Friday, November 27, 2009

Hello SF~!

This past Wednesday, I luckily was able to go to San Francisco with my sister; it was the first time I'd been in a long time! :) Fiona and I took the BART train and caught a MUNI bus. It was a lovely sunny day, which was such a treat as you can see in the pictures!
We got off at Octavia Street because I wanted to look at a Victorian hotel that is so beautiful inside and out. :) This is the Queen Anne Hotel, which supposedly has a haunted room! :D One of my dreams is to stay there someday~ I really want to show this to Andrew too! On my 18th birthday, my friends and I walked inside and sat down in the lovely common room. I then proceeded to open all my gifts there; it was so fun!

Japantown! Yay! :)

This is Benkyo-do, the oldest business in Japantown. They make mochi, some of which is really good, and sell Japanese snacks. They also have a food counter where burgers and hot dogs are super cheap; it's very old-fashioned and charming! All the older folks like to congregate there and drink coffee. :)

A lovely wall mural in the Miyako Mall~ I really want a pretty umbrella like that! :D

We went to one of the best and most authentic Japanese restaurants in Japantown, Takara! One of the owners always speaks Japanese to me! :) Above is Fiona's zaru udon, cold udon noodles with sauce.

I ordered zaru soba with tempura. It was very good and refreshing, but rather light. The tempura is so light and tasty! I ate all of it, even the shrimp! ;)

Lugging all our shopping bags, we then walked over to upper Fillmore Street for more shopping and gelato! We got gelato last and it was amazing! We went to Tango Gelato, which is now very popular and their food and gelato is great! I got hazelnut and almond delight gelato--so amazing!!!! :D
Fiona's chocolate espresso gelato; it was kind of runny, but she really enjoyed it! It looked dark and rich.


Before going to get gelato, we stopped at La Boulange bakery so I could get a box of macarons! Yay! This box cost $15! I also got an almond croissant which was pretty pricey at $2.75. Thus.......I spent $17.75 on pastries!!!! Eeeeep! Kinda crazy, but oh so awesome because of generous family members I was able to, haha!

Here's me at Tango Gelato showing off my box of macarons~! :D I look so tired, haha. We shopped so much I was carrying a huge and heavy bag of gifts for people and stuff. It was intense! But a wonderful day nonetheless! :)

Takara
22 Peace Plz
Ste 202
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 921-2000
La Boulange Bakery
2043 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115-2708
(415) 928-1300
Tango Gelato
2015 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115-2708
(415) 346-3692
Momofraise says: Check out Japantown and upper Fillmore Street! :)

Saroor~~

My sister and I braved the outside and went shopping today, and for being Black Friday it wasn't so bad. We didn't go to many places, but still had fun. The weather is pretty miserable; it started raining really hard not too long ago and it's very cold. I am sure my love in the hot and humid Philippines would like this weather! ;)

We went to Target, which was crowded but not terribly so. I bought a black cloche hat that actually fits, red long fingerless gloves, a light blue soft sweater on sale, and some essentials. Then, we walked up to Ming Quong, since the weather was sunny and nice, and I bought a new ring and a gift for Andrew, since our 10 month anniversary is next Friday, which is the day he comes back home! Yay! :D We then found ourselves at Saroor, a very good Indian restaurant I hadn't been too for a long time.


Since I can't drink Chai Tea unless the milk is soy or lactose-free, I ordered a mango lassi drink ($2.50) instead, which was DELICIOUS! The flavors of the yogurt and mango juice were well-balanced and I wished there were free refills so I could enjoy more of it! It was sweet and creamy without being overly tart. I am in a mango mood!


This was my first plate: fresh thin and buttered naan bread, chicken tikka masala, basmati rice, vegetable pakora, and chicken pakora. Everything was fresh and hot, I was impressed! The vegetavke pakora were very flavorful and not greasy; the chicken pakora fritters were alright, but the veggies had more depth of flavors. The chicken tikka masala had a little bite to it, and the flavors all meshed well. It was a very good meal! :) I really want to take Andrew here sometime soon!

