Family Recipes

Vietnam’s Ocean Bounty-Grilled Red Snapper, lemongrass, chili’s

Vietnam’s Ocean Bounty-Grilled Red Snapper, lemongrass, chili’s

local fisherman in My Khe beach, Da-Nang, Viet-Nam

Every time I return to my birthplace, Vietnam, I’m continually drawn and connected to the ocean. I was born in Da-Nang, which is only a few minutes scooter ride to My-Khe beach, where I grew up as a small child. When we escaped Viet-Nam and made home in America, my mother would always reminisce and tell me stories of how close the ocean was and how we fed off the amazing bounty of Viet-Nam’s wealth of seafood. »

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“Welcome Rain”, says the garden.

“Welcome Rain”, says the garden.

“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.” ~Hanna Rion



Welcome rain, we’ve been missing your shower of love. Thank you for lathering our leaves, buds and flowers with your wet kisses and hydrating embrace. Every rainy tickle of your nurturing drops strengthens our roots and fortifies our colorful beauty for tomorrow. It’s so nice to have you back.


Golden Goddess Bamboo
Continue reading… »

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Grandma’s Fudge – A Tradition Revived

Grandma’s Fudge – A Tradition Revived

“Bah humbug”  was Grandma’s take on Christmas.   Every December we would receive a letter with that declaration,  however those letters would also have a companion.  A simple tin filled with individually wrapped pieces of homemade fudge.  A fudge that was smooth and tasty, and has forever left me unsatisfied with any that I’ve purchased.

Years back I found a typed 3×5 card with Grandma’s fudge recipe on it.  “Oh, the joy!” I thought.  “Now I can make Grandma’s fudge for myself.”  But the cooking »

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Sweet and Crazy 2009

Sweet and Crazy 2009

New Years resolutions are  hopeless promises to improve ourselves  that eventually get  broken. Well, at least it is in our case. That’s why we don’t make resolutions to eliminate our vices in a feeble attempt to clear a new path for a better life in the new year. We know we have issues, extreme tendencies and severe obsessions that warrant change. So we set goals for ourselves every day of the year, therefore everyday is a focus to be better people. We do try our »

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Happy Holidays 2008

Happy Holidays 2008

Gosh Oh Gosh, we can’t believe it’s Christmas! Wasn’t it just last week that we pulled the Thanksgiving turkey out of the oven? Oh wait, maybe it was last month, where have we  been?  Maybe it’s the collage of eclectic holiday decorations from Halloweens pumpkins and Christmas holly that has us in a holiday time warp. And yes, we’ve been busy too.

Either way, we still can’t believe Christmas is here.

As the year comes to an end, our reflections of 2008 come by in »

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The Wine Opener

The Wine Opener

An amulet. A ring.  Tattoos. A phrase we say.  The name we give our dog, cat, or child. Throughout life we tend to surround ourselves with things to remind us of somewhere, sometime, or someone we loved.  For me, one of those remembrances is a wine opener.

The opener itself has a lot of style.  Beautiful curves.  Polished edges from the many hands that have used it to bring innumerable wines to life. It unearths corks in such a crafty manner, that it can be »

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Vietnamese Cinnamon – & Give Away drawing!

Vietnamese Cinnamon – & Give Away drawing!

If we could put a stick of true Vietnamese cinnamon into the hands of every cook, Chef and epicurean, the food world would be a sweeter, more aromatic place. We’re that obsessively addicted and devoted to this amazing spice. So enamored with it that we brought back a whole suitcase full of it back from Vietnam. Luckily the US customs search dogs were on lunch break, or else we would have been sniffed out and questioned if we really cooked with the wood or smoked »

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When Oranges are Green, Viet-Nam

Vincent: “… But you know what the funniest thing about Europe is?”

Jules: “What?”

Vincent: “It’s the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that they got here, but it’s just – it’s just there it’s a little different”

As many of you will quickly recognize, that was a bit of dialogue between Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) in the movie Pulp Fiction. How true those words ring for almost any traveler, and not just for Europe.    Discovering »

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For the love of Vietnamese Iced Coffee – Hot Coffee (Ca Phe Sua Da – Ca Phe Sua Nong)

For the love of Vietnamese Iced Coffee – Hot Coffee (Ca Phe Sua Da – Ca Phe Sua Nong)

Enjoying Cà Phê Sữa Đá & Chinese checkers (Cờ tướng) in Đà Nang, Việt-Nam

It was another warm, humid summer night in Đà Nang, and I was cruising on the back of a scooter behind Quang, one of Diane’s cousins.  He’s the cousin I consider the cool, savvy intellectual.   He turned his head and asked, “So, do you like beer?”  I don’t think there was a moment the whole time we were in Việt-nam when a beer didn’t sound good, but I knew Quang »

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Pineapple peddler in Hanoi

Pineapple peddler in Hanoi

She is the memorable pineapple peddler in Hanoi. She stood out from most of the other fruit street vendors that we encountered because of her smile. Unlike many of the other mobile street vendors who were often older, rugged and worn from the toil of their meager lives, she was young, clear skinned, vibrant and always smiling. Her perfect set of teeth (which is often a rarity in ViệtNam’s poor population), warm smile, petite frame balancing two heavy baskets of pineapples and ease in navigating »

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An American in the Family

An American in the Family


Me at fruit market: Mangoes and Sweet Sop (custard apple, Viet cherimoya)

There was great anticipation in my arrival to Đà Nẵng because Cousin Diane was bringing home an American!  Just ask Little Su Hy (age 3) who had been telling all of her friends there is an American in the family.  Almost anywhere you read about Americans traveling to Việt-Nam, you’ll hear of tales of how warmly they are welcomed; the war a long forgotten and forgiven memory.  Our trip to Vietnam taught me »

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Return from Việt-Nam, fresh perspectives.

