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The Crumb Stash: The First Sunday In February…

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

…is when I load up on Doritos and chicken wings.  This year, the crowd was small at our house.  Unlike, the previous year, we weren’t quite up to the challenge of hosting, so the invite list was compendiary – just us and the boos.  The least number of witnesses to my chicken wing debauchery, the better, I say.

Being that it was such a very small group, we decided to up the ante and make three kinds of wings, just to make it feel more celebratory.  That’s right, people.  Three freakin’ kinds of chicken wings.  It’s was like we were at Wing Stop, but we were at home.  Troy Aikman would’ve been proud.

On the menu was old-reliable – buffalo wings made with buttah and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.  We also made Honey Mustard chicken wings because, well it’s delicious.  And of course, how could we not make Chicken Wings with Adobo Sauce?!?  That would be a sacrilege, and I’d for sure have my Filipino revoked.

Crispy Chicken Wings with Sweet and Spicy Adobo Glaze

adapted from Burnt Lumpia

Makes 2 pounds of wings (about 15-20 pieces)

The sauce in this recipe makes just enough glaze for 2 pounds of chicken wings. If you’d like more sauce for dipping, double the glaze recipe.

For the glaze:
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 siling labuyo (bird’s eye thai chilies), finely minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup Sukang Iloco (or apple cider vinegar)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper

For the wings:
2 pounds wings, cut into drumettes and flats, wingtips removed
vegetable oil for frying

For the glaze:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, chilies, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the garlic just starts to brown.

Add the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and black pepper and stir to combine. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until sauce reduces and thickens a bit.

For the wings:
Add vegetable oil to a large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 350-375°. Add wings to skillet. Cook for 8-10 minutes until wings are golden. Transfer wings to paper towels to drain.

When all wings are cooked, place them into a large bowl. Pour the glaze over the chicken wings and toss to coat. Discard the bay leaf. Serve immediately. This dish goes especially well with some Filipino pickled green papaya and carrots–Atchara.

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Categories: home

Pho Ya!!!

January 27, 2010 2 comments

[A posting by JOHN – I’m sure you can tell.  The photos are better and the copy is funnier.]

What the Pho.  Ap-Pho-tizing.  Pho King.  Fee fi Pho fum.  Okay that’s enough I’ll start already.

Since I’m on hiatus and income is short, I’ve been cooking a lot.  Home cooking saves a lot of money and for me is very challenging.  Sometimes I cry, sometimes I scream, sometimes I cheat, but in the end I’ve created something from a bunch of stuff and it’s edible.  Recently I made Pho for the first time.  Growing up, my parents made it all the time but I never bothered to learn how.  I’m an eater not a cooker, lover not a fighter, driver not a walker.  I just knew it took a long ass time and I had to skim the fat off the top of the broth.  That was my job, I was good at it.  We never had oily Pho in my house.  Never.  Instead of asking them how to make it, I looked up a recipe online.  I figure I would take a shot at it first and perfect it based on their suggestions.  Here’s how I did it.

First you have to get all your spices ready.  I used cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, and cloves.  I couldn’t find any cardamom so I excluded it.  You can also get a Pho packet that has all the spices you need.  That’s easier.

Second, I started to broil the onion and ginger.  Add a little olive oil to it and put it on the top rack of the oven and watch the magic happen, it’ll take about 10-15 minutes for that magic to happen.

Third, you have to start making the stock.  I used oxtail for this.  Why did I use oxtail?  Because I like oxtail.  I am sure you can use other parts of the cow if you want. I boiled it first for 10 minutes, threw out the water, and put it back in a pot with new water.

Fourth, add the spices, onion, ginger, and beef into that pot of new water and let it simmer for about 3 hours.  You can add some sugar and fish sauce to taste.

Once it’s done, boil some Pho noodles, add mint, basil, bean sprouts, rare steak (sliced thin) and enjoy.  Add hoisin sauce and Sriracha to taste.

My first attempt at Pho wasn’t even close to how good my parents made it.  Next time I’ll probably use a few more pieces of oxtail, keep the original water, and let it simmer with the ginger and onion for a couple hours and ad the spices in the last hour.  I hope your mouths are watering now, oh it’s so good.

