And so I sit here…

It’s 3:02AM EST time and I’m sitting here watching tv marathons and movies on iTunes and Netflix.  I just finished off a bowl of homemade nachos and guacamole and I’m about to go warm up some more spicy pulled pork I made earlier.  Has this become my life?  This could be the wine talking, or the wandering mind thinking… but this is definitely not where I thought I would be… a year ago, two, three, five, ten? What has happened?

It’s funny how things work. Weight gain made me sad. But I gained weight cuz I’ve been happy. But the weight gain makes me not want to move… so while I eat less, I move less. I’m still not happy with my body. But that could just be my eating disorder talking.  Always in recovery, never fully recovered.

You guys have been with me through so many ups and downs and yet you remain loyal.  So much gratitude.  Love, lust, heartbreaks. Breakdowns and highs. Parties and mournings.

The past year I have been basically mostly living in Taiwan and I’ve forgotten my love for cooking, almost.  I stopped caring a lot about things I used to be so passionate about and I have no real explanation for it… but it’s recently sparked up again.

I cooked duck the other day. And today I had a pulled pork burrito/taco night with pomegranate guacamole, spicy mango pico de gallo with roasted garlic and corn and an extremely spicy salsa verde… along with some yummy gooey blue corn chip nachos.  I started to feel alive again.  I started a cooking idea journal/notebook again…. mainly b/c I was planning to cook for C on his birthday… and while things got in the way, I still got MAD IDEAS to play on.

SO…. I have ideas of doing supper parties.  [And have talked with a chef friend or two about doing pop ups] – I want to, once I move out, host supper/dinner parties, first once a month, and then possibly once a week.  People can BYOB and tell me their diets…. or just leave it up to me.  Hopefully soon after team, up with chefs and cool wine people.

I have so many ambitions and ideas… I want to write, I want to travel, I want to cook, I want to go back to school…. and I want to film it all. I have a secret thing about wanting to be in front of a camera.

So maybe this is how this blog is evolving.  It went from food diary to healthy eating and recipes to eating out and traveling extravagantly …. and then just personal…. me finding my inner peace…. healing and now this.  My lifestyle. Ever evolving.

This blog is now: Finding the real Miss Tiffie.

Please join me in my journey.

Greek Food at the Hellenic Festival – Cambridge

This summer… back at the Greek Orthodox Church on Magazine street  in Cambridge I went to the Greek festival for some good eats and fun.

“White wine please.. the whole bottle”
“Just for you?”
“Obviously…”

DUH

阿嬌海產店 – Deliciously Fresh Seafood

Headed to Hsinchu to pay respect to my grandparents’ alter in the old house and to visit my uncles…. we were expecting to get there around 2 but since I woke up super early we ended up there around 1130 or so…. and my uncle & aunt know me to well (4th) so they made us my favorite dumplings!!!!!

I visited all of my uncles and then after looking at some amazing condos in the area to possibly purchase, we headed out to dinner… at 阿嬌海產

Sashimi…. Delicious Red Snapper…

Salt & Pepper Shrimp

Pan fried/Deep Fried Fishies, 竹夾魚… which is basically Mackerel… sooo delicious!!!!

Basil & Clams

Chinese Celery and Squid

山蘇 aka Asplenium….. SOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOD

Yummy Noodles

A modernized 蚵仔煎 … Oyster Pancake… without the gooey corn starch… and some shrimp…. but just fried oysters in batter which you would dip in the traditional red 蚵仔煎 sauce.

And then a delicious fish skin, 紅紺, soup… 

Ended the night at 09 Whiskey Bar with lots of wine…. :] and here is one of the drawings one of my nieces drew for me today :]

Friday 5ive

I haven’t done one of these in awhile… and I was gonna put it on my personal/fashion… but then the first one was food related… hahahah

1. What’s your favorite sandwich?
I love Turkey & Apple Sammies with MUSTARD, Bahn Mi [the classic with headcheese, cold cuts and all that good stuff], Philly Cheesesteak & a classic PB & J…. but my FAVORITE SANDWICH EVER… is from Resto.

