There is no love sincerer than the love of food -George Bernard Shaw

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today I am Craving..

So I lied when I said I would blog about every day that I was in New York. Finals got in my way, then my (completely awesome) birthday, now Christmas, Intersession, no time at all! The delicious food I ate will trickle into upcoming posts.

Like now. I love breakfast, more specifically waffles, and while I was in NY I had two of the greatest-est waffles ever! First was when I was in Union Square Park with Lacey. She took me to a Farmer's market/fair they were having, full of fresh produce, cool booths, and WAFELS AND DINGES!!

What is Wafels and Dinges you say? It is a Belgian waffle truck that makes its way around NY producing delectable waffle-goodness. Dinges ("things" in Belgian) include Nutella, strawberries, walnuts, bananas, maple syrups, spekuloos spread (not sure what that actually is!), and belgian chocolate fudge. I had the "leige" waffle with nutella as my dinge

Soft and chewy, completely delectable. Lacey didn't get one but had a bite of mine, now I think she's definitely on the look out for their bright yellow truck! I love the wafel-o-meter on the side of my wafel holder.

I definitely forgot about sharing.

The second waffle I had I now refer to as the waffle of my life (a little dramatic? yes.). Torrey's sister-in-law Cleia recommended this French bakery by the name of Le Pain Quotidien , and I scurried over to the Upper East Side the morning of Thanksgiving to try it. Not only is it the most adorable little French bakery, complete with a giant communal wooden table and waitress with a strong French accent, but the food is absolutely heavenly! Look at this thing!

Perfect size, perfect crunchy outside with fluffy inside, perfect perfect perfect. Something this good is hard to enjoy because you know eating it will mean that it will be gone! Luckily, Le Pain Quotidien knows how good their waffles are, so they package waffles that you can take home with you! Needless to say I did this wholeheartedly.

Another thing I loved about this place? Order the Belgian hot chocolate, and they bring you a mug of hot milk and a pot of melted Belgian chocolate.

Do it yourself!

Note: Clicking on any restaurant name that I post about will take you to the restaurants website, provided they have one. The Wafels and Dinges site should show you when and where the truck will be heading. Also, I have reviewed most of these restaurants and more on Yelp! If you want to read my reviews and others (never trust just one food opinion!) of these places, the map on the right of my page can take you there. =)

Friday, December 3, 2010



First full day in NY. Ready to party. Torrey set me up with a Metrocard and off we went trying to fit as much city as possible into one day.
Torrey and I ran off to babysit his nephew, and we took advantage of the stroller to take David to Central Park! This had to be my favorite place. Since I'm California-born and raised, Fall does not look like this. Absolutely beautiful.

Now to food. For lunch we looked at ratings online to find a good Italian place, and found what looked like a ravioli restaurant in the Soho area. When we found it, it turned out to be a ravioli store! bummer! The monster that we call my stomach started to get seriously pissed, so we decided to try the restaurant sitting next to the store called Florio's Ristorante. It wa AWESOME. Turns out it was a super authentic little Italian restaurant with the best bread on the planet and full-blown NY Italian accents all over the place. Torrey tried the pesto gnocchi

which was good, but he got sick of the soft texture and proceeded to eat mine instead! I didn't blame him, because I had the rigatoni vodka which was dee-lishh-uss. Sweet, but with some heat to it, perfectly al dente pasta.

Made me happy. I loved that we stumbled upon this place, not to mention it was pretty cheap too!

Having some time to kill, we walked around Soho for a little while and found Washington Square Park.

Then we took the train down to the financial district where we saw some cool sights like the US Court House, Brooklyn Bridge (too lazy to walk across, just up it a little), New York Stock Exchange, and the BULL! Took us a lot of walking to find this guy. Totally worth it!

Later on we met back up with Dan and his friend Dinh in the McDonalds in Times Square so that we could all go to the top of the Rockerfeller Center. This was my FAVORITE thing that I did in NY! There is this crazy room at the top that recognizes each person as they walk in and assigns them a color, which follows you where ever you go! It also reacted to movement so we spent a good half hour trying to figure out this crazy future room!

The guard laughed at our crazy antics lol. We also got some great shots of the view. Amazing.

