Rooftop Party for My 28th Birthday

One month late to post photos from a rooftop party to celebrate my 28th birthday! ūüĒ•

After traveling for 5 weeks to Hong Kong, Thailand, and Tokyo and then coming home with an unconfirmed stomach ulcer, my summer flew by and I didn’t get to hang out with friends much. With my birthday on a Sunday (and not on the first day of school) this year, I am so thankful to have had some of my closest friends (including Nadia & Joby home from Milwaukee!) join me for my last summer hurrah before school started. Thanks to Albee, we were able to reserve the awesome rooftop at his complex for a BBQ dinner and a chill hangout. We busted out gold and silver star balloons, enjoyed steak that Peter grilled and yummy food my mom prepared, ate around a large dining table like family, watched the sunset,¬†lounged by the fire, ate cheesecake with macarons, had a cupcake tasting of SusieCakes from Anita & Scott, and soaked in a nice summer evening with each other’s company.¬†It was just what I wanted for my birthday!

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Colette’s Turning One

Wow I’ve been at Pillar long enough to watch Deb and Pastor Danny grow their family into four! Deb was my small group leader when I first came to Pillar, she initiated¬†meeting up with me, and then she became pregnant with Cami. Then I became her small group leader a few years later and then she became pregnant with Coco. Pastor Danny has been with me in¬†Women’s Group since the start and has supported and encouraged me a lot in this ministry over these 3 years. I’ve seen Cami born and turn one (see Camilla Turns One Today!) and Coco born and now turn one too, looking like mini Cami. So thankful for¬†Deb and Pastor Danny, love your family!! Happy first¬†birthday, Coco baby!!! You are so adorable,¬†and Laurel eemo loves you! The team of ladies from Angela’s Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower put on another fabulous party with an amazing canvas painting backdrop done by Sarah and Deb, gorgeous flowers by Jenn, and all the beautiful details by Deb! We had all-you-can-eat hot pot at Shabu House for my first time and cake from Susiecakes, and it was all delicious.¬†Colette’s first birthday party was a fun celebration!

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 Рavocado 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
www.yelp.com/biz/black-sheep-brasserie-san-jose

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

Pizza Pasta From My Sister-In-Law

My sister-in-law cooked pizza pasta when we visited San Diego over¬†Spring Break. It was so good that I asked her for the recipe.¬†I invited friends over for dinner last week and decided to make this for my first time, so the pressure was on to feed 6 people. Moving from mom to friends as my guinea pigs! I’m glad it turned out okay, and everyone thought it was really good. I don’t like to¬†follow recipes step-by-step if I already have an idea of the end result, but I look up the ingredients so I know what to include¬†in it. One thing I learned to¬†do differently next time is to put the oven on¬†broil to brown the cheese for 5 minutes instead of on bake which didn’t even brown the cheese after 30+ minutes. I forgot¬†that I used broil to brown the top of my shepherd’s pie, but I wasn’t really thinking when I had 45 minutes to get dinner ready.¬†This is an easy meal¬†to serve a group, especially for those who like pizza, pasta, and lasagna, a combination of the three!

1) Ingredients: Italian¬†sausage, pepperoni, tomato sauce, dried oregano, fusilli pasta, mozzarella cheese (I picked up all the¬†ingredients from Trader Joe’s and used the whole package for each except for¬†the mozzarella cheese and oregano¬†to make more than what the recipe called for.)

2) Cook Italian sausage. Slice up and add pepperoni. Add tomato sauce and oregano. (I added pasta sauce to make more sauce because the next step is to cook the pasta in the sauce.)

3) Add fusilli pasta into the sauce. (First time not cooking pasta in boiling water, so the pasta turns out more flavorful in the sauce, but it takes longer to cook the pasta.)

4) Put pasta in a glass container for the oven.

5) Add a layer of mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta and broil in oven until cheese is browned and crispy. Serve and enjoy!

One Pot Pizza Pasta Bake: http://damndelicious.net/2014/08/16/one-pot-pizza-pasta-bake