Category Archives: Travel


The Pantry Seattle

08 01 16


I’m finally getting around to posting my latest trip to Seattle, one of the highlights of this summer! When I decided I wanted to focus my blog on food, I didn’t know where to start. Googling “How to become a food blogger” and looking for other established food bloggers for insights is basically where I started. I came across this feed on Instagram (yes, Instagram!) and the images immediately spoke to me. I had to find out about The Pantry Seattle.

The Pantry Seattle is a community kitchen based on foundation of bringing neighbors and friends gathered around the table, breaking bread and building community. Now after five years, they are offering weekly classes on traditional food crafts and technique, five-course family-style dinners, culinary camp for the kids, food swaps, cookbook club potluck suppers and food styling & photography workshop! All happening at the kitchen studio tucked away in quiet Ballard neighborhood in Seattle.


I immediately signed up for 2 days of food styling and photography workshop with one of the best, Ashley Rodriguez (a food blog, Not Without Salt, and author of cookbook ‘Date Night In‘) and her husband Gabe Rodriguez, a photographer based in Seattle. Ashley covered the food blogging and styling aspect and Gabe covered the technical part of shooting and post-production. I adore this couple, a husband and wife team! Here is Ashley working against the window light to get a translucent shot of sliced radish. Brilliant!


I learned so much just in two days. Here is few things that I was able to walk away as a new food blogger, food stylist and photographer. Can I call myself that now?

_ Style your food as you would eat it.
_ See and follow where the light is going, get your viewers to journey through the entire image.
_ If shooting under the bathroom window gives you best light, then that’s where you shoot.
_ Keep it small, keep it simple. White makes the food shine.
_ Props help to reinforce the story you are telling with your image.
_ Take the food off the plate sometimes. Food doesn’t always have to appear on the plate.
_ Get close. Back up. Try another angle.
_ Start eating the food. Work in progress rather than a finished masterpiece.


I stayed in Seattle for 3 days over the weekend and spent most of the time at the workshop but you know me, I had to squeeze in some new spots around the city. I found some really good Korean food in Seattle that I think you all should try when in town. They are 3 sister restaurants all uniquely different but equally delicious and innovative Korean food. Check out Revel, Trouve and Joule on instagram! Above photo is a quick bite Kimchi Dumpling I had at Trouve (Capitol Hill) before catching my evening flight back home on Sunday.

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Also here is my stay at Airbnb in Capitol Hill. I stayed at this master bedroom in an old Victorian house. Can you tell this place is run by furniture designers? It was the best place deal that I found for the relaxing getaway weekend, alone!

So I’m thinking about making this my annual trip. There are so many good cooking classes available at The Pantry that I’ll be signing up for and it’s well worth a weekend trip. Does anybody want to join me next time?

When in Seattle:
Fat Hen (Ballard) – baked eggs.
Slate Coffee (Ballard) – deconstructed latte.
Revel (Fremont) – summer shack menu.
Analog Coffee (Capitol Hill) – quiet neighborhood coffee.
Crumble & Flake (Capitol Hill) – favorite patisserie.
Trove (Capitol Hill) – quick bites at the bar, Korean BBQ for the full experience.
Oddfellows Cafe & Bar (Capitol Hill) – open cafe for some summer breeze, comfortable and welcoming cafe/bar.



Traveling with Kids | A Day Trip to Guerneville, CA

11 24 15

A few weeks ago, boys had Veteran’s Day off from school. It was on the middle of the week and we had no plans other than veggie at home. We decided to drive up to Guerneville up in Sonoma County for a little day trip, outing by Russian River. It turned out to be the most relaxing enjoyable family time we had. Here is a quick recap and few recommendations. It’s such a cute quaint town to visit for a day trip or on a weekend. We are excited about going back in Spring/Summer time!






Big Bottom Market – A small market/café with yummy salad and sandwiches to pack to go on a picnic by the river. Walking distance to Johnson’s Beach. (Main St.)
Boon Eat & Drink Café – A small Californian bistro with fresh seasonal ingredients. Good for brunch and early dinner! (Main St.)
Guerneville Bank Club – Old bank turned into ice cream parlor and pie shop. Get a scoop on little history in the gallery, a photo zone in the vault, a scoop of handmade ice cream and pie.
Commerce Fine Goods – Inside Guerneville Bank Club, find small fine goods store with handmade items from local artisans. A must visit when in Guerneville.
Johnson’s Beach by Russian River – It’s not the sandy beach you’re thinking of. It’s a quiet river side beach where you can skip rocks, feed the ducks and have a nice afternoon picnic.
Armstrong Redwood National Forest – Nice redwood hiking trails and picnic area. Only 5 min drive away from Main St.


Traveling with Kids | Camp Edison, Shaver Lake, CA

07 31 15

Last month, we went on a camping trip to Camp Edison in Shaver Lake, CA. This was our second time camping with our family. First time was in 2013, we went to Sequoia National Park. It has become bi-annual family tradition for us during summer time as we get to meet up with our family from Southern California. It really helped that we have some experienced campers in the family. Things were booked, planned and organized ahead. I had very fond memories of going camping growing up. But it was not a tradition as I just remember few occasions, but I remember having great time as a child playing by the creek and eating camping food! It’s always more fun to go with group of friends or other families where you can delegate cooking/meal duties and even delegate packing equipment. 
The campsite that we went is called Camp Edison. It’s owned by Southern Cal Edison, and it’s right on Shaver Lake.  It took us about 4 hours from Oakland and we took one break during the drive. We made a reservation in Jan (for June dates) by faxing the Reservation Request Form.
Camping is great not only are we able to enjoy the outdoor nature but also it forces us to go unplug. These days I feel like we have to force ourselves to go unplugging, away from all the electronics, emails and so on and so forth. It’s kind of sad, isn’t it? Kids had a great time exploring the area. We rented a boat one day to go fishing and play in the water. The lake was so clear and emerald, it felt like we were actually out in the sea. We also went to play at the Dinky Creek which is by another camp site nearby. The water levels were pretty low due to drought but we still had a lot of fun playing by the rock slide and diving into some deeper water spots. Here is some snaps from our trip.

I love camping food! and cooking outdoors! We delegated meals by family and we had some great food while we were there. Some of the menus that we prepared were Kimchi Jjigae (stew) with Bulgogi, Made-to-Order Omelette and Korean Street Toast, Packed Sandwiches / Chips & Drinks to take on the boat, Marinara Meatball Sandwiches, Choonchon Dakgalbi (Korean Chicken BBQ), Gochujang Jjigae and of course some Ramen and S’Mores by the campfire. I had a great time cooking with my sister-in-laws, mostly chatting and catching up on life. 
We prepared this Made-To-Order Omelette bar and had a lot of fun as kids lined up to make their order. It was like we were some kind of street cart selling food. Fun!
My favorite Korean camping food growing up is Gochujang Jjgae (Korean Chili Pepper Paste Stew) with Corned Beef. I remember my dad making this for us when we went camping growing up. It was so good back then and it’s still good now. 
We are definitely looking forward to go camping again and explore new places and spend time with the family and letting our kids run and play in the dirt, water and stay dirty. 
Before I sign off, I want to share this ultimate camping packing checklist that you can download and print. This list was provided by Dan, one of my in-law, who is also a very experienced camper. For first time campers, this list will come in super handy! You can download the PDF HERE.
Hope you guys are having a great summer!