Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Anna First Steps

This video was taken before X'mas. 'Back then' you still needed help with walking, but a month later you are already running around, climbing on chairs, beds, and sofa. Basically going everywhere that you're not supposed to go. You're still very keen on walking, we'll see how long that'll last. I think Kai was already bored and tired of walking after a few months. Now he's become a baby again wanting to be carried everywhere. He says 'Carry me carry me carry me....' 'I don't want to walk' allllllllllllllllllllll the time.

Kai Helping or Eating?


Kai helping to decorate the X'mas cookies. I think this photo was taken at the beginning because he's not covered in chocolate sprinkles. Honestly I think as much sprinkles went inside that little belly as what was put on the cookies. Had a blast running this little family cookie factory. Next year Anna would be able to help too.

Kai and Anna Jumping in Kai's Bed

This video was taken before X'mas. Sometimes you two play really nicely together, and this is one of those rare moments. Glad your mom captured it on camera. Time really flies, because it has only been a month and Anna is already walking around like she owns the place.

Scones




I think I just used a simple recipe I found on recipezaar.com Had Cythnia over for tea before X'mas and decided to give them a try. Not so difficult, nice and warm fresh from the oven.

Kassler with Kale


Love this dish. Tasted like Chinese preserved cabbage. Washed the kale a few times until it's clean. Saute some onion and bacon in oil and add the finely chopped kale. Then add stock and simmer until everything is mushy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with sausages or cured ham.

Xmas Cookies

Our first time making X'mas cookies. Had a lot of fun, even Kai helped. Ofcourse eating half of the toppings as he decorated the cookies but still it was a nice family activity.







Thursday, November 20, 2008

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We were at Kai's friend Nicola's birthday party and his little brother Alex took a liking to you. These pictures are of a funny sequence of events. First you crawled all the way to the other side of the room to grab the ballon, then you were extremely proud and happy and crawled back to us. After a few seconds Alex came and took the ballon away, that's when you immediately started crying. And then he gave it back to you and you were happy again. But when he got too close you were not very pleased and started to cry again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oatmeal


Made this for Sunday breakfast before our little walk in the city. Bring water to a boil, add oatmeal. Let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add milk, a dash of salt, butter, and banana. Serve piping hot with brown sugar and raisins to taste.

Oatmeal


Made this for Sunday breakfast before our little walk in the city. Bring water to a boil, add oatmeal. Let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add milk, a dash of salt, butter, and banana. Serve piping hot with brown sugar and raisins to taste.

Lamb Stew


I wanted to call it Irish stew but then I wasn't sure how authentic it was. Whatever it is, it has to be the simpliest stew I make.
All you need are lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions, a dark beer, and salt and pepper for seasoning. Saute the onions and lamb chunks in some oil or butter. Add the carrots and potatoes, then pour in the beer and enough water to cover everything. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are done and the sauce thickens a bit. Seaon with salt and pepper. Serve with some more steamed/boiled veggies. Nice and warm winter dish.

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What would you two wear without your grandparents? Anna's shoes were birthday presents from Oma Christiane. Most of your clothing were bought/made by your grandparents. This jacket belonged to Kai, which he got from Oma Chan. I think the pants too, but I can never be sure anymore. You have more clothes than me, whenever I am helping your mom with the laudry I seem to be hanging and folding an infinite of little tiny pieces of tees and pants.

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You two seemed to have reversed. Anna is becoming more and more grown up everyday, even her poses are more ladylike than ever. Whereas Kai is somehow returning to babyhood. Not only are you walking around with a large number of stuffed animals all the time, you mother just told me that you have recently started to ask for pats and hugs, on your head, on your legs and arms.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

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I love this picture, eventhough you look a bit out of it because of the flu. Still you and your mom look so cute together, like you are getting ready to go dancing. I wonder if you would actually let us tag along when you go clubbing in the future... well one can always dream right? Even parents.


And this is a second after...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Anna's Birthday Video Pt1



One of the few videos we took that day. Your mother made these chocolate muffins, and same with your brother we let you eat it on your own. You enjoyed making a big mess, although Kai made a bigger one because he had Brownies with icing.

