Friday, February 26, 2010

Grandpa Chan's Egg Foo Young

My Maternal Grandfather used to make the best Egg Foo Young. He didn't cook for us very often, so when he did, it was a real treat.

I don't make it very often, but every time I do, I wonder why I don't cook it more frequently. It's so easy, and it's so yummy. It also makes me think of him, and that always makes me happy. :)

I don't have the recipe written down (as is probably par-for-course for family recipes), so I just try to remember it off the top of my head.

Here's the recipe as I made it tonight. It turned out pretty well, so I figured it would be a good time to jot it down, while it's still fresh in my memory.

It's super easy, and really delicious.

I make it in a vegetarian style, but you could always add chopped up Chinese sausage, chicken or shrimp. :)

Grandpa Chan's Egg Foo Young

1/2 large white onion - chopped (about 1 cup)
4 stalks of celery - chopped
2 eggs - beaten
about 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth
about 1 Tb cornstarch
Vegetable Oil

Chop the celery and onion, and put them into a large bowl
Beat the eggs, then mix in with the celery and onion.

Heat a non-stick skillet (trust me, I learned the hard way) on medium/high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom (maybe 1 Tbsp)

Spoon the egg/celery/onion mixture into the pan by using 1/2 cup measuring cup.

Cook for about 3 minutes (I'm guessing on the timing here, but long enough for the egg to set, and be brown on the underside.)

Flip, and cook the other side.

Remove the egg pancakes, and keep them warm in a warm oven.

Add more oil, and repeat.

I had 5 pancakes total tonight.

Dilute the cornstarch in the chicken broth in a small bowl.

Pour the cornstarch/chicken broth liquid into the same pan that you've been cooking the egg pancakes in. Stir for a minute or so, until the liquid becomes a nice, thick gravy.

Pour the gravy over the egg pancakes, and serve. :)

It's super easy, and pretty quick.


(and thanks, Grandpa!)

Here's a photo that I found from our Family's Chinese New Year Dinner, 2007. This was the last time that Grandpa made his Egg Foo Young for us. (he passed away in December of that year.)
Looks like he added Green Onions to the top of it. I'll have to remember that for next time I make it. I love green onions. His is also saucier than mine was tonight. Next time, I'll make more sauce, too! :)

Grandpa Chan's Egg Foo Young

...and here's another picture from that day, just 'cause it makes me happy. :)

Grandpa Chan and Tiffini, 2007

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crissy - the 30 (!) Year Old Cockatiel!


My sister's pet cockatiel, Crissy, turned 30 today!


I've blogged about the age of this bird before, but it's worth repeating.

We adopted Crissy when she was only 6 weeks old, so she's been a part of our family practically the entire 30 years. We have heard that the average life-span of a cockatiel is approximately 15 years - which, obviously, she has now doubled! She's the oldest cockatiel that we've ever heard of. Even our vet doesn't know of any older. We think she may be part Alien. Actually, my sister's other bird, Bonsai, is probably around 25 years old - they must be very happy, healthy birdies!

Crissy is showing her age a bit these days. You would too, of course, if you lived double your life expectancy! She's a bit arthritic, and hasn't flown in years. Come to think of it, she was never really fond of flying to begin with. She always preferred walking and climbing. :)

We held a small party for her today. It's not often that you reach another decade - especially in a bird's life. I brought the party hats and the noise makers. :)

Here we all are, posing with the birthday bird (and Bonsai, too).

Four Chows, and Two Chow Birds

...and here's the Birthday Bird!

Crissy is now 30!

Happy Hatch Day, Crissy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Champagne Problems

My cousin, Bruce introduced me to the term "Champagne Problems" a month of so ago. The definition of it is exactly what you might think: it's not actually a "real" problem, more of a "we should all be so lucky to have that kind of problem" problem. :)

So, my most recent Champagne Problem is that the heated floor mechanism in our bathroom stopped working last night. It's still fairly new - just over 2 years old.

Anyhow, the thermostat shows that it thinks it's heating the floor, but it also show that the temperature is low, and that it's not going up at all.

Our poor kitty, Noe - she loves the warm floor, and usually sleeps on it all day and night. She's not happy with me right now. :)

I'm planning on calling my contractor tomorrow to see if he has any ideas, but thought I'd throw this out on my blog first to see if anyone has any suggestions of things I should try first.

I did try resetting the thermostat - several times - by turning if off and on. I also tried turning the circuit breaker off and on. That was all I could think of.

Any ideas from the Peanut Gallery?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tigers, Hearts, Ice-Cream, Fish and Bikes

First things first:

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Today is Chinese New Year. It's the year of the Tiger! (Dick is a Tiger!)

Today is also Valentine's Day. Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

It was a really pretty day in San Francisco today. We decided to take a bit of an afternoon walk to enjoy the weather.

