I just published my first cookbook! a real book!

For my friends in the foodblog community!

My Notebook

Dear fellow bloggers and friends,
As many of you know, I am a very curious person,  and cannot stop learning.  I just found out a book making site :  www.Blurb.com, when I was reading another blogger friend ‘s post and her publications.  I cannot wait but to embark on a new project immediately.    As a result of “hard work” these two days during the holiday, I made it!  Here’s my book at the Blurb bookstore.  Although I am placing it for sale on Blurb.com, I do not even know how it works!  Most of all,  money is not what I am pursuing.   I am working on an ebook version but due to some errors it has not been generated yet.  I will be sharing the ebook with all of you free!
All these recipes are actually posted in my foodblog:

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Roast Pork: Two Homemade Recipes


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My friend JL ‘s  Roast Pork Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs  ( 五花腩)pork ; fattest  portion.
  • Use 四季雞粉 (1 bag) — A special chicken broth  mixture or powder.
Cooking directions
  • Rub the powder to the meat only.
  • Cover with foil except the skin.
  • Put into refrigerator for 3 days
  • Put into the oven, 450 F for half an hour .
  • Unwrap the foil. Pour away the juice,
  • Cool down after 15 min.

My sister LM’s Roast Pork Recipe:

Ingredients
  • Same as above.

Cooking Directions

  • Clean the meat and dry it well.
  • Rub the powder to the meat only.
  • Make sure that the meat is real dry before the next step.
  • Put into the  refrigerator one night before cooking.
  • Before baking, rub the skin with vinegar several times.
  • Bake 400 F x 50 to 55 mins.
  •  broil for a few seconds.  Watch the meat to make sure that it won’t burn.
  • You will see that the skin puffed up.  Take it out.
  • Let it cool down. Cut into pieces. and serve.
  • Yum!

My sister said adding the vinegar to the skin makes the skin pop and crispy.  These two photos were her first experiment. She had tried several times and modified the recipe to this one as posted.

Readers should try out the two different recipes and experiment with each. You may find something different from your experience as well.

I got these two recipes a while ago.  I didn’t post it because i wanted to try it out myself first.  The reason why I suddenly posted this one last night, was in response to a fellow blogger’s recent post on Spicy Crackling Pork Appetizer.

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Hillbilly Tea at Louisville, Kentucky — What a Pleasant Surprise!

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Hello, dear readers:

First of all, I  must apologize for not posting on this blog for more than 2 months.   The reason was that I had been busy publishing my e-books.  I have altogether published three.  Please refer to my travel blog My Notebook and my 3 little e-books posted on Speaker Deck.  To add to all these…I had been extremely busy at work.

I was able to take a short “break” to Louisville last week to attend a conference where I did two presentations.  It was actually more work, but I had the chance to try out this hip tea house “Hillbilly Tea” which just opened its second tea house in Shanghai, Yes, Shanghai!  I hardly believe my ears when the server told me.   I wonder why a hip American tea house wold set up its second tea house in China.  Would it have business?  After trying its tea and a catfish sandwich (lunch menu), I think it will be accepted or welcome by the new generation of Chinese and expatriates living in Shanghai, which is very Westernized comparing to other parts of China.  In certain parts of Shanghai, it is actually even more trendy than many places in the United States.

Let us  first take a look at the pictures posted in a slide show above and a gallery below.

Now, tell me if you have fallen in love with this place!  Yes, I love it.  The decor is very down-to-earth, in warm vintage style, with tea and T-shirts mounted at the entrance.  See the Chinese characters on a T-Shirt:

Hillbilly Tea Shanghai (土包子茶酒馆)

Very interesting translation!

What about the tea and the food?  I tried the mulberry tea with whole berries and leaf.  My friends tried the big green ice tea (served in a wide-mouth container).  Most of us ordered the catfish sandwich.  We were all happy with both the tea and the sandwich.

Would I return?  Definitely, if I go to Louisville or Shanghai again.

If you are interested in looking at its other menu, please refer to its modern and artistic Hillbilly Tea official website

and many comments on its Shanghai location.