Tete de Cochon
I’ve had it two ways. Both both are amazing! Bobby Helen is a FUCKING genius!

1. Very Bahn Mi type…. my “Last Supper Sandwich”

Sriracha, Cilantro, Pickled Red Onion, Pickled Carrot, Charred Bread

2 The other Last Supper sandwich… at brunch

Pastrami Rub, Slaw, Jalapeno Sour Cream, Brioche

Oh his grilled cheese is BOMB too! And yes, filled with thick tasty bacon!

Vermont Cheddar, Gruyere, Bacon, Pork Belly, Greens

2. You have unlimited funds and unlimited space to make your dream abode. What and where is it, and what does it look like? Do you share it with anyone/anything?Travel all over the world with boyfriend :] Like, ALL over, first up is Greece… and then South Africa :] BUT EVERYWHERE!!! Eat, drink, travel <3 BEST LIFE!

3. If you made a movie, what would it be about and who would be in it?
Me, my adventures, growing up, eating, life :] My sucky past choices in relationships HAHAHA… I duno who’d play me tho.. that’s a toughie!!!

4. If you were to start a charity, what would it be for?
Abuse of children.

5. What’s your favorite music video? (Bonus points if you embed/link it.)
UMMMMMMM…DAMN toughie.

Cartman singing Lady GaGa <3

Bunnies in my Tummy…

I like bunnies. I like dressing up as bunnies. If they didn’t smell so bad and poop so much, I’d have pet bunnies. Also no one I live with will let me have bunnies…. so once I finally live in my own place again I’ll have bunnies – it’s been awhile and last time I did I had snakes LOL

The first thing that turned me onto Bunnies? Once again Thanks to the Green City Market Chef’s BBQ in ’09 :] If you haven’t noticed…. Chicago did me good, real good… especially my tummy… and getting fat ;D

Grilled Rabbit Sausage, Relish of Summer Fennel, Pancetta & Mustard Seeds

Crofton On Wells, Chicago

SOOOOO DELICIOUS. Tender. Juicy. Popped in my mouth and slid down my throat… chew chew chew meaty, filling, spiced perfect. I love you. *burp*  Honestly, this one was one of the tastiest sausages I’ve had – and trust me I’ve had a lot of sausages ;] #thatswhatshesaid NO NASTY TALK – it was good. That’s All! The End!

And then it was the first time I cooked bunny.. or helped…

Braised Rabbit a la Dash of Stash

w/ Horseradish Mash & Roasted Carrots

Thanks To Stash, I got got to eat bunny – full, whole, tender..MMM, delicious.  I was scared. I remember trying to bite into a leg and slightly nervous.  The reason why people only eat the legs usually IS because that’s where most of the meat is – AND it’s most tender… the rest of the bunny is scarce in meat, and while still tasty, a bit tougher. STILL. YUM!

NOOOOOOW, one of my favorite dishes EVER AND MY favorite rabbit dish!

Confit Rabbit Risottowith Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche and Fontiago Cheese

Solera, Denver

I. DIE. I have wet dreams about this dish. Who would’ve thunk…… DENVER, CO would have the mots AMAZING restaurants and dishes… I can’t even BEGIN to talk about this. It was CREAMY, CHEESY, the BEST risotto I’ve ever eaten, even without fresh white truffles and then some, OMG… better than the best sex you’ve ever had – or maybe I’ve just never had good sex – but this risotto was something that would make you cry and turned on and just….. insane ALL at the same time.

Walnut-Stuffed Gnocchi w/ braised rabbit, onion soubise, appenzeller

Mizuna, Denver

Delicious. Comrfort.

