Happy Lunar New Year 2020 – Celebrate the Year of the Rat

Springroll rat

Happy Lunar New Year 2020! I distinctly remember writing an article wishing a happy New Year 2019 not too long ago. Wow, 2019 came and went. We are now on to the even decade of 2020, vision into the future.

Everything is coming quickly in a blink of an eye. There are so many opportunities out there. The tricky part is to be open and aware of them. Otherwise, it’ll pass you by. I am constantly learning to seize the opportunity when I am aware of one. I’ll keep you posted when I catch one successfully. There is so much to learn and never-ending. =)

As the owner of this website, I tracked down special deals for some products or services mentioned herein. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you use the link from this page to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission to support this website, and you may receive a great bargain – Full Disclosure.

Year of the Rat

Zodiac Chart

Today, February 2, 2020, is the 9th day of the Lunar New Year. ‘Tis the year of the metal RAT. According to the Chinese astrology, the rat symbolizes wealth, intelligence, success, wisdom, and the beginning of a new day. The New Year starts on January 25, 2020, and ends February 11, 2021.

Which animal are you? Are you born in the year of the rat? My mom often reminds me to be careful during the year that you are born. It is 50/50 chance that you’ll be lucky all year round or unlucky all year round. She would say more often or not you’ll be unlucky all year round. I am not sure what to believe. I usually play it safe and not do anything risky during my year which is the year of the monkey.

Here are a few fun links to Chinese Zodiac fortune-telling. Remember this is for fun and “take it as it goes, with a grain of salt”. I know it’s a cliche… Just enjoy and have fun with it. =)

Did you miss an opportunity to create a goal for 2020 at the beginning of the year? Well, now is your opportunity to create a goal for the Lunar New Year. What are your goals for the year 2020?


The Lunar New Year in Vietnam is called Tết. It is celebrated heartily in Vietnam. We celebrate Tết for a whole week. Stores would be closed during the week of Tết. Everyone returns home to visit their family.

lixi tet

It is when everyone becomes one year older. It is almost like we are celebrating our birthdate. People pay off debts in advance to be debt-free by the new year. Everyone is bustling and hustling to clean and decorate their house before the New Year.  The markets are usually colorful especially decorated in red and yellow.

Traditionally, there would be a family altar. We pay respect to our ancestors and our deceased loved ones with money, food, and drinks for the afterlife.

Here is a nice link to more detailed information on a Vietnamese New Year celebration ==> Tết Tradition. I also wrote an article regarding Vietnamese Culture and Traditions under my Journey to America.

Creating Goals

I didn’t really want to create a goal or thought of one at first but now I am stacking them up quickly as each day passed. I will share my first three goals:

  1. Pass my Oral Court Interpreting Exam and become a certified Vietnamese court Interpreter.
  2. Continue to listen to my intuition and learn more about myself.
  3. Sell at least 300 bottles of my yummy Peanut Sauces by the end of the year.

How am I going to achieve these goals? For my first goal, study, study and study for a few hours every day until the day of the exam. Practice and hone into my interpreting through my interpreting jobs, listen to audios/videos and write down words that I am not familiar with.

I practice listening to my intuition by meditating 15 minutes every day. Allow my mind to become clear of clutter and allow myself to be in the moment with minimal thoughts.

peanut sauces

Last but not least, for this year I am introducing a new size (10 ounces) of my sauces and a new item, roasted peanuts to complement the sauces. Currently, I have a promotion until the end of February 2020 for my sauce. Please visit My Facebook page or https://www.Facebook.com/phoQueenCooking/ for the promotion.

Now that I shared with you a few of my goals. How would you plan to bring your goals to life? How would you set yourself up for success?


Fun Demonstrations

I have been creating hands-on fun demonstrations for 11 years now. I didn’t realize this until my recent notification from Linked-In in celebrating my 11th year anniversary.

Springroll rat
Spring roll rat

We had a fun demonstration this past Sunday on January 26, 2020, at the Maitland Public Library. It was a full house. We celebrated and welcomed the Lunar New Year 2020. Our topic was Seven-Course Beef or also known as “Thịt Bò Bảy Món” and we learned how to make spring rolls. We also tasted a variety of Vietnamese Tết treats and learned a little about the culture. I had a lot of fun sharing Vietnamese culture and food.

My next demonstration will be in May. We shall celebrate South Pacific Asian Month with learning how to make Boba Tea. Please visit my website for future demonstration dates: https://tastyphoqueen.com/demo/.

Please visit my Facebook page https://www.Facebook.com/phoQueenCooking for the latest update of what I am up to. Remember to push on the button to “LIKE” me.

