盂蘭節 aka Ghost Month aka 鬼節

This month is ghost month… and while it’s August, it’s lunar year, seventh month and called 盂蘭節…

Basically:

The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival in modern day, Zhong Yuan Jie or Yu Lan Jie (traditional Chinese: 盂蘭節) is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in Asian countries. In theChinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh month (14th in southern China).

In Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is calledGhost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from thelower realm. Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (in spring) and Double Ninth Festival(in autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, during Ghost Festival, the deceased are believed to visit the living.

On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is veneration of the dead, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths. Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mâché form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals (often vegetarian meals) would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living. Ancestor worship is what distinguishes Qingming Festival from Ghost Festival because the latter includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations, while the former only includes older generations. Other festivities may include, buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities.

Taiwanese traditions:

Traditionally, it is believed that ghosts haunt the island of Taiwan for the entire seventh lunar month, when the mid-summer Ghost Festival is held.[6] The month is known as Ghost Month.[7] The first day of the month is marked by opening the gate of a temple, symbolizing the gates of hell. On the twelfth day, lamps on the main altar are lit. On the thirteenth day, a procession of lanterns is held. On the fourteenth day, a parade is held for releasing water lanterns. Incense and food are offered to the spirits to avoid them visiting homes and spirit paper money is also burnt as an offering.[8] During the month, people avoid surgery, buying cars, swimming, and going out after dark. It is also important that addresses are not revealed to the ghosts

Wikipedia

Some of the Taboos:

  1. Do not stroll at night.
  2. Do not swim. It is said that drowned evil ghosts might try to drown people in order to find victims for them to rebirth.
  3. As the month is considered to be inauspicious, do not move to a new house, start new businesses or marry.
  4. Do not hang clothes outside at night.
  5. Do not pick up coins or money found on the street and if one does, never bring any home.
  6. Do not step on or kick the offerings by the roadside. If someone were to step on any offerings by accident, he or she should apologize aloud to ameliorate the situation
  7. Do not wear red because ghosts are attracted to red.
  8. Don’t sing and whistle as these may attract ghosts.
  9. Keep away from the walls as it is believed that ghosts like sticking to walls.
  10. If someone is born during the ghost month, avoid celebrating his or her birthday at night. It is better to celebrate during the daytime.
  11. Do not go out at 12 midnight as the ghost may approach you for food and other offerings for them.
  12. Do not open umbrellas in the house. It may attract spirits
  13. Do not take selfies or take videos. Ghost may appear in it. You may never know
  14. Do not sleep facing the mirror or something reflective. It guides the ghosts.

I have not really been caring about these things until my recent gifts that I have been blessed with.  My teacher has told me that people who have the blessing of talking to spirits and angels and all that communication have a hard time during this month.  The death and the ghosts and the evil can sense what I have and cling onto it.  The problem is, during this month, cleansing and healing are not allowed.  So I’m struggling.

I have been feeling drained, completely to the point of emptiness.  And I’m starving but when I eat I want to puke.  Everything has been feeling so negative to the point where I am just giving up and wanting to sleep 24/7.  My sleep is not even well.. it’s riddled with nightmares and I don’t move from my position for hours on end and have to willfully force myself to get up everyday with the little energy I have.  I feel disoriented, confused, out of focus and just…. empty.  That’s the best way to describe it.  Empty… and it’s worst at night.

This is affecting my work, my family life, and just me in general.  I can get a full night’s rest and still feel like I haven’t slept in days. It’s taking a toll on me and I’m wondering now if I have been blessed or cursed with my new found gift.  It’s scary… I was doing so well before and suddenly I just feel like a darkness has grabbed a hold of me and I can’t shake it away.  I keep telling it to leave me but I just feel so lost and spiraling down a deep dark whole.  Meditation.  Speaking to my angels.  Cards.  Nothing has helped.  I’m subduing my pain and lack thereof in any way that I can think of and it’s not helping.

I feel lost. I need Archangel Michael by my side to guide me through my fear and pain.

This is the first time ghost month has affected me.  Tonight I will leave an offering outside of my door…. and pray that they will leave me alone.  I’m lost. I’m confused. I’m desperate.

Healthy Chinese Herbal Eats at 神農

After lunch, my little get-away, a mid-day nap and getting my hair did…. me and my mom and aunts headed off to another one of my favorite restaurants in Taichung, 神農.

Some beautiful fluffy flowers….