Of course, I got a second plate! I got some salad, more veggie pakora, and some rice to soak up the leftover tikka masala sauce. Fiona and I really enjoyed our meals here!

Of course, I had to get some of this dessert! These are little pastry balls soaked in a sweet, sugary honey sauce. They are sooo sweet, but delightfully so! ;)

The inside is yellow and fluffy! These were great! They are called Gulab Jaman.

For $8.99, which might seem a bit high, the buffet is a great way to go. There are many options, even some vegetarian ones, and the food is fresh and tasty. I love how it's not very oily or greasy at all! :) It's very close to where my family lives, which is nice. Make sure to give this place a try! Also, check out the Japanese grocery store next door, I love that place! ;)


Saroor Indian Cuisine
2580 N Main St
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
(925) 937-2031
http://www.yelp.com/biz_redir?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.saroorindiancuisine.com&src_bizid=IEJ6V5CJTwR-MGNQ2bgVIw&cachebuster=1259366725

Momofraise says: Great fresh Indian food at pretty affordable prices! The lunch buffet is the way to go! ;)

Thanksgiving Dinner 2009~

Ever since my parents divorced when I was eight, Thanksgiving changed for me. I still wish I could be with my whole family for Thanksgiving, but maybe that will happen someday in the future. Until then, I usually spend it with my dad, sister, grandma, aunt, and my four cousins. I really missed Andrew yesterday and wished he could have been a part of it, but he is having fun in the Philippines. :)


For lunch, my dad made homemade tacos, which were tasty and not spicy, which was good for me! It was a nice treat since it has been forever since he made them for me last. :) Tacos are kind of a funny thing to eat on Thanksgiving, but thats okay. :D

Preparing for Thanksgiving dinner on the other hand.....was certainly interesting. The oven caught on fire right before I was going to make biscuits, so I decided against it. Luckily, the fire wasn't a serious one, and it died out rather quickly. I did end up making mashed potatoes and box stuffing, so I am glad I was able to contribute some dishes. :)

Here are the store-bought rolls we had; they were all right, if a bit rubbery and generic-tasting.


My aunt bought boxed stuffing, and since my dad forgot to bring his, we used my aunt's stuffing. I mixed a lot of butter and water together until the mixture boiled, and poured in the stuffing. It tasted alright, but was missing a certain element......I mixed this with mashed potatoes and gravy, and that helped the flavor.

My dad bought brussel sprouts on the vine, which looks so cool! :D My aunt roasted them in the oven, but they came out a bit burnt. They were still good though, since I love brussel sprouts. ^_^

We had a Caesar salad with homemade garlic-herb croutons, which were fantastic if a bit salty. My dad made the croutons and I really loved them!

Yay, turkey! My dad roasted the turkey in our oven, and the drippings fell onto the oven bottom, causing the fire. Luckily, the turkey was already out of the oven when the fire happened! The turkey was very tasty and a bit dry. However, we all loved it and ate a lot! :)

Ta-dah, my mashed potatoes! They are Opy-friendly because I used lactose-free milk when making them, hehehehehe! ;) I also mixed in some butter, salt, and a touch of pepper. I mixed them in the KitchenAid mixer, and they came out so fluffy and smooth! My family kept saying it was the hit of the night, which makes me feel proud. :)

Here's what our table looked like, all leaden down with dishes of food and such. My grandma was unable to come since she was still sick. Luckily, she is so much better today! :D


Yup, my first plate, before I was healthy and ate some veggies of course. ;) I like mixing the gravy (homemade by my dad), stuffing, turley, and mashed potatoes together. It tastes good like that, even though it may not look pretty! :D

I wish my love could have been there! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dinner at Tulios~

Yep, I am on a blogging roll today! I want to write up the posts as soon as I can this week so I don't get bogged down and behind like I do when at school, haha. Also, it's fun, and I want to make sure Andrew can see what I am up to! :)

My sister and I went to Tulio's, which is an Italian restaurant I used to go to as a kid when I was done with ballet class, which was across the street. So, it's been around for a long time!
We were seated promptly and given a basket of baguette and foccacia bread, both of which were good and just how I remembered them. Also, a bowl of herbs, olive oil, and balsami vinegar accompanied the bread. Dipping the bread in the mixture was very tasty, especially with parmesan sprinkled in it!

