Monday, July 25, 2011

Mary and the Two Boys

Bloody Mary's are an acquired taste.. some either love it, or some absolutely hate it,  but I only LOVE it when its made to my liking.. and that is usually only  when I make it.. not too much horseradish, not too sour and not too peppery.. just a good blend of tomato juice, horseradish, salt, pepper, lemon, and lots of vodka and a dash of Tabasco sauce with an olive garnish. I also have to be in the mood, it's not one of those drinks that I get drunk off of since its a bit on the heavy side.

When we have tailgating parties for a Pat's game, one of my customer's is known for bringing the best home made Bloody Mary concoction.  She signs up every year to bring it and it takes her a good amount of time to prepare the mix which she later fridges for 24 hrs. The crowd loves it!

During a weekend getaway to Martha's Vineyard, we stopped for a late lunch at the Fishbone's Grille and Waterfront Cafe before catching our departure ferry. It wasn't the best Bloody Mary that I had, actually a bit on the salty side, but the jumbo shrimps were colossal and they made for a nice photo. I also wished they served this $ 12.00 drink in a glass cup and not a plastic cup.. just sayin...

"Mary and the Two Boys"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Catering in Lowell

I've been catering for family and friends on the side.. pretty much for free or at a loss... I do it because I love it.  My cousin Pam has been harassing me to do something for real, as a side gig and my friend Nat and I think we would be awesome at catering.. I don't do too well with criticism though.

My other friend Sorya thinks we should go into the event planning business, between the two us, we can cook, we can decorate, we already have a bunch of supplies (tables, chairs, chafing dishes, stemware), she can do hair and I can do makeup, after all, I was honored to do one of my best friend's make up and hair for her WEDDING last year! My other friend Christine also keeps telling me how well she think I will do.

Sometimes when I think about it, I do have many friends that have specific talents and skills. I would outsource Armando, Poleen or Fish for photography, Mera for her floral design, and Alice for her awesome cakes.

As for now, I'm just happy with what I am doing and just cooking for pleasure and not so much of a financial gain... I can't handle the stress.. so I'm going to cook and entertain for fun!

Lo Mein, Fried Egg Noodles and Fried Eggrolls that I made for Monica's graduation party.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Phad Thai, Eggrolls, Noodles Galore!

Southeast Asian Cooking
Although I was born in the states, being born of Cambodian decent, I'm pretty much required to know how to cook the typical staples of Southeast Asian Cusines. Here are a few of my common dishes that I like to make
Loc Lac
Beef Loc Lac
"Mee Ka Thung" Fried Wide Noodles

Asian Pork Ribs
Hoisen Braised Pork Spare Ribs

Egg rolls
Banh Hoi w/ Eggrolls, Shrimp and Pork
Fried jalapenos
Calamari and Fried Jalapenos
Asian Wings
Spicy Cilantro Chili Chicken Wings

Fried Noodles
"Mee Cha" Fried Noodles with Shrimp
shrimp with head
Fried Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Head

Fried Spicy Shrimp with sweet chili
"Lhort Cha" with Sunny Side Up Egg

Beef and Seafood Noodle Soup

Lemon Grass & Kaffir"Krueng" Chicken

Goi Cuon
Shrimp and Pork
 "Garden roll", "Summer Roll" "Naim Chow" "Goi Cuon", "Spring Roll"
So many names for this well known dish.

Costa Rica Cuisine

 Costa Rica is by far my most favorite vacation destination so far. We spent 10 days backpacking the country and engaged in some of the most heart pounding experiences ever.

 Activities included waterfall rapelling, canopy zip lining, bathing in the natural hot springs, hiking volcanoes, snorkeling, horse back riding, fire dances and partying it up at the Beach Reggae Nights.

