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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blueberries, Long Days, and Vacillating Victuals

Picking Blueberries in Oregon

Last year, my siblings and I weren't able to take a family trip home to Oregon. The niece was still too young and lil' sis ran the Disneyland Half Marathon. This summer we made it a point to sync up our schedules and came home for several days in August.

Aside from that, August was mostly a blur of long days at work and too much bad food because I was either too hot or too tired to cook.

The month started off with a doozy since I was still feeling the aftereffects from cousin D's bachelorette party in Vegas.

Leftover tom yum kah seafood noodle soup from Noodle World - Alhambra saved the day. Why have I not thought of combining Tom Yum (Thai Hot and Sour Soup) with Tom Kha Gai (Thai Galangal and Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk) and adding in rice noodles?


I had a $10 off coupon so I bought a print of Caroline Hadilaksono's "Travel with the Hogwarts Express" that I fell in love with at the Harry Potter Tribute Exhibition at Nucleus Art Gallery and Store - Alhambra. That's a watercolor of Eilean Donan castle in the background. This print will go so well with the other Scotland art I have on that wall too.


Had lunch with my childhood friend at Noodle Guy Vietnamese Restaurant - Alhambra. Then I came home to find that the "Unofficial Harry Potter Sweet Shoppe Kit" came in the mail. My college friend was in town and I tried to quickly finish a quilt I've been working on for her son. But I couldn't work quite that fast and ended up meeting up with her, sans quilt, at the Montebello mall instead. We caught up, while her son played in the kiddie area.


I was Gourmet Pigs' +1 for a margarita-paired dinner at Border Grill - Santa Monica. Curry leaves. Been searching for these forever. I thought a curry margarita would be the weirdest drink, but it ended up being my favorite.


Got my free Hello Kitty spoons from Yogurtland - Alhambra.




We spent a family day in Cannon Beach, Oregon. I'll go into more details in later posts, but how much do I love this photo of my mom and the niece?


My mom planted four blueberry bushes for the niece. Hey! I love blueberries too! She never planted any before for me. Hmph! Every morning, we'd take her out to pick fresh blueberries. On this day, my brother went out to the shop to help my dad, while lil' sis, my brother's wife, and I did a Target run. So my mom took the niece out back to pick blueberries so she wouldn't see us leave. When she got inside and didn't see her parents, she crawled up the stairs and, not finding them there, clutched my brother's shirt, and cried out, "Ba! Ba!" (Daddy in Vietnamese.) My mom said it was the saddest thing ever and immediately called my brother to tell him to hurry home.


My brother and lil' sis were leaving a day before me. So on their last day in town, my mom made banh xeo (Vietnamese sizzling crepes) and we dined in the garden. Then I dropped off my brother and his family at the airport and met up with cousin T and her family, and then visited another friend who lives near my cousin.


My last day in Portland. Spent at home with mom. She made mi vit (Vietnamese egg noodles with duck) and che ba mau (Vietnamese three color pudding).


A fisherman had given my dad three big sacs of salmon roe that he didn't want. We ate some with hot pot, but they only tasted OK. So I looked up ways to prepare the roe Japanese style and it tasted way better. We topped some sushi with it and my mom also froze several sacs to send back with me to SoCal. I'll have to post the tutorial soon on how to prepare salmon roe.


Cleaning out fridge since I was gone. Not a very appetizing picture of the contents of my fridge. Chopped and dumped it all into a pot of soup.


Homemade 3-tiered cupcake and cake stands for cousin D's bridal shower.


Cousin D's bridal shower. So fancy!


Got a strawberry pie from McDonald's out of curiosity. It was jammy. OK, but apple is still my favorite.


Felt like I was eating too much bad food lately (See picture above.) so I made my Scrambled Egg Omelet, sauteed bok choy, and rice.


