Archive for the ‘Pics’ Category

Singapore…

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

So, no one probably reads this anymore, and I’m sorry I’ve dropped off the grid, but I’ve been really busy. Work has been taking over my life. and with all that hard work, I’ve finally been rewarded (I think) and my company moved me back to Asia! I’m now living in Singapore, and while it’s pretty hot and expensive, the food is great, the people are friendly (the girls are cute) and I do like it in Asia more than being in the US of A. All the food is pretty good, bad restaurants don’t survive for long, and food can be surprisingly cheap. I’ve even found a new favorite that pushes my beloved ramen to the wayside. but more on that later.
After moving in to my new place, the first step was to get a bed and somewhere to sleep. The second step… get my kitchen in order. I passed up on it for a long time, but I figured I have to start from (mostly) scratch again, so what the heck, and bought a chamber vacuum sealer and sous vide machine. I spent WAY too much on it, as it was more expensive than the same stuff in the US, but I bit the bullet and ordered them.

Then I spent way too much time and several trips to Temple Street in Chinatown. My new favorite place is Sia Huat, which is a professional kitchen store. Yes, they sell to restaurants, and the whole street has shop after shop after shop.

So after a month and a half of being in Singapore and eating nothing but local food, I did start to miss some american food, namely a good burger. I’m not talking fast food, but a good steakhouse burger that is nicely pink all the way through. So I made a trip to a butcher/deli that I found online and then proceeded to poke around and buy all sorts of meat. (the guy behind the counter even asked if I studied meat, because of the cuts I was asking).

I went out and bought some brisket and top round (I was looking for chuck) and I debated on buying some short rib as well to throw into the mix, but I figured it was a lot of meat already, so I left it out. Back home I had a coworker in for the day (he had spent the previous 2 weeks working here from the UK) and I treated him to the best burger I’ve had since arriving in Singapore. I ground my own meat, and then made patties, vacuum sealed them then into the sous vide machine they went, 57 C for 4 hours.

Sous vide burgers

Pulled them out, they really didn’t look like much outside the bag.

Sous vide out of the bag

But I seasoned and then seared on the grill for maybe a minute each side.

Grillin away!
Assembled them with lettuce, tomato, and some pickled red onions I made while waiting for them to sous vide (quick pickling with the vacuum chamber is freaking insane) and then I couldn’t wait to take a bite. So I did before even leaving the kitchen.
This looks nice...Heaven

mmm… food.

Monday, May 11th, 2009

So if you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a foodie. Actually most of my family are foodies. For example, my sister and I got into a discussion about kinds of pots and pans. My mom really likes the Calphalon series, while my sister likes the All-Clad MC2 series. I have some friends that are/were chefs at Hamersley’s Bistro here in Boston and they really like their copper pans. My collection, on the other hand, is a mixture of all three (I just got my first copper saucier) although I am liking All-Clad’s MC2 and LTD series. In addition to just tasting the food, I enjoy cooking as well. Now, however, I’m trying to figure out the leap from “home-style cooking” to “restaurant-quality”. I’ve been looking for a food presentation class, or somewhere that’ll teach me how to plate, but there isn’t much here in Boston 🙁 I’m taking private lessons from my friends who are chefs when I can, but with schedules as they are, that’s not very often.

Anway, here’s one of my first attempts at plating… this was an impromptu meal for my friends Dawn and Andrew, we were trying to figure out what to do for dinner when I randomly decided to cook (we’re very last-minute like that… or indecisive, whichever you prefer). Anyway I made poached salmon with herb sauce, sauteed potato balls (I finally got to use my mellon scoop) with onion, and roasted fennel.

I also tried my hand at raamen. I tried to make tonkotsu raamen, but couldn’t find the right bones. All the store had was pork necks, hocks, and feet, so the broth was more a yellow instead of a milky white. It turned into miso raamen instead. It was pretty good, I had all the toppings, except my buta no kakuni (豚の角煮)… that wasn’t melt-in-your-mouth goodness like I had in Japan. I think i need to get a dutch oven.

