French Toast for Easter Brunch

My friend Anita made this delicious French toast for me before so I got the recipe from her and made it for my mom and friends for Easter brunch!


Step 1: Mix ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, sugar

Step 2: Whisk cinnamon mixture with eggs, milk, vanilla extract

Step 3: Dip bread in egg mixture and fry slices until golden brown on both sides

Step 4: Serve with maple syrup!

Happy Easter and Resurrection Sunday!!


SD Eats: Mostra Coffee

Mostra Coffee: 12225 World Trade Drive G, San Diego, CA 92128

Our friend Chiyo!

Samples of the cold brews: One Brazillion Coconuts (left), Mo’chata (right)

Campfire Latte: double shot fortissimo espresso, graham cracker, chuao chocolate, raw honey ($4.50)

Creme Brûlée Latte: double shot fortissimo espresso, caramelized sugar ($4.50)

Hidden in a warehouse area is Mostra Coffee, the best known coffee collaborator with craft beers around the world! Our friend Chiyo had been getting coffee here for 2 years and appreciated how the baristas would remember her name and her dog’s name even when she would visit 2 months later. Now she works at this friendly coffee shop where the employees make an effort to get to know their customers! She took our orders and recommended the Campfire Latte and Creme Brûlée Latte so my mom and I ordered one of each. Between the two, I really liked the Creme Brûlée Latte, which was finished with a blow torch and tasted smooth and yummy. My mom liked how the Campfire Latte wasn’t as sweet, and the drink was pretty with latte art drizzled with honey and topped with graham crackers. While we watched the making of our lattes in their open bar, Chiyo explained each of their cold brews and let us sample the One Brazillion Coconuts (coconut/vanilla bean) for my mom and the Mo’chata (homemade horchata) for me. Also, we bumped into 2 coffee lover/connoisseur friends outside who only go to Mostra Coffee now – Stacey gets the lattes and Lynn gets the cold brews. This was a fun visit, and seeing Chiyo work here made me interested in being a barista haha!

Mother’s Day 2017

Belated happy Mother’s Day! I am thankful for my mom and another opportunity to show my appreciation for her display of God’s love, selflessness, generosity, humility, and care towards me!

I had plans on Saturday to take my mom on a day trip to go hiking and explore and eat in SF, but it didn’t work out because my mom had some business to take care of. Instead, I stopped by the Sunnyvale Farmers Market after my doctor’s appointment and picked up some groceries, a bouquet of snapdragons and mums that I paired together, and Philz coffee to surprise my mom!

After running 5 miles on Sunday morning to finish week 1 of my 10 week training for my half marathon, I made breakfast with what we had at home – avocado egg toast and coffee!

About a month and a half ago, I made a dinner reservation for two at 6:00 PM at Black Sheep Brasserie in Downtown Willow Glen. When I bookmarked this place on Yelp a long time ago and even when I made the reservation, it was rated 4 stars, but recently dropped to 3.5 stars.

Decor and Ambience: A modern restaurant with light bulbs from the ceiling, succulents, a nice bar, and spacious seating indoor and outdoor. For Mother’s Day, the restaurant had a few tables occupied with early reservations, but some that weren’t filled until later reservations. The noise level was reasonable and ambience was casual. I liked the decor and ambience!

Service: Our server was so good! She was very nice, well-mannered, and gentle. She served our table, but had many other tables to serve and still did her job with calmness and politeness. The busboys were also attentive to our tables and cleared dishes off the table right away.

Food: While ambience and service was great, this meal was pretty good but the food was not good enough to want to come back. I would only order the mussels and fries again.

“Burnt” french onion soup with rich beef broth, gruyere crouton ($9) — I love cheese but this was too cheesy that it got really tiring to chew the gruyere so I didn’t eat all of the cheese in it

Mussels in saffron cream, pommes frites, aioli ($16) — best dish, mussels were big, generous amount of about 15 mussels, fries with aioli were so delicious

Pan roasted duck breast with peas and carrots, pearl onions, marcona almonds and mint ($29) – duck was good but a little fatty, we didn’t like the pairing with peas and carrots that weren’t cooked thoroughly. I mean who especially likes peas to have that be the side in an entree…

Despite what we thought about the food, Mom and I enjoyed our dinner! We checked off trying another restaurant in the South Bay, even though Nick’s Next Door will remain our favorite!

Black Sheep Brasserie: 1202 Lincoln Ave, Ste 30, San Jose, CA 95125

Easter Dinner

Easter at the end of my Spring Break was already 3 weeks ago. Since I just posted about the pizza pasta I made a week ago, I’ll catch up on blogging about my Easter dinner too! March and April were so busy and stressful at work that I stopped cooking once I started working late and lost my voice for 3 weeks. For the past few years living at home, I have either not cooked or I go big and cook a fancy meal for others, such is the case with Easter dinner two years in a row. Last year I made my first Easter dinner for 11 people, my visiting relatives from HK, Australia, and NY! This year it was my mom and family friends, a small group of 4 of us! I was so sad that my steak was way overcooked because I didn’t have enough time to use the sous vide and get the perfect medium rare steak, but thankfully my guests eat steak cooked thoroughly. On the bright side, I successfully made roasted beets and brussels sprouts for my first time and they were yummy!

