Chu mung nam moi! I recently posted a recipe for Vietnamese New Year square cakes, or banh chung, and as promised, here is the YouTube video showing me attempting banh chung for the first time. All I gotta say is, mad respect to Grandma! Wrapping it is the hardest part, and then getting it cooked just right is second. But, like with all things in life, if you’ve stopped learning about food and cooking, you’re no longer living. I think I’m pretty brave attempting to make banh chung without sight.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. You want to do something special for your significant other. You call around to different restaurants but find they are either booked or are boasting menus with inflated prices. Don’t panic. Here’s your new plan: stay in and cook for your S.O. at home. I can’t remember the last time I went out for Valentine’s Day. There’s something more personal and loving about cooking the meal yourself, or better yet, with your S.O. Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish for a romantic night in. You
This Saturday, January 28, is the lunar new year, so an early chuc mung nam moi to you! We are saying goodbye to the year of the monkey and hello to the rooster. People born under this zodiac sign tend to be punctual, honest, bright, ambitious, and self-reliant. However, they can also be fickle, critical, impatient, and selfish. You are a rooster if you’re born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, or 2017. Do you know any roosters, and do they fit the above qualities? Anyway, with
It’s the eve of New Year’s Eve. Some of you already have your NYE plans laid out minute-by-minute. For the rest of us, you don’t have a clue. For some, the anticlimax is great. For others, it may feel like a letdown. We were talking about former New Year’s Eves the other night, and we all agreed a majority of our attempts at celebrating New Year’s in the past have resulted in great disappointment. A large part of it stems from setting the bar too high for what is essentially
The end of the year is a good time to reflect, renew, and rejoice. 2016 was a good year. I cooked with Chef Anita of Pondicheri (now also open in New York) for a private dinner that raised funds to help the vision impaired. I ate at Graham Elliot‘s restaurant, and he even personally cooked for us. I held another successful pop-up in Houston. I was invited to be a guest on CNN International’s Inspirations: Breaking Boundaries in London. One of my BFFs got married. I met a lot of
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
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!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I suspend all travel and work events just so I can be home for the holiday. That being said, Thanksgiving is not without its own stresses, especially if you are hosting the big meal. Since it only comes once a year, a lot rides on this gathering. Fortunately for you, I’ve hosted countless Thanksgiving lunches, dinners, potlucks, and parties. I’ve posted some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, from Creole corn to this easy broccoli rice casserole. This year, I’m going to help
Let me be the first to tell you, Chuc mung nam moi! You should know by now that means “Happy new year in Vietnamese. Today is lunar new year, and this time, it’s the year of the monkey. Monkeys are known to be intelligent and sly, both very true of my monkey cousin who is a litigation lawyer in New York. Hehe! Ever since college, once I had my own space, I’ve loved entertaining. From summer barbecues at the college apartment pool to the luau at my first house after
My, how time flies! It’s already holiday season again. Before I can even say, “Happy Thanksgiving!”, it’ll be 2016. But first things first, let’s talk entertaining. I’ve always loved having guests. I held summer barbecues at the apartment pool in college, cooked Thanksgiving for extended family when I was 22, and host dinner parties today. Every Thanksgiving, the hubs and I throw a big leftovers potluck party the Friday after. We ask friends and neighbors to bring a leftover from the day before, we fry some turkeys, and everyone has