Tuesday, July 31, 2007

German Pea Soup


My wife didn't feel well yesterday so you preferred that I stayed home with her. Hence I couldn't go get groceries instead I just grabbed some bacon on the way home from teaching and made this soup.

It's very simple. Just sweat the bacon in a pot, take them out and set aside. Throw in the chopped onions, add water/stock, carrots and celery if you have them, and lots of peas. Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour until everything is soft. Ideally you really should have a piece of salted pork/ham simmering in there for flavor. Unfortunately I didn't so I had to rely on the herbs, namely bay leaf and sage. When the soup is done, chop up the bacon and throw it back in the pot. If you used the ham/salted pork take it out and break it up into pieces and serve with the soup. As the meat/bacon carries enough salt already, you really don't need to add any extra salt to the soup. Perhaps a bit of pepper though.

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To me you really look mixed in this photo. Which is strange because have always looked to me more Asian, specially when you're next to the blond hair, blue eyes German kids. Most people think the same as me here, that you look more Asian than European, the other parents and our friends.

When I talk to my Chinese friends though, they all seem to see more of the Western side of you.

I know this sounds corny, but I suppose as long as you're healthy and most of all happy, it really doesn't matter how and who and what you look like.

But then again it wouldn't hurt if you grow up to be gorgeous...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Lazy Man's Pierogies



I love pierogies, but they are just very time consuming. So when I came across this recipe I was very excited, although they called it the poor man's pierogies.

Warning: major carbs. Prepare the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Boil and mash potatoes, add to it grated cheese, butter, and season well with salt and pepper. Fry onions in butter and set aside. In baking dish layer noodles, onions, potatoes. Repeat layers a few times and finish with a layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 30 mins. It doesn't look anything at all like pierogies but tasted quite similar. It would've been nicer if I used cheddar though.

I served it with a little salad. Grated carrots, cucumbers, corn, kidney beans, raisins, mixed with lemon juice, pepper, and a bit of mayo.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

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So here are two bathing pictures, the rest I can' t post here as it involves frontal nudity. Duke is really a nice boy. I hope that you'll get to go to the same kindergarten as him, so that you can look out for each other and pick up all the cute chicks. You'd be like the mixed duo.

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Today we had visitors, a very nice family with two kids, the Katatumbas. You and Duke who's a year older played relatively nice together. You somehow found chocolate somewhere and instead of eating it right away you smeared it all over your face.

You also took a bath with Duke which of course I took pictures of. But they'll have to wait for tomorrow's post.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

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Mom didn't feel so good today. I took you out for the afternoon so that she could rest. We went to the city and shared some ice-cream. On the way back I got off the bus a stop early and let you walk a bit. You insisted on pushing your buggy even though it was raining. We weren't in a hurry so I thought why not. You didn't mind the rain at all and pushed the buggy pretty much all the way back home. Perhaps you can do this when your little sister is born.

Btw, we went to the doctor's for a check up a couple of days ago and she said that your mother's cervix is already opened. If she doesn't stop the physical assertion there will be a high chance of an early delivery. We don't want that do we now? So you better be a good boy and not nag mom to hold you all the time.

Steamed Eggplant with Miso Sauce



My mother made a similar dish when I was small. She used peanut butter instead of miso though. Thanks to my friend Kitty Ma and her telling me of this blog I was reminded of the dish.

Pretty simple. Just slice/julienne the eggplant with or without skin, soak in salted water for an hour, steam until done , let cool, and drizzle with sauce. The sauce is made by whisking miso paste, sesame oil and sugar together. If it's too thick add some water to thin it out. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over the eggplant and serve cool.

Thanks to my sister for bringing over the nori sesame mix, it gave plain old steamed rice a nice kick.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

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One of those moments that I love the most, is when you're sleeping. Not only because you're not screaming and crying and wanting and wanting some more, it's also because... well simply because you just look so adorable.

But then again I'm your Dad and obviously I'm biased. In the future we'll ask your girlfriends if they find you as cute as I do when you're sleeping, show them pictures such as this and more. Can't wait.

豬 頸 肉 Salad


I got the pork neck meat by mistake the other day when I bought the schnitzels ( I asked for Kalbfleisch and she thought I meant Kammfleisch), but I was too embarrassed to point that out.

Anyhow I remembered that Susie Wong's got a recipe for the meat Thai style and that's what I put together for a quick dinner last night.

Marinate the meat with a bit of dark and light soy sauce, pepper, and a dash of turmeric dissolved in water. In the meantime make the dressing by combining lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, chillies, shallots, coriander, and garlic. Then make the salad. Tomatoes, onions/shallots, coriander, cucumber, vermicelli. Toss everything together with a bit of lime juice.

When the meat has marinated for about an hour heat a pan on high and fry without oil for 5 mins on both sides. Let cool and thinly slice. Serve on top of the noodle salad and drizzle with dressing.

Both the boy and the wife liked it so I guess it was a lucky misunderstanding at the butcher's.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jaegerschnitzel


Since I haven't had lunch with my wife for a while I decided to make something nicer than plain old fried rice.

This variation of schnitzel is not breaded. In English it translates to hunter cutlet. Which is basically a piece of pan pried pork/veal/turkey served with dark mushroom sauce.

