Wednesday, March 22, 2006


We are moving this weekend. It seems that we are always moving. Every place we stayed has special meaning and love memories to us, like the first place we met, the second we got married. Who knows what will happen to our third love apartment. Maybe that will be a start for a new career or a new born baby.

This whole week is very busy for us. After last weekend we browsed on line and visited all different sites, we start packing. My dear is extremely busy and exhausted this week as well. Besides driving three and half hours for commuting between his office and home, he has just start a evening teaching project. I am not very used to being alone at home, since we are always together. Last time he went back to his parents' place to pick up his car there, that night I got my tears out of my eyes because of the loneliness and tried to get myself very tired in order to get better sleep. Crazy, huh? This time is okay with me, because I have work to do. Packing!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Miss China

Of course we did not forget Crystal. We dressed her up as Miss China. Personally I loved very much the silk-made Chinese traditional dress. If I could fine one in that bright yellow for person, I would definitely had got one. That was why I loved and bought the dress for Crystal at my first sight in the store. I could imagine everyone could be so surprised for her breath-taking beauty in the dress. Crystal is the princess of the family and also a spoiled brat. She only drinks the water she witnesses you pour out from the running water. But she is also such sweet heart that she always keep you companying and makes you feel in need. That night Crystal was dressed up the Chinese one, she looked gorgeous. However, our princess was a little too big in that dress, she seemed to feel uncomfortable when she moved. She probably said,"Where did they get the dress? Do they try to remind me to watch my weight?"

That was the last entertainment for the 2005 Thanksgiving. We all had a great evening, thanked for Sammy and Crystal's great performance bring us so much happy moment.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Little Red Riding Hood


Last Thanksgiving we gave Sam and Crystal some cosplay surprises.
Sam was the Little Red Riding Hood. He was so adorably cute. When Sam first got on his hook, everyone in presence became crazy for his new look and kept calling his name like fans meeting a superstar. Sammy was kind of shy, stayed where he was, and tried not to move anywhere. Sammy seemed not to use to the new hood or he tried not to cause any trouble. Sooner or later we figured out that was not all the reason. The hook was sort of too big for him which covered his eyes and blocked his vision to move. I wondered what Sammy was thinking at that moment, "Who can help turn on the light please?" "I did not remember the news said there will be a black-out today!"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Buddha Delight: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe

Buddha Delight, made of acorn squash and other goodies (see recipe)

  • 1 acorn squash

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 slices of ginger root

  • 3 pieces of bean curd (or alternative)

  • 4 Chinese dry-preserved mushrooms or sliced oyster mushroom

  • (Please soak for 20 minutes or till tender for ready-to-use)
  • 1/3 cup of green peas (or alternative)

  • 1 small carrot (or alternative)

  • 1/2 tea spoon of sesame oil

  • 1 table spoon of peanut oil

  • 1 table spoon of veggie broth

  • 1 table spoon of soy sauce

  • 1 tea spoon of white pepper

  • 1 tea spoon of sugar

  • 1 table spoon of corn starch

  1. Cut the top of acorn squash about 2 inches long

  2. Remove the seeds of acorn

  3. Chop the mushrooms, bean curds, and carrot into small rocky pieces

  4. Heat up sesame oil, then stir fry the garlic smashed, ginger root, and Chinese mushroom chops for 1 minute

  5. Add in peanut oil and heat up for 15 seconds

  6. Add in carrot chops and bean curd and cook for 3 minutes

  7. Put bean curd, green peas and cook for 1 minute

  8. Pour some cold water into the pot till it covers all the contents

  9. Put the veggie broth, soy sauce, white pepper, and sugar and cook till boiling

  10. Mix the corn starch with 1/3 cup of cool water, add into the pot and cook till the soup is a little bit thick

  11. Remove it from the stove and fill the contents into the acorn squash till it is full

  12. Put the acorn squash into your steam cooker and cook for 1 or 1.5 hours

  13. Serve the rest of contents on the top or as side dish together

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Slick Veggie Chicken: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe

Slick Veggie Chicken, cooked with tofu chicken and other goodies (see recipe)

  • 1 package of flavored fried tofu or veggie chicken

  • 1 lettuce

  • 2 table spoon cooking oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 slices of ginger root

  • 2 scallions

  • 1 table spoon of veggie broth

  • 1 table spoon of soy sauce

  • 1 tea spoon of white pepper

  • 1 tea spoon of sugar

  • 1 table spoon of corn starch

  • 1 cup of water

  1. Rinse lettuce leave-by-leave by cool water

  2. Heat up cooking oil and stir fry lettuce quickly for 2-3 minutes till tender
    (Don’t cook for too long, the lettuce will come out with too much water later on)

