Sesame Orange Shrimp! [A Recipe]

I've been trying to keep up a Pescetarian diet but when it comes to Orange Chicken, I fail. Miserably. Nom noming everything in sight.

But fortunately, there's a solution! *Angels begin singing*

Sesame Orange Shrimp.


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds [ maybe even less]
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce [or sweet and sour]
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced


  • 1. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, cornstarch, sesame seeds, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper until frothy. [Do not use a fork! It will clump the cornstarch, you will definitely need a whisk.] Add shrimp and toss to coat.





    2. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the shrimp until golden and crisp. [About 2-3 minutes per side]. Add more oil to skillet if necessary for remaining batches.



    3. Four words: Paper towel landing pad. Transfer the
    shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.




    *Click photo to make mouth water*

    4. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel. Add orange Juice, soy sauce, and sugar. Boil over high heat until syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup [4-5 minutes] Return shrimp to skillet; add scallions and sweet chili sauce. Cook until heated through and coated with sauce.






    You guys are gonna hate me for this but I couldn't take a picture of the finished recipe because the friends and I nom nom'd everything to death. So this picture from OrganicThrifty will have to do.

    Serve with rice and vegetables!! Makes 4 servings.

    Thai Bar-B-Que [A Review]

    OF all Asian cuisine, Thai food has got to be one of my favorites. For a while, Hong Thai remained my favorite Thai restaurant in Milwaukee, but this past Sunday the top spot now goes to Thai Bar-B-Que, a restaurant on the south side of Milwaukee. It's located on 34th and National and the menu satisfies a full range of tastes; from true Thai people to first timers.

    Parking is available, but the lot is pretty small. We parked on the street. The interior is thoroughly decorated with memorabilia from Thailand. Golden masks, statuettes, and gilded frames with pictures of their most popular dishes on display. The restaurant is very clean and cozy.

    The menu is amazing! Pictures accompany every item on the menu, even the appetizers. Plus with the help of a detailed description of every dish, it makes one more comfortable with trying new things.

    For starters, Chhally and I shared skewered Thai BBQ chicken. It came out quickly and looked unbelievably juicy and perfectly grilled. Included on the plate; a cup of sweet and sour sauce and carrot curls. It was amazing and flavorful. The way they seasoned the chicken was perfect. The carrot curls were a nice touch and a good compliment to the chicken.

    Chhally ordered #76, the Kao Nar Ped. Described as, "Steamed rice topped with roasted duck and sauteed vegetables on the side." I had #75, the Kao Kra Tiem Prigthai. I chose the pork stir fried with garlic and pepper.

    Our food arrived in less than 10 minutes. Just looking at the plate made me happy, then the first bite. I cried a little. Maybe even moaned. Which probably made dinner for the other customers a little awkward, but I didn't care. This food was goooooood.


    *All pictures were taken with Chhally's iPhone* Click to ENLARGE!

    The portions were more than enough. Chhally and I were both full by the time we were halfway through our plates. But still I wanted dessert. They had a plethora of CLASSIC Thai desserts to choose from. I scanned the section and found it. My favorite, Sweet sticky rice and mango. I quickly ordered it when the waiter stopped by to see if we needed any to-go boxes.



    The sticky rice was green instead of the usual white, which I loved! Because it provided an awesome contrast to the mangos. The dish was fun to eat and pleasurable to look at. The crinkle cut mangos were great because they didn't slide around in the dish so much. It's hard to find a restaurant that has perfected this dish, but this would have even my Mom's approval.

    Our check came in a wooden Thai chalice, along with two fortune cookies.

    The service was great, the food was amazing and authentic. The restaurant itself was pretty. Overall, Chhally and I both had a good experience here and we whole-heartedly recommend it. WE WILL GO BACK!


    THAI BAR-B-QUE
    3417 W. National Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53215
    414-647-0812

    Hours:
    SUN - THUR: 11AM-9PM
    FRI - SAT: 11AM-10PM

    Future Food.

    Could you make healthy junk food? Recycle inedible food and use it to make edible, delicious food?Solve world hunger?

    World renowned chefs and owners of Chicago's famous MOTO Restaurant, Homaro Cantu & Ben Roche have done it and it's all on this new show on Planet Green called Future Food.



    When the first episode premiered, I was blown away by the brilliant minds of Chef Cantu and Chef Roche. They created seafood dishes [ie. fried fish and sushi] without any seafood products or fish ingredients. In another episode, they took inedible plants and weeds that grow in and around our backyards and created satisfying meals. SAY WHAT?

