I love my new piece. He is heavy but so cute. I named him Rick the Ram.
I love my new piece. He is heavy but so cute. I named him Rick the Ram.
On the 2nd day of Christmas treats, my coworkers gave to me, 2 chocolate dipped strawberries (with chocolate popcorn)! Now that’s what I call an afternoon delight.
Bonefish Grill’s Winter White Cosmo
If you have to try a different drink this season, consider a chocolate chai latte. I add soy milk and ask for it extra hot, and with a croissant in hand this is like having my hot cocoa and my chai at the same time.
If you want to make this at home, try this recipe from Taste of Home:
Today is Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas Treats in the office. This was the morning treat—a homemade breakfast casserole with tater tots. This may look weird in the photo, but holy cheesus it was delish! Thanks to Bobbi at the office for making a great start to the treat days!
I passed by Rambo’s Kitchen countless times the past few years and on the way to IHOP Sunday morning with my mother and husband, my hubby suggested that we give Rambo’s Kitchen a shot. Located on S. Fort Apache in Las Vegas, this was a great down-the-street 60’s diner find. The place gets packed for lunch and dinner, but breakfast was no exception. Fortunately, we arrived before the crowds arrived and were attended to right away.
The tables are decorated with photos of icons and postcards from the 60’s. along with trivia books on the tables. The kitchen is very small and there are a few tables inside. It’s really lively with lots of memorabilia inside and 60’s music playing overhead. The menu is fairly large for a place of this size, but we found a few items to try.
The mini donuts are fluffy and have just the right sweetness. Who doesn’t love fluffy fried dough covered in sugar? For $2 you cannot beat getting a basket of them to start. Their waffle is soft but has great flavor, as does their french toast that is cooked coated in a waffle or pancake batter. My mother remembers french toast being done this way in the 60’s and has not seen it since then. She loved it. All the other options we received, from scrambled eggs to their delicious sausage links, were tasty. My husband got creative and ordered a cheeseburger with a side of hashbrowns and an egg, which he placed in the burger to make a breakfast burger of his own.
The servers will modify anything for you, including french toast, which my mother opted for regular bread instead of their raspberry swirl bread. They have sugar free syrup and all sorts of options for your meal needs (egg whites only, spicy sausage, etc.).
The only negative would be the cleanliness of the ceiling items, as there was dust gently falling from the light fixtures overhead, and the fixture chain, which was coated in dust. The same went for their ceiling fan blades and their air ducts, including the one over the kitchen, which was a dark, dark grey color from not being cleaned. The cook also used a microwave, which I found to be slightly alarming (he used it for the meats and some eggs).
Although good food and the fact that I would love to eat here again, I’m hesitant to do so for the next few months until the cleaning is done and that microwave is tossed into the pits of hell. I cautiously suggest that you give this place a try.
I woke up Saturday morning to the Cooking Channel playing Restaurant Makeover for a Chinese restaurant. The food, especially the bao on the show, looked amazing. ”Bao” is short for “baozi”, which is also know as “pau” in some countries, and is a steamed filed bun or bread. There’s the actual dumpling version of bao:
There is a bread roll version of bao:
Then there’s the “taco” version of bao.
I wanted any of the three choices as soon as I saw the chef making some on television, so I woke my husband up and told him that we were on a mission today for bao.
We hit the movies before heading out in search of bao, and afterward my husband suggested that we finally try Fat Choy on East Sahara. It is located inside the Eureka Casino.
The sign on the parking lot side says Fat Choy is Yum Yum, which I thought was adorable. When we walked in, the casino was quite nice inside and the restaurant took up the corner portion of the place. It has enough seating, with booths, tables, and counter seats. Everything is clean and well kept. When we walked in our server came over, handed us the menu, and gave us a run down of the specials. The specials, of course, were bone marrow ($8), shrimp toast, and pork belly BLT.
We ordered quite a bit for our first try, grabbing a few orders or pork bao, pork belly BLT, grandma’s potstickers, and bone marrow. The time between ordering and delivery was the average wait time, about 10-12 minutes. We were quite excited when the 2 ordesr of bao arrived.
