Recipe - Bulgogi

>> Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This is one of my favorite Korean dishes (to be honest the only one I really know), but its a great introduction to Korean cusine.

Here is a recipe from my dad who prides himself on making this delcious dish! This is his exact recipe so you can see where I get my amazing writing skills...


  • 2 cups Soy Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Sugar

  • 2 tbls Sesame Seeds

  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seed Oil

  • 1/4 Rice Wine (dry white wine)

  • 4 cloves, smashed/grated Garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ginger


It's this simple, mix everything above in a bowl. stir until the sugar disolves, and the garlic mixes in really good! (Do you love my technical jargon?) This is the good part, you can either take a chuck roast, or steaks, or any red meat, and pour the sauce on the meat. Let it marinate for at least 3-4 hours. If it's a roast, make little slits in the roast so the juice can get into the inside. Then Broil the meat! If you using the roast, cut it up in slices. Trust me on this one, it's a winner!!


Restaurant Review - Nikko's, Charlotte

>> Tuesday, May 27, 2008


As some of you may know, I tend to jet set from time to time (probably more than I should and/or can afford). This past weekend was one of my many adventures in Charlotte, NC. Jef took me to a great Japanese restaurant, renown for its ostentatious owner and her sake bomb songs.

We arrived at Nikko's around 10:30 and I was shocked to find this place was still packed. Honestly, I felt as if it had been plucked from New York and placed in Charlotte. There was loud music, contemporary decor, trendy dressers (I was definitely not one of them...) and big booths filled with parties.

Our server greets us immediately and we order cocktails, I decided to try their Pomegrante Martini. It was pretty good, heavy on the pomegranate, light on the vodka, which was fine by me.

To start we ordered Edamame, which I normally don't like (its just bland to me), but was pretty good here. We then decided to go with two sushi rolls. I love anything involving crunch, and tuna so the obvious choice was the Tuna Crunchy Roll, and then TNT seemed intriguing so we went with it.

When they came out, I knew that there would be no left overs. The Tuna Crunchy Roll was lightly breaded in panko crumbs and then deep fried and filled with red tuna (NOT minced like they do here in NYC), crab, cucumber and topped with a ponzu sauce. That sauce was incredible, it lended the right amount of sweetness to mesh well with the crab and tuna, and the cucumber (which again, I normally don't care for) was just the right amount of crunch.

The TNT roll didn't disappoint either. It was filled with White Tuna, Cream Cheese, Cuke and topped with Red Tuna and Avocado.

After a Pink Martini (which was not pink, but as Jef pointed out was made with Pink vodka) we headed back.

Overall, Nikko's was a great experience and definitely a New York atmosphere in a far more charming southern town.

1300 South Blvd # F
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 370-0100


Salsa - The Written Recipe

>> Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Simple Salsa

I know some of you weren't able to view the video yesterday and that's a shame because you would have learned soooo much.

Fear not foodies, here is the recipe for the salsa made in yesterday's video. If you do not have a magic bullet, a food processor or blender will work (just be sure not to set to liquefy...)


  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • 1/4 to 1/6 of a jalapenos (if you buy sliced I would use 3-4 depending on thickness)
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1-2 sprigs of cilantro
  • salt
  • pepper


Couldn't be in chopping device (again food processor, blender, magic bullet, whatever) and set to pulse. This is important because you dont want your salsa to become a puree and look like baby food.

I have to say when I first made this I was shocked at how much better homemade salsa was then store bought and in all reality it cost about the same and you know the quality of your ingredients.

Simple. Fast. Easy.


Making Salsa -- IN A VIDEO

>> Monday, May 19, 2008

Ok this is a Frugal Foodies first, yes, we have video. A big thanks to Lex who's wonderful video and editing skills can be seen here.

This will serve as both a product and recipe...get ready...


Restaurant Review - Alta

Before I started the Frugal Foodies I used to send out weekly emails to my girlfriends to describing the restaurants I would eat at. This was my first email review and since having eaten at Alta I've gone back with my Dad and Jef.