Some complimentary small dishes while we wait for our foods…. with some delicious medicinal tea.

Everything on the menu is medicinal and have “curing” things about them and are cooked and paired correctly to help make us healthier.

甘蔗苗 [Sugar Cane “Seedlings” directly translated] which – if I’m correct, and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – is the tips of the Sugar Cane plants.  They are not “sweet” like the normal sugar cane or fibrous – they remind me of bamboo shoots, super tender and delicious.

Mixed Asian Mushrooms….  yes, literally those puffs that look like sponges are mushrooms. NOM!  And if you know me, I ADORE mushrooms.

Those puffs are Bear’s Head Mushroom aka Hericium.

 “In China and Japan, species of Hericium are highly valued for their medicinal properties;[11] in particular, H. erinaceus is used intraditional Chinese medicine.[12] In recent decades there has been considerable research interest in the bioactive properties of this species, and several compounds isolated from H. erinaceus have biological activities, including cytotoxic effects on cancer cells, stimulatory effects on nerve growth factor synthesis,[13] antimicrobial and nematicidal activity, and antitumor activity.[14][15]

Hericium species can be purchased in dried form for use in cooking and as medicine.”

Wikipedia

Boiled Shrimp topped with some 木耳 [Wood Ear, a fungus] and 红枣 [Red Dates].

Boiled Dumplings 水餃 – they’re so good,with 薺菜 [Shepherd’s Purse] and pork.  Simple and delicious – just how I like my everything haha.  Yep, even the dumplings are super healthy for you.

Medicinal use for 薺菜 [Shepherd’s Purse]:

“When dried and infused, it yields a tea which is still considered by herbalists one of the best specifics for stopping haemorrhages of all kinds – of the stomach, the lungs, or the uterus, and more especially bleeding from the kidneys.

Its haemostyptic properties have long been known and are said to equal those of ergot and hydrastis. During the Great War, when these were no longer obtainable in German commerce, a liquid extract of Capsella bursapastoris was used as a substitute, the liquidextract being made by exhausting the drug with boiling water. Bomelon found the herb of prompt use to arrest bleedings and flooding, when given in the form of a fluid extract, in doses of 1 to 2 spoonfuls.

Culpepper says it helps bleeding from wounds – inward or outward – and: ‘if bound to the wrists, or the soles of the feet, it helps the jaundice. The herb made into poultices, helps inflammation and St. Anthony’s fire. The juice dropped into ears, heals the pains, noise and matterings thereof. A good ointment may be made of it for all wounds, especially wounds in the head.’

It has been used in English domestic practice from early times as an astringent in diarrhoea; it was much used in decoction with milk to check active purgings in calves.

It has been employed in fresh decoction in haematuria, haemorrhoids, chronic diarrhcea and dysentery, and locally as a vulnerary in nose-bleeding, which is checked by inserting the juice on cotton-wool. It is also used as an application in rheumatic affections, and has been found curative in various uterine haemorrhages, especially those with which uterine cramp and colic are associated, and also in various passive haemorrhages from mucous surfaces.

It is a remedy of the first importance in catarrhal conditions of the bladder and ureters, also in ulcerated conditions and abscess of the bladder. It increases the flow of urine. Its use is specially indicated when there is white mucous matter voided with the urine; relief in these cases following at once.”

Read more about it here.

Delicious Noodles tossed lightly in a 苦茶油 aka Tea Tree Oil, which translated directly into English is Bitter Tea Oil.

Delicious Sweet Potato/Yam Greens 甘薯瓣 with some Goji 枸杞 berries.

Black Chicken [烏骨雞] Herbal Soup

冬蟲夏草烏骨雞

Straight from the words of their website: “如同黃金般珍貴的冬蟲夏草隔水加熱後以水蒸氣慢慢炊熟,加入自釀超過一年的何首烏酒與無抗生素污染的烏骨雞。甘香美味的高湯徹底顛覆你對傳統藥膳苦澀的認知喔!”

The feets are my favorite!!!!! YUMMMMM

Shrimpy shrimp.  Got to eat it the right way.  Rip off the head, suck the innards of it and then eat the rest after you peel off the shell.

A yummy light dessert. MMMMM Black Sugar jelly/custard 黑糖凍.

Best Vegas Trip Ever… the end [Last Day]

Kelly and I woke up to a mess of food, booze, clothes and even ourselves, sprawled around the room – EVERYWHERE.  We ate yesterday’s leftover lunch and drank what we had left…. half a bottle of Johnny Walker Black and mixed it with pepsi.  Breakfast of champions!

