Egg pastry from Fada in the Hong Kong Supermarket

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A few nights ago, an old memory of a certain pastry I had within an Asian bakery came to my mind and since then, I had been craving for something like it. Realizing it had an egg like flavor, I decided to try a Google search and came across a dessert that went by the name of "Moon Cake". This morning I visited the Hong Kong supermarket and a baker said moon cakes are only in season during September. Yet I found a pastry that was generically named "Egg Cream Puff Pastry" and I decided to give it a shot. As soon as I bit into it, I knew this was the pastry I had tried so many years ago but in a different store. It was so delicious and better than a donut because it held a more yolk-like and creamy flavor and the bread was softer. There was a perfect pastry. It was better than many of those sold at Panera Bread and yet it was only $1.15. I'm sure I will visit the Fada pastry shop at Hong  Kong supermarlet more often and this egg pastry will not be my last one.


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Hidden Grounds

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Sorry I haven't written anything in a while! I didn't make time to update my blog but I'll be sure to make more time in the future. I just tried the Moroccan Mint Tea from Hidden Grounds and it tasted very refreshing! It could be used as a good pick-me-up drink. However, for $3 I can’t say the deal was a steal. 




Yet the atmosphere of the place is very warm because of the colors, potted plants, and lighting. The place has just the right amount of mess for an urban cafe, and this helps separate itself from the traditional tidy Starbucks while also attracting local hipsters.

A short while later, Spoorthi K. from Hidden Grounds contacted me and mentioned that free hot water refills are available since the tea bag can last 3 cups.  I had not realized this and now I think the tea is fairly priced.

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Sushi Palace (My rating: 9/10)

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Sushi Palace is a fantastic restaurant! I loved their sushi handrolls and I will definitely order more of them the next time I visit. I loved the eel rolls with avocado as well. The restaurant has the style of a buffet and you can order as much sushi as you can eat. Be wary though, because you can be charged extra if you have excess sushi in your plate.




The salmon rolls were okay and the sushi that has slices of white pieces over it in the picture are the yellowtail fish rolls. I didn't like them as much but I enjoyed trying so many varieties of sushi.  


My friends and I also enjoyed the Green Tea ice-cream there and their Red Bean ice-cream (not pictured) and Chocolate ice-cream was fantastic as well.  


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Bacon Turkey Bravo at Panera Bread and Cherry Danish (My rating: 6/10)

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I haven't cooking anything grand in a while but I did try the Bravo sandwich at Panera Bread. The name is trademarked........Really. Is that even necessary? It wasn't amazing but it was a damn good sandwich for what is was. I ordered asiago cheese focaccia bread and it was delicious. 


I had never tasted focaccia bread before so I had to know how it tasted. They also served me this salty bread (as shown in the first picture) that came as an option choice along with the sandwich and it was horrid. Salt on bread? That is a big no-no for me. As strong tasting as the sandwich was, especially with it's huge hunky cheese slice, I would try to order something different next time around just to change things up.



I also got an offer from Panera for a free danish. This review (http://voices.yahoo.com/review-panera-bread-cherry-danish-style-pastry-2822157.html?cat=51) built my hopes for their cherry danish and I ordered it the next morning for breakfast. It did not live up to its high expectations. 


To me it was a typical pastry: sweet and yummy but not excessively professional. I ordered a pecan pastry from there a later day and I didn't take pictures of the beauty. That was definitely more filling but the cherry danish was more delicious. I suggest you try it if you want a cheery morning. ;)Until next time!


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Butterbeer Frappuccino at Starbucks

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What a perfect drink to go along with reading the HP series! It tasted exactly like how I imagined the butterbeer flavor to taste like. 

It calls for :
-A creme frappuccino base
-Whole milk (A guilty pleasure)
-3 pumps of caramel syrup (2 pumps for a small)
-3 pumps of toffee nut syrup (2 pumps for a small)
-caramel drizzle

This beats my addiction to their green tea frappuccino!


Both pictures are of the same cup of frappuccino but in different lighting. HAHAHA


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A blogging break/July 4th- A Foodie Day

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I hope your July 4th went well. Once again, I ordered the Thai Indonesian Peanut Saute from Noodles and Company. Yummm.



              I also was able to eat green tea ice cream while watching the fireworks. It was pretty nice.



In an unrelated note, I will be taking a blogging break for a while. I think I might start posting less frequently because I will be studying for the MCAT whilst I study for my EMT course. Good luck to you all with your endeavors and thank you for reading my blog!


