Upon thinking about a name for my blog, I wanted it to represent my family and first exposure to my passion for food and cooking; therefore, I decided on a Vietnamese phrase used frequently at the dinner table.

Xin mời ăn, approximately pronounced “seen muh-y an,” is a phrase said at the beginning of a meal to invite diners to eat with you. It is something we say to our elders, friends, and guests. In that sense, it is used very much like the French phrase bon appétit.

Although I was born in Thailand, my family is from Vietnam. For you history buffs out there, my family was part of the huge wave of emigrants that left Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. I grew up in Maryland surrounded by a big and loving family. Despite everyone’s busy schedules, we all managed to get together every weekend for a home-cooked meal. Some of my fondest childhood memories were from those family gatherings. I learned, then, that the kitchen is where the family’s heart resides.

I later moved to New York City to attend university. After graduating from NYU, I began my career in finance at a Wall Street bank. I moved to London a few years later looking for a change of scenery. Two very important events took place in my life while in London: I resigned from the bank to start a career in education, and I met my husband, Michael. We both moved to New York City the following year and have been here ever since!

I love to eat, cook, travel, and entertain! I, by no means, have any professional training in the culinary arts; however, I always had a passion for food and cooking. I have been cooking since I was eight years old by watching my grandmother, mother, and aunts in the kitchen. Naturally, the first dish I ever made was Vietnamese (no, it wasn’t phở!). That’s right, I was a master of fish sauce by age ten! :)

It wasn’t until the last four years, however, that I truly started to be serious about cooking, entertaining, and experimenting with recipes to reflect my own style. Despite a long day at work, I couldn’t wait to get into my kitchen to try another recipe! I found my biggest frustration was the recipes were usually portioned for more people (I’m only cooking for Michael and myself) and required too much time. Who has hours after work to make a home-cooked meal?!

So, I started this blog to share recipes that are for everyday cooking for two. Most of them are true to my style of cooking – lots of flavor in little prep time. I occasionally include recipes that require more time, but they are usually for special events such as holidays or dinner parties. For you dinner party hosts out there, make sure to check out Table Settings for some ideas!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope that you try and enjoy the recipes!