Tuesday, June 29, 2010

He had me at Jumper!!!

I may be bias with what I'm about to say because Kiko is Mexican and most of my friends are Mexican/Latinos but Mexican parties are seriously the best!!! I love getting invited to my friend's parties because they always have awesome food, good music, dancing and funny drunk old people.

My friend Eduardo invited me and my friend Grace to his twin sister's graduation party on June 12, 2010. (I know, its super late). He texted me a week before and he said there was going to be Birria, Mole, Carne Asada, Mariachis and Jumper. OMG, he had me at Jumper. I mean, for sure I'm going because he's my friend and I heard Birria, Carne Asada and Mariachis lol but he seriously had me at Jumper. OMG a jumper!!! I've only been in a Jumper once and I've been saying I want to rent one for all my birthdays that passed lol. 

Eduardo's family really went all out for his twin sister's grad party. Shoots, I can't blame the parents since the girls graduated from UC Berkley.  This big party was organized by his family and relatives. It's funny how everyone in the party was somehow related to each other and it's very cool that almost all of them had something to do with the cooking. He said it happens all the time whenever they have huge parties, where each family/relative is in charge of cooking something. It's their tradition.

The photo above is my first plate. I'm not new to Mexican food. Some of  Eduardo's auntie's were laughing when I knew all the names of the food they had. I'm Asian but I know my Mecican food lol. I got the Birria, a spicy goat stew, Carne Asada, Mexican rice and beans, Guacamole, Pasta salad and Nopales salad (cactus salad) with lots of Corn Tortillas.

This is my second time having Birria and its soo delicious. It was spicy and savory. I knew it was goat's meat but it tasted like beef to me. If you didn't know it was goat, you probably wouldn't tell the difference. Mon did because she's picky like that lol. The Carne Asada was the bomb. The meat was so soft and tender It must be the expensive kind lol. I also like the Nopales salad which is a bit slippery and sour. I only get to eat Nopales at my friend's house when their mom makes it because I don't know where else to get them.

There were also unlimited Guacamole and Salsa set up at every table for guest to enjoy. It's like being in a restaurant but its free lol!

 Oh and I can't forget the big pot of mole sauce made by one of Eduardo's relatives. The sauce was to pour on top of the chicken. If you've never had mole before then you're missing out. It's a very popular sauce used in Mexican cuisine made from so may different ingredients, all kind of spices, peppers and what not and there's so may variations of it (just google it).  The sauce was a bit sweet, I could taste the hint of chocolate and it had a mild peppery taste, which I loved.

For dessert, they had the most delicious sponge cake I've ever tasted in my life. I'm not even kidding! It had layers of puff pastry, whipped cream, sponge cake, strawberries, peaches and kiwi.  Eduardo's sister said they had to order it all the way from Norwalk (they're from Inglewood)  because they had it at their friend's party and they loved it so much, they wanted one for their party. Grace and I ate so much of it, it made our tummy hurt the rest of the night. We were soooo full.


There was an amazing Mariachi band that played music all night long from 8 to 11:30pm. They went from table to table and the adult's danced to their songs in the back. Gosh, I love Mariachis. They are so much fun! I wish I can sing to all the songs they played. Heck, I should learn them lol. I told Kiko I want a Mariachi for our wedding, period!!!


Watch the video below to hear them sing!!!

The Castle Jumper. It got a little dangerous jumping with all those kids inside but it was super fun! Once we started jumping, my friends and I couldn't stop laughing. My chest was hurting and I was trying to catch my breath, but I still kept on laughing and jumping up and down like a little kid. It was the best feeling ever. Its been a long time since I laughed that hard.

Look, we made it collapse several times...it was scary trying to get out and we still couldn't stop laughing. We went back 2 more times after they put more air and got it back up! By the way, these kids were in there most of the time. They had so much energy geeesh!

Good times!!!

Everything was so much fun at this Grad party. I posted all the photos in my facebook and named the album, Best Grad Party Ever!!! because it really was.  There were good food that almost exploded our bellies, an awesome Mariachi band that sang through out the night, good friends to laugh with and a super fun jumper experience that I will never forget!!! Thank you Eduardo for inviting us and congratulations to your UC Berkley sisters!!

Watch the video to get see what the party was like ^_^

Monday, June 28, 2010

He gets a Turkey Burger, I get a Real Burger

Love is when your partner, other half, syota, boyfriend or whatever you call it lets you eat whatever you want. I've mentioned in my previous post that Kiko has been into eating healthy and I'm not lol. He shares his new passion with me without forcing it on me ^_^. Now, whenever we eat out, he gets a less fattening entree while I don't (another lol). Eating at Islands last week was a great example of what I'm talking about.

