Clouds and hanging out

Clouds and hanging out

Okay, so fall is finally showing up. It was 95 on Thursday and the next day, we were in the 80′s. An unusual cloud formation was hanging in the morning sky and it was a wonderful 60+ degrees outside. Folks obviously have been waiting for this and were busting out their full winter gear. He-llo? This is California, we don’t let a few clouds get to us eh :wink: so I stuck with my tank top and shorts. It wasn’t too bad, just a bit chilly but nowhere near boot, scarf and jacket weather. Today we’re back to clear skies and searing sunshine.

sky

In other news, we hit the adventure trail at Trader Joe’s. So excited. They’ve got tons of whacky, exotic stuff and I’m so in love with their fun packaging. Okay, so here’s our stash – goat cheese, and 4-cheese ravioli (both yums), Bavarian bratwurst, and smoked apple chardonnay chicken sausages (both yums also), hash browns, habanero sauce (super spicy that but a bit too sour for me!), and a frozen pumpkin cheesecake (that we’re savoring slice by slice, so good).

groc

We stopped by Barnes and Noble, bookworm haunt #2. The girls are blown away by the massive, ultra-modern library on campus which boasts millions of books, so that’s #1 on their list of places to hang out between classes. But yeah, we like Barnes too. Was flipping through this book while I was there.

bookstore

So that was our week/weekend. Been cooking a lot (warning, more food posts on the way). How was your weekend?

Clairity/

Weekend dimsum date

Weekend dimsum date

Dimsum is a rare find in these here parts so yeah, we’re beyond thrilled that we’ve stumbled upon an unassuming neighborhood restaurant that serves authentic Hong Kong dimsum on weekends. We’ve been camping out there practically every weekend since then. Not even kiddin’!

Their century egg congee is something not to be missed. My college roomie used to wake up early Saturday mornings to brew a pot of this delicious porridge. What I love about this restaurant’s version is its plain, unsalted taste which brings out the subtle flavor of the century egg, minced pork and ginger combination. A single order comes in a bowl big enough for the 3 of us to share.

We were expecting the usual soft and oily Chinese crullers when we ordered this but apparently the Hong Kong version is crispy crunchy without being oily. So good.

iedimsum1

A dimsum meal is not complete without these two types of steamed dumplings, siew mai and ha gao. These dumplings are big and more meaty than the ones we usually get. For me, the winning point is that they come in clean baskets. In the 3W, they almost always come in filthy, unhygienic baskets which should’ve been trashed a long time ago.

iedimsum2

Of course, we have to have stuffed eggplant. The portion is 3 times the size we usually get and is full of flavor.

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We tried the steamed pork ribs which I’m not a fan of to begin with. The girls seemed to like it though.

dimsum4

Well, looks like the weekend’s coming up. You know where we’ll be :wink: .

What’s on your weekend eat-out agenda? If you’re having dimsum, let me know. If you’ve never tried dimsum, I strongly suggest you do. It’s a food adventure you’ll love.

Clairity/

Christmas in September?

It looks like the Christmas decor is out at a couple of places. I’m not even kidding. This early? Hip2bDaughter1 is positively excited and dancing around the xtralights led’s and door hangers. I think it’s a little too early to start decorating. She obviously doesn’t think so. I do like the idea of string lights though. So I guess we will start window-shopping this weekend and see what ideas we come up with.

Clairity/

Excitement in the kitchen

Excitement in the kitchen

The week seems to have slipped by much too quickly, I might add, and it looks I’m behind in my posting again. I blame it on the arrival of my eagerly-awaited Tramontina Gourmet 8-piece cookware set, which we ordered online.

It’s amazing the amount of homework that goes into my purchases these days. The internet’s made it impossible for me to just walk into a store and buy something. Now I find myself ploughing through hours of reviews before making a decision on “which one” to buy. It used to be much easier than this. Not that I’m complaining. I’m thankful for being able to make more informed decisions now.

So the pots and pans finally arrived and I was excited to start dishing out homecooked meals again. All those weeks of eating out weren’t doing our waistlines any good. There comes a time when you yearn for a good homecooked meal in your cozy little dining room.

So here goes our first homecooked dinner in a while. Chicken wings, stirfried eggplant and messy omelet over rice.

dinner1

My omelets are always messy, my chicken wings are always dabomb and that eggplant is a new love. I used 15 of the 30-pack chicken wings I bought from Costco, coated them in Korean BBQ sauce and roasted them in 2 batches in my spanking new Pyrex trays and they were finger-lickin’ good.

Oh, I chanced upon this 20-piece Pyrex bake and store set that was on sale at only $19.99 (normal price is $49.99). They were flying off the shelves so without batting an eyelid, I snagged a set! I’d be crazy to miss such a good deal. Seriously!

