Homemade Pho

Eating up what’s in the pantry so I could make room for other dry and canned products. I’ve had these pho noodles for about six months and because herbs don’t last very long, I figured I could use up the herbs this way.

This pho is really easy to make. I pretty much boil any kind of beef (normally, I’ll use ox tail but they were out) then add beef broth and a few shakes of star anise powder along with some salt and pepper. If I have lemongrass, I’ll cut some up and throw it in there. That’s pretty much it. This is how my youngest likes her pho (with no herbs or hot sauce). She says I make the best homemade pho. She also says, I make the best kapoon, spaghetti, baked breaded chicken, baked salmon, scrambled eggs, etc.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Happy LEAP DAY! Yesterday, I got a tooth pulled and a cavity filled. I was told to take it slow so that’s what I’ve been doing.

Last Friday, the family drove to Albuquerque, NM for daughter’s dance competition. It was about a seven hour drive. We arrived around 11:30pm and all went straight to bed. The competition was on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings. We drove home Monday morning stopping at a pho restaurant for lunch before the seven hour drive back. Here are some photos from the trip.

Loveland and Valentine’s Day

The day before Valentine’s Day, husband and I went to Loveland. This was our second time going since the new year. Husband didn’t snowboard as much this time. The visibility had gotten pretty bad by the time he started going down the hills. I was able to get some editing done and wanted to stay longer to finish up editing all of the novella but we decided to head home in time to pick up our 12-year-old instead of having our 17-year-old pick her up.

Husband decided to use Apple Maps instead of Google Maps, which was a big mistake (he switched to the darkside and wanted to test out Apple Maps). Apple Maps likes to take us through the scenic route. It had us exit the highway and instead of getting back on the highway, it was trying to take us on a road we were not familiar with. Then, as we got closer to Loveland, Apple Maps tried to add 40 minutes more to our drive by having us go around Loveland and then coming back down to Loveland. Husband didn’t follow the instructions. He exited where we normally exit and it only took us 5 minutes to the Loveland parking area.

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I love the green chili in the cafeteria. Normally when we go there during breakfast I always get the chili on top of my hash brown and scrambled eggs, but this time we arrived after breakfast so I got the green chili with fries and cheese.

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On Valentine’s day, husband got me a yellow orchid. He knows how much I love them. We went to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and donuts. For lunch, we went to The Cheesecake Factory. We haven’t gone there for awhile and husband wanted to go there so we made it a date. Our waiter was the coolest. He was good with the menu, timely, and friendly.

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It was nice to have some downtime with husband because the weekend was pretty busy.

Dumplings with Chili Sauce

I’ve been wanting to try dumplings with a really hot chili sauce for some time now all because of the food pics on Instagram. Earlier this week, I bought frozen veggie and chicken dumplings from the grocery store to try it out with the chili sauce I made following a recipe I Googled. It was pretty easy to make: combine dried crushed hot peppers and non-aromatic oil in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Let cool completely and jar. I had the dumplings with the chili oil and a bit of soy sauce (pictured). It was really tasty. Today, I made more and added dried shallots. It was even better. I’d say, this is one of the simplest and quickest tasty food ever.

Nostalgic Snack

When I was a kid, Mom would make buttered tortillas for us (seven of us kids) for breakfast then send us on our way to grade school.  It has been a whirlwind raising my own kids.  They are super picky.  The older one doesn’t like tortilla with just butter.  She prefers quesadillas.  I’ve made a quesadilla for her once but I could never get the cheese amount exactly the way she likes it (but I think she likes it thick and gooey).  She didn’t complain but she hasn’t asked me to make it again.  As for my youngest, she doesn’t go near tortillas or cheese.

I like mine plain with butter just the way Mom made it.

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Lunch With Husband

The girls are both officially in school for the 20016/17  school year and I am back to having more time for myself and with my husband on his days off work.  I remember when the kids were babies and toddlers and kept me on my toes.  Now, they rarely need me.  It’s nice but sometimes I wish they were still little.  I can’t believe my oldest started high school.  It will take me awhile to accept this giant step.  Anyhow, I’m really enjoying spending more time with Husband.  It kind of feels like we are dating again.

Having lunch at Q Doba:

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Lunch With My Sister and Herbs

Went to lunch with my sister.  It’s always nice to spend time catching up over lots of food.

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After lunch, I went over to my parents’ and Mom gave me some cucumbers from her garden and some Hmong herbs.  Every year I ask her for herbs to plant in my pot because I don’t have a ground garden yet.  I hope to one day but for now, this is it.

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