Tai Pei Orange Chicken

This post was sponsored Tai Pei, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I find myself running around with less and less time for my essential meals of the day. To stay on track with my schedule, I grab a Tai Pei meal from the frozen food aisle of the super market. I decided to pick up Tai Pei’s Orange Chicken entree today for a quick lunch and I have to admit, it’s my favorite so far.

tai pei orange chicken

I excitedly heat up the meal, the bright packaging was so enticing. The fact that it’s quick and simple to heat up in the same packaging, certainly helps as well. When I’m on the go, there’s little time for fixing plates; I just want to eat. I’m a huge fan of Asian food, so, I’m always looking forward to trying a new entree from Tai Pei. There are so many options to choose from, but it really does depend on what your local supermarket is carrying. I go to a different supermarket each time to make sure I’m experiencing large variety Tai Pei offers. Before heading to the store, I use Tai Pei’s store locator so I know what to expect upon arrival.

The orange chicken entree consist of breaded white meat chicken, vegetables and fried rice in an citrus-flavored sauce. I warmed it up for about five minutes in the container. Then, I let it cool for about two minutes before digging in. I peaked into the container during the cooking process. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of chicken I saw.

The portion size on this dish is perfect. It’s just enough for one with plenty of chicken and rice making it a filling meal. I definitely felt a hit of heat at the end of the dish, which surprised me. I love spicy foods and this one was just so flavorful all the way to the end. I’m not big on vegetables but Tai Pei makes it easy to consume because of the sauces they use and how fresh the ingredients taste. This might have been the first time I ate all my carrots. My mother would be so proud.

The best part is that you too can have Tai Pei in your freezer this weekend after a busy holiday season. If you love Asian food or Fried Rice, then it should be your only solution on the go.

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seafood paella

Recently, a couple members of the Hungry Crew joined me in checking out one of Miami’s seafood hotspots, Rincon Escondido Tapas, located at 2697 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137. Rincon serves traditional Spanish and Argentinean cuisine in a tapas style and has quite the reputation for their seafood paella.

THE RESTAURANT

Rincon has the classic “hole-in-the-wall” appeal. Everyone knows that hole-in-the-wall restaurants have the best eats. Outside, there is seating on a raised concrete patio. Inside, Rincon is cozy, with small tables clustered about that can be rearranged depending on the size of your party. It also had an eclectic décor. Rincon is perfect for casual dining, no reservation is necessary, unless you want to order Rincon’s most popular dish: the paella. It’s a good idea to call ahead if you want to order that dish. All of their food is made to order and the paella – which comes with either chicken or seafood – takes about an hour to prepare.

THE FOOD

seafood pallea
The paella is a must try at Rincon, but call ahead if you and your party don’t want to wait for this dish. It takes about an hour to prepare. Photo: Rincon 

Rincon’s seafood paella (“Paella de Mariscos”) is a traditional paella with shrimp, squid, mussels, and clams. One order typically feeds two people, but the Hungry Crew and I ate to contentment and had leftovers – which tasted even better the next day. The presentation of the dish was mouthwatering, the aroma was delicious. It was flavorful, but a bit salty. Luckily, we each had a glass of white wine sangria to cleanse our pallets.

While waiting for our seafood paella, we indulged in some tapas. We ordered the grilled squid (Chipirones a la Plancha), cod fish croquettes (Croquetas de Bacalao), and sautéed garlic shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo).

Before the tapas arrived at our table, the owner served us a small bowl of potato salad as a starter. I usually don’t like potato salad that isn’t made by my mother, but Rincon’s potato salad was tasty. It was well seasoned and not overly creamy.

As we were finishing the potato salad, the grilled squid arrived with warm bread on the side. The grilled squid was not big on flavor. However, the oil based sauce that it was served in was delicious with the bread. Next came the codfish croquettes and OMG they were fantastic! The four pieces were just enough to wet our pallets. Shortly before the seafood paella came out, the sautéed garlic shrimp arrived with more warm bread, it was delicious. The shrimp was well seasoned and perfectly cooked with a kick of spice.

 

Grilled squid served in a buttery lemon sauce.

We ended our meal on a sweet note with flan–a creamy custard dessert popular in Spain. It was divine. The flan’s consistency was perfect and was not overly sweet.

BOTTOM LINE

Overall, I would give Rincon Escondido a rating of four out of five shrimp. It’s a great place to enjoy scrumptious seafood in Miami while hanging out with friends or a casual date night.