  3. Place the lettuce in a big plate

  4. Slice the flavored fried tofu or veggie chicken and chop the scallions

  5. Stir fry with garlic, ginger root and scallions for 30 seconds

  6. Add in fried tofu slices and cook for 1 or 1.5 minutes

  7. Put veggie broth, soy sauce, white pepper, sugar into the pot

  8. Mix up to 2 cups of cool water with corn starch and cook with the contents for 2 minutes

  9. Before serving, filter all the water in the lettuce plate

  10. Have the gravy on the top of the lettuce

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Eggplant Inspiration: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe

  • 2-3 Chinese eggplants or 1 regular eggplant

  • 2 table spoons of olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 tea spoon of rice vinegar

  • 1 table spoon of soy paste

  • (1 table spoon of soy sauce mixed with 1/3 table spoon of sugar)

  1. Cut the eggplants into pieces about 2-inch length and 1-inch width

  2. Display them standing on the plate and put olive oil on the top of them

  3. Steam for 10-15 minutes

  4. It is ready to eat now, or you may like to serve till it cools down

Dipping Sauce

  1. Have the chopped garlic mix with the rice vinegar and soy paste

  2. Pour some eggplant juice of the steam plate into the sauce

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Snow Peas Snack: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe

snow peas

snow peas

  • 1 package of snow peas

  • 1/2 tea spoon of salt

  • 3 cloves of garlic and have them chopped

  • 1/2 tea spoon of black pepper

  • 1 table spoon of olive oil

  1. Put the whole package of snow peas into the boiling water and cook till the water is boiling again

  2. Remove the peas from pot and rinse under running cold water for 1 minute

  3. After filtering all the water, put all peas into a container or bowl

  4. Add olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic and blend well together

  5. It is ready to serve now or you may like to put it in refrigerator for 20 minutes, that tastes good as well

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Veggie Gravy: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe

Ingredients: peas, carrots, onions, apple, and potatoes (see recipe)

Chopped, carrots, onions, apple, and potatoes (see recipe)

Onions fried in the wok / frying pan

  • Half onion

  • Half apple

  • One medium size potato

  • Some lima beans (You may use any kind of beans or peas or add some celery is fine too)

  • One skinny carrot

  • Some salt or veggie broth

  • Some white pepper

  1. Have everything chopped beside lima beans

  2. Heat up the pot with some vegetable or peanut oil, then put the onion into the pot and stir fry it till it goes brown>

  3. Add in carrot and potato and cook them about 2 mins

  4. Add in lima bean or celery and cook for 30 seconds

  5. Put in some water into the pot, the amount of the water is about just cover all your contents
    (You may add salt, white peper and vegetable broth at the moment. Or, you may wait till the end)

  6. Cook in high heat with cover till the potato is tender (about 5-8 mins, you may test it)

  7. When it is done, you may use the blender, even it is still warm.
    Mix them till it is creamy and soft

  8. Add some salt, white pepper and the broth into the creamy soup

Once I used coconut milk to draw a heart on top and showed that for my hubby. That was just for fun, not necessary to do so. The brown onion will contribute some kind of meat flavor and makes it smell good. Hope you enjoy it.

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Stray Puppy

Stray black puppy dog in Taiwan by Fisherman's Wharf

During our walk towards the Fishermans Wharf at Dan-Shui we befriended a puppy. Assuming he was without a home, since he smelled of trash and there were numerous other dogs strays in the area, we encouraged him to travel with us along the shore. With little encouragement he followed us for about a half mile, where we stopped at a seafood restaurant. I waited outsided, while Anna bought a piece of bread and some water. This commotion attracted a few larger dogs, affflicted with sores and open wounds. Watching these animals reminded me of a passage from The Path to Enlightenment by the Dalai Lama:

Feeding stray black puppy dog bread and water in Taiwan by Fisherman's Wharf

“It is said that Asanga, dissatisfied with his understanding of the Sutras on the Perfection of Wisdom, entered into an intensive meditation retreat that continued for twelve years. The retreat, however, was without success and, frustrated with disappointment, he gave up and left. On the wayside he encountered a half-dead bitch ridden with worms. Great compassion arose within him and he decided to remove the worms. To avoid harming the worms, he cut a strip of flesh from his body in which to put them. Suddenly the bitch transformed into the Bodhisattva Maitreya, and the purposes of Asanga’s retreat were fulfilled. Based on his vision of Maitreya, Asanga later wrote down The Ornament of Clear Comprehension, an elucidation and abridgement of all the vast doctrines concerning the paths, practices and stages found in the Sutras on the Perfection of Wisdom.” (41-42)

Walking along shore with stray black puppy dog in Taiwan by Fisherman's Wharf

Lotus Pond - National Botanical Garden

Purple lotus in pond at Taiwan National Botanical Garden

Within buddhist iconography, the blossoming of the lotus from the mud of its surroundings symbolizes the attainment of perfect enlightment despite immersion in the constant suffering and imputities of samsara (or mundane existence). A lotus' color is also significant. According to , white represents "the state of spiritual perfection"; red, "love, compassion, passion"; blue, "the wisdom of knowledge"; and pink is the "supreme lotus...associated with the Great Buddha himself." Dieties are often depicted with a lotus of a particular color. For example, Manjushri, the boddhisattva of wisdom, typically holds a blue lotus.

