Category Archives: Uncategorized

What a Concept…

I tried making the roasted chickpeas again a couple of weeks later in late October. This time, I baked them ~10 minutes (maybe 15) longer than stated on the recipe. They turned out crunchier and kept their crunch days later. 🙂

Crunchier Roasted Chickpeas!

“Who Am I? Why Am I Here?”

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Confuzzled cookie is confuzzled…

a.k.a … A Fine Fine Line part two.

A couple of people passed along Food Asshole’s Dilemma yesterday; hat tips go out to my friend Blair and @casaveneracion for passing the post along. Suffice it to say, I got a good belly laugh out of it, and I’d really love to see the book. 😉

Seeing this post and Floreakeats’ subsequent post revival still raised a bunch of questions in my mind last night, mostly because I’m still a padwan in this adventure we call food fandom.

  • Was ‘foodie’ ever a positive term?
  • When did ‘foodie’ get co-opted by the food snobs/food assholes of the world, if it did? I have a different feeling about the term (as likely shown in “…A Fine Fine Line”), but I easily may be conflating things.
  • Should we food enthusiasts/geeks try to take it back?
  • What should we call ourselves instead? – Personally, I’d reserve gastronome for someone like Floreakeats, who has a bit more related formal education than this home cook and shutterbug Hapa does, but that’s just my gut talking.
  • Should I just go ‘Eh, it’s just a label’ and enjoy the ride?

Not earth-shattering thoughts and questions in the grand scheme of things, I know. I probably should take a cue from many academic article findings sections I’ve seen; “We still need to perform more research on this topic.”  I’d still like to see what y’all think, though.

Postscript: Personally, I feel I’m here to share my love of food and photography. Yes. I’m slack with my updates. I am definitely an amateur on both counts, and by no means do I consider myself a pro. I still have plenty to learn about both, and heaven forbid that I stop learning. I do this for the fun of it. If you don’t like what I do, you are more than free to mosey on down to another blog. To each his/her own.

Yes, even as a Hapa, I jokingly embrace the Asian stereotype of being an obsessive photographer — especially of food. I’m still half-Asian, after all. 

Edit: Come to think of it, I don’t really do selfies. Don’t worry, I’m not about to start doing so.

Hey! Council! Leave Them Trucks Alone!

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Seen on 14th Street NW, between New York Avenue, NW and G Street, NW

HPT: Why don’t you think we have a vibrant street food culture in the U.S.?

AB: There’s a huge hunger for it, there’s no doubt about that. I think some communities have embraced it and celebrated their more forward-thinking innovators. San Francisco has been cool, they’ve seen it as an instrument of social change by empowering immigrant communities. Portland, Oregon has embraced it, Austin, Texas, has a really interesting street food culture. Some places like New York have really resisted. They’ve fought it tooth and nail and see it as a threat to brick and mortar restaurants. It’s also a generational thing in a way. They don’t want hipsters lined up outside their doors. It’s the “get off my lawn” factor.

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/18/anthony-bourdain-talks-street-food-parts-unknown_n_3100698.html

Given he’s a major proponent of street food and given his trademark candor, I would not be surprised if he said something to this effect as well, but I cannot source this quotation:

“You cannot claim to be a world class culinary city without a thriving/vibrant street food culture.”

Like or hate Tony Bourdain, and even if that second quote wasn’t his, I believe both quotes are correct.

The D.C. government is definitely taking a cue from NYC. Proposed zone regulations place severe restrictions on where food trucks can serve customers, including:

*Forcing food trucks into a limited number of lottery-assigned locations at popular food truck destinations;
* Banning food trucks within 500 feet of lottery-assigned spaces;
* Banning food trucks where there is less than 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk.

Sources: http://www.dcfoodtrucks.org/, DC DCRA

Ultimately, you block out a lot places for food trucks to congregate.  Never mind that last bullet point is pretty darned vague.

As a result, D.C. food trucks protested the proposed regulations at Farragut Square a few days ago by showing up but not opening their windows. The regulation hearing is slated to be on Friday.

