Fish, Salt, And Stilts

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On our second day in Hong Kong Phil took us outside of the city to Lantau Island. We took a cab to get there and got very lucky with getting one. One way to get to to the island is to take the Ngong Ping 360 which is a gondola. We were a little slow to get up that morning. Why were we slow? It actually wasn’t because of the street beers we had consumed the night before but instead because we had to get a full american breakfast at the Flying Pan and Starbucks. Yep that was us. Becky and I got the Bloody Bull which was a bloody Mary with beef stock so we thought we were being semi cultural with our breakfast? After our cultural breakfast we got to the spot to get on the Ngong Ping 360 and there was a 45 minute wait so we decided to take the bus instead. We got in line for the bus and it was looking like a two hour wait so we said we can splurge and get a cab; by splurge I mean about $4 a person. We got in line for the blue cabs that specifically go to Lantau Island because the red ones do not (little tip). Slowly we noticed that in the 15 minutes that we stood there only one cab came. At this speed and with the amount of people in front of us we could have been in this line for two hours. We decided to go back to the original plan, Ngong Ping 360. We were in line for about five minutes when a blue cab pulled up to drop some people off. Phil hopped the fence and grabbed the cab. Alas we were on our way. Back to my original point, get there early or stick to one line.

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Tai O is a small fishing village known for the traditional stilt houses located on the Western coast of Lantau Island. There is a seafood market selling all things seafood and the traditional shrimp paste. The house style dates back to the 19th century. Tai O used to be one of Hong Kong’s major fishing ports for more than 200 years and also a huge salt industry back in the 30’s and 40’s. It had a population of about 30,000 and now it has about 2,000. Nowadays it is more of a tourist attraction and the actual fishing is not a sustainable as it once was.

The marekt was full of dried and salted fish. I tried the dry shrimp and I hate to ever admit that I don’t like something so all I am going to say is I did not need to have another one. I also had a donut, egg custard tart, barbequed octopus, and salt baked quail eggs. We took a boat ride out to try to get a glimpse of the pink dolphins but we weren’t the lucky ones that day.

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Next stop Tian Tan Buddha!

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This Is Hong Kong!

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Hong Kong was not like what I had excepted. In Asia I had only been to Beijing and by default, though I know Hong Kong is not China, I associated the two. My friend I was visiting, Phil (if you are wondering why that name is familiar it is from previous posts like this one), hates when our friend group does that but it just happens. Since Phil was going to be our tour guide I didn’t do that much research so I did go there with a pretty blank mind. Well my lack of research and pal to lean on paid off becuase I really really liked Hong Kong! Phil lives in Central and really close to Lan Kwai Fong. That was the first place we went since we landed at 8 pm; after dumplings of course (Exclusive DUMPLING/Hong Kong post to come). Everyone is drinking in the streets and the energy is instense. Everyone is just having fun. We bought beers at 7-11 and joined the crowd.

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imageLKF Drinking above and below is Racks MDBimage

The next day was a busy day. We first hiked up to Victoria Peak and had lunch up there. We went back to the apartment and changed for the evening and headed to the Ladies Market in Mong Kok by ferry. Before we went to the market we decided to get foot massages. I’m not really a fan of them. It hurt and everytime I tried to explain to the lady that it was painful she just laughed. My friend Becky, who also came to Hong Kong, said it was because she was hitting the liver point in my foot. I opted for back massages the rest of the trip. We went to markets next after more dumplings and it was great. Becky and I also had our palms read. Let’s just say I have some interesting years ahead of myself. Next stop was the Ozone Sky Bar at the Ritz Carlton which is the highest bar in the world. We each had a cocktail up there and enjoyed the lights of the city. Hong Kong is beautiful at night.

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Phil’s apartment comes with a view!

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Longest escalator in the world.

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Path to Victoria Peak

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Dragon Fruit

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Occupy – The Umbrella Revolution

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We ended back at LKF for more street beers. The next day we headed to Tai O (Post to come).

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Denver Eater: Interview with the guys from The Plimoth

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(Photo credit: Adam Larkey)

Getting a lot of attention might have not been the original plan for the three guys behind the Plimoth but whether it was intentional or not they were noticed. In its first year of business, the restaurant located in City Park North made the list of 5280 Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in March and joined the 25 Best Restaurants in October. It received a three star review from the Denver Post, a raving review from Westword, and it was selected among three finalists in the Restaurant of the Year by Eater Denver.

Owner and executive chef Peter Ryan opened the Plimoth on November 16, 2013 along with friends Charles MacDonald, chef de cuisine, and Adam Knickerbocker, general manager and sommelier. Eater sat with trio and discussed renovation, getting back in the restaurant world, and keeping things simple.

