Soup Recipe : Clear Skin From Within + Tips ðŸ¥¬

Hey all,

I thought I’d share my pumpkin and kale soup recipe. I love to eat mainly veggie meals at home for my health and to maintain clear skin. Before I share this recipe I also want to share two “life hack” tips.

Tip 1: One is to boil ginger root in water to make ginger tea. Ginger tea helps reduce stress, inflammation, and improve blood circulation, plus more! I love to drink it with a little honey. I cut up the root in small-ish chunks. If the root is large I’ll add half of it to the water to boil and if it’s small I’ll add the entire root. You can always make it as strong or as mild in ginger flavor as you like by adding more or less water to boil or more ginger root. I prefer a mild to medium ginger taste.

Tip 2: If you ever cook rice in a regular pot (not a rice cooker) and burn it accidentally add half an onion to the center to absorb the burnt flavor and scent. If you don’t have an onion you can also add the stem of a vegetable like a broccoli stem (I’ve tried it and it also works!)

Soup Recipe:

1 small pumpkin

half a bag of kale (about 3 cups)

3 tablespoons of minced garlic (I love lots of garlic so I add more and more as I see fit)

2 cubes of chicken broth (can replace this with tomato cubes if desired)

3 spoonfuls of Goya Recaito Culantro Base

1 sweet potato

2 pinches of black pepper

1 small pinch salt (because the Goya has enough salt already)

2 teaspoons of diced pimentos

half a white onion

One dash of white truffle oil

Steps:

I boil water in a large pot and the two cubes of chicken broth to dissolve it and then add the garlic, black pepper, pimentos, salt, truffle oil, and Goya to make the broth. I put half the onion in the oven for a few minutes and the whole pumpkin (to make the pumpkin easier to cut into).

I add the white onion into the soup base without cutting it. I cut the skin of the pumpkin and cut it into medium-sized pieces, take out the seeds and wash the pumpkin and then add it to the base. I cut the sweet potatoes into pieces and add it to the base.

I let the soup cook until the pumpkin and sweet potato mash away. I additionally mash down the sweet potato and pumpkin with a fork (I do this step on another burner, off the heat – I don’t have a blender yet lol – if you have one you can blend instead). Then I add the kale and let the soup simmer for a few minutes and it’s ready to serve. ❤

Bay Area Eats: Three Price Ranges

Middle Price Range: Fish Market, Roll House, Slapfish (pictures in listed order)

The Fish Market restaurant in Santa Clara has seafood for sale at the front of the restaurant. I ordered a tuna salad that sadly had canned tuna but still tasted satisfying. What I do recommend is the shrimp scampi, it was balanced and simple in flavor. I think this place makes a nice quick pasta lunch spot. A downside is that the menu does not have much variety.

Roll House in Santa Clara sells Korean “soul food,” or homey quick dishes like kimbap, tteokbokki, and seafood ramen. I recommend the tuna kimbap and seafood ramen. They pack the soup with fresh seafood at an affordable price and serve it hot.

Slapfish in San Jose is most well known for lobster rolls. I do feel that Cousins Maine Lobster truck sells better tasting lobster rolls but Slapfish is a close second. The reason I think the lobster truck is better is they serve more lobster and thinner bread rolls. Nevertheless, Slapfish’s side fries are addictive. I recommend choosing it as your side dish of choice.

Semi-upper price range – 10 Butchers in Santa Clara

I had a fantastic service and dining experience at 10 Butchers. It is an upscale Korean BBQ spot on El Camino Real. The waiters all came out and sang Happy Birthday to my relative and made a dessert for us with cookies, strawberries, and whipped cream. They additionally give away many complementary dishes like fish cakes and a dessert beverage made of Yuzu or Yuja. Have you heard of Yuzu before? It was my first time learning about this fruit and the waiter explained it is a hybrid made from mandarin and papeda (citrus).

