My Summer Vacation, where I’m going to be fed

My Summer Vacation, where I’m going to be fed

I haven’t taken a personal vacation in years. To be exact, it’s been two years and 9 months. To be even further precise, dramatic (and redundant), it’s been 1,015 days, which feels like a lifetime for me.

Every time Todd and I plan on a vacation, an opportunity arrives at our door step and we accept it, putting our personal vacation aside till next the next month. Our choice to take these gigs over vacation isn’t because it’s about the money, but rather, they’re jobs »

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Nail Shop Eats- Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad Competition

DeliciousVietnam is a monthly blogging event celebrating the love and diversity of Vietnamese cuisine.  Delicious Vietnam was  founded by Anh of Food Lovers Journey and Hong and Kim of Ravenous Couple.

I’m joining in on this month’s festivities and sharing my Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe. If you love Vietnamese food and have a great recipe post to share, please join the community!

My Mother has acquired an unprecedented fan basehere on our blog since I started writing about her Nail Shop Eats escapades and she »

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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – Summer Fest

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – Summer Fest

Summer Fest is back again and  the theme for this week is herbs, beans and greens. To participate, read more about Summer Fest on Away To Garden from Margaret then come join the community!  Catch up on this seasons previous  themes on the bounty of Cukes N Zukes and Sweet Corn.

There are few herbs which give the connotation of “fresh” like mint does.  A vibrant, bright, opening of the senses.  As most home gardeners will know, there is hardly only one kind of mint. »

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Vietnamese Style Pickled Carrots from Eating Local Cookbook

I’ve fully embraced the fact that I’m addicted to salt and crunchies. To preen me away from a jar of anything picked is like separating a mother bear from her cub. Please don’t get between me and my precious jar of pickled vegetables. Just don’t even think of going there. OK?

With that submission to salt made clear, I’m blaming it all on my Vietnamese heritage because I pretty much started at birth (once I moved to solids) to eating pickled foods as part of my meals. »

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Memories of Vietnam

Daily Crack Photo Blog- Tips and Tidbits from our Everyday Frenzy

Going through old libraries of photos and found some from our Vietnam trip. Love this photo.


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Roasted Radish and Greens Salad – A friendly food fight

We were talking to a friend about radish recipes and she swore up and down that the only way to eat radishes was raw, crunchy and fresh. There was no other option to eating radishes, raw was it, she declared. She’s a great gardener, cook and mom. Her dedication to family, food and a healthy lifestyle is admirable. We wish we could be like her when we grow up. But she’s wrong.

We don’t often argue about food, knowing that everyone has their own tastes »

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Vietnamese Caramel Braised Pork Belly Banh Mi – Nail Shop Eats #4

The leaning tower of pork belly banh mi: not for the light hearted

I’m not a comedian, nor was I trying to be one when I spoke frankly about my mother’s Nail shop cooking escapades. Like I’ve always said, my mother is a culinary fool, a manic of a woman who lives to feed her family of 6 kids and our extended family of neighborhood friends. She’s been known to get even more carried away and feed her nail shop clients homemade noodles and fish »

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Mangosteen Noir

Daily Crack Photo Blog- Tips and tidbits from our everyday frenzy

“The morning was cold and miserable until she walked in…”

As much as we love eating from our garden and buying from local farmers, there are some things which allow us to savor and appreciate how wonderful it is that our current world has become so global. Fresh mangosteens it one of them.

Here in So Cal, more specifically in Little Saigon, we are lucky to have phenomenal fruit vendors scouring the the world »

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The SteamyKitchen Cookbook- Garlic Butter Noodles

It’s here, it’s finished and we’re thrilled to finally be cooking from the new Steamy Kitchen CookBook by Jaden!

The journey of the Steamy Cookbook has always been a public affair. Jaden’s tweets and blog posts about her trek from being a mom of two hungry boys, to food writer/ tv personality, to her whole cookbook process has had us engaged, absorbed and laughing out loud.  Jaden has always been generous with her wealth of knowledge and very transparent about all the hard work it »

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Vietnamese Banh Beo Dumplings

Daily Crack Photo Blog - Tips and tidbits from our everyday frenzy.


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O-hayō from Kyoto – and Mister Donut

Kyoto is the culinary heart of Japanese cuisine. It is here where many claim Japanese cuisine is done on it’s finest level.  Kaiseki cuisine (seasonal dishes, immaculately prepared and presented in the highest level of art) births from Kyoto. So what incredible meal did we have our first morning in Kyoto?  Mister Donut.

Our first full day in Kyoto, we were excited to start exploring, so we hopped on our loaner bikes and pedaled toward downtown. Our stomachs were stirring in the balmy Kyoto morning »

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Tomato Jam Recipes & Kiddie Tomato Theives

Tomato Jam Recipes & Kiddie Tomato Theives

It’s week four and the final gathering for Summer Fest 2009! The celebration of Summer’s bounty has been wonderful and we’re finishing it off with a big tomato bang!

