Category Archives: rice

Post-classes: Vacation Day Eight Part One (Tampa: Lettuce Lake park, Bangkok Jazz)

On day eight we headed out early from our hotel and over to Lettuce Lake Park, where I had heard we could possibly see alligators. And we did! We spotted two small alligators over the course of the boardwalk, about 3 feet in length, in different spots. We also saw a large variety of birds and at least one turtle.

lettuce lake park

don't mess with alligators

tree

boardwalk

walk it

 

all the birds!

pretty water

bird

other bird

swampy

Do you see the gators in the next two pictures?

one

other gator

plants n stuff

After that we went to lunch at Bangkok Thai. I ordered the fried rice, and we also got a steak salad and a seafood dish. Mine was the best of the bunch. The Thai iced tea was also delicious and very refreshing before we started our drive back north toward Tallahassee. It was located in a cute pink building, called a victorian village.

victorian village

building

thai tea

Our lunch also came with soup.

soup

Bangkok jazz also has live music once a week, check them out online.

stage

steak salad

seafoods

my rice!

Post & photos by: Melissa

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Post-classes: Vacation Day Three (Atlanta: Aquarium & Silver Skillet & Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion)

This morning we got up early and promptly went back to sleep after the alarm woke us up. We headed out to the Silver Skillet, a local diner, for breakfast. Afterward, we went to the Georgia aquarium and we finally ended up eating dinner at Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion, which is a Thai/Asian Fusion restaurant.

My mom did both the beluga experience and the whale shark swim. I went around with my dad to ALL the other parts of the Georgia aquarium. But lets start with the breakfast at the Silver Skillet.

Silver skillet

front

menufront

two

three

four

inside

table

I got the sandwich with bacon eggs and cheese, my mom got the ham skillet and my dad got eggs and sausage.

sandwich

ham skillet

egg sausage

We also had biscuits, which were good, and I was SO excited to see this tabletop because it is almost exactly the same as our kitchen counter used to be (our house was built in the 60s.) So I loved it. (those shapes!!)

Next we went to the aquarium.

lionfish

turtle

tanky

seahorse

seahorse 2

jellies

fishes

fin

grouper?

whale shark

penguins

Beluga whales!

beluga

bel

whale

fish

snake

Albino alligator!

albino

two

three

Piranha

fishie

WHALE SHARK!!!!

whaleshark

Behind the scenes: They grow their own coral!

growing coral

more

Sorry Atlanta lovers, as a Seattle fan I’m still a bit upset over the playoffs. 😦

BOO FALCONS

Still a cool dolphin though.

still cool

another

last one

Lastly, we headed over to Poor Calvin’s, and parked by central park.

inside

one

20130502-215652.jpg

Thought I would show the drinks up closer.

drinks

I had the crispy beef, my mom had the unicorn fish, and my dad had the steak. I also ordered the sangria (amazing) and my mom had the “Frankly my dear” cocktail. Both were great, and all the food was too.

We had the calamari as an appetizer.

calamari

steak

fish

beef

sangria

rose cocktail

The staff was really friendly and they also gave us a gift at the end of our meal: a chocolate-covered apple with a 15% off an entree coupon.

dessert

We very much enjoyed our day today and had a much-needed great meal and drink at the end. Glad we didn’t settle for the loud, not-as-great hotel bar. 🙂
If I lived in Atlanta, I think I’d go to Poor Calvin’s to drink as well, seemed like a very nice bar with friendly staff.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Lunch in West Seattle and the quest for macarons

My mom and I headed off to West Seattle so I could get my hair cut. I was very happy because I only do that about twice a year when my hair gets a bit thick and unmanageable. After that we decided to walk around a bit and stop in some shops, and we also had lunch. I really wanted to go to my favorite West Seattle bakery, Bakery Nouveau, but they were closed. It was the day after Christmas and they had given their employees the day off but I was heartbroken, until Trader Joe’s saved the day More on that after lunch.

We went to a place called Azuma Sushi and both ordered off the lunch menu.

