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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Nai Nai's big birthday bash

My Nai Nai had her big __th birthday bash a few weekends ago which included a weekend trip to Reno/Tahoe, and culminated in a Chinese banquet. Above my cousin Erica (one of my bridesmaids) and I give my Nai big birthday smooches. You can tell she's tickled pink!

I love this picture. This is my little ring bearer, Yuji. He adores Evan! Whenever he's down, all he has to do is look at Ervy who'll make a funny face and send the little tyke into fits of giggles!

I was super excited that after the banquet, they brought out a huge Whole Foods Tiramisu cake! Yum! A happy birthday to my nai nai indeed!

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Earlier this year, I planted a volunteer tomato plant (popped up on its own from seed that must have dropped last year) out in one of the sidewalk plots. During the rainy season, the tree that had been in that plot was blown down. I thought that the tomato seedlings popping up around my garden were actually oak tree seedlings from the big oak that towers over our apartment.

I later realized it was a tomato plant, and over the past few months, I've watched it spread across the 2'x2' weedy dirt area. It grew out instead of up (probably due to the soil quality, and lack of watering). Last week, I noticed there were three tomatoes on the plant. Wonderful! Heirlooms in the middle of the street!

Yesterday, when my family visited, I pointed out the fruiting plant. We weren't necessarily quiet, but I didn't think much of it.

Well, today, after it grew in the street for 3 months, it was ripped from the ground. I don't know why. I don't know what happened. It's just gone. The weeds and broken bottles in the plot are still there, so people weren't trying to clean up. It wasn't that large, so it wasn't spilling into the sidewalk or over the curb. It's hard to understand why someone would tear it out. I only wish I had been more discreet about the plant yesterday.

I never even took pictures of it so as not to arouse suspicion. Poor volunteer tomato plant! Since I had 12 different types of tomato plants last year, I never even knew what type of tomato plant you were.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Phil'z Coffee in San Francisco's Mission District

I <3 Phil'z Tesora Coffee. I know it has got to be that scoop of brown sugar and yummy cream, but it's a tasty blend. Even the fu liked it, and he's not a coffee drinker.

The barista told us that newbies to Phil'z had to start off with this beverage. He then went on to make each cup individually. (He loved these photos btw!)

The store keeps a big bunch of mint on the counter so that they can add some minty freshness to each cup. I actually didn't think one leaf would impart that much minty flavor. Maybe they tucked some extract into the mix when I wasn't looking. But it was nice--not overly minty like a stick of gum, but just enough to be seductive.

On our second trip, Fu and I tried different coffees. Fu went for their iced coffee which he seemed to enjoy. I got the Phil Harmonic as the barista explained that it had cardamom (my favorite spice) in it. I was seriously dragging that day, so I got a large. Of course this was also the day I ate raw/live food at cafe gratitude, and man, that coffee hit me like no tomorrow. I was seriously buzzed in that nauseating-head-pulsing-palpitating-dizzying way. No more larges for me. The harmonic was yum, but I enjoyed the tesora more. Next time, I'd like to try the ether.

I guess the only thing that bothers me about Phil'z is that they use a 'z' instead of an 's' in their name. I suppose since I haven't met Phil, I can't really tell if the 'z' fits... he may be a lil' bit gangsta', so I'll let that be.

Cafe Gratitude

We brought in the vegan cheese today. Remarkably, after sitting out and straining it in cheese cloth over night, it actually tastes more like cheese! The plain actually did develop a cheddar like flavor! So F'son's name and mine should be in acknowledged when their cook book comes out... hurrah!

Speaking on Cafe Gratitude, I suppose I should actually post about our trip to eat lunch there last week. We sat at a community table with 2 other folks we didn't speak to the whole meal (which was a bit awkward... I'm normally friendlier at communal tables... meh oh well)

We sat down at colorful muraled tables and were immediately given glasses with hemp cloth napkins and an inspiring bottle of water. Ours said "worth"

the close-up fu had me take

Now take a look at the menu. You have to get past the inspiring names to enjoy your meal... I ordered the I AM CELEBRATING which was their daily special. It was cucumber noodles with a yummy vinaigrette and stuff I can't remember, over salad. It also came with some amazing sunflower crackers with some sort of spread (now I think it was one of the flavored cheese spreads... having made some myself now).