The pork belly is braised overnight and topped with crushed peanuts, cilantro, pickled greens, and the sauce.
The bun was fluffy, fresh, and had a hint of sweet that went really well with the salty-sweet pork. The skin was slightly crispy and that sauce—oh the sauce—was just umami. It contained all the Asian tastes you expect—salty, sweet, sour, a hint of spicy, and very aromatic. The pork was juicy and had that great texture one expects from a good braised pork belly. I ordered another pair because I could not get enough.
The next stop was the bone marrow, which usually is a good size bone with toast points. Because the bone was small, chef provided 2 of them for our meal.
What surprised me with this bone marrow dish was the onion compote on the bone marrow. It had a hint of sweet and sour to it, which was just great to balance that rich bone marrow underneath. With plenty of bread to use, the marrow was devoured in minutes.
Our potstickers arrived to the table, looking nice and golden on the bottoms and served with some shallot soy dipping sauce.
Growing up, I loved eating potstickers for dinner, but I was not fortunately enough to have handmade ones with a shallot dipping sauce. The pork inside is perfectly seasoned and that golden brown base gives it a nice, crispy texture that soaks up the shallot soy sauce. I dredged the dipping sauce with a bitten piece just to soak the inside of my potsticker with the sweet and salty sauce. It was delicious.
The main course arrived—a pork belly BLT. I love bacon, lettuce, and tomato with mayo, but to add some braised pork belly on top of the bacon?!? That is insanely delicious.
The BLT is served in between two pieces of white toast, so the bread itself is crispy, then biting through the lettuce into the crispy bacon, you hit this layer of soft, salty goodness that only pork belly can provide.
Given that bacon is cured pork belly, having the fatty, juicy slice of pork belly on bacon is a totally different experience. It’s greasy in a good way, with that soft, pull apart texture, and when you chew on that first bite, you swear that all this pork will kill you as you walk out the door—but with a smile on your face. If you want a break from all the richness of the sandwich, bite down on the salad served with it (or fries, if you prefer) that’s tossed in a balsamic dressing. That sour note almost acts as a palate cleanser for the next bites.
I couldn’t even consider eating one of their amazing desserts, such as a mousse or a piece of pie. We stumbled out of the casino completely pig drunk, my husband crashing in the passenger seat as I drove home. It was so good that we brought my mother with us the next day for a late lunch.
Sundays are brunch days at Fat Choy, and a few things on the menu that I had to try were: wonton soup, chicken and waffles, and the chicken teriyaki bowl.
First up was the wonton soup that my mother wanted. The bowl fed all three of us!
This was the small bowl that my mother ate—she received half of the wontons, and I gave her the pickled cherry tomatoes, then topped her bowl with fried wontons, which were light, crispy, and tasted so good when it soaked up all that beautifully spiced broth. The mushrooms, pickled tomatoes, shredded carrot, and tons of green onion made the soup absolutely flavorful, and if I ever feel down or need a pick up from having a cold, I won’t turn anywhere else but here for some soup.
My husband took the reigns of the chicken teriyaki bowl, a huge portion of chicken, balsamic-tossed salad, all over steamed white rice.
The chicken was grilled then sliced then, topped with a heaping good portion of their homemade teriyaki sauce. I tried a piece. Then another. Then another. I was tempted to order one just to eat it for the sake of tasting it again. Yes—it is that good.
My chicken and waffles were just as yummy, coming with five pieces of fried chicken wings that are lightly battered, atop a crispy Belgian waffle that could feed two people.
The waffle was crispy on the outside, so it held up to the drenching of maple syrup in each pocket. There was no soggy waffle on this plate! The crispy chicken wings were well seasoned, crispy, and light. They tasted so good dipped in to the potsticker sauce, too. I love chicken and waffles, and this was a great take on the dish.
After eating another massively successful meal, all three of us hobbled to the car, tummies full, only to skip dinner that evening because the food was plentiful at Fat Choy. My mother raved about it and we made a promise to take Father next weekend. I don’t know how long I can stay away from this place. I may just go there this evening in search of a few orders of pork belly bao and some chicken teriyaki. If you see me at the counter with a few plates in front of my face, don’t judge. It’s just that good.
