Friday, January 30, 2009

Korean bbq goodness

The clean grill.

Marinated beef short rib (calbi) on the grill.

Delicious sides to accompany the yummy calbi.

The end of the meal and what's left on the table.

I'm still so full from this scrumptious lunch.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

painting pottery fun #3

Well, since I had soooo much fun the first time painting pottery, and had much more fun the second time painting pottery, I just had to do it again!

This time, the girls and I went to Pottery Playland to get our creative juices onto pottery. It was also our break away from law school and we didn't want to do homework on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

C just picked up the finished pottery today (glazed & fired), and here is the unveiling!

My roomie, HD picked out a trinket box shaped in like a pair of sandals. Above is the "before" picture, and below are the "after" pictures. Very pretty!

J painted a square bowl and a vase. The interesting part here is that J chose a color that was supposed to be speckled blue. However, when she was painting the vase, it turned out red. So we weren't sure if the lady was telling the truth when she said the red paint would turn blue. Lo and behold, she was being truthful, and J's vase did turn blue.

K made two cocoa mugs, one for herself and one for her roomie/buddy, H. K painted the inside of her mug black, and then wanted to put her name inside the mug. She painted her name in about 30 layers of white, so we weren't sure if it was going to show up. Alas, it did! Both mugs turned out great!

C chose a latte mug and painted stripes around all around it. She even had some special effects going on at the bottom interior of her mug (which is not pictured here). She had a nice combination of colors going!

I did another Winnie-the-Pooh themed item. The Boy needed a coin jar, so I decided to make a honeypot coin jar with an image of Pooh and friends. You can't see it too clearly on here, but Pooh is actually trying to get at a jar of honey, and he's tied up with a rope where Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore are trying to keep Pooh away from the jar of honey. Here, I cheated a little and traced the image onto the pot instead of free handing the whole thing. Even with the tracing, it still took almost 3 hours to finish painting. J painted the lid for me!

I can't wait until we go paint some more pottery!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

KCCA Spring Festival Show

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I went to see a friend play her guzheng in a lunar new year show. This centered mostly around the Chinese traditions for the Spring Festival (obviously because it was organized by the KCCA - Kansas City CHINESE Association), but it brought back memories of when I was a young girl doing the fan dance for the lunar new year shows.

Anyway, here are my videos from the show:

Opening dance (the little girls were sooooo cute!):

My friend, J, playing the guzheng (part 1 - because my arm was tired and I had to reposition):

J playing the guzheng (part 2 - the rest of the song):

Cute little kids demonstrating Kung Fu -- Kung Fu KIDS!:

Monkey Kung Fu Dance:

Students from the Confucius School of Language singing a Chinese song that I recognize but don't know the title of (the students consisted of both Chinese speaking and non-Asian folk):

Mongolian Dance:

Chinese Instruments - Part 1:

Chinese Instruments - Part 2:

Chinese Fan Dance (extra special fans!):

A Chinese lead singer, with backup singers, singing "Turn Back Old Man":

The show's grand finale performance was a cultural fashion show depicting Chinese fashion through the ages. This clip here is the part of the show that reflects the fashions of the 1980s - ohmygosh it was hilarious that the depiction included fros!

End of Show!

Happy Lunar New Year!!

To all my Vietnamese Peeps: Chúc Mùng Năm Mới!

To all my Chinese Peeps: 新年快乐!

People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, speak little, and inspire confidence in others. They tend, however, to be eccentric, and bigoted, and they anger easily. They have fierce tempers and although they speak little, when they do they are quite eloquent. Ox people are mentally and physically alert. Generally easy-going, they can be remarkably stubborn, and they hate to fail or be opposed. They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.

To find out what animal you are, click here.

Images courtesy of Bouncing Red Ball.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

barbeque goodness

We were over on the Kansas side of the state line yesterday for a Lunar New Year's show (more to come) and since the show didn't start for another two hours (our driver was a performer in the show and had to be at the location early), the rest of our party decided to go find some dinner. We just drove down the street and saw a McDonalds, joked about it, and then saw KC Masterpiece Restaurant & Grill right next to it. Barbeque it was!

