Somerville Livin', PVD Workin'

Cooking, Crafting, and Life

Kimchi Fried Rice July 26, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Work — sarahinpvd @ 8:20 pm

I went to H-Mart this past weekend (the Korean market in Burlington, MA) and got a ton of goodies! Well, mainly some mirin, gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), bok choy, daikon, and kimchi. Today, I made kimchi fried rice with shrimp. Recipe adapted from¬†here. I basically substituted shrimp, put the egg into the fried rice instead of on top, and put some of my frozen veggie mix in. Actually, I basically only used the sauce part of the recipe since I’m a pro at fried rice (insert some sort of Asian joke here).

ImageClearly it just looks like normal fried rice but it was SUPER GOOD. I was very pleased with how it turned out. It could have used a little more kimchi and it could be a little hotter so I’ll probably put some red pepper flakes in next time I eat it. I forgot for tonight but tomorrow I’ll make some bok choy and have some more veggies. I’m so happy with it — I’m not sure if I can go back to normal fried rice…

Conclusion: SUCCESS. ūüôā

I realize all the foodgawker recipes I’ve been looking at really focus on presentation of dishes and I’m usually not patient enough/too lazy to really care about presentation when I post pictures of my food. Maybe when I make my spicy pork bulgolgi banh mi on Saturday, I’ll try and make it really pretty… maybe…

Complete switch of topics but last night I went to Legal Seafoods in Boston with a few friends. The restaurant was pretty noisy but the food was good! My scallops were cooked really well and the crab cake was full of crab which is unfortunately, a rare occurrence. I still prefer the crab cakes that Dan and I had at Cafe Nuovo but I’m not sure any restaurant can beat those crab cakes. Legal’s was expensive though so I’m not sure I’d go back but it was definitely decent food and good service… just not necessarily great value.

Another switch of topics but my work week has been INSANE. At least I love what I do and love the people I work with because if I didn’t, I’m pretty sure I would have gone crazy by now. Good news though — I was in Boston on Monday and reminded my superiors (gently of course) that I would like to be in Boston next year…. we’ll see how that turns out! I really like working in the Boston office… mainly because 1. I get to have some social interaction with my coworkers and 2. it’s a real office space (such a luxury). All I’m going to say is RI needs to get its act together. And so do the Feds. I’m seriously concerned about having an operational Exchange by Oct. 2013 but I guess it’s part of my job to make sure that happens. Although this week was hectic and stressful, I’m thankful I have a job and thankful that it’s exactly what I want to be doing right now.

I’m really happy with life after school. It’s the best. I finally get to start crossing things off my list of things to do.


Zucchini Fries and Round Two of Tandoori Chicken Naan Pizza July 19, 2012

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 9:11 pm

Although I’m not a huge fan of the summer heat, I do love summer fruits and veggies… including ZUCCHINI. I’ve been looking for some new zucchini recipes so I found a recipe for zucchini fries! I’m a big fan of the Two Peas and their Pod blog (thanks to a friend) and found this recipe for fries!

It was pretty simple and used breadcrumbs and some herbs. Here’s the before:


And the after:



The blog had a recipe for marinara sauce but I’m not a huge fan of marinara sauce and besides that, I didn’t have the ingredients for it. Ketchup worked just fine. I ate a whole zucchini this way which was delicious… I didn’t have any¬†Parmesan¬†cheese so the fries could have used a little more seasoning. Overall — I’d make it again! I’ll bake it in the oven a little longer though.

Also, here’s my second attempt at the tandoori chicken naan pizza. This time, I added the correct amount of tandoori paste and cilantro on top. The recipe was way easier the second time around and the cilantro added a nice flavor to it. Also, it made 3 meals.


Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting July 15, 2012

Filed under: baking — sarahinpvd @ 10:41 pm

Not to toot my own horn or anything but I’m doing a super fantastic job updating this blog. Much better than before…

Anyways, yesterday was Gina’s birthday and so I baked these fudge brownie cupcakes with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting.

