Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chinese New Year's Dinner 2016

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Chinese New Year of the monkey started yesterday, Monday (8 February).   Reunion dinner are traditionally held on the eve but we have ours today with 2 relatives.  2 other relatives could not make it, due to health problems so we invited 2 friends.  Plus Mike and me, there were 6 of us.    I have enough food for another 6 people!

I cooked 10 dishes this year!  Just felt like trying different recipes from the internet.   Using their recipes to blend into my own, they turned out all good!   And traditionally, we want to have lots of leftovers (plenty) for the new year.   And we did have a lot of leftovers.

Pork leg with vinegar
(http://annieliciousfood.blogspot.com/2012/10/mdm-chais-pig-trotter-in-vinegar-with.html) - lots of collagen!   This is my late dad's favourite dish.
Braised chicken feet with Chinese mushrooms
(http://raymondskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/04/braised-chicken-feet-with-mushroom.html) - lots of collagen, as well!  To those people who exclaimed this is yakky only by looking at the cooked feet and not even tasting it, I said they are not adventurous and they don't know what they are missing!

Stir fried ginger beef
I prefer my braised version (the meat being more softer) but this turned out good too.  This is beef and I probably had it in the pan too long.

Stuffed tofu with pork and prawns
(http://www.anyrecipe.net/asian/recipes/stuffed_tofu.html) - I made a sauce to dip them with.   Delicious!

Chicken curry with potatoes
(http://rasamalaysia.com/chicken-curry-with-potatoes/2/) - one of my favourite dishes.   My late mum liked to do this on a raining day.

Fried fish with soy sauce
(http://rasamalaysia.com/fried-fish-with-soy-sauce/2/) - love it!

Salt and pepper shrimp
(http://rasamalaysia.com/salt-and-pepper-shrimp-recipe/2/) - superb delicious!

Honey garlic spareribs
(http://chinesefood.about.com/od/spareribs/r/honeygarlicribs.htm) would have been moist and grossy looking, if we haven't forgotten to brush the half way baked spareribs with honey and water mixture!

Monk's vegetables
(http://sunflower-recipes.blogspot.com/2010/02/buddhas-delight-or-monks-vegetables.html) - didn't turn out as good as I normally did, because I left it too long on the stove!

Spicy stir fried romaine lettuce
(http://bamskitchen.com/international-cuisines/chinese-cuisine/spicy-stirfried-romaine-lettuce/) - always love simple stir fried green vegetables cooked to right level of crunchiness.

Valentine's Day 2016

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Mike decided to celebrate Valentine's Day today, by taking me to my favorite restaurant, Olive Garden.  Left the house after 6 pm but only got to the restaurant about 7:45 pm.

Mike wanted to get his prescribed sunglasses done so we drove to the mall which is near the restaurant.   Unfortunately the sunglasses shop, illegally, could only do it with a doctor's prescription, which Mike forgot to bring (which was a blessing in disguise, because he got a better deal online, via his health insurance, a few days later).  Then we got lost, finding our way back to the right exit to our car.

I don't like rides on the expressway, especially when it is not straight.  The GPS got us passing the Olive Garden, which we found out was actually across the expressway from the mall.   Mike saw the restaurant.   This was our 1st time dinning at at this location.

We were told it would be 30 minutes wait time.  Mike asked if it was okay with me.   I was tired from the stress ride, the walk inside the mall and I was hungry (killing my hunger with not too much chips in the car).  I said, let's go, it is too long a wait.   On 2nd thought, I said we would wait since we have already travelled 17 miles and spent 1-3/4 hrs.   And who knows it might NOT take 30 minutes to be seated.    And thank goodness, it didn't.   Our beeper sounded while we were sharing a drink at the bar.

I enjoyed the Olive Garden restaurant.  I love the crispy salad (that is a must for me there).   I would be happy with that unlimited appetizer and the unlimited soup.  Eat all you can, breadsticks, were complimentary and great too!  I didn't order the soup this visit because Mike would be upset if I go cheapy, if I don't order an entree, because it is his Valentine's Day celebration and gift to me, taking me to my favorite restaurant.   So I ordered baked tilapia with scrimps while Mike ordered eggplant parmigiana.

Interestingly, for the very 1st time, we saw a ziosk, the first digital order/pay-at-the-table entertainment tablet touchscreen, on the table.  We didn't order from there but we paid through the tablet.  I was told some days later that you could end up with extra charges if you play the games on their tablet!

Thank you, Mike.  I didn't like the car ride nor did I like the mall visit, but I like the dinner.


Winter Jackets/Coat/Boots

Friday, 8 January 2016

I don't like winter because I have to wear 3 layers (including fleece wear) in our heated 68-70 deg F home.   Sleep time would be plus heated mattress and sandwiched in blanket, covered with bedsheet and spread.   And neck warmer + woolen, if not double, socks + head thermal fleece!   I would die if I am in Alaska!   Mike calls me his snow bunny!    Someone said that I need an eskimo suit!

I am very blessed and thankful for the jacket that I was given in 2009, by family members, who could not fit into it anymore. To this day, it is my favorite jacket, even though it didn't come with the hood (which I guess was lost).

The zeroxposure jacket is comfortable and warm.  Thanks to the features (shell: 100% polyester with polynrethane coating, body lining: 100% polyester, sleeve lining: 100% polyester, body filler: 60% down / 40% feathers, hood filler: 100% polyester).  It is made in China.

It was a gift so I have never checked the price of the jacket. Today, I was curious if it is still in the market.   It was selling for $69.99 on ebay.com.   Mine is still in perfect condition, so I didn't need a new one.   The price discovery was informative.

Given to me also, with the zeroxposure jacket, was a pair of LA Gear boots.   I love it too.  They are strong, comfortable and warm too!  And I still have them!   Unlike the zeroxposure jacket, I couldn't find these particular LA Gear boots in the internet.   So I don't know if it is still available in the market and how much they cost.

On the 22 October 2015, I fell in love with these pair of snow boots at a thrift store.   It was $4.99.   It has fleece lining.   It is smart looking, comfortable and warm too.  I am seeing smalls peels already in the creases area of the synthetic leather.   That is okay.   That is why it is sold for $4.99 in the thrift store.   I can still wear until I can't!

At the thrift store, this $6.48 winter coat caught my eye too.    I love the color.   Some weeks later, my daughter said it was too big for me and it is.   Anyway, it did the work I needed, shield me from the wind and cold.  And big enough to cover the layers of clothing I wore!   And I only wear it on my way to/from church.