Sunday, December 30, 2007

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It's difficult to see from this photo, but your face is swollen and bruised a bit. It's because I slapped you yesterday, hard. You've developed this habit of not swallowing your food, you simply keep it in your mouth, and then you would inevitably spit the chewed mouth full out, disgusting. We've tried to be nice, but I just had enough yesterday, and when you did it again I lost it. I don't think I've ever hit you or anybody for that matter so hard before, on your little hand and your face. I'm not proud of what I did, and it hurt me as much as it hurt you. But I really want to rid you of this habit, hopefully the beating did the trick and we won't have to go through this again.

Chinese Pear Sweet Soup


Now that I'm feeling better, my wife is sick. She had a small fever and a bad sore throat. Made this Chinese remedy for all of us, even the boy liked it.

Simply peel, core, and quarter the Chinese pears. Soak, clean, and cut the white fungus. In a pot put pears, fungus, dates, Chinese almonds, and rock sugar. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for an hour. Serve warm or cold. Soothes the lungs and throat.

Hong Kong Style French Toast



Had this quite a bit when I lived in Hong Kong, I'd sit at the greasy spoon for ages reading my newspaper and smoking my cigarettes. Perhaps because I am going through a nostalgic phase, that's why I decided to make these for breakfast today. They usually deep fry them but as I don't have a deep fryer I pan fried them. Fill two pieces of bread with peanut butter or jam, dip in egg, and fry in butter. Ideally serve with syrup, but honey would also do.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Char Siu

Maybe it's because I was sick, but I really miss Hong Kong. Thought I'd give the homemade char siu a try, followed the recipe on wiki cookbook, turned out better than expected. Though it lacked that usual red color at the shops since I didn't have red powder at home.

Looking at the meat hanging gave me a strange sense of happiness, memories of the siu mei shops fill my mind.

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It's too bad that the picture is blurry, otherwise it'd be one of my favorites. We went to McD's for lunch and got this mask with your happy meal as part of the Bee movie promotion.

For some reason you refused to pose with it, perhaps it hurts your ears, so this is the only photo i managed to snap.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

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Some photos of you and Anna I took over Christmas. Call me biased, but I just think that you are the most gorgeous kid on the block, and I'm sure Anna will grow up to be a little lady as well.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Goose



A little bit too much food for two adults and a little boy, but Christmas goose is traditional here so two years in a row I've decided to do what the Germans do. Roasted the goose for about 3 hours, made my own rotkohl, and 30 mins for the store bought kloesse.
To prepare the goose, remove intestines and fat from cavity. Rub inside and outside thoroughly with salt and pepper. Put goose in the roasting pot with a cup of water breast side down. In a preheated oven roast for one hour before turning over and roasting another two. Keep an eye on the water level, add water if necessary.

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This is Kai's second Christmas and Anna's first. We had a tree last year too but Kai didn't pay any attention to it. This year was a lot more fun, he actually helped decorating, and kept calling it 'baum'. I don't think he understood what the wrapped boxes are at the bottom, until I said to him c'mon let's open your new toy. It was a nice quiet Christmas, just our little family, next year would be yet more fun as Anna would be one year old.

Bagels


Merry Christmas everyone. we had bagels for breakfast today, a nice change from regular German breakfast, and the North American bacon and eggs.
Made a few kinds, simply with butter, cream cheese with strawberry jam, smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers, and smoked salmon with cream cheese and pickles. The boy's favorite was of course the one with jam.

Mango Lassi

I didn't realise how easy it was to make mango lassi. Basically it's just mango nectar, yogurt, milk, and sugar in the ratio of 2/1/1/.5. Simply mix everything together and voila! We all had a nice chilled glass of it with the dal, butter chicken, and raita.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

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You, Anna, and your mother are in Mainz. I was looking forward to some down time alone but unfortuanately fell ill. One more class tomorrow morning and then I will have 2 weeks off, can't wait till you guys come back and open the X'mas presents. I've had your Duplo set in the basement for over a month now. I think also when you guys come back I'd try to take more photos of you and Anna together, but right now these will have to do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Okra, Tomato, Shrimp Gumbo

Came across some okra at the Asian grocers, searched the internet for a nice gumbo recipe and found something from Emeril.

The only things I did different was that I added corn, curry powder, and a bit of chilli. Served it with basmati rice. I had really good gumbo once at this place in Toronto call the Real Jerk which is famous for their jerk chicken but for some reason they also had a few Southern dishes on the menu. Don't know if it's the same now, been years since I last went. Looking forward to going again this summer.

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A lot has happened since the last time I posted. Kai broke the laptop, family visits, Anna stayed at the hospital for 4 days, I handed in 3 assignments, lots of teaching, Kai began toilet training, bought tickets for Toronto in July, my grandfather passed away, basically just have been busy living. Some pictures of you Anna, you are now a bit over one month old, and you grew so much. This is really not fair to your brother but I think you already look like a little princess, with your brother I thought that he looked like a little yellow monkey until at least 4 months.