Fun Activities for Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year has started last week and the fun has just begun. “You are the creator of your own reality,” a quote by Abraham Hicks. I really believe that. She also wrote a book called “Ask and It is Given“. Sorry, I digressed.

There are different Lunar New Year celebrations such as the Dragon parade or Chinese New Year Festival in Orlando, Tampa, Miami and other cities that are not widely advertised. If you live in Orlando, you can check out a magazine called Asia Trend or online website https://asiatrend.org/events/ for different Asian fun activities throughout the year. I posted a few events on my Facebook. You may need to scroll around to find them.


For me, 2020 is a special year. It is a new beginning or a symbol of rebirth. According to the Chinese Zodiac, it is the first animal of the Zodiac sign. It is not only a beginning but also lands on a number 2020 which is itself a special number. I am choosing this year to be my special year. Remember, I am the creator of my own reality.

What would you like to do, if you are the creator of your own reality? I love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments, questions, or feedback below.

Hello Summer and Goodbye Spring

pad thai

Summer is quickly coming around the corner. Pho Queen sweet summer rainbow fruit saladhas three demonstrations coming up in May 2019 at three different libraries: Maitland Library, Winter Park Library, and Orange County Library. Please visit my website https://Tastyphoqueen.com/demo/ for more details.

I have postponed in participating at the Farmer’s Market this year. At this time, I am engaged in providing Vietnamese Interpreting services. In the process of learning about self, I learn that enjoy interpreting Vietnamese tremendously. I feel that I am making a difference in the community by building a bridge of communication between two languages.

Here’s an interesting statistics of interpreting and translating careers — https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/interpreters-and-translators.htm

I have initiated the process to become Florida certified court interpreter. I have been taking classes and studying for the written and oral exams. It is very challenging and I need all the brain cells I can muster. Not only am I learning Vietnamese at high-level language, but I will also need to know court terminologies in both languages. It is difficult but rewarding and exciting at the same time. In addition, I have been watching “Law in Order” to learn more about court procedures. There are 20 seasons and I am only on season 5. Yipes!

As the owner of this website, I tracked down special deals for some products or services mentioned herein. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you use the link from this page to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, and you may receive a great bargain – Full Disclosure.

Meanwhile, I still continue with my demonstrations based on requests and sell my sauces during demonstrations and online through Amazon and/or my website.

My next demonstration is at the Maitland Library on May 12, 2019, from 3 pm to 4 pm. Please RSVP to 407-647-7700 to reserve your seat. Seats are limited. We will be making Pad Thai. pad thaiAlthough it is not a Vietnamese dish, it is from Vietnam’s neighboring country, Thailand. I am excited to expand and learn cooking skills from different cultures.

Here is my Facebook invitation:

https://www.facebook.com/events/350251949172746/ See you at the demo!!!

You can also visit my website at https://TastyPhoQueen.com for products, services, demos, and blogs.

Love to hear your thoughts on our newsletters and blogs – comments

Looking forward to seeing you soon! Happy Eating Healthy!

Phở Queen


Happy New Year 2019 – Year of the Boar

Bun thit nuong

Welcome to the New Year 2019! I am finally advertising my sauce at the Farmer’s Market. October 2018 was my first month being at the Farmer’s Market, ever! It only took me at least 8 years or more to build courage. Yahoo!!!

What has stopping me all these years? Fear of the unknown is a big factor. However, I cannot give it all the credit. I think another part is the fear of being judged. My pride or ego is too big for its own good. I do not want to look bad or being judged critically. It seems pretty silly. The fact is I am being judged all the time whether I like it or not.

Why am I sharing this? My new goal this year is being honest with myself. I am sharing myself to break free of my comfort zone. It is a pretty big “aha” for me.

“I am my own worst enemy” is an interesting cliché. Yet so true. I stop myself from growth with all the fear. I am constantly learning more about myself. I am continuously learning to love the good and the bad that comes along with the process.

The Lunar New Year is also around the corner.Pig Year

‘Tis the year of the pig. “According to the Chinese astrology, 2019 is a great year to make money and a good year to invest! 2019 is going to be full of joy, a year of friendship and love for all the zodiac signs; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life” — https://www.thechinesezodiac.org/astrology/chinese-horoscope-2019-year-of-the-earth-pig/

What are your goals for the year 2019?

Wanna know which Farmer’s Market I am at each weekend? Visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/phoQueenCooking
for the latest update of the different locations. Remember to push on the button to “LIKE” me.

