September 12, 2012
An Evening of Soup Dumplings and Tennis!
I’m on my way to sunny Florida for HSN’s 24 Hour Craft Day! Be sure to watch starting tomorrow at midnight ET for a brand new Today’s Special, plus new HSN-exclusive crafting essentials from my collection. If you just can’t wait, check out a sneak peak right now on hsn.com.
If you’re a tennis fan, maybe you watched the exciting U.S. Open on television or perhaps had the opportunity of watching some of it live at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. I was one of those lucky people. In fact, I had an invitation to sit in the President’s Suite of the United States Tennis Association, having been invited by President Jon Vegosen and his wife, Shari and the Board of Directors. The evening of September 6th was the exciting mens’ quarterfinals with Novak Djokovic playing against Juan Martin Del Potro. But, before arriving at the stadium, we stopped for a very satisfying bite to eat in Flushing.
1 Here I am standing at the entrance to the famous noodle house, Nanxiang Xiaolong Bao at 38-12 Prince Street in Flushing.
2 This restaurant is well-known for their fabulous soup dumplings. Nan Xiang is one of the big names in soup dumplings in Shanghai.
3 The highly skilled dumpling-maker ladies looked up from their work when I said 'hello.'
4 Xiaolong Bao are traditionally filled with seasoned pork, like these, but variations include other meats, seafood, and vegetarian fillings. Working together, one lady forms the silky handmade dough while the other two fill and seal the dumplings.
5 The dumplings are placed in stacking bamboo steamer baskets upon bok choy leaves and then cooked in a steamer, like this one.
6 Joining me for these tasty treats was Sarah Carey - Editor-in-Chief of Everyday Food and Kevin Sharkey - Executive Editorial Director Decorating, Home and Style.
7 When eating soup dumplings, you use a traditional Asian soup spoon. Very carefully, you take a little nip of that sublime dough, exposing the flavorful filling and the delicious steaming soup that surrounds that filling.
8 This is what the finished soup dumplings look like - so fabulous!
9 We also ordered steamed vegetable dumplings, which were sealed so beautifully.
10 And delicious sesame noodles
11 And Asian kelp salad - It was a very satisfying meal.
12 Following dinner, it was time for us to get to Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch Novak Djokovic compete against Juan Martin del Potro.
13 The entrance to the President's Suite is located on the Club Level.
14 The stadium was filling up nicely.
15 I couldn't complain about these seats!
16 Juan Martin Del Potro from Argentina readied himself before the match.
17 Del Potro receiving Djokovic's serve
18 Serbian Novak Djokovic was serving very well.
19 During the 2009 season, Djokovic was experiencing technical difficulties with his serve, but with much practice and effort, his serve is now one of his major weapons.
20 Djokovic won the first set 6-2.
21 Del Potro seized his first Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open, defeating Nadal in the semifinal and Roger Federer in the final. He and Djokovic are the only men to defeat both players in the same Grand Slam tournament.
22 At 6-feet 6-inches, Del Potro is the tallest ever Grand Slam champion.
23 Like Djokovic, Del Potro kept delivering extremely powerful serves.
24 In the second set, Djokovic ended an exciting tiebreaker with a down-the-line backhand, sending him on the way to a 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory.
25 The crowd was thrilled with this match!
26 Sitting near us were Barbara Bush and her twin sister Jenna Bush Hager.
27 Can you guess who this spectator is?
28 He was interviewed by tennis broadcaster, Pam Shriver, who is a former tennis player who won 133 top-level titles during the 1980s and 1990s.
29 If you guessed Alec Baldwin, you are correct! Alec is a huge tennis fan and he was seated next to his wife, yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas.