And so I sit here…

It’s 3:02AM EST time and I’m sitting here watching tv marathons and movies on iTunes and Netflix.  I just finished off a bowl of homemade nachos and guacamole and I’m about to go warm up some more spicy pulled pork I made earlier.  Has this become my life?  This could be the wine talking, or the wandering mind thinking… but this is definitely not where I thought I would be… a year ago, two, three, five, ten? What has happened?

It’s funny how things work. Weight gain made me sad. But I gained weight cuz I’ve been happy. But the weight gain makes me not want to move… so while I eat less, I move less. I’m still not happy with my body. But that could just be my eating disorder talking.  Always in recovery, never fully recovered.

You guys have been with me through so many ups and downs and yet you remain loyal.  So much gratitude.  Love, lust, heartbreaks. Breakdowns and highs. Parties and mournings.

The past year I have been basically mostly living in Taiwan and I’ve forgotten my love for cooking, almost.  I stopped caring a lot about things I used to be so passionate about and I have no real explanation for it… but it’s recently sparked up again.

I cooked duck the other day. And today I had a pulled pork burrito/taco night with pomegranate guacamole, spicy mango pico de gallo with roasted garlic and corn and an extremely spicy salsa verde… along with some yummy gooey blue corn chip nachos.  I started to feel alive again.  I started a cooking idea journal/notebook again…. mainly b/c I was planning to cook for C on his birthday… and while things got in the way, I still got MAD IDEAS to play on.

SO…. I have ideas of doing supper parties.  [And have talked with a chef friend or two about doing pop ups] – I want to, once I move out, host supper/dinner parties, first once a month, and then possibly once a week.  People can BYOB and tell me their diets…. or just leave it up to me.  Hopefully soon after team, up with chefs and cool wine people.

I have so many ambitions and ideas… I want to write, I want to travel, I want to cook, I want to go back to school…. and I want to film it all. I have a secret thing about wanting to be in front of a camera.

So maybe this is how this blog is evolving.  It went from food diary to healthy eating and recipes to eating out and traveling extravagantly …. and then just personal…. me finding my inner peace…. healing and now this.  My lifestyle. Ever evolving.

This blog is now: Finding the real Miss Tiffie.

Please join me in my journey.

Can you believe it’s February? 2017?

I have so many posts, “almost finished” on here…. I promise to post my New Years Eve dinner post tonight, but life has just been flying past me.

Swoooooshhhhhh….

I feel like this website needs a makeover, do-over, something.  It’s become more of a lifestyle blog than a food blog, although food still is my main love :]  But hey, the older you get, the more life gets in your way.  You grow, evolve… changes.

I’m trying this “healthy” approach to my snacking and randomly missing meals with RXBars and ProteinWorld smoothies… but hell, sometimes I just want my bag of chips to munch on.  My body doesn’t do too well with salty food, so I constantly crave it.  Ahhh, the irony.

2017 has been interesting. I was back in the States before Xmas 2016 but so much drama and blah blah blah… oh and BLAH!… Thankfully I’ve had great people to be there with me and for me [as me for them] during the times.  Love is in the air.  I love you my friends/family.

Anyways just wanna put it out there, I shall be blogging more, cooking more [hopefully]  and I hope I haven’t lost a ton of you….  especially since I’ve been back and forth from Asia and America so much – still figuring out where I wanna end up living at for a “time” or just stick with traveling everywhere :] OK… time to finish my plan for tomorrow’s menu and my NYE Dinner blog post that’s long overdue.

xo always,

I’m back bitches!!!!!!!!

Tiffie

PS. Patriots are DA FUGGING CHAMPIONS……AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This year’s superbowl was unforgettable and epic. Tom Brady for life <3 You know what else was on fire? The wings I made for Superbowl Sunday. Scotch bonnet, garlic, shallots, pineapple, etc…. FIRE <3 Fire like Brady was!!!!! Holla!

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Vegetarian No Meat Burgers!!!… and other yummies from the past few days!

Today I tried something new… while I had a beef burger…. oh so yummy, I tried out a special recipe for my mom and her vegetarian friend…. no-meat burgers for them using Beyond Meat product! I prefer Yves non-meats but couldn’t find any at Whole Foods today :[ Bummer.

For 2 Burger Patties:
1 bag of Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles

1/4-1/2 onion
A few cloves of garlic
Paprika
Salt
Black Pepper
Dried Basil (fresh is probably better and if so, minced)
2 eggs
flour

I first sautéed the minced onion and garlic til caramelized and starting to be transparent and browned slightly. I mixed it with the beefy crumbles. Added S&P, paprika, dried basil and perhaps a few more secret ingredients. I added two eggs and a few pinches of flour to help it bind better – I probably should have added more flour since it was a little too wet. And I grilled them.

For toppings I sautéed onions and mushrooms. Topped the patties with cheese as they were about to be done cooking and put a lid on the pan to melt the cheese. I added a few slices of rings of red onion, sliced tomatoes and some avocado. Some other options (which I put on my beef burger) were jalapeños and cilantro.

