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Saturday, May 07, 2011




That which occurs every day. Or also, the commonplace, the ordinary, the drab.

I learned a new word to describe most of my days during this odd little Project 365 of mine. So many different ways to say my days are so very boring. :P

But any day I see this cutie pie is a good day. We introduced her to Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup), or more specifically kobe beef pho at Noodle Guy - Alhambra. She was a fiend. Watching her slurp the noodles was so amusing. I love seeing her discover new things. And of course, I had to post a YouTube video of my niece eating pho for my parents to see.

Spent the day running errands. Target. Jo-Ann. And the Korean market. I saw these sea squirts, $9.99/lb., at Woori Market - Los Angeles (Little Tokyo). How do you eat these?


My third cousin came up from Orange County to hang out for the day. We started off with lunch at Daikokuya Original Noodle and Rice-Bowl - Monterey Park. She was so sad that they ran out of fried rice. The couple who sat down next to us was disappointed too when they tried to order it and were told there was no more.

We saw Tangled at the $3 movie theater. So cute!

Then dinner at Garden Cafe - Alhambra. We meant to order just a souffle and creme brulee, but my cousin also loves their sizzling udon and can't really get that in OC. So we ordered some more food and called up cousin Q to come help us eat. Afterward, I started on an Angelina Ballerina Quilt for my cousin's baby.


The quilt I started on Day 93. Ever since I began using masking tape to make straight lines, my quilting has gone nice and evenly.


My mom froze a bunch of puff pastry and gave stacks of them to my aunts down here. My oldest uncle's sister-in-law brought over Banh Pate So (Vietnamese Savory Puff Pastries) and banh bao (Vietnamese steamed buns).


Last October, I picked and stomped 150 pounds of grapes with Gourmet Pigs and her former professor. The homemade wine was finally ready for drinking and we decided to pair it with Bo 7 Mon (7 Courses of Beef) at Vietnam Restaurant - San Gabriel. Afterward, Gourmet Pigs stayed for some tea and watched Joy Luck Club with me. I had forgotten how long the movie was and how hot Russell Wong was. I made brownies and added bananas to them.


For some reason, the bananas made the brownies take longer to bake so they weren't ready by the time Gourmet Pigs left. After taking them out of the oven, I got distracted and forgot about them until 1:30 a.m. when I headed off to bed. Seriously? So simple, but oh so good. Boxed brownie mix + sliced bananas placed on top = banana brownies.


I experimented with making a low carb Manhattan clam chowder with cauliflower in place of the potatoes. Not bad. But then I had a craving and made tacos, frying the tortillas for the shells at home. I had forgotten how much I liked this simple dish.


My Sherbet Pips fabric arrived. I was going to make a quilt of pinks and blues, but now I'm thinking pinks, blues, and greys. Isn't this fabric just darling? About The Bourne Supremacy DVD. So funny story. I bought The Bourne Ultimatum for $3.99 on Black Friday. So I thought I ordered the other two DVDs in the set, except I mistakenly ordered two copies of The Bourne Identity instead. I can be such an airhead sometimes. :P


More work on the Angelina Ballerina quilt. While at Jo-Ann, I had a craving for Costco's frozen yogurt and grabbed a slice of pizza before I ran more errands. I added half and half to the low carb Manhattan clam chowder on Day 98 and made it into Long Island clam chowder.


Carby cravings. So I made French bread pizza, garlic bread, and pasta.


Finished the crochet hook holder that I started on Day 89. I tried to make a low carb lasagna with zucchini, and while the unpeeled skin looked nice in the photos, it was a little hard to eat. The zucchini made it a little too watery as well.


The oldest '87 was craving Korean barbecue so we went to Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) for their $9.99 lunch. I'm used to their indifferent service, but I had to ask for my stew FOUR times before it came out. Then I decided to stop off at Kyochon Chicken - Los Angeles (Koreatown) afterward to use my Groupon before it expired. While waiting for my order, I realized I left my cell phone on the seat at Tahoe Galbi. I used my cousin's phone and called Tahoe and the hostess found my phone where I had left it. She asked me to call the phone just to confirm that it was mine. After such lackluster service that day, I guess Tahoe redeemed itself after all. Our third stop for the day was Yogurtland - Alhambra where we got cards for their five year anniversary. Two ounces of free yogurt each day and after three stamps, I get a free cooler bag. Definitely coming back for that. I finally finished piecing together the top of my Angelina Ballerina quilt.


Finally putting the backing on the quilt. Attempt two of low carb lasagna with zucchini.


