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Archive for the ‘Movie’ Category

More Than Honey and Eastern Pearl Dim Sum

In Eating Out, Food, Food Media, Movie on February 3, 2014 at 14:06

Doof Media

I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary More Than Honey.

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The short 95-minute documentary was both educational and beautiful.

We could not live without bees – the little critters did their jobs for us to have vegetables and fruits.

It was quoted that Einstein said human would die about 4 years after bee extinction.

Bee colonies had been dying off in the past 15 years with unknown causes.

One piece of good news from this documentary was that perhaps there was hope for human being after all.

The movie followed the “bee business” from around the world.

It showcased traditional bee keeping in the Swiss Alps, a small and a large commercial bee keeper in the US.

I loved that the tone of the documentary was amazingly neutral and non-judgemental – viewers could draw their own conclusions and kept their own opinions on the styles of bee keeping, the bee keepers’ relationships with the bees, and their environmental impact.

Sprinkled in between the bee keepers were knowledge and current bee situations in other parts of the world.

The movie provided some possible causes for vanishing bee colonies.

They also interviewed researchers who had spent their work and time to understand bees, and how bees communicated in a colony.

One stunning fact shared in the movie was that some part of China had no bee.

In turn, people were hired to gather pollen from one area, transport and then sold pollen to another area.

The pollens were then hand-painted by humans onto the flowers that required pollination – essentially humans were doing bees’ job.

I was utterly dumb-founded — the situation was just incredibly wrong.

Aside from delivering knowledge and education, the cinematography of the documentary was stunning.

Not only that it showcased the gorgeous landscape from the Swiss Alps, American desert or even almond farms in America; there were large amount of footage dedicated to filming the bees in exceptional close-up.

With my personal bee encounter, the normal tendency was to avoid, or stood completely still hoping that the bee would not sting me.

There was no chance to admire or observe these little hard-working bees.

One could see almost every eye, hair, and tentacle of the bees, plus the tinier bee mites that caused infestation to colonies.

Viewers had a chance to observe the birth of a queen bee, a busy work day by the worker bees in the hive, and bees feeding bee babies.

These were all priceless footage, and they gave us an opportunity to respect the work of the underappreciated yet extremely important being.

I hope as human beings, we were wise enough to get ahead of the deteriorating situation – to save the bees and to save ourselves.

Doof Out

My friend told us about this new dim sum place on the eastside called Eastern Pearl in Redmond.

Since most dim sum places on the eastside were lack-luster, we were always up for checking out a new spot.

The only place on the eastside I would attempt dim sum was Top Gun; however, it also came with a high price tag especially when compare to my favorite place in the International District – Jade Garden.

The dim sum menu in Eastern Pearl was fairly small, with congees and soy milk listed as dim sum items as well.

We had shrimp dumplings, sticky rice, pork shu mai, bbq pork bun, soy skin wrap and tripe.

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The shrimp dumplings were surprisingly good, dare to say even better than Jade Garden’s.

However, the BBQ pork bun was dry on top with more bun than pork; the tripe was also dry on top.

Both the tripe and soy skin wrap were average but the price tag was extremely high.

Dim Sum were about $3.50 a plate, even more expensive than Top Gun.

With this quality of dim sum, it was not worth the money at all.

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We also got the sweet soy milk, thousand-year old egg and pork congee and the special pan-fried noodle.

The soy milk was average, and the congee was exceptionally tasty.

I would get to-go for their congee anytime – it was flavorful, smooth and creamy.

The pork was tender with generous amount of thousand-year old egg and pork in the congee.

The pan-fried noodle on the other hand was inedible.

It was super salty, and heavy on soy sauce flavor, which was not exactly authentic.

I was not impressed with their food.

Perhaps the restaurant would improve as they worked out their kinks from being newly opened.

Eastern Pearl on Urbanspoon

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Lardo and Vegucated

In Eating Out, Food, Food Media, Movie, North America, Travel Food on October 16, 2013 at 16:40

Doof Out

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On the way back from Portland, we stopped by Lardo for sandwiches.

I love this place.  Food is quick and good.

One of the great sandwiches around town.