Learn more about Yuzu here https://citrusvariety.ucr.edu/citrus/yuzu1.html

Semi-upper price range – Seafood Boil in San Jose at Kickin Crab

We ordered the lobster and Dungeness crab seafood boil with the Kickin seasoning (a mix made of all flavors) at Kickin Crab in San Jose. I recommend the Kickin mix with medium spice if you like spicy food because it tasted flavorful yet not overwhelmingly spicy. We also ordered Cajun fries but I do not recommend them because I found them too thin and hard to chew. Overall, I enjoyed the seafood boil at Kickin Crab and I’d rate is 7.5 out of 10.

Upper Price Range: The Calmére Estate Winery in Napa

Calmére Winery is located neck-deep in Napa Valley. After a journey up long roads, that were seemingly unending, lies a small jewel called Calmére. This winery is surrounded by green glowing grass and bright blue skies. I attended their buffet-style Valentine’s day brunch. The event had excellent customer service and food. The waitstaff generously refilled the wine throughout the afternoon. This winery often has events in celebration of holidays and regular wine tastings. ❤

Bay Area Eats Series

Below are recommendations I have from restaurants I’ve visited this winter in the Bay Area:

Hot Stone Korean Kitchen

2190 N Texas St, Fairfield, CA 94533

Fairfield CA does not have the best food. It is hard to find restaurants that are as good as other major cities in California like San Francisco or LA. I scoured the area to find Korean food and the only place that I liked is Hot Stone Korean Kitchen.

They offer pitchers of soju mixed drinks and a wide array of banchan. I recommend trying out the fried mackerel. If you ever end up in Fairfield CA check out Hot Stone for a hot meal and nice service!

House of Phở

 1066 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

I prefer pho places that offer substitutions like egg noodles rather than rice noodles and House of Pho has this. The restaurant serves an array of hot and flavorful broth. They also offer boba or bubble tea and can substitute dairy with coconut or almond milk. I tried the red bean smoothie with boba and coconut milk, it was sweet and filling. My table also ordered combination noodles and the dish was expertly seasoned. I can attest that there is super flavorful and addictive food at the House of Pho!

The most flavorful ramen I’ve ever tried at Sake Bomb Sushi!

Sake Bomb Sushi 759 El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

I plan on returning to this restaurant for sure. The broth is so tasty and the noodles taste like they are freshly handmade. I want to bring more people and friends to this restaurant to try out the ramen with me. Memorably delicious!

Try the Ace LA Galbi at Jang Su Jang

3561 El Camino Real #10, Santa Clara, CA 95051

I specifically really enjoy the LA Galbi at Jang Su Jang. I noticed almost every table seated around me also ordered it. This restaurant prepares perfectly salty and sweet LA Galbi. I love how affordable the restaurant is and the nice touches they add to their banchan like fresh apples in the side salad.

See you in the next Bay Area eats installment, comment any restaurant suggestions or review requests below!

❤

Reading Terminal Market, A Day in Philadelphia

I visited Philadelphia last week and went to the famed Reading Terminal Market. The warehouse space was buzzing with people. This market offers restaurant and bakery stands with varying cuisines and specialty dishes from American Barbecue to the Caribbean, and apple dumplings to Chinese style roasted duck. During my visit, I stopped by a little shop named The Head Nut that sold coffee, tea, chocolate, nuts, and spices. I bought 1/4 Ib of loose leaf tea and habanero hot sauce.

On the day I visited the market it felt too packed for comfort. I’d revisit the Reading Terminal Market but next time I may go on a Friday or perhaps earlier in the day rather than during the late afternoon rush. The Terminal Market opens at 8 am and closes at 6 pm, Monday through Saturday. I recommend a visit here at least once during a trip to Philadelphia. Address: 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 ❤

While in Philadelphia I also visited other eateries in Chinatown. One of which was Prince Tea House, an afternoon tea restaurant. I recommend stopping by this business for a cup of tea. Both the customer service and ambiance are excellent. A nice bonus is that the decor makes a cute backdrop for photos. They serve cakes, hot waffles, and other desserts as well. The five-star reviews on Google also speak highly of this establishment. I’d return. http://princeteahouse.com/ â¤ 

Bay Area Eats Series (3 price ranges)

This food series reviews restaurants in the Bay Area at three price ranges: low, medium, and high (or high-ish?). At the end of this series, I hope to compile a list of the best places to eat in the Bay Area.

