This summer has flown by and I just realized that I haven’t written since the end of July! Where did the time go? How did summer begin and then end so quickly? Even though the weather has not yet transitioned here in Los Angeles, I already feel the shift. It’s all around me: fall decorations out on display, winter clothes in the store windows, holiday movies on TV. There is a romanticized image that is portrayed on TV of what fall and winter should be like with perfect little families, in perfect little outfits, with perfect little love stories. With the onset of fall, I start to feel the anxiety, pressure, and stress of my year ending because my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all happen within a 2-month time frame. It’s all coming up too soon and too fast. It’s a lot.
I had a challenging last week. Can I blame it on Mercury in Retrograde? Some things fell through, professionally and personally, and it made me feel sad, discouraged, and stressed. What am I doing with my life? Am I making the right decisions? What did I do wrong? Etc etc. While it’s human to feel these emotions and have these thoughts, I didn’t want to linger in that head space for too long. I needed to let go, shake it off, and move on.
Kitchen gadgets sometimes scare me. I own a slower cooker, which for me is fancy, but it doesn’t have all of the functions that the newer gadgets have, like the Instant Pot. I keep hearing a lot about the Instant Pot. I’ve only used my sister’s Instant Pot once but I used the slower cooker function because I was so overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar buttons. Recently, I was gifted my own Ninja Foodi Deluxe and got more of a chance to really test out the pressure cooker.
Love being back home in my own kitchen after almost a 2 month hiatus. Now I can get back to my cookbook and also get back to trying some new recipes. Prior to leaving for the east coast, I was on a jackfruit kick. I made Jackfruit “Carnitas” Tacos and Taco Bowl. I had been wanting to do something else with it that would require BBQ sauce because who doesn’t love BBQ sauce? After researching some ideas, I was inspired by The Veg Life blog to create a Hawaiian Jackfruit & Pineapple Kabob.
I can’t believe I skipped the entire month of June without writing a blog post! Where did the time go?! After returning from a month long trip to Boston to test out recipes with my mom, I was in LA for a week before I had to fly back out to the east coast again to NYC to see family. Family from Boston, NYC, and Paris with 4 toddlers in tow. It has been an exhausting last 2 months! You have no idea how happy I am to be home! I love my space. I love my alone time. I love my home. I love LA.
One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is having a flexible schedule. I can meet a friend for lunch or spend the morning hiking and then work till midnight afterwards. My working hours don’t have to be within the construct of a rigid schedule. However, there are disadvantages to this lifestyle. While I can run errands during the work week, I do spend most of my weekends working.
When I think of Cambodian food, I don’t normally think of dessert. When I do finally have Cambodian dessert, I’m surprised how much I like it and wonder why I never think to make it. Dessert provides a nice ending to any meal, but it hasn’t been a priority for me in the making of this cookbook. I tend to have more of a savory palate than a sweet one. I tackled the hardest savory recipes first and I’ve saved dessert for last.
I am so excited to share with you my interview with VoyageLA Mag! They asked me to be a part of their Trailblazers series, Rewriting the Narrative. Here is a link to my full interview.
When VoyageLA first reached out to me, I wasn’t exactly sure what story I had to tell. My entire journey has been up and down, full of highs and lows, as well as self-doubt. My initial thought was that I didn’t have a perfect or fluid story to tell. And where does my story even begin?
I love mushrooms. All mushrooms. Mushrooms just taste great in everything. And it’s the perfect substitute for meat. One of my favorite specialty mushrooms is porcini. I love its meaty texture and earthy flavor. I thought it would be fun (and delicious) to create a vegetarian and vegan version of my bolognese sauce with porcini mushrooms.
I love learning new vegetarian recipes. Lately, I feel like I’ve been eating too much meat. I miss how my body felt when I used to be a vegetarian. But it’s so hard to go back to that lifestyle, especially right now as I’m working on the Cambodian cookbook.
In my last post, I wrote about how in February, I challenged myself to work every single day of the month, including weekends, sticking to a strict schedule. I stuck to the promise I made to myself and survived February! How do I feel? I feel pretty damn proud of myself! I tackled some pretty tough recipes and it was a lot of work! I have no idea how my mom was able to make some of these complex dishes as a single, working mother of 3 young girls.
After spending the month of January mainly combing through my photos and recipes (and also distracting myself with organizing my apartment the Marie-Kondo way), I made a list of outstanding recipes that I need to finally attempt to make or redo. This month of February has been nonstop cooking and recipe tweaking.
