June 8, 2010
BBQ Pork Buns

In the 1980's I worked with a family who were Chinese. This company celebrated a lot of things and we had many pot lucks and lunches. Some that I organized. When we had a pot luck type function, our Chinese coworkers would bring in these steamed pork buns. We called them Bao. I know that they would stop in downtown LA, China Town, and pick them up. I wish I knew what restaurant they use to get them at. I hadn't thought of these pork buns for years, but while watching the Cooking Channel they showed some being made and it made me melancholy. Those years and that job was a good time for me, and now I'm on a quest for BBQ Pork Buns, or Bao or Cha Su Bao, whatever the name. I've been trying to find a place on yelp.com but it's confusing because they seem to also call them by other names, one being pork dumplings. And I don't want a dumpling. I'm thinking that can't be it. Also, there are steamed buns and baked buns that they put honey on the top after baking. I'd like either kind, but I want to find the kind with the sweet pork filling. I found a place that I think carries the ones I'm looking for I'm going to try tomorrow.


June 7, 2010
What a day!

It was a busy day for me. I took Mamacita to the airport this morning, she's back in MN visiting family. Sounds like it will be rainy for the most part and I'm hoping they don't have tornadoes while she's there. The traffic getting to the airport was not bad. Then on the way home I stopped to see about renting a truck and/or trailer to go pick up the electric hospital bed I found for my brother to have here at the house. He's always had a regular bed but this bed is really kind of low and it's getting harder to dress him. Plus he will be more comfortable being able to adjust himself. We will probably wonder why we didn't get this type of bed a long time ago. So I arranged to pick up the truck trailer at 1 pm, then I was out to the Valley to meet the guy to look at the bed. I just hoped that it was a good bed and deal. And it was. It's a top of the line bed, I've seen them online for over $5K, we paid a fraction of that. It also came with a special mattress for it, so I was thrilled.

And I was lucky because the guy I bought it from was really a decent man. He so helped me by picking the right bed, moving it into the trailer for me, and we're talking a 500 lb. bed that he was able to manage himself because I really wasn't much help. He helped me tie it all down. I was very lucky. Then I had a drive back and then I had to figure out how to get it to the house. Well it seemed easy enough. I should be able to drive up my hilly street and then back up and back into our driveway. Um....no. I'm sure someone was laughing at me. So my neighbor saw me and came to help. He didn't manage to back the trailer in the driveway either, but he got it straight on the street and somehow he got it down the ramp and then I don't know how but he and I just went with it and got it up my driveway. But then it was too wide to get thru the doorway! So we had to get it on it's side using a dolly. Then my really fantastic other neighbor named Junior came home, saw what we were doing, and came to help. I saw him, and I was so happy, and I told him I was hoping he'd come home soon. So between the two of them we were able to get on the dolly, down the hallway, around the corner, and then another corner where we almost really got stuck, and then I had an idea how to move it, and it worked! We got it in his bedroom and then they got it back on it's wheels. Whew!! So today I'll set it up for him and get his other bed out of his room.

Then I needed a nap.


June 6, 2010

I heard really awful news from my Ayurveda practitioner Eleni. She is my yogi. I had called her last week when I was having a gall bladder attack to see if she had any ideas of things to do to help. She never called me back which was odd but I didn't think too much of it. She called me yesterday and apologized for not calling me back and then she told me that Roxy, her Miniature Pinscher dog was bit by a snake while they were hiking and that she passed away. Oh, I was so shocked and so upset for her and it made me cry. It makes me feel like crying writing this now. It made me think back to how hard it was for me to lose my beloved Simba in January of 2007. I know how attached she was to Roxy, and like my Simba, she was like her child so this loss is very painful. When I go see Eleni I go to her home and Roxy was always there to greet me with a series of barks to let me know who the boss was and she would warily check me out. She'd often sit on the couch near me, but not next to me, constantly having an eye on me until she fell asleep. She would sniff my hand, sometimes let me pet her but her true love was Eleni. I will miss her barking at the mail man and anyone who dared to come to their house. She was a sweet dog and I know she is missed. I hope Eleni and her husband's pain from her loss will ease sometime soon.

We went to a local Farmer's Market yesterday morning. It's a little farther drive than the one on Friday at a closer nearby town, but this market is so worth the drive. It's really nice to see what is available and we are fortunate in Southern CA that we have this bounty available so early in the season. We got some more sweet Texas onions and more baby fingerling potatoes. This week's mix of potatoes had really tiny purple tomatoes in it. So cute! We also got apricots, heirloom orange tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cat grass, no salt seasoning, sourdough bread, kale and oyster mushrooms.

Last night I made a really good saute of caramelized onion, baby potatoes and mushroom. This food is of such good quality that I don't season very much because I want the sweet goodness of the caramelized onion to come thru, also the tender wholesomeness of the potatoes and the mushroomy goodness. I did put a little salt and pepper, but that is it.

