Moroccan Chickpea & Turkey Stew

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Tiffanie Hsu is the writer director for Adeline, a film that Audrey will star in.  Tiffanie is a 27-year-old Harvard graduate.  In my girls’ eyes, the Harvard degree instantly gives her credibility and legitimacy.  Tiffanie came up from LA today to see Audrey and she assigned her to read the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Audrey dutifully purchased it on Amazon and began reading it as soon as Tiffanie left the house.  Perhaps I should ask Tiffanie to tell her to practice piano, or to do dishes. 

To give Audrey a crash course in acting, we watched Natalie Portman’s first film, The Professional.  Portman’s fierce raw talent simply incinerated the screen. Audrey loved the film so much that she wanted to watch it again tomorrow.  She seems to take this spring break acting gig quite seriously.

I wonder what life has in store for Audrey.  What will be her passion?  What will give her meaning, and in turn make her happy? 

Seeing how quickly my children grow up right in front of my eyes brings a twinge in my guts.  It’s frightening how time skates by so fast.  I can easily flash forward and see myself like my own mother waiting thousands of miles away for her wayward children to visit home.   

Audrey told me this morning that she was having a free weekend, meaning that she would allow herself to eat some meat.  I instantly began to cook this Moroccan Chickpea and Turkey Stew.  I found that a pot of stew is perfect for the weekend — you cook it on Saturday and it will last you till Monday.

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Moroccan Chickpea & Turkey Stew

Ingredients:

1.3 lb package 99% lean ground turkey

1/4 cup cooking wine

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, light

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tbsp poblano pepper, chopped

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

2 1/2 ripe tomatoes, diced

2 (15 oz) cans chick peas, drained

2 cups low sodium, 99% fat free chicken broth*

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp coarse salt

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup Bertolli Organic Olive Oil, Basil & Garlic tomato sauce (optional)

2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley or spearmint, chopped

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Preparation:

Mix ground turkey with cooking wine.  Let sit in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes while you chop the vegetables.

Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil and over medium high heat cook ground turkey for 10-12 minutes.  Break up the ground meat and mix so meat cooks evenly; place in a soup pot.

Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet, add onions, tomatoes, pepper, carrots, and celery and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Transfer to the soup pot with chick peas, spices, broth and gently mix well.  Cover and bring to boil, then simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Garnish with fresh herbs.

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Adapted from: skinnytaste.com

Crispy Parmesan Chicken & Homemade Croutons

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I read in News China that internet lovers are now a huge business in China.  People can buy a virtual lover to call, message and engage online.  You can buy a girlfriend or boyfriend on Taobao, an Amazon like website, where you usually buy your discounted shoes or kitchen utensils.  What’s wrong with a real girlfriend or boyfriend?  Should it be that hard to find one in a world of 7 billion people?  I don’t quite understand this, but obviously there is a demand and there is a supply of virtual ones.

In my younger days, I had too many of them, none all that good, and some downright evil, but they were real.  Apparently this is too old fashioned for today. 

Sensing the huge market potential in catering to lonely Chinese people, Microsoft has also launched a virtual lover service in China.  Rather than using real people, Microsoft developed a virtual woman like Scarlett Johanasson’s character in the 2014 Oscar Award-winning film Her, and her name is Xiao Bing 2.0.  She has been downloaded by more than 10 million users and has had more the 600 million conversations since its debut in July 2014.

Iconic artist, designer and co-founder of New York Magazine Milton Glaser did an interview with the The Good Life Project where he commented on how technology is changing us, “Everything changes everything. There are no independent events. … The virtual world has created a very different kind of nervous system for people who spend their lives in that world. And it produces different sets of appropriateness — of time, of morality, of ethics, of behavior. … But we don’t know what this is doing to the human psyche or the human behavior or any of it — we know it’s changing, we know it’ll be a profound change and it won’t be what it was, but we don’t know what the nature of that will finally be. It will probably have some benefits and significant drawbacks, but it is just emerging.  We are creating a new kind of person.”

I think that my daughters are that new kind of persons.  Sometimes I see them as quite alien from me.  They were born and raised in two parallel worlds — the real and the virtual, and both seem to be equal to them.  There are times I think the virtual one holds more power because it’s freer, more stimulating and fun.  Angela texts me all the time, but when I try to knock on her door to answer her texts, she acts all annoyed, as if I am intruding upon her virtual world. I suspect that she sometimes does prefer the virtual mommy to the real one.  At least she didn’t have to pay for this virtual one, who has true devotion for her.

