When Mr. Piggy learned we are having spare ribs and cauliflower for dinner tonight, his reaction was “you know we’re going to have the exact same thing tomorrow at my mom’s (or my MIL’s), right?” That’s true, that’s pretty much what they have every week – spare ribs, and chicken, and fish, pretty predictable. However, my response to Mr. Piggy was that I will make it differently. They normally steam it with black bean sauce. Today, I used satcha sauce, and added some bean curd sticks. This might be much flavorful for my in-law’s liking. They like their dish simple. So yes, I’m sure we’ll be having the same thing the next day, but the flavor is different.

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Continuing on with our meatless Monday meals.

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Joined by my sisters and their families, we explored Clear Lake State Park this weekend for our annual camping trip. Everyone got their share of work, and my biggest responsibility is to transport all the kids to the campsite on Friday. Other than that, I am also planning for activities to keep the kids busy during our short stay.

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For my boys, it’s easier to engage them because they are older. Got them to help out setting up the tents and canopy, do dishes, find ways to hang up the dish rack, towels, etc.

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On Saturday, when we have the full day to ourselves, we tried to fill up the day with things to do: collected twigs and built floating rafts, hiked to the lake (adding some fun with a scavenger hunt along the way), climbed rocks, and finally enjoyed a light lunch by the lake.

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The boys tested their rafts while others splashed in the water.

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By dawn, it was time to go fishing with the uncles. Though we didn’t catch any fish, but the experience was unforgettable. The boys learned some casting techniques from their uncles.

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We came back to the site for dinner, shared some stories and Ah Lo gave his presentation about “bullying.” We ended the night with campfire and marshmallows, and of course, not to miss out on the stargazing opportunity which was absolutely stunning.

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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Picked up some lamb loin chops from Costco and didn’t know what to do with it. Last night I decided to grill it with steak marinade. They turned out delicious and unbelievably tender. Surprisingly, the gamey taste wasn’t as strong as i thought it’d be.

Not everyone is fond of the gamey taste of lamb, but glad my boys don’t resist it.

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Attempted these Vietnamese cake rolls (banh cuon) last night, and boy I didn’t know it was so much work. My sister and her husband used to make these to feed a whole village. Makes me appreciate them so much more. Theirs are definitely better than mine.

Actually, the whole process is not difficult, there are tips here and there to perfect it. For example, the batter, the time to cook the batter, the heating of the pan everything has to be precise. I’ll try again someday.

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A trip to the Exploratorium inspired us yet another family-bonding project by the toothpick artist, Scott Weaver.  No, we’re not as ambitious as he, so we are just trying to have some fun and bring creativity to this project, with a little bit of our engineering skills. Here we are tempted to build a bridge. Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 2.20.22 PM

My nephews and niece have already started on the project a couple of days ago.

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Mom recently had a knee replacement surgery so my sisters and I are rotating to take care of her during this recovery period. Today was my turn. Besides caring for my mom (keeping her company, making sure she does her exercises, and preparing meals/soups for her), I made sure I have plenty to do myself since it’s a long day. One sister also brought her daughter over to keep mom company, so I used my niece’s help making turnip cake (蘿蔔糕). Ah Lo was there for a short while and left. He started shredding the turnip, but my niece was there to finish the job. This was my first time making it so I was just playing around with the recipe. All those who were there tasted it and raved about it. The cake was gone so fast, I didn’t even get to take a picture of it!

I will see if i can replicate the recipe again and share the recipe here.

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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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Got a great deal on Groupon for Introductory class to Fencing. Since the boys are using the sticks or wooden swords to battle each other, why not do it the safe way? Today, they’re trying it out for the first time and they both enjoyed it a great deal.

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