Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy birthday, Mom!

Long entry ahead.

Hey dudes and dudettes,
First of all... Sorry for the lack of updates. Maybe if I saw some evidence that people actually read this piece of crap, I'd be more motivated.. *nudge nudge*. Like my puppy friend JK likes to say, "I NEED WORDS OF AFFIRMATION!!!!"

Last weekend, my little sister stayed with me. When my parents came to pick her up, they gave me a box full of goodies: vibrant and succulent strawberries, two oranges, a corn bread muffin the size of my head, and... umm.. contact solution (I was running low). I finished the strawberries and corn bread muffin that very night and left the oranges for another time. That time came a few days later, when my darling hallmate Y and I each had one. She ate hers first, and said the flesh was really "dark." WTF? I was kind of worried. Apparently it was a dark orangish-red color... I was so confused.

Then we realized...

YESSS!!! THE TWO ORANGES WERE BLOOD ORANGES! WHAT MY VERY DREAMS ARE MADE OF (FOR REAL. If you missed it, it's right here). I grabbed my orange eagerly and ripped it open. DEAR GOODNESSSSS! I WAS SO ECSTATIC! Yes, yes. I'm a freak. I took pictures of my "first time." D:


The blood orange had a very floral note. This sweet, perfumy air lingered in the back of my mouth well after an hour. The flesh was really soft, as was the outside. It was juicy as heck, and stained really easily so be careful. Mmm.. very interesting. I'd love to make a granita or sorbet out of it some day.

In other news, I'm home in Richmond for Easter weekend. It also happens to be the weekend after my mom's birthday (April 9), so I thought I'd whip up dinner for the family so she wouldn't have to worry about what to make. I was MORE THAN HAPPY to drive to Whole Foods in Short Pump and shop around anyway! Man... I love grocery stores, especially Whole Foods... I spend hours in there. Anyway, the menu was simple and random.

- Pan seared flank steak with chimichurri (argentinian-style.. thanks for the tips, silv!) on the side
- Red potatoes au gratin (fancy shmancy for thinly sliced and baked potatoes in this case)
- Thin spaghetti with a tomato cream sauce
- Pan-warmed baguette
- Baby green salad with corn, peas, and beets in a honey-lemon vinaigrette (inspired by EC's salad when we had dinner ;) )
- Crepes for dessert (choc-hazelnut spread aka Nutella, strawberries, blackberries, and bananas)

I didn't think we'd finish all the meat, but we did somehow. The flank, which is stereotyped as tough and stringy, was tender and flavorful. Recipes will follow pictures. Also, forgive me for the crappy pictures. I wasn't thinking about composition or anything other than cooking! My hands were perpetually saucy and herby.

Oops.. Make sure you use a sharpened, serrated knife for the meat. My knife sucked which resulted in some not-so-pretty slices on the right.

From well-done to med-rare (this is only half the meat). My family members have lots of different preferences pahaha. MEDIUM RARE FOR ME THX


My precious mommy right before prayer

A makeshift open-face sandwich (the salad, flank, chimichurri on baguette)

This is when my camera lens started to fog up / screw up

My family is pro. Demolishedddd! Phone pic (cam ran out of battery).

Lens still foggy

If I'd had confectioner's sugar, I would've dusted that jank on top for a nice touch. Alas, we ran out. Also, acknowledge the ghetto paper plates we used throughout the whole meal.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Here are the recipes (some are guesstimates because I just threw a bunch of crap together when cooking).

Flank Steak Marinade
Adapted from For the Love of Cooking's carne asada marinade
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs of flank steak
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (I used brown rice vinegar because that's all I had)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (I eyeballed... put in as much or as little as you'd like. Same for onion powder)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
Dump everything but flank in a gallon size ziplock bag, seal, and shake/mix around. Throw in the flank steak, seal, and lightly move around so the steak is completely covered by marinade. Marinate in fridge for at least an hour; the longer the better (I marinated for about 5 hours). Take the bags out of fridge 30 mins prior to grilling/pan searing. After cooking, let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes. This will lock in the juices, hollaaaa.

Argentinian-style Chimichurri
  • a crapload of fresh Italian (flatleaf) parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves (more or less) of garlic, minced
  • vegetable or olive oil
  • vinegar (I used brown rice vinegar)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
Put the parley and garlic in a bowl. Add a glurg (hehe) of oil and a dash or two of vinegar. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes (honestly I just did it for color). Adjust things to your liking, you can't really go wrong. Add s&p if needed (I didn't need them). Warning: breath will be kickin' for hours.

