Sunday, November 29, 2009

All About Knife

As a housewife of 20 years and even though I cooked Chinese food most of the time, it's strange that I have never thought of purchasing a Chinese chef knife until now. I guess it is because of my own recent interest in learning to cook new Chinese dishes that prompted my desire to own one. The knives I have at home are all in this set of knives which was purchased 20 years ago (and have been using them since). It came with a bread knife, paring knife, a few steak knives, scissors, a chef knife, and a knife sharpener:

This is another chef knife I use daily for slicing meat and cutting vegetables. It is a J.A. Henckle's twin signature chef knife:
Here's is the new knife I bought from the Chinatown in San Francisco. It's a No.2 (No.3 is smaller) stainless steel chopping knife:
I have experimented with it by trying to debone and trim the fat off meat. It isn't heavy at all and can cut very easily. I love it! It is just as my husband always says to me: "Half way to success is when you have the right tool in hand!"


We have two huge persimmon trees in our backyard. One is the soft kind, the other is the hard kind. Every year around Thanksgiving, we would pick them from the trees and give them to our friends and relatives. This year we did not have too many hard persimmons, and the soft ones are usually very big. Look at the pictures below and compare the one that is store bought (left), and our persimmon (right).
Our home grown persimmons would have been larger if we watered the trees more this year. The hard persimmon tree takes a long time to ripen its fruit. Friends have told us to put a few persimmons together with some apples, and they would be ripe enough to eat approximately after three days. I have yet to try it out.

Persimmon is a very nutritious fruit. However, there are few things to remember when consuming persimmons. I remember I was told not to eat them with high protein foods such as crab, shrimp, or fish. You may get sick from it. Those with diabetes should avoid eating too many persimmons as it has a high content of glucose. Those who have digestive problems should also avoid eating too much of this fruit as it may hurt your stomach.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tasty Vegetable Soup - 健康消脂湯 (Help indigestion and lose fat)

(This soup is supposed to help indigestion after big meals, lower cholesterol and blood pressure).健康消脂湯 (Healthy Vegetable Soup)

2 白囖蔔 (Daikon)
2 囖蔔葉 (Daikon leaves)
2 紅囖蔔 (Carrots)
2 牛蒡 (Burdock)
以上各一條,削皮切塊,( Peel and cut to pieces)
五,六個冬菇-( 5 to 6 Shitaki mushroom)

 Optional: ( it's more tasty when you add these)
半個蓮藕 ( half lotus root, sliced )
倆個合掌瓜  (2  Chayote - peel and cut to pieces)
三,四粒密棗 (3, 4 Dried prune)
一把生的花生 (Some raw peanuts)
倆片果皮 ( 2 dried orange peels)
一把核桃 ( some walnuts)

(Add all ingredients in full pot of water, turn heat on high until boiling, turn to simmer  for 1 hour and a half, Salt to taste when ready to serve.)

註: 這湯很清甜,但可能不適合寒底的人,如果喝了覺得不舒服就不要再喝了.
(If you do not feel well after drinking this soup, stop taking it. The vegetable soup might be too strong for you).

Thursday, November 26, 2009's coupon

Recently, my husband bought a few coupons from so that we could save some money and get to try different restaurants. had a 70% off sale on the coupon last week. Originally, it was priced at $10, but my husband bought it for $3.

The way it works is you have a choice to buy a meal coupon for whatever price range you think you are willing to spend and pay the fee to Then print the voucher from there and take it with you to the restaurant. The restaurant will run a difference between your voucher and your total bill (but you have to pay the tips and taxes based on the original total bill).

We have tried it with a Japanese restaurant called Washiku in Fremont, the total bill for 3 people was over $40 and we paid around $17. The food was good and was well priced. We have also tried the Kinnaree Thai restuarant and the total bill for 6 people was over $80 and we paid $61 which the 15% tip was already included in the bill since we have over 6 people. That save a lot of money when going out for dinner.

I am sure they will offer this kind of discount again during the holiday season, and we will be checking on it in the future when we need to find a place to try and save money at the same time.

Pant length and Shoes

The length of pants/shorts make a big difference, and shoes that go with them definitely matter. Here are some of the tips that I have learned and used to elongate my legs for my petite size:
  • Nude shoes are always the best choice for any pair of pants you have.
  • Shorts/Bermuda shorts should reach the skinny part (the knee) of the legs. A straight legged pair of shorts with no cuffs is best.
  • Long pants' lengths should hit 1" above the floor in the back, and in front, the pants should cover about half of your shoes. Similarly colored or pointed toed shoes are best.

