31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!!

Will the real Amanda Bynes please stand up?

25 October 2013

My Open Love Letter to Nick Miller

Did you watch this week's New Girl? I am obsessed with the show, so obviously I did. And boy, am I glad I tuned in! Nick Miller disclosed an old email account of his! He doesn't use it that often though. Its activity is based on the highs and lows of his roomie Schmidt. Jess brought the account back to life to salvage her Halloween party from an awkward meeting between Schmidt and his ex/Jess's BFF Cece. The email account is keatonpotatoes@aol.com (AOL? Sooo vintage!).

This is my big chance ya'll. I have an open line of communication to Nick, and I totes seized the moment. Pasted below is the email chain!
Hi hi Nick Miller!
I know this is kinda stalker-ish, but I got your email while watching New Girl. I just wanted to let you know that I think you're really attractive and like many adorkable fans across the country, I have a major crush on you! And just when I thought I couldn't crush on you more, you reveal your very foodie email. Which means, we have soooo much in common because I am a great cook! We are totes soul mates.
You're obviously a big fan of potatoes, so here are some of my favorite potato recipes if you're hungry! I usually wait until the 5th date to make a guy dinner, but I'll let you skip the formalities because I know it ain't your thang. How do these delicious dishes sound??
A classic buttery potato gratin!
An Italian-style Chef salad with the most delicious potato salad you ever did taste!
I can't remember if you're Jewish or not, but these crispy and chewy latkes are perfect! I love them, and I'm Asian!
And the ultimate comfort food... roasted garlic mashed potatoes... with real roasted garlic!
So if you ever need a side dish to your Jess, you have my email and my twitter account below for a good meal! Or if you ever want to play a game of hot potato! ;)
"Whoooo's that girl?...
It's JEN!"
-- Jennifer Pham
He responded immediately! Like within 0 minutes! Guys respond immediately when they're interested. But if he responded so fast, was he able to click on all my hyperlinks?!
How many times have you seen "Multiplicity?"
-- Keaton
I responded back:
ZERO! (teehee, satire!)
But also, I know you're not really Michael Keaton. You don't have to play games with me Nick Miller!
No response. I haven't heard back from him. And just like that, we lost our momentum and possibly the greatest love affair of our lives. Until next Tuesday...

21 October 2013

How to Successfully Eat at Bistro Petit

Who says I'm flaky, forgetful and don't follow through with my projects? The answer is everyone by the way.

But alas, the full moon has come and I finally got a chance to wine and dine at Bistro Petit! And it was fun! And delicious! And most importantly, painless!

On a fateful Saturday date night with my sister, we headed out with ambitious plans to grab dinner at BP and see "Enough Said." This dining experience was different from last. This time, we had an in. My sister's co-worker's fiancé is the chef at Bistro Petit. Which means there was some major bon appetit-ing at Bistro Petit!

So how do you successfully eat at Bistro Petit? Here's my guide:

1. So yes, we did know the Chef. But that didn't mean he was willing to kick out his current customers in the middle of their meal just so his two favorite Asian sistas could have a table. But hey, they have a wait staff now! A girl with a seemingly French accent will happily seat you. Merci! Not only have they expanded their staff, but BP has expanded their seating area! There are now colorful tables and chairs outside for you to dine al fresco. The only problem is that we can't drink outside due to liquor licenses. But our lovely waitress suggested that we order while enjoying the crisp fall weather and when a table opens up inside, our food will be ready and waiting for us to wash it down with our booze. Which brings me to my next tip...

2. Bring a bottle of vino! And water! The no tap water is real people! It's BYOB and the "B" for beverage is all-inclusive. There is sparkling water, which doesn't really quench a thirst like good ol' flat water. But Frenchie will happily bring you cups of ice so that your bottled water is ice cold. She will also bring you a bucket of ice to keep your Prosecco chilled. Brrrrrr!

3. Now after all that vino and agua, you'll for sure need to relieve yourself. No more visits to the bodega next door! There is a bathroom downstairs. I did not go personally because I planned ahead and went before we left the apartment, but I imagine it to be very petit by New York standards. Baño Petit!

4. Don't spend all your stripping money. BP will feed you one of the best meals of your life in exchange for your cold hard cash. #cha-ching

5. The food is excellent. And each dish was brought out by the Chef himself! Now that was special treatment. Our meal in photos...

My sister and I shared the Spicy Pomme Frites with homemade ketchup! I freaking love ketchup. So that little ramekin was not enough. I needed at least two more!

My main entree was the Truffle Mushroom Risotto. I don't even like risotto. But everyone was saying this was a must-have. And they were right. My main complaint about normal risotto is that it's mushy. Apparently, the secret to a non-mushy risotto is to use farro, instead of arborio rice. A culinary genius!

