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Washington, DC | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Recent Activity
It's been a crazy few weeks month. Last Monday, the hubby and I signed papers to officially purchase this guy pictured above. Born in 1994, he's got beautiful, high cheekbones and is ideally located in a great school district. I never thought I'd say this, but the suburbs never looked so good. Here's the kicker - he's up in 'burbs of Washington, DC. Yes, folks, the Gravy Train is moving again. The hubby will transition into a new job with the same employer, and we are very excited for our next big adventure. This house is what we're calling our... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at The Gravy Train
My post over on Charleston Grit today is about Champney's Blueberry Farm's weekend fundraiser, Berries for Babies and, of course, a recipe for blueberry pie. Check it out here. Sadly, we won't be able to make it to this year's fundraiser, but for a recap of our previous blueberry-picking experiences and my recipe for pie, visit this link. Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Last week the hubby was out of town for a work trip, so I was flailing all over the place trying to keep our ship running. On Thursday, I took the kids to stock up on food for the weekend, and the Gravy Baby lost it -- and I mean lost it -- over a tank of live littleneck clams. I'd planned on kind of mailing it in for dinner that night by having us all raid the 'fridge for leftovers, and so I told the Gravy Baby the clams would have to wait. The Gravy Baby pleaded with me.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Salted caramel doughnuts Back in April I was invited to attend Charleston's 2nd Annual Food Film Festival. It's actually an event that travels the country highlighting food films and incorporating some of the local area's eats into the three-day event. I haven't been to a film festival (or really any festival, for that matter) in awhile (thanks, young children under the age of three who lovingly keep me housebound after 8:00 pm), so it was a treat to be a part of a high-energy event where everyone attending was there to celebrate food. And film. You get what I mean.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Five years! I've been married to the hubby for five whole years. I know we've had our tough times. I'm pretty sure a few of the worst happened in an IKEA. But as I reminisce about the years I've spent married to this man, I'm so grateful that I can't even begin to count the happiest moments. There's too many. To celebrate, last month we wandered over to Chez Nous, a little French-focused restaurant tucked away in a quiet alley in a residential part of downtown Charleston. From the second we walked up to the nondescript house where the restaurant... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Hello, loverrr. That is exactly what I said the first time I tried one of the strawberry panna cottas I'd just made with freshly picked strawberries from Ambrose Family Farms, a handful of farms in our area that spring into pick-your-own season in early May. When I told the hubby about my plan to pick strawberries with the kids, I kind of had this idealistic notion of what it would be like -- my white eyelet sundress flapping romantically in the breeze, the kids' faces charmingly dotted with wet strawberry juice, the hubby holding my hand while plucking strawberries into... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Irrational craving #1: really good French fries (these are from 39 Rue de Jean). One of the genetic traits that seems to have been passed down through my family is a propensity for sudden, irrational food cravings. The originator of this condition I think started with my grandpa, who used to take me on unannounced trips to "get snacks" from the drugstore. I don't remember what we ate or why, but I do remember it was always a good time. He was like that. My dad has inherited this trait, too. I don't want to air his dirty laundry, but... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Thanks, Laura! Hope you're doing well!
1 reply
Earlier this week I brought down the judgment hammer on myself about O-Ku, a sushi joint in town that I'd pre-judged for years without actually trying it. Lucky for me, the folks at O-Ku didn't hold it against me, and last month I visited Lindsay Ranes, the chief mixologist at O-Ku, to get a read on their drink menu for spring. On my first visit there, the hubby and I were really impressed with the use of Asian ingredients in their cocktails that seemed to fit the cuisine of O-Ku without being too fussy or overdone. Lindsay introduced me to... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at The Gravy Train
I have to confirm something you probably know about me already: when it comes to food, I'm kind of an insufferable judge. If someone were to ask me about using canned mushrooms or jarred alfredo sauce, I might not say anything other than "hey, anything on the stove is plus one for cooking!" On the inside, though? Hoo, buddy. Let's just say that I'm a volcano of sadness, rage and indignation. No canned mushrooms, people. No jarred alfredo. You're better than that. The other area that I have a lot of trouble with is Asian fusion restaurants. I remember when... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2014 at The Gravy Train
What's your happy place? Today my happy place happened when the hubby and I left behind the hot mess from dinner in the kitchen, scooped up the kids and led them upstairs in our nightly "bathtime parade." We herded them into the bath and let them splash and blow bubbles at each other while giggling hysterically. It was, in a phrase, pure heaven. I feel incredibly lucky in those moments to have such a great family. Of course, like all good things, bathtime ends, and as soon as we bundle our littles up in fluffy towels, it's kind of like... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Listen up, Charleston - there's an event where you get to eat some of the best food from around the country AND watch short films about it. I KNOW. The 2nd Annual Charleston Food Film Fest is happening from April 24-26, and the festival promises barbecue on the USS Yorktown, a "food porn" party featuring a sampling of all sorts of delicious local and "imported" foods (such as the famed compost cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York) and an "Edible Adventure" night in which the creator of the famous Ramen Burger (a meat patty sandwiched between layers of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at The Gravy Train