Tips for ankle length crop pants :
  • Wear high heels/wedges and similarly colored shoes with the pants, to avoid breaking up the color.
  • Nude shoes/wedges also work to avoid distracting the eyes with the feet.-A narrower hem makes you look taller than a wider hem does.
  • Avoid contrast colored shoes and ankle length pants with a wider hem.

  • Best if worn with low vamp shoes, ballet flats,peep toes or sandals.
  • Ankle length leggings: Wear with high vamp shoes in a similar or slightly darker color.
  • Knee length leggings: Wear with low vamp shoes, or nude/skin colored shoes.
  • Calf length leggings: Wear with low vamp shoes, nude colored shoes, or high heels/wedges.

*Best tips:
  • Pants should be worn with the proper heels (there is no single, perfect pair of shoes that will go with all your pants).
  • Wedges are the most comfortable type of heels.
  • Stacked heels around 2" to 2.5" are easy to walk in. Skinny or cone heels are not.
  • Heels with Platform shoes are a good choice for feminine and more comfortable to wear compare to stilleto.
  • Avoid contrasting colored shoes when wearing ankle length heels.
  • A wider hem ankle length pair of pants is not a good choice if you are short.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Educated Palate Restaurant

We have been wanting to go to this restaurant called Educated Palate Restaurant in San Francisco. For our wedding anniversary day, we finally went there for lunch. This is a restaurant open by the culinary school located inside the City College. The purpose of the restaurant is provide a place for the students to have an on site training and practice what they have learned! Here's the front entrance of the restuarant: We were early for our reservation, there weren't any customer yet:

After we ordered our food, the student waiter presented 3 kind of breads for us to choose. There're Baguette, Olive bread and Foccacia,We both chose the Olive bread and the Foccacia. The bread on the left is Olive bread (I thought it was walnut) and the Foccacia is on the right。 You can see the whole olive was used on the olive bread and the Foccacia was soft and smell with fragrance of spices, they're just delicous!As appetizer, we decided to order the fried oysters. They were just done right. They were crispy outside but tender inside. They were so good that my husband wanted to order one more, but I reminded him that we have ate some breads and we should save some rooms to enjoy our main course and dessert! I ordered the roasted salmon as the main course, it was good and the green vegetables were very tender but had the same bitter taste as arugula which I don't really like. There were a lot of lentil beans bedded under the salmon and I couldn't finish them:
My husband had the braised pork rib with risotto. The pork rib was so tender, and the risotto was soft and went so well with the rib. It also came with the cabbage and a small puff, the whole dish was just delicious:I love dessert! I would never passed on dessert even if I am full, the student waiter pushed out a desserts cart and let us choose:
We chose this chocolate mousse cake:They have done a wonderful job with this dessert. It's moist and has just the right amount of sweetness, just excellent! I am going to order this again next time I come.

They often change their menu, the one we ordered from is for November to December 2009:

We have very good experience with this restaurant! The service was excellent, the food was delicious, the place was pleasant and quiet, and it wasn't expensive at all to have all these for a wonderful lunch! It's totally worth to go back again!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gucci Sales at Gucci Outlet Mall

Gucci recently open an outlet store at Vacaville. It's the first Gucci outlet store in Northern California. It takes more than an hour driving from Fremont. To avoid the crowd on Black Friday, husband and I decided to go with our friends last weekend. We first went to a dim sum place in Concord to meet up with our friends. By the time we arrived the outlet, it's already almost 1:30 in the afteroon. The outlet mall was quiet consdered it's on a Sunday. Here is the front view of the store with a security guard standing outside the entrance:

There were not many customers inside the store. Our eyes were searching everywhere for the 50% Off sign. When my friend and I spotted the rack which have more bags then we anticipated, we were so excited and couldn't decide what we wanted. The salesman came over and told us these bags are additional 50% off the marked price. We were surprised by the huge discount. We really didn't expect to find any Gucci bag under $300. It's a good thing we went early, there were still some good selections left. I did not hesitate to just grab two and pay for them right away since I know the price I paid could easily equivalent to a single Gucci purse in a regular store. Here are what I bought:

This is a Gucci Messenger Bag, the long handle is just reaching about my hip, it came with a box and a protection bag, nice for casual chic wear:

This little Hobo bag didn't come with a box but did have a protection bag. I prefer purse that has decorated hardwards, this particular one is good for daytime and feminine enough to go out for dinner too:
The sales started last Friday and will end on 11/30. It's best to call Gucci first and inquiry about the sales items:
Gucci outlet 
321 Nut Tree Road, Suite 284
Vacaville, CA 95687
(707) 447-0104  

There are places to eat such as Taco bell, McDonald, etc. at this Vacaville premium outlet mall
enjoy a good bargain and fun outing!