5 Things I Didn't Know Before I Moved to USA

5 Things I Didn't Know Before I Moved to USA
In retrospect at my one-year stay in the United States of America

Carousel near food court INSIDE an outlet mall!
In the initial days here I compared everything, from places to prices, to what I was familiar with back home in Bangkok.  Every other weekend my husband took me shopping to the bigger main department stores and retail stores around, at times to shopping centers, and sometimes to Galleria and NorthPark, the upscale shopping malls in Dallas.  I realize I actually could have saved hundreds of the thousands of bucks I’ve splurged so far if I’d gone to the smaller off-price department stores instead like Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Big Lots, and outlet stores, thrift stores, or surplus warehouses for certain items.  I didn't know about it, so people, here’s what I’m telling you: if you don’t think shopping from cheaper stores is shameful – shop at those off-price or discount department stores and save some money.

10-Minute Cook: Tamatar - Palak (Tomato & Spinach) Sabzi

“Are you really going to cook within 10 minutes or should I order pizza?” my hungry husband asks in a ‘dhamki’ (intimidating) tone.  Especially when he sees house in a mess, no signs of dinner on table, and it appears like I have been on internet all day.  A hungry man is an angry man. 

Tamatar-Palak ki Sabzi, my go-to 5-minute recipe
And I am a bored-of-eating-pizza-again woman.  So here’s what I do within the 10 minutes:

Places to visit in Bangkok, Things to do in Bangkok

Seeing the interest readers showed after the previous post Planning a Trip to Thailand, here is my take on part one of places to see in Bangkok and things to do in Bangkok.  In the land of smiles.


If it’s a 3-4 day visit to Bangkok, you have options of:
a) spending a whole day at one place (which may be a bit far but unique & worth visiting), or
b) visiting some places although near but may require a whole day trip, or
c) combine 2-3 places together within a day, as per their locations and your interest.

Pressure Cooking 101: How to cook lentils in a pressure cooker

pressure cooker with different style lids
Pressure Cookers
Pressure cooker saves a lot of time and energy.  Your time and cooking time.  Your energy and electrical energy/gas.  

But I have observed that some people are either apprehensive about using pressure cookers or don’t exactly know how to use it.  Cooking lentils in an open pot or slow cooker takes hours and is a sheer waste of time for something that a pressure cooker can cook within an hour.

This post is for the beginners to help understand how to cook lentils (dals) in a pressure cooker.  These are the exact questions I had when I started to learn cooking (and picked my mom’s brains), and hope this will help someone new to get comfortable with the basics of pressure cooking lentils.

(Click here for cooking lentils WITHOUT a pressure cooker.  And not just lentils, you can use a pressure cooker to cook many other things, for example watch my video how to cook rice in a pressure cooker and how to parboil potatoes in a pressure cooker, both at the same time)

Food Photography: Makeshift Props on a Budget – By a Beginner, For the Beginner, Part 2

Another food photography post, as promised after the previous (Food Photography: Light), was long overdue.  But a comment today triggered me to write one.  Because while all the “great clicks” and “looks tempting” type of comments blinds your eyes, there comes a person who opens them, pushing you to do better.

With all due respect to the realistic commenter who gave her constructive criticism (about my photos not being as good as another blogger's), there are some things about comparing one blogger’s food photography with another, that as an amateur food photographer I’d like to share.  I know it’s normal to compare, but there are several factors that make a difference.  Props collection and creative vision, for starters.

Moong ki Dal - Whole Green Mung Bean

I did not write a single recipe down and bring with me – nor from my mom, neither from my mother-in-law, when I moved to US.  I don’t know what I was thinking at that time.  May be depended too much on internet and phone, but overlooked the time zone differences when I had to call at the time of need.  So November last year I asked my mom to e-mail me recipes using Moong Dal because I was bored of (until I started adding variety to it) eating the same Toor Dal and Chana Dal (yellow lentils) every day.
Sabut Moong ki Dal

Planning a trip to Thailand?

I received that e-mail from my cousin to help him plan his trip to Thailand.  After growing up in Bangkok for some 14 years, after traveling around the country and after taking several relatives around the city – I knew no one else could help him better.  Then I figured I should also share my suggestions and tips here for people having similar questions.

Bharwan Bhindi ki Sabzi | Lady's Finger, My Weapon

I have figured out my husband’s weakness that I can now use to my advantage.  I’m imagining all the ways that I can get him to do what I want, and how the secret cruel person in me can torture him now.  How I can now at least use the other kind of lady’s fingers as my weapon and make him my slave.

Okay, I think I’m getting carried away.  But after I figured how my hubby really, really, like, really loves lady’s fingers (ahem, also known as Okra / Bhindi), I don’t know why I’ve been having crazy thoughts.

Stuffed Okra Masala - Bharvan Bhindi Sabji - Stuffed Lady's Fingers Recipe

Giveaway # 1: Cupcake Carrier Bake n' Take {closed}

I was super excited when I won the Scharffenberger gift hamper and the Joy of Cooking book as giveaways.  And now, it’s my turn to give back the love to the world that has been given to me and my blog.

So here’s my Giveaway # 1:  Cupcake Carrier
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