Sunday, August 31, 2008

new chairs

We are doing small remodeling at the caffe, and John is putting together new chairs for us right now.

new chair

He's doing a really good job, and I am reading and making him yummy beverages for his hard work.

latte in whale cup
I made him a latte in the whale cup.

Thanks, John!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

baked treats

My friend Joanne made me some baked goodies using our coffee! She ground some coffee and made cookies and breads with it. WOW! There were also petite strawberry cakes and the pastry puffs with caramel cream on the inside... they were so good!

baked treats

Thanks Joanne!

Friday, August 29, 2008

christian the lion

This video has been around for a long time, and I've wanted to post this for ages... and here it is... Christian the lion! I think I cried a little bit the first time I watched it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

chewy rice sticks are yummy

I went to the Korean market and bought a couple packages of chewy sticky rice sticks, and made my own version of Tteokbokki yesterday.

rice sticks

First saute 1 sliced/chopped onions, add a small can of mushrooms, and continue stirring until the onions are slightly brown. Then add half a bag (approx. 1/2 lb) of the Korean rice sticks and about a cup of water. Bring to a boil.

Cover the pan and allow the rice sticks to cook over medium-high heat (for just a few minutes). The rice sticks are ready when you can poke through it with a chopstick or almost "cut" it into halves with the spatula.

While the rice sticks are cooking, I microwaved some honey battered chicken sticks... I didn't have fresh meats at home... it seemed to work! (If using fresh beef, pork, or chicken, start the whole cooking process by throughly cooking the meat first before adding the veggies.)

After the rice sticks were fully cooked, I added the chicken sticks into the pan, stirred everything together, and then added some Korean fruit-based barbeque sauce (or bulgogi) and 1/2 T of chopped garlic. Mix well. When the liquid is reduced and all pieces are seasoned, turn off the heat and sprinkle with some Shichimi to taste.

It was yummy! I think I'm going to experiment with different sauces and ingredients later on.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cold Play - Viva la Vida

We all know this song by Cold Play is being played everywhere and it's really difficult to not like it.

Coldplay - Viva la Vida

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemies eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
Once you know there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in.
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People could not believe what I'd become
Revolutionaries Wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world
(Ohhhhh Ohhh Ohhh)

Hear Jerusalem bells are ringings
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
I know Saint Peter will call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world
Oooooh Oooooh Oooooh

(lyrics from Lyrics Mode)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Last time I went to Myung Ga I ordered their Spicy short ribs with rice sticks. It was so delicious.

spicy short ribs with rice sticks
It looked red, but it was actually not too spicy... it was simply yummy if you ask me.

The dish was super hot and when it came to our table the liquid inside was still boiling. The server girl reminded me that the handles on the cast iron pot were realy hot and that I should not touch them.

I did not intend to touch anything too hot, but when I reached over to get some side dishes I accidentally touched one of the handles... and it hurt really bad for a second!

The burn looked like a big bug bite (pale and puffy) and then it turned dark and looked slightly "bloody." Ouch!

It still feels funny a few days later.

Anyhow, the dish was so delicious that I figured I wanted to make some myself some time soon. I searched online and found out the dish was probably a version of Tteokbokki (some people spell it as Ddeokbokki). I think the dish at Myung Ga was more like a casserole, though, and that was why the pot was super hot.

I think I'm going to get some rice sticks at the Korean market this afternoon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

lemon basil

There's a judge here who comes and gets gelato at the caffe all the time. He's always smiling and always happy! Last week he asked if John could custom-make some sorbet (sorbetto) for him using the fresh lemon basil from his garden.

John did some research and calculated the possible ratio for all the ingredients, and said yes.

lemon basil
The lemon basil was so fresh and pretty!

Saturday morning the judge brought some beautiful lemon basil! We were able to a little over two pints with about 20 grams of basil leaves. I tasted some of it and it was absolutely fabulous! We may consider carry it at the caffe some time.

dog treats

My friend Joyce brought back some treats for our dogs from South Carolina! They dogs loved them.

nuki and bag of treats
Nuki posing with the treat bag.

naicha and treats
The treats were of different shapes. A "I *heart* SC" tee, a palm tree, and a fire hydrant. Someone almost tried to steal a piece.

The treats were given to the dogs according to their sizes.

naicha and treat
Naicha got the tee.

nuki and treat
Nuki got the palm tree.

yama and treat
Yama got the fire hydrant.

The dogs really enjoyed them. Thanks Joyce!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


A little while ago I realized it was important for me (and most people) to know when not to talk. I later read in Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Women and learened that when people come to you and want to talk or complain, it's best to ask first, "Would you like my opinion, or would you like me to just listen?"

How truthful and useful is this? I think I'll be saying this a lot to people around me, and only give my opnion when they want and ask for it. I think I'll be able to better stay out of trouble this way.

