Delicious, soft, fall off the bone barbeque pork ribs!
If you don't have a grill, you can also follow these steps and broil them in your oven.
Delicious, soft, fall off the bone barbeque pork ribs!
If you don't have a grill, you can also follow these steps and broil them in your oven.
Sewing has always been a passion of mine since I was a little girl. We were poor growing up. My sisters and I didn't have a lot of clothes to wear. Most of my clothes were hand me downs from my aunt Molly and from the salvation army. I learned and accepted at an early age that we were poor and that was just the way it was. Most of my imagination of dresses and things beautiful were all in my mind and transferred onto a paper notebook that I kept in my backback. I too, wanted to wear beautiful dresses but when I was young I knew it was a far distant dream.
When I was in junior high school, my mom had an old sewing machine desk. I don't even remember how or where she got it. The very first hand made gift my mom ever gave me was a tote bag. It was made of blue and green fabric with a computer desktop pattern. I carried that bag around because it was the coolest thing. A first gift from my mom and it made me happy. I've cherished those memories. I wish I still had that tote bag.
I first learned to sew on my mom's sewing machine. I only knew how to sew in a straight line and could never really make anything. We didn't have money so I just sewed from scraps of fabrics and old clothes that I could not wear anymore. I just liked how it felt to sew and put two pieces of fabric together. The very first project I sewed from beginning to end was a dog faced pillow made out of felt in my home economics class. I was so proud of that pillow. It made me feel so good that I could create something that gave me joy and made me so happy. I also sewed my first green "christmas tree" dress at Upward Bound and modeled it in a project showcase. I call it my christmas tree dress because it was made of green satin with lace notions on the edges. I couldn't follow a pattern so it was free form dress making.
..... Fast forward to today. I started to feel nostalgic and started drifting back into unfinished business of my desires and hopes when I was a kid and things I've always wanted to do but never had the chance to do it. Over the years, I would start a sewing project only to get sidetracked and start on other things. So one day in December, I started my bag creation journey.
I started making bags, totes, and wallets. I don't have a pattern that I follow, I just make it up as I go along. With each bag, I get better and more efficient in the bag creation process.
I own a Pfaff Smart sewing machine that I bought 7 years ago at a local sewing store in Madison. The store is now no longer there. Haha, I know because I drove by it a few weeks go to find some supplies and it was gone.
I also own a Singer Pro Finish Serger that my hubby bought me as a belated Christmas present just recently. I love it. It is great and is a real time saver!
I made this wrist wallet for my sister Song. She told me she needed a way be hands free and also have a way to carry cash, keys, and simple items. She told me about this wrist wallet concept and this is my creation from that. It's fastened together by velcro. It is made of my sister's old black t-shirt.
I made these hmong inspired bags because I was trying to make a bag that represents who I am as a person and my roots. They are pretty basic and simple. They are original creations by me. The bag in the lower right was given to Xia, as a prize for coming to my Yumaholic app launch and Scentsy party.
These bags were made because I was experimenting and having fun. The bag in the lower right was given to Leigh, as a prize for coming to my Yumaholic app launch and Scentsy party. The bag on the lower left was given to my friend Michele as her party prize too!
This dish has a sweet, sour, tangy taste. It's very refreshing! You can adapt it with any ingredients you like! This recipe makes a big batch that feeds about 10-15 people like the picture above.
These were the awesome ladies who stayed until the end of the party! I wished we would have taken pictures earlier in the day because there were more fantastic ladies who joined us!
My friend Julie Chang Valladolid (currently living in Japan) had a great idea for me to help her do a Scentsy Giveaway so she sent me a mid size warmer and 3 scents to try out back in December. When I first unboxed it, it was so cute! You install the light bulb (first time), plug the scent warmer to a wall socket and then you turn it on. You break a piece of the wax and place it onto the lid and let the lightbulb warm it. As it melts, it lets off scent! That's it!
