Tuesday, May 28, 2013

happilyfull's kitchen . . . first time cooking 5-course meal

i've been really into cooking & it's been super fun "experimenting" in the kitchen, even though i don't get to keep a record of everything in the midst of craziness 

however, i was able to capture some of the action while preparing a 6-"course" menu on mother's day which included the following:
1) shrimp ceviche
2) purple asparagus 
3) cream sauce gnocchi with sweet corn and arugula
4) garlic butter lobster tail 
5) ribeye steak skewers 
6) mini cakes from patisserie chantilly [previous post]

i must say i am very happy that everything turned out delicious! because i was cooking most of the dishes for the first time! ...cooking without recipes, must i add! (i never really follow recipes when cooking)

1) shrimp ceviche
i love shrimp ceviche...without cilantro and although i never made shrimp ceviche before i knew it would be pretty simple, as long as the ingredients were fresh! and sure it was! because this was my sister's favorite dish of the night 

2) purple asparagus 
i love some veggies with all my meals so i had to add some veggies when cooking a course menu!
i was hoping to find some broccoflower prior to grocery shopping, but my whole foods didn't have it that day... so after thinking what "color" i can add, i ended up bringing some purple asparagus to stick in the oven! 
even though it was cooked to perfection, there were two downsides 1) it's deadly $$$ & 2) color fading to green once cooked

3) cream sauce potato gnocchi with sweet corn over fresh arugula
this...i actually looked up a recipe on pinterest and added my own twist to it which turned out great! 
again, using fresh ingredients can actually make a whole lot of difference, including actually using corn-on-the-cob instead of frozen or canned corn in the gnocchi!

4) garlic butter lobster tail 
picking main menu as my adventurous dish? yup, that's what i did!
i was pretty confident that it will turn out okay with the help of "garlic + butter", which makes anything taste awesome! but once i started working on it, i realized that i don't know how to open up the lobster tail! but thanks to couple of youtube clips, i was able to take out the meat safely & thanks to cooking-time calculations from youtube chefs, my lobster tails turned out perfectly! 

 5) ribeye steak skewers 
when there is sea, there must be land as well....at least on my dinner table! why? because my sister is not a huge fan of seafood! 
marinated meat + fresh veggies on skewer in the oven and it's ready! all you have to worry is not to poke yourself when skewering  ;)

6) mini cakes from patisserie chantilly 
i love cooking but i am not so talented when it comes to baking! so instead of wasting my time & energy, we picked up some delicious japanese pastries from one of our favorite bakeries as our dessert! 

grocery shopping alone took about an hour (because you have to stop by at least 2 markets to get the freshest ingredients) & cooking took another ~3 hours or so... 
but cooking is fun & i love seeing happy smiles on my loved ones as they eat my meal, which means, i look forward to some more adventures in my kitchen!

i am now happilyfull ♥ 
see you on my next adventure!

Monday, May 20, 2013

afternoon tea

it's mid-may & it already feels like summer, as if we skipped spring time!
and on a sunny afternoon -- whether it be spring or summer -- all i want to do is to enjoy few bites of snacks with some tea...in the shade...with some friends i can have heart-to-heart with! 
so i did just that recently at chado tea room in west hollywood 

i had livingsocial deal which happened to give me 2-people's tea time for one...and thank goodness i did! as they didn't exactly include everything that was promised on the menu...
nonetheless, i still shot out hearts from my eyes when i "saw" all the food
& thought of ways to make the tea party better when i throw my own tea party this coming summer! (yes, friends! be excited!)

overall, i will head to another tea house for some nice afternoon tea, as there are so many other wonderful options in the hood, including the london hotel 

i am now happilyfull ♥ 
see you on my next adventure!