We each ordered a half slab of the classic ribs. I tried to be good and decided to order some healthier sides, as evidenced by the green beans above. Not sure how healthy creamed corn is though...

Anyway -- OHMYGOSH these ribs were SOOOO GOOOD! The bone literally just falls off the meat. I picked up a rib by the bone and the meat just fell off. The meat was so tender and juicy. I added extra KC Masterpiece Hot & Spicy sauce onto my ribs too. A half slab is only six ribs, and I wanted to control myself and perhaps eat only half of it, because you know, I'm on a diet and trying to lose weight and all. That plan went out the window after the first two ribs. The ribs were so good, I just HAD to eat it all. Would be such a waste to eat it later.

I finished the green beans though! I should have been rewarded with dessert for that accomplishment!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

mmm, cooookies

Last semester, a classmate was taking orders for Girl Scout cookies to help out her daughter.

The cookies arrived this week. I completely forgot I put in an order for 4 boxes of Thin Mints.

There goes my diet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

camera phone images

When I don't have my trusty Canon digital camera on me, I resort to the "back up" in using my cell phone's digital camera capabilities. The only problem with using my cell phone to take pictures is that I end up forgetting about the pictures I take. For instance:

This picture above is of the dessert tray at M&S Grill. I think this was taken during a happy hour outing back in November. Sadly, we didn't have any of the desserts, but I just wanted a picture of the whole tray, and I was trying to be sneaky with the picture because I thought the waiter didn't want me to take the picture in the first place... so I was pretending to look in the mirror of my LG Shine when I took the image of these desserts. From my memory, I think the selection of desserts included: New York Cheesecake (tried it); Velvet Cake (tried the cupcake version); Chocolate Molten Cake (haven't tried it); Boston Creme Pie (tried it); Apple Pie (tried it at the other location); Chocolate Sundae with Hazelnut Truffles (tried it - really yummy!); and the last item looks like Carrot Cake but I'm not quite sure about that (obviously, haven't tried it).

This next image is of Bear, one of L & G's three dogs. I think this was taken during my Christmas break when I spent two weeks trying to get over a nasty cold while at the same time doing every body else's Christmas shopping. Bear gets into this position many times, however, everytime I attempt to run to get my camera to take a photo, he moves. I remember I had my phone in my hand when I noticed Bear lying like this. So without moving a step, I switched on the digital camera, pointed and shot the picture.

Here's one of my favorite images - a #3 without onions at In-N-Out Burger (a #3 combo is a hamburger with fries and a medium drink). I LOVE In-N-Out because the size of its burger is the perfect portion for me. And plus the fries are made fresh, super crunchy and always satisfies my salt cravings (probably because I always add more salt).

Anyway, I remember when I took this picture. It was also during Christmas break and I had been sick with the nasty cold all week. The Boy had wondered why I hadn't yet visited In-N-Out since my arrival in Nor. Cal. and I said I was too busy running around doing his errands. Well, since he reminded me about In-N-Out, I made a point to stop over there for some lunch.

It was the saddest meal of my life. Why? Because I couldn't enjoy it due to the nasty cold. I couldn't really taste anything, and my stomach was not wanting any part of this meal -- so I couldn't even finish the burger and even had to throw away half the fries. See how sad that meal was? And now I really want some In-N-Out fries.

This last photo was to show The Boy what a ghetto place he made me go to in order to fix his mistake. Long story short, we borrowed G's van so The Boy could transport a giant roll of carpet. During this trip, The Boy broke the front windshield when he kept pushing the roll of carpet to fit it inside the van. So, in looking up places to fix the windshield, I happend upon an auto glass repair shop owned by Vietnamese people. The man on the phone somehow figured out I was Vietnamese by just listening to the sound of my voice, which was really odd because I had completely lost my voice due to the nasty cold and I was really straining to get any sound over the phone. I guess I sound more Vietnamese when I don't have a voice. Anyhoo, he quoted me a price and then gave me a Vietnamese discount so we ended up deciding to go to this Vietnamese place to get the windshield fixed.

