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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon

Tomorrow, April 30th, 2014 marks the 39th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. On April 30th, 1975, North Vietnamese communists forces drove tanks through the former U.S. backed capital of South Vietnam, smashing through the Presidential Palace gates. The surrender of General Duong Van Minh marked the end of the Vietnam War and the U.S. campaign against communism in Southeast Asia.

Here in California, the day of April 30th, 2014 is known as Black April, a day for Vietnamese Americans to remember and recognize the lives lost during the Vietnam War era. Today, many Vietnamese Americans reside in Orange County. Because of the fall of Saigon, many Vietnamese immigrated to the U.S. and mostly to Orange County to escape the communism in Vietnam. Many still keep their traditions and religious values intact as well as adapting to American culture and have started many of their own professions and businesses. Vietnamese Americans love the freedom and continuous progress here in U.S and many will continue to make Orange County their homes for years to come.

Description of  A North Vietnamese tank rolls through the gate of the Presidential Palace in Saigon, April 30, 1975, signifying the fall of South Vietnam. (AP Photo)
*photo of a a North Vietnamese tank rolling through the Presidential Palace in Saigon on April 30th, 1975

Friday, April 25, 2014

Coffee Perfection

Bon Appetit magazine teamed up with brew guru Liam Kenna for some tips on how to make the perfect cup of coffee at home.
1.  You should be the one to know what roast or bean tastes the best.  Don't let someone else tell you what you should like.
2.  Invest in a good coffee grinder.  This will give you a consistent grind of coffee each time.  Either a conical or flat burrs  can do an awesome job.
3.  Do not use boiling water to brew coffee.  Water should be between the temperatures of 195-205 degrees.
4.  Brew your coffee according to the recommended brewing times.

Source:  Bon Appetit Magazine April 2014

Here is Ninja the cat enjoying his morning cup of coffee.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Braces friendly breakfast recipes

If you want something different from milk and cereal in the morning, here are some recipes to try that are not only good but braces friendly also.

Cornmeal and Buckwheat Porridge
1/3 cup kasha
8 cups water
1 1/3 cups polenta (not instant)
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
Grade B maple syrup

1. Grind Kasha: add kasha to a blender or food processor and pulse briefly until grains are coarsely broken up.  Set aside.
2.  Bring water to boil over medium high heat in a medium large saucepan.  Stir in polenta, kasha and salt.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer, stirring often, until grains are tender and consistency is thick but not dry or stiff, about 40 minutes.
3.  To serve, ladle porridge into bowls while hot.  To each porridge with a pat of butter and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

Ginger Chicken Congee
4 cups chicken stock
6 cups water
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup long grain white rice, such as jasmine
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Chopped chives, for garnish
Crushed peanut, for garnish
Chili-sesame oil, for garnish

1.  In a medium-large saucepan, combine stock, water, ginger, rice and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then stir and reduce heat to low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice has broken down and congee has consistency of a thin oatmeal, about 1 hour.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2.  Ladle congee into bowls.  Garnish each portion with chives, peanuts and drizzle with oil.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston Bombing Anniversary

Today, April 15th marks the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., a flag-raising ceremony and moment of silence will be held at the marathon finish line, to mark the time and place where two bombs exploded on April 15, 2013. After a stirring rendition of "God Bless America," ordinary people, bombing survivors, first responders and dignitaries -- including Vice President Joe Biden -- bowed their heads in a moment of silence, saw the American flag raised, and sang the national anthem. In the aftermath of the tragedy, it is the strength and resilience of the human spirit as well as the heroism that should be celebrated.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Getting into an elite school is now harder than ever...

A new article on states that although students enrolling in U.S. colleges are on the decline, those who are applying to elite schools, the admissions process is now "more cutthroat and anxiety-inducing than ever".  On the top of the list of elite schools that is hard to get accepted to is Stanford University with the acceptance rate of 5.1% (2138 offers; 42167 applicants) followed by Harvard University with 5.9% acceptance (2023 offers; 34295 applicants). 
The reason for the low acceptance rate may be due to students applying to more top schools, forcing those schools to reject a bigger number of applicants.  Although some sources say that the rates may be misleading because each school defines applications differently.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Are you unsure of when is the best time to start brushing your baby's teeth?

The CSA (Council on Scientific Affairs) recently updated the ADA's guidance based on a review of scientific evidence that fluoride toothpaste should be use on children as soon as their first tooth arrives. The suggested amount of fluoride toothpaste to be given to children younger than 3 years of age is a "smear" (size of a grain of rice), and a pea-sized amount for children 3 to 6 years old. Studies shown that following this new recommendation helps prevent cavities and is less likely to cause fluorosis (a chronic condition caused by excessive intake of fluorine compounds). So start brushing those baby teeth ladies and gents!
[CDA Journal Vol 42.]

Photo courtesy of

Friday, April 4, 2014


With Easter approaching shortly, Bon Appetit magazine has an article about how to achieve the perfect egg texture.  Ranging from 3 minutes to 13 minutes done in boiling water, the times the egg is left in the boiling water will result in different egg texture.  Ramen ready egg texture is at 7 minutes, whereas deviled egg is ready at 13 minutes.  Remember to always use cold water first to boil the eggs.
However you like your eggs cooked, we hope you have a very Happy Easter!

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chewing gum & Headaches

Researchers in Israel recruited 30 patients who have chronic headaches and chew gum for certain hours in the day to participate in an experiment.  After the participants filled out questionnaires, they were then divided into four groups.  The participants were asked to stop chewing gum for one month, 19 of the patients reported that their headaches went away and seven of them reported a decrease in the frequency and intensity of headaches.
"By advising teenagers with chronic headaches who chew gum to simply stop chewing gum, doctors can provide many of them with quick and effective treatment without the need for diagnostic tests or medications."

-Taken from JADA 145(3) March 2014