I am not doing well giving up coffee in the morning. I just don't want to and the headache from not having caffeine is just awful. I'll still try to limit the amount of coffee but not sure I want to give up.


June 5, 2010
Carmelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza

Last weekend at the Farmer's Market we got some Texas Sweet Onions. I think there were 3 to a bunch and so tonight I made the best carmelized onion and mushroom pizza. It was really a good combination, Mamacita and I really enjoyed it so here's my recipe.

Carmelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza

1 tube Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 sweet onions, sliced thin
salt & pepper
1 pkg. or 1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Italian mix cheese, or a mixture of mozzarella, pecorino, asiago, parmesan and fontina

In large saute pan, heat over medium low and add olive oil. Add sliced onions and toss to coat. Saute about 10 minutes and then add sliced mushrooms. Add salt and pepper. Saute until onions are carmelized, turning occassionally, probably about 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425. Grease large baking sheet and stretch crust out to edges. Prebake alone for 5 minutes. Then add small amount of olive oil on crust, add cheese, sprinkled evenly, then add saute of onion and mushroom. Bake another 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

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June 4, 2010
What day is today?

I woke up this morning not knowing what day it is. Is it Thursday or Friday? Not sure where the week went, how can it already be Friday? Well it is, and for many, thankfully it is Friday and almost the weekend. Some say today is Hug Your Cat Day. The date to celebrate is disputed, but for us cat lovers we know that every day is hug your cat day. I'm trying to find something special I can do for my kitties. Maybe I'll give them a can of tuna to share, they love that.

I'm looking forward to this weekend because my Brother is finally "home". He was transferred from the hell hole Rehabilitation Center he was sent to to his home facility where he lives during the week. It was really a mess yesterday trying to get him out of there, but it did happen finally and he was transferred late afternoon. He seemed so relieved. Poor guy has really been thru it. He's lost about 20 lbs. too. But that is OK, because he needs to lose like my whole family.

I'm on my way to go see him in a bit and hopefully I'll find his remote for his TV. Tomorrow he is coming home (our house) for the weekend and he is so funny because the one thing he wants to do or have us do is make this fried chicken recipe he saw on Martha Stewart. He saw it while in the hospital and I saw it too and he's been talking about this chicken. So I found the recipe and I'd like to try it too. You dredge the chicken in egg whites and then in matzo meal and then you make a special spice that you sprinkle after it's fried. I'll have a small bit of it, to try it, but I'm really trying to eat differently to be nice to my gall bladder and ward off another attack. So far so good with my new way of eating. It's kind of odd but since the attack last Sunday I've not had much of an appetite. Yesterday and the day before I was not hungry all day. I had coffee in the morning but never was hungry for breakfast or lunch. I made myself eat something small in the evening. Same for last night, no food all day and then after getting Gary home Mamacita and I went out and had a Cobb salad. I've also been drinking a flax seed tea and I wonder if somehow that is curbing my hunger. Whatever it is, I'm thankful because I'd much rather not be consumed by hunger or feelings of hunger.

I'd also like to take him to the Farmer's Market tomorrow if it isn't too much for him. He loves the dried apple chips and he might enjoy seeing all the bounty of food and flowers.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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June 3, 2010

The theme for NaBloPoMo is NOW. So I started writing about what is going on NOW with me.

NOW today after trying to pay attention, learn, and make changes to have a happier gall bladder things are changing. I tried not to have coffee yesterday, coffee is on the naughty list and instead I had tea but I woke up ended up with a headache last night. I had a fitful night of sleep and woke up with the headache. So I had coffee this morning. And it didn't bother me. I'll have to work on the weaning off of coffee. But slowly. I also made some flax seed tea. It's suppose to be good for your gall bladder. I got whole flax seed and in 2.5 cups water i boiled 1 Tbsp. flax seed for 5 minutes. Then you let it steep for 10 minutes and then drink. I added a little agave for sweetness and was happy that it did not have a strong taste. Hey, whatever works.

I had to wait for the maintenance guy between 8-12 today so I got in the shower early and was ready. Usually when they give you a 4 hr. window you don't see them until the last hour or later. To my surprise, he was here at 8:05. But of course the rack we wanted replaced b/c there are rusty parts on it, is not covered. It's always like that. I honestly wonder if having the yearly contract is worth the money. And when Mom called to schedule she asked to have the dishwasher looked at too, she made sure they  could be done at the same time, and of course they assured her they could. But the first guy didn't have an order for it, so he wouldn't do it. So then I had to wait still.

People do not know what customer service means anymore. It's so irritating. And this particular company is going down the drain in my opinion. I don't think I'd buy a major purchase from them anymore.

I ended up taking a nap this afternoon to try to get rid of the headache and it helped. But now it's late and I'm not tired. I'm going to bed anyway and going to read and try to get some sleep. I feel much better when I get normal rest.

