April 30, 2011

Chinese Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup with touch of Indian flavor

Because I COOK or PREPARE meals so far and between, I feel the need of blogging the recipes every time I cook. I know, it doesn't sound like I should be saying this as a wife of a man. hahaha. But this is our household ;-p  Today, I had an whole day to myself, just relaxing and catching up with things. When I called my husband about dinner tonight, he screamed and was letting everyone around him know that his wife was cooking!  I could hear on the other side of the phone.. :-D !
This recipe is from my favorite chef ,Aarti Sequeira, from FoodNetwork TV show. I DVR every episodes and always on quest of finding recipes I can try. And today, this is IT!!!  I had to drive to the grocery store real quick to get things I need. I always end up calling him from the store if we have 'this' or 'that' because he is in charge of items in fridge and cabinets. I don't always know about my kitchen well to the T like he does!  I think we make a good couple! 

Start to Finish : 1 hour
Serving : 4-6 people

1 leek, green parts too. sliced in half and wash well
1 carrot, chopped in half
3-inch chunk of fresh ginger (no need to peel)
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 big chicken breasts
3 (14oz) cans creamed-style corn
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 tbsp finely chopped ginger
4 scallions, chopped finely
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
2 egg whites
1 tsp rice vinegar (not regular white vinegar. If you don't have it, that's ok.)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
cheesecloth ( if you don't have it, you can use coffee filter and use any string to tie )..

1. Into a big pot, pour 10 cups water, leek, carrot and ginger chunk. Place the coriander and peppercorns into a small sachet ( like teabag, made out of cheesecloth or coffee filter) and throw that in the pot, too.

2. Skin the excess fat on the chicken breasts and throw them into the pot as well. Allow the pot to come to a boil, and turn it down and simmer. Cover it until the chicken is cooked and tender 30 minutes.

3. Remove the chicken and allow to cool. Strain the stock and discard the leeks, carrots, ginger and the sachet.

4. Return the stock to medium heat. Add the cream corn, bouillon cubes, chopped ginger, (hint of garlic power or paste if you have), scallions, and sesame oil. Let it simmer while you shred the chicken using fork.

5. Turn up the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.  In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with water. Add half to the soup. Boiling will allow the cornstarch mixture to thicken the soup.  You can add more cornstarch mixture depending on how thick you want the soup to look.

6. Turn the heat back down to medium.  In another small bowl, beat the egg whites with a little water. Stir the soup in circles as you add egg whites. It should form white wisps on the surface of the soup.

7. Add the shredded chicken and rice vinegar. DONE!

8. You can add chopped scallions as garnish! I put parsley only because I LOVE parsley.

April 20, 2011

Finally step 1 to IVF!

Ok! Yesterday 4.19.11, I finally made a deposit for IVF to secure my spot for August cycle. My game plan now is 3 cycle Outcome Base Plan. The clinic raised the package price by $4K since last year but I was advised that it actually has gotten cheaper. The only difference is that they used to charge ICSI separately every cycle, versus new plan includes them all. If you get Bingo after the 1st cycle, it will be the most expensive IVF in the clinic. If I have to go all the way to the 3rd cycle, then it becomes the cheapest pkg. You know how it goes. But If I get BFP on the 1st cycle, it will be the Win-Win situation for both me and the clinic. Baby for me, and $$$ for RE. I guess I have no complain. Fair enough! ( If I never had to go through IVF, I would have bought a motorcycle for my husband. He deserves everything. He is my world! :D )

I was also advised that I won't need to be taking BCP till the end of June, since the monitoring doesn't start till August 19. What does that mean? I thought I have to take BCP as soon as possible to get my AF cycle regular..?? Any advise, fellow IVFers??

April 16, 2011

Just an weekend recap

Every Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my days off. Luckily they are the same as my husband's. We both work in the morning, meet at the gym after work and be home by 6p. Anyways, 2 days off is just too short. I used to have 4-10hr shift with 3 days off. Anyways, we always do things together and try to be productive on our days together. This week, aside from doing regular errands, we went hiking! As many of you know, I hike A LOT! But this week we went out with other hiking lovers in town. Have you ever heard of Meetup? You get together with people who share the same interest/hobby. Great way to meet new friends and for networking as well. Yeah. We joined the group. Oh I was so excited! I had a blast! 

Top of Sloan Radio Tower 
In between doing weekend things, we were lucky to get complimentary tickets to DAVID COPPERFIELD at MGM Grand!  I have been to many different shows in Las Vegas. Concerts, Cirque du Soleil, Talk Show, Magic, Comedy, Topless and many more.  Oh by the way, when we went to JUBILEE at Bally's, the show actually put both me and my husband to sleep! Just that dancing girls with topless and boobs everywhere jumping up and down didn't cut it. It was so boring!  hahaha. Well, anyhow, that was NOT where we went this week. DAVID COPPERFIELD it is!

He has been doing the show at MGM for a while now but never went to see him before. Of all the magic show I've been to, Lance Burton at Monte Carlo was my favorite. But now I changed my mind. DAVID COPPERFIELD blew my mind! He was soooooooooo interesting and great magician!!!! For a magic show, it is so important for the magician to connect with audience, otherwise the magician could be all into himself and his illusional world that we as an audience won't have a clue what the heck is going on on that stage. And he did it. Magic may sound cheesy to you, but he is something else. No wonder he is so famous in the world. 

We also took Rocky to haircut. He is an American Eskimo so his hair gets really thick at full length. He just loves salon! Here is the before and after pictures.

No lion cut or anything fancy. Just shaved him off!  OK Rocky, no haircut for another 6 months! You cost too much, babe!

April 6, 2011

Tuna Avocado Sandwich

I have been really lazy about exercising and eating right. Chocolate everyday, pastries every morning, cakes here and there, and I can list more. I need to start watching what I eat. After all, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. I want to do good to my body. Today is the day to start back again! Do you like avocado? How about tuna? This sandwich recipe is easy because all the ingredients are pretty much your everyday fridge and cabinet items. 

Start to Finish: 20 minutes
Serving: 2-4 depends on the size of bread you use

2 can (5oz) tuna, drained and flaked
2 ripe avocados, peeled, coarsely mashed
2 Tbsp lime juice ( fresh or bottle)
1/2 onion, julienne cut and sauteed (to give some color and to make it more flavorful) OR just a few red onion slices
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 slices multi-grain bread (This is what i used to make 3 sandwiches)
Tomato slices 

1.  In a medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, parsley, garlic salt and pepper. Gently flake and fold tuna in the mixture

2.  You can toast the bread if you like. Fill each sandwich with tomato slices, avocado filling and sauteed onion or just red onion slices.

3.  Done!

Tip 1 : It is better to use Tuna can that come with FLAKEY tuna. Some of the tuna can is pretty shredded and mixed too well. With FLAKEY kind, you can actually still bite into big tuna chunk. 

Tip 2 : For onion, I don't like raw onion flavor so I sauteed mine. I thought it was better because it added some sweetness to the onion.