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


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.


How can anyone not want to have more children if they look like this?

Pumpkin, Potatoe,Chestnut Stew

Finally it's the weekends and I have a bit of time to cook. Made this simple stew from pumpkin, potaote, chestnuts, and Chinese mushrooms. Chop the potatoe and pumpkin. Saute the the sliced mushrooms in a bit of oil, add the other stuff, add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and the mushroom soaking liquid. If it's not enough to cover everything the add some water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins until potatoe is tender. Serve hot garnished with scallion.

More of Rebecca's Cooking

Another pasta dish from Rebecca, and some oh so good apple tart. They were especially cool because the apples were from a neighbours apple tree, 100% organic.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Kai's first drawing at kindergarten. I don't think you really drew this, but your Mom found it in your backpack after school and was very excited to show me. I don't know why Mama gets a much bigger heart than Papa though.

Rebecca's Cooking

Work has been keeping me away from the kitchen, so Rebecca has been doing the cooking. This was some sorta casserole with potatoes, spinach, bacon, and cheese. Very tasty I must say, it was nice to come home to a nice warm meal.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stirfry Veggies and Blackbean Dace, Pumpkin Pork Rib Stew

I don't usually like fish, usually only when it's deepfried, or canned. The blackbean dace is a variety that I've loved since childhood. All you need to do for this dish is to find some nice fresh Asian greens, quickly stirfry it in oil and add the canned fish. If the taste is too diluted season it with a bit of soysauce. But basically there's not much to it.
The second dish I learned from my mother this summer. Apparently she makes it for my Dad everytime he flies home. I don't know exactly she seasons it but I just sauteed the ribs and a chunk of smashed ginger in a bit of oil, added the pumpkin chunks, and then the usual suspects - dark and light soysauce, sugar, sesame oil. Added enough water to cover everything. Simmered for 20 mins until the meat is tender and the liquid has evaporated a bit. Both dishes go really well with rice.


Tonight was mid-autumn, but a few days ago we already had our first taste of the mooncake. As expected, Kai wanted to play with the mooncake more than eating it. Anna on the other hand loved the extreme sweetness. Kai has a more western taste in food, one that is, not surprisingly similar to my wife's. Anna loves rice, congee, Chinese soup, sweet soups, and now her first mooncake. Basically the two kids are opposites in terms of food. Maybe one day you two will do what your Aunt April and I did, when Grandma Chan wasn't looking we would switch food in our bowls, I'd take the veggies, and she'd take my fish.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Anna's First Bathing Suit...

... from Grandma Chan and Aunt April.

Maybe we should keep this for your daugther someday. I am getting a bit ahead of myself here I know, wouldn't be for another 20 years at least (I hope).

High Park

These were taken by your mother at her favorite place in Toronto - High Park. I don't know what this pose is all about, but I do remember that you were quite interested in the waterfall. Perhaps next time we go I will take you to Niagara Falls, not that you haven't been, but you were too small to appreciate it.

Shrimp and Walnut Stirfry

Quick stirfries I did last week.

Shrimps with walnut seasoned with salt, pepper, cooking wine, and honey.

Broccoli with garlic and ginger.

Be sure to toast the walnuts before hand. Serve with lots of rice.

Seaweed Soup

Ever since we came back from Toronto we've been in vegetarian mood. Not that we stopped eating meat completely but just much less. There was a package of seaweed in the kitchen that went a bit stale, so I made this soup, along with some frozen spinach from the fridge with it. I remember my mother made this or something similar when I was a kid.
Basically just put everything in a pot with water, bring to a boil and season with salt. A also added some tofu, mushrooms, and ginger. Serve piping hot.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

At Home (Toronto)

You were quite fond of this little chair. Actually you were quite fond of all the things that were new. But with this you did more than just bite on it, is that a future drummer I see?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Beach

The first time you went to the beach, and you really got a 'taste' of it. I am not very sure where this was anymore, but it's probably the Bluffs.