Duck Breast with Fig Sauce over Grilled Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

I made this recipe a week or two ago and I thought I’d post about it….

Sauce:
Red Wine
Shallots
Figs
Balsamic Vinegar
Maple Syrup (only if figs are not sweet enough for you)
Black Pepper
Rosemary

Reduce.

[ps. if you haven’t noticed, I tend to cook by taste, feeling and not by measurements – unless I cake, so sorry… I also do not add salt to my food because I tend to have a bad reaction to too much salt, so I only eat it when it’s unavoidable outside of my house/cooking, but I promise you the flavor is there… that’s why I always use a lot of spices and herbs.]

Duck:
Take the duck breast and score diagonally and sprinkle with Black Pepper
Cook with extra duck fat (always start skin side down on a cold pan)
When you flip it (after skin is crispy) add xxx and xxx in pan (can’t give away all my secrets right?)
Add rosemary, [or thyme] cook to liking.

Veggies:
Use duck fat to coat asparagus and my beautiful multicolored cherry tomatoes.  Cook until asparagus is still firm, not limp with a bit of char.  The tomatoes should have a bit of char as well and will burst by themselves. Pop!

Garnish with a freshly sliced fig! Oh I so fancy yo. LOL.

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End result: Yumzers! ENJOY!

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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.

New Years Eve Dinner 2016 at Duexave

FINALLY I’m GONNA POST THIS!!!!!!!!!

So I’ve been backlogged… I have half written blogs up all in this shizz and it doesn’t seem to be coming out (ha! – Sorry dirty mind!) I keep having ideas and then writer’s block… my current obsession with watching Frozen and Tangled and seeing their soundtrack 24/7 isn’t helping either… haha “hashtag dork”… and I also started obsessing (yeah a few seasons… like 6, late) with 2 Broke Girl$ (hastag ILOVEMAXSHEISMYHERO) so yeah.  Work, Disney, iTunes is ruining me…. in a wonderful way.

So let’s catch up on 2017… Let’s start off with my last night of it…. NYE 2016 :) which sadly I had a stomach bug so I threw up all night with my date.  Which was funny cuz my date and I went to watch college football first, and me being over-underdressed  puked a few times at the bar.  My stomach finally calmed down on the way to Deuxave (owned and cooked by one of favorite chefs Chef Christopher Coombs) And while I was being careful with my tender tummy… I am NOT about to throw up any good food… I didn’t eat my usual overstuffed way, but all the food was amazing!!!! I haven’t been in forever!!!



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We started off with delicious warm sourdough (great crust and fluffy middle) with a ribboned creamy butter.

Funny story [sidenote] about sourdough bread.  This total bully that lived across the street from me when I was a kid in New Mexico, LOVED sourdough bread. I played with her because 1. She lived across the street from me. 2. She was a bully. 3. She had no friends. 4. I am overly nice even though she did horrible things to me…. etc. etc. ANYWAYS, she loved it, I hated it and she even held it against me. She also forced me to watch Child’s Play which I ran home crying after. I was like 7. Bitch. Her, not me. She also grabbed my arm and bit it once because I said I didn’t want to play with her anymore… #whyineedtherapy [/sidenote]

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Then came the complimentary amuse bouches…. All topped with microgreens!!!…

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Crap, I forgot what these balls were.. they were fried balls of yumminess though… I think it was crab… When in doubt just shove it all in your mouth (ha!) when in a spoon… especially if shaped in little balls (double ha!)

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Some Creamy Lobster Bisque. (HA! The lady next to us even asked for spoons… LOL duh you sip it, it’s a tiny little cup… and if anything just freaking eat your balls and use that spoon… LOLOL.. she complained a lot all night LOLOL!) Anyways.. tasty, thick and rich.

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And some duck liver terrine with pomegranate seeds on cute little crostini…. I could never turn down anything duck liver… or things on a crostini.  I admit it. I love the trend… it shall never grow old… anything on toasted bread (preferably buttery… even more buttery and garlicky) will forever be delicious!!!!!

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For appetizers (thankfully my date was happy to go with my (get two of everything we would eat so we can try more foods) we got the Wagyu Beef Tartare with Forbidden Rice Chips, Green Papaya Salad, Avocado Puree and Crispy Shallots!

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And the Hamachi Crudo with Fennel Dill, Pickled Shallots, Rye Crisps and Smoked Aioli… which is fresh and delicious…. simple and perfect! And gorgeously plated…. and oh oh oh how I love the roe :] Roe roe roe!!!

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And then came the seafood plates!  With Seared Nantucket Bay Scallops with Maitake & Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Brodo, Fines Herbs and a Chili Oil….. hehe I always love when they table side pour for you… I had to whip out the camera in time to catch it in action.

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Look at those beautiful cute things.  Now, date doesn’t do seafood, but he did for me :] And liked it!!!! —- Although he did pass on the hamachi crudo… still need to ease him into sushi…. (bad experience, supposedly)

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And obviously anything with pork belly.. am I right?  Crispy Spanish Octopus(sy) & Pork Belly with Chorizo, Choucroute, Potato, Parsley and Aiji Amarillo.  Octopus on point with crispy ends… and a melt in your mouth pork belly :] NOM!