Lower Price Range:

Pho Huynh Hiep 6

Pho Huynh Hiep 6, located in Walnut Creek, has quick food service and fresh ingredients. I ordered a seafood pho and taro bubble tea. The broth tasted light and simple. I recommend this spot for a light lunch.

Napa Taco Truck – La Condesa

La Condesa taco truck is just spot on. It has perfect prices, great customer service, and fresh ingredients. There are also plenty of spots to park in the Napa neighborhood to eat. I ordered carnita and lengua (tongue) tacos, horchata, and ceviche.

Los Gallos Taqueria

Los Gallos Taqueria, located in Redwood City, has the highest rated food for this post in my opinion. Super fresh seafood on the tostadas, which are loaded with octopus and shrimp, and topped off with avocado. The tacos (intestines) tasted perfectly crispy and extra delicious with extra spicy salsa. I highly recommend this spot and specifically the seafood tostadas.

Medium Price Range:

Korean Souel BBQ

The seafood pancake was flavorful and not as oily or doughy as others at this Oakland based Korean restaurant named Korean Souel BBQ. I enjoyed the taste of ample green onion, squid, and imitation crab meat. The wings tasted were served hot but they were a bit too sweet and lacking in spice. I do recommend visiting this restaurant for the haemul pajeon (seafood pancake), though it is not packed with seafood, there’s enough in the dish to taste filling. For only $18, the seafood pancake is a nice shareable light meal. The owner is super kind and talkative as well.

Miramar Beach Restaurant at Half Moon Beach

I ate a super light salad at the oceanfront restaurant Miramar at Half Moon Beach. I highly recommend this restaurant for the view alone. It’s a very relaxing lunch spot. I also recommend trying the Bomba dessert made with white chocolate and tropical flavored sorbets.

The day we ate there it was super warm but generally, it is recommended to bring a sweater just in case the water makes the area a little chilly. I had a jean jacket with me that I put on before walking near the ocean after lunch. There is free valet parking. I’d recommend getting valet if the restaurant appears full. We tried to park ourselves and ended up having to loop back because there were no spaces.

Slanted Tree

Slated Tree in Fairfield always seems packed. This restaurant has excellent bottomless Mimosas. I recommend this place as a quick brunch spot if you’re in the area. I’ve found it is one of the best places to eat in Fairfield.

Higher Price Range:

Bistro Don Giovanni

I can recommend this restaurant for the surrounding wine vineyards alone. The restaurant’s Napa Valley location is beautiful. Even the parking lot is pretty as you can see from the last picture. The pizza was very balanced in cheese, meat, and vegetables. The best part was the crust. It was harmoniously crispy and chewy. I only wished the menu had more variety and a seafood pizza option. ❤

My Top Three Restaurant Recommendations in Dublin

1.) Celtic Nights Traditional Irish Dance Show

The price is a steal, for only $38 you get a three-course meal and a chance to see a traditional Irish dancing show with a live band. This show and food stood out during my stay as a worthwhile Irish cultural experience. The fish main course I picked from the set menu was fresh and flavorful, especially the buttery fingerling potatoes! The vegetable soup appetizer was served hot. The soup had a turnip flavor and tasted well-seasoned. Additional drinks were available for purchase at the event space. I got confused by the time slots online with my ticket purchase. I thought perhaps many shows were scheduled at different times, but there is only one show. The show begins around 9-10 pm and if you pick an early time slot you eat before the show. If you pick a later mealtime your food is served as the show begins. https://tickets.celticnights.com/

2.) Kimchi Hophouse

This restaurant has Korean and Japanese fusion foods and more (spring rolls, croquettes). I loved my hot tofu and beef stew served with rice and beans. My friend and I also ordered fried chicken to share. That dish satisfied my craving for well-done yet, non-oily crispy fried chicken. This is a great spot to eat the famed Korean combination of fried chicken and beer. https://www.facebook.com/kimchihophouse/