I had their pork belly, pork shoulder and pork meat ball sandwiches before, which were all excellent albeit a little gut bomb.

I opted for a vegetarian sandwich which I never had at Lardo.

They had about 3-4 vegetarian sandwiches there which was a lot more than many other places had to offer.

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It was a chanterelle mushrooms sandwich with sunny side up egg, arugula and normally with cheese, which I got without.

The sandwich was delicious and the egg was well prepared with the runny egg yolk.

There was not as much flavors bursting in my mouth as their meat sandwiches.

Nonetheless a decent vegetarian option.

I shared the dirty fries with my friend, which consisted of parmesan, fresh sage, marinated hot peppers and most important pork scraps.

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It was such an indulgent.

The pork belly pieces were fried golden and crisp.

And it paired so well with the hot marinated peppers.

Lardo on Urbanspoon

Doof Media

Vegucated was a fun movie!

The vegan producer recruited 3 people for her 6-week “going vegan experiment”.

The producer started off with basic medical measurements at a doctor’s office for these folks: weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels.

She then introduced the 3 subjects to an array of vegan foods in the grocery store and ways to cook vegan.

Throughout the movie, they visited vegan conference, went to farms to see how animals were treated, obtained knowledge on how animals were slaughter.

The movie also candidly recorded the struggle of some of the subjects in going vegan: it was difficult to eat with their family; options were limited when they travelled outside of US.

Towards the end of the movie, the 3 folks got the final medical measurements.

As expected, they all lost weight, reduced their blood pressure and cholesterol.

Sample of three was hardly statistically sound; however, I love the fact that the film was able to focus in-depth of the 3 people who were embarking on a life changing journey – it was their experiences, their interactions with their families and friends.

The producer had followed up after 6 weeks as well to investigate whether the eating habits had stuck with the subjects.

One person really embraced it with their family, others were vegetarian and flexible.

My own experience of trying to eat less animal products have not been easy.

I see it as a win already that I am eating about a total of small palm size amount of meats or eggs (mostly in the form of seafood) everyday, and keeping up with my liquid dairy consumption to only twice a week (in the form of milk or ice cream).

I have been consistently having this limited animal product food consumption for about a month.

Strangely enough, the thought of consuming meat is not as compelling anymore.

Maybe the new habit will stick this time!

Forks Over Knives and Teas

In Food, Food Media, Food Product for Home, Movie on August 23, 2013 at 15:16

Doof Media

I enjoyed the movie “Forks over Knives“.  At times the facts were just plain scary.  The movie was a very sound reporting of 2 scientists’ (a surgeon and a nutritional scientist) research on the correlations of food and onset of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  The movie advocated a total plant-based diet, free of animal meats, eggs, milk and other dairy products.

I loved that the movie was fact-based; presented audience with both animal and human trial results.  It showed graphs and numbers from research that was done by the 2 scientists.  The most impressive was a massive China study that was done by the nutritional scientist, Dr. Campbell.  He collaborated with Chinese scientist to study the relationships between the occurrence of different chronic diseases and the specific diets of the regions.

Weaved into the movie was real life stories from patients of Dr. Esselstyn, the surgeon of the movie.  Dr. Esselstyn treated his patients, who had failed multiple by-passes and were critically ill, with plant-based diets.  Many of his patients did remarkably well, survived near death prognosis and were independent of drugs.

The most empowering part of the movie was in their findings.  At least for chronic heart diseases, the damages caused by meat diet in our bodies were reversible.

I have always believe in everything in moderation, eat healthy but still allow myself to indulge at times.  DH and I used to have one night of vegan a week.  With our house remodeling that practice was pushed to the side.  This movie definitely encouraged me to bring the practice back.  The movie ended up with a saying, “eat to live and not live to eat”.  I definitely fall in the later category.  Perhaps one step at a time, and one day will power may win!

Doof Home

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Continuing my quest to try different herbal teas available in grocery stores.  Came across the Good Earth Cool Mint tea.  I first had this during camping.  When I opened my thermos, really strong aromas other than mint oozed out.  A definite mismatch on product expectations!  That was when I realized there was more to the “Cool Mint”.  Sure enough, I capped the thermos again to keep the aroma in the head space and opened to smell surprisingly chocolate, almost bubble gum-like aromas (yes, the original pink bubble gum!), hazelnut with spearmint.

