First week of the new year

2018 New Year Mantle

How’s everyone’s first week of 2018? It is finally a little warmer here in Oklahoma. 40, 50°F is definitely more doable for me. I think I’m going to brisk walk around the neighborhood later today. Hopefully 49°F isn’t too cold for me. Don’t think my silly dog would walk with me in this cold weather though.

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I was so happy to receive two packages from my friends recently. My friend drew me some art after I jokingly asked her for some. Gotta love them for being so sweet to me even though I’m half a globe away from them. The artwork couldn’t have been more apt for me too since I’ve an obnoxious amount of plants indoors right now. I need to figure out a better way to keep my indoor plants because it looks like quite a mess. If only we have a sunroom!

Homemade Egg Noodles Avocado Toast Shrimp & Grits at Bread and Butter Kitchen & Bakery Tulsa

I had a few fun meals last week. Made homemade egg noodles from scratch last Tuesday because I was craving for some. The recipe is so simple; it’s just flour, eggs, a few tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt. It may be time to buy a pasta maker soon, so I can try more recipes.

An avocado toast sounded great on Thursday, so I made myself some that day. Why, oh why have I not been making it more often? It really should be a weekly staple because it’s so easy to make for how good it tastes. Just some salt, pepper and cayenne pepper on the avocado, and it’s good to go.

We also went to a new place Bread and Butter Kitchen and Bakery for dinner on Saturday. Tulsa is not a big city, but there’s always new food joints popping up which I’m so thankful of. Bread and Butter Kitchen and Bakery opened in early 2017, and I have been wanting to go for quite a while. A place with good food and dessert is totally up my alley. I was feeling adventurous that day and ordered Shrimp & Grits for the first time. I am glad I tried it because it was really tasty. It will also take me a while to forget the chocolate ganache cheesecake that we ordered.

Yep, my day usually evolves around food which is why I need to exercise a lot more!

 

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Family trip: Part One – Las Vegas

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The main aim of our trip was to visit Grand Canyon, and since the nearest airport was in Las Vegas, we decided to spend two nights there.

Not really knowing what to expect, we booked two nights at Mandalay Bay. Our room on the 17th floor had a nice view of the strip, but it also reminded us of the unfortunate shooting that happened recently. 😥

We took an Uber down to LINQ on the first night because it was around the middle of the strip and we wanted to try sushi burritos that we can’t get here in Oklahoma. There are many food options in Vegas but we didn’t want to spend too much.

Jaburritos hit the right spot for me. I absolutely love the sashimi I got in my burrito. Larry liked his too, but he thought it was a little pricey for the portion given.

It was a very sweet surprise when we stumbled upon the cupcake ATM by Sprinkles in the same area! We had to try it right? I’ve seen it so many times on Instagram, and it was right in front of me. We got a chocolate milk cupcake to share, and it turned out to be one of the nicest cupcakes we have tried. Serendipity at its finest.

 

We spent a little while at the LINQ casino and slowly walked our way back to our hotel which was at the most south end of the Strip. The stroll down the Strip was anything but boring. The hustle and bustle as well as the interesting architecture of the hotels were quite a sight to be seen. We could also step into any casino that we passed by because the casinos were opened 24/7.

My favorite part of the casinos in Las Vegas is that they offered free drinks. We would gamble a little at every casino, and try out their drinks. Of the few ones that we have tried, I liked the drinks from LINQ the most as their alcoholic drinks are not too strong. Larry introduced Pina Colada to my mom and brother, so that was what they ordered at every casino we go. The ones at Mandalay Bay were the best because they were strong, and came with a cherry and whipped cream too.

For the second day, we were on a quest to find my mum a pair of sports shoes because she didn’t bring any even though she knew we were going to Grand Canyon! We decided to go to Las Vegas South Premium Outlets because it was a short Uber ride from our hotel. Unfortunately time flies when we were busy shopping, and we spent almost all day there.

I decided to make everyone eat Hawaiian food near the outlet mall because I’ve been craving to eat it ever since we tried some in Japan a few years back. The food at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue was actually really good considering the price and portions. I would eat this over any overpriced buffet that the Strip offers, but I’m Chinese so your mileage may vary. 😉

The spam musubi (pictured right) was something I’ve been wanting to try, and I finally tasted it! Love, love, love the simplicity of it being just spam and rice that’s wrapped up in seaweed. Just my kind of goodness.

Fried rice with Thanksgiving leftovers

We hosted our own Thanksgiving dinner at our place on Sunday. It was just a small gathering of immediate family, so we had some leftovers.

Here’s our recipe for Fried Rice with Thanksgiving Leftovers.