You think Chicken Pot Pie is delicious and comforting?! You’ve never had it this way

Rabbit Pot Pie, Fall Vegetables & Sausage on a Stick

Colicchio & Sons, NYC

SO memorable. While the sausage was good the pot pie is forever BURNED into my BRAIN. SOOOO GOOD.  You can get it during Brunch at C&S :]  I daydream about going back but no guy has gone back with me – LAME.  I obviously don’t date enough daring eaters…

Sour Yellow: Steamed Rabbit Leg
Multi-Grain Rice, Eggplant Chutney & Thai Basil

Kinshop, NYC

Chef Dieterle… you are a Top Chef for a good reason, what you make is GOLD. GOLD. This just fell apart and MELTTTTTTTTTTTED….. I can’t even begin to explain how delicious this was… this was the first thing I wanted to order on the menu anyways. AMAAAAZING.

I love Menton for seafood…. and their crossiants… but then their bunny dish? OMFG

No really.

OH. EM. EFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. GEE

Deconstructed Bunny, Rabbit Sausage,Meatball, Kidney, etc

Menton, Boston

All were SOOO succulent, flavorful, not gamey and just OMG… freaking amazing. FUNNILY, the “funkiest” one was the yummiest THE KIDNEY in puff pastry <3 OH.EM.EFF.GEE – GENIUS. Yea and I had like 20 of their croissants :]

And then the last time I had bunny since I’m writing this… My “21st” Birthday ;D

Il Coniglio
Roasted Napa Valley Rabbit Loin wrapped in San Daniele Prosciutto, Polenta ‘sfogliatina’, Roasted Beets, Green Pea Veloute, Rabbit Jus


Circo, Las Vegas

The prosciutto was a bit salty wrapped around it but I ended up just unwrapping and eating the bunny part SOOOOOO GOOD.  The jus and the veloute was amazing. STILL miss my own cooking tho. I’ve only cooked bunny twice, and basically by myself ONCE… braised down and made into a creamy pasta… :] Bunny confit with cream sauce and with delicious tender pastaaaaaa — good right?!  I’ll try to make some soon and make a blog on it :] Play by play on whole bunny!  Hope you enjoyed this and hope you won’t be scared to try a bite of bunny – it literally tastes like chicken. :]

My love affair with Goat

Goat isn’t something I get to eat all the time.  While it’s such a common protein and getting more popular by the second, it’s still hard to come by in the States.  For some people goat is much stronger and gamier than lamb, but for me, while not being a huge fan of lamb, I ADORE goat :]

And my obsession is all cuz of this girl, THE Girl & the Goat :] [but this was eaten BEFORE she had the restaurant hehe] Top chef winner Stephanie Izard

Slow Roasted Goat and Market Vegetable Slaw from the Green City Market Chef’s BBQ ’09

It was tender, flavorful and just made me oh so happy. I may not like their milk but their meat is DERRICIOUS <3

Next up?! One of the best goat dishes I’ve had made by The ORIGINAL Top Chef, Harold Dieterle

Massaman: Braised Goat from Kin Shop

Fried Shallots, Purple Yams, Mustard Greens & Toasted Coconut

It was goaty and delicious and literally melted in your mouth as soon as you put it in your mouth! Goat and curry is a sure thing!  Always fantastic.

 Another super memorable Goat dish was this amazing sausage Joe and I got at Toro last year on Thanksgiving Eve [hehe]

Goat/Pork sausage on a bed of couscous from Toro

As soon as we heard the specials… [there was also a goat stew that sounded promising] J jumped right at this. SOOO glad we got it, it was SOOO freaking good – SO juicy and HUGE and full of flavor. Nice and meaty and perfectly spiced. MMMMMMM… delicious pork also played a huge part offering a nice fatty flavor to an otherwise lean goat.

And then a little something different and while I thought it was a bit gamey it was freaking prosciutto. GOAT prosciutto.

