For those of you waiting patiently for my AFTER picture of the dining/kitchen space, I am almost there. Thank you for waiting, it’s almost there. I just have to get that corner and the wall re-imagined. The pic above is just a teaser of our new dining pendant. If you are follow my Pinterest boards, you’ll know which one I picked.
For the wall, I decided to go with what I have, in terms of art. Since the wall is right behind the back door of the house, crowded shelves are not a good idea. I had a shelf there before but it seemed too crowded. The kitchen cart and oven are going away and I will need to find a new spot for my rubber plant. I’m looking forward to the final reveal, just as much as you are.
In the kitchen, I’ve been making up different meat marinades. This weekend, I modified this marinade for some galbi/short ribs. Instead of sugar, I used kecap manis. It gave a good flavor and nice caramel color. Instead of pear, I used apple sauce. The sweetness of this marinade probably doesn’t make it paleo or primal. Still, it is so very tasty.
I also made some char siew/Chinese BBQ pork. Bee has a wonderful recipe that smells just like char siew should smell. I know that is an odd comment to make but you know how sometimes you try to recreate a flavor and you never quite know that secret ingredient/s? Bee shared a recipe that brings me home.1 comment
Remember that fun design camp with AB Chao? Yes, she inspired a wealth of ideas and even though my one big project that I brought to her and the group was my master bedroom, I saw “low hanging fruit” in my dining and kitchen.
This is how things look like now – the BEFORE. I have notated the changes that I am going to make but just in case it is too small to read, here is the list:
- change pendant lighting over the island in the kitchen
- change dining room rug (bye bye, FLOR, you were great for the time we needed you for.)
- move the ceiling fan to a different spot in the family room and replace with giant pendant light (with a dimmer! You’ll be proud, AB!)
- redefine problem wall/corner near the back door – new art for the walls, probably a collage of favorite food-related prints or cookbooks.
I have received and gathered the items that will be going into these changes but I have not made any changes yet. I promise an AFTER picture and believe me, I am so very excited!1 comment
S is watching M drive up and get out of his car. I love this face. I am so happy that I was able to capture this expression. It truly shows how much he loves his daddy.
Yikes, my last post was about summer and now it’s already fall. Has it become that I only blog 4 times a year, around the change of seasons? Oh boy. I really want to get back into writing here. I find that it was a really good way to share my life and find like-minded friends who get what I’m trying to say. I recently met 2 blog friends who inspired me to start my blog way back in 2003. It was amusing to hear that when asked by others what types of blogs we had, we said we had blogs when people talked about everything and their feelings. It is interesting to see how blogs have evolved. I don’t want da*xiang to change, I want it to reflect my life. Things are busy right now but so very good.
Recently, I went to Design Camp with AB Chao. She is fabulous and so cool, with tons of ideas and fun tips on redecorating one’s space. Because of that camp, I have launched Project Renew Scarlett. There is a long list of things that I would love to get done but we all know that it requires time and money. I’ll have to prioritize. My initial plan was to start working on the master bedroom but that would require a lot of time than I have right now so I am going to start with some low-hanging fruit. I’ll change up the dining room – a new pendant to make the space more intimate, a new rug and some new pieces of art. My Pinterest boards should be starting to display my ideas soon.
We are still on this primal eating wagon. It’s been so good for us. We now have the required energy to chase a very mobile and destructive 14 month old. We’ve been grilling our meats but the cooler weather begs for braised goodness. I started by braising a pork shoulder in milk. Saveur has several braising ideas here.
Just this weekend, my girlfriend brought Sagan their play kitchen. He loves it and I can’t wait until he would bring me a tray of cookies or some bacon and eggs from his fry pan. To help him along, I’m going to make him some of this felt food.
I am looking forward to putting together my autumn/fall collage soon but in the meantime, I hope you kiss summer goodbye and embrace fall as it arrives. Because how else will we get to another summer.2 comments
Weeks during the summer seem to fly by more quickly than others. We are having a Seattle heat wave right now but it barely reaches 90 degrees, so no complaints! This year, we bought a portable air conditioning unit and it makes things so much better. We retreat into the bedroom early in the evening, usually after a post-workout shower. Cool air and rest after some hard work really feels good.
Last weekend, I celebrated a milestone birthday. The big 4-0. I didn’t feel traumatized. I actually felt invigorated and excited for the next decade. Honestly, I am in the best shape of my life. I have so much energy even with waking up once or twice a night for Sagan. He doesn’t keep me up but it’s sometimes hard to fall back to sleep. There is still quite a ways to go in terms of meeting my fitness goals but I feel so much stronger and fitter.
Mike and I also got done with our Whole30 this past week. It was a good challenge that we undertook together with some members of our Crossfit box. We were already on our primal way of eating but Whole30 was much stricter – no sugar, no alcohol and no dairy. I really missed my cheese. I didn’t miss my alcohol. I love a good cocktail but I did not feel deprived. Sometimes just having the option is enough for me.
