Tag Archives: Asian Cuisine

A Night In The City!

Whelp, I’m an idiot and almost got ran over my a cab. No worries! I’m fine. But seriously, I crossed one street and for some reason thought it was okay to cross the next, except it wasn’t. So, I saw the cab coming at me, not even trying to slow down, and managed to leap back onto the curb. Whew!

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Of course I did joke to Kels afterwards (she went to Philly with me tonight) that if I was going to be hit by a car, that was the intersection to do it at because that was the intersection where the Jefferson Hospital was. At least I’d be admitted somewhat quickly. XD

Uh…anyway, I went to Philadelphia tonight with Kels to go to my favorite ramen shop: Hiro Ramen. It’s delicious as ever! Then, we walked around for awhile trying to find someplace to buy a sweet treat as a desert but everything was closed!

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Even the Starbucks was closed at 9PM on a Friday night! I know for a fact that the Starbucks by where I live is open until 11PM on Friday nights, so why was the one in the city closed so early??? …I have no idea, but it was disappointing.

So, Kels and I ended up wandering around the Arts District until we found: Capogiro!

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This place, by the way, is a Gelato Artisan and is rated #1 in the World by National Geographic! Needless to say, the gelato here is outstanding! I ordered a chocolate caramel medio gelato. Yum! Here’s a pic (-wink wink-):

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Ah…it was so good. I want another. -sigh-

Well, needless to say I’ll probably plan another trip back. I do want to get to the Philadelphia Art Museum before the Impressionists exhibit closes in September. It features work by Monet, Degas, Renoir, Manet, and Pissarro. Those are all some of my very favorite artists! -swoons-
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Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

What’s In A Name?: A Custom Design Commission!

Today I finished painting the name onto the boat, as I had planned. So….TA-DA:

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Since the sailboat is a Western White Potter sailboat, they decided to name it Harry’s Potter, you know, after the Harry Potter books and movies. I’m pretty sure that I said that in my previous post…. XD

Anyway, that’s my design and they love it! So, yay! Got a portion of my payment today and picking up the rest tomorrow. I’m also going to Red Robin tomorrow to see if they had a chance to review my application and to hand in my resume. It would be nice to have a steady job again instead of side jobs. -fingers crossed here- Not that I mind side jobs. They’re fun!

For finishing my commission today, I treated myself to ramen at the ramen bar “Hiro’s Ramen” in Philadelphia again. I took my youngest brother, Jae, with me. We got there a half hour before they closed, but they were kind enough to let us come in and order. We ate as quickly as we could so as not to hinder them too long. It was delicious!

Philadelphia is pretty at nighttime because everything is lit up! Also, there isn’t as much traffic at night.

Ah, home now and it’s nice and relaxing. Mom has HGTV on and it’s one of those “International House Hunters” shows. The couple in the show is looking for a home in Warwick, England. It looks so pretty! I love those thatched roof homes with the timber-styled woodwork. -sigh- It’s so pretty.

Look for my words again soon, I’m going to do some writing.

-Soleil

Playing With Fire: A Writer’s Life for Me!

For anyone who would like to get to know me better, know this: I like bonfires.

Not those massively large ones that people of yore (or maybe they still do?) dance around, but a nice simple campfire-sized bonfire. Like the one I’ve made tonight:

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I made it myself, I’m so proud! I spent an hour prior to this accomplishment, walking around my yard (my 2.5 acre yard…so exhausting! whew!) collecting twigs and sticks to use as fodder and feed so as to keep my fire burning well after dark.

I like to sit outside on my patio furniture, which I set up in the small courtyard out of my back door, because I don’t have a patio to use. So, I sit at my iron-wrought table and on a wooden chair (with matching benches and footrests) that my Pepere made for me and my family a few years back, and I write. I love to write outside, with a fresh pad of paper or an already in-use notebook, and a pen with ink (I’ve come to find that over time and multiple presses of pencil on paper, that pencil fades quickly and by the time I’m finished filling my notebook, the words I wrote at the start are much fainter than the ones I just finished).

I often struggle between my two passions of art and writing. Both are vying to be dominant in my life and I’m not sure which I want to make a career of, yet. I’m 25, I really should get the ball moving here….

