FoodieWeds' 1st Thanksgiving

So with the hiatus, I also never got to chance to post about Thanksgiving.  And since Christmas food is pretty much a repeat of the Thanksgiving meal, what a perfect time to post this now.  I hosted for the first time with my in-law's which means I made my first turkey!  In previous years, I always ended up helping my mom out but for the first time, it was all me...fanning the smoke detector and all.

It took days to search for a decent turkey recipe and my end result was actually a recipe using turkey breasts, so I took a risk.  After multiplying the recipe enough to fit the cute 8lb. turkey, I felt confident the Rosemary-Peach Glaze would turn out okay!  While cleaning the turkey, I discovered my little turkey from Target didn't have legs!!  No drumsticks, no wings, nothing to tuck under!  After some serious pondering, I figured it was just one of those turkeys where they chop off the legs and sell it separately as turkey drumsticks, but man...that's where all the dark meat lives!  Part of me was relieved because I couldn't find kitchen twine to tuck them in anyway.  Anyway, the whole process was very straight-forward.  I brined the turkey in an apple cider mixture (see recipe) in the morning then made the glaze right before the turkey was headed for the oven.  Butterball houses a really helpful website to determine your roasting time as well as other various cooking methods for a turkey.  Definitely worth bookmarking.  My only suggestion is to chop up the frozen peaches in a food processor so it gets a good puree going then the glaze will really stick to the turkey.  My hand chopped peaches still worked and ended up being good topping for the turkey slices.  Peter ended up loving the turkey, as did the in-laws and myself, so I'm definitely saving this and making it for years to come.  Reviews also say you can use other frozen fruits like apricots, pineapple, etc.

I broiled the turkey for the last 15 minutes, hence one really burnt half.

My next dish was one of my favorites - deviled eggs.  I can't go a Thanksgiving without it and it's so easy and quick to make.  The recipe I used is pretty basic, but I always add in real bacon bits.  Be sure to watch the amount of salt you add since the bacon itself is already salty.  That was my one mistake this time around.

I also can't go without yams.  I sound like a broken record now but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so my must-have list is quite long.  My aunt makes the best yams but since I didn't have her recipe, I searched for something similar and I must admit that it's quite comparable!  Peter even became a fan of yams after I made this dish!

Starting a family (just me and Peter, that is) and finally hosting meals and dinners is a big milestone.  Hosting Thanksgiving is an even bigger deal and I'm happy to finally start saving these recipes that will soon become traditional Thanksgiving dishes during the holidays.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

(also pictured and made by my sister-in-law: corn, green beans, brussel sprouts (yum!!), stuffing, and cornbread.  also pictures and made by me but didn't make the cut: mashed potatoes and sweet mashed potatoes)


Some Southern Comfort

Well, I'm a Cali girl born and raised so I honestly don't know much about soul food or comfort food or anything in the South but our friends invited us over for brunch a few months ago and among the many dishes he served, one of them was Sausage and Biscuits.  I instantly fell in love and decided that I had to attempt this plate and so I did.  I have now made this dish twice which means this recipe is a keeper.  It takes about an hour to complete and doesn't require many additional ingredients aside from the typical spices that you should already be stocked with.  The two times that I have made this, I cheated and used pre-made biscuits that you pop into the oven for 10 minutes but I'll give them a shot from scratch some time soon.  The buttermilk biscuit recipe is also on the same page as the sausage and biscuits, so enjoy.  I must admit, this has been one of my most proudest and most delicious dishes so do give it a try!


Nachos and Lots of It

Sorry for the month long hiatus!  The last month was filled with a trip to Vegas, my birthday, Thanksgiving, then a trip to LA and Maui.  It was fun-filled indeed, but really didn't leave many nights to cook a meal.  Last night was nice to finally get back into my kitchen and whip up something nice.  Well, I pulled a fast one and just put together my usual steak salad.  It's our attempt to eat healthy after eating out so much lately.  Since it was nothing new, I do have a vault of old meals I've cooked and just haven't blogged about.  So with that said, I give you.....nacho night!!  This was a massive platter that could have easily fed 4 people.  Do note that the pretty guacamole was proudly homemade!  I've kept a recipe for a few years now so I don't remember where I got it from, but it's pretty standard and more importantly, really yummy.