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June 2, 2010
Gall Bladder Attack

Sunday I had what I am almost sure was a gall bladder attack. I went to see my brother that afternoon but before going it was almost 2 pm and I hadn't eaten anything so I stopped for a quick burger. It seems that automatically after eating that I started feeling like I had bad indigestion. By the time I got to Gary's it felt like my bra was too tight, I was having chest pain, burping and feeling like I needed to burp. It was not fun. I was sitting and trying to visit, but I was so uncomfortable I had to leave. I drove home trying to burp and find some relief. I ripped my bra off once I got home and I tried a omeprazole, which is like Prilosec. I tried some tums and later some Maalox but nothing seemed to help. Then I started plurking and well meaning plurk pals started mentioning that it could be heart problems or gall bladder problems. I was feeling so awful that this scared the bejeebus out of me. I don't have health insurance and I'm unemployed. So no...I can not be really sick. I have to have indigestion and it'll soon pass. Right?

It did not pass and friends were telling me that if it didn't get better within 2 hours that I should go to the ER. I was getting really scared and thinking I was having a heart attack, but then i started reading about the gall bladder and what an attack is like here. And once I read some of the symptoms, I'm about 95% sure it was a gall bladder attack. And a mild one at that although while suffering w/the indigestion and pain it didn't seem so mild. Some others said they went thru it and that it was a doubling over crying pain, and my pain was not that severe.

I finally took 1 tsp. of baking soda in about a cup of water and that made me really feel better. Enough better to consider going to bed that evening and not thinking that I was going to have to go to the ER. I didn't sleep well that night. I was uncomfortable and was dreaming a lot, but when I woke up, I felt much better. I started juicing yesterday. I made a juice of celery, beet and carrot. Not bad and beets are suppose to help flush your liver and hopefully if I have any bile ducts blocked it can help. I juiced again the next morning too and I'm looking into a gall bladder friendly diet which means no coffee, no pork, low fat and certain kinds of fat, no beans, no dairy.

I got some flax seeds and I'm going to make a tea out of it. I hope it doesn't taste like dog piss.

So I'm thinking this is the universe telling me that I HAVE to change my diet to something more healthy. I'm terrified of eating something too fatty and having another attack. I guess whatever works. I like to eat healthy, but get so lazy and was getting back to old habits and eating too much fast food but that has now stopped suddenly and maybe that's the best way.

I better lose the weight now too if I make these changes!

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June 1, 2010

I'm giving myself a challenge. I'm going to blog everyday for the month of June. I've seen mention of this on other blogs but never looked into it before. I decided to finally look into it and I needed to give myself a challenge. I don't know how it all works, I'm figuring it out as I go but I want to give it a try. If you'd like to see what it's all about go check it out. There is a theme for the month and the theme is "Now". Huh, introspective.

Now. It's the end of the long Memorial Day weekend. I went to my friend Anne's Sons 21st Birthday party on Saturday. It was a nice party, she had it in the backyard and she had a taco bar which was really good. I don't know where she found this guy, but he had this large grill type thing that he cooked Al Pastor meat, Carne Asada and Chicken for soft tacos. Cilantro, onion, green and red salsa were also available for the tacos. My cousin talked me into having a shot of Jaeger. I had a 1/2 shot and I really didn't care for it. It was like really bad NyQuil. I like NyQuil better.  I did a blueberry jello shot, I think it had vodka in it. And I had a glass of jungle juice which was tiki punch with i don't know what kind of alcohol. There were a bunch of 21 year olds there, they were expecting about a 100 people. They also had 2 bands, one was a Ska band. It was very loud but I actually enjoyed the music. When the kids started moshing, my cousin and I were a bit scared. I asked my 17 year old niece if this was normal dancing behaviour, she told me it was. Made me feel old. I mean these kids were not dancing, they were jumping up and down and sideways and the purpose was to slam into the other people. Guy, girl, no matter. This one girl who was one of the first to be out there was getting slammed by a guy, and she didn't care, she slammed right back into him. I couldn't believe it. It made me remember back to one time that I went to Hollywood to some club, I think it was The Whiskey to see Oingo Boingo  and I remember there being a mosh pit but it didn't seem so violent. Maybe it was, but I was never into that kind of dancing.

At one point my cousin and I were having a nice conversation and then when the bands started playing it was so loud we couldn't hear each other, so I thought it was quite comical but we started texting each other to talk! We just continued our conversation by texting. We were sitting like a foot apart but texting. It was hilarious.

Overall, we had fun, but we both at one point decided it was time to go. And I heard later that "all hell broke loose" after we left. I guess when you have that many young people, 2 kegs already gone after 4 hours, bottles of Jaeger, jello shots, and other bottles, something is bound to go wrong. And so it did. It involved 2 guys talking smack over the same girl, one was dating her now I guess and words were exchanged and someone broke my friend's plate glass window. People were kicked out, people snuck back in, the Police were called. I heard the cops were very helpful and understanding. Glad for that, but I felt bad for my friend because her son was upset too, he felt those guys ruined his birthday and he promised his Mom that nothing would happen. Guess you can't promise that. Not at that age.