Sister inhaled her kimchi bouillabaisse and proclaimed that it was the best meal of her life. It's the most popular dish off the menu. So if you love seafood, this is your bucket of happiness.

After all that rich and delicious food, we made a last minute decision to not order dessert. Even though I had my eye on the Fresh Cinnamon Beignets. Another day, another dessert right? Wrong. Chef brought out the freshly fried treats for us. That third hand is Neta, Chef's lady lover and Sister's co-worker. Hi Neta! Thank you for joining our donut toast! Side note: Carbo-loading for a movie is hard ya'll.

Aside from the food, everyone at Bistro Petit (even the patrons!) was the nicest! Before Chef came out to chat with us after the dinner rush, he stopped by to talk to his other happy eaters that he didn't even know. How many chefs in the NYC area do you know that do that? I can only count one right now! Chef's lady lover came and visited while we ate, so we all had a nice long leisurely chat to go with our deliciously long leisurely dinner. Which made us miss our movie. So my final tip would be to set aside some time because fortunately, this ain't no fast food chain and it doesn't taste like it either!

This happy and stuffed jen pham will for sure come back again!

16 September 2013

2nd place

In June, I participated in the ninth annual 72 Hour Film Shootout competition. The competition is run by the Asian American Film Lab to celebrate diversity and artistic empowerment. You don't need to be Asian to participate but there has to be some Asians on the team and I totes helped fill that quota!

The whole premise of the competition is that on the eve of the shootout, everyone is given a prompt. And the next 72 hours are spent writing, shooting and editing a 5-minute film inspired from that prompt. This year's prompt was:

"A guest in my own country."

This project was one of the hardest things I've done. Probably because we were shooting in 100 degree weather. Probably because it was my birthday weekend. Probably because we had no clue what we were doing. But hard work pays off because we got 2nd place!!! Next year though, we'll get first. ;) It's good to have goals right?

We haven't been able to share the film with anyone before judging took place. But now we know and you get to see my award-winning film!! So let me know what you think!

Phamily in NYC

My parents came up to visit last month.

We ate exotic dim sum at Jing Fong, the best pizza at Motorino and delicious burgers at JG Melon (bloody marys for me... I'm on the liquid lunch cleanse) in between the sites. My parents feng shui-ed my room. It was glorious. Don't believe me? Here's the proof:

03 September 2013

stout chocolate cake

I've got a major case of the Tuesdays today. Summer's over compounded by my boy problems. The cure? Chocolate cake.

I don't like chocolate cake.
But I make the best chocolate cake.
My sister loves chocolate cake.
She loves it so much that she made me one on my birthday! From.a.box. Lucky for her, we don't pick sisters. And luckier for her, she's stuck with me! So on her birthday, I made her the best chocolate cake.

This recipe is based loosely on Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guiness recipe (that looks like a Guiness!).
I used an Oatmeal Stout instead of Guiness, because I don't like Guiness because they filter the beer with fish scales (vom.com). I don't like fish in my cake. I don't like fish period.

For the cake, you will need:

1 cup Oatmeal Stout
2 sticks unsalted butter
6 ounces of good semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your pan. Melt stout, butter and chocolate chips in a saucepan. Drink the rest of the stout so you don't go crazy while waiting for everything to melt. Whisk in cocoa powder. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs and sour cream in another bowl. Beat the cooled beer/butter/chocolate mixture into egg thingy. Slowly add flour mixture and continue the beating! Pour batter into pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

For frosting, you will need:

1 brick of delicious cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream, WHIPPED 

Whip heavy cream. I'm talking semi-stiff peaks people. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese with beaters until smooth. Whip in powdered sugar to cream cheese. (Is it just me or does this cake take a real beating?! hahahaaaaa, yeah ok no.) Fold in whipped cream. Frost cake when cake is cooled because runny frosting is not cute.

This frosting is amazing. Light, cream cheese-y and not too sweet. We had a little extra and couldn't let it go to waste...


Refrigerate cake overnight (or at least a couple of hours). We've eaten this cake fresh, and while it tastes good as far as fresh baked cake goes, it's not as good as the brownie density you get after some intense refrigeration.

For actual birthday celebration, you will need:

As many candles you need to dot your i's.

Is it Wednesday yet?

29 August 2013

Technical Difficulty

Last week, our apartment experienced a major technical difficulty. The flat screen TV in the living room went dark! There was sound, but no picture. As a person who watches more TV than she would care to admit, this was a serious situation and we needed immediate action.

Obviously, we call for backup. The TV people say it will cost $150 alone just for diagnosis. What the crap. The TV costs maaaaybe 180 bucks. This route was not economically sound. If the TV people are going to rip us off, at least be a little smart about it and charge $150 to diagnose and fix the telly.

