Posted in Slice of life

Press my Luck

So yesterday was the eclipse day. I was fortunate enough to witness a solar eclipse without traveling far or disrupting my weekday routine. I was preparing to not watch any of it because I didn’t get my eclipse sunglasses in time. I would still be there for the totality but will miss the start of the moon covering the sun. That’s the cool part. Not everyday you see an object big enough to block out something so important to life from your view. And with people around me talking about it and ordering the sunglasses in advanced for this. My parents would be witnessing the eclipse with their work providing the sunglasses. All this hype. I want to be in too. One of my coworkers actually ordered some for us about a month before only to find out a week before that those sunglasses are fakes. *Disappointment* I spent half an hour to search online only to find reputable vendors already sold out. I visited the Science Center twice that week and sold out both times. I really felt it might not meant to be.

I woke up yesterday morning, felt great, and ready to rock and roll. I decided to put on my contact lens because why not! I’ll press my luck and maybe someone will have an extra pair if I’m meant to see it. I’m already working in the path of this solar eclipse totality when I’m usually at a different work site. Why not prepare for the best outcome too? I can borrow someone else’s for a few seconds, look at the eclipse shadow through a pinhole, etc. Something will work out. So it did. I got to work, walked in, and my supervisor got an extra pair. 🙂 I watched the eclipse with the sunglasses, a cereal box, and a piece of paper with a pinhole. Witnessed the sun being “eaten” by the moon with a smile on my face. I don’t know if I’ll remember this when I’m much older but it was a cool experience and that way of thinking made my day.

When was the last time you pressed your luck? How did you handle an event that you prepared for then end up not being prepared for at all?

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Posted in cooking, Food, Fun

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Lasagna

Last March I was visiting my friends in Boston, MA. I went to bunch of places, including a one-day quick tour of Boston. I believe they told me this city is about three miles, so you can really see Boston in day. During my trip, I have the pleasure to go Knight’s Move, a board game cafe! This place charge you $5 to play whatever games they have, $7 if you bring your own food in. I decided that I’ll make a lasagna for this special game night. Now this dish is time consuming like making French bread. It took a total of 6 hours! It’s worth though. I’m making myself hungry as I write this. Thinking about it make me drool. It has a bit of kick from the sauce, tenderness from the cheese, and fiber from vegetable! Here’s how I do it.

4 Medium size Zucchini and Yellow Squash

1 Pound of Fresh Mozzrella

1/2 Cup of Italian Cheese from Kraft

24oz Spicy Red Pepper from Classico/other brands

1/2 of small White Onion

3 cloves of Garlic

1/4 teaspoon of Dry Basil

Some Olive Oil for pan and baking Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Paper towels or cloth towels for Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Baking sheets for Zucchini and Yellow Squash

9×12 inch glass pan or 7×11 inch glass pan

1. Slice Zucchini and Yellow Squash into 1/8 inch thick slices, salt a side to get water out (about 3 minutes wait), pat dry with paper towels or cloth towels, and repeat for the other side. Then repeat the process again once more until it looks dry. As you are getting the water out, pre-heat oven at 325F. You also have time mince the garlic and dice the onion.

2. Lightly Olive Oil baking sheets, then put Zucchini and Yellow Squash slices on sheets.

3. Bake slices for 6 minutes at 325F. Every oven is different so watch them to prevent from burning. The slices should look a bit dry, but sometimes they need a little more time. I baked them for additional 3 minutes until they look dry.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash have a lot of water. NEVER skip these steps. You need to do this so your final product doesn’t come out too watery.

4. Layer sauce at the bottom of your glass pan, then squash, mozzarella cheese, and repeat to fill up your pan.

5. Sprinkle the Italian Cheese on top before baking at 375F.

For a 9×12 inch glass pan, cover bake for 30 minutes and then uncover bake for 35 minutes.

For a 7×11 inch glass pan, cover bake for 40 minutes and then uncover bake for 40 minutes.

When you take it out of your oven it will look watery and bubbly. No worries. It just came out of an oven. It’s still cooking. Set it aside to let it sit until you can touch the pan without burning you. Cut it up and enjoy!

Now this is just how I do it. I’m not an experienced cook so it probably took longer than it should.

