Happy New Year of 2014!!! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas as well as New Year’s Eve and now feeling extremely pumped for new plans, new challenges, and new achievements in the new year as I am!

Maybe it’s because it’s 85 degrees in Mexico right now (Yay! Surprise!); maybe it’s because I have been sipping Tequila Sunrise starting in the morning (Don’t judge!), the fact that I am writing to you during our 3-week trip in Mexico makes me feel so freaking excited and lucky because I can keep sharing stories and recipes with you wherever we are (Thanks to the great Internet!) and that’s a big deal to me because I truly love what I do!

Thank you for reading, sharing, and connecting! You keep me encouraged, motivated and determined to steadily move forward and do what I love. Thank you!

I am so happy to have you as my best company on this life journey. Here comes the news of December, 2013, which undoubtedly became my favorite month of the year.

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What’s New In The Kitchen?

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4-Ingredient Breakfast Smoothie4-Ingredient Breakfast Smoothie

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Honey Cashew SquaresHoney Cashew Squares

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Easy Kale Recipe
Easy Kale Recipe

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Killer Crock Pot Beef Roast
Killer Crock Pot Beef

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Where Did We Go?

Bright Shiny MorningI started getting to know the city of Los Angeles through James Frey’s third book called Bright Shiny Morning, which covers the history of Los Angeles and the people who were drawn to Los Angeles and who they were, why they came, what they wanted, whether they got it, if they didn’t get that, then what they got instead.

James is a controversial author who really pissed off Oprah Winfrey who believed the story of his first book A Million Little Pieces was a real one based on his own life experience as it’s claimed as non-fiction until the world found out that there were full of lies in the book.

However, the story was good enough for me to hold the book every night until fell asleep, and then there were his second book and his third one beside my pillow three years ago.

In early December 2013, I finally met Los Angeles, the city I had known of for three years in person. Check out our travel stories, including some sights to see and places to eat in LA over at our travel blog.

Han & Sharon

Venice Beach Walk – photo courtesy of Katherine Sonoda-Casper, one of the most important people in our lives who we feel really lucky to meet.

We busted out our backpacks and started our 3-week adventure in Mexico the day after Christmas. The entire itinerary is to go from Valle De Bravo in the State of Mexico, a town full of greens located approximately 156 kilometers southwest of Mexico City, to Campeche in Campeche State, and travel across the State of Yucatán from Mérida, stopping by Valladolid for a night and then all the way to the east of the peninsula. We are going to spend the last week at Akumal in Quintana Roo State where is supposed to be a really nice area. By now, we have successfully made it to Mérida. The trip has been fantastic! Here’s what we have seen.

Valle De Bravo, located on the shore of Lake Avándaro in the State of Mexico, Mexico
Valle De Bravo

Nevado De Toluca, whose crater is at 13,800 feet (4,200 meters) high, is the largest volcano in Mexico.
Nevado De Toluca

Kayaking en Los Petenes, Campeche for 2 hours destroyed my arms and back. Totally worth it!
Los Petenes

Campeche, as the capital city of Campeche State, is full of colors with remote history.
San Francisco De Campeche

Food & Drinks

Do I have to say a word???
Food and Drinks

We have got another two weeks of Mexico to experience. I will have more details when we complete the entire trip on Jan 16, 2014. Stay tuned for January Highlights, buddy. You don’t want to miss it. If you really can’t wait, follow me on Instagram or Facebook. I share our whereabouts every day over there. 🙂

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What Did We Do?

Building this Christmas tree with broccoli florets was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done. With this fantastic idea from Food.com, I plan to master my vegetable Christmas tree building skills. You know what? I bet kids who hate broccolis would love to grab some from the tree and put them into their picky mouths.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

5 months ago, before Gourmet Persuasian was officially launched, a friend of mine filmed a cooking video for me regarding my Potato and Yam Salad. The edited video finally made its way on YouTube. Bajillion thanks to Shawn Tse for shooting and Stephanie Hu for editing!

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So…what do you think? Would love to hear some feedback from ya in the comments!

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Goodbye, 2013. Hello, 2014!

2013 was an awesome year for us with lots of changes involved, including building and running this site, which made me realized that there’s nothing you can’t do if you want it bad enough and how freaking awesome it is to do what you love to do. Our life-time job is to discover our hidden potentials and put them into execution by believing in ourselves.

I am trying and it’s really awesome! One thing I would like to encourage you to do with me in 2014 is that discover one of your hidden potentials and try hard to make it count as something you will be proud of, as your great experience to share with your friends, coworkers, boss, and your mom! Believe in yourselves! I believe in you!

Here’s an official farewell to 2013! Happy 2014! Cheers!

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