Foodie Friday: Almond Cookie

almond cookies

Almond cookie: shortbread type of cookie with almond flavor As a kid, we used to buy a box of these from the local Asian store. Those almond cookies were crisp and featured a red almond in the center. (The color of fortune? I don't know, but after one of my kids reacted to the food coloring, I skipped to getting more natural-looking cookies.) I once tried to make them in college for lunar new year or some sort of celebration, but failed. I couldn't get the proper buttery flavor. (Key … [Read more...]

Book Blast

book blast

"Your career plans look bright." Just a little FYI that Dragonfly Dreams is listed on the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Book Blast page. The site features hundreds of new titles, covering the interests of toddlers to teens. Go ahead and check out my page! If you click on the heart and "like" it, you'll hear a rousing cheer.   Also, don't forget that I'll be at the Manhattan Beach Library tonight (7pm) on a mystery authors' panel. … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday First: Nitrogen Ice Cream


Oh yeah, I tried that. Nitrogen ice cream: ice cream made under super cold conditions  I went and visited Creamistry, an ice cream shop that uses liquid nitrogen to produce its goods. Since it uses the quick chemical process, it ends up flash-freezing the batch of ice cream. It's actually really neat to watch, all mist and icy temperatures. However, the actual product itself was a let down. Perhaps because there isn't any slow churning involved, the scoop ends up being super dense, … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Paradise Cake


Paradise cake: three layers of tropical flavor I'm not sure if this cake is labeled "paradise" because it's inspired by the beautiful island of Hawaii, or if it's due to the spectacular flavors in it. I also love the three colors; the rainbow spread makes me feel so happy! This fluffy chiffon cake boasts the flavors of lime, guava, and passion fruit. Yum!   … [Read more...]

Mystery Mavens

mystery poster

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see." Calling all mystery fans to Manhattan Beach! That's right, I'll be on a panel of mystery writers who live in or write about the South Bay. Details are: Monday, October 17, 2016 7:00pm Manhattan Beach Library 1320 Highland Ave. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 Other authors present will be Sarah Chen, Sybil Johnson, and Lida Sideris. Here's a recap on my mystery writing (under the name of J.J. Chow): Seniors … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Panda Ice Cream Bar

panda ice cream

I don't know what's going on with the weather. It's been crazy hot recently. But fall has already started, right? (The first day of the autumnal equinox landed on September 22nd.) Nevertheless, we've been battling high temperatures (even close to 100 degrees!) in the Los Angeles area. Weird. And, of course, we don't have AC. We have windows and ceiling fans...and ice cream bars. Panda ice cream bar: ice cream in an adorable bear shape Isn't this so cute? Sure, it's just chocolate and … [Read more...]

Squishies Obsession

mantou squishy

"Look for happiness and you will find it." My kids found out about squishies in Mexico by way of Japan. Go figure. These cute (highly kawaii) guys are very squishable. You push them down, and then they rise up again. Also, they've each got a lovely fragrance. (The kids say you can make the perfume more pronounced if you keep squishies in the fridge.) Also, I love those adorable faces (see panda bun pic below!) The kids call this cutie Mantou because she's like those sweet steamed buns. And … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday First: Pretzel Burger

pretzel burger

What should I put on top of my burger? How about a pretzel? My first: Pretzel burger: hamburger wrapped in a pretzel bun It's kind of fun experimenting with hamburgers. A tried-and-true food, wrapped in something different. The pretzel bun lacks the sponginess of the classic version, but it's got a nice heft to it. Plus, I think it adds some buttery flavor to the breading. I'm not sure it'll be a go-to pick, but it was interesting to try out. Next up? Maybe the ramen burger. My dad's … [Read more...]

Mexico City, Part 2


"You are altruistic and will be involved in many humanitarian projects." Did you know that... Over 20,000 Mexican children are victims of sex trafficking every year? 27 million is the estimated number of victims in the world today? The organization I worked with in Mexico City is called El Pozo de Vida, or The Well of Life. It has a whole gamut of services, from prevention to intervention to restoration. Areas I helped with included: Block party. An event thrown in the red … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Chorizo


Chorizo: spiced pork sausage Breakfasts are huge in Mexico! And I mean, portion size. I don't know how folks eat so much in the morning. The bread basket alone is intimidating. (I'm usually a simple toast kind of gal.) However, I did enjoy my eggs with chorizo. It's sausage packed full of flavor. I've had chorizo here in the States, but somehow the spices burst onto my tongue more in Mexico. What breakfast foods have you tried recently? … [Read more...]

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