Saturday, April 28, 2012


[ latte bowls from anthropologie ]

  • week 2 of work? done!
  • and I've been a UCLA alumna for FIVE weeks now? how did that happen?
  • someone counted. UCLA's class of 2012 is less than 50 days away from walking.
  • tick tock.
  • time to bond with friends over food and wine.
    • aka potlucks with fertilized duck eggs, chocolate covered strawberries, tri-tip, and other fancy things college students shouldn't know how to make.
  • time to grow out of the college apartment.
    • aka time to buy a coffee table (funny story), a bookcase (awesome story), and some beautiful bowls from Anthropologie.
  • time to love, love, love every last bit of being a UCLA college student.
    • even if it means waking up at 8am on a saturday morning to hit the gym, and then taking a bus to marina del rey to kayak for $5.
  • had we but world enough, and time - andrew marvel, "to his coy mistress"

Thursday, April 26, 2012


[ image originally from my new roots ]

When I started working, I feared for my diet. I definitely thought that it'd be difficult to prep a lunch for myself every day, that I'd wind up eating in the dorms with E. (since he's an R.A.) and so on.

Weirdly enough, though -- that hasn't been the situation.
Now it might be the number of potlucks that I've hosted since my balcony's lovely, and the weather's lovely (see here) -- but I've worked for two weeks, I've packed a lunch every day and I've only eaten out when for some reason or another, my company provides lunch (grand total: 3 times). Even for dinner, E and I have actually not gone out to eat in a while...

And that brings me to My New Roots, a fresh foodie find.

It's been my inspiration, as I head out to the farmers' market and dream of new dishes to cook up. Sarah makes eating healthy easy. Her recipes are simple but delicious and incredibly, incredibly colorful for "green" foods. 

Now if only I could break my pasta habit... 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Freshman year, E.'s parents took us to dinner on the beach. I got crab cakes. I wasn't impressed.

Fast-forward a few years. Gladstones is still one of E.'s favorite places to eat, and the restaurant pops up on BlackBoardEats. I'm not too thrilled, but E. insists and points to a few good Yelp reviews... (Nevermind all the nasty reviews too that have been written since Gladstones's change in ownership.)

Will I write a nastygram about this place too?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Getting through Monday was a toughie with the Brentwood Farmers' Market still on my mind.

My mind keeps drifting to how homey that market felt, and obviously to how I wished I had these vintage-y, farm-y items! Don't these items remind you of farms and markets?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

BITS & BITES 04.15

[ caribbean chocolate macaroon from pasadena's lette ]

  • Happy, happy tax day! Not...
  • But thankfully, I'm worth nothing in the eyes of the government!
  • Taxes filed easily and early, equally worthless friends and I spend the day before taxes are due in lovely Pasadena and enjoy foods from Bird Pick, Aux Delices, Cheesecake Factory, and Lette.
  • Yes, I sometimes eat at everyday chain, suburban restaurants like Cheesecake Factory, especially when the view is gorgeous.
  • We also do some shopping, and apartment-mate and I score a Rabbit wine toolkit (includes waiter's corkscrew, pourer/stopper and wine/champagne sealer) at Sur La Table for $8. Win!
  • The inaugural use of this toolkit? To seal a bottle of $2 chardonnay from Whole Foods that had previously been sealed with plastic wrap. Classy, right?
  • But there is a bottle of cabernet sauvignon from Bonterra Vineyards in our kitchen, and lots of goodies from the Brentwood Farmer's Market, like mozzarella balls and heirloom tomatoes and heirloom carrots. Clearly, a dinner party is in order.
  • We've got a lot to celebrate... like taxes!... and the job that I start tomorrow!
  • Oh my gosh, a job... nine-to-five! Excited but terrified about becoming a full-fledged adult...
  • Gosh, being 21 has been all about growing up.
  • Aka growing pains... A lot, a lot of growing pains.
  • But eventually comes love and peace and happiness -- aka chocolate, raspberry and coffee macaroons. Yum.
  • Er, not macaroons... But friends and families! Yes, families... Family family, Bruin family and work family...
  • Aka the people who spend all night in the rain with you to score amazing seats to Spring Sing 2012.
Your turn. How was your week(end)? Hopefully, it was just as lovely as mine.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Rain's supposed to descend upon California tonight, but oh, the weather last week has been sunny, sunny, and sunnier... aka it was perfect weather to take advantage of our huge balcony and throw a nice little dinner.

E and I loved the quinoa + arugula salad from California Pizza Kitchen earlier this month, so we just tossed some arugula with one of our favorite quinoa recipes (which we had whipped up for our Super Tuesday super party). As if that weren't enough, we were inspired at Whole Foods to grab a few scallops too, which added that lovely touch of summer to our dinner.

Oh, rain -- I know that we need you, but we were also having such a lovely time with Mr. Sun. Please don't keep him away too long!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

MMMMMMEZZE (and my recipe to job-hunting success)

Now that I have a full-time job, I can make this food porn a reality again. 

And yes, that's me bragging about finding a job within two weeks of graduating from college! My recipe? A lot, a lot of luck -- and an intense program of sending out at least five resumes every night, emailing alumni contacts (some randomly), hooking up to LinkedIn, etc. Also, I learned a lot, a lot about crafting my resume and catering to different employers.

All that said, the job market is so cruel. I can share my recipe for success, but you may find that there's more to it for you. Still, best wishes for anyone hunting for a job right now!

But rather than talk about the dismal job market, can I share with you some beautiful dishes from Mezze?

[ left: moroccan mint iced tea; right: farm egg shakshouka ]

[ left: hokkaido scallop; right: merguez sausage flatbread ]

[ left: hashweh risotto; right: chocolate mousse ]

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Two months later, I finally wrap up my trip to D.C.

D.C. was a blast for the weekend that I was there. I got cupcakes, crepeschili and lots of drinks. My friend and I also hit up a ton of memorials at the National Mall and got some way gorgeous photos out of that.

But all that being said, I don't know about D.C. It'd be an adventure, but it wouldn't be home.

L.A., here's to another two years with you. I'm stoked.

Monday, April 2, 2012


[ a big bowl of my mom's banh canh ]

Ever made plans? Ever made plans and watched as they got crushed? Fun times, right?

As E often accuses me of, I am not the most flexible person out there... I like making plans and I like sticking to my plans! 

That applies to cooking too. I'm absolutely terrible at making things up as I go along, and I'd probably die on Chopped but my momma makes it look all so easy.

Case in point? When all my plans for whale watching got screwy, I got to make banh canh with my momma instead. All made from scratch -- stock, noodles, crab balls, fish sausage, everything! (Crab balls and shrimp sausage make you wrinkle your nose? Sorry, I can't think of other ways of describing them. You should learn Vietnamese!)

Momma does this with no recipe. She likes to throw it all together and taste it as it goes along -- and somehow, no matter what, her dishes always turn out perfectly.

Don't you just hate those people? I sure am jealous. I need recipes, structure, plans... And even then, things can go amiss. Boo.

So here's to making plans, making no plans -- let's just enjoy life this week! (I'm already failing, as I've just graduated and I can't sit around with nothing to do.)