Pound the meat, season with salt and pepper and fry in butter for a couple of minutes on each side. Set aside. In the same pan saute the onions, then add to it the sliced mushrooms. Deglaze the pan with red wine and a bit of stock, lastly add a dollop of sour cream. Season well with salt and pepper and serve.

For the carrots I simply boiled them and then tossed them in butter, maple syrup, a dash of salt, and a bit of cinnamon.

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You love corn. There was a piece of leftover in the fridge, and last night when I came home from work I was too hungry to wait for the noodles so I starting munching on it. As soon as you saw it you wanted some too. At them end I think you ate almost half of it.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

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You love to hangout in the kitchen. Always curious as to what I'm doing. Sometimes I'd even let you try pieces of chillies and ginger. Very soon I'll get you to help me chop stuff, hope you're up for it.

Squid in Black Bean Sauce, Pan Fried Pomfret, Garlic Bok Choi


Been having too much pork, so decided to have only seafood for dinner.

minced garlic, red For the squid dish sautechillies, ginger, black beans in oil. Add onions and peppers, then squid. Add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and Chinese sherry. Thicken the sauce a bit with starch.

The fish is very easy, simply dust both sides of fish with starch/flour, pan fried over medium heat for a couple of minutes then turn the heat up high. Fry until skin is browned and crispy. Serve with soy sauce.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

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So I know I'll get crucified for these pictures. But it's part of your growing up. In the mornings you're always very eager to leave the flat. And the other day your mom left for the hair dresser's without you, while I took you to the day care before going to teach. The minute she left you started crying, holding your shoes and wanting to leave. It took you sometime to calm down but eventually you did. I really hope that you'll get out of this whining and crying phase soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

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I made this Chinese sweet soup desert couple of days ago. Your mom is not a fan so you and I had a bowl each. It's made with tofu skin, quail eggs, rock sugar, and water. It was the first time you had it but naturally anything sweet you'd love. So you pretty much drank the liquid, ate the eggs, and avoided the tofu skin. It still made me happy, just like the first time you had rice. Shows me that you're Chinese after all.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Curries




Had them for lunch today. Chicken, lentils, french beans and potato. The basic spices for all of them are onion, ginger, coriander, garam masala, cumin, star anise, cloves, chillies, and garlic. The main differences are the chicken has yogurt and tumeric, the lentils with tomatoes, and the beans with sesame paste. It was quite enjoying on a hot day like this, specially washing everything down with a nice cold glass of Riesling.

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I don't remember when we took this picture, it was probably over the weekend of my birthday. We had cake at our favorite bakery and you played with the birds outside of the schloss. You're quite fond of animals, specially dogs and cats. Maybe one day we'll get a family pet, you'll probably be very excited.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

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The insurance company we're with gave me a birthday discount coupon for the sporting goods store in town. We went there last weekend and I got a new swimming cap. You tried out a couple as well. This one seemed to be your favorite. You showed it off to pretty much everyone in the store.

Hirschbraten

I've been wanting to try the frozen deer medallion at the market. Finally made a roast from it for dinner today.

Melt butter in a pot, saute chopped onion and carrot. Brown the meat on all sides, add red wine ( I used Regent - a bold German red), herbs ( I used rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorn, cloves, garlic), plums, sour cream. Bring to a boil and transfer to oven preheated at 180c. Cook for 45 mins. Remove meat from pot and cover with foil. Drain the sauce and boil on high until thickens. Alternatively you can add flour but I don't like the floury taste. Slice the medallion. Serve with a nice creamy mash and the rest of the red wine if you haven't already finished the bottle while cooking.

Tom Yum Goong

It was so hot today, lost all appetite. Made a quick soup for a light lunch.

Bring water to a boil, add crushed lemon grass and chillies, chopped tomatoes, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, sliced Thai ginger, halved straw mushrooms, simmer for a bit. Season with fish sauce, lime juice, dash of sugar, and tamarind. Bring to a boil again, add shrimps, turn heat off. Check seasoning and serve with chopped coriander.

You can also make this with chicken, in that case it's called Tom Yum Gai.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

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It was my birthday last Sunday. We took it easy and just went out for cake and coffee in the afternoon followed by a nice walk in the Schlossgarten. Your mom took some nice pictures of you and I. Although it wasn't the most exciting birthday (besides the fact that I turned 30), it was certainly the happiest. Just sitting on the bench with you and your mom as a family, I felt so at peace. Nothing else mattered that afternoon. I am sure we won't see eye to eye on a lot of things when you grow up and you'll probably hate me for just being your old man, but I hope that you'll always remember the nice times we had when you were little and the laughs we shared.

Raita

Thanks for the birthday wishes last week. We decided to stay in for the big day and I make Indian. Baingan bharta, raita, rice, and roti.

The eggplant curry I've written about before and the roti was frozen. That leaves the raita. Pretty easy condiment to make for curries. Simply blend together yogurt, coriander, cucumber, onion, and season with cumin, salt, pepper. I didn't have mint, it would've given the raita a big kick.

One more week to go for my Celta course. Looking forward to spending more time in the kitchen again.