Even Peter and I stare at our screens much more than we look at each other nowadays.  The virtual world is encroaching on us all.  But when I hug and kiss Peter and the girls, I am confident that the real world has a definite hold on us. 

And when I cook them yummy food, the real world is definitely winning.

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Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

1 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon olive oil

16 oz skinless boneless chicken breast tenders (8 pieces)

1/2 cup panko

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/2 dried oregano, crushed

A dash smoked paprika, and coriander or Italian spice of your choice

Garnish with fresh oregano

Special equipment: parchment paper

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Preparation:

In a large bowl, marinate chicken tenders in white wine, olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper and Dijon mustard for 30 minutes or longer.

Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Mix panko, Parmigiano-Reggiano, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, paprika and coriander in a large shallow soup plate or pie plate.

Dredge chicken, 1 piece at a time, in crumbs, coating completely and pressing gently to help crumbs adhere, then transfer to baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

(I have also made them in the toaster oven with half the amount of everything.)

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Homemade Croutons

Ingredients:

A generous dash of garlic powder

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 inches stale baguette (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)

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Preparation:

In a saucepan combine and toss all ingredients.  Bake in toaster oven at 350 until golden and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes.    

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This piece of leftover stale bread certainly got a brand new life as croutons.

Creamy Potato Leek Soup – Healthified!

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Angela and Audrey attended preschool at The Playgroup in Ann and Gordon Getty’s house.  It was the best start in life anyone could ask for.  There were almost as many teachers as there were children.  And every child was embraced for who he or she was.  We couldn’t have been luckier to be given such a generous gift from Ann.

Tonight, Peter and I went back to the Getty home to attend a fundraising party for The Playgroup prior to its move to the Presidio.  It was quite wonderful and nostalgic to see the teachers who helped shape the girls’ character and were a part of their childhood memories.  It was especially nice to hear anecdotes about the girls that we didn’t know about or have forgotten.  We met the parents of Lonna Corder, the amazing principal of the school at tonight’s event.  Lonna’s mother told me that when she met the 3-year-old Angela at The Playgroup, Angela said to her, “Hi, if you think I speak Chinese, I don’t.” without anyone asking her.  Interesting psychology.  She was fluent in Chinese.  As a matter of fact, Chinese was her first language.  Did she project what she imagined others saw in her?  Did she not want to be different from others?  Was she laboring through the intricate process of finding her identity and her place in the world? 

I will not know the answers to these questions, but I have an inkling that that was the first step of a journey — a lifelong journey to continuously evolve and form new identities.

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Lonna made this shadow box for every graduating student.

Speaking of The Playgroup, the school had a gourmet chef who would cook up fancy lunches for the teachers, the children and the visiting parents, but my children turned their noses up at caviar blinis and whined for macaroni and cheese, which they also had – baked and topped with seasoned bread crumbs, of course; none of that easy mac business.

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Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic (sliced)

3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), slice into medallions

2 large russet potatoes (about 18 ounces total), peeled, diced

3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 can fat free Evaporated Milk

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon parsley

A few dashes of Ground Cumin, Cayenne Pepper and Coriander (optional)

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Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400; coat 10 to 12 medallions of leeks and 1/4 of the cubed potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a roasting pan.  Roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender.

Heat 2 tablespoon oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and the remaining leeks; stir until aromatic. Cover saucepan; cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add broth and evaporated milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in processor until smooth. Add roasted potatoes and leek medallions. Return to saucepan. Season with salt, pepper and spices.  Bring to boil.  Ladle into 4 bowls with 2 medallions of roasted leeks and roasted potatoes in each bowl. Garnish with chives and parsley and serve.

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Recipe inspired by: http://www.epicurious.com

Nutty Fruity Scones 2.0

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Saturday morning has been a peaceful couple’s time for Peter and me.  The girls are now at an age that they like to stay up late and and sleep until noon or for Angela afternoon on weekends.  Peter loves this scone recipe and I have made it many times for him as energy bars, snacks, and breakfast.  They are easy and quick to make and packed with nuts and fruits, so the combinations are as varied as there are nuts and fruits.

