Going Carb Less with Cauliflower Tabbouleh

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This post is written in honour of good neighbours. May you all have some. And if you don’t, may you find some quickly. Or may you consider moving.

The neighbourhood I grew up in on the south side of Chicago was a busy one. West 89th Place and its adjoining streets was rarely quiet. There were kids. Lots and lots of them. And boy did we have fun. Continue reading

Healthy Living — Miso Salmon with Wasabi-Avocado Salad

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Japan is a very special place for me. Not only is it where my mother grew up, but it’s where the rest of her family, including my cousins, aunts and uncles, still live.

When I was in graduate school, I spent one semester studying in Niigata Prefecture on  Japan’s main island of Honshu. It was an amazing experience. Not only did it provide insight into my mother and her culture, but it also marked the beginning of an expat life that eventually brought me to Basel. Continue reading

A Salad Start to the New Year — Avocado and Mango Salad

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There is nothing more motivating than a close-up shot of a fresh salad to keep your diet resolutions alive in January.

Despite my greatest urge not to make get-fit vows for the New Year, this holiday season found me staring, in disdain, at the extra bulge that found its way into what I call my “second stomach” — aka, my THIGHS. Continue reading

Owning it in 2015 – My blog resolutions

Collage 2I’m not usually big on New Year’s resolutions.

We spend most of the year telling ourselves, and rightly so, that despite our so-called weaknesses, we are strong, confident individuals. And yet every 1 Jan, echoed from the crowded streets of New York City down to the deepest darkest corner of the world, are vows to change everything about ourselves.

Somehow, on this one very special day of the year, we focus on our flaws more so than our strengths. And why in the world would you want to start a new year like that? Continue reading

Christmas in a Ball – apple, sage & chicken balls with cranberry drippings

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Oh Christmas. How you make thee smile. Your holiday lights illuminate the way home on darkened, somber evenings. Your crimson & sage bring to life the season’s otherwise bleak and static streets. Your promises of hope and wonder bring a sense of calmness and resolve to the end of each year.

And your food. Oh your lovely food…

Your food carries with it flavours of nostalgic youth, and a reminder that the love nestled within the confines of our dining table holds stronger than the plates they are served on. Continue reading

DIY Family Tree – the good, the bad, and the downright crazies

 

IMG_4082It’s not easy being away from your family.

Years ago when Stephen and I left Hong Kong it was because we wanted to be closer to home. Traveling 15-plus hours on a plane just to be home for the holidays was excruciating. And to even think of what would happen in case of an emergency put us in panic mode.

We didn’t always think this way. In our younger years, being away from family wasn’t very difficult because, well, we were in our 20s, a decade that should be renamed the “Selfish Decade” for all intent and purposes. This is your decade. Your time to find yourself, to think of only yourself, to discover your hopes, likes, deepest darkest desires, talents, and all the other things in this wonderful world that make us unique. I think this decade is critically important. And I don’t just say that because I had so much friggin fun in it!

This decade is what makes many of us, us. But it is also in this space that there is very little room for others. Even family. Continue reading

General Tso’s Chicken

IMG_3934 Today I found myself thinking of Hong Kong. I lived in this city longer than any other place in my adult life. It was where I called home for most of my roaring 20s. It was where I grew into an adult, blossomed as a writer, and found real, make-you-smile-when-no-you-think-no-one-is-looking, love.

But before all of that happened, life in Hong Kong was very different for me. Equally enchanting. But oh so very different. Continue reading

Pumpkin Soup with Goat Cheese & Crispy Sage

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Thanksgiving has become my tinker-toy holiday.  Don’t get me wrong – I adore it – but it can be lonely being an American expat during this holiday. No one else, with the exception of the Canadians, celebrate this holiday. And even they mark it several weeks before us.

It’s difficult to plan a day-long culinary extravaganza when you live in a country that doesn’t share the same national holiday. But it’s even more difficult to get into the Thanksgiving swing of things when few others share in the excitement of this culinary celebration. Continue reading

A Kitchen in Need – Stencilling 101

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I come from a long line of painters. Sounds strange to say aloud, but when I look at my family history, that’s what sticks out.

My grandfather was a custom house painter, as was my uncle. My father spent his youthful summers working with his father, as did my brother. My grandmother in Japan was also a painter, albeit slightly different from my American side in that she preferred oil on canvas and traditional calligraphy. As did my mother. Continue reading