Tuesday, November 6, 2012

// Cucina 24 //

off-menu pasta made with fancy mushrooms, cheese, greens + onions

raw beets w/fresh butter + sea salt

sausage + apple pizza (?)

spiced bourbon drink w/thinly sliced pears

Just went to my second Moogfest in Asheville, NC. One of the best music fests in my opinion, since it's soooo cheap and the lineup is always unique/good. The hotels are gonna be the most you'll spend money on, but the food, drinks, entertainment are really cheap compared to other festivals. Also, the venues are all within walking distance and the crowds never get too crazy. I mean, it IS a hippie-town. Although, the GZA show kinda got outta hand because they booked him in a venue that was too small. Other than that, I got to enjoy seeing one of my favorite DJ's - "Disclosure" (all the way from the UK and they're only 17 & 20 yrs old!), who put on a REALLY good show. They had everyone dancing! Even my bf, who normally doesn't dance. ;]

Other highlights: Santigold (fun/cute dancers), Divine Fits (one of the guy's from Spoon), Nas (full band, who was fun to watch), Miike Snow & Primus.

Anyway, it was hard to schedule dinner at a normal time, since the bands started playing around 7pm each night. We kinda had to go in between some shows later on in the evening. After doing hours of research on where to eat beforehand, Cucina 24 was my must-eat choice for the trip. The rest of the weekend only allowed us to kinda just grab quick things to eat on the way to shows. The place was simple, chic and very delicious! Everything on the menu had meat/seafood in it, so I asked if they could do a vegetarian pasta and the waiter happily said the could. I told him I trusted the chef and they could just throw anything they want in it (except olives). It came out perfect and it was exactly what I was craving. If you're ever in Asheville, definitely check it out. Also, shout out to Rosetta's Kitchen for all the vegans/vegetarians. Everything we got there was really good (except the mac 'n cheese. I did NOT like the vegan cheese at all!). And now I present: "Nellie in Nature"...

                                 ...and on the streets of downtown Asheville.


You can view the rest of the set here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

// butternut-walnut stuffed shells //

In October, my Ba Noi (grandma on my dad's side) passed away. She was a hardcore Buddhist who lived until the age of 95. She came to us from Vietnam when I was in middle school and I remember that we didn't get along at first. It was a lot of cultural differences and language barriers (she had a different dialect "nguoi bac" than my typical conversational Vietnamese skills). I was able to learn the Vietnamese kyoto/zither because she brought the instrument over for me. I used to be embarrassed of her black-coated teeth (think it was an enamel for protection), butt hen she ended up Americanizing them after awhile. She's lived w/us ever since she moved over here and it's going to be sad when I come home to visit and she's not there blaring the t.v. watching any kind of music video that came on (Bollywood, K-pop, B.E.T., etc.) or praying at like 6 am w/her loud gong and wooden knocking thing. I am grateful that we got to have her live with us and help take care of my bros. and I as we were growing up. The house was never empty. She also went to the temple almost everyday. In Buddhist tradition, if someone passes from your family, you cannot eat meat/seafood for 49 days (7 weeks). I'm on my 3rd week now and have been trying different recipes that are vegetarian. This one was a really satisfying one and even my non-vegetarian friends and bf enjoyed it.