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We took a small stroll after we had Anna's birthday chocolate muffins on Sunday. You found a little piece of blue chalk in the sandbox and of course couldn't wait to draw stuff with it. That little piece of chalk kept you pretty much occupied the whole time. Btw, you are wearing my hat in the picture. Don't know why you always like to wear my hats.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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My new favs. Your mother took them at the playground a while ago. Anna's first experience with fall, playing with the leaves. Such a carefree little girl. I wish you would always be so happy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

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It's been almost a month since the last entry... we just haven't been taking too many picture of you kids. Aunt April sent me some funky pictures though.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

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Kai and Opa Gote. You really enjoyed the time at the little zoo in Mainz with your grandfather Gote. He is a really hands on sort of grandfather. It makes me happy that you like spending time with him, I hope that he'd eventually teach you a few cool things too, like riding the motorcycle, gun shooting, and all kinds of handy work. I think these moments are very precious, something money cannot buy and I regret not having in my childhood. Unlike you I never really had any real relationships with both of my grandfathers. And so it was my wish from the beginning that you and Anna get to know your grandparents. Aftherall there wouldn't be your mother and I without them. It also makes me sad, looking at the pictures, that you don't see your grandpa Chan as often. And that it would be difficult for you to communicate with him because I failed to teach you Chinese. But I will try to have a family reunion every year so that way he won't be a complete stranger to you.



Two Stewed Dishes


I think I made this after we came back from the inlaws, had a lot of meat there and so craved vegetables.

I just chopped up the pumpkin, diced the yam, and stewed everything along with the chestnuts in water, sake, soy sauce, sugar for about 30 minutes until the liquid reduced. Sprinkled sesame seeds and served with rice and another beef potatoe carrot stew.

I really like this sake. For those of you who live in Asia or N.America it's not a problem getting this stuff. For small town Erlangen guy such as myself this is pure luxury at 13 euros for a little bottle.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Toronto Airport




Took these at the airport in Toronto when we left. Hopefully it won't be too long until we are there again to see Grandma and Grandpa Chan and aunt April. It was one of those rare occasions that both of you were standing nicely next to each other. The picture of Anna is one of my current favorites, it's not the usual cute expression but rather a very cool one.

Some Chinese Dishes




A few things I made last week. Didn't have time to make a proper four hour soup, had to settle for a quick one. Got the salted cabbage from the Asia shop, soaked in water for a bit to rid some of the saltiness. I think usually people make this soup with fish but I made mine with pork ribs. Basically put everything (tomatoe, cabbage, pork) in a big pot with water, bring to a boil and simmer for a while. Season with salt, and add the tofu towards the end.
Sometimes at the Asia shop there is bittermelon. Surprisingly my wife loves this stuff so whenever I see them I buy a few. Made two different dishes from them. Bittermelon omelet, eggs, chopped bittermelon, shreadded carrots, salt and pepper. Mix well and fry in a pan with oil. Takes 5 minutes.
The second dish is stirfry pork rips with sliced bittermelon in blackbean sauce. Saute the melon, add the rips (which I had leftover from the soup), add the blackbean paste, sugar and salt, a dash of Chinese wine.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fish Curry


Second day of sick leave. Made a quick lunch today for my wife and I. Found these things in the kitchen and put together some kinda curry.
Saute onion in oil, add potatoes, coconut milk, simmer. Added some curry powder along with some spices - star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, salt and pepper. Poached the fish separately, also the eggs. Dumped my daugther's unfinished yogurt in curry with the left over package of rasins. Put fish on the plate and then sauce on top. Crumbled the eggs, and garnished with parsley and almonds. Served with rice.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

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On Sunday we went to the open house at the fire hall. At first you were a bit scared looking at the drills and wanted to leave. You also said you don't want to be a fireman anymore. But then I got you the helmet and the vest for ten euros and everything was fine. And now you refer to yourself as the fireman, as in the fireman wants to watch Miffy, the fireman wants to eat something, etc... Your mother wouldn't be too happy though, she said she'd rather have you as a construction worker because it's safer. To that I replied, 'What kind of ambition is that?' Whatever you do in the future, I just hope you will be happy doing it, because at the end of the day, that is what is most important.