Buck-what was that again?

Buck-what was that again?
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Buck-what was that again?

메밀 곡수!

Buckwheat noodle soup with chicken, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes.

My new lunch favorite. ’nuff said!

Tonsil Idol wannabe

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Okay, so maybe I love music. More than I will admit. Hand me some Xotic Effects reviews and I may or may not forget to read them. Hand me a good mp3 and soon I will be humming along.

Through the years, I’ve graduated from singing in the bathroom, to bawling my tonsils out while stuck in traffic on my work commute, to ‘entertaining’ my captive audience in our daily school bus runs.

“I know I won’t make Tonsil Idol, ever,” I’m known to tell my kids as they grimace painfully at my off-key singing, “so please just humor me, okay?!”

When we can’t get enough

When we can't get enough
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As I was saying, I make it a point not to order at a restaurant anything that we can easily cook at home. I consider it a waste, of money mostly, when I can order something fancy that I don’t or can’t cook at home instead.

Of course, there’re those times when we do chance upon something amazingly delicious (by picky eater standards) and we really, really want to stuff ourselves silly.

Like this chicken place, for instance. The first time we eat at any restaurant, we’re always careful not to order a lot. Just in case things don’t measure up to the picky eaters’ expectations. So I ordered just two servings of chicken wings. Each serving came with 8 – wings?

When we can't get enough

Seeing these, we were like, “Man, these have got to be the smallest chicken wings ever!” Immediately they conjured up images of the Christmas turkey Mickey brought home to his family in Mickey’s Christmas CarolMickey's Christmas Carol. That was how big of a turkey he could afford on the piddly pennies Scrooge paid him. A very sad bird indeed.

When we can't get enough

“Can we even call these chicken wings? They’re so tiny they probably came from premmie chicks!” my kids howled. Okay, let’s just call them ‘winglets’ then. So that’s 16 winglets total for the 4 of us which works out to be, er, 4 mouthfuls each. Which even if you’re not a young adult with a ravenous appetite is still pretty pathetic.

Dinner just became a snack.

What’s even crazier is that these chicken wings were crazy delicious!! As in licking-our-fingers-shamelessly-in-public crazy! I hope no one saw me. That’d be really embarrassing for someone who even eats her grapes, nuts, bananas, whatever with chopsticks or fork.

We would’ve ordered more but the menu warned that they’d only start frying on order so be prepared to wait 15 minutes (or something like that, I don’t really remember). We didn’t want to wait. So I called for the check.

Another surprise! I fell off my chair when I saw the damage. 너무 삐씨요! I swear I heard my credit card groan. Still we couldn’t stay away and went back a couple more times. By then, my credit card was really starting to protest, quite loudly. Small or downsized servings + big price gets the boot.

Okay, enough is enough. It’s off to the kitchen to churn out a ton of life-sized chicken wings ourselves. There, this should be enough for a real meal. Not to mention that no one can see us licking our fingers at home.

When we can't get enough

Knowing me, there’s no stopping at just one version. These are two of the many versions that have graced our dinner table since ✌. Wait, what was that? Did I hear my credit card laughing? Ho-ho-ho! Merry Christmas!

When we can't get enough

Saturday night live

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So one fine Saturday evening, a couple of my nosy neighbors decided to go check out the construction of a new home nearby. New homes are always an object of great interest around these parts.

These two elderly ladies were obviously so mesmerized by the design of the grant door hardware that they didn’t look where they were going and promptly landed in the ditch!

They escaped with light scratches and swore to leave construction sites alone in favor of staying home to watch Saturday night TV instead.

True story!

With or without?

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If you see me at the gym, you can recognize me by the fact that I do not have a pair of earbuds dangling from my ears. Well, I tried it once or twice – working out to the private sounds of a princeton reverb and such dancing on my eardrums.

Music is a great motivator, I agree, especially when you’re bending over backwards to work in an hour of exercise. But those wires dangling from my ears quickly started getting in the way of my movements. I was getting myself into knots. I don’t know how everyone else does it but I’ve had to do without them since. I miss my workout music!

Trip to the jeweler’s

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I recently took my watch into a jeweler’s store to have my old watch strap changed out for me. The nice people at the jeweler’s agreed to do it for me free of charge.

While waiting, I walked around the store and started browsing all that glitters and was surprised to see that they have Joy Jewelers police jewelry on sale. When I think of jewelry, I tend to think of them as the regular gemstones and accessories for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries.

I have to admit I had no idea there are specially designed themed rings and jewelry for folks who work in the service like the police and fire department. The designs are very meaningful gifts and would make wonderful gifts.

Although I only spent a few minutes in the store, it was fun peering at all those precious gems and fancy jewelry. Will someone please surprise me this Christmas with a gem-studded tiara that I can wear while cooking and doing the dishes?

The spice of life

The spice of life
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When we visit our regular Chinese dimsum restaurant, our server never fails to bring us a plate of freshly-cut Jalapeno chilies. We usually order noodles along with the dimsum. We dip our dimsum into Sriracha and eat our noodles with the chilies.