We sit here, sipping tea, reading the paper and talking about whatever that comes to mind.  Mostly we talk about the children.  I savor and cherish these simple moments.  Ever since the children were born, I feel more acutely the transient nature of all things.  Angela will be away in college in a year and half.  There is nothing we can do to stop time from fleeting; we can only stay present and pay attention to the immediacy and fullness of life.

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Nutty Fruity Scone 2.0

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup walnuts

1/3 cup pistachio nuts

1 large egg

2 tablespoons honey

Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and soda.

Stir in dried fruit and nuts.

In a small bowl, combine egg and honey.

Stir wet ingredients into dry.

Use your hands to form dough.

Shape into desired shape.

(I used a little coconut flour to prevent sticking when I handled the dough.)

Bake at 350° on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 10-12 minutes

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Baked Coconut Yam Fries

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I caught Audrey listening to Taylor Swift while practicing piano a couple of times.  I also caught her practicing with one hand while snacking with the other a couple of times.  Finally I decided that her playing piano was a futile effort for everyone involved.  Peter and I sat her down a couple of weeks ago and told her that we were letting her off the hook, that it was okay with us if she didn’t play the piano any more.  Unexpectedly, she said she didn’t want to stop.  She insisted on continuing to take lessons.  We told her that it would be her choice to either practice much more conscientiously or to stop entirely.  We told her to think it overnight and let us know her decision the next day.  The next day Audrey solemnly declared that she would practice everyday and with focus, that she wanted to continue piano. 

It’s been about two weeks since her own decision to continue playing the piano and I am hearing a marked improvement in her playing.  Life is full of surprises.

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Baked Coconut Yam Fries

Ingredients:

1 yam (spiralized or sliced)

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil (melted)

1/4 cup unsweetened shaved coconut

1/2 tablespoon xylitol or sugar (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Coat the spiralized or sliced yam with coconut oil and shaved coconut in a baking pan.  Spread a thin layer of yam in the baking dish. You may need two baking pans for this.  The fries will not be crispy if the layer is too thick.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes and then flip over. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until browned. 

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Roast Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad

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A friend came over for lunch today and we commiserated with each other on motherhood.  She has just gone through the grueling college application process with her twin boys and I’m about to take Angela on a college tour next month. I don’t know when it all began, but it seems that the college admissions process has turned into a war that requires endless amounts of strategy. 

I was told that in some cultures in the ancient times, children would be chased out of the house into the wilderness at a certain age, and they were not supposed to come home again until after they’d hunted a tiger.  The rite of passage for today’s kids is not any less difficult, except the “tigers” they are sent out to hunt are those ever elusive brand-name colleges.

Much like the ancient times, there is not much mothers can do to help their children hunt the “tigers.”  All we can do is love them.  As we ate this delicious salad, our conversation quickly turned from the stress of college application to the joy of food  — the balm that cures almost anything.

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Roast Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad

Ingredients for the sweet hot mustard:

1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. coarse ground Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar or honey

1/4 tsp. Sriracha sauce

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Ingredients for the salad:

4 shallots, thinly sliced

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lb. (500 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

1 cup (125 g) black walnuts, toasted

1 1/2 red apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cored and thinly sliced

1 Tbs. honey lemon peel (optional & see note)

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Preparation for the Sweet Mustard:

In a bowl, whisk both mustards, vinegar, brown sugar and Sriracha sauce. Reserve 3 Tbs. mustard for the salad; refrigerate the rest for up to 4 weeks.

Preparation for the Salad:

Preheat oven to 450F.  Wash, trim and cut the brussels sprouts.  Coat sprouts with 2 Tbs. olive oil in a roasting pan.  Roast for 15 to 17 minutes or until tender.  Take out and set aside.

In a large nonstick fry pan, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high. Sauté the shallots until slightly browned. 

Toss together brussels sprouts, sliced apples, walnuts, shallots with 3 Tbs. sweet mustard.  Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter and serve.

I squeezed some fresh lemon juice on the sliced apples to prevent them from turning yellow.

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Note:

Sometime ago, Audrey made lemonade with about 10 lemons.  The lemon peels looked so fresh and smelled so fragrant that I saved them.  I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and let marinate in the fridge over night.  The next day I boiled about 4 cups of water.  When the water was boiling, I squeezed dry the peels, discard the pulp still left in them, cut them into slices and then added the peels to the pot and brought it to boil again.  Then I drained the peels and transfer them into a glass jar, soaked in honey.  They turned out delicious.

