Thursday, August 15, 2013

London Baby!

So I know it's been a long time, but, I kid you not, things have only just begun to calm down since Peru.

Peru was, indeed, one of the most amazing weeks of my life - this doesn't mean it was easy. I did not get Dengue you'll be relieved to know, but I did get altitude sickness. The first few days in Cusco I couldn't hold down even the Cocoa tea the locals drink to combat the thin air up in the mountains. It wasn't a pretty sight. Anywhere I went I sounded like an asthmatic and really the only thing that could bring me out of my lightheadedness were the cute baby llamas hiding throughout the city.

Once I started to feel more like myself - and my stomach didn't feel like an active volcano - I gave Cuy a try. It was actually pretty moist and tender, but I still found myself kinda peeved. My travel companion and I, along with a couple dutch guys, sat down and braced ourselves. The waiter came out and made a neck snapping gesture. We looked at each other and laughed nervously. Shortly afterwards our guinea pig came out, hat and all.

I wasn't sure how to go about eating it, but I did - I even ended up trying the brain which tasted like a soft-boiled egg. Even though it wasn't bad, I don't think I'll be having it again any time soon...

On the other hand I also tried Alpaca steak, which was AMAZING. We went to this wonderful restaurant Uchu simply because our hostel gave us a coupon, and it was one of the best eats of the entire trip. Our meal was brought out on a hot stone for grilling with four different sauces for quick marination. Not only was it delicious it was interactive, and just what we needed after a 24 hour bus ride. It was so tender and moist I was able to quickly look past the fact that I was eating a really cute animal.

The last place we ate in Cusco and our cheapest eat of the trip was at the Mercado Central de San Pedro. We had four meals because everything was 5 sols or less which is about 2 dollars. The market was not for the faint of heart but if you can handle a little grime then you can enjoy some of the best sopa and arroz con pollo in Peru - just be sure to avoid the butcher section unless you don't want to sleep for a week.

I could go on about Peru for a long time, but my point was that the trip left me physically and emotionally kaput. After three months of rest with my family in California I finally feel like a human being again.

Right now I'm in London and to make up for lost time I'll be posting pictures of my good eats all week. Follow me on instagram at feedmenewyork! Be prepared for fish and chips abound.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chinese New Year (even though it was a week ago)

So this happened a week ago, and I'm sure the world has had their fair share of Chinese New Year blog posts, but, well, they OBVIOUSLY haven't had enough because I haven't posted yet! And it's not bad luck to say that, because it's not actually Chinese New Year.

My friend and took the N train to canal street, just kind of expecting to see a bunch dumplings and dragons when we stepped out of the subway. Unfortunately it took a little more walking to actually find anything. We followed the sound of drums past Mulberry street onto Mott street where I avoided having my head blown off by confetti canons and tried not to step in muddy, reddish, confetti laden snow. I make it sound bleak, when in actuality it was a really nice change of pace. Lately I've been feeling like I never leave the West Village anymore - all the subway stops are too far away - which sucks because nothing affordable is in walking distance, so it was nice to see a different part of town in such festivities.

Again our expectations were not met when there were no street vendors.  I was expecting something like San Gennaro - the Little Italy street fair that happens around late september - but it was nothing like that (which was fine, I like surprises) so we picked the first restaurant that Yelp recommended (NOT SOMETHING I ENCOURAGE) Big Wong King and joined the queue forming behind a bobbing dragon, through the front door.

We ordered two beers, lo mein with pickled cabbage and pork, and kung pao chicken - my friend likes to keeps his Chinese food standard and americanized - and as soon as they set down our lunch I started rage eating. This is a rarity. Maybe it was the cold outside driving me into this kind of vengeful anger towards the food I was shoving down my throat, or maybe it was the fact that we'd been walking around for a long ass time. Either way, the food was gone quickly and after we paid the bill we left in search of sweet treats.

 We stopped at the Fay Da bakery. I took our last five bucks up to the counter and bought four pastries and a coffee, and I still had a couple quarters to spare; kind of miraculous for New York. I made sure to order things that at least "sounded Asian". I didn't want to slide into lazy american habits and order tiramisu, so we ordered a taro roll, sweet bun, egg custard, and a lotus roll - which kind of tasted meaty and soy saucy (it was good for about a bite, and then I lost my interest).

Then I went home and died of fatigue. I'm still dead, if anyone's wondering, and I'm writing this from beyond the grave. The food here is so so - by here I mean hell. You can only eat so much chili before your intestines actually start screaming no.

I'll be returning to life shortly as I leave for Peru in less than a month! A doctors appointment sufficiently scared me. NEWSFLASH: Apparently dengue is an epidemic in Peru right now, and guess how you get it: BUG BITES. For some reason bugs seem to love me - it's because I'm sweet ;) - So basically I'll be bathing in bug repellent to avoid getting a "bone breaking fever". Nevertheless, I'm still really excited.

More later!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Peru Bound

My best friend and I just purchased our tickets to Lima, Peru, and now I have negative 7 dollars in my bank account (thanks hulu plus.....no sarcasm intended, I LOVE YOU HULU PLUS). BUT, it is all okay, because I'm dreaming of fresh ceviche on a warm Lima day and the chilling mist of the Incan ruins, Machu Picchu (and llamas! / will be reenacting The Emperor's New Groove BRB)

What I am not dreaming about, however, is an interesting array of things I didn't think of till last night really: pirhanas, suffocating altitude sickness, food poisoning, eating cuy (aka guinea pig).

Though I'm probably never going to say, "yum I love me some fried guinea pig" if the chance arises to try it, I'm going to have to take it.