And to make the dinner even better.. some kale chips… just kale… drizzled in evoo, s&p I added cayenne pepper… or whatever flavorings you want :]

BTW, this was my BEEF burger haha

Sorry, being “healthy”… even tho the burger was rare *MAD COW DISEASE* haha but I ate my in lettuce wrap….”sort of” ok some of it with fork and knife….

More stuff I made this weekend..

Vegetarian Soup… there’s kale, corn, leeks, mushrooms, onion etc etc… topped with some cheese and cilantro and a “garlic bread” croissant

There were more veggies but I don’t remember

And our pre-Masquerade Harvard Ball dinner

Duck Confit with Leek/Mushroom Risotto and Spicy Broccoli

Just used a tiny bit of white truffle butter, topped with parm and scallions in the risotto, had fresh white truffles.. but forgot to top it… duck confit cooked in lots of duck fat for awhile so super crispy… and then just steamed broccoli with hot pepper flakes :]

Healthy Chinese Herbal Eats at 神農

After lunch, my little get-away, a mid-day nap and getting my hair did…. me and my mom and aunts headed off to another one of my favorite restaurants in Taichung, 神農.

Some beautiful fluffy flowers….

Some complimentary small dishes while we wait for our foods…. with some delicious medicinal tea.

Everything on the menu is medicinal and have “curing” things about them and are cooked and paired correctly to help make us healthier.

甘蔗苗 [Sugar Cane “Seedlings” directly translated] which – if I’m correct, and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – is the tips of the Sugar Cane plants.  They are not “sweet” like the normal sugar cane or fibrous – they remind me of bamboo shoots, super tender and delicious.

Mixed Asian Mushrooms….  yes, literally those puffs that look like sponges are mushrooms. NOM!  And if you know me, I ADORE mushrooms.

Those puffs are Bear’s Head Mushroom aka Hericium.

 “In China and Japan, species of Hericium are highly valued for their medicinal properties;[11] in particular, H. erinaceus is used intraditional Chinese medicine.[12] In recent decades there has been considerable research interest in the bioactive properties of this species, and several compounds isolated from H. erinaceus have biological activities, including cytotoxic effects on cancer cells, stimulatory effects on nerve growth factor synthesis,[13] antimicrobial and nematicidal activity, and antitumor activity.[14][15]

Hericium species can be purchased in dried form for use in cooking and as medicine.”

Wikipedia

Boiled Shrimp topped with some 木耳 [Wood Ear, a fungus] and 红枣 [Red Dates].

Boiled Dumplings 水餃 – they’re so good,with 薺菜 [Shepherd’s Purse] and pork.  Simple and delicious – just how I like my everything haha.  Yep, even the dumplings are super healthy for you.

Medicinal use for 薺菜 [Shepherd’s Purse]:

“When dried and infused, it yields a tea which is still considered by herbalists one of the best specifics for stopping haemorrhages of all kinds – of the stomach, the lungs, or the uterus, and more especially bleeding from the kidneys.

Its haemostyptic properties have long been known and are said to equal those of ergot and hydrastis. During the Great War, when these were no longer obtainable in German commerce, a liquid extract of Capsella bursapastoris was used as a substitute, the liquidextract being made by exhausting the drug with boiling water. Bomelon found the herb of prompt use to arrest bleedings and flooding, when given in the form of a fluid extract, in doses of 1 to 2 spoonfuls.

Culpepper says it helps bleeding from wounds – inward or outward – and: ‘if bound to the wrists, or the soles of the feet, it helps the jaundice. The herb made into poultices, helps inflammation and St. Anthony’s fire. The juice dropped into ears, heals the pains, noise and matterings thereof. A good ointment may be made of it for all wounds, especially wounds in the head.’

It has been used in English domestic practice from early times as an astringent in diarrhoea; it was much used in decoction with milk to check active purgings in calves.

It has been employed in fresh decoction in haematuria, haemorrhoids, chronic diarrhcea and dysentery, and locally as a vulnerary in nose-bleeding, which is checked by inserting the juice on cotton-wool. It is also used as an application in rheumatic affections, and has been found curative in various uterine haemorrhages, especially those with which uterine cramp and colic are associated, and also in various passive haemorrhages from mucous surfaces.

It is a remedy of the first importance in catarrhal conditions of the bladder and ureters, also in ulcerated conditions and abscess of the bladder. It increases the flow of urine. Its use is specially indicated when there is white mucous matter voided with the urine; relief in these cases following at once.”

Read more about it here.

Delicious Noodles tossed lightly in a 苦茶油 aka Tea Tree Oil, which translated directly into English is Bitter Tea Oil.

Delicious Sweet Potato/Yam Greens 甘薯瓣 with some Goji 枸杞 berries.