3. )Michael’s Mount Merrion

Micheal’s blew me out the water, what amazing flavor! I’m no food expert, but I know if something tastes expertly flavored and this restaurant has that standard. The kitchen is partly open and the chefs prepare the seafood in the open section of the kitchen. They were super friendly and welcomed me as I came in. There is excellent customer service here. My waitress was also super sweet. The tuna tar tar was simple and fresh. My fries were perfectly salted and addictive. They were some of the best fries I’ve ever had. The warm bread and cinnamon butter tasted like the perfect combination of salty and sweet. I love warm bread and dislike when restaurants serve it cold. The lobster and shrimp main course tasted divine in the rich seafood sauce. I wish I could swim in a pool of that sauce, so delicious! https://www.michaels.ie/ ❤

Panama 🇵🇦🇵🇦🇵🇦 Recommendations (En español y ingles)

Que bello es mi Panamá, centro del mundo corazón del universo. ¿Porqué Panamá es especial? Porque esta en el centro del mundo donde lo acompaña el océano Pacifico y el océano Atlántico es el único país del mundo con los dos océanos.

Panamá tiene comidas muy deliciosos como el arroz con pollo, tamales, carimañolas, empanadas, Sopa de Gallina, como muchas otras delicias. Puedes disfrutar de frutas muy deliciosas como el marañón, mamey, guayaba, guanábana (jugo de guanábana), pejibaye, entre muchas mas. Puedes disfrutar de estas frutas en los mercados públicos donde también puedes obtener enyugado, koka. La Koka es hecha con coco, azúcar y jengibre. Cuando quieras disfrutar de una noche de música y una cena exquisita, puedes visitar el casco viejo.

En el Casco Viejo hay un lugar llamado Diablicos donde puedes disfrutar y bailar al son del tambor de la música panameña. Un plato muy sabroso el arroz con coco y la ropa vieja, patacones y jugo de Tamarindo. El chicharrón y yuca frita es una delicia y no olvides el postre dulce de tres leches. Panamá cuanta con la bendición de ser una nación que, a pesar de ser territorialmente pequeña, tiene varias de las playas mas hermosas del continente americano.

San Blas compuestas de 365 islas desaminadas en el archipiélago de San Blas. Puedes rentar una de estas islas donde puedes disfrutas de la privacidad y hermosa hospitalidad.

Isla Bastimentos esta ubicado en el archipiélago de Bocas del Toro, en esta playa puedes disfrutar de diversidad de aves marinas y anfibios.

Isla Grande, una de mis favoritas, esta localizada en la provincia de Colon. Se caracteriza por sus playas de arena blancas y arrecifes coralinos.


Panama and Panamanian food (as well as Colombian) is painfully underrated. The cuisine is ignored just like our soccer teams lol. I think Panamanian food is some of the best in the world and I’m not biased of anything, 😉(just kidding).

Fruits and Foods Recommendations:

Toasted cashews and the fruit of the plant (called marañón – my family toasts the cashews at bonfires), guava, and mamey sapote fruit. Tamarindo drinks are amazing! They taste sour and distinct. Panamanians make tamarindo drinks with lemon, and panela or cane sugar. Pejibaye (pronounced pi-va, its a fruit, typically eaten in Panama boiled with salt. My great-grandmother had several pejibaye trees in her backyard, they remind me of childhood), guanábana ( try out guanábana juice, the fruit is slimy and ugly but it tastes delicious and sweet yet tangy. Panama has a zillion fruit drinks, so explore the world of fruit flavors and fresh fruit smoothies.

Other dishes to try include rice and chicken ( arroz con pollo, Panamanian style ja ja), coconut rice with gandules ( don’t disregard plain looking rice and beans, the dish is likely packed with flavor), carimañolas (yucca stuffed with tasty ground beef and fried, empanadas (Panamanians make zesty flavorful empanadas because the meat is cooked well in sauces like a strew before being encased into the corn), chicken soup made with female chicken or hen (hen tastes sweet in my opinion and the bones are harder), the dish is called Sopa de Gallina. Also, try frituras (fried breakfast foods like corn tortillas with Panamanian coffee called Café Duran). ❤