Pho Real This Time

A lot has happened since I made my first pot of pho. I’ve actually gotten a lot better, and I think will continue to get better in the kitchen. There might even be the recipe for it at the end of this post, *gasp, I know. This is the ultimate comfort food for cold days/nights or even hangovers. Knowing how to make a delicious pot of pho is just good for the soul. Also, I did the math, making it at home the way you want it, is still A LOT cheaper, like less than $3 a bowl CHEAP.

With the cold weather being more stable, I will be making a lot more hot comforting foods at home. Warm bellies make for a good night sleep! Be sure to follow me on Instagram, I usually do play by plays in real time there. Or maybe not follow me if that’s not your thing!

First you are going to need a gigantic pot. But this really depends on how many soup bones and oxtail you want to use. I have a gigantic one because I use about 4-5lbs of soup bones AND a couple pounds of meaty oxtail!

As you can see, my bones roughly cover the bottom of the pot. So if you use a smaller pot, that’s one way to eyeball it. Make sure that you parboil the bones first to get rid of excess fat and blood that will make your pho water murky.

Once everything is ready for that pot, let that baby boil! While it’s doing that, this is prime time to get your extras together.

Ok I lied. There’s no recipe. This is a lot more complicated to explain than I thought. But I’ll keep working on it!

Crafty Bastards DC 2012

Let me start off by saying, I know that this happened a little while back, but life was catching up with me!

My friend Marty and I decided it was time that we check out Crafty Bastards. We’ve missed out all the other years before, and this was our year. Armed with cash and full of coffee, we were ready to discover some one of a kind hidden treasures.

Set in Union Market this year, the booths were set up in rows, under a tent. However there was still a ton of people, so patience and a good attitude is definitely needed. There were crafty stations, where you could let your little one’s imaginations run wild, or you could learn a new hobby like crochet. Dogs were welcome, which meant you have to watch out so you didn’t trip over some people’s pets.

There were lots of unique things, and lots of great inspirations. It was all very visually stimulating. Marty and I had a pact, that if we could make it ourselves we wouldn’t buy it. She is much more crafty than I, so I was the only one that walked away with something.

I am building an altar for my maman so I wanted to collect some dia de los muertos items and I got this beauty from Michael Brown of UC Studios. They have an etsy store, but not all their pieces are up there since they have so many. So the best way is to find them at a craft show and flip through their (AWESOME!) stuff.

If you wanna plan an efficient trip…make a list of things you WANT to spend money on, and target those tables. There was stuff everywhere in no particular order, you can walk away with too much or nothing at all depending on how the crowd sways you!


Comedic Hypnotist: Flip Orley

Did you just roll your eyes at the title of this post? I’m for real. Comedic Hypnotist. I’ve seen this guy 3 times…and it was a different show every time. What’s even more funny is…The first time I saw him, he just got married. The second time I saw him, he had a baby…this last time I saw him… He’s been divorced…4 times. Oh wait, that wasn’t funny? I guess not, but he made it funny. Ask him why he has 4 hoop earrings in one ear!

One of our couple friends are from Germany, and they want to experience all that DC has to offer while they are here… (they are moving in January :() So I decided to take them to a show at the DC Improv, specifically to see Flip Orley. He talks really fast (because he has to soothe and hypnotize his guests) so it was hard for them (and us!) to understand him sometimes. But the hilarity that ensued was understood in all languages.

If you’ve never been to a hypnotist show, let me break it down for you. The hypno-boy (his joke, not mine) comes out and he tells us about himself, usually in a funny way. Then he tells us about the powers of hypnotism, and how it works and why it works. He also tells us why it doesn’t work. He asks for volunteers to come up on stage, and for people in the audience to try to get hypnotized from there if they would like. Then he puts the moves on ya. After that he does a couple of things to filter people out who aren’t really hypnotized, and continues on with the show. I won’t tell you what happens next, but its DEFINITELY fun.

However, its all relative. I did see one angry girl walk out because she didn’t think it was funny. But hey she was also one of the ones that couldn’t get hypnotized so maybe she was mad she wasn’t relaxed enough. All I know I was glad she left because her stanky attitude was ruining it for the rest of us.

Be sure to find him and CHECK HIM OUT!

Kwhat?Kwho? KNISH!!!

I’ve never had a knish before, nor heard of it. Does that me sound super uncultured? Oh well. I had one the other day, and it was amazeballs. I mean seriously, I love a whole meal that I can eat in one hand. Okay, well I guess it wasn’t meant to be a whole meal, but that much meat and potatoes gets a girl full.

In case you didn’t know (like me) a knish is a pastry with meat and a potatoes inside, generally. I got a bacon cheddar one, and one of my girl friends got the short rib one, and we split so we could each taste one. The bacon cheddar one was just what I needed. We skipped breakfast and only had coffee, so by noon it definitely hit the spot. It came with a sour cream, chive dipping sauce and it was perfect. I need to know how to make that, and this. Super convenient. The short rib one was okay, a little salty and came with a bbq sauce type thing.

We got ours from Buffalo & Bergen at Union Market. Definitely going to have to try to make this myself!