Red Potatoes Au Gratin
  • 6-7 red potatoes (depends on size. Mine were smaller than a clenched fist).
  • 5 tbsp butter or butter substitute
  • parmesan or gruyere cheese, grated
  • any seasoning of your choice (I used a mixture of dried rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and cracked black pepper)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice potatoes thinly, about 1/16 of an inch (I used a mandolin). You can leave the skin on or peel; Personally, I think the red rings are gorgeous. Parboil the slices for about 7-10 minutes, pour out water, and let cool (you can speed this up by pouring in cold water and draining. But you'll lose some starch that helps keep the galette together). While you're waiting, melt butter and mix in seasoning. Spray/butter a 9-inch cake or tart pan. Starting from the outer edge, line the bottom of the pan with potato slices, overlapping just a bit each time. After every two layers, brush the top with butter mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Continue until you get to the last layer, and top with butter/cheese (and fresh herbs if you'd like). Bake for about 40 minutes, checking often for doneness by sticking a thin knife or fork in the galette (it should be tender, not crunchy at all). The cheese should be golden on top, and the potato slices should shrink away from the pan a bit.

Baby Green Salad w/ Honey-lemon Vinaigrette
  • salad mix, your choice. I used baby greens obviously
  • frozen peas, thawed but still cold and firm
  • 1 can beets, drained and diced/sliced
  • 1/2 can corn, drained (or half bag of frozen corn, thawed... or even better-- some fresh corn)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • olive oil (I prefer extra virgin)
  • 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
Put honey, lemon juice, oil, vinegar and dijon mustard in a container. Tightly seal and shake vigorously until vinaigrette is emulsified. Test and adjust levels. Add s&p to taste. Oil to acid ratio is roughly 2:1, but it's up to you. You'll have a good amount of vinaigrette, so you can leave some on the table. Add to greens, peas, beets and corn. Toss gently and serve!

Basic Crepe Recipe
Via Click here for tips and further instructions!
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 C flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Note: I added a tbsp of water to the batter, but adjust however you like until the batter is slightly thicker than heavy cream)

Whisk everything together and refridgerate for about an hour. Click here for cooking tips/directions. Add any type of filling. I added nutella, strawberries, blackberries and bananas. Dust with powdered sugar and maybe a sprig of mint!

As for the pasta recipe, there isn't one. I just put random stuff in there because I was in a hurry. Experiment with tomato sauce / cream combinations! Try adding sauteed shallots, garlic, sausage, etc! And some parm cheese and fresh herbs :) Yummy.


hey, cool! my picture actually got published on TS :D exciting for a noob like me.


  1. *drool*

    Oh, my... wow.

    Happy birthday, Trish's mommy!

  2. you're so fancy! T_T
    lucky lucky.. you can cook
    and i always look forward for updates!! =D

  3. mmmmmm. i love Argentinian meat.
    a family from Argentina used to marinate their meat with budweiser then season it with salt and it tasted delectable!

    nice post, i love all your posts actually.

  4. Thanks, guys! HAHAHAA i guess the pressure worked >:] jk. don't feel obligated to talk to me. sigh.

    smurf, i can't figure out who you are! your blog is blank. let me know~

    christy, that sounds so simple and delicious! i love marinating meat in beer. Great tenderizer and lots of flavor!

  5. i'm so glad the chimichurri worked out, yay!


  7. Greaat webpage and yummy pics,feel hungry now.

  8. you're too cute! i love it!
    i heard we're getting crepes tonight as a treat. not gonna lie, i'm pumped.

  9. thanks for stopping by, zohnx! i'm guessing you got here by way of TS. if you have a visible blog, let me know. i'd love to check it out sometime :)

    haha yeeeeee i love you. hope you enjoyed he treat tonight!

  10. Yoboshung~
    I want leftovers in a freezer bag

  11. WTF(reak)!
    blood oranges were REAL?!? i thought it was just something you made up in your dream!! oh, trisha. how i love you and your odd, wild-colored oranges + carrots.

    about your cooking on the other hand: you will be a highly favored/loved roommate, girlfriend and wife. high in demand and a very hot (physically too) [human] commodity.

  12. alien~~~ hallo! i see you've started updating again. mehehehe. i hope you're recovering from your cold/nasties! and i don't know if the food would hold up well if i sent it..

    butt fur (i am in the loop, courtesy of katrina), YOU THOUGHT I JUST CONJURED THAT JUNK UP IN MY HEAD? dag. you give me too much credit. ALSO, everyone was hatin' on my yellow carrots that day. forget chyall.

    dan, stop being so damn busy.

  13. ditto what Esther said! hahaha

    and i'm not a stalker. i'm a normal human being and my name is jae. hello!