Friday, September 30, 2011

Meatloaf Mania

Sorry for not posting the last few days. Besides getting called to work at the last minute, I also ruined our dinner on Wednesday by not following the directions. Thus, I had no recipe to post. Anyways I managed to do something right this week and make a DELICIOUS meatloaf. This meatloaf is everything you could ever dream of and easy to make. If there is one recipe you want to try from my blog, I would have to say this would be a good pick! I also made the recipe healthy by not using ground beef for the entire recipe. I used half ground beef and half ground turkey. Looking at the glaze ingredients, I am sure you are thinking to yourself that this is not healthy. However, you put as little or as much glaze on top of your cooked meatloaf at the end. We had tons of leftover glaze! This recipe takes about 30 minutes to prep and the cooking time for the meatloaf is 1 hour 15 minutes. Yield-4-6 people.
Meatloaf Glaze (makes about 2 ¼ cups):
Mix below ingredients together in a pyrex measuring cup & microwave about 2 minutes or enough to make it hot and for sugar to melt:
14 oz bottle ketchup (1½ cups)
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup light-brown sugar (packed)
½ cup water
Meatloaf  (makes 1 loaf)
1 lb of extra lean ground beef + 1 lb of extra lean ground turkey
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 large eggs
¼ cup of italian bread crumbs or 1 slice white bread, torn into tiny pieces
1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon of ground pepper                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, then combine the rest of meatloaf ingredients. 
When the recipe says finely chopped onion here is what I am talking about.
Mix all of the ingredients together with a fork.
Press the mixture into a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan or into a pyrex dish. I put cellophane in the loaf pan and packed the meatloaf in. Then I flipped it onto the pyrex dish. If you do not have a loaf pan you can just form the meatloaf yourself into a log and put in the pyrex dish.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven.
Pour off grease that accumulated in the dish. Brush some of the glaze over the top of the meatloaf. Bake for 30 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Slice the meatloaf then place onto a serving platter and spoon as little or as much glaze as you desire over the top before serving. 
NOTE: There is a bunch of white stuff in the picture. I kept thinking it was fat and could not believe how much fat there was in this supposedly "LEAN" meatloaf. I soon realized after picking at it that it was the ground turkey. DUH!!!
Hint:  The meatloaf is even better the next day, reheated or on a sandwich.  
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

For dinner two nights ago we bought a rotisserie chicken. We knew that we would not be able to finish the whole chicken so I decided to use the leftovers to make chicken salad. When I started looking up recipes online for chicken salad, I found most of them had a bunch of ingredients I did not have. Fortunately I bought celery and grapes when I was at the grocery store so I used these ingredients to create my own chicken salad. It is nothing special but a wonderful change to a turkey sandwich. 
1/2 Rotisserie Chicken (pulled into 1-2 inch pieces)
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/2 cup of red seedless grapes (quartered)
3 Tbsp of light mayonaise
1/4 cup of chopped, toasted walnuts (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Clean and cut 2 ribs of celery into small pieces.
Clean and quarter grapes.
Combine all of the above ingredients together and you got a delicious chicken salad.
TIP-toast your bread before you place the chicken salad on it.
My apologies for the poor photo quality in the above picture. I actually took a picture of the chopped celery and grapes with my husband's I-phone. Unfortunately, they mysteriously disappeared when he was trying to update his address book. I hope to upgrade my phone one of these days.
Yes it's true that I have an old, ancient flip phone with no internet.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Emirates Air-A Class of It's Own

Our trip has come to an end. However I wanted to share with you our flying experience aboard our Emirates flights from Bangkok to Dubai and Dubai to Houston. We were treated as if we were flying first class. When you board the airplane, you are handed a refreshing cold towel to wash your hands and face. Then the flight attendants give you a menu of the meal or meals being served during the flight. Below is a picture of the economy class aboard the famed Airbus A380, the largest passenger airliner in the world. The entire plane is a double decker. We flew on this unbelievably massive aircraft from Bangkok to Dubai. First class and business class are located on the upper deck. Unfortunately we were not allowed to go up there but the passenger who sat next to me told me all about it. He flies on Emirates all the time and has sat first class on this particular plane. He said if you sit in first class, you have your OWN ROOM and there are 2 showers and jacuzzi's available for first class passengers to use. Can you imagine a shower/jacuzzi on an airplane??? CRAZY. In the picture below, please note the flight attendant in the background. The flight attendant's wore these cute red hats with white scarves attached to them. It is hard to see but you can see the back of the hat. I was trying to not be creepy by taking a photo of her.

