Life: July 4th long weekend & recipes

We had a four days long weekend to celebrate July 4th. Many people chose to leave the city for a break and we chose to stay at home. Sometimes staying at home, cooking yummy food and spend quality time with the family is all I need to relax and be happy, so that we did, a lot! 😀

I invited two colleagues from work and Ruwei for July 4th BBQ party. As usual we made corn, sweet potato, kabocha, kitchen, marinate pork and salmon for the crowd.

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These two boys are my favorite JPA in my units. One used to be my student when i was teaching at grad school, and the other one is the best JPA I’ve ever worked with, and we went to Panama last year. He’s heading to London for his PhD, wish him good luck and hope to see him back in 5 years. IMG 8081

after lunch, it was time to watch the final match of Copa America between Argentina and Chile. IMG 8086

The whole family united to witness the sad match. But it is ok, we’ll try harder next time. In addition, i work with Chile and I know a victory will do them good at this time.
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Sunday evening we went to National Harbor again because Sofia loved the national wheel last time and I promised her to come back with Tony.

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Perfect time to catch sunset in the sky with my man
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and my princess of course… who often time forbidden Tony to give me too many kisses.. jajaja… she’s jealous I guess.
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the view is spectacular! It was also the final of female soccer game between USA and Japan, so a large crowd watching the match by the harborIMG 8147

my parents enjoyed the view too. IMG 8156 and then it was “beach” time for the little lady who came prepared with sand toys. We spent an hour playing in the sand while she had her dinner (15 mini dumplings, 3 large strawberries and 20 cherries!!!)

During the week my mom cooks.. but when I’m at home I’m in charge. And I like to try new recipes. Here are some that I made this week.


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porridge and radish cake with assorted saucesIMG 8175

radish cake made with chinese white radish, dry shrimp, chinese sausage and rice flour. We loved it!
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aduki soup, homemade WW bread with raisin and pecan, mini corn bun (窝窝头)
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recipe for the mini corn bun. A traditional chinese breakfast item that my father’s generation used to eat a lot because it’s nutritious dense food that would hold you for long hours.

  • 200 g corn flour
  • 150 g soy flour
  • 50 g all purpose flour
  • 30 g brown sugar
  • 4 g yeast
  • 150 g warm water
  • 130 g milk


  1. mix flours with sugar
  2. mix milk with water and dissolve yeast
  3. mix 1+2 and make a dough
  4. let it rest 30 min
  5. divide into small balls and steam for 20 min

I also made corn waffles for the family together with Tj’s hash browns

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Banana chocolate muffin for a sweet breakfast
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I cooked some dinners too.

leftover carrot salad fromt the BBQ, cooked tilapia, grilled corn and a soup made with vegetable stock, assorted vegetables and corn.

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Stir-fry rice with shrimp and pineapple, tomato tofu seaweed soup

IMG 7527smoked chicken right after the oven
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the meat was falling off the bones.. .so yummyIMG 8177

cold noodle salad with tahini-soy sauce-vinegar sauce

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what a feast we had! 🙂

I love baking breads and now that I have 5 mouths to feed for breakfast everyday… I’m making two kinds of breads every week. This week I made whole wheat french baguette

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I followed this recipe exactly. It’s a long process… takes two nights to but the end result made it worth it. A chewy crust, soft inside and flavorful breadIMG 7533I also made WW sandwich bread and loved the results. Definitely remaking it

Multigrain bread adapted from this:

Overnight soaker:

  • 1/4 cup corn grits
  • 2 tbs rolled oats
  • 2 tbs quinoa
  • 2 tbs flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup water

mix everything and leave it covered overnight

Dough next day:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinega
  • 1.5 tbs honey
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tb yeast
  • 3 tbs brown rice


  1. put the soaker and dough ingredients in that order to the bread machine
  2. once the dough cycle ends, make a ball and transfer to a bowl. Let it rise for 90 min or double its size.
  3. shape the dough to fit into a 9*5 loaf pan, spray with water and sprinkle some oats over the top. Let it rise again for 90 min covered.
  4. preheat over to 350F, bake for 50-60 min rotating once.
  5. remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool in a rack for 2 hours before slicing.

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Sofia has been eating this bread with almond butter and goat cheese the whole week and asked for more! 🙂

Four days of break went too fast. That is because I had such a good time doing nothing but cooking, baking, snuggling with Tony and playing with Sofia. Life is good and often time it could come so easily… all we need is to be with our loved ones.


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