Although Fall doesn’t quite exist in Florida like most Northern States we still really enjoy this season. The temperature in Orlando has actually dropped a bit and if we go outside very early in the morning we can almost feel “Fall”… LOL.
Colder temperature always translate to soupy/brothy dishes for me. Yesterday for lunch I decided to recreate the Alphabet Beef Soup that are typically served with the 7 courses of Beef (Bò 7 Món). I first had it years ago at a Vietnamese restaurant in Southern CA that specialized in Bò 7 Món. The 7th course of beef is Beef Congee or Cháo Bò which are cooked with rice. But because your stomach gets pretty full after the 6th course that rice congee might not be very appetizing. So I think instead some restaurants opt to serve this Beef Soup with the Alphabet Pasta (I could be totally wrong here… LOL). It’s just a small amount of pasty cover by a ton of flavorful ground beef broth. I love the warming taste and the kids love it because they saw the alphabets floating in the bowl. It becomes a fun meal!
You don’t have to use IP to make this dish but it does make it easy not having to “babysit” the pot. I hope you will give this kid-friendly recipe a try!
Our kitchen reno was completed about 6 months or so ago but I haven’t yet share the final update with you. When we bought the house in Summer 2019 we felt in love with the backyard but definitely not other parts particularly the kitchen which were original to the house. We knew we would have to do a reno sooner or later. After using the kitchen for 2 months I had enough! I kinda told my husband if we don’t do this now I’d move… LOL. There was very little storage and the sink was as tiny as can be.
So we started the design process with a cabinet company shortly after that. Like with any home renovation there were so many unexpected issues along the way especially when you start to open up walls. For our small kitchen we only wanted to remove a tiny pantry wall to make room for more cabinets. Little did we know that tiny wall had pluming pipes from the upstairs guest bath hidden inside. Weeks of delay and some more money spent later we were able to route those pipes to the back wall. The other unexpected issue was our AC went out completely while we were trying to figure out the plumbing problem. Oh my goodness at this point we felt like we were on some sort of home renovation show on HGTV! A few more thousands dollar later we got ourselves a new AC unit as well.
There were a few other delays with measurements so we had to wait for new cabinets to come in. The entire process took over 6 months (seriously it did!). We ate very poorly during this time as you can imagine. Most days we had carryout and delivery. It was painful to say the least but the result was well worth it! Would I do it all over again? Heck yeah! The pictures below speak for themselves. Our modern farmhouse kitchen was a success. We got everything we wanted and more!
Here are some upgrades in this new kitchen:
33″ Prohs Fireclay Single Bowl Sink with Apron Front – Pretty much we got the biggest size possible! This is the highlight of the kitchen and my favorite spot! This sink is the easiest to clean and very difficult to scratch. It’s heavy so the installer had to put extra support on the bottom. Absolutely no complaints from me. I highly recommend it over a stainless steel farmhouse sink for its look and durability.
36″ Samsung Induction Cooktop – We never had induction cooktop in any kitchens before so it was a bit of a splurge. There was a period of learning curve as things were spilling over because it heated up way too fast! But we can boil water in less than a minute now, unbelievable right? There are pros and cons to induction but overall, we love it now that we are used to it.
36″ ZLine Steel/Glass Hood – The hood is a focal point of the kitchen. This thing is so powerful I have no problem deep frying fish inside the house… LOL.
Quart Countertop – Everyone is going quartz so we did too and was mainly because of the options to match the white cabinets. We wanted a white kitchen so granite wasn’t going to do it.
Seeded Glass Doors – We wanted 2 set of glass doors on the top cabinets to provide balance and a bit of modernness to the kitchen. I know I cannot keep the kitchen organized all the time so going with a clear glass style would be too painful. The designer recommended seeded glass doors for Farmhouse style kitchen. They are so pretty I must say!!!
Here are some before photos of the kitchen from when we first saw the house:
Some photos of the messy process:
And here are the after photos!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know if you have any questions!
If you have been following my blog you’d know my family loves vegetarian food! I grew up eating many delicious dishes with meat substitute. Vegetarian food to me doesn’t mean lack of flavor or taste. It means to simply find an alternative way to make the same dish without the meat/bone component. So far I have posted a few noodle soup dishes that are vegetarian such as Bun Hue Chay or Pho Chay. Today I’m sharing with you one of our favorite Vietnamese Rolls that are vegetarian, Bò Bía Chay!
Bò Bía Roll is a very popular street food in Vietnam which consist of sausage, jicama and egg slices along with lettuce/herbs. In this vegetarian version, we simply replacing the sausage protein with fried tofu. My family loves Bò Bía whether it’s vegetarian or not. It tastes refreshing with the different herbs and has an addictive crunchy texture with the jicama/carrot and peanuts. If you like Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Spring Rolls) you should give this one a try! You can have Bo Bia as a main dish (everyone rolls their own) or make a few as an appetizer to go with Pho and such.
Hope everyone is staying safe. It’s such a weird and difficult time that we are in but this too shall pass!
I like to once in awhile update recipes on here especially the ones that I mass posted when I started the blog. Some I changed the seasoning and for others I revised the techniques as I gain more experience with the IP. Vietnamese Porridge and Shredded Chicken Salad was one of those. For it, I updated the recipe with both cook time and seasoning method (to omit soup base). The ingredients can be easily found at your local stores or online wherever you shop. I also changed the dressing for the Gà Xé Phay (Chicken Salad). Hope you will give this one a try!
Since I started this blog, I got numerous requests on how to make Vietnamese Fish Sauce Mixture (NƯỚC MẮM PHA). I finally now got a chance to share this with you. This is my Mom’s recipe and have been loved by many. In our house we almost always have a jar in the fridge ready for any dishes that calls for it. It’s very convenient to have it prepared ahead of time. I just pour out the amount that I need and add minced garlic and chili. It’s served with so many Vietnamese dishes including spring rolls/fish rolls, egg rolls, rice plates, cold vermicelli noodles such as the infamous one with grilled pork… etc.
NƯỚC MẮM PHA is very mild and sweet since the ratio of fish sauce to water/vinegar is very low. The pungent smell of fish sauce is almost no longer there! This is because the mixture get boiled for a few minutes. The strong smell of fish sauce is removed in the process.
I recommend to use this recipe as a base and adjust according to your taste.
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