It didn’t take long before I got tired of cooking for one. It’s only been a week, and my cooking and eating habits have already changed.

Food shopping suddenly became a challenge. For months I’ve been shopping for two and I was finally able to buy produce and other perishables without thinking how I can possibly finish it all before it goes bad. Now, the struggle returns of figuring out what to buy. Can I really eat that many string beans within a week? Can I drink that much milk all by myself?

And then of course is the cooking. I’m super lazy when it comes to feeding myself. Gone are the elaborate dinners. Cooking doesn’t feel like a chore when I’m not always doing it because lucky me, Boyfriend is a great cook. I get pleasure in feeding other people, and it just isn’t the same when I’m cooking for myself all the time.

Arroz ChaufaTonight, however, I decided to treat myself. I must be missing Boyfriend’s home cooking already because I tried cooking his arroz chaufa. Boyfriend’s staple dish is one of my favorite Peruvian home-cooked meals. Ranks high on my list of comfort food favorites.

As Boyfriend’s sous chef when he cooks, the task of making the Peruvian fried rice was relatively easy. It involves a lot of chopping so it can be time-consuming when making a big batch. But since it was just me… I was done in under an hour.

I sent a picture to Boyfriend who says it looks just like the way he makes it, but I still think his tastes better. The only thing I couldn’t get right is the consistency of the rice. It tastes almost right.

That’s one thing I’ve always noticed. It must be my Asian upbringing that just leads me to consistently make rice a little more on the sticky side while Boyfriend’s rice tends to be more loose and grainy.

This is one dish I’ll be trying to perfect until Boyfriend is back home. For now, I’ll be happily eating away the leftovers throughout the week.



0 comments

Tags: , , ,



The Russian Tea Room is an iconic restaurant in New York City. It’s one of those restaurants that you just know by name. My friends (Moz and Loreal) and I finally decided to give RTR a try during the holiday season.

When I think of High Tea, I think of endless delicate finger sandwiches with a pot of good tea. We made sure to eat breakfast early so that we would have empty stomachs for our meal. My friends and I also decided to dress up for the event seeing that it’s not every day that you go to the Russian Tea Room.

We booked reservations for Afternoon Tea on a Saturday afternoon. My first impressions of RTR were great. The dining room was opulent and inviting. Unfortunately, our experience went downhill from there.

I quickly noticed that our server was not very attentive minutes upon sitting down. My friends and I were kind of confused as to how the Afternoon Tea service worked. As our first time at RTR, I would have thought that the service would have been more welcoming. No one really came to explain the menu until our server asked if we were ready to order 10 minutes later.

On the bright side, it wasn’t long until we received our order, but the reason for the speedy service became clear to us as soon as we saw our meal. I should mention that it took another 5-10 minutes for our server to return to explain which finger sandwiches were which. The presentation of the sandwiches on the tiers looked… sparse. The portions were extremely small and I already had doubts as to whether or not the meal would be satisfying.

Tea Service at the Russian Tea Room

Upon the first bite of our sandwiches, we knew that the Russian Tea Room was not going to live up to our expectations. The curried chicken sandwich was extremely dry. The bleu cheese was tasteless. The shrimp sandwich tasted like tuna that came from a can. (Actually, since Loreal has a seafood allergy, she can attest that the shrimp was not fresh because she was able to eat it without any allergic reaction). I doubt that any of the sandwiches were freshly made.

If we thought our first course was disappointing, our second course was even worse. When we got our dessert, we didn’t even want to touch it. The dessert consisted of two chocolates, two cupcakes, and three scones. The scones were warm but I doubt that they were baked on the premises. The chocolate was mediocre. The cupcakes were a mess. It looked like someone had taken off the wax paper off the cupcake and put it on the plate. Clearly they were not freshly baked. I took a bite of each cupcake, a red velvet and a chocolate, and did not bother to finish it. Not worth my calories. Dessert was pitiful.

Moz and the Dessert Course

Red Velvet Cupcake at Russian Tea Room

 

English Breakfast Tea

All things considering, at least the tea should be decent, right? Nope. The tea was extremely weak. I ended up getting the English Breakfast. At first I wondered why my English Breakfast wasn’t served with milk. But once I poured my first cup, I realized it was because the tea was so weak that if I had added milk, it would taste like warm milk and sguar. The tea did not get any stronger the longer I steeped it. When I checked the pot to see the level of my tea, that’s when I noticed that they used a tea bag. Seriously? The Russian Tea Room doesn’t even use fresh tealeaves? Disappointing. To make it even worse, when our dessert round came about, our server did not serve us fresh pots with fresh tea bags. She simply poured even more hot water into our pot of tea. My cup of tea barely had any color in it and I had to ask for a fresh pot.

So the Russian Tea Room has become a tourist trap. For $50 per person for Afternoon Tea, the Russian Tea Room is not worth it. The food was barely edible and the tea was watery. I’ve read reviews where people try to justify the price for being a New York experience, but to be honest, the Russian Tea Room is a poor representation of the culinary experiences that the city has to offer. Save your money.

We’re sticking with Alice’s Tea Cup for our next tea outing. Quality food and tea we can actually trust.



0 comments

Tags: , , , , , ,



I’ve been dying to make some hand pies for a while after seeing so many on Pinterest. I finally got the opportunity last night when I realized I had excess pie crust.

After dreaming of chicken pot pie for the last week, I caved and bought some frozen pre-made pie crust from Trader Joe’s. My pie pan ended up being smaller than 10 inches, so I had just a little extra dough – enough to make 2 small hand pies for dessert. While my pot pie was in the oven, I rerolled the dough and cut them into small circles. I used whatever I had on hand to make a simple and delicious filling: strawberries and Nutella.

Strawberry Nutella Hand Pies

1 package of premade pie crusts (I used the frozen Trader Joe’s pie crust)
1 container of strawberries
1 jar of Nutella
Egg wash (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut dough into circles, approximately 4 inches in diameter.
  3. Slice strawberries, using approximately 2 strawberries per hand pie. Place strawberries in a single layer in the center of your pie crust.
  4. Place a dollop (approx. 1 tablespoon) of Nutella on top of the strawberries.
  5. Use another piece of pie crust to seal the hand pie. Place over the Nutella and strawberries. Use the end of the fork to seal the edges.
  6. Use a knife to cut slits on the top of the pie crust to allow steam to escape.
  7. Once all the hand pies are ready, bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve while warm.

For a more golden finish, you make choose to brush the hand pie with egg wash (I usually use 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon of water) right before baking.



0 comments

Tags: , ,