Our flight from Dubai to Houston was not full so we each got to have a row of seats to ourself. Unfortunately we did not fly on the A380 back to the states. Instead we flew on another huge airplane, the 777, but it did not compare in size to the A380. Either way, we were lucky that the flight was not full and we each got to lay across all of the seats and actually sleep. 

After we got our cold towels and menus, we were then given a zippered pouch with an eye mask, socks and toothbrush for the 16 hour flight.

Because this was an international flight, all alcoholic drinks were free (except champagne). This is true for most airlines who fly internationally. However, the majority of the airlines do not give you Absolut Vodka as their house vodka. Emirates does though!!!! They gave Adam all the works for a blood mary: tabasco, worcestershire sauce, tomato juice, salt and pepper.  
Every seat is equipped with a large television. These televisions are comparable to the televisions on Jet Blue but imagine the screen two times bigger! Each television had over 100 movies you could watch. The remote could also be used as a telephone to call someone else's seat or you could use it as an actual phone for $5 a minute.

Emirates airlines is Arab-owned and is based out of Dubai. If you ever have the option to go on this airline, do not pass it up! That completes our trip! For those of you who are sick of my travel posts, I shall return to cooking this week so keep checking back for some fun fall recipes!
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Look who's famous now!

The newest celebrity chef makes a cameo...

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Bangokok-Unexpected Ending

Let me begin by saying our last day did not end the way we expected! We started our day going to BKK bagelry for breakfast. Two weeks without a bagel is out of the norm for me. Conveniently this bagel shop was walking distance to Central World, the biggest shopping center in southeast Asia! This mall was 7 floors and massive. Disappointedly I found nothing at Uniqlo. Adam and I went in and out of stores for five+ hours and I left with one necklace. Better luck next time but this mall was impressive.
We ate lunch at an awesome chinese restaurant, Din Tai Fung. This restaurant started in Hong Kong and has been recognized as having the word's best dumplings! They were indeed some of the best dumplings I have ever had. They reminded me of the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai in NY for those of you who are familiar with that restaurant. Dad, I took a picture of the dumplings just for you (FYI- he despises dumplings and refuses to taste them!)!
After we finished shopping we went to the movies at the mall! This was not just any movie experience. There is assigned seating and different classes of tickets you can buy for the movie. Adam said that since we cannot afford first class airplane tickets he would buy me first class movie tickets. What a trade off although this was quite an experience. We were led down a red carpet to a beautiful lounge where we enjoyed a large assortment of freshly prepared hors d'oeuvres, included in the price of our $24 movie ticket! We had fifteen minutes to eat as much as we could before we were led to our red velvet couch. We were given blankets and the couch had a call button if we wanted to order anything during the movie. They gave us each a huge basket of BBQ (my favorite), sweet and salty popcorn. We saw the new Sarah Jessica Parker movie which was okay but definitely not a movie for guys! Below is a picture of Adam in the lounge in front of all the food!
Our day quickly came to an end when we got back to the hotel to find there was a typhoon in Japan and our flight home on Thursday had already been cancelled. No direct flights exist from Bangkok to the US hence we had to connect in Japan. After having a 5 minute panic attack, Adam and I called Continental to figure this mess out. We were on the phone for three straight hours. I think our breaking point was when our call dropped two hours after speaking with one agent. Luckily that agent had typed everything into the computer so all was not lost when our call dropped. While on the phone, Adam and I searched every possible flight that they could rebook us on. Since they cancelled our flight they had an obligation to rebook us. We did have trip insurance so we would have had to use this if they could not rebook us. We could not postpone our trip even for one day because Adam had to work on Saturday. 

