Friday, July 30, 2010

Pink's ... + Jane Lynch! Before the Glee Concert

5.22.10 with Mom and Auntie Jill in Universal City's City Walk before the GLEE concert (We met up with Ashley later)

This was an extra cool eating experience because Jane Lynch was shooting an online Nike commercial nearby, so we watched (and even joined!) that after we ate. All you had to do was step into the big circle/ring area, wear a free Nike shirt that they gave people, and you were in the commercial.

*Not the original*

I got a mushroom w/ swiss (not the greatest, but it was good) & my mom got a Chicago polish dog (see receipt below):

And there she is (Jane Lynch, who currently plays Sue Sylveter on Glee): case you're wondering, this is the inside of my dog:

...and this is the inside of Mom's Chicago-style dog (looks gross with those round things in the middle):

Mango Slaw with Cashews & Mint

I've tried a couple of recipes from Smitten Kitchen, and this is my favorite so far. I'd make both of these dishes again! They're easy recipes, but you spend a lot of time chopping and prepping the ingredients. I love recipes that make you prep a lot but are easy to put together (like for this one you just throw everything together) because the product is impressive despite the prep's simplicity. blogs provide you with easy, fun, free cooking and baking training for when you go off for college or live on your own/start a family. Wow. I sound like an advertisement, but I really mean it.

I made the "thai-style chicken legs" that go with this side, but I didn't take any pictures because...I was lazy and distracted. The sauce for the chicken is a bit salty, so I would lower the salt, but my dad loved it like it was. Both my dad and Smitten Kitchen said that they would make a bunch of the sauce alone and freeze it for future use. I think that says something, although I could see how some picky palates wouldn't like it. It does NOT taste like fish, so don't let the fish sauce scare you away. Anyway, It took a long time to make these two things with all of the julienne-ing and stuff. Yikes. Anyway, here's the wonderful mango slaw (original recipe here):

Simplified (just re-written into Corrie language):

Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint
from Smitten Kitchen (original recipe here)

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, & julienned (I ended up with a lot of extra saucy juicy stuff, so I'd add another half mango or maybe even a full one 'cause I love mangoes so much in salads)
1 to 1 1/4 pounds Napa cabbage, halved & sliced very thinly
1 red pepper, julienned
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (from about two limes)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons oil of your choice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (or omit this and whisk in a chile paste to taste)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup toasted cashews, coarsely chopped

1) Toss mangoes, cabbage, pepper & onion in a large bowl
2) Whisk lime juice, vinegar, oil, salt & red pepper in a smaller bowl & pour over slaw
** Can serve this immediately or let the flavors mingle for an hour in the fridge.
** Before serving, toss with mint leaves & sprinkle with cashews (or peanuts!! One of my favorite Thai restaurants serves this dish with peanuts and without the napa).

Somen, Tea, & Other Church Food

I rarely go to church, but this was a special occasion. Sometimes you get real food after church services, but usually they serve punch/tea/water and cookies. OH! Scroll down for more church food.

7.18.10 in the 'No: Somen is so good on a hot summer day.

I'd never been to a service (one in Fowler) that served so much food for just a snack! Each person gets one of these plates!! That jell-o cheesecake thing is delicious. I've had it several times before, but the last time I remember was this one from when we were making mochi. Again, I'm not a huge jell-o fan, but this and that one jell-o dish with pretzels, butter, etc. are so yummy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mah's Teriyaki Express

Mah's Teriyaki Express
605 W. Herndon Avenue
Clovis, CA 93612
(559) 297-8831

Consumed on Thursday, 7.22.10 with Gaurav, Jason, Lawrence, and Miguel

Here's my Yelp review (I JUST posted this) below:

"REALLY GOOD chicken teriyaki and chicken katsu. The katsu doesn't come with traditional katsu sauce, which might not be good to snobby Japanese/Japanese Americans, but I'm more of a fan of teriyaki than katsu sauce, so I love their katsu. My uncle goes there for lunch often, and my dad absolutely loves their chicken teriyaki. The other day when he heard I was going to Mah's, he said, "You just can't beat their chicken teriyaki." Yeah. It's pretty darn good. Big, plentiful chunks of meat and thin teriyaki sauce (that thick, goopy sauce at other places is nasty). I also love the fact that it's owned by a nice family. I'd definitely recommend this place, and I'm a huge foodie."