The rest of the interview…

Departing for Hong Kong

I am heading to Hong Kong today to visit my friend Phil who moved there a few months ago. I cannot wait for him to show me around! And eat dumplings of course!!! He had a few things he wanted me to bring to him so in my suit case you can find boxed mashed potatoes, gap clothes, homemade cookies from his mom in Washington, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and razors. I hope they don’t have to search my bag…

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Guac on Guac on Guac

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Since my company has three offices in Boston, Lucerne, and Denver they created “kickoff” to bring us all together once a year. At this conference we have workshops, talk about future goals, past successes etc, and get to know each other. Mexico was lots of talking, drinking, eating, dancing, and no sleeping—literally. On the last night my groups flight was at 7:00 am so our bus transfer picked us up at 3:30 which meant an all-nighter. My main focus these past two days has been sleep. I’m just not as young as I once was…

Below are photos of Tulum! Here we all split into groups and were each assigned a Mayan sign. My group was water. You can see us attempting to act water out below.

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Who Needs Electricity to Cook a Turkey

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but ever since I got a nine to five job (I’m still in denial about this) taking a vaca during Thanksgiving seems to happen each year. Which makes sense though because you can get five days off for the price of two. This year I am headed to Hong Kong and Vietnam and I am so excited. With that said I was pretty bummed to miss Thanksgiving and I really wanted to host this year so I decided to have Thanksgiving at my place Halloween weekend. I was pretty pumped and really wanted to make everything. The only thing I allowed people to help me with was the stuffing, apps, and wine. This was also my first time making a turkey. The turkey involved the first lesson I learned; turkeys come frozen. Now that I think about how early you start seeing the turkeys in  store I realize that was a pretty blonde moment but it just didn’t occur to me. Lucky enough thouhg when I was talking about cooking and that I was planning on buying the turkey the day before my friends informed me that that isn’t enough time. It was Thursday so I bought the turkey that night and it had time to defrost. Phew first dilemma avoided.

Saturday rolled around and I was in the zone. I bought all the groceries and made the pumpkin pie and pumpkin whoopie pies. I was ready. I went to bed excited for the morning.

On Sunday I got up and cleaned and got the table and living room ready. Now it was time for prep. I made the sweet potatoes in the morning and was just planning on reheating them when I pulled out the Turkey. I had the green beans cleaned and good to go.I had the apple dumplings ready to throw in the oven when we were eating, I had the brussel sprouts cleaned and I got all other prep/meals ready/cooked/ready to be cooked—I had my shit together is what I am trying to say. It was finally time to put the turkey in. I took a photo of my beautiful first turkey popped it in the oven and was ready to relax.

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It had been about 45 minutes and I had turned the oven down and done the first basting when I was sitting on the couch enjoying an episode of Gilmore Girls when all of a sudden it sounded like a bomb when off and all of the electricity went out. My first thought was my oven had exploded. I walked into the kitchen and confirmed this thought was a dramatic thought since the oven and kitchen were still intact. I heard people talking outside my apartment so I slipped on my rain boots and ran out to find out what was going on. A transformer had blown and the entire apartment building was out of electricity. BUT WHAT ABOUT MY TURKEY?!?! I first called my dad and he said the electricity will probably be out for a while and it might be best to move the turkey. Then I called my sister and told her to make room I was on my way. I was still in my pj’s so I looked insane; picture me running down the street with a raw turkey, pj’s, and rain boots. It was a low point moment.

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I got the turkey in their oven and thankfully the electricity came back on an hour later so it was back to the car. Thanksgiving was only an hour late and everything was fabulous.

Check out my recipes below. I highly suggest the gravy but all the recipes were fabulous!

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Turkey and Gravy Recipe

Potato Recipe – for the potatoes, I didn’t peel then and I didn’t use a ricer. I instead just put the boiled potatoes in my kitchen add and whipped them in there.

Sweet Potato Recipe- I followed this recipe but used the extra link too. I added sprigs of rosemary in between the potatoes but not all of them.

       Extra for sweet potatoes

Green beans Recipe

Brussel Sprouts

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Pie – I didn’t use grated hazelnut in the paste because I didn’t have it, instead I just used nutmeg.

Apple Dumplings

Denver Eater: Interview with Sean Huggard from Humboldt

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(Photo credit: Adam Larkey)

Taking over a space that once was a three decade old iconic establishment can be a task tough to tackle but Humboldt: Farm, Fish, Wine seems to have filled those shoes. Opening in the spot that was once Strings on 17th Street, the restaurant that is part of Concept Restaurantsis celebrating its one-year anniversary this month and it seems ready for many more to come.

The kitchen is run by chef DJ Nagle who, like operations manager Sean Huggard, is a seafood lover. Though the restaurant does not label itself a seafood restaurant, it does serve an expansive seafood selection, including oysters grown exclusively for Humboldt. Besides the seafood, the restaurant focuses on serving a menu that makes it a neighborhood eatery with items like the burger that just won Westword‘s best burger award. Eater talked to manager Sean Huggard about construction, pressures of opening in the former Strings spot, and more.

The rest of the interview…

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