A glorious night at Edmund's Oast Besides the obvious reasons, there are two things I really love about Julia Child: 1) she and her husband, Paul, sent out Valentine's Day cards every year to their friends, usually with a photo of the two of them in some goofy, smitten pose; and 2) her husband, so enthused by Julia's discovery of a new passion in French cooking, took it upon himself to educate himself in all things wine so as to have a hobby to complement hers. If that ain't love... Here at Gravy Central, it takes a lot for me... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at The Gravy Train
A local steakhouse institution gives me their recipe for pepper jack creamed corn. I'm still in disbelief that I can have this amazing concoction right at home. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Growing up, my dad always made some variation of sauteed Chinese greens (gai lan, mustard greens or bok choy) a staple in our meals. I'm still working on my kids to get them to enjoy a good stir-fried green, but in the meantime, I recently stumbled on this delicious Japanese-inspired sweet potato dish. It's super easy to prepare and have roasting in the oven while working on a main dish. The combination of crunchy, sweet and tangy was a hit with everyone in my family, including Gravy Too, who is having a thing right now with vegetables. I say "thing"... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Sometimes our weekdays with two working parents and two kids under the age of three can feel a lot like trying to move precious artifacts across a war-torn countryside. Now before you roll your eyes at me for being melodramatic, hang in with me here: we have precious cargo (our littles) who, when their demands are not met, hurl objects and insults at us while we try in desperation to figure out a series of logistical events (commuting home, dinner, bath and bedtime) without losing any one of our men (or their limbs, for that matter). On a good day,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at The Gravy Train
The must-try scallion pancakes at Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen Last month was Chinese New Year, which in our family really is just a glorified reason to eat and party (although honestly, we don't even need a real excuse to do either). We started our celebrations this year at Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen, which had recently opened in the Hampton Park area. I bought this Chinese New Year's lion in Kuala Lumpur before the Gravy Baby was born; now he's finally old enough to enjoy it Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen is helmed by chef Lily Lei, who hails from Seattle, a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at The Gravy Train
When the hubby and I first started dating (in our twenties! IN. OUR. TWENTIES.), I wooed him the only way I really know how to: through cooking. During that eyelash-batting phase, I assumed that he was like every other red-blooded American male I'd ever met - a meat eating, beer swilling type who ate vegetables as accessories to the "real" dinner. Imagine my shock - quelle horreur - when I discovered that the hubby didn't eat his first steak until college, and upon our meeting, had never eaten pork ribs. I immediately rectified the situation by dry-rubbing some beautiful baby... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2014 at The Gravy Train
A new online travel site pairs adventurers with locals to get unique experiences throughout Southeast Asia. Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Charleston's breakfast staple was shrimp 'n' grits until this made-from-scratch donut shop came along. Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2014 at The Gravy Train
A simple weeknight recipe for salmon teriyaki soba noodle soup that will have your kids hopping for more. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at The Gravy Train
My sister is having a baby any day now! A few weeks ago we had a couples' shower for the parents-to-be at their house in Charlotte. I tried not to make the party too cutesy since the menfolk would be around. Below are some of my tips for a nice party without much fuss. That gorgeous cake is from the Chocolate Nirvana bakery in Columbia, South Carolina, and yes, it tastes every bit as good as it looks 1. Tissue poms. Whether you buy or make your own, tissue poms are a great way to add lots of color and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2014 at The Gravy Train
Last month the hubby and I found the time to have a night out, and very quickly we were overwhelmed with our new-found freedom. We always send each other links of new restaurants opening up around town with some sort of fleeting, empty promise to each other that this place will be at the top of our list "next time." The problem with trying a new place is, of course, the possibility of getting burned by a mediocre experience. If that happens, we end up kicking ourselves for not having gone to one of our tried-and-true favorites. A riff on... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at The Gravy Train
With a relatively warm weekend coming up here in Charleston, I thought I'd share a smorgasbord of what I'm reading to get excited. Plus, for my Malaysian readers, there's a giveway! Scroll down for more details. Major cities in Kuala Lumpur can now call on Food Panda to deliver from their favorite restaurants in the area. Delivery can be as low as RM 4 (just around $1.30 US). Do you think they'd deliver a pile of fresh roti canai (flatbread) and a teh tarik (pulled tea) to me here in Charleston? I'd probably pay a premium. Also, Food Panda is... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2014 at The Gravy Train