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May, 2010

Food Alert: LOO HOOS!! YUM!

My best friend recently put me in touch with Cindy Liu, founder, CEO and chef of LooHoo’s Inc – Asian Comfort Food. Cindy’s budding food company is based in Ventura County here in SoCal and my friend asked if I might be interested in helping spread the word about LooHoo’s via my blogger friends. Cindy had the great idea to host a tasting party and taste we DID! I’m really thrilled to share my LooHoo’s experience with you and I hope those of you who are locals will partake in her super yum food.

The evening started out with a specially created Mom Blogger’s Lychee Martini. It was the perfect way to start off a night of stuffing our faces and socializing. Light, cold and slightly sweet – it went down almost a little too easily and made me wish I hadn’t driven so I could have more. Sigh…
Next, Cindy went to work steaming up some amazing, handmade dumplings (or pot stickers). We had three varieties: The Veggie, LooHoo’s Original (pork) and Cindy’s own original recipe, The Mondu Twist (Korean style with kimchee)! The latter were my personal favorite. LooHoo’s dumpling sauce is made from scratch and it’s fresh and light, unlike so many Chinese dumpling sauces which can lean toward the syrupy side.
Then, onto the noodles! We were treated to two entree noodle dishes:
Summer Cold Noodle Salad which was made with yaki soba noodles
Spicy Thai Red Curry Noodles which can be made with good old spaghetti noodles!
Both noodle dishes were delicious and so easy to make. Also the kind of meals that are affordable and crowd pleasing for people with kids. Cindy paired the noodles with a chilled riesling and it was a perfect combo for a springtime, outdoor deck dinner.
Of course we wrapped up the evening with something sweet. Now, I was not raised in an Asian household and I have to admit, I don’t care for most Asian desserts. The idea of eating red beans as a sweet still doesn’t do it for me. But I was really happy when Cindy announced she had made a coconut sticky rice and mango for dessert. I’ve had this in Thai restaurants before and it really is yummy.

Some of the other women were saying it seemed weird to eat rice for dessert, but somehow, it got all gobbled up! I don’t like mango by itself, but there’s something about the total combination of mango, sticky rice and sweet coconut sauce that is to die for. If you’ve never tried this dessert, you’re missing out and LooHoo’s is the best I’ve ever had.

Aside from the obvious factors of the food being delicious and freshly made for us, there are some company facts that make me love Loo Hoo’s even more. LooHoo’s is committed to using premium ingredients and supports the local economy by engaging in sustainable and scalable business practices. Now who doesn’t dig THAT?!
The tasting party was a great success and so much fun. My only regret is that I didn’t wear my Pajama Jeans so I could eat more. I know we can’t all be as lucky as the small group of bloggers who got to be there for this exclusive get together, but the good news is LooHoo’s caters and will customize a menu that is perfect for your special occasion. The easiest way to find Cindy and her delicious LooHoo’s cuisine each week is at the farmer’s market:
Every Thursday 1:30-6:30pm:
At The Oaks Mall
Every Sunday 8am-noon:
Valencia, Santa Clarita
Eventually, Cindy would like LooHoo’s to be in grocery stores! With her can-do attitude, her great business background and most importantly, delicious creations, it won’t be long before you can take LooHoo’s home right from the grocer’s freezer or refrigerated section. Let’s support LooHoo’s to help make this dream a reality for Cindy.

Until then, I’ll see you at the farmer’s market and on LooHoo’s Facebook fan page. Happy eating and THANK YOU Cindy Liu of LooHoo’s!

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May, 2010

You'll Laugh, You'll Cry: Two Documentary Reviews

I love documentaries and I recently had the opportunity to see two awesome documentaries and I hope you will check them out too!

The first film I saw was the much hyped and super adorable, Babies. The fine people at mPRm Public Relations extended an invite for an early screening and I jumped at the chance. I had seen the trailer a few times and couldn’t wait for my chance to see it. And this is coming from a mom who is NOT a baby person!

I’m pleased to report that the documentary is as enjoyable and smile inducing as the trailer. Unless you’re a baby hater, I don’t know how one could not enjoy this film, however I do think parents will enjoy this film the most.

Through the static lens of the camera, director Thomas Balmes shows us the lives of four new humans in four different cultures – Mongolia, Namibia, Japan and the US (San Francisco). It is a true documentary, void of narration or backstory, as the director simply lets the babies’ actions speak for themselves. There’s really not much more too it as far as the description goes, but some the moments he and his crew manage to capture on film are truly breathtaking.

If this film taught me anything as a mother, it’s to stop worrying so much about my child’s development and to avoid overstimulating her. Yes, I live in Los Angeles and my daughter is growing up in a highly competitive and faced-paced environment. It’s important for her to keep up, but it’s just as important for her to just be sometimes. To let children be children. Aside from cultural differences, babies are same all over the world and this film does a beautiful job at displaying the universal truths of human nature.
Documentary number two was In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee – the follow up film to Deann Borshay Liem’s, First Person Plural. Deann is a fellow Korean adoptee and has become a personal friend over the years, but I assure you, even if you have no connection to the Korean adoptee community, you will find her story fascinating. I saw this particular screening as a part of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

The brief backstory (without any spoilers) of Deann’s life, is that she was switched for another girl during the time of her adoption from Korea to the United states in the 1960s and told by Korean social workers not to reveal her true identity. The adoption was finalized and her adoptive, American family believed they were receiving the girl they had sponsored from abroad for so many years – Cha Jung Hee. In Liem’s first documentary, she tells the story of her adoption, her upbringing in California and the discovery of her falsified identity. It is in this first film that she goes in search of her true birth family in Korea.

In Liem’s new documentary, which isn’t a true sequel, but a companion or follow-up film, Liem battles cultural red tape and social barriers of Korea on a search for the woman who’s identity she has had almost her entire life – Cha Jung Hee. Honestly, I don’t want to say much more because the story is so compelling and one that she tells best. Furthermore, she tells her story with such candor and even humor, baring her emotions throughout the process so that you may take the journey with her, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

While I believe viewing her earlier documentary, First Person Plural, beforehand offers a richer viewing experience, it is not necessary as Deann does cover the backstory of her adoption in the 2nd film. To learn more about her films and especially to make a donation to help fund her next documentary, Memories of Forgotten War , visit her production company’s site, MuFilms.org.

Happy movie watching! Have you seen any great ones lately?! Please let me know. I’m dying to see Food Inc.

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May, 2010

And the Bandai Winner Is...

…Kevin from Groton, CT! I’m so happy to send the Bandai toy package to this awesome super fan and faithful Facebook friend!

Thanks for Random.org for helping me determine the winner. I hope to have another giveaway drawing soon, so please check back for more fun stuff!

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day and showed love and appreciation for the moms in your life.

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