Category Archives: Everyday

Growing up too quickly

Tomorrow, M will be 14 month old. And in two more months, his little sister will join our family. Time seems to fly by and there are so many moments I want to hold on to before they are forgotten.

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So this post will be simply that, moments and antics that I must remember.

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1. Just today, M discovered the use of pockets, and started storing blocks in his and mine pockets.

2. Just last night, M farted while lifting one side of his butt cheek during dinner. K and I busted out laughing as soon as we saw/heard it. A learned behavior or instinct?

3. M has the capacity to share his favorite thing now. i.e. Fruits, and stuffed animal. Although he needs to feel like he had enough to eat/ time spent with the item before sharing with others.

4. M is able to show care to younger babies. At Gymboree, during busy box time, he brought toys to a baby girl who had yet learned to crawl. He also brought suitable toys to Mirai during a play date at home. imageimage

5. Yesterday while I was scratching my eczematic skin above my eye brow in front of M, he looked at me and pulled my hand away to stop me from scratching.

6. He deals better with transitioning from one event to another if I let him know ahead of time. Same with discipline. Once I tell him what is acceptable/or not, he usually accepts the disciplinary action that follows his rule breaking willingly.

7. He likes being able to choose during meal time. If the main course is not exciting, he’d rather finish his dessert/fruit, and then the main course. If I insist on him eating the main course first, it usually ends up ugly for both of us. I am learning to let him show me how he likes to eat.

8.  I added some board books regarding having a new baby into his book collection. Although he doesn’t seem to pay too much attention when I read these books to him, he kept bringing these books for me to read. And he started to rub my belly more often.

9. And yes, he loves reading books. And he loves music. He took the ukulele from the shelves and started strumming/picking after I show him how.

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…..this is it so far, all these little milestones happened in the last month or so. It blows my mind how a little person can comprehend so much, and become his own person within such short period of time. I am more and more in love with him as I walk along side him.

What a precious season of my life. So thankful to be able to witness all these little things daily.

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A steep learning curve & a recipe

Learning curve

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Slowly adjusting & an iron-rich stirfry for pregnant moms

The blog has taken a longer vacation than I myself. We came back from Asia close to a month ago, and it has taken us this long to adjust. Besides fighting jet lag, getting back to daily routine, we are also facing new chapter ahead – parenthood.

Needless to say, it is a time of excitement coupled with trepidation. Will we be good parents? How will we ever be able to afford kid’s education? More importantly, will we be able to raise up God-fearing/loving child? Instantly, my brain frazzled.

In addition to the mental preparation, we are also making our home more baby ready. I am SO THANKFUL that child bearing takes 10 months, there are just too much to adjust to!

For instance, pregnancy diet. I, being a preggo novice, had a bit trouble gauging how much to eat in my first trimester, and gave in to many burger/fried chicken cravings. Now, I am finally getting a hang of eating healthy and eating right. Whew~

I want to share a recipe that I recently created while making meals. As most women know, iron  is extremely important in preggo diet. We need a lot more of iron in order to make more red blood cells for the little one in our belly. The Ob/Gyn often prescribe us iron supplements. I, for some odd reasons, have pill aversion since growing up. So I have been looking for ways to enhance iron absorption through my diet. At first, I ate a lot of spinach, but after some research, I find that in order for us to absorb the rich iron in spinach and other veggies, it has to be prepared with vitamin c (i.e. lemon juice) and protein. See the article here.

So the following recipe is how I modified my usual stirfry to enhance iron absorption. I reduced the sodium and the cooking time in this recipe, so more nutrients are preserved, and less water retention for the pregnant moms.

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Chinese stir-fry with shabu beef, power greens for pregnant moms

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • Pre-wash/pre-cut power greens from Trader Joe (1 pk = 5 oz)
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  • baby carrots, halved (1 cup)
  • half a fist of ginger, julienned
  • sliced sukiyaki beef (I chose this for ease of cooking, they come thinly sliced, but other cuts like beef sirloin will do as well) (1/2lb)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped (2 tbsp)
  • Sea salt, 1 tsp
  • cornstarch 1/2 tbsp (for marinate)

Condiments:

  • low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp for marinate
  • cooking wine, 1 tbsp for marinate
  • black sesame oil 1/2 tbsp for marinate, 1/2 tbsp for stirfry
  • lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp for marinate, 1/2 tbsp for stirfry
  1. Make marinate: Mix together cornstarch, soy sauce, black sesame oil, cooking wine, and lemon juice until cornstarch is dissolved.
  2. Add the beef into the marinate and mix well. Let it sit for 15 min or more.
  3. Oil the pan (enough to coat the entire pan) on med-high heat, add 1/2 of the ginger and cook until fragrant. Add the meat and carrots, stir fry until all cooked. Set aside including the cooking juice.
  4. Oil (add 1/2 tbsp black sesame oil) the pan again on med-high heat, cook the rest of the ginger and garlic until fragrant, add the veggies. Quickly coat the veggies with oil, add lemon juice, salt. Once veggies are cooked, turn off the heat. While pan is hot, add the meat, carrot and the cooking juice into the pan and mix well.
  5. Remove pan from hot stove. Voila~

DH and I both enjoyed this stirfry very much even though I cut a considerable amount of sodium in this recipe. The fragrant ginger and black sesame oil make this dish very flavorful, and the lemon juice added to the stir-fried veggies made it very refreshing and light. I hope you will all enjoy this easy recipe.

