I were constantly asked when we were going to have kids. Grandparents want to be great-grandparents, and family members want to see a cute mixed baby. We kept mum about our plans.

Then we went to Japan and ate sushi at 5:45 in the morning, after waiting since 3:30 a.m.
Raw fish for breakfast? YES PLEASE.
In February, Joe and I hosted our first Chinese New Years / Super Bowl!
Feast from the East.
Am I glowing in that picture?...because February was also when Joe and I found out...
I was pregnant! With our Little Monkey! (Who will have to be a Red Sox fan, unfortunately,)
We told my parents when Liz was back for a weekend, and told Joe's family over Easter.
I tried to capture the surprise, we got everyone ready for a photo, and I said, on on the count of three say, "Vicky's Pregnant"... As you can see, everyone just smiled for the photo...until someone said..."Wait, really?"
In April we did a babymoon in Nashville.
I could eat Loveless cafe biscuits all day.
We did a cave tour to walk off some of the mass biscuit consumption.
In April the nugget also came to visit us.
Wow she's growing fast!
May happened and now June. I got to throw my first BBQ, turn 29, and tell the world about Little Monkey!
Ribs in the BGE are $.
Have to have Mama Yu style corn.
Sausage sliders with onions and peppers.
Shrimp skewers.
Steak tips marinated in garlic, soy, balsamic, and maple syrup.
Cake TIME!
Group photo!
Three (one was hiding) generations of Kung women :)

Family Love.

Our wonderful cake made by our local bakery.
Making a wish!
It's a....GIRL!
So that's what's happened over the last 8 months. Now that we're all caught up, get ready for some more food posts as our garden comes in!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Two Infinity and Beyond

Gags, please don't kill me for this picture, but I love it, because it's us in our goofy bubble.
Last night Joe said to me, "Tomorrow we'll have purchased our first home together and I'll be a two-year veteran of marriage." That's been our on-going joke these past couple of weeks, Joe keeps saying, "Well, I bought you a house for our two year anniversary, I'm setting the bar high, this is going to be hard to top."

So in case you didn't know, that's the big news for year 2. Joe and I bought a house in Rutherford, NJ. We're closing on it today, wish us luck, I'm trading in fancy dinners for home repairs.

Fancy dinner example: crabs at PQ Dungeness Island. Apparently 1 crab is good for two people, if you can't tell, I ordered us a crab each.
Between work and home buying, things have been hectic in the Yu-Gagnon household, so hectic that I practically (actually) forgot we had an anniversary coming up. Joe surprised me yesterday with tickets to see "Fun Home" at the theater we saw our first Broadway show together and then took me out for dinner at Bar Boulud (good effort on his part, but it's not on my list of recommendations). Me? I have no idea where I put the card I bought months ago and ran to the local bookstore yesterday to pick up a gift that had once caught my eye.

Why Joe decided not to look at my camera, despite my yelling "SELFIE", is beyond me.
If that doesn't summarize what Year 2 of marriage has been, I'm not sure what does. Sometimes I'm not sure why he wanted so badly to marry me, I mean my sweet and sour chicken is good, but it's not that good (or is it?). Either way, I'm thankful, thankful that this guy is willing to listen to me complain about work, be my guinea pig for recipes, have random dance parties with me, and even practice boxing with me (which consists of me popping him in the face and if he even brushes me, I start whining).

I was with a friend recently, who said it sounded good to be me and damn straight kids, it's good to be me. Wonderful family, good health, loving husband and now a chance to understand what it means to be "house poor".

Joe, happy two years. Two infinity and beyond. I love you and I can't wait to pop open a bottle of Frexienet (our Cava of choice from our honeymoon) and celebrate home ownership with you.

For everyone who isn't Gags, you can now clean off the vomit on your floor.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Recipe: Chorizo Hash with Sous Vide Eggs

A touch of habanero hot sauce takes it to a whole other level!
Chorizo Hash with Sous Vide Eggs!
Serves 2 (but easy to half and make for 1!)
Special equipment: Sous Vide (if you have!)

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Russet potatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion (diced)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic or 2 sprigs of garlic scape (if you can find it)
  • 1 link of chorizo (I use the uncured type, if you use the harder chorizo, just dice it)
  • Herbs of your choosing (I like rosemary and thyme)
  • Handful of cilantro
First, if you're going to sous vide your eggs, get your water bath started and set to 62.5°C. Once it reaches that temperature, gently put your eggs in for 1 hr. If you don't have a sous vide - try making a 6 minute egg (boil water, drop down to simmer, put in egg, time for 6 minutes and then run under cold water). If all fails - make some over easy eggs.
Nice not bath for my lovely eggs.
Pre-heat a non-stick pan over medium flames with about 1-2 T of olive oil. Peel and dice your potatoes into 1 cm cubes. Get them into the pan and toss them in the oil. Continue to toss them every couple of minutes and allow them to cook through and slightly brown.
Any breakfast that starts with potatoes is off to a good start.
As you cook your potatoes, get the rest of your ingredients ready!
Mise en place like a boss!
Once the potatoes have cooked through, toss them into a bowl with a little salt and half of your chopped or dried herbs. Seasoning potatoes while they're warm gives them a great flavor.