So before we decide to sell off the telly as "The Perfect TV for the Blind!" I did some internet research. I found this video and decided that the backlight inverter thingy was dead and we needed a new one. I put my sister's muscles to work as she took the TV part. I would have done it myself but my brain is far more useful in these type of situations. Also, unscrewing is a lot harder than screwing!

But you know what was harder? Trying to figure out which board was the backlight inverter thingy. There were two board thingies and I could not figure out which was which. But seriously, which one is it?!


Those yellow gift boxes did not have diamond rings in there. And I also wasn't able to pull any of the wires out to look at the boards. What was I looking for? I've no clue. I found some model numbers and letters and did another quick google search with the numbers and "backlight inverter" and found the white board (which I hoped to be the right board, see what I did there?!) on ebay sold by a small TV store in good ol' North Carolina! The account had excellent seller reviews so I took a chance and added the $45 part to my cart.

When the part finally arrived, I carefully yanked out the wires and replaced the board and held my breath. My sister was out of town and therefore, wasn't present to put the screws back in so I had to do it myself! This was the most frustrating part. All the screws were different sizes so I had to do a lot of troublescrewing to put the TV back in one piece. I plugged it in. And omg, it WORKED. And the screws haven't fallen out! I can't believe it. Google is my best friend. Whenever I need or want something, Google has it for me in an instant and makes me feel like I can do anything!

And my reward?! TV aaaaand a month of lime sodas courtesy of my sister. BOOM!

28 August 2013

Happy belated birthday to my spirit person!!

You know how some people have a spirit animal? (Mine is the seal btw).
I also have a spirit person. Her name is Honey Boo Boo and she is the most sparkly person I ever did see.

Uninhibited. Open-minded. Sassy. Happy. Loves everybody. These are my favorite things about her and I feel so in tune with her.

Happy happy birthday Honey Boo Boo child! 8 is great!

Oh and here are some Halloween pictures of me as my spirit person. I want to be buried in my Honey Boo Boo costume.

My Flower

I'm 27 years old and I'm not ashamed to say I lost my flower back in mid-July. Someone stole my flower. (actually I'm not entirely sure if that's true, but it's fun to say!).

Backtrack... I love my jean jacket. And I LOVE my flower on my jean jacket. I probably should be embarrassed by how much I love it, but luckily, I have a high embarrassment threshold. It's part of my signature look. I feel the most jen pham in it. It's me.

And now, it's nothing but a phantom limb.

I was de-flowered (but not de-valued!)at another 90s night. It fell off of me while I was dancing. And I didn't notice until we stepped outside the bar to go home. I was heartbroken in my drunken state. The bouncer wouldn't let me back in because I was such a mess (emotionally, mentally and physically). So my friend Mario went back in to look for my beloved flower (sidenote: Is that a friend or what?!). He came out empty-handed. My heart dropped.

The next morning, we woke up and the pain of loss was still stinging. So I called the bar and was advised to email Lost and Found.
Hi there!Last night, I lost my flower at your bar. It's not how it sounds! I have a light greenish/yellowish flower with small black polka dots that I pin to my jean jacket and it must have fallen off because I was having too good a time at 90s night! (Is there such a thing though?) Would you guys be able to look for it and let me know if you do or don't find it? I would really appreciate it.

Jen Pham
Sent from my pretend iPhone!  
The most grueling two days later...(I swear it was worse than waiting for a boy to text you!)
Hi Jennifer,
I just looked through our Lost and Found and unfortunately we don't have your flower.
I began the mourning process. Because it was summer, I didn't really need a jean jacket during the day. But the nights were the hardest. I posted a picture of my last night on Instagram and Facebook with my flower. Letting the world know of its fate.

But a couple of good things transpired from my loss. I re-learned the true meaning of friendship. First, when Mario went back to look for my flower. (you guys, picture a drunken grown ass Mexican, scouring a dance hall full of nostalgic millennials for my flower... I can only hope to one day be able to repay the favor!). Then again, a few weeks later, I traveled down to Charleston, SC to help my best friend get married. And on her wedding day, her mom, cousin, and her surprised me with a new flower!!! A new flower that they handmade! Some pieces were even from Taylor's wedding dress! Yes, they cut up her dress to make me a new flower! If that ain't friendship, I don't know what is! Juuuust kidding! They used scraps leftover from alterations. It was lovely and I felt so ridiculous and ridiculously loved!

Before I debut my new flower, here is a blog nod to my old flower.

Thank you flower for allowing me to walk through the years we had together with grace, style, confidence and lots of compliments! R freaking I P. You will be missed and never forgotten.

Oh and yes, I'm gonna try and start blogging again. You are totes welcome.