We walked down 18th Street, passing Bi-Rite Creamery. Usually, there's a really long line here - especially on sunny days. When we passed by today, though, the line was short - only about 5 people long. How could I resist? I took advantage and got a kid's cup of Mint Chip ice cream. Yum! By the time we got my ice cream and left the store, the line was out the door again.

Yummy Ice-Cream!

We walked a few more blocks, and found a neat little alley tucked away between Valencia and Guerrero. The first thing I spotted were these cool Koi Fish painted on the sidewalk.

San Francisco Koi, swimming up hill! ;)

We also passed a really nice community garden on the same street. Very cool.

We went to Stockton yesterday to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family. WE did something new this year - we went to a Chinese Restaurant new my Grandma's house. It wasn't the same as cooking at home, but it was obviously much easier for everyone, and the food was really good. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos from dinner, but I did manage to take a photo of Dick checking out Uncle Wes's new Harley.

Dick, sitting on "Bad Boy"

...and just for kicks, I took a video of Dick taking Bad Boy out on a short spin.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Tonight, I reconnected with a very old friend who I had not seen or heard from in in 6 or 7 years.

I met Chad when we were both 19, and marching in a color guard in Dayton, OH. Chad was from the Dayton area, and I had moved out from Milpitas with my sister.

here we are (in a tiny, cropped photo) in our guard uniforms in 1990.

The next year, Chad moved to Milpitas to live in my parent's house while he joined another guard in San Jose. I, in the meantime, moved down to Southern California, and later to Madison, WI to march in other guards.

After we both "aged-out" of the color guard activity at the ripe old age of 22, we taught color guard together (with a few other friends) at a high school in Union City for two years.

Teaching color guard together in 1995

Chad eventually moved out of my parent's house, and I moved to San Francisco. We still saw each other on occasion over the next several years, but eventually, we lost touch.

David, Chad and Trina - San Francisco, 1999

Chad contacted me (via Facebook!) a couple of months ago. He had recently moved back to San Francisco, and, as bizarre as this sounds, was living in an apartment building directly behind my house (well, one house over)! Yes, that big, pink building of 6 or 7 apartments that sits right behind my next-door neighbor's backyard - the one that I see everyday when I look out my back windows - that's where Chad now lives!

So, we finally saw each other tonight for the first time in 6 or 7 years, and it was if no time had passed at all. We instantly reconnected, or rather, the connection that we had always had was still there.

San Francisco, 2010!

One of the first things that we talked about was the "promise" that we had made to each other when we were 19: we made a deal that if we were still both single when we turned 50, that we would marry each other. :) Well, it turns out that I married Dick, so the deal is off! ;)

It's so nice to have the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend. Now that he's so close by, I'm sure I'll be seeing a lot more of Chad again. :)

M(eh)-acWorld 2010

My Mom and I went to MacWorld today. This time, we really went - as it was actually the right date. Not like the time we tried to go in January. ;)

No surprise - it was just okay. I went in with fairly low expectations this year, and that's pretty much how it was. Apple wasn't there (for the first time ever) and the entire scale of the show was much smaller. Significantly fewer vendors, and a noticeable lack of big names like Adobe, Epson, etc.,

Over the past few years, there were many, many vendors selling iPhone cases. That's changed just a bit. The most common products this year seemed to be skins for the iPhones, iPod, and computers. Meh...

One small highlight for me was when we passed by the Microsoft booth. It was significantly smaller this year (no large screen demos/classes) but the did have the MacOffice "Gang" walking around. They made me smile, so I thought I'd take some photos to share with all my friends who used to work in the Mac group at Microsoft. :)

Excel & Word

Entourage and PowerPoint

I usually don't actually buy anything at MacWorld, so I was a little surprised that I left with two little items today.

The first was this little Eye-Fi SD memory card. I've noticed ads for this products for over a couple of years, and had a rough idea of what it was meant to do. I thought it would be something my Mom would be interested in. However, the more we spoke with the sales guy (who turned out to be one of the founders of the company) the more I realized that this was something that I'd really like. It has built-in Wi-Fi, so it can wirelessly transmit your files (photos and video) from your camera to your computer via your network. Handy! But the thing that totally sold me: it can also transmit files directly to my smugmug account! Super handy-dandy, since I use smugmug to backup all of my photos - it will do it automatically, so I won't have to remember to do it every month. They had a pretty good MacWorld special, so my Mom and I each bought one. I haven't tried it out yet (just got home) but I'm pretty excited to get it all set up.

I also bought a little Penguin-shaped USB drive. Only, I'm now realizing that there are no penguins in this photo!

Here's one:

Cute, right? I figure it'll be handy to keep in my purse, and I certainly won't lose it. :) The price was 2 for $25 for a 2GB - so my Mom and I each got one.

