Friday, May 23, 2014

he makes ramen!

over the last few years ramen has had quite the transformation. the ramen we all knew growing up came in the form of a hard brick equipped with a packet of msg for "flavor." just add water. nowadays it seems ramen of that nature is fading away and has become a thing of the past. well....except for those late nights where after some alcohol indulgence and liver damaging you scrounge up anything you can find. in that moment a dehydrated block of noodles that've been sitting in your pantry for months doesn't sound so bad and is actually quite satisfying. but gone are the days of Maruchan and Cup Noodles (which, while looking it up, i just realized isn't "cup o' noodles." ummmm what?? my whole life i've added the "o" and i'm not sure how that happened but i'm going to go out on a limb right now and say that i'll bet i'm not the only one who has made that mistake for the extent of their whole lives up until now). 

now ramen comes served at a table, fresh and in bowls heaping with awesome chewy noodles, topped with a ton of other ingredients to make the experience far better than the old stale (literally and figuratively) version. ramen shops and pop-ups are appearing left and right at a rate too hard to keep up with. Katana Ya was sort of the start to the ramen craze and as the ball has gotten rolling, Santa Ramen and Orenchi showed up...then Ramen Dojo and Parlor and Himawari and Ken-Ken Ramen and Iza Ramen and Ramen Underground...etc. etc. etcetera.. it's great and the options are plentiful. but because the craze is indeed a craze sometimes the wait for a bowl of ramen has you standing in line outside shivering in the cold pining for your turn at warmth. this is a problem. (in the most whiny kid voice)..i don't waaaaaanna wait!  

the remedy? find a guy who makes ramen at home...from scratch! from the broth to the noodles, he does it all from the bottom up! it takes a lot of work and patience to make a good bowl of ramen. to get broth with a depth to it ain't easy, folks! there are a lot of steps involved and  a bunch of components that are far too many for me to want to explore on my own. so when said guy offered a hot bowl of ramen in the comforts of my own home, i quickly jumped on the opportunity. thennnn decided to photograph the process of building the bowl partially because of all of the work he put into it...but mostly because i thought it looked pretty. 

and for the record it was delicious!! all warm and yums in my tums!

Friday, May 16, 2014

pineapple coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

"if you like piƱa coladas...." just kidding...that was lame. and that song came along well before i did so i don't know who i think i am reciting random lyrics when i don't even really know any words past those five. anyhow, if you do like the flavor combination of pineapple and coconut then you are sure to love these cupcakes as well. they are super moist and have a little chew to them from the pineapple and coconut in the cake batter. add velvety cream cheese frosting topped with crunchy toasted coconut and you've got a winner. 

totally licked the mixer afterward 

like my sports paper liners? they're all they had a the store. 

pineapple coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
makes about 24 cupcakes


for cake:
- 2 c flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 c vegetable oil
- 3/4 c buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 c sugar
- 1 8oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 1/2 c shredded coconut

for frosting:
- 1 c shredded coconut
- 8oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract


for cake:
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F 
2. line muffin pan with paper liners 
3. in a medium bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda
4. in a large bowl whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla
5. to the wet mix, incorporate sugar, pineapple and coconut
6. mix in flour mixture until just combined
7. evenly spoon cake mix into prepared muffin pan so that the batter fills 2/3 each paper liner
8. bake for approx. 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after insertion
9. allow cupcakes to cool before frosting

for frosting:
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. line a baking sheet with foil and sprinkle the shredded coconut into a single layer
3. bake for approx 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally as the coconut browns
4. once coconut is toasted, set aside to cool
5. with an electric mixer, mix together sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and butter until completely smooth
6. frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with toasted coconut

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kiwis in SF

every time i see someone who is obviously a lost tourist, i feel inclined to help. they are clearly on vacation and don't have an international data plan on their phones to use a GPS app so they resort to a physical, flimsy, cartoon studded, probably inaccurate map of San Francisco to find their way around. i imagine this is zero amounts of fun and instead of enjoying themselves they're stuck wondering how to get to Golden Gate Bridge even though they can see it from miles away. i consider myself fairly well travelled so i can attest to the irritation brought on by not knowing where you're going or how you're going to get there. because of my experiences i've often thought that it'd be nice if someone who was a native of whatever area i'm in would be so kind as to point me in the right direction or give me some ideas about must-sees and must-dos. i've always wanted to offer myself to someone (geez that sounds all sorts of dirty and potentially illegal depending on where the rest of the sentence is going...) as tour guide to someone who would appreciate the gesture.

