Sunday, November 28, 2010


That's pronounced "fun." 

(gah, my boyfriend is clever- but shhh don't tell him that...)

Last night, we attended a Vietnamese wedding reception with friends of ours. We had an absolute blast, along with TONS of food.

The 9 course menu: (served family style)

in addition to an interesting array of hor d'oeuvres

(the pre-dinner meatless delights included melon, sweet pineapple pound cake and a coffee-flavored gelatin square- I love discovering new foods! Especially when they're tasty...)

I was happy to learn that seafood is a staple in the Vietnamese diet, so there were only a couple dishes on the the menu I had to avoid. Everything else = fair game.

Some highlights:

Steamed buns- the texture was indescribably crazy and the taste similar to that of sweet Hawaiian rolls

Lobster- 'nuff said

Seafood Cold Cut plate.

I'll admit: when I saw this on the menu, I freaked out a little and pictured heaping spoonfuls of artificial crab meat and a shrimp cocktail made from defrosted shrimp and jarred cocktail sauce. I was PLEASANTLY surprised when we received a tray filled with fresh shrimp and squid in otherworldly sauces- the most notable concoction being grilled shrimp in a creamy citrus sauce and served with walnuts. Such complex flavors in a "seafood cold cut"- who knew?!

My cold cut plate:


We also had shark fin soup and something called "crab claw with shrimp paste."

Shrimp paste was another ingredient that made me nervous... I don't know if it was the fact that the ball of paste was deep fried or the stuff was actually tasty, but this was one of my favorite parts of dinner!

Of course a wedding is not complete without champagne (can't you tell?)

And cake

DELICIOUS CAKE. I could have downed 2 more of those, but didn't want to pass out in a sugar coma be rude.

The lovely couple.

Apparently, a Vietnamese bride changes up to four times throughout the festivities. This was my favorite dress.

Our table upon leaving:

Um, yeah. We had fun.

This morning I woke up early craving a warm hearty "something."

I took a cue from Ashley and made some oats with banana, almond butter and pumpkin loaf bits.

Over the past week or so, it finally feels like some semblance of fall/winter weather has taken over Los Angeles. For this reason, I've been craving warm, generous portions of food CONSTANTLY. I just cannot get into salad mode! That's why I decided to make a soup from scratch...

More reasons:
a) It'll last all week... maybe

b) I can control was goes into the pot- it'll be vegetarian, protein-packed and AMAZING.

I got started on the prep work while waiting on my scene partner to arrive for rehearsal.

First I strained and rinsed the Trader Joe's 17 Bean and Barley Mix after soaking it overnight.

Check out all that beany goodness

Then I gathered my soup veggies

And chopped (about 1 cup per veggie)

Added some vegetable broth

to the beans

Prepped a pan with some olive oil + crushed garlic and admired my early morning reflection (riiight...)

Cooked up the veggies 'til soft

Then put it all together (plus a can of diced tomatoes + salt to taste) and let it simmer for an hour, while I rehearsed.

Appropriately enough, the character I'm playing is a total "Suzy homemaker" caretaker-type wife to her disturbed husband, so I was able to method act ;) today and serve my "husband" some piping hot soup from the stove...


Unlike another version of this soup I've tried in the past, I added canned tomato to the mix, which brought a distinct sweetness to the final product. Omit the tomato and go heavier on the salt and seasoning if you'd prefer the more savory version.

Alright, I'm going to have another bowl and get ready for work.

Things to look forward to this week:

  • Getting back on the cardio/sweat bandwagon after a quick holiday break
  • Setting up our Christmas tree and decorations Wednesday night!
  • Baking, making, eating, then blogging about it.

Happy thoughts :)


  1. Hi girlie :) Adorable bloggie. All that Vietnamese food looks familiar, and somewhat similar to the traditional Chinese style 7- course wedding menus that I've experienced. Nice to see some other LA bloggers :)

  2. LOVE Vietnamese food! Luckily we have a lot of that here!
    LOVE the soup you made too! I'd kill to have a Traders Joes on my island.....Price of living out in Hawaii I guess. At least we FINALLY got a Whole Foods :)
    Much Aloha! A

  3. Yep, I think the whole "being in Hawaii" thing makes up for a lack of Trader Joes- hahaha... It's so funny: since moving to California, i've been desperately searching for a reason to hop on the cheaper airfare and just GO! One of these days, I tell ya. Thanks for stoppin by!