A break this week…

There was no cooking assignment for culinary school this week. We just had to fabricate a whole chicken and freeze all the parts. We’ll be using them for the next six weeks. Exciting! I can now say I’ve deconstructed a whole chicken. Yay!

I have to say, I didn’t enjoy the process. Working with raw meat, especially poultry grosses me out. I usually buy already cooked chicken or specific chicken parts (i.e., thighs and drumsticks). It’s much easier and cleaner to work with. As I was fabricating the raw chicken, all I could think about the entire time working was wanting to sanitize everything. Wash my entire kitchen with soap and hot water. I usually wear gloves when handling raw poultry, but I was advised not to wear gloves because it’s actually more dangerous. People are more prone to cutting themselves more easily when wearing gloves. Shucks! So, I had to use my bare hands. I washed them like I had OCD! Seriously! My fingers were pruned by the time I was done. I washed all my equipment and tools several times, as well as cleaned the counter and sink area multiple times. I had to make sure everything was sanitized. Salmonella, food poisoning, bacteria spread is NO JOKE! It’s important to practice safety and good hygiene, especially when working with raw poultry.

August is birthday month. I spent my birthday weekend in the kitchen and with family and friends. My loves! The perfect trio!

Last week, we celebrated my aunt’s birthday. We had the whole chicken with gravy, and carrots vichy and brussel sprouts for her bday dinner. My sister made Oreo-stuffed chocolate cupcakes for dessert. Yummmmm! In my featured image, I created a collage of all the yummy food I ate this weekend. My dad and sis made a feast for dinner. We had tossed salad, steak, chicken, Portuguese sausage, mashed potatoes with boiled eggs and olives, and shrimp and oyster tempura. Wow! We celebrated with strawberry, chocolate, lemon, and coconut cupcakes for dessert from Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club makes some pretty yummy cakes. My dear girlfriend took me out for brunch at the La Hiki at the Four Seasons at Ko ‘Olina. We went there two years ago and had a fulfilled delicious, out-of-this-world buffet brunch experience. However, since COVID, buffets have not reopened, and restaurants that once offered buffets, had to get creative. This restaurant created a pre-fixed brunch menu. The food was yummy, but you can’t beat that buffet. I can’t wait till the buffet reopens again. It was one of the best brunch buffets I’ve ever eaten at. I would love to take my family there to experience all that superlativeness.

Have a great week, All! Please stay safe. This pandemic is getting outrageous!

FS x

Bawk Bawk!

As the Olympics come to a close, it’s always a bittersweet feeling. What an incredible experience, every time! I love how the world comes together to compete in these terrific sports. It truly brings us together. I couldn’t believe how many sports there were this year. Astounding! Congrats to everyone who participated; those who took home medals and those who didn’t. Everyone’s a winner! They’re the best in the world, no matter what! I certainly admired the awesome sportsmanship throughout the games. It was so touching and beautiful to see. Those were the most memorable moments to me. It meant more to me than ever. 2020 gave us a lot to reflect upon and appreciate. Cherish one another; love each other, and be kind.

It was a busy weekend in the kitchen, cooking and roasting up a storm! This coming week is my aunt’s birthday. In celebration of her birthday and for my culinary assignment this week, I’ve roasted a young whole chicken and made gravy from scratch. Good ol’ comfort food. Yum!

I was so nervous because I’ve never roasted a whole piece of poultry before. I usually buy a whole chicken that’s already cooked. It’s so much easier to work with!

In my readings this past week, I learned that roasting and baking are one-in-the-same. Though, I’ve never heard someone say they’re going to roast a cake. I found it very interesting that both terms mean the same.

