We got to spend some time visiting a Amy in Philadelphia and had a great time EATING!  I never realized Philly had such amazing food.

Right now, we’re in South Carolina for school and we get to eat some yummy southern cooking.

The best food we’ve had so far is from our day trip to Charleston. The first place we went to was Sweatman’s BBQ. I wrote on my fb that it was the best BBQ ribs I’ve ever had and yes, brother, I will explain.
(Most of this information is from Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’ show that we watched before we ate here. I felt a little silly snooping around their grills in the sheds out back.)

At Sweatman’s, it’s different than what I’ve had before because:
1. Use a mustard sauce (southern thing; I actually prefer ketchup-based sauce, BUT this didn’t need much sauce, it was THAT good.)
2. Roast the whole hog and then separate it to ribs, white meat, dark meat, and then cracklings (skin-so good!)
3. Banana pudding (who knew i’d like it that much?)

The BBQ guy on Bourdain’s show said this is 100 mile BBQ because people will drive that far to eat it. The first 5 pics are from Sweatman’s and the last 4 are from Hominy Grill.

The second place we went to was Hominy Grill. A lot of famous ppl that have been there-Anthony Bourdain, Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, Anthony Hopkins (saw his pic in the bathroom), etc.

There was great service and all the food was from local farms.  I felt like the food was solid, but a little pricey for me for southern food.

Dessert let down: I was actually waiting for dessert to try their chocolate pudding (which Alton Brown said he said it was “the best thing he ever had”), but they ran out.   Oh well, I guess we’ll have to come back, hehehe 🙂

I know it’s a little early for our 3 year wedding anniversary, but when you have a chance of a lifetime you take it!  Now I might be a little dramatic, but it’s all in good fun 😉

Background:  So if you’re a foodie, you’ve heard of Grant Achatz and Alinea.  It’s one of the two 3-star michelin rated restaurants in Chicago.  So Chef Achatz opened a new restaurant in April called Next.   It changes its menu every 3 months and the opening menu is “Paris 1906.” This restaurant doesn’t just have reservations, it has tickets.  So in order to buy a ticket in the first month it was open, you had to have signed up BEFORE it opened and been on their waiting list.  They only release a few tables per day and sometimes, there are more than 1000 people logged on to their website!

Long story short, D signed up early and was able to get tickets! AH!
Here are pics, course by course and with my commentary 🙂  Enjoy!

Once in a lifetime.  Cross it off the list!

So…I’ve never owned a dutch oven.  I never grew up with one. Chinese ppl don’t really cook with them.  I never knew they existed.  And then after I heard about how amazing they were, I found out they are SUPER expensive! So I never thought I would want one… but after playing with a friend’s, we might just have to invest in one!

We were inspired by a friend, T, who made an amazing pot roast for us in her Le Creuset (http://www.lecreuset.com/en-us/). Here is a pic of ours (not hers). Thanks Tyler Florence for your kick butt recipe!

And of course to go with that amazing pot roast and its yummy juices, you have to make a no-knead bread (also in the dutch oven). Xiao mei did a great job on this!

Our next endeavor was to make chicken pot pie-America's Test Kitchen-style. I LOVE America's Test Kitchen(http://www.americastestkitchen.com/). They know how to cook-don't let that man's silly bow-tie fool you.

This is their Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble. So amazing, we made it TWICE in TWO DAYS!

Don't forget the Dutch BABY! Why are these so expensive when you go to OHOP?Here is a close up. And here is a secret: the first morning i tried to make this, I misread the directions and put THREE times the amount of flour. D had to help me on this one.....

Here is a close up. And here is a secret: the first morning i tried to make this, I misread the directions and put THREE times the amount of flour. D had to help me on this one.....

Thanks Q for letting us play with your Dutch Oven!  Thanks xiao mei for playing with us!  You are def. a better baker than I…

Now the q….to buy or not to buy?!!

Valentine’s Day 2011.

You know, I used to care so much about V-day…like esp. when we were dating.  BUT now that we’ve been married, it doesn’t seem as important…

SO, instead of going OUT to eat, we stayed in and had KOREAN BBQ!  He really knows the way to my heart 🙂  What beats staying in the comfort of you own home, paying less than half the price of a restaurant, and having the after smell that permeates your rooms to remind you that you wanna eat more bbq, haha.

Here is a picture of the spread:  spicy pork, zucchini, kim chi, and mushrooms. (Can you find me?)
Of course, candles are supposed to be the romatical part of the night.

peek-a-boo 🙂

Here are some close ups.  Oh man. I’m drooling…I think I want to eat some more now.

close up 1

close up 2

We ate so much and still have more for another day-yes!  Sometimes staying home for special occasions is better than going out 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

This grill is one of the BEST investments D has ever made. We have had many a BBQ on this baby!

Today is Snow Day #2.

It is also Chinese New Year’s Eve.  What a wonderful day to have off!  We cleaned our house and our bedroom looks like new 🙂

Here is a picture of the dumplings we made. Ground pork, nappa cabbage, shrimp, jiu cai, and more.  Can you tell who made which ones?

yummy dumplings 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow we will have a big party with our chinese friends. Hot pot and nian gao!  more photos to come 🙂

The snow has kept us at home. But never fear! We will find something delicious to make 🙂 We had everything we needed for this recipe in our fridge and pantry, yay!

D knows how much I LOVE pizza.

I love pizza so much that I convinced some of my co-workers to do “Pizza Day” with me every Wednesday. We take turns getting different kinds of pizza and eat it together as we plan for school.

I love pizza so much that during my first year teaching, I ate it every day. That’s right. EVERY day for the entire first year.

I love any kind of pizza-thin crust, deep dish, pan pizza, stuffed crust, pizza pockets, and oh yes, pizza rolls.

So when D saw this on the seriouseats article for HOMEMADE PIZZA ROLLS, we had to try it!

At first, I was very frustrated because I couldn’t get the shape that I wanted.  But soon, I figured out a system and these guys started coming out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, we put them in to hot oil and fried them!  SO GOOD.  What  more could you want than FRIED PIZZA?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the finished product.  So yummy!