11th Week of 2018

12 – 18th March 2018

Sorry for all the late updates! Been busy gardening. Our neighbor’s cat had been using our raised beds as litter box after I cleaned them up. Ugh!! I will just leave all my plants to overwinter in the raised beds and not clear them until the very last minute next year.

I have planted onions, carrots, potatoes and sweet pea flowers so far. Really need to get my lettuce, kale and cabbage seedlings out as soon as possible. I have been running late because my seedlings are still tiny. There’s not enough light for them to grow indoors, and I haven’t been hardening them off. They are super late to get in the dirt. Oh well, it’s my first time gardening in Spring.

Now onto my favorite meals of the week!

Favorite Meals of the Week - 11th Week of 2018Brussels Sprouts
Pan fried brussels sprouts are so good! They taste so creamy when they are cooked right, and the outer layer stays crisp. Can you imagine that I’ve never had it until last year even though I like cabbage?

Avocado Toast
I like to mash up my avocado when I have my avocado toast. I tried spreading a bit of mayonaise to go with it. Hope it doesn’t sound gross to you. I don’t really like the taste of our butter, so I decided to try something new. I think it tastes alright. If you have any recommendations for butter, let me know!

Shrimp & Scallop Linguine Alla Vodka
We tried Carrabba’s Italian Grill for the first time, and it did not disappoint. I really enjoyed my shrimp and scallop linguine alla vodka. I really like the tomato vodka cream sauce because it’s the best of both tomato and cream sauce! I usually like seafood for my pasta when I’m eating out because we are less likely to cook that at home. Scallops are pretty tricky to cook.

Fajitas
We went crazy with fajitas at Lopez Grill in Wagoner, OK on Saturday. It was a drive away but we went over because my friend was giving me five of her peony plants that were not doing great in her shaded front yard. Peonies are my favorite flowers, so I can’t say no to that! I love hanging out with her and her significant anyway. Their Lopez Grill fajitas had everything – shrimp, chicken, beef, chorizo and a pork chop! It was quite a steal for costing less than $15 if I remember correctly.

Here’s a short video I took during our drive. Love the trees with white blooms!

 

Ribs for days - 11th Week of 2018

We had guests on Sunday. Larry grilled pork ribs. Unfortunately we bought the wrong cut of spareribs! We usually get St Louis spareribs, and we didn’t know baby spareribs are different. Pretty sure one of our guests who rarely eats ribs was not pleased to see the chewy cartilage. I think we will just stick to burgers or chicken when we have guests over. They are just more friendly dishes that everyone can enjoy. Sorry if I sound salty, but I do not want to go through all the effort to cook and also clean up the house if they don’t enjoy the food. I also specifically asked if there’s anything they want to eat…

Meat is tricky and so are vegetables. Everyone needs to be less picky with their food! Haha, is that what all bad cooks say? I will just have to up my cooking game. Have a great day everyone!

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10th Week of 2018

5 – 11 March 2018

Oops, a late recap! Been busy starting seeds and planning activities for the next few months.

Lazy Monday. Week 10th of 2018

I tried watching Michael Pollan’s Cooked series after watching In Defense of Food, but I ended up falling asleep. Spent the rest of the week watching Ugly Delicious instead. I guess I was in the mood for lighter content although Ugly Delicious wasn’t all about food too. Anyway, I highly recommend you watching it if you enjoy learning about food culture like I do. David Chang explores a different food type every episode and how the different food cultures prepare their dishes.

Meals during Week 10th of 2018

I tried making curry (top left in picture) from scratch on Tuesday, and it just tasted weird. I thought I had curry powder but I didn’t. A chef on Ugly Delicious mentioned that there’s no such as curry powder in India too, so I’m going to do more research on the spices that are commonly found in curry!

I had stir fried tomato egg, baby bok choy and luncheon meat with rice on Wednesday. Baby bok choy is my all time favorite vegetables. I have not gotten tired of it even though I have it every week for at least a year. I can’t say the same for Yu Choy (pictured in the second row).