[inspic=253,left,fullscreen,thumb,:mmmfood][inspic=254,left,fullscreen,thumb,:mmmfood]

Deep Dish Pizza from Chicago

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Another post I’ve been meaning to put up for a while… I was in Chicago last october, and decided to bring back a deep dish pizza from chicago, for my friends back in boston. So I asked the local sales guys in Chicago, what the best deep dish pizza was, and they suggested I bring back a few different types for everyone to try out. I took everyone’s suggestion to what they thought was the best, and carried 5 frozen pizza’s on the plane to bring back. Here is how my friends and I ranked the pizzas (from least favorite to the best):

5. Lou Malnati’s small cheese pizza (for Katie)

4. Lou Malnati’s Large Sausage pizza

3. Gino’s East Supreme Pizza

2. Giordano’s Stuffed Spinach pizza

1. Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder’s Pizza Pot Pie (yes, it’s as good as it sounds)

Of course Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder would take first…. I’ve been told it ranked 6th on the Travel Channel’s “Best Pizzas in the US” (as told to me from the local sales guy, I cannot verify this). Giordano’s came in a close second (and not because I really like spinach). The crust was really flaky and buttery, and they encased the cheese and spinach in a thin layer of crust and topped it with sauce. Gino’s East was really good too, but in comparison to the first two, lost out on the ranking. Unfortunately Lou Malnati’s wasn’t our favorite, but it did rank better than the local pizzeria UNO’s. Lou Malnati’s seems to be a chain mainly specializing in take-out pizzas. Giordano’s and Gino’s East were also chain restaurants, but they primarily focus on in restaurant diners. Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder is a one off. There’s only one, and I hear the waits are impossible. The local sales guy lives a few blocks from there, so we went on a tuesday…. no wait at all. Afterwards we went to see Second City, and that was an incredible night.

Now for the pics:

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Sorry

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Sorry for the delay… Life’s been hectic. Lots of personal drama, lots of work, and of course, this economy. But I’m still trying to get stuff up, and will continue to do so… even though not many ppl actually read this….

I have some pics here from a trip I was able to take to SF this past fall. Since I stayed the weekend, I was able to get the local sales guy to score me tix to the 49’ers game (Thanks, Josh)! For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been a 9ers fan since I was like 6. And this was my first NFL game I’ve actually attended. The 9ers played the Patriots (yes, I know I live in Boston now…) and unfortunately lost, but during the halftime they retired Steve Young’s jersey!

Finally the local engineer drove me to Sacramento to work at a customer, and I saw this sign on the drive up… so on the way back, I had him turn around and we drove past the sign again, just so I could take a pic. Let’s all thank Mike for humoring me 🙂

[inspic=233,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame][inspic=234,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame][inspic=235,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame][inspic=236,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame][inspic=237,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame][inspic=239,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame][inspic=240,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame][inspic=241,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame][inspic=245,left,fullscreen,thumb,:SFgame]

Weekend in Napa

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

So I think I lucked out this past weekend… I was only supposed to be in San Fransisco’s bay area for a few days. I flew in on Mondy and was supposed to fly back home on Saturday, but there was a problem in getting gear to one of our customer sites. So I was able to extend my trip and fly back on Wednesday. however for the weekend I was able to get a hotel at the end of Napa Valley and visit wine country.

It sorta sucks being at a really nice place by yourself, and (again) no girlfriend, so I decided to go on a group tour. the first place I called was Platypus tours, but they were all booked solid for the next week or so. But I was able to get on Napa Valley Wine tours. I would highly recommend them, and if you go, ask for Lawrence. He’s a nice friendly guy, and the next time I come back (and I will be back) I’m going to ask for him again. We went to 9 wineries in total, Black Stallion, Hagafen (an Israeli winery right next to the Iranian winery, go figure), the Andretti winery (owned by ex-racecar driver Mario Andretti), Trefethen (one of the oldest wineries in Napa), Montecello (named after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello), Silverado (the winery owned by Walt Disney’s daughter and the heir to See’s candy), Plump Jack Winery, Domaine Chandon (a lot of sparkling wines), and finally the Laird Family Estate. I had so much wine. However the best wines I think I had here was actually from the winery I visited the day I arrived in Napa, Cuvaison. Cuvaison had an outdoor seating area where you could taste the wines and they were all incredible, with gorgeous views. I bought 12 bottles to take home, but unfortunately they don’t ship to Massachusetts, so I have to check them in on the plane.

Anyway see some of the gorgeous scenery:

[inspic=229,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=230,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=231,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=221,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=222,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=223,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=224,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=225,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=226,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=227,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1] [inspic=228,left,fullscreen,thumb,:Napa1]

InterOp here we come!

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Down the home stretch, I arrived at InterOp today. Aside from the hectic schedule, I’m hoping to be able to get to some poker tables and some blackjack tables either tomorrow night or next week when the conference winds down. My company put me up in the Mandalay Bay for the next week and a day, so I’ll probably be working through the weekend. The room is actually really nice, and it’s times like these I wish I had a girlfriend who could come with me and stay while my company pays for the trip to Vegas (winkwink).

