Friday, May 29, 2009

Let's Try This One More Time -- Blogging!

As I can see from my June 2007 posting -- I failed to deliver on my goal of blogging... so here I am now... trying once again to revisit "BLOGGING"

ooh fun for those of you who actually would like to read this post.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rediscovering Life

Its funny when you look back on life, you realize how some things have changed and how some things haven't changed.

I revisited my blog posting from 2007 (the three that I had) and this is what I found -- I was working in finance and I was trying new things. And now, I am taking a break from finance and am trying a new career in photography and personally testing my culinary skills. Isn't that amazing?

It seems like a drastic career change, but its a worthwhile change. I won't dismiss the thought of returning to finance just yet, but its certainly on the back burner for now -- especially as I explore what I can do in photography. I mean, I gave up my travel in Asia to pursue this potential opportunity (now THAT is a BIG sacrifice for me!) ... So as I am putting away my 12C calculator and am dusting off my old canon camera to use it to rediscover my life ... I will be pushing myself to the limits once again in hopes of becoming a photographer ...

Another personal pursuit has been cooking from scratch and demystifying the idea that cooking is hard. Yes, put away that frozen tray dinner and get out those fresh vegetables and meat/poultry/fish. If you haven't been fortunate enough to participate in the Susan Can Cook series, get on it! You can help by thinking of new dishes you'd like to try to make or simply just come and join in on my cooking nights (sorry, only 2-3 people per event -- so i could catch up with everyone at the same time)!

So far, all the things I've made from raw ingredients include - pasta sauce (oh yea, 3+ hours of simmering), pizza (ok, so i bought trader joe's dough -- but i did roll it!), short ribs, salmon teriyaki with wasabi mashed potatoes, balsamic chicken (2x, one with a tomato sauce and the other with garlic and onions), peanut butter cookies, tenderloin roast, sweet potato au gratin ... and much more to come. salvating yet? well, perhaps you will be invited to my next Susan Can Cook night...

so, to my friends, i hope you will be there to support me in my year of personal development and personal growth!

So now, what hasn't changed? I'm still living in New York City !!! Though, I do have to admit over the last year or so, the city has lost some of its luster... But that is likely attributable to my disinterest of being out til 6 a.m... Wow, I have changed!! I turned a new leaf -- yeah, or I just turned around the corner and realized I have a "3_" in my age and can no longer recover as fast as before. haha. But truthfully, its time to grow up and pursue some of my own personal interests... So I guess, the only true thing that has stayed constant is -- "me in NYC" ...

so my journey begins... as I rediscover life and push myself to new limits -- i will learn more about myself through my rite of passage into photography and cooking.


So its been two weeks since my last food posting... since it was my birthday, I figured I'd take a break and taste other people's food... so check out all these photos from my birthday food feast in nyc, then my gambling adventure with jammie in atlantic city and finally my most recent stop in san francisco...

To live is to eat, to eat is to love, to love is to live ... and we've come full circle!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cleaning out the Fridge

Balsamic Chicken & Onions with Baked Sweet Potatoes

Haha, no doubt - this was the night i cleaned out items in my fridge. :D

So, i tested a new recipe for balsamic chicken -- balsmic, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt & pepper -- i marinated the chicken for 35-40 minutes so the juices can be soaked into the chicken... wow, what a difference. the chicken was quite moist when i pan fried it. i decided to throw onions in there as i was cooking the last side of the chicken -- perfect timing as the chicken was moist and the onions were crunchy. the balsamic was not as overpowering as i thought it would be... i definitely liked this flavoring over the balsamic tomato dressing i previously made.

also, i cooked up the remaining sweet potatoes... who said yams/sweet potatoes are only good for thanksgiving! dude, its so much better tasting and healthier than its cousin - russet potatoes... but just a quick note: put your oven at 450 degrees and don't foil wrap the potatoes. just throw it on the pan, poke some holes and wait 40 minutes (or until it softens when you squeeze it)... it won't burn. and if it does, its even better because the potato carmelizes as it cooks... at least that's my reasoning. so the longer it cooks, the sweeter and better tasting! yum...

oh - one other thing i threw in there --- TOFU and CABBAGE soup... ah, yum. very simple and easy as well - quick meal ... just tofu and cabbage... if you have fish balls or shrimp balls - throw that in there and you have a meal...

these items were probably one of the healthiest meals i cooked all week!

my neighbor jun was the lucky one to help me clean out my fridge... :D he likes home cooked meals! and yes, the products were still in good condition...

phew -- what a mouthful - hopefully it wasn't painful for you or for me! :D haha...

i'm signing off... but i hope this email finds you in good spirits and i hope you will start cooking for yourself as well! if you have any great recipes to share -- let me know! i'd love to try... and if you want any of these recipes, let me know, i can't send it to you!

Happy Eating! and Happy Mothers Day (vicki!!!)

Susan can cook!

Beef Tenderloin Roast & Sweet Potato Au Gratin (5)

Sounds crazy right??? Well, we did it! Gena and I roasted beef tenderloin. We did the salt and pepper rub, not to mention the dijon mustard and horse radish rub in. This dish took about 2 hours... so make sure you set aside enough time in the day to do it! also, gena and i decided to go with the lower quality meat - which, i think distracted from the dish. what would you do -- pick the $7 per pound or $24 per pound beef? You can guess which one we bought - $7 per pound -- but who knew eye round would be a bit a lot tougher to cook and eat, than the filet mignon type cut? Well, it was worth the experience and we'd likely cook this again. the Dijon and Horse radish were great ingredients to intensify the taste of the meat.

Sweet potato au gratin - in lieu of mashed potatoes, we decided to go slightly healthier and cook

au gratin with sweet potatoes... it was quite yummy!

Salmon Teriyaki & Wasabi Mashed Potatoes (4)

Hello All,

Its been sometime since my last posting - one month exactly. What have I been doing? starving? not likely especially with how "healthy" i look. :D so, unfortunately, i haven't been in the mood to post since i've been at the blackjack/poker/craps/three card poker tables in vegas and celebrating Stephanie's birthday in orange county! but, i think i've more than made it up this week... so, lets not keep you guys waiting much longer. Anyhow, I hope these emails are encouraging you to cook more wherever you are, and if you are in nyc -- lets have a dinner party!

Menu 4: Salmon Teriyaki & Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Salmon Teriyaki -- i've never made this dish ... and i wanted to make my own teriyaki sauce instead of buying kikkoman's teriyaki sauce ( i didn't want to cheat ) ... so, i tested it out ! it was awesome... so simple and easy -- i would highly recommend everyone to try and make their own teriyaki sauce! wait, am i really saying that - i'm supposed to pretend like all of this stuff is tough, right? seriously - you will be sooo proud of yourself when you make this!

and what do i pair this delightful dish with? Initially, I thought it'd be nice to do roasted potatoes with green peas (saw it in Real Simple), but at the very last minute i decided to give it an asian twist and thats how the wasabi mashed potatoes came to mind ... anyone remember eating wasabi mashed potatoes at mercer kitchen? or was it wasabi pizza? whatever it was -- the wasabi mashed potatoes was a hit!

ok, side story - but quite funny and i thought i'd share with you guys - i didn't want to buy wasabi so i went to my local sushi restaurant and asked them for some wasabi! haha. ok, seriously - who would have the balls to do that? obviously, me since i have no shame (plus, didn't want to go hunting for wasabi paste)...

thank you shirley cheng for sharing this experience with me ... but next time, i'll make sure to ask you to place the salt on when you aren't tipsy. :D thank goodness you missed the salmon!

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