What unexpected dish or activity did you do on your trip?

 

Posted in cooking, Family, Food

Mad Dash Rush Dish

So I brought myself a nice, cozy flat recently. My family and I have been really busy with fixing that up and finishing up the renovation of a bathroom at their house. Today we split the workload as my dad and I paint my condo and my mom and brother put in the flooring of the bathroom. My dad and I worked from 9:30 am to 7 pm today. We ate our Chinese leftover for dinner and went back to the house. My mother and brother were still working on the floor and hadn’t eaten yet. My mom crying with hunger wanted me to cook with special requests from my brother. He is trying to lose weight and wants to eat lighter. I’m at a stump on what to do when my mom told me to cook some chicken and veggies; therefore, I did.
I have no measurements for this dish. Just ingredients. I’ll say cook to your taste. If you want to a dish again, always write down what you did this time and fine tune your recipe.

Without further a duo, Mad Dash Rush Dish.

A. Olive Oil

B. Grinded Himalayan Pink Salt

C. Grinded Peppercorn Pepper

D. Celery Salt

E. Sliced Garlic

F. Sliced Scallion

G. Frozen Vegetable Melody (Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli)

H. Frozen Cauliflower

I. Frozen Peas

J. Frozen Procini Mushrooms

K. Frozen Chicken Breasts

L. Vegetable Broth

M. Starch

Start with heating up A. with high heat in pan then throw in B. through F. to cook for browning a bit.

Then throw in G. through J. and add some water

Cut up K. into chucks, then throw in with the vegetables to cook with a closed lid.

Add L as water is coming out of the vegetables and add more salt and pepper if needed. Closed lid with high heat and set timer for 12 minutes. Please add more water and/or broth as needed to not burn the food.

Once the chicken is cook through, open lid to reduce water a bit, and add M.

Side note: My mom always mix some water to M. before adding to whatever she’s cooking to be easier to combine with the dish for a sauce, so I did same for this, too.

Cook a little bit more with a open lid as you can see the starch is thickening the liquid more to become sauce. And you are done!

This whole dish from prep to the table in about 30 minutes. And my mom and brother had something to eat when they were done with the floor.

What’s your quick cook dish?

Posted in Food, Slice of life

Garlic Bread

I craved for garlic bread today. I love garlic. I don’t eat it all the time, but I do like to have it in as many dishes as possible.

Imagine this. A loaf of French bread just came out of the oven with a crispy crust and a soft inside. You also pull out the bulb of garlic that was cooking along side with the warm bread. You cut out a piece, spread a clove of that roasted garlic, some butter to watch it malt into the bread, and sprinkle salt to enhance the flavor…. And ate the whole loaf.

I didn’t bake today to satisfy my craving because you know, work and responsibilities. But I did go to Pi, St. Louis deep dish pizzeria, and got me some garlic bread. It was so good! It was around $6.50, but my tummy needs it. It was garlic-y and buttery on some warm, toasty bread. Mmmmm… All in my belly. I would of taken some pictures for a post, but this is an absolute after thought.

Now, when I do have time and really want to make something, like an awesome cheesy garlic bread I follow this recipe. I don’t follow it to the ‘T’ and it was still good. I only like reading her recipes as printing them because her site is just so busy and slow from time to time. The link to her site is right below the link to print her cheesy garlic bread recipe if you want to see pictures of her steps. http://www.laurenslatest.com/hasselback-garlic-cheesy-bread/print

http://www.laurenslatest.com/hasselback-garlic-cheesy-bread/

What have you been craving for?

 

Posted in Down

Plain

I never have a lot to say. Communicating is painful and hard for me. It just is. Don’t ask why because I don’t have an answer. I hate not having answers. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut.

It’s 11:17pm and… well, it’s 11:17pm in St. Louis, MO. Nothing going on here. In this room. Just typing, typing, typing.

I might or might not have told myself to be more creative this year, so here I am… Writing… My worst enemy. I’m here. Staring at the blinking bar that magically more letters appear to make the words you read. Trying my darnest to write something cool.  AHHH! I did I pick writing!? Poo. I type like two letters per 30 seconds. Talking is not great either. *mumble, gumble*

In case you haven’t notice this is a venting post. Get all that grossness out to make some less gross… something… *sigh*

I have two unfinished posts, so I guess I can work on that. Hopefully I’ll post something tomorrow.