So, all-in-all, a pretty boring MacWorld. I think we covered everything in about 1.5 hours, and that was in fairly crowded conditions. My Mom and I had fun, though. :)

New Toy Story 3 Trailer

While the cat's away...

Dick and David were both out of town for work last night, so Miguel, Christopher and I decided to get together for dinner.

As Christopher said, it was a "cheese, cream and cake" night. These are all things that Dick doesn't eat. (well, he'll have a bite of cake every once-in-awhile.. like at our wedding...)

When Christopher used to live with us, whenever Dick was out of town, we would make things like Mac and Cheese, or Lasagna. :)

We went to Blue - such a great comfort food restaurant in the Castro. We all shared a appetizer of Tots (yes, that would be tater-tots - the likes of which I haven't had since elementary school) covered in chili and cheese. Oh, my! We also shared a serving of their yummy mac and cheese. I had a green salad - trying to balance it all out!

Christopher was so sweet - he gave us each a box of Sweethearts for Valentine's Day. :)
Here is is posing with our Mac and Cheese.

For dessert, we walked to Sweet Inspiration, which happens to be the place where David and Miguel first met!

It was a really fun evening with the boys - thanks Bro & Miguel!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Things I've meaning to blog about...

well, it doesn't seem like it's been more than a week since my last post...

It's funny - when I'm out and about, I'm constantly thinking about things that I can write about. Sometimes my random thoughts only make it to my Facebook status, sometimes I remember to take a photo, and sometimes my thoughts make it all the way to my blog.

There are several things I've been meaning to write about - I've had a lot of fun outings lately - but alas, I didn't find the time to sit down and blog about them.

I did, however, take several photos over the past couple of weeks to share. Wish I had more. Somehow, I managed to spend 4 days visiting friends in Seattle without ever thinking of taking a photos! drat.

Nonetheless, here are a few things that I have done lately...

Andrew and I went to the Contemporary Jewish Museum a few weeks back to see the Maurice Sendak Exhibit. It was really fantastic. I was only familiar with "Where the Wild Things Are", but Andrew was very knowledgeable on several books and artwork. We had a great time examining several beautiful original illustrations.

A few days later, I made my way down to San Jose to have a long-overdue visit with my dear friend, Kimi. We had a late lunch (yummy dumplings) then went back to the school so I could have a quick visit with her two boys before I had to leave. It was SO nice seeing all of them!

Uncle Wes with "Bad Boy"

Last Thursday, I went to Stockton for the afternoon with my Sister and her boyfriend. We went to visit my Grandma, and to take her out to lunch and run some errands. The first thing we saw when we pulled up to the house was my Uncle Wes and his new motorcycle (named "Bad Boy"). I've never seen a motorcycle quite like this one. So pretty! I was too intimidated by Bad Boy to even sit in the seat!

We had a yummy dim sum lunch at China Palace, our favorite Chinese restaurant in Stockton. Delish!

While we were out and about, Grandma took us to Winco - a grocery store in Stockton, which is apparently a chain, although we don't have any in the Bay Area. I've been hearing about Winco for years from all of my Grandparents who lived in Stockton, but I had never been. Now, I know what I've been missing! They really do have amazing prices - many things (like cereal) were less than half the price of what they would be at another grocery store - especially in SF. Really great deals, good quality merchandise - I'll be back!

Tiff and Graham at the fantastically inexpensive bulk food bins

That evening, we drove to Sacrament to see a performance of "Rent". The tour closed this past Sunday (3 days after we saw it) and it was the last production of the show after nearly 20 years. Two of the original stars from the Broadway production were on this tour (Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, playing Mark and Roger). It was pretty amazing to have the opportunity to see them, and hear the voices that I've listened to on the Broadway soundtrack for so long.

And finally, a cute photo of Noe giving her Daddy some kitten love while he was working on his laptop. :)

Monday, February 01, 2010

"21 Guns" - Green Day and American Idiot Cast Video

I totally missed the Grammys last night. Dick hates watching awards shows, so I've gotten out of the habit of watching them, or even thinking about them. I even forgot that Green Day was going to be performing! (shock!)

So, it turns out that Green Day performed "21 Guns" with the cast of the American Idiot Musical. Very cool. The show (which, yes, I saw twice when it opened in Berkeley) is going to Broadway starting in March. They didn't win Best Rock song for "21 Guns", but they did win Best Rock Album for "21st Century Breakdown"! Yay!

Anyhow, this video was released this morning (I think, anyhow). I think it's very cool - it shows Green Day and the cast of "American Idiot" in the recording studio, recording their version of "21 Guns".

I like this version a lot, although I admit I prefer the original. But, I do really love and appreciate the collaboration and all of the beautiful harmonies in this version.