    The chefs and their team are completely down to earth, witty, and fun.

    On Facebook, Planet Green allowed we the fans to discuss Future Foods and the "Kids Gone Wild" episode with none other than the scientist/chef/magician hybrids Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche!

    Vicky [me]: Out of all of the challenges on Future Foods, which were the chefs' favorite challenges?

    Homaro Cantu: Mine was the Miracle Berry episode.

    Ben Roche: My favorite is one where we turn "health food products" into healthy "junk food"...but I also really enjoyed these kids!

    Vicky Sithy: [kids gone wild was an] Amazing episode! The challenges seem to get more and more difficult but the team always manages to pull it off. It's crazy!! Thanks for answering my question, chefs! You guys are awesome.

    Homaro Cantu: Thanks Vicky. Been a pleasure.

    April Fools.


    Eggs and toast?

    or a Sweet Dessert?

    A recipe perfect for April Fool's day - Fake Fried Eggs and Toast !

    It's actually a slice of pound cake, vanilla yogurt, and an apricot half. I don't know if that combination is the best, but it does look amazingly real!

    Cookies & Cream Cheese Cupcakes

    I haven't really been baking lately. Working and planning a going-away party for a great friend has consumed most of my time this month! Here's a recipe from a blog that I follow called 52 Cupcakes.

    Martha Stewart's Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes
    Makes 30

    Ingredients:
    • 42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
    • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • Pinch of salt
    1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

    2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

    3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

    4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.







    ps. all images belong to the author of 52 Cupcakes.

    happy baking! xoxo vicky

    Sweet Lighting!

    What do you get when you cross a chandelier and gummy bears?

    A CANDELIER.

    At Jellio.com, they've make chandeliers out of gummy bears. Don't believe me? Check it out.



    Their online store has a whole line of spectacular, funky, and quirky stuff!

    Embrace the Suck.

    a good friend of mine wrote this about his experience in the army and his tenure in iraq.
    below are all his very own photography!




    "i spent 5 months in a place like no other. a place that has no mercy on anyone or anything. a place that is unforgiving, no matter your sex, age, or race. i spent 5 months in iraq before going home for two weeks. the 5 months passed very quickly, but the 2 weeks passed by even quicker...it felt weird, almost unreal to be back home. those who have never experienced anything like this say i'm a changed man. in my eyes i am the same person i was before entering the military, the only difference now is that i have a different outlook on life and death, friends and enemies, joy and dissatisfaction, etc...it's funny how when a person is here in iraq all they think about is home, but as soon as that person is home all they think about is iraq. going to a terrible place isn't so bad if you don't know what to expect...but going back to that terrible place knowing exactly whats in store, that's the hard part. it's probably the hardest thing i have ever had to do mentally. as i was leaving home i thought about all the things i want out of life; get married, raise a family, help build a house, sail the ocean, etc...there are way too many things i want/need to do, but never ever will i have enough time to actually do any of it, at least that's what it seems like. the day i left, i woke up at 4:30 a.m., sat on the side of the bed and got the worst feeling in my chest...almost like i was sinking into myself. my dad and brothers are probably the only ones who understand me best and know exactly the things i've gone through. my dad spent 10 years in the marine corps, one brother is in afghanistan and the other in iraq. i waited for my dad to meet me at the airport, i stood there with a bag on my back with enough clothes for two days...not the smartest thing considering it's a 5-10 day trip back to iraq. my dad hugged me goodbye and all he said was 'life is what YOU make it...good or bad, it's up to you...only a few more months...all you can do now is embrace the suck'."

    Chris Pikalek




    "No Place to Go."


    "Mile High"


    "Camouflage"


    "Exhaustion"


    visit Chris' deviantart here.
    enjoy life's sweetest things, people. no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
    xoxo vick

    What is Success?

    "To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived- this is to have succeeded." - ralph waldo emerson

    REVIEW Monty's Blue Plate Diner, Madison & B-Boy Battle

    So i was invited to a b-boy battle in Madison by the event's founder, Alex Hanesakda. I must admit, it was my first b-boy battle ever and I was super excited.



    I brought my camera along and got some great shots of the b-boys doing their thing! It blew my mind! My favorite b-boy there was B-Boy Crumbles. He was the.. largest guy there but his moves were sick! Don't let this guy's first impressions fool you! He was as good, if not better, than the muscular/fit guys.

