Súp xương bò

Năm ngoái cũng vào thời điểm này, chúng tôi dự một buổi tiệc sinh nhật của người anh cột chèo (chồng của chị vợ tôi). Lần đó chị đãi t-bone steak. Tuy ngại bị gout nhưng thấy mọi người ăn ngon miệng nên cũng xin một miếng.

Sau khi ăn xong thì bà vú (ngày xưa) của người anh cột chèo bảo giữ lại những cục xương để cô nấu súp. Ngày hôm sau thấy một nồi súp xương bò cùng rau quả và khoai tây. Tôi múc một chén nhỏ ăn thử. Nước súp ngọt tuyệt. Tôi làm thêm hai chén nữa.

Tôi nghĩ không biết chất ngọt là trong t-bone hay nước bọt của những người đã thưởng thức cái miếng steak. Tôi không biết cô ấy nhiều nên không dám hỏi đùa. Sợ cô giận. Đôi khi có những thứ không nên biết. Chỉ cần tin tưởng và cảm tạ người nấu cho ta những món ăn tuyệt vời.

Tôi sẽ nhớ hoài món súp đó của cô. Không ngờ chỉ những miếng xương vứt đi có thể trở thành một nồi súp ngon ngọt. Cách tận dụng thức ăn rất hay. Tôi kính phục cô.

Covona Smoothie

In the summer, my favorite breakfast is an iced cold, fresh smoothie. In the past three days I have been enjoying a new recipe called Covona smoothie. Covona is the combination of coconut, avocado, and banana. How clever? Here are the ingredients if you are interested.

1 cup of milk (I use two percent)
1 cup of coconut-flavored yogurt (I use Liberté’s whole milk yogurt with Philippine coconut)
1 whole ripe avocado
1 banana
6 strips of coconut (I use Trader Joe’s coconut strips lightly sweetened)
2 table spoons of chia seeds
2 table spoons of honey
10 cubes of ice

It is perfect for two servings. For a more tropical flavor, replace avocado with a ripe mango and two slices of pineapples.

Morning Green Smoothie

I am getting back to my morning routine of drinking smoothie. My nine-month boy is my motivation. I enjoy our bonding time together and sharing a cup of smoothie. Here are the ingredients:

1 cup of plain Lifeway Kefir
1 avocado
1 apple
2 slices of pineapple
A handful of baby spinach
4 leaves of Kale
1 slice of ginger
A few drops of honey
4 spoons of chia seeds
2 cups of ice

This is about four servings, and it is delicious.

Phở Kobe

Tiệm Kobe House trong khu Eden đã khai trương gần hai năm nhưng hôm nay mới là lần đầu tiên vào thử. Gọi món Phở Đặt Biệt xem thử có gì khác lạ không. Bánh phở tuy hơi nhão nhưng nước lèo cũng được. Chắc không phải dân biết thưởng thức kobe nên tôi cũng chả thấy gì lạ hay đặc sắc. Ăn cũng tạm nhưng tốn hết 14 đô và 3 đô tiền tip.

Mấy lần rũ bà xã nhưng bả không chịu vào. Vợ mình hay thiệt đúng là bị dụ.

Switching to Green Tea Latte

In the past few months, my wife has successfully switched me from drinking coffee to green tea latte. It is healthier and so darn easy to make in the morning. All I need is a scoop of the Ryu Mei Japanese Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder, a cup of hot milk, and a bit of honey. Instead of getting caffeine, I am getting milk on a daily basis.

In addition, my favorite dessert these days is avocado with a bit of condensed milk and shaved ice. My favorite snack nowadays is my mom’s hot and spicy salsa. Basically all I have to do is cooked ground beef with mango, garlic, onion, and chilly powder (for adults) first then mixed in fresh garden salsa from the market. It is so tasty that even Đạo is loving it.

