What Mason Ate

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Growing up, we ate whatever was on the table. Oh the things I ate, and loved eating. Eggplant, cabbage, fried ramen, chicken heart, chicken feet, pig tongue, etc. I ate it all.

As a mom, I try to feed Mason a lot of different things, and things that we eat on the daily, which includes all sorts of food, since Brandon and I enjoy most cuisines, and unless it's still alive and kicking, I'll usually eat it. So, I hope our little guy doesn't get too picky as he grows up.



Monday, August 3, 2015

I had a couple of comments about this so I wanted to address it. In a lot of his pictures, Mason's eyes look crossed. This was something that was pointed out to us when he was 3 months old by his pediatrician. We were concerned, and took him to an eye doctor. The doctor performed a complete eye exam on Mason, and the test results came back negative for any misalignment. We were very relieved.

Pseudostrabismus sounds completely horrific, but it actually just means a false appearance of eye misalignment. Apparently, this happens quite frequently in Asian babies.

We'll continue to monitor his eyes, and get them checked annually. I do appreciate your comments, and thoughts.


Flashback Friday

Friday, July 31, 2015

My family and I came to the United States in 1991. I can't recall the airplane ride, or the peanuts. Or did I have pretzels? Or maybe nothing as none of us spoke English, aside from the English my dad learned as a nurse back in Thailand.

There are three very prominent things that I do recall during those early days. We lived in an apartment closed to a school that had a little playground. On that playground was a slide that was huge to me at that time, being a little girl at that time. I remembered thinking, wow, I am so high up. I also remembered seeing a glass window for the first time. I was amazed and speechless to see a piece of clear glass to separate the interior from the outside elements. Finally, I remember seeing a bed for the first time. It had seemed so high at that time, and how weird that people would sleep on that.

I've seen a few things since then, and though I am not always as enamored by the little, simple things, here's to finding joy in the small things, the things that we see every day.


Cooking With: Spring Roll Pastry

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Growing up, my mom would spend hours and hours in the kitchen, making us all kinds of food. It was her way of showing her love, and I really appreciated it. After I got married and when I visited, my mom would make some of my favorite foods. There are too many name, but I hope to show them in this space soon.

One of my favorite dish is an appetizer and that is the egg roll. I love egg rolls, and they are best eaten when fresh. That is what my mom always said. Anytime she is cooking, she would always give us some to eat because that is the best time to enjoy them. And now, I tell Brandon that also.

Some people refer to the egg roll as the spring roll, as noted per the name of the pastry packet so you will see that used interchangeably throughout.

This dish is a bit more complicated, and takes a couple of hours between prep time and cooking time.

spring roll pastry
vermicelli noodles
ground beef
shredded cabbage
shredded carrots
egg yolk (for wrapping the spring roll pastry)
hoisin sauce
sriracha sauce
fish sauce
sweet chili sauce
vegetable oil

Dethaw your pastry by letting it sit on the counter while you prep. Cook the ground beef until done. Boil some water, and take that off the heat and stick your vermicelli noodles in it. Once the noodles turn clear, they are done. Drain the noodles and mix that in with your cooked ground beef. Add in the shredded cabbage and the shredded carrots. Stir well so that you have an even composition of ingredients. Add in the eggs. I added 2 eggs. Add the hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce and fish sauce. Add as much or little as you like. I typically like to smell the bowl and use that as my guideline to whether I need more of something or not. If anything, steer on the side of less as the less gooey your filling, the easier it is to roll, and the less likely your pastry will break.

Your pastry should be thawed out now, and you can take them apart without tearing it. If the pastry starts to tear, just slowly ease inch by inch. I like to separate all the pastry first before I actually roll my egg rolls. Put a little less than a 1/4 cup filling in the middle of your pastry. Roll one corner over the filling while pulling opposite corners to meet in the middle to cover the filling from coming out. Roll through, and put some egg yolk on the last corner to seal the egg roll.

Once you have them all rolled, it's time to cook them. I boil mine in a deep pot with vegetable oil, enough so that once the egg rolls are done, they float. I don't time them but wait until they are a nice light brown color. Once cooked, dip in the sweet chili sauce, and eat.



International Rose Test Garden

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

We visited the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon and it was quite the treat! The Rose Garden felt like it just kept going. There were so many beautiful roses everywhere, and in all beautiful shades. I took so many pictures of the flowers, but didn't want to bore you with all those so I just limited myself to a couple here. There is an amphitheater here. There is a nice playground for kids. There is a large field for soccer, or flag football, or whatever you need a large field for. The Garden was free. You do have to pay for parking which was plentiful. I would suggest going down close to the field for parking. At the front of the park are tennis courts, and those are all full. If you drive towards the field (at the end), you have parallel options. I'm not a very good parallel parker so I opted for a regular drive in spot. Parking is $1.60 per hour, or $4 for all day.

If you ever come to Portland, or haven't been, you must, must come here! It is absolutely gorgeous, and so beautiful here.


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