Friday, May 30, 2014


The Hubs and I use to live in San Francisco and there's this restaurant called San Tung.  It's soooooooooooooo good they always have lines a mile long outside.  They have these insanely delicious deep fried chicken wings coated in this spicy, garlicky sweet sauce.

Now I love chicken wings.. but I absolutely hate frying/deep frying at home.  The house smells gross afterwards and the walls are all sticky and gross!  Bleh!

So this is my recipe for oven fried wings!  


3lb. chicken wings
corn starch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1 large tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp garlic chili paste (less or more depending on how spicy you like it)
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
cooking/baking spray
sesame seeds or green onions (optional this is purely for presentation. I didn't have those things on hand but if you do you should use them it makes it look so much prettier :)

Pre-Heat Oven to 450 degrees F

Bring a pot of water to boil with 1 tbsp of salt

Wash your chicken

You're going to par-boil your chicken wings for 10 min. 

I know this basically goes against everything you've ever learned about cooking chicken but I promise this makes all the difference in the world!

This will help take out the moisture/fat from the chicken skin so it can "crisp" up nicely in the oven later.  This also ensures that your chicken is cooked on the inside (something I'm always afraid of!!). Often times whenever I cook chicken directly in the oven I find that the inside is pink and the outside skin is burned!

While your chicken is par-boiling you can make your chicken dredge.  Put your cornstarch in a plastic sandwich baggy with salt and combine.


 Look at all the oil!

Take your chicken out at around the 10 min. mark

Allow chicken to cool and then pat dry with paper towels (extremely important as this pulls moisture out of the chicken for crispy chicken later on)

Once your chicken is "dried" you can put them in the dredge you made earlier and toss chicken with an even coating.

Line your baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking/baking spray

Line your chicken wings in the pan and bake for 30 min.

After 30 min take your chicken out, flip and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 min.

After you've flipped your chicken for it's last 10-15 min in the oven you can begin your sauce.

Combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and garlic chili paste. 

Simmer and add your sugar.

1 tsp cornstarch to thicken sauce 

(use NEW cornstarch.. don't use the cornstarch you used to dredge the chicken in.. don't want to cross contaminate!!!)

Combine until the cornstarch is evenly dissolved and add into your sauce. 

You'll have to act fast because once you add the cornstarch and allow the sauce to cool it will turn EXTREMELY thick almost like black tar!

Take your chicken out of the oven.

Use tongs and put your chicken in the sauce.

Evenly coat your chicken wings in the sauce!

Repeat until you've coated all of the chicken wings and you're done!

They're so good!!  

Crispy, crunchy, spicy, salty and sweet!! 

They take some extra effort but they're so delicious! 

Now you can obviously use any sauce you want with the oven fried chicken wings Buffalo, Honey, BBQ - the sky's the limit :)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014



And because I'm always looking for great reading material when I travel wanted to share this article I fell upon recently because of Marlene over at Chocolate, Candies & Cookies (LOVE HER BTWS! :)

CHILL by Garance

"It’s fantastic, of course, to see women succeed, to see them heading big companies. It’s great to try to pass on the message that we can “succeed at everything all at once” (have a fulfilling family life, a happy husband, a dream body, a blossoming social life, and a job that challenges us, even if I don’t think this is true, but that’s a subject for another day), and that we shouldn’t be ashamed of having no limits when it comes to dreaming about our careers.

It’s cool to just have an awesome shop without having to turn it into a worldwide chain – Colette is a great example of that, by the way. It’s cool to just be the best neighborhood baker, without necessarily wanting to write thirty cookbooks about it. It’s even cool to not work at all. Come on, what? If you have enough money and you’re happy, why not?"

Some of the article REALLY hit home for me.  I mean to the core.  I think we "accidentally" project our dreams onto others because often times they might be something we want for ourselves.  I've worked all my life (I was so eager beaver I had my parents sign a work permit for me at 15 to start work.)  In college I worked 3 jobs. But since moving to Germany I really struggled with the fact that I was no longer able to work. But not being able to work has allowed me to volunteer my time to the Red Cross & the Military which I've derived great joy and fulfillment from.  It's something I PROBABLY would not have pursued had I been working full time and it's something that I hope to continue to do even after returning to the states and I'm able to work again.