There will be more updates from MKliving but for today, this preggo lady has to take care of other business. =)

…. until next time~

A Sneak Peek Into Spring

Q: How do you know that spring is here for good?

A: by seeing new life sprouting everywhere in the backyard……

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young chive sprouts, blueberry buds
kiwi buds, cherry buds

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nectarine blossoms, loquat gained height
young rose suckling, blackberry trellis by hubby

Also, by a sneak peek into the spring 2013 collection for MKliving =)

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sneak peek of what is to come ~

Happy Valentine’s Day~

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…for my valentine…

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May His love fill our hearts abundantly,  and overflow into those around us…

Making chazuke (cha-tsu-ke)

Chazuke is one of my favorite go-to dish, especially in winter time. It is light, comforting, flavorful and simple to make.

But what is chazuke? Let’s go to Wiki =)

Chazuke (, ちゃづけ) or ochazuke (, from o + cha tea + tsuke submerge) is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green teadashi, or hot water over cooked rice roughly in the same proportion as milk over cereal, usually with savoury toppings. Common toppings include tsukemonoumeboshi (both types of pickles), nori (seaweed), furikakesesame seedstarako and mentaiko (salted and marinated Alaska pollock roe), salted salmonshiokara (pickled seafood) and wasabi. The dish is easy to make and provides a way to use leftover rice as a quick snack. It is also known as cha-cha gohan.

Growing up, whenever I was sick and had no appetite, my mom would pour a packet of chazuke (dried seaweed, salmon flakes, seasonings) over white rice, and add hot water. I would always finish the bowl regardless of how bad I felt. It was nothing fancy, just flavorful, comforting soupy rice.

the pre-made seasoning pack that I grew up with

It was not until few years ago, K and I encounter chazuke in a totally different light. We were in a Japanese yakitori house (Sumika), and we saw this fancy set up at another table (borrowed pic). Immediately we ordered one for ourselves, and fell in love with it all over again.

The ingredients were simple, and the delicious dish was brought together by the tea-infused broth. From that day, I vowed to myself that I must figure out the recipe so we may enjoy at home. Today, I will share our household version of chazuke. Enjoy~

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ingredients I used
dried seaweed, dried matsutake mushrooms, bonito shavings, green tea
 salmon roe, pickled plum, and wakame chazuke

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cooking of the broth, assembling the rice bowl
closer look of the ingredients in the bowl, and finished chazuke

Salmon Roe Chazuke, 4 servings

Ingredients (most of these ingredients can be found in Chinese/Japanese Supermarket like Ranch 99, Marina and Nijiya):

Broth

Dried seaweed 1/3 cup; dried(or fresh) matsutake mushroom (or shiitake) 1/3 cup; dried bonito shavings 1/3 cup; green tea packet 1-2 (depending your preference); chicken broth 32oz

Rice Bowl

Cooked rice 4 servings, 1/2 cup each; salmon roe 2-3 oz (if you don’t like salmon roe, can leave out) divided into 4 servings; pickled plum 4 seeded and chopped into small pieces, one per each bowl; sunny-side-up eggs (or over-n-easy), 4, one per each bowl; Wakame Chazuke seasoning, 1/2 tbsp per bowl

Put dried seaweed, mushrooms, bonito shavings and chicken broth in a stockpot over med-high heat. Bring to boil.

While waiting for the broth to broil, assemble the rice bowls. With rice on the bottom, add all other ingredients listed.

Once the broth boils, put in the tea packet. Turn the heat to low, and let simmer with the tea packet for 5 min. Turn off heat, take out the tea packet (very important step, if the tea is overcooked, the broth becomes bitter). The broth is now ready to pour over each rice bowl. =)

Sushi dinner & a change in eating habit

Our Sushi Dinner

 

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sashimi roll, futomaki roll, home cut fruit medley, uni (sea urchin)

Y.U.M.

Thanks to Nijiya, San Mateo, we get to enjoy yummy sushi dinner without putting in any work =)

Why the large fruit plate? I have been trying to include fresh fruit for every meal we consume.

I recently read a book about how simply changing eating habits can regulate our gastrointestinal system (i.e. Eat 1 serving of fruit before the actual meal, for each meal; eliminating carb for dinner …etc). I know it is not new information, but I am still amazed how simple changes can totally change a person’s health, physique … etc. A dedicated blog post will come later on this topic/book.  =)

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