Considering this New York trip took place back in February, I realize I really need to catch my blog up to my social media. That is, I need to catch my blog up to real time. In order to do so, I’m going to start putting all the videos on a single trip into one blog entry instead of parsing each day’s vlog out into its own blog post. That means you’ll get a fast recap of my travels via YouTube starting…NOW. Day 1 in New York City Xi’an Famous

Inspired by my trip to Nashville, where I had tasty meals at both Arnold’s Country Kitchen and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, here’s a recipe for mac ’n cheese. I had this dish at both restaurants—Arnold’s makes a pretty classic one, while Hattie B’s adds pimento cheese. Funny story: during one of my NMO attacks years ago, I was put on several days of intravenous corticosteroids, whose side effects include insomnia, water retention, and increased appetite. For days, all I craved was instant mac ’n cheese—you know, the kind that comes

My second notable gastronomic adventure in Nashville was hot chicken. This Nashville stuff is so famous, even KFC released its own version. There are multiple Hattie B outposts, but my friend and I went to the centrally located one. You order at the counter and specify your preferred heat level—the brave can go all the way up the fire scale to “damn hot and, even hotter, “shut the cluck up.”” I went with medium while my Korean friend went with hot. Even the medium was pretty spicy, and I ended

I flew to Nashville to speak at a conference held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and in the Blind Cook fashion, I had to try some regional cuisine, namely southern cookin’ and hot chicken. The first adventure was at Arnold’s Country Kitchen in central Nashville. My friend and I arrived just in time to beat the lunch crowd. It’s one of those places serving what’s known as “meat-and-threes,” which is colloquial for meals consisting of a main meat entrée and three sides. (If you’ve never heard

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

During my Narita layover, I stopped by a convenience store to pick up some onigiri, which is my favorite Japanese snack ever. It’s essentially a stuffed rice ball wrapped in crispy sheets of seaweed. My favorites are from the 7-11 or Family Mart and contain spicy tuna or tuna with mayo as the filling. You may also find teriyaki beef or plum or whatever, but I love the tuna ones best. In Hawaii, there is a similar rice ball called musubi and, in classic Hawaiian tradition, it’s stuffed with a

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

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