3 avocados
1 lime
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup diced onions
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

And you just mix it all together!


We Love to Brunch

With a 9 to 5 work schedule, it's hard to get a good sit-down breakfast or brunch during the work week which is why Peter and I love making brunch at home on the weekend.  This was is very basic but can you see how pretty those pancakes are?!!  Thanks to our $19 griddle from Black Friday last year, the pancakes turned out perfectly golden.  Also, that cup of coffee you see is a homemade latte from our espresso machine that I bought on woot several years ago.  It's still going strong!!


Burger Night

I have lost count of how many burger nights we've had.  It's so easy yet so delicious and everytime, it's something different.  In this photo, we have a thick slice of gouda with a fried egg and homemade french fries!  Other times, we've had grilled onions and/or grill mushrooms and just tonight, Peter came up with a kimchi burger.  The possibilities are endless!!

I love making fries.  These were cut by hand but we also have a potato slicer (dicer??) which I forgot to pull out.  Once deep fried in oil, I immediately add a handful of spices including the obvious salt and pepper, italian seasoning, seasoning salt and whatever else I feel like sprinkling on.

Oh, and we always, always have to be stocked with dill pickles (not pictured).


Five Spice Chicken and What Is a Star Anise

Five Spice Chicken is a dish I learned about through eating numerous times at a restaurant near work, Pho Garden.  Our team likes to caters from there because it comes in easy-to-serve plated portions and their Five Spice Chicken with Steamed Rice is a pretty popular choice.  On a whirl, I decided to Google the recipe and discovered it wasn't too hard.  The speed bump came when I had to search for tumeric and star anise because I had no idea what those ingredients were.  Tumeric is a ground yellow spice that you can actually find at Target and Star Anise looks like this...

Luckily, my mom had both so I did a little shopping in her kitchen and took those supplies home with me.  The rest of the recipe was pretty easy and straight-forward although I blame myself for a minor screw up.  The instructions said to add toasted star anise powder into the chicken which I completely missed so I threw the whole chunk into the mixture then to fix my mistake, I crumbled it up with a spoon and tossed in tiny bits of star anise.  Once we ate it, I realized this was a boo-boo because the bits stuck to the chicken when we grilled it so when you ate chicken, there was a chance you ate a star anise bit.  The taste is overwhelming.  The chicken itself was pretty good although I would reduce the amount of spices added.  The sodium notch was turned way high and it also makes for pretty smelly leftovers when you have to heat it up in the office kitchen!

To accompany the chicken, I found a simple and somewhat-tasty garlic noodle recipe to eat on the side.  I ended up substituting the sherry and rice wine for a teeny bit of Pinot Noir which seemed to work out okay.  Next time, I want a darker outcome like some garlic noodles I've seen and enjoyed in the past.  Overall, good experience and plenty of yummy (and easy) food.


Halloween Cake Pops

Don't be fooled - cake pops are simple and fun yet very time consuming!  I found some very helpful sites and videos that got me started but I actually had to start the previous night by making the cake, crushing it into tiny bits, mixing it with frosting, then letting it sit in the refrigerator.  On the day of my Halloween festivities, I started out by inserting the lollipop sticks and letting that sit awhile longer.  A few hours later, I melted a bag of white chocolate chips which melted with a layer of liquid on top so it clearly didn't work out too well.  Luckily, I also had my bag of milk chocolate chips that actually let me cover 29 cake pops.  Once dipped, the chocolate didn't turn out as smoothly as I had hoped, but I covered most of them up with sprinkles or cookies & cream bits anyway so it wasn't a big deal.  I do enjoy baking so I would definitely try this again for another fun "holiday" but I would also make the cake pops a little smaller because I actually had 3 pops that dropped from the stick since it was so big!!  I should also note that not only is this a pretty and aesthetically pleasing dessert, it's really yummy too!

Love from the Oven - step by step photos
How to Make Cake Pops - short video



Who says you can't have macaroni & cheese for dinner???  This easy recipe didn't require much outside of what we already had at home.  As long as you have things like boxed macaroni, breadcrumbs, and flour in your pantry, you should be pretty much set.  Oh and cheddar cheese too!  I even dug up some bacon that I cooked up, crumbled and added into the dish - I highly recommend it.