James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner was at the famous Paul Kahan’s Publican in Chicago

slow roasted goat & crispy goat prosciutto – mike sheerin
crab apples, dates & hazelnut oil

 And then one of the best goat dishes I’ve ever had…. [funny how so many of these are from Chicago hehe]

Slow Cooked Goat from Anteprima

Italian Flat Beans, Tomato & Eggplant

SOOOO flavorful and melted in my mouth. This was SUUUUCHHH an amazing dish and even after 20 soemthing dishes or other this was DEVOURED and enjoyed and dreamt about for a long time :]

 I’m sorry I ate your mommy… she was derricious… you’re cute but old goats are fuggly and scare me anyways haha – I’m lucky to have tried such a wide variety of different kinds of goat dishes.  I’ve also had great Jamaican goat :] – which I can’t seem to find the photos for, and a few more but these were the ones that really stood out!

Enjoy.

Constantly Craving Bone Marrow aka Meat Butter

This is going to be a crazy long Food Memory post – I already know it.. I tried to think of ways of narrowing it down but there really isn’t any way to go about it. I love bone marrow – I was eating Bone Marrow long before I even REALIZED it was bone marrow… sucking on bones that people usually tossed away – being asian, I ate a lot of amazing body parts before it was “popular” to do so. PLUS there are so many ways OF eating it.

Example A: Spicy Beef Noodle Soup [Niu Rou Mian, 牛肉麵]a la Mommy

She’s been making this for me as far as I can remember and I’m sure before that as well. It’s pure comfort food.. silky slowly cooked beef broth.. like a stronger beefier Pho broth, tons of scallions, my favorite flat chinese noodles.. some sort of veg – I love Bok Choy and Spinach the most with it – and of course, the star of the show, the BEEF. Not JUST chunks of beef, but tendon, fatty beef and oh yes… Bone Marrow.

SO, after my mom takes… — blank blank — long to make her special beef broth and cooked down oh so tender tendons and beef chunks… she scoops out the bones and the ones with bone marrow and actually SCOOPS OUT the bone marrow INTO the soup.. OMG brilliance!  Now what I didn’t know was that she usually ate about half the bone marrows >_<;; hahahahah… This was before I knew and SHE knew how obsessed I was with this meat butter decadence so now she lets me suck them out ;]

Proof!!

Now that you’ve had a slight taste for what this post is gonna be about… I’m guessing if you love Bone Marrow even HALF as much as I do you’re drooling and have a boner.. yes if you’re a girl you probably have a female food boner… this post is gonna make you hungry. Real hungry.. for Bone Marrow.

From the pure.. roasted and scooped from the bone to in pastas, sauces, etc…. Freaking A I bet it’d be amazing in desserts, skip the lard and use bone marrow instead *HMMM* may try that soon.

How it all began….

The real obsession started here —

Chef’s Table at L’Espalier

Beef bone marrow with baguette crostini and whole grain mustard

Yep. One of the most amazing meals of my life… one of my favorite restaurants… def my favorite French resto…. this was when I realized. Yes. I need more whole bones to suck the marrow out of in my life.  This dinner made me realize, this HAD to be apart of my last meal.

The Basics

The sexiest way, and messiest to eat bone marrow


No bone goes unlicked and sucked. After scooping it all out and putting it on my crostinis… EVERY bone gets a good suck and lick. TMI? PG13? Wait.. do I need to child-proof this blog post now?! OOPS. Tough cookies!

My lovey, Chef Rick Gresh of Chicago’s Prime House’s Roasted Bone Marrow

Toasted baquette, roasted garlic cloves & green city market cherry mostarda

How FREAKING sexy is that?!

Have you seen the blog post title I wrote for this next one? It’s the THING TO GET here… [other than their AMAYYYYYYYYY-ZINGZINGZING Frites]

Eastern Standard

Roasted Bone Marrow w/ Germolata and Sea Salt

Look at that sexiness. Beautiful herbs… Four beautiful hunky chunks of bone marrow and delicious toasted crostini… what can get better than that?!… Such a delicious perfect simple dinner.. obviously that wasn’t my whole dinner, I’m a fatass remember?!… but on simple nights I like just a few self-roasted bone marrows on toast with a great sea salt sprinkle and a big bottle of red.  Ah the single life.

