Wednesday, April 30, 2008

end of an era

For the past few days I had been listening to some of the KRCL hosts air their "final edition" shows. Some of the hosts had been with KRCL for a couple decades, and it was a little sad to hear that they were moving on.

KRCL is going under major makerover, and many of the shows have been moved around or removed at this moment. Our show will be moved to Wednesday mornings from 5-6 am. Yes I said 'AM'. I am hoping we will not only retain our current listners but also get some new ones. Since listeners can listen to the show with live streaming and as podcast archives, I'm still pretty optimistic about this whole station/program format change.

With that being said, I've been having a lot of fun editing and playing with our first recorded show that's going on air May 7th from 5-6am, and our program director Ryan has been so great and helpful. He's the best. There are still a lot of things that I still need to learn, and I'm really enjoying this experience.

But it's just like Joey said in Friends on the last night him and Chandler were roommates... "awww... it's huge ... it's like the end of an era!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

best buddies

nuki and jasper
by the kitchen door. Please excuse the dirty floor. SOMEONE had just got out of the hot tub on the deck and walked in with his dirty flip flops.

Nuki and Jasper likes to hang out together, in the kitchen, the front room, the living room, the hall way, or the bedroom.

Jasper chillin' on Nuki's leg.

And they can do this all day long.

Monday, April 28, 2008

red heart tapioca pearls

I've noticed that recently I see more of the "red heart" tapioca pearls when I cook them for bubble teas at the caffe. I've heard of them, but never saw them until fairly recently. I don't even know if they were the so-called "red heart tapioca".


They don't have different textures or taste, but just have slightly red-ish brown color in the center after they are cooked. I like them.

Friday, April 25, 2008

OSAKA: best lip balm ever

The first year we went to Osaka I forgot to bring my lip balm, and everyone knows I can't do without my lip balm, so I went to drugstores and othe shops wanting to find a basic and good Japanese lip balm.

And there were so many of them! Then I saw this "Omi Brotherhood Menturm Medicated Stick with Menthol". It was made in Japan, and on the package it said it was for "dried, chapped and cracked lip". I had to give it a try.

best lip balm

I had been buying some and bring them back to the U.S. every year since then. It's "thick" and larger in diameter than standard stick lip balms, not too hard or soft, and it moisturizes and "stays" on your lips very well!

Oh, and it doesn't get all melty in my pocket! That's always a bonus.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

the cool big kid

Last year John and I found out that our dogs and Deron Williams' pups went to the same kennel. I still remember how surprised he was when he saw how huge our dogs were. Deron williams was so cute.

So that was my coolest JAZZ player encounter.

Last night when I got back to the caffe from the radio station, John told me that Kyrylo Fesenko came and had coffee with friends. He was really nice. Big and nice.

And that was my other coolest JAZZ player encounter.

The Utah JAZZ is an amazing team. I hope they do super well in the playoffs... and maybe Fesenko can convince Deron Williams to come and have coffee with him often? *dreaming eyes*

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

afternoon tea with joanne

My friend Joanne and I went to have some informal afternoon tea at Elizabeth's Bakery. I had never been to the place before and I was really impressed by the quiet, elegant, yet casual place.

elizabeth's bakery
We sat at the corner of the shop.

Couple of the walls were decorated with lovely novelty teapots.

Simple tea set. I had the Sakura Blossom tea (not its official name). I later thought of the fact that I should have had some sort of British black tea since we're at a British bakery, but oh well.

Joanne being a lady.

cornish pastry
I also had the cornish pastry. It was yummy! Joanne and I called it a "big dumpling."

It was fun having fun talks and tea with Joanne. We should totally do this more often.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

spicy good

John and I went to Szechuan Garden again Sunday. It's been almost a year since we last visited the place. We've wanted to go for a while, but with the restaurant being out in Sandy and not open until 4pm on Sundays (the only day of the week we're off), we just hadn't had a chance to go.

But Sunday we went to IKEA (in Draper... farther south than Sandy) and I thought, hey, I really want some spicy Szechuan food, so off we went to Szechuan Garden.

spicy appetizers
We had "Happy Couple" and "Sauteed Tea-smoked fish (OK I made the name up)" as appetizers.

I think the sauteed tea-smoked fish was John's favorite this time. The texture of the smoked fish steaks was almost like pork. It's probably marinated and cured. Very delicious.

twice cooked pork
"Twice-cooked Pork".

I don't know how the pork was cooked twice, but it was really good. Szechuan Garden uses sliced fatty pork (almost like slices of bacon, but with more meat) and it was soft but not greasy.

shredded duck and veggies
Shredded duck with ginger and green onions.

The shredded duck with ginger and green onions was my favorite dish this time. At first glance I didn't see a lot of shredded duck, but when I pick up the vegetable pieces with my chopsticks there were usually duck pieces as well. There was no heavy sauce for this dish, but the flavors of the vegetables, duck, and spices in this dish made it the best "I'll-have-another-bowl-of-rice" yumminess.

