1. image: Download

    Heaven!

    Heaven!

     
  2. Summer Cleaning: Air Conditioner filter

    Does the title sound strange to you? I suppose to be outdoors but somehow the word “Clean” managed to stay in my life. I still clean the place I am staying (cough, BB’s little nest) as much as I can. 

    My friends most the of the time get shocked when they find out I am a clean freak. My house might be the messiest place on earth but I guarantee you can’t find a single piece of dust or spider web (hehe, not because the mess covered it!!). I don’t mind things get a little messy but being dirty is an absolute not. It stops me from being creative and prevents me from touching my belongings. 

    I usually clean once per week in my older apartment. My roommate cleans a lot so I didn’t have to do so much. However, there are things I make sure to clean every single weekened:

    1. Bathroom: Sink, toilet bowl, tub, mirrors

    2. Trash and Recycle Bins

    3. Laundry: Washed and Folded AND put away

    4. Plants: I wiped or watered down the leaves for plants that have huge leaves.

    Now that summer has come, the air conditioner is run so often. I need to put down one more thing to my list

    Why is it good?

    1. Reduce allergy symptoms

    2. Helps with energy saving

    3. Makes you feel good (Imagine you are now inhaling clean and fresh air!)

    4. Takes 5 minutes

    Each and every air conditioning unit works differently. However with the portable ones (especially ones in Asia), here is how I did it:

    1. Carefully remove the filters

    2. Soak filters in a basin/sink, use a brush (preferably toothbrush because it is soft enough) and gently brush the dust off. If you do it wet, dust won’t fly everywhere. Instead, it forms into balls of dust and drain off the sink.

    3. Once the filter is clean, shake gently to dry and hang dry in the shade. 

    4. In the mean time, use a damp cloth to clean the whole unit where you cannot wash with water. 

    You probably won’t notice with central air conditioner but with the portable ones, the moment I install clean filters, they run smoothly just like new units. 

     
  3. 12:17 7th Jul 2011

    Notes: 134

    Reblogged from fritesandfries

    I love this video which has great photography/stop motion, music and design.

    fritesandfries:

    Happy Thursday! I love this video on how to make deviled eggs. 

     
  4. Bánh rán mặn

    I really don’t know the exact translation for this dish but it is very similar to dumpling since it has filling. The skin is made out of rice flour. Bánh rán can be made into an appetizer/snack or dessert depending on the filling. 

    There are countless ways to make the filling (the limit is your imagination, really!) but the most common ways are to make fillings with sweetened mashed mung beans (and coconuts) or a combination of grounded pork, noodle and wood-ear mushroom. Either way, Bánh rán is so delicious that it can be easily overeaten. 

    Today one of my friends made this dish and we all finished it in one serving. The one pictured above was an appetizer with filling made from pork, noodle and mushroom. It was served with the same dipping sauce as the renown spring roll dipping sauce. 

     
  5. 02:49 1st Jun 2011

    Notes: 1

    Summerrrrr!!!!

    I just screamed with my weird voice :P

    Sometimes I feel like I might be too young for the age I am. As soon as summertime comes, every effort of working drops and here comes the excitement for a good summer. It can be anything, as long as I don’t have to work or study. I guess the college kid in me will live forever. 

    To me, a perfect summer contains beach (with lots and lots of sunscreen, big towels to wrap around my head…erm, I get sick from the sun) and cold, icy diet coke.

    I said it, DIET COKE. In case you haven’t notice, coke is probably my favorite unhealthy drink. Pop one can in the fridge, pop the glass in there too for an awesome frosty feel. Slice up some lime or lemon. Open the can, drop lemon slices and pour the magic drink in the glass. Get a sip and I am a happy girl. Coke to me is like tequila to Mexicans. So satisfied!

     Non alcoholic or alcoholic, what is your choice? What is your favorite summer drink?

     
  6. B in B (Book in my bag): On a stick by Matt Armendariz

    I like reading but unfortunately, most of my reading is done either in the bathroom while taking a bath, in a car shop while waiting for the mechanic to change the oil, in a coffee shop waiting for a friend, etc…My ideal place to read is probably in a comfy sofa with a standing lamp that is tall and bright enough. Reading and curling in a sofa sounds amazing to me. 

    But anything amazing doesn’t come that often. I usually carry one book in my bag just in case I can squeeze in some valuable reading time. Maybe when the ipad arrives, my life will be a little easier since I can bring my whole bookshelf -on-the-go. 

    B in B or Book in my bag is a new section in my blog that I write about the current cookbook that I am reading. Hope you enjoy it!

    *.*.*.*.*.*

    There are a couple of food blogs that I follow religiously. Some because of the no-fail recipes that they offer, some because of the beautiful photographs and some for the pure good sense of humor. Matt Armendariz runs his blog Mattbites for a couple of years. When I started to follow him in 2007, I was amazed and inspired by his beautiful photographs. This guy has so much talent. But it was his writing that kept me coming back for the past 4 years. It was funny, informatics and engaging. My parents would catch me giggling in my room while reading his blog. 