Sagan turned one 2 weeks ago. He is already walking, my friends. Walking more than he crawls. How did he suddenly become a toddler? Such a big boy. He loves anything with wheels on them – trucks, cars, motorbikes, shopping carts and even garage doors. We does his rounds in the morning, opening and closing every cabinet door in my kitchen. He opens them, pulls out one or two things and then leaves them open. Most of the time, I just navigate around them and then do a little “closing” after he’s done his rounds and goes off in a different direction. I do this a few times a day. He loves to eat eggs, cheese, sausage, hamburgers, applesauce, peaches, blueberries, oatmeal, yogurt, crackers and dried apricots. He is starting to transition to cow’s milk but is still nursing in the evenings and before naps. He still is not a fan of sleeping in. He wakes up by 5.30am, raring to go. Just like someone I know, someone he calls “da-dee”. He says quite a few words now, like “da-dee”, “neh neh” (for milk or me), “ma ma” (for me or grandma – the tone is different), “pa pa” (for grandpa), “fow-fuh” (flower), “bot bot” (robot), “bux” (box), “drin drin” (rolling his Rs, when he wants some water) and “duck” (truck). He does love his daddy. I love to watch the both of them together – M would toss him in the air, hang him upside down and rough-house with him, S would just giggle and laugh with so much excitement. He drinks from a sippy cup or a Camelbak bottle. That way I don’t worry when I forget his cup. He can always take my Camelbak bottle. In fact, he prefers it. He just wants to be all grown up. I can go on and on about him but I have to go. He is being quiet and usually that means he’s having a moment that will require a diaper change or getting stuck in something.
We leave for our first family road trip tomorrow. Just a weekend to Portland where delicious eats await. Can you say Pok Pok? And Salt & Straw? Also, since S goes down to bed early in the evening, we’re packing a lovely indoor picnic when we get there. I hear the charcuterie at Olympic Provisions are to die for. Meat, cheese, olives, wine and some fruit. Perfect summery fare.
I hope you are all enjoying your summer!No comments
Use your favorite oil (I used olive oil and ghee), season with kosher salt, granulated garlic and ground black pepper. Stick under broiler for 12 minutes at about 400 deg F.
Perfect side dish for any paleo/primal meal.1 comment
Cooking some new dishes: Gulai Sayur, collards simmered in spicy coconut milk; Mashed sweet potatoes in chai-infused coconut milk; Lemongrass Chicken Thighs (I marinated, Mike grilled); Coconut jello (no sugar, just coconut water, coconut milk and unflavored gelatin).
Listening to sad bastard (mostly!) music from songsfortheday (thanks to Loobylu!) My favorite song at the moment is Take Me Out by The Wooden Sky. Perfect for a long quiet drive with a loved one, as Adam suggests.
Watching Sherlock. I like the way the series has gone. Very clever.
Would love to taste this gluten-free torte from Macrina Bakery – Torta Gianduja – a six-layer rectangular torta with alternating layers of a chocolate espresso cake and chocolate hazelnut cake glazed with a rich bittersweet chocolate ganache and decorated with hazelnuts.
Trying out new photo app on iPhone called Snapster. You can make your own filters. Neat.No comments
You are now a week over 9 months old and you are so independently mobile. You crawl so fast that all I see is a blur. I can often find you trapped under a chair or table but only because you gravitate towards those and then try to stand up while under them. You love pulling up on your changing table and reaching for that light on the wipe warmer. I’m sure its amber glow is hard to resist. Sometimes you play quietly in your play area but mostly you try to move the fence with you. You love to pull the books off my shelves especially those with red dust covers. The rustling of papers brings you to where I want you but nothing beats the jingle of my keys! You have all sorts of fun toys but all you want are shoes, an old toothbrush holder, a suction cup from a sign I hang on the window (of course it now lays flat in some drawer) and my shiny keyboard (I don’t blame you, it always beckons me too).
You don’t drink from a bottle anymore. We only had to go through 4 sippy cups to find you the right one. You actually know how to sip through a straw! You love your oatmeal, bananas, pears, coconut milk, meat and cheese. You never refuse cheese and you are always game to try new foods we put in your mouth.You do all this eating with one tooth in your mouth. You hate bibs, you either try to pull them off (velcro) or you just try to eat it in between spoonfuls. You also like to grab the spoon that feeds you. It is not helpful, my dear boy.
You still don’t sleep through the night and are always raring to go by 6am. Dr S says you are a night-feeder but I like to think that you love our special time at night. Some day you’ll sleep better and when you grow up, I’ll be sure to wake you early in the morning. For fun.
I love your little smiles, the way you scrunch up face and snigger and even the “it’s not me” look you give when I find you getting into trouble. Oh and when you giggle if you see a pic of yourself on my phone.
