Archive for 'DELICIOUS'

August 19, 2014
Phew! My first baby shower co-hosting for my preggers sister went well! It made me realize there’s a lot more work involved than meets the eye when hosting your own shower or party from scratch when you’re...
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Phew! My first baby shower co-hosting for my preggers sister went well! It made me realize there’s a lot more work involved than meets the eye when hosting your own shower or party from scratch when you’re creating most of the elements by hand but we were happy with how it all came together in the end. Her BFF, Jenny, who graciously flew in from the other coast took reign on the main foods while I was in charge of the dessert station. Though the final result was what we envisioned, there were definitely some hiccups along the way. I think it’s always the setbacks that make you appreciate the end result even more. So! What were they? Time was super slim this wedding season but I had an urge to hand make the signage and created them by way of watercolor and hand lettering. Which I admit I had just picked up recently (I took some art classes…ten years ago so basically a new hobby at this point 🙂 Needless to say, this lead to some trial, error, redo’s, and practice. And apparently on one of the nights I stayed up late I must’ve had one eye closed and didn’t realize I had forgotten a letter, eek! I also contemplated picking up cupcakes from the store but decided to make the main dessert instead. My first attempt at no-bake strawberry cheesecake came out a lot fluffier and less dense than I expected. So what do you do? Run out to the nearest Party City, grab some cute plastic ware and turn half of them into parfaits of course! Along with our antique adventure finds Jin and I hauled in from our home, everything rounded out nicely. However, lesson learned that I should’ve packed the succulent plants better for the transport as we were sad to find out when we got home that our babies (aka plants that we’ve actually managed to keep alive for the last few months and have unconsciously grown attached to) were hurt on the way home (*tear*). Along with Jenny’s hand made fruit skewers and my sister’s popcorn favors, the dessert table was a hit!

Congrats again to my sister and her husband on their expected little Olivia (which I like to nickname ‘Olive”). We can’t wait to meet their new addition! A look into the goodies below.

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A big thanks to Jin for capturing some snaps through the day!

And a little behind the scenes…

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Thanks for stopping by!

May 23, 2012
When my sister got engaged last year, I was contemplating if I should do the wedding photography or enjoy the day as a full-time maid of honor. I knew it was probably best to sit back that day and be one of her...
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When my sister got engaged last year, I was contemplating if I should do the wedding photography or enjoy the day as a full-time maid of honor. I knew it was probably best to sit back that day and be one of her bridesmaids but I couldn’t stop thinking about how special it would be to be the one who captured the biggest day of my one and only sister’s wedding day. And she really wanted me to do both things, but of course in reality we didn’t think that was possible. In the end, I decided I’d be the maid of honor and and leave my photographer duties on my left hand (I’m right handed) and shoot casually.

Her San Francisco wedding was last month and I ended up shooting as much as I could while being her maid of honor. And her designer. It’s a good thing I love multi-tasking! Being huge foodies (my favorite type of people), Judy and Eugene put so much attention into the treats and the food for their guests. I ended up designing a number of things including a trio of macaroons that each guest would take home (yuzu, raspberry, blood orange, yum!), chocolate toffee hazelnut candies (I seriously think they were laced with something magical), and signage for their wishing tree where the guests could write their well wishes on a card and hang it on the tree.

After all the hard work, research, and attention to detail was said and done, everything came together beautifully on their wedding day. And hats off to Jin for being such a great sport and contributor in everything coming together as well, he really impressed me. I’m so thankful that we could be a part in making my sister’s wedding day everything she imagined it to be.

In case you missed it, you can see Judy and Eugene’s wedding here!

October 6, 2011
“Again?” he laughed when I told him I bought another one and had to use it this weekend. A Groupon, that is. We spent our rare free day doing our favorite things we hadn’t done for a while because of a...
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“Again?” he laughed when I told him I bought another one and had to use it this weekend. A Groupon, that is. We spent our rare free day doing our favorite things we hadn’t done for a while because of a busy summmer and these little things felt like comfort food, an old blankie. After Ikea, we made our way to Pike Place Market to get our Groupon’s worth of seafood. And it’s a good thing we love our seafood because we were going to have to eat all four pounds of it up fast. This reminds me of the time we had what felt like fifty pounds of mushrooms to eat up in a few days. This time it was two pounds each fresh salmon and mussels. Jin spent the next three hours putting together my new, long-needed dresser from Ikea (which automatically put him in first place as the best boyfriend of the..forever) while I traded him a homecooked meal. First, I had to satisfy my baking itch with a blueberry zucchini loaf (which I’ll post later) then started the main course, Thai Curry Mussels and rustic bread from Three Girls Bakery. It was worth every hour of cooking! The meal itself…and the bread? You know it’s some good bread when you sacrifice cutting up the roof of your mouth to eat the crusty bread leftovers. The next day I made lemon butter garlic salmon with roasted summer veggies and we used up the rest of the loaf. For the final meal I wanted to try something out of the ordinary and whipped up some Greek! Random, I know. Salmon kebabs with a Greek salad and some delicious pita with tzatziki sauce. And I’ll let you in on a little secret where you can find some of that good sauce.

Come to think of it we were clearly not discriminating and celebrating diversity this weekend through food. We realized by the end of the weekend we’d had Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Greek and Spanish, phew! That was a mouthful, literally. Sharing the recipes below!

 

Below are the recipes for these delicious dishes. And as always, I encourage scooping up more or less ingredients according to your jumping tastebuds!

Thai Curry Mussels

2 13.5-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
3 limes
1/2 cup (packed) fresh Thai basil leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce (I use Three Crabs)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded
2 plum tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup, I added extra kinds of veggies to mine)

Scrub mussels well and remove beards. Squeeze enough juice from limes to measure 1/3 cup. Boil lime juice, coconut milk, wine, curry paste, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar over high heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add veggies and cook until tender over low-medium heat. Add mussels, tossing to combine. Cook mussels, covered, stirring occasionally, until opened, about 5 to 8 minutes. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Chop basil and toss with mussels.