If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

French Macarons!

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So sure, my french macaroons don't look amazing but they certainly tasted so!! The filling is dulce de leche which you can make by simply by punching in holes into the can of condensed milk and letting it boil in water for about three hours. 


(Check out this link for the how to: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Dulce-De-Leche)


Start off by using a stand mixer to create 3/4 cup of almond powder. Then sift the powder so that it light and has the consistency of flour. (I got the recipe for the macaroons from http://lovelyladycakestv.blogspot.com/2012/04/best-french-macaroons.html) Next, you add 1 cup of powdered sugar to the almond powder. This can be made by putting 1 cup of granulated sugar in the mixer. Now mix the two ingredients together evenly.


Then create your french meringue. This can be done by using two egg whites and putting them in a dry mixing bowl. You can choose to hand whisk them but I prefer using the stand mixer. Add a bit of lemon juice once they foam. Then add 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Add each tablespoon in slowly. 


Wait until you get a stiff peak with your meringue. That means the meringue should be glossy and not slip off the whisk if you hold it in mid air. 


Then fold in the meringue into the mixture until it is evenly spread.   


I used a ziploc bag to pipet coin sized amounts onto the parchment paper. 


Then I let them sit for an hour on the parchment paper before I put them in the oven so that they would have a little more crunch once they were done baking.



YUM YUM!

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Tips to Making Croissants (By revealing my mistakes as a first timer)

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Honestly, I'm not sure if I would try making this again because making croissants can be labor intensive and it can take a few times to get them to be perfect. Although they look good and tasted good, they turned out be more biscuit-like rather than airy and soft....Hmmm. (My dad loved them because they reminded him of a brand of biscuits he used to eat as a kid--Not exactly the reference I was aiming for. ) I looked at quite a few recipes but mainly relied on one from this source: http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/breadandrice/r/croissant_dough.htm. For some reason, this recipe calls for adding the cut up pieces of butter into the dough mixture whereas other recipes required you to make an entire layer of butter and incorporate it into the dough once it was done. I changed my mind and decided to take out the cut up pieces of butter in my flour (as pictured below) and form a sheet out of it (which I didn't take a picture of).

I just have to be honest. This was the first time I made dough using yeast and I forgot common sense. I should have used a mixer to make the dough properly. Yet, I rushed through it because I had time constraints. For some reason, I forgot I would have to knead the dough and then add the butter. BIG MISTAKE. Because the dough wasn't properly made, it kept sticking to the counter while I was folding in the butter. (Here, I added my yeast mixture to the flour.) 

In order to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter, I added A LOT of flour. It was like a hungry monster; it just would not stop sticking until it ate up as much flour as possible. This thickened the dough and turned it into the perfect pre-biscuit paste. 


And so, I refrigerated my pre-biscuit paste overnight. The next day I folded it again to "wake the dough up" and tried to cut them in the shape of isosceles triangles to best of my ability with my dough scraper.

The one on the bottom right was filled with jam. This turned out to be a bad idea because it came out of the croissant and burned quite a lot.


Pictured below was my best croissant. However, once he was done, he came out a bit raw. Most recipes call for you to leave the croissants in the oven between 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Yet I was making biscuit croissants, so that left them pretty under cooked and left me pretty disappointed. I needed an additional 20 minutes!


He looks pretty appetizing here!


It's quite funny how the best tasting one was the one that looked most horried-yes the one that is surrounded by burnt jam. That's because, inside the jam remained its true texture and went well with the biscuit exterior.


I also made a blueberry tart out of the excess dough and it came out delicious!!
 P.S. Don't use baking chocolate to fill your croissants. SMH.

If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!



Rustic Peach Tart

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This tart was so easy to make and I loved it. I followed the recipe from http://www.joyofbaking.com/PeachTart.html 
The recipe calls for the following ingredients: 

Short Crust Pastry:
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams)unsaltedbutter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water

I divided everything by two to achieve one serving size and I simply flattened the dough and put in slices of a peach inside. I didn't add any sugar or anything else and it came out delicious. I set the oven to 425 degrees and left it in there for 30 minutes. YUM! I could have this as breakfast as well!



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Honey Fried Chicken

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The recipe I used came from a book called "Step by Step Chinese Cooking" and it is from the Hawthorn Series. The chicken came out really delicious and I will certainly make this again! First I cut up bite-sized pieces of the chicken (of which you will need about one pound) and marinated it for a few minutes in ginger powder, soy sauce, and "Kick'n Chicken Seasoning" from Weber.  The recipe is for 4-6 servings.