 a couple of weeks ago i took a couple who were complete strangers from New Zealand around San Francisco. while i was in Cancun for a wedding i briefly ran into Fleur and Mark who i stopped to ask for directions back to the hotels. in the ten minutes i'd spent with them i found out that the end of their month long trip was going to be in SF. i saw this as an opportunity to solicit myself as tour guide for a day while they were here and they enthusiastically  accepted my offer. 

for a day i drove them around to anywhere they wanted to go and anywhere i suggested that sounded appealing to them. i think that they enjoyed being able to sit back and not have to think about how to get from place to place, where to eat and get as much out of a day as they could without all of the hassle. their day involved stopping on both sides of the GG Bridge (such different views), lunch at Sol Food, a walk through Muir Woods, winding down Lombard St, the Ferry Building (and ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe), GG Park, Sutro Baths, the view from Twin Peaks and dinner at 1760. 

they definitely appreciated my efforts and offered their place for whenever i make my way to New Zealand. But even without their reciprocation i would've been happy having known that i made their time here in SF just a little bit easier and were able to see some things that they may not have if they were on their own.  they were great company and it's always awesome hearing about people's lives from elsewhere. if you feel like gaining some karma points or just feel like you want to do something positive for someone else, this is a good way to do so! spread some good vibes into this world! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

chubby noodle

Chubby Noodle started out as a pop-up at Amante, a bar in the North Beach district in SF. while i always wanted to try it, i put it off for a long time because i felt sort of weird about entering a dark divey bar to order chinese/asian food. sooner rather than later it quickly transitioned from pop-up to keeping a standing time slot at Amante and is now serving food daily from 5-11pm. i recently found the opportunity to eat at Chubby Noodle and am happy to report that while the menu sounds almost standard, it truly isn't. everything i tried was super flavorful and starchy things like the noodles or the wonton wrappings were made and cooked with just the right consistency. i can't wait to go back and either try new things or just repeat this same meal because i was so very satisfied by it.

garlic noodles with shrimp
the noodles have great texture and while garlic definitely is the main flavor profile, there's more depth in the other flavors that come through as well.

fried rice with kimchee, pork belly and a proper fried egg
yummmm! slightly smokey in flavor, spicy with kimchee, rich with egg yolk and pork belly, this is a great hearty dish that meets your expectations for exciting multiple taste buds. 

spicy wontons 
light and simple.

spicy fried chicken
great fried chicken with just a bit of kick and probably some five-spice. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

banana cupcakes with honey cinnamon frosting

dilemma: you've got bananas that are ripening at a rate too fast for you to catch up with. bright yellow quickly turns to pale and black speckled. in an attempt to slow down this process you toss them in the fridge but in a day's time you find your bananas have practically died and they're nearly black. sure, you could toss them but you bought them with the intent of eating them. they've got a destiny to fill and because you're their purchaser you have a duty to make that happen. what to do? what to doooo? solution: banana cupcakes with honey cinnamon frosting because honey and cinnamon are staples in your household. thanks, Martha Stewart, for providing such an easy recipe and for helping my bananas fulfill their destiny.

banana cupcakes with honey cinnamon frosting

banana cupcakes

- 1/12 c all purpose flour
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 1/2 c mashed banana (approx 3 large bananas)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. line 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners
3. in a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
4. make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients
5. to the well, add butter, bananas, eggs and vanilla and mix together
6. stir in flour mixture until ingredients are just combined evenly (do not over mix) 
7. evenly distribute batter into muffin pan
8. bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
9. remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool on wire rack
10. frost with honey cinnamon frosting

honey cinnamon frosting

- 3 c powdered sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp.
- 2 tbs honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon


1. with an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, honey and cinnamon for approx 4-5 minutes or until smooth and fluffy

Thursday, May 1, 2014

cancun for #karlsgettingmuried

view from my hotel room! =)

hola! just got back from Cancun a few days ago for Karl and Muri's wedding, hashtagged karlsgettingmuried. though not very long, it was an awesome fun trip. in short, the extended weekend consisted of trying to even out a horrid body tan at the beach to no avail, a welcome party with a sunset background, Karl actually getting Muried, loads of face stuffing and too much liver deterioration, a trip to Xichen Itza, search for legit local food, new friends and hilarious conversation. i'll keep this post with less words and more photos because sometimes i talk too much and today i won't. 

hi boys! my mexican for the weekend, ex-actual-roommate and roomie for the weekend Fern, who provided as my personal translator. and john who just looks like he's mexican. 

