Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seattle Hmong New Year

Sami will be at the Seattle Hmong New Year selling Cooking From the Heart, the Hmong Kitchen in America. Please stop by our booth to see the book meet Sami. Mention our Web site and receive a discount!

Washington Hmong New Year 2009

Hosted by Hmong Association of Washington and Eastside Hmong Association
November 7th, 10 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Seattle Center

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yum, yum, yum!

Over the weekend, we got together with old friends in Portland and shared seven of our favorite dishes. Kathleen Bauer, a food blogger and writer, and Motoya Nakamura, a photographer from the Oregonian were with us all day to capture the event for an article in the Oregonian's Food Day Section.

We served Trout Salad with Vermicelli Noodles and Sweet and Tangy Sauce, Stuffed Tofu Soup, Grilled Beef Larb, Grilled Chicken with Hmong Barbecue Sauce, Stir-Fried Bitter Melon Vines, Stir-Fried Yard Long Green Beans, Coconut Gelatin with Tropical Fruit and fresh steamed (the Hmong way) Jasmine Rice.

Our job now is to make sure the recipes we pass along to the newspaper are accurate representations of the food we served. As is always true with Hmong cooking, we let creativity be our guide, and some of the dishes had touches that are not exactly what are in our book. So... back to work!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Book Sales are Great

We really have something to celebrate - Cooking From the Heart has sold over 2,000 copies to date. It is ranked # 7 in the top 25 books from public university presses this week at booksXYZ.com, and it was The University of Minnesota Press's #1 Amazon seller.

Sami will talk about her journey as a writer at "OWC (Oregon Writers Colony) Presents!" this Monday evening, August 24, 7:00 p.m. at Looking Glass Bookstore in the Sellwood neighborhood (7983 SE 13th Ave - next to Grand Central Bakery). There will be Hmong snacks as well as her presentation called, "Notes From an Unlikely Author."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TurnHere Video

Check out our TurnHere video. This three and a half minute video is the product of a four-hour taping session at Sheng's house. Filmed and produced by a talented videographer, Lucinda Chrisman. Look closely at the group shot to see Sami's husband, Don, and two of Sheng's sisters, Der and "Little Sami," as well as Sheng's daughter, Angie and daughter-in-law, MaiKia. Those very cute little kids are Skyler and Alexis. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sacramento Event

Last night, the Hmong professional community of Sacramento gathered at the Majestic Restaurant in support of Cooking from the Heart. The place was jam-packed. Sheng looked radiant in a mocha colored cocktail dress and Sami could not stop smiling. It was a special evening with speeches, a five-course, dinner, great music and dancing. The Avid Reader Bookstore was on hand to sell books and Sami and Sheng signed them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Publicity Tour

Saturday was another jam-packed day for us. First we went to the KARE channel 11 studio in Minneapolis for a live television interview. Then we spent two hours at the Mill City Farmer's market singing books. Our last appearance was at the Roseville Barns and Noble store were we talked about writing the book and provided samples of the herbs used in Hmong cooking to a crowd of about 30 people. Our customers are young Hmong women who thank us for giving them a written record of the food they grew up with and love, and other people, from all kinds of cultural backgrounds, who have eaten Hmong food and want to know how to cook it, or are curious about a new cuisine.

This morning we are feeling a little tired, but extremely gratified.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cooking with Lynne Rossetto Kasper

So much to tell you! So many wonderful events and people here in the Twin Cities. We spent the morning with Lynne Rossetto Kasper and her crew, chopping, toasting, steaming and EATING together. Chicken Larb, steamed sticky rice, and hot chili condiment were on the menu. Lynne made us feel totally at home in her Saint Paul kitchen.
Pictured: Producer, Sally Swift, Sheng, Lynne, and Sami in front of the lilacs in Lynne's back yard. Our segment will air on The Splendid Table in July.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wisconsin State Journal Article

Here is the Wisconsin State Journal piece on our book. 77 Square is the paper's A&E section.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From Sheng...

As the book is finally here - both Sami and I are thrilled and so proud of ourselves. What a journey for us - we been waiting for this moment. We feel a lot of excitement, but at the same time we are nervous as we plan events to launch to our new book.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why did you write your book?

We went from writing our book to marketing it without being able to catch our breath! Magazines, newspapers and online cooking sites have been asking us about Cooking From the Heart. A frequent question is, "Why did you write your cookbook?" The short answer is - we wrote it to document the wonderful, unique flavors of the Hmong Kitchen. We also hope this book will help preserve Hmong culture, and introduce some new dishes to other people.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kua Txob

Kua Txob (hot chili condiment) is made with fiery-hot Thai chili peppers, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt, fish sauce and sometimes a little sugar. Pounding the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle brings out the flavor. However, there are so many ways to make this dish that we have included eleven different variations in Cooking From the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America. Kua Txob is one of the bold flavors we hope everyone will try.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Book Launch

Busy times! Every day emails fly back and forth between us and Heather Skinner, a publicist for the University of Minnesota Press, working out the details of a trip to Minnesota to launch our book. We are excited that the Hmong Cultural Center in St. Paul has agreed to sponsor a Meet the Author Event and book signing on May 21, 3-5 PM. After a few more details are in place we will list all of our appearances on our Web site. We are looking forward to meeting people who are interested in Hmong cooking!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Final Edits

The final details are being worked out between us and Melody Lacina, an editor at Wilstad & Taylor, the firm hired by the Press to copy-edit and design our book. We are VERY glad they are perfectionists, but sometimes it seems like we will never be done. We have both decided that when the last "t" is crossed and the last "i" is dotted, we will take our husbands (in our respective cities) out for a nice meal to celebrate - with someone else doing the cooking and the cleanup. Take a look at the pile of manuscripts we have created in the last year, going back and forth with revision after revision.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gran Torino

Have you seen the movie, “Gran Torino” yet? It is about an angry, lonely old guy (Clint Eastwood) and his Hmong neighbors. It’s a beautiful movie, on many levels. We have decided that we need to thank Clint Eastwood with the very first copy of our book; because his movie has at least part-way solved a marketing dilemma for us. Many people used to have a blank look on their faces when we explained that our book is about Hmong cooking and culture. Now everyone who has seen the movie, knows at least a little bit, about the Hmong. So, ua tsaug (thank you) Mr. Eastwood, and all of the people who created the story and brought it to life! We hope that you ate lots of great Hmong food while filming the picture.