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Rant and Rave: An all-rave Thanksgiving special




RAVE to the incredibly thoughtful woman who found my keys at Alki’s and went to the trouble of returning them to the Lake City car dealership. I can never thank you enough and will definitely pass on your kindness.

RAVE for caregivers everywhere. If you haven’t needed a healthcare provider before, chances are you will in your lifetime. They are angels on earth.

RAVE to all the staff who genuinely strive to provide excellent customer service! Your wish to please is greatly appreciated! Your dedication, happiness and smile are absolutely extraordinary!

RAVE to poll workers who are doing an excellent job of making sure our elections are accurate, despite questions about their integrity and threats they have received. You are all true patriots and we appreciate your contribution to democracy. Without you, our country would go down the drain.


Girl plans fundraiser for dad who died of a heart attack




“Not many 10-year-old girls think about other people when their whole world is crumbling around them” (Image: Dawn Collin)

“It’s reassuring that a loss has meaning,” says Dawn Collin. “It doesn’t stop here.”

Dawn’s husband Mark died suddenly of a heart attack in 2017 at the age of 41.

The father of two was playing cricket on a warm August day when he suddenly fell ill and died minutes later.

That day Dawn’s “world” changed, and she recalls the aftermath of the sudden loss of her family as “in an abyss of despair.”

But remarkably, amid her grief, Mark and Dawn’s daughter Sophie, now 15, decided that she wanted to honor her father’s legacy.

Just one year after her father’s death, Sophie a ‘Coach Trek’ with her sixth grade classmates in the summer of 2018 to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Sophie on Trek Day in 2018 (Image: Dawn Collin)

Dawn recalls, “It was Sophie’s idea back then. I was kind of desperate and she could immediately see what she could do to help other people and highlight the cause.

“Not many 10-year-old girls think about other people when their whole world is crumbling around them. She has a big heart.

“We just wanted Mark’s memory to mean something; to live on and benefit others.’

Together with the whole class, Sophie ran laps around the school grounds. The distance they ran together was “more than a marathon” – fitting given the important cause they were trekking for and the fact that Mark himself had completed the London Marathon.

Thanks to the hike, Sophie and her classmates were able to raise an impressive £1007 for BHF – a considerable chunk above the £150 target they originally set.

In recognition of Sophie’s incredible performance, she was nominated for one of the BHF’s 2022 Young Heart Hero Awards.

Dawn recalls, “It was really surprising when we reached our goal.

“It was a great feeling because we also did it as a commemorative run. So it was really nice that people still thought of us and had a heart for our cause.”

Mark and Sophie, then one, right after her father ran the London Marathon (Image: Dawn Collin)

Although many children were involved, going beyond a marathon is still a huge achievement for such young children.

“It’s not easy for them – they have smaller legs,” says Dawn with a giggle.

“Each time around the field it was about 800 meters, so going around eight times is quite a distance.”

The school, Eastwick Junior School, was more than happy to participate in Sophie’s idea.

Dawn says, “They were really excited because it was a great thing and they felt like they were supporting Sophie because it was during the school year after she lost her father.

“It was a great way to raise awareness for the charity. They did a small gathering beforehand, Sophie told them a little bit about the charity.

“They also included a thank you note in their newsletter to all parents. It was almost an education for the kids about what happened to Mark, as well as a fundraiser.

She adds: “I think the children and their families have benefited from the whole experience, improving their own lifestyles and learning that it is possible.

“And Sophie is brilliant – she’s full of positivity. She refuses to be sad because her father was always a happy soul and brought out the best in people, and she carries on that legacy.

“She always looks positive.”

The family continues to raise funds regularly to this day (Image: Dawn Collin)

In the years since Sophie’s coaching trek, the family have raised a further around £3,500 for BHF.

Dawn says: “It’s quite a significant amount and we’re going to keep going because it keeps him alive in our hearts.

“It’s a good reason to prevent other families from going through something like this.”

Spurred on by the success of the Coach Walk over the years, the family attempts to start a new fundraiser in Mark’s memory about once a year.

Sophie and her brother George just ran a half marathon and the family ran a mile every day for a month last year.

Dawn said: “Mark is still very important to us. He was taken so early – we want him to live on through our fundraising efforts and other things.’

As for future fundraising efforts, Dawn says they might even run a full marathon after running half.

Dawn continues: “George is 12 now and Sophie is 15 so if she’s through with her GCSEs, who knows?

“Maybe it will be the marathon for us.”

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MORE : One of my twin boys died from Kawasaki disease – I donated his heart so no mother has to go through what I have

The British Heart Foundation Heart Hero Awards 2022

A BHF heart herowith Centre County as a media partner this year, anyone can be, from a healthcare professional doing exceptional work, to a young person with heart disease who has shown incredible courage and determination, to an inspirational fundraiser who is creative found ways to fund research.

