Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Happy Leap Day!

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I know it’s not a true holiday, but it sure feels like it should be. Today was one of the quietest days at the office, with a surprising number of people leaving early. Tomorrow are primary elections so a lot of kids are home and it’ll likely be another quiet day at the office.

In the future, I hope that I’ll be at a company where we can celebrate Leap Day by encouraging people to get one more day of trying something new. I mean, it’s only once every fortyear…

I celebrated with a colleague by taking advantage of Melting Pot’s $29 4-course deal. We saved over $10 each! It was great to slowly enjoy our meal and chat about all sorts of random things. Wouldn’t it be nice to get an extra day here and there to enjoy quality time with others?

So what did you do on this Leap Day?

A soufflé dining adventure

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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While in Paris, Panda and I were looking for a popular and special place to have dinner. With much searching, he came across Le Soufflé – offering a completely soufflé experience. They had a three-course meal that was all soufflés!

We eagerly walked there after a long day of exploring and stepped inside to a cozy little entry. A gentleman approached and asked if we had a reservation. We did not, so we wondered what the wait would be.

“I’m sorry, we are booked for the rest of the evening,” he told us.

“When’s the next time you have an opening?” we inquired.

“All reservations for the night are taken,” he explained. “You can make a reservation for tomorrow lunch.”

Disappointed, we stepped out and considered our options for our meal. It was past 9 and many restaurants were closing within the hour. We returned to the hotel to get online and search for somewhere else with soufflés.

With little success, we went to ask the concierge. He immediately recommended the restaurant we had been turned away from. We started telling him how they were booked, but he was already dialing their number. At first it seemed like they might give us a reservation, but then he started shaking his head. Fully booked. :-/

So he began calling a variety of other options asking if they at least served dessert soufflé. Finally, one place said yes – but it was not walking distance and we did not want to take a taxi. So as things looked more and more dismal, I was about ready to just eat at the hotel. Then, out of the blue, the concierge tells us we can go to Le Soufflé!

What?! We were confused. Apparently he had called them two more times and they had a cancellation, so we got in! We quickly rushed over the half mile or so to the restaurant and arrived aright round 10.

At first we planned on getting a set each, but upon seeing the size of the soufflés, we decided to share a single three-course meal. It was 37€ so we were happy to save on the cost too.

le souffle contact card with map of location

le souffle free bread, butter, and water to start the meal

We began with bread, butter, and water included in the meal.

le souffle artichoke & haddock appetizer souffle

The appetizer soufflé was the artichoke haddock, with pieces of both. It was very savory with that fish taste and a slight hint of tartness from the artichoke.

le souffle side salad

The side salad came with the first course.

le souffle chicken & mushroom main course souffle

Our main course was the chicken and mushroom. The chicken gravy came separately and we poured it bit by bit as we ate the soufflé. It reminded me of a chicken pot pie (which I had been craving) with a soft, fluffy top rather than a flaky crust.

le souffle chocolate dessert souffle

And to wrap it up was a classic chocolate soufflé, which came with a chocolate sauce to pour in. There was a graininess to it that I quite enjoyed. It was very sweet!

This was a fun dining experience and the meal felt very satisfying, even with such light food. I think ait’s  great thing to try for anyone new to the city. 🙂

October anniversary

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Today Panda and I celebrated our official 6th year together. It’s the first time our anniversary has occurred in October (because it’s the Friday of Zero Week at UCLA), which certainly felt weird. Usually it falls on the last or second to last Friday of September! I had a really busy day at work and tried to leave early, but barely made it out on time. We had our reservation for The Melting Pot at 6 and met there.

melting pot spinach artichoke cheese fondue with bread, chips, vegetables, and fruits for dipping

We started off with the spinach artichoke cheese fondue.

melting pot house salad with house dressing

I got a house salad.

melting pot california salad

He got a California salad.

melting pot entree in mojo cooking style with atlantic salmon, pacific white shrimp, and sauces

Then it was time for the entrees. I got Pacific white shrimp and he got Atlantic salmon.

sixth anniversary gift from the husband

When I returned from the restroom, I found a gift waiting for me! 🙂

I love the way Panda wraps gifts. He always finds some cute piece of paper from an ad or something at home and uses that. This time he carefully chose this design from a calendar! The sides were taped with fun cartoon stickers.

peas in a pod ceramic anniversary gift

What a cute set of chopstick rests and pea pod tray! Hehe.