In the pan that the potatoes just came out of, put down your chorizo with your garlic and break it up into small pieces.
The smell of chorizo is intoxicating...or maybe it's the garlic.
Once the chorizo is broken up and 75% cooked through. Add the red pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes and add the onion. I always find that if I don't stagger it, the onions are mush before the pepper finished cooking.
Onions and peppers are a breakfast's best friend.
Once the onions and peppers are about cooked through, throw the potatoes back in. Add some salt, pepper, and the rest of the herbs along with your cilantro!

Toss it all together and divide into two plates. Keep warm if you need to, if not, run your eggs under cold water for 30 seconds (so you can work with them) and crack 2 eggs on top of each plate. Garnish with hot sauce and some extra cilantro.

DELICIOUS.

Love when the yolk oozes over the potatoes.
Enjoy with a friend (or significant other)!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Recipe: Buttermilk Waffles (BC 4th Fest Style!)

This past long weekend, we had the pleasure of hanging out with part of our BC family. Joe and I volunteered to make breakfast for everyone Saturday morning, and the clear hit were the waffles. They're flavorful, crunchy and fluffy all at the same time!
Not the best photo, but I have many people who can vouch that they were delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 C AP flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1T granulated sugar
  • 1t salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 C) melted unsalted butter
  • 3 room temperature eggs
  • 1 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  1. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt into one bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine cooled butter with eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. I find the easiest way to do this is to beat the eggs, drizzle in the butter until combined, add vanilla, and then drizzle in butter milk until combined.
  3. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Let sit one minute for the mixture to expand (remember when you mixed baking soda and vinegar together and it would volcano? Buttermilk will cause the same reaction because theoretically you can make buttermilk with milk that's been curdled with a bit of vinegar).
  4. Load about 3/4 C to 1 C into a hot waffle maker! I personally like to let it go for about 4 minutes. Makes about 3 waffles.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

SanFran: Top 10

As we rode our bikes back from Sausalito, Joe proclaimed. "I can see why people live in San Francisco. It's nice here."

As with Seattle, we did a lot, and ate even more. Here's my SF 10.

I'll admit it's probably not worth the wait, but if you can grab a table at State Bird Provisions, I'd go for the experience. It's basically American Style Dim Sum, but I liked it (grab the chicken liver mousse!). The ice cream sandwich pictured above was on point.
Some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge are via a bike path on the way there! Would highly suggest renting a bike and riding over the bridge. You can take the ferry back from Sausalito (a town on the other side of the bridge), or if you're feeling energetic...ride back!
PPQ Dungeness Island - the salt and peppercorn crab is delicious. Add some garlic noodles and papaya salad and you have a mouthwatering meal.
This was at Jacuzzi Winery; I would highly suggest taking a wine tour in Sonoma! We used Valley Wine Tours and I really enjoyed it (they even provide a nice picnic lunch)! Be careful, as you continue to drink, you'll find the need to buy more and more wine (and in my case, join a wine club).
The Kouign Amann at b. patisserie was delicious! Great pastry shop!
La Tacqueria. I know, if a place sells tacos, it's a tacqueria, but you have to find LA Tacqueria. Delicious tacos, but very filling so don't order too many!
Street art in the Mission is awesome! We walked down Balmy St. and enjoyed all of the graffiti.

Liz knows I love donuts, so she took me to Dynamo Donuts! I had no idea, but if you google "Best Donuts in the US" it will usually show up on the list! Good looks little one.

Sightglass Coffee. The best coffee I had in SF.

Our meal at Saison, which will ultimately get its own blog post. It's probably hard to justify going back because of the price tag, but I did thoroughly enjoy my meal here (thanks Daddy!).

Overall, we had a great time sightseeing and eating our way through San Francisco. It's definitely a different pace (read: slower pace) on the West Coast and I can see how people must enjoy that. I wonder if when they come to NY, they think we're all just crazy. Since one of my best friends is going to move there and Liz will be there for another year, Joe and I have enough excuses to visit again.

As some quick notes of other places we hit up:

  • Izakaya Kou: If you need to wait for State Bird, go across the street to Izakaya Kou and get some yakitori.
  • Mr. Holmes Bakeshop: Had the infamous "cruffin", but if you've had a cronut, you've had a cruffin. Good, but nothing to write home about.
  • Pier 39 to just look at the massive number of sea lions that hang out there
  • Mazarine Coffee: Solid cup of coffee, but Sightglass was better (but Milstead in Seattle was the best!)
  • Hogwash: Great place to get some sausages and beer. Pretty reasonably priced as well.
  • Bi-Rite Creamery: I don't love ice cream in general, so I'm not a good judge, but my sister seems to think it's amazing.
  • Hog Island Oyster Co: Oysters are fresh and it's nice to sit outside looking out to the water, but it's overpriced for what you get.
One last picture to close out the trip to SF and the whole reason Joe and I went to the West Coast:
Liz graduated from Berkley! Congrats Lil' One!