I’m sorry mom.

+

=

Drunk 1 & Drunk 2 <3

Part of our messy booze and food filled room…

Somehow Kelly got to eat most of her leftovers.. I, on the otherhand, was weaksauce and just kept ordering more food and booze…. so she basically injected me with the leftover whiskey…

Sorry mom again…

This is probably the most clothes I have EVER worn in Vegas… or even around Kelly hahahaha

And sorry for that clothing comment too hahahahaha, my mom hates me now.

After cleaning up and packing we decided to do stupid stuff like… you know… drinking in the closet that fits both of us… we look so Asian here…

Gambling!!!! I lost money on the slots but ended up buying us drinks and winning it all back and 40$ playing Black Jack for a few minutes. SCORE!!!!!! I should just ALWAYS stick with Black Jack & Craps!!!!

Jack + Coke for her

A beer for me….

[ Sorry again mom for that snapchat AHAHAHAHAHAHA ]

After Kelly left… I grabbed a glass of champagne in the Heart Bar as I waited for J to come get me for a fun day outside of the “normal Vegas”

We went to the mall for a bit and I got spoiled… ring, tiara/crown and other gifts :] TEE HEE.. and then he took me to get some YUMMMMMMS..

It was between this place and a place called “Big Wong’s” hahahah.. I’m like YO you gonna take a Chinese chick to a Chinese place? Beware…. hahahahaha…. besides I wanted seaaaafoooooooood….. NOM NOM NOM

Hot N Juicy Crawfish!!!

And I even got the bib. YAY!!!!!!

“Is it your birthday?”
“Every day is my birthday!”
“Well Happy Birthday!”

 I trusted J with the order I just sat and enjoyed myself. THE SAUCE IS SOOOOO AMAZING.

Suck the head out… the yummy brains…. and de-shell and dip in sauce. SOOOO FREAKING GOOD.

We also got mussels…. SO MUCH FOOD, lickity lickity licked my fingers and lips and arms clean…..  I didn’t realize how full I was until part way thru dessert.. yep he also took me to dessert…

Snowflake Shavery!!! He was super excited to take me here, he said best ice cream ever.. and it WAS…. SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD

His —- I think it was coconut Ice Cream with Bananas, Pineapple and Condensed milk; We also go to try the new Banana flavor which is pretty amazeballs!

MINE!!!!!! The Black Seasame Creation with Black Sesame Ice Cream with mochhi, condensed milk and added rainbow sprinkles <3 DURRRR cuz I’m all aobut the rainbow sprinkles!!!

Thanks babe for a great day!!! I totally felt like a princess :D


SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIEEEEEEEEEE

Peace Out Vegas — until next time…. which will be really soon, I promise.

With a full belly of ice cream and burping up that Hot N Juicy sauce the entire night… I’m off back to the land of the cold cold Boston. Oh how I’ve missed you so *rolls eyes* Snow storm after snow storm.. I need the sun and the heat.  Anyone wanna go to Hawaii, Miami, Mexico a Caribbean Island or on a cruise soon?! Cuz I am SO there!

Best Vegas Trip Ever… until next time [Day 1]

Everyone say Happy Birthday to Kelly!!! Her birthday was Feb 6!  Two years ago we went and saw Nick Carter in Boston…. who would’ve thunk it we’d see him AGAIN in exactly two years? — yes that was a preview of blogging to come

Waking up at 4:30 in the morning is no fun… esp on barely an hour of sleep.. what can I say?! I’m psyched to be going to Vegas to see my girl Kelly on her birthday.. it’s all planned out. Planet Hollywood, Britney Spears show, dinner and on guestlist and vip lists for parties/clubs every night of the trip.. and then some… several per night [haha] I got overexcited….

I kissed my baby doll good bye and promised that her mama would be back and headed off to the airport looking like a hot mess…

The usual breakfast at Boston Beer Works. I still hate how they don’t serve alcohol before 8am there.  I want my bloody mary and I BOARD at 8 grrr…


Cheesy veggie omelet with the best home fries EVAAAAAAAAA….and toast – which I smothered in buttaaaa <3 I was hungry yo. And while I had subpar coffee and no booze….. the food made me happy….

