Summer Meals

summer foods

Now that it’s summer, I’ve had time to slow down and enjoy breakfast with BJ in the morning. Lately, we’ve been making acai bowls. I got hooked after having one a couple of years ago in NYC at Dimes, and now it’s become our regular stop whenever we visit. Sp far, after some experimenting, this is my favorite prep for acai bowls:

  • 1 frozen banana (pre sliced)
  • 1 frozen packet of acai (run under water for a minute and break it up)
  • 1 cup of  frozen berries (I get the antioxidant packet in the freezer aisle
  • 1/2 -1 cup of coconut water
  • a generous squeeze of honey

Blend all the ingredients together and top it with hemp seeds, sliced fruit (dried apricots are great if you have some around), chia seeds, flax seeds, granola, coconut chips or whatever you have around. It’s light, refreshing, and pretty easy! (Most recipes call for 2 packets of acai, but that can get a bit expensive and I found that one will do the job.)  During our last trip in June, I also tried Dime’s pitaya bowl, and I later found the recipe is posted on Vogue.

We have a habit of hoarding cookbooks, but we’ve been slow to fix up anything besides salads and stir fry. I’ve made it my goal to cook more this summer. In last couple of weeks, we’ve made blueberry and chocolate pancakes, meatloaf (combined recipes here & here), gumbo, and quinoa cakes. Tonight, we’re having friends over and making shaking beef and spring rolls from Charles Phan Vietnamese Home Cooking. All in all, a major big step forward for us! Ultimately, my hope is to be able to whip up dinner quickly and learn how to meal prep. Once the school year begins, I’m usually wiped out by the end of the day, and we tend to eat out more often. But after using Mint, and seeing how much we spent a month on food (it’s the little things that added up – drive thru cone, midnight french fries craving, etc.) we’ve been consciously trying to cut back. Next up we want to try our hand at french toast – BJ’s favorite.

A handful of images from our day trip to Round Top, Easter meals with Andrew & Bridget and family gatherings, plants for the house, and being inspired by color and patterns.

the holidays

Finally developed film from the holidays, which already seems like a distant memory.

I had my first student teacher for a week now. I was a little nervous to have someone else in my classroom, but she has been a blessing! I remember those days like it was yesterday. Time really is flying by …


Mom’s pho. So good on a cold morning. My and BJ’s goal is to learn how to make this and our own bun bo hue.


The weather is finally feeling like fall around here. Spent Thanksgiving with my huge family, and I ended up staying behind on Friday instead of going to New Orleans with BJ for our friends wedding. It gave me time to hang out with my siblings (sleepover like old times) and cook with my mom. I also made this delicious chili, watched a marathon of football games and Millionaire Matchmaker with Jeff, and got some more rugs for the house. All my work  got pushed to Sunday, but it was worth it to lounge around and decompress all week. I’m already looking forward to Christmas break. I’m feeling inspired to make work …



The morning before the wedding, BJ and I gave ourselves a few hours for brunch. We wanted to squeeze in at least one Portland establishment during our quick trip. In an Asian family, eating out is a hard task because every aunt and uncle we visited en route insisted that we sit down and eat (and they all are amazing cooks). It ended up taking longer than we expected to get ready, but once we hit Broder, we + my cousins had 45 minutes to eat and drive to the ceremony. Ahhh, it was so worth it. I’m still thinking about the breakfast sandwich (can’t go wrong with adding a runny egg!). Before going to Portland, I check out Bonnie‘s recap of her trip, and she was spot on!