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Friday, February 25, 2011

Pure Dark

A couple weeks ago, I had gotten a nice package. Yep, thanks to Foodbuzz Tastemaker program and Pure Dark for the samples of chocolate. Who could resist chocolate? Remember I'm a self-professed chocoholic? I've been wanting to make something with them, but they've been staring at me for quite sometime. So I gave in and nibbled away at them. I couldn't resist.

Two samples: Classic Bark (Top) and Chocolate Slab

I like the packaging on the chocolates. It's not your usual foil wrapper, it's got the soft paper material. Almost feels like rice dense rice paper. I'm sure there's a name for it, it's just not coming into my mind right now. Anyone know the name of it? 

Classic Bark

As in the description of the package, this chocolate has bits of cherries, roasted almonds and caramelized nibs. This is perfect to snack one. It's got a nice balance of flavors. A bit of the sweet and salty.  You can't go wrong with that. Plus, each bit you take has a taste of each, another cool thing. Unlike some chocolates that just randomly sprinkle the add-ins in certain areas. 

Chocolate Slab

This one is pure dark chocolate. A nice this slab of chocolate. I think this one is perfect for baking or incorporating into some kind of dish. Heck you can even put it into hot cocoa. ( I think I might just do that!) 

If you see these around somewhere and/or you love dark chocolate, give them a try.

Oh and don't forget to check out the website for my new short film. Thanks for the support!! I'm really proud of it and hope it will do well in the world of movies. :)

By The Water's Edge

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My new film today's post isn't really about food. Some of you have have wondered, for quite some time, as to what I actually do. I post about my food adventures on set about being a background actor, but my main trade is actually being a filmmaker (Director/Writer/Producer). If you follow me on twitter some of you may have noticed that I've been tweeting ever-so-often about my current "pet" project. These last several months I've been busy working away at my latest film. Hence my absence from much of the blogosphere as of late. But I still do read up on as many blogs as I can and when I can.

So I am proud to share with you my latest work.

By The Water's Edge is a short film that I had written and directed, which is a smaller version of a larger project that I'm hoping to do. Yes, I do movies. That's what I do and what I love to do. You can click on the link to my personal website on the right to see some of my other works.

Anyway... Check out the official website for it: By The Water's Edge. It's got photos and a teaser trailer.
Become a fan on its Facebook page as well : BTWE - Facebook

So that's my latest offering. I'll eventually put the whole film online (possibly) later this year, so keep an eye out. But for now I hope you enjoy the teaser for the film. And I do hope to be posting some more good news in the near future. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Little Dom's

Little Dom's. To be quite honest, I didn't even know it existed until a friend of mine had mentioned it to me. I've passed by this place several times when I would go the Alcove Cafe just down the street. The trendy Silverlake/Los Feliz area is home to several delicious spots. This place goes on my list as one of them. One of my closest friends took me here for a Sunday (Post-Birthday) Brunch. 

It was a nice slightly chilly day so we opted to each at the covered patio area. All day breakfast/lunch. A nice selection from their menus. I didn't get to see much of the inside, but it did have a nice looking bar. 

We start off ordering a hot cup of coffee. I love that each person gets their own little kettle pot, so you wouldn't have to ask for refills for a second cup. Just pour it yourself. It also came witha small decantor of milk and some sugar cubes. 

Nutella Panino

I would have chosen something with eggs, but on this particular day nutella was calling my name. It's actually a first I've seen it on any kind of menu, so that was cool. There was also a some mascarpone cheese in it, too. nice and creamy. Yum! The breakfast and lunch are served all day.

Ricotta Cheese & Fresh Blueberry Pancakes w/ Maple Syrup 

My friend orders the pancakes. Simple, yet delicious! I'm actually craving for blueberries right now. Mmmm... 

I'm definitely coming back here again. I want to try out their lunch and dinner selections. Another friend of mine also suggested their breakfast pizza, so that's sure on my list of menu items to order. Come to think of it... I remember this place being featured on the show Best Thing I Ever Ate. Adam Gertler chose this place specifically for the breakfast pizza. I guess that means another trip is in my near future. 

2128 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Deli to-go orders: 323.661.0088

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Birthday Dinner

Yesterday, I turned another year older. As they say age is just a number that keeps ticking up (or down..depending which way you look at it.) The day was relative a low-key one. Did some errand and got myself a little giant birthday cupcake.

My mom took out to dinner at Taylor's Steak House in La Canada, CA (north of LA in the hills. No not those hills.) The place is situated on Foothill Blvd of this seeming quiet city. It may not seem like it from outside, but the place had a decent sided dinner crowd for a Tuesday night. They've been about since 1953 and by my book if you've been around for longer than 50 years, you must be doing something right in the restaurant business.

Fresh steaming bread to start off the meal with some butter.

The simple decor of the place is a reminder of the time that once was. I do like the photos by each booth how the landscape was before modernization came.

The appetizer. 

We order up some large bacon wrapped scallops. served with some lemon and clarified butted. The next photo shows just how large these things were.

The scallops were cooked just right. No too chewy or undercooked. Seared just enough for the knife to cut right through. Is it just me or is there something about bacon and butter that I just can't live without? 