We didn't have dessert there, but I did see "sweet egg" listed in the menu as a dessert. I wonder if it's custard of some sort... maybe I'll have to try it next time... just to see what exact it is.

川香園 Szechuan Garden
1275 E 8600 S
Sandy, Utah 84094

Friday, April 18, 2008

it's warm today

Spring in Utah can be crazy. You get big sunshine one day, and snow storm the other. It's pretty warm today, and I'm sitting here at the caffe, actually missing the light spring snow shower two days ago.

spring snow
behind the caffe.

spring snow
at our house.

I believe there's another storm coming in later tomorrow... I bet I'll be thinking about the sunshine then.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I was blogging on my yichingsays TAIWAN blog (in Chinese) last night and noticed that there was a new icon on the bottom of the entry that says "today in history." I clicked on it and realized that it was the first anniversary of my Chinese blog!

I can't belive it's been a year. I was reading along some of my previous posts and noticed that I had always been talking about pretty much the same things: coffee, food, John, our dogs and pets, silly things I see or hear, and small things here and there.

It's been a fun year of Chinese blogging. I'm going to keep it up.

Happy Anniversary my Chinese blog.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

drink your coffee

Dr. Jonathan Geiger from the University of North Dakota did a research on how coffee can help your brain protect you. I love reading about this kind of news as you can imagine.

Dr. Geiger's research suggested "Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body," because "Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders."

Some people thought coffee was bad for you. NO. Coffee is good and beneficial to you until you load it with tons of cream and sugar, and have 8 donuts on the side. You can read this article from BBC about this recent research or google other related articles.

I do think bad coffee can still make you sick. So choose wisely, and drink good coffee.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

need beans?

We put up cool shelves (yes I helped!) and are working on filling them with amazing single origin coffees and espresso (OK John is in charge of this part).


Currently at the caffe:

*Killer B espresso
*Brazil Cachoeira Estate
*Papua New Guinea Kimel Plantation Peaberry
*Flores Bajawa
*Ethiopia Harrar

Exceptional coffee. Exceptionally Fresh. Only at caffe d'bolla!

I'm really excited about the coffee offerings at the caffe. John is testing a lot of coffees on the siphon coffee brewer and most of the time the whole shop is filled with amazing coffee aroma. It makes me happy.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

new KRCL "Chinese Radio"

As many of you already know, KRCL is going through a major makeover, and from early May, the programming and schedules will be changed, and a new KRCL will be born.

"Chinese Radio" will also be changed. It will still have great music, events, talk topics and the mini Chinese lesson, but it will be moved to Wednesdays morning from 5-6 am. I know the program time sounds crazy for those of you who know me in person (and my oh-I-can't-get-up-early attitude)... but NO I'm not going to do the show live, but to pre-record it.

So I met with Ryan and Troy (who produces the super popular and awesome RadioActive on KRCL) along with Yachi and Jenny this morning. I learned a lot from Ryan and Troy today. They are amazing people and talent.

I hope KRCL will prosper with the new changes. It's such a wonderful radio station whose programs are not like any other. I will also do my part to make sure the new "Chinese Radio" rocks.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

sleepy yama

Yama's bed is by my side of the bed, and sometimes when I read in bed he'd quietly "climb" onto his bed and nap.

sleepy yama
He curls up like a little fox. When I call his name, he'd slightly lift his eyelids.

sleepy yama
If I call his name again, he'd look up at me with his sleepy eyes that are saying, "Huh? Is that necessary?"

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

bad dumplings

I got sick late Monday night. My stomach was hurting so bad I couldn't sleep at all. Tuesday morning I threw up a couple of times... so I stayed at home all day. I pretty much slept through the day. I'd wake up every hour to go to the bathroom and drink a glass of water. I'm glad the dogs didn't try to wake me up at all until dinner time.

I think it was some bad frozen leek dumplings that made me sick. Bad dumplings!

I'm all better now. I think I'm going to avoid store-bought dumplings for a while.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

beautiful kitty kat

My beautiful friend Kat and her husband Dan came to visit me at the caffe yesterday. I haven't seen Kat for soooo long and I missed her so much! We used to work at the post office together at the U. It was some crazy and fun period of time.

kat and dan
See how pretty Kat is? And Dan is shy. So cute!

They live in Missouri now, but Dan had a poetry reading in Salt Lake. I didn't get to go. It was on the time where I went home to feed the dogs and to give Naicha medicine. I was tempted to take Naicha with me and go to the reading, but I don't think people would be happy with a 140 lb. super hyper dog in the room where they try to read beautiful poetry.

I'm so glad Kat and Dan got a little time to stop by and say hello. It was not for long, but I was so happy to see Kat and to finally met Dan. They were a beautiful couple. Now that I think about it... the last time I saw Kat was like 8 years ago. It's been too long.

yiching and kat

I hope Kat and Dan get to come back to visit again soon. I'm going to make them super yummy drinks.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

kalle's creamed smoked roe

I'd seen these tubes of "Kalle's Creamed Smoked Roe" many times at the IKEA market but never wanted to try any. For some odd reason it sounded exciting and good last time I was there, so I bought a tube. Since I had never tasted "creamed smoked roe" I had to get the original kind.

kalle's creamed smoked roe
Yes I set it on Naicha and took a picture of it.

