[Food] Christmas Eve Dinner 2013

I know that posts have been inconsistent due to finals and other business, but I promise, new content and perhaps a major website overhaul are in the works! Until then, my family and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Here are some photos of this year's annual Christmas Eve dinner. Pumpkin Soup

A pumpkin chestnut soup to start.

Tomato Arugula Salad

Tomato and arugula salad.

Filet Mignon

Filet mignon, kale and raw gruyere stuffed portobello mushroom, snow peas, and sweet potato hash.

Again, we wish you all a fantastic end to 2013. Merry Christmas!

[Food] Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

I hope that all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and partook in the gluttony that so commonly happens around this time of year. Here's just a short post sharing how my (big) family celebrated. Hope you enjoy, and happy holidays to you and yours! IMG_8684











How does your family celebrate Thanksgiving? Feel free to share!

[Food] The Crack Pie Collaboration

I recently did some work with my good friend Michelle over at à la Micho, creating the afauxgato (I oughta copyright that). This time around, we were joined by two of our other friends, Tong and Kai, and recreated the Crack Pie from Momofuku Milk Bar. Here are some photos from our adventures in baking! Ingredients


Oatmeal Cookie

Hands Cracking


Crust Press

Egg Drop



Filling Pour



Here's a nice behind the scenes shot. Check out the video over at à la Micho!

Behind the Scenes

[Food] Christmas Eve Dinner

Merry Christmas to you all! Here at our home, we don't mess around with food. This year, we had filet mignon, twice baked potatoes with bacon, creamed spinach, homemade onion rings, and a slice of my mother's sponge cake with a berry sauce and homemade whipped cream. Again, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner Dessert

[Food] Thanksgiving 2012

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday! I know our family most definitely did. Here's how our family does Thanksgiving dinner.

One fried turkey.

And one bacon wrapped turkey. We've been doing this since forever. Before those meatheads on Youtube did this "next level" stuff.

Dessert. Also because I didn't get a chance to snag photos of our "American" desserts.

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgivings and are continuing to enjoy your leftovers... I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you, my readers. You all are awesome. What are you thankful for?

[Food] Mother's Day Dinner

First of all, happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mothers out there! My sister and I decided to do a tag team dinner for our mother.

The main course consisted of a seared Ahi Tuna steak with a soy ginger glaze, wild rice, and an arugula salad with a light citrus dressing.

For dessert, we made individual pies/tarts. I'm not sure exactly what to call them, but they started with a pie crust filled with custard, then were topped with fresh blueberries, bananas, and a slice of candied lemon.

Everything was homemade and delicious.

[Food] Avocado Ice Cream

We had a bunch of avocados sitting at home and couldn't finish them all before they over-ripened. So, my sister and I decided to make some avocado ice cream.

We used Alton Brown's recipe, which can be found here. It's very simple and we found that it is similar to many of the other recipes for avocado ice cream that we found.

The ice cream was spectacular. It tasted like avocado (a big duh) with an ever so slight hint of sweetness to it, which was great. The texture was smooth and silky, probably thanks to all that fat in the avocado and heavy cream. To further bring out the sweetness, we finished the ice cream with some salt. It really brings the ice cream to life and makes the flavors pop. In my opinion, the salt is absolutely essential.

Here's the lighting set-up I used for the shots. I had a LumoPro LP120 camera right shooting into a reflective umbrella at 1/4 power as my key light. For my fill, I had a LumoPro LP160 camera left in a softbox at 1/64 power. I shot with a Canon 7D and a 100mm f2.8 Macro at 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 200.

[Food] The Double Double Clone

I recently read this article from Serious Eats on cloning In-n-Out's Double Double. Although I can get an In-n-Out burger almost any time I want, I was inspired to clone one at home. Initially, I only wanted to clone the magical grilled onions, but that eventually led to the whole burger. This is not a strict recipe as I didn't follow a recipe. This is just a rough run through of what I did based on what I remembered from the article. You can read the article for an in depth analysis of the burger.

The first step would be the grilled onions that you get with an animal style burger. I used the method that Kenji used, constantly deglazing the pan with water and cooking the onions for a long period of time. I chopped 6 whole onions...

...with the help of my newest toy, a Kyocera ceramic santoku knife. This guy is super sharp, light, and easy to work with. I absolutely love it.

After the tears and chopping, I began the cooking process. I started with a little bit of oil and a ton of onions.


Here's a slideshow. Check out the different stages of cooking the onions. After 3 hours of cooking, the onions ended up looking like this...

They turned into an absolutely delicious onion marmalade. After the 3 hour cooking process, I moved onto the rest of the burger. I made sure to cook the patties with mustard, just like they do at In-n-Out with animal style burgers.

After searing the first side of the patties, I generously covered the top with yellow mustard, flipped, put some American cheese and that sweet onion compote on top.

I then put the patties on some nicely toasted buns with some homemade Spread and homegrown tomato and lettuce. I didn't have any pickles on hand, but the burger was still delicious without them. The burger was different from what In-n-Out has to offer, but (dare I say) my sister and I both agreed that this version was better. Before you all smite me and send me flame mail, I repeat that they were different, I just prefer the home-brewed version. Now, with all this left over onion compote, I can take over the world use it on anything. It's a 3 hour process, but definitely worth it. A grilled cheese sandwich with this stuff would be absolutely divine...

