Friday, July 1, 2011

My First Couponing Experience

I haven't written in a while because I took the time to gather coupons from the Sunday newspaper, online, and through friends. It was hard! Glad I read some blogs that had beginners' guide to coupons because this was hard work! I spent several hours cutting coupons, organizing them, and matching them to what was on sale and I had to throw away a lot of coupons because they expired before I could even spend them. I really have to find a way to print as much coupons as possible without wasting them. Grr... still learning....

Above is some of the coupons that I was organizing last week (which took about 3-4 hours that one night to organize and I wasn't done!). I decided to go with the binder system because I could easily take it with me and I bought those photo plastic inserts to keep my coupons. I just have to be wary of the expiration dates. The only thing that annoys me about this is that the coupons keep sliding around the plastic inserts, so I have have to make sure that I don't lose them or that they don't spill out of my binder.

After several hours of trying to organize and match coupons to sale prices, I decided to take my first coupon trip to Walmart. There were several stores on my list but I decided to use Walmart's ad match to make it easier by saving gas and time.There were only a few items on my list because I just wanted to get my feet wet, but I was sooooo nervous! At the end of it, I felt very good and I'm going to go on another trip to take advantage of the sale and the coupons.

So here's what I bought:

-Lawry's Garlic Salt 11 oz $1.99 (sale price at Long's)
-Hoy Hoy Trap a Roach (stupid cockroaches in our kitchen are growing in numbers!) 5 Pack $2.99 (sale price at Walgreen's)
-Shick Quatro for Women $6.99 (sale price at Walgreen's after Register Discount of $3) but I had a coupon for Buy 1 Get 1 Free so I got two packs for $6.99
-Stayfreee Feminine care 14 pack for $2.49 (sale price at Walgreen's) minus $1.00 coupon = $1.49 each (I bought two)
-Dove Men + Care Deodorant/Antiperspirant (for Beb) at $3.99 (sale price at Don Quixote) minus a $2.00 off coupon = $1.99 (so sad I didn't have more coupons for this but it was a newspaper coupon so I only had 1 at the time!)
-Dove Body Wash and Deodorant/Antiperspirant 4 for $11.00 (sale price at Walgreens) minus 2 $1.00 coupons for the deodorant, 1 $0.75 coupon for one of the deoderant, and 1 $1.00 off coupon for the body was which came down to $7.25 for all four or ~$1.81 each

I didn't buy the other stuff on my list because they didn't have it (Carnation brand evaporated milk), I need to buy the refills which were $5 each (Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra Starter Kit even though the kit was only $1.39, I didn't want to spend more later), and I wasn't sure how to use the coupon with what they had (they had a lysol wipes pack which connected together and I had a coupon for $100 of 2).

I thought I did pretty well. I had a budget of $25 and I spent $30 (I bought one more garlic salt and one more Hoy Hoy, and I forgot to include tax in my original budget).

My thoughts on the experience: it took a lot of time to do this, but as Beb says, it's my first time and it gets easier later when I've developed a routine. I believe that I'd rather spend time than money since that 's all I really have. I'm not going to let it take over my life or anything, but I do have lots of time right now, so I might as well turn this into a hobby. What do you think?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Extreme Couponing

 I, like all viewers, are fascinated by TLC's newest show "Extreme Couponing." We all want to try it because we all want to save money and get free stuff especially in these times. I've tried to do some couponing a few months ago when I first watched the show, but I thought it was a waste of time.
Last night, after a couple of episodes of "Extreme Couponing", I decided to start couponing again. I was very much inspired by the Scotty B from New York who had the same DJ name as Scotty B from Star 101.9 and because he lived in an expensive place such as New York but was still able to save money using coupons (~$500 to $50).
I've been reading a lot of blogs, directions, and have clipped many coupons since last night. I know that it takes a lot of time (they say sometimes 3-4 hours a day!), but I figured I better change my mentality about this and treat it like a second job where I work hard at it, save money on groceries, and don't have to pay taxes (kind of). I want to be able to reach a point where this becomes second nature to me.
After trying to cut down on my bills and reorganize my life financially, I'm still living paycheck to paycheck with nothing to safe. I literally only have $50-$100 after paying bills to spend per 2 weeks when I get paid and that has to pay for groceries, gas, and anything else I might need. I know I have to get a cheaper place.  I currently pay $800 a month on rent which includes utilities, cable, and internet, which is reasonable for Honolulu but still very expensive for me since I have a car loan, a credit card, and two big student loans that I have to pay for since graduating in May 2010. I love my job and I don't plan to go anywhere anytime soon, so the next big step that I must do to survive is to do this. Hopefully it works out. I'm going to do my best to blog this.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Chamorro Dish: Kadung Pika (Spicy Chicken)

One Sunday, I decided to make Kadung Pika since my sister was staying over with me that weekend and I try to give she her a home-cooked meal every weekend before she goes back to the base. Kadung Pika is a Chamorro dish that I've had a couple of time back home in Saipan. It is basically spicy adobo (a Filipino dish with soy sauce and vinegar).


The ingredients are:
-1 Stewing Chicken cut up (I used chicken wings; use whatever you prefer actually)
-1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
-1/2 cup Vinegar
-2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
-3 Garlic Cloves (you can cut it up or toss it in whole; I'd rather it be whole so that I can take it out easily)
-1 1/2 Teaspoon of Crushed Tinian Pepper (or regular hot pepper; make sure to taste it because it can get pretty spicy!)
-1/2 Cup of Water
-A Dash of Black Pepper
-A Dash of Onion Powder (because I don't like adding real onions!)
-1 Tablespoon of Veggie Oil

1) I fried the chicken wings and garlic cloves in the veggie oil until it becomes brown.
2) I'm not sure why I didn't take any more pics after this but, when the chicken turned a little
brown, I added the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for about 20 minutes (I just covered the pot but I made sure that there was a small hole for steam to pass through). I then checked and stirred it every 10 minutes or so to make sure that it was fully cooked before serving.  If it's not pink or bloody then it's ready (I just had it when I cook chicken and it's not fully cooked which is why I tend to over cook it; hence the 20 minutes).

Just eat it over some hot rice with the sauce from the pan and you've got a great and easy meal!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bangkok Chef

About a month ago, Beb wanted to go to Bangkok Chef. We haven't been here in a loooong time and I'm not sure why because it's a great place for people on a budget!

They have several locations now: near Manoa Marketplace, in Nuuanu, and across Best Buy on Nimitz (their newest location).  Check out their link for the locations, hours of operation, and menu at
Their meals are around $6 a plate which usually comes with rice (jasmine or sticky rice) and it's the cheapest but great way to get some great Thai food! Seriously! In the bottom right was my order of Thai yellow curry. To the left is an a la carte order of chicken wings (so good and huge for chicken wings!) which we were craving because we could smell it in the air! On top is Beb's order of a kind of sweet and sour chicken (which I didn't enjoy much). We also had two orders of Thai iced tea (about $2.50 each). Our total was about $25 with tax! Pretty good deal I thought, especially because we had a lot of leftovers! We were so full! So if you are ever craving some cheap but good Thai food, check it out! I promise you, it's a great find!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Good Eats: G Sushi

Ugh! I ruined my workout the other at the gym where I burned 450 calories on the Full Body Workout with dinner at G Sushi but I don't regret it (I semi-regret it)! lol!

G Sushi is located at the Market City Shopping Center near Kapahulu (next to Blazin' Steaks). I like going here because it's a change from Kuru-Kuru and Genki Sushi, but the only thing that makes it hard to come here often is the parking. It is horrendous especially near Foodland during weekday afternoons, so I try to avoid this shopping center altogether except for this place! It is also a pretty small place; nice and homey.

The thing that makes G Sushi different from places like Genki and Kuru Kuru is how the sushi is served: instead of served on the usual revolving conveyer belt, the sushi is served on little boats on top of water that fit two sushi plates. I'm not sure exactly how it moves, but it is very calming.  Another thing that makes G Sushi unique is that they rarely have a full house so they tell you to sit anywhere you want.  I'm not sure why it's not as popular as the other sushi places since it is as pricey as Genki, but I think it's a good thing because the waitress is more attentive to you than in other places where they are always running away from you. lol!

