Got Nothing But Time

Man VS Beef

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* Ingredient update

I have never been a BBQ person unless you can call pastrami or Montreal’s smoked meat “BBQ” (rubs… smoke… low temperature… ?).   Honestly it’s one of those world’s-great-foods categories that falls into my list of things that’s mysteriously popular over largely unfounded reasons, like durian.  I’m very much aware that I’m not the most credited scholar on BBQ for someone who’s never really been to the South, except for New Orleans where we were blinded by other dashing things they do much better with.  On top of that, an one-time appearance to the annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party somewhere around 2004 or 2005… plus a couple of supposedly-happening BBQ joints in the city, pretty much sums up our entire BBQ experience up to date.  And all of which I can comfortably say, wasn’t all that.

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Bok Choy and Pork Ravioli

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Is it getting cold over there?  Wherever you are.

I woke up this morning today, and even in my post-dormancy haze I could sense the greyish tone seeping in from behind the curtains.  I stumbled into my bathroom to finish morning my wake-up routine, went on to open my bedroom door and was embraced by a slight breeze of cold air.  I let out a few sneezes, put on a pair of cozy pajama pants (and a sweater on my 12-year-old Maltese whose name is… no kidding, Dumpling) and thought, “I really want a Starbucks toffee nut latte now…”.  And just like that, summer is officially over.

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The Dreamiest of Dreamy Milk Toast

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OH boy, do I have a sob story for this one.  Well, not of me growing up with Hokkaido milk toast of course (If you love bread but don’t know what it is, I feel truly sorry.  It’s the dreamiest loaf of toast you could dream up.).  Those were only fond memories, VERY fond memories  like – me standing in the bakery, staring and chuckling like an idiot at the milk toasts on the racks why because they were also smiling back at me, and couldn’t stop myself from poking them with my fingers – kind of memories.  The sobbing part is how I got to successfully making them in my kitchen, which was a road paved with disappointments, heartbreaks and betrayals (supposedly-trusted recipes out there…how could you?).  Let me just start by saying that on Sep 19th at 10:45 pm, a loaf of bread died of a gruesome death on my kitchen counter.  And at 4:30 am the next day, another one followed.

This is how I killed them and atoned for it.

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TAIWAN BEEF NOODLE SOUP / NIU ROU MIAN

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(简体)(繁體)  UPDATES AVAILABLE * 2013/03/11: online sources for ingredients added!

I’m gonna start this by saying something that seems completely irrelevant…  The Japanese are marketing geniuses.  No, not geniuses. Gurus!  No no, NOT gurus.  GODS!!!  It’s like their entire way of life comes with a built-in marketing system that in comparison would reduce Don Draper down to nothing but just a raging alcoholic.  I mean really, something about their culture is so mesmerizing that…  OH look! Hello Kitty! (slap! FOCUS!) …that they’ve become easily one of the biggest culture exporters in the world, and most evidently in their success in pushing their cuisine into a world domination that’s stronger than the force of nature.  Not so long ago who would’ve thought that Americans, the genetically-hardwired loyal patrons of well-done white meat chicken, would pay $200 and UP to surrender their fork’n knife, pick up the chopsticks (some awkwardly) and chew down a piece of raw fish on vinegary rice then moan, “Mmmmm… UMAAAAMI…”.  Seriously!!  Forget X-men, THIS is where human mutation takes a giant leap!

I’m telling you, it’s crazy.  Japanese can sell anything like it has a halo on top of it.

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Golden Foundation

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I know that I may have been a little (a little?) explicit about my harsh feelings toward this sad little place called Beijing. But I realized that sucks-ass it may (or certainly) be, moving here is undeniably a blessing in disguise when it comes to how my cooking has evolved. With all the convenience that came with living in New York, I would never have learnt about fresh pasta, layery biscuits, insanely flaky pies, crazy buttery brioche, plus many more that has yet to come next. And of course this, homemade golden broth. One may question if this is really worth its own post. Yes, yes it does. Because it’s NOT JUST your average chicken stock.

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Fancy a Meat Pie?

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What I have hea is a rawther nice British meat pie (This is OBVIOUSLY accent, not typos… don’t be an arse about tit).  Eva since I overcame my fear in baking (sort of…), I admit that I’ve gone a bit bonkers!  What to pie next?  What to pie next?  Out of all the brilliant recipes out thea, this one has somehow stick.  For one it looks bloody delicious, absolutely pukka!  And second I believe it’s pure fate.  First I saw it on the tele when they were talking about British street foods, and then a magazine featuring the exact same thing LIT’erally fell on my lap.  Two makes it a sign.

…Is it as difficault to read as it tis to write in a Brit accent….?  I have new found respect for Lindsay Lohan.  Oooh sod it!  I give up…

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Forgive Me I Have Pie-d…

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The only equivalent comparison in life to this would be:  In our last two years in New York when we were practically cast out of Manhattan by elitism (FINE, high rents) and moved to… Jersey City where there was a most pathetic looking, hicks-Ahoy karaoke bar right around the block.  With more conviction than I withheld on my wedding day I said to Jason, “IF we EVER raised even the SLIGHTEST idea of walking into this place, it is THE moment that we’ve been “Jersified” and must pack up and move back in the city immediately!”  We survived Jersey and never did walk into that karaoke bar.  But instead THIS happened here.  My cue that says I have been in YET another dump for far too long that – I – made – a – PIE!!!

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Taiwan in a Pot

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I mean, really.  Taiwanese or not, if looking at this doesn’t induce some watering in the mouth, I’m afraid we don’t have anything in common.  Just imagine that gelatinous pork belly coated in DARK, CARAMELLY AMBER SAUC… wait.  It looks more like blurry, grainy, monotone photo that’s seen too much UV light?

Ooooh… haaa.. ha… you know… Instagram being SO happening and all… ha.. I thought it’d be cool to do a little “retro” look.  Just kind of keeping up with the tech world… kind of thing…  BUT HEY, not fond of distorted view of the world behind diffused lenses?  OK.  We’re back.

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