Glad to see some area restaurateurs, businesses, ANC Commissioners, and (holy cow!) Andrew Zimmern lending their support. Glad to know many of the public comments oppose these proposals.  I’m also heartened to see support from the Washington Post Editorial Board  and Greater Greater Washington.

Health and safety regulations make sense, but to my knowledge the trucks already submit to inspections and have to maintain a basic level of safety in order to vend. Closing the sales tax loophole also made a lot of sense, and they have collected food sales tax for a while now. They do not block traffic at the two sites where I typically visit them. By the way, reaching a good variety of brick and mortar choices AND eating that food within a 30 minute limit is a bit of a stretch for one of those sites. Those of you who frequent trucks at other locations let me know if that’s not the case, though.

These proposed zone regulations look to choke off a now vibrant part of D.C.’s food culture. Food trucks bring revenue to the city — and not just by charging sales tax!  They give consumers choice, especially important in areas of the city that might not have a wealth of places to go to in a short amount of time like the second location I described. In my opinion, the zone regulations are a solution looking for a problem; it is revenue killing and food culture killing micromanagement.

Yes, I live just outside the D.C. border and work in the city. I’m sure some of you reading this are probably ready to dismiss my opinion because my payroll and property taxes do not go to D.C. (I’m a renter, besides). I gladly visit the brick and mortars when I can, and I also do a bit of shopping in D.C. proper. I live close enough that I’m in Maryland one minute and walk into DC within 15. Some stores and restaurants are also convenient to work. I don’t grumble at the 10% food sales tax even though I grew up with a 4-6% one in S.C.; I know it’s been in place since I’ve visited here on school trips.

D.C. Council, I urge you to let the food truckers keep on trucking. I understand the need for sensible regulations. These zone proposals are far from sensible, though, and only serve to stop the city’s food trucks in their tracks.  Arlington’s loosening their food truck regulations. You don’t want all that revenue going to Virginia, do you?

Food truck photos:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabine01/sets/72157625447596695/ .

Blackout: In Solidarity

Cropped a little to be less confusing (you can’t follow the link on the original image). You can access the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance Page here or by clicking on the graphic .

You’ re right, this blog isn’t produced in the Philippines. I know I am also primarily a food blogger with a library blog on the side. Yes. Both blogs need a little more attention.

While the US is not directly affected by this, I’m blacking out …Shot the Food for a little bit in solidarity. Here’s why:

  • This law affects family and friends in the Philippines.
  • A decent amount of my readership (at least according to site stats) hails from the Philippines.
  • Although I am primarily a food/photography blogger, I am an information professional by trade. Information policy is one of my interests.
  • I am still not a fan of the state cyberlaw is in… in the U.S. and elsewhere. I care about balance.
  • The potential for abuse is great. As written, the provisions of the law are overbroad. One can potentially be jailed in my birth country for a “share”, “like”, or a “retweet”. Without due process of the law.

If you know any Filipinos, please pass this as well as the below articles with impunity… This recently-passed law is much  worse than SOPA/PIPA. The articles cover why very well.

From Interaksyon: ANALYSIS | How the Cybercrime Law criminalizes ‘Likes’ and tweets
From GMA News: Digital Martial Law: 10 scary things about the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

Update: We’ll be back to your regular programming sometime this weekend.

DC Restaurant Week (August 2011): Oyamel

Oyamel Entrance

This week’s DC’s Summer Restaurant Week, a week where one can enjoy a prix-fixe multi-course lunch or dinner at over 200 DC area restaurants. Dork, Gungy, DanGr (possibly), and I will be heading over to Chef Geoff’s Downtown on Wednesday evening.

Until I get those shots up, let me share the shots from last year’s RW outing at Jose AndresOyamel.

For the life of me, I cannot remember why Moonshoes, Dork, and I had a long wait that night (only that my feet hurt a lot by the time we sat down. I was trying to break in my wedding heels). I also cannot remember every single detail one year later (e.g. who had what, certain taste elements) only that the meal was top notch and well worth our wait.