Link to what they’re supposed to look like here. Mine didn’t quite turn out that way — the frosting was less frosting and more cookie dough. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that! They were SUPER chocolate-y. Like almost to the point of being overwhelming. Also the recipe made more cookie dough than brownie. They were a good recipe but I think next time I’ll do less chocolate and smaller portions so I’ll make mini cupcakes instead of normal size cupcakes.

On to life updates! I had an eye appointment yesterday and have decided to make a second foray into the world of contacts. I wore them all sophomore year of high school but decided I would rather be lazy and just wear glasses full-time instead. After much cajoling and “advice” from Dan, I decided to finally get some contacts for occasions like running/beaching/anything where wearing glasses would be inconvenient. I’m slowly getting used to putting them in my eyes again although I still think I look REALLY strange. I also got new glasses!

Here’s what they look like:

They’re basically the same as my other glasses except black and not purple. I looked at the colored glasses but they didn’t have any that were particularly interesting or that I really wanted to wear. My bank account did not like that day because in addition to paying for my eye appointment, contact fitting fee, and glasses…. I also went shopping. BECAUSE I only had to wait an hour for my glasses to be done and I was already in the mall…. and one thing led to another and I ended up with a dress and a blazer from J. Crew. They were on sale! I won’t say they were cheap because let’s face it — J. Crew is never really cheap even on super/final sale. I can’t find a picture of the blazer but it was your typical kind and a nude/light tan brown color.

The dress but pay no attention to the ridiculous pose/face the model is making.

Also also, the latest development in my life is my discovery of geocaching… the “game” where you find things other people hid/can hide things yourself/sign a logbook to see who else has found the “geocache”. I was reading Maphead by Ken Jennings (yes, the Jeopardy star) and he talks about it a bit. IT’S LIKE A TREASURE HUNT! But low stakes, low pressure, no order, no puzzles! Clearly this is made for me. In fact, I downloaded the free app that helps you find three geocaches and there is one essentially across the street from me by the river! I’m going to look for it tomorrow or on Tuesday. I’m so excited to find things around Providence. This summer/year is shaping out to be full of fun things to do! I love having time to do things!


Strawberry Arugula Salad and Restaurant Week July 13, 2012

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 9:01 am

Per the suggestion of a few friends, I tried a strawberry arugula salad with dried cranberries, turkey, and walnut raspberry vinaigrette (thank you Newman’s!).


It was pretty freakin’ delicious. I’m definitely going to keep with this salad.

Lately, I haven’t been cooking because it’s Providence (summer) RESTAURANT WEEK aka the week where my food budget goes through the window. Restaurant week is just such a great chance for me to go explore places to eat without paying real-world prices! And, Providence has a surprisingly large number of fantastic restaurants.

Sunday, Dan and I went to Aspire which had 3/5 stars on yelp and from the reviews, seemed to be good food but not necessarily great value. The restaurant week menu, at least, was a fantastic value. The appetizers were good — we had the cornmeal shrimp and duck rolls which were both delicious although Dan mentioned that he would have liked more duck. I got the steak frites and Dan got the cod for our entrees. The steak was normal and a little too well cooked for my taste even though I asked for medium rare. I’d say it turned out more medium but the fries were delicious. For dessert, Dan had the creme brulee ¬†and I had the Junior’s cheesecake. Both were delicious but I think my cheesecake won because 1. I love cheesecake and 2. it was from junior’s. All in all, a pretty good value for restaurant week! I’d eat again but probably not for regular dinner.

On Wednesday, I went to La Laiterie with Joy and Itsuka. The first time I went to La Laiterie was with Dan and his parents and it was super super super fantastic and delicious and amazing. It also has a fantastic price tag… although I did go there for lunch with Yue once and lunch prices were okay especially for the grilled cheese and polenta fries. Anyways, the first course, a ceviche with rose petals, was okay. I think Itsuka and I both preferred Los Andes’ ceviche. This one just didn’t have the same appeal. Our next course, the steak with some pumpkin (? or some other veggie) and peas, was FANTASTIC. I can’t emphasize how delicious it was. Our last course, at least in my opinion, was really the perfect way to end the meal. It was AMAZING. So amazing, that in fact, there was a long moment of silence as we all were eating. It was some sort of berry tart with vanilla ice cream and a lemonade shooter. Sounds plain right? Well it was “plain” but it was also one of the most amazing desserts I’ve ever had.

