August 2010

Began my morning with a fruit smoothie.

Some white peach from my sister’s house, an apple, a banana. Tossed in some peanuts and shredded coconut that were laying around from a botched recipe.

Headed out to the cafe and had a spaghetti.

…while working on some puzzles we have for customers.

Dinner consisted of a Beef with Bittermelon dish. Cut up the bittermelon, and doused it with some salt to lessen the bitterness and soften the vegetable.

Rinsed the salt off and sauteed the bittermelon with oil and garlic, and set aside. Cooked the beef and then tossed in the bittermelon. To create the sauce, mashed up some black beans, corn starch, soy sauce, sugar and water.

and finished the leftovers from the previous night. Quick and simple. Good thing because my brother is coming back from his 6yr stint in SoCal for a couple days. Then he’s off to grad school to the Southern State of US.  It definitely takes a certain person to pursue such a degree. So proud, we’ll see how it goes. 🙂


Seems like it has been a while since I have really utilized the kitchen. I can’t remember the last thing I cooked in there other than reheating takeout/leftovers. I decided to give it a little TLC and cooked up a traditional 3-course Chinese fare.

“Steamed Meat Cake”

  • ground pork
  • shiitake mushrooms
  • salted turnip
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • sugar
  • sesame oil
  • corn starch

Soaked the dried shiitake mushrooms and saved the water for later. Rinsed the salted turnip. Cut the mushrooms and turnip. Tossed everything in a mixing bowl, and some of the mushroom flavored water for the sauce. Mixed everything together and steamed for 17-22 minutes.

Steamed Egg Custard with Bean Thread

  • eggs
  • 1.5 egg shell halves of water per egg
  • salt
  • (optional) mung bean thread noodle, these soak up a lot of liquid, so add a little more water

Scramble and steam for 8-10 minutes. Optional to add soy sauce to taste. The egg, water and salt is the basic steamed egg custard, and many variations can be created with that base.

“Sauteed Tong Choy”
A big bunch of Tong Choy greens, blanched it before sauteing it with some oil, garlic and shrimp sauce.

And not just any shrimp sauce, FINE shrimp sauce. I was actually looking for the fermented bean curd, but couldn’t find it. Work with what I have, right?

Got everything going, filling up the stove top.

Ah, a home cooked meal:

Polished everything off with some cantaloupe and some oh so sweet, sugar plums from the backyard.

Until next time, my kitchen.

My parents had a picnic to attend to, and I offered to drive the grandkids back to the Bay Area for the festivities.  After wrapping that night,

I packed up 3 of the 4 kids into my car and off we went for the weekend. Left one out because she was way to young (11months) for my parents and I to handle. Not long before I reached the freeway, I lost another kid. The boy started tearing up and wanted to stay with his parents, so I had to exit, and wait for my brother-in-law to pick his kid back up.

My parents were proud of themselves, successfully spending the day with their grandchildren. We met up for dinner at a local restaurant.

Had a hand pulled noodle with Korean Spare Ribs. I love this dish, so tasty and filling.

and a couple other noodle dishes.

The day after, my parents drove the kids back to my sister’s place as I stayed behind to close up shop. Funny how things happen, but I got a call for a commercial shoot to work on. Short notice and out of the blue. Had to run some errands for them the beginning of the week, and shoot starts at the end of the week, so I’m pretty excited.

So while at my sisters place, I spent a lot of time with the kids.
After her swimming practice, I took this one on a lunch date to Panera’s Bread to get some work done as well.
(Aww, she felt so special, she dressed up for the occasion)

Mac and Cheese, and a French Onion Soup. What kid would say, “whoooaa onion my favorite”? This one!

I had a Tomato/Mozzarella with Sun-dried Tomato Panini

Then I got my techie work on. To keep a 4yr-old preoccupied for an hour, hand her a IPod stocked with games.

The next day after the little one’s swimming practice, I took the eldest for a one-on-one for her BDay lunch @ The Old Spaghetti Factory.

I never can decide what to get when I use to go this place during my college days at SJSU in San Jose, CA. So I would always default to their Pot Pourri – a pasta with a sample of 4 sauces: Mizithra Cheese, Meat, Clam, and Marinara Sauce.

Then we were off again to dinner with the family. The Bday girl wanted sushi, so Mizu Japanese Seafood and Grill we went. Kids these days, who knew they’d be so ‘cultured’.

a plate of the Ikura

some ice-cream, papaya, and honey dew

We also had a cake at home too. Wish I knew, I would have done without that last plate of ice-cream and fruit at the restaurant.
The most dates I’ve had in a while 🙂

This past week was a little hectic- 2 gigs, 2 locations, same dates. With the consensus of friends, the show they were more interested in was the winner. This one was actually closer to my sister’s place, so I got to see the kids as well. Traveled to a couple parts of the city and experienced some insane creations – I wasn’t planning on indulging in such adventure but when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Lunch was around 4pm. I ordered a Pizza Dog (Hotdog with pizza sauce, bacon and mozzarella cheese). Very good might I add.

There was a food challenge involved, and this 5lb platter had to be consumed by 1 person.

More food came around just before midnight. These were actually prepared as props, and we tried to take care of it after it made it’s debut. But after spending all day with food, I couldn’t even fathom the idea of eating any more. Well, scratch that. I had to sample the Pepperoncini Hotdog to fulfill my love of pickling, hence my blog’s header image.

At another location, we were at an old-time diner in the city. It was small, but there were plenty of seats outside. Excited to hear some of their off the wall creations to try out, I ended up with a Peanut Butter Hamburger(with bbq sauce, bacon, grilled onions and cheese). It was actually interestingly good.

Looks messy, but the cheese held everything together very well.
Got time to swing by the fair and did something I missed out on as a kid, like sell lemonade. Best for them to switch me out before I drink them out of a profit 🙂

Not much a sweets person, but if I were, I still wouldn’t know which to choose from. What I did have before, but didn’t see here, is a deep fried coca cola from the Arizona State fair.

You can never go wrong with bacon, or can you…?

Was recommended by an employee to try out the Artichoke sandwich. Never had one before, so of course I had to give it a chance. Wandering through the fairgrounds, I was determined I wouldn’t be able to find the booth, so I settled for something familiar (grilled corn) – which was incredibly sweet and juicy,

and something not so familiar(cheese curds) – which I should have not been so adventurous at.

At the end of the day, I found that artichoke booth. Thought the sandwich tasted too vegetarian like, then remembered, of course it should taste like vegetables! But ugh, I wasn’t big on all that fried food.

Couldn’t leave a fair without a smoked turkey leg. Brought it home and it was devoured by a a few piranhas.

Then begins my chauffeuring gig for these youngsters to all their activities. The things I do for these little ones. I think I’ll take them off my sisters hands for a moment and bring them to their grandparents house.

Oh, the grandparents place…I remember going with my family to my grandparents apartment in Chinatown every weekend and taking them out for Dim Sum. They lived on the 4th floor of an old building with no elevators. I would race my siblings up the stairs, because walking it would just take forever. Grandpa, coming from a small farm village in China, would be seen watching WWF wrestling most of the time, with Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Junk Yard Dog – weird, but oh the memories.