Black Chicken [烏骨雞] Herbal Soup

冬蟲夏草烏骨雞

Straight from the words of their website: “如同黃金般珍貴的冬蟲夏草隔水加熱後以水蒸氣慢慢炊熟,加入自釀超過一年的何首烏酒與無抗生素污染的烏骨雞。甘香美味的高湯徹底顛覆你對傳統藥膳苦澀的認知喔!”

The feets are my favorite!!!!! YUMMMMM

Shrimpy shrimp.  Got to eat it the right way.  Rip off the head, suck the innards of it and then eat the rest after you peel off the shell.

A yummy light dessert. MMMMM Black Sugar jelly/custard 黑糖凍.

Homemade Thai Red Curry with Cod

I decided to go out of my comfort zone and cook Thai Red Curry tonight.  I made Thai curry once….. I think green? Or whichever. and it was meh, it was also in college… and me and my then boyfriend had to taste and tweak the entire time – It wasn’t bad… so glad my cooking skills have improve since then

I Vitamixed all the ingredients… added extra thai chilis, a habanero, extra ginger and extra lemongrass and garlic for more punch I don’t like going by recipes…. I’m a rebel

After the sauce started bubbling [oh I used LIGHT coconut milk for a little more healthy kick] I added in my veggies… chopped green beans, multi colored peppers….. red onion and eggplant…

After cooking for awhile I put in my cod and slowly added in some fresh basil

One for mama, one for me

Spicy, ilght and delicious!!!!!  FULL of veggies and delicious Cod.  Can’t wait to make it for J <3

BTW, Crazy bruins game tonight…. we were leading and then WTF 3x OT!?!?!?!

No worries… we let you win tonight Chi…… so it doesn’t look as bad when we win the rest :]

麻油雞 – Sesame Oil Chicken w/ Rice Wine

Feeling Asiany lately and I’ve been opting for homecooked Chinese food a lot more than going out lately…. so gonna do another Asian recipe post :]  And semi-freaky I suppose.. since it’s almost Halloween :]

Note to self: Do a Freaky Food Memory post in honor of Halloween! WOOT

Alright alright! Let’s get AASSSSSSSSSSSSIIIANNN!!!! *freaky-like*

SO quickie intro to this recipe… People who have been following my twitter/blogs/fb should know that I’ve gone through low points, health wise. Insanely low weight – I’ve been 90lbs and I’m 5’7,5″ – I’ve battled severe anemia and other things I don’t really want to get into right now.  So my mom is constantly trying to make me foods that make my health better… herbal soups, etc etc, you know how us asians do… healing naturally thru herbs and food is better than any pharmaceutical thing… haha… “drugs” :]

SO.

One great recipe to help “heal” the body and “warm” it up – I’m always so cold – is Sesame Oil Chicken aka 麻油雞. It sounds like a nice little dish but it’s got bite. Why?  TONS of booze in it.  The recipe is super simple… and it basically is just a mish mash to taste.  I keep it simple.. and extra boozy :] No salt, sugar or water.

All you need is quality 米酒 Rice Wine, 麻油 Sesame Oil, Ginger and a whole Chicken – preferably bone in..


Doesn’t this remind you of Hapi Djus – YAY Eurotrip

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Sorry I get distracted easily.. back to the recipe

Heat up your wok/pan  and pour in about 3 tablesppons of 麻油 Sesame Oil… My mom has a special Black Sesame Oil that she uses specifically for this.  The smells are amazing.. the flavor just packs so much more punch. Use more if you want more sesame oil flavor.  Once it heats up, add some thinly sliced ginger – or chunks of you don’t want to eat it, but I love eating ginger.. the more the merrier – especially for me since I love ginger – and stirfry it til it’s browned and the sesame oil and ginger smell amazing.  Pop in the chicken pieces… and brown it. I love chicken feet like crazy – plus the collagen in it is SUPER good for the skin… it’s how we asians stay so young ;] – and once browned add.. a bottle of rice wine.  Hell, add more if you want, the more the merrier :]  It’ll get a nice orange/tan color – make sure you skim off the excess fat/oil on top of the soup before you drink.

Don’t judge. I love chicken feet [鳳爪<3].

It’s pretty strong though… and too much is a bit “上火” – kind of like the imbalance of your yin and yang… too much firey foods like alcohol, spicy, fried, etc make it off-balanced and it’s too much “fire” aka 火 – Just simmer for like 10-15 minutes or so until chicken is fully cooked and tender and drink and eat away… make sure only to eat a bowl at a time – with noodles it’s AMAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZING…..  my mom and I love it with 麵線 [miàn xiàn] which is a super skinny salted wheat noodle… NOM NOM NOM

I didn’t have mine with noodles last night, I went more caveman approach to NOMMING it… but here’s a look and feel:

Source: Flickr

Side Note: This is a GREAT dish to heal the body after you’ve just given birth, just saying… my grandma did it for her daughters and my mom plans to do it for me.