Sunday, April 13, 2014

Doodles of the Day: Kabocha & Ichigo

Well, it looks like I didn't keep up with my New Year's resolution :( but the good news is I have a new doodle to share finally now that school is winding down.  Plus, today will have TWO doodles because I realized I forgot to post a previous doodle from a few months ago.  Hopefully I'll be able to get a few more doodles done during my break from school!

The first doodle features Kabocha, Japanese pumpkin and the Hawaii pidgin word "bocha" which means to take a bath:

rubber ducky!
The second doodle features Ichigo, which means "strawberry" in Japanese.  The Japanese saying "Ichigo Ichie" is from the art of the tea ceremony, and translates to "one opportunity, one encounter" which is a reminder to treasure each encounter because each meeting is unique.  Here's my interpretation of this Japanese saying in ILUBGRUB doodle style:


As always, thanks for reading and supporting ilubgrub :)
Love and grub,
Leila

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy New Year!

Well...26 days later, I am finally writing the first post of 2014.  I haven't kept up with this blog as much as I've liked, but maybe I should make it one of my resolutions to post more.  Ok, not maybe...definitely!  2013 has been eventful between school, work, and Cherry Blossom...but it's been an exciting adventure so far. 2014, here I come!  I'm coming prepared with an empty stomach and an open mind.

Today I went with my mom and my uncle to check out the Chinese (Lunar) New Year festivities in Chinatown.  The streets were filled with tents of vendors selling food and other various merchandise.  My mom was on a mission to get her hot, fresh jin dui (deep fried sesame seed balls) and I was on a mission for good, cheap food.  I must admit that I'm not the huuuugest fan of Chinese food (blasphemy, I know!  My Chinese side of the family must be ashamed of me).  It's not that I hate it, but sometimes the greasiness of the dishes can be overwhelming.  Or maybe I'm just not as used to Chinese cuisine, so I am hesitant to try certain things that look unfamiliar.

Today, I came to the horrible realization that even though I love most food, I still can be quite closed-minded.  We came across a tent that had a bunch of food that I didn't recognize, and I was ready to just walk on by.  My mom, however, was curious and decided to buy a few items including a vegetarian drumstick, five-spiced tofu, and vegetarian scallop.  I didn't take a picture of the food, but the tofu was an intimidating black color, and I was confused by the term of a "vegetarian drumstick".  Little did I know that this tent served only vegetarian food, something that I had never experienced in a Chinese restaurant before.  The food my mom purchased was alright, but I was drawn to the other items they were serving--the braised daikon looked especially good.  I saw that they had a plate for $8 including rice or noodles and three entree choices, and I was sold.  And that was the best decision I made!

Everything on that plate was delicious, and I couldn't believe that everything was vegetarian.  I ordered the plate with noodles, braised daikon, sweet and sour tofu, and curry.  I couldn't believe that I almost missed out on one of the best vegetarian meals I have ever eaten.  The lady who served me told me, "See you next year!"  I'm not sure if they only serve this food during the Chinese New Year Festivities, but I will be very sad if I have to wait one whole year before I can eat this again.  But I will definitely be back next year for more!

The Tent: Buddha's Light International Association of Hawaii

The Food: Sweet & Sour Tofu (Top Left), Braised Daikon (Top Right), Noodles, and Curry (Bottom Right)
Kung Hee Fat Choy!

Love and grub,
Leila

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Doodle of the Day: Hunger Pains


This food doodle is dedicated to all the Hunger Games fans out there...I on the other hand still need to finish reading the third book!  Catching Fire just came out in theaters...should I go see it??

May your stomachs be happy and full...
and may the odds be ever in your flavor!

Love and grub,
Leila

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Doodle of the Day: Apple of my i


I have never owned an Apple product...in my entire life.  That's right, not even an iPod!  Maybe one day I'll be converted, but for now I'll stick to the fruity kind of apples that you can eat.  Today's doodle is inspired by the release of the new iPhone 5, the genius of Steve Jobs, and the musical talents of Stevie Wonder.  Enjoy!

Love and grub,
Leila

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Doodle of the Day: Natto Crazy!


Natto...fermented soybeans?!?!  This traditional Japanese food scares a lot of people.  It's sticky, slimy, and as my brother and dad tell me all the time, "It smells like feet!"  To be honest, I never used to be a natto lover until I was in college.  One of my friends loved to eat this natto pasta and I thought it sounded like a horrible idea.  But, thankfully she forced me to try it and it changed my life forever!  I started eating natto with poke, kim chee, tofu, inside okonomiyaki, on top of toast...you name it.  And you can never go wrong with natto on top of freshly cooked hot rice.  So yes, you may think I'm crazy, but you don't know until you try!!  Maybe you will one day become natto crazy too ;)  And for all the natto lovers out there, go #teamnatto!

Love & grub,
Leila


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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Doodle of the Day: Oodles of noodles!

Source: www.hawaiimagazine.com
Today's theme is...noodles!  A favorite local dish in Hawaii is "saimin" which is a soup-based noodle dish similar to Japanese ramen that was developed during the old plantation days.  Common ingredients found in saimin can include kamaboko (fishcake), char siu, egg, spam, and green onion.  It can even be served with won ton ("won ton min").

Anyway, here are my latest food doodles based off of local Hawaii cuisine and paired with pop culture twists.  Enjoy!

Won Ton Min-ion (Despicable Me)

Saimin PSYmin
Love & grub,
Leila


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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Doodle of the Day: Zero Dreams of Sushi


What is your favorite sushi to dream about?

Personally, my mouth waters for the awesome sushi restaurant near the station in Takaoka, Japan. The omakase set (the sushi master chef chooses what to give you) was about $40 and although it was more than double what I spent at a typical kaiten sushi restaurant (grab-your-own on a conveyor belt sushi) it was well worth it.  It was the first time I ate uni (sea urchin) and while I was scared to eat it at first, I am glad I faced my fears because otherwise I would never have discovered the wonders of that sweet, creamy, deliciousness of a sushi.  Yes, I still have dreams about that sushi restaurant.  And no, I probably will never be able to eat at one of Jiro's sushi restaurants which charges over $300?!?! but one can still dream, right? (If you haven't watched the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi go and watch it asap!!  Good movie but prepared to start drooling.

Anyway, this doodle is about sushi dreams and fantasies.  Let me know what sushi you dream about in the comment section below :)

Love & grub,
Leila


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