20 Things in 20 Years

Abe and I are celebrating 14 years of marriage today - 20 years of being together total. Of course that has me thinking about all the things that have happened, how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same. Here's 20 random things from the last two decades.

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My Dad's Taiwanese Pork Chops

I've been wanting to make this dish for a very long time.   My father often cooked these Taiwanese Pork Chops when I was a kid, and I would help him make them.  They are juicy, tender, and flavorful.  I couldn't remember the recipe.   So I asked my Mom if she could show me.  And I got Abe to film a video of us. My very favorite videos (all right, aside from the Disney ones) are in the kitchen with my family - remember a Chinese-American Christmas?  (So glad my mom has upgraded her apron since that one.)  I'm filled with warm fuzzies, just to be able to watch this whenever I want to remember my dad. And also to be able to share it with all of you.  Since Abe is a vegetarian, I'm not sure how often I'll be making it at home.  So I'm happy it's living on the internet!

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Taiwanese Pork Chops

Serving Size: 2-4 people

Pan Fried Pork Chops with Scallions and Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 4 large cloves of garlic

  • 7 stalks of scallions

  • 1 lb Pork Loin (Boneless Center Cut Chops)

  • 7 tablespoons soy sauce 

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons Extra Light Olive Oil (or any other cooking oil that can withstand high heat)

  • 2 heads broccoli and stems

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic and scallions; set them aside on a plate.

  2. Cut the pork to about 1/4 inch thickness. Pound thin with a mallet on both sides. Use your hands to combine the meat with 4 tablespoons of the soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and pepper. WASH YOUR PORKY HANDS. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. 

  3. Preheat the olive oil over high heat. When the pan is hot, add each pork piece in a single layer (you gotta keep 'em separated). Let the meat cook for 2 minutes, until lightly browned, then flip over. Add garlic and scallions, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with a lid for an additional minute, then turn the heat off.

  4. Meanwhile, chop/wash the broccoli into large spears. Remove the pork from the pan, keeping all the yummy, leftover juices in the pan. Turn the stove back on high and stir fry the broccoli in that pork sauce, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Cover for 1 minute, and plate the broccoli. Add the cooked pork on top, and enjoy with rice or a steamed scallion bun.

Taiwan Touched My Heart

When I posted this picture on my Facebook page less than a year ago with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau... ...I hoped - but never really imagined it would come true!  Abe and I had been planning our own Thanksgiving visit to Taiwan when I got the invite - completely out of the blue - for this trip.

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I'm so glad we wound up going in the summer; even though it was hot and humid (we had good luck with weather and mosquitos!) it reminded me of everything from my childhood, going with my parents and my brother to visit our family.

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I'm in the yellow dress.  Morgan is in the striped shirt.  My grandparents are behind me, and my Mom is behind my grandfather.  I'm guessing my father took the photo.

I felt my Dad's presence everywhere - from the ubiquitous mopeds...

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...to the street art...

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...even the random things that brought a smile to my face...

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...including this box of cigarettes.   Even though he didn't smoke.

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***UPDATE - You can watch my videos from Taiwan on my YouTube Page***