Those shortlisted will be invited to an awards ceremony hosted by Vernon Kay at Glaziers Hall in London on December 1, where the winners will be announced.

You can Register to watch the celebration online via live stream in the evening from 8 p.m. Guest stars will announce some of the winners.

Category judging is now complete, with Scottish footballer Scott Allan and TV and radio presenter Will Njobvu among this year’s celebrity judges.

But the Young Heart Hero and CPR Hero categories remain open for nominations throughout the year.

The awards raise awareness of the continued need for funding for the groundbreaking research that is turning science fiction into reality and bringing hope to more than seven million people in the UK living with cardiovascular problems.

To find out more about the categories or to make a nomination, Visit the British Heart Foundation website.

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Molly’s Keto Kitchen, Low-carb bread, snacks & sauces in Malaysia




[Parts of this story were taken from a video interview we did with the founder in August 2021.]

Ketogenic (or keto for short) has been a popular lifestyle option for health freaks or individuals looking to lose some weight for a while now.

As a low-carb, high-fat diet, keto diets require quite a bit of adjustment as the practitioner would not be able to eat foods like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and more.

Because of these limitations, many brands have emerged to cater to people on the keto diet so that they can easily practice the lifestyle.

This includes the brand of a Malaysian mother-son duo Molly’s Keto Kitchen. Founded in July 2020 by mother Molly and son Andy, the brand started as a small home business that has since grown into a full-fledged operation.

Triggered by a financial crisis

Andy and his family took a hit when the pandemic started. He received pay cuts while his wife Yen was fired. Income started to be a problem.

The couple were also expecting a baby boy, whom they would eventually welcome into the world in October 2020.

After practicing the keto lifestyle for a few years, Andy came across a Facebook group called LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) Keto Market where he bought various keto items.

Photo credit: Molly’s Keto Kitchen

After being on Facebook for a while, Andy began to familiarize himself with the types of people and products on the platform.

Coupled with their financial woes and the uncertainty of the job market, Andy realized that keto-friendly groceries is an industry he and his family could jump into, too.

Finally, Andy’s mom, Molly, has always been supportive of his diet and personally cooked keto-friendly recipes. According to Andy, she has always taken care of her family’s health.

“Why don’t we start selling [keto-friendly food] ourselves?” he wondered. And so they did.

The key to keto foods

According to Andy, Molly’s Keto Kitchen is about helping people eat the things they love without guilt.

“The idea is to get [the food] as close as possible to what you would normally eat [in terms of] Non-keto products,” Andy explained.

A popular product from Molly’s Keto Kitchen, along with the bread, is the Caramel Pandan Kaya, according to Yen. The idea for Kaya came from customers who loved the local jam but couldn’t find a healthy, low-sugar alternative.

Photo credit: Molly’s Keto Kitchen

The brand also sells various sauces like Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, Sambal Penyet Keto, Mee Goreng Mixed Sauce, Soy Shiitake Mushroom Mixed Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce and more.

As a keto lifestyle brand, finding a way to keep carb counts low is one of Molly’s Keto Kitchen’s priorities. They do this by using alternative ingredients that are not that easy to come by. Also, they can be quite expensive.

As the brand name suggests, Molly’s Keto Kitchen products are all prepared by mom Molly, with Andy’s role throughout the research process.

This process required a lot of trial and error through experimentation on Molly’s part. In fact, her first bread recipe resulted in loaves that were “rock hard” and didn’t taste good at all.

Photo credit: Molly’s Keto Kitchen

“I think our kitchen became a kind of science lab during that time,” Andy recalls.

But luckily, he’s the kind of person who likes to keep trying until he gets it right. So he researched further and made adjustments to the recipe.

As of 2021, Molly shared that they bake more than 30 loaves of bread each day while making bottled products on the weekends.

Beyond Bread

“I think the deal has been able to help us make up some of the lack of revenue that we’re generating,” revealed Andy. “But I wouldn’t say it completely covered us.”

In 2021, Andy told the Vulcan Post that they intended to continue with Molly’s Keto Kitchen as he believes there are many customers who rely on the brand and its products.

Photo credit: Molly’s Keto Kitchen

The family managed this by bringing in a partner who could oversee production, set up a central kitchen and ensure the e-commerce system was in place.

This will sell Molly’s Keto Kitchen products on a platform called bread and bettera website launched to offer customers the best experience when purchasing the brand’s products.

Looking at the platform today, it also sells other products, namely keto, or health-conscious ingredients like erythritol, stevia, almond flour, and lupine flour.