When I come here, I always get my favorite sushi set: Captain Cook ($8.79). It has two pieces fried ebi (shrimp), two pieces fried fish katsu, two pieces fried scallops, and two pieces spicy ahi (it is supposed to be fried spicy ahi, but I asked not to fry it because it's a little too much for me to have everything fried! lol!) all of which are on top of pieces of rice. It's a pretty good deal because if you buy them individually, it would cost about $10 or so dollars. They have other sushi sets as well; I've also tried the all spicy ahi set (fried spicy ahi, spicy ahi roll, and I forgot the other two! lol!) which was pretty good especially if you are a spicy ahi lover like me (sometimes!). It always surprises me how full I get after this because if I eat at Genki or Kuru Kuru, I spend about $10-15! I do wish I could show you other good items to get here so you can get a better picture of what to order here, but I'm such a boring person that I only come here to get my "usual". lol!

The ratings: G Sushi gets 3.5 cherries for its price because it compares reasonably with Genki but not as cheap as Kuru Kuru! They have different colored plates similar to those places but the great thing about G Sushi is that they have a $0.99 yellow plate special and they have an Early Bird Special (choose 5 items from the list that they have for $6.79)! Their sushi sets are also a great deal! Moreover, G Sushi gets 4 cherries for customer service because the waitress (they usually have a waiter and a waitress working there but we have always gotten the same waitress even when I take out) is very attentive and we get our meals quickly (even when I take out!). I do give G Sushi 4.5 cherries for the likelihood that I'm coming back because I always come back when I crave for their Captain Cook set (5 cherries for taste just for this plate! lol!)!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Strawberry Haupia Pie

Beb and I did some late night shopping for dinner and we saw this at Don Quijote!

It looked soooo good! I've tried Ted's Macademia Nut Pie and Chocolate Haupia Pie, and they were sooo good that we decided to try it. AND it was $10.99 (compared to $12.99 at Foodland)! Time to check out!

This is my second slice because it was that good! It wasn't too sweet, was light and fluffy, and was surprisingly light in my tummy (Beb made beef broccoli for dinnah!). Even though I blew half my $20 budget (broke again!), it was worth it (I'll just have to eat it for breakfast! LoL!).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Second Attempt at Red Velvet Cake: SUCCESS! I

Since it was Spring Break and I didn't really have anything else to do, I decided to attempt Red Velvet Cake again for another church gathering (I didn't want to post the pics I took of my first attempt because it wasn't that great -_-*). This time, I decided to use white cake mix (instead of making everything from scratch) and sour cream (because I was trying to finish it before it spoils and because I found some red velvet recipes that uses sour cream anyways! yay!). A tip for you: buy things you know you will need when they are on sale! I knew I was going to be baking red velvet again, so I bought some cake mix and icing when it was on sale for about $2 each (I forgot where I bought them. lol). Usually, it's about $2.50-2.99 each, so I saved some... lol!


After looking at several recipes online, I found one that I like that was simple enough and I tweaked it a bit (this time my tweaking worked! lol!). So my ingredients are:
-One box Super Moist white cake mix
-1 cup sour cream (yes! It was just enough for me to finish the container!)
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

I also, and firstly (is this even a word? lol!), followed the ingredients on the cake mix and the directions as well. So I pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees and I used the following:
-3 egg whites (I used the egg yolks to make scrambled eggs for lunch. Ugh! So caloric, but I didn't want it to go to waste!)
-1 1/4 cup of water
-1/3 cup veggie oil

I sprayed the silicon molds with baking spray after pre-heating the oven and then I began my mixing!

I just mixed everything together including the sour cream and the cocoa powder using a whisk. So Sad... I didn't get to use my new electric mixer, but mixing it wasn't so bad.

