As a native Chinese girl with a passion for cooking, I claim with pride that Chinese home cooking is as low-fuss as it is healthy and delicious. Even with a busy schedule, the simplicity of Chinese cooking helps steal time to whip up tasty dishes or stew an aromatic soup for yourself and other hungry appetites! Let the imagination run wild using the five essential ingredients in Chinese cooking.
The last time I blogged, I was living in San Francisco dealing with a destroyed kitchen. Fast-forward to today, and my family has moved south to Sunnyvale to be closer to my husband's work, but we're settling in quite comfortably in the much-dreaded suburbs. But no worries, it's still the bay area and there are plenty of fun things for families to do in the South Bay! I'm even enjoying being a two-car family, which is necessary for suburb life. While cruising around in my mama-ride, I've been exploring and running into Indian markets, Japanese markets, Chinese markets, larger-than-usual Whole Food markets, and farmers' markets. Living in San Francisco is a food paradise, but there was so much inner-city traffic and parking was always a fierce competition. Now it's easy wide-street! Okay, not really, but it is nice having a little more room and easier access to a greater variety of food sources. We are feeling grateful.
After settling in a bit and feeling the fog of baby brain finally dissipate, I've been trying something that really helps save time -- and money — when it comes to feeding the family. I've been meal planning. The first two weeks I created a Google Spreadsheet and fumbled with the cells between my iPhone and laptop, but then I found something so much easier that I haven't yet stopped this money-and-time saving practice. AnyList is a mobile app that allows users to create reminder lists and share them so that two people can use the same list (like a grocery list) and update in realtime. My husband and I have tried other apps, but this one is superior. As if I didn't like this app enough, AnyList is also the best way to meal plan. I can create recipes or import recipes from online then simply add them to my meal plan. I can add the ingredients to my grocery list straight from the recipe. I'm kind of a geek when it comes to using new technology to live life more conveniently. I keep trying new apps, but this one is hands-down, one of my favorite and most useful apps. As a mom and home chef, I'm in love with this app! Can you tell?
Check out my little step-by-step process below for how I added Food52's Quinoa and Kale Crustless Quiche recipe to my AnyList. Later I cooked a version of the recipe for my own family. Of course I snapped it and shared it on Facebook. Here's my version of the recipe I promised my friends: Kale and Quinoa Crustless Quiche
My kitchen has been a wreck for a month! And counting! Not being able to cook, blog or smell anything but sawdust and paint is depressing. It doesn't help that my mom is gravely ill and I feel helpless on that front as well. I'd like to say the kitchen is almost done. I'd love to say that my mom's illness is being addressed and all will be fine. Grasping for stability and it hurts to not have any certainty to lean on.
I'd only been to Guerneville, CA once long ago for the Reggae on the River festival. I'm not sure where my memory went, but Guerneville isn't what I remembered. It's a lovely town with a charming, old Main Street only a couple blocks long, but with a beach at the river just a couple blocks away.
I met up with my dear friend of 30 years Kalyanee Mam at Pocket Creek Farm, the home of the non-profit organization Pangea's Promise. Pocket Creek Farm is run by a lovely couple, Pam and Steve. We spent the day setting up the Pocket Creek Farmstand, thinning out the sage and thyme in the herb garden, then going to Kalyanee's "treehouse"—a cottage nestled high in the boughs of ancient redwoods—to cook a farm-to-table, vegetarian Chinese lunch. Afterwards, Kalyanee and I went downtown for some of the best ice cream I've ever had at Guerneville Bank Club and little stroll to the beach. Yes, there's a beach in Guerneville!
I love to cook easy, homestyle recipes for family and friends. In this blog, you'll find stories and recipes I've learned from families in China and other parts of the world.