Day 2= Tired feet, but so happy that this day happend. Saw way too much for one person to take! Plus it was fun entering the future :]]
To be continued...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NEW YORK-Day 1 Here we go...!

So for those who live under a rock, I spent my entire Thanksgiving break in NYC! My older sister Lacey goes to NYU grad school, not to mention her hubby Seth goes to Colombia grad school, and they were amazing enough to invite me out! SO awesome. I had the greatest time eating, shopping, sight-seeing, eating, EATING! I loved being there and hope someday I'll get to go back. But for now I am here, and it is time to blog about it "]


I came in at about 7:30 NY time after my flight from Chicago was delayed two hours!

At least the airport I sat in for so long was pretty! Christmas decorations always make me happy :] So exhausted, I was lucky enough to have Torrey (flew up for Thanksgiving with his brother's fam and to be my personal tour guide ;D ) pick me up from the airport and take me to my sister's apartment. The first thing we did was eat! Lacey took me around the Upper West Side, to a pizza place that I wanted to try called Rigolettos and to Magnolia Bakery, a well-known bakery that she swears by as having the best cupcakes on the planet.

My first slice of NY pizza did not disappoint! I had a spinach and ricotta slice.

LOVED. It was huge and jet-lag curing.

In Orange County there is a great cupcake bakery called Sprinkles that I love, so I was ready to see how Magnolia would hold up to it. Took a bite of the vanilla cupcake and...Sprinkles who? It's difficult to describe the perfect cupcake, I think you just have to eat it for yourself. I can say that what won me over was the frosting, because it wasn't too sweet, giving a good balance between it and a dense cake. I hear rumors of an LA Magnolia, so I'm crossing my fingers for that day to come before Magnolia withdrawals kick in!
not to metion how CUTE their cupcakes are!

Lacey showed me around the area their apartment is in, the Lincoln Center is just a few blocks over, along with a bunch of great restaurants and stores, and the temple! It really is a fantastic area, I'm so jealous that they live in such a great place!

Day 1= Not too eventful since I got in so late, but a great start to my NY adventure! More to come...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mom's Birthday and Manapua Education

Last week was my mom's birthday! I came down to Murrieta to celebrate, and she chose L&L to go out to dinner!

Score! I love the short ribs, soo good, but the PLUS was that I found out they sell MANAPUA. If I had to live on a deserted island for the rest of my life, I would be completely content with nothing more than a lifetime supply of these babies. Steamed,


whatever! For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, its a steamed or baked bun filled with a barbeque pork called char siu. Here's the inside:

(mouthwatering) mmmmmmm! It's called a lot of different names (char siu bao, siopao, bbq pork bun) because each culture has a different version. They are originally a Cantonese dish, so your best chance of finding one is at a Chinese dimsum restaurant. I haven't tried L&L's manapua yet, but I know it will never be as good as the ones I've had in Hawaii. Those little Chinese women at the Chinatown in Honolulu have some magic that no one else can recreate.

ANYWAYS, I baked the cake for my mom's birthday and as always, she is unwavering in her chocolate love! Good thing I have a great recipe that I can always turn to! I wasn't feeling the creativity that I usually do in my cake shapes, but a little came through with the candles!

Haha can u guess how old shes turning?? Hopefully the delicious cake I made will make up for me telling the world :] HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Food Trucks!

Since I've moved to Orange County, I've had a whole new food world opened to me in the form of gourmet food trucks! This trend has really started taking hold in OC and LA counties, where chefs are taking their food directly to their customers. What is so great about these trucks is that you get real quality bites of food for really cheap! I think the food truck fad has really taken hold thanks to Twitter, because trucks tweet where they'll be that week and even if they're running late!

The first one I ate at was the one I had heard the most about, Kogi BBQ.

A sort of Korean/Mexican fusion, they serve items such as short rib tacos and burritos, and kimchi quesadillas. YUM. I've had the short rib and spicy pork tacos, oh man.

There's a sweetness in the cabbage, beansprout, etc. mix that just makes it SO amazing, I can say they have discovered the secret to a perfect taco! The burrito is just as good, but they throw scrambled eggs in it and call it a breakfast burrito. The best part? $2 a taco and $5 a burrito!

