berry pickin.

06/01/2010 § Leave a comment

to wake early, to be out in nature, to pick a fruit from its tree, to feel the sun on your back, to smell the sweet fragrance cling to the hot air — this i have missed.


bánh xèo, feeding the soul.

02/07/2010 § 1 Comment

(first attempt at bánh xèo)

craving all kinds of do’ ăn nhậu. which reminds me. i like those days i have an idea in my head and follow it through to the end. it doesn’t happen all that much, but when it does, i die just a little bit. like the very first bánh xèo & nước chấm combo i made (above). it doesn’t need to be a big idea, just one that feeds the soul. sometimes i want to make it last just a little longer, so i can really take it in. but chances are, even after it’s been seen through its lovely end, it’ll stay with me. the part that remains.

avocado + shrimp + tomato

12/23/2009 § 2 Comments

my favorite meals are the simple ones. simple ingredients, simple steps, but nonetheless mouth-watering. having low blood sugar, these meals are supremely useful when i feel faint and have to eat in 5 minutes or risk looking sickly.

earlier this week, taking inspiration from annabel, i happily threw together avocado, grape tomatoes, and shrimp for one a ridiculously delicious salad. prepared in no less than 7 minutes. so good.

keeping it minimal a la mark bittman, the preparation goes like this: chop red onion & garlic, slice grape tomatoes in half, cube avocados and cooked shrimp. mix together in bowl, in that order. add olive oil, vinegar (or lemon juice), sea salt and pepper to taste.

like with all my recipes, the proportions should be to your liking. me particularly, i’m an avocado girl.

brussel sprouts + pancetta

11/11/2009 § 1 Comment


going home on the 6 train with the coworker, i had the strange urge to ask b for her advice on how to cook brussel sprouts. mostly because i haven’t really cooked since moving to new york last year. and for whatever reason, i had one small batch of brussel sprouts in my refrigerator.

to my pleasant surprise, she had a very specific way of preparing hers, but ultimately, it all came down to the bacon. sadly, i never buy bacon, but i happened to have pancetta. saved ! so with a little bit of b’s guidance, and having had a jolt of cooking inspiration from my dear friend linda, i set out to combine two ingredients i love on their own, and see what magic they would make together.


brussel sprouts
chopped pancetta
chopped garlic
chicken broth
olive oil
sea salt, pepper

1. throw cleaned brussel sprouts in salted boiling water for 4-5 mins. remove/drain.
2. heat up olive oil in pan, sautee pancetta for 2 mins, add garlic for another 2.

3. add brussel sprouts and cook until brown (not ‘sissy brown’, b says).

4. cover pancetta with a bit of broth, and let cook for a few mins. add salt, pepper.

the bitter, crunchy, caramelized taste of the brussel sprouts swimming in the salted, smoky fattiness of the pancetta just about killed me. the best part is that i already had both of these ingredients lying around in the fridge, which for me translates into a very low-maintenance dish. i love simple, classic dishes, and sometimes prefer them to everything else.

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