We had some garlic bread from a previous spaghetti night, toasted that baby up and voila!  The meal itself is pretty rich so you will definitely have leftovers but it's pretty greasy and oily.

Next time, I'm definitely going to try adding in some ham or crab/lobster meat

Kabobs & Friends

When you get home from work at 6 and you have friends over for dinner, you really need to just whip together a delicious yet quick meal.  On this night, the answer was kabobs.  Luckily, my husband was on call to slice and dice everything up including the eggplant, squash, white onions, mushrooms, and chicken then once I got home, I mixed it all together with some lemon and italian seasoning.  To cook it, I placed the kabobs in the oven for about 15 minutes to give it a head start, then I took it out and grilled in on my lovely Griddle.  Pretty, right?

The yummy sauce at the bottom of the photo is a Greek yogurt-based Tzatziki Sauce.  The main ingredients are plain yogurt, cucumber, and dillweed - pretty easy stuff.



Well, I really couldn't think of a good title for this one.  A quiche sure does sound fancy, but it's so easy to make!  Mix together some spinach, random assortment of shredded cheeses, eggs, and mushrooms then pour it into a pie crust and voila!  You get this......

Tip - Be really patient and wait for the quiche to harden.  Leftovers are also really good and for 2, you'll have plenty of leftovers! 


House Tour!

Hi everyone. We were recently featured on Apartment Therapy with a full house tour! We were really excited to get on the House Call a few weeks before but when the editor at Apartment Therapy gave us the chance to do a full tour, we jumped at the chance. Being featured had been something that we always wanted to do from the moment we got the keys to the place and bought our first piece of furniture. Enjoy!

Enter House Tour


Sushi in Japantown? Sure!

As residents of Japantown, we sure do love our share of sushi.  I remember returning from our pasta-filled Italian honeymoon and literally eating Japanese/Sushi 5 days in a row.  It was magical.  

Making sushi rolls was never something I truly cared for and especially now living in Japantown, it was easy to just walk across the street and grab a bite.  We wandered to a local Arts & Wine festival where we discovered the Maki Sushi Ki booth.  After viewing a quick live demo, we were easily sold that making sushi was a simple process and that we should embrace our love for it.  

And so the journey begins.  Our grocery trip totaled ~$25 which included sushi rice, sushi vinegar, seaweed, tuna, and salmon.  Already, that's about the price of a dinner for two at Kazoo down the street, but I had to consider that the rice and seaweed would last several meals.  Making the rolls was actually a lot of fun and easy as expected.  Since the fish stays raw, the only long process is cooking the rice and mixing and folding it over so it dries and cools completely.  To add, I was determined to make a special orange sauce to drizzle on top of my rolls and thank goodness I found an easy recipe with only 3 ingredients.  Even though it's time-consuming and expensive, it was a fun meal and definitely good team work with my husband.  

If you're ever interested in make rolls at home and don't care for those other sushi schemes with the messy bamboo mats, definitely check out this kit.  You can buy both a small and large sushi maker for $30 on their website.  Have fun!


Fiesta Friday

In honor of this happy Friday, I wanted to feature a recent taco night we had.  I love taco nights.  It's quick, it's easy, and it's delicious!  We also love Chipotle so we're always equipped with a bottle Tabasco Chipotle sauce.  Yes!

I also got a little experimental and made this with our scoop chips.  Great idea for an appetizer platter!  Excuse the dirty nails, blah.


This one time, in Seattle...

...I had a late night snack at a random hole-in-the-wall named Po Dogs.  Now I still can't remember if it was my level of intoxication that made me do it, but I ordered the PB Dog and I can easily say that the decision was a good one.  It was your classic hot dog topped with peanut butter, sliced banana and chopped peanuts.  All the flavors mixed so well together; I just wish I had more.  

The reason I write this post is because I was sitting at my hair salon about a month ago and going through the latest People magazine when I stumbled upon this page featuring 4 unique hot dogs, one of them being the one and only PB Dog from Po Dogs!!  I was so excited I knew I had to feature it on the blog and give them some well-deserved props.  So if you're ever in Seattle, check out Po Dogs near/in Capitol Hill and give one of their popular hot dogs a try!

Po Dogs Website



To Be Italian...