I just want you to know that I love you. I worry that I will forget all the moments that you make so special in my life because there are too many of them. Here’s my weak attempt at recording some of them. Some day you might read this since nothing that gets on the Internet is ever lost.
Thank you, my beautiful boy.
Love you, mummy1 comment
The sun is out, Seattle is, once again, scintillating. My camellia begged to be photographed.
We made these delicious stuffed strawberries. There is a little powdered sugar whipped in the mascarpone cheese but the lemon and strawberries were perfect.
I tried a new recipe today. Basically, I will cook 3-4 lbs of chuck roast or pork shoulder in the pressure cooker so we have protein stashed in the fridge for those nights when we want a quick meal or when I want to boost my breakfast with protein. Last week we made pressure-cooker carnitas, this week, it’s barbacoa. Slow-cooked beef. Of course we are not going to eat it as a taco but probably in a salad with shredded cheese, sour cream and fresh avocado. I recommend this recipe. I added more chipotle chillies (5-6) because I like more heat. Mike thinks this is the best shredded beef he’s ever tasted, but he’s biased and you already know that. Still, it is a simple recipe and takes a short prep time. It even cooks quickly in a pressure cooker. These days, I often find myself using my pressure cooker several times a week. I love tender, falling-off-bone meat.
As I type this, my pressure cooker is hissing again. Twice in a day! I’m making this lamb stew for dinner and serving it with roasted parsnip puree. I know that it sounds like a fall meal but the fragrant spices of this Spanish dish remind me of warmer days. I made two changes: (1) switch out Italian Parsley for cilantro. There is something about fresh cilantro that balances that richness of the lamb; (2) use lamb shank instead of stew meat.
Have to run for now. Going to put the boy to bed before I indulge in my Easter supper.No comments
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? – Robert Schuller
Last Sunday, when I had tweeted my first time on a rock climbing wall, my good friend D replied that I had been attempting a lot of new and scary things lately. The truth is, I have. I have had a lot of epiphanies in the last year. Small discoveries that have led me to rethink my view on life. Maybe it’s the milestone birthday that is quickly approaching but all I know is that I am making it a point to try more things, to get out there and challenge my comfort threshold.
I have to admit it, being up on that vertical surface and reaching up to 65 feet in the air, my fear did not lessen with the knowledge of the harness around my hips. I felt my heart race and my palms moisten but I kept going. The fear was mine to face. But at the end, I felt such satisfaction from pushing myself past my comfort zone.
Indoor rock climbing was just one of the many new things I will attempt this year. I’m not going to become an extreme sportswoman anytime but let’s just say that there are a few other adventures penciled in for the year.
I encourage you to try something new, out of your routine, just for the fun of it. It doesn’t have to be anything big, maybe a different walking or bus or car route, a different place for lunch or perhaps skydiving. You will be surprised what it might bring you.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of it.” – Mark Twain
Our little S turned 8 months today. 8 months. I can wrap my brain around 8 weeks, but 8 months? I can’t imagine 8 years. I am pretty sure that it will come around soon enough. And I will be lamenting about how it all flew by. Did I say in the last post that he is not crawling fast? I stand corrected. He is fast now and I can only imagine how much faster he will move in the next week or so. He seems disinterested in actual toys and would much rather navigate my un-baby-proofed workspace. He pulls the drawers out from the apothecary chest, tries to pull out my cookbooks from my Sapien bookcase and constantly crawls to fiddle at the wheels of his grandpa’s office chair. Unstoppable.
In other news, Scarlett has a new neighbor. My folks’ house is right next door and is so close to being completed. Only the fence left! Will share a pic of the front yard between both houses when it is done. I got a free gate out of their new fence installation but they have to share one not-so-new fence that belongs to Scarlett. (oops!) Maybe in a few years, we’ll get a new fence.
Today marks my one month at Crossfit. I am still loving it and have not missed a single class. That is an achievement for me. I did the same WOD (Workout of the Day) yesterday that I did on my first session. I made so much better time. It surprised me. Although I am nowhere near doing an actual pushup or an actual pull-up, I am definitely pushing my limits and getting stronger. Carrying S around also helps with that but I have to say that it is getting easier to carry him around.
Primally, I made some Thai meat balls, inspired by this recipe. Here is mine:
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground meat
- 1 stalk lemongrass, lower white parts grated
- 1/4″ galangal, grated (about 1-2 tbsp after grating)
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp kosher salt (I like to make sure the meat is well-seasoned. An under-seasoned meatball is just not right.)
- 3 tbsp almond meal
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 Thai bird chillies, chopped finely (optional)
Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl. Form meat balls and pan fry.
We served it with organic salad greens tossed in olive oil, fish sauce and some lime juice. My new favorite salad dressing.
Tomorrow, I try my hand at some art journaling. On a small scale. But I feel that I might be hooked.
Oh and have you heard about PostalPix for getting prints of your iPhone/Instagram pictures? I ordered some and will see how the quality is.1 comment