I wanted to get the current limited edition chocolate fondue with white chocolate, peaches, and almonds, but Panda was full and didn’t want to stay for another course. We compromised by getting a half-dozen box of the chocolate-covered strawberries to go. At home, we opened up the HeatDish he got a Costco a few weeks ago. It’s starting to get cool outside these days. I had to break out my space heater at work, start wearing scarves, and today I even used my heated seats and steering wheel for the first time this season. Fall has arrived and I’m hoping I don’t get sick or freeze.

Din Tai Fung meal review

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While we were in Los Angeles, I wanted to take advantage of the many food options that I love out there. Panda and I agreed to go get dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, which up until just a few years ago only had two locations in the US, both of which were in Arcadia. Last time we’d discovered the brand new location in Glendale, so we decided to head there again. It was much more crowded this time around. I guess people have started to discover this newer location. We waited around 25 minutes for our table and ended up requesting to sit in a different one with a booth seat.

noodles topped with minced pork and cucumber at din tai fung

I was surprised to get this dish first. The minced pork made for a fine topping for the noodles. A really tasty dish, though smaller than I imagined.

vegetable and pork wontons in spicy sauce at din tai fung

This was a new dish for us. Good if you like spicy! It kind of overpowered any meat or veggie flavor though.

hot and sour soup in large bowl for six people at din tai fung

Every time we order this, the waiter informs us it’s meant for 6 people. No biggie, we drank it all.

juicy pork dumplings aka xiao long bao at din tai fung

Erm, we devoured all but one xiao long bao (juicy pork dumplings) before I remembered to get a picture. These are amazing – delicate skin, savory juice, and excellent taste all around.

cucumber appetizer with spicy oil vinagrette at din tai fung

These should have come first, but got forgotten. When I finally got them I could only eat about three pieces. One of my favorite appetizers is some nice cucumber in a tart sauce.

I forgot to get a picture of the pork fried rice that Panda ordered after much of the food arrived. I didn’t have any of it this time, so I don’t know how it tasted anyway.

Service was rather slow and our waitress was a bit absentminded. Not the best experience on that front, but boy is the food wonderful. One of my favorite things about this place is how delicate and fine the ingredients are, especially in the soup! I’ve never seen such thinly-sliced tofu, wood ear, and bamboo shoots. Just the way I love them. I took the leftovers home with me and my mom practically inhaled everything in 10 minutes. It was an awesome meal and I wish there was a DTF somewhere in the DC area so I could enjoy it more.

No more date nights

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Tonight, Panda had a Groupon that was expiring and needed to be used, so we arranged to have a date night dinner. As I headed home, I let him know to get ready and when I arrived, we eagerly headed out. We were both hungry and looking forward to the meal. When we got on the on ramp, Panda commented that he hoped he brought his wallet… and when he went to check, he found he didn’t have it!

plates of dishes from california pizza kitchenWe were instantly brought back to the night when he forgot his wallet on one of the earlier “date nights” we had out here. So there we were, waiting for our food at CPK when Panda realized he hadn’t brought his wallet. At that point, I wasn’t carrying around any sort of purse or wallet with me, so all I had was my phone. We stared at each other in disbelief as it dawned on us that he’d have to drive back to the apartment to retrieve said wallet. I then sat at the table as dish after dish came out. Pretty soon, the waiter started to look at me funny. Where was my dinner partner? Had he just left me?