I also struggle with the idea of "being perfect".  Just as the article discusses essentially there's this imaginary "life" check list that we all subscribe to.  We're suppose to be able to check off all of the boxes and look amazing while doing it.  At every point in our lives we're seemingly faced with intense social pressure.  For my single girlfriends it's to get married.  For married girlfriends it's to have children. We always feel like we could be just a little more educated or we need a better car, bigger home (although truthfully The Hubs and I don't necessarily subscribe to the last one having lived in Hawaii, San Francisco and in Europe. Even camping out in tiny hotel rooms w/ two tiny yapping dogs for weeks even months at a time because of the Military.  We've gotten remarkably well adjusted to living in small tight spaces and with the Military it's a fact of life that at some point we'll be moving AGAIN living in a smaller place means less belongings which translates to less things to have to RE-pack and UN-pack.)

But this article serves as a great reminder for me that sometimes while we're juggling all the balls over our heads we shouldn't expect to not occasionally drop one or even a few of the balls and maybe we shouldn't beat ourselves OR each other up over it! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

OOTD: Chevron & Skulls

Jacket: c/o SWELL, Top: MANGO, Jeans: UNIQLO, Boots: HALLHUBER, Handbag: CHANEL

Friday, May 23, 2014


One of the things I fell in love with while living in Hawaii was baked rice dishes!!  They're a blend of East and West.  It's a rice dish usually covered in cheese, gravy or tomato sauce and sometimes all three!  This dish is awesome you can make it with whatever ingredients you have in the fridge.

I've made this exact dish with shrimp and mushrooms before and it was delicious!  

Hubs specifically requested Chicken & Bacon tonight so here we go :)


2 strips of bacon (1 strip per person)
1 onion
4 cups broccoli (you can use less lol!)
1 cup cooked chicken (I bake an entire chicken for the week to make meal prep easier and for the chicken stock)
3 cups leftover refrigerated rice
cooking spray
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp garlic
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup white cheddar
1/4 cup mozzarella (save half for topping at the end)
1/4 cup Parmesan (save half for topping at the end)
1/4 cup furikake

Begin by dicing your bacon and onion into small pieces.

Take a oven proof baking dish and spray with cooking spray.

And now you will begin "layering" your baked rice dish.

Add your LEFT OVER rice.  

The reason you want to use left over refrigerated rice is because it tends to hold up better against the cheese and cream sauce you will put on top.  If you use fresh same day made rice the dish will become too soggy.

Saute your diced bacon and onions.

Season with black pepper. 

(I chose not to salt this dish because you will get plenty of salt from the bacon & cheeses)

Cook bacon until your preferred done-ness.  

People tend to feel very strongly about how "done" they like their bacon.

But don't forget you will be baking the bacon in the oven so you don't want to over cook either!

Then combine your bacon, onion with your broccoli and chicken and mix together.

Then spread evenly over your rice in the baking dish.

Once you're done with the "layers" of your rice dish you can put it to the side.

Pre-Heat oven 400 Degrees F.

And begin your Cheese Sauce.

Add your chicken stock and butter over low heat.

Add your garlic.

Forgot to add this in the ingredients picture at the beginning but you'll also need 1/4 cup milk.

And then you can add in your cheeses. You really can use whatever cheeses you want - you can even just do one type of cheese if you prefer.  I just used what I had in my fridge at the time.  

Add in your cheddar, half of your mozzarella and half of your Parmesan (you'll want to save half for the topping later). 

Make sure you stir, stir, stir!

At about this point I like to add in some cornstarch (sorry forgot to add this in the ingredients picture)  I just realized it was a bit watery as I was making it so I wanted to thicken the sauce.

I pour a little bit of the sauce from the sauce pan into a cup and mix with the cornstarch until it dissolves and then add it back into the cooking cheese sauce.

Don't just add your cornstarch DIRECTLY into the sauce pan it won't dissolve properly and will cause lumps in your sauce.

Stir until everything is completely dissolved and your sauce is thick enough to coat the back of your cooking utensil.

Pour your sauce carefully over your rice dish that you prepared earlier.

Now you'll want to do a foil cover on top of your baking dish.  Doing this prevents the cheese sauce from burning while it's in the oven.  

And then pop it into the oven for 30 mins.

After 30 mins. pull from oven take off foil cover and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese from earlier.

Bake for another 10 min or so just until the Cheese browns you'll want to keep an eye on this depending on your oven it could brown much quicker!

Sprinkle with Furikake for garnish and extra seasoning!

Serve piping hot! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

K-Town Japanese Tea Garden

Chai Latte & Grapefruit Orangina

Matcha & Red Bean Ice Cream Waffle & Matcha Ice Cream

As our time in Europe is winding down.  Hubs and I have been making more of a point to visit some of the "enriching cultural" attractions.  Who knew such a beautiful Japanese garden existed right in the heart of the city center in GERMANY of all places!!

I'm not a photographer by any means but I swear even with my pedestrian amateur skills it's impossible to take mediocre picture in this beautiful garden oasis :).