Taking a look back at 2022

As the clock turns 12, I wanted to celebrate and look back at 2022.

I started the new year with a challenge, the January Pantry Challenge. The idea was to cook things I already had at home to save money. I ate a lot of soup and finally ate stuff in my freezer. Some of my favs were the shrimp stir fry, red beans, sausage and rice, and dumplings.
In February, I did some fun activities with my parents. We took part in a virtual chocolate tasting and a chocolate-making class.
In March, I did a bit of a staycation and enjoyed the TWA hotel at JFK. It was a lot of fun. It had a fantastic 60s vibe with great food and ambiance. One of the best features is that they remade one of the planes into a cocktail bar/lounge.
For Easter this year, I decorated eggs and did a few egg hunts with Maxine and my family. It was fun to make the eggs with mom, and even better to see Maxine’s face while she was looking for eggs.
I don’t see my friends as often as I would like these days, but it’s always a blast when we do get to see each other. In May, we had brunch at Lucky Chengs and enjoyed a fun drag show.
In June, I was a panelist for a new membership event at the New York Junior League. I have been volunteering for the league for about eight years now and I was honored to be asked to speak.
Dad turned 80 in July! I wanted to throw him a huge party, but that is not my dad’s style. We had an amazing dinner at a Greek restaurant in Astoria instead.
We rented out a beautiful house in the Poconos in August and had a kickass family trip. The place was amazing; it had an indoor pool, a game room, and a movie theater. We also did some hiking and saw some beautiful waterfalls, and did some canoeing as well.
September was all about soaking up the last bit of beautiful weather and enjoying the parks and water sprinklers.
I turned 41 this year and spent my birthday with my family in Atlantic City. We stayed at Caesar’s Palace. I haven’t been to AC in years! I gambled with my parents, and Andrew won big at the roulette table. I ate excellent food and enjoyed the beach, as the weather was nice. Andrew and I even got to have a little date night on my birthday and explored AC at night.
I kicked off the holiday season by attending the New York Junior League’s Golden Tree event. It’s a holiday market where a percentage of the proceeds go to the league. The event also had a great auction where you could bid on various items, including holiday wreaths. I participated in the auction for the first time and won these two beauties.
Maxine turned two in December! Last year, we kept it simple and celebrated at a buffet so this year, I wanted to go all out. I rented a small venue and we had a bouncy house, face painter and balloon artist. Of course it had to be CoComelon themed.

2022, thanks for the memories!

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.

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!!!

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.

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!

Easter Fun

Easter was a two-day adventure this year. My family and I dyed and decorated some eggs, had two yummy feasts, creative Easter basket ideas, and egg hunts.

Dying and decorating the eggs was a family affair! My mom was in charge of the dye, but we all pitched in decorating the eggs with stickers.

Dying some eggs
Finished product

Saturday night we had our big feast.

Leg of lamb
Lamb, potatoes, mixed vegetables, and sweet potatoes

I got my daughter a Slumberkins Unicorn basket, and I got my husband and me a little planter that Maxine could also enjoy. She could watch the veggies grow before her eyes. She is still small, but I think she’ll still enjoy it.

Lastly, and my favorite, the egg hunts. I did two, one indoors at my Mom and Dad’s place on Saturday and another outside at my in-laws. Maxine had a blast!

Isn’t she the cutest?!