Then I prepared the batter required. I used 1 cup of cornstarch, 2 egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and cold water. You want to mix it so that it is really thick, but no so that there are still clumps of cornstarch lying at the bottom of the bowl. If the mixture is as thin as pancake batter, add more cornstarch to thicken it. 


Next, I took Krissi Biasiell's, a contestant for Master Chef, advice on frying from her cook along. She said she learned from her family to flavor the oil by adding in onions and wait until they turn brown. This way, you can also tell when the oil is hot enough to fry food. 

Mix in your first piece of chicken breast into the batter and slowly add it into the wok. Woks are better for deep frying because you use less oil yet you also have to be very careful working with them if they are wobbly on the stove because you obviously don't want it to spill over.




Add more in until you can't fit any more pieces comfortably within the oil. Turn the pieces over once the edges begin to brown. Cook the pieces of chicken in batches. 


Don't add raw pieces of chicken into the wok until the cooked pieces are removed. To keep the chicken juicy inside, take the pieces out once they turn a golden brown, and don't leave the chicken inside the oil for too long. 


Good job, Chef Blamblam! 




The sauce I made is also from the recipe. It requires 3/4 cup of honey and 2 teaspoons of sweet chili sauce. Tomato chili sauce is fine. Stir it over low heat until warm and pour it over the chicken.   

You can check out my last blog post on how to make the other components of this dish. The other component is Indonesian peanut noodles. The chicken goes well with it! Have fun making this dish! 

If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

Hokkaido's Red Bean Bubble Tea (Except instead of those "bubbles", I ordered jelly) My rating: 9/10

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 Hello, everyone. Welcome to the "What did Taran eat today?" show. Well guys, I have to review Hokkaido because they have fantastic bubble tea that will lift your spirits. I have to say the prices are a bit above what I want to pay for bubble tea drinks. (I paid $3.25 for the drink below.) Yet, every time I order from these guys, I want to come back! The drink made me feel so full that I skipped lunch--and as a foodie, that is hard to do. They have tons of exciting flavors to choose from. I think I'll be their customer even after I graduate from Rutgers University, which is two years from now. If you're in the Easton Avenue neighborhood of New Brunswick, I suggest you should stop by.


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Indonesian Peanut Flavored Noodles (similar to Noodles & Company)

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Let's make some stir fry. Sort of. Yes, this was an attempt to nail the Indonesian peanut noodle meal at Noodles & Company.  


Above is a picture of me eating this dish there and I truly savored it.
No, my homemade dish did not pass the test of my palate. Why? Because I ran out of homemade peanut butter. Next time will be the charm, and I'm sure I will conquer this meal. Let us settle on the present however.  Today's dish is based off the recipe from this website: 

**Edit. I made this dish again, and what I realized was that the sauce needed honey and Sriracha sauce. The recipe doesn't call for it and without the honey, the peanut sauce can seem bland. But if you add about 3/4 cup of honey to the pot, and 2 more teaspoons of Sriracha sauce, the sauce will taste delicious!**


Step 1. Make yo chicken! This is for one serving size. Add vegetable oil, garlic cloves, ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Add a bit of Sriracha chili sauce, soy sauce, and squeeze in one lime. Add yooooo chicken. Wait until it's white and bravo! You are done with the chicken. Wrap it in aluminum foil to keep it hot. 



Step 2. Say the following phrase with a spanish accent please as I prefer it that way: Les végétables. Add your julienne cut carrots, onions, and cut broccoli into the hot vegetable oil. While that is sauteing, create your peanut sauce. USE HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER. Do not be afraid to try making it. All you need to do is peel your peanuts, roast them, throw them into a mixer, add vegetable or peanut oil, a bit of sugar and salt and VAL-LAH. YOU ARE CHEF BLAMBLAM! And once you are done, you will be amazed you just made peanut butter. (Screw JIF!)   





Step 3. Add a bit of chicken broth into the sauce pan. Then throw in that peanut butter you just made at home. Be proud, Chef Blamblam! Add garlic, ginger, sriracha sauce, soy sauce, and hunai (aka honey) and stir with your wand (aka spatula). 




Step 4. Make your noodles...........or use the noodles from a previous dish! Taking the easy way out here, guys.

BLAM! Add it all together and top it off with some sauteed bean sprouts. (Don't let those bean sprouts stay too long in the sauce pan. You want them to be nice and crunchy, not burnt and charry.)


Bon apetit, mi amigo!
If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

 
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