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Recipe inspired by:

Williams-Sonoma

Chocolate Banana Souffles

I have been in and out of airports quite a lot in the past two weeks and all the flying was getting on my nerves.  It is pathetic how I’m on the top level of airlines’ frequent flyer programs year after year.  This is the one area of my life I wish could be different.  I’m adventurous only in a spiritual sense — meaning in my thinking and imagination.  My physical self is unbelievably timid and just wants to be home.  When Angela was a toddler, I took her to Shanghai to see my parents and my childhood friends.  They asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and Angela said she’d like to be a tree on Filbert St.  That homebound gene came from me.

Today, I heard that the 2nd season of Marco Polo will again shoot in three remote countries.  In the 1st season, I only had to be in one of them, but in the new season I will most likely be in all three countries.  I was stressed out just thinking about all the flying I will have to do, and the long months away from my family. 

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I had to bake some yummy treats after I heard the news.  The kitchen is my refuge, my shrink. Before I came to the US, I had never heard of shrinks.  The first time I learned of Freud’s Couch I couldn’t understand how anyone would feel better after letting their time, money, and precious life experiences spill out like vomit.

I’ve saved a lot money and breath cooking in the kitchen instead of lying on the couch.  I free associate better with a mixer in hand.

These Soufflés are light and fluffy and they were made mostly of egg whites, which is great if you are on a reduced carb, or gluten free diet.  This was the first time I ever made soufflés and I was curious how they would turn out.  I was staring at the oven almost the entire time watching them rise.  My excitement grew as the soufflés rose higher and higher in the oven, but the minute I took them out they started to deflate.  It was a good thing the kids were already home when they came out of the oven.  They should be eaten within 15 minutes before they lose the fluffiness.

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Chocolate Banana Soufflés Ingredients:

2 ripe medium bananas, mashed

2 tsp cornstarch

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large egg whites

3 tbsp sugar (I used 2 tbsp of xylitol and it was sweet enough)

cooking spray

Preparation:

Preheat over to 400F. Coat 4, 6 oz ramekins with butter flavored cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, mash bananas and vanilla together. Sift cornstarch and cocoa powder over bananas and stir well.

In another medium bowl, beat egg whites with sugar until they form soft peaks. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into banana mixture. When incorporated, fold in the rest of the egg whites. Spoon mixture into ramekins.

Wipe the top 1/4 inch “collar” of the ramekin to remove any excess batter so that the souffle will rise straight and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Recipe adapted from Baking Bites

Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

Vegan Blueberry Muffin Bread

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One simply feels blessed coming back from anywhere to California in wintertime.

I have been traveling between China and the US many times a year for more then 30 years and I still suffer from jet lag.  Before the children were born, I would get up in the middle of the night and begin moving heavy furniture around the house.  I would put towels under the legs of the furniture and move almost anything by myself.  When Peter woke up in the morning, he’d be surprised to see how the rooms had changed.

Nowadays, when I’m jet lagged I just get up and cook.  Peter got called to the hospital at around 3 AM this morning and when he walked downstairs to the kitchen, I already finished baking the vegan blueberry bread.  The warm toasty aroma brought a smile to his tired face. 

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As I sit here in the afternoon sun writing the blog, I hear peals of laughter from Angela who is reading George Saunders’ story “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline.”  I make a mental note to read the story and see if it will appear to be funny to me as well.  I usually don’t understand the newspaper comics that the girls love.  And they don’t think I have any sense of humor.  They also get exasperated when I laugh at inappropriate times when others don’t see anything funny.  I suppose humor is the hardest thing to translate.  The girls, though, believe simply that my brain doesn’t function so well anymore.

I sometime wonder if they will ever understand the cultural gulf that I have managed to cross to be who I am.

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Vegan Blueberry Bread Ingredients:

2 cups 100% whole wheat flour (250g)

1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional

1/2 cup xylitol or sugar of choice (100g)

1 cup almond milk or milk of choice (240g)

1 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar (15g)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (30g)

1 1/2 cups blueberries (200g)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease a 9×5 loaf pan. In a large measuring bowl, stir together the first 5 ingredients. In a separate measuring bowl, whisk together all liquid ingredients except the blueberries.