 

Posted in Slice of life

Almost lost my lunch

Today is Friday. It is a great day. Later on this lovely winter evening I’ll be joining some friends for grilled pizza and watch Kubo and the Two Strings. A clay nation movie that I’ve been wanting to see for a while. An art that took years to make. Anyway, what my coworkers were talking about this afternoon almost make this day not so good of a day. They were talking about popping zits. Giant zits.

Popping zits. I’m usually okay with talking about anything at any time from poop at lunch to sex positions at dinner but today really was not the day. I had a nice full tummy after consuming a sandwich and split pea soup in the cold February afternoon. I was happily starting back up work to finish the second half of the workload when my coworker asked, “Do you watch zit videos?” I was dumbfounded by the question, so I replied “What?” with a confused look. Then she explained… I regret deeply 1. Not having my earphones in like I’ve been doing for the past couple of days so I can’t really response to much because I can’t hear much. Podcasts are awesome. 2. WHY DID I ASK!? Curiosity really make the cat sick this time.

My supervisor chimed in as I took deep relaxing breaths to not lose my lunch at my desk as I slowly remember zit popping videos. I have only seen one such video a good long while ago on a show called Tosh.O where they gather clips on YouTube and talk about them.  I have that image forever in my brain after seeing it once. They were talking about it for a good half an hour in pretty detail description from the size of zit to the end result of a golf ball size hole in that back after popping it and looking up similar clips on their phones. Good thing they did not show me any. I’m pretty sure my face was getting pretty pale at that point. My coworker also share that she watches these clips almost nightly before bed because it’s just so satisfying to see a zit pop.

So what is your grossest discussion you have at work or with anyone? And what is your “unusual” ritual before bed?

Posted in Habits, Slice of life

That Late Night Snack

I rarely eat a thing after 9pm. I need sleep and a freshly filled stomach makes me want to run a marathon. At times after 9pm, if I’m hungry, I’ll probably drink some Ovaltine with some extra malt or milk. Or I’m really hungry, a slice of bread and some Ovaltine. I have a thing Ovaltine. I’m having some right now.

Tonight is a little different. I had some delicious Southern’s fried chicken at a friend’s house and craved for some more after driving home. Unfortunately, there’s no fired chicken at this time. The next best thing for me is some Red Hot Potato Riplets. Both are spicy that you want more of and delicious that you just cannot get enough of.

I remember last time I have such a late snack was in Freshman year of college. My new group of friends and I decided on late night to go on a McDonald’s trip. I got myself some hot fudge sundae that got me sick and one of my friends puking in her room later that night. Ah, good times.

I also remember way back when I was 10 in Los Angeles on a family trip. We just landed traveling from St. Louis to LA so we “gained” two hours. My family were hungry, so we went to a late night Cantonese restaurant at 10pm which was midnight for me. I was tired and hungry. Food was good, but it was hard to enjoy when you want sleep and you know need to not gorge yourself for sleep. I think I ended up having some warm milk before bed because I was having an upset stomach and no one have Tums.

What was your last late night snack? Was it a craving? What do you normally snack at night?

Posted in Slice of life

Dark Ages: No Connection

It’s been 8 days, 15 hours, 36 minutes, and 5 seconds. Still no connection. This is my tale.

My first day of work was like another beginning of a good book. Introduction to the main heroine, her homeland, her skills, and her trusty squad that helps her missions. Because tasks are not done by an individual but a nice cohort of people with unique skills. Anyway, I was taking a break and wanted to take a picture and show off my little desk when I notice that evil mark! That universal “No” symbol. That circle with a diagonal line through it. That should be for no smoking, drugs, and petting cat belly. That inviting warm, fluffy belly is a trap. My world was shaken to the core. Hark, how am I to like my Instagram pictures of goats and animals, how am I to get my lastest Buzz Feed news, and NO TEXTING! Oh, I’m gonna faint. Hold me, Fat Cat. And my battery was dying minute by minute as it tries over and over again to get that one bar! Whatever should I do?!