I did the food coloring last because the only reason why it's Red Velvet is because of the food coloring. I'm not sure why they decided it needed food coloring. Without it, it is fine, and it's just simply chocolate cake. I was pretty bummed though when I first started googling recipes to find that it was just plain chocolate cake colored red. No wonder I liked it so much... lol... I just don't like the idea of adding so much red food coloring. I just kept adding food coloring, which ended up to be the entire bottle (and what was asked for in the recipe that I found online the second time around; the first time around, it looked more chocolate than red velvet)!

I then poured about two cups of each mixture into the top and the bottom each because Beb said that the directions for the mold said it had to be even! And now look how it turned out! The top (which is in the bottom of the picture) is bigger than the top (which is on top of the picture)! It was a totally uneven giant cupcake... :(
Anyways, I baked it in the silicon molds for 25 mins and checked it in between my dish washing (about every few minutes or so) using a BBQ stick which I poked through both molds. If the stick came out with wet batter, it wasn't ready so I added more time until the stick came out clear or with cooked batter (the bottom finished faster than the top so I took it out earlier; I don't know why when they had the same amount of mixture). I then let it cook in the molds until the cupcakes were done.
When they were done cooling, I took them both out of the mold (be careful because the mold can still be pretty hot!). I was then careful about slicing the top of the cupcake (which is in the bottom of the pic) because the top gets shaped like an actual toy top after baking so I needed to slice of the top part of the top so I can put it on top of the bottom part of the giant cupcake (if that makes any sense at all! lol!).

I added the rest of the mixture to my baking sprayed cupcake tin because I though it would be cute to have little cupcakes around the supposedly giant cupcake... lol.... I baked it for 20 minutes and added more time when I the BBQ stick came out wet. I made sure to test several cupcakes.

I had leftover icing from the last time I baked which I left on the counter to get to room temperature before I used it (according to the label) because it was pretty hard.

This is what the cupcakes looked like when it was done. I let it cool a bit in the metal tin and then took them out to cool before I added icing (I tried to add icing to a cupcake that was a bit warm and the icing melted and dripped all over the cupcake!).

I only had enough vanilla icing to cover the giant cupcake and two mini cupcakes and used chocolate on the rest. Apparently, they liked the mini cupcakes more because it was easier to grab, but most liked it overall at the gathering. I thought it tasted pretty good too, and so did my sister since she ate the leftovers twice this weekend! So try it and tell me how it tastes! I'm not exactly sure how the sour cream changed the flavor, so maybe next time, I'll try it without, but I considered this attempt, a SUCCESS!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Honolulu Burger & Co.

I was hungry for some junk food last Thursday or so, so I took Beb to Honolulu Burger & Co. since it was nearby and because I've been seeing a lot of people "check-in" there lately so I've been meaning to try it. I was lucky that I didn't throw away one of my Safeway receipts because I was keeping it because it had a coupon for Honolulu Burger & Co. for "buy one burger, get the second half off". So that's a tip for you! Look behind your Safeway receipts because you can find some coupons like this for other places, such as, Good to Grill and Blazing Steaks.

The place is pretty small and I was going to park at Times across the street from it on Beretania but Beb pointed out it had a small parking near the restaurant. The menu sounded really good, which you can find on their website since I didn't take pics of it. lol! Sorry!

 It sounded pretty organic since the beef was from the Big Island and the ingredients were all local (according to their signs).  We ordered a Mushroom Mushroom Burger, a Bleu Cheese Burger (which is not on the menu on their website; not sure why), and a small order of fries. HOWEVER, if you notice on the left, it doesn't look like a regular burger nor does it have any sign of bleu cheese!  When we got home (we ordered take-out), we saw that the girl who took our order messed it up. We should've checked it! Always remember to check that you got the right food when you order take out! Sucks! She actually gave us the Korean burger which she didn't change when we decided not to get that since there was no actual burger in it. Sucks cheese man! I wanted to go back and change it since we lived a couple of blocks away, but Beb was hungry and just wanted to eat. 

