Monday, March 22, 2010

A Wonderful Sunday!!!

Oh, am I having a case of the Mondays today! I had the most wonderful Friday and Sunday this past weekend, and now I am back in the motion of classes and studying and annoying people. Ugh. I miss Andrew a lot and the only thing keeping me going right now is the fact that he has a gig here on campus tomorrow night and I am soooo proud of him and excited! I am just going to stay strong and look forward to it! :)

It's funny, I have just come to the realization that I really hate studying. The past few weeks have been gloriously study free and I have been relaxed and feeling good. Now, I have some papers and a mid-term and everything seems miserable here. I really don't want this semester to end..... :( There are so many things up in the air concerning next semester and this summer. I hope it will all turn out alright. I applied for a Pacific Fund Grant to get money for my trip to Japan this summer, but I haven't heard a thing and I was supposed to last week! So, we will see what happens. Andrew is so positive and supportive; he truly is an amazing person. :) Sorry to sound like such a downer, but that's what is going on right now.

Anyway, on to happy foodie-ness loving~! :3
It was early Sunday afternoon and we were aching for a quick bite to eat before heading over to Andrew's band practice. Thus, we went to our current favorite place, Tepa Taqueria! :D Actually, we went on Friday for a delectable lunch of carnitas nachoes and horchata, so yesterday we only got one order of nachoes and a HUGE cup of horchata! SO GOOD!
I asked my cute love to hold the horchata next to his head to compare-- yep, it was huge and so refreshing! I love the sweetness of the sugar and cinnamon, and the rice milk is so light and perfect~ I think I found my new favorite summer drink! :D

I was dying to wear a cute patterned dress that day and I was happy that it stayed hot! I was quite comfortably cool, drinking my refreshing hor~cha~ta~ :)

Every day I think about how fortunate and grateful I am for not only Andrew, but for all the amazing people in my life! Andrew is such a kind, sweet, and considerate person and I strive to be like him because I admire and respect him so. Also, I am deeply in love with him and can't wait until we get married!!!! :D My friends are so kind to me when I am feeling a little low-- they took me out to dinner on Thursday night! (pics coming soon!) My family is strong and working hard and I want to work hard for them too! So yeah, just wanted to give a little shout-out to all the sweet people I love~ :D
I also love meeting new people, so anyone reading my blog, please say hello! :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pho Saigon Part 2--Last Day of Spring Break!

Hey all! I am back in Stockton, having taken the train on Friday. Andrew picked me up and we have been having fun! :) I am starting to feel better, which inspires me!
It was raining all day on Friday, which made the day seem rather cozy. I spent the morning getting my stuff together and trying to make my boxes seem less heavy for my dad's move this weekend. Yep, my family moved, but luckily they are still on the trail I love so much!
Around 10:30ish, one of my best friends, Andi, came to pick me up with all my stuff and we went out to lunch. She offered to drive me to the Amtrak station, which saved me a lot of stress. Thanks Andi-girl! :)

So, where did we go? Pho Saigon of course! ;D
It is a tradition between us to always go out to Vietnamese food when I am in town. This new place is so good that we knew we had to go! She ordered the spring rolls with shrimp as a starter and scarfed them down! :)They looked very fresh!

I, of course, ordered the egg rolls, which are my favorite, and they did not disappoint! They were steaming hot when I bit into one, so they were undoubtedly fresh. I preferred these over the vegetarian ones (sorry Dad!) and the fish sauce on the side was tangy and delectable~ Like I said before, too bad they don't give you more lettuce and pickled veggies.

I wanted to try something other than pho, but since it was such a cold and rainy day, I still felt like soup. One soup that immediately jumped out at me was the Wonton soup with rice noodles. I harbor a love for all things dumpling and wonton, so I was naturally intrigued. I asked the nice waitress what exactly is in this soup and she said that along with the wontons are two slices of pork. Yum, sounds good to me! Since I had the egg rolls, I ordered the soup size small. I was so surprised and pleased by how filling the small indeed was! Ahhhh, just writing about it right now makes me crave it~ The wontons were plentiful and tasty, if perhaps a tad too peppery for my taste. They were made of pork and delicious in the clear and fresh tasting broth that I kept drinking. The two slices of pork were okay; they tasted a bit old or something. There was a lot of noodles, my favorite! Yes, I really enjoyed this soup! :D

Andi ordered the sauteed catfish and polished her plate! I tried a piece and, to my surprise, it was delicious and not fishy at all! This is a great fish dish that isn't too heavy or greasy, but full of savory and sweet goodness.
Both of us enjoyed our lunch immensely and had a wonderful time! Afterwards, we went to Gelateria Naia where I got nutella and banana walnut gelato; the banana walnut was delicious and I really loved how it wasn't overly sweet. The two flavors went well together! Andi got a smoothie at Jamba Juice and then we went into a rather empty H&M where I got the cutest summer scarf! :D
Then, we went to the train station and continued having great conversation while I waited for my train, which was 20 minutes late! The train ride itself was fine, until the end where I almost couldn't get off because they wouldn't open the doors of the car I was in! Luckily, I made it out and into Andrew's warm arms where I didn't want to move for the next week, lol.

Did you know that it's been a year and 1 month and a half for us? It goes by so quickly, and every day we learn more about each other and our love deepens. He is the best partner in life and foodie-ness! :D
Pho Saigon
1560 Newell Ave
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
www.phosaigonwc.com
Momofraise Says: GO. NOW!
Also, I have a new blog, more like an inspiration blog where I post pictures and quotes, etc. Check it out please and let me know what you think! :) http://momofraise.tumblr.com/

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Adventures in Lent-land: Day 3--Pho Saigon!

