Dim Sum Yum & Vintage Fiestaware Finds


So the last couple times hubby and I have been to Durham, something has been missing.


I haven’t been getting my occasional dim sum fix! And you guys know how I feel about dim sum. ;) So, this weekend I managed to talk hubby’s family into visiting my Durham-fave – Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant.

Have you guys ever tried dim sum? I’m thinking of writing a pocket-guide or how-to for dim-sum-newbies. It is a bit intimidating if you don’t know the ropes. But, I’d be happy to help you navigate your first experience with confidence.


I always get hot tea with my dim sum. But if you can’t drink hot tea without sugar, you may want to skip it. Hot tea here is served sans sugar.


We normally go to the restaurant right at opening, but hubby and his brother were watching the new X-Men at 10:30am. So, we met at the restaurant at 1pm.

Normally, I have to wait for one of my faves – roast pork bun, but today, since we were there later, we got it first!


And though I normally get Chinese broccoli, we decided to try something new for our veg – baby bok choy. Aren’t they cute?


Yes…cute…and tasty!


Another fave of mine – har gow (shrimp dumpling).


And with a couple more orders, our lazy Susan was really filling up.


Sticky rice (I usually either get this or the lotus leaf version).


And hubby’s brother requested this tofu, which was really tasty (never seen this one before!).


At this point, I was pretty much done. lol But we still ordered a couple more things for hubby and his fam…


Fried shrimp/crab balls.


Spring rolls (I never eat these at dim sum since they’re so readily available at every.single.Chinese restaurant – why waste the stomach space when you can try something new?), but hubby loves them, so he got them.


And another hubby fave – calamari. I must admit, they have a wonderful calamari here, though I still only end up eating a couple small bites.


And for dessert, I split these sesame balls for dessert with hubby’s mom.


I’m totally eying this for next time – hot/cold soybean milk! I wonder if they make it themselves here? That would be cool!

This little Durham dim sum restaurant is turning into a favorite. The food is always wonderful and the servers are so helpful and nice. :)


After lunch, I went with hubby’s mom to a consignment shop. As we started browsing the goods outside, they stepped out to tell us they weren’t open, but they were still working and to let us know if we saw anything. Since there were a couple baskets of plateware, I had to take a look.


And wouldn’t you know my eye was drawn right to a brilliant, TCL-blue plate at the bottom of a heap of (beat-up) glassware.


Turns out it was a cup and saucer of vintage fiestaware! And upon inquiry of the price, I found out there were 2 more sets, plus 4 plates! Shibby! :)


I also scored a small pink Depression bowl.


Yes, only I would manage to purchase stuff from a closed consignment shop. lol. Actually, hubby’s mom bought the plate-goodies for me. Thanks!


Hubby and I came home, packed up and headed home. We had grand plans to grill out, but we got rained out instead by a giant storm with lots of scary lightning. We’re planning to raincheck the meal for Monday night. Instead of BBQ, we had pizza.


Do you like to shop at thrift/consignment shops? What do you look for there?

Glowing Bride + Groom


Hubby and I had the pleasure of attending one of his oldest friends’ wedding in Raleigh this weekend.


I got some really awesome photos of the couple on the dance floor thanks to some wonderful natural light.

But stepping back…


Hubby and I headed to Durham Saturday morning with Bailey in tow.


We stopped at Panera on the way to get get lunch. I opted for a salad entree to get 2 servings of veg, since I wasn’t sure how much there would be at the wedding, and I was trying to get my 3 for the day for Project Veg-Up.


(me and hubby’s mom)

After a couple hours of downtime at hubby’s mom’s house, we got glammed up to head to the wedding!


The guests were given ice cold water – one plain and one with fruit – to sip on during the wedding…


…which was outdoors.


The weather was hot, but so beautiful! Look at that green grass and those blue skies!


With Project Veg-Up still on my mind, I was extra happy to see the wide assortment of fruits at the pre-party before the reception. I always love fruit platters, but I really dug into this one, filling my plate with watermelon, pineapple, melon, and strawberries – lots of my faves.


The reception room was gorgeous. I loved the tall windows and all the natural light.


We had table #9.

This was possibly my first wedding where I didn’t know anyone but hubby and his mom (my MIL is great friends with the parents of the groom). Luckily, we had some really cool peeps at our table. :)


I loved the cute story behind the couple’s Scrabble-themed favors.


And soon enough, the couple came out for their first dance.


The lighting was awesome and made the bride and groom look like they were glowing!


Aren’t they cute?


For eats, we had salads…


…and I had the prime rib with mashed potatoes and crisp tender green beans.


Plus this times 2. ;)


After some dancing (where I may or may not have led the wedding in Cupid Shuffle, Zumba-instructor style lol ;) ), we called it a night and gave our best to the happy couple.


And another fun play on a wedding tradition – the couple opted for wedding “Guest Libs” (like “Mad Libs”). Neat!

Congrats Bryan and Brie!


Like The Chic Life? Click here to get free updates (via email or RSS)! Or click the Facebook Like button. ;) Thanks guys!


What’s the most unique guest book you’ve seen at a wedding?

