Thanksgiving Day Play-by-play

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Christine here – as suggested by Judy, let’s try this “live-blogging” thing! Here’s a run down of some of the prep, cooking, and fun that’s going on in our houses today…

(Forgive the less-than-perfect photos, we’re going for quickness here!)

7:47 am- C: Woke up early and went down to the garage to flip the bird (haha). This year we were lucky to have an extra fridge (thanks Judy!) in the garage that we could use for the turkey and brine (all alone…). I like how this picture looks a bit omnious, hehehe.

lonely turkey

9:07am- D: Wish I had a renovated kitchen!!  My counter is under there somewhere… Not enough space!

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10:04 am- C: Made some curry chicken salad for lunch, seems funny to be cooking something that won’t be used for Thanksgiving dinner whatsoever.

curry chicken salad

10:52 am- C: Started the cranberry sauce so that it has time to cool and gel before dinner tonight. Love how festive and bright cranberries look 🙂

cranberry sauce

11:00 am- C: Snapped a shot of Diana’s guava chiffon mini cupcakes fresh out of the oven, so cute!

guava chiffon mini cupcakes

12:15ish pm- C: Finished up the turkey stock for the gravy (ugh, blurry cell-phone pic!). In case you’re wondering, yes, that is a turkey neck!

turkey stock

12:51am- D: Christine is oiling down the bird and giving it a massage.  Guess it runs in the family!

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12:54am- D:  Stopped for a lunch break.  It’s nice having lil sis around.  🙂

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12:58am- D: Aromatics getting stuffed into the bird.

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1:06pm- D: Caped crusader?  Breast plate of armor?  Burn guard?  Maybe all of the above?  🙂

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1:07 pm- D: Note to selves: 25.68lbs is the capacity of this oven.

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1:41pm- D: Bird is already browning… gotta put the cape on!!

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Whew, you may now call him Superturkey.2013-11-28 13.42.21

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Wings and Things

This is what I get for not officially following our blog (although I thought I was!).

For about a month now, I’ve been expecting notifications for your posts and when I never got any, I figured everyone was super busy! Then yesterday on a whim I decided to check in and saw there were all these posts that I hadn’t read!

Silly me.

Anyway, it was fun catching up on all that you guys have been up to :). As for me…recently I’ve been trying to cook more and have been trying some new recipes. I’ve been on a bit of a chicken wing craze and one of the things that I’ve really been wanting to try is Korean fried chicken (a la Bon Chon), but still haven’t gotten around to it. I was talking to my coworker about my fried chicken wing research and he shared a recipe that he had been wanting to try for a while by Andrew Zimmern. While they weren’t fried, they sounded pretty good and easy since they were a “one-pot” dish. I ended up making them that very night, go figure!

Andrew Zimmern’s One-pot Sticky Chicken Wings

Here’s how they turned out!Image

That glazed look gets me every time!

The recipe was super easy, but unfortunately I think they ended up looking a little better than they tasted. Not that they were bad (I made a big batch and ate them all!), but they weren’t quite as good as I was hoping. If I ever make them again, here’s what I would do differently:

  1. Use less soy sauce, or use low-sodium soy sauce. The wings were really flavorful, but a bit too salty to me (probably due to the type of soy sauce I was using).
  2. Don’t over reduce the sauce (this probably contributed to the saltiness too). While cooking, the sauce didn’t look like it was thickening much as it was reducing, so I continued to cook off more and more liquid and was ultimately left with very little sauce. Note to self: taste the sauce as it reduces!

Along with the wings, I cooked some roasted vegetables using a new method. Usually when I roast vegetables, I cut squash and some root vegetables in big chunks and cook them spaced out on a roasting pan. This time, I used a recipe that I found for “The Best Roasted Vegetables Ever” (how could I not try them?), which required cutting all the vegetables into small cubes and mixing them all together in a baking dish.

The Wednesday Chef’s Best Roasted Vegetables Ever

Here’s what they looked like before going in the oven – so colorful and healthful too! I followed the recipe pretty closely, except I added 1 sweet potato in lieu of a regular potato.

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I forgot to take an after shot, but they still looked pretty nice and colorful after roasting. They tasted good too! It was definitely different because the vegetable flavors mixed more and when eating them, you’re likely to eat several types of veggies with each bite. I think I’ll still roast vegetables the typical way when I’m looking for something quick, but this way would be fun to change things up every now and then!

That’s all for the kitchen chronicles for now 😀

Many (many many) Tastes Part II

taste of north park 2013_recap

After a full day of running (okay, walking leisurely) around North Park, we successfully visited 26 out of 46 places (57%, isn’t that an F?! 😦 ). This is what my card ended up looking like, not too bad I suppose.

taste of north park 2013_final card

Last year we managed 32/51 places, but that was also because I was slightly maniacal and went a little Monica on my friends, haha. This year we decided to take it a little easier, plus we started 30 minutes late (despite my “almost ready??” morning prodding). Much to our indignation, there were four places that we went to that ran out of food/drinks!! The worst of them was the Smoking Goat, which also ran out of food last year! This year we made it a priority to visit Smoking Goat since we felt we were due given last year’s miss. When we finally approached the restaurant and I saw the all-too-familiar “Sold Out” sign on their door I seriously considered leaving them a friendly note of my own on their note! Two strikes for Smoking Goat!! >[.

taste of north park_two strikes smoking goat

Overall it was super fun though, just like last year. It was a beautiful day in San Diego and it was really great being able to walk around, eat, drink, and talk with the various store folks. It’s events like this that really make me like this city!

By far the most interesting dish was from Casa de Luz, a vegan restaurant that’s has a pretty cool space in North Park. (Random internet photo below.) It was the strange looking green thing in the lower left of the picture above. I forgot what they called it, but I thought of it as collard green sushi! It was vegetables with some vegetable sauce, wrapped in more vegetable. Not bad though! (Only 2 of the 5 of us dared to try it :P.)

taste of north park 2013_casa de luz

As usual in SD, there were tons of dogs walking/hanging around and I saw this super cute golden doodle at one of the stops!

cutie_goldendoodle

I think doodles look like stuffed animals more than any other dog type. Look at those paws! So cute! I did the whole try-and-look-busy-on-cell-phone-while-secretly-taking-pictures-of-your-cute-dog deal, but all of that was ruined when one of my friends walked up and I told her about the doggie and she responded loudly, “Yeah, we saw you taking pictures of it.” -_____-“. So much for inconspicuousness.

Altogether it was a great day, I think you all would’ve liked the event!

Many Tastes Part I

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Today my friends and I are embarking on a marathon food adventure! 50 restaurants, bars, and craft breweries are participating in this year’s Taste of North Park. Each stop offers a tasting portion of food or drink, so it’s a great way of trying out new restaurants that you might otherwise not visit. We have 5 hours to get through it all.

Challenge accepted.