GBD Goodness!

Week 12 is here! I completed my final culinary assignment in my Culinary Foundations course. It was bittersweet. I can’t believe how quickly 12 weeks went. I’m grateful to my chef instructors for their valuable and constructive feedback. I’ve gained so much knowledge over the last three-and-a-half months. Next week, I begin a new culinary course on Culinary and Patisserie. I’m excited to keep learning! Thank you for joining me on this escapade.

I made deep-fried chicken legs and onion rings. I had a deep fryer that I used once many years ago. I was excited to utilize it again. However, that plan failed. Turns out, the deep fryer no longer worked. Bummer! Onto plan B- deep-frying in a pot. I monitored the temperature of the (canola) oil with a candy thermometer. The temperature needed to be between 325º and 350ºF.

350 on the nose!

I made the chicken first. Set up the breading station with seasoned flour, egg wash and milk, and coating flour- in this order.

After the chicken is coated, they’re ready to be submerged into the hot oil. After about 10-15 minutes, remove the chicken from the pot, drain excess oil on a paper towel, and check the temperature of the chicken to make sure it is mininum 165ºF (temperature doneness for poultry).

Look at this golden brown deliciousness [GBD (minus the “-ness”)]! Wow! Glorious! When I took a bite of this, it brought me back to when my late grand-aunt made her famous fried chicken. It tasted very similar to hers. Wonderful memories…

Ingredients for fried chicken:

  • Chicken legs (bone-in thighs are ok, too)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Eggs
  • Milk (1 c. per egg)
  • Canola oil

Moving onto the onion rings. This involves making a batter before we dip them into the hot oil.

Ingredients for the batter:

  • Egg yolk (beaten)
  • Club soda or beer (I used beer)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Egg whites (whipped and folded into the batter)

After the batter is made, the onions are ready to be dredged in plain flour before they’re dipped in the batter. The temperature of the oil should be 350ºF. Slowly dip a few battered onions into the pot at a time to avoid overcrowding the pot.

Once they’re golden brown, remove them from the pot and drain excess oil on a paper towel. Note, the onion rings won’t be as golden brown as the chicken because of the whipped egg whites.

I loved that the batter on these onion rings were light, airy, and fluffy. You could taste equal parts of the beer batter and the onions.

Ingredients for onion rings:

  • Large white or yellow onions (cut into 1/4 or 1/2″ slices) (one large onion makes A LOT of rings!)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Egg yolk
  • Egg whites (whipped and folded into the batter)
  • Club soda or beer (4 fl. oz.)
  • Baking powder (1/2 tsp.)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Canola oil

Stay tuned next week as we continue this extraordinary culinary journey. Thanks for reading!

FS x

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

Nineteen of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Chicken and Waffles

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! The week has flown by so quickly! It’s been super busy. I’m looking forward to relaxing during the next holiday weekend, and welcoming in 2021.

We’re onto the 19th fact that 2020 has taught and reminded me. Let’s get to it!

19. Listen to your gut and body.

This has been a constant mantra for me. Trust my gut. It knows best. Most times, when I listen to my gut, I tend to be right about certain situations. I feel like it’s a way God’s connecting with me; speaking to me, guiding me, protecting me…

I live with my body and my body lives with me. I need to listen and take care of her too. If I’m in pain or am exhausted, I listen. My body is trying to tell me something. I’ve had history of overworking my body countless times and that results in negative consequences, like sickness, pain, weakness, and exhaustion. We’ve only got one body. It’s important to give him or her TLC, tender-loving-care.

I was first introduced to chicken and waffles (see featured image) when I was in college in Southern California. My resident assistants took my dormmates and I to Roscoe’s in LA at the end of my first semester. I dined there again years later with friends. That place is bomb! I wanted to make my own chicken and waffles at home. I love the strawberry Eggo waffles. It’s my number one favorite. I had baked chicken thighs. Seasoned it with garlic pepper. It was very basic and simple. I served the dish with some good ol’ green beans, tossed with olive oil and garlic pepper. Yum!