There had been a short break of getting bone marrow every other day… and one of the more recent adventures was on my latest Birthday dinner.. #1? #2? with my parents :] at AKA Bistro
Os à moelle, fleur de sel aromatique,pain de campagne grillé

Bone Marrow, aromatic sea salt and toasted country bread

While most of the dishes were… argueably.. okay NOT arguably, less than subpar… you can’t really eff up Bone Marrow!  Unless undercooked? Frozen in the middle? – ew – but you can’t. This was good. Small. But good.

Craigie on Main

What I love about this is that it’s completely off the menu and you have to be in the know and order it on your own.  It’s delicious, plentiful, and just *lip-smackingly* delicious. Simplicity at it’s best.

Home Cooked

Yep. I miss the days where I’d go to Whole Foods or my nearest neighborhood friendly butcher shop and buy some Bone Marrows… I’d sear both sides and then pop it into the oven til they got gooey in the middle.

PS. As I warned him beforehand, and Z was taught a lesson when he made them, I suggest NOT telling the butcher to cut them horizontally – see Toro pic below – for some reason when homecooked they just… melt awayyy.. and YES you can cook steaks and toast bread int he butter.. but I love the chunkkkkkkkkkkkk – PLUS I love scooping it out of the circle :]  I save the cut ones for going out.  Unless you’re a super skilled chef…/cook/master of Bone Marrow – I’m not, just keep it simple and scoop it with a spoon :]

So now… Things get more Complicated

Okay maybe not yet… this is bone marrow.. but it comes with OXTAIL. And.. all I can say is.. FUCK YEAH OXTAIL – Oxtail is up there [and on my todo list of food memory blog posts] of being a super heavenly decadent food.  So pair the two together?! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY – btw, ever try Oxtail Curry?! YES. DO IT. It’s AMAZING.

Toro Asado de Huesos

Roasted bone marrow with radish citrus salad and oxtail marmalade

It never gets old here… I keep coming, I keep ordering.. and this and the corn… and the uni sandwich are my must haves. MUST HAVES. Like, I get freaking CRAVINGS for Toro because of these three heavenly divine things.  It’s so simple. Tender stewed meat on crostini – add roasted bone marrow – put a nice refreshing salad on side. GENIUS.

Kin Shop’s Roasted Bone Marrow

Crisp Taro Root, Radish Sprouts, Roti & Yellow Bean Sauce

Z and I came here BECAUSE of their bone marrow.  He had found an article about them and they were soooooo good….. props to Top Chef OG Harold D. :] OG yo. OG.  SOOOOOOO much going on – thought I’d hate it, was curious, but it was AMAZING.  Creammmmmmmmy sauce with crispy fried taro root and then a refreshing crunch of the sprouts. We had Roti Canai on the side but I ate it as is. HAPPINESS in a bone :] XOXO

Custom House’s Prime New York Strip

Bone Marrow / Oyster Mushroom

Such a simple dish with simple ingredients, but one of them SUPER BOMB ASS amazing!  While the steak was perfectly cooked and I ADORE Oyster Mushrooms, I do, the sauce, subtle but oh so delectable and decadent, made the dish… gave it that extra oomph and pushed it to a whole new level.

EEEEEEEEEE-TAL-EEEEANO

I love Chef Michael White. I need to make a food memory post just on HIS food. LOVE LOVE LOVE. And I LOVE his bone marrow dishes. This man can do NO wrong and is my absolute favorite go to guy for Italian food XOXO

First up, my FAVORITE Italian Resto, Ai Fiori…..

