Friday, May 29, 2009

Nice looking bbq

Check out this amazing bbq spread (from the blog Thursday Night Smackdown) looks like something straight out of Martha Stewart Living...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Off to Seattle

We're headed to Seattle for the holiday weekend.

The original plan was to escape the heat, but ironically, it's cool, cloudy, and rainy here in Phoenix, while the forecast for Seattle is sunny and high 60s.

Initial itinerary:
Molly Moon's (recently named by bon appetit as one of the top 10 ice cream shops in the nation, along w/ local shop, Sweet Republic)
Suess Chocolates
Snoqualmie Falls
Bainbridge Island

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dinner tonight - three cup chicken and basil-lime sorbet

For dinner tonight, we made "three cup chicken". This is a traditional Taiwanese dish, which gets its name from the three main flavoring ingredients in the dish - soy sauce, cooking wine, and sesame oil.

Here's a pic:
san bei ji - three cup chicken
It was really simple to make and delicious. Here's the recipe -

  • 1 lb. chicken (we used boneless thigh meat), cut into bite size chunks
  • 10 slices of ginger
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 20 basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine (do not use cooking wine as a substitute)
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  1. Heat oil and brown chicken
  2. Add garlic and ginger to chicken and stir-fry for one minute
  3. Add liquids (soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine) to chicken and stir to incorporate
  4. Once liquid starts to boil, cover wok and reduce heat to medium
  5. Continue simmering for fifteen minutes
  6. Add basil leaves, stir to incorporate and cook for two minutes
  7. Serve with white rice
Makes four servings. The key to the recipe is equal parts of the liquids.

Total prep time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 20 minutes

Over the past few weeks, we've become somewhat addicted to the basil-lime sorbet at Sweet Republic. Since going to SR is a nearly 90 mile round trip for us, we tried making it at home tonight for dessert.

We followed this basic recipe: Basil-lime sorbet (from

Note: we used 3/4 cup of sugar, instead of 1 cup as specified.

Here's a pic:
basil-lime sorbet
The result was better than expected. It was a bit too sweet and tart, thought not bad for our first attempt. It's a nice homemade substitute to satisfy our cravings in between trips to SR. A little more tweaking and we'll be very close... ;-)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Off to the JW!

We're off to the JW Marriott Desert Ridge for a one-day getaway!

Here's the plan:
- 50 min couples massage this afternoon @ the spa
- dinner @ Roy's
- relaxing @ the pools and hot tubs
- breakfast @ Blue Sage

All for less than $300! (Roy's isn't part of the package...but I've got a $50 voucher and we're planning to do the prix fixe menu for $35pp).

Read more about the great deals here.

Juice House Boba

For dinner yesterday, we tried Juice House Boba. We've been for drinks before, but never for food. The shop is located at the southwest corner of 35th Ave. and Peoria (in the same plaza as Fry's, but facing 35th Ave.).

Here's a shot of the exterior:
Juice House Boba - exterior
We ordered the following:
  • durian smoothie w/ boba ($3.00)
  • spring rolls (three for $3.49)
  • pho tai nam bo vien ($5.95)
  • grilled pork banh mi ($2.99)
First up was the durian smoothie:
Juice House Boba - durian smoothie w/ bobaThe smoothie was good, but I ordered the boba by mistake...

The spring rolls were excellent - among the best we've had in the area. The hoisin peanut dipping sauce served w/ the rolls was fantastic.
Juice House Boba - spring rolls
We had somewhat mixed opinions on the pho. Patty thought the noodles were a bit too hard and that the broth lacked "depth". I thought it was a decent bowl of pho - the broth was a bit salty for me.
Juice House Boba - pho tai nam bo vien
The banh mi was "ok". The sandwich fillings were quite good, but the bread was mediocre (it reminded of the white bread at Subway). The banh mi (served on a crusty baguette) @ Pho Avina are superior.
Juice House Boba - grilled pork banh mi
Overall, Juice House Boba wasn't bad (it's definitely not bad for a very filling, ~$17 meal). It's a nice stop for drinks and an occasional bite to eat.

Places mentioned:

Juice House Boba
10410 N. 35th Ave, Suite #12
Phoenix, AZ 85051

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dinner tonight

Here's what we cooked for dinner tonight:

Steelhead trout and couscous w/ basil (from our backyard) and cherry tomatoes

The trout was on sale at Sprout's for $4.99/lb. Total prep and cooking time was less than ten minutes! A very easy, inexpensive, and tasty meal...