When I drank the tea, the flavor was mostly mint with a hint of bubble gum fruity.  The tea left a strong cooling sensation in the mouth which was very pleasant, with minty bubble gum flavor.  When I got home and read the box, the ingredients were peppermint, spearmint, chicory root (the likely chocolatey aroma), green rooibos, nutmeg, elderberries, peppermint oil (strong cooling sensation) and other natural flavors.

The tea was a surprise and tasted good.  I probably would not buy it again in the future as I would like to avoid added flavoring in my food and drink.

The Honeybush tea from Numi was simple and delicious.  I first had honeybush tea when I was working at the coffee giant.  I remembered it being a delicious tea but had not had any since then.

The aroma was honey, slight vanilla, a hint of pur-eh tea and a hint of rooibos tea.  There was slight sweetness naturally from the tea when I drank it and the flavor reminded me of diluted pur-eh with slight honey note and little smokiness.  This tea would become a member of my herbal tea rotation!

Cauliflower Salad (v2), Movie and Karma

In Food, Food Media, Home Creation, Karma, Movie on August 8, 2013 at 11:28

Doof Home

I have wine jelly that I never quite know what to do with, and decided to make a different dressing for the cauliflower salad.

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1 head of cauliflower, cut them in small pieces

3 small tomatoes, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp vinegar (I used a strawberry balsamic vinegar)

1 tbsp of capers

1 tbsp of wine jelly

black pepper

Bring water to boil.  Cook cauliflowers until boil.  Allow the vegetables to boil for another minute after they come to boil.

Drain vegetables and rinse with cold water.

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, wine jelly, capers and black pepper together.  Mush the capers to release flavor.

Toss cold vegetables and tomatoes with dressing.

 

Doof Media

Stumbled into “Hungry for change” on Netflix.  Turned out to be an informative and enjoyable film.  It consisted of series of responses from doctors, health food expert, nutritionist and people who had gone through diets.  In the beginning segment, the film talked about what were the bad food ingredients and what they did to our body.  Then, they talked about what foods were good for the body, including detox.  The part I liked most was that it explored the psychological and emotional roles in eating.

Some part of the movie felt a little repetitive, and a little fear-mongering.  All in all was a decent movie and it certainly brought a reminder to myself to eat better (even though I know better, sometimes I succumb to my craving for yummy food that are not necessarily good!)

 

Doof Karma

I am a supporter of Kiva.  It is a non-profit organization working on promoting and connecting lending opportunities for folks in poverty-stricken countries.  I have been involved with microloans through Kiva for more than 5 years and just re-lend the same money that I put in 5 years ago to other parties in need.  I like the fact that I can read about who I choose to lend to and in which sector of the industry these folks are in.  My passion is food, and I focus on lending to folks in agriculture or food.  Kiva also provides information on risk ratings of the field partners on the loan receiving end.  As lenders, we can decide how much risk we want to be involved.

I like the idea of microloan as I feel it is a sustainable way to help someone getting on their feet or through rough times.  The recipients are doing earnest hard work.  I see the money I put in as donation which I have to manage occasionally (when folks pay lenders back, lenders can decide what to do with their money again!  There is the choice that a lender can withdraw money when he/she does not want to lend anymore).

Food Truck, A Place at the Table

In Eating Out, Food, Food Media, Movie on July 18, 2013 at 18:23

Doof out

Crossroad mall in Bellevue, WA will be having a food truck event “Food Truck Showdown” on July 23 from 4-7pm.   Very exciting!  It is small event featuring Buns, Lupia World, Waffle Wagon etc, with a total of 7 trucks.

Doof media

Finished watching “A place at the table”.  It is a documentary on hunger in America.  The movie nicely lay out flaws in the food stamp program and showing poverty as the primary contributor to hunger through the lives of a couple families.  The movie does a good job bringing up a problem that is easily overlook in our abundant society.

Doof Home

Smoothie of the day: carrot, kale, chard, watermelon, strawberries and banana