Sabbatical Updates / Cause Food.

I have made it to one week, two days into my sabbatical at the tender age of twenty-one. In this time, I’ve applied to so many jobs, worked out at PureBarre every day (my legs + ass are thanking me for this golden side of unemployment/ PS I promise the only reason this is possible is because of their new client special, there is no way in hell I would be able to afford this monthly membership until the day I make over $100k and/or shit gold, whatever comes first), cooked a ton, cleaned the entire apartment minus wet-swifering because I hate that shit, and contemplated so my different career options. With all this free time, I have let my imagination go wild – dare I bring those LSATS back into light and think about law school? Should I pursue my dreams of becoming a fashion, beauty and fitness editor/E! News Correspondent WHILE still being the best artist manager and achieving 5 Grammys on my mantlepiece? Well…..I still think this option is possible so I’m not crossing it out just yet. Actually, that option WILL be a reality so I’m going for it!

Last week, it was Chinese New Year so in good old Xu fashion, I took a bunch of my closest friends home for the holidays since I couldn’t make it home on the actual date. Momma Xu killed it again and obviously made more food than a football team can eat on Thanksgiving. Dad made the party by bringing out the baijiu, a Chinese white wine that is SO strong I can feel it cleaning out my intestines when I drink this. Tradition is tradition right?



In the meantime, I have also been able to flex my culinary skills and cook some new recipes I’ve never made in the past. A is definitely happy about this. You lucky boy you.

Sausage Mushroom Risotto – Adapted from Joy the Baker

Honestly, this was a big step for me. When it comes to risotto, I am a creature of habit and will only make peas and pancetta risotto pretty much 99.9% of the time. This recipe from Joy the Baker is SO good and will make mountains of risotto. As in risotto to eat as leftover lunches for 3 straight days which is great for me, bad for A who would rather prefer a salad right about now.


IMG_5571 Look at this close up! MMMMMM so creamy and delicious. Look at how sexy the mushrooms are, I’m drooling.


Pistachio Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki – Adapted from Food52

This was definitely the favorite of the week, the burgers themselves are just pistachio, lamb and spices and this tzatziki recipe tastes the closest to the original compared to all the tzatziki sauces I’ve tried making in the past. I grilled these over the stove, served them medium rare over salad with some gherkin pickles. Definitely will make these again.



Chinese Style Honey Hoisin Sticky Ribs – Adapted from Food52

This recipe is a delicious, sexy, beautiful labor of love. Takes two and a half hours plus some extra saucy + oven time. However, it is SO WORTH IT and I felt like a champ serving this. Served this with white jasmine rice + sautéed bok hoy.


In a rare stroke of culinary genius last night, I took the stock from the hoisin ribs and made it into a stock for a soba noodle dish by adding some kale and chicken stock. Seared some steak and sliced it up with a some fresh cucumber. Mmmmmmm.


I can feel myself slowly turning into my mother. Mind you, this is the woman who can literally taste a dish at a restaurant and tell you what ingredients are in it AND recreate it the next day at home. I know, this slow transformation might not be such a bad thing….

Over and Out,



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