It was a good 40 minutes before he finally made it back. I’d eaten some of the food, trying to go slow and wait for him. Meanwhile, our date night had become a singles night as we had to spend it apart. So this time when he forgot his wallet again, we were glad that at least I brought mine. Still, I’m never having a date night again. It always seems to mean a missing wallet. 😛

Hello Fresh Week 50 Delivery review

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Has it only been 2 weeks since this delivery? Gosh, so much has happened that it feels like a distant memory. (Interested in trying Hello Fresh? Use my referral code to get $20 off your first order: 9CAMJS)

Hello Fresh is just under $70 per box and comes with 3 meals of 2 servings each. That’s less than $12 per meal serving. Boxes are sent weekly unless you choose to skip (which is very easy to do). They offer a referral code that gives $20 off to both the person you referred and for your next order.

collage of hello fresh steak and brussel sprouts stir-fry recipe card

First up was the least adventurous dish, which we liked because it seemed most filling.

collage of hello fresh steak and brussel sprouts stir-fry ingredients and meal being made

Stir fry is probably my favorite way of cooking, next to baking.

hello fresh steak and brussel sprouts stir-fry dish finished product

Good, solid dish. I never knew I’d actually enjoy my vegetables but frying them helps.

collage of hello fresh chicken quinoa stew recipe card

For lunch on the weekend, we opted for this soup to warm us up.

collage of hello fresh chicken quinoa stew ingredients and meal being made

This whole time I had it in my head it was couscous and not quinoa, oops!

hello fresh chicken quinoa stew dish finished product

A very tasty stew indeed and it felt healthy with the quinoa.

collage of hello fresh chile dusted shrimp wih corn relish recipe card

Finally, we made a lunch out of this too since the portion seemed small for dinner.

collage of hello fresh chile dusted shrimp with corn relish ingredients and meal being made

There was supposed to be an onion, but it got left out. I emailed support and they gave me a $5 credit. I’d say that’s a good deal!

hello fresh chile dusted shrimp with corn relish dish finished product

The contrast of spicy with sweet was very intriguing. Wonder how it would have been with the onion.

I had fun with these dishes and would definitely consider trying them again, though I’d want to incorporate some carbs into the shrimp one.

[This post contains affiliate codes. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

365great Day 24: Korean BBQ

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Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 24: korean bbqAfter a fantastic dinner tonight, I just had to make Korean BBQ today’s 365great. My all-time favorite place to go is Tahoe Galbi because of their delicious salad, sauces, and rice paper. KBBQ in general is awesome for many reasons: first of all, it’s all you can eat (ok, usually)! Secondly, they have wonderful side dishes to go with all the meat you’ll be having. Then there’s the really tasty meats they provide, along with sauces and whatnot to ensure you get the most flavor possible. Plus, it’s pretty fun to grill things up yourself and enjoy the cooking and eating process all in one. Not only are you enjoying a meal, it’s an entire experience. It also helps that you can stuff yourself until you can’t move, if you choose to do so. Between all the wonderful flavors and the fun times, Korean BBQ is the type of dining experience you don’t want to miss – and that’s what makes it great.

Adventures in cooking

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For a period, my cousin and I had to fend for ourselves, so we got into cooking rather than eating out or microwaving. This is what we ate that week…

meal consisting of chicken & snow peas, tomatoes & eggs, rice

Day 1: chicken & snow peas, tomatoes & eggs, rice. The chicken was leftover from my mom’s previous dish.

meal consisting of potato strips, sausage with carrot & snow peas, mung bean jelly, rice

Day 2: potato strips, sausage with carrot & snow peas, mung bean jelly, rice. The jelly is a cold dish.

meal consisting of potato strips, sausage with carrot & peas, tomatoes & eggs, brownie, rice

Day 3: potato strips, sausage with carrot & peas, tomatoes & eggs, brownie, rice. Rice not pictured.

meal consisting of chicken noodle soup, sausage with carrot & spinach, mini quiches, tomatoes & eggs, rice

Day 4: chicken noodle soup, sausage with carrot & spinach, mini quiches, tomatoes & eggs, rice. Soup & quiches from store.

meal consisting of chicken noodle soup, spinach & eggs, mini quiches, rice

Day 5: chicken noodle soup, spinach & eggs, mini quiches, rice. Soup & quiches from store.

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