    You can see the pictures from this event here.

    i was surprised, though, at how mean/rude some of the b-boys were. i guess i kinda had certain expectations for them, which is a mistake. never judge people or expect people to act certain ways because of their background. i should've known that.

    we also had brunch at Monty's Blue Plate Diner! this place is amazing! so if you're ever in madison, give it a go!

    i had the salmon hash[browns]. it came with fruit on the side instead of fries or whatnot, which i really appreciated since i've been cuttin out junk food !

    but i DID indugle myself by buying something from their wonderful bakery.



    shabam! a lemon buttercream cupcake! bigger than your average sized cupcake, this thing was enough to feed 3 people!

    and it only cost $2 !! 8 quarters!! *nummy*


    greatest sign ever!

    MONTY'S BLUE PLATE DINER; DEFINITELY RECOMMEND!


    it was definitely packed with people and there was a waiting list! there were only 8 waiting chairs, so standing while you wait is required. we didn't know what to do when we got there, but a man was nice enough to show us what to do! everyone that we encountered in madison was wonderful and welcoming! after we signed in, the hostess told us the wait would be 10 minutes. i looked at the 20 people in line ahead of us and was like, yeaaaah, sure.

    10 minutes later, we had a table! the wait was worth it!

    portions were plenty and service was great! i`d be super siked to go back there sometime!

    xoxo vick

    Dove Heat Defense Protect + Shine Mist with Protecting Serum [Review]




    What it is: Heat Activated Mist for hair that's exposed to frequent heat styling damage.

    The Bottle Says: "Lightweight Heat Activated Mist helps defend the internal structure of your hair from the damaging effects of blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons. Leaves hair feeling conditioned, soft and shiny.


    DIRECTIONS: Spray throughout damp hair prior to blow drying. Mist onto sections of dry hair before using flat iron or curling iron."

    My Review: Before I started using this Heat Defense spray, I always had split ends and burned/damaged looking hair. I straightened my hair everyday and curled it almost every time I went out. I discovered this and have been using it for a longggg time! No more split ends and burned hair. I know I sound like one of those people in an infomercial but I'm serious ! lol

    Let's see... it's super easy to use. Spray, spray, spray all over. Comb through. Straighten or curl. It smells really nice and it doesn't run out quickly even if you use it frequently. VERDICT? Definitely recommend.

    Where to Buy: Most major retail stores, groceries, and drug stores. You can also purchase it online - Here.

    Price: About $5.00

    (Repair)ologie Infusium 23 Leave-in Hair Treatment [REVIEW]




    What it is: A leave-in treatment for your hair. It's supposed to help enhance the overrall condition and health of your hair.

    The Bottle Says: "Infuses the hair cuticle to help nourish and restore healthy texture and strengthens against damage... Instantly detangles wet or dry hair and is light enough to provide everyday manageability...Massage (repair)ologie leave-in treatement throughout clean hair, wet or dry. Can be used throughout the day as often as needed. Comb through, making sure ends are treated. Do not rinse out. Style as usual."

    My Review: I used it after I showered and towel dried my hair. The cap makes it easy to dispense right into your palm or directly onto your hair.



    But the product is really liquidy and runny, not thick like shampoo or conditioner. I put some on my hand and when I massaged it into my hair - it would run down my arms and drip onto the floor.

    After I worked it into my hair, I combed it through. It DETANGLED my hair well and made it smell REALLY NICE! :D My hair felt smoother and looked shinier when it dried.

    The next day, I used it again but this time on DRY hair. It made it smooth and shiny, and I noticed my hair was thicker after using this product for a while. Usually during the winter time. my hair is flat and dry. The leave-in treatment seemed to give it more volume and moisture. I would recommend it! :]

    Where to buy:
    I bought mine at Walgreens.
    Most major retail stores, groceries, and drug stores carry the Infusium 23 collections.
    They also have a website: www.infusium23.com

    Price: About $9.00

    The Original Mint Julep Masque [REVIEW]



    What is is: Facial Mask. On their website it says, "America's #1 Facial Masque!"

    The Bottle Says: "Helps dry up acne pimples, rinse away blackheads & shrink enlarged pores. Directions: Cleanse face and neck thoroughly. Apply Mint Julep Masque generously and allow to dry for about 15 minutes. Remove with warm water and a washcloth." More details HERE.

    My Review: It took a lot of steps to use this mask. First, you have to clean your face. Then, you apply the mask. The bottle's cap is a twist cap so it's a little much to screw on and off. The product is very thick and creamy and avocado green. Kind of reminds me of guacamole lol. It smells like toothpaste, which might be bad for some people but I like the smell. I applied it to my face and at first it burned a little, so if you have sensitive skin, be prepared for that. Then, after the inital burning sensation, it felt cool and minty.