Oh, Richard Hammond seems confused. Yes, yes, 25, still attending college (3 semesters left, but hey! I’ve been paying out of pocket, no loans please (although, I had to break down and take out a small loan a year ago…BUT, only $7,000 in debt! I can’t say I don’t pity those students who have racked up $70,000+ in student loans) …of course, that makes it take longer….)

Anyway, I like to write. I write a lot…A LOT! I prefer to write fiction, fantasy, and adventure, although, I’ve been dabbling in some sci-fi lately. My favorite things to write about are myths and legends and fables and fairytales, like fractured fairytales! Actually, fractured fairytales are some of my favorite reads nowadays! E.D. Baker is an exquisite fractured fairytale writer and my favorite, if anyone is interested in looking into the genre….

Let’s see, I really do write a lot. I always have a notebook and pen with me (one that can fit in my bag. (I usually have a backpack, though). I write while I’m standing in line at the store, or when I’m riding the bus, or am a passenger in a car. I write when I’m exercising on a stationary bike, during TV commercials, and the list really does go on from there.

Someday, I hope to be a well-established author, like E.D. Baker, Brian Jacques, or the guy who writes those “Game of Throne” books, uh…George R.R. Martin (and yes, I had to Google his name, and no, I have not read the books, nor do I watch the TV series that airs on HBO). There are other books and shows on my list that I’m trying to catch up with, so “Game of Thrones” is currently on the backburner. No worries, I’ll catch up eventually and give it a chance.

Of course, it would be nice to be as successful as J.K. Rowling and have a book I write (or a series, which I am currently working on) become a movie. Really, I think that would be thrilling! I’d want to work with the screen writer’s, though. I’ve taken classes on script writing for movies, TV, and theater. I think that’d be interesting, too.

Well, there you have it, I like to write. AND, you know a few more things about me now:

1. I’m 25 and still in college (going for a B.A. (Bachelor’s in Art. I already have an A.F.A.: an Associates in Fine Art) And I’m Minoring in French.)

2. I’ve just slipped that je parle française. Mon famille est Canadienne-Française! La plupart de la famille de ma mère parle français. J’aime parler avec eux. (Maybe I’ll do some posts in French!)

3. I like to have bonfires and write.

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

An English Breakfast and an Japanese Obon Festival!

Good evening everyone! Today I was quite the foodie and had a delicous adventure. It started this morning when my Father cooked me and my family a traditional English breakfast. Here’s a photo I took before I dug in:

IMG_2174It included English beans in a tomato sauce, toast, English bacon (aka rashers), eggs made to order (I got sunny-side-up because that’s my favorite), black pudding, roasted red tomatoes (not on my plate), pork bangers, and bubble and squeak! (For our recipe to make Bubble and Squeak, see my Food Blog, Tuck In and Chow Down, here!

Later today, I went shopping with my father and found these really good herbal-infused waters:

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To be honest, I got them at Shop Rite for $1.29 each. I tried each one then decided to drink the lemongrass, mint, vanilla one first and save the lavender mint for before bed, since lavender is supposed to be relaxing/calming. The taste of the herbs is subtle and they’re more of an aftertaste than an initial taste, but they’re very good and I highly recommend them!

Later, I went to a Japanese Obon Festival. It was in Seabrook, which is in South Jersey. I carpooled with my friend Kel (not to be confused with Kels, although sometimes I slip up and call her that) and her cousin Sharon.

The festival started around 4p. There was a karate demonstration for a local dojo. I attended an “Introduction to Buddhism” inside the Temple, visited the Zen Garden in the back of the Temple grounds, and watched the Odori Dancing and the Tokai Drumming! I even took videos for you guys! But…I can’t figure out how to upload videos to my WordPress Blog! Sadness! -cries in a corner- I really want to share, too!

