Tag Archives: Food

Dumpling Obsession

31 May

There are several foods that I just can’t live without. One if them being Guacamole, which you probably know by now since I mention it in every other post!
But now I’m adding a new entry to my list: dumplings.

dumpling collage
I still haven’t figured out what makes them so irresistible to my taste buds. I guess it’s the combination of different flavors without ever being overwhelming.

This obsession of mine took me to a restaurant in Shanghai that everyone praised for having the best dumplings in the city: Din Tai Fung.

dumplings in shanghai
Din Tai Fung is a Chinese/Taiwanese restaurant chain with several restaurants around the world, including the US and Australia. According to their website “The New York Times selected Din Tai Fung as one of the top ten restaurants in the world

They have several locations in Shanghai, but I visited the one in Xintiandi.

spicy dumplings

Although I’m no expert, I can humbly say that these dumplings really live up to their hype. They are light and full of flavor, never overwhelming. It’s like a subtle explosion of flavors.

shrimp dumpling

Tapas on a Hot Shanghainese Night

28 May

Last Wednesday my husband and I were craving some serious Jamon Serrano (Spanish Ham) and Pinchos (a kind of tapas). We have some beautiful and fun memories from all our trips to Spain, but my favorite ones usually involve some kind of gastronomic action ūüėČ

Jamon y queso

Well, since we were in Shanghai for a couple of days, we wanted to eat as much good food as our bodies could handle before coming back to Taizhou and resuming our rice and vegetables diet. It was a painful task but one that had to be done if we wanted to survive until our next visit to Shanghai ūüėČ The result 4 lbs. of extra baggage (not in the right places, as usual!) and a very happy tummy.

tortilla

There are several Spanish restaurants in Shanghai, but I’ve only been to a couple of them: El Willy and La Finca.

El Willy is more of an upscale tapas restaurant, although their website’s “feel” suggests differently (it’s a pretty cool website). It’s located on the Bund, and has a spectacular view of the skyscrapers in Pudong and the Huangpu river. The food is good, especially all the seafood dishes and their amazing black rice paella. The only tapa I didn’t enjoy much was their Patatas Bravas, for they had too much cream/mayo (not sure what it was). I prefer my Patatas Bravas very bravas ;). Overall, El Willy delivers delicious traditional dishes with a twist.

La Finca one the other hand, is a more simple restaurant, nothing too opulent. I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from this restaurant in Xintiandi, but their simple Tortilla Espa√Īola and shrimps with garlic and spicy sauce were delicious. We also ordered some Jamon, but it wasn’t quite what we were expecting, for the meat was a bit tasteless. Their terrace is small but quite welcoming, especially during these hot Shanghai nights!

Camarones

taizhou

Have a great one!

Some Blogs I Like

23 May

It’s been a while since my last entry. I finally managed to get the issue fixed, so I will be able to post more often now ūüôā

Last time I wrote about the Liebster Award that the lovely Monique from A Reel Chick, so kindly nominated me for (Thanks Monique!). As part of this activity I had to answer Monique’s 11 questions, nominate another 11 blogs/bloggers with less than 200 followers, write 11 random facts about myself and create a list of 11 fresh questions for my nominees to answer.

Well, I answered Monique’s questions and shared 11 random facts about myself. You can see the first part of my award acceptance here!

Now, I will share with all of you my newly nominated bloggers/blogs and my list of 11 questions for them to answer.

Let’s start with the wonderful blogs!!

nominees

1) When Judit Bakes… Bread and Better… And When She Bakes Some More
2) Dushonok
3) OMG I DIY
4) The Posh Dish
5) WHATTHEFKH
6) Serendipity Musings
7) Salt&Paper
8) The Pippin Girl
9) More Fun With Ems
10) I Heart Sweet Peas
11) What Katya Does

Congrats!!!

Now, here are my 11 questions for you to answer

1. Why did you start your blog?
2. Where do you find inspiration?
3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
4. How would you best describe your style?
5. 3 places you would like to visit
6. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
7. What are your favorite dishes / food?
8. What kind of music are you listening to lately?
9. Which qualities do you believe every human being should possess?
10. Which has been the best advice you have ever received and which one do you like giving out the most?
11. If you were ever interviewed by a professional reporter, which question would you like to be asked? (it can be on any topic)

Now, this award is somewhat of a peer to peer award, which I think is actually cooler because it helps spread all the LOVE among all of us bloggers ūüėČ

So, here’s what you need to do if you decide to accept this award.
Dedicate one blog entry with the following:
1) Nominate another 11 awesome blogs with less than 200 followers (this is to support and encourage each other)
2) Create a list of 11 questions for them to answer
3) Answer my 11 questions
4) And finally, share 11 random facts about yourself
5) Please don’t forget to give a shot out to the blogger who nominated you, me ūüėČ (thanks in advanced)

You will need to notify your nominees about the award, and they should follow the same steps should they decide to accept the award.

You can also visit Monique’s blog to see how she did it.

This is just a nice way to pay it forward and support each other. If anyone says thanks, but no thanks, it’s totally fine. No pressure. This should be enjoyable and not a shore ūüėČ

PS. Here’s a little reminder ūüėČ Sometimes things can be a bit challenging, but in the end it is always worth it if it’s what you really love doing. Have a great one!

little reminder

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My Recent Craving

10 Apr

My Recent Craving

About a month ago we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Shanghai: Maya.

Maya is one of the three Mexican restaurants I usually go to whenever I crave guacamole and chips (which is ALWAYS!). The other 2 restaurants serve really good authentic Mexican food, but their guacamole isn’t as good as Maya’s.