We found a flight on Emirates airlines from Bangkok to Dubai and Dubai to Houston. The catch was that the flight left at 1am and it was 8pm when we were trying to arrange this. After lots of pleading then waiting to hear if Continental could book us on this other airline, the agent asked us if we were vegetarian!? We knew this was a good sign because she said Emirates airlines was asking which meant they wanted to ensure we got a meal on the plane!! After thirty hours of traveling, we made it home safely. Flying on Emirates airlines was an unbelievable experience and is worthy of its own blog stay tuned! Ha ha! I can say though it made thirty hours of traveling seem effortless. Our trip to Thailand was incredible so if you are thinking about going, GO!!!! Below is a preview of my post to come about the world's greatest airlines, EMIRATES!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bangkok-Final Days

Just to amuse everyone who has made fun of all my airport and airplane food posts, I will post one more! On our fifty minute flight from Samui to Bangkok at 10:30am, we were given another beautiful meal tray. This "light" meal as Bangkok Airways described it consisted of plain yogurt with green apple sauce, sausage and cheese kolache and a muffin. Don't worry this was my second breakfast of the day!

We took a hot pink taxi to our hotel, On 8. This hotel is owned by the guy who is making Adam's suit. We opted to stay here because of its convenience to Raja's Fashions. Adam had another fitting today as well as one tomorrow. He was so happy with the finished product that he ordered another blazer and pair of slacks! They assured us it would be done within 24 hours. After Adam's last fitting tomorrow they will make the final adjustments and deliver it to our hotel tomorrow evening.

Afterwards we went to the Jim Thompson silk outlet store where I found nothing. Oh well! Then Adam and I changed clothes and went to this fancy rooftop bar for sunset for some stunning views of Bangkok. This bar, Sirocco, is located in the State Tower. It is known to most people as the place where Hangover 2 was filmed!

We ended our day at Khao San Road! This is the area where all the hippies stay. Every night they have a night market filled with the same stuff as the other markets. We also went to the "fish spa" which was the weirdest thing I have ever experienced. Adam literally jumped and a few fish flew out of the tank when he first put his feet in. His expressions were priceless.

Adam decided to put his hands in the tank when the guy was not looking!

They claim the fish eat all of your dead skin and leave your skin feeling very soft! I am not sure this is 100% true but my legs did feel soft but I also had shaved today! Ha! Our half day in Bangkok was quite busy. I can't wait to hit up Uniqlo tomorrow for my fall wardrobe!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Koh Samui-Last Day

We had a rather exciting day yesterday. We booked a tour through the company, 100 Degrees, where we visited Anthong Marine Park. This Marine park consists of 42 islands and is what the movie, The Beach, is based on. After signing a few release forms, we were on our way via boat with our group of 10 from India and the UK! The tour consisted of snorkeling, kayaking and visiting Emerald Lake. The tour guides and Adam and myself could not stop laughing because half of the group from India had never swam before! Who books a tour to go snorkeling if you have never gone swimming before? They tried to get in the water with life vests but that did not work out so well. Needless to say they ended up staying in the boat all day. Snorkeling was cool. I can't say it was my best snorkeling experience ever because it was overcast so the visibility in that water was not perfectly clear. We did get to see unbelievable schools of fish in the caves we snorkeled to. Besides that, it was very exhausting. We then took the boat to Emerald Lake. I think you will know what I am talking about when you see the picture below.

View of the different islands from Emerald Lake.

After visiting Emerald Island, we went to a private beach for lunch. Lunch included steamed rice, fried chicken, massaman curry and some stir fried vegetables. I am still not sure how they heated the food up because I never saw a microwave or stovetop in the boat. Either way it was very good!

We ended our day kayaking. Adam and I have kayaked before but this was definitely the most challenging. We were fighting the wind so when we tried to steer one way it would blow us the other. A few curse words later and we finally made it back to shore! Besides kayaking, the boat ride home was the most adventurous and nerve wracking part of the day. Of course a storm that was looming all day had to hit on our boat ride home! Keep in mind the boat ride to the islands took one hour! It was windy, pouring down rain and the waves had become treacherous. We all gathered in the back of the boat and luckily I did not get sea sick. One girl was not so lucky. We finally made it back to shore and there was a huge sigh of relief amongst everyone. Sorry there are no pictures to commemorate this part of the trip. When the rain finally stopped a few hours later, we managed to make to dinner at a nice restaurant named Prego. This was definitely the best pizza we had during our entire trip in Thailand. We actually had pizza the night before but I did not blog about it because it was just fair. This pizza was great though!