It was Wednesday. Which meant 99 cents fish tacos at Tacos Baja - East Los Angeles. I bought a dozen and a shrimp quesadilla to share with cousin Q's older brother, his wife, and his brother-in-law. And oh my! Little Johannes has gotten sooo chubby!


Fresh and Easy fresh brewed iced tea gets me through the summer. Especially as Day 230 was the start of working 12 days in a row to sub for my coworker.


It was a quick lunch of salmon, scrambled egg omelet again, and sauteed bok choy again. So for dinner, I finished off the salmon with some Chinese Sauteed Lettuce. So yum.


Had a disappointing dinner at Gui Il Bun Ji BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) with the oldest '87. Very lackluster panchan (Korean side dishes). Also, there was a huge crowd of high schoolers, some math/science/engineering/computer summer camp thing, so the restaurant was loud and we were mostly ignored. The meats were fine, but I need at least semi-decent panchan! Only my first visit was good, the subsequent two visits have been really lacking.


Did you know KFC stopped serving chicken pot pie? Or at least my local one did. So I got a frozen one instead. And it wasn't half bad. See what I said earlier about eating badly.


Sauteed lettuce so yum, I did it again.


The oldest '87 and I went back to O Dae San - Los Angeles (Koreatown) because Gui Il Bun Ji was so disappointing. Even though the banchan are a bit limited, they were still better. We finished off the night with shaved ice at Kang Kang Food Court - Alhambra.


Made Hawaiian macaroni salad and Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs) for dinner.


Day 9 of working 12 days in a row. Too tired to do anything when I got home. So I shoved laundry to the foot of bed before crawling into it.


Don't want to know the calorie count, but Domino's chicken carbonara baked in a bread bowl is pretty darn good. Especially when you're on day 10 of working 12 days in a row and don't feel like cooking. Again, see above statements about me eating badly.


I realize my eating habits are schizo. It alternates between I'm too tired too cook and need to eat something now, and guilt from eating junk and making myself mostly vegetable dishes. So I made Jaengban Gooksu (Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodle Salad) and braised some tripe that I had forgotten I bought before it goes bad.


Went over to my brother's house for dinner. He made fried quail and steamed king crab legs. I made chicken and mushroom pot pie. My niece started walking unaided this weekend. So cute! She's pulling a wooden dog that lil' sis bought her.


Used my Harry Potter Sweet Shoppe kit to make chocolate brooms, frogs, and owls for a student who was leaving.


I was Gourmet Pigs' +1 for a food preview at the LA County Fair. Afterward, I got a smoked turkey leg to go and stopped by cousin Q's older brother's house so I could share it with Pablo. I admit, I just wanted to take pictures of the little kid with the giant turkey leg. :P


Tried to blog again now that I finally had a few days off. Finished the last of the Mesa Verde posts. Downloaded Kindle on my laptop to read Courtney Milan's book, "Unlocked," which was receiving a bit of buzz on the book blogs. For 99 cents, it was definitely worth it, but I don't like how Kindle doesn't number pages so I can't really tell how long the book is. I prefer my ebooks in PDF format. Also for 99 cents were fish tacos today at Tacos Baja. I get these weird spurts of cravings where I eat one item and then have huge gaps where I don't eat it again for months.


And that concludes a pretty busy month of traveling, big family events, long days at work, and too much bad food.

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, Macaroni and Cheese with Beef and Tomatoes.
2 years ago today, Balcony House - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado.
3 years ago today, chili peppers and more tuong ot xa (Vietnamese lemongrass chili sauce).
4 years ago today, 2 of 7 random things about me meme: I buy my own flowers.


  1. I was just thinking of you this week and wondering how things are. Twelve days straight! No wonder you were exhausted. I sympathize with you on the I-need-to-eat-now alternating with I-need-something-healthy-now. Hope you have a grand Thanksgiving with your family.

  2. Nikki,
    That's the reason I eat so poorly sometimes! I wish I felt like cooking every day, or someone could have healthy meals for me sitting in my fridge. Would make life a lot easier.


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