It’s 3:30pm in the afternoon and I’m making myself an old fashioned cocktail. Is it too early? Nahhhh… I’m sort of procrastinating and sort of doing work and sort of feeling stuck. I took a break and went for a 2 mile walk (to Nordstrom—don’t judge—it’s really not the destination that matters, it’s the step count—about 5,000 steps) thinking that some fresh air would help. And I think it did help a little bit. But I needed something else. Not condoning drinking for inspiration or motivation but every now and then, I think it’s okay.
Tomato Confit has been my recent obsession. I’ve made it at least 4 times in the last month. It’s such an easy and versatile recipe. You can mix it with pasta, spread it on top of a crostini or in a sandwich, use as a dip, or drizzle over meat or fish. I made it for my family over the holidays with spaghetti and a side of garlic shrimp. This week, I mixed it with zucchini noodles for a lighter, carb-free meal and it was still so yummy! Try it!
Wow! I can’t believe I have had this blog for a FULL year! I didn’t think I could do it. It originally took a little bit of nudging from a friend to get it started and now here I am—just over a year later. Well, congrats to me for that!
This past weekend, I attended a friend’s outdoor winter wedding cocktail party. For a gift, I wanted to do something that was more personal than a purchase from her registry. Since the bride loves food and cooking, I thought of making her a few homemade specialty sauces and toppings.
I generally dread my birthday in November every year… for many silly reasons. This year, I decided to treat myself to a yoga retreat for my birthday so that I would have something fun to look forward to. I decided on Tulum as my destination and Amansala for my retreat. Verdict: I had the BEST time!!!
My favorite type of cuisine would have to be Asian food because it’s what I grew up eating. I know it’s also a very broad range but there are a lot of flavors that are similar across different Asian countries. My second favorite would have to be Italian, which I know is everyone’s favorite because who doesn’t like pasta? When I have cravings, it’s usually for an Asian noodle soup or pasta.
I had the strangest dream last night. I’m driving along a narrow, dark road with rails. I don’t know where it leads. I don’t know why I’m on this road. And I don’t know where I’m going. I can’t see anything. It’s pitch black. But I keep driving anyway, using the rails to guide me. There are people in front of me but I can’t see them. I keep inching forward cautiously, afraid that I will hit someone.
I love bolognese. It’s my go-to Italian dish in LA. I used to like it super chunky but after having so many different variations, I discovered that bolognese is actually really good when it’s a little creamy. Not too creamy though. I’ve made many versions of bolognese, never keeping track of measurements until now. I have always just tasted as I cooked and added whatever was needed in the moment.
Any cauliflower lovers out there? While I do eat meat, I still enjoy creating hearty vegetarian recipes every now and then. A couple years ago, I used to be a vegetarian. There is a part of me that still misses that lifestyle and how healthy my body felt. But once you start eating meat again, it’s hard to go back!
It has been awhile since I've posted. Blogging takes a lot of time! Anyone want to help me? Lol. I got a new job at the beginning of the year and it has kept me really busy. It has been challenging to balance a full time job with cooking and learning new recipes.
For as long as I can remember, I have had chronic allergies and difficulty breathing. As a child, I got sick often. As an adult, I still get sick often. Doctors could never identify the problem. I didn't have asthma. Allergy shots didn’t help. It wasn't a severe issue, just uncomfortable and inconvenient.
I just started a new job...after my 6.5 month hiatus and it definitely is an adjustment! It's hard to balance work with my LA women's social club, my cookbook, hanging out with my friends, and trying to fit in ME-time in between all of that. I'm also the type of girl that needs to eat often and if I don't have food packed and ready to go, I end up skipping meals, forgetting to eat, or rushing to pick up whatever sub-par food is nearby.
I am obsessed with salsa. I love it on everything--Mexican food, eggs, salad, grilled meats. I love loading tortilla chips with so much salsa that bits of it fall off my chip before it even makes its way to my mouth! I could just eat a bowl of salsa!
This post is a little late because I'm still adjusting to being back in LA, but HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Happy 2018! 2017 was not only a year of personal growth and transition for me but also the year that I discovered how much I love the desert. It seemed only fitting that I celebrate the end of the year by going on another desert road trip. My friend and I decided on exploring Arizona.
How many of you were ready to say goodbye to 2017? I definitely was ready! 2017 was a challenging year. But I believe that everything that needed to happen in my life happened because I had some lessons I needed to learn. Even though 2017 started out a little rough, it ended very nicely...
Since I was planning to return home for the holidays anyways, I decided to spend the month of December cooking with my Mama back home in Boston. After only 4 full days with her, we have already worked on 8 recipes!