Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're Away In: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: A livid patchwork of unabashed modernity pieced together with twisting concrete structures, the emerald remnants of an unruly lowland jungle, and a shimmering populace drenched in layers of color and light.

Drift from one meal to the next as the blistering equatorial sun peeks through gauzy clouds and coyly hides behind skybound behemoths that threaten to pierce the very bosom of the sky with their steely turrets.

Watch humanity as it pushes onwards and upwards... welcome to KL.

Domestic Ordeals

Some recent meals from my kitchen...

Lunch of quinoa salad topped with homemade hummus made with homemade tahini and lentil carrot soup.

Spaghetti with homemade pesto

Corn cut off the cob

Brown rice sushi with avocado.

Stew made with kidney beans, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, and quinoa, served with french bread.

Recent snackage: Keo Dau Phong tastes extraordinarily similar to the Butterfinger bars I used to devour as a child.

Quinoa sushi with avocado and tofu.

A simple spaghetti with garlic and tomato sauce

Pumpkin Soup

Rice Bowls: A Household Staple.

Curry and tofu served over brown rice.

Green beans and onions over fried brown rice and egg tofu.

Tofu, Chinese cabbage, onion, and green beans served over brown rice.

Try these out in your abode, there is no better ordeal than a domestic one!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Last Few Days

With summer vacation starting, it was time to celebrate.  The last few days have been filled with parties, friends, and good food.  Although I haven't been the consummate documentarian the last few days, I'll share what I have!

Firstly, thought you were going to get off without more pictures of my darling kids? Think again!

The last day of school was one of celebration.

Gavin and I had lunchmunch at Cuc Gach to celebrate the end of the year, then randomly plopped down at Yogurt Space on Phan Xich Long for a special treat.  I love Fro-Yo (frozen yogurt) and we have been to several joints around town and I think that this was my favorite by far.  Lots of good fresh-fruit and confectionery toppings and flavors, but about half the price.  Only 80,000 for two HUGE cups.  Can't beat that!

I bid adieu to my first graders by letting them do what they do best: watch movies and complete hidden picture worksheet activities.  Before branding  me a deadbeat teach, avert your critical gaze and hear me out:  They were so hyped up on sugar from their homeroom party that I doubt they even noticed I was there and only floated down from space when I abruptly wrangled and corralled them for a photo.

Friday night was one of celebration.  We were felling like French and thought we would the new and hyped Le Bouchon de Saigon (40 Thai Van Lung, D.1) a try.  It did not disappoint.

Since we didn't have reservations, we gladly took a seat at the well-sized and inviting bar. We went for several small dishes and had a nice feed.

The French Onion Soup and Smoked Salmon Tartar:

 A delicious Caesar Salad.  Tossed with an agreeable amount of homemade dressing, with the perfect anchovy kick.

A massive and reasonably priced half-order of green-lipped mussels in a white-wine, garlic broth, served with thick-cut Belgian fries.  It was reported that they were sweet, plump, and delectable. 

And a fantastic, yet un-pictured, homemade Creme Brulee.  Lively place and solid offerings, we shall return to Le Bouchon de Saigon .

On Saturday afternoon, the continually dependable Black Cat delivered to our door.  A burger for him and a burrito for me.

A late and languorous Sunday breakfast with friends.

We went to K Bistro (another Gallic stronghold) in the Pham.  The breakfast was workmanlike and dutiful, although slightly disappointing.  The company was splendid!

Did I mention that it rained a lot the last few days?

Tuesday was a long overdue lunch date with Sara and John.

We went to Khoi Thom @ 29 Ngo Thoi Nhiem, D. 3.  I loved the colorful tables and chairs and the open outdoor seating.  Their take on Mexican-Vietnamese fusion worked surprisingly well and it was resonably priced.

Some of our dishes: Chips and dips.

Chili-peppers wrapped in bacon.

Pork spare-ribs with garlic fried rice.

Shrimp Quesadilla.

Sweet potato quesadilla.

Pork Fajitas.

Fruit and an avocado smoothie.

We're off for Malaysia tomorrow morning.  Looking forward to rest, relaxation, and exploration after such a busy last few months.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Last Day of School

Yesterday was the last day of our school year!  I thought I would share a few pictures and videos of my classes.

Saying goodbye to my awesome bright-eyed and bushy-tailed morning crew, Ms. Tu (my TA), Alaina, and Ms. Mai, was pretty difficult .  I'll miss our juice-fueled morning chats and our book-sharing circle.

My lovely preschool class, full of 3-4 year olds.  They have grown up so much this year!

Notice a certain naughty boy giving the camera the finger?  Thanks Vincent, you're a real gem.
Most of all, Mini Minh.  I know it's wrong to have favorites, but this kid is just too cute and sweet!

An impromptu fashion show by my Kindergarten class.  Boy, can these kids dance!

 The proud Graduates, being goof-balls as usual!


Although I tend to willfully forget the pain of my afternoons and the piercing shrieks that fill the classrooms, I also had my three First Grade classes (which I've taught for 4 months) come to an end.  These kids have so much energy and personality, it proved challenging to get pictures of them, but here are a few...