During a Christmas party, my brother in law Doua liked my Scentsy warmer and scent so much he asked me to buy one for him. I usually keep the Scentsy warmer on a table next to the wall in my living room. On that same night, my niece Alis (she's 2 years old) was playing near the warmer and tripped over the cord and broke the light bulb. I was able to get a replacement bulb but then on New Years Day, my niece Alis was playing with the warmer and tripped over the cord again. The jar broke in half, it was an accident :-).
I asked Julie if I could buy a warmer for my brother in law and that I needed to buy a new warmer because mine was broken. Julie suggested I could host a Scentsy party and it could be an online party as well (for guests who live far away and can order online at their convenience). It was a great idea and I got to thinking, I could combine this with my Yumaholic App Launch Party to celebrate my success launching my cookbook for the iPhone.
I had then just two weeks to plan this event!
Two weeks before the event:
Invites!!! I invited everyone on my Hmong Food Facebook fan page to attend. Those who were interested sent me a private message and I invited them on a Facebook Event invite list. I started to sew every night. I made a bag a night after work. I had planned to give away a bag as a game / door prize for my guests.
One week before the event:
My friend Kia came to help me every day for 5 days. We packaged the gifts I had made as well as the awesome gifts that Julie had sent to me from Japan. Kia also helped me decorate my house and also made us some awesome cream puffs to eat while we decorated. She's super awesome!
Day before the event:
My sister Song, Myra, sister in law Nancy, brother Kou, nephew Monti, and niece Evangelynne came and helped me prepare for the big day! I don't know what I would have done without them!
We started cooking. My sister in law Nancy made the fawm kauv (steam rice rolls) and I started on the rest of the dishes.
Xia was the first to arrive! Yay! She drove from Michigan to come hang out with us. I was really happy she was able to join us. It was my first time meeting Xia and her hubby Johnny. Then shortly afterwards Michele and her daughter Asia arrived. Michele was very sweet, she brought me a lucky plant gift. Misty, Danielle, and Patty drove from La Crosse to join us! Misty was also very awesome, she made stuffed deboned chicken wings, hot pepper, and sticky coconut rice balls. It was also my first time meeting Misty and her guests!
We started the spring roll assembly line. We had more guests arrive! MyYia, Leigh, and Kowjue. Everyone participated in wrapping the spring rolls.
Bulgogi time! At this moment I lost all track of time and guests that were arriving. I did try my best to say hi to everyone and get people situated. Wow, multi-tasking was hard! I was also hot and sweaty but having a blast from all the energy that was surrounding me.
Most all my guests arrived! Tricia, KathyJo, Diane, Zong, Pa Houa, Angie & daughter, Nou, Sam ... I know I'm forgetting some names, please forgive me!
We laid out all the food on the table in my living room. We started with introductions and went round robin answering, "What is your name, location, and tell us something unique about yourself." It was very awesome to hear everyone's responses! Then I introduced all the dishes and described how each dish was made and the ingredients. I also asked the guests who brought the dishes to speak about their dishes.
We eat, buffet style of course! Oh there was so much food! :-) And socializing! I think Bao showed up around 3:30 because she had just gotten off work.
Menu items were:
I tried my best to do my Scentsy demo. Julie wasn't able to join us because she was in Japan and also in a different time zone! My dummy part I didn't read the "Scentsy Host packet" before hand so I read it while I was doing the demo hahahaha! I think people got my drift! There were samples of scents for people to smell and I also lit my beautiful "Be Mine" warmer for everyone to see. I tried to answer the questions as best as I could but as anyone knows, I am not that good at sales demonstrations. The best convincing you can get from me is that I love the product!