Ah…but I also got food while I was there. Since it was a Japanese festival, they served Japanese stall (vendor) food. I had beef and onion stir-fry over white rice:

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And Somen noodles (yum!):

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Somen noodles are a Japense thin-noodle (about 1.33 mm (think angel hair pasta or vercimelli), usually made of wheat. They are served cold and mostly eaten during the summers of Japan as Japanese summers are hot and humid and it is easy to loose your appetite by the end of the day. Somen is served in a soy sauced-based sauce (men-tsuyu) and can be garnished with your choices of grated ginger, chopped green onions, or Katsuobushi (which is dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna).

“Somen is not something you normally eat at restaurants. It is truly home cooking…[an] easy one too!  You can find dried Somen noodle along with noodle sauce at many supermarkets in the US.”     –Japanese Cooking 101

All in all, today was a deliciousness-filled day! Looking forward to more adventures!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

Help the Homeless

Yesterday, while out with my Dad, we came across a man with a cardboard sign reading that he was homeless and needed money. Since it was such a hot day out, since I didn’t have any money, I gave him a fresh bottle of water. Today, a boy in ragged jeans and a rumply white t-shirt asked me if I had any cash so he could buy some food. I only have $2 but I gave it to him and went into the Thai and Sushi place I was picking up dinner from and charged for an extra pint of rice and a bottle of coke to give to the kid. He graciously accepted it. I would have gotten him something better, but I wasn’t sure if he had any food allergies and I figured that rice was the best option and that most people like coke. I don’t, but I figured the kid probably would. He was definitely younger than either of my brothers, and probably still in highschool.

When I was younger, I don’t remember ever seeing so many homeless and less-fortunate people in our area. Or, maybe I just didn’t notice because I was just a kid. My Dad always tells me to be careful about giving money to strangers who claim to be homeless and asking for money, that they’ll just turn around and spend it on drugs, but if I was that person out in the hot weather, I’d definitely want a nice cool water bottle. And if I was a kid who politely asked for money for food, I’d appreciate a kind gesture of rice and coke, instead.

Tomorrow, I wake up at 4 AM to begin my babysitting routine again for this week. Good thing I’m already starting to feel tired.

Also, I finished “The Bravest Princess” in E.D. Baker’s “The Wide-Awake Princess” series. It was really good. For anyone who loves fractured fairytales as much as me, I highly recommend this series, or any of the other books that E.D. Baker has written.

As stated before, I have now picked up “Puddlejumpers” by Mark Jean and Christopher C. Carlson. I’ll give an opinion about it after I get farther into it, or after I’ve finished it. At 42 chapters and 328 pages in length, it should take me about a week, if not sooner, to read. So, I’ll keep you posted on that, if you like. Let me know if you like the reviews I give about books and Netflix shows and movies in the comments below!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

An Altered Schedule

Babysitting is going well and I’m proud to say I have been on time every day so far. Yay! This is a big accomplishment, as I’m not usually a morning person. Recently, I found out that I’m borderline anemic, so that could explain why I’m always tired and have trouble waking up in the morning (even after 8+ hours of sleep!).

Oh, a change in my babysitting schedule today, though! My hours have been extended to 4 AM until 4 PM due to the youngest ended up getting sick this morning. So, after cleaning up the mess…(I almost got sick myself, and the smell…yuck! I must say, I might be scarred for life and I haven’t even had kids of my own, yet!), I texted his mother and she asked if I would mind staying here with him, instead of sending him to school. I said that it was not a problem, so, here I am at their house still, taking care of him. I think he’s feeling better. He’s up and about now and hasn’t thrown up in a few hours now. He’s wandering around the house trying to find the cat, Asher.

I still have yet to make rice porridge. Our rice cooker does not have a porridge setting, so I have to use stove top directions, instead. I’ve never been a fan of stove-top-cooked rice, but for the sake of trying something new, I’ll give it a try.

Also, I need to keep working on my commission painting. I planned to do some painting today, but now my schedule is a bit changed up. Ah…I had planned on sending some updated in-progress pictures to the client today, too….

I’m still waiting to hear back from Disney about my job request. According to the Dashboard on http://www.disneycareers.com, my submission is still pending. I hope to hear back soon, though. I really do want this job. It’s my dream job. Well, it’s in God’s hands now. I can just hope and pray in the meantime.