My Favorite Drinks

A few of my favorite drinks at the moment:

  • Hornitos Lime Shot by Sauza Tequila is surprisingly tasty. It already has the right amount of lime and salt to suit your taste bud. The price is nice too. Hornitos is much cheaper than Patrón and Don Julio. Drinking the whole bottle might give you a hangover, but a shot or two will make you feel good, especially in the cold weather. Just chill it in the freezer and enjoy.
  • Grand Marnier with Red Bull is a perfect combo when I needed lots of caffeine. I don’t drink Red Bull Straight, but half Red Bull and half Grand Marnier is delicious.
  • Fever-Tree Ginger Beer with Tanqueray is just delightful. The strong ginger flavor combined with the exquisite taste of gin and a bit of lime is to die for.

Bún Mắm in Eden

For the more adventurous taste buds, bún mắm, is now offered in various restaurants in Eden Center. Hải Dương was the first that got me hooked. The bowl had been savory and consistent for a long time. I was satisfied every time I went there for it. Now Hải Dương’s bún mắm is still good, but not as good as the good old days. The broth is sweeter and less savory.

A friend recommended bún mắm at Thanh Tòng and I had it once. I can’t recall exactly how it tasted, but was I was not impressed. I also tried once at Cơm Tắm Sài Gòn. While the broth was decent, the fish had that old, freezer-like smell. The whole bowl was ruined.

A month or so ago, I checked out the new joint Viet Gardens and it was the worse so far. The broth was watered down and the pork was chunky and chewy. The owner used to run Làng Nướng Tây Đô a few years ago only for a few months.

Where Làng Nướng Tây Đô used to be is now a brand new Eden Kitchen, which is a division of Phở Factory in Alexandria. It also offers bún mắm so I gave it a try today and it turned out be a disappointment. It lacked all the varieties of ingredients and the broth was not piping hot.

At this time, the best place to have bún mắm in Eden Center has to be at Rice Paper. With various ingredients including eggplant, bún mắm at Rice Paper has a rich flavor. The broth is probably a bit salty for most people; therefore, just add more lime juice to balance it out. Rice Paper is still one of the most crowded place in Eden for some of its delicious dishes. The only thing that Rice Paper needs to work on is its customer service. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either.

Kim Phung’s Delicious Mooncake

As Tết Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Festival) is approaching, mooncakes are on displayed everywhere in Asian stores. As always, Kim Phung’s fresh mooncake is still the best. My wife and I shared its specialty (egg yoke, ham, mixed nuts and melon) and sipped some tea. As I am getting older and older, this is the only reason to love Tết Trung Thu. If you have a chance to visit Eden Center in the next few weeks, check out Kim Phung Bakery. It’s kind of pricey ($8 a pop), but definitely worth it.

Green Smoothie Recipes

I have been adding green smoothie as part of my breakfast and dinner on a regular basis. I only drink green smoothie instead of coffee in the morning and eat less dinner to save room for smoothie. My wife is also on board with the diet. In fact, she’s much more knowledgable about nutrition than me. The posted the two recipes I like in the eatery section: My Green Smoothie and Ultimate Green Smoothie. If you have come up with great recipes, hook me up. If not, here are a few sites I pulled together with plenty of green smoothie recipes:

Pho Capital

The correct name should probably called Pho Capitol since the logo, which looks quite decent, has an illustration of the U.S. Capitol building. In any rate, I noticed this place a while ago since it is locating on Little River Turnpike, but never tried it out. I also read some negative reviews on Yelp, but decided to give it a try anyway since the location is convenience from my house.

I ordered a large pho togo yesterday for the kids to eat at home since Dan really loves Pho. Unfortunately, both Dao and Dan took one spoon and didn’t want it anymore. Dana said it was not good. I also took one spoon and it tasted really bad. The broth was not only watered down, it also had a sour taste to it as if it had started to spoil. I ended up throwing the entire thing out.

I went back to Yelp to read some more reviews and came across one patron who found a cockroach in his pho. If I read it before, I would had skipped this place. Nowadays, our regular spot is Pho 50 since Dan really loves this place.