Here's the email in its original form so you can see why I needed a blog to write about food :)

Anyways Friday night we went to this little restaurant in the West Village called Alta and seriously it we had some of the finest culinary masterpieces that have every grazed my expanding palate. They are all really small portions (its not actually a restaurant its more of a tapas places...) so we ended up ordering 4 things and with the guidance of our sever we really knocked this one out of the park. I sipped on a lavender martini and Tracy on a floridirita (a grapefruit and white grape juice vodka drink) and then the food...WOW here's a brief overview:

  • Fried Goat Cheese with lavender infused honey
  • Smoked Mozzarella in shredded filo, tomato and red onion salad, caramelized balsamic
  • Skirt Steak chimichurri, shoe string potatoes and rosemary butter truffle cheese with a stewed jersey tomato
  • Pork epinadas with a chipotle lime dipping sauce
  • Chocolate fondue with orange biscotti (I LOVE FONDUE)
  • Strawberry tart

I swear the people next to us probably thought that we were food critics because after every bit there was a discussion about the contrasting textures and the was a sight to see!

Since having been back with my Dad and Jef, there are some additional things that we tried that definitely should be noted

  • Coca (Catalonian Flatbread) oven roasted mushrooms, fresh ricotta, truffled boschetto, herbs
  • Crispy Duck Confit Tatsoi Salad with frisee, whole grain mustard & Forum Vinegar
  • Brussel sprouts roasted with apples
  • Venison with an apple chutney
  • Lamb Meatballs spiced butternut squash foam, toasted sesame seeds and lebne

Overall Alta is one my absolute favorite places in Manhattan and for good reason. All the plates are reasonable priced between 6.50 - 15 dollars. Everything is made to order and comes out as its ready, oh and the food is amazing!!

If you are ever in Manhattan this would be my suggestion for a light dinner (or heavier dinner depending on how much you order) and if you get a big group together (I'd say 8+ people) I would definitely suggest doing the "whole shebang" for $350 and sampling EVERYTHING on the menu!!

64 W. 10 (at 6th ave)
NY, NY 10011
(212) 505-7777


Guest Posts! Cocktail Time by Meagan Parker

>> Friday, May 16, 2008

Dearest Foodies,

If you ever have a recipe, tip or anything you would like to submit please do! Every Friday and Saturday I will not be posting so this is the perfect time for you to submit your materials.

Today's post is from my sorority sister, matchmaker and dear friend Meagan, its about one of her favorite summertime cocktails.

Here you have it!

I got this receipt from my cousin's wife… she and her dad made these "as she was growing up" (she fits in perfect with my family) AnyHoo, we aren't really sure where the name came from, but you have to admit… it's kinda fun to say.


Ever look for that perfect summertime drink for by the pool, on the beach, or at the lake? Well your search has ended with this version of the traditional southern lemonade with a little KICK.

What you need:

  • 15 Lemons

  • 2 cups or sugar (Or for those looking for low-cal Splenda)

  • 1 quart of Vodka: I like Zodiac

What you do:

Take a Sun Tea Pitcher (the kind with the little spout) and fill it up with ice. Add your 2 cups of sugar (Splenda). Next pour in the vodka. Then cut 12 lemons in half and juice them, adding to the ice, vodka and sugar. Slice up the last 3 lemons for looks and toss in the pitcher… put on the top and shake till all the sugar has dissolved (btw… great upper arm work out).

Fill a cup full of ice and pour yourself some lemonade!


Cocktail Time

>> Thursday, May 15, 2008

Everyone loves a good cocktail, especially me. Given my parents, the choice to enjoy cocktails was not optional, but ingrained in my blood.

This is a great simple drink created by Jef, and its a twist on a standard Vodka with soda water.


  • Vodka (preferably Zodiac)

  • Soda Water

  • Pomegranate juice (preferably Pom)

  • Lime cut into slices


Depending on how strong you like your drinks obviously influences the amount of vodka you usa, but as a rule of thumb I like my vodka to be about 1/4 of whatever glass I am drinking from. After pouring vodka over ice, add soda water (about 1/2 of the glass) and add about 1/4 pomegranate juice.