Thankfully, I tagged and labeled my photos from this meal, which will help me a lot with this post.

Here’s a shot of their drink menu. Loved the carved butterflies.

Drink Menu

Since I took a lot of photos that night, though, they will be behind a jump.

Read the rest of this entry

Bacon Candy: Brown Sugar Bacon

Brown Sugar Bacon (Closer)

Don’t get me wrong…I like bacon made without any accoutrements. I like my bacon almost as much as I like my chocolate (and most of you who know me know I’m a huge chocoholic), but I wanted to try my hand at brown sugar bacon last weekend.

Here’s how the prep and cooking went down. I used a very simple recipe found on the Food Network.

Brown Sugar Bacon

from Party Line with the Hearty Boys on foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound thick cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar

Directions: (no jump this time since there are only three other pics).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lay the bacon out side by side, overlapping just a bit, if necessary, to fit the whole package on the pan. Aluminum foil (and the Silpats) were all I had on hand, though…

Bacon w/ Brown Sugar (before baking)

Sprinkle with the brown sugar and place the pan on the top rack of the oven.

Bacon w/ Brown Sugar (closer, before baking)

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the bacon is nicely browned and slightly crispy. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Here’s how the bacon looked after all the grease had been drained and blotted dry with paper towels. When all is said and done, you still have a sheen/shimmer going on.

Brown Sugar Bacon

While regular bacon is delicious on its own, adding brown sugar adds sweetness to bacon’s smokiness, making for a very delicious morsel. I love the interplay of sweet *and* salty as well. I won’t do this all the time I have bacon, but I appreciate having some bacon candy every now and again. Now that I have the basics down, I can also play with the recipe/prep a little.

Eat Your Veggies: Honey Glazed Carrots

Finished Glazed Baby Carrots

Carrots are a veggie that DanGr and I can generally agree on (to his credit, his palate is expanding in leaps and bounds). It is also one of the few veggies his much more pickier dad will eat.  Generally, we eat carrots steamed with no other accompaniments. I’ll even go for raw — either way, they already have a natural hint of sweetness to them. We’ll often use this recipe for special occasions or for potluck dinners, like the one we went to Friday night.

Honey Glazed Carrots

from Sunny Anderson @ foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

  • salt
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper (Hapa note: season to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions and (more or less) step-by-step shots after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry

More Toffee and Chocolate: Toffee Crunch Blondies

Toffee Crunch Blondies (Closer)

As promised, this is the second of two toffee-chocolate dessert recipes I will be posting.  Enjoy!

Toffee Crunch Blondies

from The Canadian Baker

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg (200 g) Skor bits
    (Hapa note: Heath bits work as well…)

Directions and (somewhat) step-by-step pics behind the jump.
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Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been sequestered in my apartment for the past week, mostly catching up on projects at home and episodes of Man v. Food (the only episodes I have not seen now are the clip-based episodes, as they are not included with the DVDs). And of course, it’s about time I caught up with this blog.

This blog started with a cookie recipe… might as well restart it with one.

Most who know me know quite well that I’m an unrepentant chocoholic. I’m also a fan of toffee. When combined, they make a very happy hapa. The next two posts are going to feature desserts that combine the two.

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Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

from How To: Simplify

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (Hapa note: The cookie will be equally yummy with light. Use what you have).
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Heath Bar bits

Directions and (almost) step-by-step shots under the jump (Shots spliced from two different baking sessions).
Read the rest of this entry

Just a Leeeeetle Shameless…

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Yo, Whaddup?

I’m now a panelist on a group blog called SnarkFood. I will be passing along little Food Network/Celebrity Chef silliness I (or others) find on the internets. I will also blog on panelists’ common foodventures or visits to places that have been featured on various food/travel shows. Don’t be surprised if there’s some simulcasting going on (like in the next post)…