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Sunday Brunch
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Sunday brunch has become quite the welcomed weekend tradition. On any given Sunday, there is no limit to the number of guests pouring into restaurants eagerly awaiting to partake in everything from bottomless mimosas and avocado toast to turning up on the dance floor. While I admit it is an event I look forward to each week, sometimes I want to experience the same brunch joys with a few out of box twists.

There’s no shame in wanting to do things your own way with a little creativity. Dying to take the boring out of brunch? Get into these three useful tips and thank me later:

1. Cook This, Not That

When you think brunch, a bevy of omelets, French toast and crepes served hot and ready probably come to mind. But the downside is that they require your constant stove-top attention, which can take away from the brunching fun. If you’re hosting Sunday brunch for your family and friends, opt for unconventional brunch items that you can make ahead of time, like a quick breakfast casserole, quiche, banana breads or muffins. And if you plan well enough in advance, you can freeze and thaw them the same day without sacrificing taste.

2. Turn Sunday Brunch Into A Show

Another way to breathe some life into your drab brunch plans is to go multi-course. Like upscale dinners, you can have a five-course breakfast with new pairings each round to keep the conversation going for hours. Keep it light at first then bring out the heavier entrees a little later. Don’t forget: always end with dessert because, why not?

A plate of waffles and bowls of fruit sit on a brunch table.
Fruit is a great beginning course while waffles and other pastries are cooking. Photo by Photo by Megan Savoie on Unsplash.

3. Turn Chambong Into Your Best Friend.

Mimosas are a Sunday brunch staple and here at Food Before Love, we are proud mimosaholics. While you can never go wrong with a classic, putting your own spin on the drink can offer a pleasant surprise. Enter the chambong. An easy-to-use glass that enhances the champagne drinking experience, you’ll never put your lips to a flute again. Instead of a stem, the champagne comes out the bottom of the glass in a funnel-like manner. Talk about a new way to enjoy your favorite beverage, right? You can even turn things up a notch by trying to finish the entire glass in one “sip.” To purchase your own, visit https://shopchambong.com/.

A clutch with the words "mimisaholic" on it and two clinking champagne glasses.
Proudly proclaim your love for mimosas at brunch with our mimosaholic clutch!

Now that you know how I like to mis up my Sunday brunch, let me know you like to enjoy brunch. Any new ideas you’re looking to try? Share your suggestions in the comments below!

Be a better brunch babe

Do you often find yourself questioning where you should brunch this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC Brunch guide gives you 6 weeks of Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat .

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Los Tacos No. 1 in NYC

New York City is a foodie heaven because of how diverse it is. When it comes to food cuisines you can find a huge amount of options spread along just once city block. Still, most of us have our food favorites and tend to stick to what we know when it’s time to pick a lunch spot or dinner date location. But as a foodie, it’s your duty to venture out and find new places you love. Otherwise, you might miss out on some of these hidden gems right outside your door. Besides, are you a really a foodie if you don’t take advantage of all the great food NYC has to offer?

A plate of tacos from Locos Tacos
Los Tacos No. 1 is perfect for the foodies who loves a good taco. Photo by Los Tacos No. 1

1. Los Tacos No. 1

New York has no shortage of great Mexican spots to fulfill all of your taco needs. However, this hidden gem has sat on top of my best tacos list for two years running. Located inside of Chelsea market, Los Tacos has some of the most authentic Mexican tacos that I’ve tasted in the city. It’s a small shop located in a food hall, which means that if you’ve never ventured into Chelsea market, you probably have never heard of it. The set-up of this spot allows for you to watch your tacos being made and then they’re handed to you for your enjoyment.
Price: $
Location: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue. New York, NY 10011 (Multiple Locations)

2. Verde on Smith

Brooklyn’s restaurant industry has been booming over the last few years, but this cobble hill location has been around for quite some time. If you visit during brunch hours, you can try their thick cut brioche French toast or the rosemary potatoes, wash them down with unlimited mimosas and raspberry, mango, or peach bellinis. Outdoor patio seating means you can soak up some sun and fresh air during NYC’s warmer months. They even have big tables for those group brunches we love so much. If dinner is more your thing, their dinner menu is full of Italian goodness.
Price: $$
Location: 216 Smith St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

Verde on smith bubbly

3. Cuba Restaurant and Rum Bar

Delicious Cuban food paired with Cuban inspired drinks? Yes please! Cuba is a quaint restaurant nestled among the busy streets of the west village, which is why many people may overlook it. The name says it all, as Cuba serves up some Cuban favorites such as vaca frita, ropa vieja, and of course mojitos! Upstairs is a bit tight, but no worries, they have another level downstairs with extra seating and its own bar. On some nights, you can enjoy your meal while a live band plays!
Price: $$
Location: 222 Thompson St. New York, NY 10012