It has been in the fridge for a while.

I just wasn't quite ready to open and try it until yesterday. I didn't know what to expect. "Creamed Smoked Roe"? Was it supposed to be chopped up caviar? The once seemingly cool word "creamed" started to sound a bit weird.

I opened it and squeezed some onto a cracker.

To my surprise, it was delicious! It almost tasted a bit "fishy" first, but it really was not... just totally different than all of the cheesy cracker spreads that I'm used to.

kalle's creamed smoked roe on cracker
You can draw with the creamed smoked roe, too.

It's a bit salty to my taste, but I think it tastes great on butter crackers. I'm considering putting it on chicken nuggets or pizza... wonder how it'd go with them.

Friday, April 04, 2008

hawaiian sweet bread

Our last bread project was not as successful as we thought it would be, but I figured we'd just try to make another one this weekend.

Yesterday when I got home the kitchen smelled sweet! John had made a Hawaiian sweet bread in the machine!

in the bread machine
I was really happy to see the lovely and perfectly browned puffy bread top when I opened the bread machine lid.

homemade hawaiian sweet bread
A good looking brad. Yay!

slicing bread
The inside of the bread doesn't look all that different from a loaf of good white bread, but it tasted sweet and molasses-y!

Thanks, John! It's a very delicious loaf. The dogs love it, too. I think you can be the official bread maker in our household now.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

best on-air chinese lesson

I arrived at the radio station last night, and Dawn and Renee told me "Chinese Radio" won CityWeekly's "Best of Utah".

Apparently we won "Best On-Air Chinese Lesson". I'm happy... even though I had no idea who Jennifer, Yen, and Rachel are... I think they were the hosts on the show ages ago. The paper probably got the host info from the KRCL website (that still has the old "Chinese Radio" info page on it). I'm yiching for cryingout loud, and my co-host is Yachi.

And if you read the little mention and are wondering... "2" in Chinese is "er," and “It’s kind of pronounced like a lion making a little roar—aar!”

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

whole wheat flat beer cheddar bread

My friend Joanne is very much into bread making these days, and that makes me think of our poor little bread machine that's been ignored andsitting in the guest room for months. I decided to make a loaf of flat beer and cheddar bread. (OK I made John make it for me.)

I let about a cup of beer sit out for about an hour to make the "flat beer." It makes the bread sweet and soft. Last night before bed John put everything in the bread machine and this morning the whole upstairs smelled like a giant piece of yummy bread!

homemade bread

John wrapped up the bread and brought it to the caffe today. I was so excited! The crust looked so good! After the morning rush I cut out a couple pieces to try. The inside of the bread was really dense and brown-ish. I took a bite and it was yummy (but not very sweet), and the texture was really dense. Did I mention it was really dense? :O

homemade bread slices

Anyhow, John remembered that the bread flour we had at home was whole grain wheat bread flour... and the recipe called for regular bread flour. Hmm... I wonder if that was the reason this bread turned out to be super dense.

I really want the soft and sweet beer bread! I guess I'll have to kindly ask John to make me another load pretty soon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

they thought they could do it

Last night when I came back to the caffe (right around 10pm) I saw a group of high school-ish kids leaving the store from the back entrance, and a girl was telling a boy, "... He asked us to leave last time because we brought in outside food."

OK, from what I understand "He" should be John, and "asked (them) to leave because (they) brought in outside food" was totally what John would do when he saw people bring in outside food such as burgers & fries or a big sub into the caffe.

It's true. Some people think it's OK to bring hamburgers and french fries to coffee shops... that doesn't happen often, but it does occur. People shouldn't bring McDonolds to Takashi's, so why should they bring Burger King to an espresso and tea place?

There were a few times people brought in outside food, and we'd ask them to finish their food on our outside patio. We probably don't need to give any explanation, but the food smell does get trapped in the caffe, and it is very disrespectful to us and the other customers.

I don't mind getting an occassional, "Oh, they (John and I) are just snobby," or "Are they (John and I) serious?" or "Wow, I don't expect to be treated like this at a coffee shop." The one thing that bothers me (once in a while) is the fact that people think it's their right to bring and eat a hamburger at a local independent coffee shop. I just don't get it. Would they bring a BigMac and a large fries to Starbucks? Why or why not?

Apparently some shops do not mind when people bring in Chinese food or tuna salad... I don't get this either. You are a coffee shop for crying out load. I think sometimes these shops are where these customers' behaviors were learned.

We select the finest beans and roast them fresh to bring out the best flavors in the coffee. We study and perfect our espresso and coffee-making techniques. We source the best full-leaf teas and delicious bubble teas. So, NO, you can't have that Whopper inside my shop.