Savory Oatmeal #1

I've decided to start numbering my savory oatmeals since I go through so many versions, depending on what’s in my fridge. 

  • Brown butter-toasted rolled oats cooked with coconut milk
  • Napa cabbage sautéed with kale, bacon, and garlic
  • Sunny side up eggs
  • Kimchi
  • Togarashi
  • Hot sesame oil (so good. put it on everything.)


“I woke up at 1am and haven't been to sleep since. Trying to think back to when America was great as that's where we all seem to be headed. So let's reminisce together, shall we? Fifteenish years since high school and constantly being called a chink in the hallways and being told that my acceptance into one of the top five universities in this country was due to affirmative action. Nine or so years since I was in a situation where gas lighting and a door shutting on my head was the norm. Twenty or so years ago when I wanted to fit in so badly that I regularly scrubbed my face and hands until they were raw to get light skin and would pray to God to make me white and give me a Wonderbread sandwich for lunch. And let's not forget when I was laughed at for writing a fourth grade report on what it would be like to be a President. And probably with the biggest impact on me, twenty five years ago when my aunt's husband first laid a hand on me and told me that no one would believe me. In recent years, it seemed that everyone was slowly gaining some footing - a few more role models of color, a few more women in leadership roles. I guess that's what did it for a lot of people. If we are all equal then no one is ahead anymore. No one gets special perks that only those at the bottom seem to see. 

There is a reason that all of these thoughts and thoughts very similar flood back into my mind and the kind of others. Trump has bullied people at rallies for reasons under the sun, harassed and assaulted women, Said he was going to kick Muslims out of the country (please see me if you want to get your ass schooled in the topic of Children of the Book) scammed poor students out of money and an education, doesn't pay taxes, I can go on... If this is a man who you think is a good fit to lead *everyone* in this nation, I have no words for you.  

It is so easy to lose hope. I know because after this morning, I basically have none. It is easy to feel helpless and betrayed. At 1am, I worried what to tell my daughters. I'm worried about the bullying and the hate that has been sanctioned by our President Elect through his own actions, through his own words. I worried about them being called names, them feeling unsure of their own power, and the more I thought of this, I thought, "Fuck no." I may be sad and mourning today, but now there is rage in me.  A rage driven by wanting to make sure my daughters don't get the same treatment. I think of my friends who are terrified and hurt. LGBTQ couples who feel unsure of what this means for them. I think of unconscious strangers that get raped by predators in the street..predators that only get a few months of jail time. I think of women who see that glass ceiling and feel so far away. I think about my Muslim friends who text each other not to wear their hijabs because they are afraid of getting attacked or texting their sons not to go out because they fear for their lives. I think of friends who scroll through the resource list and debate calling the suicide hotline because they don't know what to do now. These people are not crybabies.  They aren't mad because they lost a bet. These are fellow Americans that are devastated in ways I hope many of you cannot understand. But I think of these people, and the fire in me burns brighter.  

Today, I cried. Tomorrow, the fire burns a bit brighter... We cannot be silent anymore. It doesn't work. We cannot silently condone hate. It just allows people to run unchecked and unchallenged.  No. We enter the fray. We cry. We scream. We get to work.  We build bridges between ourselves and build ourselves up again. We talk about our differences with love. We have the hard conversations about sex, religion, race...all those things we are scared of. We do it because we have to. To survive. And also to thrive. We can't just float through on the good graces of white people anymore.  

Donald Trump's election is a national and global tragedy. Let this not all be for nothing. Please let us have the final say in our future. ”  — Christine S. 

An email from a very dear friend about Donald Trump and the future. Posted with her permission. 