Ai Fiori’s Mare e Monte

Diver scallops, celery root, black truffles, bone marrow, thyme

How. Freaking. GENIUS.  Silkyyyyyyyy scallops… subtle celery root.. thinnn but flavorful truffles.. and BONE MARROW – freaking BONE MARROW. Just LOOK at the dish. FREAKING-TABULOUSIOUS <3 Is this even LEGAL? OH.. but it gets crazier

His biggest baby is Marea… and oh is it his baby…. upscale Italianoooooo by Central Park… OHHH MAN.

Marea’s Uovo

Poached Egg, Spring Garlic, Bone Marrow, Baby Eel, Passatelli, Barley Brodo

Nothing in that description makes me not want it. Boner-licious. POACHED egg?! Perfectly poached!… – looking at it right now makes me want Momo Ramen. BONE MARROW?! Freaking BONE MARROW?!.. I know the egg is the star of this show but it’s the bone marrow that makes it that much more popping..

&

Marea’s famous Fusilli

Red Wine Braised Octopus, Bone Marrow

This is what this place is KNOWNNNNNNNNNNNN FOR! BOMB ASS Bone Marrow in the sauce.. cooked just perfect but not overly so.  DELICIOUS strands of homemade fusilli and PERFECTLY cooked tender Octopus totally enhanced byyyyyyyyy yes yes yes BONE MARROW YO!

And two of the top notch food guys I ADORE approve. Yep

Tony Bourdain approves

As does Zimmern

SEE?!?!?! PROOF! I back up what I say. Not that you guys wouldn’t believe me. *sticks fists up*

And most recently, although most unpure form…

Roasted Garlic Bone Marrow Butter from Mooo…

Here’s another shot of Bone Marrow Butter from my first time at Mooo…

And I’ll leave you with my famously silly NFNS Audition Video when I make my delicious French Onion Short Rib Soup with 3 Cheese Puff Croutons – WHICH WAS SO MUCH more delicious than Breslin’s…. but inspired by Fruition – freaking Breslin trying to steaaaal my steeeeeeeze ;]

The amazing Tomato Pie from Anguilla

Early last year for my annual “Faux” Spring Break, I was in Anguilla… one of the best vacations of my life. There I had some of the most delicious food of my lifeand than some….. AND THEN some not so good ones

And then there was the Tomato Pie from Straw Hat
Warm Tomato Pie
Flaky pastry and mozzarella, over mixed field greens and balsamic reduction

R and I were gonna get something else…. but I couldn’t stop thinking abotu this Tomato Pie and changed the order last minute. It’s kinda like a take one a pasty from Neopets. I swear. – I’m so obsessed with Neopets –

Yep.. I wish I lived in Neopets world to eat their food…

ANYWAYS. Tomato Pie had a light flakey amazing crust on the outside.. freaking phyllo dough like… and delicious cheeeeeeeeeeeesy tomato – yes fresh sliced tomatoes – filling…. and a beautiful drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette…  SOOOO amazing and SOOOOOOO mind-blowing and just… melted in mouth.. into my tummy, sunk into my body and butter-ly melted into my soul… TOTALLY tattooed into me and imprinted in my mind. The smell, the taste, the textures.. crisp outer crust, thin and flakey and buttery and a creamy heavenly innard.

I. Want.

Too bad I hate the mosquitoes overload there in Anguila. Someone please tell my T Bear that we should tropical vacay getaway together  AY. ESS. AY. PEE :]

Vegas Birthday Dinner @ Circo

After an already FANTASIMICALLY AWESOME time in less than 24 hours… it was Birthday Dinner time with my girls…. SO the plan was to go to Scarpetta – me and my huge crush on Scott Conant, yes yes, but we shopped and drank for awhile at Caesars after a long day at the pool and we were tired and lazy… halfway thru my large fruity  drink I decided we should just eat in the Bellagio – since there’s a million delicious places to eat there anyways – So Circo it was… we got beautiful with my newly bought dress and went downstairs to dinner with my sexy shoes Katy bought me :D

As soon as we walked in, I asked for my table.. they got my NAME wrong and wrote me down as “Jing” and asked me if I had a table at Le Cirque instead…. I’ve already had the ORIGINAL Le Cirque in NYC why would I come here for it?!  Plus I was in the mood for some nice simple Tuscan/Italian food :] MMMM.. and MONKEYS…!!!