Beyond breads, spreads and sauces, the family seems to be taking Molly’s Keto Kitchen to the next level and establishing itself as the brand for all things keto.


This interview was conducted as part of our previous Vulcan Post video series Pandemic-Born.

You can watch the startup’s video interview here:

  • Find out more about Molly’s keto cuisine here.
  • Read other articles we have written about Malaysian startups here.

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Head to Edmonds for the classic dim sum cart experience and some tasty BBQ




It is official. I can’t get dim sum out of my head. I blame my colleagues. First there was Bethany Jean Clement’s interview with Canlis chef Aisha Ibrahim praised the dumplings at Joyale’s. Then I found perfect rice rolls at Kirkland’s dim sum for breakfast Discover the Early Bird Cafe. To top it all off, Tan Vinh proclaimed Renton’s Triumph Valley best dim sum anywhere outside of Richmond, BC

But I firmly believe that there are never enough dumplings in life. With that in mind, I have one more dim sum spot to tempt you – T&T Seafood in Edmonds, where clattering metal carts full of steamers roll through the expansive dining room and somber aquariums filled with giant lobsters fill the back wall.

The friend I met on a Monday afternoon before lunch at the Strip Mall around 99 Ranch Market said she had always wanted to go to T&T, but on the weekends it was impossible to get a table. While it was busy on a Monday we were seated right away so it seems like weekdays are the way to go if you can swing it.

About 30 seconds after we were seated, a pot of hot tea was brought to our table (each table has a QR code attached for off-menu orders). Before the tea was fully steeped, a cart stopped and offered rice buns, pancakes, and all fried foods. There’s also a second cart with steamed buns, dumplings and all the offal – chicken feet, honeycomb and flat tripe and sinew.

The carts spun around constantly, and while a few items were always on offer (pork shu mai, steamed shrimp), there were others that unfortunately only showed up after I was full (the nest-like fried shrimp balls).

The offerings are dim sum’s biggest hits, many of which are well done. Of the things we were able to snatch from the cart, the standouts were the steamed jumbo shrimp, crispy fried shrimp and chive dumplings, pork shu mai, and fried shrimp paste tofu. I also enjoyed the baked barbecue pork buns that were topped with a hint of gooey icing — but the pork to bun ratio was a bit off as there just wasn’t enough pork.

However, the absolute best thing we tried was the half barbecue duck ($18.80) ordered off the regular menu. The polished skin crackles lightly under the thin, flavorful sauce, giving way to that luscious layer of duck fat and impossibly juicy meat. There’s a small bowl of viscous, ginger-heavy dipping sauce that adds a layer of flavor but isn’t necessary at all. The half-size portion has a fair amount of neck meat, which is a hands-on experience for anyone who feels like it, but there are plenty of boneless platters to take away, too.

I’ll definitely be returning for that duck – but also to get my hands on all the smacking shrimp dim sum – and to further explore the extensive menu with a variety of pasta and rice dishes and soups.

T&T Seafood 10am-8:30pm Monday-Thursday, 10am-9:30pm Friday-Sunday, Dim Sum served daily from 10am-3pm; 22511 Highway 99 #103, Edmonds; 425-776-3832;

Elsewhere at the crossroads of Edmonds and grilled meats, there’s a slip of a square in the Perrinville neighborhood Fat pork BBQ. There is a small barrel smoker just outside and as soon as you walk in the room has a window for ordering and a few tables for eating.

I ordered a rack of ribs ($24.95), a quarter chicken ($6.75), and a small pulled pork menu ($12.50) that included a bun, baked beans, and coleslaw.

Each of the cuts of meat has been coated in varying degrees in a rich, sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. It’s drizzled over the tender pulled pork, peeled onto the chargrilled chicken thighs and thighs and — perhaps most importantly — smudged all over the ribeye, which is so tender the meat falls off the bone with ease.

I’ve thought about these ribs at least three times since I ate them – and that includes Thanksgiving weekend, which I basically spent four days feasting on! They were incredibly tender, and the barbecue sauce softened the little black bits clinging to the edges. They were definitely cheeky, but in a way the chicken was lovely too – and both were still lovely the next day.

The menu has options to have meat as part of a meal – like the pulled pork I ordered – or on its own. The beans that came with the meal had this sweet/spicy/vinegar thing. The coleslaw was forgetful, but I think the ideal way to eat it is on a mushy bun along with the pork and an extra dash of that barbecue sauce (there’s a sandwich on the menu).

Fat pork BBQ 11:00-7:30 Sunday-Thursday, 11:00-20:00 Friday-Saturday; 7533 Olympic View Drive, Edmonds; 425-361-7640;

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