It’s okay tho, I got my mimosa on the plane!!!….

and another and another.. and also my dosage of my favorite brothers, the Winchesters AHH.. “The Purge” is now probably my second favorite episode of Supernatural.  The first, still being “Yellow Fever”

I LOVE DEAN EPISODES!!!
I LOVE DEAN. I LOVE DEAN’S APPETITE. I LOVE DEAN!

BTW, I wore my “BIG IN JAPAN” cropped sweater on the plane… and the attendant was like “I was trying to figure it out the whole plane ride and now I get it! It means that in Japan you’re considered well endowed!” BWAHHAAHAHAHAH she was awesome!

My plane was an hour late due to the storm the day before – HELLO it’s New England, a little snow isn’t so scary GEEZ – so flights got all messed up but Kelly waited for me :] And we headed over to PH..

I tried to get the guy at the counter to upgrade our room… and 9 out of 10 times it works but he didn’t budge :[ Waaa… he did look kinda nervous tho haha.. we got our Britney keycards – since we were going to the show and got ready to get weird….

Best elevators EVERRRRRRRR….. Britney is such a Queen PURR*

Getting excited….

The view…

Our room was Indiana Jones themed…. I was about to put my bag down on the table when I screamed “WTF? A SHRUNKEN HAND” hahahaha…

We ordered some room service [DUH, me and room service = DANGER ZONE]… and started to get ready whilst drinking…

Lots of bubbles, lots of food…

And so it begins.. danger danger

This also sums up me and Kelly… me being Archer

We actually did a little shopping beforehand and I bought a shizz load of Britney things from the Britney store so I wouldn’t have to wait hours after the show tomorrow… including glow in the dark bracelets and rave lights for during the show….

And then we headed back to get ready for dinner…. dress picked, hair started… time to get funky…

DANNNNNGER ZONE

Happy Birthday to my favorite Asian Doll <3

It was Chinese New Year themed EVERYWHERE… and not just this casino a lot of others…

Before we got to the restaurant we found Britney… and of course, being vain, MORE PHOTO SHOOTS!!!!!

… and of course I can never take a serious picture…….

Yay time for the Birthday Girl’s Birthday Dinner at Koi – Japanese, our tradition is to ALWAYS get sushi our first dinner together, anywhere! Anytime. Haha.

I called ahead and told them it was Kelly’s bday and they gave complimentary champagne YAY

Tuna Tartare on Crispy Wontons…

Kelly was being all lady like and classy and eating it with a fork but I just stuffed the whole thing in my mouth….. an animated GIF might just happen soon…

They recommended, and I was gonna order anyway, the Salmon Carpaccio with black Truffles and citrus sauce… and of course some micro greens.. this was amazing.. not so much for Kelly so I got to eat most of it :D TEE HEE HEE

Oh, of course Edamame is REQUIRED….

Suddenly I remember a table of white people next to us:

“Can we have fried rice?”
“We don’t serve that here”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. too funny

Ok onwards….

Just some Salmon Sashimi and a Rainbow Roll. YUM. Simple and Perfect.

And then as an entree we shared, ……..

Steamed Chilean Sea Bass with Ginger, Ichimi & Shiitake Mushrooms

DELICIOUS… I also ate  most of this cuz I’m a fatass….

But this plant wanted to get in my pants…

They were super awesome and gave Kelly a surprise free dessert!!!!

Chocolate Lava Cake, Ice Cream, OMG… sugar rush HIGH and then crash…..

Now to prepare to go to the Bank….

TOO BAD WE PASSED OUT FROM FOOD COMA…!!!!!!!

At least we looked super cute doing it :]

It’s okay, we made up for it on Day 2…………

Ending 2013 with a Bang, starting at Les Zygomates

I know, I know, you’re thinking WHERE have you been? Posts of song lyrics/music videos/etc is just lame – so let’s speak FOOD….!!! That’s what you guys come here for, right? I hope you still do.  I’ve been super busy with, LIFE.  And happiness and just living the dream.

It was super last minute and the day before but we, B & I settled on commiting to Les Zygomates.  So after getting dolled up listening to some good music and drinking some bubbles we headed out into the freezing night for a good time.  Dinner at Les Zygomates + Estate.

It was pretty funny because I asked them if we could order off the regular menu and they said NO, if we sat at a table we HAD to get the Prix Fixe and we could only order off the regular menu if we sat at the bar.

And yes I made that face.
I think I made that noise too….

Their New Year’s Eve Menu

First Course (choice of one)

Lobster Bisque, Puff Pastry, Oloroso Sherry

Endive & Chicory Salad Cider Vinaigrette, Roquefort Cheese, Spiced Filberts, Shaved Heirloom Apple

Onion Soup Gratinee

Torchon of Foie Gras, Chocolate Brioche, Dried Figs & Port ($12 supplement)

Second Course (choice of one)

Thatch Island Oysters, Mignonette

Seared Pork Belly, Lentils de Puy, Sherry-Honey Emulsion

Escargot, Braised Black Garlic, Fresh Fettuccine, Roasted Tomato & Thyme, Cumin Scented Marcona Almonds

Tuna Tartar, Sesame Soy Vinaigrette, Hearts of Palm, Winter Melon, Cucumber & Lotus Root

Third Course (choice of one)

Pan Roasted Giannone Chicken Breast, Braised Escarole, Lardons, Sweet & Sour Cherry Gastrique

Grilled Painted Hills Sirloin, Kennebec Potato Gratin, Maitake Mushrooms, Green-Peppercorn Red Wine Sauce

Seared Diver Sea Scallops, Black Truffle-Parsnip Puree, Chestnut Veloute, Fried Kale

Lightly Roasted Berkshire Pork Chop, Roasted Butternut Squash, Braised Apples, Calvados Glazed Onions

Grilled Faroe Island Salmon, Whole Grain Mustard Whipped Potatoes, Braised Lentils, Brussels Sprout Leaves

Dessert (choice of one)

Creme Brulee Tartlett

L’opera Cake  with Pistachio and Pomegranate

Assorted Ice Cream & Sorbet

Ok so knowing me, you guys should know what I wanna do with this. B was a true sport and we picked the dishes out together.  He actually pointed out today how funny and ‘food critic’ of me that I made the comment “Nothing in the third course really pops out at me… can I just order one of each second course?” We got a decent bottle of Rosé….  and then later on each had a different glass of wine… I liked B’s better so he switched with me :] HEE HEE HEE

Yes I have issues, you have to ask B why he puts up with it :] Rawr rawr rawr purr purr purr…..

First Course
Torchon of Foie Gras
Chocolate Brioche, Dried Figs & Port

This was DIVINE.. of course, a huge delicious piece of foie perfectly cooked and amaaaaazing with the slightly re-hydrated dried figs.  The chocolate brioche wasn’t sweet but had a nice bitter chocolate, very mellow, taste, that had a perfect fit to the fatty foie.

Endive & Chicory Salad
Cider Vinaigrette, Roquefort Cheese, Spiced Filberts, Shaved Heirloom Apple

This wasn’t bad but it wasn’t super amazing – I think it was overdressed and just so-so.  I mean a simple salad is a simple salad. Yeah we didn’t finish this, BUT it was refreshing after DEVOURING the foie.  Definitely a good palate cleanser…[esp from the cider vinaigrette]

Second Course
Thatch Island Oysters
Mignonette

We were actually gonna just order like a half dozen oysters but they were on the menu, so WHY NOT?! They were huge briney and delicious. So just to let you know, Thatch Island Oysters are from Branstable Harbor, Cape Cod so they’re pretty local, I also LOVE LOVE LOVE and PREFER East Coast to West Coast Oysters, so YAYYYY.. happy little me.

Seared Pork Belly
Lentils de Puy, Sherry-Honey Emulsion

Not gonna lie, Pork Belly is never bad, but the lentils to pork belly is kinda like… UHHHHH…. yeah. It was nothing special though.. I guess there’s only so much people do with pork belly now? Yay for Asians who are more creative…. but overall a solid dish, I kinda wish we went for escargot…. I was thinking of it but I always figured Oysters CHECK, Pork Belly CHECK – Maybe I went wrong this time?!

Third Course
Pan Roasted Giannone Chicken Breast
Braised Escarole, Lardons, Sweet & Sour Cherry Gastrique

Ok I blame myself for ordering this, but it was the most interesting on the list [other than scallops, which we also ordered] While the lardons and the flavoring was great the chicken was sooooo dryyyyyy I kinda was dying….

Seared Diver Sea Scallops
Black Truffle-Parsnip Puree, Chestnut Veloute, Fried Kale

These were absolutely amazing and totally B’s call.  In fact, since I didn’t like the chicken he was so sweet to trade with me and actually eat a lot of the chicken. HOW IS B NOT THE BEST THING EVER? He let me eat the scallops <3

Dessert
They had four different ice creams, all of them were the usual except for this one, it was like some boozy  kind of a sort.

But the reason why he’s THAT awesome is that he ordered espresso to pour over the ice cream and made it into an affogato – yeah I think he knows the way to my heart.

Creme Brulee Tartlett

This was good, but no ice cream with espresso.. hahaha, my bad. By this time I was just happy and my tummy was happy and I was just loving the  affogato – so NO, this dessert did not fail… I was just distracted by my talented partner in crime’s idea :]

SO Happy New Years from US TWO… May everyone have the most amazing 2014… cuz I just ended 2013 in a FUCKING AWESOME WAY and it’s definitely off to a darn good start with this guy around ;]

Best. New Years. EVER.

The tale of Miss Tiffie and her first Balut

After many years of wanting to, and seeing Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain do it (my ‘eat/try anything food idols’) and so many of my Filipino friends…. I’ve wanted to try a Balut.  It freaks me out… I saw on Hell’s Kitchen recently… I don’t want no feathers and beaks… But I do wanna see whar the fuss is about.  I always try everything so when I had the change to try this. OBVIOUSLY I was 110% on board!

What else can I say? Texturally I actually would prefer it to be a little older duck since it just melted in my mouth.  The broth tasted like super condensed duck soup and the yolk was creamy and had a duck flavor to it.  The duck itself kinda had a gamey organ taste to it..  Not bad but the thought of eating it was kinda freaky.

Thanksgiving 2012

A very merry Asian Thanksgiving

Pre-Birthday Dinner at Asiana Bistro

After a long day of work and meetings I came home, changed and got ready for dinner with the parents.  A pre-Birthday dinner at Asiana Bistro, in Bedford.  My mom has been there for lunch with her friends and she totally loves the place.  As for me, any “asian place” that has Thai, Malaysian, Japanese, Chinese, etc… is a bit sketch.  But I’ll play along.  I just need a break from work… and some good food. PLUS, QT time with both my parents, which, lately, is far, few and rare.

Hells yeah. I know I know, I’m so freaking THUG.

So we’re looking at the menus and all of a sudden I go

“WTF?!  The bottoms of the menus have bible verses…”

My dad cracked up and my mom started reading them and translating them into the chinese versions…. I guess she memorized them.

This is only funny to people who know what is going on with my mom and church lately… haha

BIGGEST. TEAPOT. EVA.

 I got some Rose Champagne… they gave me a cute little bottle and a tiny little glass… I felt so Marie Antoinette. I need these glasses

Srsly. I want those glasses. Feel free to send some to me :] It’s still my birthday month ;]

Miss Tiffie
PO Box 803
Sudbury, MA 01776

Jellyfish Appetizer

Atop pickled carrots and daikon.  So delicious, crunchy and refreshing! I added some chili oil to it so that it’d give it a kick. I love my cold jellyfish spicy!

Scallion & Ginger Lobster

It was their last lobster and it was big and fat.  Delicious.  SO fresh, I mean come on it IS New England so it better be.  I love the chewy crust around the lobster from the stir-fry.YUM…. My favorite part is the…

Where it’s the body connected to the legs.. the most tedious and annoying part, which is great cuz no one eats it so it’s ALL FOR ME. I like to chew on the shell and the oil and crust come off with the meat, it’s SOOO decadent and gluttonous….. Which reminded me of when I was at Tony & Ashley’s wedding last year I got so sad they took my lobster away… I ended up pounding off the entire dish… hahaha

Found a fun video – Go Ming Tsai

Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake
The sauce was a bit too starchy – too much Corn Starch to make it thick but it was good.. I scrapped off the sauce and while I’m not a huge fan of Bok Choy, since every restaurant uses it to make it “Asian”, it was good. I LOVE mushrooms… so this made me uuber happy. UUUUUUUBER!!!

Salt & Pepper Spicy Soft Shell Crab
My mom LOVES soft shell crab.  This was cut into tiny pieces.. and the crab itself was tiny – LAME.  But it was tasty.  Crispy.  Spicy.. Too much fried noodles ont he bottom tho… I just like it over lettuce and bigger juicy chunks of the fried crab.

Whole Peking Duck

Wrappity wrap wrap

Nom nom nom

SOOOO GOOD.