The Mushroom Mushroom Burger was ok. It had a pretty good smokey, mushroom-y flavor, but we thought it was dry (I ordered well done).  They also put sauteed onions on it and it's not even on the description for the burger or I would've told them to skip the onions! You know how I ate onions! Beb thought the Korean burger, which had some kind of Korean BBQ sauce over shredded kalbi and onions. It was pretty flavorful actually, but I wanted burgers, not kalbi. Grrr... As for the fries, even though it was fresh cut fries, they tasted burnt! I love my food burnt a bit especially BBQ and fries (because it makes it crispy), but the fries weren't so good...

So I give them 3 cherries for flavor because I could tell that there was a potential to be a pretty flavorful meal overall (from the taste of the Mushroom Mushroom burger), but it just wasn't that day. I'll give it 4 cherries because I'm giving them a second chance and I will try them again in the future. However, I'm giving them 3 cherries because it was a bit pricey for burgers $7-10 as well as other items on their menu. Lastly, I give them 2 cherries for their customer service because the girl who served us didn't look like she wanted to be there, messed up our order, was a bit rushed and it was like she just wanted to serve us and make us leave or something... One more chance for them, so we'll see.... I'll wait till I get another coupon though! lol! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

YouTube + Beb's Touch = A Great Tempura Recipe (In my opinion)!

I am currently on Spring Break even though I am not a student (love my job!). I am very grateful for the break, but I am too broke to do anything, so I decided, among other things, I should catch up on my blog! Yay! So I decided to make tempura today because I wanted to try out the recipe Beb used got from YouTube which he tweaked with a bit.

My items to be tempura-ed (lol!):
-Green beans (it was a bit expensive for $3.16 a bag, but I was craving green beans. I hate it when I order tempura at a restaurant and I only get two pieces of green beans! lame!)
-Mushrooms (because they were on sale for $1.87 a box!)
-Tiger Shrimp ($2.97 for about 12 pieces; IDK how much of a pound, lol!)
-A Filet of Mahi-Mahi which I cut into smaller pieces ($3.50 for a fillet)
-NOTE: you can use whatever vegetable or type of meat you like; it is really up to you. More traditional items are in the YouTube video mentioned below.

Beb got the batter recipe from here, which includes:
-1 Egg Yolk
-2/5 Cup of Icy Cold Water
-2/5 Cup of Flour
-1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
-1 Teaspoon of Cornstarch (Beb told me to add this; this is one of his tweaks)
-A Dash of Garlic Salt (My tweak)
-A Dash of Black Pepper (My tweak)

The YouTube video said to whisk the egg yolk and then add the other ingredients. You need to make sure that you don't whisk it too much (make sure that it's lumpy), according to the video; IDK why that is but I followed it exactly (because Beb said I need to follow directions better or it'll turn out wrong especially in my baking! Hmpt!). I had to do this batter recipe twice because it wasn't enough for all of my items! I was also too lazy to make the tempura sauce, but I'll do next time because it looks really tasty!

The video said to dust the items, but it didn't say with what so I just did it with regular flour. I guess this is to make sure that the batter doesn't fall off the veggies and seafood while cooking.

After my prepping, I turned on the stove and warmed up the veggie oil. I used old veggie oil that I just have sitting on the stove so it's ready when I want to fry something. I mean it's still good because it's covered, but, I mean, I don't think I need to throw the oil away every time I fry something right? lol! I bet a lot of people do this!

I then added the veggies into the batter and make sure that it's fully coated before dropping it slowly into the hot oil.

Make sure not to overcrowd the pot/pan or the veggies will stick together. I also stirred it sometimes to turn things like the mushroom over and to keep the rest of the veggies from sticking to each other. It cooked pretty fast so be sure to watch it. When it's golden brown, then it's ready.
I had a bit of an accident and created a mini-fire on the electric stove because I overcrowded the pot and the oil started to boil over and fall into the heat! Wahh!! Good thing I remembered that I needed to cut the oxygen supply from the fire, so I put a pan cover over the stove to let the fire die. Unfortunately, Beb didn't know that the pan was over the stove because of the fire, so he burnt himself... Wah... wah... wah... lol! Jk!

