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The holiday season is in full swing, which means everyone’s making a list and checking it twice. To help make the task a little bit easier, I’ve put together a short holiday gift guide for the home cook in your life. These are tools and gadgets I use on a regular basis in my own kitchen, and I’m sharing the tips with you. Watch the video for a special, surprise giveaway, too! And for even more gift ideas, check out my previous gift guide. Happy holidays!

On the heels of one of my trips to Vietnam, here’s another fun video from my YouTube where I do a true blind taste test. Last time, I tried snacks from various parts of Asia. This time, the hubs found a Korean market in Ho Chi Minh City and picked up a bunch of Korean snacks. I tasted each food item, tried to guess what it was, and gave my honest review. The Vietnamese are obsessed with Korean culture (likely due to the popularity of Korean dramas in Vietnam), and

Missed connections are inconvenient, but you just gotta learn to make lemonade. When our Japan Airlines flight out of Ho Chi Minh City was delayed several hours, we inevitably missed our connection in Narita. This turned our layover into an overnighter. Initially, we contemplated buying a Narita Express ticket into Tokyo but soon learned Tokyo was not as 24/7 as New York City. We decided to stay put in Narita, opting for a short cab ride to downtown for a quick bite at McDonald’s. (I always like to see how

To heck if I know. I had banana wine for the first time on this trip to Vietnam when Kyle Le took John and me to eat goat. My guess is it’s fermented banana juice. It was very mild with only a hint of banana. I personally prefer my alcohol more robust. Always happy to try new things, though. Our Vietnam trip was winding down, and the hubs and I tried to get in as much last-minute trying of new things as we could. From high-end sushi to goat breast

Perhaps my busiest day in Saigon was the day I had three back-to-back events to attend. In the morning, I had the launch and signing of the Vietnamese translation of my cookbook, Nau Bang Ca Trai Tim, which translates as “cook with all your heart.” (Yes, the Vietnamese publisher changed my title entirely to make it more suitable for the Vietnamese audience.) Then in the afternoon, I stopped by a university to promote my popcorn line, Uncle Jax and do a photo op with the students. Lastly, a meeting with

Let’s take a break from our regularly scheduled program. On my YouTube channel, I started a new series called “Christine Tries,” an all-encompassing title for videos in which I’ll be trying anything from different foods to (gasp!) driving a car. (Just wait for it—it’ll be done.) For my first “Christine Tries” episode, as a nod to my many trips to Vietnam and Asia, I try snacks from the continent. To make it more interesting, I do a true blind taste test—others selected these snacks, so I have no idea what

This travel vlog is a perfect demonstration of how Vietnam today is at the intersection of the old and the new. We’ve got a man pan-frying crabs in a wok on the sidewalk, cigarette dangling from his lips, sandals on his feet. Then across town, we’ve got teenagers making ice cream using liquid nitrogen. Vietnam is an emerging market, and this is apparent when you visit. Why I love Vietnam: iKem. My family has a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop, and I get to exercise my culinary creativity by creating

This video shows Sady, a woman with cerebral palsy, using Apple technology to edit videos. What’s mind-blowing is the video was actually edited by Sady herself using the very same assistive technology. Yesterday, Apple announced the launch of their redesigned Apple accessibility website, which now includes videos showing how people of all ability levels use Apple technology to achieve vocational goals and do everyday tasks. These videos not only empower people living with disabilities, they also challenge everyone to rethink what a person can and cannot do regardless of abilities.

We enjoyed our Danang food tour with Lena T. so much that we invited her back the next day to hang out in Hoi An. We rented motorbikes again and rode all the way from Danang to Hoi An, which was about a 45-minute drive—not bad, except that your back and butt will hurt by the end. I had a lot of expectations for Hoi An since I’ve had two friends tell me on separate occasions that it was their favorite town in Vietnam. My pops described the old town,

For a quick getaway, the hubs, BIL, and I took a weekend trip to Danang, a relaxing beach town in the central region of Vietnam, where the streets are less crowded, the air breezier—a welcomed change to the sticky, saturated streets of Saigon. We hit up the beach in the morning, located right across the street from our hotel. Because most Vietnamese people prefer to be out of the sun (fairer skin indicates higher social status, as in you’re wealthy enough to not farm the fields yourself), we pretty much

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