The duck was SOOOOO juicy, fatty, and the skin was crisp to PER-FEC-TION.  It was SO freaking delicious, I was eating SOOOOO MUCH!!!  I added cucumbers and tons of raw scallions to my wrap.  Just a TOUCH of the sauce.  SOOOO FREAKING GOOD.

Fortune Cookie

I liked this fortune until Mommy had the same one. WOMP. HAHA.. no fun. We had some leftovers, but this was actually a really good meal :] I may have to try some of the other cuisines sometime.. I DID see Roti Canai on the menu <3 JOY

Late Night Wings…

SOOOO in my quest of pretzels… I needed wings! I was planning on getting some wings at Met Bar today but I forgot they took them off the menu.. Sad. :[ So I was PSHHHH I can make better wings ANYWAYS! After dinner I headed to Whole Foods to pick up my fav sliced in-house roast turkey breast [addicted! I go thru a 1lb bag in 2-3 days!] I also picked up some wings.. wish they were bigger and not cut apart… apparently their guy always gets their wings separated – lame. And yes, I talk with the butchers there all the time :] I’m a talker… just not like this:

Hi ;] Hi :D Hiiiii!!!!! :9

FYI, I hate talkers during sex. I don’t need to know what’s going on in your mind except for funky time. Kthanx.

SOOOOO… after making the dough for the pretzels and letting them rest I started on my wings…

Soy sauce, Ssame Oil, Garlic, Ginger, Scallions, Chilli Peppers….. 

Also added two secrets, a bit of cocoa powder and miso :] as well as beer & rice wine :D I’m a boozeaholic even when I cook… hahahahah!!!

Mixxx-a mixxxxx-aaaaa MIXXX-AAAAA!!!!

Panfried a bit and then added all the marinating sauce… added a bit extra soy sauce and rice wine!!!

RESULT?!?!?!?! DEEEEEEELISH!!! I sprinkled with some fresh scallions and I wanted to add white sesame seeds to make it super asian BUTTT… we were out… :T LOL

Might be nibbling and blogging now :] What’s left of it… *licks bowl*

L.T.O. [Limited Time Only] with Top Chef Leah Cohen

For the past year, Top Chef-testant Leah Cohen [Season 5] was traveling all over SouthEast Asia [yep and she blogged about it too, woot!]b So for four nights, Chef is serving up a 5-course menu [with or without the cocktail pairings] here at L.T.O. [Limited Time Only]

A little bit about the restaurant… same space, same name, same servers but they constantly, and consistently, change up the chefs/restaurants that do pop-ups here.  VERY cool concept – especially with the recent boomage/popularity of pop-up restaurants. Very clever….

I got there a few minutes early and sat at the bar with a glass of bubbly while I waited for Z to get there.  I was asked by the bartender if I wanted “house sparkling” or “champagne”… I asked him which one was better, confused since I’ve never heard of ‘House Sparkling Wine’… I know there’s always House Red and House White, which unless is in Italy, usually isn’t too great, but not bubbles. He whispered “Champagne is better…” haha cute. And yes, it was tasty.

We were seated at a tiny little table in the back next to the DJ booth, but Z knew me too well and asked for the big booth with the nice squishy comfy seats for us. :] YAY! My butt is happy!

Amuse Bouche
Steak Tartare with Truffle Oil on a Freshly Fried Taro Chip

And so it begins…. MMMMM… I LOVEEEE steak tartare… I LOOOOOVOEEE taro chips and, of course, I LOOOOOOVE truffles.  The taro chip wasn’t greasy at all, perfectly fried [or maybe since it wasn’t greasy it was baked? Regardless, perfectly crunchy and flavorful] The steak was chunky and super tender. The crisp greens added another textural fresh element to the bite.  And of course, the truffles were AMAZING.  I did feel, however, that the truffle oil masked the natural flavors of the steak itself.  It was an amazing bite, but I kind of missed the meaty taste of the beef itself.

Delicious concoction of Prosecco, lemon and vodka.

To be honest, I’ve been kind of scared of overly sweet cocktails since Luckyrice.  While I do enjoy a cocktail once in awhile, I don’t think I had drunken so many cocktails in my life, COMBINED [college included] as I did that night.  THIS drink looked evil but was delicious. Bubbly, light.. did not taste alcoholic at ALL – aka EVIL… – I could’ve drank these ALL night.

