Archive for » November, 2011 «

25
Nov

Popular culture, TV commercials, and ad banners might have reduced Thanksgiving to Black Friday Eve, but hubby and I steadfastly held down the Thanksgiving tradition on our own this past Thanksgiving day.

We had waited, and waited, but no one invited us over this Thanksgiving, so, we conspired to roast our own turkey, and prepare the traditional feast by ourselves.

Roasting our first turkey


Truth be told, I never liked the turkey, stuffing, sweet potato, mashed potato, pumpkin pie, and even worse is the cranberry jelly. The only redeeming part of the Thanksgiving dinner for me is the ham and Green Bean Casserole. But I have ample reason for agreeing to labor all day for a meal I don’t much like to eat.

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, we join my husband’s family for one or both of the holidays. My parents don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at all, and their idea of a Christmas celebration is to eat more Chinese food. So, it dawned on me, that if we don’t roast a bird for this major holiday, someday, our children will not come home and celebrate Thanksgiving with us! So, we’d better get cracking on this family tradition.

The best part of the Thanksgiving feast is that the menu is all set. I don’t have to think about what to make. The challenge was finding a small turkey, I dug through two large bins at a Safeway store, and the smallest bird I could find was a 12.71 pound-er. That is one huge turkey for 2 adults and 2 kids. Of course, I had to get a ham too, so I could have something I like to eat on our Thanksgiving.

I brined our turkey overnight in chicken stock, salt, sugar, vinegar, thyme, rosemary, and oregano.

On Thanksgiving day, I got up at 9AM to prepare the turkey for roasting. The kids watched me wrestling with the bird with much excitement, then joined me in stuffing the bird, and buttering it all over.

Butter Ball

My kids LOVE butter, so all the buttering gave them a good feeling about this turkey.

Once the turkey was safely in the oven, I prepared snacks.

Thanksgiving Party trays

We decided that the Thanksgiving dinner would be extra special if it is our only meal of the day. So, throughout the day, we snacked on our finger foods, listened to holiday music, played wii, giggled, and prepared food together.

Exactly an hour behind schedule, our dinner was ready at 5PM.

Turkey is ready!

We gave thanks, and ate many rounds of turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatos, green bean casserole, broccoli salad, gravy, bread and butter, and dessert.

Our Thanksgiving Dinner


Our first turkey was grand, and it turned out nice and juicy.

Juicy!


We proclaimed our first Thanksgiving Family tradition a huge success.

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“Mom! Look!” my baby came running to me with a small figuerine, “I made it! It’s you!”

A figurine of me

Yesterday was our school’s parent teacher conference day. The kids had the day off from school. I was busy working on the AsianParent.com website all afternoon, so the kids spent most of the day entertaining themselves. And my 8-year-old made “me.”

I picked it up for closer examination. It’s more creative than it looks. The body is made from a wooden clothespin. And the baby cut up two of my perfectly good handkerchiefs to make the dress, and wrap the base. A fine wig was made from black thread. And Q-tips were used for arms. Everything was held together with glue.

How sweet! I should have said. But instead, I barked, “Why do I have a black eye?!”

Figurine close-up


The baby’s beaming happy face turned sour…

Then very loudly and deliberately, “BECAUSE! You just fell off the bed!”

Of course I did.

Previous related post: Ooops!!

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I am so excited! A friend, whose crab-eating credentials come from places like Red Lobster and All-You-Can-Eat buffets became so inspired by my Crabby Dinner blog, that she braved into an exotic Asian Supermarket, bought a live dungeness crab, and cooked it herself!! This has prompted me to want to share another one of my favorite dishes: Braised Whole Fish.

Braised Fish

I make this dish about once a week or every 2 weeks. My family loves it. My children particularly love this dish’s sauce. This sauce is great on white rice. Whenever I make this dish, I always remember to make extra rice to support the kids’ “more rice with sauce please….” habit.

This dish is very flavorful. It might look a bit intimidating to make, but it is very simple. I don’t like to remember or look up recipes while I cook, so everything I make has to be easy.

Key ingredients:

Fish: A mid-sized 1 to 2 lb fish. I like to use Tilapia, Striped bass. I have also used this same recipe for filet of salmon, or Sea Bass Steak.

Tilapia


Garlic: 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped.

Ginger: ¼ cup of ginger cut into about 2 inch length, thinly sliced.

Green onion: 2 strings of green onion, cut into about 2 inch length, thinly sliced.

Garlic, Ginger, Green Onion


Cooking wine: ¼ cup of cooking wine.

Dark Soy Sauce: ¼ cup of dark soy sauce.

Light Soy Sauce: ¼ cup of light soy sauce.

Sugar: ¼ cup of sugar.

Vinegar: 1/3 cup of dark vinegar.

Sauce


Water: ¼ cup of water.

Cooking oil: ½ cup of cooking oil.

Preparation: Cook time: 15 min.

1. Put some of the garlic, ginger, and green onion into the cleaned fish’s stomach.

Fish Prep


2. Prepare the frying pan with cooking oil.
3. When the cooking oil is hot. Put about half of the remaining garlic, ginger, and green onion into the frying pan.

Prep the frying pan


4. Then carefully lower the fish into the frying pan. Cook on high heat for about 3-5 minutes.
5. Put the rest of the garlic, ginger, and green onion on top of the fish, then carefully flip the fish to braise the other side.
6. Add half of the suggested amount of cooking wine, dark and light soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar evenly onto the fish. Cook on high heat for about 3-5 minutes.

Half of the ingredients and half of the sauce on each side of the fish


7. Flip the fish again.
8. Now add the remaining half of the cooking wine, dark and light soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar evenly onto this side of the fish.
9. Turn the heat to medium heat, add the water, cover and simmer until the fish has been cooked for a total of about 15 minutes.
Optional: just add more water prior to simmering if you want more of the sauce.

Enjoy!

Previous related post: Easy One-Dish Meal for Busy Moms (or Dads)
HOLY Guacamole!
Crabby Dinner

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Meet the Dibby Family.

The Dibby Family on our White Board


This is my kids’ latest pet project for the last couple of weeks. They started with Dibby in the middle.

The Dibby

And every day, they each drew a new addition to this family, and made up nutty names for their faces that start with “D.” Each day, I am instructed to pick out a favorite.

This project is now complete, and I just adore this board’s silly and spirited faces. Each face is unique, yet they are all seemingly related, after all, they are all the offspring of the original Dibby. My most favorite is Dumby.

Dumby!

Which one is yours??

Dibbies

More Dibbies

And even more Dibbies.

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