February 27th, 2008
Like religion, sweet or savory dumplings can be found in almost every part of the world and they go by many names. In the Latin world, they are known as empanadas; ravioli to the Italians; pirozhki to the Russians; pierogi to the Polish; taquitos to the Mexicans; mandu to the Koreans; wontons or jiaozi to the Chinese, the list goes on and on. A dumpling is nothing more than a small parcel of food encased in dough, pastry, batter, leaves or paper. After being carefully wrapped the packages are then cooked using dry heat, steam, boiling water or oil.
It may come to a surprise, but your average Japanese citizen eats more gyoza than sushi. For me, one of the first and the last thing that I do when I travel to the other side of the Pacific is to order a bowl of ramen, a sizzling plate of gyoza and an ice cold Japanese beer to wash it all down. Continue Reading »
February 14th, 2008
Chocolate Truffles Recipe
Chocolate. Ah yes! One of life’s last remaining affordable luxuries (soon to be extinct). The best thing about chocolate (besides subsiding PMS) is that it comes in countless forms, allowing us to enjoy it no matter where we are or the time of day. Cakes of all sizes, cookies, drinks from the very hot to the nearly frozen, melting fondue, frothy mousse, a crunchy bar or smooth ice cream; all of it chocolate.
Produced from beans of the cacao tree, chocolate originated in South America but now grows in Africa, the West Indies, as well as tropical parts of the United States and Far East. It is the phenylethylamine (PEA) found in chocolate that is said to improve one's mood. Released when you "fall in love" (whatever that means), PEA is commonly referred to as the “love drug.” PEA works through dopamine and is a potent mood enhancer and anti-depressant. As the saying goes: chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment.
February 11th, 2008
Mojito. Not too long ago, I discovered this refreshing, minty, sweet, ice cold cocktail. In a pursuit of perfection, I have spent countless hours on a quest for something to satisfy every taste bud in my mouth. As a result, I found this classic Cuban cocktail and have since made it my summer beverage of choice. Don't get me wrong, I have many favorite adult beverages, but we will save that for another post.
I know some of you are thinking, why this summer lush in middle of February? Yesterday in celebration of couple of friends' birthdays, we decided to try out a Cuban restaurant on the Coast Highway. It was a very warm winter day, even for San Diego's standards. The smell of the food was permeating, as was the live Cuban music in the background. The company was great, so naturally the only thing that can enhance the mood even more would be a mojito. It seemed to be the perfect place for the perfect drink. However, what I got was a mojito suitably lavish on the lime and the mint but a sub par on flavor. Perhaps it was the [bad] luck of the draw, so I ordered another while singing in my head "Wish I was a baller, wish I was taller..."thinking that my luck would change. But to no avail; something was not right and I was baffled. Cubans are prided on their exotic creations and spicy girls. Who made these drinks? Joe Schmoe? It's not like I am ordering this drink at a dance club or a sports bar; there is no big line at the bar so I shouldn't have to worry about the bartender lacking on the dose of love being put into the muddling process. I tip for more TLC Papi. I mean this is a traditional Cuban restaurant and the food was great so the last thing I expected was a disappointment on the mojito. Continue Reading »