As I have mentioned previously, I am sick with a cold at home and since I was feeling sort of down about it, my dad sweetly took me out to lunch on Monday! We went to the new Vietnamese restaurant in Walnut Creek, Pho Saigon!



For an appetizer, I asked if we could get vegetarian egg rolls because I LOVE them and I figured it would be interesting to try them veggie-style. These were pretty good, longer than I expected. However, I wish more lettuce and pickled veggies had been given. Also, the fish sauce was rather bland and not as tangy as I like. Fish sauce is supposed to be tasty, sweet, slightly spicy, and just plain awesome! Nevertheless, my dad and I scarfed these down and looked forward to our other dishes. :)

This was the fried shrimp cake appetizer, ordered by my dad because in Lent, he said, one should always experiment with different vegetarian foods or fish dishes. Well, we both tried this when it arrived and neither of us cared much for it. It wasn't overly fishy or anything; quite the contrary, it was rather bland! It's comprised of shrimp meat encased in something and fried. Not too special. My dad and I both wished that Andrew was with us to eat the shrimp cake lol! :D
Above is my dad's salmon plate--look at that huge slab of salmon! He and I were both surprised at the amount of food they gave him! Also, I admire how clean and healthy his food looks, and he says it tasted that way too! :D I forgot how much this cost, but I don't think it was too much!



Now, what do you think I ordered?......




Beef pho, of course! :D I've been craving it for a while and was dying to try it there! I ordered the large bowl full of rare beef steak, beef brisket, beef flank, and tripe. They gave me a rather paltry and small dish of bean sprouts and herbs....I wish they had given me more, but it's okay.


The broth was very clean-tasting and I loved the flavors! Some might consider it a bit bland, but I love tasting the freshness of the broth and the ingredients. :) There was so much meat in the bowl I couldn't even finish it! There weren't as many noodles as I would have liked, but that just means I will order extra next time lol! ;D I really enjoyed this bowl of pho and I am really glad that Walnut Creek has a nice and cheap Vietnamese place. I swear, Pho Saigon totally reminded me of places in Stockton! I ended up telling my dad all about the places Andrew and I frequent--I can't wait to share that Extra-Large bowl of pho at Mama Pho with him again sometime! :D

The interior of the restaurant in very clean and well-lit, with red walls and tasteful decorations. There are two large flat screen TVs mounted on the walls, which my dad found funny. Since it is across the street from Kaiser, there are many doctors and nurses inside on their lunch breaks lol.

Pho Saigon

1560 Newell Ave

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Momofraise Says: Yay for more Vietnamese restaurants in Walnut Creek! :D Order a rice plate or the pho!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Adventures in Lent-land: Day 1

Yes, my friends, it's that time of year again: Spring Break! I, for one, wish my college would have spring break later, when it's actually more spring-like, but it's okay. I went home yesterday and was confronted with a house empty of meat because of Lent! Now, I was not worried; my dad is a great cook and I don't need meat to be happy. So, for this week, I decided to document all the food I eat in an effort to show the world how one family eats during Lent. :) (Also, this gives me something to work on as I miss Andrew SO MUCH) I hope you all enjoy the posts this week! :D
Lunch yesterday was simple and comforting. I was supposed to be in LA with friend for the beginning of break; however, I have been sick since last Monday and wasn't better by the time they left. Thus, I just went home to rest and recuperate. Since my throat was hurting a lot yesterday, I requested miso soup for lunch and my dad did not disappoint! :) It was rich and thick with tangy miso, flavorful chicken broth, crunchy green onions, and firm tofu! I loved it!! I had two full bowls of it! I am so proud of my dad for mastering miso soup!
Along with the miso soup, my dad whipped up my old favorite, grilled cheese sandwiches! He used my favorite cheese, extra sharp Tillamook cheddar! YUM! :D I was a happy Opy~
Of course, we need our veggies, so he made a quick salad. It was a fantastic and light lunch! I didn't miss meat at all! The tofu was very firm and almost meaty in it's richness~ My boo would have loved it!

Yesterday afternoon was super busy, and I tagged along even though I was sick. My sister had to go to a solo competition with her bass clarinet in a nearby city, so as we drove her there we got lost. Luckily, we arrived 5 minutes before she was to play and she ended up getting a Superior! Yay! :) In the meantime, my dad and I were at the nearby Borders and he bought me a Japan guide book and a SAT boom for my sister. Then, we went to pick her up and go home. Of course, she wanted to celebrate, so after we dropped my dad home we went to get ice cream at Loard's Ice Cream, our childhood favorite! :D Above is my junior sundae, with rocky road ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream, and nuts. It was $4.75 and the perfect amount. They had lots of other flavors I want to try, such as toasted almond and caramel cashew! :)

We finally got home and relaxed until dinner. My dad made some salmon he had bought already marinated from Trader Joes. However, we didn't taste any marinade at all, just fishy salmon....so not my thing, but I ate it anyway. The fried rice, on the other hand, was phenomenal, and we ate the whole batch up! My dad has been impressing me with his ability to make very good Asian food! ;)
So ends my first day of spring break and first day of Lent! I will probably end up eating meat when I go out to eat this week, but at home I have pledged not to eat any at all. It's kind of fun, actually! :) I was looking at some vegan food pics on flickr earlier and I have realized that there is quite a bit one can eat when vegan, especially when it comes to Asian food. Andrew would probably do really well as a vegan or vegetarian! :D I still love my eggs and rare beef steak in pho though! ;)
Anyone else have any vegan or Lent adventures lately? :) Keep reading this week, because I will have more interesting things to post! :)

Loard's Ice Cream of Alamo
220 Alamo Plaza
Suite B
Alamo, CA 94507
(925) 743-1867
Momofraise Says: Old-fashioned ice cream shops are the best!