My Grandma’s mantra

Okay, so my daughters are volunteering at a food pantry packing and handing out food to the needy (which officially makes me a proud mama :wink: ). One of my daughters is doing it for class credit, and the other is helping out of her own free will. Neither is complaining even though this means giving up their beauty sleep to be out there in the early morning hours. I tagged along one week and found myself busy working the back benches, and yes, I loved it! planning to go again.

Every week, there are long lines of people who can’t afford to feed themselves and their families coming through the door. It breaks my heart to see the kids who come along with their parents to collect food. Yeah, it makes me wonder why people waste food when there are so many people who can’t even afford to put food on their tables. I don’t get it.

Recently, my daughters were stunned when they overheard a student at the cafeteria telling her friends how she loves to pile her plate high with food which she never finishes it and ends up throwing all away. Question is why take so much food when you know there’s no way you can eat it all? Apparently she just loves seeing all that food on her plate, she explained to her friends. Huh?

I know someone who, when her husband calls to say he’d be home late from work, would instruct her maid to throw away all the food that’s been saved for him. Every time I heard her say that, it made me wince. She declares that excess food from all her meals go right down the drain, they never eat leftovers. What a waste! Some leftovers are even more flavorful the next day, and there are so many ways to get creative with them you’ll never guess they were last night’s dinner.

And apparently she’s not alone. My cousins would allow their then below 10-year-old kids to order adult portions of whatever they wanted. In many cases, it’s obvious (to me, at least) that the portions are way too big for kids that age but she would tell them, “If you can’t finish, just leave it”. Question is, why not just share or get the kiddy meals in the first place? Nothing wrong with sharing, if you ask me.

When my kids were younger, they would always share. I can see where sharing can be a problem sometimes for kids with preferences. I’m lucky my kids have always been agreeable and never fought over food. Even now, we often share our orders. If it’s not enough to go round or we want more, we can always order again. That way, we don’t end up wasting food or stuffing ourselves silly. Make sense, right?

When I was growing up, my Grandma would tell me, “Don’t waste food, think of all the starving people, be grateful you get to eat all this good food”. It was her mantra which I have passed on to my kids and hopefully they will do the same. From young, my kids have been trained to lick their platters clean and not to take more than they can finish. My youngest daughter is so cute. On the rare occasion when she had food left on her plate, she would say softly, “Sorry, food, I can’t eat any more and you have to go to waste”. This kinda sums up how we feel about wasting food.

How about you? What are your views on food wastage?


K lunch

K lunch

And some days, my lunch can be as simple as this. I love this super spicy Shin ramyeon (Korean instant noodles) especially now that the weather has officially cooled down. Really? Well, it was a blazing 91 on Monday and by Tuesday, we’d dipped to 79 which still feels like 91 by the way.

Anyhoo, this ramyeon was recommended by our Korean friend. I didn’t get a chance to try it until now which, as it turned out, is brilliant because it’s much cheaper here and more authentic – see my Korean chopsticks. It’s my last resort lunch when I can’t figure out what else to eat.


And for dessert, my current addiction…



Morning entertainment

Every morning as I sit at my computer, I can hear the sounds of a marching band practising behind our house. I’ve driven by and seen the band of high school kids practising in the open area nearby. Although I do appreciate being entertained by the Live Sound of Music coming in the windows (if I have them open), it does get a little loud. The good thing though is that they only practise for a short while.


Blueberry banana smoothie

Blueberry banana smoothie

I’ve been hesitating about writing a smoothie post. Smoothie posts are a dime a dozen and both you and I have doubtless read enough to go, oh no, not another smoothie post!! Then again, I’m thinking, so what? one more smoothie post can’t hurt anyone, right?

So I’m going to go ahead and bore you anyway… with one of my favorite smoothies which I make all the time. You know me, I’m terrible at following recipes. I tend to grab ingredients left and right without measuring. So feel free to adjust the amounts to your liking.


You’ll need:

  • a frozen banana
  • a couple handfuls of blueberries
  • 3 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Greek yogurt
  • a good splash of milk

I blended this in my new Cuisinart blender which comes with these to-go blender cups. I love how this saves me the trouble of blending in the regular jug and then pouring it into another glass. I hate washing up and the fewer transfers I make, the less I have to wash. Simple logic, right?

This Cuisinart blender set comes with 4 of these to-go blender cups with lids in addition to the regular jug and chopper cup. Another thing I love about this blender is that you don’t have to hold down the button when you blend (unlike the magic bullet which I also happen to own). By the way, I’m not being paid by Cuisinart to say nice things about their blender. Just stating my honest opinion.

And here’s my healthy, delicious smoothie. Isn’t it the most beautiful pastel lilac color?! Visually appealing much and I don’t have to tell you how amazing this tastes.



Still talking

Like I said in my previous post, the girls and I went to a symphonic band performance last week. Guess what, we still haven’t been able to stop talking about it. It was that good. Not sure if they were using the alesis micron but it sure made the pieces come alive. I wonder when they’ll be performing again. We’d sure like to go catch their next performance.


Foot-tapping, jaw-inspiring time

Foot-tapping, jaw-inspiring time

Whoa, it’s been quite the week. First off, we got all dressed up for an evening at a symphonic band performance. A few years ago, we went to the Philharmonic and the girls enjoyed it, a lot more than I expected which was really a nice surprise. I almost feared my kids wouldn’t have a single cultured bone in them but I was wrong.

When the girls found out about this performance, Hip2bDaughter2 quickly booked tickets. The performance featured mostly wind instruments and they played some really catchy pieces that had us tapping our feet. We had a great time.


In other news, I discovered honeycrisp apples last week and they’re delicious. It’s apple season now and my eyes are going bezonkers with the variety I’m seeing. I bought Fujis the week before, honeycrisp last week, who knows what I’ll try this week. The honeycrisp, mildly sweet with a super sharp crunch, was developed by the University of Minnesota. Just thought I’d throw it in there.


I roasted a big batch of Korean barbecue chicken drumsticks for the girls to distribute to their friends who live in the dorms. We all know what dining hall food tastes like so I thought they would enjoy some homecooking. Here you can see I’ve simply thrown the chicken drumsticks in ziplock bags… and sent them on their way. Clearly I’m not about fancy wrapping.


And for a quick lunch, I steamed these Korean vegetable potstickers instead of pan frying them, that is. This steamer is new to me. I never knew such a contraption existed but it’s pretty neat. It opens like a flower (which took me a while to figure out until Hip2bDaughter1 jumped in and showed me how) and fits nicely into my biggest pot. How cool is that! I made a dip concocted from fiery habanero sauce, garlic and soy sauce. So good.



How ice cream is meant to be eaten

How ice cream is meant to be eaten

All set to dig into 2 new flavors of ice cream we bought at the farmer’s market. Java Jolt and Raspberry Cheesecake, the way ice cream is meant to be eaten…


… topped with a mountain of fresh fruit.


I don’t indulge in desserts too often. I know desserts are meant to be sweet but there’s a huge difference between sweet and diabetic, know what I mean?

Looks like I may just have found the perfect ice cream though – not too sweet, not too milky. These 2 flavors are dabomb especially the Java Jolt. Which reminds me, I’ve still got half a tub sitting in my freezer that I’ve forgotten to eat :lol: .

The occasional ice cream is such a treat though considering how we’re having a second round of summer here in California. We had exactly 2 days of cloudy coolness but the temps have since shot back up to the 90’s, gah! Where’s my ice cream?