If you didn't know, Peter and I went off to Italy for our honeymoon.  Our meals pretty much consisted of pizza or pasta and always a glass of wine.  Once we came back home, we decided to skip Italian food for a good while, but not just because we were sick of it, but because we knew it couldn't even compare.  The day came when we finally craved a simple pepperoni and mushroom pizza, also known as "salame e funghi" even though we copped out and actually used pepperoni and not salami.  

I knew I had to start out by making the crust from scratch.  In this case, I wanted a quick recipe that I wouldn't have to refrigerate for hours before adding the toppings.  It was indeed easy but noticed it was just too sticky but I guess it made the dough easy to spread and stay in its pie shape.  After that was in place, we added the sauce (Trader Joe's), cheese (just 1 pack of shredded Italian cheeses), sliced portobello mushroom, and pepperoni.

The recipe calls to bake it for 15-25 minutes although we let it sit and continue for at least 30 minutes.  End result: it was too soft and doughy and definitely not thin enough.  Next time, I might go for a recipe that doesn't require yeast and probably just go for a more complex recipe then go the whole refrigerate-for-4-hours route.  I do have to say that we toasted the leftovers the next day and it tasted way better, as if it was actually fully cooked this time.


All You Need is Jack

Jack Daniels, that is.  Before I slathered some original Jack Daniels BBQ sauce all over the rack of ribs, I marinated the meat with some salt, pepper, seasoning salt, dried oregano, and dried parsley.  This ended up being pretty important to have both a dry rub and the BBQ sauce cuz it gave it an extra yummy kick once you licked all the sauce off!  The meat was also really nice and juicy which I realized was because I wrapped the rack in foil otherwise it would eventually dry up in the oven.  About 1.5 hours into the cooking, I unwrapped it from the foil then let it continue sitting for another 30 minutes, so approximately 2 hours total.  Perfect time and perfect marinade which got me the thumbs up to make this dish again!  We added a side of broccoli and potato salad for a delicious Sunday dinner.



Everyone knows pudding is a fun word to say, but who knew baking bread pudding could be so easy?  We wanted to make a dessert and bread pudding recently became a favorite so I looked up a recipe and found one with 4.5 stars on Allrecipes.com.  Want to hear another plus?  All the ingredients were already in the house!!  Bread, butter, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon!  If you're a baker, you should already have all those ingredients in the house.  Instead of the optional raisins, I decided to chop up some bananas and throw it in there.  Turned out great!!  And to add, we made it healthier by using wheat bread since that's all we ever use here anyway.  Unfortunately, we got too hungry and scarfed down the dessert so I never got an after photo but here it is before I set it in the oven.  Really simple, even Peter could make it without my assistance.


A Weekend in the Wilderness

So apparently, my friends and I know how to whip up a good meal...or four.  This past weekend was spent in Groveland, CA which is about 30 miles from Yosemite National Park.  A group of 9 of us rented a lake house which literally had a lake in its backyard, equipped with a gorgeous dock, a pretty bench swing, a paddle boat, and kayaks.  After a long week at work, it was nice to sit on the dock reading a book with a beer, kayak across the lake, then play a game of 6-on-6 volleyball with some strangers.  The weather was perfect, the company was amazing, the activities made us feel oh-so-naturey, and the food was spectacular.

Our first meal was Saturday morning.  Long and Preety woke up early and put together this delicious breakfast with toast slathered with fruit and a yogurt sauce, along with eggs and potatoes.  You can bet there were mimosas involved as well.

After some reading and kayaking on the dock, it was finally time for lunch and it was our turn for this meal.  Peter and I put together our typical tri-tip salad, except it was more of just a steak salad.  We cleaned out that value pack of steak, that's for sure.  It was simple - just a box of spring mix, corn, walnuts, cheese, cranberries, croutons, and of course steak topped off with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  We used up two huge containers of salad which ended up being a perfect portion for 9-10 servings.

Then it was time for our 3 course meal by Jeremy and Jim.  Don't think this was a simple cabin trip type meal.  They spent the previous days brining and marinating their meats.  Yes, I learned what brining is!

Below are some pork belly skewers that were cooked on the grill.  If you know me, you know I love eating fat and anything that's burnt so I was in heaven.  We even got wine pairings for the entire meal - the pork belly ended up going really well with a chilled glass of Riesling.

