Sunday, April 25, 2010

wow...what a hypocrite

as i re-read friday's post, i realized that saying "i don't like talking about myself" ON A BLOG was pretty redonkulous. apologies for the blatant hypocrisy! i LOVE writing about myself - just don't like being the centre of attention in face to face scenarios, i guess.

dinner on friday was amazing! M's parents restaurant does sichuan and cantonese cuisine so we had peking duck and hot and sour soup, and potstickers, and spicy sichuan green beans, and this sweet, stir fried crispy beef that was absolutely delicious. so good - the two kids couldn't be more different - M's son is a totally slippery fish, who doesn't like to sit down and is always wriggling around and totally animated, whereas G's son is very serious, calm, reflective, and has an adorable, concerned expression on his face a lot of the time.

yesterday was all errands, all day. no fun for us. well, i got to have fun as i went yard sale trawling with H and sweet baby D - some sweet, sweet finds! i got a $1 t-shirt (long enough to hide my growing gunt), a $1 steel serving tray, a $1 steel bucket, and best of all, i got these 2 little wall hangings for 50 cents each:

aren't they the cutest? what a find! i'm going to put them up in the dining room once we've re-painted it. the dotytron is very much not a fan of re-painting the dining room and keeps pretending not to hear me every time i mention it. or, he says, "have fun doing that by yourself" heh.

then i met up with the dotytron for our usual saturday grocery shopping. we wandered into this new garden centre on the danforth, reeve's garden centre, to "check things out" and ended up buying a crapload of stuff for our front yard. we got a dwarf japanese maple, which was on sale because it was last year's stock, we got a japanese andromeda), and 2 goldflame spireas - all this will be up against the house. we also got some lamb's ears and cheddar pinks "firewitch" which i'd never heard of, but i liked the foliage. here's what the front yard looks like now:

it's kind of sad, i know. but keep in mind this is very, very early in the gardening season - we haven't even laid mulch yet - a layer of cedar mulch will make everything look a lot spiffier. i think i'm going to put a fire ember hydrangea next to the gas meter there, and definitely some peonies. once the perennials show up at our local juice store, we'll just buy $20 worth every week and we'll have a dazzling show in no time. gardens are ever-changing works in progress.

we also have to pick up some flagstones to make a walkway cutting across the top of the garden to the car - and the dotytron wants to pick up a small bench so that eventually, someday he could play gujin out there (don't ask.)

the rest of the day was spent throwing that stuff in the garden...we did a LOT of work - it was a lot of driving around and hauling stuff and driving to stone and landscape suppliers...a bit of a gongshow. we were pooped last night and ended up watching "food inc." which is basically a reiteration of stuff i already know - kind of a basic intro to industrial agriculture. nothing all that shocking, just enough to make me thankful that our exposure to that stuff is a lot more limited than most. ammonia in meat? bleached chickens? so gross.

last night for dinner i made us chicken katsu oyako don:

because i'm totally preg-tarded right now i'm not on my A-game (seriously, i lost $100 in the house recently) and even though i could've sworn we had panko, i was wrong. so i ended up making the chicken katsu (basically breaded, fried, chicken thighs) with matzo meal. it was still good. i'll post the recipe at the bottom here.

this morning for breakkie i made us english bacon, fried egg, lettuce and tomato sammies on whole wheat kaiser:

now i feel totally disgusting like i might barf because i'm too full. yay.

tonight we're going for AYCE hotpot with my mum and bro chova, who has finished year 3 of undergrad, in mind-blowing, make-me-feel-old/gee-time-passes-fast news. insane. i'm probably not going to get my money's worth. other than that, it's a bit of a fail of a day - the contractor who was supposed to come by isn't returning my calls, we didn't buy enough of this window film to put up over the bathroom window so that you can't see us doing our private business, so i can't do that, it's cold and threatening to rain and i'm feeling supremely unmotivated. ugh.



chicken katsu oyako don
serves 4

for the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or small breasts)
1 c. of flour (season liberally with salt and pepper)
2 eggs, beaten with a whisk until frothy
1 c. (or more) of panko or breadcrumbs

for the sauce:
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 package enoki mushrooms
some button mushrooms, sliced
2 c. of dashi (i used instant dashi broth mix from chinatown)
6 T. mirin
1 T. sugar
1/2 c. soy (you can use reduced sodium soy - i did)
4 eggs, beaten well
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

cooked brown or white rice (i used brown)

- sauté the onion in a little bit of oil in a wide, deep skillet (with a lid) until it's softened, but doesn't color (over medium to medium-low heat)...this takes 10 minutes or more. add the sliced button mushrooms and cut the bottom, connected stem bits of the enoki mushrooms off so that you can loosen them up, and add those to the pan, cook an additional 4-5 minutes.
- add the dashi, the mirin the sugar and the soy, and let this mixture come to a simmer (you can turn the heat up a bit)
- stir in the beaten eggs, turn the heat to low, and put the lid on and let the eggs steam and cook.

- meanwhile, fry your breaded chicken pieces in 1" of canola oil until done, season with salt and drain on paper towels.

- to assemble, scoop some rice into bowls, top with the dashi-egg mixture, top with the sliced up chicken katsu, and sprinkle with chopped scallion.

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