I love hunting these trucks down! I've now got a running list of OC and LA trucks that I follow (through their websites, I'm not apart of the tweeting world!), just biding my time until one comes close enough to me to pounce on! Here's a few noteworthy ones that have my mouth watering:

Crepes Bonaparte-

I am a crepe fiend and always will be. This truck sells breakfast, savory, and dessert crepes for less than six bucks each!

Piaggio On Wheels -

An Argentinian cuisine, Yelpers suggest the empanadas, but I've got my eye on the chimichurri fries!

The Dim Sum Truck-

A Los Angeles based truck. Baked BBQ pork buns=manapua=happy Noelle.

Sprinkles Cupcakes Mobile-

The best cupcakes ever, on wheels! They have stores in LA and Newport Beach, but why go to them when they can come to you? TRY THE CARROT.
Happy hunting!

Friday, August 20, 2010


(sorry the picture is sideways, technical difficulties!)

I've made risotto before in my high school Foods class, but I really wanted to prove to myself that I could make it on my own. I like recipes like this were a lot of effort pays off, and making risotto takes a lot of time and patience. Risotto is very versitile, there are tons of different combinations of flavors that risotto can handle, but I made the most basic version to start. Super creamy and yummy :]

from Closet Cooking
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 cup arborio rice (or other medium or short grained rice)
1/2 cup wine
2 cups chicken stock (warm or vegetable broth)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat butter in large sauce pan.
2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter.
5. Add the wine, deglaze the pan and stir while simmering until it is gone.
6. Add 1/2 cup of the stock at a time and stir while simmering until it is gone. Continue until the rice is al dente.
7. Add the parmigiano reggiano and butter and stir to combine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Orange Tea Rolls

Noelle in College Update: College is HARD. Not the school thing, I actually really like my classes. I get a kick out of my Geography courses and especially my professors who either remind me of my Dad or are just grown-up nerds who want to spread their nerd knowledge to the world. It's the living somewhere new, trying to make friends, job searching, and I MISS HARLEY.
This is him missing me too.

I'm warming up to college life slowly, but life is not complete without this needy, swishy jell-O mould of a wiener dog.

Now onto FOOD..

If you ever make anything from my blog, let it be these. I have been lucky enough to grow up near the Hale's family, and whenever Brother Hales visit-taught out family, Sister Hales would bless us with a plate of these scrumptious orange rolls. When our ward put out a cookbook and she graciously gave her recipe to it-SCORE! Now I can make these whenever I want, and believe me, I will make it all the time!(I'm eating a few right after I post this!) They are so ORANGE-Y, and served best straight out of the oven.

Orange Tea Rolls
from Laura Hales

-1 1/4c. milk, scalded
-1/3c sugar
-1/2c oil
-1 tsp salt
-5c flour
-1/4 to 1/3c orange juice
-2 Tbsp orange rind
-2 eggs
-1 package yeast

Glaze ingredients
-1 Tbsp rind
-2 Tbsp orange juice
-1c powdered sugar

Pour the sugar, oil and salt into a bowl. Pour the hot milk over mixture. Add orange juice and rind mix. Add 2 eggs and yeast. Add flour till it makes a soft and sticky dough. Let rise in a well oiled bowl (coat dough by turning in bowl) until double. Punch down. Rest 10 minutes. Roll into golf ball size rolls. Roll the dough out like a snake and tie into a knot. Use flour on your hands as needed. Place onto greased pans. Brush each roll lightly with oil. Let rise. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes After you take it out of the oven, glaze rolls while they're warm with the following.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ceasar Salad Club Sandwich

Noble Pig post, once again. This was posted as a guarantee as the greatest sandwich ever, and I could eat Caesar Salad everyday for years, so making this was a no-brainer. I am not kidding, this is the BEST SANDWICH EVER EVER! Lucky for you that I'm letting you know, because now you don't have to ever make another sandwich for the rest of your life.

Now I am biased due to my love of Caesar, and that every ingredient on this sandwich by itself probably by the bowlful, but man, was this a good sandwich. I don't think I can ever go to a Subway or Quiznos again, unless they will make me this sandwich.

-Panchetta is a non-smoked bacon, and kinda expensive. If you'd prefer the smokey flavor and a little more cash in your pocket, just stick with the bacon.

- The ingredients marked in the {{ }} are to make a Caesar salad type dressing. If your not very ambitious like me, you'll just go buy some Caesar Salad dressing.