Hi guys! I cannot wait to share my review of Fat Choy with you. Stay tuned for some pork belly bao love.
If you hit Red Robin, grab their gingerbread shake. Its creamy, gingerbread deliciousness.
Anytime I open up one of these pop cans, this is exactly what I’ expect once that can begins to open up.
*sudden realization that next year is like 3 weeks away*
With winter here, the 40-degree weather calls for some comfort food food, and what better than chicken and dumplings. Despite having dinner before coming home, my parents convinced me to cook my lunch so I could eat well and stay warm at work. My parents planned to make chicken and dumplings anyway, so I took the helm with my father to make it.
My father trimmed a lot of the excess fat off of the chicken thighs, leaving the skin intact. He placed it in a pyrex dish and I used that for seasoning purposes. I sprinkled a generous amount of black lava salt on each piece, skin up, along with chives, parsley, paprika, chili flakes, red, black, and white ground pepper, minced onion, and garlic powder. I did this on the other side of each piece as well. After heating up the olive oil on high heat, I placed 3 dried bay leaves in the pot to fry them, took them out, then placed all the pieces skin side down into the calderos. The calderos is about 18” or more in diameter, providing a deep pot with lots of space for large quantities of meats.
Once the skin is browned, I turn them and add in 2 more bay leaves, a sprig of mint, freshly sliced yellow onion, roughly chopped ginger (about 1/4 cup), and garlic. I let it cook for 5 more minutes, then I add enough water to cover the meat but not the skin, add in 1 tablespoon more salt, then close up the whole pot using foil and the lid. I let it go on medium high heat for 30 minutes covered, then uncover it and turn the heat down to a simmer.
The dumplings are cheats—I used 2 1/3 cup Bisquick with 2/3 cup milk and 1/4 cup chives and parsley mixed. I rolled them into the size I wanted then cooked them in the pot, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then covered for another 10-15 minutes.
The result is a fall off the bone chicken with great tasting skin, dumplings, and a chicken broth that tastes great over hot rice or mashed potatoes. I wrapped up enough for my husband and I to eat for lunch at work the next day. The leftovers last about 2 to 3 worth of meals, so it’s cost efficient, easy, and delicious.
This isn’t an old recipe passed down, but my take on what I would want to eat for chicken and dumplings. My mother taught me her method and I added more spices and steps to her process, making a version all my own. I hope you try this recipe out on cold winter nights or rainy days. It’s a wonderfully filling comfort dish.
When I was in my teens, I met a few lovely women at my very first job in life as a billing assistant at Pacificare on Guam. One of those women was Rachel, a sweet woman who was loving and accepting of how insane I and the rest of our group was. I would come over and swim with her or hang out with her parents, and one sleepover, her mother and her introduced me to chai tea.
We sat down at the kitchen table and they made hot water, pouring it in to a cup that had a bag of chai tea in it. I never had tea like this before, and I was 19 years of age at this time. Rachel added milk to the tea cup and I drank it, completely surprised. It was absolutely delicious, with spicy hints and a sweet undertone. I drank more and more if it as the years went on, learning many things from Rachel and her mother about cereal coated fish for dinners and how to love myself. They even opened me back up spiritually, which I thank them for. She’s been a great influence in my life, and hopefully I was an interesting one for her.
Since then, chai has been a part of my routine, and I love ordering the same thing at Starbucks every single time—a grande soy chai, extra hot, with 2 pumps of either pumpkin spice during the holidays, or a pump of vanilla when I want to jazz it up. With soy milk, chai becomes a peppery-sweet tea, one that reminds me of my best friends that I made that year at Pacificare. It also calms me in the mornings, makes me warm on cold winter days, and makes me smile, in general, because it’s a drinkable nostalgia.
With a warm croissant in one hand and my chai in the other, any day that starts off this way is going to be extra-super-di-duper-fantastic. Happy Thursday, everyone.
Frank peeled an orange and gave this to me.