The spice of life

Lately the owner/head chef has been giving us lots of little “specials” – freshly-cut birds’ eye chilies from his own backyard, enough for us to take some home (see the little tub on the right). Apparently he grows a lot of his own veggies for use in his restaurant. He even promised to add a pot of his chilies to the little garden in his restaurant so we can come in and harvest them any time.

The spice of life

It’s no secret that I’m a spicy food lover. Real spicy, that is. Like many, I grew up eating spicy food and somewhere along the line, I must’ve inadvertently trained my brood to be the spicy food lovers too. They’ve come a long way since their younger days of having fire extinguishers on standby whenever they attempted spicy food.

You may have noticed small plates of fresh cut chilies peeking out in many of the food pictures I’ve posted. Chilies are pretty much a staple at all our meals. I don’t play favorites with my chili choices but I like ’em with a real kick. There’s a saying in our family: “If a chili ain’t spicy, it ain’t a chili, it’s a vegetable!”

The spice of life

Being an international person, I love my wasabi, gojuchang, tomyam and curries but I also love my chili-free days of pastas, pies, potatoes and tostadas.

Food sample love

Food sample love
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The highlight of our highly anticipated weekends is grocery shopping, and the highlight of that is undeniably the food samples. They say never shop on an empty stomach. But that’s exactly what we always do. Never fear though, we have an abundance of food samples to tide us over till our weekend lunch out.

I don’t always have a chance to snap pictures because those tasty morsels seem to go into my mouth faster than I can get my cellphone out. Here’s some of what we’ve sampled including Ritz cookies with a choice of salmon and artichoke dip (we bought the artichoke dip), Starbucks coffee (the homemade version), cheese and ham crackers, caramel popcorn (not just one popcorn but a whole paper cupful!) and yes, life-size Lindt chocolate candy!

food sample love

And this meatball which we’ve sampled many times. I don’t know what makes it so good but it’s, never mind, *drools*! I’ve been tempted to buy a bag more than once but not before I figure out how we plan to eat 150 meatballs (that’s how many are in a bag!).

food sample love

My first ever taste of Nutella! I see it on grocery shelves and I know many people swear by it. Well, I personally have never tried it but now that I have, I’ll have to say it makes this waffle come alive. Would I buy it? Maybe but I can’t see myself eating more than this mouthful either.

food sample love

I typically turn down food samples especially when the promoter is standing there with a pair of thongs and a tray of exposed chopped-up bits of what looks like last week’s party leftovers, waiting to plop one tiny piece on the palm of your hand as you walk by. Yuck, no thanks!

But here I’m looking forward to them every weekend. They’re life-size samples you can actually chew and taste. The gloved promoter prepares small batches of 5 to 10 samples and places them on paper cups on a tray. That way, you know they’re freshly prepared and no one has sneezed or coughed on them, for instance (eww!). The golden rule is that once you reach out and grab a cup, you can’t put it back, you have to take it. Makes sense, right?

The weekend’s coming up and you know what that means *wink*.

I’m coming for ya, tasty morsels!!!

The music class that wasn’t

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Once upon a summer, I took at music class in college. It wasn’t the kind of music class where you learn to play an instrument like a ukulele musicians friend. Surely that would take a lot longer than a summer to accomplish.

This class was about the history of music and we spent most of our class time watching music documentaries. It wasn’t as boring as you’d imagine. At least the air-conditioning in the classroom offered cool relief from the blistering heat outside.

Curry and flatbread

Curry and flatbread
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Every so often, you meet someone and you get to talking and inadvertently the topic heads in the direction of food. Isn’t that what usually happens? So much revolves around food these days that it’s hard to avoid exchanging notes about what’s good where.

While I’m not one to jump at food recommendations, no matter how good they may sound, there are times when we’re at loose ends and feeling a little plucky. That was the weekend we found ourselves at an Indian restaurant recommended by said someone.

Chicken curry was an obvious choice for us. The portion was somewhat smaller than expected. Still this was a curry bursting with all the traditional herbs and spices that make Indian curry so special. And the long-grained rice with distinct grains was very good.

We loved it. Our only mistake was forgetting to tell them we wanted our curry to be killer spicy. To our seasoned palettes, this curry was heat level zero although we did spy another diner drowning himself in water from eating this same dish.

curry

We ordered the highly recommended flatbread. It was crispy and tasted like flatbread but it didn’t jump out at us. The yogurt looked intimidating to me somehow, maybe because it’s second nature for me to dunk any sort of flatbread into curry. So dipping it in yogurt was a bit scary at first. It wasn’t bad but I still prefer the curry combination.

flatbread

And that was it. We left the place still hungry, of course. This always happens when we’re trying out a new restaurant. We like to play it safe in case the food doesn’t measure up to our expectations. After this meal, we went grocery shopping where there was ample opportunity to fill our tummies with food samples (more about this coming to a post near you).

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