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And then comes our main courses!!!!! Which contained the highlight of the night… Prime Beef Tenderloin & Perigord Black Truffles with Egg Yolk Raviolo, Celery Root and Bordelaise.

This Raviolo was the dish I was waiting the whole night for, especially since Chef Chris posted the instagram online.  Yeah, you should follow his instagram.  I stalk it religiously for amazing food porn and cute baby pics :]

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Spiced Long Island Duck Breast & Housemade Sausage with Romanesco, Baby Shitake Mushrooms, Foie Gras & Cipollini Vintrigrette and Persimmon.

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Perfectly cooked and I adored the small chunks of all the foie and sausage.  It didn’t overwhelm and the duck was amazing.  You know I’m a duck girl, if there is duck on the menu, I am sure to get it.

We were nearing close to midnight……..

We got complimentary bites nibbles whilst waiting for our desserts…. nervously so, since it was nearing midnight.  They weren’t a hit…. Not to be a party pooper but the other customers around us didn’t seem to enjoy them either…..

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And the desserts came…..

“Cafe Chocolate” with Coffee Biscuit, Cardamom Cremux, Caramelized Vanilla Glace…. Super yummy!!!!!!!!…. I loveeeee cardamom in sweet desserts…!!!!

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And I, being a lover of Chestnuts, I picked “Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire” with Chestnut Cream, Vanilla Meringue, Kalamansi and Banana Glace.  The Ice cream was delicious but unfortunately the citrus inside the ball was just way overpowering so I ended up getting no chestnut flavor. :[

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We sipped on glasses of a delicious Rose bubbly the whole night and had such delightful conversations… (I think I might be a bit loud and embarrassing to him) —-and even got to chat with my buddy, Chef Chris for a bit [yes! Hang soon! And I’ll be in for the waffles & foie ASAP]… unfortunately we were rushing to our venue at the W Hotel to countdown to the New Years so I couldn’t squeeze in a pic with him :[ WAA WAA… It’s okay… it’s not like I’m far from this place.  Adore this place!!!!!

 

Indulging at uzna omom; harajuku pancake

Recently I discovered a new place in Taipei…and the smells and the menu looked quite alluring….

The wait is quite long, it is indeed a new place, but I was ready to wait.  I was dying of hunger, but I needed to try this place.

The decor was adorable!!!

Aren’t the ceiling fans freaking adorable? I love this place, it was just so warm and cozy [minus the fact that the AC was turned up super high – haha – on the inside I was warm and cozy]

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I ordered a sparkling white grape juice with no sugar – which is sad cuz they added so much lemon in it, I could barely taste grape, it was basically lemonade.

I ordered a cooked spinach salad with smoked duck.. it came with a delicious creamy corn soup and two pancakes [they are famous for their pancakes]  All was delicious!!! Although the spinach was barely cooked so it was basically raw.. but they did add a few mushrooms slices, which was nice… and the duck was delicious, just wish there were more.

For tea time places, I wish there was always choses when it came to soup – I’m not a creamy soup person – I’m lactose intolerant – but I did enjoy this soup.  And pancakes were delish!

Also ordered a side dish of broccoli with shrimp and some mushrooms… and some bacon.  It was overly salty, I think they accidentally salted it twice or thrice, cuz it was painfully salty.

The next concoction was this coffee with shaved ice and condensed milk. Gorgeous and delish!!!

For dessert i had the Honolulu Soufflé pancake and it was smothered in a delicious cream and caramel-y sauce, and crushed macadamia nuts. OMG it was SO GOOD, but extremely filling.  Half of this filled me up like no other. SO RECOMMEND THIS!!!!

I’d say come here for the desserts/pancakes and amazing matcha tea lattes and stuff but don’t expect a lot from the savory.  The desserts are delicious!!!!

BTW like my new cell phone case?  She wanted a selfie!

Vegetarian No Meat Burgers!!!… and other yummies from the past few days!

Today I tried something new… while I had a beef burger…. oh so yummy, I tried out a special recipe for my mom and her vegetarian friend…. no-meat burgers for them using Beyond Meat product! I prefer Yves non-meats but couldn’t find any at Whole Foods today :[ Bummer.

For 2 Burger Patties:
1 bag of Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles

1/4-1/2 onion
A few cloves of garlic
Paprika
Salt
Black Pepper
Dried Basil (fresh is probably better and if so, minced)
2 eggs
flour

I first sautéed the minced onion and garlic til caramelized and starting to be transparent and browned slightly. I mixed it with the beefy crumbles. Added S&P, paprika, dried basil and perhaps a few more secret ingredients. I added two eggs and a few pinches of flour to help it bind better – I probably should have added more flour since it was a little too wet. And I grilled them.

For toppings I sautéed onions and mushrooms. Topped the patties with cheese as they were about to be done cooking and put a lid on the pan to melt the cheese. I added a few slices of rings of red onion, sliced tomatoes and some avocado. Some other options (which I put on my beef burger) were jalapeños and cilantro.