This was the house salad that came with my pasta entree. I wasn't a fan of everything in this salad; I think the beats are an odd addition.....but that's just me. I asked for vinaigrette as my dressing and they served that in a quaint silver bowl. The dressing was okay.

My sister ordered the house minestrone soup which she would always order there. She said it was salty, but she finished the whole bowl, so it must have been good!

This was my HUGE bowl of pasta! I couldn' believe it! I was shocked when the waiter set it down in front of me! For $17.25, including a salad, I received so much food! This was rigatoni pasta in a Napoletana tomato sauce with mushrooms and provolone cheese. It was very good, but also filling and heavy. I took over half of it home!

Fiona ordered a personal pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms for $10.50, which included the soup. She enjoyed it, and took two slices home. I ate one of the slices and thought it was tasty. They use an interesting kind of pepperoni, which is different than what I am used to, but still very good. :)

Everything was served to us so quickly, I was quite surprised! It was a good meal, and my sister and I had fun catching up! :D We were both sad that our grandma couldn't come because she was sick, but it was still good.
Tulio's Italian Restaurant
2065 N Broadway
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
(925) 938-3367
Momofraise says: LARGE portions and tasty Italian food! Not very innovative, but comforting nonetheless. :)


Home for Thanksgiving!

I am indeed back home for break! The train ride was very nice; the train was really crowded since it's a holiday week, so I took a seat across from a nice older lady. She and I talked the whole hour-long way, and it seemed so quick! :) My sister picked me up from the train station when I arrived around 10 am and we went to visit my mom, stepdad, and halfbrother. My stepdad ended up giving me his classical guitar, which he never uses, but it sounds great! I can't wait to play it for Andrew!

Afterwards, Fiona and I stopped at Lunardis to grab some groceries and got some yummy, though not too healthy food! I love how there is such a thing as lactose-free ice cream. ;)

I also picked up a bottle of Naked's Mighty Mango juice!! On campus last week, some people set up a Naked juice table in the student center/dining hall and had a Wheel of Fortune sort of game set up. I spun it and won a Naked t-shirt, which I wore and found to be super comfy! I also tried a sample of the mango juice and just loved it! So, I am so glad I found some this morning! And yes, it is delicious! ;)
I was planning to cook "Opy burgers" for lunch, since my sister said all we really had was ground beef, but......well, she forgot to take the meat out of the freezer to defrost. Thus, I made croque monsieur sandwiches and peas instead! I put sharp cheddar cheese and turkey slices in the sandwiches with wheat bread, grilling them with butter for a while until everything melted.

I guess mine was more of a croque madame since I put an egg on top. :) It felt good to be cooking in the kitchen again! My sister, mixing up the peas with butter, salt, and pepper. She put too much pepper.... >.< But they were still good!
Look at this! My tortoise Scooter has been snoozing under the computer desk in the living room since I got home. I'm thinking she is staying there because it's warm, poor thing. Tortoises don't like the cold. She has grown though, which is so exciting!
Tonight, my sister and I are going out to dinner! Sadly, my grandmother caught a cold, so she will not be joining us for dinner. :( I hope she feels better soon!





Monday, November 23, 2009

Chilling at a Chinese Bakery!

This is it, my dear readers, the last post before I go home for Thanksgiving Break! I leave tomorrow morning and I am sooooo ready for this break; I only had one class today and I could barely focus on it. I think I need some time to relax and indulge in fun things like going to SF and cooking, which are things I can't do here.