What is the rating?  I will give it 4 out of 5 stars.  Try it out yourself when you happen to be in Louisville or Shanghai.

Family Dinner in our Family Restaurant – Crab and Lobster Noodles and more…

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Our cousin who came to visit from Australia, enjoyed very much the Chinese food here, particularly in a family restaurant which we called our family cafeteria!  It is not high-end like the other one that I recommended to many of you.  The presentation is alright …like 2 stars.  However, the taste is 4 stars.  I would say it is quite oily sometimes, but all the guys like it!  My cousin particularly wanted to eat crab and lobster noodles.  My sister ordered three dishes of crab and lobster noodles for him!  And …did you see the pork belly?  I know you like it!

Which dish did I like most?  Guess!  The green ones!  The hollow vegetables are particularly delicious.  The green beans are good but I prefer it to have less oil.

And we did have fish!  The fish which was swimming in the tank, was made into two dishes:  the fillet and the bones (fried with bean curb).

I know you are hungry…yum yum!  The price?  Around $150 for a table of 8, for seafood dishes like lobster and crab! Where else can you find such a good price?

Happy Anniversary to my “Initiation” into the Blogging World – my 100th post on “My Notebook”, and my 259th post on my 6 Blogs

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Happy Anniversary!

Today, there are reasons to celebrate.  It is the first anniversary of my first blog which is

from “curiosita to…”

As I was new to blogging, I went around to experiment on different themes.  Writing is not really my best attribute, but I love to learn new things, and love challenges.  As traveling and arts are my cup of tea, I want to devote different blogs to a different theme.  So far, I have actually developed many blogs on different platforms.  WordPress is my regular platform.  To date, I have these 6 “active” blogs, while the others are either private or not searchable for either work or private purpose.  As I am a private person, but not totally conservative like many people, I do not use blogging to socialize or widen my social network.  I think I just like to express and share what I like, share my travel photos and what I have learned from those countries that I traveled to.   I have learned a lot  from all of you, my fellow bloggers.  Many of you are really my resources with so much to learn and share.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Just before I started to write this post, I received a nomination for an award from a blogger friend.  I found out recently that we belong to the same alumni.  It is Black and White Bear, a couple that posted very beautiful pictures.  They have nominated me a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”, which happened to be my third one.  I am very grateful to all of you for your support.  I will handle this award on my next post.  But this is really timely to give me another reason to celebrate.

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If people asked me why do you have time to do all these things, it is a very difficult answer.  I don’t have time.  I just made time for it.  Actually I spent more time recently on making videos, my new hobby!  I just created my new channel on YouTube.   I have to say that YouTube has a wider audience but is more public.  There are more people interested in looking up videos on YouTube than looking up blogs.  However, it is not the reason why I like to make videos.  It is primarily for arts reason.  If you are interested in my YouTube channel, here’s the link.

My New YouTube Channel

Happylearner123

https://www.youtube.com/user/Happylearner123?view_as=public

  • About

This is a Travel and Arts Channel. If you are interested in travels, and appreciation of arts and different cultures, this is your channel. As I also write and read blogs, my videos are usually shared via my blogs as well. I hope to see you there!

Why do I like to blog?  What is the purpose?  I am not blogging to get any financial gain or publish anything in future.  My goal is just to learn and continue to challenge myself.  Very few of my friends and family like to read what I posted.  Only one family subscribed and one really loves my videos.  My friends are mostly not interested in this type of hobby.  They love to eat and travel and do give me good feedback.  I did use some of the skills I’ve learned via blogging and video-making, to help my colleagues at work.  Recently I applied for two national awards, and got both.  One is related to technology.  I am a non-technical person supervising a technology program, not too unusual!

Annual Blog Stats

When I started to write this post, I thought it would be good to check out where I am in terms of my blogs.  Here’s the data.   What I am most interested is the number of countries where my readers reside.  Isn’t that amazing?

