Monday, November 26, 2012

Home-made Thanksgiving pies!

As usual I made multiple pecan pies - both regular and mini versions.  Every year I think I'm trying to gain more and more supporters of my pecan pie ha.  Also I wanted to try to make coconut custard pie since I couldn't find Entemanns version.  That may seem sacreligious, but I swear their coconut custard pie is better than ANY other fancy ones I've tried.  Mine came close in taste, but I need to work on making the custard itself more smooth/velvet-y.  My dad did comment that if someone like Trader Joes or Whole Foods sold this pie, they'd probably get a lot of buyers because it seems more authentic/home-y.  I'll take that as a compliment ha.

Full version of my coconut custard pie

One slice gone

Delish though looks very...liquid-y ha

Instagrammed pies

Mini pecan pies all individually wrapped.  I tried to make a fun shape with them all haha

Dinner at Nha Trang Place in Jersey City, NJ

I felt like Asian food and hadn't had Vietnamese in awhile.  Dan and I both ordered vermicelli dishes.  I think I like it because the texture of the noodles is very different from any other Asian noodle dish.  I eat vermicelli noodles a lot in Filipino pancit or soup dishes, but the sort of semi-wet way the Vietnamese prepare it is unique.  I love adding the fish sauce to it.  I also love the way they cook their meats.  The dish sort of reminds me of bibimbap since you mix the meat and veggies with the carb.  I also love how everything is so huge and cheap so you feel like you get your money and tummy's worth.
Bun/Vermicelli with grilled chicken

Same dish but with grilled beef

Brunch at Thirty Acres in Jersey City, NJ

Finally hit up Thirty Acres for brunch a few weekends ago.  I would definitely recommend it but understand if it's kind of out of the way for those who don't live in JC.  But the price is right!  Considering how an average meal for two could cost at least $70 (AND this is without booze since it's BYOB), a thirty-dollar brunch isn't so bad.  Dan and I left feeling supremely full, but everything was tasty as usual.  We had to sit at the bar even though brunch had only been going on for less than an hour, but I enjoyed actually getting to kind of see what was going on in the kitchen.  Unsurprisingly we ordered WAY too much food.

Grilled kielbasa with cheddar on rye.  Topped with a fried egg of course

Brioche french toast with sauteed apples and fresh made whipped cream

Side of bacon and fingerling potatoes.  I seriously think there was a pound of bacon there.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Home-made Fried Pork Chops, Spanish Rice and Beans, and Veggies

I was REALLY craving some hearty meat last night, but home-made meat.  After a trip to the grocery store I decided on pork chops since I know it takes the least amount of time and preparation.  I was also craving rice and the Goya aisle just summoned me.  Also the usual sides of zucchini and mushrooms - HP's fav. veggie combo.  I handled the dipping and breading of the pork chops while Dan fried.  HP hates hot oil haha.  He also sauteed the veggies with garlic and butter, and I made the rice and beans.  All in all a veryyy filling meal that didn't take quite as long as I thought, which was good because I seem to always be starving by the time I get home from work.  Lots of leftovers too!  Success!

Pork chop, sauteed veggies, and cups of Spanish rice and beans

Another shot

Extra pork chop :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Home-made Shepherd's Pie

To celebrate power post-Sandy and pre-emptively celebrate the election, Dan and I decided to cook Shepherd's Pie.  We wanted something home-y and winter-y and also that would last for more than one meal.  Unfortunately we ended up eating so much of it that there's probably only enough left-overs for one more dinner ha.  But that's just because it was SO delicious :)  We wanted to make it more healthy so Dan added kale in addition to the mixed veggies.  I worked on the vegan garlic mashed potatoes and Dan handled the meat/veggies.

Ground beef mixed with kale

First slice of pie

All the layers.  What you can't see is we ate half the tray haha

Home-made Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Made these beauties right before we lost power for a week at my parents' house.  I wanted to make Snickerdoodles but didn't have any cream of tartar (wtf btw) lying around, so found a different recipe that I LOVE.  Will definitely be making these again come Christma stime.  Also I am in love with my new three-tier cookie rack.  Thanks Marshalls!