Trying it out for the first time – Veracruz style red snapper (recipe here).

[from http://www.history.com] ]Veracruz was the first place in Mexico that Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés set foot in 1521, and its port remains a melting pot of cultures as reflected in its food. This recipe of red snapper is cooked with Spanish-inspired mixture of tomatoes, olives, jalapeno peppers, onions and capers. It’s super quick and easy which makes it a perfect weeknight meal.

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For our meatless Monday meal, we have orzo with roasted vegetables: roasted red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, button mushrooms, corn and cherry tomatoes. Didn’t even need any dressing because everything was already flavorful.IMG_2817

During dinner today, we talked about what Dai Bee loves about his school. He talked about the environment (everyone seems to be so chilled), the curriculum (enough to challenge him), and the teachers. He pointed out one teacher his school discovered some quantum mechanics, one found a new species of moth, and one tracked down a new planet. From this conversation, we moved on to the discussion of how the solar system was named from Greek mythology. The boys were so engaged in this conversation. This is probably the only time when I allow them to use the phone (during dinner) to confirm certain facts.

Not sure how the topic from astrology shifted to our monthly expenses. I’m guessing now that I have an app on my phone that tracks our expenses. Ah Lo probably saw it and questioned it. We did some calculations and realized our income barely covers our expenses. Out of the blue, Dat Bee said, “maybe I should go get a job.” I was so moved, that at his age, can me so mature and thoughtful. Of course, we shot down the idea. Education is what he should be focused on right now, and nothing else.

Again, I am just so grateful and blessed with my boys.

Yesterday, I baked a cake roll for my sisters (who were both born year of the dog, and same month!) I was pretty happy with it except just a note to myself not to use parchment paper!

IMG_2789With the leftover batter, I baked some cupcakes as well. I decided last minute to make the coconut jello using mah jong mold (I bought a while ago). I didn’t have enough time to ‘freeze’ it longer, so it started to melt (ack). Anyway, can’t wait to play with this more in the future!IMG_2798

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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Brought a brace for Dai Bee (and he promises to wear it only at home) to help improve his posture. We’ve noticed he was slouching a few years ago, and kept reminding him to sit/stand up right. Since we can’t nag him every two minutes, we got him a brace. Hopefully, we will notice the change soon. IMG_2807

Happy to cook for a college friend who happens to be visiting. Originally we were to go out but decided to stay home for some home cooking. She emphasized not to overly stress about preparing for the meal. I told her there wouldn’t be any because I do this almost every day.

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The best thing eating at home is that there are no one kicking us out. We chatted for hours, about life, about work, about children, and everything else. We did some math, and hard to believe it’s been 25 years since our college graduation. It’s always nice to see an old friend and reminisce. Tonight was a great way to celebrate our friendship.

Growing up, whenever there’s a special occasion, we would have Vietnamese curry (cooked by my aunt, most of the time). I love Vietnamese curry, but only attempted a couple of times. It takes a lot of work and I can’t seem to get it right. Thank goodness for Youtube and Instant Pot, I found a simple but perfect recipe for it. Wow, the Instant pot worked wonders and eliminate half of the work. Tonight, we enjoyed the curry with french baguette.

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Went on a baking frenzy this weekend. Because of Ah Lo’s tournament, the team wanted to run a concession stand. I volunteered to bake some cookies. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time, so I baked the cookies with store bought cookie dough (I know, boo). Besides baking 80+ cookies, I made quinoa salad for Mr. Piggy’s grandma, my mom and aunt (who never tried quinoa). Glad they all liked it, at least that’s what they reported.IMG_2670

Again, trying to perfect the pull apart bread (still can’t get parts to stay in place). The softness and fluffiness is there (which I’m super happy about because really, it’s all that matters). I even tried the 3-D baking (for some reason, had a lot of leftover dough left this time around). Obviously, that needs to a bit more work, but it was fun.

Busy day around the clock. Started the day at 8am and didn’t come home until 9pm. As one of the gym commissioner to Ah Lo’s basketball organization, I had to show up early to setup and make sure all goes well with the tournament. Dai Bee and my sister are the official time/score keepers. In the middle of the day, Dai Bee needs to be dropped off for this school’s orchestra spring concert (rehearsal). I took over his job as timekeeper. As soon as the last game ended, we rushed to see Dai Bee’s concert in the evening.

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With all the madness, it was icing on the cake to know Ah Lo’s team won both games and will be going to championship tomorrow morning.