Celebrating Black Business Month – Adá Supper Club

At the end of last year, I participated in Adá Supper Club’s A NIGHT IN with chef Toya Henry. Adá Supper Club showcases black and female chefs, and A NIGHT IN is an at-home dining experience that occurs quarterly.

I had a fabulous three-course meal delivered to me that included drinks and a personal message from the chef about the meal. Chef Toya’s menu focused on the similarities between her Jamaican & Bajan heritage and Indian, Vietnamese & Cambodian culinary styles.

Boxed perfection
Ground “Scallops” – slow-cooked cassava “scallops”, mushroom stew, okra, heirloom, Himalayan and basmati rice
Herbed Bird’s Eye Chicken- okra, heirloom, Himalayan and basmati rice
Caribe Truffle- cacao, toasted sesame, Vietnamese and Ethiopian coffee

It was a great date night for my husband and me. The food came with easy heating instructions, was rich in flavor, and everything tasted amazing. I recommend the experience to everyone. Check out Adá Supper Club’s website and join the mailing list to receive information about the next dining experience.

St. Jude’s Baking Challenge 2022

This past June, I participated in the St. Jude’s Baking Challenge. I thought it could be something I could do with my parents and my husband, but it just turned out to be a solo mission. I didn’t mind, I got to eat everything, and I shared with as many people as I could. Each week I had a different baking challenge. In week 1, I had to make cookies, and in week 2, it was pie. In week 3, the challenge was bread, and in week 4, I had to make a cake.

Week 1: Lemon cookies

I don’t know what I did wrong, but it was a little hard to get into little balls.
Came out ok though!

Week 2: Apple pie

Before
After

This was my first time making an apple pie. It wasn’t as complicated as I thought if would be.

Week 3: Banana Bread

Before
After

I didn’t have any eggs, so I substituted them with olive oil, and it came out fine.

Week 4: Cake, but I switched it up and did strawberry cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Yum!
It was so good my husband and I ate the whole batch and did not share.

Overall, the challenges were fun but most importantly, I raised $120 for St. Jude’s!

Sushi on Me – Anniversary Dinner

Last month, Andrew and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary at Sushi on Me. It’s a small place in Jackson Heights, Queens, with a cool speakeasy vibe. We enjoyed a 15-course omakase dinner with unlimited sake 😁.

When you arrive, they have you sit down at a table while they finish setting up, and then they move you over to the sushi bar. The bar only fits nine people, and they have four dine-in time slots (5 pm, 6:30 pm, 8 pm, and 9:30 pm).

We didn’t capture it all, but here are some pics of the food.

Overall, we had a fantastic experience. The staff and chefs were incredible, and all the sushi was fresh. The main highlight for me was watching them make the sushi right in front of me. Check it out if you can!!!

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.

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!

Celebrating Mom Mardi Gras Style

My Mom is a leap year baby, so she celebrated the big 7 8 twice this year. Last night we had Filipino food, and tonight I went all out ordering some yummy food from Sugar Freak in Astoria. Since it’s also Mardi Gras, I thought, why not indulge in a seafood boil!

Check out the yummy grub!

Maxi and Mom ❤️
Seafood Boil
Beignets
Banana Pudding

All about chocolate

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, but I’ve been celebrating all week.

On Wednesday, I took part in a chocolate-making class with my parents. It was a lot of fun and very hands-on. We learned how to temper chocolate and made jumbo peanut butter cups, pecan turtles, almond bear paws, dipped Oreos, and strawberries. It was messy yet yummy!

Getting everything ready!
Rolled up caramel and peanut butter and chocolate chunks.
I put Dad to work.
A bit messy but it still tasted fantastic.

On Friday, Andrew, my parents, and I did a Valentine’s Day-themed chocolate tasting. The tasting was packed with chocolate facts and insight on how they make the chocolate. We also tasted five different chocolate pieces, milk chocolate peanut butter heart, milk chocolate sea salt caramel, pecan toffee crisp, dark chocolate truffle, and dark chocolate lemon satin crème heart. Mom loved the peanut butter piece, I loved the dark chocolate truffle, Dad loved the truffle and lemon satin crème, and Andrew loved them all.