Azucar Dancing + Macaron Tour


Did you know Friday was National Doughnut day? I found that out on twitter and didn’t bother verifying with a google search. I mean, do I really need a valid reason to enjoy a doughnut? I think not.


After my lazy-man’s gourmet lunch, hubby and I split this Texas doughnut.

I really wanted to bake some doughnuts, especially considering I’ve now had a doughnut pan ready for baking for a couple months now. Maybe I’ll try it out next weekend?


Anywho, my friend Sarah came over for dinner.


Since hubby and I were going out of town, we didn’t do anything crazy – just tacos. But we did use grass-fed beef. And hubby had gotten an assortment of toppings from a salad bar a day or so before, but by the time we were ready to eat the tacos, it looked bad. So, we just enjoyed some fresh pieces of organic red bell pepper for our veg serving.


And Sarah and I split a banana for a last fruit serving of the day.

Project Veg-Up Score for Day #3:

  • veg: 3
  • fruit: 2

Woot! :)


Then, she and I headed out to a local Caribbean celebration – Azucar.


I signed up to do a demo with my Zumba company.


I had no idea there would be so many people in the audience. I think there were at least a thousand people there?! My stage fright kicked right in, but I was confident I’d be ok to dance on stage with eight other of my fellow Zumba instructors.

I was right. Everything went great, and I had so much fun! We did two of our most popular Zumba dances on stage and the crowd loved us! Maybe I’m getting over my stage fright after all?


Post demo, we were super hot from dancing under all those hot-hot stage lights!


We cooled off with mojitos. The mint was perfectly refreshing.


And then a group of us headed to Amelie’s for some sweets.


Sarah and I did a macaron tour by eating one of each flavor. We decided to go in order from what we thought would be the “worst” to the best: lemon, orange, mixed berry, and raspberry. The order was spot on. If only they had pistachio!

Macaron cheers! *clink*

Reader Question #1: Did you celebrate doughnut day? What kind of doughnut did you enjoy?

Reader Question #2: Have you ever done a “food or drink tour” like our macaron tour? What did you eat/drink?

Lazy Lunch: Easy BBQ Tempeh and Tangy Power Greens


Feeling lazy, but want to eat something dee-lish? Then read on for a high-ROI (where investment=cook time) meal you can enjoy any day – BBQ Tempeh and Tangy Power Greens Recipes.

On Friday, I enjoyed one of my favorite lunches of recent times. As I started wondering about lunch, I had no idea what to eat. But, I knew I had some homemade BBQ sauce, tempeh, and swiss chard in the garden. I also had some kale on its last legs in the fridge. I wanted to make use of what I already had on hand, but I was already really hungry. So, lunch had to come together quickly and easily. This meal would turn out to be a wonderful surprise in ease and deliciousness.

BBQ Tempeh and Tangy Power Greens Recipes

After doing so well kicking off my day with lots of veg (spinach and onion in that tasty dill-egg-scramble), I knew I wanted to get a great serving of vegetables with lunch.

BBQ Tempeh and Tangy Power Greens Recipes

I have had swiss chard getting bigger and bigger in my garden for awhile, so I decided to pluck some leaves from that plant. I also knew I had some kale (from the farmer’s market the week before) in the fridge. I combined the two for a powerhouse-combination of great greens. Some chopped onions chillin in the freezer would be a quick addition to add instant flavor.

Tangy Power Greens

Want a quick and easy vegetable side? This combination of nutritious greens come together in less than 10 minutes and without the need of blanching. Use frozen, chopped onions (a staple in the TCL house) to shorten the prep time. Multiply the recipe, as needed, for a larger serving size.

Serves 2


  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8-1/4 chopped onion (I used frozen for convenience, but you can fresh-chop some)
  • 6 cups packed greens (I used swiss chard and curly kale, but spinach and other greens that don’t require blanching would work)
  • 1/4 cup broth/stock or water (I used water since I didn’t have any broth, but broth/stock would be more flavorful)
  • 4 sprays of Braggs liquid amino, optional
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Pre-heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook till translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add greens and water and cook till wilted, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Spray in Braggs, add apple cider vinegar and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute to bring flavors together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve with BBQ tempeh (recipe follows).

BBQ Tempeh and Tangy Power Greens Recipes
BBQ Tempeh and Tangy Power Greens Recipes
BBQ Tempeh and Tangy Power Greens Recipes

I snacked on tortilla chips whilst whipping this dish up. Before serving, I used some smaller broken pieces to garnish the top. Pretty and tasty!



BBQ Tempeh Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
BBQ Tempeh couldn’t be easier. The flavor is best when combined with homemade BBQ sauce, but the bottled kind will work just as well. This is the easiest way I’ve ever prepared tempeh before, and it packs a lot of flavor with very little effort. Talk about high ROI!
Serves: 2
  1. Combine tempeh and BBQ sauce in a bowl. Gently stir to coat all sides of tempeh slices. Marinate for 5-10 minutes (while you prep the greens for the previous recipe)
  2. Heat oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook till each side is golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  3. Serve with Tangy Power Greens (previous recipe). Enjoy!
Time-saving tip: Marinate the tempeh while you prep the greens for the previous recipe.

Note: Feel free to marinate your tempeh longer for extra flavor – from 1 hour to overnight.
Related Posts with Thumbnails