You can also visit my website at https://TastyPhoQueen.com
for products, services, demos, and blogs. Bun thit nuong

Are you ready to learn more? Join us for a fun-filled and hands-on demonstration of Vietnamese cooking this coming Sunday, February 3, 2019, from 3p to 4p at the Maitland Public Library. We will be making and tasting Grilled Pork Noodle or also known as “Bún Thịt Nướng” It is a free event for library patrons. Please RSVP to 407-647-7700 to reserve your seat. Seats are limited.

Here is my Facebook invitation:


See you at the demo!!!

Love to hear your thoughts on our newsletters and blogs. Please leave your comments below.

Looking forward to seeing you soon! Happy Eating Healthy!

Phở Queen


MORE Vietnamese Recipes

Welcome Back to School – Learn to Make Green Papaya Salad

back to school board

The summer of 2018 is quickly passing through already. Today is an exciting day for my kids. It’s their first day back to school. However, they are now teenagers, senior and sophomore in high school, and no longer toddlers learning how to read ABC or counting 1, 2, 3. How time flies so quickly. It is nice to look back and smile but now I am enjoying the present and moving forward.back to school board

Did you know that fat is an important nutrient that is necessary for your health? I am talking about good fat such as fat in fish, nuts, avocado, and many other nutritious foods. Some contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, that may help lower cholesterol levels and support heart health.

One thing I notice about my Vietnamese diet is that I do not have enough fat in my food. There is definitely more carbohydrates with a low amount of fat. A low-fat diet has an impact on my skin. It is constantly dry. Drinking water and adding lotion help but only so much.


I decided to give avocado an experiment and add more fat to my diet. I was never a fan of avocado until recently. I have been introducing my body to an avocado smoothie once a day for the past eight months. I do notice a subtle difference over time. I do not have to apply as much lotion to my skin as I used to. My face is definitely less dry. Hopefully, it will reduce the number of wrinkles on my face and I will look much younger… Heeee Heee Heeee. I will look forward to that impact. I wonder if it would replenish more new black hair instead of grey.

I love to hear your thoughts about good fat and if you notice any good benefits to your body and overall health. Please leave your thoughts below.

Many new and exciting opportunities from the beginning of 2018. I am constantly looking for new ideas and new ways to prepare chicken. I found a nice chicken recipe that included avocado and I gave it a try. Here is my version.Cilantro-lime chicken with avocado salsa

The original recipe has the chicken grilled and served as one large piece. I cut mine up into bite-size chicken strips. Click here for the recipe –> Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa.

Are you ready to learn more? Join us for a fun-filled and hands-on demonstration of Vietnamese cooking this coming Sunday, August 19, 2018, from 3p to 4p at the Maitland Public Library. We will make another Vietnamese appetizer called Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad. It is a free event for library patrons. Please RSVP to 407-647-7700 to reserve your seat. Seats are limited.


papaya salad with shrimp

Pho Queen is on Facebook. It is convenient, easy to use, and many people already have an account with Facebook. Please visit me on Facebook for more frequent updates — https://www.facebook.com/phoQueenCooking/ and like me…You can also visit me at my website TastyPhoQueen.com

Love to hear your thoughts, questions, or comments. Please leave your comments below or click on CONTACT to share with us your thoughts.

See you at the demo!

Happy Eating Healthy!

Ph Queen

MORE Vietnamese Recipes

Happy Holidays 2017 – Vietnamese Appetizers


Like any food in many cultures, Vietnamese food can be fattening and decadent especially desserts. Even if the food is gluten-free or msg free, it can still be fattening.

The bottom line is that we can get fat when we eat too much of anything with no exercise in our everyday habits. The key to maintaining a healthy life is to eat fresh food and have them in moderate proportion with exercise or stay active in your daily routines.

With that being said, I would like to introduce one of my favorite Vietnamese appetizers, Bánh Mì, or also known as Vietnamese subway sandwiches. You can have it at any time. It can be a light snack or a meal. The three main differences between the regular subway sandwiches and Bánh Mì are the bread, the meat, and vegetables. That’s practically everything. Heeee heee heee…

The bread for Bánh Mì is the French banh-mi Vietnambaguette. I love the baguette because it is not thick with dough. The shell is usually light and crunchy while the inside is semi-hollow with softness. The meat is usually prepared as marinated grilled pork, chicken, fish, or a combo of all the meat combined. The vegetables are simple sour vegetables of daikon and carrots, cilantro, sliced cucumber, and optional jalapeno peppers. Yummy. Just thinking of it my mouth salivate with anticipation.