Serve mussels with lime wedges and crusty bread to sop up the sauce, yumm…

Lemon Butter Garlic Salmon

1 pound salmon
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted or olive oil (which is what I used with a splash of melted butter)

For sauce: Purée garlic with lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. With motor running, add melted butter and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.

For salmon, You can grill this but I cooked it indoors since we don’t have a grill yet:

Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat.
When hot, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. When the butter melts completely into the olive oil, add the salted and peppered salmon fillets, flesh side down. Watch the salmon closely. You do not want to overcook it. Cook about 4-6 minutes per side. Sprinkle on zest and top with sauce.

Greek Salmon Kebab

1 lemon (extra for garnish)
1 clove garlic
1 pound salmon
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
Tzatziki sauce (homemade or you can see below on where to find some)

Marinade salmon in a zip lock bag with above ingredients for 30 minutes or longer. Cut salmon into large chunks and slide them onto skewers (if using wooden, you’ll need to soak them in water for about 20 minuts to avoid scorching). Grill on medium-high for about 8-10 minutes or broil on high.

Greek Salad

You can use as much of each veggie as you’d like:

Cucumber, tomato, kalmata olives, artichoke, red pepper, red onion
Feta cheese
1 lemon
olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar

Chop up veggies. Toss with oil, vinegar, juice of lemon, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with pita and tzatziki sauce on the side. I got mine at Trader Joe’s which is tasty and super simple if you don’t prefer to go the homemade route. Enjoy!

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September 7, 2011
I felt like something was missing but I couldn’t figure out what. I wouldn’t trade this year for the world and a bag of gummy bears (that’s saying a lot) and had the time of my life but I also realized...
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I felt like something was missing but I couldn’t figure out what. I wouldn’t trade this year for the world and a bag of gummy bears (that’s saying a lot) and had the time of my life but I also realized I missed the little things I did on a regular basis. It didn’t hit me til today when I decided I’d make dinner for Jin. It was 83 degrees when I stepped outside after my workout but I was determined. Taking my time at the grocery store and chopping up all of the ingredients, I felt like myself again. Ingredients that made up tonight’s dinner, something summery of course because I wanted to squeeze as much out of this gorgeous summer before we part ways. Plus hot weather means less stove time is ideal. So I immediately knew what it was I’d make. Cold noodle salad. A dish that’s more familiar in Asia than the US. The base is buckwheat noodles which is made from whole wheat (equals healthy jackpot and happy insides and outsides!) and topped with veggies and meat to your liking. I had one of those moments today where you get home only to realize you missed one of the most important ingredients. It was still good without but next time I’ll make sure I get that egg, because everything is better with eggs. This dish is healthy, light, and tasty, without the groggy feeling you get post-greasy meals.

Since I made this on a whim, the measurements aren’t exact but like all of my recipes is made to be by preference on the amount and kinds of toppings.

 

 
 

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July 28, 2011
Don’t get me wrong. I love going to our favorite happy hours and trying new restaurants, eating good food, and going to bed without having to do the dishes. And I’ve actually liked being extra busy this...
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Don’t get me wrong. I love going to our favorite happy hours and trying new restaurants, eating good food, and going to bed without having to do the dishes. And I’ve actually liked being extra busy this summer but I didn’t realize how much I missed something until I was doing it. Cooking, that is. I was tired from a long day and contemplated ordering in but I was glad I stuck with the original plan. From chopping the ingredients to plating the meal, it was like culinary therapy.

There’s something about going to Trader Joe’s that I love. I wandered around figuring I’d be spontaneous and inspired by something along the way. And that moment came when I saw a package of lemon papperdelle pasta and everything came together from there. Jin and I licked the plate clean and remembered how satisfying and nostalgic it is to eat a home cooked meal. I wasn’t planning on blogging this meal since it was on the fly but because of the amount of feedback I wanted to share all the goodness!

As always, you can season to fit your taste and the measurements are approximate. Feel free to switch it up with your fav ingredients as I’m only stating what I used and planning to play with it the next time around. Also, you can get the ingredients anywhere but if you have a chance to make it to Trader Joe’s you can grab everything in one stop. Serves four so we had enough for lunch the next day. We love us some leftovers! Complimented well with a side salad and a glass of white.

Ingredients

Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle pasta (1 package)
1 package Chicken sausage (I used Trader Joe’s Sweet Basil Pesto)
Feta cheese crumbles
Basil (chopped, about 8 leaves)
1/4 – 1/2 cup Olive oil depending on taste (extra virgin)
Marinated Artichokes (or plain) – 1 jar
Summer squash (4)
Garlic (to taste, I used about 6 cloves because I like it extra garlicky)
Salt and pepper (I love Kosher salt)
Parmesan or any other favorite cheese (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional for a little kick)

Lemon slices (optional – I forgot to pick this up but would be a nice twist)

You can easily saute the squash and any other veggies in olive oil or broil them in the oven, the method I chose. If choosing to broil, slice them up and toss with a bit of olive oil and salt and broil on high until tender. Next, boil pasta according to package directions (about 8 minutes). Chop up sausage, veggies, garlic, basil, and artichokes. Saute the sausage on a large fry pan until fully cooked. If pan frying squash, do this now in some olive oil. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and add garlic and saute until light brown and fragrant making sure not to burn as this will make it bitter. Remove from heat. Drain pasta well without rinsing. Add basil, artichokes, feta, sausage, and veggies, along with the olive oil to the drained pasta, toss, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with extra cheese and basil. Happy grubbin!

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