Ahhhh! Crispy tempura green beans are sooo yummy... I wish I made the sauce from the video because it would've been good. I want to experiment later though and make like a wasabi/chipotle mayo or cream sauce for this... I love creamy sauces like ranch, even though I know it's sooo bad for you.... :(

This is the shrimp and the mushrooms. The color is a bit off because it's used oil. If I used new oil, then it would look brighter (?). lol! That's the best way to describe it.

And this is the mahi-mahi. The color is sooo off because Beb too it out early before the batter had a chance to turn golden brown. He said it's fine and the fish is cooked... I guess... but I told him to take over the tempura-ing of the mahi because I had to wash dishes and I was getting scared because the oil was boiling over again! I didn't want another fire! Wahhh!

I thought it was a pretty good first try for tempura! I ate it with rice and kewpie mayo mixed with tabasco. However, the sauce was a bit heavy; another reason why I should've made the tempura sauce in the video. Also, I paid about $13 including tax for all of the ingredients, so I thought it was a pretty good deal since it fed me, Beb, and my two roommates, and we STILL have leftovers (way better than the $19 meal that Beb and I got from KFC last night because I was unfortunately craving KFC! lol!). So, see for yourself and be creative by mixing in some of your favorite veggies or meat, and tell me how yours turned out!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 21, 2011

My First "Melt"

Mwahaha! My bf got me an iphone 4 so now my only excuse to not blog is because I am lazy, not because my iphone was acting stupid.  I know! I know! The new iphone is coming, but he figured I was in desperate need of a new phone because mine old one really sucked. Gotta use the Otterbox cover now because I was prone to dropping my phone almost everyday. Hopefully, this will last!

Anyway, my first blog with my new phone is with the Melt Truck which we saw at a Food Truck Rally (didn't take pics because I had to eat and leave quickly! lol!). There was 50+ people in lining and they had lobster bisque! So sad that I didn't get to try it this time around because I have been craving lobster bisque (which I can't find here) since my trip to New York last year.  The second time I wanted to try it, I went on their twitter and checked out their next location, which I thought was right by my place, but it was wrong! It was by my place the week before! Grr... I have yet to master twitter...  I finally got to try it in person out last Friday when they were by Yogurtland (my bf found out that it was going to be by his workplace and ordered the tuna melt and the burger melt thingy which was pretty good and totally unhealthy! But I stopped eating the tuna melt when I noticed there was onions... Eeek!)

This was on today's menu. I shared a Pastrami Melt with my friend J but I also bought a whole Pastrami Melt to share with Beb later that day. My total for my Pastrami Melt and a half was $12. I wanted to get the soup too but it was gone as soon as I got there! My friend tried the tapenade , which she thought was good, while her bf tried the triple melt, which he thought was good, but he didn't realize there wasn't any meat so I gave him some of my pastrami from my sandwich. lol!

I didn't really get to see what they put inside or how they cooked it, but it was pretty crispy!  I tried to look in and I saw the guy putting some mayo and mustard which I could taste in the sandwich, but I couldn't tell if it was for my sandwich or for some other sandwich.  It was sooooo good, but I was glad we shared because I could tell that it was sooo bad for me because it was sooo good and pretty oily. Need to burn it off at the gym now! The mustard complemented the pastrami well and it was crispy, chewy, smokey, buttery, and just plain yummy!

Taste-wise, I give it 4 cherries because it was a pretty dern good sandwich, but it was just a bit oily. I give it 3 cherries for price because the menu is a bit pricey for a couple of sandwiches, but I guess it's because they use some fancy ingredients like gouda cheese too. Imagine, the burger melt, which was basically a burger between two grilled cheese is $11! Ouch... But I do give the Melt Truck 4 cherries for the likelihood that I'm coming back because they're menu is every changing so I'd like to try all that they have to offer. So if you wana go try it, check out their twitter and see where they'll be and what they'll offer. Be fast though! They run out of food quick!