John, Johnson, Karl, Muri, Fern
first encounters with some of the 60+ people who were in Cancun for the wedding.

hey, beautiful! i'd like to keep seeing you every day for the rest of my life mmmkay?

at the welcome dinner with that gorgeous sunset as our backdrop.

laaaadies! i clearly didn't get the patterned dresses memo. in my defense the invite said "casual" sooo...

snagging one of very few moments with the lady of the weekend.

Johnson and i were the only people from work (Muri's my coworker as well as a friend outside of work) who were able to make it to the wedding. 
*Coworker Friends, i wish you all could have been there! we need to plan a vacay!
*sorry Stella, i stole you man for the night! jk! 
*John, awesome...your thumb made it into the shot! 

you know what i liked most about this wedding was that not everything had to be perfect and Karl and Muri would be just fine with that. the flower girl didn't touch one flower, come time for vows we all discovered that they were hidden in the MOH's purse which was sitting in the audience somewhere, at some point during the ceremony the words "nooo...not 'single'" were said by Muri to correct a mistake Karl had made, and with all eyes on her on the way into the reception the bride tripped. but they just laugh it off because marriage and life in general isn't about perfection or putting on a face, it's about experience and laughter. at some point during the reception Muri asked me if i cried (which for the record, i did) because she knows that if i'm in attendance at a wedding in which i don't think the bride and groom are an amazing match for each other, i shed no tears. there is an ease about the way they interact with each other that makes me truly believe that these two were meant to be. cheers to a wonderful life together, you two! 

she is often mistaken for one of my people (chinese). it's pretty clear where she gets that from, huh? 

i like taking hands photos during weddings. also...f*ck old school paper! nowadays ipads and iphones deliver vows. 


the new Mr. and Mrs. Detert!!
Karl has never looked more dapper than on his wedding day...

Trae and Jerel

Angel and Evan

Zye and Fern

Kat and Ceaze

spent a bunch of time hanging out with this funny ass group of fellas over the weekend. 
*how many "this could be you" Tinder photos did you guys snag that weekend? haha ;)

Augs and Special Friend

Arthur, Abby, Kris
you guys know how every girl has that ombre hair thing going on? i'm taking it to the next level with the ombre body. dark on top and fades to light. so. not. cool. but seriously...i might have to Donald Duck it  (y'know...wear tops only, no bottoms) for a while to even out this tan!

me: do you want to take a picture with their sombreros on?
kris: uhh maybe wait until they stop singing first?
me: no, let's just take them...i don't think they'll mind...
for the record no latino guy minds asian chicks wanting to borrow their anything.

shots with the newlyweds! 

is this not the most cute, awesome and appropriate favor ever?? 


table 6

haha! i love that the bride didn't care to look flawless in every photo. 

commanding the bar! she tends to do this when she's drunk.

uh-oh! he's going in with a purpose...

oh damn! 


see what i mean by not having to be flawless? this picture encapsulates her personality. forget the dress or being classy (haha!) as long as you're having fun! 

Erica and Doug

with the beautiful bride! aaaaand Karl's semi-photobomb! 

with the ever changing color of the room our pearly whites look like grillz.

we were all clearly increasingly intoxicating as the night progressed

boys prom pic

our turn, ladies! nice pose Karl.

do. not. know. oh now i thaaaat's what my resting bitch face looks like! they look cute..i look like an asshole. 

oh, just resting.

i'm not sure what's going on but it's cute. 

a group of us at the Mayan ruins, Xichen Itza

hmm...without that shadow below me, i almost look like i photoshopped myself in.

a quick trip to the ceynote, which is located amidst a normal town. above this are buildings and such. cool, huh?

we were in search of chicarones and found them at the Mercado 23, which is where all the legit, non-tourist mexican food is

maize and cacao drink. not my favorite. 

pork taco time. 

Fern was in search of chocolate milk, which is nostalgic for him and reminds him of his kiddie days spent in Guadalajara. success! 

last drink in Mexico! baby coronas! 

taking a little autobus to the Mercado 28, which is just a whole bunch of stuff (souvenirs) and haggling. no thanks.

we had a nine hour layover in Mexico City and found a mexican Denny's called Wings to spend our time at. as the big buff Mexican, his job was to protect us and our things but considering we call him Narcoleptic Fern, i knew this wasn't going to be the case. see what i meeeaan? haha!

awesome times, friends! 

Karl and Muri, love you guys!