Waterfall Rapelling
Youth Hostel in Arenal, Costa Rica

Fried Empanada and Tamale

My backpack

Nachos, Grilled Chicken and Pico de Gallo

Costa Rican Fried Rice and Plantains

Beach in Montezuma

Breakfast: Lox and Schmear and Fried Plantains

Snorkeling Adventure

Imperial Beer and fresh exotic fruit

Montezuma at Night

Homemade bread at Puggo's

Beef Carpaccio at Puggo's
Puggo's In Montezuma Costa Rica was my favorite restaurant to eat at while we were there. It was recommended to us by a local expat that we met at bar.  I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about eating raw beef in Costa Rica, but the beef Carpaccio was amazing! We did not get sick at all! The fresh home made complimentary flat bread  was to diet for!

Huevos Ranchero

Family meal at Anamaya

Dim Sum in San Jose

Cooking in the Youth Hostel in San Jose

We met some amazing people at the youth hostels and on our excursion and enjoyed the country's local cuisine. We hope to go back soon!

This is a video of me Doing a Tarzan swing, if you listen carefully, you can hear me say, "Oh my F*ckin God!"

I Heart Indian Food

Kim's Chicken Tiki Masala
Photo Credit: Armando Ferreiras

Yes, I actually made the above meal. The professional photo was taken by my friend Armando, who is an amazing photographer, he can make anything look good!! :) It's chicken tiki masala served with basmati rice, garlic naan and chicken samosas. Can't forget the raita ! (Yogart)

Dosa at Priya Boston (in Chelmsford, Ma)

Although I didn't make that Dosa myself, I was surprised by the size of it. It came with the dinner buffet at Priya Boston (which is actually located in Lowell) when it was under the previous management.  The Mo and I like to go out for some good Indian brunch buffet every once in a while when I am too lazy to cook on the weekends.

My favorite Indian brunch is a place up north in Montreal called Buffet Maharaja.  It's been years since we have been there, but I still remember the taste of the freshly made dosas. and the wide selection of offerings in their buffet. I remember feeling like a little kid in a candy store.  For those of you who aren't familiar with dosas, they are are staple dish in Southern Indian, similiar to a thin pancake/crepe filled with potatoes and dipped into a sauce, I prefer mine with tamarind chutney.

For those of you who can't make it to Montreal, I also would recommend, The Pongal in Billerica, Ma.  They have a daily lunch buffet from 11:30-2:30 PM and a weekend buffet from 11:30-3:00 PM.  This place is very popular with the local Indian crowd so one can imagine that the recipes are fresh, authentic and delicious.  They also specialize in "Indo-Chinese", a fusion of Indian and Chinese food where they offer traditional lo mein, fried rice, Sichuan style dishes with an Indian flair.

The standard wait for the weekend buffet can range from 30 minutes to an hour. When we go, we try to get there early and be among the first to get seated to avoid the wait.
The Pongal Restaurant, Billerica, MA
I tried attempted to make Gobi Manchurian (Think Deep fried Cauliflower with a General Tso/Chili Sauce), I think I need to perfect it a bit more but it came out great!
"Gobi Manchurian", deep fried Cauliflower

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Workstations

I'd like to pretend that this is how my kitchen always looks, but the truth is.. its usually full of clutter. On the counter, you would normally find my gym bags, wristlet, keys, coupons, wallets, ID's, etc.. you know how it is.. on the back counter, I usually leave condiments, protein shakes, glasses lying around, I just wanted to take a pretty picture and pretended I had a kitchen that looked like it came out of a magazine.

In addition to my regular kitchen, I've had some makeshift kitchens when we were remodeling, or when we were camping.. or when I just didn't want to cook in the kitchen.
I was actually excited to get this for my 26th birthday from my cousin and aunt. Its an outdoor burner. I like to use it when I don't want to stink up my house. Some Asian dishes takes more than an Electrolux fan to blow out the strong smell.

Other Travels

I just renewed my passport and in the past 10 years, I've been to Cambodia and Jamaica twice, Visited Mexico, Costa Rica, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, and Mexico. I guess Montreal Canada doesn't really count but we did that too. Although we had loads of fun, my biggest regret is not taking enough pictures of the local cuisine.


Cancun, Mexico

Caribbean Islands

  Jamaica 2nd time around, Spring Break with the Girls