Dec 29th, 2008 by Marilyn
For Tell Simmer’s first “he said-she said,” I’m pleased to bring you Todd & Diane from White on Rice Couple – a blog best described as a delicious life explosion. Vietnamese-born Diane and US-born Todd call themselves “fools for good food, great conversation, green gardening and traveling,” and they share it all – every bouncing minute – with their many fans. With beautiful pics and some of the tastiest plates on the web – for instance, save me from these Korean Cut Short Ribs – White on Rice is always delicious, always entertaining, endlessly exploring, and deadly adorable. Take it away, kids!
How often do you think about eating?
We think about eating almost every minute of the day. Thoughts of ingredients, cooking, then eating brings us comfort and sanity , especially during long work days.
Todd – The only exception is if I get pre-occupied with a project or something, then I forget about food or anything else. Soon I’m starving and cranky and Diane has to remind me to eat something.
Diane – I think about cooking constantly and I eat from there! After all the dishes are washed, I think about the next dish and meal. It’s a delicious cycle.
But of course! For us, it’s more like a necessity than a craving.
Todd – A cappuccino in the morning, 1-2 Viet iced coffee’s during the day and an espresso at night when I’m entertaining at home or eating out.
Diane – Cappuccino or Viet iced coffee in the morning and a con panna at night (espresso with whipped cream).
Favorite hometown food?
Todd – Nestled deep in a canyon in Northeastern Oregon is Red’s Horse Ranch. The only way in is a long hike, horse ride or airplane flight. Once you’re there, the biscuits and hamburger gravy are phenomenal. I’m salivating just writing about it.
Diane – Morning bowls of noodle soup at my local noodle houses. A hot, brothy bowl of noodle soup in a busy noodle joint, filled with the sounds of slurping is comforting. It always feel like home, no matter where I am.
Ever been served breakfast in bed?
No. We’re night owls. But we have had dessert in bed a couple of time though. *wink*
Your absolutely reliable, go-to dish for entertaining is:
Our baked sweet onion dip. This warm, cheesy dip with a baguette and a great bottle of wine is all we need for a wonderful evening with friends. The combination of these three makes for a full meal. How can you go wrong or hungry with cheese, bread and wine?
Food that makes you gag?
Todd – duck fetuses are just a little over the top for me. Crazy Asians.
Diane – Snake wine. The visuals of a brining snake in a jar throws me over the edge. I just can’t swallow it…
Worst kitchen disaster:
A last minute attempt at making a giant cupcake as the main birthday cake for a catering gig. It was one huge lopsided mess. Worst of all, we didn’t bring any candles, so the host had to use one of the tea lights from her house decor to put on top of the cupcake.
Three things in your refrigerator right now:
Homemade kimchi, a batch of Pho noodle soup, and lots of great stinky cheese.
Your idea of a romantic meal is:
Both of us going to the market and bringing home the goods to cook for each other. We’ll work together on a dish and make our own individual, special dishes. Finally, grabbing a bottle of one of our favorite wines that we laid down for a while finishes off the meal perfectly.
Secret snack of shame?
Todd – Tootsie Rolls. I’ll eat the whole bag.
Diane – Banana Twinkies. I’ll eat half the box and hide the rest so that Todd can’t find them. Yes, they’re all mine. He’ll eat all his tootsie rolls and my twinkies too!
Most ambitious thing you’ve ever done in the kitchen:
Todd – Thomas Keller’s agnolotti. I still haven’t figured out how to make that pasta yet. And the chocolate truffle cake with raspberries from The Professional Pastry Chef Book by Bo Friberg. I can finally nail this cake now!
Diane – Making banh cuon (Viet steamed rice rolls) over 3 pots at one time for my parents dinner parties. I was 12 years old back then. I still haven’t made banh cuon since. But every time I walk into my parents garage and see those big pots and round, metal frames, I get tempted to make them again for my own dinner parties.
Best restaurant if you’re not paying:
The French Laundry. We’re dying to eat there, but just haven’t made the pilgrimage up there and shelled out the cash yet.
If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
Todd – Classic Sidecar : cognac (equals mild sophistication), triple sec (a little sweet & fruity), lemon juice (sour and makes you pucker at times) Plus it was named after a dude who was chauffeured to his favorite bar in the sidecar of a motorcycle and regularly had a this cocktail. The man had style. I’m still working on it.
Diane – Salty Chihuahua: grapefruit juice , tequila and a salted rim, three of my favorites!
Extra Credit: Where is the world’s best pizza?
Somewhere in Rome (we forgot the name, but never the pizza).