Once in a while we crave a really good burger and Islands always comes into mind. It's always been our favorite spot to get really good burgers. Islands is a restaurant that serves great fresh hamburgers (hand formed patties) and specialty drinks in a Hawaiian tropical theme with the surf/beach photos everywhere, tropical plants and stuff like that. It's pretty cool if you ask me.


We haven't been here in a long time and I noticed they changed their menu. I think they added more specialty burgers and now they offer turkey and veggie burger to substitute beef. I'm glad they thought of the non-beef and meat eating people out there ^_^

Everything in the menu looked fattening and high in calories. Kiko did his best in trying to order a less fattening burger. He got the HULA (photo below) turkey burger on wheat bread. It has sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, Swiss cheese, tomatoes and mayo It actually has 920 calories (islands nutritional facts).  I know its a lot but it's nothing compare to what I got.


I got their KILAUEA (photo below) on white bun. It'a beef patty encrusted in black pepper with pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli, tomato, lettuce and onion strings with fries and blue cheese dressing on the side. I didn't care about the fat and calories content. It has a whopping 1560 calories not including fries and blue cheese dressing was 540 calories. It's more than a whole day's worth of calories OMG. But I seriously didn't care. I was there to enjoy myself and its not like I eat Islands burgers everyday (I wish!). 

Kilauea is my favorite thing to get because I love it's strong peppery taste and the chipotle aioli compliments it very well. I like to eat it with blue cheese dressing. Kiko thinks its weird but its soooo good. It's like making the Kilauea into a Blue Cheese burger ^_^.  I also can't get enough of their fries. They are seriously addicting. I finished all my fries and got some more from Kiko. Also, I noticedthat their burgers got bigger. Maybe its just me but I got pretty full by eating half. Wow, that's never happened before!



I always enjoy seeing the layers of meat, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes in a burger. It's so beautiful isn't it?

and yeah my blue cheese dressing which I had with my burger and fries. Kiko was shocked when I finished 2 of them.


Kiko watched in amazement as I devoured my burger, fries and blue cheese dressing lol. Once I was done, he asked, "Are you good boss?" and I replied, "ugghh! jesss I feel happy!" and we both smiled at each other. I dunno about you but that's love. Love is seeing your partner, other half, syota, bf, gf or whatever you call it very full and satisfied lol.

Go to http://www.islandsrestaurants.com/menu/burgers.aspx to find an Island restaurant near you and also look at their menu and nutritional content.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tortang Alimango (Crab Pancake/Omelet)

To all my fellow Filipinos out there, if you know how to make "Tortang Giniling" then this Crab Pancake/Omelet will be an easy recipe. It's pretty much the same way to make Tortang Giniling but use real crab meat instead. This dish was really random and totally made up.  My family is really good at whipping up random food creation in the kitchen and the outcome is always delicious.

Tortang Giniling is a type of Omelet, Filipino style where in ground beef is satueed in potatoes, tomatoes, onions and garlic then beaten with eggs.

We had a lot of  crabs left over from my other aunt's party the night before. My aunt didn't want to let it go to waste so she made this dish. She peeled and cracked 4 huge crabs to get the meat out. 


I'm gonna share with you guys the recipe but its going to be a little rough. In my house we never measure anything when we cook unless were baking. We pretty much just eye ball everything.

What you need are :
  • raw eggs
  • fresh crab meat. If you don't have fresh crab meat on hand, you can buy it a the grocery store. Just don't use imitation crab meat.
  • minced garlic
  • chopped onion
  • chopped green onion for color.
  • chopped tomatoes
  • potato chopped in tiny pieces (optional)
  • Vegetable oil or Canola oil for frying.
  • salt
 I'm gonna try to explain how my aunt did it. Just kind'a wing it with me okay ^_^
  1. Heat frying pan with Vegetable oil.
  2. Sautee garlic, onion, potato and tomato until the tomato kind of melts ( these 4 things are the base for the torta/pancake/omelet, so its very important)
  3. Throw in the fresh Crab meat in the pan and salt it lightly. Let it cook for a few minutes then set it aside on a plate. Throw in the Green Onions on the plate.
  4. Beat some eggs in a bowl.
  5. Throw in the Crab mixture. 
  6. Add a little more Vegetable oil in the same frying pan.
  7. Scoop 2 spoonfuls of the mixture drop it in the pan like pancake batter.
  8. Cook it for a couple of minutes then flip it on the other side to cook. It should have a nice golden color.
  9. Once its cooked, place it on a plate with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
  10. Repeat the same step until you finish the whole egg mixture and you're done!
It came out sooo delicious. The crab meat gave it a little sweetness. Initially I was just going to taste it but I ended up getting some steamed white rice to go with it and I ate a lot of it lol. I'll definitely make it myself in the future.


