Friday after the boyfriend got home, we went shopping hoping to find lamb. I've been wanting to make yang rou chaun, which is a lamb kebab dish and popular streetcart food in Beijing and many Northern chinese cities. I absolutely loved these as a kid. It's funny how most of the foods I loved as a kid make it onto my toplists now. I wonder if I had been introduced to them at a later age, if I'd still love them just as much or if part of their appeal is in reminiscing?
Anyway, little chunks or strips of lamb are threaded onto wooden skewers and grilled over an open charcoal flame. They're heavily seasoned with hot stuff and cumin, the predominant flavoring and served to you fresh off the grill, dripping lovely lamb fat and spices.
Although grilling presents a difficulty since we live in an apartment with an electric stove, we decided to try the recipe in the oven with similar spices, hoping to produce a similar taste. But we didn't expect to be stumped by the sheer lack of lamb. Now I'm not a meat expert, so we hopped over to Meijer, but the only lamb they had was fit for chops or a huge leg that boyfriend and I would have no clue how to butcher, nor could we hope to eat that much. So we hopped over the local meat store, which is absolutely amazing, stocking things like elk, buffalo, and venison and occasionally rabbit. We were sure they'd have some! Well, at the meat market, we learned we probably needed "round" but that they didn't have any. Two places down. Onto the next Meijer, but they only had tiny chop pieces again or ground lamb. What a fail..
Maybe that was what demoralized us for the weekend, because we ended up picking up frozen pizza on Friday, takeout on Saturday, and sandwiches on Sunday.
The pizza was DiGiorno's and the first time I've tried them, although everyone knows the tagline of "It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno's!" (marketing genius!). We picked up the kind with breadsticks because boyfriend looooves breadsticks, sometimes more than the actual pizza. It was ok, but honestly I was craving supercheap, super crispy flat crust pizza. DiGiorno's had a thick buttery crust. The texture was a little weird to get used to, but the outside ring part of the crust had a buttery flakiness that reminded me of biscuits. I think I liked it. The breadsticks were nothing to rave about, nor the rest of the pizza. I think I might prefer the new Domino's or whatever the supercheap, super crispy flat crust pizza was that we got last time and sorta burned.
Saturday was breakfast/lunch then takeout. And boy, was the takeout horrible.. Boyfriend and I were desperate though, being starved after 9 hours of not eating since lunch/breakfast, unless you count random fruit and junk food. I was hoping that the hole in the wall place would be decent, because the chef could only converse with me through broken English or Cantonese (which I do not speak). But it was the epitome of cheap (read: tons of filler carrots and celery, a practice which I despise and will dutifully pick out every last piece from my food) and greasy (which usually I don't care too much about, but it was ridiculous) and flavorless. Yuuuuck. It offended me to think that they called that chinese food. Utterly unappetizing, despite being starved. I think I had a third of my half-order.
Saturday was our most gourmet day with a picnic at the beach of buffalo chicken and pepper jack sandwiches. For sides, we had some sliced cucumbers with Italian and these huge, toothachingly sweet Ranier cherries that were totally worth the premium price. We also picked up some treats at the Oriental mart, some fried seaweed stuff from the boyfriend and a szechuan-style fish jerky type thing from me. Unfortunately, we finished the fish already and I can't find a pic of it online, but I did find the seaweed:
Boyfriend is sort of addicted to them but I didn't really care for them. The taste is okay, but I think dried seaweed strips on their own (without the frying) have more flavor and I didn't care for the crispier texture of the fried type.
Sunday, we also got...............Speedway frozen coffee!! If you have the fortune of having these machines in your local Speedway, they're absolutely the best frozen coffee I've ever had. They're creamier than they have any right to be and absolutely delicious. Not all Speedways have them, we went through three one time trying to find them. They look like your average icee maker but the coffee in them comes out beautifully, all smooth and cream, and they're even tasty after they've melted, something I can't say about icees. Perfect summer treat!