Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Most Delicious Foods of December

Not to make you guys hungry or anything, but I just wanted to share about some of the most delicious foods I have enjoyed this month....

These latkes are from Hanukkah last month but I also made more when I got back home in December. I made a big batch and they only lasted like two days, they're that delicious. I'll probably make some more when I get back after Christmas.

Might look a little grody? I don't know? But these chicken tacos from the little market down the street from me are delicious and about as authentic as you can get, taco-wise. Perfect enjoyed with a classic Mexican coke, made with real cane sugar.

Chicken and waffles! I just couldn't get that chicken and waffle dish from LA out of my mind, and I was pleased to find that San Francisco has some of their own chicken and waffle places, like Gussie's Chicken and Waffles. Next time I go I'm going to have to try their Georgia peach skillet cobbler for dessert, if I'm not too full after my chicken and waffles.

Good food is definitely one of the greatest pleasures of my life. It's so fun to be able to write about food every week for my writing job, and share those articles with my friends and family.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A holiday weekend in Los Angeles :)

I spent this past weekend in Los Angeles visiting a friend. I had a really nice time. We ate delicious food, saw the sights around downtown and East LA, Hollywood, San Pedro and Long Beach, went to Amoeba Music, went to the Griffith Observatory, and went to Angel's Gate Park in San Pedro and enjoyed the sunset and ocean view.

The first thing I did when I got into town was to go to Rounds in West Hollywood for a Western burger and fries. Awesome lunch. The fries were so crispy, too.

Later on that night I stopped by Original Snow Cone and Funnel Cakes and got some fried Oreos, a fried banana and a Churro. If I can give a piece of advice, it's this: scarfing down fried foods is liable to lead to heartburn. Still: it was worth it.

Next night: Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood. A friend of mine recommended this place to me and it did not disappoint. I got the fried chicken breast and waffle combo, with a side of gravy and some macaroni and cheese. Kinda jealous we don't have one of these in the Bay Area.

We got a dazzling view of the city from up high on a hill at the Griffith Observatory. Pretty popular place, apparently. This photo doesn't do the view justice, but it's as close as I could get with my phone camera.

At Amoeba Music, I found one of my favorite movies, North by Northwest, for only $2.99! Great deal.

So now I'm back, refreshed, and ready to take on the rest of the week. Looking forward to the next holiday!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall times

So, what have I been up to lately? Oh, not much.. just continuing my regular visits to San Francisco, occasional outings with friends, and enjoying this warm weather before the chill of Fall/Winter finally gets around to descending upon us. I kind of miss the rain, so sometimes while I'm on my computer I'll put on Rainy Mood in the background so I can pretend it's raining. The best part about a rainy afternoon is staying inside with some tea and a good book. Hoping for some real rain soon!

I recently went to a beach bonfire with some friends near Santa Cruz, which was fun. We enjoyed some roasted corn, hot dogs, and bananas wrapped in foil, sprinkled with chocolate chips, which were tossed into the fire to get all warm and melty.

Did I ever share about my apple picking adventure? I must have forgotten... well, a few weeks ago I went to Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville with a friend and we picked apples. I have wanted to go to an orchard and pick apples for a while, it is so quintessentially Fall. They had about four varieties of apples available and I picked a whole bunch. I made some applesauce with some of them, most of them I just ate, and some I left with my parents when I visited them.

These green ones were delicious!

Overall I've been having a pretty nice Fall so far. I have a sugar pumpkin I bought a while ago that I need to get around to using. I might roast it in the oven, or maybe puree it and make a soup. Pumpkin is delicious, and the seeds are great roasted as well.

Almost forgot to introduce my parents' adorable new(ish) kittten, Milo....

He is so fun. When I first met him he was very energetic and excitable, curious about everything, getting into everything. He's mellowed a bit since then, but still likes to get into things, such as laundry.

So, that's what's new with me... looking forward to seeing what the rest of Fall and the Winter holidays will bring!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


After I went to Canada, I went to Oahu for another vacation! That was a pretty nice time.