My chicken katsu ($7-something). Such a generous amount! I was eating hungrily almost non-stop for quite some time, and I still had plenty of leftovers.

Jason's chicken:

Gaurav's fish 'n' chips:

San Jose Obon 2010: 7/11 (The Sunday One)

My first time at San Jose's obon! Every year San Jose's Saturday obon conflicts with Fresno's, and I didn't think going up for a day by myself was a good idea, so this time the family and I went on a Sunday together. I've also been to obons in Parlier, Orange County (see here and here), San Francisco, Kyoto (pics someday?), and FRESNO's (of every year of my life minus this past one). I really don't know why I haven't been to a Berkeley one. Or Oakland...SABC (Alameda)...Palo Alto...etc. Should have obon hopped more. Oh well. See below for food pics, a brief obon description, and their awesome signs. I love big, clear signs.

See the obon sign?

Japanese Buddhist churches around the US and Japan hold these carnival-like events (obon/bon odori) to celebrate and honor the lives of those who have passed. Traditionally, it's like El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) celebrations in that people invite their deceased relatives to visit the homes and stuff, but in the US...we don't do the whole lantern-lighting thing. Someone at the Fowler obon said that obon is largely an American thing, but I've been to one in Kyoto, Japan too, so there are celebrations in Japan too. For those who don't know the significance of obon, no one really cares. All you do is come and enjoy some good Japanese food (and apparently non-Japanese food sometimes!), SOME traditional clothing (fewer and fewer people wear yukatas now), and super easy dancing toward the end of the night. The cool part is that everyone is welcome to join in, and no one makes you do anything Buddhist. It feels more like a Japanese cultural event than a religious one, although it is, of course, both.

Vegetable and shrimp tempura, rice, beef skewers, and chicken teriyaki. My dad couldn't stop raving about how good the chicken was, and I agree with him.

One of my favorite things to eat = Finely shaved ice with ice cream in the middle. My church buddy, Tim, told me about this place in San Jose just around the corner from the obon area. He warned me about the 30+-minute line, and he was right...and the shaved ice was worth it!

Tim said that the milk flavor is good, so I got half orange, half milk w/ ice cream at the bottom. SO WONDERFUL! Ate sorta with my parents and brother and Tim and Daniel. It was good seeing friends I hadn't seen in awhile!
*Note to elderly self: I know Tim through Jr. YBA and Daniel through Berkeley's NSU.


When we first got there, the fam and I got the chicken and stuff above, and then I decided I was still hungry, so I got udon and split a strawberry shortcake with Mom. The udon was good, but I'm not a huge fan of strawberry shortcake unless it's really good cake. None of that angel food cake or whatever that obons typically use. hehe. You can see kamaboko like the one below (the pink-and-white thing) in many places on my blog. Funny thing is I just eat it because it's there. It doesn't taste good. I prefer to have it chopped up small in my somen salad.

San Jose's taiko performing:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pretty Sushi at Sakura-Chaya

7.15.10 with parents and brother.
More Sakura-Chaya food here.
690 E Nees Ave
Fresno, CA 93720

The one thing I don't like about this place is that almost every single roll has crab in it. Bleah!! Their owner and their sushi chefs (Koji really knows what he's doing) are nice though, the atmosphere is cool and relaxing, their waiters and waitresses are nice (I know at least two of them from school), and the food is consistently delicious. Wassabi vs. Sakura-Chaya? Wassabi for their rolls (in general due to the crab issue) and Shakura-Chaya for their food quality in general and the taste of their non-sushi food. My family goes to Sakura-Chaya a lot, by the way. I think that says something.

Aren't these neat?

