Posts Tagged 'SOIRÉE'

June 17

Brtini graduated from high school today. The same one her sister Leanne, Kat and I graduated from 10 years ago. Our 10 year reunion just passed. Crazy. I feel so old.

June 13

Every few months, my two best friends and I have dinner with our favorite professor of all time, Gina Gruwell. She was out high school French professor who took us abroad after our senior year, and she was the one that taught us all how to backpack and travel. She and her husband Rod have been our mentors and inspirations since we met them 14 years ago. It’s amazing to me that this year is our 10 year high school reunion, and we still keep in touch with all the people we treasured the most from that time. I’m very blessed to have these relationships still…and cheers to many more years of wining, dining, and traveling!!!!

gorgeous table settings

Me digging into the caprese salad and Kat opens the Prisoner, a group favorite red.

Gina made the most amazing dinner. 2 in thick steaks with mash potatoes and veggies, topped with an insanely delicious peppercorn sauce. [she tweaked the recipe from Morton’s but I personally think her reduction is much better than Morton’s]. We brought over 5 bottles of wine from our latest trip to Napa, but Gina had a chilled bottle of white waiting when we got there, then opened one of HER favorites called Grey Wolf after we finished off ours, and then topped off the night with a malt scotch whiskey tasting. Goodness, i’m getting drunk just thinking about it…

Oh, and she also made amazing portobello mushrooms for the vegans! i wanted to eat this whole as well.
the original 4, but we’ve expanded to include the boys as well *_*

I got a new Club Monaco dress that fit this occasion perfectly, but I’ll have to do the outfit shoot later. I also forgot to do a group photo! =/ Next time, we are going to go out to a Thai restaurant, my favorite one, so I will have to be sure to take one!
May 12

This blog is starting to become the culinary adventures of Debby, Michelle, and Tam! After my last final, my friends called me to dinner. They decided to make mi vit for dinner, and I, of course, come with bowls and an appetite!

My mum makes mi vit a lot, and she uses all of the duck to make this heavenly noodle broth. Michelle did the same and used roasted duck bones for the stock. She also added shitake mushroom and chicken stock with the roasted duck bones.


– egg noodles
bean sprouts

– shitake mushroom
– roast duck
– hanh phi [fried red onion]
– bok choy

noodle bowls with prepping before the broth


they even potstickers made from scratch!

this satay isn’t so spicy, but it adds the best flavor!

May 01
Cioppino. This seafood stew is one of my friend Michelle’s staple dishes, but I did not get the chance to try it until now. Dinner was hosted at Tam and George’s pad, but the cooking was done my Chef Michelle. I did nothing in the kitchen. Instead, I brought butterfinger frozen custard from Stricklands and a chilled chardonnay.

Cioppino is an old fisherman’s stew, originating from San Francisco, and later became a staple in Italian restaurants. The name comes from ciuppin, an Italian word meaning “to chop” or “chopped,” which described the process of making the stew by chopping up various leftovers of the days catch.

We had boiled and roasted crab as the appetizer, and the guts were thrown into the stew. [use everything!] The finished product was sooo good. We toasted bread to dip, threw in the mussels, clams, fish, and crab guts, and DUG IN.

..:: roasted crab ::..

..::a place setting::..

I meant to post this with the hot pot, but I forgot to take a picture then. These hot drops are the HOTTEST drops I’ve ever had. I put one drop into my cioppino and it was insanely spicy. At hot pot places, they will not put this out because it is so lethal. You have to ask for it, and they will not put it in the steaming broth [will tear your eyes]. They drop it into your ponzu sauce, and then you can do as you please from there. We had to order this online because they don’t sell them in the supermarkets!!
April 19

I know I’ve posted about hot pot a billion times, but it really is the most healthy, delicious, and easy meals to make. Tam and George hosted a very intimate hot pot dinner this weekend, and we happily obliged on being fed. I didn’t take any pics once the hot pot of water with tom yum base came out…because we were eating, and sweating, and laughing too much. Tam and George are veteran hot pot eaters. They have netting so you don’t loose any eggs and random foods that sit at the bottom of the bowl, they have each dish fresh and ready to go. They have the Bunsen burner with extra cans of fuel to keep the meal going too! Experts, I tell you!

Honestly though, after looking at these pictures, did i just upload the whole pyramid of food? meat: check. seafood: check. veggies: check. dairy: check. pasta: check. sweets: pound cake that never made it to into the pic. Just think Sara Lee.

George’s dining table has a black wood surface so the presentation of the dishes were gorgeous! Here are a few of my favorites…

quail eggs

gnocci mushrooms and herbs, tofu and egg noodles

fresh shabu meat, shrimp, and clams

green onions go with everything. we throw them into the broth, in the sauce, wherever we can!

