Category Archives: Food

13th Anniversary

Husband and I celebrated our 13th anniversary last Sunday.  I think as we get older we celebrate a little less each year.  Normally, I require a big expensive gift + a lavish dinner.  Kidding.  Normally, I like to get something to remind me of our anniversary…nothing expensive of course…just something small, but this year I didn’t want anything.  I really didn’t even want dinner.  Just a quiet evening watching tv or grilling up something simple would have made my day.  Husband wanted to go out for dinner though.  So we headed out to the Cheesecake Factory.  It was nice but went by too fast.

We had this stuffed bread for appetizer.  It was so good.

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Our main dishes were delicious.

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Instead of ordering dessert to share and stuff we went for a 7″ Oreo Cheesecake to take home.  I don’t normally eat cheesecakes because I’m semi-lactose-intolerant but I did try a slice and it was just so heavenly good.

On hour way home, I told husband how blessed I am to be where we’re at in our lives.  Not a day goes by that I don’t thank someone above for this simple and wonderful life.  We’ve had our share of hardships and we are still working toward our dream but what we have right now is priceless.  Our home.  Our kids.  Our health.  Our friends and family.  Our jobs.  I got teary-eyed when I told him all about this.

Random

BAMBOOTIPS0075_800[Bamboo tips with hot pepper sauce]

MINIRUGSLAYERS0001_800[Mini rugs – souvenir from sister’s trip to Mexico]

JADETRUNK0012_800[13-year-old jade trunk layers]

TEDDY07232014_0002_800[Teddy, the family’s Keeshond]

CLOCK07232014_0003_800[3pm on 7.23.2014]

INJAR07242014_0002_800[Memory in a jar]

Decorating Surgar Cookies

My 7-year-old had this fabulous plan to make and decorate sugar cookies.  I wasn’t able to make the sugar cookies from scratch because of limited time so I bought premade dough.  They turned out pretty tasty even thought they lost their shape in the oven.

SUGARCOOKIES0001_800SUGARCOOKIES0002_800KYSUGARCOOKIES0005_800KISUGARCOOKIES0008_800KISUGARCOOKIES0013_800KYSUGARCOOKIES0012_800

My Pad Thai Obsession

I love Pad Thai so much that it’s pretty much what I order when I eat out at a Thai restaurant.  I’ve had bad Pad Thai before and I’ve also had really awesome Pad Thai (in Miami in 2013).  I’m still searching for the perfect Pad Thai here, where I live.  In the mean time, I’ll continue eating whatever Pad Thai I can get my hands on.

Went to Trader Joe’s for the first time and tried their frozen Vegetable and Tofu Pad Thai.  It was okay.  A bit too salty for me and I accidentally overcooked the noodles.

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Also tried this package dried version from the Asian market I frequent.  I added mushrooms, spinach, and garnished with bean sprouts.  It was pretty good.

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My current favorite is this homemade version with shrimp.  I made it old-fashioned style using ketchup, sweet soy sauce, and oyster sauce.  I added mushrooms, spinach, and bean sprouts as well.  It was a little on the dry side but so delicious!

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Cuban Chicken

CUBANCHICKEN0040_800I tried my hands at making Cuban chicken and it turned out pretty good.  I first had it during the family cruise last year to the Bahamas and totally fell in love with it.  I found a recipe online but it required way too many ingredients and I remembered the flavors to be very simple yet very delicious.

It was simple to make.  For the spices, I basically used cumin, paprika, cayenne (for heat so just a pinch or two), black pepper, bay leaf, and salt.  I’ll tweak it some more before sharing a recipe.  If you want the recipe I found online (and have not tried yet), it is here.

Food I Grew Up Eating

I know it’s weird to eat herbs that I don’t even know the names of but trust because my parents have always eaten them.  As a kid, I would eat the herbed chicken soup Mom made without ever wondering what the herbs were.  I just remembered it tasted good.

HHERBS0008_800I still don’t know what the herbs are called…except for maybe the herb farthest on the right.  I think that one is called Angelica.  To make this dish, use a sprig of each of the different herbs in the photo except for the Angelica.  Just use about an inch tip of that one.

Boil the herbs with a about a pound of cubed chicken in water.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

HCS0004_800Put about a cup of rice in a bowl and then ladle with the broth and a few pieces of chicken.  Add more salt and pepper if you’d like.

HCS0007_800Mom used to make this with organic whole chicken freshly killed…most the time freshly killed but frozen.  Since I don’t kill my own chicken, and will never, I just buy the breasts from the local grocery store.

There is a really calm effect from this soup.  Once, when I was working and running around with so much going on, I sat down to this soup and instantly, like a light switch, I was calmed.  Relaxed.  That’s when I realized this soup was not just any soup to fill my tummy.  It has some power to it.  Not enough to do anything crazy but enough to calm my senses.  This soup is especially good during cold winters and when I’m feeling a cold coming.

Duck eggs.

DUCKEGGS0011_800I haven’t eaten duck eggs for maybe almost 15 years now.  Maybe longer.  I was never afraid to eat them.  Mom made them look so good and tasty and that’s how I’ve remembered them.  It was a delicacy.  Mom seemed to only buy them when she had extra money.  Sometimes we had to share them.

A couple of months ago I saw duck eggs at the Asian market and decided to buy a couple for my daughters to try.  Their reaction was funny.  Funny to me.  They were actually freaked out that I would even consider eating a duck egg.  I boiled them anyway and cracked the shell.  There inside was a baby duck.  My girls screamed and refused to get a closer look.  They were just grossed out, scared, and shocked.

“Mom!  How could you!”  My 11-year-old yelled.  I don’t know.  I guess times have changed.

If you’d like to see what it looks like cracked open, click here.  I decided to make it a link just in case anyone gets grossed out.  Warning:  it is not a good sight.  I happen to not think too much of it.  It’s just a cooked duck egg and to me it tastes good.

Chicken Laab With Home Grown Mint

In late spring I bought a baby mint plant with plans to plant it somewhere in the backyard.  I never got to it but continued to water it in hopes that I would do it over the summer.  Still never got to it.  It grew kind of wildly and I wanted to trim it but I didn’t want to waste any of it’s fragrant leaves.  Chicken laab came to mind a couple of times but then things got in the way.  I finally got to the point where I was craving chicken laab and had to make it.  I’m so glad I did.  It was delicious and I feel happy not wasting the mint.

MINT0123BRDR_640CKHLAAB0125BRDR_640 I’ve also been craving hot green tea with a sprinkle of mint leaves.  Maybe I’ll have that this evening.