    Left it on for 15 minutes and during those 15 minutes you can see and feel the mask hardening up. Your face kinda feels funny, like it's frozen. lol When you smile or talk, the mask cracks. After about 10 minutes, you can see ALL of your pores under the mask!

    Washing it off is a bit difficult. You NEED a washcloth or a face scrubber to properly clean the mask off!

    I USE this Elizabeth-Spa Natural Facial Loofa.




    Which I bought at Wal*Mart for $2.00 !! And I love it! Whenever I wash my face/use a mask/exfoliate/remove make-up, I use it!

    THE VERDICT: Anyways :D I would recommend it. It's cheap, it really cleaned up my skin and it really did dry out any pimples like it promised. Unfortunately, I don't think it could really remove blackheads without the use of the facial loofa. When I used it without the facial loofa, the masque wasn't really effective all by itself. So make sure you buy the facial loofa for best results! As for shrinking enlarged pores, it didn't really make a difference.




    Where to Buy: I bought mine at Walgreen's. You could also order from their website.

    Price: About $4.00 - $19.00

    Homemade Orange Chicken!

    I've been experimenting with this recipe for a long time! The first time i made it, it was too orangey. Second time, there was too much soy sauceness. Third time, very vinegar-y.




    I hope this one turns out well for you guys, should you try to make it! The measurements are accurate to the best of my knowledge. If not feel free to let me know what went wrong and I can help! And YES, this counts as sugarjunkie food because it does contain SUGAR!!

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into 1inch chunks.



    SAUCE:
    • 2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
    • 2/3 cup oj
    • 1/2 tsp orange zest plus 2 two inch strips of orange peel
    • 4 tbsp white vinegar [ or less for a simpler, less powerful flavor ]
    • 3 tbsp soy sauce
    • 6 tbsp packed brown sugar
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • half inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
    • pinch of cayenne pepper
    • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch
    • 2 tbsp cold water
    • 1 tsp dried chili flakes or 1-2 whole dried chilis (optional)

    1. Combine broth, oj, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper in medium saucepan. whisk until sugar is fully dissolved.
    2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    3. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water. Whisk cornstarch mixture into sauce. Simmer sauce until thick and translucent, stirring occasionally. About 1 minute.
    4. Remove from heat, stir in orange peels and chili flakes. Set aside.

    COATING:
    1 cup cornstarch
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    oil for pan frying

    1. Stir cornstarch and cayenne together and coat the chicken thoroughly.



    2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over med-high heat, rotating skillet until oil covers the bottom.

    3. Carefully add chicken to hot oil, cook about 7-8 minutes until it is fully cooked and is no longer pink. The chicken should be golden brown.


    ^click to enlarge^





    4. Stir in whole dried chilis (optional)

    5. When chicken is fully cooked, reduce heat to medium and add the sauce. Gently toss so the chicken is evenly coated and remove the orange peels.




    Serve over white rice and vegetables.

    But, if you want HOMEMADE orange chicken without all of the work and having to get all of the ingredients - i definitely recommend trying Wanchai Ferry's Orange Chicken Dinner Kit. All of the ingredients are in this box, including the rice and chilis, for only $5.00 at your local grocery store!!



    IronCupcake Pro & Christmas Cookies

    On December 18th, Chhally and I [along with my aunt and her daughter, Saria] attended the IronCupcake Pro Event at the Milwaukee Art Museum. It was my first IronCupcake event but I've been wanting to go to one all year! Hosted by Milwaukee's Cupcake Queen, the event featured numerous Milwaukee bakeries competing for the #1 title. We sampled every cupcake they had to offer and even some of the Cafe Calatrava's Mac N' Cheese!








    Peppermint & Chocolate cupcakes - sooo GOOD!


    these were my second favorite!


    these were the chocolate peanut butter cup ones, i think..


    flourless chocolate cupcakes.




    i voted for these! Champagne & Pear cupcakes!



    There were arts & crafts; Chhally and I got to make our own snow globes!



    & I hit 3 birds with one stone when we were able to view the Andy Warhol Exhibit AND the art galleries! Which I've SO been wanting to see but haven't had time for! It was saweeeet!





    For Christmas, we baked Chhally's family and my closest friends holiday cookies. I found some of these cute cookie tins at Walgreen's and Michael's Arts & Crafts for really cheap.



    We made peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate cookies shaped like gingerbread people.



    The kids ate them all the same day they got them!

    I also sent a special box of homemade cookies to my best friend, CHRIS, in Iraq! He's been stationed there for a while and comes back to visit in February. =]

    Happy New Year!




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