Unofficial Start To Summer- Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Like most holiday weekends, this past weekend just came and went. It was a low-key one, but I prefer low-key these days.

Friday, I got the best type of delivery. Crawfish!

10lbs of crawfish, to be exact, and they were still kicking.
I made them nice and spicy for Andrew and me.
I made them plain for Mom and Dad.
In terms of entertainment, I finally watched Turning Red. It had its cringy moments for sure, but it was super cute.
Saturday, I picked a bunch of goodies up. “A Place at the Table” was a curated box of desserts made by home bakers and professional chefs to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Everything was delicious.
On Memorial Day, Andrew and I enjoyed a local street fair.
I had an overpriced lobster roll, but I had to have it.
I found a vendor who made fruity drinks… with some alcohol and gave a free refill 🙌.
Bad Habits was giving away free sushi samples.
Overall, pretty awesome weekend. Looking forward to what this summer will bring.

A Place At The Table- Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

As I mentioned in my last post, I was brainstorming ways to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I came across an Instagram post about “A Place at the Table.” Which is a curated box filled with treats from experienced home bakers and professional chefs honoring their Asian heritage. Of course, I had to support it!

As an additional bonus, a portion of the sales is donated to Heart of Dinner, a nonprofit combating food insecurity and isolation within NYC’s elderly Asian American community.

Check out the beautiful packaging.

🤩

Check out the desserts.

Of course my favorite was the Filipino focused one, which was a Mango, Coconut and Sago piece (I may or may not be biased 😉).

😋

Here are the home bakers and chefs who participated (from top to bottom and left to right): Ying Ting Hu, Guadalupe Lucero, Andrew Cheng, Kimberly Camara, Ruth Li, Shirley Yu, Christine Yen, Joy Chu, Ayaka Ando, and Kelly Miao.

Pic via FromKora Instagram

Glad I was able to participate in and support this initiative. The box was a bit pricey ($75, $82 with tax), but it was well worth it! I would love to see more collaborations like this in the future.

AAPI Month

As May comes to an end, I want to take the opportunity to celebrate my Asian heritage.

First and foremost …

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

Proud half Filipina here!

I was brainstorming ways I want to celebrate, and one of the things is acknowledging all of the Asian representation I have seen lately. Which is amazing!!!

Earlier this month, I was excited to see that comedian, Jo Koy, has a movie coming out called Easter Sunday that focuses on a Filipino family. The movie comes out in August, and it looks hysterical.

Seconds into the trailer shows a spoon and fork decoration piece that is pretty standard for a Filipino household and is hilarious. The trailer also hints at many stereotypical Filipino bits, but I’m all for it. Representation does matter, and it was great seeing pieces of my world and what I have experienced on TV.

🤣

Speaking of movies, I was also happy to hear that one of my good friends, Louanna Factora, was in charge of hair and make-up for a new movie filmed in New York called Asian Persuasion with Dante Basco.

Photo via @LooksbyLou. So proud of her!

Dante Basco also has a film called The Fabulous Filipino Brothers which premiered this month on Hulu 🙌.

I also recently watched Turning Red, which focuses on an Asian girl going through puberty which gave me all the feels! It was very relatable, especially about pleasing her mom, her embarrassing moments, and her ride-or-die friends who centered her. I laughed, and I cried 😃.

It’s heartwarming to see Asians, specifically Filipinos, in the spotlight. I feel like that rarely happens. I want to see more of it!

Trying out Hug Esan in Elmhurst Queens

Two weeks ago, I attended my first ‘Eat Something New in Queens’ meet-up at Hug Esan, a Thai restaurant in Elmhurst.

I had such a great time. It was a date night/food adventure/reunion kind of night. An old friend from high school, small world, planned the event, and Andrew and I got to venture out, try new things, and meet new people.

Everything was amazing! Here is what we ate.

Pork Spring Rolls
Bamboo Larb Salad- *the spiciest dish
Crispy Pork Belly
Tom Zabb- spicy and sour soup with spare ribs and various mushrooms *my favorite
Esan Pork Sausage
Chive Dumplings
Moo Num Tok- sliced pork salad with rice powder
Larb Pla- fried fish with herbs in a sweet and spicy sauce *the most exciting dish
Som Tum Thai- papaya salad
Coconut Ice Cream
Thai Coconut Pudding

Until the next time!

Eat Something New In Queens Challenge

In March, I took part in the ‘Eat Something New in Queens’ Challenge. The purpose was to step out of your comfort zone, try new restaurants and food, and support local restaurants around Queens. Although I took a little staycation during the challenge, I still tried to participate. All the food I tried was excellent!

Here are the restaurants I tried.

Nneji is a West African spot in Astoria. It’s more a pickup type of place but has fantastic food. Don’t feel shy and ask the owner for recommendations on what to eat.

Harissa Chicken with Jollof Rice
Spicy Goat Stew with Okra and Tomato – was definitely spicy!

Coco Malaysian Cuisine in Elmhurst.

Golden Fried Chicken
Coco House Special Fried Rice
Chow Kueh Teow Noodles
Fried Squid with Fresh Mango

I’m half Filipino, so Filipino food is life, but I did find a new dish I had never had before at Kabayan Authentic Filipino Cuisine in Woodside.

Binagoongan Rice (Fried rice with shrimp paste, mango, and scallions)

My family stayed at the TWA Hotel in JFK, in Jamaica, during the challenge (more on the hotel in another post), but we still tried some great food.

Yardie Bistro was in the food court area of the hotel.

Brown Stew Chicken
Jerk Chicken
Beef Patty

Splurged a little at the Paris Cafe by Jean-Georges. It was well worth it!

Crispy Salmon Sushi
Burrata and Cranberry
Cream of Tomato Soup
Black Truffle Pizza with Egg

I had a blast trying all the food. The challenge has an awesome Facebook group page that offers food ideas and recommendations year round. If you love food and live in Queens, or don’t mind traveling to the borough, join the group!

Earth Day- All about the Sea Turtles

I randomly came across the company Fahlo. Which partners with non-profit organizations to create bracelets that come with an animal to track. Some wildlife organizations they work with are the Sea Turtle Conservancy, Save The Elephants, Polar Bears International, and Saving the Blue.

For Earth Day this year, I decided to support the Sea Turtle Conservancy, so I bought the sea turtle bracelet.

I love it and I wear it all the time. The best part is that the bracelet comes with a QR code to track an actual sea turtle. I’m currently tracking Pop Tart.

It’s a really cool concept and something I enjoy and feel good about supporting.

My next goal is to have my own small edible garden. Let’s see if I can make it happen this Spring!

Cunningham Park

It’s only fitting that on Earth Day, I would give a shout-out to my go-to park, Cunningham Park.

I have been going to Cunningham since I was a kid. Now my husband and I bring our daughter here all the time. The park has a great playground, space for sports, a path for running/walking, exercise equipment, and even a dog park.

The park also apparently has some walking/biking trails that I never knew about! I haven’t had a chance to explore those yet, but when I do, I’ll share my thoughts.

Here are some shots of little Maxine over the last few weeks.