Can you see the Crab meat?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kiko's Egg Whites Veggie Omelet and Burnt English Wheat.

I envy Kiko. He's been eating healthy and working out for the past 3 weeks. He's been looking good. Well he always looks good but I noticed he lost some weight and his arms are toned ^_^. I wish I can do the same. I'm just all talk. I always say I'm gonna cut back on fatty food and run at least 3 times a week but its still not happening. Sigh...I just need to do it!

Anyway, Kiko sent me a photo of his Egg White Veggie Omelet that he made a couple of days ago. It's his new favorite dish to make. He says its healthy and cholesterol free and, I won't miss the yokes. I dunno...i love my yokes. I know its not good for you but I love my yokes in my eggs!!! lol.


He used some stuff left in his fridge
  • 6 egg whites
  • one small tomato chopped
  • 4 white button mushrroms roughly chopped
  • half of a green bell pepper chopped
  • half cup of low fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • half of a ripe Avocado. Kiko loves Avocado.
He used an Olive Oil spray to coat a non stick pan. He was so excited about the spray. He's never used anything like it before. He thought it was so cool ^_^.  

So from what he told me, he cooked the veggies first then was set aside on a plate once it was done. Next, he poured the egg whites in the same pan. He let it cook half way then he put the cooked veggies on the left side of the pan and sprinkled cheddar cheese. Then he used a spatula to fold the other side on top of the veggies or something like that. Once it was cooked, he put it on a plate and placed the chopped Avocados on top. 

And the outcome was yum! He said, he didn't miss the yokes at all and that it tasted better without the yokes. He also paired it with Wheat English Muffins. He burnt it! He was mad at first but after tasting it, he said it was actually good. It had a smokey taste to it. He's so funny!



So my question to everyone is Yokes or No Yokes?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mom's Ginger and Tumeric Chicken.

At least once a week, my mom would come up with a random dish that she totally made up in the kitchen. She uses whatever is sitting in the pantry or fridge and next thing I know she has created a bomb a** dish for lunch lol.  Her Ginger and Tumeric Chicken is the perfect example of what I'm talking about. 

For some reason we had a bunch of ginger root and some left over tumeric so she put them into good use. I have no idea what tumeric is. I just learned about it as I wrote this post and did a little googleing. I'm more familiar with Ginger. My mom used to make ginger tea "Salabat" when I was a little kid because it supposedly helps with making your voice sound pretty lol.  Also, I like to use Ginger when I cook...well I used to cook lol. It adds a hint of sweetness and distinct spice to any dish that only ginger can give. 

Ginger

I'm not too familiar with Tumeric (photo below) . I never even noticed my mom use it sometimes in her cooking. I have probably seen it being used on the food network but that's all I know. As you can see it the photo it looks like the sister of Ginger. They look alike but the flesh is bright orange instead of yellow. After doing a little research Tumeric is the main ingredient in curry powder and is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine. It adds color as well as flavor in sauces, condiments and etc.

Tumeric
So this is what my mom did. She marinated the chicken wings in vegetable oil, a little vinegar, chopped ginger and tumeric and salt for an hour or you can also let it sit over night. The chicken will turn a little yellow or orange and the flavor would penetrate the chicken even more. 


She grilled it on an iron grill pan until it was thoroughly cooked. 



Can you smell it?

She also made Garlic Fried Rice to go with the grilled chicken. I love garlic fried rice. My mom used fresh chopped garlic as well as dried garlic flakes...yum! The more garlic, the better!

Voila!!!! It's done. So is it good as it looks? Heck yeah! I really liked it. It was a bit tangy and it has a mustard-y taste to it and goes really nice with the garlic fried rice. (Well everything goes well in garlic fried rice) It was a successful dish and my mom said she will definitely make it again ^_^

Thanks for reading my blog.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pastelitos in the streets of L.A.