To make this simple vodka and pomegranate juice will be half of the drink and the other half soda water. Add lime to taste!

So there you have it, a great, classic drink with a little twist!


Simple Pasta Salad

>> Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The time has come -- recipe time. As a general rule, everyone should know that I do not measure things, I use my clean hand for all my measuring needs, or eye ball it. Its much easier and saves time, you don't have to be precise for food to taste good.

This recipe was inspired by my co-worker and wonderful friend Jackie. Its perfect to make the night before and take with you to work or party, wherever you deem worthy.

Simple Pasta Salad for 1 (obviously double, triple etc. for more)


  • 1 Chicken Breast (I really love Perdue Perfect Portions. Yes, the name fits. They are perfect)

  • 1 palm full of pasta shells

  • 1/4 - 1/2 of a roasted red pepper (see, that tip came in handy :) )

  • Feta cheese (as much as you like)

  • Italian dressing

  • Olive Oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper


  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat add enough olive oil to cover the pan. Salt and pepper each side of your chicken breast and add to pan (2-3 minutes on each side to brown, and then cook for 6-8 minutes more).

  2. While chicken is cooking, add water to sauce pan for pasta. Salt the water (this is the only chance to give pasta any salt flavor so dont forget!) and cover till boils then add pasta. Let cook for 8-9 minutes or until desired texture.

  3. Drain pasta and place in bowl and set in refridgerator to chill (I'm sure this is wrong, but I throw mine in the freezer sometime to make it cool down faster). Basically the point of this is to not have hot noodle when you add the other ingredients.

  4. Once pasta is cool, dice chicken into cubes and mix with feta cheese, red peppers and enough italian dressing to coat the pasta (as I general rule I go in a circle around the bowl as a good measure).

  5. Either eat then or let it set over night for all the flavors to mesh together.

Well there you have it, the best, simple pasta salad ever. Enjoy!!


Roasted Red Pepper Tips

>> Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Roasting a red pepper can be intimidating. I understand. I roasted my first one the other day, but thanks to dear ole dad I have a great tip that will make it so easy you will never buy canned roasted red peppers again (not like there's anything wrong with doing that, but I feel like if you have the time, making things homemade is better).

There are two methods to roasting a red pepper (three if you have a grill, unfortunately my HUGE fire escape in my apartment wouldn't fit me let alone a grill).

First method:

  • Turn on your oven to broil
  • Brush the pepper with olive oil, then just put on a cookie sheet and into the oven
  • Turn every few minutes and make sure skin is charred on the outside (the blacker the better)
  • Once sufficiently charred, remove from oven

Second method (my preferred way):

  • If you have a gas stove, turn the burner on high and throw the pepper directly onto the flame
  • Turn every few minutes and make sure skin is charred on the outside (the blacker the better)
  • Once sufficiently charred, remove from burner

NOW HERE'S THE TIP...Put the roasted pepper in a brown paper bag and seal the top and shake the bag and all the charred skin will fall off!

Remove from bag and cut into desired slices (don't forget to remove the stem and seeds!)

If you have any tips you would like to submit I am always into way to make my life easier!! My email is in my profile.


The Frugal Foodie

>> Monday, May 12, 2008

Well as many of you know this blog couldn't have come at a more opportune time. I have been thinking long and hard about what I truly enjoy and after much thought and lots of eating, I have come to the conclusion that I sincerely just love to eat and jet set. Who doesn't? I know right. But I feel that I see food in a different way, I get excited when I figure out why something tastes the way it does, and what goes in to making a dish. While I may not have the funds to do as much traveling as I like, I do spend a good amount of money experiencing all the culinary masterpieces New York has to offer.

So join me on my adventures as I explore new products (food, utensils, whatever), tips, recipes, cocktails, and most of all restaurants. If you feel so inclined I have added a donation button on the side to help fund my culinary travels, as you might assume, dining out in Manhattan doesn't come cheap, but whatever its worth it.

Finally, a special thanks to my dear friend Marcy, who knew what I needed to do before I did. You are the best!!



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