Curious to know more about Bánh Mì and would like to taste it before you try to make it? There will be a free demonstration on how to make Bánh Mì. Come and join Pho Queen this coming Thursday at 6:30 pm, December 21, at the Orange County Public Library downtown to learn how to make a Vietnamese appetizer called Bánh Mì or Vietnamese subway sandwiches. Seats are limited. Call to reserve your seat today – 407-835-7323.

I finally submitted two chapters of “My Journey to America” so far. It took me quite a while to summon the courage to finally share with everyone my story. I am have been hesitating for years. I was afraid my story is not good enough, my grammar is horrible, etc… Well, here they are an introduction to my journey to America and the Vietnam War. I love to hear your thoughts on what I have so far. Thank you!!!



See you at the demo!!!

Love to hear your thoughts on our newsletters and blogs – Please leave your comments below.

Looking forward to seeing you soon! Happy Eating Healthy!

Pho Queen


Orlando – Central Florida Asian Grocery Stores

inside of an Asian store

Here is a list of different Asian Grocery stores in Central Florida. I have visited only a handful. The one I visited has my comments in pink. I do not have a store that I can say is my total favorite but if I have to pick I would pick the one with the Vietnamese pastries. I hop around from store to store depending on what I need and where I am at that time.

Seminole County:

Thai Market 

Small but quaint — I haven’t visited recently. It was reported as closed on Yelp.com. =(
731 N. Orlando Ave
Longwood, FL 32750

Spiceland Asian Grocery 

870 S. Sun Dr.
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Deguzman Oriental Food Mart

3838 S. Orlando Dr.
Sanford, FL 32773

Orange County:

1st Oriental Supermarket

The largest Asian store I came across. Located near Orlando fairground. Has fresh Chinese bakery, a large selection of meat, seafood, and produce.
5132 W. Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32808
8:30 am – 9 pm

Tien Hung Market

Near the corner of Mills and 50. Next to Saigon Restaurant. Has a fresh Vietnamese bakery and a small selection of meat & seafood.
I often come here for the Vietnamese bakery and boba smoothies.

1112 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32803

Phuoc Loc Tho

Orlando downtown supermarket with a nice selection of produce and a small selection
of seafood and meat.

Super Oriental Market, Inc.
2100 E. Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32803
9 am – 8 pm

Mia Supermarket

This is the newest Asian market in Orlando.
They are located down the street from Phuoc Loc Tho and have a large selection of seafood and meat. I have not been back as often
because I did not find what I needed the first time I was there.

2415 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32803

Dong-A Market

I visited several times a few years ago. They have a small selection of fresh produce. I found a lot more dry Asian ingredients here.
816 N. Mills Ave
Orlando, FL 32803
9 am – 8 pm

Wu Sung Oriental Food Mart

This is a nice size Korean market closest to me. I hop in here occasionally when I need certain Asian ingredients that are not available in the American
grocery stores. However, they do not have all the ingredients I need all the time.

5079 Edgewater Dr
Orlando, FL 32810

Saigon Market

1232 E. Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32803

Asian Market

1021 E. Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32803

Chinese Grocery

12066 Collegiate Way
Orlando, FL 32817

JM Oriental Market

9421 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32837

Kim Lai Shing Market

2250 Principal Row
Orlando, FL 32837

La & Tran Inc DBA Tan Cha

4543 S. Orange Blossom Trl
Orlando, FL 32839

Lans Market

6001 S. Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32809

M&M Phillipine Mart

7339 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, Fl 32807

Oriental Market

857 Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32809

Tan Chau Market

4543 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32839

Tan Tien Oriental Market

5266 W Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32808

Trung My

720 N. Mills Ave
Orlando, FL 32803

Trung my

2404 Coolidge Ave
Orlando, FL 32804

Asian Food Market

5205 Edgewater Dr.
Orlando, FL 32810

Duguzman Oriental Food Mart

8433 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32817

Deguzman Oriental Food Mart 3

2154 Central Florida Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32837

Evcon Filipino Oriental Store

9251 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32837


Immigration of flavor

Viet kitchen

Facebook shared a memory published two years ago. How time flew by so quickly… I am very thankful for the opportunity.

It is a great reminder to treasure my history, embrace the present, and look forward to a bright future.

lake-mary-magazine-june2014 Viet kitchen

I was so excited to participate as one of Lake Mary Healthy Living Magazine’s interviewed chefs and share my cultural cooking and life adventures. This article was published in June 2014. Thank you!!!

Below is the link to the article published in pdf:


“Have fun eating Healthy!!!”

Pho Queen Cooking

Happy Month of May!