April 05

Easter dinner at Michelle’s!!! Since we are starting out on our own, we have been starting our own traditions and hosting our own holiday parties. So grown up! Michelle and I have traded off on holiday get togethers, and Michelle wanted to do Easter. She made roast beef with all the fixin’s and we all contributed in the best way we know how: wine and dessert!

I promise we had dinner before dessert, but these pics are too fun, so I switched them around. Michelle thinks she looks like a stepford wife, and it is fantastic!! At the last minute, I changed into a babydoll white dress instead of a more fitted one. [i AM going to eat!!]

I’m wearing a Benetton summer white dress that’s too big for me

This wonderful little dessert was taught to us in Santa Barbara. It’s vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and 18 year old aged balsamic vinegar from Foley Winery. We also had frozen custard from Stricklands, which we have been wanting to try since we got back from Seattle’s Old School Frozen Custard. The rocky road was so delicious, I finished off the pint without a pic.

We started with wine and cheese! The wines are mostly cabernet sauvignons. We had a Humboldt Fog and a Brie cheese. The Humboldt Fog is insanely good. Our friend brought some pastries from 85 degrees in Irvine, and when you pair that with the cheese, oooh my goodness it’s delicious.

THIS is the roast beef!! There were two actually, and we ate both!!!

yummmy salad

my plate!!!

oooh yea, yummy food!

omg we are sooo full
February 14

It’s the year of the TIGER! The day has come, and the past few years, I’ve taken on the role of mom during new years. I clean the house, decorate, and then throw a huge bash to ring in the new year. Last year’s was big, but this year was huge. I made pho, Michelle made tofu and pork with eggs, and Carmen made fried rice. With communal effort, we had the gang over and it was a great shindig. They brought significant others and long time friends, all of which make me so happy.

Here are the pics from the last half of the evening, when we actually played in the studio. After that, the party and food pics. I’ll kick it off here with my hoa dao [cherry blossom] that I bought from the flower mart in Little Saigon. I hung li xi

on it and I found this deco as well. So pretty!

I have no idea why the fedora made it into the shoot.
I couldn’t find another rice hat so I guess it will just have to do.

I love this hat.

I have hot friends

yea that’s right. I can squat like no other.

These are from my dlsr. I’m still working out the kinks so I had it on the tripod. We were posing for the G10, but someone turned on this camera from the tripod and took some from a different angle. I just found them, and I love when that happens! This shot is my favorite of the bunch. It was Michelle’s idea but Tam’s face makes me want to die of laughter.

goooood times

I guess this is the best outfit shot of the night, but it’s uncomplete without the most comfortable pair of heels I own. I couldn’t put them on because its carpet, and the last time I wore heels, it punctured a hole in my background paper =/

Somehow, through all the laughter, we end up on the floor. Tam made us do a frog toes shot. Tam has major frog toes. Let me explain. Viets have a problem with frog toes from the slippers and flip flops we wear. It’s mostly between the big toe and second toe, and some of us are special and can spread all 5! Tam’s feet are naturally wide set apart, but as we see here, the rest of us can spread em pretty wide too!

and the food…I made pho. This pot simmered since 10 am til 8 pm. By then, it was just plain DELICIOUS.

the holy trinity for pho: star anise, nutmeg, and cinnamon

bowls of noooodles

finished product sans msg

I bought 2 durian for the party. Some LOVE it, some HATE it. I spared the haters the pain somewhat by buying the frozen one [spared my wallet too], but once that baby was open, the smell permeated throughout the house. yummm

Samar baked this all by herself!

cheeers! soju bombs with the boys

loving the peace signs. so asian

Bo Cua Ca Cop: Viet gambling on the floor. Cause we do it og style

my partners in crime

Tam must have her pork rimes. Since the meal did not require this, I just bought a bag…just for Tam. She ate the whole thing by herself. ^_^

Half an outfit. I bought this shirt at Forever 21 when they were going through their Asian phase a few years back. Although most of the dresses and shirts were not well done, this one was perfect. The bodice is black and the sleeves are so flirty and fun. I paired it with some comfy tights so I can eat!

The other half of my outfit. I have no idea who took this shot, but I had to laugh. They’re doing my outfit shots without even knowing! I love these shoes. I can wear them to a club, dance all night, and still be able to walk to the car after. Now that’s something since I wear heels for shoots and to dinners where I don’t have to stand more than 10 minutes. These are by Celine, and they were made in Italy. The price was quite hefty for shoes in my opinion, but DSW had an insane sale, and I gleefully left with these for under $100 bucks. Score.

December 21
We drove ALL the way to Rowland Heights to have this because its the best here. It’s split in the middle, so you can have two different broths going at the same time. We had a medium spicy and a crazy extra spicy one. For the ingredients inside, we ordered sliced beef, sliced mutton [lamb], tofu, noodles, and tons of veggies. Throw everything in, and we have hot pot!!!