In reality, all the things I'm kind of dreading, I'm also kind of excited about. I mean, if I'm going to get altitude sickness anywhere, I don't really have a problem with that being at one of the 7 wonders of the world. And so long as I stay out of amazonian rivers I think the pirhana's are avoidable. However if Piranhas 3DD taught me anything, they might come up the toilet. Looks like I'll be peeing in a bottle.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ice Cream, Cupcakes, and Whipped Cream (ALL HOMEMADE!)

I was craving sweets this week, and since I'm on a tight budget - saving to go to Machu Picchu in the spring - I haven't had the money to run out in the middle of the night and buy cartons of Hagen Daas or several dozen chocolate bars like I normally would. Instead, I've been making all of my stuff, after I get home from work at around 11pm to midnight, and then not going to sleep until... never.

On sunday, I made my go to Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcake recipe by Martha Stewart. The secret to the deliciousness of this recipe is the cup of sour cream you add at the end. The tanginess counteracts the overwhelming sweetness of the 3 sticks of butter, 3 cups of sugar, and cocoa powder, and creates a delicious but not overly decadent chocolate cupcake, and trust me, if it weren't good I wouldn't continue to make it. I'm not that into chocolate sweets - brownies, cupcakes, etc. - so it's a miracle I even like these.

I'm positively terrible at making frosting. I don't know what it is but every time I try, it ends in disaster. For these cupcakes I made whipped cream instead because... 1. It's super easy and 2. you can eat it straight out of the bowl and not feel nearly as guilty as you would eating frosting straight out of a carton. I put it on top of my cupcakes, on top of my fruit, on top of my hot cocoa, and on top of my spaghetti (well... not yet).

Finally to finish off my trifecta of sweets, I made homemade vanilla ice cream with my new ice cream maker! Of course, I did not do this the same night I made my other goodies because I mistakenly forgot to put the ice cream bowl in the freezer a day in advance, which, BE WARNED, is absolutely necessary. Just always keep those puppies in the freezer. When you finish making ice cream, scoop it out, put it in some tupperware, wash out your bowl, and stick it back in the freezer, or you will regret it!

Making the ice cream was not easy, even though every article I read and every youtube video I watched said it should be. They made it seem simple enough for a monkey, which means I am simpler than a monkey. I locked the bowl into the machine, put the mixer upright and inside the bowl, topped it off with the lid, turned the switch, and.... nothing happened. It wasn't until fifteen minutes later that I realized I needed to reset the switches in my apartment and that I had in fact been doing everything correctly. When I finally got it working, the bowl had defrosted too much and the ice cream would not form. So I stuck it in the fridge and finished it with my additional frozen bowl when I came home from work.

I didn't want to take any chances, so I just made simple vanilla ice cream. When the ice cream finally formed, it was still to soft to eat, so I stuck it in the freezer and when morning finally came, I hopped out of bed like a kid on christmas - at 6 in the morning - stuffed my face with ice cream, and went to bed with heartburn. My mom is sending me vanilla beans, so it will be fancier the next time I make it. No pictures of the ice cream today, it went to fast, but rest assured, I will be making a lot more.

XOXO Fat Pig.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Frying Everything

We're Americans, so therefore we must fry everything. So I did.

The day before I left California after my short return, we decided to use my mom's year old deep fryer for the first time. I wanted...

1. To test my mothers limits in seeing what she'd let me fry

and

2. Fry anything and everything I could afford.

I spent hours prepping the following.

-Twinkies
-Oreos
-Cheese Sticks
-Potato Chips
-An array of tempura vegetables
-wontons

How does it take hours to prepare twinkies for frying you might be wondering? Well actually unless you want the twinkie to disintegrate upon hitting the scalding oil you have to freeze it. They come out looking like corn dogs, and tasting half baked in a bad way. The cream inside soaks into the foamy walls around it, and what makes a twinkie traditionally great is no longer there.






Maybe if I had used real twinkies that wouldn't have been a problem, I will never know though now that they're off the market. It's a sad day when the knock-off brand becomes the only brand; it was Little Debbies Cloud Cakes or nothing.









The oreos turned out just as good as I remembered them being the first time I had them last year at the street fair in Little Italy. I like oreos well enough on their own, but for some reason, when they're fried they become positively sublime. I rolled the oreos around in some pancake batter and dropped them in the deep frier for a good couple seconds, and poof, a foolproof treat and a sin to human nature. Also, it was vegan! (jk not really, used egg in the batter)

The cheese sticks did not work, at all. My guess is because we didn't follow a recipe, we just blindly dusted them with egg yolk and breadcrumbs and dropped them in the deep frier. I had a feeling potentially viscous cheese could cause a hazard when placed in excessively high temperatures but I didn't say anything, regrettably. They melted upon contact and we fished out - and ate - what we could. The rest stuck to the metal grating of the basket, and for all I know is still sitting there waiting for my mother to clean it out.






The potato chips were so freaking good, and so were the tempura and the wontons. Things I regret about this experience? NOT FRYING MORE! I wanted to fry pickles, and coke (not cocaine, Coca Cola [yes it's a thing]) and really anything in our fridge, because if you put your mind to it, YOU CAN FRY ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

Another thing excessive frying taught me; the grease in the air is exhausting. Within ten minutes of frying I was ready for a nap. I could never work at a fast food restaurant; however I have no problem eating at them so I wish to take this moment to express my eternal gratitude to those who do work there. THANX.




















For Christmas, I got an ice cream maker, and a dutch oven. Imma be up in the kitchen cooking up dem stews and mixing up dat ice cream. More soon, leave comments, LOVE YOU ALL ( - belated christmas joy)


 P.S. Extra special thanks to Christine Jackson for taking such noiice pictures.