Friday, July 24, 2015

Queen Procrastinator

I haven't updated this blog for over a year, and so much has happened.  Long story short, my crazie world is now evolving around a munchkin named Camryn.  I will be sharing this lifelong adventure here.

However, I think I will keep this blog around.  In case people want to look at interesting stuff I posted before.  As well continue posting adventures that I had (meant to post, but lazy), and will have.

So here's a brief review of what's happened between the last post on December 31, 2013 and now

Early 2014 - Same old.  Wake up, Work. Home. Sleep.  Work was busy though.  My boss and project manager lined up quite a number of projects for the summer as well for next year, 2015.  Oh man, I really was not looking forward to it.  Last summer really sucked.  The lack of life/work balance got me really depressed.

June 2014 - I decided to go to Japan (and maybe either South Korea or Taiwan) in September/October 2014, after the summer construction season is over. I spent quite a bit of time researching where I wanted to go. Although I mentioned my plans to B quite a bit, he still somehow was clueless with what's going on.

July 2014 - March 2015 - Before making the Japanese trip official by buying flight tickets, I had this thought lingering in my mind - Aunt Flo went missing.  Am I pregnant?  We weren't trying, but we were also not preventing it from happening.  Lo and behold, the pee stick faintly said POSITIVE.  I will tell my pregnant story more here.

March 2015 - Today -  I'm a mom.  It's definitely a whole different world.  Stories and experiences will be posted here.

So that's all for now.  More to come later... maybe.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

OH MAN, it's been so long since I posted, but good thing not much happened except for a long vacation.  But this holiday has been nice.  I've been a homebody and feeling anti-social.  Before going home B and I had two nice dinners.  Reason we had two was because he really wanted to try The Parlour because of the praises it got from the radio, while I wanted to go to the Red Ox Inn to enjoy some fine dining with my year-end bonus.  So here are the stuff we tried:

The Parlour
10334 108 Street

Appetizer - Risotto balls; shared

I didn't like it because it tasted somewhat bland, since risotto is rice.  The skin was crispy and that was about it.  I enjoyed eating the 'green embellishments' more.  B liked it though.

B's Entree - lasagna (I had a bite or two)

Now this was a good lasagna.  Instead of ground beef, they used chunks of meat.  And the lasagna had tons of compacted layers.  It was better than what I ordered...

My Entree - squid ink seafood linguini

Guess I didn't learn my squid ink paella lesson from Spain.  'Exotic' squid ink doesn't mean it's better than traditional stuff.  Sigh.  I'm not saying this dish was bad.  Typically I like all linguine pescatore.  However, this steer from the traditional was just no on par.  The lemon helped, but still no traditional linguine pescatore.  Maybe because I had such a good one a few months ago in Mykonos.  OMG.

Dessert - tiramisu; shared

Another non-traditional tiramisu, but good.  I enjoyed the mascarpone and the (chocolate cookie?) crumbs on the bottom.  Whatever was in between was a blur.

Overall, it was ok.  The taste of the food does not match the big prices.  The big question: would I go back?  No.  Would B go back?  No.

The Red Ox Inn
9420 91 Street, Edmonton

B's appetizer - pork belly (I had a bite)

This tasted like Chinese roast pork, but SOOOOO much better.  B savored it as long as he could.  

My appetizer - corn lobster chowder

A good soup, but not as good as that pork belly.  However, they 'embellished' the soup with this gigantic scallop and that scallop was so meaty and yummy.  Doesn't matter, I enjoy almost all soups!

B's entree - duck breast

At first he was skeptical about his duck but after a few bites, he enjoyed it more and more  I love duck. I thought it was good after the first bite.

My entree - was black cod, but became sablefish with mushrooms and scallops on quinoa

I'm a little disappointed that they ran out of black cod.  I love this rare fish.  However, the sablefish was cooked very well.  The top surface was crispy and seasoned well.   The quinoa was better than what I tried to make.  Overall, everything was good with this dish, despite the change in fish.

Dessert - "Chocolate", a chocolate mousse covered chocolate brownie - we both had one

Good thing we didn't want to share our dessert.  This was soooooo good.  B tried to go on a 'no refined sugar' diet (not me... no chocolate, are you kidding me?!), but he had to leave that thought at home when he saw this on the menu.  I kept trying to remind him of it, so that I could also eat his (yes, it was that good that I had to try to eat more than one), but failed.  It made it to B's best dessert ever tasted list.
Great place.  B thought initially thought it would be another pretty place with high prices and bad food.  I thought it would be another pretty place with high prices and decent food.  It turned out to be a cute little place with great food that matches the semi-high prices.  Would we come back again (not casual dinner of course, but for special events, such as bdays, anniversaries, etc.)?  Absolutely.  Hope they will still have that "Chocolate" dessert!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Henday Woes... AGAIN!