This is the inside of a cave in Waianae, where my friend lives! We went in there. It was dark, and rocky. Hard to walk. But, I didn't fall or anything.

Cool mural I passed by walking around in Honolulu. People are so creative!

This is a picture of the ancestral lands of Waianae. I think this place is called something, I forgot. But, my friend's ancestors lived here. It's like one of those hidden local places that no one really knows about.

A beach in Waianae at sunset. This is my friends' parents' view outside their cabana. So pretty!

Another view out the window in Waianae. I was staying next to Waikiki Beach but it was just a lot prettier and non touristy over in Waianae, on the other side of the island.

While I was in Hawaii, my friend and I went to the Honolulu Art Museum, some little shops, a mall, a barbecue, Waikiki Beach, some other beaches, that cave, and that's pretty much it. So, it was a pretty nice time.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'm Back

At long last.. I am updating my blog. I'm fairly settled in to what I suppose is my routine for the time being, so it's about time to say goodbye to summer.. although I expect the weather to remain somewhat warm for at least another month or so.

I really enjoyed Vancouver. I stayed with some friends and met a bunch of their friends, so there was always something to do... go to the beach or a park, check out one of their favorite restaurants, walk around downtown, go to a party, or just hang out.

Charlson Park is my friends' favorite dog park. My friend I enjoyed this view while we played "bocce badminton" since I am not good at badminton and we could not successfully hit the birdie back and forth... so we just made up a contest of who could hit their birdie with the racket the farthest.

English Bay is another great spot I enjoyed. There were these logs set up throughout the beach where people could sit or lean up against them while sitting in the sand.

My Vancouver friends have the cutest apartment. It is so cozy with these flowers in little bottle vases on all the tables, posters on the wall, and books everywhere.

We passed by these beautiful flowers while walking around downtown on my birthday and my friend's girlfriend bought me some carnations :)

We enjoyed these little cakes for my birthday.. the three of us each chose the one we liked best, and each of them was delicious!

This is one of the libraries in Vancouver. It was modeled after the Colosseum.They've got books in several languages, and even a big touch screen patrons can use to browse the collection or learn about the history of various cultures.

Vancouver is certainly a vibrant and unique place that I hope to visit again one day.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Birthday thoughts

Well, I'm 28 today.. which leads me to ponder upon how I am going to approach this next year of my life. It's kind of funny how feelings about birthdays can change over time. When you're a kid, you're excited to have a birthday, because you get a party with all your friends, and presents, and cake, and everyone sings and you're the center of attention, and it's pretty much the best day ever. Then gradually.. all you really want is quality time with your closest friends and family, and to think with each year that's passed, you're working towards a more successful, fulfilling life.

I know I can do better. I can adopt a healthier diet. I can exercise more. I can give back more to the community. I can keep in touch with my friends and family more. I'd like to think I'm doing ok so far, though. I'll have earned my master's degree in early December. I've got some good work experience behind me, to pave the way to a good career. I'm just facing that crossroads right now, where I'm waiting to see what happens next. I can only hope that with enough good fortune, in addition to having the opportunity to demonstrate my abilities, I'll measure up to achieving my goals. It might not happen right away, but I guess I'll just need to have patience and keep trying, and learn from every experience as much as I can.

View from Jericho Beach at sunset in Vancouver, BC... more about Vancouver soon :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I just got back from a few days in The Windy City of Chicago (actually wasn't windy at all... occasionally a little breezy but mostly just really humid and hot, with a tiny bit of rain). My travel buddy and I went to some museums, ate at interesting restaurants, went and saw some live jazz, went to a movie, and just walked around a whole bunch and enjoyed the sights.

A little glimpse of downtown from our hotel room on the 12th floor.