Categories: home, john, milestones, num yummies Tags:

Farming in the city

July 15, 2009 4 comments

Whatever made John and I think that we could grow anything is lost on me.  We are the same people who can kill succulents.  The same people who have killed every flower they ever planted in their yard.  We are the same people who gets an indoor plant taken away by my mom to be “saved” practically every time she comes by.  It’s a wonder the boos are still kickin’ it.  But then again, they are more vocal about food than the plants are.

Surprisingly, for such brown thumbs, John and I are pretty good with the veggies.  Our tomato, cucumber and eggplant plants have flourished with little more than just watering.  John thinks is the absolutely best thing to be able to grow your own veggies – you should see the accomplished look on his face when he brings in a handful of ripe red tomatoes.

The bounty of the veggie garden is not lost on the boos either.  One afternoon as I was raking up the mess of calamansi from the yard tree and plucking the dry, left-on-the-tree-too-long lemons from our tree, I saw Bradley chewing on something.  At first I though he was chewing on some grass as they are all apt to do, but I heard some crunching and saw Macy standing next to him looking intently at what he was munching on.  The bean had plucked a cucumber from the veggie garden and was having himself a snack!  It was both annoyed and amused at the same time.  Naughty, naughty boo.

I don't know anyone who likes watermelon as much as my mom than John.  This is one of our baby watermelons.  It'll be ready in about 60 days.

I don't know anyone who likes watermelon as much as my mom than John. This is one of our baby watermelons. It'll be ready in about 60 days.

Categories: home, the boos

Boo Photo of the Day: Gloomy, Cozy Saturday Morning

June 6, 2009 Leave a comment
futon

our office futon gets a lot of use

Categories: home, the boos Tags:

What the…?!?!

May 29, 2009 1 comment
IMG_1960

there is grass under there somewhere

When we moved into the house, we decided that we were going to replace the grass that was growing in the backyard.  It was mostly crab grass anyway and it had this weird bump in the dirt and looked like some sort of bush used to grow there.  There were random holes in the corners and the old grass just made me feel icky.  It was strange grass.  I don’t know who’d been on that grass and what sort of barnyard activities they participated in.  It had to go.

So about a month ago, with the help of his older brother and dad, John dug up the yard and re-seeded it.  About a week and a half after he did that, these little clover-looking things popped up.  We didn’t know what the were and know next to nothing about grass, so we figured maybe they were supposed to be there – like some sort grass-helper plants.  God forbid these were actually weeds growing in our new yard.  But alas, they were.  Weeds had infiltrated our yard!  WTF?  Dashed were our hopes of grassy summertime frolic with the boos.

So this past weekend, we started to weed it.  If only we had nipped it in the bud back when they were little baby weedlings when a mere tiny tug uprooted them.  Now we have to wrestle with these behemoth lawn interlopers, sometimes having to resort to the help of a pliers – our new found favorite gardening tool – to yank them out.

At least someone is enjoying these little Pennyworts.  If only we had a penny for every weed…

Categories: home, the boos Tags: ,

Bean Bear Turns 4 and Superbowl Sunday

February 7, 2009 2 comments

MIA – that’s me.  I’ve been out of it with the flu this past week.  Still coughing and sneezing and still suffering from a general feeling of malaise, but better overall.

While out sick, I naively thought it would be good chance for me to observe the boos’ daily conduct while we’re away at work.  I was gonna try my best to be ingonito and let them do what they do as if I wasn’t home and see what kind of shenanigans they got into.  But alas, my brilliant idea was foiled.  The boos did nothing but nap around me on the couch as I tried to rest the flu away.  I have to admit, nothing is more comforting than warm furries next to you while your head feels as if it’s about to be squished by the metal vice it’s in, so I didn’t mind too much that my planned reconoissance was a bust.