Yesterday night, I went to McCormick and Schmick’s with a few MPHers and I’d say it was pretty good… Not as good as La Laiterie but also a pretty decent restaurant week deal. The appetizers were the real stars I think and they all looked delicious. I typically go with meals that I can’t make at home so calamari it was! It was pretty good, I thought the pineapple addition would be really good but it was sort of strange tasting. Our waiter was very opinionated about meals (but in a genuine nice way) and recommended the striped bass since salmon you can get pretty much anywhere and getting chicken at a seafood restaurant… well let’s just say he would have never let us get the chicken. It was decent, flaky, but the vegetables were really really really good and it also had bacon so how could it go wrong?! For dessert, I had the apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Again, decent but not the best thing ever. I think eating at La Laiterie before Mccormick’s was probably not the best decision. All the places I ate at this week were very good but La Laiterie wins! SO GOOD.

I love restaurant week.


Trader Joe’s/Ming’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki July 9, 2012

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 7:57 pm

So I had some leftover noodles, Napa cabbage, lots of scallions and cilantro — what to do? Well combine it with some pre-cooked chicken of course! That sounds gross but it was actually fairly delicious… as delicious as freezer chicken can be. I went to Trader Joe’s after work today and bought some Trader Ming’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki. More importantly, I also got GUMMY TUMMIES. Quick review of the gummy tummies: DELICIOUS. Just pure delicious. Okay on to the actual stuff that required “cooking” (aka microwaving). I saute’d some cabbage in the pan with red pepper flakes and scallions and then microwaved the chicken and sauce (also adding red pepper flakes). I mixed the cabbage and chicken together and just ate them over my noodles with some cilantro.


I’d definitely buy the chicken again. It was good and tasted exactly like I thought it would — it’s not five star Japanese restaurant quality but it also comes from the freezer so I wasn’t expecting it to be the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted. Another meal — another success!


Turkey Pad Thai July 8, 2012

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 9:38 pm

Dan and I made turkey “pad thai” this weekend. I put pad thai in quotes because let’s face it — it wasn’t really pad thai. It was missing a lot of the traditional ingredients and besides that, Asians don’t eat turkey (let’s be real here).

The recipe link can be found here.

I would have pictures of the whole process but I forgot to take pictures up until the very end so here’s the only picture! It’s also blurry — apologies!Image

The recipe called for Napa cabbage, cilantro, and scallions for veggies which we got at the farmer’s market. I’m hoping to get up there more often since it’s such a cute place and since the produce is all really fresh. It’s a little bit pricey but supporting local farmers and all that makes me feel better about spending more than I want to. Also, Dan and I both teared up while cutting the scallions — this has never happened before. Clearly, they’re really fresh and called green¬†onions¬†for a reason.

All in all, the bottom line is this recipe is a “would make again with modifications”… aka more sauce. It’s a nice healthy alternative to real pad thai which, if ordered, can be really greasy. I’m happy with how it turned out.

The next question is what to make for this week…. I have leftover noodles which I’m thinking of sauteing with some tofu, leftover cabbage, and scallions. I also have (almost) all the ingredients to make another tandoori chicken pizza. I really want to make this¬†spicy pork bulgolgi banh mi¬†next but it will take a significant amount of planning…. but it also has all of my favorite foods aka pork bulgolgi and banh mi! We shall see how adventurous I’m feeling but as a back-up plan, there’s always¬†ga kho.


Too many recipes! It’s a good thing I have the rest of my life :) July 5, 2012

Filed under: Cooking — sarahinpvd @ 8:53 pm

My Chrome bookmarks are getting out of control thanks to Food Gawker. This post will serve as the official list of recipes.