Margaret had continued Summer Fest for the last 3 weeks, where we’ve been celebrating fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best. For this years Summer party, Margaret has collaborated with co-creators  Matt of Matt Bites (who also created the gorgeous plump tomato logo), Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen,  us of White on Rice »

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The Ultimate Umami Burger

The Ultimate Umami Burger

For the longest time, we’ve been making the best darn hamburger on the face of this earth (insert personal bias.) We’ve never had a specific name for the recipe until someone tagged it as the “magic meat”, but not as in “mystery meat” or “I can’t tell if this is chicken or beef.” Rather, it was to describe the magical flavor sensations that everyone experienced when they bit into one of our patties. That “magic meat” term  described the juicy, flavorful and savory burger patty »

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Vegetable/Herb Spring Rolls for Summer Fest 2009- Share your recipes, garden tips & stories

Vegetable/Herb Spring Rolls for Summer Fest 2009- Share your recipes, garden tips & stories

A new blogging event has just launched and this time, it’s a fun, free for all celebration of Summer’s bounty! Started last Summer by Margaret Roach of Away to Garden and Deb Puchalla, which was called Food Fest, lovers of everything fresh, delicious, and/or from the garden shared ideas and recipes from across the globe. Last summer’s event was a cross-blog event where they would announce a food or “crop” in advance and they would then swap recipes, growing tips, lore and whatever else came »

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Vietnamese Hot Coffee – Camp Drinking

I’m an addict and I don’t care.

It’s not that I can’t go anywhere without having my daily, tasty coffee.  It is just that I don’t want to.  Headaches aren’t an issue, nor do I get all that grumpy without a morning hit of caffeine, however my morning coffees provide a brief moment of calm bliss.  Sanctuary lies in a cappuccino with a perfect, velvety foam, Vietnamese coffees (hot or cold – ca phe sau da or ca phe sua nong), or a simple espresso »

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Asheville, North Carolina – local, homegrown & handmade

Have you ever dreamt of a place where the soil was lush and fertile? Where the sounds and sights of nature wrap you up in it’s peaceful beauty, and then upon further exploration you find that this magical realm’s people are even more beautiful than it’s landscape. A place where the inspiring beauty of the residents is then exceeded by their charm, warmth, and talent. And this talent is frequently directed towards producing some of the best feasting fare and whistle wetters you have ever »

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Beautiful Cowboy Cooking – Cast Iron Pans and BBQ Salt Crusted Fish

Until a year ago, I was a fool.

Every time we would peruse our favorite kitchen stores I would gaze longingly at all of the beautiful stainless steel pans shimmering by their storefront windows. “Oh, to own a full set of copper cores…. sigh.”    But for the copper cores one must come with cash, lots of it, and we knew it was a luxury that wasn’t necessary.  (Yes, we could have charged it up, but we don’t endorse that sort of needless spending!)

We »

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Creamy Chili Hot Sauce (Spicy Sriracha Mayo) on French Fries

The internet is all afire about Huy Fong’s Sriracha Hot Sauce lately and I’m still fired up (no! not from the consumption of the chili sauce), but from all the headlines on the internet. The spicy buzz seeds from Huy Fong Sriracha articles by The  New York Times, Serious Eats, Andrea Nguyen’s thought provoking commentary, a little Twitter spat (no comment) and humbly,  my little  homemade sriracha style hot sauce recipe. All the hot sauce excitement has me glued to the computer with a pretty »

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Snickerdoodle – Cinnamon Sugar Cookie goodness!

Snickerdoodle – Cinnamon Sugar Cookie goodness!

I had a brilliant idea. It was for another addition to our deep-dish-a-la-mode-cookie repertoire, aka pizookies. Aka Sweet Crack. However, there was one minor problem. I had no snickerdoodle cookie recipe for the dough that I wanted to use.   There were no snickerdoodle recipes in any of my go-to dessert cookbooks, no family recipes, no nada.

So I embarked on a little snickerdoodle cookie cyber research quest to discover the beauty behind these tasty cinnamon sugar cookies. I knew very well of how snickerdoodle »

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Mandarin Crème Brûlée Recipe

Mandarin Crème Brûlée Recipe

Just before Diane left for Club Med Bahamas, all of you twitter followers may have seen her tweet purring about me making her a mandarin creme brulee.  Yes, I admit, I am a closet pastry fiend.  I loooovve desserts.  It started with a love of eating them (I have not a sweet tooth, but a sweet jaw), then progressed (many eons ago) into a love of making them.  Diane is our household cakemaker girl so those I leave for her pleasure,  but the rest of »

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