My mom orders one of the specials of the night. Salmon with some white since sauce served in a gravy boat dish and a side of creamed spinach. I had a piece small taste of the salmon and it was nice and flaky. It was a pretty large piece.

I decided to go all out and went for the prime rib dinner. This is the original cut. It's around an inch thick. The meat nice and pink in the center. Really tasty. I chose a baked potato for my side as it also came with some creamed spinach. Also a side of horseradish sauce. That thing was HUGE!!! Unless you're hungry, I suggest going on a really empty stomach. I think they had a choice of a smaller cut, but what do I know. :) Besides it was after all my birthday. I can order what I want, right? 

You can't have a birthday without cake. Special thanks to my mom for getting me this one. And you can't have a cake without the number candles. Yes...that is my age.

Chocolate and vanilla with a chocolate cream filling from Cakery Bakery in La Canada.

So now with a full stomach and smile on my face, I wait another year before I get to do it all over again.
I've never been much for big celebrations, I've always liked the quiet, sometimes spontaneous moments.

901 Foothill Blvd.,
La Canada, CA 91011
(818) 790-7668

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Wings in 3 flavors

This was my little Superbowl Sunday lunch/snack. I have to admit I've never been much for watching football and only watch it for the commercials. But it also gives me an excuse to cook up some of my favorite comfort foods. As many of you readers know, I try to avoid deep frying as much as possible. I still love my fried food, but only in a "once in a while" kind of thing. I learned a trick of steaming the wings first, then baking them in the oven from watching an episode of Good Eats a few years back. It's the way I've been cooking them up ever since. The result is a crispy skin with a nice tender juicy meat without all the fuss of the oil.

While the chicken did its thing, I made three flavors to mix them into. Hot, Honey Mustard Sesame, and Sweet and Sour. The small batch of hot flavor for myself as I'm the only one who would eat them. I served it with a side of ranch dressing as I didn't have an blue cheese on hand. But it was all finger-lickin' good!!

Chicken Wings in 3 Flavors (Honey Mustard Sesame, Sweet and Sour, Hot)

5 lbs chicken wings -- wing and leg separated
salt and pepper

Note: Do not use bamboo steamers. Metal or aluminum would be best. If you get whole wings, cut off the tips of the wing. You can reserve those pieces and use them to make chicken stock for soup.

Prepare your steamer. Bring some water to a boil. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper before placing the pieces on the steamer (or steamer basket/rack) and steam for roughly 30-40 minutes until the chicken has cooked. Let the chicken cool for several minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400˚F

Place the chicken wings on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30-45 minutes. Flip the piece halfway through for an even browning.

Flavor 1: Hot
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp hot sauce

Melt the butter and stir in the hot sauce.

Place some of the chicken wings in a medium bowl and add in the spicy sauce. Toss thoroughly covering every piece. Serve warm

Flavor 2: Sweet and Sour
1/4 c. Apple Cider vinegar
1/4 c. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 c. Stock or Water
2 tbsp. Cornstarch (dissolved in 2 tbsp water)
1 tbsp. Cooking Oil
2 tbsp. tomato ketchup
1/2 c Pineapple Juice

1 Tbsp chili flakes (optional)

Combine vinegar, pineapple juice. sugar, salt, stock and cornstarch.
Heat oil on large wok or saucepan and "fry" tomato ketchup until near simmering. Then add the vinegar mix and boil until thickened. Let cool and serve with egg rolls, dumpling, or which ever side dish you prefer. It should look red-pink in color. Add in the optional chili flakes.

Take 1/4 c of the sauce and toss in some of the chicken wings. Be sure to cover thoroughly and serve warm.

Flavor 3: Honey Mustard Sesame
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Dijion Mustard
1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Combine the honey and dijion mustard. Add some of the chicken wings and toss to thoroughly cover. Serve warm and sprinkle the sesame seeds over.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Potato Corner

I totally thought I had posted this already and it was stuck in draft mode for the past week. Eek!! My mind is seriously everywhere lately. Anyway... During an afternoon at the Americana in Glendale. I see a new, at least to me, little food stall that used to be another food stall in the outdoor mall. This one caught my eye as it serves main one thing. Fries.

 The menu

Potato Corner is the name of the place. At the time I knew I had seen something similar before and as I check to see it had some online presence, sure enough it hit me where I had seen it before. I remember seeing these around the malls in Manila when I went to the Philippines last year. (Potato Corner)

Originally from the Philippines it has made its way to the US. It's really neat to see a franchise of it open up in Los Angeles.  They had tater tots and regular french fries, curly, sweet potato. I think I thought I saw hash brown, baked potato and potato chips somewhere in there. And your choice of flavors like BBQ, cheddar, chili, sour cream and onion. You can even have them plain, too.

I order Sweet Potato fries with Sour Cream and Onion flavor in the largest size. Perfect to share between two people. It was really tasty. I think each is made to order. Delicious. It was a good  mini-meal or afternoon snack if you prefer. I saw many more people after me their own style fries. I think is a great little spot with families with kids as it's also conveniently located near the kids jungle gym.

If you're around the Glendale and stop into the Americana and you feel like having some kind of comfort food. I say give this place a try. No one can resist the power of the french fry!  I sure can't. Then again I love my yeah. Conveniently located right across Sephora.
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