Today, I bring you Green Juice and Meatballs!

Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter our giveaway (beauty box valued at $140)! One winner will be chosen tomorrow… good luck! 🙂 It was great to go home and spend some quality time with mera baba (Chindi? hehe). The state of Kentucky just gets lovelier and lovelier each additional time I go back. Distance makes the heart grow fonder? Blue skies, soft cotton clouds, bluegrass in the wind… sigh. And again, fall is the prettiest season. The juicer that I got for my parents as a present (for their anniversary? Maybe? It’s a year late lols) came and so we put it to use right away. I still remember my BluePrint juice cleanse (scroll to the bottom of the link provided to see a list of their juices). We decided to make a slightly different version of the green juice.

Thank goodness for the groupon deal… because we were able to snatch the Cuisinart Juice Extractor. It’s got five different speeds and was easy enough to use and clean. It is surprisingly quiet!

Ingredients

1   lime (peeled)
1   cucumber
4   (leaves of) kale
2   medium apples
1   carrot

The order that I put the veggies/fruit into the juicer is as above. Since there are 5 speeds, I started at the lowest speed (softest fruit/veggie) and worked my way up. You can eyeball the amount of each ingredient that you want to add, but I will say that the cucumber/lime/apples are key for this juice. They are what helps to balance out the bitterness in the kale. So so so delicious. And much cheaper than the BluePrint juice that I bought! However, we were a bit sad to waste the pulp… If at some point you’ve had to experience hunger or not having enough to eat (this is, fortunately, not something I’ve been through), you’d be more aware of what happens to the food… and so mera baba was uncomfortable with just throwing all that out… so we thought and thought…

What to do with all this PULP?

We made spicy ground pork with basil noodle soup earlier that morning so we decided to use the leftover ground pork to make MEATBALLS! Teehee. It worked perfectly. Extra fibery. We added some cornstarch, an egg, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and some additional spices. The result was wonderful! The sweetness from the lime and apples and even from the cucumbers give the meatballs such a distinct flavor. 🙂

This was most certainly a success for us in the food department 🙂

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Today, I visited the HKCEC

Enter our latest giveaway below. Thanks, Jarkie, for putting together such a great collection!

A week from now, I’ll be back in BP gearing up for the next year of school, so I’m trying to savor the last days of vacation. Today, we visited the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during our trip downtown.  It was my first visit to the harbor with my mother, who has not been back for 40 years. You can imagine how much has changed since then; the HK from her youth bears little resemblance to the city today with its skyscrapers and shopping centers.

 In front of it is the Golden Bauhinia Square, a site that signifies and commemorates the 1997 handover from Britain to China.

In front of it is the Golden Bauhinia Square, a site that signifies and commemorates the 1997 handover from Britain to China.

Today, I will reunite with the fam!

Sadly, we had a death in the family and my mom had to go to Haiti last week and my dad stayed an extra week and a half to be with her there. My great-aunt (and my sister’s middle-namesake) Ines raised my mom and made her into the woman she is today. I’m glad to have been able to spend time with her on a few occasions and hope to carry on some of the strength she exhibited in her lifetime! I’m also glad that my parents were able to be there with other family members and give her a proper send off.

As for today, THEY’RE COMING BACK! I’m pretty excited 🙂 My mom’s birthday is this weekend and my sister is moving to LA in a few days so this will be the last time in a long time that we’ll all be able to spend time together. So in honor of all that, I WILL BE BAKING AND CLEANING ALL DAY LONG. I’m a fan of leaving things the way they were left for me. So, I must do some cleaning. I’ll do that while I wait for all my respective doughs to rise.

I’ll be baking two loaves of Challah bread. I’m trying a different recipe than  I did the last time and I’ll be using fully active yeast (I think my yeast was tired last time) so hopefully these loaves will be a success! I’ll also be making carrot cake cupcakes from scratch! I’m a little more nervous about this…but I’m also excited to try it! If they don’t work, I’ll know for next time.

I’ll try to post some yummy pictures of the process and finished product tomorrow! And if the recipes work like I want them to, I’ll post the recipe…because if I can do it, anyone can do it (novice baker over here)!

Tenha um bom dia, tudo!

Today, I made wontons with my grandma.

Wontons are a delicious staple of Chinese cuisine! My grandma used to cook a lot, but isn’t physically able to manage much in the kitchen nowadays. Folding wonton is something she can still do one-handed, though!

The ones we made today had a minced pork filling with water chestnut for an added crunch.

Here are highly schematized depictions of how we folded them. I was happy to get my Pau Pau’s thumbs-up approval for my work.

Today, I write from the motherland!

After a lifetime of hearing about Hong Kong from my mother and relatives, I’m finally here!

It started on Saturday, when we left Frankfurt on a direct,11-hour flight leaving at 22:00.