Our Bradley turned 4-years-old this past Saturday.  And as any loving parent would say “The time has flown.”  Wasn’t it only yesterday that we went to go meet this little beagle and was accosted by a frenzy of tail-wagging and sniffs?  We celebrated this birthday the same as we have the past 3 – with a yummy steak dinner.  A big juicy rib eye, grilled medium-rare by John, side of sauteed sweet corn and mashed potatoes.  He ate it with great enjoyment as he does every year.  Well at least I think…He wolfed it up so fast I don’t know if he even tasted it.

bean_4th_bday

how cute is my boo?

We also hosted our official housewarming get-together with friends and had them come over to watch the Arizona Cardinals whoop the Pittsbugh Steelers.  Ok, that didn’t happen but we had a great time anyway.  Lots of food and lots of beer and a deep-fried Twinkie or two, courtesy of a one Mr. Mike Weiss.

They didn't watch the whole game this way.  Although I'm sure it wouldn've been a lot cooler if they could.

They didn't watch the whole game this way. Although I bet you they wished they could.

Our friends, Ian and Marie who most graciously offered to help us plan our wedding reception also took a gander (and lots of measurements) of our backyard.  It was a little hard to concentrate and talk about things because while we were out there, Bradley was trying to give the brown blankie some lovin’ .  Ok, who am I kidding?  He was humping it.  He was a vertiable humping vituoso!  Not that this is the first time.  There is just something about having company that gets him worked up because he does it everytime someone is over.  Weird. It’s like show-and-tell.  Our friend Tim’s 8-month old German Shepherd Bishop got some good pointers though.  By the time they left, he too was bundling the blanket underneath himself.  He hasn’t quite gotten the idea yet because he whined, frustrated, not knowing what to do next.  Poor guy.

Another Fun Weekend at the Ranch

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

John and I ate out for the first time, in a very long time this past weekend.  At an actual restaurant.  Not out of paper or styrofoam take-out boxes, but a real bonafide restaurant, with tables and chairs and silverware!  Don’t mock the excitement.  You have to understand, we don’t do this often anymore.  What with full-time jobs, 3 fur babies, a new home, we don’t really get to go “out” anymore.  This particular excursion was to a Vietnamese restaurant, recently reviewed by the LA Times called Xanh Bistro (pronouced Sang) in Westminster.  The staff was extremely courteous and attentive and Chef and owner Haley Nguyen came out and personally welcomed us.  For starters, we ordered the Spicy Lemongrass Chicken Wings and Crispy Rice with Pork.  I’m not a big fan of lemongrass, so thankfully the marinade wasn’t overwhelming – I happily ate my share.  The Crispy Rice with Pork was awesome.  Marinated and grilled pieces of pork were scattered on top of hmmmm….asian rice crispies, and dressed with a light nuoc mam.  We also ordered the Green Papaya and Mango Salad with Shrimp, which was tangy and refereshing with perfectly grilled, perfectly bursty shrimp.  For the main course, we ordered Sauteed Lemongrass Beef – which was cooked medium and very tender –  and the Crab and Shrimp noodle bowl, which I forgot to take a photo of because I was too busy stuffing my gob.

xanh

Macy and Wednesday were up to their usual shenanigans this weekend.  I thought cats were clean animals, spending lots and lots of time grooming themselves meticulously.  What Winnie did this weekend, is additional proof that she is truly a dog in cat’s clothing.  Besides begging for food, and digging in the dirt, this cat likes to roll around in mud.

muddy_winnie1

And then Macy.  She’s a hoot.  She loves water if it doesn’t involve a bath.  Here’s John trying to water her, errrr…our scraggly lawn.

I also got to know our little lemon tree in the back.  I think, I think, I think it’s a Meyer lemon tree – yipppeeee!  The skins of the fruit are thin and they smell like meyer lemons.  I know what meyer lemons smell like because I used to have a dwarf meyer lemon tree at our old apartment.  I say “used to” because it fell victim to my brown thumb – it was either over-watered or under-watered or got too much or not enough sun.  Hmmmmmm…..  Anywho, our tree’s got tons of fruit.  I simmered a couple of them in a little saucepan of water to fill our home with the nice lemony smell.  Someday soon, when I get my baking pans out of storage (aka Mom and Dad’s garage), I will be a meyer lemon bar makin’ fool.

backyard_lemons