noodles, noodles everywhere

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cha gio thit ga, or chicken egg rolls in rice paper

Vietnam is, in my book, by far the most photogenic country I’ve ever visited. The food is vibrant and full of freshness, and it also helps that the people there are just about the nicest, too. Whenever I just can’t think of anything that I’m hungry for, usually a good Vietnamese meal sets me right again.

On one blustery cold night last week, we piled into the car to check out Pho Sate, one of the Vietnamese noodle houses near our house. Pho is the perfect winter food. Nothing warms a freezing night more than a steaming hot bowl of five spice-flavored broth, created after days of stewing. The soup arrives with a bed of nestled flat rice noodles, and the best way to eat them is to order it with thinly sliced flank steak. The steak is kept raw and plunked into the hot pho just before serving so that it cooks while it travels to the table to a perfect pinky medium. Along with the fresh array of vegetables – crispy bean sprouts, sprigs of fresh mint and Thai basil, and wedges of juicy lime — it’s basically comfort in a bowl.

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honest contributing

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So…as if there weren’t already enough projects in the hopper, the editors of Honest Cooking, one of my go-to favorites for food writing and travel, asked me to be a contributor!  You’ll see original content and posts that have already appeared on Grits & Chopsticks from me on their site from time to time. The first one is my post on pumpkin olive oil cake that I published here a few weeks ago. The hubby, who is a very important assistant, cheerleader, and all-around nice guy when it comes to my blogging addiction/hobby, is thrilled, mainly because OMG ALL THE FOOD. As for me, this is kind of like being asked by Jennifer Lopez to be a backup dancer if like, you were all about the Flashdance all the time and just wanted to dance even more. I mean, what the what? Honest Cooking, really?

Yeah, it feels pretty awesome. I’m high-kicking and shimmying out of every single room today. Sure, people are looking confused, but you know what? HONEST COOKING.

asian pb&j: soba noodles in peanut sauce

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I work from home, which, as I’ve said before, is really just the best thing to have ever happened to our family. One of the big perks is getting to check in with my kids around lunchtime. For example, earlier afternoon, my kids demanded “cheese and a kiss” before I headed back to work. Sure, I may have crumbles of cheddar in my hair, but it’s pretty hard to have a bad day at work after being smothered in toddler smooches.

In order to maximize my midday time with the kids, I’m always looking for quick, easy lunches for them. Enter soba noodle salad with peanut sauce.

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global-ish for nova

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Yum Goong Cheng – the Thai sausage salad I mentioned in my first post for Northern Virginia Magazine but not pictured in the post

I’m excited to announce that I’ve started contributing to Northern Virginia Magazine’s online food blog, Gutcheck.  Check out my first post here about Pilin Thai. Having more reasons to write about food = more reasons to eat lots of food. I’m dying with happiness.