On Friday, my gardening friends and I had Cajun for lunch. The fourth episode of Ugly Delicious was about Shrimp and Crawfish, so I was so excited to order crawfish that day. I ordered two pounds of it because I didn’t know how much it would actually be! My friends were laughing when the waitress served me the huge tray of crawfish. It was great to be able to share the crawfish with everyone though. I also concluded that in general I prefer Cajun food at Flavors of Louisiana over Cajun Ed’s.

I then made fried rice for dinner on Friday. Can’t quite remember what we did for the rest of the weekend since I didn’t take many photos. Larry was on call for his work though, so we were mostly cooped up at home. We also dropped by his office for a while, so I finally saw how it looks like. They work in the basement, and it felt like I was in the set of Criminal Minds since the huge room was dark and filled with so many monitor screens. They had like 2 or 3 monitors each.

Week 10th of 2018. Start of Gardening Season

I am going to end this post to tell you I’m beyond excited about the start of gardening season!! I have started so many seeds indoor that I need to get more containers and trays. My goal for gardening this year is to try as many varieties of everything because I want to learn as much as I can.

P.S. all my images are done on my phone using Adobe’s Spark Post app. It is so fun and easy to use! Go try it.

9th week of 2018

26 Feb – 4 Mar 2018

Isn’t it crazy it’s March already? Time seems to fly by as you get older. I feel like I’m not doing much in my life because I’m just a homemaker. Should I only be defined by my occupation? Anyway, I thought I will share my meal prep last week.

Asian Greens

These are the glorious vegetables I bought from the Asian supermarket on Tuesday.

  • Red bell peppers (They were on sale. 3 for $1)
  • Ginger
  • Bean sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Yam leaves
  • Leek
  • Yu Choy
  • Small Bok Choy

I’m on a mission to eat more vegetables especially after watching In Defense of Food on Netflix. We usually have stir-fry for most of our meals anyway, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Stir-fries are easy to prepare and are pretty healthy.

The steps to cook stir-fries are pretty much the same. You heat up your cooking oil and fry some garlic/onion/shallots/ginger. Then you add whatever you are cooking according to how long they take to be cooked. The final step would be to add the herbs and seasoning to your dish.

Some of the dishes I made are:

  • Pan fried catfish with fried ginger slices, stir-fried bean sprouts and carrot with steamed white rice
  • Basil beef, and Stir-fried leeks with steamed white rice
  • Slow-cooked pork shoulder, stir-fried yam leaves and fried eggs with scallions on top of steamed white rice
  • Stir-fried flat white noodles with chicken and bok choy

Have you tried adding fried ginger slices to your fish? Ginger is such a great garnish.

Ingredients for Basil Beef
Minced garlic, ground beef, basil, cayenne pepper, black pepper and soy sauce (or salt). I added the red bell peppers this time since I had more.

Try adding scallions to your fried eggs! They add another dimension of taste.

You should check out this video from Chef Norman Musa if you want to cook your own flat noodles. For his recipe, I used chicken instead of seafood. I also took the easy route of using jarred peppers instead frying up my own like his recipe.

The start of Gardening season 2018

Other than cooking, I’m also starting up my seeds for gardening. I cannot wait to eat my own garden harvests later this year! I’m trying to grow a lot more vegetables and flowers this year, so wish me luck! Had to spend quite a fortune on soil and grow pots.

I’m going to end my post with these irises that are popping up in my front yard! Haha, a non-gardener would probably think it’s such an ugly photo, but it’s AMAZING for a gardener! New growth signifies the start of the gardening which is fun times for gardening.

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8th week of 2018

19 – 25 February 2018

Lazy bulldog

It rained a lot last week, so I spent a lot of time indoors. Did more cleaning and baking than usual. Only exercised twice because laziness got the better of me as usual. My bulldog is my spirit animal. Things I learned?

Make sure your soup is boiling before you put your watercress in. Watercress has to be fully cooked in high heat or it will be super bitter.

I have made watercress soup multiple times, and it was the first time it was so bitter! I thought I shouldn’t overcook it since Larry would only be home in a few hours. That was such a mistake because the soup was inedible.

