I’ve been humming Changes these past few days.  Time may change me, but I can’t trace time… 8 months have already flown by, and G is ready to pop at any time.  May simply vanished as my one-month notice was too short to take care of last minute to-do’s.  And now it’s June and we’re poised to see a host of changes, personally and professionally.  The two biggest are the arrival of Junior and my new job.  These were also the impetus for our dining and cooking rampage of the past few months.  G and I both knew that there would never be the same freedom to go out on a whim (at least for the next few years), and so we celebrated the end of just the two of us.

We’re looking forward to family life and all of the changes that come with it.  I still have a backlog of food-related posts to write-up (someday), but updates in all likelihood will be less frequent between parenting and work (I actually have to wear pants everyday).

Some random updates:

  • Thanks Mom and Dad for shipping the baby care package from the States! We love the adorable manly one-piece outfits for Jr.
  • We’re in the market for a baby/mommy photographer.  Food ≠ Baby.  Any recommendations?
  • We have a shiny new addition to the family to keep me company and help process all of the baby photos.
  • I also have a new kitchen appliance – a Philips steamer/blender that I can’t wait to try out once Jr is old enough for baby food

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s still Sunday in the States, so I wanted to take this opportunity to wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day!  Growing up, this holiday was a subdued affair in our household given the lack of nearby relatives.  Inevitably, we would celebrate with a traditional brunch buffet (ah the Broker Inn).  Food, and not just Chinese is an integral part of my family.  Weekends might be consumed with attempts at homemade chinese sausages, dumplings, etc…  and when we could afford to eat out, mom always had a nose for good restaurants.  Since  about food, I thought I would share about one of the strongest bonds with my mom (and Dad also)- food.

Until meeting G, I wasn’t nearly as picky about what or where I ate, so long as it was filling.  Ironically, my disinterest for and love of food can all be attributed to my childhood.  I can still recall the many times that Mom would drag Dad and me to faraway restaurants just because she had “heard” they had great food.  Driving at least an hour each way just for a meal, especially as a teenager (when there are more important social activities to attend to) created a strong negative reinforcement towards food.  Outwardly I hated all the “time spent” with the folks, but secretly I loved the variety of cultural experiences, Thai, Korean, Moroccan, etc… so foreign to where we lived.

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When life hands you frozen scallops…

… you take the opportunity to experiment.  Scallops (specifically Hokkaido-originated ones) are at the top of G and I’s favorite seafood list, so it was with mixed emotions that the family was recently “gifted” with a large bag of frozen jumbo scallops.  As fans of Top Chef might recall, this particular shellfish is a very different ingredient to work with frozen, and taste-wise they just can never compare to the “fresh” alternatives.

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Busy weekend, lazy week…

Mango Egg Yolks

This past weekend was a festive chaos of cooking gone wild, family dinner night, an aborted attempt to relive my youth, friends’ baby birthday, and the Lion King.  In no particular order, I learned that:

  • the Koreans have created a near-perfect venting system for their bbq
  • there are restaurants in Singapore that don’t allow children – shame on you Kuriya!
  • the in-laws now ask with every new dish – was this cooked sous vide?
  • egg yolk-sized spheres are easy to make
  • the Lion King musical rocks.  Go see it.  Seriously.  And if you don’t want, hakuna matata
  • I’m definitely too old to stay out past midnight.
  • there are at least three different types of baby wipes: oil-based, water-based, and for the hands/mouth
  • bacon makes food taste better (not new, but always worth stating)
  • Perla’s pastry makes a fruit tart that’s almost as good as La Farine

So after a hectic month and a weekend chock full of activities, G and I are off to Bali for babymoon, part deux.  Since we both have excess vacation days and we’ll likely not have any time to ourselves in the foreseeable future, now’s the time for a quick getaway to veg on sandy beaches that weren’t man made.  See you all in a week!

“Why Engineers Don’t Write Recipe Books”

Posted on is this fine example of engineering and cooking making the usual geek circles (excerpt):

Chocolate Chip Cookies…

7. Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein

8. 473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao

9. 236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation. In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogenous….

I’m sure this is meant to be humorous, otherwise why else list ingredients using ambiguous volume-based measurements instead of by compound weight (compensated for humidity) or molarity, or heaven forbid mix units of measurement (Kelvin and Celsius, really?).  Seriously though, reading this put a smile on my face and brought me back to my ChemE days (yes our textbooks were written like this).  Thanks anonymous lettur writer!

For those who might wonder what cooking is like when described by engineers, I highly highly recommend this site: Cooking for Engineers

Donate to Japan relief efforts

If you haven’t already, please take the time to donate to one of the many charities out there for this recent disaster in Japan.  In this era of digital donations, it’s so easy that there’s no excuse for not donating.

Have a $1? Then buy a Sonic or Street Fighter game from the App Store.  Sega and Capcom are donating 100% of the proceeds to charity, and you get some entertainment as a bonus.   Learn more and donate.

Likewise, you can make a donation directly via the iTunes Store.  Or if you’re into Zynga games, they make in game donations very easy (article).

Frequent traveler?  Hilton is matching donations and allowing members to donate via HHonors points.  I’m guessing your hotel chain of choice is offering the same donation options.

Then there’s the good old fashion way, donate directly to the Red Cross here.

Dear SDU,

G would like to thank you for your most recent gift of the “duet” name card holder (pictured right).  Yes, we are aware that as of 2009 you are now the Social Development Network (SDN), but G still fondly refers to you as SDU and may need time to get used to this new dating social service for graduates and non-graduates alike.

As you may have noticed, G is with child, but don’t worry, she’s not single!  Which brings us to a matter dear to your heart – marriage.  We’d also like to inform you that G has been (for the most part) happily married for 6 years and your mailers, while appreciated, are no longer necessary.   Your colleagues at MCYS will also be pleased to know that we plan to have 2 babies real soon.  So congratulations on Mission Accomplished for this couple (even if one of us is not a local).


W & G

Every band needs at least 9 girls in hot pants

Bloomberg has a fascinating news segment about the second wave of Korean pop and on how the hit makers are eschewing traditional media and building brands in the social media era.  It’s also interesting to note that companies measure and monetize the success of a hit song not only with YouTube views, but also with the number of “tribute” videos that said song spawns.  As the Monocle host observes- the Koreans are learning to embrace what the music industry should be in a digital age where the tangible goods no longer matter.

Skip to 10:40 for the segment.