Haspring-wallpapersppy Month of May! Happy Mother’s Day! Happy Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month! In honor of celebrating APA Heritage month, I have a handful of demonstrations scheduled for the month of May. Please check https://tastyphoqueen.com/demo/ for the latest scheduled demonstrations.

I am proud to be a Vietnamese American. As a child growing up in a foreign culture and land, there were mental obstacles and hurdles. Being different can be a curse or a blessing. It was what I made of it. I chose the blessing part. As I am growing older, I continue to learn more and more about myself and how I perceived life. I learn that being different is not so bad. We are very much alike yet we are different. We are alike in that we have emotions, we want to belong, we want to be loved, etc. Our difference is our perception and how we perceive life. That is what makes each of us so special in our very own way. I am proud to be different.

A great example of different yet the same is the appetizer “Gỏi Cuốn”. It is also known as Spring rolls to some and as summer rolls to others. springrollsThe end result is the same. Ultimately it is digested inside your tummy. You can roll it with pork and shrimp or you can have tofu or chicken. You can make your own of how you like it. Visit Pho Queen on our next spring roll/summer roll demonstration at the OCLS Washington Park Branch in Orlando – https://tastyphoqueen.com/demo/. I shall provide the basic ingredients of the spring rolls/summer rolls, you can provide your perception, and make your very own.  The demo is free to library patrons so invite your mom, your family, and friends. My cookbooks will be available for sale at half price for this special month of May. My special Magic Dragon and Monkey will also be available for sale as well.

Have fun eating Healthy!

Phở Queen

Love to hear your comments or suggestions. Please leave them below:

Happy New Year 2017, the year of the Fire Rooster.

Happy New Year 2017!

Did you celebrate the New Year or (like me) fell asleep through the New Year count down? year_of_the_roosterAsian Lunar New Year is coming around the corner. We can celebrate the New Year all over again since I kinda missed the first one. The first of the Lunar New Year is on January 28, 2017 (Saturday). It is the year of the Fire Rooster.

According to the astrology that I found on the internet, https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/rooster.htm, the year of the rooster will be a powerful one. You want to look your best and be clear on your intentions concerning love, money, and business. I think that is great advice for every year. The rooster trait is loyalty, commitment, hard work, family values, and top-notch appearance. All the Chinese Zodiac animals can reap great rewards by tapping into the Rooster traits this year. What Zodiac animal are you?

We are starting the New Year demo with a big hurrah this year. Phở Queen will be demonstrating how to make “Phở”.  Phở is becoming a hot dish (literally) in American culture. Pho boPlease RSVP because seats are limited. Check for more details at https://tastyphoqueen.com/demo/.

For those who missed my spring roll/summer roll demo, we are having one on January 26, 2107, at the Winter Park Library. Check for more details at https://tastyphoqueen.com/demo/.

springrollsWould you like to celebrate Asian Lunar New Year? I will be posting the dragon parade and different New Year events on Pho Queen Cooking facebook. So stay tuned to https://www.facebook.com/phoQueenCooking/ for New Year posting…

UPCOMING EVENTS: https://tastyphoqueen.com/demo/

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”  – Julia Child

Have fun eating healthy!

Rice Noodles, rice cakes, rice galore!!

As you know Vietnamese are obsessed with rice. We have rice noodles, rice cakes, rice chinese-food-yin-yangpudding, rice entrée, rice appetizers, and rice desserts. Because of the weather and the terrain in Vietnam, rice is very easily grown. That is also another reason why Vietnam does not have a lot of beef or dairy such as milk and cheese. The lack of grassland yields to minimal cows and more pigs and chickens.

There are many yummy cuisines derived from rice. At our next demonstration on November 20, 2016, at the Maitland Library, we will learn how to make the fundamental rice paper or rice cakes.banh-uot It is a laborious task. I think it is much easier to drive to an Asian market and buy a package of rice paper or a bag of noodles. However, it is a fun experience that I think everyone can appreciate. I am hoping to time the demo just right so that everyone will have an opportunity to create their own rice paper with Pho Queen. Please RSVP because seats are limited. Check for more details at https://tastyphoqueen.com/demo/.

Also, Thanksgiving is around the corner and I would like to give thanks to the wonderful and beautifuclipart-for-thanksgiving-2016-2l earth that we live in. Mother earth provides us with bountiful and variation of food. A participant from our past demonstrations asked if they can share their native food. Yes, of course. America is a melting pot of multiple cultures. Food is the glue that brings us all together. Pho Queen welcome all. If you would like to bring something to share, please let me know and we shall make time toward the end of the demo to share.


New demos and events are coming soon. Check for more details at https://tastyphoqueen.com/demo/.