Mussel Omelet
Bean Sprouts, Coriander, Sriracha

Adorably plated and executed.  Reminded me of my favorite Taiwanese classic, 蚵仔煎 Oyster Pancakes.. The bottom of this omelet was a nice starchy fried crunchy “pancake” bottom. Despite the liquid surrounding the bottom from the cooked sprouts and mussels, it stayed crunchy.  The egg itself was perfectly cooked – although I could’ve done with a few more mussels, when I did get a bite of mussel, it was delicious.  I LOVED the crunchy fresh bean sprouts.  It played perfectly with the creamy mussels, the fried egg and the “heavier” crunchy bottom… of course I love cilantro – always refreshing in any meal and when I did get some sriracha in my bites [more sprinkling of it please] I was in heaven. You definitely need some of each element to create the perfect bite.

Champagne Raspberry Cocktail

Pork Neck
Watermelon, Crispy Skin, Lime Chili Dressing

My favorite dish of the night and the dish I was most looking forward to. Fatty fatty pork neck with melt in your mouth meat and a super crispy skin.  The watermelon was slightly cooked and super refreshing.  The lime chili dressing, i actually did not expect to like but it was SO delicious and perfectly balanced.

Separately I enjoyed the white wine but I actually found it not very complimenting to the next dish…perhaps it was because of the Chinese sausage…

Cod
Chinese Sausage, Cockles, Yuzu, Dashi, Thai Basil

COCKLES!!!!!!!  And for once, a yuzu dish that isn’t overpoweringly yuzu tasting! Brilliant.  I really liked the dish.. the cockles were cooked perfectly and the chinese sausage added a great spice and fatty element to the dish.  It was diced really small, which I’m actually not used to as much.. because even my mommy’s fried rice with diced Chinese sausage has pretty huge chunks of the stuff… it was a very light sausage – also another thing I rarely see – and the cod, perfectly cooked, tender, and had a generous thick toasted rice topping.  While, Z didn’t really find it good with the fish, I loved the play on the texture with the fish – I just found it hard to cut into.

Last savory dish of the night..and while very yummy, left me wanting more… #hungry

Grilled Hanger
Star Fruit, Rice Noodles, Peanuts, Herbs

I loved the starfruit addition to the dish, Z did not.  He thought it was weird, I thought it was brilliant.  My dish was a bit sloppy but the servings were huge – which was funny because throughout the night I kept getting larger portions than Z did.  The steak was cooked perfectly but I found it to be a bit too sweet.  The rice noodles were cooked great but cut into small pieces so it was really hard to eat – not to mention I REALLY wanted some chopsticks to eat this dish with.  I loved the addition of peanuts.   Crunch crunch crunch – and of course the chili peppers and cilantro are always a plus for me.

Lastly there was dessert… that came with a very very slightly sweet dessert wine – which is great since usually they’re TOO sweet and overpowering compared TO the dessert, this was perfect, light and crisp.

 

Pain Perdu
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream, Bananas, Pecans, Bourbon Palm Sugar Syrup

To be honest, before I really dive into how amazing this dessert was – I didn’t think much of it. I love pain perdu – basically a dessert version of French Toast – it’s been done. BUT this just may be the best of the night.  Ok, I lie I loved the pork neck, but this was Z’s favorite, in fact he STILL can’t stop talking about it. It was a good dessert though – simple, just sweet enough, texturally great, and just YUM! The crunch of the nuts, the silky smooth ice cream and the creamy, yes CREAMY, pain perdu…. with the sweet caramelized bananas – mmm I want bananas foster now – THIS was SUCH a great way to end the night, and one of the best desserts I’ve had in awhile. :] No lie.

Full, fat and happy…

After dinner, I was sad that Leah didn’t really come out to talk to any of the tables so I asked our waiter if I could meet the Chef… waiting patiently we saw her come out, make her way all around the room AND…….. skipped us!!!! SO SAD…. but then one of the servers pointed out that we were the ones who requested to meet her so happy Tiff Tiff again… we chatted for awhile asking about her dishes and her travels around Asia. HELLLLZ YEAH, she went to Taiwan, and loved it. She said she spent the majority of her trip in Thailand.. which was very apparent in her dishes that night.  She was really sweet.. and when we went to take a picture together she freaked out about  my height [haha] and asked if her eyes were closed in the pic.  In which I promptly replied, “I’m the asian one, shouldn’t I be asking that?!” Hahaha… She also mentioned that while she wasn’t allowed to talk about it she was opening a restaurant soon which will also be based on SouthEast Asian flavors.. YUM! I can’t wait.