AZUMA SUSHI

culture

It was very cute inside and although we didn’t order sushi per se, the sushi that the other people around us had looked great. Both our meals came with miso soup, though I saw no reason to photograph that. It was what you’d expect from sushi restaurant miso soup. Pretty good.

I got the chicken teriyaki lunch, though ordered it without the salad.

chicken teriyaki and rice

My mom ordered the chicken katsu bento & tempura bento box.

20121231-185041.jpg

Both our meals were good and not too filing, which is what I expect from a sushi shop lunch.

Anyway, all the bakeries we called were closed and I was disappointed to learn that no macaron-carrying bakeries around us seemed to be open, so we desperately decided to visit Trader Joe’s to pick up some almond flour in a desperate attempt to make our own. Not finding any almond flour, it was a happy coincidence that we stumbled upon some frozen French mazarons of the Trader Joe’s brand. My only complaint is that they were peppermint flavored, but I could never stay mad at that store. If you do a quick search you’ll find plenty of bloggers talking about them, but they were new to me. You put them out for half an hour to defrost and they are supposed to be ready to eat. For frozen macarons, of a flavor that’s not my favorite, I still really enjoyed them and would recommend them if you’ve got a TJ nearby and can’t get or make fresh ones. They’re very cute and I think they’d be great for a party. Keep in mind that they’re pretty tiny, but priced well as far as macarons go.

little macarons

so pepperminty and perfect

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure days 3&4: Disney World, a diner, and the rest

We woke up early(ish) Sunday morning to get ready for Disney World. I’ve been to Disneyland, but never Disney World and I was pretty excited. I felt lucky to live in a place at least semi-close to such a popular tourist destination, if not in the actual BIG CITY. We stopped to get ready in the morning by picking up some Subway sandwiches, snacks and smart water from Target, and we were on our way!

Disney cast spotting (Johnny Depp impersonator/Jack Sparrow, making some great faces):

And of course, Aladdin and Jasmine (making great faces as well):

I had also not been on the It’s A Small World ride. What I learned from the ride:

Goats are all around the world.

Owls are universally adorable.

And lastly, I’ll close the Disney World section with the iconic castle:

The next morning, we started out with breakfast at 5 & Diner. I had the breakfast sandwich on an English muffin and HOME FRIES. SO good. I have been absolutely in love with home fries since having them at a continental breakfast in a hotel on my road trip. These were even better, of course.

We went out to walk around Orlando again after breakfast, and ended up eating at a Latin place downtown where a lot of business people tend to eat lunch, called Latin Square Cuisine. I had the pulled pork plate with a side of yellow rice and red beans. I wanted to try the potatoes as my side, but they had run out! It was a very popular place.

The pork was really tender and garlicky, and you can tell you get SO MUCH of your side choices. They were good too but there was no way I was going to finish all that. It’s a very good value and a quick place to stop for lunch.

Lastly, we stopped at Whole Foods before heading back to the house (and me having to make the long drive home) and I picked up some more macarons. I don’t have a Whole Foods in my area, and I was excited to try them. Normally I wouldn’t buy so many, but they were pre-packaged and so worth it.

The rosy-colored one is raspberry and pretty much that and the green one (though I can’t place its flavor) are my favorites. If you have a Whole Foods near you and like macarons or just want to give them a try, pick some up. 🙂

This concludes my Orlando mini-vacation recap. Hope you enjoyed. Did you go anywhere over the 3 day weekend? I was glad I could get out of town for a while.

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure Day 2: Shopping, Thai food, & going out

On Saturday, we headed to an outlet mall for some shopping and picked up a few things, then to the Florida Mall which I can say is the best mall I’ve ever been to despite the fact that there were SO many people. But it was Veteran’s Day weekend and I guess I can understand that. My favorite store we went to was H&M (Id been missing that.) In between the shopping trips we stopped at Sea Thai for lunch. The SEA in SEA Thai stands for South East Asia, in case you were wondering.

This was such a cute little restaurant, and looked really nice inside as well. You can get a glimpse of the restaurant here:

And here’s a look at the menu:

We both ordered the Thai iced tea, and it was so good! Very sweet.

