Archives for posts with tag: for the first time

Been trying to make these steamed rice rolls. I failed miserably the first time I made up. Gave up. Then my sister tried it and inspired me for a second attempt. I tried again, but failed again. So she came to my house and personally demonstrated with her recipe. After several attempts, I finally got it right. IMG_8428

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 6 tablespoons of wheat starch
  • 6 tablespoons of rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Generously oil a flat plate, pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter (really depends on how big the plate is – mine was 6 inches). Here I added some dried shrimp and green onions. Steam for exactly 3 minutes. Once the flour mixture turns white and slightly translucent, remove it from steamer. Using a rubber spatula and fold it. This requires some practice. Do it 10-20 times until you’ll get the hang of it.


Is summer finally here or we are just experiencing a temporary heat wave in the bay area? So today for dinner, we having a cold dish! Bought the dried shaved noodles (刀削麵) for the first time to go with my homemade Japanese soft boiled eggs (aka ajitsuke tamago). I made the eggs a couple of days (using my lovely instapot!). So putting this all together tonight didn’t take too much time. Since my boys aren’t big fans of boiled eggs, I added zucchini and enoki mushrooms. And yes, they ate the eggs!

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To make the egg, this is the marinade I use:

Egg – Instapot (steam for 4 mins, low pressure). Cold water bath afterwards.


-2 tablespoons soy sauce

-1 tablespoon mirin or rice wine vinegar

-1 teaspoon shaoxing wine

-1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

-1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil

-1 teaspoon sugar

-1/2 cup of water

Once remove the eggshells, soak the eggs in the mariande (I left it overnight).

This is Dai Bee’s first day at the entrepreneur camp! It’s our first time enrolling in this camp. I am excited for the things he’s going to learn but not too crazy about the drive to get him there. The camp is located about 25 miles from our house, but requires 1 to 1.5 hours to get there (because of traffic). This means, I will be spending 3 hours on the road every day. Yes, we’ve tried to map out the time if he was to take public transportation, but there would be too much transfers from one bus to another. It wasn’t worth it. Luckily my job is flexible enough to allow me to work with this schedule. Thank goodness it’s only 2 weeks! When I picked him up, the first thing he said to me, “this camp is fun, I am really enjoying it” – makes everything all worthwhile, right?

The camp consists of 28 people, and it is divided into 4 groups. Each group has a company they want to work with. Everyone in the group has a role he/she plays. Dai Bee is the CFO who is in charge of the flow of funds. When he came back home, I saw how eager he was to set up a survey to market the company’s product – efficient lighting. He told me he learned so much in one day about finance and marketing, customer service, the innovation and the backbone of the company.

No, I’m not thinking that he will be start his own business after this camp! I hope he can pick up new skills that he can take with him – teamwork, thinking outside the box, negotiation, some fundamental business skills, including communications and leadership and as a bonus, experience entrepreneurialism.


One of the more productive Saturdays, especially for Dai Bee. In the morning, took the boys to volunteer, bagging lunches for homeless shelters. This was our first time volunteering here, so we didn’t know what to expect. It was a pretty simple job and the boys seem to take their jobs seriously.IMG_8075After the volunteer gig (2 hours later), we decided to do some letterboxing. If you are not familiar with letterboxing, check out my travels blog. We recently got into it during our road trip to Utah/Arizona. Here in our backyard, there are still a few treasures left to be found. This treasure hunt brought us to one of the most beautiful trails in our city! We’ve never been to this area and it didn’t even like we were in the city.  IMG_8111

The best part?! We found our stamp and have already met one of our summer goals!


We had lunch and then came back for Dai Bee’s piano lessons with his cousins. Right after that, we wasted no time to drop off Dai Bee at his first violin recital. He did a phenomenal job, though I can be biased on that.


And of course, this is Father’s Day weekend. Mr. Piggy wanted some pork chops and pork chops are what we are having. For the first time, I marinated pork chops with lemongrass earlier the day. I bet the chops would be tastier if I had more time with the marinade. Overall, it was quite good and Mr. Piggy was happy, so that’s all that mattered.

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One of the summer goals is to teach the boys to cook a full meal on their own. Dai Bee is making fried rice with chinese sausage and scrambled eggs. Though he still prefers I watch him through the whole process, I really don’t need to.FullSizeRender 12

This is the end result. First cooked meal by Dai Bee. Hpe there’s many more to come. It needs some work but not too bad for the first time.


Had a little scare today.

The night before I arranged with my sister to have my brother in law drive Ah Lo to summer camp. The plan was that Ah Lo would take the bus there today to meet up with them. However, the message was never conveyed to my brother-in-law.

This morning, Ah Lo took the bus himself (for the first time) to my sister’s house. When he didn’t call me after 10 minutes later, I called my brother-in-law to see if Ah Lo made it to his house. He was confused about my call. That moment when I realized my BIL was already at camp, but didn’t know Ah Lo’s whereabouts, my blood pressure just shot up the roof. I started panicking knowing he would be outside the house, probably just as nervous since he didn’t have a phone. With work emails to answer and calls coming in, I tried my best to keep my cool and find the solution to this problem.

Five minutes later, an phone call from any anonymous number came in. I normally don’t pick up phone calls with numbers I don’t recognize. This time I trusted my instinct, and sure enough it was Ah Lo. His voice cracked and told me about the situation. Immediately, I called my BIL and he went back to his house to pick up Ah Lo.

When all this is behind we discussed this situation and used this is as learning lesson for the boys. At the end of the day, nothing feels better than having the boys at home, safe and sound.

Made quiche for the very first time for our meatless Monday tonight, from scratch. This is a mushroom asparagus quiche. Wasn’t sure how the boys like it, especially Ah Lo since he’s not a fan of mushrooms. Not like he had the choice, he ate everything. Dai Bee gave me a thumbs up and ate as much as he could. IMG_7872

I didn’t have enough time to pre-bake the crust, so it came up a bit soggy. I never tried quiche before, so I am not sure if I have the right texture. Taste wise, I thought it was good. During dinner, we searched up what the word ‘quiche’ means and where this dish originated. I love how my boys are still curious about everything.IMG_7877

Celebrating Mr. Piggy’s belated birthday today. His birthday was a few days ago but because of graduations left and right, we finally got a chance to celebrate his birthday today. We didn’t go out, just made some  homemade garlic noodles, vegetables and steamed a couple of crabs.IMG_7692

Even made a fruit tart as the dessert for the very first time.  Happy belated birthday Mr. Piggy, thanks for being so patient and waiting for your turn!IMG_7694

Dai Bee has invited some of his close friends over tomorrow to celebrate his birthday with him. Though he’s been telling me he doesn’t need a cake, I thought what’s a birthday without a cake? Since they are into emoji’s / instagram these days, thought this would be the perfect dessert to have. He did help out making the cake!

Poop emoji: chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream frosting. Kissing emoji: strawberry vanilla cake.IMG_7231

Saw these “open-faced” fruit sandwiches on Instagram and instantly fell in love with the color, not to mention the nutritional factor. So since this is testing week for the boys, I thought it’d be the perfect time to make them for breakfast. Then I found out the test happened last week. Oh wells, at least they are having something nutritious.