I grew up in a house where fresh Mexican food was prepared every day (don’t hate me for this ūüėČ ) so I know what Mexican food tastes like. Maya’s dishes are very delicious, but I consider them more like “fusion” food/cuisine. They alter the core dishes in Mexican cuisine and add their own personal touch.

Since I haven’t been to Shanghai in a while, I’ve been deprived of my favorite food for almost a month now. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any avocados in town, so I can’t prepare any guacamole :(. But one of the wonderful things about Mexican cuisine is that you can create so many dishes starting from the same basic ingredients: tomatoes, chile serrano, onions, garlic, pepper, coriander, etc.

Another good thing is that I can find all the above in most local markets here in Taizhou. I think I’ll try to do my own homemade Mexican food and see if I can finally satisfy my cravings ūüôā

PS.: in case you’re interested in learning more about the restaurants I was talking about, here are the links to:
MAYA
http://www.maya-shanghai.com/
MI TIERRA
http://www.mitierrarestaurant.com.cn/
TEOTIHUACAN apparently doesn’t have an active website ūüė¶

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Hold It Together, You Bamboo!

9 Apr

Hold It Together, You Bamboo!

Bamboo is a very versatile plant, indeed. I’ve always liked bamboo as a decorative plant, for it always looks graceful, elegant and green! (plants in my house don’t stay green for too long ūüė¶ )
But it wasn’t until I moved to China that I actually started seeing how this simple plant can tranform into something very useful: furniture, cooking utensils, food (bamboo shoot is very popular here), and can even be used as building material.
The best part is that bamboos are one the fastest growing plants in the world. This is specially important because as you may know, bamboos are very widely used in Asian countries, both as a food source and raw material.
PS. Bamboo is also used in Feng Shui practices. As I said, bamboo is a very versatile plant, indeed.

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Dumplings with Lots of Green

23 Mar

Dumplings with Lots of Green

Everytime I have to prepare a meal is a bit of a challenge. We normally go for some vegetables, noodles or rice and try to avoid eating any meat or fish due to food safety concerns (just last week, more than 16,000 dead pigs were recovered from Shanghai’s Huangpu river). It is also difficult to find the ingredients that we are used to cooking with, such as tomato sauce, cheese, butter, olive oil, and the one that I miss the most, avocado. In bigger cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, you won’t experience this problem, because there are several supermarkets that carry “western” foods.
But, I must admit that after a year living here, I actually started to enjoy local Chinese food. It is nothing like the traditional take out that we are used to in the States. Local Chinese food has more depth and variety; it’s healthier and fresher (when no meat is involved).
Today, I prepared one of my favorites: dumplings!

Fresh Lunch in Bergamo

8 Nov
Several months ago we had the opportunity to visit a restaurant that served food from different towns in the Lombardy region. The restaurant is in our town, Bergamo. As I already mentioned before, Bergamo is divided in two parts: Upper Bergamo and Lower Bergamo. Upper Bergamo is surrounded by Venetian walls built in the 17th century that served as protection during war. Besides being a beautiful and enchanting town, in the summertime it becomes very lively thanks to the many tourists and students from all over the world that choose Bergamo as their summer destination.
So, back in July, we decided to visit Upper Bergamo in search of a nice restaurant. We found a small cozy place called Mimi.¬†We both had a salad drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which in my humble opinion is the perfect dressing. After our healthy salad, we ordered a selection of meats that included: prosciutto crudo (raw ham), salami, speck and coppa. They also offered us some bread stuffed with goat cheese. All the products were from the region and fresh with no preservatives or weird things. Our¬†taste buds¬†were having a party. Each kind of meat had a different texture and richness, but none left you with a weird aftertaste. If you’re carnivore, then you should definitely try these ones. And don’t forget to accompany with a glass of red wine. It’s the perfect combination!

Hope you have a wonderful day !
Lo mismo pero en¬†Espa√Īol:
Hace algunos meses fuimos a comer a un restaurante en la ciudad de Bergamo que sirve comida típica de la región llamada Lombardia en Italia. Bergamo esta dividida en Bergamo Alta y Bergamo Baja. La parte Alta está protegida por una gran muralla veneziana construida en el siglo XVII para proteger a la comunidad que vivía allí en tiempos de guerra. Aparte de ser muy bonita, tiene un gran encanto y en Verano se llena de turistas y de estudiantes que vienen para tomar cursos de verano o a través de programas internacionales. Así que decidimos aprovechar esos días soleados para ir a comer algo fresco, y encontramos este lugar que se llama Mimi.
Comimos una ensalada mixta aderezada con aceite de oliva y vinagre¬†bals√°mico (la mejor¬†combinaci√≥n).¬†Despu√©s¬†ordenamos una¬†selecci√≥n¬†de carnes que¬†inclu√≠an: prosciutto crudo, salame, speck y coppa. Todas¬†ten√≠an¬†un sabor diferente. Para¬†acompa√Īar¬†nos trajeron empanadas rellenas de queso y pan de ajo reci√©n¬†hecho. Todos los productos eran de la¬†regi√≥n¬†y eran naturales (biol√≥gicos) sin conservantes ni cosas¬†extra√Īas. Todo estuvo muy sabroso !¬†As√≠¬†que si tienen la oportunidad de probar este tipo de carnes¬†fr√≠as,¬†h√°ganlo¬†porque les aseguro que no se¬†arrepentir√°n. Y no olvidan¬†acompa√Īar¬†su platillo con una¬†peque√Īa¬†copa de vino tinto, en¬†moderaci√≥n.
Que tengan un gran día !