Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Free Chocolate Macaron Giveaway

Our test kitchen is going to try out the above all natural macaron baking mix.  We are therefore looking for a taste tester to taste the macarons we will be baking from this mix.  We will ship the taste tester half a dozen chocolate macarons to taste, and the taste tester will then let us know how he /she likes them.  (Note: we are doing this test independently with our own money and we aren't sponsored by the manufacturer or any of  its retailers directly or indirectly.) 

To qualify to participate in this taste test, you must be free of any form of food allergy.  To apply, please do the following before April 15, 2016; and we will randomly select a taste tester from our pool of  qualified candidates if there is more than one applicant:
  1. Be a follower of this blog through Google +, or Twitter, or Facebook.
  2. Share this post on either Google +, Twitter or Facebook.
  3. Scroll down this post and fill out the giveaway participation form.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fried Egg With Balela Bean Salad And Buttered Toast

Recipe submitted by: Jane Ong

I can't live without eggs.  I had been having at least one egg for every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for many years since I was weaned off my milk bottle. But my egg consumption has been drastically cut down since I graduated college.  It was not because I was worried about the cholesterol.  It was mainly because I have this horribly long commute in the morning to work that I don't have time to cook and eat breakfast.  But whenever I have the time to indulge in my morning breakfast at home, I always treat myself a fried egg over easy.  According to Harvard University, eggs contain nutrients including protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin; and folate, and therefore may help lower the risk for heart disease when consumed in moderation. (i.e., One egg per day.) To make my fried egg breakfast healthier, I gave it a middle eastern twist by pairing the egg with Trader Joe's super delicious Balela Bean Salad. (If you are a talented cook, you can probably make your own Balela Bean Salad, but I opt for Trader Joe's all natural high quality ready-to-eat version because I absolutely don't know how to make this bean salad myself.)

Makes 1 Serving:

  1. Fry an egg in any style you want (I prefer mine to be over easy with runny yolk inside).
  2. Sprinkle dried parsley flakes and Moran's Grilling Seasoning on top of the egg, serve with buttered toast and Balela Bean Salad.
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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Review submitted by: Jane Ong

When I first moved to Los Angeles, the first thing I noticed wasn't the lame "Hollywood" sign. (By the way, what's so special about it that this sign has been featured on so many posters and glossy pages of travel guides?)  It was the ugly strip malls on almost every block I drove by that caught my eyes.  I found many of these strip malls very ugly, and depressing (because they just have such a third world vibe about them).   

But lately, I have fallen in love with these ugly strip malls in Los Angeles because I realize that there are always ethnic mom and pop restaurants nestled in them.  I never know what new food I will discover by driving into an ugly strip mall and this "unknown" element just adds a little excitement to my boring commute home from a long day of stressful corporate prison.

Last night, my venture into one of these strip malls had gotten me a tasty bowl of Vietnamese Chicken Curry ($7.99) with steamed rice on the side.  Compared to Thai curry or Indian curry dishes, Vietnamese curry is  much lighter in texture and the sauce is more broth like than gravy like.  I found this light version of very tasty and tender chicken curry stew very appetizing.  This is the kind of dish that goes extremely well with steamed rice or crusty bread.  I can get really full and satisfied by eating a lot of rice with only half of the chicken curry. This allows me to box the other half home for lunch the next day.  I can always make a big pot of steamed rice very easily with my rice cooker at home to use up the left over curry.  This helps cut down my dining bills.

Restaurant: Taste of Viet
Address: 1650 Sepulveda Blvd, Harbor City, CA 90710
Phone: (310) 326-2889

Notes From The Editors: Share your restaurant experience with us and we will send you a box of gourmet Chocolate Truffles if we decide to publish your review here. For submission guidelines, please click here to connect with us.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Middle Eastern Fusion - Savory Shrimp

Review submitted by: Jane Ong

Whenever I am lucky enough to call the shots for my business lunch or dinner, I try to bring my clients to my favorite restaurants near my home.  This restaurant is one of those I proudly introduced to my clients who are health conscious and picky about food quality This is an organic restaurant which serves natural and organic food, so I myself come here every time to splurge a little when I get my paycheck .  I have been coming here since this place opened years ago.  And each time I visited, I cleaned the plate because the food here tasted just so good.