Enjoy your love day!!

January Pantry Challenge

This month, I took part in The Sweet Frugal Life’s January Pantry Challenge, where I took an inventory of what I had in the pantry, fridge, and freezer to make dishes. I wasn’t super strict with it and only made a handful of meals, but I still consider it a success!

The main takeaway from my experience; I have a lot of soup in my pantry!

Here are some of my dishes.

shrimp and veggie stir fry
red beans and rice take 1
red beans and rice take 2
dumplings
eggs and spam
miso ramen
ramen
New England clam chowder
cream of mushroom chicken

So long 2021

My 2021 wasn’t terrible. I became a Mom, and I celebrated and enjoyed life as much as possible. I explored and pushed myself to try new things. I got creative with ways to motivate myself, and I continue to move forward. It sucks that I’m spending the last day taking care of a sick baby, but such is life.

Below is my picture recap of the year. I choose one picture to sum up each month.

January- I became a Mom! I gave birth to Maxine Amelia on Dec 19, 2020. My first month as a mom was rough and full of learning moments, but I’m thankful every day for my munchkin.
February- My mom turned 77 this year. With the pandemic, it was tough to see her and our family. This amazing picture (of three generations) was taken at my Aunt’s house. We celebrated my Mom’s birthday, and family members finally met Maxine.
March- With a new baby, it’s hard to get out, and it was tough to have time just for my husband and me. I signed us up for a beer and cheese virtual tasting as a date night. It was a lot of fun and informative.
April- I did many fun things in April, including an oyster shucking class and a cooking class with Daniel Boulud, but nothing can beat my Dad finally coming home from rehab after fracturing his hip. December 2020, my father fractured his hip, had to have surgery, and caught covid and pneumonia in the hospital. At the beginning of the year, my father was moved to a long-term care facility in Jersey first and finally placed in a rehab facility in Queens soon after. It was a challenging situation, mainly because of covid and I couldn’t see him. He finally came home at the end of April, and he got to meet his granddaughter for the first time.
May- I decided to sign-up for a flower CSA from May to October. It was a bit pricey, if I’m going to be honest, but so worth it! I picked up flowers every week; it was very refreshing. I even tried my hand at arranging the flowers. It was fun and relaxing.
June- Andrew and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by attending a virtual magic show by Dan White. It was AMAZING and blew our minds.
July- We celebrated Dad, who turned 79! My family has a house in Long Island that we share by the beach. My dad rarely visits, but my Aunt and Uncle threw him a little party, and he enjoyed the day and area.
August- We had a family vacation in the Catskills at the end of August. We rented a house with a pool and jacuzzi; it was amazing and much needed. I don’t have many pictures of my husband smiling, so I’m taking advantage and showing his beautiful smile.
September- Self-care became tricky during the pandemic. I finally decided enough was enough with my hair and chopped it off. Quite liberating if I say so myself.
October- I turned the big 4*0* this month. We decided to head over to Crystal Springs Resort for a few days and enjoy the fall season. The resort was fantastic with great food, and I took advantage of the spa. We went apple picking, pumpkin picking, went through a corn maze, and enjoyed wine and spirit tastings in the area. It was very low-key and chill.
November- Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I appreciate the time with family and the overall idea of gratitude. I shared my journal of things I’m grateful for already in another post. My husband had to work on Thanksgiving, but I still enjoyed the day, reflected on everything I’m thankful for, and cooked a feast.
December- This month was filled with friend and family activities, but I couldn’t help picking the time decorating the gingerbread house as my picture for the month. It gets harder and harder to find activities that my parents are willing to do and be a part of. Next year, I will continue to brainstorm ideas.

It was great to reflect on the year. I hope you had some time for reflection as well.

Cheers to 2022!