Last post for 2020 tomorrow. See you here.

FS x

Ten of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Poke

Happy Christmas week! Here is the tenth fact that this year has taught and reminded me.

10. Recognizing the importance of essential and frontline workers (i.e., grocery store workers, postal workers, sanitation engineers, MDs, nurses, social workers, paramedics, teachers, military, etc.).

Since the pandemic began, the spotlight has been heavily focused on the essential and frontline workers. I have the utmost respect for them, as they’re sacrificing their lives while they continue to service us in our communities. Much thank you to all of you– for all the hard work you put into this world to keep it and us going. You will always be appreciated. These people are our true superheroes. They are resilient and strong!

Last summer, my friends and I went camping and BBQ’d some ‘ono food (see featured image). It was so fun! We created such wonderful memories together. Can’t wait until the day we can do this again. We ate some of our local staples- ahi (tuna), tako (octopus), and crab poke. Poke means to “slice” or “cut” in Hawaiian. It was so good! The chicken we BBQ’d was excellent, too! Being outdoors, in the woods, across the ocean, eating yummy food with friends made the experience so merry and refreshing.

Take care and Happy Monday!

FS x

Eight of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + A Lot of Meat

We’re nearing the halfway mark of the lessons 2020 has taught and reminded me. It’s been very exciting to share each fact everyday. I’ve been working on this list ever since I came up with the idea, during the end of spring/early summer, and have been reflecting and recognizing what meaningful lessons the year had shown me. It’s been such an eye-opening experience.

The eighth lesson is:

8. Hugging mends the soul.

One of the things I’ve missed this year is hugging. Hugging my family, friends, co-workers, new people I meet… We love to hug in Hawai’i. The COVID virus has caused a lot of physical separation and distance amongst us all. We’ve gotten creative. In lieu of hugging, we’ve fist-bumped and elbow-bumped one another. However, there’s nothing like receiving a huge, warm hug. Humans need physical touch. It’s how we were built. Hugging brings people closer; it makes us feel loved and essentially, better… It’s healing. It really mends the soul. I always loved giving and receiving hugs. When it’s safe to be in close contact with people again, I will treasure my hugs more than ever. I’m looking forward to that day when we’ll feel safe and free to embrace one another in our arms again without having to worry about a deadly virus in the air. It’ll be so special.

I was searching the Internet about research done on hugging. I was happy to find various articles on the affects of hugging. I found this article from Time: https://time.com/5413957/hugs-are-good-for-you/

Last summer, my family threw a surprise birthday party for my aunt. We held the celebration at 3660 On The Rise. It’s a beautiful restaurant, with several private rooms, which we were blessed to reserve. Customer service was excellent. Everything went very smoothly. Can we talk about the food? OH MY! It was absolutely delish! It was buffet style. We had ordered a variety of meats, like lamb, chicken, salmon, and pot roast. My favorite of all the meat selections was the lamb. Hands down! One of the best lambs I’ve ever eaten in a long time. I was most excited about that being on the menu and made sure I had my fair share of it. Yum!

3360 On The Rise
3360 Waialae Ave.
Honolulu, 96816
808-737-1177
https://3660ontherise.com/

Until tomorrow! Aloha!

FS x

White whine chicken!

Happy Sunday! I was inspired to use my slow cooker again! This time, I made a white wine herb chicken dish. I was inspired by this recipe.

My goal was to not use salt in my dish. I wanted to be really healthy, haha! My plan was just to use Mrs. Dash salt-free herb seasoning, black pepper, and garlic powder, pictured below. However, I realized how important salt is. In the end, I had to add some garlic salt to my dish to bring out the flavor in the chicken. It did not have much flavor even with my salt-free seasonings.

IMG_6577 copyIMG_6578

This was a basic dish, with simple and minimal ingredients. I, of course, modified the recipe once again. I had put the slow cooker on high and cooked it for four hours. But because the entire pot was filled with chicken, four hours was not enough time. I had gone out for the day and when I had returned, the chicken on the top was not entirely cooked. But since we didn’t eat the dish that evening, I didn’t cook the chicken further. I transferred the chicken into baking pans to bake the next day.