Monkeys monkeys monkeys EVERYWHERE!! designed by Adam Tihany…

Where are we?! Circus Circus?  There were cute monkeys EVERYWHERE in the restaurant OMG.. we got a nice table with a good view of both outside and the kitchen :D

Yep a 18,255$+ bottle of wine… they had a crazy awesome wine selection, apparently over 900 different sorts of bottles.. I talked to the sommelier and found a delicious light fruity Italian wine [red obviously] that would go well with all of our dishes!!!… Katy ended up not liking it too much which meant – MORE FOR MEEEEE hahahha..

My lovies!!!

Delicious bread and EVOO

Antipasto del Circo

Assortment of Traditional Tuscan Appetizers

SOOOO YUM!  A delicious selection of cheeses…. some bruschetta on the most delicious toasty garlic bread.. sOOO super garlicky and the tomatoes were SO fresh and sweet… MMMM, we had super garlic breath :] My favorite was the salami and then, obviously, the prosciutto.. YUM YUM!! OH and then there was the artichokes on the side.. NOM NOM NOM!

Kelly’s Ravioli Di Mama Egi

Mama Egi’s Recipe of Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Butter Sage Sauce

She seemed to love them.. wait did I try a bite? They looked so pretty and saucey :D  And smelled absolutely amazing. I LOOOOVE sage and I tend to get vegetarian raviolis more than I get meaty ones… :] Save those for agnolottis… teehee

Katy’s Frantoiana

Tuscan Vegetable & Bean Soup with Fettunta 

This was a huge bowl, and so are Katy’s beautiful boobs,… wait, too crude? I’m a 16 y/o horny teenager [male] seriously, okay back to the food – KATY LOVED IT!!!.. it came with Fettunta.. which is just super indulgent garlic bread :D NOM!!!…. It was FILLED with fresh cooked down super tender veggies and beans!!!!

And then, of course, my Il Coniglio

Roasted Napa Valley Rabbit Loin wrapped in San Daniele Prosciutto, Polenta ‘sfogliatina’, Roasted Beets, Green Pea Veloute, Rabbit Jus

As soon as I said I was gonna order this, poor Katy got wide-eyed… and talked about “Harry” the bunny from her backyard. Kelly tried some and liked it but Katy wouldn’t nibble on Harry teeheee… I actually found that I don’t like cooked prosciutto… the closest I like cooked prosciutto is either really really dried out and crunchy, broken and sprinkled on salads or something.. OR…. placed on freshly baked pizzzaaaaaa… [prosciutto and fresh sweet figs on white pizza, OMG… orgasmic] ANYWAYS.. I felt like it tasted really gamey cooked and affected the taste of the rabbit, plus it was a bit too salty. I ended up just eating the bunny part. I LOVED the way the polenta was cooked. I’m ALL about crunch and texture… and while the taste itself was almost bland, the texture was FABULOUS!… and the beets, OH the beets… I LOVE BEETS <3

We were stuffed from eating and drinking all day so that little food actually filled us up a lot… so we got one dessert…  a delicious Molten Lava Chocolate Cake.. it had a classier name but whatever… hahaha

HAPPPPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEEEEE

My signature blowing out candle pic :D TEEHEE

Afterwards, we rushed back to our room for our second outfit change – teeeheeeee.. yes I wore two outfits that night and I also ended up curling my hair… finish up the rest of the trip on this entry.

So in Love…. with Risotto…

I’ve had risotto, lots of risotto.. good risotto and bad risotto.. fake risotto.. and some that, to be blunt, I just had NO idea what the *BLEEP* it was.  I don’t remember the first time I ever had risotto but I do remember one of my friends trying to make risotto back in college, it was the fall of my Sophomore year and it was the first time risotto had ever crossed my lips… I remember him complaining that it was underdone and not done right, but to me, it was delicious nonetheless.