Return from Việt-Nam, fresh perspectives.

Vịnh Hạ Long Bay, Northern Việt-Nam

Whenever we return from a trip away our familiar surroundings, we are constantly reminded to remain grounded, sane and humble. Vietnam reinforced everything we understood about people, culture, society and cuisine. We both should never assume and teach that how we live and what we eat here in America is definitive of our backgrounds. Every reunion, set of tears, alley stroll, food stall, family meal, scooter ride, interview and conversation is a continuous learning experience.

Our stomachs were pleasantly »

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Goodmorning, Dragonfruit

Goodmorning, Dragonfruit

During the last few months, we found our selves rolling out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and heading out to the garden with our eyes still half closed. Yes, even without our espresso, we’re hauling our sleepy carcasses out of bed. This morning ritual only occurs during our dragon fruit season. The reason why is because our dragon fruit plants have produced tons (well, almost) of flowers , which only bloom at night and into the early morning. This 12 hour »

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Video #13 – Yosemite Nat’l Park and Backcountry Couscous w/ginger, shallots, zucchini

Video #13 – Yosemite Nat’l Park and Backcountry Couscous w/ginger, shallots, zucchini

As we write this post, Yosemite National Park is experiencing devastating wildfires that have burned thousands of acres of pristine wilderness. It’s such a sad and difficult moment, for we wanted so much to share the joys of our last camping trip with all of you. Yosemite has always been a special, magical, and inspiring place for us, as it has been for millions of it’s visitors. With the fire 40% contained, there’s still 60% of hard, backbreaking work that the firefighters have to fight »

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White Peach + Sorrel Salad with honey/balsalmic vinaigrette, not for sharing with dogs!

White Peach + Sorrel Salad with honey/balsalmic vinaigrette, not for sharing with dogs!

It’s been a trying time for us gardeners here. Fending off garden pests seems to be the topic of discussion for our last several posts. Recently, it’s having to fend off possums from our brandywine and sun gold tomato plants. Now it’s having to beat our dogs to our white peaches. Obviously they have good taste just like the possums. These dogs just LOVE to eat the white peaches, on and off the tree!

Peach thief smelling the goods first, checking for ripeness.

These »

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Our 5 Minutes of Fame

Our 5 Minutes of Fame

In our garden: Todd, Diane, Cindy and Roxanne ( show producer and hosts)

Sorry, we’ve been pretty hush, hush about this little TV event. The reason being, until the taping actually happened, we weren’t certain if the idea of White On Rice Couple on TV was actually going to happen. Making a WROC video was on our own time, so we know exactly when things are going to happen and “air”, but for a bigger project like a TV show, it’s so much more work »

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Taping for the show…

We’re taping an episode for the new show, “The Culinary Cocktail Hour”, right now! Here’s a couple of pictures of the events going on in the house right now. It’s pretty crazy with equipment everywhere but it’s been such a great learning experience so far!

One thing learned is that it’s blistering HOT with all the lights! We don’t normally use light in shooting our video’s, so this is all a new experience for us. We’re leaving you with a couple pictures now and will »

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Video #12- PROOF that we really did have a party!

Video #12- PROOF that we really did have a party!

Hah! This video is in response to some of you who question if we really had a party of 70 people this last Saturday! Yeah, we cooked it all and we actually had lots of people over who ate almost all the food! Being that there’s a cloud of doubt because we didn’t provide pictures of the guests, just the food, we decided to put this video together as the PROOF!

We also threw this video together to share with all those who attended the »

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Thank you Mom and Mẹ !

Thank you Mom and Mẹ !

Working in the retail business has it’s ups and downs. One of the drawbacks of working with the general public in the service industry is being swamped for the whole Mothers Day weekend, helping everyone else ensure that their Mom’s are taken care of, pampered and recognized, while our own Mother’s get a quick hug or phone call as we run off to work.

But Mom and Mẹ ơi , here is another quick shout to you and all Mom’s out there that you are »

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Back Home on the Range

Back Home on the Range

Now that we’re back home and settled in from our trip up to Dad’s, it’s time to take advantage of this Southern California weather. We’ve long recovered from our winter’s snows (snicker), and now we need to get our garden ready for it’s summer’s bounty. Inspired by the tastiness of our last winter’s carrots & beets, and the horticultural passions of Master Sommelier Michael Jordan (he grows 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes) , we’ve decided to get extra serious about the propagation of our herbs »

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