I plan to cook and eat a lot this week, so stay tuned for a ton of posts! :)

A couple weeks ago, Andrew decided that we should try one of the places on my "lets try" list, which was Qiang's Bakery, a local Chinese bakery that has very high ratings on Yelp.com. We were both so excited to finally try this place! I don't know much about Chinese pastries and such, and was excited to learn and taste some!
First up, a sesame ball, only $0.50 each! And these aren't small either, they are about the size of a golf ball. Isn't it cute and perfectly round? I love the golden color!

We each took a bite of our own.........THEY WERE SO GOOD! I could have eaten a ton of these! Inside there was red bean paste that wasn't overly sweet encased in a light, mochi-like filling. JUST AMAZING! Andrew really loved these too! :) All the flavors went so well together; it wasn't heavy or cloying sweet at all!
Next up were the pot stickers, because I love pot stickers, haha. :D These are pretty big and full of filling! SO TASTY! Wow, these were full of flavor and luckily the bread part wasn't too heavy at all. Again, a very nice balance of flavors. The filling consists of pork, cabbage, and spices. They tasted very homemade, which is really comforting. I really loved these! Andrew liked them too, but he ended up giving his to me since I loved it so much. He is a sweetie! :)

Andrew was really curious about the meat-filled pastries, so we got one for each of us to try. The round one on the right was his chicken pastry, and the long one was my bbq pork pastry. Sadly, these were a let-down. Both pastries were WAY too flakey and tasted as though they had been sitting out for too long. They were heavy and full of butter too. The meat was scant, especially in the chicken one. It was minced and almost flavorless. The bbq pork fared better, but not by much. Andrew and I were disappointed by these, but at least we know what not to order!

Many years ago, my father took my sister and I to a Korean-owned Japanese restaurant in the downtown of my hometown. I remember the meal as being okay, but for some reason the little egg custard tarts they served us as dessert have always stuck in my mind. They were so rich and sweet, but not overpoweringly so. When Andrew and I saw these egg custard tarts at the bakery, I knew we had to get one!
This one was good, and kind of light too. The egg custard part of it was very eggy, but it wasn't off-putting since I like eggs. I really enjoyed this tart and would like to get it again! :)

Qiang's Bakery was definitely a hit with us; we ended up buying more pot stickers and sesame balls to much on! :D It was a delightful and very cheap lunch! Thank you hun! Can't wait to go back! :D

Qiang's Bakery
707 E March Ln
Stockton, CA 95207
(209) 478-7088
Momofraise says: Forgo the heavy, buttery pastries and stick with pot stickers, sesame balls, and egg custard tarts! Your tummy will thank you. ;) Also, this place is very cheap, so your wallet will thank you too!
By the way, I was able to chat with Andrew today, as he is in the Philippines with his family, and he was telling me all about the amazing food he has been eating!!! It's awesome! So many different kinds of fruit and seafood! I love hearing all about the food and seeing the pictures! His mom bought durians, he told me, and I really wish I could try one! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Fun Thursday~!

Everyone here on campus is counting down the days until they can go home for Thanksgiving Break! I luckily leave on Tuesday morning, yay! I think I really need a break from this place, and my love is gone so there isn't much reason for me to stay. I need to have fun too, lol! :)

Speaking of fun, two Thursdays ago Andrew took me out to lunch! It such a wonderful treat! I am a spoiled boo~!

We went to a local Italian deli that has been around for a long time that serves cheap sandwiches. The above sandwich is what I ordered, prosciutto with cheese, mayo, and lettuce. Very rich and salty! I think this sandwich was only $4.25! :D
Andrew's sandwich was delicious and cheaper than mine at $3.25!! His had salami, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and mustard. I really loved his sandwich! This is probably what I will order next time we go there, which I hope we do! The salami was thick and tasty, with the mustard adding a lot of depth to the already salty flavor of the salami. It all worked. :)


For dessert, we went to our favorite place on the Miracle Mile, Taste of Brittany! It's our special place; the entrees are a bit expensive for us so we go rarely now. However, we still love it! :) We ordered the lemon and sugar crepe, which is our favorite crepe there. It's light and tasty! However, Andrew didn't want to waste the le,on so he squeezed the whole thing on the crepe....needless to say it was quite pungently sour in some parts! I didn't mind it too much though; it still tasted great! :D The crepe itself was chewy, in a good way! Crepes shouldn't be dry and crackly.