Exchequer Restaurant and Pub- our first meal when we arrived that night. We just had to try some Chicago style pizza, and it was delicious. So innovative to have sauce, toppings, then more cheese, or however it is they did it. There was lots of cheese.
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria- More pizza, we ordered a pizza here one of the other nights. It was slightly better than Exchequer's pizza, in my opinion at least. Pizza at this place was like, toppings, cheese cheese cheese, sauce on top. Maybe some sauce snuck in with the "toppings" too (which were not really "topping" the pizza per se since they were bundled in with the other layers). Every time we passed by this place the line was out the door so we just ordered, picked it up and took it back to our room because we knew it had to be good but didn't want to stand in line for half an hour and then be crammed into a restaurant stuffed with people.
Grahamwich- A cute little sandwich shop, very reminiscent of San Francisco. Really sunny, seating was "family style" with comfy leather ottomans pulled up to a simple wooden table, with chalkboard drawings of vegetables on the wall. They had super healthy fruit juices, and a variety of tasty sandwiches and salads. I got the pastrami sandwich, very fresh tasting and filling.

Russian Tea Time- We had a light dinner here on our last night of some beef and potato dumplings and a lamb samsa, all served with leafy green salad, carrot salad, and rye bread.
Berghoff Cafe- got a tasty lunch here, a pulled pork sandwich and a bottle of their own house brewed root beer. Very classy little cafe below ground level, with stained glass windows.

Toni Patisserie and Cafe- a delightful little French cafe where we got brunch one morning. I got a slice of quiche lorraine, an iced mocha, and some macarons.

Each table had pretty flower arrangements, like this one.

Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique- Here we got a dozen mini cupcakes, with fun flavors like banana, strawberry, pumpkin, chocolate, vanilla, mocha.. all with just a few decorative dollops of frosting on the top so they weren't too sweet.

Smith Museum of Stained Glass- a pretty little museum at the Navy Pier, where you could walk down hallways and little rooms to see different scenes depicted in stained glass windows.
The Field Museum- A pretty neat museum of various aspects of natural history. We saw exhibits on creatures that glow in the dark on land and under the sea, the original Native American tribes, ancient wall paintings discovered in France, and mammal and bird exhibits too.

Jazz Showcase- We caught the last hour of a show here at half price, and it was more than worth the money. Excellent musicians on the trumpet, piano, bass, an instrument kind of like a xylophone, and a full set of drums. Each of them were really into their instrument, given solos that were met with a wave of applause each time.

Millenium Park-  A vibrant community park, home to The Bean, some lovely plantlife, and a big fountain where kids love to cool off on humid summer days.

The Bean, a truly awe-inspiring work of art.

This fountain was really interesting, different faces would show on these LCD screens on these brick structures on each side, while water sprayed down the sides and onto the street to make a little pool that kids could walk on. 

Despicable Me 2- Went and saw this movie at an AMC theater near us, very funny and cute. I actually hadn't seen the first of the series but the movie stood well on its own. 

Random observations-
Gambling is totally not ok on the trains. They mentioned this several times over the intercom on the train. No soliciting, either.
Kids everywhere, but hey, I guess that's how it is in a touristy place.
The Shedd Aquarium has the longest line all the time.
Humidity is kind of exhausting, important to drink water all the time and take breaks every few hours to relax in an air conditioned hotel room.
So it was a really fun few days, always something to do and see. The city is a bit noisy, trains constantly passing by overhead, lots of people... but, it was cool to see what Chicago was like!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fanime 2013!

The "Totoronut" from Psycho Donuts-- a chocolate donut with chocolate frosting and white powdered sugar in the image of Totoro, a favorite character of Hayao Miyazaki's Japanese film, "My Neighbor Totoro"-- and filled with raspberry jelly.

Just a little update to let my reader(s) know I am alive and doing well... just been really busy with work/ school, and getting ready for Fanime, which is this weekend! I actually decided to cosplay this time (dress up as a character).
 My character is Minty Zaki from the Pixar movie Wreck it Ralph.

Thursday night after work I met up with my friends, had dinner at our favorite place-- Pizz'a Chicago-- then went to a little bit of a panel on Pokemon, then went and hung out in the game hall for a little bit and played a couple rounds of this fun Pictionary-meets-Telephone type board game, where you draw a picture, and the person next to you has to try and write in their answer of what they think it is, and then that person draws that guess, and you see how or if it changes along the way-- this can continue with as many as eight people. Very funny game.