4 to 5 pm
Somehow I just lost all track of time at this point hehehe. We had about 30+ people so I broke us into two groups to play games. One group was in my main living room and the other group was in my other living room.. My brother is a game master, so while he was teaching the game to one team "Telestrations", the other team was waiting. I tried my best to socialize and kill time, but eventually I convinced that other team to play "Dixit". :-) My brother didn't bring his 12 player game, so I had the group break out into partners and played the game. It was so fun! <3
Door prizes! So I had the winners of the Telestrations game (Sam and Micky) and the winners of the Dixit game (Zong and Xia) pick a number from 1 to 20 without going over. Well, everyone picked the number that was over. So we tried it again and I told the secret number to my niece Evangelynne. The lucky number was "eight" and my sister in law Sam won fair and square! The door prize was a "Be Mine" Scentsy premium warmer and a Scentsy scent called "Happy Go Lucky". Please note, Sam is Alis' mom. It was destined that Scentsy would become part of her life! Hahaha! I then proceeded to have the winners choose two gifts. Then all the party guests got to choose one gift to take home. Some people got the lovely japanese bowls that Julie gifted and others got the home made bags that I sewed and the bags of kitchenware accessories.
We took pictures in my smaller living room before the guests left! We should have taken pictures earlier but things got hectic and we didn't have the opportunity to. Next time for sure, we will do pictures before eating!
My last guest left after all the cleaning was done. Thank you Xia, you came first and left last. :-) You are a sweetie! Thank you also Kia for being patient with me and for staying late to help me wrap and decorate. I will remember your good deeds always. A big thanks to my sisters Song, Myra, sister in law Nancy, Evangelynne, Monti and brother Kou for helping me the entire weekend. I don't know what I would have done without you here. You guys always stick by my side and back me up always, I'm so grateful and blessed to have you in my life.
Was that a mouthful or what? Hahaha okay I'm just giving you the skinny version of the whole event but bottom line is:
We got to meet new friends, eat together, and make memories!
Next time, are you coming to my party?
These are delicious lotus flower blossom cookies. They taste kind of like a fortune cookie and are a beautiful display! It is great to serve as an appetizer for large family events, potlucks, weddings, receptions, parties, baby showers, and any kind of festivities! They are also inexpensive to make and easy. You can make a whole batch a day ahead and store in an airtight container.
The giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered!
I will be giving away 5 free iPhone app downloads of my cookbook app Yumaholic! Giveaway ends December 15th. You can submit multiple entries.
If you don't own an iPhone, you can still use the redeem codes / promo codes and give it as a gift to someone else who owns an Apple product.
All you have to do is enter in your information and attach a picture of a food that you made using ANY recipes on my site.
I'm really excited to announce that my cookbook is now finally on iTunes App Store for iPhones/iPods! It also works on the iPad but it is not an iPad application yet (coming soon). It has about 40-50 recipes that I personally developed over the past year.
Current features of this app are:
It is a very simple app to get you started on cooking!
I hope that you are able to support me and my desire to make great things. I am so grateful to all the wonderful support and friends I've made on this food journey!
For over a year, I've spent any spare time I have coding objective-c to make this app. I'm an aspiring iOS App Developer since 2010. I first learned iPhone app development in 2009 and have loved doing it ever since. I'm a full time web developer during the day and food crazed Youtube fanatic by night and iOS app developer by late evenings and early mornings. How do I find time to sleep, right? Haha! Believe it or not, coding comes to me in my sleep/dreams.
A very special shout out to my husband for helping me prepare the dishes and for sharing some of his prized recipes. I also want to give thanks to my wonderful and talented sister, Song Vang, for helping me finalize the user interface design. Many thanks to my loving son, Benjamin for helping me write the music to use in my Youtube food videos. Much love to my parents who always believed I could do anything I put my heart into. And most of all, thank you to all my friends and supporters!!!! You make me happy knowing that I can share with you great food! I'm surrounded by much love. :-)
Here is a very fast and easy hmong / asian catfish soup tutorial. I hope you enjoy it! Please leave me a comment if you try this dish! Some of you may or may not eat MSG anymore, but I can tell you that MSG does add a different flavor to this dish. I'm not going to debate if MSG is good for you or not, but people use MSG in soups to enhance the flavor.
My hubby and I made these dishes for Thanksgiving. It was good. Deboned turkey stuffed with general tso chicken, scalloped potatoes, cheesecake, steamed sweet potatoes, fried rice, chow fun, rice pork pyramid.