[inspic=211,left,fullscreen,thumb,:InterOproom][inspic=212,left,fullscreen,thumb,:InterOproom][inspic=217,left,fullscreen,thumb,:InterOproom] [inspic=219,left,fullscreen,thumb,:InterOproom][inspic=215,left,fullscreen,thumb,:InterOproom][inspic=213,left,fullscreen,thumb,:InterOproom] [inspic=216,left,fullscreen,thumb,:InterOproom]

InterOP Break II

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

I didn’t wrap up the last time. After InterOp Hotstage I was able to spend the weekend in San Fransisco. It was rather nice, I was able to go golfing, and I ate some of the best raamen I’ve had outside of Japan. While I was back in San Fransisco for the weekend I also decided to stop by Japantown again for lunch. I just happened to stumble upon the beginning of the cherry blossom festival (as pictured below). I wish I was there for the following weekend, as they had the 神輿 (portable japanese shrines) around the city. I had a great time when i saw them in Japan. I saw on JTV people taking these shrines and running down the street with them tearing into buildings, ripping off balconies, and causing destruction and mayhem. ながおかさん said that they were probably 関西人 (south western japanese) because they’re “crazy” down there.

Finally I was also able to make it back into Chinatown (mainly to do my お土産 (gift) shopping). While I was there I bought my grandmother some really good tea (if you know her, don’t tell her yet. I’m going back to DC in a few weeks to give it to her) and happened upon Golden Gate Bakery, where they have “world famous” (according to my boss) dantat (egg custards). So I bought a box of a dozen to bring back for my co-workers and my friends back in Boston.

[inspic=210,left,fullscreen,thumb,:sfraamen][inspic=206,left,fullscreen,thumb,:sfraamen][inspic=208,left,fullscreen,thumb,:sfraamen] [inspic=207,left,fullscreen,thumb,:sfraamen][inspic=209,left,fullscreen,thumb,:sfraamen]

Snow, snow, snow.

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

So when I left Boston to go to California last week, it was 9 degrees and there was 4 fresh inches of snow on the ground. The taxi on he way to the airport broke down and I had to get a second cab. Then apparently when I’m in Cali, the snow melts and it’s 50 degrees here. I flew back yesterday night, and the temperature is back in the 20s and we just had 10 inches of snow fall today!

But such is life in Boston. I’m headed for Toronto for a day next week, so I’ll see if there’s anything to take a picture of. Meanwhile my friend Nicole (Hi Nicole!) rocks so much, she told me about this “meet friends” kinda site and I figured I’d join. (it helped when she sent me a link to a “cute girl” but I had to register to look at profiles). Anyways, I joined it. This is the first time I bothered with one of these kinds of sites, but it’s mostly asian apparently, so thats good.

Anyway here are a few random pics I took in Japan. I was going through all my old pics looking for pics of myself and found these and figured I’d share. I’m also including some more nature-oriented pics i took in San Fran.

[inspic=192,left,fullscreen,thumb,:oldrndjp] [inspic=193,left,fullscreen,thumb,:oldrndjp] [inspic=196,left,fullscreen,thumb,:oldrndjp] [inspic=195,left,fullscreen,thumb,:oldrndjp] [inspic=194,center,fullscreen,thumb,:oldrndjp]

Weekend in San Francisco

Monday, February 18th, 2008

I was really lucky and was able to spend a weekend in San Francisco. My company sent me out here for a few days, and I’m supposed to be in Orange County the following week, so I was able to spend the weekend hanging out with my friend Malachi in San Francisco. My buddy moved out here after he graduated from school, and I called him up and he let me crash at his place for the weekend. Even though he was really busy, he took the time to walk with me and play tourist in the city. I used my new camera and took a ton of pictures. I used the panoramic function to take some larger pics that I was able to put together with the software that was included with the camera.

the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Bay

a view over San Fran from the Presidio

the lagoon by the wharf

Here are a few other pics from the trip. I may add some more later because I took tons, but I don’t want to overwhelm you all right now.

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My Doggie

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Since there were no pics in my last post, I’m posting pics of the family dog, Maddie (short for Madelene or however you spell it). I miss her; she’s currently at my mom’s house. My mom was going to let me have her and bring her up here to Mass, but I’m not home all that much, some days I come back really late, and I sometimes get sent on business trips at the last minute, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to take care of her as much as necessary. 🙁

[mygal=maddie]