It's hard to follow that appetizer, but they then revealed a butternut squash and arugula salad, chicken and veggie skewers, and lastly mushroom risotto in a portobello mushroom!  Wait, so there are mushrooms in the risotto which sits in another mushroom!  I was blown away.

And for the last course, we were served cardamom panna cotta.  I had no idea what cardamom was until now.  

The chefs somehow knew exactly what I enjoy eating and ended up throwing it all into this wonderful 3 course meal.  Superb guys!

And last but not least, our final meal before we all headed home.  Anya and Stacy put together a good old continental breakfast with your waffles, bacon, eggs, sausage, and apparently some special hashbrowns that are a secret recipe that they wouldn't share!  You can't have breakfast without mimosas so we all had a few glasses before it was time to clean up and start the 2.5 hour drive home.

Next up for the group, maybe a Tahoe cabin trip.  What delicious food can we create for that??


Oh My.....Ninja??

It's too bad I didn't make this sandwich but it was so good that I have to feature it on this site.  Vietnamese sandwiches are pretty popular.  The concept is pretty simple; you have a french roll, pate, grilled pork (or other meats), plus your typical veggies like cucumber and pickled carrots and daikon.  Clearly, the photo below is packed with a whole lot more than just grilled pork.  You've got your grilled beef, tofu, pork meatballs, lemongrass chicken, a fried egg and bacon!!!  To be honest, I'm sure I'm missing some ingredients on this list but my brain can't retain all the items!  So the sandwich was purchased from a food truck called Omininja which I now discovered is O Mi Ninja.  Like all other food trucks nowadays, you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook to find out where they're located which is around the San Jose/Sunnyvale/Fremont, CA area mostly.  Check them out if you're a local.  It's $8 for their loaded sandwich with a side of shrimp chips plus you need to try their spicy orange Ninja sauce!!


Fondue Fun

We're huge fans of fondue and the best fondue restaurant around is La Fondue which we save for birthdays or anniversaries since it can cost almost $200 out the door.  So when it came time for putting together our wedding registry, we knew an electric fondue was a must-have.  It wasn't until recently that we finally got a chance to use it.  Peter was in charge of handling the mushroom & wine broth and looking at the instructions, it seemed like an easy task for him.  The recipe was meant for a party of 6-8 so we tried cutting it in half for the two of us but Peter, my human calculator, learned the hard way that re-calculating cooking units is a bit more difficult.  The end result was that it never really thickened and the cheese didn't fully melt in with the wine broth but that didn't stop us from enjoying our meal.  Although it didn't end up perfectly, it has great potential for a re-do.  If my sweet tooth ever kicks in, I'm sure a chocolate fondue night isn't too far away!!

Snack Time - Smoked Salmon Goodness

The only thing missing is the c word.  I mean capers, people!

Really, all you need are crackers, a pouch/bag of smoked salmon (we bought ours at Trader Joe's), cream cheese, and capers (optional).  It's a delicious mid-day snack, especially with a nice glass of wine.


Apartment Therapy Post!

So when we first toured our Japantown townhouse, I already pictured where the couch was going, how to fill the space between the dining room and living room, and what direction our bed was going to face. I was also a big reader of the Apartment Therapy site and had aspirations of getting our house featured on the interior design website. Well, over the weekend I submitted a few photos of our place on their online form and this morning, we were featured as a "House Call". Better yet, I'll be working with the site to get a full House Tour going, which will feature 25-30 photos of the entire house and little interview with us. For now, the link to the House Call is below and I will post the link to the House Tour soon!



Coq Au Vin

My French cousins visited last summer and made this amazing dish, Coq Au Vin.  It's chicken cooked in red wine.  Don't let the name scare you off, it's actually a really easy dish to prepare.  I found a couple recipes on Allrecipes.com and ended up going with the one that I was easily able to alter and make my own (and also with ingredients that were easy to find).  For instance, I didn't use cheese and subbed the cornstarch with flour, didn't add in any tomatoes, and added in mushrooms and baby carrots.

Gotta say, I was pretty impressed with myself but I'll need to tip the bottle of wine a little more next time.  The heavy cream came on a little too strong so it'll help with add more flavor and just more sauce overall.

Peter gave the thumbs up so we'll give this another try in a couple of weeks!