May 26, 2013   Blog  Statistics
Name of the Blog Posts Readers Views Countries
My Notebook 99 139                       7,013 89
Can’t help falling in love…with Arts 30 38                       1,636 53
food for thought 61 47                       5,235 82
“from curiosita…” 52 53                       2,044 46
Exploring Turkey and Greece 14 10                          652 32
Healthy and Happy 2 3                          391 27
Total 258 290                    16,971 329
Summary
Total 258 posts across 6 blogs
Total 329 countries
Total 16,971 viewers
Total 290 readers
Average 65 viewers per post

I know that comparing to many of your blogs, these numbers are really very small.  To me, they mean a lot to me.  I found it very interesting about one thing:  My Healthy and Happy blog only has two posts, as I did not have time when I have to prioritize.  but it has altogether 391 viewers across 27 countries!  I think a lot of people search for topics on health, and therefore they found my blog.  I have to apologize to my three readers of that blog.  I am very lagging behind.  I will see what I can do more in future.

Thank you!  I love you all!

Finally, I have to thank all of you for your continuous support!  You are my inspiration.  You are the reason that keeps me moving forward.  You are my friends, my co-learner, my teacher, my resources…

I will reblog this post to my other blogs as it is a celebration of all my blogs.

Coming Soon

Tomorrow, I will go to see the painting that I have longed to see for a long time….

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Please stay tuned for my next post on Can’t help falling in love…with Arts.

Message from WordPress.com

Hay, just when I am about to publish this post, here’s the Happy Anniversary message from WordPress.com

Happy Anniversary!

You registered on WordPress.com 1 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

What did we eat in Yunnan? — My Yunnan Trip #7

I just returned from a 9 days’ trip to Yunnan, China.  The trip was great, but not the food!  In fact, none of my previous China trips had food that satisfied me.  For some of my readers who don’t know,  I grew up in Hong Kong which has the best Chinese food.  Cantonese food is the best among all types of cuisines in China.  Therefore, traveling to China does not mean that there is good food.

In this Yunnan trip, I will only post these few dishes that may be more interesting to my readers.  The fish dish featured here is the best dish we had during this Yunnan trip.  Not only was the fish fresh, with no small bones.  It was also the best in its presentation.  We all enjoyed this fish so much that we asked the server what type of fish was that.  He said “it is called Wuhan fish”.   We had never had Wuhan fish before.   The presentation was like a peacock, was it?  As we were going to see the Dynamic Yunnan Show that night which featured the famous peacock dance by Yang Liping, I wonder if the cook specially decorated this fish that way in order to cheer the productions of Yang Liping. About the Dynamic Yunnan Show, see my post Dynamic Yunnan Show in my blog  “Falling in love…. with Arts.”

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The second dish (not really on a dish) is the Kunming big  “Sha Wor”  fish head.  This was just like hot-pot throwing everything like meat and vegetables in.  I  prefer to have individual hot-pot like the ones we had in Szechuan before.  At any rate, we ate!  The good thing about this hot-pot was that there were lots of mushrooms.

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The final ones that I would like to feature today are the cute little breakfasts prepared by the attendant of our “bungalow” where we lived in Lijiang.  There were noodles, congee, vegetables, buns, eggs, coffee or tea, tomatoes, fresh soy milk and fresh milk.  It was a breakfast of the Yunnan style, and it was home-made. Excellent.

Fried Salmon Head and Collar

This post is in response to fellow blogger Sybaritica’s Notable Nosh: Grilled Salmon Collar.

When I saw his post, I said, there aren’t lots of meat there.  But he said “There’s actually quite a bit of meat in the head (a large one anyway”.   I can understand this now, because my sister just cooked a dish of fried salmon head and collar, which is very delicious and the meat is very tender with quite a bit of meat!

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This is how my sister cooked this dish:

  • Buy 4 big salmon fish heads from the supermarket which sells fresh fish.
  • Wash them.  Clean and dry.
  • Add a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick wok in high heat.
  • Add ginger (1 teaspoon of crushed ginger) and let it fry for a few seconds.
  • Turn down the heat to low.
  • Add the fish heads, and fry them front and back, very slowly. Be patient.
  • Add green onion when it is nearly done.

Ready to eat!  Yum!