I think, since we can’t find a controller to operate the Xbox with to put Netflix on, I’ll let him watch Netflix through his phone, and I’ll try to do some writing. Or, I’ll read. I’ve started a new book. It’s the third in the “Wide Awake Princess” series by E.D. Baker. I love E.D. Baker’s books! She mainly focuses in fractured fairytales, which are my favorite. Anyway, the third book is “The Bravest Princess”. Since I liked the previous two, I’m sure this one will meet my standards for the story-line.

Look for my words again soon!

Cheers!

-Soleil

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Good morning one and all! Look, I did it! I got up early. My schedule may be on its way to being fixed. Haha! I am very proud of myself. I went to bed at 8 PM last night so I could get up at 4 AM today. Babysitting for the week has started, as I’m in the living room of our family friend’s house. It’s very cozy and I lke the couch. It’s soft. The kind that you can sort of sink into and get comfortable. I like it.

Outside, rain is pattering against the windows and thunder keeps rumbling lowly. Thunderstorms are expected off and on all day today, with no stop to the rain. Ah, but that’s been said before these past few weeks and then it doesn’t happen. I don’t like rainy day after rainy day until it becomes almost a week of constant rain, but I do like the occasional summer thunderstorm and rainy day. It’s refreshing.

I have an hour and a half to myself before I have to wake the first two kids up. The youngest, I have to wake up in 2 hours, though since he shares a room with his older brother, he may get up at the same time as him. Anyway, since I have some quiet time (and brought my laptop along), I figured I’d type up a nice morning post. So, hi!

Yesterday, I did not make rice porridge. I didn’t have the time. Well, I did, but I filled that with other tasks. I thinned out my Netflix list in the morning, took a sledgehammer to an old brick fireplace in our backyard (demolishing half of it. Jae finished the other half. We’ll try to take the bricks to the dump later this afternoon…weather depending and if the truck feels like starting. It’s been having battery issues lately, apparently, and is going into the shop tomorrow.), and then went to the Apple Store (45 minutes away) with my parents to have my Mac checked out. It’s a first generation MacBook Pro and the Genius at the Genius Bar was very impressed on the smoothness and speed that my Mac still runs with. I felt pretty proud when he said that. They fixed the minor problem I was having by shutting off the infared eye (The Apple TV remote my Dad bought for our TV was also controlling the sound and volume and playing and stopping and muting of my iTunes on my computer and it was driving me crazy!), removing several programs I could not get rid of myself, and removed some malware. He also ran a diagnositics test (I asked him if that were possible, since I was already there) and my Mac is in perfect health! Yay!

I’ll be leaving here around 9 AM this morning to go back home. The youngest catches his bus at about 8:45 AM. I’m not quite sure what my plans for today will be. I wanted to paint, but depending on the rain, I might not be able to open the windows to keep the room nice and airy while I paint.

Oh, also, I always find it a bit unsettling to drive so early in the morning. Since I live in a very rural area (where plots of land that don’t have a house on them are either acres upon acres of trees or open farmland), there is never anyone else on the road. While this may be safer (maybe), I find it creepy. It’s like I’m the only one. It’s a weird feeling. Luckily, I only live about 10 minutes from where I have to babysit. But, still, that 10 minutes feels awfully long at 4 AM on the dark county roads….

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

Genres, Locked Gates, and the Conspiracies of Dogs

I am 25 years old, but I still enjoy my YA and Teen Fiction books. Simply put, I just adore Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure stories and I find that usually the best stories are found in the younger books. Really, I see no problem with this, because it’s what I enjoy. So, my latest book escapade brings me to: “The Tail of Emily Windsnap” by Liz Kessler. Oh, and I’ve just noticed now on the binding of the book that it’s “Book 1” which means this is a series. Huh. I thought it was a standalone. Since this was a free book, if I end up liking it, I wonder if I’ll put money into buy the other books in the series. Ah, because that’s what I do with the little money I end up making. If I’m not spending it on bills, food, or gas for my car, it’s on art supplies and books. Lots of books. Oh, well. At least books keep me occupied.