Talk about chicken galore! We ate this dish for days, haha! I was chickened out!

Have a great week!

FS~

Good ol’ bourbon chicken!

Aloha!!!

Last year, I had made a slow cooker bourbon chicken. It turned out really yummy. It was my first time cooking with bourbon. That was exciting and super successful! We all enjoyed it! Something different for sure!

I have been loving the slow cooker. It makes life so much easier. Greatest invention ever!

IMG_4868

Bam! The ingredients. It was A LOT! But all so needed to create a delicious sauce!

This is the recipe that inspired my dish. I, of course, made it my own! I’m a tweaker!!!

https://dinnerthendessert.com/easy-bourbon-chicken/

IMG_4878.jpeg

My mouth is watering!

This was so good over quinoa or rice. The sauce was sweet, tangy, and spicy! A little bit of everything. Yummy!

Have a great weekend!

 

Gimme some brown suga!

Happy Sunday! My apologies for the hiatus. You know how life is- crazy! I hope to post entries more often. I do have my social media platforms available for viewing and commenting (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). I try to post pictures regularly on those platforms.

A couple months ago, I made some brown sugar chicken in a Crock Pot. I used the time-lapse video feature on my phone. That is my favorite now! Check it out. It’s pretty cool.

Ingredients used:

  • Chicken thighs (you can use whatever piece of your choosing)
  • Carrots
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pepper
  • Himalayan salt
  • Brown sugar

Cooked on low heat for eight hours. You can also cook it on high heat, if you’re pressed for time.

Simple and easy. What’s left there to say?

Have a great week. I’ll be back!!!

FS~

A rosy, orange beery chicken

Happy Monday! I always wanted to cook with beer and I finally did! It was exciting! It was a simple, easy dish! I call it “rosemary-orange-beer chicken.” I also roasted red potatoes, Okinawan sweet potatoes, and onions, with some rosemary sprigs.

IMG_2264

The ingredients: orange, potatoes (any of your choice), rosemary, chicken broth, beer, onions, and chicken

IMG_2265

The seasonings: olive oil, black pepper, Himalayan pink salt, and garlic salt

IMG_2266

Ready to go into the oven! It looks good already! This was drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper, Himalayan pink salt, and garlic salt.

IMG_2268

Ta da!!! It was so good, especially those Okinawan sweet potatoes!

IMG_2267

Ready to bake! Let’s do it!

IMG_2269

Ooh, mouthwatering!

You can use any kind of chicken. I decided to use small wings and drumsticks. I drizzled the chicken with olive oil, seasoned them with black pepper, Himalayan pink salt, and garlic salt. Then, the beer was poured. You can use any beer of your choice. I used Bud Light Platinum (one pint because I made two trays of the dish). I mixed it with some chicken broth. Topped the marinade with orange slices and rosemary.

The dish turned out great! Got to make it again, with just the beer, haha!

Have a great week, y’all!

 

 

The Rice Place

Happy Hump Day! In one week, the first month of 2018 will be over. How fast!

My gf and I dined at The Rice Place on Kapi’olani Blvd. a few months ago. Every dish is made with rice there. We ordered an appetizer and main dish, and it was more than enough! Just two dishes, and we were so full. We had leftovers to bring home. We enjoyed the food very much. The place is very small and cozy. Reservations is advised.

IMG_0566

Lettuce wrap rice flour crepe

IMG_0567

Look at the inside of this beauty. Mmmm! I’m not so much of a fan of crepes, but this was amazing! So crispy. We savored this till the end of our dinner.

IMG_0568

Pesto boat noodles with chicken. Their pesto sauce is homemade- nut and dairy-free!

I love pesto, especially homemade. That’s the best kind. I can’t wait to dine here again and try more dishes!

The Rice Place
725 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, 96813
808-799-6959
https://www.thericeplace808.com/