And my red Corelle dinnerware set is also new. The design and color matches the separate pieces I’d acquired four years ago. I was thrilled so that was pretty much a no-brainer. So now with so many new toys in my kitchen, we’re off to cooking dinner every night… well, almost.

And here we have another night’s dinner. My homemade barbecued pork belly (and a leftover Korean BBQ chicken wing), okra stirfry, and stirfried green bell peppers with fresh button mushrooms and ground pork.

dinner2

Clairity/

The weekend that was

The weekend that was

Now that was one lazy weekend. We slept in on both days, a rare luxury as we’ve been so busy lately trying to stretch these already long summer days by getting an early start. Up at 9 and enjoying an unhurried breakfast of coffee and mini wheats at home.

bfast

The previous weekend, we’d visited a farmer’s market where we bought a jar of delicious but expensive homemade apricot jam. The box of raisins is from another farmer’s market.

jam

Saturday, we decided to go back to the farmers’ market where we bought the jam. That rustic feel of roaming among a dozen or so stalls of farmers selling their fresh, recently harvested produce and folk music playing in the background is somewhat new and exciting to a true blue city girl whose never even seen a live chicken before :wink: . This time, we bought an eggplant, okra, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and a quart of freshly squeezed orange juice (so yummy!).

Sunday was a sizzler. 102 degrees, to be exact. We were contemplating staying indoors all day – to avoid the heat, plus we desperately needed to sort out the packages that have been trickling in from our online purchases. It was good we got most of the stuff put away. I hate the sight of boxes laying about (don’t you?).

As we were throwing the bed linen into the laundry later, we decided, what the heck, we’ll just go to our newly-discovered Chinese fast food for their delicious Hong Kong dimsum. We like going there because we can always get a parking spot and table no matter what time we show up. And I think this goes for just about every restaurant around here :smile: .

We spent the rest of our Sunday pottering around the house. It’s nice. Different from the city rush. And in the evening, we cooked our first meal at home. Our new set of cookware has finally arrived and we have pots and pans to cook with again. Strange feeling :lol: . Eating out is fun and all, but did you know you can actually get bored from eating out too often?

I’ll have posts of our dimsum lunch, and homecooked dinner up next. So stick around.

Clairity/

Catching up… sorta

Catching up... sorta

So happy we’re beginning to see some signs of fall. Enough of this searing weather already! I feel like I’m being fried every time I step out. It was cloudy yesterday which is rare in a place where there’s hardly ever a cloud in the sky. What was even more surprising was that it rained. yes. all 3 drops of it in 20 seconds. We enjoyed that for what it was worth. A big change from Vancouver where the rain is drippy and goes on and on and on… so annoying! And today when we stepped outdoors before 8, the air was crisp and chilly.

sky

But enough about the weather. So much has happened since my last blog post I’m not even going to pretend I will ever caught up in detail. So here are some brief highlights.

In the almost tradition of Hip family flying, we pulled an overnighter at LAX to wait for daylight to drive to our hometown. Always interesting to see who’s snoring on a bench near you!

alax

Between a VW Jetta, a Chevy Cruze, a Chevy Captiva, and a Chrysler Town and Country minivan (soccer mom me, yeah!), I drove them all in the past few weeks. Wish I could’ve kept the big*ss Chrysler. That thing is huge and it rocks! Oops, did I let slip the a word?! :oops:

Pancakes and turkey sausages every single morning for 3 weeks… not funny! You just wanna kick yourself for not noticing those strawberry, and raisin cereals sooner.

It’s almost endearing how helpful someone is at first. Then you realize they were only out to make a sale.

When you don’t have internet connection, you have so much to blog about (in your head). The minute you get internet connection, your mind goes blank.

There IS such a thing as too much of a good thing. I’m looking at you, Panda Express.

We’re settling in. It’s good to be home. Really happy with how we’ve set up the place. I think we’ve given brand new meaning to the word minimalistic. It’s still a work in progress but we’re getting there.

Our cookware set arrives Friday so we have a few more days of eating out before we start cooking at home. My daughters can’t wait to have a homecooked meal.

And that’s all the time I have for right now. I’ll be back with more catchup posts, I promise.

Clairity/

Bringing hip back

Bringing hip back

Hey guys, I’m back. A bright sunny hello from California *waves*. I’m sorry I went MIA without warning. It wasn’t intentional. Honest. Life happens sometimes and I got disconnected from the online world, literally.

cali

Listen, I’m gonna keep it short here for now. I need to decompress for a bit. But I’m so excited I’ve got so much to tell you guys, so be sure to stick around…

Clairity/