Pour wet into dry, stir until just evenly combined, then add the blueberries and VERY gently stir them in only until evenly mixed. Do not over-stir, as this would break the blueberries and you’d end up with purple bread.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake 45 minutes on the middle rack. Do not open the door, but turn off the oven and let the bread sit inside the oven for another 30 minutes. Makes 10 big, fat slices.

This recipe has been adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Tots

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Peter is patiently working with Audrey on the Merriam-Webster Spell-It — the list of words that might appear on the school spelling bee.  Audrey is one of the top two spellers in her grade and will represent her class at the podium next Tuesday. Angela is trying to help too, albeit less patiently, and humble-bragging about all the times she won the school bee. As I listen to their practice I realize that my place is firmly in the kitchen — I have never even heard of at least 50% of the words they are going through.

These aromatic cauliflower tots make perfect after school snack, especially for kids who are vegetarians like mine.  They are delicious and packed with nutrition.  One reader commented on my spaghetti squash tots that they made perfect snacks for Sunday’s Golden Globe show gathering.  I think these cauliflower tots are also perfect appetizer for such gatherings. 

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Yellow Cauliflower Tots Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups cooked yellow cauliflower florets, finely chopped *see note

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1/2 cup onion, minced

3 tbsp minced fresh chives

1/4 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup coconut flour

(You can use 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs instead of oat bran and coconut four)

A dash of garlic & herb seasoning

A dash of ground cumin and turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

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Preparation:

*to cook the cauliflower florets, steam a little over 2 cups raw cauliflower florets in a little water covered for for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender but not mushy, then drain well and dry on paper towel, then using a knife finely chop and set 2 cups aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a baking dish with parchment paper

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture in your hands and roll into small ovals. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, turning halfway through cooking until golden.

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 I adapted my recipe from http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/11/cauliflower-tots.html

For another cauliflower recipe, check out Roasted Cauliflower.

Marco Pol(l)o

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Marco Polo just got renewed for a 2nd season!  Yay!  Reunion with my Mongolian Beef and hordes of international eye candy.  And of course playing the wonderful Empress Chabi. This is exciting news for everyone involved, myself included.

But what about my family?  Though my girls act as if I annoy them all the time, they are at an age when they most need a mother’s guidance and influence.  In my younger days, I used to love this caravan life of a circus person — traveling the world while doing something I loved to do.  Having children has changed everything. While I believe many can do my job as an actress or filmmaker, only I can be the mother for my children.  There are times I become paralyzed by the prospect of a great opportunity, knowing fulfilling my desire and realizing my dreams professionally also mean abandoning the people I love.   P1020077

Work is a double edged sward for me.  Perhaps it is so with most working mothers.  I realize that I am lucky to be in this dilemma.  Many people don’t have the choices that I’m facing.  The ingredients of fulfillment is difficult to balance, but I have a secret ingredient in life — my husband Peter, the best husband and father anyone could ask for.  He is my lobster.  He is my salt.

And he does dishes.

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To celebrate Marco Polo’s 2nd season, I made a delicious Chinese dish called Three-Cup Chicken (三杯鸡).   Historically, it was made of 1 chicken with 1 cup each of soy sauce, cooking wine and sugar.  The dish has evolved through time to its contemporary version.  Mine was adapted from the recipe from rasamalaysia.com.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken drumsticks (I used 1 lb. of skinless thighs)

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil or toasted sesame oil

2-inch piece old ginger, peeled and cut into thin pieces

2 to 3 dried red chili pepper, without the seeds (optional)

7 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 shallot, sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 tablespoon xylitol or sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine + 2 tablespoon to marinate the chicken

A big bunch Thai basil leaves

(I added 2 small boiled red skin potatoes, halved and peeled.  This dish ordinarily does not use potatoes, but I improvised this time because I had two boiled potatoes lying around. I added the boiled potato after I poured in the sauce and before I cover the lid.  They tasted yummy with the chicken.)

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Preparation:

Cut the chicken into pieces and marinate in 2 tablespoon of cooking wine for 10 to 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.  Add 1 tablespoon of corn starch to the chicken and mix well.

Heat up a wok or clay pot on high heat and add the dark sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic, shallot, chili pepper and stir-fry until aromatic.

Add in the chicken and do a few quick stirs. Add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, xylitol or sugar and continue to stir-fry the chicken. Cover the chicken and lower the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the basil leaves and stir well with the chicken, dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.

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