This image is of the "office" at the auto glass repair shop. It's a garage in a building where I assume his wife owned the nail salon at the front of the building (what a surprise that there's a nail salon owned by Vietnamese people). It was pouring rain on the day I brought the van in to get fixed, and the owner/repair guy had me sitting on his couch in this converted garage-to-office space with the door wide open. There was a flat screen tv but it wasn't turned on. His wife later came through a door and told me to go wait in the nail salon where it was warmer. At the time, I thought the image of this garage/office space was just very funny and I had to take a picture of it.

I think that makes me caught up with camera phone pictures.

Friday, January 16, 2009

first snow of 2009

So I got a big surprise this morning when I looked out the window:
Yep, snow...and lots of it. It's been really REALLY cold here in KC, with temps dropping below 10 degrees. And it was all the more deceiving with the freezing cold because whenever I looked outside a window, there were clear skies and sunshine.
At least now the snow kinda justifies the 10 degree weather. I have to admit though, I thought it actually felt warmer today than it did yesterday. Or it might have been the fact that I switched to a longer coat and was wearing snow boots.
This picture above is of the terrace outside the law school. In warmer weather, students would congregate out here to smoke, eat lunch or do homework. I thought it was a pretty picture with the untouched snow. However, I just now noticed that there are no table tops on any of the tables. I forgot the law school is in the process of getting new table tops to put on them.
To everyone living in an area with cold weather (this excludes all you peeps from CA who's been "suffering" from the heat wave), I hope each of you are staying warm in your neck of the winter woods.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Red Lobster

One day after a shopping spree extravaganza, CC and I wanted to have dinner. Since we were just driving around thinking of where to get dinner, we saw Red Lobster and decided to go there and try it out. People, it was like 5pm and yet there was already a long line of people waiting - the wait was 60 minutes. Screw that, we went elsewhere.

So, we made a point to go back to Red Lobster and try it out again because I had never eaten there, although it has been a household name. This time around, we went for lunch on a Saturday exactly at noon, and was promptly seated. As soon as our salads arrived, however, we saw a long line forming at the door.
This was the house salad with ranch dressing.
This was the oh so yummy and buttery biscuits that had tiny pieces of cheese mixed/baked into it. There was also a hint of garlic to the taste.
CC ordered the lunch special of the wood grilled mahi-mahi with a side of mashed potatoes. The broccoli was an additional surprise. She doesn't like broccoli. I had a bite of the mahi-mahi and it was grilled perfectly, but could have used a little more sauce (there was a light oil sprinkled on top).
I had the lunch special of grilled salmon with special shrimp sauce, and a side of broccoli. I don't know why I got two portions of broccoli, but I ate it all, even though I hate broccoli. I ate it all because The Boy told me broccoli is filling so I figured I won't be hungry soon after if I ate all my broccoli. The salmon was grilled perfectly, and the special alfredo sauce added a nice citrus taste (perhaps the citrus was more from the lemon than the sauce). I normally don't like cream based sauces, but this one didn't upset my stomach.

Not a bad experience overall. Although, there was a pretty good selection of drinks, so if we ever go to Red Lobster again, during dinner, I might be easily persuaded in trying the Berry Mango Daquiri for dessert. Oh yeah, I really do have to try the warm chocolate chip lava cookie dessert next time too.

Texas Roadhouse, part duex

Upon returning for our last semester of law school, the girls and I decided to have a celebratory dinner at Texas Roadhouse (first post here). Remember, it's the place where we can eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor.

