Category Archives: Recipes

cherry clafoutis for the season

It’s stone fruit season, which means I’ve started going overboard with all things cherry. It seemed like a good idea at the time to buy a 20-pound box of cherries with my friend. Do you know what 20 pounds of cherries look like? It’s A LOT! Needless to say, I’ve been churning out a lot of cherry-based recipes in my kitchen these days.

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learning chinese cooking from the best: zha jiang mian

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

tsui family’s spicy vinegar sauce

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

holiday decadence

‘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

father-in-law mapo tofu

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