Oh hey did you know I am a graphic designer? And the best way to organize before execution is drawing/sketching. Because we live in a digital age, I rarely spend a lot of time in a sketchbook, but just quick squiggles on a piece of graph paper. That being said, I personally think I am terrible at drawing. I could probably draw well enough to get my point across, but it isn’t anything nice enough to talk about.

So, to kill two birds with one stone, I’ve been drawing out outfits that can be made possible with the clothes in my closet. I have a lot of stuff I don’t wear, being that I’ve changed in size. I turned my second bedroom into a closet/dressing room/kitchen storage space. Now I can keep track of what I have, and all the possible ways to wear it. If you can think of more that would help!

What I wore last week:


…and then I got tired. It’s busy super busy busy, but I guess I don’t really need to tell you that. Happy Hump Day and I hope this was a good week!

Lao Tasting Menu at Bangkok Golden

A couple weeks ago, I joined some Yelpers at Bangkok Golden for their Lao tastings menu.  I go there pretty often, and I am Lao, so I know what the food is like, but I figured it would be fun to go with people that has never had it. Lao food is not Thai food. Yes its similar..but no, not really. It was really good to be around other adventurous eaters, not afraid to get down and dirty with the food.

Is it weird to start off with the alcohol? Not when it’s BeerLao. The pride of Laos, this beer is easily a lager drinker’s fave. It might be a little difficult to find for casual drinking around here (though I hear some Shopper’s Food Warehouses may carry it), you can definitely quench your thirst with one here.

Started the meal off with Crispy Rice Salad, or as its called in Lao, Nam.

Spicy Lao Sausages, fingers and sticky rice are a must.

Pork neck and papaya salad (spicy).

Fish Curry Noodle Soup

Chicken Larb

Steamed Fish in a banana leaf

Khao Mao, Avocado sticky rice

Having this restaurant accessible makes me really happy, and sad at the same time. A lot of these dishes my mom made for me. Now that she’s not around, I can go there when I am craving something. But also some of these dishes just make me so sad because they remind me of her. Like the steamed fish in banana leaf? I can’t even smell it without tears swelling up in my eyes. One time during chemo, I packed her that with rice. And she was hungry while she was getting her treatment, so I was spooning some out to feed her, but all of a sudden, she was embarrassed by the smell and didn’t want to eat it. It literally broke my heart to see her refuse to eat. My strong mother, who was never ashamed of anything in regards to her culture was this different person when was sick and going through treatment.

So yeah, I guess you could say it’s bittersweet for me. Sorry to go on in a tangent. Definitely check this place out!

Bangkok Golden
6395 Seven Corners Center
Falls Church, VA 22044

Tasting Menu, 7 courses for $25 a person.

Ramblings: If We Met Now, Would We Be Friends?

Via Tumblr

So hopefully you have all seen this episode by now. If not, spoiler alert, sort of.

I love New Girl, like all of us girls who are a little bit awkward at some points in our life. When I was watching this, it made me think of my friendships through the years. I still have one friend, who’ve I’ve been friends with…wait for it…SINCE KINDERGARTEN.

We had a lot of ups and downs as we grew into the person we are today, but in the end, we came back around and realized we can still be friends. Time has a lot to do with relationship. You know how people always say when it comes to finding “the one” with a significant other, it is always the timing? I figured it is the same way with friends.

via Tumblr

I’ve changed a lot since those school age years. I  would not have imagined myself the way I am now, back then. Not saying its a bad thing. As for the friendships, the friends that I met AFTER college are the ones that are my day to day. Or, the friendships from my childhood that has rekindled as adults too. These will be the friends that will be “aunts” to my kids. It makes me sad though, to think of the friends I lost touch with or don’t have anything to relate to anymore.

But I think you don’t need as many friends as adults, because you’ve already been well-socialized 😉

Pork Belly Sliders

I make these pretty often. They are a party favorite, and just so delicious. It’s crunchy, tangy, savory and bites back a little. I love making these as much as I love eating them. I try not to make them too often because pork belly isn’t really the healthiest cut of meat…says the girl who makes everything bacon.

It’s pretty simple to make, pickled daikon/carrots, and marinate the meat, then pile it all together. Deliciousness for your whole family. I used this recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon.

Pork Belly sliders
Makes 16

pickled daikon and carrots:
2 carrots, peeled and julienne
1 cup daikon radish, peeled and julienne
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
¾ cup water
¼ cup hoisin sauce
1 ½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
black pepper to taste
½ lb thinly slice pork belly
green onion mayonnaise:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced

½ seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
16 sweet Hawaiian Rolls

1. Place carrots, daikon and salt in a colander over the sink and mix together. Allow to sit for an hour, tossing together every 15 minutes. Thoroughly rinse and
place into a mixing bowl.
2. Place sugar, vinegar and water in a small pot and bring to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Pour sugar mixture over carrot and daikon and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
4. Place marinade ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add pork belly and toss together until well marinated. Place in the refrigerator and
allow to sit for 30 minutes.
5. Place 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil into a grill pan and heat over medium-high heat. Sear and cook pork belly on each side for 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
6. Place mayonnaise, green onions and garlic into a small bowl and stir together.
7. To assemble: Spread a small amount of the spread onto the tops and bottoms of each bun. Place a couple pieces of pork belly into each bottom bun and top with cucumber slices followed by a small amount of daikon and carrots. Place tops on each slider and gently press. Serve.