I AM BACK!

After almost a year worth of sabbatical, I am back!!!

What got me busy to begin with you ask? Well, I was pregnant and had a child while doing full time research and engaging in building a start up company at the same time. So, things got a little slow in the kitchen and even slower in the kitchen life follow up. 🙂 I still cooked, a lot, just couldn’t find the leisure to brag about it.

So am I less busy now so I start cooking again? Well, not really. However I have found new and creative ways to better and efficient time management. I am coming back with ever more recipes and ideas! Please stay tuned!

PS. Man, it feels great to start talking about food again! Miss you all.

Cooking in High Elevation

Living at an elevation of 5430 ft means a lot of things, and it definitely means cooking is different from most places. It’s dry and arid, and most importantly, the air pressure is lower.

That means, water boiling point is lower, things take longer to cook. Baking goods rise a lot easier. Doughs need more water than sea-level preparation. So, when you find my recipe timing, or temperature, or liquid volume a bit *off*, please adjust and tweak the recipes according to your liking and your location.

If you are living in even higher elevation than me, then a great guide I found was here, suggestions made from research done by CSU:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/p41.html#cook

I find this brochure tremendously helpful especially when I cook somewhere at low elevation and I use the advice reversely. It constantly reminds me of how a change in the environment affects the technique and the outcome.

Enjoy cooking! 🙂

A teaser on recent Patagonia trip/food

Hola!

So husband and I recently travelled to Patagonia to go on a hiking trip, mainly hiked in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, got quite some walking mileages in, and hung around in Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales for an extra few days.  Of course, while traveling, it is a wonderful opportunity to explore local restaurants and establishments, which I obviously would not miss, lol.

Below is the view from Hotel Lago Grey looking at Paine Grande while sipping a very Chilean Pisco Sour.  😛

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Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on Southern Chilean food adventure!  Gracious!

On the current Boulder flooding…

In the past few days, my town and surrounding area have been devastated by the torrential rain and flash floods.  While being trapped in our house dealing with some leaks and some basement flooding, our hearts go out to everybody who has been affected by the disaster, severely or not.  And we hope the crops and animals in the nearby farms are doing ok as well.  There will be no food post for a while.

What to do with beef liver?

Beef liver is packed with nutrients and it also have a unique taste to it. It has a strong mineral flavor to it.

I have two packs of beef liver.

Last night, I decided to do a test run and opened up one pack. I used otherwise the same ingredients as the beef fajita recipe (see this link https://foodtofeedmysoul.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/marinated-beef-fajitas-with-homemade-salsa-and-guacamole/) to cook the beef liver. Onion strips always go great with liver meats. The only thing to be careful is that the cooking time is slightly different between organ meat and muscle meat. It only takes about 5 minutes on medium-high heat to thoroughly cook the liver. And it is advised to cook the liver as a whole first and cut to desired slices later and do NOT turn frequently while cooking. It was delicious!

And I am searching as well as creating a more creative way of cooking the other pack of beef liver. Do you have any good ideas? 🙂

Sometimes just a few slices will make your day…

I spent literally ONE minute to slice the fish, 30 seconds to spread a ton of wasabi onto the soy sauce. Eating sashimi with a bowl of warm rice (drizzled with rice vinegar) is simply the simplest but greatest treat. Mmmmm…..

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So this was the reason why I was craving some sashimi at home last night while waiting for a snow storm to come – SUSHI PARTY at a friend’s three days ago…lol.

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A duck fix

I looooooove duck meat. I call them “ribeye with wings”. They are rich and flavorful thanks to their high content of fat. Some people think they taste between chicken and turkey, I say they missed the mark by quite a bit. Ducks float on water and swim, they taste closer to goose. Duck meat is red meat but it still has the tender texture of poultry.

The Chinese and the French really have a knack for cooking ducks. I love wood fire roasted duck the most, and adding some dried orange peels or tea leaves, or fruit tree branches into the fire gives another layer of flavor to the delicious duck meat. Since I have such passion for ducks, I seek out for ducks whenever I get a chance.

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Today I tried out a local Chinese restaurant that has been open for a few months. Their Peking duck was without a doubt the best I have tasted in the US.

I went straight to wholefoods after and got myself a whole duck. I am looking forward to making my own duck. Yum! Thanks for checking in.

Cooking when you cannot

A recently broken collarbone during skiing means that I cannot cook for a while — since I cannot lift my arm, bear weight, etc.

But I soon realized I just couldn’t chop, but I still can MAKE food.  I might need to use more semi-prepared ingredients, but that is still better than heating up frozen pizza.

I probably will have to stick with a lot of salads which do not require much preparation, but I am unwilling to turn into a vegetarian completely.  So I am on a mission to establish a few recipes for this inconvenient time.

Updates will follow.  🙂

A treat to Shanghai

I stumbled upon this webpage blogging about the backstreets’ markets in Shanghai, where I was born and brought up.

http://www.culinarybackstreets.com/shanghai/2013/shanghai-wet-markets/

I have to say, compared to the experience you get shopping in a backstreet market, walking down aisles in the US grocery store is simply painful and boring at the best.

In the backstreet market, you get seasonal fruits and vegetables picked yesterday coming from nearby regions.   The fishes are still alive in the water tank and you can choose to have it cleaned right then or take the fish home STILL alive in a bag of water.  You will be able to ask for almost any cut from the animal that was butchered on that morning and almost any animal or poultry you can imagine, you can find it in the market.  Better yet, if you are a frequent customer, the vendors know you so well that they will keep your favorite for you without being asked to do so.

Oh, man, I miss going to these backstreets’ markets!!!

Hello world!

I consider myself a food lover and adventurer.  

As a Chinese, I am in love with the cuisine and all of its branches and variations.  Living outside of China for many years also has made me enbrace other cuisines, such as French, Italian, Spanish, Indian, African, and other parts of Asian food.

My passion for cooking is almost as much as eating.  In this blog, I will blog about food I love, dishes I cook and yummy adventures I have.  🙂

Stay tuned.

PS. A lot of friends ask me if I only make Asian food. As a matter of fact, I make a lot of Italian, French, new American food as well. But the Western food I make is more or less already quite mainstream and popular – in other words, anybody can put up a few recipes or two. So I tend not to put up generic recipes for pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce or French onion soup or cheeseburger – well, you get the idea. I will be blogging mainly the food either I create myself or dishes that are popular in China/Japan/etc but little known to the other parts of the world. Or I will record my first try with dishes that are less familiar to me, such as Mexican/Indian/etc food with some of my own spin sometimes.