Then Saturday I got up super early to turn in my pre-registration materials and pick up my badge. Finally got my badge after about an hour and a half of waiting in lines... not that bad, actually... went to Starbucks, met some random people who were also cosplaying as the same group of characters as my character, walked around with them for a little while, posed for a bunch of pictures, then met up with my other friends, we hung out at the hotel for a bit, went to lunch at a great little sushi place near San Jose State campus, Tengu Sushi; walked around some more, went and played more of that game from earlier, various hanging out at the hotel and walking around the Convention Center, went to the park and took some pictures of our group, then I met up with a different friend at Quickly and we got some milk teas, walked around so he could see peoples' neat outfits, then came back to my house and watched Casablanca. Long but fun day!

Then Sunday I met up with a couple of my friends, walked around Artist's Alley for a little while, then went and got a hot dog from a hot dog stand nearby, hung out with some different friends at Artist's Alley some more, bought a cute ring....

 It's a French macaron cookie! :)

Then came home because I was really tired, and took a nap.

I took some other fun pictures at the convention...

Caught this mock battle between a storm trooper and Godzilla from the second floor of the Marriott..
Ran into Jack Sparrow in the front of the convention center...
And these interesting characters, also from Wreck it Ralph.
 Might go back tomorrow for the last day depending on what is going on. So nice to have a 3 day weekend. :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baseball on a Sunday Afternoon

Today was my first baseball game. The San Francisco Giants were playing the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park, and tons of fans came out to watch the game. My housemate and I took the train, and every stop, a bunch of Giants fans were waiting to join us in their orange and white/gray/black fan paraphernalia.

At&T Park is about a block away from the Caltrain station. I grabbed a big deli sandwich and some waters from Safeway and just followed the crowd to get there.

We found our seats... and settled in for a great game.

We had a great view from section B140, row 25, seats 17 and 18. We were seated right in front of a little wall between us and the section above us, so we could lean back if we wanted and stretch a little. We also had the foresight to bring a big soft blanket to sit on, to avoid the hard bleacher seats.

About half way through the game, I wanted to walk around a little bit so I got up and got a hot fudge sundae from the Ghiradelli stand. It was very refreshing on such a hot day.

Even though things looked kind of small from where we were sitting, it was really easy to keep up with the game because they had this huge screen right behind us where they'd show each player's picture/stats as they were up at bat, and the score at the bottom of the screen. They would also replay the especially good hits or catches made by the Giants.

In between the teams switching off after each inning, there would be fun features like sing-alongs, or recaps of some of the best plays the Giants had experienced that week. At the end, the kids in the stands got to go down to the field and run the bases, which must have been so fun for them, a great memory to cherish all their lives.

The Giants ended up winning the game, 5-0, and I'm glad we stayed till the end, even though we knew they would win, because it was just so nice seeing everyone so happy and hugging each other in the stands at the end of the game, as Frank Sinatra played over the speakers.

In that moment, I couldn't help reflecting: this is what it feels like to be part of the Bay Area community-- to go to the ball game and root for your team, to sing along with the songs, to feel like a part of something so much larger than yourself, something with so much history and grandeur, and to just feel so united with those around you through this team of talented men, playing for their fans.

Sports: finally starting to get it. What's next? Hockey, maybe! After all, San Jose is home to the famous Sharks....

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Today was one day of the two-weekend Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco! A friend and I met up to go and check it out.

There were sponsor booths, art/jewelry/things for sale, food booths, and a stage in the main plaza where they had a beauty pageant and some Taiko drum performers.

The American and Japanese flags flying side by side.. I thought this made a pretty picture :)

In Japantown (where the festival was held) they have street signs in English and Japanese!

The Taiko drum performers were amazing-- they had all these different drums that made different sounds, and they were literally dancing while drumming.. and they just looked so happy and into what they were doing, you could tell they really loved it.

