Roast Pork: Two Homemade Recipes


My friend JL ‘s  Roast Pork Recipe:

  • 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:

  • 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.

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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?

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

No Caption

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.


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


  • 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
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

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

Happy Anniversary!

You registered on 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.”


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.


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.

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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!


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!

Michelle’s Pancake House, Cupertino, California

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Michelle’s Pancake House

19060 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014

(408) 517-9886

It was Easter Sunday weekend.  Our party of six went to try out this Chinese dumpling restaurant which is in Cupertino.  When I heard the name Pancake House, I thought it is American pancake!  It is said to be very successful in Los Angeles as well.  We waited, and waited, for nearly 45 minutes before we got a table.

The dishes we ordered are posted in the slide show and gallery above.  They are all different types of pancakes or dumplings.  Read the captions if you are interested to know the names of these dishes.  Except the Mushu Beef Noodles, I would say that all the others were excellent.  All of us like particularly the lamb and onion pancakes.  We will definitely go back again.  It was worth the wait.  Be patient, folks!

This is my rating of this restaurant:  ♥♥♥♥ο

Argentine cuisine – trout, beef, pasta, empanada, sweet snacks and chocolates…

In this South America trip, we were in Argentina for about 8 to 9 days.  Therefore I can say that we did tried quite a bit of everything in terms of Argentine food.  The food was good, but again, I did not notice a lot of traditional Argentine cuisine.  I was most impressed by the trout dish that I had the first day we arrived in Bariloche. In the United States, I love seafood, but we seldom eat trout.  It was really a delight to find the trout here very fresh and tasty.


According to an article in Academia Bariloche “Mouth watering salmon and trout, plentiful in the Patagonian lakes and rivers, are eaten fresh as well as smoked and accompanied by a range of different sauces., Patagonian lamb is a national delicacy. Lamb, wild pig and alpine venison are all very popular and highly appealing local dishes.”

I did not eat lamb in Argentina, but did see some open BBQ or in restaurants, where lambs were featured.


According to Academia Bariloche

“Other typical Patagonian dishes include smoked meats like deer, wild pig, salmon and trout. Of course you will find a large variety of classic dishes like parilla grilled meat, homemade pizza and Italian style pasta dishes that are found throughout Argentina”

We did have a great experience in a restaurant that primarily served pasta.


So, what is the typical Argentine cuisine? According to,

“Argentine cuisine may be described as a cultural blending of Mediterranean influences (such as those created by Italian and Spanish populations) within the wide scope of livestock and agricultural products that are abundant in the country. Argentine annual consumption of beef has averaged 100 kg (220 lbs) per capita, approaching 180 kg (396 lbs) per capita during the 19th century; consumption averaged 67.7 kg (149 lbs) in 2007.Beyond asado (the Argentine barbecue), no other dish more genuinely matches the national identity. Nevertheless, the country’s vast area, and its cultural diversity, have led to a local cuisine of various dishes.”

As I do not eat lots of meat, I only tried a small piece of steak here, but did not take a picture.  Here’s a picture from this website:

Argentine Steak - Buenos Aires, Argentina

The author of this article also had a very good description why and how tasty Argentine beef is:

“Live on steak alone, no. But a steak a week is an easy pull in Argentina. Argentine cattle are grass fed (in contrast to more common grain-fed beef typical in the U.S.). As a result, Argentine beef is not only a better taste experience, but also an easier digestive experience. To boot, Argentine steaks are charcoal grilled on  a parrilla (i.e. a giant grill, also the word used to denote grill restaurants).

Although Argentine steak is rich and flavorful enough on its own, that doesn’t prevent most restaurants from offering chimichurri, an olive oil and spice rub to pick things up even more. In our opinion, when the meat’s this good, there’s no need to dress it up.”

A friend in our group had tasted the best steak he ever had here. He could testified that.

As mentioned in my posts about food in Chile, we always took beer or wine at meals, since water was nearly the same price.  The beer was sweeter, and therefore I did drink it. Otherwise, I usually don’t drink beer.  I think we drank beer more than wine in Argentina.  The wine in Chile was better, but I am not qualified to evaluate wine.  Our friend told us so, and I just followed!

