Mongolian Cooking

We went to a newly-opened Mongolian restaurant while in San Diego – I think it was newly-opened, it was looking kind of bare.  Or maybe that’s the in-trend decor for restaurants – high, bare ceilings, and minimal decor all around.

It wasn’t the usual buffet-style Mongolian meals that we usually see, where you pick your ingredients from the display and the chef puts it all together to cook for you.  We had to choose the ingredients from a menu, and then they bring everything to the table, and you cook.  lol  For some reason, choosing ingredients from the menu confused us, and so we asked the server to help us out.

This is what we apparently chose – vegetables, shrimp, noodles ….


… slices of beef and pork … and a big pot of broth to cook everything in.


I liked the “ying-yang” pot.  I suppose that if there were two diners eating, each would have their own side to cook.  In our case, since there were three of us, one side was a regular broth, and the other side was the spicy broth.  So the guys cooked their meal in the spicy broth, and I had the other one all to myself 🙂

The meal was filling enough, with the noodles all mixed in.  I think too that slowing down and waiting for the meats to cook helped slow down the urge to eat fast and fill up quickly.

And now that we’ve experienced this, maybe next time we won’t look like total clueless klutzes when we order and cook at the table! 🙂


Spicy Chocolate !

Ummm … no.


And I will definitely not be eating that chocolate.

And I can’t believe they actually have a whole store dedicated to all things hot and spicy … bottles of ghost pepper extracts and mixes, and other variations.

Hubby picked up a bottle of the Carolina Reaper, said to be the spiciest pepper in the world right now, see-sawing with the Scorpion pepper – which we have already, being that it’s from Trinidad and Tobago.  He can get those at any time, and he says it’s the best, because even if it is super spicy, it brings out the flavours of the food, and enhances the taste.  I don’t think he’s tried the Carolina Reaper yet, probably waiting for the right time and cuisine to eat it with.

Me?  I stay away from those.  Just catching a whiff of it will clear my nose and send me into a coughing fit.  A micro-drop to give a little zing to the food is enough.  But if it’s at the point that it burns my tongue and I don’t taste food any more, then sorry.  The dinner can be made by a master chef, and I won’t even touch it.  Because, really – how does one enjoy food and eating if your tongue and throat is burning?  I don’t understand that, but to each his own.

How about you?  How much spicy pepper can you take?





New Runnings

New experiences … outdoor track meets.

Tin participated in the winter indoor track, to keep in shape since his soccer team wasn’t playing much last year.  Turned out that many of the athletes were also filling in the time by running.

Well, it turned out that Tin liked running.  He was fast, and could hold his own.  And of course, there was the challenge of catching that other runner ahead of him.

Our first outdoor meet turned out nice, weather-wise.  A little breezy, but the sun was out, and it was warm.

High-tech running shoes … See that dial on the sides?  That’s to tighten the wire-thin ‘laces’.  They looked more like strips of nylon thread.  Dial right to tighten the laces; pull it out to ‘undo’ the laces.  High-tech indeed.

The next day, he had a soccer game.  Again, warm weather.  Dare we hope that spring is really staying?

And of course, after the game, the boys were hungry.  And while walking on the sidewalk, they came upon a vendor selling icees and fresh mango – so they got two bags of pickled mango.

Yes … spring and summer are here …


Harlem Eat-Up

A late post .. .the Harlem Eat-up was held last May, and since we had a soccer-free weekend, I told the boys that we should go into the city and see what this Eat-Up was about.

This was the second year the event was held, and from the photos from last year’s event, it looked like this was something good to check out.  And of course .. food!!  Who can’t resist a free tasting, specially from well-known chefs and eating establishments?

