Monday, May 31

An Evening in Holland, MI

We spent our weekend in lovely Holland, Michigan, for the boys soccer tournament. It was the best soccer weather ever! I felt like I was on vacation, but even better - with a lot of good friends, well.. actually the whole soccer team! It's my first time in Holland, and I really like it there. I had always heard about their famous Tulip Festival, but never knew there's much more to it there. We all had a GREAT time, and would love to re-visit Holland again soon.

The soccer team and families stayed at the Haworth Inn & Conference Center. We're very happy with our stay I have to say. This charming hotel located right in downtown Holland, central to shopping area and dining spots. Very friendly staffs, clean rooms, and great included buffet breakfast.

Most of us arrived Friday evening, and that's when our good time started. The boys did their own thing - having dinner, walking around, getting ice cream, and kicking some soccer. Us the parents made our first stop at New Holland Brewing Co.

The place was fantastic, and they brew all their beers. (We sat inside at the bar, and actually went back the next day to enjoy the patio seating.)

Then, we walked across the street to have dinner at the Curragh Irish Pub. The experience was great, we all definitely enjoyed our food, and drinks. Here's some of our dishes:

Baked Feta Roasted garlic layered with sliced tomato, sea salt, chives and caramelized feta cheese served in roasted garlic olive oil with grilled rosemary Ciabatta bread.

Toasted Seafood Bruschetta Toasted onion poppy seed Ciabatta blanketed with shrimp and crab marscarpone spread. Topped with tomato bruschetta and Balsamic reduction. Very very good, I love it!

Sea Salt and Herb Rubbed Filet Sea salt and herb rubbed 8oz filet drizzled with a sweet lemon ancho chili butter served with roastedpotato and blanched asparagus. My friend, Lisa, believed it was the best steak ever!

Cottage Pie Chicken, peas, carrots and onions in herb sauce. Topped with mashed potatoes and baked golden brown. Served with seasonal vegetables and soda bread.

After dinner, a few of us took a walk to visit CityFlats Hotel, the first hotel in the Midwest to receive LEED Gold Certification for the Green design and function. A couple of my friends stayed there before and they just couldn't stop raving about it.

It was pretty late so we just took a quick look at the lobby area. The decor was very chic, unique, and whimsical. From what I saw and heard, this hotel is a great example of how well green living can be accomplished! Can't wait to stay there when I go back to Holland next time...

Wednesday, May 26

Wednesdays at the Gisholts'

The invitation says, "For those of you who will be joining us for the first time, our dinners are simply an opportunity to get to meet new people, or to see friends and to enjoy a good meal in good company. Anyone and everyone is invited - co-workers, children, friends, significant others (or even just "others.")."

And that's how I met the Gisholts for the first time! I joined my friend, Kathy, along with our boys to this dinner, hosted by Nicolas and his wife, Susan -- at there lovely home. I met new people, made new friends, had a delicious meal, and enjoyed a great conversation!

Guests brought a dish to share, while the Gisholts prepared quite a few items for the dinner party. In the meantime, their invites also mention, "We know that sometimes our busy lives just don't allow us time to get to the store, so don't feel pressure to bring anything other than your sparkling personality!" .... How thoughtful of them!

I learned from an article in food section of the Boston Globe from years ago, about this dinner party's tradition, and more about "Nico". His story for the the first-timer of how he started having strangers to his house for dinner regularly begins with how he thinks it's important to pause in the workweek, gather friends - old and new - and share a meal.

(Susan and Nicolas)
".... Thirty years ago, my godfather moved from Mexico City to Paris. He knew many painters, musicians, writers, intellectuals, and starving artists. My godfather had a little more money than his friends and promised that for one night a week, they would eat well. Each Wednesdays night he cooked lavish meals for anyone who came to his home ...." Nico mentioned in the article. He and his beautiful family have continued the tradition, when they moved to Michigan years ago.

I am so glad I finally got to meet the Gisholts,
and it's wonderful to meet everyone!

Monday, May 24

East Lansing Art Festival

What a beautiful weather we had this past weekend. I was looking forward to attending the 47th annual East Lansing Art Festival the whole week, and finally made it there on Sunday. This fun and fantastic community event is held every spring during the weekend prior the Memorial Day weekend. This year is another year of a great show. Hundreds of artists from Michigan and beyond came to East Lansing to exhibit all kinds of art.

The East Lansing Art Festival features a variety of activities, performances, and demonstrations to entertain the attendees.

Great crowd at satge performance
The international food court features many vendors with tastes from around the world.

My lunch from Grand Grillin' and refreshing lemonade!

A delicious chicken wrap!


See you next year...

Thursday, May 20

Mango with Sticky Rice

I made this Thai dessert the other day.
Very happy that everyone enjoyed it!
Archive recipe is here.

Sunday, May 16

Lansing City Market

My Saturday visit to the beautiful Lansing City Market

Bella Harvest

Bob's Market

The Grain Market

Shoua's Kitchen

Sweet Seasons Orchards

Hills Home Cured Cheese

RAAW, and
Get Mint Trading Co by "Peppermint Jim"

Chicken curry with rice from Shoua's Kitchen, and
Watermelon gelato from Iorio Italian Ice
Very delicious!!

Lansing City Market:
325 City Market Dr.
Lansing, MI 48912

Open 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday

Tuesday, May 11

Sunday Dinner

I love getting together with friends for great meals, and it's even better when we cook together. It was a Mother's Day, and also a good day that we could finally make it to get together. (Well.. almost. We missed a few. So, there is "next time" coming up.) The main dishes were a variety of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Thai. There were quite a few of appetizers and desserts as well. Each of us all cooked up what we'd like to share with others. Then, we enjoyed the meal, and shared recipes, technique, thoughts, and secret ingredients. It's quite passionate... Here's some of the dish we had:

Homemade crackers and cheese appetizer (by Kazuko)

DIY/roll-your-own sushi appetizer (by Kazuko)

Vegetable tempura (by Kazuko)

Korean-style BBQ short ribs, or Kalbi (by Chef Tae)

Stir-fried chive flowers with tofu (by David)

Thai chicken curry (by me)

Pineapple cheesecake (by Parker)

Thai sweet sticky rice with mangoes (by me)

There were others dishes and items that I didn't get to take photograph of. Just pretty busy appreciating this great dinner! So much food that we could enjoy the leftover for a couple more meals. Great time!

Tuesday, May 4

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe - DC Eats

Located in a prime location of Dupont Circle neighborhood, Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe is a unique all-in-one bookstore, cafe, and restaurant. We went there twice while staying in DC, once for dinner, and again for brunch. I think the place has a pretty cool concept. It's quite popular and always busy.

Whole wheat waffles with bacon, fruit compote', and fresh fruits.
Food is good. Nice breakfast selection.

Great place to eat and socialize

Cafe' in the large sunroom area is inviting.
There is also a great patio seating area.


Kramerbooks and Afetrwords Cafe
1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 387-1462
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