Life Is Too Short Not To Eat Well

“Life is too short not to eat well”

I remembered this illustrated on the walls of Eataly and how for me, I couldn’t agree more. There’s so many types of food and cuisines I’ve yet to try and sometimes I wonder, If I’ll ever get to try them ever. Everyone has something specific on their bucket list and for me, eating my way around the world would be one of the many to-dos. But that is until recently, I came across this!

I was writing a book review on Ivar’s Seafood Cook: The O-fish-al Guide to Cooking the Northwest Catch and came across this.

Took out my phone and snapped a picture. Y’know, to remind myself that even though there’s a ton of food out there that I haven’t tried yet, I’ll just follow the above.

‘Eat Slowly. Don’t stop.’

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Family Above All

Just a quick post as I have my family on my mind.

Since moving out to Seattle in 2012 (I know, it’s only been one year), I’ve managed to make it back home and see them twice. For me, it’s difficult because I’ve always been with my family. Hell, I’ve been living with them my whole life! Coming from NYC, you simply don’t move out unless you need to. That, or you’re just filthy rich. But seriously!

Every now and then though, I call them more often than I should. I call my mom the most. I’m always updating her about my whereabouts and whatnot. Of course, the phone then gets passed to my siblings where we catch up for a split second, then to my grandma, where she would be cooking dinner and always jokingly ask if I wanted some. My dad, at times, I swear he’s a little too confident in me. But I suppose that’s a good thing. Maybe even a great thing. He’s always been a straight shooter and tells me as it is.

Christmas 2009

What I miss the most? Dinner with the family. Lunch with the family. Outings with the family. Just simply kicking it with them. Shit, we don’t go out a lot but instead, we always roll deep. 10-15 deep and we’re loud. Effing loud. But whatever. I embrace it. We’re Cantonese and proud of it. I guess I never expected that I would be missing them as much as I thought I would be (damn, I’m such a sap).

Until I see them again.. Family above all. Missing you guys from Seattle.

Macaroni and Soup

I didn’t grow up on mac and cheese. Matter fact, I never heard of mac and cheese until I was older. Growing up, my mom would make me macaroni and soup. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. Living in Seattle, this dish is perfect. There’s nothing better to eat during the rainy, cold, wet, days than a bowl of hot soup.

I made this for dinner not too long ago. It was raining and I didn’t really want to cook. Just as it finished cooking, I snapped a quick picture and as I’m looking at it now, I’m craving for another bowl.

How to put this one-pot meal together? Simple!

Ingredients I Used:
2 cans of Chicken Broth
2 cans of Water
1 container of Spam, diced
1 small bag of Frozen Vegetables
1 bag of Macaroni

1. I started by heating two cans of chicken broth with two cans of water in a big pot.
2. In a saute pan, crisp up the spam. There’s no need to add oil as the spam will have a lot of excess oil.
3. Remove spam from the pan and place in a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
4. When the soup is at a boil, add your macaroni. I used whatever pasta I had on hand.
5. When the pasta is almost cooked, add in your frozen vegetables. I liked the variety blends.
6. When the pasta is cooked, add in your spam.
7. Serve hot! (I topped my bowl with a fried egg)

This is just a guideline. Not a fan of spam? No worries, add whatever protein you like! Off the top of my head, shredded chicken would be awesome. The bottom line, cook what you like. If you like the dish, then there isn’t really a wrong or right, is there?

Until Next Summer

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of summer? Beaches, barbecues, parties, vacations, etc. Whatever it is, summer is simply amazing. With its extended hours of daylight, clear blue skies, and the warm sun shining down, its the season most loved by us all. It feels like an eternity for it to arrive though! When it does, summer always seem to come and go in a hurry.

I remember during my college days, summer break was simply amazing. Why? Well, for me, it was about three months off (if I didn’t choose to take summer classes). Having that much time off as a working adult? Hrm, chances are slim to none. Looking back at it, there are things I would’ve done differently.

On the rooftop garden of Bastille Cafe & Bar in Seattle, WA

On the rooftop garden of Bastille Cafe & Bar in Seattle, WA

One thing for sure, I would’ve made plans to travel a lot more. It doesn’t matter whether it’s abroad or domestically but instead, to get myself out there and experience other places and cultures (and FOOD!). However, I’m now making up for some lost time! Last year, I was able to have a cross country road trip with my cousin. It was an experience to be remembered. The sights and scenery were breathtaking (blog post in the future?) and it truly opened my eyes that there’s so much out there that we need to see and explore.