Friday, August 22, 2008


(photo from wikipedia)

I watched Spanglish (2004) a few days ago and I thought it was probably one of my favorite movies now. It's so cute.

And the scene where Flor Moreno brings back a lot of Mexican baked goods for her daugher are just like the cool bakery inside the South American market on 3500 South (approx. 1850 West... I've got to find out the name of the place so I can post it!)

mexican bakery

With that being said, I got 4 pastries from the bakery yesterday and together they were about 2.00. Steal!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thai Siam

EC and I went to Thai Siam a few days ago. It was around 4:30 in the afternoon so the restaurant was pretty quiet. The restaurant probably has a lot of vegetarian customers because they have a fairly extensive vegetarian menu as well.

curry puff
"Curry Puffs"

The Curry Puffs were delicious! I didn't know if they were really Thai, but they were like flakey turnovers with hot curry insides. Yummy.

Thai green papaya salad
"Som Tum."

The Som Tum (green papaya salad) was ok... not as flavorful as I thought it would be. I wonder if the shredded green papaya was not marinated long enough.

Thai curry
"Gang Massaman"

We ordered the Gang Massaman with chicken. It was a creamy Thai curry with lots of peanuts and onions in it. I like the coconut milk in this curry.

When I was looking at the menu I noticed how similar the dish selections at Thai Siam and Sawadee were very similar. John later told me they were owned by the same people. I also saw our server lady at both places. That made sense.

Thai Siam
1435 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
(801) 474-3322

Saturday, August 16, 2008

vietnamese hot pot

A few days ago I was really craving hot pot. I didn't want to make it myself, so I tried to look for a restaurant that had it.

There used to be a few Chinese restaurant that serve hot pot in town, but I was informed that the hot pot was either "not in season," or "no longer exits on the menu anymore." booooo.

Then I remembered last time I was at Saigon Pho (Vietnamese restaurant) I saw some old ladies having the hot pot... and off I went to check it out.

I had never had the Vietnamese version of the hot pot, and I was pleasantly surprised by it:

hot pot

EC and I shared the hot pot. The actual "pot" itself looked totally different than the Chinese or Taiwanese ones. It has a deep center filled with broth, and a shallow "wide rim" around the center where the uncooked food was placed on.

We got the beef hot pot (?) and I wished there was a little bit more beef. We did feel very satisfied after the meal, though, because there were a lot of vegetables that came with the pot, along with two different types of almost-cooked noodles that you can add to the broth.

I know hot pot is normally for the colder weather, but for some odd reason I love it even if it's 90 degrees out there these days.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I came across this lovely story. It just makes you go, "awwwww."

I love it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

cream puffs

EC just started being really interested in baking, and she asked what I would like to try these days. I said, "cream puffs!"

I do want some yummy cream puffs... ahh I miss those Hirota cream puffs in Japan:

Osaka May 06 013

You can find these Hirota cream puffs at the fancy food floors at department stores and on "food streets," as well as little shops inside the large train stations. (You can usually find their stores by looking for the bright orange signs.) They are so yummy!

I didn't think EC was going to be on that project so soon, but she brought me a bunch of cream puffs the next day!

cream puffs

These little cream puffs were softer and with honey butter in the center. Yum. Thanks EC!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


My friend Joyce took me to Sawadee last week for my birthday. It was a busy Thai restaurant with very friendly servers and staff.

We sat near the back of the store, next to the kitchen.

A beautiful Thai buddha was near our table.

A very shinny golden lotus wheel(?) was there, too.

I hadn't had much Thai, and Joyce had, so she helped pick out most of the dishes for us to try.

It got dark very soon, so the quality of the photos might have been compromised.

Thai soup
"Tom Yum Goong" - a Thai sweet and sour soup.

Joyce was almost going to order a large soup, and the server's eyes were wide open and said the soup might be too big for the two of us. We therefore got a bowl instead.

There were a lot of spices in the soup. Joyce instructed me to eat the soup, mushroom, shrimp, and cabbages, but to leave pretty much the rest of the spices/roots/leaves. I love the taste of the tangy soup!

Thai green papaya salad
"Som Tum" - Thai green papaya salad.

I really liked how the shredded green papayas were marinated well. Yum.

honey ginger duck
"Honey Ginger Duck."

I actually helped picking out the Honey Ginger Duck because I couldn't really made up my mind on the assorted curry dishes that I originally wanted to order. The Honey Ginger Duck was boneless... yummy! A puree/mashed
something was also on the plate. I tasted it and found some tiny pineapple chunks in it. I coulnd't quite figure out what exactly the puree was made of... but it went well with the duck.

That was a nice early birthday dinner. Thanks Joyce!

754 East South Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
(801) 328-8424

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I turned thirty today. I had been very skeptical about this whole turning 30 thing for the past few days, even though my friends said nothing would be different when you turn 30. I guess it's true.