Called the IT. They are like Ghostbusters but cooler. After 40 minutes phone call and a half an hour in person visit, I just have to come to term that my phone just can’t connect in my office. My friends, you just have to pigeon mail me. *Sob* On the bright side, I have a job and I found a spot in the building that connects me to the outside today. I have that going for me. Yay!

Have you ever been disconnected from the outside? What did you do?

Posted in Slice of life

Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes

It’s Thanksgiving , everyone. (Well, it’s a day after. Close enough!) Here in the States, we use this time to stuff ourselves with turkey and American football. I also use this time with a belly full of Chinese dishes cooked by my relatives to list all the wonderful things in my life and plans for future to come!

Things I’m thankful for: Coffee, Chocolate, Desserts of all kinds, Mochi, Put chai ko, Dim sum, my coffee mugs, my French press, Technology, Modern medicine, Holistic medicine, and of course, people like family and friends. Oh, and my health. With all the sweet things that I put in my body, I hope that diabetes never get me. I don’t know what I would do if I can’t have a cupcake. Also, duck. It’s delicious.

Small plans for the near future: Check out Sump Coffee, Eat that turkey burger, Eat that brownie a la mode, Paint more paintings, Fix that closet, Try to sell some things, and Move into an apartment by myself.

Big plans for the near future: Visit Japan along with Deer island and Cat island, Have an Euro trip, Visit DC, Watch a Broadway musical in New York City, Have that chocolate buffet, Swim with dolphins, Swim with otters, and Visit Hawaii.

These help me to deal with other happenings that are not within my control. I’ll use this spark to motivate me to get up in the mornings or from a nap and do things. It’s the best I can do right now. These outside stresses like US election result and ongoing of Standing Rock for clean water are weighting down on me more than it should. How can we treat ourselves so badly? That person is a person like you. Hurtful words hurt. Violent actions also do them damage just like everyone else. Why are we attacking ourselves?

I want share some positives and I have this little jingle in my head. “Seasons of Love” is a great song. Individuals have one thing in common: love. Everyone has love to give and it’s worth fighting for. Why don’t we have this as a motivation for change? Love thy neighbor. Love is the best. Use love to take action.

What do you have on your lists? What other positive songs are out there to lift that human spirit?

 

 

Posted in Food

Rah rah ah-ah-ah Ramen

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Midtown Sushi’s Kimchi Ramen
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Midtown Sushi’s Hakata Ramen
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Robata’s Miso Tonkotsu

About three weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to have lunch with him. He had a small cold, so we were planning on getting some soup and noodles. Fork and Stix was our first choice and one of our favorite places for soup and noodles. However, their soup is more heavy because of the coconut milk, it’s not ideal for a cold. And Robata is not open for lunch. *PANIC* We had a dilemma in our hands! Where in St. Louis are we going to find a good ramen at this time!? Then he remembered someone mentioned this place to him. Midtown Sushi & Ramen

The place is small but still have plenty of room to stretch your legs. Parking is street parking with meters. There’s hardly any pedestrians. Don’t go by yourself. Have a buddy or two when possible. Anyway, he had the Hakata Ramen and I had the Kimchi Ramen. Both ramen have the same kind of al dente Japanese curly noodles, pork belly, and this velvety broth that warms your heart and soul. The Kimchi makes the orange-y color you see in the picture. It was too spicy for me to handle the whole bowl. I had a half of the bowl. I tried his before he dug in and I liked it better. This is another reason for having a friend to go with. So you can try all things! I was already planning to come back before lunch was over. The next week I was back with my parents because I was having a craving. I ordered the Hakata this time and it tasted exactly the same as the previous week. So the consistency is there and it was so good! I still managed to eat only half of it. So filling! And I had a second meal out of it. Mom ordered and ate the whole Kimchi Ramen and Dad a Plain Ramen. They both like it and would love to come back soon. Dad is especially picky so for him to like it and want to come back is something.

Now I have mentioned Robata in the beginning. You might ask, “Well, how do these two compare?” My answer is Robata is more salty than Midtown Sushi’s, but still good. My preference is Midtown Sushi at the moment. However, Robata has that Japanese ambiance and a larger variety of dishes to try. Their curry fries are delicious!

There you have it. Come try them out and tell me what you think.