Ingredients: ribeye steak, mushrooms, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, onions, dried thyme

Roasted brussels sprouts and onions and roasted beets and carrots with thyme

Appetizer: Cream of mushroom soup with mushrooms

White grape with elderflower sparking juice and fancy table setting

Entree: Ribeye steak with roasted brussels sprouts, onions, beets, and carrots

Dessert: Mom’s jello eggs and Trader Joe’s mini chocolate ice cream cones

Spring Break in Socal 2017

Back to my blog! March was a really busy and stressful month at work that had me lose my voice for 3 weeks, which made it exhausting to teach and hard to recover until I had the week off to stop talking for 6 hours straight. Spring Break definitely came at the right time. It wasn’t until Facebook popped up old photos of reunions with my grad school friends from the past few years that I realized it was my fifth year in a row spending Spring Break in Socal! I visited my brother and sister-in-law in their newly refurnished home in San Diego with my mom for the first time after they got married last October and my college friends in Irvine. Though it was a busy and productive week, it was restful being away from work and I always have a good time with family and friends! I am also thankful to have had Passion Week off to spend more time reading and mentally preparing for Good Friday and Easter. Hope you had a happy Easter!

Since my last post, Bea gave me two free weeks of yoga, which I milked by going 10 out of the 14 days of unlimited yoga. For being my first time taking yoga classes, I really enjoyed the hour of being unplugged from my phone, destressing from work, not thinking about anything, detoxing my body with stretching and sweating, and getting endorphins! With 3 months left to train for my first half marathon, this hour of working out almost every day kick started my new thing of being active into Spring Break, which is what I looked forward to on this trip (other than catching up with family and friends!) even more than Socal eats. Here are the photos from Spring Break!

Saturday, 4/8: Breakfast at Cream Pan (almond croissant, strawberry croissant)Screenshot_20170418-220019 (1).png

Hung out with my brother’s in-laws in LA. Peruvian lunch at El Rocoto (seafood soup, chicken with pesto spaghetti, lomo saltado).

Katie’s parents’ houseIMG-20170408-WA0012.jpg

Korean Bell of Friendship

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Takeout dinner from Savoy Kitchen (hainan chicken rice) and Noodle King (braised pork rice, dan dan mien, beef noodle soup) at Katie’s sister’s houseIMG_20170408_184630.jpg

Sunday, 4/9: Ran 5 miles at Lake Miramar with Katie

Church and Spiritual Formation Class

Lunch at Point Loma Seafoods (crab sandwich, clam chowder)IMG_20170409_140609_348.jpg

Nap. Katie and Law cooked pizza pasta. Watched Moana.IMG_20170409_195446.jpg

Monday, 4/10: Brunch at Great Maple (house smoked beef brisket english popover)

Visited Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, California’s first mission

Hiked and laid on the beach at Torrey Pines State Reserve with Gloria

Joined Law’s small group

Tuesday, 4/11: Read at Starbucks. Shopping at Carlsbad Outlets and UTC mall.

Taco Tuesday dinner at El Patron ($1.09 cabeza, lengua, fish, adobada pork tacos)IMG_20170411_182455_838.jpg

Rock climbing at Mesa Rim with Law, Katie, Chiyo, Ricky, and Adam

Wednesday, 4/12: Law made breakfast for the familyIMG_20170412_083458_834.jpg

Watched Rogue One. Nap.

Family dinner at Ironside Fish & Oyster ($1 Ironside Select oysters, chowder fries, clam chowder, steamed mussels, sea bass, and green beans)

Mom flew home

Hung out with Liz at Bing Haus (black sesame and earl grey lavender rolled ice cream)

Thursday, 4/13: Made jello eggs. Nap.

Ran 5 miles on trails and hills at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

Dinner at Urban Plates (albacore with brussells sprouts and mashed potatoes). Law & Katie dropped me off in Irvine. Slept over at Cheryl and Mike’s house for 2 nights.

Friday, 4/14: Peet’s. Hung out with Tammy and Tyler and helped Tammy to decorate Tyler’s room.

Dinner at Din Tai Fung with Cheryl and Mike (cucumber salad, xiao long baos, shrimp and pork dumplings, noodles with chicken soup, dan dan mien)

Berean’s Good Friday Service with Crosslife at the new church building!

Saturday, 4/15Breakfast at W Cafe with Michelle and Dephinie (chia pudding)

Lunch at Le Dip with Henry and Pablo, throwback to college (chicken broccoli mushroom sandwich with garlic sauce). Visit the hipster Union Market at The District.

Can’t believe the end of the school year is near, only 37 days left until summer!