We arrived early and had 4 hours to leisurely wait at the gate.

We arrived early and had 4 hours to leisurely wait at the gate.

Imagine fear of losing your luggage x 10 and that's what I'm feeling right there.

Imagine fear of losing your luggage x 10 and that’s what I’m feeling right there.


Here’s part of my travel routing: packing up my wheelchair for flight. Since it is stored with the cargo and just generally handled by many strangers in transit, I never quite know what will come out at the final destination. Thanks to Gail’s meticulous packing, it arrived unharmed!
I even had time to video chat with some relatives and Jarkie, thanks to free wifi in the “Fraport” after a month of limited internet data. She told me that my hair was like “Murry Curry’s” (as in, the Nobel Prize winner; what a southerner!;) ). Some people leave flights still looking radiant; seems like I can’t even board them that way!

We arrived in the HK and were greeted by my aunt at the massive airport (there’s even a cinema!). She lives with my Pau Pau (maternal grandmother) in an apartment of a campus dorm where she serves as the faculty-in-residence.  I hadn’t seen Pau Pau since she moved back to HK 3 years ago, and it was even better than I expected to be in each other’s company again. Their home is so spacious by any standards, let alone HK’s, with beautiful views, and we feel so blessed to be here!

Maybe I should've gone to school here... the university sits on the hills of Kowloon, right next to the water, with the mountains in the distance.

Maybe I should’ve gone to school here… the university sits on the hills of Kowloon, right next to the water, with the mountains in the distance.

On the first night, we went to eat at the Chinese restaurant on campus that serves dim sum every day at lunch time! :O A-mazing! (see caption above)

Yesterday, we rode a bus line from one end, a large mall, to the other, the waterfront at Sai Kung.

Pier at Sai Kung

Pier at Sai Kung. My aunt says that this use to be a day trip for the family when they were growing up.

Drying fish

Drying fish

Just a regular day at the fish market aquarium...

Just a regular day at the fish market aquarium…

Today, we went downtown for a buffet lunch and stopped to take in the Avenue of the Stars.

Look at the skyline!!

Look at the skyline! There were a couple of those so-called Chinese “junk” sailing ships.

My father and I, both visiting for the first time, are taken in by the vibrancy and composition of the city. I’m really looking forward to my mother’s arrival in a few weeks to see what she has to say about her memories and current impressions.

Today, I am heading back home.

What a CRAZY few days!

Sunday:
Drive from NC to MD
Meet up with Jarkie and get “breakfast” at 10pm

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Monday:
Drive from MD to NYC
Stop in Brooklyn for bread and to meet my grandpa’s adorable brother who I didn’t even know existed (Calixte…cool name!)
Drive to stadium in NJ
Cheer on the team among throngs of national team fans!
Drive from NJ to MD at 1am

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Tuesday:
Leave MD at 3pm and hopefully get home in a timely manner

Phew!

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It seems that everything that could go wrong did go wrong. My dad is always quoting Murphy’s law.

I’ll be getting a ticket for running a red light which, long story short, is false. My dad is gonna get a ticket from a toll because he went to the EZpass line and once he realized it, he couldn’t back up. And I’m sure we’ll probably get some kind of speeding ticket because Maryland gives them out like toothbrushes at the dentist’s office.

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It took us 4 hours to get from Brooklyn to the Stadium–a 12 mile drive. We had a ticket for a double header (2 games back to back) and we completely missed the first one and barely made it for kickoff of the second one. I only had $7 for $10 parking so I had to make a U-turn and meet up with my dad who hopped out to get food. My grandpa (Pepe) and I didn’t have much time so we only ate a quarter of our sandwiches and I put the rest in my bag so we could run to the stadium. Of course, no food is allowed so I had to throw it away.

And to top it all off, Haiti lost 2-0.

BUT, at the end of the day, this was one of the most fun trips ever! I adopted the “it is what it is” mentality before we left and it really paid off! I can’t wait to get home and sleep but I enjoyed my epic road trip.

P.s. I forgot to mention that I spent 4 hours being run ragged by two absolutely adorable, yet exhausting, kids. I learned A LOT.

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Today, not-so-friendly reminders

Today is the birthday of someone I know who passed away more than a year ago. She was like a grandmother to me, and showed me how to live with an open mind and open heart, as well as instilling in me a love of German literature, the subject she taught for many years.

I think of her often, and don’t need my iCal to remind me that, if she were still alive, then I would’ve been congratulating her today. If she were alive, then many things would be different!

Do you delete the contact information of loved ones who have passed away? (That’s not a rhetorical question! – I’m curious.) I was going to say that it’s an issue belonging to the digital age, but that’s not so. Before technological aids, there were still address books and calendars to remind us of these things, as if we could forget!