I ate it all... so scrumptious! (i liked this photo on bay area bites... so i'll bite their photographic idea)

the fuster got the I AM ABUNDANT sampler plate with live nachos, kale-sea veggie salad, stuffed mushroom, olive tapenade, live hummus, and a mini Thai coconut soup. Served with assorted live crackers and almond toast. It was an amazing array of raw food. Delicious too as the fu generously (perhaps the gratitude stuff was rubbing off on him) shared a taste of everything on his plate.
If you come here for the first time, I'd definitely recommend getting this dish.

Seriously though, the live crackers are the bomb. I may have to seek out a dehydrator in Seattle just so I can make these things!

We also split an I AM GRACE Frosty coconut smoothie with young coconut milk, almonds, dates, and vanilla. Fu really liked it. I thought it was a bit rich, but I've never had a smoothie quite like it. So yes, you should try the smoothies.

Okay. I will later blog about the Burmese restaurant Fu and I went to today... it was still crowded around 1:30p and we got to eavesdrop on the old peeps next to us talking about Rachel Ray.

vegan cheese making

Fu just left after we made two quick batches of vegan cheese. Vegan cheese basically consists of soaked cashews, red miso, coconut oil, salt, and water.

While I tried to be a good food blogger and ensure that there were photos documenting the process... unfortunately, vegan cheese is not a pretty adventure... it's actually a rather bland photography subject.

Judge for yourself

Begin with wet cashews in a blender. Then blend with all the other ingredients until you get a smooth consistency.

hang in cheese cloth

I wanted to get a pic of the funani trying the cheese, but apparently, I missed that moment...

Anyhoo, it really doesn't taste like cheese... it tastes like... miso. So we're hoping after draining for a night, that it will taste more like cheese. Our first batch we left plain, but the second batch we flavored with cumin.

Tomorrow we bring it all back to Cafe Gratitude for the manager to taste how we did...

new food blog

My friend Ming has gotten a group of our friends together to food blog... actually it's Fewd Blawg (which to me, looks like Feud Blog).

After debating about cross-posting, I have decided that I like talking about food enough on here (and have a mostly different audience here) that I will cross post most of my food posts from now on unless I feel it's a particularly 'special' post (perhaps delicate or horribly tedious...)

Anyhoo, I will soon post here my adventures in 1) coffee and 2) vegan cheese making.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

thanks long overdue

I have to send out a very belated thank you to my June colorswap partner Amanda of GigiBear. She sent me a wonderful blue package. I absolutely adore the bracelet she made with the sunflower clasp! Isn't it darling?! She also included lots of yummy candy (I ate the mini m&m's already as they happen to be a personal favorite, how'd you know?).

Thanks Amanda!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Butterick 4790 and a tshirt dress

I finished my dress for the sew retro sew-a-long! I love it! I brought it to a family reunion over the 4th and my family liked it quite a bit too! For me the pattern was a bit big at the bust, so I ended up shortening the top at the shoulders after sewing it all to make it fit better.

I want one in every color and pattern now!!

I absolutely adore the full skirt!

I also brought the texas tshirt dress I made, but I didn't get a chance to wear it. The family reunion was in Reno/Tahoe, and we only had a few days. The first day I wore a kimono top I had just completed, but I don't have photos of that yet...

Here's the Texas tshirt dress. It's actually made out of 2 red texas themed shirts (goode company bbq from houston-- yum! and a texas tech shirt I found at st. vincent) and 1 black bay area shirt (the bay area print was hideous, so I put it on the inside of the dress).

random note...
Hey Minger! Sorry ev and I missed your phone calls this weekend. All the family reunion stuff in tahoe made it pretty impossible to do phone calls :( Happy belated 4th of July!