The part of Los Angeles where I am from has a lot of street vendors. They are pretty much seen almost everywhere usually in the corner of the block or in front of schools and businesses. I caught this lady who sells  tamales and pan dulces not too far from my house. I saw her big container of empanada/pan dulce  and I craved it right away. I used to eat these when I first started working almost everyday because a lady was selling it in front of the school I was working at.

I don't know the origin of this bread. I still gotta do my research on it. My friend said I can't call it Mexican bread because other countries in Latin America has their own version of it. The empanada/pandulce are filled with either some type of cream or pineapple preserve. They are a bit crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and they are very sweet. The best part is the price. They were being sold for 3 for a dollar ^_^

I know she doesn't have a grade A sign posted on her cart. Don't ask me if its clean or not. I'm taking a risk whenever I buy street food. I am not embarrassed to say that I have been buying food from street vendors for a long time now and I haven't gotten sick ( I hope I don't jinx it lol). Actually, the best tamales and bread I've had are actually from the streets and I'll leave it like that ^_^.

So I bought 3 for a dollar!



I got the one with cream inside ^_^ Sooooo good! I can eat so much of these.



Thanks for stopping by!!!

Unlimited Tempura at Am-Am's birthday

Awwww...my niece Alexandra or Am-Am as we call her in the family turned 13 on June 8, 2010. OMG she's a teenager Noooo! But I shouldn't worry because she's a good girl. She does ballet and sings at her school choir. At her age, she's very responsible and we can already rely on her for many things like taking care of her 2 year old brother Mo-Mo. She knows how to bathe him, change his poo poo stinky diaper and all that baby stuff. Pretty awesome huh? Tell me one teenager you know that can do all those things. I bet none!

For her birthday, her mom asked her what she wanted. All she requested was unlimited Shrimp Tempura   and Cheesecake! Wow, that's it? What an easy request.  She loves Japanese food and Shrimp Tempura is one of her favs, so wish granted! My cousin bought boxes of frozen  Shrimp Tempura and Cheesecake at Ralphs (Grocery store). If you must know Ralphs makes really good Cheesecake. I don't know why but they just do.


My cousin fried all the Shrimp Tempura. Omg it was a lot!!!! It was more than enough for everyone. Yummmmmm...........

They also bought Shrimp Tempura Rolls at their local sushi joint. Yeah more tempura.


They also got several huge cups of Vegetable Udon soup. I didn't get to taste this one. 


 Am-Am's plate ^_^

My Tita Abeng made this fruit punch with apples and pears. It was a mix of Orange and Mango juice with chopped apples and pears. It was really yummy and refreshing.




Ralph's Cheesecake. It was simple yet delicious.



My family went Cherry picking the other day. I thought I post the Cherry pic. They still need to ripe some more.


Overall, it was a fun birthday. I love you my Am-Am. I hope you stay the sweet and loving girl that you are. You're ate Beck-beck (that's me) is always here for you ^_^. Kisses!

Here is a short video I put together on her bday. Enjoy! (oh and watch my family go crazy for the Lakers lol) 


Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Disney Land's Turkey Leg

Not too long ago, my family went to Disney Land without me. I know, how sad. I had to work that day so I wasn't able to go. Through out the day, my mom was text messaging me, updating me about my little nephew Momo. He's 2 years old and it was his first time at Disney Land. Awww...I could have been there to see his reaction when he saw Buzz Light Year. My mom said he freaked out lol.

She also updated me about the food they ate. They had Clam Chowder by the New Orleans town (don't know what's it called) and as always they have the Turkey Leg. Turkey Leg is like a family favorite whenever we go to Disney Land. I don't know why but we always get it.

My mom was sweet enough to bring me my own leg lol. She didn't have to text message and ask if I wanted one. She knew I would love to have some.


This is huge Medieval Times Turkey leg status (I'm talking about the show lol). I feel hardcore, like a fat king holding it with my hand and ripping the meat off with my teeth.


It's smoked to perfection. The meat was still soft and juicy. I ate it for dinner and breakfast the next day. There was no way I could eat it all, so I saved half of it for my omelet the next day ^_^




Have you ever had a Turkey Leg?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Princess Party and Good Mexican Food

Children's birthday parties are always super fun. I always get excited when I get invited to one. Parents usually go all out for their kids especially when they are babies. That means a huge party with a big cake, games, pinatas, sometimes a Jumper and of course lots of foood!