We also went and had lunch at a Japanese restaurant in the little mall nearby. I have not had sushi in quite a while, so that was a real treat.

There was also this neat mural at the entrance to the mall.

So, fun weekend :). Can't wait to go back to San Francisco next weekend to see the Giants!

P.S. I changed my blog settings so you don't have to have an account to comment. Didn't realize I could do that but that should make things easier for my commenters :).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

First Farmer's Market of Spring!

It is officially Spring, and what better way to welcome the season than a trip to Farmer's Market? My housemate and I went to Campbell Farmer's Market and I got some lovely things. We also saw lots of cute friendly dogs and there were some musicians playing musical instruments/singing-- some blues, and even some music from Zimbabwe.

I got... an onion to make quinoa patties later, some flowers, a butternut squash, pumpkin paratha (Indian bread with pumpkin filling) and fire-roasted eggplant spread from Sukhi's gourmet Indian foods, and some dino kale to make kale chips later.

Not sure what I'll do with the rest of my day, I'm on semi-spring break now (got the week off from just my internship, still have to work at my normal job) and I have about a week and a half until I need to have some work done for my other class. So I'll just enjoy the beautiful weather, maybe sit and read a book on the sofa by the sliding door where the sun is shining into the room.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Epic Sandwich

Last weekend a friend and I went to Ike's Place, a sandwich place in the Castro district of San Francisco, near the Mission District. I'd heard this place had amazing sandwiches, and if you just check out their menu, you can see why. My friend and I both thought the Heath Ledger or The Joker sounded like the best choice-- the Heath Ledger (which my friend got) has "Beer Battered Zucchini, Ike's red pesto, Ranch, Vegan Meatballs," (and lettuce and tomato) whereas The Joker (which I got, with the addition of banana peppers) has the same ingredients but all beef meatballs. Want to see a picture?

This is pretty much the best sandwich I've ever had... aside from the Croque Monsieur I got from Tartine Cafe a few weeks ago, which was also amazing. 

So, we picked up our sandwiches (and chips and drinks) and went and ate at Dolores Park. It was a pretty nice day out, not too cold or too warm. We sat in a sunny spot but also near trees so we would have access to, as my friend aptly phrased, "theoretical shade." Lots of other people were enjoying the nice weather too so it was neat to people-watch and see all the dogs wandering around. There was even a guy flying a kite! 

So, that was really fun. This weekend I think a friend of mine from back home is visiting and we're going to some malls. Happy almost weekend, friends!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

More weekend fun

Hi friends! Well I finally got around to creating a Flickr account since that is one of the only ways I can get pictures off my phone. So, I wanted to share my recent visit to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium, a very fascinating place in downtown San Jose.

This is the sign at the front...

And here are some statues at the front, too.

A statue of the venerable Julius Caesar...

Inside, it was just as nice...

Ancient Egyptians used to keep records on these cuneiform tablets. Usually it would be for things like taxes. It amazes me how they could write on these little tablets that could fit in the palm of your hand.

Of course, they also had other ways of keeping records...

Some samples of papyrus.

They even had the Rosetta Stone there. This is just a model, the original is in the British Museum in London.

One of my favorite features of the museum was this display of vases and vials for holding potions or perfumes. It's incredible that these have been preserved for so long, and it's really fascinating to get a glimpse into the personal lives of Egyptian people and their taste for glass craftsmanship.

I enjoyed seeing these ancient instruments, too.

The staff at the museum were very enthusiastic and helpful. There was a girl who gave a lesson (mostly for children, or "junior archaeologists" as they were termed) about the mummification process, and the museum actually had real live mummies. Don't worry, I didn't take any pictures of *them.* I was really mostly interested in seeing artifacts from their everyday lives, which were undoubtedly much more simple than our own, yet rich with experiences and memories all the same.

Well, until next time... take a moment out of your day or week to enjoy the simple things, like a live performance of someone playing a musical instrument, or a good book, or the beauty of a handmade vase. :)