Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coffee and The Oatmeal

I love coffee. I can drink from 2-6 cups a day, which may sound a bit excessive, but did you know:
  •  coffee drinkers have slightly lower death rates
  • women coffee drinkers have lower risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease
  •  it tastes abso-freaking-lutely amazing!?
15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee from the Oatmeal.

Maple donut and coffee from Top Pot in Seattle

Monday, June 14, 2010

Taco truck

On Friday, my sister and I made plans to go shopping, then follow that with a picnic in the park so that Kyle could play for a bit. That is, until we found Taco del Sol. It's a taco truck. And it was parked right outside our favorite thrift store that day. So what was supposed to be leftover chicken sandwiches and carrot sticks turned into this: 

Enchiladas under that pile somewhere

My favorite: torta cubana

It's a simple combination of bread, breakfast and amazingness.

Now, I usually don't advocate that anyone approach a middle aged man offering goodies from a white truck, but this was the exception. If you see a Taco del Sol truck, go for it. We each paid $5 for our plates, it was more than enough food, and it was AMAZING.

And yes, I did eat the carrot sticks.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lisa Relaford Coston

 June 10, 1963 - January 27, 2010

Lisa was my voice teacher, mentor, and an incredible friend. In my first couple of years of college, my experience with another voice teacher hadn't been pleasant, and I remember being extremely nervous in my first lesson with Lisa. The first piece of music I ever studied with her was from Handel's Messiah, "He shall feed His flock." She told me that her father was her first voice teacher, and that the first piece he ever taught her was from Messiah, and so she thought of him every time she heard something from it. Now, I think of Lisa whenever I hear Messiah.  

If you made Lisa laugh, she would throw her head back, and just let her joy spring out from her heart. She was one of the best parts of my college experience. I can remember very clearly the exact moment when she taught me the difference between having a beautiful voice and singing beautifully. Lisa is the person who taught me what true enjoyment of music is like when you sing it for God.  

I often think of Lisa, and wonder how her teaching/singing is going before I can remind myself that she's with the Lord. Yesterday, when I was programming phone numbers into my new cell phone, I added hers on my new phone too. I miss her all the time.

Happy birthday, Lisa! Love you.

Here's a video of Lisa singing shortly before her passing:

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I am seriously craving some goi du du (Vietnamese papaya salad). It's a light salad that's tangy, spicy, and simple. Must make soon.

I had some papaya with breakfast the other morning, and was fascinated by the seeds.

Seriously though, does anyone else think that papaya is one of the strangest fruits? It's seeds look like alien eggs. It smells like it sounds: du du. But it's fantastic. When green, it's crisp and goes well in a salad. When ripe, it's soft flesh is sweet and juicy. So versatile, unlike Nic Cage's acting.

NPR's Ten Best Summer Cookbooks of 2010

Very nice overview of top summer cookbooks from NPR's T. Susan Chang here.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I was going to take time this morning to write about what I actually eat normally for breakfast (oatmeal, whole grain english muffins), and juxtapose it with some of the more exciting things I've written about (dutch babies, stuffed french toast), but I'm still sick. I was getting better for the past few days (at least, I thought I was), but this morning it was worse. I don't know if it's a new sickness, because my body was already weak from the cold, or what.

Now that I think about it though, my breakfast entry idea sounds incredibly boring. I just wanted to write about my boring breakfasts, so that you friends don't think I eat unhealthy junk every day. So now that I've just told you that, I guess there's no point to writing about it in the future. End. 
Dutch baby, I'd like you to meet...
Oatmeal with cinnamon and banana. 

Isn't the contrast so depressing?

Saturday, June 5, 2010


This drummer had me literally laughing out loud this morning over my coffee. I've heard musicians talk about passion before, but he takes it to a whole new level...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Dear Friends,

I just blogged about summertime. So why did I wake up this morning with a sore throat, fever, congestion, headache, and icky-ness? Whyyy? 

I don't know many people who enjoy getting sick, but I know two types of people who especially don't like getting sick: 1. singers 2. people who take care of children. Awesome.

This is how I'm going to make myself feel better...Vietnamese beef noodle soup (Pho). Here is the recipe that I'll be following, combined with my mama's skillz.

Hanoi. July 2006. At the best pho place in Hanoi. (I forgot the name of the place.)

I'm simmering everything overnight so that all the flavors just melt into each other. By lunch time tomorrow, I'll (hopefully) be clearing my nasal passages with jalapenos steeped in beef soup.

Pretty much sums up how I feel about colds.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Sippers

A few weeks ago, we actually had a stretch of days where there was no rain, and it was actually warm. It was a hint of summer before a string of rainy days hit us (again). I loved it. It reminded me of early summers in the south--volleyball, cook outs, tank tops and shorts, watermelon, and flip flops. I actually find myself longing for heat and humidity now...That is, until I hear from my east coast friends that it feels like their skin might melt off whenever they go outside.

 Gas Works Park Spring 2010

While it was still warm, there were a few things that I simply HAD to do:

 1. Drink iced coffee. Lots.

2. Start gardening.*

3. Make sangria. I don't have pics of the sangria that I made (we drank it all)! I'm sorry.

Chau's Fast Sangria for 2 (maybe 4 regular) people:
1/2 bottle dry red wine
1/4 container of frozen juice concentrate (I used Old Orchard's Apple Kiwi Strawberry)
Sliced strawberries, grapes, and oranges (plus, whatever fruit you would like)
Sugar (to taste)
Sprite (optional. Aaaand I don't remember how much I put in. This is a terrible way to explain a recipe.)

Mix everything but the Sprite together. Let it meld together for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. Add ice and Sprite. Drink it all.

*My sister and I planted prepared some seed starters one day, and spent extra time drawing a diagram of it so that we could chart each plant. Maybe a week later, after some seedlings had begun poking through the soil, a random gust of wind knocked the seed starter kit over our deck railing. ALL of our seeds were mixed up. Now, we have no clue what's growing. We grew up on a farm, and we're terrible at gardening.