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Nuoc Mam Gung – The ultimate Vietnamese dipping sauce

8 Aug

My mother in law’s nuoc mam gung (ginger dipping sauce) is legendary. No one in the family makes it like her.

I have made several feeble attempts that mostly proved to be failures. Edible, but failures nonetheless. Rather than ask her to make the sauce for me every time I prepare Bun Mang Vit (Duck and bamboo noodle soup), vermicelli bowls, or any of the other dishes we enjoy with the sauce, it was time for me to learn.

Over and over she says “No measurements, just taste.”

OK, fine.

But I still need to see about how much of everything goes in to this magical concoction.

We called her up the other weekend and said we’d be over to make the sauce with strong warnings not to have it already made before we arrived. She didn’t make it, thankfully, but had the other ingredients ready and waiting.

And the results were glorious.

Mom and I holding the finished product of ginger dipping sauce. Continue reading

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Successful Thanksgiving Day

1 Dec

Last night as I was flipping through Facebook and Instagram posts of friends and family, my heart swelled like it so often does around the holidays. We all have so very much to be thankful for, which shouldn’t be concentrated in just one day a year.

This morning [Friday, actually…I didn’t finish this blog in one sitting], for instance, I’m sitting at the dining room table working on this blog with my niece flipping through Christmas music stations on Pandora on the couch across from me. She also plugged in the Christmas tree that she and her sister helped us decorate yesterday after dinner. Family, peace, and Girl Scout Samoa coffee creamer are certainly on the Thankful List.

Anywho, yesterday was a success. We survived – the kitchen, our sanity, and maybe even waistlines. I learned one very important lesson in hosting Thanksgiving: Prepare 1/3 of the food that I *think* I need.

This is seriously a problem of mine, guys. There were more leftovers than what was eaten. It didn’t help that we had the extra Chinese and Viet dishes.

I mean, look at this well-stocked table!

Family gathered around the table for Thanksgiving dinner Continue reading

Our First American-Vietnamese Thanksgiving

17 Nov

The kiddos spent the night last night and are sleeping upstairs. That means Auntie gets to enjoy coffee, TV and knitting. Except this morning is crochet. I’m working on a tree skirt pattern from my local yarn shop Fibre Space that mimics a pricey Anthropologie version in stores a couple of seasons ago. Here are some of the granny squares and the circular base that will go around our tree. Not blocked yet, but you get the idea!

Crocheted Christmas tree skirt

This is our first Christmas together in our home and we are both so excited. Friday I also worked up an ornament wreath for the front door that was a super cheap DIY. I already had a foam wreath form waiting to be crafted, and when running errands earlier in the day I picked up several tubes of disco ornaments from Target in the dollar bins. Whip out the hot glue gun, turn on some trash TV DVR’d episodes and pretty soon we have a handmade, unique front door wreath.

Handmade wreath with ornaments

Ok, ok, ok! One holiday at a time, I know! But I get so excited, don’t you? At least I haven’t turned on the Christmas music. Hubs certainly appreciates that. Back to Thanksgiving… Continue reading

Sunday Family Fun Day

6 Oct

This weekend continued my housewife in training as we had our nieces and nephew over for some fall fun. Fall activities were all around, but the weather is sticking on the summer setting. 

Despite the heat, we had a great time at Nall’s Produce Inc. farm pumpkin patch and carved some sweet pumpkins. Too bad our jerk of  a squirrel ate one of my skull’s eyebrows overnight. Such a jerk. I also went all Martha Stewart on a “Cinderella” Pumpkin – don’t you love?

Visiting the pumpkin patch and carved pumpkins

Continue reading

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