I’m Taiwanese… I grew up eating rice.  White rice. Lots of it.  Although, as a child, until puberty, I ate very little.  One of the few things I did love to eat, though, was putting my white rice in my soup [which was served every night after the meal] and fresh warm congee [usually for breakfast or if I had an upset concert]

I remember my senior year in high school I ate white rice and pork floss every meal [like 5 o 6 bowls a day] for like two months straight.

OKAY. Now that you guys know of my love for risotto… back to the arborio rice.  The delicious creamy dish. Two very specific memories of risotto stand out in my head… it was preparation and ingredients and I must say the two VERY best risotto dishes I have ever had.  The first dish I’m going to talk about is the first time I became addicted and the second dish is hands down, the BEST risotto EVER to enter my mouth.

Risotto is everywhere. It’s cool. It’s like ordering gnocchi, cuz everyone else does but rarely do people get it done right. It’s trendy.

“He couldn’t tell one good risotto from another good risotto. It was the scene.  It was the newness of the restaurant.” – Michael Gould

That quote makes me sad, because that’s so true. Nowanddays, food is SO trendy, everyone wants to be a “foodie” it doesn’t even have to be “good” anymore. NOT for me. You can be the world’s best restaurant but if it ain’t good, I’m gonna not like it and I won’t eat it.

The first time I fell completely in love with Risotto was at Daniel… it was New Years Eve 2009 going onto 2010 and the very last meal of 2009 I had was from the hands of  the amazing Chef Daniel Boulud.  Yep, as much as Boulud is grand and trendy and amazing and everyone has heard of the name and the chef, this TRULY WAS the risotto that went in my mouth, down my throat and into my heart.

Simple and true. Risotto with Parmigiano and freshly shaven White Truffles.

Keep it coming sir!  Delicious.  Creamy.  Decadent. Rich and very very simple.  Perfectly made and I did not leave ONE lick or nibble left on the plate.  Forever etched in my brain, my heart, my stomach and my soul.  To this day I will never forget how it felt, how it tasted, the environment, the setting, the mood, the THRILL of all the truffles and how I’ve NEVER tasted such amazing risotto in my life. GREAT way to end 2009.

And to prove how consistently delicious Chef Boulud‘s dishes are… more than half a year later I got the same  White Truffle Risotto dish [minus the foam] at Cafe Boulud – absolutely FREAKING delicious!

Still beautiful and delicious in 2010 :]

And lastly, the most amazingly delicious risotto dish I have ever had and I will forever compare all the risottos I eat to… YEP, was found in, who woulda thunk of ALL places, freaking Denver, CO. I went there, straight from the airport off the plane, to get their all you can eat mussels.. and while everything at Solera was DELICIOUS…. To this day, I can’t stop fantasizing about bathing in their risotto..

Confit Rabbit Risotto with Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche and Fontiago Cheese

Beautful isn’t it?  The rabbit confit was PERECTLY cooked down to a creamy tenderness and shredded… then carefully mixed and blended into the creamy delicate risotto. The creme fraiche made the risotto even CREAMIER and it had the most delicious fontiago cheese flavor throughout the dish.  A sprinkling of herbs and the subtle taste and sweetness of the caramelized onions… omg, PERFECTION. NO OTHER RISOTTO has COMPARED to this. I’m not even sure I could go back here and eat it again for fear it just won’t be the same.

I have “recreated” this dish before but only in the form of a rabbit pasta dish… risotto to me, is so black or white [like I’ve said before, just like gnocchi] it’s either good or not.  But isn’t that the same with all foods? I remember the guide from Top Chef Season 7 in Singapore said that too.  Only two kinds of food, good and bad.

Okay. Maybe one day I will take a flight back there sometime and get some :] And more all you can eat mussels.. but mainly for this risotto. *daydreams*