P.S. I love how my pics look from this phone! Doesn't it make you hungry?!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Late Kimchee Fried Rice Recipe

Tsunami warning has been reduced to a tsunami advisory, so since I am home sick and we didn't have work today, I thought I'd catch up on my blogging since I've been neglecting it for so long... so sorry! Anyway, here is one of the recipes that I should have posted a month ago. I thought I'd try and make some kimchee fried rice sinee Beb bought a huge jar of his favorite kimchee because he didn't like the one I bought -_-*

I decided to use the kimchee that I bought to make my fried rice since I could finish my entire container of kimchee in this dish. My ingredients for this dish are:

-A small package of thinly sliced beef (I used sukiyaki beef because it's pretty tender)
-Some kimchee (it really depends on how much you want in your dish)
-Left-over rice (or freshly cooked rice, whichever you prefer)
-3 eggs, scrambled
-Black pepper
-A tablespoon of veggie oil
-Salt (I prefer using garlic salt)
-Some soy sauce
-A dash of sesame oil

I first fried the meat in about half a tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium heat. I added just a pinch of garlic salt and pepper to flavor the meat, and took it out of the pan when it was a bit pink. I didn't want to overcook it because I was going to return it in the ban later.

I then used half a tablespoon of vegetable oil to fry the eggs and the kimchee together. I shouldn't have done that because it made the eggs very wet. It's best to cook the scrambled eggs alone in the pan, breaking it up into pieces while it is cooking, and taking it out of the pan before it is overcooked (when it's just a little wet).

I then added the rice to the egg and kimchee mixture. Here, you can add the meat and, if you didn't already, add the kimchee. Season the dish with some soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Mix it all together until the beef isn't pink anymore and the rice starts to turn orange from the kimchee. Make sure to taste it to see if it's in your liking. I know some people add green onions or more kimchee. It is really up to you.

And here is the final product! It tastes pretty good for my first try. Now you try!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 18, 2011

$20 for $40 of Food at Pablo Cantina

Oh my gulay (vegetables in Filipino. lol!)! I was soooo hungry a couple of weeks ago that I told Beb to take me to Pablo Cantina so that we can finally use our PLAY Hawaii coupon.

PLAY Hawaii is just like Groupon. Beb and I get emails from Groupon, PLAY Hawaii, and another company called Living Social for some great deals.  About a month or so ago, Beb called me and wanted me to purchase the Pablo Cantina deal before it ran out. He works at a printing company so he made one of their signs and saw that the menu sounded good so I bought it for him.  It was $20 for $40 worth of food.  It sounded like a great idea because we've never been here before and this gave us a chance to try something new for a change.

The hostess was very nice and asked us if we wanted to sit outside or inside, so I chose inside because it was a pretty hot Sunday. We got free chips and salsa while we waited for our meal.  They were refillable, I believe, but we didn't want to spoil out appetite for our entrees (even though I did finish the whole basket! lol!).

Beb got some pork tacos, which on the description said that it was the regular street food in Mexico.  I've always wanted to try it because they always feature this when Anthony Bordain or Andrew Zimmern visit Mexico, but it's pork... how sad... It came with rice and beans too. Beb thought it was ok... he wasn't as hungry as me but he did finish it... lol...

I got this stuffed pepper with cheese and chicken dish (man! I can't find their menu online so I don't know what it's called!). It was pretty darn good!  It also came with rice and beans but I stopped eating the beans when I noticed that there was meat inside and it looked like pork... ugh... and I chomped on some onions too... ugh... so I just enjoyed the entree which was pretty fulfilling by itself...

It has seasoned chicken, with a layer of cheese around it (or was it some kind of dough? I'm not sure... lol..), stuffed inside a pepper and then fried. Then it's covered in this yummy red sauce.  I though it was supposed to be a spicy dish because it said so on the menu, but it wasn't.

Since we had $40 to spend, I thought I should get a drink since Beb got an ice tea. I got a virgin mango margarita which was so yummy! I was sad it wasn't served in a real margarita glass though so I can pretend I was drinking the real thing... lol... It was soo good that I drank to fast and had brain freeze several times... ouch...

