A happy consequence of spending time with my mother-in-law is continuing to learn her recipes. During my last few visits to the Bay Area, I had zha jiang mian on my brain. It’s what I consider to be Chinese comfort food. My husband loves it, my brother-in-law makes it regularly for my nieces, who love it, we eat it at family gatherings, and everyone loves it. Zha jiang mian is universally loved in the family. Continue reading learning chinese cooking from the best: zha jiang mian
I recently spent some time in California in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. Her kitchen is a familiar place for me. Prior to moving to Portland two years ago, I spent a lot of time in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. It’s in that kitchen that we would stand side by side and I would make sure she was measuring everything she was making so I could properly document her dishes and turn them into written recipes. It’s in that kitchen that I learned so many of my husband’s family dishes. Continue reading tsui family’s spicy vinegar sauce
I’m no math person. However, I have an appreciation for people for whom math is an ease. And of course, I’m going to rally around a day that involves celebrating the mathematical constant (π) by eating pie on 3-14.
I share this post with you in the spirit of the new year. I decided it would be good to make something new, something healthy, something that would make me feel like I was starting the year off in a clean living sort of way.
As the end of 2016 approaches, I am feeling like it can’t come soon enough. I am ready to say goodbye and face the new year (and all of its challenges) head on.
I started this blog with the intention of getting my creative juices flowing in the kitchen, and sharing the many recipes that mean a lot to me. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the last six months have been busy for me professionally, leaving me not as much time as I’d like to dedicate to the blog.
New Year’s resolutions are the worst, but the idea behind them is great. I resolve to do better about setting aside time to continue building and sharing what I love to create in the kitchen.
What I really want to do is say thank you. Thank you for reading, commenting, and for giving me a reason to continue Planks and Sticks.
‘Tis the season for excess. I seem to be making that my mantra during the month of December. It all started at the beginning of the month with a handful of cookie baking sessions with my very pregnant girlfriend. She needed distractions to keep her mind off her current situation, so baking seemed to fit the bill. The closer she got to her due date, the more these baking sessions ramped up. We baked, we cooked, we rolled rum balls, we did it all. Continue reading holiday decadence
My father-in-law lives in a ‘small village’ outside of Shanghai. He moved there from Taiwan to retire. The first time my husband and I went to visit him years ago, we were both expecting the quintessential village he made his new home of Kunshan out to be. I still tease my father-in-law about his misrepresentation of his village, because it’s in fact a mid-range (by China’s standards) city of 1.65 million people. I guess it’s all perspective. When you live in a country of 1.3 billion, a mere 1.65 million can take on more of a village feel. Continue reading father-in-law mapo tofu