    This May, Matt finally published his first book: On a stick; which focus on (you already guessed!) food on a stick. From appetizers, main dishes, side dishes or dessert, On a stick definitely did not disappoint any eater including the pickest! Plus, summer has arrived. Time to party!

    I like how each and every recipes were written with lots of attention without losing the fun tone that Matt has in his blog. And again, the food photographs are as yummy as the recipes themselves. 

    Reading this book makes me want to jump out to the backyard, start grilling and having summer party. Anyone wants to join me in Korea for some grilling from the balcony of a sky-rise building? Bulgogi on a stick with options of grilled tofu/fruit for the vegetarians? Hit me up if you are going to have a grill party; I can lend you the book. It is a must-have in any kitchen bookshelf.

     
  7. Bibimmyun

    As a result of moving, I have been invited by friends to their houses as a way of farewell. Since I hang out a lot with the Korean American community, I get to eat so many delicious Korean dishes and take notes of many great recipes. 

    First learned about Bibimmyun a few weeks ago, I was amazed of how refreshing this dish can be. It was so spicy that my tongue called for help yet I kept eating and eating till there was nothing left. But that was not it. I can drool by thinking about it. 

    Recipes will be posted soon since I have to type out of my note. In the meantime, I will get Kenneth to be writing about his mom’s version of Bibimyun. He has been bragging about her noodle (he kids not, his momma is probably one of the best cook for Korean food!) 

     
  8. image: Download

    I am moving. 
To where? Now that it is kind of official, I can freely say: Finally Small Brain gets to see her Big Brain in 3 weeks. 3 WEEKS (Sorry for screaming hehe but I am still in shock!). I am still cooking and taking photos of food but it is a hectic time. I promise though, when I am back, it will be a new beginning. There will be a couple of new directions that I have been planning for this blog and my life. Very fun yet so challenging.
Stay tuned and check back often ;) Maybe I will turn into Mary Poppin’ and squeeze in my last posts of cooking in the US. 
xoxo

    I am moving. 

    To where? Now that it is kind of official, I can freely say: Finally Small Brain gets to see her Big Brain in 3 weeks. 3 WEEKS (Sorry for screaming hehe but I am still in shock!). I am still cooking and taking photos of food but it is a hectic time. I promise though, when I am back, it will be a new beginning. There will be a couple of new directions that I have been planning for this blog and my life. Very fun yet so challenging.

    Stay tuned and check back often ;) Maybe I will turn into Mary Poppin’ and squeeze in my last posts of cooking in the US. 

    xoxo

     
  9. Kashin Japanese Restaurant—Cary, NC

    You guys, your small brain has officially tried the famous Ramen noodle for the first time in her life. I ordered Miso Ramen as I have heard so much about it for a long time but never really had a chance to taste. Needless to say, even though I was extremely full before arriving to the restaurant (I tend to eat before going out…bad habit as I cannot eat a lot especially when we go to buffets), I was willing to order a huge bowl of Miso Ramen. 

    We went to Kashin, a very small Japanese restaurant located in Cary Crossroad Shopping center. This is actually the first time I ever notice it as I don’t eat that much Japanese food except for sushi (Please don’t judge hehe) hence there is no need to look for one. 

    http://www.kashin.com/Home.html

    Kashin Japanese Restaurant

    309 Crossroads Blvd. 

    Cary, NC 27518

    Price: $$ (about $15-20 for dinner entree)

    I like the decoration of the place. It is pretty authentic with bamboo blides. The waitress wore a kimono. The light was dim enough that I had a calm feeling sitting in the restaurant. 

    My friend ordered Donkatsu while I had Miso Ramen. As a novice Japanese food eater, here are my thoughts:

    -Donkatsu is a little bland; it could be marinated a little bit better. 

    -Miso Ramen is pretty good but it gets colder, it gets saltier. Maybe I am just a bland eater but I could not finish all the broth. The chicken in the Ramen is very tender and flavorful. I notice that Nori (seaweed) was missing but I guess it comes to personal preference? It would be nice if I had some Nori. 

    -Hot towel offered before using the meal which was refreshing. 

    -I enjoyed the little elements like sauce holder, the bowls, the towel trays: little, cute, asian-screaming.

    Overall it was a pretty good experience. I will come back for lunch some other times or at least try their sushi to give a better review. I might ask if it is ok to take photos of the waitress. My flash definitely blinded some people in the restaurant today, so sorry!

     
  10. Steak II

    I bought a pack of 6 pieces of Chuck Round steak at Food Lion the other day for $9. As a result, I have been feasting on 2 piece of steaks every single day. Not good not good. I am so addicted; I feel happy chewing to the juicy and oh so tender steak…I don’t think I can ever be a vegetarian in my life. 

    Anyways, I don’t think my tummy really likes handling two pieces of steak everyday especially when I am stressing out so I have to switch my meals up. In case you are curious of how I made them, it was the same technique that I showed in my previous steak post. The only difference is that I switched up the side dish. 

    Steak with homemade fried red potatoes.

    Don’t forget to crack some fresh pepper. Yum! Not pictured is some strawberry salad I made from the on-sale strawberries. 1.29/box, can’t beat it!

    Then I made some steak for lunch today. This time, I throw in a lot of garlic and thyme to spice up the taste.