to the freshman-year me

Today I start my first day of my PhD program halfway across the country -- halfway from my friends, my family, my partner and best friend, and the place I called home for more than 20 years. I came to UT, to Austin, not knowing really what to expect, but knowing that in four years, I was going to come out older, hopefully smarter, and a bit wiser. Four years later, I'm definitely older, smarter at studying, and I'd like think -- a tad wiser too.

recipe: quick and easy chinese wonton soup

Wontons are a classic Chinese dumpling variation: instead of like their semi-circle cousins, wontons are made from a square wrapper and usually have less filling (but of course, this just means you can eat more of them in one sitting). They're literally a soul-warming meal, especially if you eat them alongside the hot soup, with a generous dollop of spicy chili crisps and green onions.

austin: lin’s asian bar + dim sum

Dim sum is a huge part of Chinese (especially Southwest Chinese) culture -- there's early morning dim sum, afternoon dim sum, late night dim sum, so growing up, we were always on the lookout for good dim sum in the area. Here in Austin, there aren't that many places that have good, authentic dim sum, but fortunately, Lin's is one of those few.

recipe: custardy goat cheese eggs

Goat cheese in eggs - now that just sounds like heresy, doesn’t it? And I’m not gonna lie - this dish is odd at first bite; however, this is a good first impression. Each bite invites you further into the food and you accelerate your curiosity until you’ve destroyed the dish and feel satisfied beyond any initial wonderment.