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Monday, December 31, 2012

King Hua Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Alhambra

Let's end 2012 on a happy note. A few days before the end of the year, my sister-in-law's sister got married and she invited my family to the wedding. Well, technically, she got married last summer at the courthouse, but saved the church ceremony and wedding until now.

King Hua Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Alhambra 1

My brother said King Hua Restaurant was the first location they scouted and decided it was fine on the spot. Must be those gold brocade chair covers with the Chinese frog buttons. :P

I was curious to check out the banquet menu since my only other dining experience at King Hua was for dim sum.

The Chinese reception included a bit of Japanese Hawaiian touches from the groom's side. The table favor was a fruit basket with a plumeria lei. The wedding party all wore really elaborate and different leis that were handmade by a family member too.

Monday, December 24, 2012

World Vision Hand-Carved Kenyan Olive Wood Serving Spoons Giveaway

World Vision Hand-Carved Kenyan Olive Wood Serving Spoons Giveaway 1

Aren't these hand-carved olive wood serving spoons gorgeous? The serving spoons were made to benefit orphans of the Kamba tribe in Kenya, who are known for their wood-carving skills. The spoons are 11 inches long and come in a drawstring bag.

They come as a gift with a donation of $65 or more to World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities combat poverty. Since 1996, the World Vision Gift Catalog has sold 160,000 items, raised more than $33 million, and helped more than 825,000 people around the world.

Last year, the most popular gift was a $75 goat. More than 67,000 goats were given to benefit needy families around the world. Or you can gift two chickens for just $25. Or a pig? Sheep? Alpaca?

World Vision also helps girls and women with education, job training, counseling, and small business loans. A donation of $40, which includes a hand-tied wooden beaded bracelet created in a Thai project to prevent trafficking, will help a sexually exploited girl get shelter, medical care, vocational training, and counseling.

The World Vision Gift Catalog gives tons of options to help combat poverty around the world, and if you give to the Maximum Impact Fund, you also get a free gift so it's a win-win for everyone. To raise awareness, the nice folks at World Vision are letting me give away one set of these Kenyan olive wood hand-carved serving spoons.

Friday, December 21, 2012

French Filet Mignon with Red Wine Shallot Sauce

French Filet Mignon with Red Wine Shallot Sauce 1

Doesn't the filet mignon look marvelous? It was the most tender steak I've ever had in my life. Seriously!

I jumped at the chance when one of my advertisers, Foodie Blogroll, offered samples of filet mignon and sea bass from Certified Steak and Seafood Company. U.S.D.A. Certified Prime Angus Beef. The filet mignon is certified in the top 1% of beef, center cut, slow aged, hand cut, and hand matched. It's touted to cut like butter, and even just handling it before cooking, the filet mignon was the softest beef I've ever touched. My only other experience with online frozen beef was with Omaha Steaks and it wasn't even anywhere close to the same quality as Certified Steak and Seafood Company's filet mignon. Nowhere close.

I was trying to remember if I've ever ordered filet mignon, and all I could remember was the filet Chateaubriand at Club 33, the secret restaurant inside Disneyland, which was nowhere near as tender. But the red wine sauce did remind me of a lovely meal of steak with red wine and shallot sauce I enjoyed at Pierre Victoire Restaurant in London. So I decided that was the perfect preparation for this filet mignon.