I loved the outfit I wore that day. It was so girly with a skrt, boots, and a pink Harajuku Lovers shirt. I was happy. :)


Bwahahhahaha! My love, eyeing his prey! Such a fun and wonderful day together~! :D


Gian's Delicatessen
2112 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA 95204
(209) 469-0108
Taste of Brittany
2041 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA 95204-5327
(209) 946-9494






Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mama Pho Part 2~!

My friend Jen has been having intense pho cravings this past week, so my friend Mary took Jen and me to try Mama Pho yesterday, since I was raving about it all week to them. Yay! Also, I am glad I was with with them because Andrew left for the Philippines yesterday and I miss him so much. It's good that I am spending time with my friends so I have fun and so I won't get too lonely. :)

The place was still spotless and warm on this rainy and freezing cold Friday. Andrew and his family were at Mama Pho earlier, and I can't wait to hear about what they ordered!
I ordered a small beef steak pho and a grilled pork sandwich. Oh my goodness, the sandwich was melting in my mouth, it was so utterly rich in distinct flavors....and the bread was warm and tasty! Just perfection!

My little pho, which was tasty, filling, and warm! :)

Mary ordered the Korean beef short rib plate, and she let me try a piece. It was very simple yet tasty and filling! A bit greasy, but delicious nonetheless. Obviously the other dishes at Mama Phos are good! Makes me want to try other things there! ;)



My friend Jen ordered a large beef steak pho and some cha gio rolls as well. She didn't care to much for the rolls either, but they aren't bad. She inhaled her soup and half of Mary's sandwich.

Obviously, Mama Pho was a success with my friends! :D I can't wait to go back with Andrew!

Mama Pho Part 1~!

Last Sunday morning, Andrew and I went to try a Vietnamese place that we couldn't ever find before. However, last Friday night we passed it in the car and realized it wasn't very far from his house or UOP! So, we decided to go on Sunday, since it was open.

The place is small, but meticulously clean. It's run by an old couple who don't speak too much English but are nice anyway.

The fact that our chopsticks and spoons were given to us in a popcorn bag is just too funny and awesome! :D


Ahhhhhhh, finally, a delicious banh mi! This one has tasty grilled pork in it and the bread is warm and fluffy! I truly adore this sandwich!!! None of the ingredients are overpowering, and I always take out the too-spicy jalapeno slice. The Vietnamese mayo adds such a creamy and savory aspect to the sandwich~! So good for $2.50!


Since I love cha gio (imperial/egg rolls, 4 for $3.95) we ordered those as well so I could try them. They were okay, very fresh and steaming hot! I was disappointed that they didn't give us fish sauce to go with them...hmmmm....we probably won't order these again. Getting two sandwiches is a better idea.


Yes, that is our XL-sized bowl of pho with beef steak slices and tripe. My honey loves his tripe, haha! :D It was the largest bowl we had ever seen and it was epic! The pho was good, with a light and pretty tasty broth. The noodles were plentiful and chewy, the meat was good I guess. The tripe came in huge clumps, which made Andrew happy! The accompanying bean sprouts and herbs were super clean and not old at all! Mama Pho clearly pays attention to detail!
That bowl was so big we couldn't even finish it all! :D

We spent the rest of that Sunday relaxing at Andrew's house, enjoying the lazy day. Then, before he took me back to campus so I could go to my tutoring job, his mom made dinner! And it was SO DELICIOUS! Supple and tender steak with garlic and pepper topped with onions, with oniony baked potatoes and rice.......to die for, seriously. I consumed so much that night, and I wish I ate more! It was a delightful way to end a wonderful day! :)

Mama Pho & Sandwich

8014 Lower Sacramento Rd

Stockton, CA 95210

(209) 473-7154

Momofraise says: DELISH! Try the sandwiches because they will change your life and the way you look at sandwiches forever! ;)