Spicy Green Papaya Salad With A Twist

Recently, I’ve been craving papaya salad with Romaine lettuce.  The freshness and crunchiness from the lettuce combined with the sweet, sour, and spicy papaya is like heaven.  The spicy peanuts on top makes it heaven x2.  I only bought a small papaya salad so I finished it all in a day and a half.  I still have some lettuce left and am thinking of dropping by the Asian market for another papaya.

I’ve been making papaya salad without the shrimp paste (a crucial part of the ingredients, if you are Hmong).  A few months back, I had run out of shrimp paste and was worried my papaya wouldn’t taste right but for some reason, it was awesome!  Strange as it may seem, I could somehow taste and smell a very subtle shrimp paste flavor when I eat it.  I guess that’s why I don’t need it anymore.

There are so many spicy green papaya salad versions out there.  I tried to find one that would be closest to how I make it and came upon this one at Hmongfood.info.  I would say, one of the most important ingredient in papaya salad is tamarind, in liquid form.  I’ve had papaya salad at restaurants without this and they aren’t as flavorful.  Of course, just tamarind alone would not make the papaya salad.  It is the combination of different ingredients measured correctly that create the perfect palate experience, and one I call, heaven. 🙂

Wanna See River Rocks?

I finally got the rock photos cropped and posted! Husband has only used about 25% of the rocks in the backyard and it’s almost completely covered. I wonder if we ordered too much.

Kylie is plugging her ears running down to where her dad was standing.  It was really loud.

See the rocks on the grass to the left?  We had to move that off because the sprinkler was under there.  It was serious labor.

Kylie wanted to help really bad so she grabbed for the cones and put them in their rightful places so that cars coming through won’t run into the rocks.

Lots of rocks!

Kylie also wanted to help move the rocks away from the sprinkler and the grass.

Her labor was not forced, I promise.

Trenching the Yard

[8.2011: Kylie doing a balancing act]

The backyard landscaping is moving along slowly but it’s starting to take shape.  I could almost see what it’ll end up looking like.  Husband and my father-in-law (FIL) trenched the yard a couple of weeks ago for the sprinkler system.  Man, that was serious labor.

This machine looks very innocent but it’s extremely heavy and difficult to push.  Husband said that bringing this machine (a rental from Lowe’s) down the hill to our backyard wasn’t so bad but pushing it up the hill was dreadful.  I’m just glad this is a one time thing.  Imagine having to do this as a job!

As I type, husband and FIL are laying down tarp and rocks.  I should have photos coming soon.

Btw, we planted our first tree in the backyard: a ponderosa pine.

Blue Dragonfly

[Blue Dragonfly]

A couple of days ago I saw this 5 inch dragonfly in our garage.  I was getting ready to take Kida to her guitar lesson and noticed a bright blue colorful thing amongst the dusted cement floor.  At first, I thought it was dead but then I touched the wings gently with the tip of my shoes and the wings started flapping.  I found a way to take it out of the garage and laid it on the front yard mulch before driving off.  Kida’s guitar class was canceled so when we returned, I noticed that ants had gotten to the poor dragonfly and he wasn’t even dead yet!  It looked like he was trying to get away from the ants but he couldn’t.  Something was wrong with his wings and I think something else was wrong with him too.  It was as if he also had a broken leg or two.  I shook the ants off with a piece of mulch and found a way to put him on one of the moss rocks away from the ants.  I didn’t check on him after I took photos because I didn’t want to see what I knew would eventually happen.

Orchids In Black And White

I’ve been neglecting the orchids lately.  This is a tribute to their loveliness.  I took these photos yesterday of the master bath white orchids.  These are the second set of blooms.  The first set died out about a month ago when these were just coming in.  I’m a bit sad to say that these are getting ready to go as well.  It’s funny because they seemed to have been waiting patiently for me to take their photos.  How sweet if that were true.

Ready For Preschool

[August 2008]

There are days when I wish time would just stand still until I say, “I’m ready to move on.”

Yesterday, Kylie got the last two vaccinations she needed in order to start preschool.  While at the pediatrician’s office, she made the employees laugh with her goofy sense of humor.  I thought she’d be scared and quiet so I found myself surprised at all the silly things she was saying to them.  But, all that changed when she got her vaccinations.

Even though the vaccinations were quick, with one right after the other, Kylie felt the difference.  The first vaccination went really fast and almost painless.  The second one was a little more painful.  After the medical assistant was done with the second one, Kylie was very upset and said, “Oouw! That one hurt.”  Then while the medical assistant was putting on the band-aids, Kylie said, “You hurt me!” and started crying with more, “You hurt me!” in her sobs.

In an earlier blog post, I said Kylie was starting preschool this month but she’s actually starting early September.  Kida, btw, starts 4th grade next week.  We went earlier this week to register and to find out who her teacher was.  There was a certain teacher she wanted and she didn’t get that teacher so in front of the gentleman who handed her the index card with her teacher’s name on it, she said, “Aww, I didn’t get Ms. (teacher’s name).”  It was embarrassing.  Anyway, I can’t believe Kida is going to 4th grade.  After 5th grade she’ll be heading on to middle school.

The photo was edited in iPhoto and cropped in PS.

Songbird [The Glee Version]

[Gaura Lindheimeri “Cherry Brandy”]

For you, there’ll be no more crying
For you, the sun will be shining
And I feel that when I’m with you
It’s alright, I know it’s right

To you, I’ll give the world
To you, I’ll never be cold
‘Cause I feel that when I’m with you
It’s alright, I know it’s right

And the songbirds are singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you,
Like never before

And I wish you all the love in the world
But most of all, I wish it from myself

And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you,
Like never before, like never before

~”Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac

I heard “Songbird” on Glee a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t get my mind off of it.  It’s so beautiful.  All the cast members of Glee have such great voices.  Currently, my favorite is Santana.  I think she’s gorgeous and with that voice, she is perfect in every way.  Here is a youtube of her singing “Songbird.”

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival [Photos]

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival took place on July 30th and 31st.  My sibling’s band, One Sun One Moon (OSOM), played on stage yesterday.  The temperature was well over 100 degrees but it was worth it.  OSOM was awesome!  Even if they weren’t my siblings, I would still think they were awesome.

Here is a slideshow of OSOM during their performance:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below are other performers we saw.  We only went one day and near the end of the day so we only got to see a few.