I usually ordered the kebabs but last night I tried out the savory shrimp, which had broiled shrimps, broiled veggies (that included potato, asparagus, eggplant and mushroom), enhanced with a creamy sauce seasoned with white wine and onions, served with cilantro-infused rice. At $25.95, this dish is one of those more expensive entrees on the menu. But if I get the opportunity to treat myself, this is where I spend my money. I just love to support neighborhood restaurants that use locally sourced organic and natural ingredients.  This place is near the beach and the Friday farmer's market.  It's a great place to round out a weekend evening of breezy beach walk and shopping at the Farmer's market.

Restaurant: Turquoise Restaurant:
Address:1735 S Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 
Phone:(310) 373-3234 

Notes From The Editors: Share your restaurant experience with us and we will send you a box of gourmet Chocolate Truffles if we decide to publish your review here. For submission guidelines, please click here to connect with us.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Marie Callender's Herb Roasted Chicken

Review submitted by: Jane Ong
Even though I'm living in a town that has lots of great restaurants nearby and there are lots of delivery options,  there are times I just want to stay in my PJs and I just don't want to interact with anyone, and that includes calling restaurants to order delivery. I guess I can still order online but it seems to me popping a frozen dinner in a microwave is less a hassle.  Today is such a day.  This is why even though I am not a big fan of frozen dinners, I still store a few boxes in the freezer, particularly when they are on sale.  

This Herb Roasted Chicken meal from Marie Callender's is the best frozen dinner I had tried so far.  I bought it on sale for way under $3.00.  Just like the box says, the bone-in chicken is tender.  This roasted chicken tastes actually better than the Grocery store rotisserie chicken I've had in a number of American diners.  For a meal that has only 430 calories, it's quite filling (for me).   Right now they are doing a "Child Hunger Ends Here" campaign, under which the company will donate 1 meal for each code I enter on the campaign's website. The code is printed on the back of each frozen dinner I bought.  This just makes eating frozen dinner at home  so much more meaningful than ordering restaurant delivery.

Notes From Our Editors:  Share your frozen dinner experience with us and we will send you a box of gourmet Chocolate Truffles if we decide to publish your review here.  For submission guidelines, please click here to connect with us.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Seasoned Pork And Sausage Clay Pot Rice Meal

Review submitted by: Jane Ong

I was working on my client's company yesterday in Costa Mesa in Orange County, California.  I stayed on for dinner instead of jumping on the crazily congested 405 to get back to Los Angeles. I thought I would avoid waiting on the freeway. But instead of waiting on the freeway, I found myself standing with a tray of food waiting for a spot to eat in a food court inside the Mitsuwa supermarket. I love my neighborhood Mitsuwa supermarket so much that I always seek it out whichever town I visit. But of course, not every town in California  has a Mitsuwa supermarket. I was so happy to see one near my client's office in Costa Mesa.  I just didn't expect it to be so packed at 7pm in the evening. It was like a mad house there.  I hadn't experienced a food court this crowded in America.  When I was standing around and trying to look for an empty spot to put my tray down, I almost felt like I was back to my vacation in Hong Kong.  There were so many Asian people crowding in the food court:)  

It was only when I tasted the food, I realized I wasn't in Hong Kong.  While the Seasoned Pork & Sausage Clay Pot Rice Meal ($7.29) tasted decent in terms of food court dining in America, it's not nearly as delicious as the ones in Hong Kong.  I did find it okay for a weeknight dinner after work.  I personally like it much better than fast food pizza.  The meal came sizzling hot with a bowl of broth based turnip soup on the side.  It's filling and comforting.  I always love the tasty and chewy Chinese sausages.  But I have to admit I've had better Chinese sausages elsewhere. The jam-packed parking lot and the long wait for the food (due to high customers traffic) was also a little annoying to me, from a spoiled customer's view point.  I'm sure such busy customer traffic is fantastic for the vendors and the supermarket in terms of cash flows and profitability. My father in Hong Kong always said, "I would rather be in a crowded city that presents profit opportunities for business than a quiet country side where I don't see the shadow of even one person..."

For me, I just hope that Mitsuwa in Costa Mesa can expand the square footage, particularly the square footage in its parking lot to accommodate its visitors volume.  Until then, I will temporarily stay away from it.

Restaurant: Sky Express
Address: 665 Paularino Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tel:(714) 437-7198

Notes From The Editors: Share your restaurant experience with us and we will send you a box of gourmet Chocolate Truffles if we decide to publish your review here. For submission guidelines, please click here to connect with us.