It’s My Birthday B*!@h

It was my sister Kara’s birthday last week! Kara has always been a fan of sprinkles, from the vanilla dip donuts from Tim Horton’s that she would order by the dozen in high school to the hundred and thousand cookies she had while living in Australia. What both of these have in common is the type of sprinkles. Kara likes the round sprinkles or the more proper name is nonpareils which is French for without equal; a sprinkle fact for your day. We first went to dinner at Stoic and Genuine and then finished the night with this cake—a pistachio cake with honey and vanilla frosting. It was so good; a nutty flavor for the cake and the honey really comes through in the frosting!

Photo Credit: The amazing John Tagle

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Final Countdown

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Our final stop in Vietnam was  Đà Nẵng. We didn’t give ourselves much time here so we didn’t really do much at all besides enjoy our hotel we were staying at. We got in around 4 pm and left at 6 am; I was serious about limited time. I wished we would have been able to do a few things like get an up close look at the Goddess of Mercy statue and visiting the Marble Mountains…but hanging out at the highest roof top pool in Vietnam, at A La Carte, wasn’t too bad (I keep reminding myself of this so I don’t get sad).

This was our final evening as a group for our trip. The next day we headed back to Hong Kong where Sarena left us to go back to the London, Phil went back to his Hong Kong life, and then back to the states for Becky and I. I fell in love with Vietnam and I can’t wait to go back.

The small white speck in the middle right of the photo is the Goddess of Mercy; the largest white marble buddha in Vietnam.

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Final dinner!

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This Is Hong Kong!

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Hong Kong was not like what I had excepted. In Asia I had only been to Beijing and by default, though I know Hong Kong is not China, I associated the two. My friend I was visiting, Phil (if you are wondering why that name is familiar it is from previous posts like this one), hates when our friend group does that but it just happens. Since Phil was going to be our tour guide I didn’t do that much research so I did go there with a pretty blank mind. Well my lack of research and pal to lean on paid off becuase I really really liked Hong Kong! Phil lives in Central and really close to Lan Kwai Fong. That was the first place we went since we landed at 8 pm; after dumplings of course (Exclusive DUMPLING/Hong Kong post to come). Everyone is drinking in the streets and the energy is instense. Everyone is just having fun. We bought beers at 7-11 and joined the crowd.

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The next day was a busy day. We first hiked up to Victoria Peak and had lunch up there. We went back to the apartment and changed for the evening and headed to the Ladies Market in Mong Kok by ferry. Before we went to the market we decided to get foot massages. I’m not really a fan of them. It hurt and everytime I tried to explain to the lady that it was painful she just laughed. My friend Becky, who also came to Hong Kong, said it was because she was hitting the liver point in my foot. I opted for back massages the rest of the trip. We went to markets next after more dumplings and it was great. Becky and I also had our palms read. Let’s just say I have some interesting years ahead of myself. Next stop was the Ozone Sky Bar at the Ritz Carlton which is the highest bar in the world. We each had a cocktail up there and enjoyed the lights of the city. Hong Kong is beautiful at night.

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Phil’s apartment comes with a view!

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Longest escalator in the world.

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Path to Victoria Peak

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Dragon Fruit

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Occupy – The Umbrella Revolution

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We ended back at LKF for more street beers. The next day we headed to Tai O (Post to come).

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Who Needs Electricity to Cook a Turkey

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but ever since I got a nine to five job (I’m still in denial about this) taking a vaca during Thanksgiving seems to happen each year. Which makes sense though because you can get five days off for the price of two. This year I am headed to Hong Kong and Vietnam and I am so excited. With that said I was pretty bummed to miss Thanksgiving and I really wanted to host this year so I decided to have Thanksgiving at my place Halloween weekend. I was pretty pumped and really wanted to make everything. The only thing I allowed people to help me with was the stuffing, apps, and wine. This was also my first time making a turkey. The turkey involved the first lesson I learned; turkeys come frozen. Now that I think about how early you start seeing the turkeys in  store I realize that was a pretty blonde moment but it just didn’t occur to me. Lucky enough thouhg when I was talking about cooking and that I was planning on buying the turkey the day before my friends informed me that that isn’t enough time. It was Thursday so I bought the turkey that night and it had time to defrost. Phew first dilemma avoided.

Saturday rolled around and I was in the zone. I bought all the groceries and made the pumpkin pie and pumpkin whoopie pies. I was ready. I went to bed excited for the morning.

