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.
Salty Sow has quickly become one of our favorite happy hour locations. As they advertise themselves, Salty Sow is an American Gastropub that serves contemporary farmhouse fare located fairly near campus on Manor Road.
As we get ready to leave Gansu, it's inevitable that we pass through the city of Dunhuang, which is a city right on the edge of the province. Strategically located at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road and the main road leading from India, Dunhuang also controls the entrance into the heart of China.
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.
Gansu was, to me, the best part of our adventure along the Silk Road. Lying between the Tibetan and the Huangtu plateau, Gansu is incredibly dry (so bring lotion!) yet contains so many treasures that attest to the power, beauty and reputation of China during the days of the Silk Road.
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.
Next up along the Silk Road is Qinghai Province (formerly known as Kokonor). Although fourth-largest in size, Qinghai is the third-to-last of all provinces population-wise.
This recipe is one of my favorites: it's my attempt to replicate the famous Auntie Anne's softest cinnamon sugar pretzels. It's a pretty simple recipe too -- and hopefully will satisfy your cinnamon sugar pretzel needs.
The past 4 years have been wonderful to us. They were filled with joys, change and professional as well as personal development, and I wouldn’t change these years in any way.
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.