The orange blossom roll (or whatever it was with salmon, avocado, masago, crab, cucumber, and a quail egg) but with shrimp instead of crab (I hate and am allergic to it):

My dad's roll with daikon in between spicy scallops rolls & cucumbers. Pretty but not something I'd order. I tried it and just don't really like scallops that much.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mini Green Tea Popsicles!

$5.99 at R-N Market (the one at Cedar & Herndon in Fresno)

*Oops! I forgot to say that these were really good. Those popsicles at R-N that are tea but covered in a condensed milk layer with a little an (red bean paste) at the top (?) are good too, but I prefer just plain ol' green tea ice cream popsicles. YUM. The only thing I didn't like about these particular mini popsicles is that they produce that weird, goopy, sticky feeling in your mouth (or your hands or whatever) when you get to the end (just a tiny bit though). You know...that filmy stuff that forms when things aren't covered or something. Ice cream popsicles have this problem. Oh--and I don't like the taste of wood in my food (not a fan of wooden popsicle sticks).

Eating this reminded me of this green tea popsicle I had in Japan a few years ago. We really have a lot of Japanese things in America. It's funny how the Japanese host family with whom my friends and I stayed didn't know how much Japanese influence exists over here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gregoire's Skate and Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Gregoire's (They have an Oakland location too)
2109 Cedar Street
Berkeley, CA 94709-1567
Website here

Consumed on 6.26.10 with Steve (we each had halves of both). Cheri and Steve had been telling me about these sandwiches for years. I'm glad I finally tried them! Before I'd only tried their crispy potato puffs, which I think are over-rated. Not bad...but not memorable or even good enough for me to buy again. The koroke/croquette-like things at Brazil Cafe in Berkeley are better! I have pictures of those somewhere...but not on this blog. :( Anyway, Gregoire is a tiny building on the north end of Shattuck Avenue. Very tiny but with a comfy, relaxed atmosphere and very nice, friendly employees! You can also watch them make your food. I should have taken pictures of the inside.

Both were really delicious (I'd definitely go back!), and I don't normally like chorizo, which they used in the pulled pork sandwich. Sorry I don't have pictures of the inside of the skate sandwich. It just looked like white fish inside fried batter.

Sandwich #1:
Sandwich #2:
*Skate = type of ray)

Each sandwich came with a delicious garbanzo bean salad:

Wassabi with Jenny & Julie for Julie's Bday


Wassabi (Fig Garden location)
752 West Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA 93704

Here are two other rolls from their Herndon location. Their ads make them look like cheesy Halloween stores, crazy college party pictures, or ads for porno magazines. Their food's pretty good though. You walk in and they said either "Wassabi!" or "What's up?" I think they said the former at the Herndon location and the latter at this Fig Garden location. What's awesome about Wassabi is that they have rolls without crab. Sakurachaya is pretty good, and my family goes there a lot, but it seems as though every roll has crab in it. To be fair, you can order substitutions, but that's kind of annoying.

They have good lunch box specials (see Julie or Jenny's below):

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wine Tasting at Ficklin


Ficklin Vineyards - Ficklin chocoltes here and specific wines here.
30246 Ave 7 1/2
Madera, CA 93637
(559) 661-0075

I'm such an amateur food blogger. I took these pictures several months ago and failed to take notes, so I don't remember what any of these wines or food things were. So, basically, you won't really learn anything from this post; you'll just see food and wine and hear about a Ficklin event that my aunts, uncles, parents, and I attended. Who cares though, right? Look at that cheese!

I do believe the little tarts below were some kind of pumpkin tart, and that wine is clearly red. :P

They had a lot more food and wine samples, but I still feel really weird taking pictures of food, especially with so many people around.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ben & Jerry's: A Mini Cherry Garcia

Ben & Jerry's website here.
Cherry Garcia: "Cherry Ice Cream with Cherries & Fudge Flakes"

Mina F. told me about Cherry Garcia, so I tried the low-fat froyo version pictured here, which I loved. So then I decided recently to try the original, fatty, real deal. Yum! Too bad I can't remember how different this is compared to the lighter one. Oh well.

I love how it comes with a little spoon!