On Sunday I got up and cleaned and got the table and living room ready. Now it was time for prep. I made the sweet potatoes in the morning and was just planning on reheating them when I pulled out the Turkey. I had the green beans cleaned and good to go.I had the apple dumplings ready to throw in the oven when we were eating, I had the brussel sprouts cleaned and I got all other prep/meals ready/cooked/ready to be cooked—I had my shit together is what I am trying to say. It was finally time to put the turkey in. I took a photo of my beautiful first turkey popped it in the oven and was ready to relax.

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It had been about 45 minutes and I had turned the oven down and done the first basting when I was sitting on the couch enjoying an episode of Gilmore Girls when all of a sudden it sounded like a bomb when off and all of the electricity went out. My first thought was my oven had exploded. I walked into the kitchen and confirmed this thought was a dramatic thought since the oven and kitchen were still intact. I heard people talking outside my apartment so I slipped on my rain boots and ran out to find out what was going on. A transformer had blown and the entire apartment building was out of electricity. BUT WHAT ABOUT MY TURKEY?!?! I first called my dad and he said the electricity will probably be out for a while and it might be best to move the turkey. Then I called my sister and told her to make room I was on my way. I was still in my pj’s so I looked insane; picture me running down the street with a raw turkey, pj’s, and rain boots. It was a low point moment.

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I got the turkey in their oven and thankfully the electricity came back on an hour later so it was back to the car. Thanksgiving was only an hour late and everything was fabulous.

Check out my recipes below. I highly suggest the gravy but all the recipes were fabulous!

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Turkey and Gravy Recipe

Potato Recipe – for the potatoes, I didn’t peel then and I didn’t use a ricer. I instead just put the boiled potatoes in my kitchen add and whipped them in there.

Sweet Potato Recipe- I followed this recipe but used the extra link too. I added sprigs of rosemary in between the potatoes but not all of them.

       Extra for sweet potatoes

Green beans Recipe

Brussel Sprouts

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Pie – I didn’t use grated hazelnut in the paste because I didn’t have it, instead I just used nutmeg.

Apple Dumplings

Denver Eater: Interview with Rayme Rossello from Comida

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 (Photo credit Adam Larkey)

A year ago today, Rayme Rossello, a seasoned industry veteran opened the Denver outpost of her restaurant. Comida, a modern Mexican cantina that got its start as a hot pink food truck, was the first business to open at the Source.

Rossello’s experience with this popular RiNo restaurant over the last twelve months differs vastly from what she created at the original Longmont location. Some of the differences are by design — chefMartin Campos creates specials unlike those served in Longmont — and some were purely a result of circumstances. Eater had a chance to sit down with Rossello and talk about spacial issues, not getting bored, and the menu.

The rest of the interview…

 

Assisi the Wonderful

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What is there to say about Assisi…it is amazing. It caught me completely off guard and I was in love. Assisi is a little town  located about two and a half hours north of Rome. It is winsome, quaint, romantic, and everything else you would think an Italian town would be. We only were able to spend one day there, which was enough to see the entire village, but not enough to take in all of the charm that Assisi had to offer. Though we only had one day we were able to be there on a very special holiday for this town. The very catholic town, known for Francis of Assisi, was having its celebration of Corpus Christi or Corpus Domini. I can’t begin to say how lucky it was that we were there on that day because Corpus Christi was actually supposed to be celebrated the Sunday prior but it was cancelled so it was happening the day we were there. Fate! Corpus Christi is Latin for body of Christ and it is a celebration of the Eucharist.  What the locals do is create a pathway for the bishop to walk down with flowers, grass, moss, and other shrubs. They basically turned the flowers into dust and created elaborate works of art. It was incredible. I felt like this little village had opened its doors and let me peak in on a very intimate moment. Grandparents, children, family members all gathered to create this beautiful designs. They were amazing.

 

DISCLAIMER: I apology for all the photos, I just couldn’t not share them all.

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Even if you aren’t there going to be there for Corpus Christi do go! And do take a walking tour. Visit the different churches such as the Basilica of Saint Francis, the Santa Maria Maggiore, and the Basilica of Saint Clare. In the Basilica of Saint Claire you can see the original cross, the San Damiano cross, that St. Francis prayed to. Walk the streets and see the sights but also don’t forget to eat. One of the best Italian meals of my trip was had here. Pappardelle with rabbit and an amazing buffalalo mozzarela salad. The rabit was delecate and less gamy than I had imagined and the pasta was just perfect. But the mozzarela, my oh my, it was so good. Creamy, salty, sweat and soft; so so so good!

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Basilica of St. Clare

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Basilica of St. Francis

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Chiesa Nuova Church

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