[Food] Deep Fried Party

What do you do when you have nothing else to do? Throw a deep fried party, of course! I'm back in town so a couple of my good friends and I got together to fry up some cheese sticks a la Epic Meal Time.

We went the super simple route. Basic flour and egg dredge, Tangy Carolina BBQ Lays, and cheese sticks.

Crush up your chips of choice. My friends tried Doritos last time and told me that they got soggy too fast.

Set up your dredging stations.

Coat generously. We decided to go for a double dredge then lays method to get more crispiness. Here, Andrew demonstrates his method to optimize Lays coating on the sticks.

We got a bit adventurous and wrapped some cheese sticks with some turkey breast.

Ready to fry!


Get them sticks in that there oil. Make sure the oil is hot enough; test with a a small chip crumb or something of that sort.

While they were frying, we made some Nutella sammiches to snack on.

Here's glory shot number one. Just fry until they get gold and the cheese is melty.

Here's a turkey wrapped one.

Glory shot number two.

We had some peppermint patties, so we just fried those up as well.

Andrew was still hungry so I cooked up a quick cheese stick and chip crumb omelette for him. Nothing special.

[Food] Southern Californian Food Adventures

Disclaimer: this will be a photo heavy post with few words. You can assume that everything was ridiculously delicious (it was). Enjoy.

Tacos Tamix in LA

Al pastor

Al pastor alambres

Al pastor tacos

Al pastor quesadilla

Buche, cabeza, al pastor


Al pastor burrito

George's breakfast burritos in Fullerton

Photo by my sister at www.janetcho.wordpress.com.

Soondooboo at BCD

Original Pancake House in Anaheim

Corned beef hash and eggs

Blueberry pancakes

Some home cooking

Bacon wrapped rice cakes

Beef wrapped spicy rice cakes


[Food] Macaroni and Cheese (A Recipe)

Hello readers, today, I bring to you a recipe. I made a killer macaroni and cheese today with a good friend, so I just had to share my recipe with all of you.


Alright, let's start off with the ingredients. Just a disclaimer, I don't measure most of my ingredients. I prefer to eye everything, so my proportions probably won't be the same as yours. This recipe is for 2 pounds of pasta, which will feed a rather large amount of people. The less the pasta to sauce ratio is, the creamier the end product is going to be. Adjust amounts as needed.

-2 pounds of Shell Pasta (or Elbow Macaroni or just about any pasta your heart desires) -6-8 cups of grated cheese (I used Extra Extra Sharp Cheddar, Extra Sharp Cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere, and a little bit of left over Pepper Jack, feel free to use whatever cheese(s) you want) -1/2 cup Butter -1/2 cup Flour -6 cups of Milk -Bacon -Potato Chips -Pinch of Nutmeg -Salt and Pepper to Taste (I didn't use any salt as the bacon and potato chip topping are already salty)

You can add other seasonings if you'd like (Worcestershire sauce, mustard, spices, etc.)


Cut up your bacon. I like my bacon to be about 3/4 inch wide by 1 inch tall, but again, whatever you like.

Cook your bacon.

Drain your bacon and set it aside. I like to reserve some bacon fat for later. If you are a health nut, get rid of it.

Grate your cheese. Please don't buy shredded cheese to save some work. It really is better when you grate it yourself. Set the cheese aside. I recommend covering it with plastic wrap and putting it in the fridge for later.


Now, for the all important topping, I've been using potato chips. This was inspired by Chef John of Foodwishes, the greatest internet chef to live.

Crush up your chips. You can crush them in the bag or put them in a Ziplock back if that floats your boat.

Here's where that reserved bacon fat comes into play. You can use butter instead. Put some bacon fat (or butter) into a pan, then add your crushed potato chips. Make sure you have enough fat to coat all your chips.

Cook them medium low until they get nice and brown. The difference should be noticeable, but they shouldn't be anywhere near burnt.

SAUCE (and Pasta)

Now that all of that is done, it is time for the sauce. Start off with a roux, which is just equal amount of flour and butter. This will act as our thickening agent. I didn't get a photo, but it's not much to miss out on. Melt your butter, add the flour, and let it cook until the mixture gets light brown; don't let it get too dark. This is where I add my nutmeg and white pepper. To this, we are going to add our COLD milk. Note, cold milk. Hot Roux + Cold Milk = No Lumps. Thank you to Chef John again.

Bring this up to heat as we are going to turn off our heat when we add the cheese.

Let it get to the point just before it boils. Once it gets there, turn off the heat and add about 2/3 of the cheese. Stir until the cheese completely melts. Save the rest of the cheese for the topping.

While you are making the sauce, get the pasta going. Cook the pasta a minute or two less than what the directions say on the packaging, as the pasta will continue to cook later in the oven. Drain and set aside.


Put the pasta in a baking dish and mix in the sauce and about 2/3 of the bacon. As you can see here, we got some spillage of the sauce, but that's okay.

Once that is all mixed together, we are going to top it off with the remaining cheese and bacon that we saved and the potato chips. Feel free to layer the topping as you want. We pretty much put a lasagna of toppings on top of our macaroni.

Bake the whole tray of glory. Honestly, I'm bad with oven temperatures, so I always guess, much like my eyeing of ingredients. I baked mine at 375 for about 15 minutes. Just put it in the oven and let it cook until the top gets brown and the cheese melts, but make sure you keep an eye on it.

Enjoy. Thanks for reading and post your thoughts or comments.