And to make the dinner even better.. some kale chips… just kale… drizzled in evoo, s&p I added cayenne pepper… or whatever flavorings you want :]

BTW, this was my BEEF burger haha

Sorry, being “healthy”… even tho the burger was rare *MAD COW DISEASE* haha but I ate my in lettuce wrap….”sort of” ok some of it with fork and knife….

More stuff I made this weekend..

Vegetarian Soup… there’s kale, corn, leeks, mushrooms, onion etc etc… topped with some cheese and cilantro and a “garlic bread” croissant

There were more veggies but I don’t remember

And our pre-Masquerade Harvard Ball dinner

Duck Confit with Leek/Mushroom Risotto and Spicy Broccoli

Just used a tiny bit of white truffle butter, topped with parm and scallions in the risotto, had fresh white truffles.. but forgot to top it… duck confit cooked in lots of duck fat for awhile so super crispy… and then just steamed broccoli with hot pepper flakes :]

Duck Breast “Confit” Dinner with delicious sides….. and hilarious Taylor Swift “music video” dance by Miss Tiffie at the end

Happy Mothers Day 2014 at Cottage Wellesley

I’m behind on my Mother’s Day Post….. I took my mama to The Cottage in Wellesley for the special day…

We got there in time for the reservation but still had to wait awhile for our table… which was kind of disappointing – and annoying.

Me and my beautiful mommy…

I got her flowers delivered to the restaurant… which she loved because she loves purple roses and we both took a million pictures… this is one of my favorites… she will always be the most beautiful woman I know in my life.

We got a half bottle of champagne to celebrate the day.

Cheers to you mommy for being the most amazing woman in my life.

We said no to bread but they gave it to us anyway and it was SO GOOD.  Warm creamy butter and hot delicious fluffy bread. YAY – so bad for us since we’re both carb-o-holics.  It was kind of foccacia-y….

For appetizers we got  a grilled vegetable salad and fried eggplant fries.

DUDE.

FRIED. EGGPLANT. FRIES.

They came with a sauce that kind of tasted like a tartar sauce mixed with a thousand island dressing…. but just on it’s own it was…. light, fluffy, crisp outside and soooo soft and yummy inside – NOT OILY AT ALL.

They actually split our salad for us.  It came with avocado… like a split whole avocado between the two of us… grilled red peppers… asparagus… corn… squash… different kinds of greens… it was just beautiful… you didn’t even need the dressing to make it delicious.

This was my duck duo – which was duck leg confit and duck breast. BEAUTIFUL.  Pickled Cabbage and mandarin slices.

Mama got the sweet potato crusted cod with Potatoes and corn…. also completely amazing.

 

When we got home I made us Watermelon Margaritas with just Fresh Watermelon and Patron in my vitamix. YAYYYYYY

 I love you Mommy

岩波庭餐廳 Zen Garden Fusion Cuisine

Being in Yilan…. at the spa resort, my uncle reserved a place for us at the Zen Fusion for dinner…. basically we got a set menu and it was DELICIOUS.

We all wore the kimonos that the spa provided…. which was sooooooooo inspiring and free-feeling

Sparkling Sake… oh Uncle, you know me too well

Delicious Scallion Bread…… Yilan is known for their scallions…. so this was amazing

Afterwords when my family went up to the rooms to gossip and talk I stayed at the bar… having whiskey and wine.

Before heading to the hot springs bath in my room to chill out with a bottle of wine.

Life is just so grand.

吉凡尼的花園 Le Jardin de Giverny in the 美術館 area

Woke up super hungry…… time for some delicious eats at 吉凡尼的花園 Le Jardin de Giverny – I’ve been here before, years ago and it was pretty bad but they changed owners and have definitely improved 10 fold.

I so hangry

We ordered two add on lunch meal sets and two a la cartes to share.

Delicious Fresh Foccacia Breads

[You can actually buy breads and pastries in the front of the house]

You can also buy different vinegar, oils and balsamics in the front as well… yay for dipping yummy warm bread…

Fresh Veggie/Fruit Juice

My clear vegetable soup… which tasted a bit buttery to me so I wasn’t that into it. The flavors were great though.

And of course for my “drink” that came with my meal I got a nice glass of white wine.

Fresh salad with walnuts and starfruit.

Appetizer: Ratatouille

It was absolutely delicious and one of the few times I’ve ever had it.  I’m so glad I ordered this.. it was between this and escargot.

My aunt’s appetizer: A Crab “Tart” which is so not a tart, but it was good and fresh none-the-less

And for her main dish she got the seafood risotto.  YUM.  I had a bite and you could taste yummy saffron…. reminded me of a paella but creamier…

Mama, of course, got the pan-fried duck breast, but which was cooked really well and just fatty enough. So so tender.

My other aunt got the pan-fried sea bass, which was one of my choices….

But I ended up getting, DUH, the spicy seafood stirfry :]

And then we went straight into dessert….

A mini Creme Brulee… which I gave to my aunt since she rarely gets to eat these things….

But I enjoyed my delicious iced coffee…. MMM froth

地址:台中市五權七街58號 (台中綠園道)
電話:886-4- 2376-9755

I ended up staying for tea time as well but while my aunts chatted I explored the area a bit…..

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.