Caesar Salad Club Sandwich
from The Noble Pig

Meat from 2 roasted chicken breasts, sliced
4 ounces pancetta
{{2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1-1/2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise }}
1 large ciabatta bread
2 ounces baby arugula
12 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 to 3 ounces Parmesan, shaved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pancetta on a sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes until crispy. When seven minutes are left add the halved ciabatta bread on another sheet pan and toast it cut side up.

To the bowl of a food processor add garlic, parsley, anchovy paste, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and mayonnaise. Process until smooth. (Refrigerate if not using right away.)

Spread the cut sides of the bread with Caesar dressing. Place half the arugula on the bottom piece of bread and then layer in order: the pancetta, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced roast chicken, Parmesan and the rest of the arugula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if you like. Place the top slice of ciabatta on top and cut crosswise.

Devour and enjoy :]

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Snickerdoodle Pie

Noble Pig has some great recipes. This looked delicious, a pie that tastes like a cinnimon-sugar cookie? I had to make it! Though mine was not so beautiful on the outside, the best part is the crunchy bottom of the pie made from raw sugar. This did not last long on the kitchen counter.
Snickerdoodle Pie
From Noble Pig

1 rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust or your favorite homemade pie crust (9")
1 Tablespoon raw sugar or coarse sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup butter plus 1 Tablespoon, divided (some softened, some melted)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons light colored corn syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350o F. Prepare pastry and line 9" pie plate. In a bowl combine raw sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush melted butter over crust. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.

For syrup, in saucepan combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, the water, corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil gently 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside.

In mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar until well combined. Beat in egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in milk until combined. Beat in flour. Spread evenly in crust-lined plate.

Slowly pour syrup over filling in pie plate. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover edges of pie with foil.

Bake pie 25 minutes; carefully remove foil. Bake 20 minutes more or until top is puffed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm.

Fresh Ginger Muffins

Can I put into words how excited I am to move to Fullerton? I don't know if I can! This past week Tyler and I have been to Carlsbad:


and Huntington beaches!

Two out of the three are SUPER close to where I live, Newport is maybe ten minutes or less away! I'm going to get so tan! Now onto Fresh Ginger Muffins!

I got this recipe from the Foods class I took in high school. It's a really interesting recipe, since it uses fresh ginger root, not something I have sitting around my kitchen. Fresh ginger flavor takes me back to all the weird Chinese/Hawaiian food my grandma always had me try as a kid. The ginger and lemon combination is refreshing, and is a good change in my muffin rotation!

Fresh Ginger Muffins
makes apprx. 16 muffins

-A 2-ounce piece unpeeled ginger root
-3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
-2 tablespoons lemon zest with some pith
-1/2 cup butter, room temperature
-2 eggs
-1 cup buttermilk
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoonful salt
-3/4 teaspoonful baking soda

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease 16 muffins pans.

If you have a food processor, process the ginger until it is in tiny pieces. Or, hand chop in into fine pieces. You should have about 1/4 cup. Too much ginger is better than too little.

Put the ginger and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture is hot. Do not walk away from the pan - the sugar will melt quite quickly. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.

Put the lemon zest and 3 tablespoons sugar in the food processor and process until the peel is in small bits. Or, sprinkle the sugar over the zest and chop by hand. Add the zest and sugar mix to the ginger mixture and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter slightly, then add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and mix until blended. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and beat until smooth. Add the lemon-ginger mixture and mix well.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups so that each cup is about 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

P.S. All beach photos were taken by Mr. Tyler Park. I've posted his Flickr account here if you'd like to check out more of his stuff :]

Monday, August 2, 2010

Strawberry Cornmeal Mini Muffins

I love cornbread. I also have a new found love for strawberries, so strawberry cornmeal mini muffins? Perfect.

Strawberry Cornmeal Mini Muffins
Ingredients (24 mini muffins):
From Lululu at Home

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup chopped strawberries


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease mini muffin tin or line with muffin liners.

In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add beaten egg, oil and milk. Stir until just combined.

Reserve some strawberries for garnish on top. Gently fold in remaining strawberries in the batter.

Spoon batter into the muffin tin. Garnish with a few berries on top. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly golden on top.