What else was impressive in the Argentine food?  Well, I like the empanadas. This is how the Academia Bariloche describes about this popular food in Argentina. “Empanadas, the ubiquitous Latin American savory turnover. Flaky or doughy, empanadas come stuffed with just about anything: spinach, cheese, acelga (Swiss chard), mushrooms, ground beef, chicken, even seafood. On balance, Argentine empanadas are usually baked, but occasionally you’ll find them fried, especially in the north.. Empanadas are the perfect traveller food — they are cheap, quick, high comfort and often oozing with cheesiness.”   Indeed it wasn’t too costly.  We had eaten quite a bit of empanadas in Argentina, but some were better than others.


Academia Bariloche also has a good description about “The tea houses'” which are another icon of the city.” They offer delicious cakes, hot chocolate, homemade breads and sweets that are part of the ‘snack’ tradition in Bariloche. The tea houses often have spectacular mountain and lake views which create an unforgettable ambience.”

These are some of the sweet snacks or desserts we ate in Argentina. Aren’t they beautiful?  They are also very tasty!

Chocolates and ice creams are very popular in Argentina.  We did try them all. We found some big chocolate stores offering quite a good variety of chocolates too.

This is my last post on food that I took in my South America trip.  It was a very nice trip.  Food and lodging did play an important part in making the memory so unforgettable.  I will write a few more posts in my other travel blog ““My Notebook”.  If you are interested, please go there to find my next post. Meanwhile, enjoy these beautiful food pictures.  I am posting them in a slide show here. Enjoy!

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My South America Trip #20 – Lamb and Wine in Chile

In my last post My South America Trip #19, I mentioned the blog written by a North American anthropologist Jim Stuart living in Chile.  The blog Eating Chilean had its last post written in May, 2012.  I found it very interesting.  If you are going to Chile by yourself and you have time to go around to look for good Chilean food, and to understand the locals’ cuisine in relation to the social-economic structure, I highly recommend you to read this post-.Visitors guide-what to eat in Chile. The best in Chile is seafood, and we have covered a little in post #18.IMG_1874

As we had some dinners that we arranged on our own, some tour members found a nearby restaurant (the only one near our hotel which was near the National Park, instead of downtown) which served a “lamb” feast. We practically used the whole restaurant for a dinner and party.  I had taken a few pictures here. The lamb we ate that night was roasted over open wood fire, the most common way of cooking lamb in the Patagonian region.

As my favorite food is not meat, I found this lamb feast not really my cup of tea.  Little that I knew that lamb has one of the lowest consumption rates by  the Chileans till I read the blog Eating Chilean.  The author Jim Stuart said that very few Chileans eat lamb, although the number is rising recently.  One of the reasons is economic:  lamb is comparatively quite expensive. The growing number eating lamb may suggest that the Chileans in general have improved economically.  This is consistent with the World Bank’s ranking:  “The economy of Chile is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank  and is one of South America‘s most stable and prosperous nations,”

In the last post of Eating Chilean , it cited a review of the meal that President Obama was served in March, 2012 by the Chile President:

“… but a plus for the Patagonian lamb, Chile’s least favorite meat (more horse is eaten in Chile than lamb). Maybe it will encourage more Chileans to eat it. ”

Well, I guess the lamb that President Obama ate must be better than the one we had in Chile!

Before I end my posts on Chilean food, I have to mention the wine in Chile.  As bottled water is nearly the same price as wine or beer, and drinks are not covered by the tour, very often we ordered wine in Chile. I drink wine, but only occasionally.  Some of our friends drink wine at all meals!  Therefore, I usually followed!  Let me quote what Jim Stuart said in his blog, which may be helpful to you if you intend to visit Chile in future:

Eating Chilean by Jim Stuart

“What to drink 
Wine, of course, but also beer, pisco, mineral water and soft drinks.Chilean wine is good, inexpensive and available almost everywhere.  …….. They are good wines, comparable to or better than the common table wines in Europe. 
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Chile and national, international and “artisanal” brands are commonly available….”


As Chile is quite famous in its wine industry, our tour ended in visiting a famous Chile winery Vina Undurraga located south of Santiago. There was wine-testing of course.  Here are some of the pictures I took at the winery. It was a good “at the end tour” because if you get drunk, it won’t affect your itinerary!  You are going home anyway!

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