Now with the front and back done, I started quilting the whole Angelina Ballerina quilt together. I also made a very expensive Spanish Radicchio Manchego Salad with Green Olive Vinaigrette in my attempt to replicate the dish I ate at Toro Bravo - Portland. And of course, I had to go to Yogurtland - Alhambra for my two ounces of free fro-yo.


Why yes, it was a second day at Yogurtland - Alhambra so I could get another stamp. Finished Angelina Ballerina quilt. I just needed to wash it and tumble dry for softness. Did you get a coupon for free Burger King chicken nuggets too? Good thing they were free because they definitely were not going to replace chicken McNuggets in my estimation.


Yay! Third day at Yogurtland - Alhambra meant I got my free cooler bag. Can you believe there was no one else there when I went? I went right when they opened because I thought they'd be besieged with everyone wanting a free cooler bag, but nope. Also, washed the Angelina Ballerina Quilt and it's nice and fluffy.


Sometimes, all I want for dinner is simply salted chicken wings, pan-fried. My ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother) used to like simply salted chicken wings, deep-fried.


Met up with the owner of Red Boat Fish Sauce. Seriously good stuff. Pure anchovy fish sauce from Phu Quoc island in Vietnam. You can really taste the difference in quality. More detailed post to come.


Had a craving for fresh bread. So I dragged out my bread machine which makes a mini loaf in 45 minutes. Perfect for instant cravings for one.


My Cereus bloomed and I forgot to correct the ISO. I rather like the overexposed photos though? Had a craving for meatballs and went to Saigon's Bakery & Sandwiches - San Gabriel for a Banh Mi Xiu Mai (Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich). Then made Pasta Primavera with fresh spring asparagus and peas to bring to work the next day.


So completely random day. Snacked on these dried fish for breakfast. A gift from a student's mom. Found yet another piece of furniture on the side of the road. A lovely dresser with a mangled corner that I figured I could cover with a board on top. Lil' sis was in Vegas for the weekend so her car was parked in my driveway. I thought I had to wait for her to get back so I could move the dresser into my yard for refurbishing. So I thought I'd have to drive around with a big old dresser in my car all weekend, but my brother stopped by after he got his hair cut nearby and helped me move it into my storage shed. OK, that commentary was completely frivolous.


Had a late lunch at Mei Long Village - San Gabriel with my friend DP.


Later that day, After watching a country music special on TV because I was too lazy to pop in a DVD, I heard Sugarland's "Stay." I had it on repeat on YouTube for a while until I Googled the lyrics. Ummm, it's a song about the other woman, yeah? And she finally gets some gumption and tells him to stay with his wife so that's why Jennifer Nettles is crying in the video. Huh! Anyway, then I started pulling up my Keith Urban MP3s since it's been a while. My musical tastes are pretty eclectic and I'm one of those people who doesn't need to have music on when they work. I'm usually completely happy with silence. But every once in a while, I get into a mood where I just feel like listening to music.

"Take your cat and leave my sweater, 'cause we've got nothing left to weather..." Guess which song that is. Ha!

My playlist?

Days Go By
Better Life
You're My Better Half
Somebody Like You
Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me
Whenever I Run
What About Me
You'll Think of Me
If Ever I Could Love

Then I moved over to Larry Bagby's "Counting My Lucky Stars." Did you watch that "Cold Case" episode too?

And just because I glanced over and decided to veer off from country, Rob Thomas's "This is How a Heart Breaks" and "Ever the Same."

The next day, I stopped by 99 Ranch - Monterey Park because I had a coupon for a free shopping bag for their 16th anniversary. So that week, I got free Yogurtland, Target, and 99 Ranch bags. The Yogurtland and 99 Ranch bags were to celebrate their anniversaries. The Target bag was for Earth Day. The bag I really wanted, but they ran out, was the Fresh & Easy cloth bags, which I use for everything.


I got tricked by the packaging of the salmon belly at 99 Ranch. It looked like a nice fat piece of meat, and then when I unwrapped the plastic, it was just a little bit of salmon around the belly bones. But yummy anyway with my usual accompaniments of jasmine rice and scrambled eggs.


Ga Nuong La Chanh (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken with Kaffir Lime Leaves). I had made this recipe several years ago, but the pictures were all blurry and I never got around to attempting it again until now.


