Tuesday, July 29, 2014

5 Ways to Shave Time & Shave Money In the Kitchen

Have you heard of Dollar Shave Club before? Perhaps you've seen their viral video that came out two years ago (if you haven't, you seriously need to; it's hilarious). I got both my little brother and Duc onto it because it's inexpensive, convenient, and still a decent quality. It's a monthly subscription service that delivers low-cost razors through the mail. Their whole thing is about "shaving time and shaving money" so when they asked me how to do that in the kitchen, I immediately thought of several ways to share with you all. Cooking can be intimidating to a lot of people but there are some tricks of the trade to shorten the time it takes to make your meals. We're all busy and sometimes feel like delicious home cooking can't be made in a jiffy but hey, maybe you'll change your mind after checking out these five ways to shave time and shave money in the kitchen.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The MAAF Writing Process: What Inspires Me to Perspire

I preface this post by pointing out how rarely I do these non-food posts. However, when it seems particularly interesting or important to me, the topics will find their way to Much Ado About Fooding (MAAF) and I apologize if they don't fit your fancy. Feel free to ignore this one then, folks! Anyhow, what is this post about anyway? I was mentioned/tagged by my blogger-friend Sandi over at Fearless Dining to participate in a blogger "writing process" unveiling series where I expand on what inspires pieces for MAAF and how writing happens. There is a list of questions to answer, and then the author "tags" three others to move forward with this "blog hop." As you probably have seen, I try to get four posts out in a week and that, as you can imagine, requires a lot of writing! So if you're interested in briefly delving into what gets this all going, keep on reading. If not, I've got plenty of other fun pieces for you to dig your teeth into!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eatery - Lincoln Restaurant (OR)

Lincoln Restaurant on Urbanspoon

3808 N Williams, Suite 127, Portland, OR 97227 [Neighborhood: Boise-Eliot]
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Dressy Casual | Cuisine - New American

It's been a long while since our Portland trip (and we have an impending vacation soon too out of state!) so this post comes a little late to the game BUT it's not because I didn't want to write it. It's because I wanted to make sure that I was in the right state of mind and could give the respect that this restaurant is due based on our meal there. Lincoln Restaurant is one of the restaurants by Chef Jenn Louis whom we first met and chatted with at the 2013 Taste of the Nation event in Laguna Beach. Named one of Food & Wine's 2012 Best New Chefs and a semifinalist for both the 2010 and 2011 James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northwest” awards, Chef Jenn is impressive but never gives the inkling of being so important in the culinary world when you meet her. We never got that sense when we dropped by the restaurant during our Portland trip but were ever so eager to check out the menu and dive into all that we had been drooling over in the year that we'd been following her on social media. There was no disappointment that evening - just a glorious, memorable meal.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Recipe - Breadless Potato Kale Gratin

There's a bit of pride when you watch a seed you had planted grow up to be a bountiful, delicious vegetable or fruit plant. What had started as the bare whisper of health to come was cultivated into a full-fledged kale plant, producing beautifully perfect leaves. Duc had started the kale seed long ago and then transplanted it in my parents' side garden where it flourished under the shaded sun. We had a large harvest recently so I had to think of a way to use it. I sketched out a potato kale gratin whilst thinking one day and decided we'd make it! This dish is like a big bowl of comfort food, wholesome and healthful. I noted that it is breadless because a lot of gratins have added breadcrumbs and cheese on top but this one doesn't (though you can add if you'd like!).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Event - Pulmuone Foods Cooking Demo

Founded in 1981 in Seoul, South Korea, Pulmuone Co. was built on Won Kyung Sun's dream to develop a farming cooperative with the first organic farm in South Korea and a store that sold organic vegetables. Fast forward a few years and a subsidiary is born as Pulmuone Wildwood Inc. (also referred to as Pulmuone Foods USA) in the United States. The US company has also split into several brands, Wildwood and Monterey Gourmet Foods, and has offices in both California and New York (headquarters are in Fullerton, CA). It was at the headquarters that I joined a group gathered to see what meals could be cooked using Pulmuone products. The chef of the evening was Executive Chef Nathaniel Nguyen of The Prince & Pantry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Take Out Stress with solita Take-Out (and Giveaway!)

[Giveaway details at the bottom of this post] It is no secret that Duc and I really like eating at solita Tacos & Margaritas at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach. It's just a tad too easy since he just lives up the street from the restaurant; when in doubt, we go to solita if we aren't planning on cooking. I'm sure this is the same case for those who luckily live above the establishment and the other neat places at Bella Terra. When solita unveiled that they would be offering to-go as well, it made it even harder to resist them. If you haven't heard of solita, it's by the same people who brought SOL Cocina to Newport Beach but this location is more casual and inspired by Baja street fare (read more from our past post here). The food is great and the atmosphere like a friendly neighborhood favorite. The takeout service just makes it even easier to expand the restaurant's reach and bring the party to others elsewhere. We were invited to try out their take-out just to see what new things they had in store.

Test Kitchen - Poppy Seed Peppercorn Salad Dressing

The first thing that usually jumps to people's minds when you talk about poppy seeds is some kind of pastry. Well, that or the fact that it is an opiate but that's not the point of this post. Wait no, I take that back - that part is relevant. Don't take a drug test right after having this salad dressing lest you want to test positive for something and look like a heroin addict. Practice safe eating! Anyhow, I have been liking poppy seed dressings lately so when this became our Test Kitchen ingredient, I thought I ought to go in that direction. Who needs fattening pound cake when you can have a creamy, smooth dressing over some fresh greens? The recipe's simple but the taste is complex. Enjoy making this one, folks!