– Ham / Turkey, Shredded

– Corn

– Green Beans

– Cooked Rice, preferably a night old

– Egg/s

– Cooking Oil

– Soya Sauce / Salt

Optional:

– Lettuce

– Cherry/Grape Tomatoes

– Mash Potatoes

1. Heat up your pan and coat it with some cooking oil of your choice.

2. Beat up some eggs (1 egg per person’s serving) and add them to the heated pan.

3. Once the eggs are cooked, cut them into small pieces before adding your shredded ham/turkey.

4. Add in your cooked rice after heating up your meat for a few minutes. Mix up the rice, meat and eggs.

5. Add some soya sauce/salt, green beans and corn. You can also add some cherry/grape tomatoes if you have some.

6. The dish is done after a few minutes of heating up and mixing everything. You can add some spices if you want to – pepper, cayenne powder, garlic powder, etc.

Optional:

  • You can cut up some lettuce and fresh tomatoes to eat with your fried rice.
  • We tried frying some of our leftover mashed potatoes by pressing them into small pancakes and coating them with a beaten egg. It turned out pretty good!

A new month

Hi everyone, I have been overwhelmed the past few days. There just seems to be so many things to do as we get later in the year. I have finally put up my fall/halloween home decor that I can’t wait to share it with you. I just need to tidy up the house a little before I take photos. Honestly though, how do people keep their house spotless!

Here are a few things I have discovered the past 1, 2 weeks:

Apples in sandwiches actually taste pretty good.


Vlogs and live streaming are going to be the next big thing

I’m so hooked on watching online videos these days. I have always enjoyed reality TV, so it’s not a surprise I love these vlogs too. Here are some of my favorite ones so far:

  • Zoella vlogs always make me happy. Her love for fall/Christmas is infectious.
  • Alfie Deyes daily vlogs are always upbeat too. I usually put his videos on the background while I cook.
  • Aimee Song’s New York and Fashion Fashion Week vlogs are so fun to watch since I have always wondered how it’s like to attend Fashion Week.
  • Sodapoppin and Reckful are in Japan now, and they are doing a IRL (in real life) stream on Twitch for the next week or so. (They are popular gaming streamers.) I honestly think streaming live is going to be more popular in the future. It’s kind of like Facebook/Instagram Live but on the Twitch platform. Twitch is currently more of a gaming platform where people stream while they are playing games, but they have added this IRL section. Watching them live in Japan is making me want to be a scrooge for a whole year just so I can visit Japan again.
  • Chef Norman Musan has been having cooking demonstrations on Facebook Live. It is always motivating to watch people cook Asian dishes overseas because it reminds me that I can do it too.


Dehydrated bananas and apples don’t taste that great

If anyone has any tips, please let me know! I think I’m supposed to cut them thicker, but I don’t think it would change the leathery/gummy texture. The banana chips from Sprouts must be fried banana chips because they are so crunchy and addictive.


Two cookbooks I really want to buy
(but I’m broke)

Last but not the least, the Las Vegas shooting was incredibly saddening. I don’t think I know enough to have a proper opinion on the matter yet. I barely know anything about guns because I’ve lived most my life in a country that doesn’t allow guns. The gun ownership laws and US politics are so complicated I don’t know how long it would take me to comprehend everything, but I will have to try much harder since I live in the US now.

Have as good a week as you can have, everyone.

Coffee & me

How do you drink your coffee?

I like my coffee with lots of milk. Skimmed milk because I can’t taste the difference between skimmed and full milk, and it’s healthier. Thus, my drink of choice is iced lattes with a single shot of espresso. I get a little wonky (caffeine high) if I get a double shot latte.

It actually took me a while to like coffee. I always thought coffee tasted nasty because all I have tasted was the black coffee my parents drink every morning. I’m not sure when was the turning point. Maybe after I tried my first latte or mocha frappuccino? I may have wanted something strong to keep me alert while at work, and it just slowly grew on me.

Here are some neat things I have learned about coffee:

  1. Warm espresso drinks should not burn your tongue even if you drink it immediately.
  2. A good cup of espresso drink should taste good enough with or without sugar. A frothy milk will also add sweetness if you choose to have it in your coffee.
  3. Most iced espresso drinks are made with double shots of espresso. Sometimes Larry and I will buy a cup of latte, and we would get a cup of milk so we can mix and split between the two of us.
  4. If you drink espresso drinks very often, you should consider getting an espresso machine because it can cost lesser for you long term.
  5. An espresso machine needs to be cleaned after every use unless you get a Keurig or Nespresso machine. You need to do some research to decide what kind of espresso machine would suit your needs.
  6. I lucked out and found a Breville 800ESXL Espresso Machine for $25 on Facebook Marketplace. I was planning to buy it from another lady for $100, but did another search to find the identical model for cheaper. (She may not have gotten many hits because she did not include the brand and model in her description.) Look out for good deals online because there are people who do not use their espresso machine often.

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