Wednesday, October 31, 2007

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I dunno if all kids your age like to read, but lately that seems to be your thing. You know some names of some fruits and animals, I'm trying to teach you numbers but that's still a bit too hard. Tonight you picked up this book on machines and started reading on your own on the rocking chair. When I came close you tried to explain to me what you thought of the diagram in your own babble. I hope you keep up with this reading habit, I've read that as parents you should let your children see you read to help them develop an interest in books. I guess the fact that we don't have a television also makes a make difference.

Cream of Chestnut


I've had the chestnuts for a while, wanted to make a Chinese chicken and chestnut stew but opted for the soup last minute.

Saute shallots in butter, add chestnuts, potatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the mixture is soft enough to be pureed. Add milk to desired consistency, season with salt, pepper, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and some parsley.

Monday, October 29, 2007

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So lately you like to be tugged in. You like to be wrapped up in the blankets with your stuffed animals, Mr. Bear, Eisbear, and Monkey. The beige blanket is from papa's friend Maria, and the blue one is from your grandma Maria.

Red Bean Puff Pastry


I ripped this off chowtimes again. It's a very simple and yet delicious desert. You only need a can of red bean paste, pre-made puff pastry, and an egg. Fold out the pastry, spread the paste evenly onto it, hold the pastry up, and then brush with egg yolk. Bake for about 20 mins or until pasty turns nice and brown.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

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It's been a week since we had a family day. I was really looking forward to spending the whole day with both of you. After your nap, we took the bus with your Bobbycar to the city for some cake and coffee. After that we took a stroll at the garden, it was a fine Autumn afternoon indeed.

The Bobbycar was free, I was coming home after the gym a couple of weeks ago and saw it on a lawn with a please help yourself sign. So I grabbed it and when you saw it you were so happy. Auto auto you said. And then we taught you car as well, so now sometimes you say auto and sometimes you say car.

Lamb Curry


Looking forward to next week's Autumn break so that I can cook again.

For the lamb curry, saute crushed cinnamon/cloves/star anise in oil, then add onions, garlic, ginger. Next add the meat, then chopped tomatoes, if it's too dry then add some water. Simmer for a bit before adding yogurt. Season with your choice of spices plus salt and pepper. If you have some sliced almonds it would be nice to throw some on top as garnish.

I made a potato and pea curry to go with it. So glad to be back in business.

Roast Deer


Made this last week but just got around to blogging it. We had a piece of deer meat left from hotpot so I decided to roast it for last Sunday's lunch. Flour the meat, fry on all sides, lay it on top of onions/carrots/celery, de-glaze pan with red wine and pour over meat, roast in oven for 20 mins or until desired doneness.

Served it with mashed potatoes and off the shelf kraut.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Taro, Tapioca, Coconut Milk Desert


Made this actually for last night's dinner, it was a friend's birthday and he came over for hot pot. My wife baked a cake and I made this desert. Simply boil tapioca until transparent, drain, and keep soaked in cold water to prevent them from sticking together. In a separate pot heat up some coconut milk and cook the taro pieces in it, add a piece or two of cane sugar. Turn heat off when taro pieces are soft, chill, add tapioca and serve.

This was the boy's portion tonight.

Pumpkin and Potato Mash


My wife is doing lots more cooking now that I'm not home as much. She started to make this mash the other day but then didn't feel so well after a while because of the baby. So I finished what she started, technically we did this together.

Simply make this as you'd make a normal mash except you substitute half of the potato with pumpkin. We served this with a few bratwursts. Nice hearty lunch, the boy loved it too.

Chinese Chives Omelet, Apricot Jam Chicken Wings



The omelet is a childhood dish. Soak and saute the dried shrimps a bit, cut the Chinese chives 2 inches in length, beat a few eggs and season with salt and pepper. Heat a pan with oil, mix everything together and fry on both sides until egg sets.

The chicken wings I got the idea from chowtimes, instead of using orange marmalade I used what I had which was apricot jam. Mix the chicken wings with the jam, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Coat well, place in a baking dish/tray, covered and bake for 30 mins. Then remove lid/foil and broil for another 10 until skin is nicely browned and crispy.

Both are very nice dishes to go with rice. Kids would love the chicken and the sauce, mine did.

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You and I had a nice Autumn Sunday morning. I didn't want to go at first as I have to prepare for new classes next week, but you really needed to get rid of some energy and the only way to do that was to go out. We took the tricycle I bought for you at the flea market yesterday, took a while as you don't really understand the concept of going straight and steering in general. First stop was the bakery, where I bought you a raisin roll. Then we went to the park and you wandered around a bit. It was really nice weather so there were a few other dads. Funny thing is that on Sunday mornings it's always dads with the kids, I suppose it's to give the moms a break. Hopefully one day I'll go with you with your kids to the park on a beautiful Sunday like today.

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Last Friday we were at the Asia shop together. Lien took out a box of her son's old toys for you. There were TMNT, little swords, and this little gem - your first r/c car. It took a while before you realised that you don't actually have to push it, but you still have to master the steering skills. When I was a boy your grandpa bought me so many of them. In fact they're still somewhere in the basement of your grandparents' house in Toronto. Perhaps next time we go back we can go through them and see which one you like.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

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You're sick, a little cold. Your mother makes you wear a scarf to keep your neck warm. I just cleaned your runny nose which you hate, that's probably why you look upset in the photo. Better than having stuff dripping out of your nostrils though.

Monday, October 8, 2007

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The world is really small. A few weeks ago I met a Cantonese Reverend and his son after my jog, he's here writing a paper. He's staying for one year and has brought his whole family with him. They've been over for dinner once and invited to theirs on Friday. It was a pleasant evening with nice home cooked Chinese food. You really enjoyed the company of Lilian and Louise (the daughters), I hope that we'll see more of them so that you can listen to more Cantonese.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Chicken Piccata


The Italian lemon chicken if you will. I was looking around for a nice Chinese lemon chicken recipe and came across this, much less work so I was sold immediately.

Butterfly the chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, then dust with flour. Brown in butter and set aside. Add white wine to the drippings and reduce, add to it capers, garlic, and lemon slices. When it's reduced finish the sauce with butter, return the chicken to the pan to heat through. Serve with noodles.

It took less than 20 mins, lunch can't be easier than this.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

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There a very nice kids store in the city called 'Baby One'. Just a few months before you had no idea how fun this place can be, but now when we're about to go in you get very excited to get out of your baby wagon.

In the basement they have a small play area, you seem to really enjoy the slides. I don't know why you do this, but even on the playground you like to slide belly down. I don't know what you were thinking in this particular moment but you were lying there for a bit. Perhaps thinking whether or not you should try the big one.

Baked Kammsteak


I'm not quite sure what the English word is for Kammsteak, somehow pork neck steak just doesn't sound very appetising. Simply marinate the meat with salt, pepper, paprika, lemon juice, and olive oil for an hour or so. Then bake in preheated oven for 10 - 15 mins topped with garlic/herb butter. Serve with potato salad and spoon the juice over the steak.