So off we went on a day-trip to the city …


The premise is that you would be able to taste samples of dishes from the participating restaurants and eateries, get to meet some of the guest chefs, have a glass of wine as you walked around … Sounds good, right?  We stood in line, and found out that we were in the ‘paid’ line.  If we didn’t want to pay, the other side of the area was the free zone that we could walk around.  Well, since none of us drink alcohol, we thought that paying $80 for taste samples was a bit too much, because even if we ate at a high-end restaurant, we would’t be paying $80 per person for dinner.  So we went to the free area …

Here’s what you get for walking around in the free area …

That’s Mr. Cory, the young entrepreneur behind Mr. Cory’s Cookies.  No free tastings, but you can buy a bag of cookies for $5.

There were free tastings here at the natural shakes.  None at the ice cream carts.  They had some really interesting flavour combinations, though.  We would have wanted to taste a sample first before deciding to pay $5 for a scoop …

Some art work to admire …

Handicrafts … healthy sign-ups … a free umbrella with a paid subscription …

Here’s the best part … face painting !!  And it was free!

But we were hungry, so we decided to go uptown to sit at a restaurant … We ended up at Sylvia’s; the boys didn’t find anything on the menu they wanted to try at the Red RoosterSylvia‘s was okay.  We honestly didn’t find anything out of the ordinary on the menu either for the prices we paid … And yes, it was less than the $80 per person to pay for tastings … Maybe the tasting would have been more satisfying than the meal … hmmm …. something to think about for the next time …

Oh yes!  We did see some chefs at the EatUp …

And that was our experience at the Harlem EatUp.  I don’t know if we’ll go again next year, if they hold it again.  Or maybe the sample tastings and wine would be more enjoyable with a group of friends, instead of just the family … We’ll see how we feel next year.

If you were at the EatUp, how did you find it?








What’s on The Menu …

I’m still not having luck with spotty wifi here in Goma and there’s times when the internet signals are strong, and then it drops … At any time of the day.  Anyway, I haven’t had much free time yet to sightsee.  I’ve been contenting myself with taking quick snapshots with the phone so far. Hopefully there’ll be some free time over the weekend.

In case you’re wondering what to have for snacks or dinner, here’s some appetizers you can try ….

I’m not quite adventurous enough for any of those … I’ll stick to safe fish fillets … like tilapia …  

… Or whole fried fish …. I think this was their local fish there, the Captain fish …  

Maybe next time I’ll try something else … but for now I’m content with these.

King Ribs

Time to get something to eat … so we head down to another of our must-visit places each time we’re here.

King Ribs.  They’re open only on weekends … so we make sure to reserve a Saturday or a Sunday to make it to this home business eatery.

There are no tables to seat yourself – I think this is a private house turned into a weekend food business.  You either drop by, order your food, then wait for it, like we do.  Or you call in for a pick-up.

The chef grills the meats just outside the front door of the house.  Yes, those are our ribs on the grill.


Over to one side of the house, the take-out platters are prepared from the make-shift tables.

We were so eager to eat, that I forgot to take a picture of the completed platters.  They give generous portions – along with the meat, the platter comes with rice, plantain, salad.


Make sure to drop by King Ribs when you’re in Aruba.  It really is worth it.


Rrrelll Hot

Waiting for the roti to be prepared at a West Indian restaurant, I looked around and saw bottles on the counters.

Pepper sauce.  All kinds of pepper sauce and combinations of pepper sauce in levels of hot, or spiciness.


I guess the pepper sauce is regular hot.  Then there’s ‘seriously hot’.  And then Rrrelll Hot.  I found that funny.  But I wasn’t trying it.


Charles says that he hasn’t found a pepper sauce yet that he couldn’t take, so I pointed these out to him, but he didn’t feel for pepper at that time.  See that bottle at the end, the one with a triple ‘X’ on it?  He said that he wasn’t even going to try that one to find out how hot it is.  He didn’t trust any bottle with just a piece of paper stuck on the outside, and where you can’t see the liquid or the contents of the bottle.


Me?  This is as near as I’m getting to these hot sauces … Not even going to try a micro-dot of it. Just looking at it makes my tongue burn already.  I’ll leave that for you adventurous foodies out there.

What’s the hottest pepper sauce you’ve tried?