Monday, June 22, 2009

Done with Twilight...

Oh so sad, I'm done with the Twilight Saga. Book Four: Breaking Dawn was probably my favorite book along with Book Two: New Moon.

Through the course of my reading, I have talked with many avid Twilight fans and they too have finished the books over a span of five to seven days (p.s. every book is about 600 pages, with the fourth book coming in at 700+ pages). Isn't that incredible how people can get so wrapped up in a book that it would only take them 5 days to complete. Well, I know I did it and it was a lot of fun reading the books!

I still have to say though - people who tend to read this book will be those who a) want to know what the hype is all about (in which case, just pick up the movie first) ... and if you read the first one, you'll surely get lured in and then have to read the rest.. and those who decide to read the rest will find it fun to read; will enjoy the twist and turns of the love story; and also enjoy the not-so-scary vampire events. :D

so go, read! enjoy it and live vicariously through bella as you go through her ups and downs of love ... and for those who have been in love or haven't been in love, but want to be -- the book will give you exactly how it feels to be in love. :D

so enjoy readers!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


i just finished the 3rd book... and i am hoping the fourth book ends the way i want it to end... :D

will write more when i'm done

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Moon -- the 2nd book of the TWILIGHT Saga

Oh, yeah... I've falled hard into the books. Just last night, I finished the 2nd book and am already yearning for the 3rd. Alright, no spoilers here for those who are thinking about reading the book.

But seriously, I continue to find myself sheepishly giggling and laughing aloud when reading Stephanie Myer's books. Its the innocent love story, the fascinating dialogue that happens between all the characters that remind you of youth and love... not to mention, the half-truths that you tell your parents so you don't worry them about what you're doing, or the sneaky ways you try to get out of a jam... ah, the adventure and the thrill is amazing through this book. But again, its a book that draws you in only if you enjoy romance. :D it would be interesting to get a guy's perspective here...

oooh, just reading the books and being able to share how EXCITED i am about the books is fun...

so is it possible for werewolves and vampires to co-exist?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twilight - I bought two twilight books!!!

Man, this is very addicting... I picked up the first book today - Twilight - and began reading ... not realizing that I am now on page 317! i am wondering if I will finish the book tonight ... why tonight? b/c I am eager to find out what happens in the next book - New Moon...

My new fascination with TWILIGHT

(picture of my niece's wall)

If you haven't heard of Twilight - the books or the movies - be prepared to embark on this incredible journey of true love. The story is mostly focused on two characters -- Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) -- who seem to have found each other as their soul mate; however, it seems to be an ill-fated relationship, or an improbable relationship between a vampire and a mortal....

So what happens? I don't know, but I'm sure going to find out! Yes, that's right -- the movie has sucked me in... I'm getting the books so I can read it before the second movie comes out in November (forget the turkey, bring me the popcorn!)... what can I say? I am a hopeless romantic.

So what sucks readers in? At first, I didn't understand the fascination with it when it came out - I just recall many teenagers around the world going NUTS over this, including my niece who lined up for the 12:01 a.m. first showing of the film!

So ... Is it yet another iteration of Romeo and Juliet played out on the big screen - quite probable, but different. Twilight is similar to R&J in the sense that its a complicated love story with the unconditional and irrevocable love, but different in the demonstratable sense of passion that you see and feel between the two main characters.

When you see the two actors on screen (and no doubt you will sense it in the books) it reminds you of the dizziness that you feel when you are in love -- first, you have the initial awkward conversations; the butterflies in the stomach, that later translates into the ease and comfort you found in the other person's presense and when apart, you have these repeated images and replayed conversations that you've had with the person running uncontrollably through your head -- all the while you find yourself ignoring everything around you and not truly focusing on whats in front of you. All of these elements of love - are either - ones that you have felt, thus you can relate with the characters; or ones that you would love to feel or imagine what love to be like, thus you can relate to the ideology of love... and whichever category you fall into, is why you will love the movies... OR, if you are not a hopeless romantic - you will probably stay away from this story.

Alright, I am a hopeless romantic who wants to root for what can nearly be impossible, yet hopes that love "conquers" it all. I can't wait for the second movie ... but even before that gets out - I can't wait for my trip to the bookstore tomorrow!

p.s. Do you believe in soul mates? is it possible? and does love bring all your insecurities to the forefront, that when with the person, they no longer exist?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Interesting Find - Red Bull & Alcohol

Wow ... for those of you who often mix red bull and alcohol -- beware, you may end up having a heart attack!! Courtesy of

Don't Mix Alcohol and Energy Drinks

While you might not chase a vodka tonic with a Red Bull (like certain celebrity party girls), some teens you know might, and you should tell them it can do more than provide a sizable buzz: It can send them straight to the ER. This unhealthy combo can cause heart palpitations and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it could even lead to a heart attack or a stroke, says Roger A. Clemens, Dr.P.H., an associate director of regulatory science at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, in Los Angeles. Overloading the body with stimulants like caffeine, which is found in many energy drinks, and alcohol, which is a depressant and a diuretic, puts tremendous stress on the central nervous system and heart. Put at least a few hours between your caffeine and alcohol consumption.