The pictures are of the lotus pond at the National Botanical Garden (Taipei, Taiwan). The building in on the right of the pond is the National History Museum.

Lotus pond and National History Museum at Taiwan National Botanical Garden
Pink lotus in pond at Taiwan National Botanical Garden
Pink lotus in pond at Taiwan National Botanical Garden
Purple lotus in pond and National History Museum at Taiwan National Botanical Garden

Friday, March 03, 2006

Tea Culture

Grandson and Father-in-Law at wedding dinner

I had the good fortune of learning Chinese tea culture from a number of tea enthusiats in Taiwan. My most notable teachers were Yi-Song Wu (my father-in-law) and Ding-Shuang Won.

Yi-Song Wu's Woolong tea, my only refreshment aside from soymilk while at their home, is soley responsible for inciting my new-found passion for tea and tea culture. Eventually he taught me the methods of making this tea. Since then I have drunk essentially nothing but tea. (For my musings on the spiritual, environmental, and other benefits of tea drinking see Tea Culture - Part IV, Benefits of Tea).

Examing tea pot collection quality

First, one must select a good teapot. The quality of a teapot is evident to the trained ear by the sound made gently hitting the teapot cover against the rim of the teapot (as shown in the picture). The sound reflects the thickness the pot, which must be neither too thin or too thick. Also, it is important that the clay is of a type with ample porousness, which allows the pot to absorb the flavor of its contents. So that teapots can fully soak in the flavor of tea, they cleaned only by scraping the insides and rinsing with boiling water. Ideally each teapot will only be used to make one type of tea so that over time the teapot will develop a single distinctive flavor. It is said one merely nears to pour hot water, without any leaves, into a well-aged pot to produce tea! (More on teapots on Tea Culture - Part III)

Tea pot collection and four seasons and woolong tea

One begins to make tea by filling the teapot with boiling water. This is merely to warm the teapot and can be poured out after a few seconds. One then places roughly 1.5 tablespoons (one tea-leaf scooper full) and fills the teapot with boilnig water. This too is discarded after a few seconds (this round is 'for the pot'). After, the leaves can typically produce six rounds of tea. Each round consists of filling the pot with boiling water and waiting for roughly 50 seconds the first and a few seconds longer each subsequent round before serving. High quality tea may produce over six rounds of tea, but generally the tea will become too weak after this point.

My Kitchen: Apple Crisp

Yesterday evening while I was peeling and cutting some apples, my dear browsed some funny vedio on line. My dear said, "What are you doing, my dear?" I replied to him, "Hmmm, honestly I have no idea what I am doing now, just let my feeling show me the way I sould be." He laughed but did not come over to figure out. What I said was the truth, at the moment I just tried to make some new dessert before these apples went bad.

Then, I started put all the apple chops into the pan and boild with some water to make them tender. While waiting for the apple chops, I squeezed the lemon juice to mix with brown sugar and cinnamon power for my syrup. My dear called me again, he said "Hmmm, what is that? What are you making? Tell me. I seem to smell some apple!" "Oh! my dear, you are right, that is apple smell," said I. Now I really sensed my lovely brat was just like a little boy curisous for the dessert but also did not want to drop his toy-computer. Anyway, he was a little funny to me.

When the apples were warm and tender, I added some nutmeg and the syrup, blended well together, and served in a big bowl. My little brat was so surprised and said "Wow! That is my favor!" He moved up so fast but he did not forget to leave some for his beloved.

OS: That was the first time I made the apple crisp. I was very happy he loved the dessert and enjoyed very much when he said it was his favor.

Written by a woman very enjoying her hubby's love.
Check out my Butternut Squash Recipe .

Lovely Katie

Cute and beautiful chinese baby

Our Aunt-in-Law just went back from China for picking up her lovely cuties. She sent the family some pictures from time to time when she stayed in China with other adoptive parents from US. After all these long waiting days, Aunt finally got her baby, a really lovely cute little thing, a blessing from heaven.

By looking at all thoes pictures, everyone could tell how happy she is and that is such rich satisfaction. I feel it is so amazing a little movement such as adoption could really changes life among the baby and the adoptive parents. Katie is no longer longly any more, she got parents' love and care since the day they met. Katie got much more facial expression and more smiles on her face, since she is in charge. I am surprised of her change since I vividly remember her longly face and shy look from her first picture. Just for one month, there is so much happiness and blessing being brought to the family, Aunt, and Katie. This time I learn the power of love and the magic of baby.