John said I'm still really cute at 30. Awww. Now that's cute.

Ryan asked me what about turning 30 that freaked me out. Nothing serious, really, but it's just that being 30 almost means I have to REALLY grow up. There are decisions that need to be made. There are things that need to be done. There are responsibilites that I have to take.

But then this morning I got an email from my mom. It was one of the most simple and beautiful "letter" I had ever read. All of a sudden I felt really relaxed and happy about turning 30. Yes there are a lot of decisions, things, and responsibilites that come with being 30, but there are also tons of fun, excitement, and adventures that are coming along.

I'm happy with what I've "accomplished" for the past decade... hmmm... decade is a serious word... but I've finished college, grad school, got married, started my own business, visited amazing countries and places, met cool people, and more! Being 30 will be even more exciting!

I remember my beautiful friend Kat wrote in her blog about aging gracefully. I hope I can do the same thing.

Thanks John for being my bao bei, the best, and all the gifts here and there! (and more to come!?)
Thanks Mom for the wonderful letter.
Thanks Dad for the most generous gift.
Thanks Brian for Sushi Prince, and for remembering my birthday year after year.
Thanks Ryan for the "turning 30" fun talk.
Thanks Kat for the most beautiful card and all the hugs.
Thanks Joyce for the wonderful dinner and friendship.
Thanks Joanne for the yummy food and all the invites!
Thanks EC for being the best sister ever.
Thanks everyone who sings Happy Birthday to me at the caffe!!

I love you guys!

And damn yay I'm 30!

Monday, August 11, 2008


I've been eating Smarties these days. They are addictive!


And do you know, "Smarties® and (our) entire line of products are free from all the known allergens, and they do not appear anywhere in our manufacturing facilities." (from Smarties web site)


Sunday, August 10, 2008

august birthdays

I didn't think I knew many people whose birthdays were in August... not among the family and friends that I know well anyhow.

But now I know two:

First is Brent, who I havne't seen for years now... I think he moved to the Midwest to be a dentist there... well we were not that close anyhow. The only thing about him that I'd never forget was that his birthday is August 12th just like mine.

Second is Ryan, who is a relatively new friend and a super cool dude, and whose birthday is August 10th... and that is today! Happy Birthday Ryan!

Friday, August 08, 2008

know when not to talk

Most of the time I think I'm really good at saying the right things at the right time, and I know when to shup up, but once in a while I give my comments and express my opinions too much and it irritates people. I must learn to know when not to talk sometimes.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


over 50000!

For the past few days I had been waiting for our sealer counter to hit 50,000... and of course I totally missed it when it happened.

But I was really excited to see that it had passed 50,000, which meant we had made more than 50,000 iced drinks so far at the caffe.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

quick super noodle-y soup

One quick lunch/dinner options to me these days has been a small cooked bundle of Somen noodles inside a canned soup. It's super noodle-y and I love it!

I like the cream-based chicken soups with my noodles.

The best thing is that Somen usually cooks in 2-3 minutes. I'd boil the water, start heating the soup in the microwave, and then put the uncooked noodles into the boiling water. Both are done about the same time! Ahh I'm such a lazy home cook.

It's ultra yummy with some fresh ground black pepper!

Monday, August 04, 2008

whale or blow fish?

I saw this lovely mug at the second-hand store and thought John would love it, so I bought it for him.

whale mug
Is it a whale or a blow fish?

It's made in Japan by Taylor & Ng in 1984. I figured if it was made in Japan chances were that it was a blow fish, but everyone else thought it was a whale.

whale mug
Three more of the cute little things on the other side of the mug.

Whale or blow fish, John loves it! :)

Friday, August 01, 2008


I made Mikey a Chai Charger in exchange of a Caprese sandwich!


It's "Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil on a toasted baguette with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar." (Stoneground)


korean house

EC and I went to Korean House yesterday. It was on the small strip mall around 1400 South and State Street (east).

korean house
The interior was simple and clean. This was the cashier counter area.

korean house dishes
There were seven side dishes that came with the meals. My favorite were the seaweed salad and the fish cakes (I thought they were tofu until the server lady told me otherwise).

EC got a tofu soup of some sort, and I got the tofu and beef set. The rice was served in a small stainless steel bowl... it was really cute! I wish they could have given me a bit more rice since the bowl was really tiny and there was not a lot of rice... and I was too shy to ask for more.

barbequed beef on iron plate
The iron plate was not sizzling, but the beef was hot and tasty!

The beef was really good. Again I wished there were more pieces of beef on the hot plate... I was just REALLY hungry yesterday!

The staff was really friendly and happy, and the Korean music playing inside the restaurant was really cool... and that was a bonus!

Korean House
1465 South State Ste.16
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
(801) 487-3900