Sunday, September 25, 2011

Travel Food Log: Fruit Shakes and Sandwiches in Luang Prabang, Laos

What is the best thing to drink on a hot humid day in buggy but breathtakingly beautiful Laos?  Why, a fruit shake of course!  By fruit shake I'm talking fresh fruit, (in any combos as well as ones shown above) plus a bit of simple syrup or condensed milk, and plenty of ice, blended to perfection.  So delicious and refreshing, and just what I crave in the hot hot heat of summer.  Note the oreo shake on the top row...decadent. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

watermelon "pizza" salad

So I had a little dinner party with my friends and tried this out, and it was a great hit! Even though here in northern England it might be a bit chilly to have a watermelon salad, it's still a fresh and fun appetizer / salad idea.  I love the combination of the clean taste of watermelon with salty feta, kalamata olives and a bite of red onion.  I decided to put on some bacon for my friends (instead of olives). 
I used a sheep milk feta, but goat cheese would be great too.  Unfortunately I didn't add a green, but Arugula, mint or basil would all work beautifully.  I recently had a watermelon salad with an olive oil and thyme dressing, which was lovely.
I topped mine with a honey vinaigrette - mix a tablespoon or so of honey in some olive oil, add apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle this over the salad for a sweet finish.
Get creative and try different flavors! x

Saturday, September 17, 2011

step by step: Chinese hot and sour potato strings

Here's how to make suan la tudou si (酸辣土豆丝), a really delicious home-style comfort dish that can be found in almost any restaurant in China.  You basically thinly slice potatoes and then toss them in a hot wok with oil, Chinese vinegar, black peppercorns and chili peppers (green or red), giving it a fragrant spicy and sour flavor.  It's great to make with a meat dish.  If you don't have a wok, you can use a large skillet.  This was taught to me by our dear family friends in Beijing who have always welcomed me in their home.
wash and peel 2 large potatoes then chop into thin strips (julienne)- cut into thin slices then go from there (here my friend said she didn't do a good job of chopping because the pieces were a bit thick)
soak the strings in salt water to get rid of the excess starches, for 15 minutes
rinse and drain the potato strings
thinly slice some leek or green onion for added flavor (optional but recommended)
heat about 1/4 cup vegetable oil (in China they frequently use rape seed oil or sunflower oil) in the wok and add the leek and a few whole dry chili peppers, and peppercorns. heat for a few minutes
discard peppercorns, then add the potatoes, stirring and tossing them on high heat the whole time
add the vinegar (about 1/4 cup) and some salt. when they are tender, they are ready! depending how hot the wok is, should be around 5-10 minutes. some of the larger pieces won't be thoroughly cooked but that's normal - they are not supposed to be completely cooked, al dente potato strings if you will!

There you go! Very easy. I really hope you enjoy this authentic Chinese favorite! x

Sunday, September 11, 2011

eat your heart out

Today I'm off to England to start my postgraduate study!  I can't wait to live in a new place, meet new people and taste all that the UK has to offer ;D

Friday, September 9, 2011

more eats from San Francisco

crepe with cheddar, cottage cheese and spinach 
friend's burger masterpiece at labor day bbq in golden gate park 
sometimes nothing is better than a falafel wrap and a cold fizzy beverage
when traveling I often find it necessary to stop for a coffee and something sweet like this tartine, which had black currant and cranberry.  this clever café had coffee ice cubes for the iced coffee.
got some ceviche at Fresca, a Michelin-ranked Peruvian restaurant.  this is the cevice chino, with ahi tuna, avocado, lettuce cups and wonton crisps.
note my friend's Pisco Sour in the foreground. yum! 
happy food adventures to all ! x

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ferry Building - the San Francisco Treat!

San Francisco, as many tourists, east-coasters and Californians have already discovered, is an awesome city.  It had a very chill vibe and I loved that it was filled with cute vintage stores, colorful murals, and of course, many good restaurants and places to grab a bite!  A highlight for any foodie would be the Ferry Building at the Golden Gate Ferry where you can get an arrangement of tasty treats, such as from Boccalone whose sign literally reads "tasty salted pig parts" and the famous Cowgirl Creamery that has all the delicious cow, sheep and goat cheese you would want, plus a side snack place that includes a Mozzarella Bar -- um, helloooo fresh and creamy Burrata!  Suffice it to say it was a wonderful food-induced happy day...and something that is certainly best shared with good friends.  I also can't help but think that all those steep hills keep San Franciscans' foodies lookin' good.

The daily Raclette from Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick, served with Pickled Carrots
Amazing Burrata served with fresh Arugula, Heirloom Tomato, and Onion and Cucumber
the perfect combination 
Cowgirl Creamery 
some sweet treats
Ended it with two scoops from Ciao Bella - Peach and Ginger sorbet and Green Tea gelato

More of what I ate in San Fran, as well as my promised gazpacho recipe to come (before the summer disappears!) x

Monday, September 5, 2011

labor day weekend

I hope everyone is having a lovely labor day weekend :)

I've been in San Francisco catching up with my best friend from university, so I've been busy and not online too much! Photos to come x