4. Lemongrass Grill

I almost didn’t put Lemongrass Grill on this list because I love how low-key and chill even though NYC is always bustling. Located on court street in Downtown BK, Lemongrass Grill has everything that you need in a Thai spot: nice ambience, great appetizers, affordable entrees, and two-for-one cocktails. Yes, TWO-FOR-ONE! The drink special is just one reason you should be visiting Lemongrass Grill soon. The service is always prompt and the appetizers and entrées are delicious. You’re guaranteed to leave full and satisfied. They also have pineapple fried rice that is served inside of a pineapple, so you can eat delicious food in a new way and stunt for the gram (we won’t judge)!
Price: $
Location: 156 Court St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

thai

5. El Jeffe

Have you ever been craving Mexican and Caribbean food, but had to settle on just one of the two? Well fret no more, because El Jeffe has created a menu and dining experience that allows you to enjoy both at the same damn time all without leaving NYC. Fried shrimp tacos, jerk pork nachos, and grilled fish rice bowls are just some of the dishes you can try here. They have frozen margaritas and Mexican beers available to wash down your food too. Don’t forget to order yourself some delicious Mexican corn!
Price: $$
Location: 1483 Fulton St. Brooklyn, NY 11216

 

Mimosaholics Need This List

Do you often find yourself questioning where you should brunch this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC Brunch guide gives you 6 weeks of Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat .

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Tai Pei Chicken Chow Mein

This post was sponsored Tai Pei, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

With the holidays approaching, I’m trying to save every dollar that comes my way. Since having the shrimp fried rice from Tai Pei, I’ve been wanting to try the other flavors they offered. I find Tai Pei to be so affordable and the price was even better because I had a coupon! So, I found myself back down the frozen food aisle. After using the store locator, I opted for the Chicken Chow Mien which I planned to eat during a quick lunch.

Tai Pei Chicken Chow Mein
Tai Pei’s Chicken Chow Mein comes in a bowl with all the ingredients you need.

What I loved most about this entree—which shocked me—was the quality of the chicken in the dish. I could  taste the freshness and I could tell there were no artificial ingredients used. This stuff is the real deal. From the taste, to when I broke the chicken pieces apart with my fork, the quality was consistent. It was a treat! I didn’t need to add anything extra to this entree because it was flavorful enough. It’s low in calories, the vegetables were cooked well and it comes with a savory soy sauce for flavor. I definitely think this will be the perfect dish if you’re on the go like me. Everything is ready-made, full of flavor and the preparation is low maintenance, making it easy to enjoy.

Tai Pei Chicken Chow Mein Entree
A few minutes in the microwave and you’ll be able to dive into this delicious dish!

If you want to know more, let’s chat tomorrow, November 9 at Tai Pei’s Twitter party. You can join in, ask questions and share some thoughts of your own. All you have to do is tune in at 1 p.m. Make sure you follow Tai Pei on Twitter first though!

Additionally, our readers have the opportunity to win a $100 Walmart gift card from now until November 15 when you enter their sweepstakes below.
Tai Pei Sweepstakes

I-C will randomly select 10 winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes.

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Beer tasting

Attention all you beer lovers and newbies alike: please join us on Tuesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. for another fun-filled Food Before Love special event. This time, we are heading to Duke’s in NYC for a #WishYouWereBeer tasting! So, if you want to step up your usual after work happy hour game, round up your crew and be there for good times amongst other fellow foodies.

Your $25 ticket gets you five beer tastings including the featured beer of the evening – Bells Brewing. After that beers are just $5 for the duration of the event! As a bonus, Devil’s Backbone will offer three beers on tap as one of your options, plus, a Bell’s Brewing representative will be on deck to give us some beer education and answer any questions. By the end of the night, we will surely be a bit closer to beer connoisseur status!

Wish you were beer
Just $25 gets you some amazing craft beer and fun night out with beer lovers and newbies alike.

Of course we can satisfy our appetites and pair our hoppy drinks with delicious food from Duke’s menu or indulge in half priced tacos. If you’re feeling lucky, you can partake in a game or two of Bingo. Who knows? You may be the one to win one of the prizes!

Ok, we don’t want you to get left out of all this action! So, be sure to purchase your tickets here or below. Come hungry and ready to drink and don’t forget to use #WishYouWereBeer on when posting on social media. We look forward to you joining in and enjoying this experience with us!

Cheers!

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