new ptg n memory lane: last summer in montréal

this isn't a very good foto of the final encaustics but it'll hv to do for now. maybe i can ask jimmy to take a studio foto o it when i hang it up at the SOPA gallery for the may 9th show in south pas. it's quite large but i'm liking it quite a bit now. it's growing on me. wax is a very free-flowing technique. many unexpected things come about unplanned. u hv to b flexible with it. n ths i like very much. cuz its like me n ths life in the world.

last summer, b4 block island, i wnt to visit a frnd i met dancing at Eden (now closed) in TPE. montreal's name came from mont real. the "mountain" is really a "hill" but, it's quite a view from the top o tht "hill" anyway. i love ths foto he took of my flying hair, dancing at the drum circle on sundays. look at how tan i was! winter in pdx has really lightened up my clr. will hv to fix tht soon. but o it was such a fun weekend of dancing, from drum circles to outdoor rave to heart dancing.


cookbooks for the little ones.

i came across this cookbook,The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, as i was wandering thru the maze-like Powell's bookstore in pdx. so i looked it up on the library website n chk'd it out. the author, LISA BARNES, also wrote 1 other book, "eat, drink and be merry" for kids o all ages. both have very good ideas put to use in daily life. i even find ideas in here for myself in terms of cooking n prepping food in my daily life.


upcoming travels /planning

heavy clouds, will it rain? still quite cold, wher's the sun n wamer temp?

did my taxes. i promise myself, ths yr, i will b better at it. keep better records too.

so now i hv time to think thru traveling plans. 5/23/09-6/5/09 (meeting parents in rome to join t/cruise part o/their trip, greece, turkey?) do i fly from pdx or go home 1st to OC n fly from LAX?

hv to b in melbourne by late june for mim's wedding. still working out details of exact dates n places n flts... thoughts, fly from HNL? or actually, wd like to hv stop in TPE to visit w/family.

aug? block island/ nyc, well, we'll c how tht will work out. something to think thru.

aug? OC? maybe, i guess it all depends on wher i am to b?

so many thoughts to plan thru. can't i just go?


alliance francaise de portland

rain/sunny... freakin cold again! rain/ sun/ rain / sun... wher's the spring?

2day, je suis visité l'af de pdx, pour observer 2 classes. le prof sylvain parlait tres vite mais claire. j'ai lui comprendu. he's a good prof. ce vendredi la, je vais oberserver l'autre classe d'autre niveau. we'll c which 1 i decide on then.
the af is located in a nice quiet spot on 20th ave off jefferson, in a classic french lime stone faced style house. but not too big. ther's a beautiful sakura tree blossoming right out front now. sitting from inside the classroom, i kept staring into the window view of the tree n blooms dreaming o the pedals n colors.


carrot-walnut cake w/cream cheese frosting

gray, some sun, rain

altho i've never been a huge fan of frostings, etc, nor carrot cake, baking kirk's nana's recipe (slightly reducing the sugar) of carrot-walnut cake, wow, it's quite delicious esp paired w/cream cheese frosting.
i think the secret with cake is not to hv it double layer n too large of a piece.
loving our stand mixer!

happy easter.

we nearly forgot it's easter. but quickly made our easter eggs n started painting our eggs w/my new markers. it's quite cool, inspired by the ukrainian eggs (pysanky) design. we sorta undercooked our eggs tho so having it being left out all day, we can't eat it at dinner :-(
still, it's fun to b celebrating easter again.


shiitake mushroom pasta, rice vinegar chicken.

shiitake mushrm, oyster mushrm, olive oil + butter, watercress, spinach, minced ginger, garlic from the garlic comfit, basil, carrot greens, edamame, pasta.

chicken, soy sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, pepper, rice vinegar, minced shallots + minced thyme, butter. siracha sauce to balance out.


earl grey tea mini muffins

i've been forgetting to record t/weather was i did b4 when i first arrived in pdx.
so here is.
foggy morning.

well, i finally crossed over n made mini muffins. a recipe i got off the Just Bento blog i'd been reading. i even wnt to buy the silicon cupcake form. thinking tht her suggestion on using it also for the frozen fruit cups in the summer, which can also b the cooler in the bento pack. think multi-purpose. it's quite alright, baking with this rubbery texture thing.

anyway, it looks fine n tastes quite lite in flavor, very subtle, the tea. which is good. n lite in sugar too. can almost b treated as a scone in a way.
yeh, snacks.

as for the extra italian sausages n tofu n nearly spoiling mushrooms... well, i made miso soup w/tofu & mushrooms for lunch yesterday, n mixed some of the tofu also into the sausages to make mini meatballs. mini tofu pcs n sautéed mushrms, thinking i can use it for the bento stash. no such luck. cuz it ended into the pasta sauce for dinner last nite. turned out very tasty even tho the sauce was store bought, we added fresh basils n the carrot top greens n garlic comfit n fresh onions, but alas, no stash for monday bento.

but i got the breakaway japanese kitchen from library. can't wait til farmer's market to start trying out his recipes.

ah. woke up too early. time to nap.


bento mondays, jumbled thoughts...

new objective for mondays.
since i'm taking riding lessons on monday evenings at dinnertime. it's a better idea to prepare bento's to take to the barn instead of eating the bull kaka fast food out ther.