I was invited to go to my friend's daughter birthday party a month and a half ago (lol i know this post is super late) and, she definitely did the whole sha-bang for her little girl's party. It was a princess themed party with pink balloons, tiaras, wands, boas, bubbles, kiddie pool, pinatas and lots of good Mexican Food cooked by her grandma. Oh yes! The food was the bomb. It's been awhile since I've had Mexican food and, I was excited when I saw a spread of Mexican food on the table.  Everything was delicious but my favorites were the Mexican Rice and Chunky Enchiladas ^_^ 





Look at my pretty plate. I made my own Chicken and Steak tacos with chunks of Avocado and Tomatoes and Queso Fresco, Chunky Chicken Enchiladas and Mexican Rice. The Enchiladas were stuffed with so much chicken, no fillers! and the sauce has a bit of sweetness to it. The rice was unforgettable. It tasted tomatoey (that's not even a word!) and cooked perfectly. I was talking about it all week ^_^

The Coolest Princess Cake!!!
This is the biggest princess cake I've ever seen in my life. It's so pretty isn't it? I would hate to ruin a pretty cake like this.



I'm glad I went. It was really fun celebrating the little princess' birthday, hanging out with good friends and eating great food!


Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

El Cholo Spanish Cafe

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I've been wanting to eat at this place for the longest time. I've been seeing it a lot because my church is not too far from it and some friends of mine raved about how good it is. I also remember reading about it in the local news paper saying it's one of the best Mexican restaurants in L.A. with the best Margaritas. And it's a landmark and has been around since 1929...whoa that's a long time. They must be doing something right to be around this long.


So Kiko and I went for a dinner date ^_^ Asuuus! (awww..) Whenever we go out, I always get to pick where to eat, so El Cholo was the first place that came into mind. Kiko usually says yes to my choices as long as he can order some type of sandwich, hamburger or burrito lol.


We were greeted by these beautiful ladies dressed in Mexican dresses. I told Kiko how pretty their dresses were and how I wanted one! They were very friendly and preeettyyy!!

The theme of the restaurant was old school Mexican style, dark wood old furniture, colorful ornaments and all kinds of photographs of it's history on the wall. The lighting was a little dark. It kinda seemed romantic eh? lol. We were seated somewhere in the middle of the restaurant. I loved how we got a little privacy from the tall wood panel looking things like in the photo below. We couldn't even see the people eating around us, which was cool.


This was the only photo I look of the inside. Ugh! I forgot to take more :/


Their menu wasn't too big but there was still a wide variety of dishes to choose from. I prefer a small menu like this. I always have a difficult time deciding what to get when the menu is big. But then again I always take forever when choosing so it didn't really made a difference lol. I had to ask our server for what she thought was good. She recommended the Blue Corn Chicken Enchiladas or Green Corn Tamales (limited time). They both sounded really good but I couldn't decide between the two.

While I can't decide between the enchiladas and tamales, we were given complimentary Chips and Salsa . The chips were fresh and crisp and the salsa wasn't too hot. I couldn't stop eating them ^_^


Finally, I decided on the Blue Corn Chicken Enchiladas. It's a huge plate of marinated chicken breast rolled in blue corn tortillas with tomatillo sauce and guacamole, sour cream, rice and black beans on the side. When I eat a plate like this, I like to have a little bit of everything in one bite. I get a little bit of the enchilada, guacamole, rice, beans and sour cream. I made them all fit on my fork! I couldn't believe how the tortilla was stuffed with so much meat. I already got full by eating one enchilada lol.The chicken was juicy, the rice was perfectly cooked, the guacamole tasted fresh and the black beans were addicting!



Kiko got their Burrito Dorado. It's Chile con Carne in a burrito drenched in Tomato Sauce then topped with Cheddar Cheese with sour cream, guacamole and salad on the side. I didn't get to taste it but Kiko said, "it was good." That's the most he will say if he likes the food lol. He's also a quiet eater. I don't talk with my mouth full but I make mmmm...omg...mmmm sounds when I eat hehe...


Our server gave us free sugar cookies at the end of our meal. OMG these were bomb! I'm not sure what they are made out of. Kiko didn't really like them. It was way too sweet for him. He said it tasted like pure brown sugar with chopped walnuts haha. He's probably right but I loved it.

I would definitely come back to this restaurant. I love the old Mexican feel, great service and really good food. You should try this place if ever you're in town or if you're looking for a Mexican restaurant with great food and ambiance.

El fin!


1121 S. Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 734-2773
Hours:
Mon-Thu 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Fri-Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Sun 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.



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