We figured that we might as well get dessert since we probably had enough money to cover it if $40 wasn't enough especially since I saw fried ice cream on the menu!!! Yay! I haven't had this in a while... especially since the best fried ice cream I've had was in the Taco restaurant that used to be right next to Good-to-Go Grill in Kapahulu, but was closed down by the same owner. So sad... it was the best ever... This one wasn't so bad either... it was pretty good (that I almost didn't want to share with Beb) but I thought it was kind of pricey.... It had vanilla ice cream inside which was still pretty firm after covering it in batter and frying it!  It was topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream... Yum!

And this is our damage... how cool is that?!  This is why I love PLAY Hawaii, Groupon, and Living Social!  If only, would extend to Hawaii now...

My ratings: 2 cherries for the service because even though it wasn't busy at around 4:30pm on a Sunday afternoon when we came, it felt like our waiter didn't have any time for us! He would bring us the menu and our food and leave as quickly as he could that we almost didn't have time to tell him the other items that we wanted like my virgin margarita!  He also seemed impatient when we needed time to think about something... So I thought the service that day wasn't great... and it looked like a slow day too! Maybe he was new... lol... 4 cherries for taste (I'm glad we were able to try something new!) but 2.5 cherries for price because it was a bit pricey... The food is pretty good actually, but I'm not sure if I want to come back again because of the price so 3 cherries for the probability that I'll come back again (probably when I really crave fried ice cream again or when I have money... lol...). I just love that these coupon places give us the opportunity to try something new for half the cost!

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1st Recipe of 2011: Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelet)

I was craving it for a bit and I totally forgot to ask my mom to make it when she was here on vacay so I decided I should finally make some Tortang Talong. Tortang talong is a Filipino dish and is basically a grilled eggplant omelet with some meat. It's great any time of the day and who knew that eggplants and eggs would make such a great combo?! (Filipinos did! lol!)

My ingredient list:
-a couple of long eggplants (best to go to an Asian market for this!)
-depending on how many eggplants you have, two eggs per eggplant
-1/3 pound of ground beef or so depending on how much meat you like (I use ground beef instead of the usual ground pork because you know that I don't eat pork or you could just leave this part out if you like)
-veggie oil
-black pepper
-salt (or garlic salt)

1) The first step is to grill the eggplants until all of the skin is brown, wrinkly, and a little bit burned. I don't have a grill so I used our oven's broiler and broiled it for about 5-7 minutes until it was brown and fully wrinkly.

2) While the eggplants are in the oven, I scrambled two eggs per eggplant in separate bowls and I seasoned it with salt and pepper. I added the ground beef raw if you can see the pink spots in the bowls because I was lazy but that was a stupid idea and should've browned them a bit, seasoned it, and added it to the eggplant and eggs later (you'll see what I mean later).

3) When the eggplants are done, you should let it cool to work with it again (unlike impatient me who burned her hands on the hot eggplant!). Then, using a fork, peel off and throw away the eggplant skin to reveal the inside (or eat it if you like but I think they remove it because it's not good after being grilled; idk). After removing the skin, spread the inside "fibers" of the eggplant as above because allows for greater egg-eggplant ratio in the omelet (or something like that! lol!).

4) Turn on the stove and let it warm up a bit before putting a few tablespoons of veggie oil. Let the oil heat up a bit before laying the eggplant on the pan and pouring the eggs on top. Then you should pour the cooked ground beef of top and let it cook a bit before carefully flipping over.

5) Because the meat was raw, I had to ruin my nice omelet shape on the first and second eggplant because I needed to break it up and make sure that the meat wasn't pink anymore (who wants a pink omelet??). This is why you need already-cooked meat.

6) On my third eggplant, I let it sit on its back longer to cook the meat and tried to flip it and create the nice omelet shape typical of this dish, but it flipped to shape like an American omelet! Oh well! I'll show you the next time I crave this dish!

7) To top this whole recipe off, the one and only condiment to use is Banana ketchup! I know it sounds weird but it's like a cross between regular ketchup and sweet and sour sauce found in Chinese restaurants! Try it! It's really good!  And good luck when trying out this recipe! I will post more soon!

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