July 29, 2009

Steamed Rice Cake with Black Sesame

终于过上了好吃懒做,衣来伸手,饭来张口的生活了! 就一个字 - “爽”啊!

老妈还同我争论。到底是谁的功劳? 她做的体力活。我做的高级包装,艺术指导和摄影。你说呢?

What should I bring to share with my friends tonight? Since mom is here, we can all enjoy some tasty Chinese desert. So, with my "tireless coaching, packaging and styling to her cooking techniques, mom made this steamed rice cake with black sesame. Tasty, soft but not too sweet!


July 26, 2009

Veggie Buns Made with Corn Mill and Wheat Flour



Mom does not have much to do everyday here in Sunnyvale! It sucks because if she does not have much to do then she is "on" me, all the time. So, I really have to keep my mom-entertaining-program running 24X7.

在家弹钢琴。自以为是!问老妈,觉得我怎样,是不是很有力度?老妈头不抬,心不挑地说“你天天练肌肉练得好呗.“ 我到了。。。。

Mom makes funny comments.

Playing piano at home one day. Feeling very good about my play. So, I turned around and asked my mom "Mom, how do you like my playing these days? Don't you think I am much more powerful when playing those strong notes?"

Still focusing on her needling and without even lifting her eyes, my mom said:"I think you have done well with all your muscle trainings..."

July 19, 2009

Chasing Rainbow at Yosemite Valley (2)

These are probably the shots I liked the most from the trip.

I have been to the Yosemite a few years back. But, this trip gives a whole new appreciation of her beauty

The waterfall is fascinating. The best place to take the shot is not on the bridge, but half way to the bottom of the fall,on top of a big stone jetting out.

I guess people do change. I remember when I was fresh out of the business school, I was not this outdoorsy at all. But, now, the joy of walking in the sun and looking at the beautiful Vally view is over-flowing.

Yosemite is probably the most photographed national park in the US. The world-famous half-dome

Lunch at Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite

Blair took us to Ahwahnee Hotel for lunch. A beautiful place to sit outside with the valley view. The food is definitely on the expensive side, but the tastes and the quality of the food is pretty good.

There is one thing universal about women anywhere from the world. They all like to hear other saying that"oh, you look so much younger than your age". Obviously, Blair knows this universal rule very well, much better than Nikhil and me. :) That's why he is my mom's favorite, but we are in the "dog house". :(

Flowers I have never seen elsewhere but at Yosemite.

Chasing Rainbow at Yosemite Valley (1)

Nikhil is vising from India. As the host, Blair wanted to take him to Yosemite. Mom and I were tagging along. A great adventure for a highly diversified team.

Blair, Nikhil and I kept giving each other griefs along the way. The back-and-forth teasing seemed kept escalating along with the increasing heat in the Yosemite valley.
Marsha:"The view is pretty good, except the model could be cuter. "
Blair:"I hope by the end of the today, we are still able to talk to each other. Or, better yet, I am still willing to drive you guys back home."

Blair is this great guy that everybody loves him. Even my mom! And within 1 min of knowing him! You know the secret? Ultra-sugar-coating!!! During the entire two days, Blair have sugar-coated my mom so much that no doubt Nikhil and I am left in the "dog house" from my mom's perspective.

Blair (saying bye to my mom at the end of the trip):"Thank you for coming. You make the trip so much more fun!"
Marsha (feeling grumpy):"So, I guess you mean Nikhil and I am just unnecessary accessories to the trip then."
Nikhil (not happy):"Hmm...He said that only because your mom paid him most compliment!"

Mom is so "cool" that we all need an extra jacket when standing besides her!

You see an resemblence between the following two pictures? Mom PK snoopy. (Disclaimer - This is actually my mom's idea to put the two pictures together. I am actually very surprised by my mom's goofy sense of humor. Goofy and yet excellent!

Nikhil was so excited to get this ultra lens. He was running around the Yosemite valley and chasing wild animals to take cool photos.
Nikhil:"(Sigh....)I wish Yosemite had more wild life. "
Marsha:"Why bother running around chasing wild animals?! Blair is sitting right next to you!"

Blair had lived in China for 2 years and is used to speak very good Chinese So, mom and I were trying to help recover his Chinese during the trip.
Nikhil(observing the recovery process):"Hmm...It seems that Chinese is a rather simple language."
Marsha:"Don't get you fooled. Chinese is the most profound language in the world. We are just teaching Blair how a 3-year-old talks in China. :)"

Applaud to the best team lead and chauffeur. In spite of all the grief and hard-times, he got us home safe and sound. :) Thanks!

July 15, 2009

Steamed Pork Meat Ball Covered with Sweet Rice


1) 糯米头天晚上泡水,沥水待用。
2) 肉馅加料酒,生抽,香油,一小罐普济,姜剁碎,香菇泡发洗净,一起搅拌均匀,揉丸子。
3) 丸子裹上糯米,上笼蒸半小时,装盘。

A very simple recipe to make -

1) Leave the sweet rice covered with water overnight to soften the sweet rice
2) Make the meat ball. I added a small jar of water chestnut so that the meat ball has a little crunchiness. You can also add some mushroom, ginger, soy source, sesame oil and any other spice you like. Ground the meat and the ingredients together. Make small balls
3) Cover the balls with a layer of sweet rice
4) Steam for 30-45 min.

July 14, 2009

Steamed Pork Rib with Sweet Potato


让我好好想一想,什么时候我有过这种三菜一汤的日子? N多年以前了吧。


The beginning of a well-pampered life. Delicious steamed pork rib with sweet potato. This is one of those very "costly" dish to make. The taste is great, but the process is complicated and takes too long. Not a bad thing to have for dinner, if the goal is to keep the mom busy and occupied.

今天花了好些时间教老妈用我的厨房工具。就像玩玩具一样。 老妈有时候有憨厚,但玩转厨房还是小菜一碟。到后来还说:“你们美国人还挺聪明的,要做什么的工具都有。”

Had a great time today training her using my kitchen toys today. Guess what?! She likes playing with it. A good beginning in deed!

2)葱, 姜2, 3 片,五香粉,甜酒酿,料酒,四川辣豆瓣1茶匙,糖1茶匙,酱油,盐随意调味。



When was the last time, Bing and I sit around at the dinner table enjoying great food and civilized conversation?! Now I wonder what we should do if mom goes back to China

July 11, 2009

Getting Ready for Mom's Visit

Mom is coming! Mom is coming in two days! Gosh! A lot of work! There is no way for her to see how my roomie and me living this most simplified and yet still civilized life. It's not we are lazy. We are getting us mentally ready for her grand opening of a luxurious life with all the wonderful home-made food.

Got up 9:00am and started cleaning, putting up the bed, shuffling around the furniture and plants up and down 3 floors. About 10 hrs later, $1000 more balance on my credit card, I think we are ready, even with flowers and "welcome home" balloons on the table.

I know that Dad came visit me yesterday. Just like what he usually did with Mom and me, he always check and double check we are OK. Why this time would be an exception? He just wanted to check whether things are ready for mom. :)

Made some dinner for Bing. She gave up a good time of going sailing but helped me run around with my mom-preparation. Can the taste match the expectation set by the smell and the presentation?