I also baked pineapple tarts again because my first batch didn’t turn out great. They are a popular Chinese New Year snack in Singapore, so I wanted to have some decent ones just for the sake of it. Thankfully the second batch is decent enough I’m going to mail some to my friend in Los Angeles. Hope she’ll enjoy them because I don’t think she made any this year.

Has anyone eaten Shen Choy (red spinach) before? I’m not sure how I have ignored it for the last two years, and now we cook it every other week. Stir fries are just so easy to cook, and they are healthy and delicious enough to cook often.

FIrst homemade bread
Do the windowpane test when you knead your bread dough

I also baked my first bread ever! Yes, it took me 30 years. I naively thought it was great until I realize it was uncooked in the middle. No idea what went wrong, but I definitely need to make sure to do the windowpane test if I do bake again. Now I need to find a bread pudding recipe to use up all the bread. The next thing I’ll try to bake is probably luncheon meat buns.

I fell in love with this Gucci coat from their 2018 Fall Winter runway when I saw it on Diet Prada’s Instagram Stories! It also cracked me up when Eva Chen got everyone to recreate the severed human head look from the Gucci runway.

Last but not the least, I need to remind myself to stop buying coffee from Starbucks. I am always sucked in by the convenience and their lovely marketing. The whole point of having our own espresso machine is to save money and make our own coffee. It will also always taste good since we bought coffee beans from our favorite coffee shop.

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My jumbled up thoughts on food

I’m a big foodie. Food is always on my mind. I got into gardening because I wanted to know how hierloom vegetables taste like. The gardeners are so good at describing the taste of fruits and vegetables that you just want to grow everything just to try them. I feel like I can relate to them so well because they are so enthusiastic about what they eat. Being able to grow your own food allows you to have fruits and vegetables that are beyond what the supermarkets offer.

Since the gardening season has not started yet, the gardeners have been talking about what they cook or what they miss eating. I have been so intrigued because I always wondered about what people in America eat. It seems so diverse from person to person since everyone grew up in different states.

I always wonder what do people in America eat if they don’t cook. Do they always go for fast food, or do they just eat sandwiches and salads? How much do people spend on groceries every month? I love cooking, but not many people around us do. Adulting is so hard, and I’ve so many things that I want to find out.

And then I just read Jamie Beck’s blog post about the difference in food culture between France and United States. You see, I have never been to Europe so I have no idea how different it is. I was surprised to hear that she said the food at farmers’ markets in US are expensive. They really are, and that’s coming from her. We plebeians can’t even afford to shop at Whole Foods like she does. We had to return the brussels sprouts we bought at Sprouts recently because it was over $10 for a bag of them!

Why is produce cheaper in France? Why is it so difficult to find healthy food options in America? Is there no demand, or people just prefer the cheapest option which unfortunately leads to processed fast food chains? Why is eating out much more expensive than it is in Singapore even though the cost of living is similar?

There is just a never-ending list of questions that I have!

Second week of 2018

img_0129Posting late, but how was everyone’s second week of 2018? I think I lived in my pajamas for most of the week because it has been so cold. My husband had a brilliant idea to change our Happy Holidays gel clings to Happy Days, so they will remain on our back door until winter is over. I thought it was genius, or I’m just easily amused.

The most interesting thing I did was I bought a whole bunch of vegetables from the Asian supermarket, and cooked more greens for every meal. I’m so glad I picked up Red Shen Choy because it tastes so good! Kind of like spinach. I wanted to take some photos of my meals, but they aren’t exactly photogenic.

Asian Greens Yu Choy
Stir Fry Yu Choy

Asian vegetable dishes are so simple to make. Just heat up some cooking oil and fry up some garlic, onion, ginger or shallots. Throw the vegetables in and then add some salt, soy sauce or oyster sauce. You can also add things like carrots, mushrooms or tomatoes if you want more variety.

Speaking of vegetables, I can’t wait for the gardening season to start this year. It will be so fun to grow my own bok choy for the first time provided they actually do grow in my garden. I was so amazed by the number of varieties of bok choy that I bought five different types from Kitazawa Seed Company! I wish I have the land and money to grow more plants, but I’m also sure I’ll be too lazy if there’s more harvest than I can cope with.  Thus, I should just be contented with what I have and make the most out of it. 🙂