Apple tasting from Day 1 continues. Pinata apple for lunch. Nope, still not replacing Fujis and Red Delicious or even Honey Crisp apples in my estimation. Since I didn't grow up in California, I never had to do a mission project. I helped a student do hers. Pretty good job, huh? Can you tell which mission it is? At the last minute, Gourmet Pigs asked me if I wanted to join her for a free three-course sausage dinner that she won at Corkbar - Los Angeles (Downtown). Sausage dinner was fine, but I loved the gorgeous space.


Finished crocheting a scarf for my friend DP to go with the beanie I crocheted for her this past November. Modeled by Cinnamon, the teddy bear I've had since I was 8 years old.


I hadn't intended to stay up to watch the royal wedding, but when I realized I was still up at 2:30 a.m., why not? I watched it streaming live on Canadian television since the American channels weren't streaming steadily and I was too lazy to go into my living room to turn on the TV. Then later in the day, decided I might as well read the Diana book I picked up from the thrift store. Nothing particularly new now, but I remember how scandalous it was when the book was first published.


After a long day working and then doing my taste and tour of Little Saigon, I stopped off to give the younger '88 some macarons from Brodard Restaurant - Garden Grove. She gave me a slice of paradise cake from King's Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant - Torrance.


Some days, oh heck even months, feel like not much happens. I've been trying to take less food photos, but honestly, sometimes the food is the highlight of my day. I've been veering between describing my whole day or just writing about a highlight. Sometimes, it feels like I just take pictures just to take pictures. That's sort of what this month felt like.

My Project 365 posts:
January: Minutiae
February: On Tactile Pleasures, a Plethora of Plaid, and Souvenir Socks
March: Bridges, Literal and Figurative, and Reuben Obsessions
April: Quotidian
May: On Lifelong Friendships, Napping with Babies, and Thank Yous
June: On Brocade Slippers and Spaces
July: Breakfast for Dinner, Paris On My Mind, and the Last Harry Potter
August: Blueberries, Long Days, and Vacillating Victuals
September: A Reunion, a Wedding, a Birthday, and a Michael Jackson Impersonator
October: North, South, and East
November: Sentimental

1 year ago today, progress on my "Don't Fence Me In" Quilt.
2 years ago today, Banh Cuon Tan Dinh - Portland - Oregon (Closed).
3 years ago today, my family's preferred free-range chickens at Chinese American Live Poultry - Rosemead.
4 years ago today, my first cooking video - how to make Homemade Frozen Yogurt without an ice cream machine.


  1. Wow. A massive post to catch up on ...everything! I wanted to see Tangled but haven't yet -- the trailers looked really cute. Though not nearly as cute as that niece of yours slurping up pho! Your photo of those dried fish snacks reminds me of when my aunt came from VN for a visit and brought me a what may have been a pound bag. I polished them off in a few days with a sore mouth from all those sharp crunchy edges.

  2. Now this is an interesting way to do Project 365! I always liked the idea it but never could cope with the idea that I'd have to post Every. Single. Day. Hey, I was happy when I made it once a week! But I love this is a way to catch up (not that I'm even caught up on others' blog posts yet!) and those photos are scrumptious.

  3. Kalyn,
    Thanks! I think so too. :P

    Tangled was super cute! Funny too. Haven't enjoyed a Disney film so much in a while. I ate that whole bag for breakfast. I like the dried baby crab snacks too.

    Lots of people haven't posted every day, just snapped photos every day. I thought I'd miss a day here or there, but so far, not yet. But as you can tell with this month, not much to photograph or say either!

  4. hi wc - i finally clicked on the 'read more' and whoa!!!!!! i love these posts!

    your niece is so cute! love her hair and how she enjoys her food!

    re: RUSSEL WONG!!!! OMG! HAWT!!!!! And remember him in "VANISHING SON"????? (man, that was a while ago - 1995). can you believe he's 49 now????? i first saw him in 'Eat a Bowl of Tea' -

    beautiful pic of your Cereus! loved the King's hawaiian rainbow cake. i want to go to their bakery one day.

    so which mission was that? in 4th grade, TC had to do San Luis Rey (the one in Oceanside that we still haven't visited).

  5. CC,
    My mom and I gave her a "haircut" recently and it was literally about half a dozen strands. My brother scarcely had any hair when he was a baby either.

    I do remember Vanishing Son! Wonder what Russell Wong is doing now? *Sigh.* *Swoon.*

    The rainbow cake was really yummy. Not too sweet. I want to visit the restaurant one day too!

    I'm surprised you didn't guess the mission. Guess my representation wasn't that good. It's Mission San Diego de Alcala!


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