Before roasting the chicken, I had to truss it. Trussing entails tying the chicken legs and wings snugly together with butcher’s twine so that they are close with the body. Trussing is important for the chicken to cook evenly in the oven. It also prevents the legs and wings from burning. I lathered my chick with butter (olive oil is fine, too) and seasoned with good ol’ salt and pepper. I also seasoned the inside cavity as well. I cut onions, carrots, and celery to create a mirepoix bedding to lay the seasoned chicken on. The mirepoix, a French term, is cooked slowly with the liquid and fat from the chicken. This will be used to make the gravy afterwards. The end goal is for the chicken to be golden brown and for the skin to be crispy. It took nearly two hours for the chickie to cook. The thermometer finally read 165℉; she was cooked thoroughly. Hallelujah! The chicken was juicy, tender, and oh-so-flavorful. I was stoked!

Onto the gravy… I used the mirepoix and the juices from the chicken to first make a roux. I added flour to create a thickening agent. Then added chicken broth to create the gravy. I poured the contents into a mesh strainer, and voilà! Homemade gravy! It was pretty simple and oh-so-good!

For my aunt’s birthday I made a mocha jelly dessert dish. I initially saw a video on Emmymade’s Facebook page on chocolate jelly. I, of course, altered the recipe and made it my own. It turned out to be more of a pudding texture, but it tasted fabulous. It was very rich. Next time, I’ll add more gelatin.

Emmy loves to make unique dishes. This link has some pretty wacky stuff: https://www.emmymade.com/7-wacky-retro-recipes-for-you-to-try/. Not sure if I’m totally game to trying them. Some of them are quite strange. The 7-Up mayo jello salad and the rainbow sherbet snowball cake look interesting. She’s got some interesting stuff on her Facebook. It’s quite entertaining.

Have a marvelous new week! Cases are rising everywhere. Stay safe and healthy!

FS x

Holy moly chicken!

Happy Sunday! Man, did this weekend fly back or what?

Last weekend, we celebrated one of my gf’s bdays at Restaurant 604, near the Arizona Memorial. We loved it there. The view was very serene, as it looks out at the marina. We want to go back during the daytime. I’m sure the view is even more breathtaking in the daytime. We enjoy outdoorsy-type of restaurants. It feels more open and we get to breathe in the fresh air.

The bday lady and I ordered the same dish! Roasted half-pound chicken with garlic mash. Oh my gosh! It was a lot of food! The chicken was huge, and so full of meat! I loved it! The gravy and mash were amazing! Mmm mmm! I ate this for the next couple meals. It was THAT much! I want to try their pasta next! You know me and pasta! My go-to comfort food!

Restaurant 604
57 Arizona Memorial Dr.
Honolulu, 96818
https://www.restaurant604.com/

Enjoy the last day of the weekend!

…And the bday celebration continues!

Tonight, my girlfriends took me out for my very belated bday! We tried Scratch Kitchen & Meatery at South Shore Market at Ward Village. I heard of Scratch Kitchen & Bakeshop in Chinatown, but never tried it. I learned tonight that that location closed.

Scratch Kitchen & Meatery is the place to be at South Shore! When we were seated, it wasn’t too crowded, but soon after, in the blink of an eye, the entire place was packed. The menu was fancy and there was no distinction of what was considered “pupus,” or appetizers and what was an entreé. The staff encouraged sharing/family style.

IMG_0629.JPG

I ordered the Southern Hot Chicken: TWO spicy chicken with buffalo-type spicy sauce, that sat on a French toast, topped with sprouts and arugula. Wasn’t bad! It was pretty spicy, and tangy, too!

After dinner, we were excited to have some ice cream from Lucy’s Lab Creamery next door. I love their ice cream flavors. They got some interesting ones, like Fruit Loop vodka. Really?! I got the lychee vegan ice cream, which was made with coconut milk. It was interesting. Had the taste of both lychee with coconut. It was a little too rich for my tummy, if ya know what I mean. Haha!

IMG_0630.JPG

Scratch Kitchen & Meatery
South Shore Market- Ward Village
1170 Auahi St.; Honolulu, 96814
808-589-1669
http://www.scratch-hawaii.com/ward-village-1/

Lucy’s Lab Creamery
South Shore Market- Ward Village
http://lucyslabcreamery.com/

Enjoy the weekend!

