Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring has arrived

In winter, the sky turns dark by 5pm. I often leave office feeling so tired because it feels like I have been working till very late. Last Friday I noticed the sky was not totally dark when I left office by 6pm. I sensed spring.

So..Spring has finally arrived in NY on the weekend. I was so happy to go out without wearing coat/ heavy jacket, I put on big smile a kid going to visit Disneyland.

I finally can start cooking again. I hibernate in winter. I seldom cook in winter because it was too cold to prepare food and washing up. My office is located next to Korean town, I didn't want to walk so far to get food in winter. So I had been eating mostly Korean food for lunch and still..takeaway for dinner the whole winter. I am officially sick of Korean food, I can't even look at it anymore.

Today I left office at 6pm and the sky was still bright *jumping up and down*

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Ox Year

Happy Year of Ox. May the year of Ox brings good health, happiness, wealth, peace and joy to everyone!

Chinese New Year will not complete without Pineapple Cookies, I was lazy to make, but I couldn't find in Chinatown nor in Malaysia Restaurants. Hence I decided to make it last minute. I initially planned to have CNY Eve Dinner at restaurant. But since I was going to bake Pineapple cookies, I decided to cook too.

I began preparing pineapple jam on Saturday. I decided to make cookies on Sunday.

After pineapple jam, I moved on to the crabs. I bought a dozen of crabs to make corn and crab soup and fragrant roll. The crabs were so small, I spent about 1 hour peeling the crabs.

On Sunday I began working in kitchen since 11 am, made breakfast, then started pineapple cookies. The cookies are so delicious.

I was so tired, spent about 7 hours to make cookies plus 5 menus for CNY Eve dinner, everything from scratch.

Crab and Corn Soup.

A must have for CNY Eve dinner. Fish or "yue" symbolises abundance and excess. The phrase to wish each other "nian nian you yue" means excess every year.

Braised 1/2 duck with soy sauce and rock sugar.

Fragrant rolls, this is a must have in my family. It takes a lot of effort to make. It is made with mince pork, mince prawn, crab meat, shallots, carrots, jicamas, mushrooms and 5 spice powder.

I made some fragrant rolls with salted egg yolks inside. They are so delicious, I love anything with salted egg yolks. I can only find Cooked Salted Eggs in Asian Supermarket here, they are yucky, the egg yolks are so mushy. Last year I bought a pack and I thought it was spoiled. I bought another 2 different brands and they all had mushy yolks, I ended up throwing all 3 packs. This is the second time I made my own salted duck eggs. I don't know what kind of duck eggs are they, I bought them from a fine food store. The duck eggs are the size of chicken eggs, and the yolks are not bright orange.

Oyster mushroom with snow peas.

It looks like a lot of food but everything was quite small portion, we don't have a lot of leftover, except for fragrant rolls. I still have about 10 rolls in fridge, yummy.

Jon's 30th Birthday

Jon's big 30 was 2 weeks ago. I wanted to order designer cupcakes but I couldn't find pretty designer cupcakes in NY. So I just got mocha cake from Korean town.

We went to celebrate his birthday at Bar Americain, one of Bobby's Flay's restaurants (America Iron Chef). Initially we wanted to go Babbo, one of Iron Chef Mario Batali restaurants. However, the place was always full and reservation is one month in advance.

Despite of the crisis, Bar Americain was crowded. The food was good but not fantastic. Pizza with bacon and roasted garlic was awesome. Jon loved his steak. I didn't like my rack of pork, I expected pork ribs. We had soufflé for dessert, we were notified it would take 10 minutes. However we had to wait longer as the soufflé collapsed, lol. It was expensive an dinner but it was a good experience.