Yes, it's that time again where I bitch about driving on the Henday.  Ok, I've moved to the west side of Edmonton for two years now, but this will be my third summer driving on the Henday on a regular basis.

Year 2011: The City decided to 'improve' the ring road to make it a continuous freeway by constructing overpass at major intersections on the highway.  This made sense.  Improvement = construction = traffic delays.  I get it.  I can deal.  However, there was some confusion when the overpasses opened but whatever, should be smooth sailing in the future.

Year 2012: The City decided to repave a one year old road.  I don't know too much about road engineering, but this didn't make sense at all?  I don't know.  Delays again.  Oh well.  Should be good for the next few years...

Year 2013: Can I say WTF?!  Construction again?  The sign says repaving. AGAIN?  What the hell is wrong with this asphalt?  I know it's a high traffic road, but yearly repaving?  Oh geez.   However, they are doing some excavations next to the shoulder lane.  Are they planning to expand the road?  Then why didn't they make it a wider road in the first place?  Ok, let's say they are making it wider, but based on the above, that means next year they will repave!  More delays.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Shanghai Grill

Tonight B and I went to try the Shanghainese restaurant that is closer to our home: Shanghai Grill.  When we first entered the place, my feeling was this is not a typical Chinese restaurant.  It was likely a saloon/bar before.  First of all, what Chinese restaurant has a patio?!  We Chinese people don't eat on patios!  Second of all, the finishes.  Rugged wood floors, thick wood columns, and wood wheel light fixtures?  B later pointed out that the bathroom signs said "Outhouses".  Yeah, my feeling was right.  Decor is decor.  Restaurant is all about food, right?!

When I opened up the menu, to my disappointment, it was more of a Chinese restaurant than a Shanghainese restaurant.  They had mostly typical Chinese dishes and a few Shanghainese dishes.  I ordered the dumplings:

The skin was a bit thick, but the meat was tasty.  Better than Calgary restaurants, there's soup in it, but not enough.  Let's say there's better in Edmonton...

For the rest of dinner, we ordered:
Fat Choy and Siu Choy
Ok, on the menu, it said it has 瑤柱 (dried scallop) in it.  I couldn't find any.  But what I really wanted was the fat choy.  As you can see in the picture, there was less than a pinch of fat choy.  For the price I paid, I could hve bought about six heads of siu choy.  Disappointed, and felt ripped off.

Chilli fish
Another disappointment.  Indeed this dish was 'spicy'.  Mostly because it was so salty that it really stings the tongue which gives you the fake impression that it's spicy.  I think the saltiness of this dish beat my dad's extreme salty wings (it was by accident, since he's not a very good cook...).  Ouch.

Beef brisket and tendon hot pot
This was by far the best dish, but that's because I love beef tendons.  The fattiness.  Mmm mmm mmm. However, compared to other places, it's ok.

Would I come back again?  No.  For the taste, dish sizes, and price paid, so not worth it.  I could think of two other Chinese restaurants in the west for better food and value.  And I would definitely drive further for those Shanghainese dumplings.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Miss You, Mom

It's been a while since I posted.  Again.  However, the last two weeks were more than excusable.  First of all, my mom decided to take her 'staycation' here with me in Edmonton.  To me, this meant no cooking and cleaning for two weeks and also reminisce those days when I lived at home and mom took care of my everything.  Good ol' memories.

Unfortunately, the two weeks my mom was here were also my busiest at work: I got sent to Fort McMurray for two days, and I had to overtime like crazy.  Sucks.  The good thing was my boss let me take one Friday off, and I got to hang out with my mom.

It was nice coming home everyday from work, and the house was clean!  Another bonus was all I had to do was sit on the couch and wait for dinner.  After dinner, I just had to sit on the couch and the dishes will be cleaned by mom.  Yeah, sounds like mom's my maid, but I think she was still pretty relaxed - since she found quite a bit of time to watch some TVB.

Last Friday, we drove her home back to Calgary, and today is my first day without her again.  I came home with the house still clean (from Friday), but I had to cook dinner.  B had to do dishes.  Sucks.  I think we'll have to buy her a bus ticket to come up more often.