~FS xx

Korean BBQin!

Happy Social Saturday!

My girlfriend and I (August babies) celebrated our bdays at Gen Korean BBQ House at Ala Moana with our friends. We’ve been wanting to try this place and we were glad we finally did! It was pretty good! All-you-can-eat with a set price for lunch and dinner. However, if you don’t finish what you’ve ordered, the restaurant will charge you for anything that wasn’t eaten. Oooh! That’s good, though. Food should NOT be wasted! So, we made sure we didn’t leave anything left- haha!

Gen Korean BBQ House is located where the old Tsukiji Fish Market used to be. I loved the new atmosphere. It was very “club-like.” When we got there, it wasn’t too crowded- they don’t take reservations. But in the nick of time, the restaurant was filled!

IMG_0352.JPG.jpeg

We ordered garlic chicken, bulgogi, brisket, and boneless kalbi. We LOVED the brisket and kalbi. We ordered multiple rounds of those dishes! Whoo hoo! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! The side veggies were delish! I look forward to that when dining at Korean restaurants. So good! And I love that you can have more if you want!

They provided three different sauces: shio (salt), sesame, and ponzu. I liked the ponzu sauce the best. It paired well with all the meats. Yum!

Check out Gen at Alaz!
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.; Honolulu, 96814
(808) 944-5227
http://genkoreanbbq.com/

 

Now, this is a fruit cake!

My sweet co-workers celebrated my boss’s and my birthday this week with an ono cake covered in fruits from Whole Foods. Whoo hoo! I appreciated their thoughtfulness so very much.

I love Whole Foods and this was the first time I tried their cake. The yellow cake was so moist; it just melted in your mouth. My goodness! Loved it so much! And those fruits that topped the cake was awesome! What an assortment! It sure made it look healthy, haha! Even the frosting that layered the cake had blueberries and strawberries mixed. Very creative!

I want to try more of Whole Foods’ cakes and other desserts. Yummy!

It’s almost the Labor Day weekend!! Yay!

~FS

Birthday flashback!

Happy #FlashbackFriday!

Last year, my bf took me to Aunty’s Ramen for my bday luncheon. I’ve always wanted to try that place, as the owner used to own Sweet Home Cafe, a Taiwanese hotpot joint. Aunty’s Ramen is pretty similar to Sweet Home, but you’re not cooking your own ingredients in your soup. It’s already made and served to ya. However, you still get to pick a variety of ingredients to your soup, then pick your noodles and soup base. Meats is optional.

img_6311

Unfortunately, Aunty’s Ramen does not offer complementary shave ice like Sweet Home did. But we love shave ice so much, that we ordered it for our dessert. They have a bar, with a variety of toppings to choose from. Taiwanese shave ice rocks!

Oh yea!! My mouth is watering!! So good!

Happy weekend y’all!

Pokey, pokey!

We celebrated one of my auntie’s birthdays earlier this month. I was researching dessert ideas and I came across a poke cake. I was intrigued and tried it out!

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/gelatin-poke-cake-53184.aspx

Of course, I modified the recipe, as I always do, to make it my own!

You can basically use any type of box cake mix. I choose Rainbow Chip and poke holes in them after the cake cooled.

IMG_0276.JPG.jpeg

See the rainbow chips in the poked holes? Awesome!

Then, I mixed strawberry Jell-O, but instead of mixing the gelatin mix with regular water, I used strawberry sparkling water.

IMG_0277.JPG.jpeg

Hi Dave! He’s my auntie’s fave minion!! Haha!

…And TA-DA!!!! I poured the mix over the cake and refrigerated it overnight.

IMG_0278.JPG.jpeg

Yummy!

We really enjoy it! The sweetness was just right! Time to make more poke cakes with different Jell-Os and cake mixes! I’m excited!

Have a great week!

~FS