Kogi Truck Coming to NYC soon!!!

The first time I heard of the Kogi truck was when a friend sent me a link to the LA Times news article describing a new food truck that roams around LA serving up Korean tacos! wah!!!! I want some!!! but wah! its in LA! but... guess what? Its coming to NYC!!!! Some people had the opportunity to taste it today... they partnered up with Dessert Truck to serve up a tasty delight. It parked on 55th and Lex -- however, if you weren't one of the first 200 people standing in line, then you missed your opportunity -- and unfortunately, I missed out too!

but no worries, I'm sure it'll get a spot sometime in NYC and there will be a line around the corner. so until then, 32nd street will fulfill my Korean food desires!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lamb Chops with Spicy Mango Mint Sauce

Welcome back to Susan Can Cook. This week I decided to prepare lamb chops. Initially I was thinking of that movie - How To Lose A Guy in 10 days - where Ben (aka Matthew McConaughey) cooks up his famous dish Lamb Chops with a cherry glaze for Andie (aka Kate Hudson) - you know, its the ONE dish he knows how to prepare and uses to "wow" and seduce his woman. But, since I don't have a honey to seduce or impress, I figured I'd spice it up another way - oh yeah, with a Spicy Mango Mint sauce -- oh tell me you aren't turned on? Yeeaahh, baby (said in the Austin Powers tone)! So, perhaps this will now be my new "signature" dish to lure the boys -- yeah, come to mama! haha. I am only kidding ?

For those of you in awe, don't be. Its actually quite easy to cook - and you can do it too!!! The lamb chops cooks in about 4 minutes per side (depending on how large it is) and the mango mint sauce took about 10 minutes to prepare (i also did it the day before so I could let it chill).

A mindful note: Cooking lamb chops is easy, but whats difficult is finding the right spices that make this dish so special. If you haven't shopped for spices before, just get ready for the sticker shock. :D Yeah, after living in NYC - i didn't think I would get sticker shock anymore -- but for this dish - i needed about six new spices that I never seen or quite possibly never heard of (i.e. Tumeric, Cardamon, etc) ... and I easily spent $25 just on spices and some of them I already had! can you imagine!! So where can you buy spices on the cheap? I went to a local Indian store and bought it there. I think its probably cheaper than the McCormick spices.

Enjoy and happy eating!

From Bon Appetit - June 2004
Serves 16

Mint-mango sauce
  • 2 1-pound ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 serrano chiles, halved, seeded
Lamb chops
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 16 1-inch-thick lamb loin chops
  • Fresh mint sprigs

For mint mango sauce:
Blend all ingredients in processor until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Season with salt. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

For lamb chops:
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk first 8 ingredients in small bowl. Mix oil and garlic in another bowl. Brush chops on both sides with oil mixture, then press chops into spice mixture to coat both sides. Grill chops to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to platter. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serve warm or at room temperature with sauce.

For those without a bbq like me, I used my Iron Clad pan and it worked out just great!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yum, Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I think my parents raised me right ... I love my vegetables! It dates back to my Chinese Thanksgivings where we cooked chicken instead of turkey; and chinese sausage rice instead of stuffing. Its during Thanksgiving that I had my first yam... Yams and sweet potatoes are often confused. Both vegetables are distantly related: yams are native to North America and sweet potatoes are native to Africa and Asia. Bet you didn't know that right? I didn't either. HA HA. I just checked wikipedia!

So, the purpose of this post was to share this yummy recipe that I found. It is sooo delicious. Try it on your own and let me know what you think... and remember, peel the sweet potatoes when they are dry!

Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large tan-skinned sweet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • Pinch of ground cloves
Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 13 minutes. Drain. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and minced thyme and sauté until onion is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer sweet potatoes and onion mixture to processor and puree until almost smooth. Stir in cloves. Season with salt and pepper. (Sweet potatoes can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.)

How to Peel ... Potatoes

Ok, we've all peeled potatoes before so this is probably a weird post for you to read.. but seriously, its just a little quick tip...

When you'are about to peel any type of potato (i.e. sweet, russett, or whatever), DO NOT rinse them. Seems obvious, but its not because I just rinsed them and realized -- its much much easier to peel without rinsing; not to mention less slippery. So the next time you peel this starchy item, just peel away... and then rinse it!

Happy peeling!
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