Overall we are very lucky it only rained one day during our stay at the beach. We loved Samui and leaving here means our vacation is coming to an end. Off to Bangkok tomorrow!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Koh Samui

As you can see life is really tough here!

The most eventful part of our day was trying fish eggs! Adam ordered grilled bunkayaki salmon (whatever that is) for lunch today. The presentation was phenomenal but what I thought was passion fruit on top of the salmon turned out to be fish eggs! Of course I had the first bite of Adam's lunch so he did not have to experience this nastiness! We scraped off the fish eggs and Adam ate the salmon plain. Yuck!

Just when we thought life could not get any did! I know my cheesiness is killing some of you! Ha ha! We took a private Thai cooking class at this restaurant, Chef's Table, which is located at the Sareeraya Hotel! We first booked our cooking class at this culinary school but later cancelled our reservations when we saw this place advertise a cooking class! We got to choose three dishes to cook and we chose chicken satay, spicy prawn Tom yum soup and pad Thai with prawns! I will not bore you with how to cook each of these as I will save that for when I get home and actually try to replicate these dishes myself!

Making the chicken satay!

Adam working his magic!

I got my first apron (ever!) and they presented us with cooking books and certificates of achievement!

This is our table with all of our yummy dishes! This was definitely some of the best pad Thai we have ever had! Most of the pad thai's here have a dried shrimp powder in them which gives the pad Thai a particularly fishy taste that neither Adam nor I like. After the chef described to us all of the ingredients, we opted against using the dry shrimp powder and our pad Thai turned out great!

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Koh Samui-Heaven on Earth

Life is good. We did a whole bunch of nothing today! I can see why this beach is considered one of the prettiest in the world! White sand beach, crystal clear water, and unbelievable weather. It does not get better than this! I don't think we will need to take our grandmother's advice-"If you see some big waves coming toward you, turn around and run as fast as you can!" I predict the chances of a tsunami coming as a big fat zero!

We decided to eat an American lunch at the hotel next to us! It consisted of a buffalo chicken wrap, french fries and a refreshing mini salad! It was delightful!

We enjoyed lunch so much at the Sareeraya Hotel, that we returned for their happy hour (after ours ended). Buy one get one free! I got the passion fruit mojito and Adam got an "At her" which is tequila, peppermint liqueur, mango, mango juice and mint leaves!

Last night we took a cab to Bophut, another part of the island where the W hotel and a few other nice resorts are located! Every Friday night there is a night market so that was going on when we arrived! We had to walk through the market to get to the restaurant where we had reservations! This restaurant, The Shack, is known for their steaks! The owner who is originally from New York must be rolling in the dough because there was not an empty seat in the place and the prices were what you would pay back in the states for a good steak dinner. The filet we ordered hit the spot! For what this place charges for a steak, they need to invest in an air conditioner!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Travel Day-Koh Samui

Today we flew on the only nonstop flight from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui! Lunch on our Bangkok Airways flight was delicious as expected. Adam also ordered the movie, Man on a Wire, from itunes which was very good. I can't believe I never saw this movie when it was in theaters in 2008! We arrived to Samui's open aired airport which was so charming! We got to take these decorated trams from the airplane to the baggage claim!

Then we arrived to our trendy hotel, The Akyra, that just opened this past June! Our room was everything I expected plus more! We wanted to upgrade to an ocean view room however the hotel said they were fully booked for the next two months! I am glad we didn't upgrade because we actually have a partial ocean view from our room now and our room is in the quieter section of the hotel!

Adam and I took a leisurely stroll along the beach and got happy hour drinks at the bar next door to our hotel!

The sunset here was absolutely stunning!

Of course Adam could not resist getting in the pool to watch the sunset! I sat on the sidelines and watched it from my lounge chair!

Adam was mad I did not post this picture yesterday. Enough said. Hope y'all find this as humorous as Adam! He got videos of it! Sick!!! Beach day tomorrow-hallelujah!

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