We were also throwing a surprise party for our friend, K. She was blindfolded, and probably humiliated during the blindfolded state. And, to suffer even more public humiliation, she was forced to sit on the birthday saddle.
House salad
Steak with a side of baked sweet potato loaded with caramel and marshmallows (I never heard of this before!).
Country fried chicken with side of mashed potato loaded with cheese and bacon.
Chicken critters with side of mashed potato loaded with cheese and bacon.
BBQ ribs with wedge fries loaded with cheese and bacon.
BBQ pulled pork sandwich, with onion rings on the side (C pulled out the onion rings).
Steak with side of baked potato loaded with sour cream, cheese and bacon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Mixx

Upon my return to the freezing cold weather of Kansas City, J picked me up from the airport and we decided to stop for lunch before heading back to my apartment. Lunch was at The Mixx, a sort of high-end salad/sandwich place (high-end because it's on the pricier side but the portions are large). There is a large selection of really tasty salads, and they'll even toss a salad of whatever you want in your salad.
We were lazy, so we just ordered from pre-designed salad menu. J had the "Hail Caesar" chicken salad, which consisted of romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons and parmesan cheese tossed with Caesar dressing. Oh yeah, and chicken.
I had the Thai Salmon Salad, with grilled salmon, wild field greens, carrots, cucumbers, edamame and sesame seeds tossed with Asian sesame vinaigrette and topped with Thai chili sauce.

See how big the portions are? And even though all I had was a muffin before getting on the plane in Oakland, I was hungry enough to eat a horse but still couldn't finish the bowl of salad. I think we both only ate a little over 2/3 of our salads.

The club sandwich is really good too, especially with their crunchy french fries.

momma's lasagna

No, this isn't my mother's lasagna. My mother probably doesn't even know what lasagna is.

Anyway, this is The Boy's favorite dish, his mother's lasagna, which she wouldn't share the recipe with me, but I know that there's ground beef, cottage cheese and spinach in it. I'm pretty sure I saw bags of mozzerella cheese too, so it probably is mozzerella on top.

The entire time I was helping The Boy's mother prepare the lasagna, The Boy himself kept yelling "I smell garlic! No garlic! I hate garlic!" Both his mother and I wanted to smack him to shut up, because how can he say he hates garlic and also demand garlic bread at dinner? He then specified that he doesn't like CHUNKS of garlic, so we managed to really mince up the garlic and put some into the lasagna, and of course the garlic bread.

Note to self - finely mince garlic before adding to any food that The Boy eats.
I had a heaping portion of the lasagna, accompanied with salad and garlic bread. This was the last home cooked meal I had before leaving SF to return to KC. How I wish I was back in Cali, but hey, only four more months and then I will be DONE!

Friday, January 09, 2009

pumpkin cheesecake

Recipe makes 2 cheesecakes

* 1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs

* 3 Tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar

* 1 teasppon ground ginger

* 6 Tablespoons unsalted melted butter

* 1 1/2 pound room temperature cream cheese

* 1 3/4 cup of Pumpkin

* 1 teaspoon orange zest

* 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 6 lightly beaten eggs

Half of the ingredients listed are for the pie crusts. I cheated and bought pre-made ones, but am including the directions for the crust below.

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Butter inside of pan and set aside.

3. For the pie crust: in a bowl, stir together cracker crumbs, 3 Tablespoon sugar and ginger. Stir while gradually adding butter. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the inside of pan and up the sides. Chill for 30 minutes.

4a. Cream cheese filling: place cream cheese in bowl. Beat until light and fluffy on medium speed with mixer. Slowly add 1 cup of sugar.

4b. Add pumpkin, orange zest,cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Beat until smoothe.

4c. Add eggs a little at a time and beat well.

5. Pour batter into pans.
6. Bake until top is lightly puffed, between 60-70 minutes. Center may be slightly underset. Cool and then refrigerate overnight.
*covering the outside of pie pans with aluminum foil helps for cake to cook evenly and slowly.
** use confectioners sugar to stencil design on top

Recipe courtesy of my good friend, AM.