The Standard Barbershop

I'm not a dude, obviously (hopefully obviously!?), so I don't really have any cause to visit barbershops. Unless, of course, that barbershop happens to be The Standard Barbershop in Fairfax, Virginia, where my sister is the receptionist/manager and they (the good staff of The Standard) need portraits and photos for their website. From my morning spent at the Standard, I can happily and enthusiastically recommend to my gentlemen friends and readers to frequent the Standard if you're in need of a haircut, beard trim, or dope-ass fade. Make sure to say hi to my sister and Sega, the family/shop dog. 

The Standard Barbershop | See the full photo set


owner/barber Tommy Cheung

Inyoung, barber

Frank, barber

Alina, receptionist/manager/my sister! and Wendy, owner

Amber and Andee, barbers at work

Andee, barber

The Standard team

Marco, barber

it's me! (and Sega. and my sister. and Frank.)

Mami pequiña vs. planchita enorme

Bolivian food with my honorary Bolivian family (you too, Nate & Christian) at Luzmary in Falls Church! Larry and Alé have decided that Luzmary has the best salteñas in the area:  the thinnest crust with the best not-too-sweet filling. My go-to is pique macho, the quintessential Bolivian drunk food of french fries, hot dogs, steak, jalapeño, onion, tomato, boiled eggs and served with ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. It blew my mind when Chef Larry made it for family meal at the Fair one day. Any cuisine that loves hot dogs as much as Lao people (one of these days I'll make hot dog nyam, i.e. hot dog salad, for you to see) is aces in my book. Last night, however, I ordered chicharrones (fried pork with potato & corn), very tasty, though Alé's mom ordered the planchita (imagine all the things you'd want on one sizzling platter) and I was a little envious until she shared some hot dog with me. I've mentioned hot dogs at least three times in this paragraph. I'm not that obsessed with hot dogs, I swear.  

Just describing the pique macho has made me super hungry so off I go in search of coffee and breakfast. This afternoon is a bbq at Casa de Rachel y Travis, photos later! 

Smallest person at the table = biggest dish ordered. 100% gangsta. 





Cheeseburgers and Ice Cube Trays

When I asked my dad what he wanted for his birthday, he responded, “Ice cube trays. The big cube ones, for whiskey. Maybe the spherical ones, too.” 

...sure, Dad. You got it. I think it's kind of cool actually, to turn 66 and not really want anything more than ice cube trays. G status. 

When I asked him what he wanted to have for his birthday dinner, if he wanted to go out or stay in, he requested cheeseburgers and hotdogs. I took care of the cheeseburgers (nothing fancy, recipe to follow), Pa & John brought hotdogs (some kind of veal situation with a great snap), baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and we had potato chips, fries, and a Boston creme pie. Dad spilled root beer all over himself (and the floor) and Mom put horseradish sauce on her burger. Pa and John bought him fancy crocs (*sigh) and, knee-deep in a food coma, we watched the Dimitri v. Murray match at the U.S. Open. 

Happy 66th birthday, Daddy. I can only aspire to your level of cool. 

(the ten second concept drawing of Dad and his birthday burgers)

A simple recipe for simple (but delicious) cheeseburgers

Thank you to my sister, aka my reluctant hand model

- ground beef chuck (20% fat)
- salt and pepper
- American cheese or sharp cheddar
- lettuce, tomato, red onion
- Duke's mayonnaise and spicy brown mustard
- potato buns

- Make burgers: salt & pepper the chuck. Form into balls (you can food scale it up, though we generally just eyed it), flatten into patties, and use your thumb to make an indentation in the center so they cook flat. 
- Cook over grill or med/high heat in a cast iron skillet on stovetop until desired doneness. 
- Assemble: Bun, burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, bun. 
- Make your family pose for photos before they eat. Oh, maybe that's just me.  

Behind the burger scene at Casa de Sananikone

We made sliders too, because the slider buns were too cute not to bring home. 

Chef Larry and Alé: The Preview

It's difficult, trying to find wedding photos to preview when you love most of them. Nonetheless, here's a quick sneak peek of Chef Larry & Aléjandra's wedding in the OBX, North Carolina, this part March.