Well, anyway, it’s definitely a YA book, you can tell just by the cover and the writing style. It’s like one of those chapter books they ask you to read in middle school. It’s about Emily, whose mother has never let her take swimming lessons, let alone go in the water (they live on a boat in a bay but her mother has a fear of the water) and then, when she’s in 7th grade, her gym class includes swimming classes, and Emily finds out that she’s a natural swimmer. This is because she’s a mermaid, apparently. I’m only 3 chapters in, but it’s very easy reading so I’ll get through it quickly.

I did a lot today. Maybe not much in terms of productivity, but I did go running with Jae. It took us three tries and three different schools until we finally found one with an open track. For some reason, the first two schools we tried had the track gates locked. Our college was one of the ones locked (and, yes, we go to the same college. Both my brothers and I go to the same college. Three kids all at the same college! Unfortunately, there is no family discount. Wouldn’t that be nice?). Anyway, since Jae is a pole vaulter, he has to keep in shape even though it’s the off-season. He has so many sets and reps of different exercises and runs that he has to do each day and he always asks me to tag along. Since I have a gym membership, I don’t mind bringing him along as my guest so he can do his weight training and, in return, he takes me running. Not that I want to go running, I really don’t like it, but I also know how boring it can get just running by yourself. So, I sympathize with him. Haha, aren’t I a great older sister?

On the track, today I learned that if I had to run for my life, I probably wouldn’t get very far. It’s not that I’m out of shape, but my endurance seems to be lacking. I did a mile on the track (which is 4 laps around, for those you who may not know that). The first 3 laps I ran the curves and walked the straights. By the 4th lap, I just walked it. Although, I did walk high-knees around the curves, on tip toes for the first straight, and then regular walking for the second straight. Then, while Jae finished up his sets and reps of 200m’s, I sat off in the quarter section of the track doing some stretches.

Afterwards, we were starving and went to Taco Bell. I think that defeats the purpose a bit, but it was delicious, so I’m not complaining (not too much anyway). Our Dad also called us on our way there and we ended up bringing some food home for him and our Mom, too.

I started a bonfire around 9 PM and just sat outside, trying to read my book, then gave up. The flashlight on my phone was attracting too many beetles and I didn’t like that they were landing on me. I’m totally fine with bugs, by the way, so long as they aren’t on me. Though there are some exceptions, like crickets and fireflies. They’re fun to hold.

Anyway, my Dad came out, followed by my Mom, and then my other brother and his girlfriend. I ended up laying on the wood bench and staring up at the stars until it was just me and my Dad outside (the other three went back in not after long). I closed my eyes for a bit, just listening to the wind dancing through the leaves, and when I opened my eyes back up, I swear I saw a streak of yellow across the sky. But, it was so sudden, and literally in the blink of an eye, that I wonder if I saw it at all, or if it was just my imagination. I did see one of the satellites go by overhead not too long after that, though. I thought that was amazing! I’m not sure that I’ve seen one of the satellites go by before. Though, I’m not sure that I’ve ever looked for one to watch before.

Dad wanted to wait until the fire died down before we went back inside. Since we had used a Duraflame log to get the fire going, we still had about another hour, so I ran inside and grabbed my iPad and then returned to our bench. We watched the next episode of TURN together. I must say that after that first confusing episode where you’re trying to figure out who’s who and who’s on which side, it does get pretty interesting. I won’t rate it, yet, though, until we’ve finished the first season. Starting episode 5 next puts us at the middle of the season, since there are only 10 episodes in the 1st. At about 45 minutes each episode, though, it takes a bit longer to get through each episode. …Especially when the dogs decide it’s time to start barking at whatever is or isn’t outside the window during the quietest parts of the show and you constantly have to rewind to hear what they’ve just said. Don’t you just hate that. I think dogs plan to bark when you’re watching something quiet on TV. It’s like a secret dog club thing.

Well, that’s that. It’s late and the clock ticking is all that I hear. The windows are closed but it’s late enough that the tree frogs are quiet. Oh, and the air conditioner kicks on once in a while, too. I think it’s on Power-Save mode, or something.

Tomorrow, I want to attempt to make rice porridge. I love Asian cuisine and to try and make it is always interesting. I once made melon bread with my friend, Kel. It was really good!

Please look for my words again soon.

-Soleil