this week, i managed to make a recipe from Helene Hendersen's The Swedish Table cookbook, using brussels sprouts, onions, n italian sausages. basically, as i'm making this, i realized while slicing up brussels tht they r like mini cabbages. something clicked 4 me then. STIR-FRY! tht's wht i'm making! so i used the garlic comfit instead o fresh garlic as eric gower suggested 4 ths recipe. then when the dish is all done, i used the left-over basmati rice n made a fried rice w/the dish. n packed a side of the siracha sauce for stronger flavor. since the italian sausage suggested orig in recipe was "hot" but i don't eat spicy, it's a good way to perk it up afterwards, allowing the non-spicy vs spicy eater the choice. siracha goes with everything anyway.

i also packed a few choco-chip cookies we made over the weekend, ice tea (i made cold infused).

this was quite a success, tho i didn't manage the time really well.
next time tho. so i started reading the just bento blog by maki who is also the author of just hungry blog. very inspiring. i think, after i get out ther n find my used books, n library books n buttons. i might try to make the tea muffin?
ah, so many ideas.
wish the kids r nearby so i can make their bento to school. wht fun!

am i being domesticated? nope. i've always been interested in cooking or at least cookbooks. i was once asked if i collected anything. everyone has a sort of collection here n ther, right? thinking back thru the yrs... i had, as a kid, a collection of stamps. i enjoyed the removing of the stamps off the envelopes. i loved the mail from/ dated stamp. i guess i'd been a dream traveller ever since, just not knowing it. but i soon gave'em to my younger cousins to play with.
over the yrs i had a little collection o ths n tht, but in the end, since was never really serious, i'd end up giving it away or chucking it out. collecting things takes time n energy n lots o space. i'd like to not have too much things, stuffs. so from time-to-time, i'd reorg n chuck or donate or giveaway (ths, i'm a bit like mom) as i'm always moving around, i tend to want to compress my belongings in these reorgs (which usually happens when i'm moving too)

a small collection i hv back at my parents' home, r things fr/traveling n gifts from ppl. becuz they'r gifts, i can't ever throw'em out. sentimental values r way high on my list i guess. in these i hv a little box n in the boxes, r little pebbles from my travels. i guess depending on wher i wnt, sometimes the souvenir r things from nature, sometimes from artists or whatnots.

as i collected lots of books. mythology is one category i love. fictions, art books, design sources, pattern books, etc but above all, i love cookbooks. whenever i start 2 rid myself o possessions, cookbooks always remain with me. n of course the cooking magazines too. even with internet n recipes posted all over, i still cant' resist wanting to own certain cookbooks. so i guess the top love i hv is for cookbooks. how i wish i can get into the contained storage where 1/2 of my books r n things so i can sort'em out.

doesn't collecting take up too much space? we humans r such funny creatures, aren't we? like snails n turtles, we pack a "home" n lug it around all the time w/us. b it a small purse, messenger bag, backpack, tote, luggages... we just move things back n forth, sometimes in short distances, at times across the globe. alas, i think it can't b helped. our conscious state is trained differently than other animals on ths planet. we hv spare time but our mind doesn't stop thinking n well, it creates desire n wants. feeling of guilt when we hv too much free time. we hv to b like worker bees or else we dunno wht to do w/ourselves. so to fill these spare moments, we fill it w/more tasks n thoughts n goals, etc. can't b helped... unless we can b at ease w/nothingness. not easy. so on we go.

i think it is time to go search out the library books. fill my head up w/more things i can't remember well.


ah, signs o spring everywher!

signs o spring r everywher one can imagine. ppl r out of hiding for one, n u c smiles on their faces as they come out to soak up the sun. i hadn't realized ther's actually ths many ppl in portland. then the blooms on the trees, the freshest green imaginable budding on the bare dark branches. the bright green moss slowly dying off as tree's winter coat. n today, the fountains r running again, flowing w/water. sure sign it's all warming up. yipeee!



when i c the tree blossoms in full bloom, such as the sakuras, it makes me really happy. changes everything cuz i kno sunnier days n warmer days r coming.
we ran bunch o errands around town. then to the washington park which leads to the rose garden (no blooms yet ther, tho others r really blooming) n then the japanese garden, zoo, etc. which will wait til it's all ready to b strolled thru.
wnt to st honoré for lunch, everyone's trying to grab an outdoor table. no luck for us. amazing boulangerie tho. our sandwiches were amazing. too big tho. next time i will get the smaller stuff. was just hungrier than my belly.

out to coastline, OR

today, as the weather has been really nice, i mean sunny n warm, no coats necessary! nor socks! we headed out to visit the elks at the nature preserv. on the way (slight detour) to Cannon beach. wow, i realized at end o the day tht the coast from pdx is 76miles or so! still, it was nice to c the elks lazing n grazing on the green green grass. ok, so the foto from my camerafone is a bit lacking, since i had to zoom so far in to catch it closer. def need a higher powered camera.

Cannon Beach is a very cute n quiet beach town, unlike wht i'm used to as being small n quiet in southern cal beach towns. still, its very quaint. it's early in the season yet, but shops r beginning to open up. the town's filled w/ppl coming for some sun n watch the waves (altho it's quite messy today) n a bit foggy still.

then ther's the seafood market/ resto serving their fresh caught fish. our fish n chips def beat wht i ate in england hands down.