December 2015 & January 2016, in food

I’ve been pretty stinkin’ awful about updating the things that I’ve made. I kept meaning to do a full December post through the month of January… and then was going to a combined December and January post for the end of January… and now it’s February 5th and I’m just getting to updating things!

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savory oatmeal with bacon, picked beets, and a poached egg
notes: I think I perfected my savory oatmeal game this month! Standard recipe now is to cut up bacon into smaller pieces, fry in pan, then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add chopped onion and carrot to the bacon grease and saute until browned. Add oatmeal, water, some salt, and seasonings (I usually use thyme and maybe some worcestershire sauce). Cook until down, then top with a poached egg, the reserved bacon, and some pickled veggies.

applesauce cake with caramel glaze
notes: THIS CAKE WAS SOOOO GOOD! So moist and yummy and wonderful… I subbed cardamom for the allspice but that was the only deviation. I think that the cake was great and the caramel frosting just made it spectacular.

ice cream roll-up
restaurant: 10 Below
notes: James Chan was very excited to share this new ice cream shop, and it was a pretty interesting experience! We got the matcha green tea roll up with berries and cookies mixed in. I thought it was a fun way to have ice cream, but I’m just as content with a standard scoop.

the buffet
restaurant: the buffet
notes: My parents wanted to take us out to a buffet spot in Flushing. Typical Flushing buffet — the food wasn’t mind blowingly amazing, though the sheer variety was.

restaurant: sushi yasuda 
notes: I love Sushi Yasuda! This was one of the omakase courses, which had uni from Hokkaido and uni from Santa Barbara. It was really fun tasting them side by side — I strongly preferred the Hokkaido, it was much creamier and milder than the Santa Barbara.

birthday dinner
restaurant: talde
notes: I chose this place because I very much wanted to have shaved ice for my birthday dessert… that was probably my  main criteria for choosing a birthday dinner restaurant! And… unfortunately, THEY DID NOT HAVE SHAVED ICE! Apparently they only serve it in the summertime. Total BS. (The rest of the food was tasty — the picture shows a lobster tom kha noodle soup — but I was sorely disappointed about my lack of shaved ice. Hmph.)

five spice chicken thighs 
restaurant: new saigon
notes: I ❤ New Saigon! Their five spice chicken thighs were recommended by Kathy so of course I wanted to try them. They were very good — a smaller portion than the beef combo platter, for days when I want less food. 🙂 10/10 would order again.

cranberry orange cheesecake with chocolate crust

notes: I’d been wanting to make this recipe for a while and had the opportunity to do so for Christmas — I wanted to try making a “festive” looking cheesecake. I was happy with the flavor and how it came out — it had a very silky light, almost whipped texture to it, and the orange / cranberry / dark chocolate all played together nicely. Only drawback: the cranberry topping leaked EVERYWHERE out of the springform pan, so be aware of that in the future.

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crockpot braised beef ragu with polenta

notes: Was yummy! Not the most complex flavor, but it was super easy and would make again.

naddan bowl
restaurant: biju’s little curry shop
notes: This was a place that both Kathryn and Kathy had been very excited about. The naddan bowl is described as a “little bit of everything” which is about right. It was a surprisingly large amount of food, and I liked all the little sauces and garnishes that they put on top. That being said, while I liked Biju’s, I’m probably unlikely to go to Denver just to eat here.

garlic lemon chicken thighs with green beans and potatoes
notes: I made up this recipe — was good and would make again, as it’s a good and easy-to-prepare weeknight dinner.

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paleo czech meatballs over sauteed cabbage and onions 
notes: I’ve made these meatballs several times before and like them very much. They were very tasty over the cabbage and onions!

sweet potato hash and two poached eggs
notes: I made up this recipe as well… not very complicated, just cooked up some grated sweet potato and onion until it was cooked through and soft, then topped with two poached eggs.

five spice chicken thighs over shredded cabbage
notes: I was inspired by the chicken thighs that I ate at New Saigon and decided to improvise my own! I tossed the chicken thighs in some olive oil, five spice powder, garlic, cilantro, salt, and lime juice, then roasted the usual amount of time. Finished it off with a little more cilantro. I think these would be improved next time with some fish sauce and maybe a touch of sesame oil.

ground meat sauteed with mushrooms with white sweet potato and green beans
notes: I honestly don’t remember how I seasoned the meat. Looks like I put in some thyme? Good but basic meal.

zoodles with spaghetti sauce
notes: No recipe… just literally sauteed up some beef, combined it with some jarred pasta sauce, and then put it on top of spiralized zucchini noodles.

roasted shiitake mushrooms, poached eggs, and green beans
notes: I found shiitake mushrooms for really cheap at H-Mart, and was excited to have them roasted! SO GOOD.

scrambled eggs with shiitake mushrooms and roasted red cabbage

notes: Used up the remainder of my shiitakes. And I love roasted cabbage! Red cabbage doesn’t “hold together” as well as green cabbage, it’s more prone to falling loose into shreds after roasting.

fried chicken with coleslaw and potatoes
restaurant: Yellowbelly
notes: I’ve been wanting to try Yellowbelly for over a year now! Finally made it there. I was surprised by how much I liked it — I’m not a huge fried chicken fan and don’t usually order it at restaurants but I really enjoyed this. It might even be the best American-style fried chicken I’ve ever had! The potatoes were really good, too. The coleslaw was nothing to write home about but was a nice backdrop to the fried foods.

comfort zoodles
notes: I made this recipe last year while on the Whole30 — decided to make it again to see if I’d like it anymore. It’s pretty good, but not anything I’d want to have more than 1x a year.

pot roast
notes: I found a recipe online where you use a can of coconut milk for the pot roast instead of cream of mushroom soup. Honestly, this recipe smelled a lot better than it tasted! I think it was missing some aromatics — maybe celery, and a bay leaf, and maybe fish sauce would have helped amp up the flavor a little bit. It wasn’t particularly worth making the recipe again, so I’m not linking it. 😉