Puffy Sausages


Things finally begin to slow down a bit two weeks before the holidays. I have been eating out a lot, at the canteen at Siemens, and some Turkish fast food place close by the VHS. It has been a lot time since we ate breakfast together as a family, this Sunday we had bacon and eggs, along with these pufffy sausage things I baked.
I forgot why I bought the puff pastry, so I thought I'd just wrap the Nuernbergers up with a triangular piece each. Brushed them with egg wash and baked until nicely browned. Turned out pretty good, the boy liked them too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

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You're now more than one week old. These photos were take by your mother a few days ago. Things have been ok, you sleep a lot during the day, but at night you start to make music. Either you're a night owl or you're on Asian time. The stuffed animals I bought for you before your birth at the Siemens employee store. Your brother has three so I'm still on the look out for a third one for you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

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This is your first puzzle, a gift from the Kwoks. After lunch your mother tried to put it together with you, it was good at first but eventually you lost interest. What came next was not good, you refused to clean it up so I had to slap your hand. Even with the slapping you still didn't do as told, quite a stubborn little boy you are, I wonder if I were the same. I felt so bad hitting you, call me old fashioned, but I believe in physical punishment.

Tofu Stew


It's getting really cold in Germany, so i make this soup/stew to warm us up for lunch. Saute minced pork in a bit of oil in a pot, add onions, diced vegetables, and I threw in the rest of the spinach. Add water, bring to a boil, simmer until veggies are soft. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. Lastly stir in the tofu, chopped spring onions, and chopped coriander. You can thicken it with some diluted cornstarch, or not. Drizzle sesame oil on top and serve.

Spinach, Bacon, Gorgonzola Pasta


Got a big delivery of organic spinach. Used a third of it to make this pasta for dinner. Wash the spinach thoroughly, set aside. Cook pasta according to package instructions, in the mean time prepare the sauce. Saute bacon with shallots in butter, add spinach, then cream, lastly the cheese. When the pasta is ready simply toss it with the sauce.

Bayrischer Weisswurstsalat

Got this idea from a recipe I picked up at the grocery store. Extremely easy to make, great for a light lunch.

Cook the weisswursts in water, let cool, peel, and slice. Mix with radish, pickles, spring onions. Chill in the fridge for half an hour. In the mean time combine olive oil, sweet mustard, vinegar to make dressing. Toss salad with dressing and serve with pretzel. Sprinkle some paprika powder on top as a garnish.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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This was your second day, they said that your blood sugar level is a bit low, that's why you've been sleeping so much. Everyone who's seen your picture and pictures of your brother when he was so little said that you two look alike. I agree, except that you have more hair. The photo on the bottom was taken when Kai was two days old as well.

Monday, November 12, 2007

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This is the first photo of papa and you. I'm not sure when your mother took it but it's definitely for keeps. Today you came home, I hope that we'll get used to each other soon. Your brother can already say your name, although it sounds more like 'Hannah'.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon in Beer


My wife's first meal back, wanted to make something healthy for her. Last week the organic food service delivered a portion of Brussels Sprouts, I don't think it gets healthier than this.

Saute bacon with chopped onion in a bit of butter, add the cleaned sprouts, add enough beer to cover, bring to a boil and then simmer until sprouts are tender but not over cooked. Season with salt and pepper, toss in extra butter if desired. I served them with rice and a baked lemon chicken.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

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Anna Maria Chan is here. She was born on November 9th, 2007 at 6 am in Erlangen, Germany.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

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Kai Pantel was over the other night for dinner with his sister, you really enjoyed playing with him. I was in the kitchen but heard you laughing a lot, must have been some wild crazy games. You should know that the big Kai was the inspiration for your name. He came to Hong Kong to visit your mother and that's when I first came across this name. Your mother and I both agreed that it'd be a good name for you as it's both European and Asian.

Spanferkel Bauch


That's what it says on the package of the meat, translates to Suckling Pig Belly. I made this German lunch for my wife and I today while the kid was taking a nap.

Simply rub the meat with salt, pepper, caraway seeds, fry skin side down until a bit crispy, then place in baking dish and pour beer over it. I used a smoked beer from Bamberg, but any dark beer would do. Bake in oven at 200c for 30 mins, then turn the heat up and broil for 15mins more so that skin is nicely browned.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

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You love to play with the laundry rack for some reason. It was raining today so we had to move the laundry in from the balcony. As always you had fun walking under the clothes, and hiding behind them. I suppose I am biased, as I'm your father, but I really do think that you are such a beautiful child. When you smile and laugh it really brings a lot of joy to your mother and I.

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You mother hated me taking this picture of you, but I believe that although happy smiley pictures are nice, the crying getting hurt ones are part of your growing up as well and therefore should also be documented.

Jambalaya


I took the boy with me to the supermarket this morning so that my wife can rest a bit. It took longer than I thought it would so after we came home I just whipped up this jambalaya with the stuff in the fridge in less than 30 mins.

Belt butter in a pot, saute onion and leeks, then add the meat (I had sausages and bacon, one time I used chicken and shrimp, anything goes really). Add the washed rice, with it a can of chopped tomatoes and water to cover the rice. Add herbs, and other ingredients that you tickle your fancy ( I used some jalapeno pepper, capers, and corn), bring to a boil, and then simmer until rice absorbs all the liquid. Turn the heat off and let covered for a few minutes more until rice is fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle spring onions on top and serve.