I also ordered an appetizer: spring rolls! I always love these. It came with 3 spring rolls, but I was so excited I couldn’t help myself and forgot to take a picture first. 😦
Note the cute little shot glass full of a sweet dipping sauce.

I went for the Thai fried rice with chicken (naturally…)

My friend got the beef pad Thai.

The food was very good, and my only complaint was that we weren’t asked how spicy we wanted our dishes, so it ended up being a little too mild. I tried to fix this with hot sauce. My friend would have liked more noodles with her pad Thai, (as it was a little low on the noodle: beef ratio) but overall it was a great, affordable lunch.

After lunch, we headed downtown to walk around. We stopped by Lake Eola and it was such a nice, large lake and park for downtown.

We also had to visit the library, because of course I’m trying to be a librarian and it’s the largest public library in Florida!

There were some interesting displays in glass cases, here is my favorite (probably because of the white rabbit):

We also stopped into the library’s bookstore, where I found a book by one of my favorite authors for only $1. As a bonus, I haven’t read this one yet:

For dinner, we had some leftovers and food at home, before going out for drinks downtown. There was a $5 cover for an area with multiple bars and we started our night at the Other Bar with a late night stop at Jimmy John’s (where I had never been, though now I’ve tasted their bread.) One of the bars we stopped into offered a large variety of craft beers, and I took a very dark picture of the wall menu:

You can so almost read that, right? Thought so. Here’s a blurry beer to cheer you up and put into perspective how dark it was:

Overall a very nice day with some great shopping finds and a fun Saturday night out. Next, Day 3:Disney World!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Pork and cabbage gyoza

These dumplings are a modified recipe we read out of a magazine somewhere. They are simply delicious and make a great side of main course with rice. I like to cook fried rice with these, but any rice would do or you could add them to some chicken terriyaki. We forgot to add ginger to this batch, but if you do it is great! This recipe makes about 48.

Ingredients:
1 lb pork
Half a cabbage
2 tablespoons of grated ginger (we didn’t add to this)
3 green onions
Cumin, salt, pepper to taste
Wonton wrappers (48) We normally make our own, but we didn’t feel like rolling them all out.

Recipe:
Step 1.  Chop up cabbage and salt. Let sit out for 20 minutes so the water sweats out of the cabbage.

Step 2. Squeeze cabbage to get water out and put in a large mixing bowl.

Step 3. Cook up pork chops and cut green onions up. When cooking the pork I added pepper and cumin.


Step 4. Cut pork into small cubes to stuff into the wrappers.

Step 5. Mix all ingredients together except for wrappers. I added more cumin at this point too.

Step 6. Get wrappers and read instructions on how to seal them. Put about two spoonfuls of filling in each wrapper. Make sure they are sealed well.


Step 7. Turn on the music and begin the wrapping fun. It took about 45 minutes for us to get all 48 done. We did random shapes and sizes, do whatever works for you.

Step 8. When cooking pan fry on one side and then steam for 5 minutes. Serve on top of fried rice and have dipping sauce nearby for these delicious things.

Post by: Colin
Photos by: Colin


Breakfast for Dinner: Huevos Rancheros

I always seem to have a craving for Mexican food. However, when Colin suggested huevos rancheros I was hesitant. I’ve never liked incorporating eggs into my meals other than a simple scramble for breakfast, or fried eggs alongside some toast or an English muffin. However, this turned out very well!

Ingredients:

6 eggs
6 flour tortillas
1/2 can chili
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 Tablespoon Dried ground ancho pepper, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes
Rice a Roni Mexican Rice (optional, side dish) 

Recipe:

1. Fry all the eggs to your preference.

(Be sure to pepper the eggs)

2. Combine chili and tomatoes in a pot and cook on low heat.

3. Add the spices to the chili mixture and cook until liquidy like a sauce.

4. Cook tortillas in microwave or on stove.

5. Place tortillas on a plate, with an egg on each.

6. Drizzle with sauce and whatever other toppings you would like.

7. Plate with Rice a Roni Mexican rice, refried beans, etc.

8. Enjoy!

Post by: Melissa Rook
Pictures by: Melissa Rook and Colin Diltz