As for the remaining time of 2013! I have some travel plans set up in the next upcoming months. The itinerary: San Francisco. Vietnam. Hong Kong.

Needless to say, I’m super excited for the adventures and shenanigans that lie ahead. Stay with me.

A Day at the Kathy Casey Food Studios

When I tell people that I’m an intern at the Kathy Casey Food Studios, they usually ask me what I do. As an intern, I suppose it’s a little bit of everything. They gave me the title as an ‘editorial & visual media intern’ and I’ve been doing just that and more. Now, to be honest, I’ve never heard of her until I found the posting on Craigslist. I asked people I knew and worked with if they had ever heard of her. I even searched up ‘Kathy Casey’ on YouTube! Finally meeting her during my first interview, she has a fun and outgoing personality. Definitely, a celebrity chef persona. One might even call her a diva!

Occasionally, I write up rough drafts for her blog. Various topics include book reviews, national food holidays, and seasonal food items. I also assist and help when there’s a video shoot for her online show, Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen. Since I’ve been here, there’s been one shoot and a surprising amount of work goes into filming one short video clip. We shot several clips that day and it took the whole day. It’s cool to see behind the scenes what goes on. Then, when you watch the final video, you realize that it’s only several minutes long!

I’ve also been on one photo shoot outside of the studio and it was pretty impressive. Now, I can’t say who or what the photo shoot was for but the quality of work produced was crazy. I was definitely was able to learn a few tips and tricks in food styling and photography. Most recently, we shot some more pictures (at the studio) and I remembered to snap a few of my own! Of course, we were using a professional grade camera so the final pictures doesn’t compare to the ones I took with my phone.

We shot three cocktails for the upcoming holiday season and again, I was able to see how it all goes down. From assembling the shoot, to crafting the cocktail right before we take the picture, I’m learning and helping anyway possible. There are of course, some downtime whenever we wait for the final picture to be approved by Kathy. Just when I thought a picture looked good, her input would always make the photograph better.

Occasionally, I would be helping in the kitchen for a little food/beverage research and development. It’s fun tasting different concoctions and choosing which one was my favorite. Hopefully, my opinion helps out! Finally, there always seem to be some kind of event that we host at the food studio. With any kind of event, everyone seems to be more on the edge but in the end, it always turns out successful.

There’s a lot that goes on here and everyone has a helping hand in everything.

As always, stayed tuned for more shenanigans!

A ‘Hidden’ Gem

It was another dinner with her parents but this time, she wasn’t there. She was on vacation with her girlfriends. For most, this scenario might be slightly intimidating. Eating dinner alone with the girlfriend’s parents? The idea alone is just plain frightening! BUT, luckily for me, this doesn’t apply to me. I’d like think that our relationship is a special one. I won’t really go into detail but I’m pretty sure that they’re happy with me (I hope I didn’t jinx myself).

Dinner was enjoyable as always. It was the typical routine of eating, watching the news, and catching up with each other. Oh yeah, I can’t forget to mention that her mom always insist I eat more. I know all moms do this but every time it happens, it’s just nice reminder of how my own mom does this to me as well (I miss her)! Of course I listen and finish everything on the table.

It was until after dinner where all the dishes were washed and she’s at the table, peeling a whole lot of pears. I took a piece and ate it.

‘Where did you buy these? These are really good.’
‘We grew them! They’re in the yard!’
‘In the yard?’
‘Yeah! The tree grows 5 different kinds of pears. It’s all organic too!’

So I had to go out to the yard and check out this tree. I’ve always seen it there but never paid much attention to it. The pears were practically weighing down the tree itself! The pencil thin branches were on the verge of snapping at any given moment. I look around and found more goodies tucked away.

Strawberries! They were growing strawberries as well. I was tempted to pluck one off and give it a taste (but I felt bad ..LOL). Headed back inside, I noticed the ground was dotted with what I thought to be random plants. Getting closer, it was a bed of herbs. A small variety of mint and basil.

Little did I know, this backyard was a miniature garden and for me, a hidden gem, right under my nose. Maybe I should go visit our neighbor, Jennifer (Missed the post? Check out my post about her garden here!), and share with her the pears we have. It’ll be like the olden times where people will trade each other goods and services!

Huzzah!