Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lily Ann Choy

hey world, meet Lily, my brand new niece. she's been hanging around for about twenty one days (her birthday is october 1st)  but i've failed to blog about her because i haven't had a laptop for a couple of months now. so far i've only been able to see her a few times and on every one of those occasions this little girl has been getting all the beauty rest she can. while i'm happy that she's healthy and have faith that she's going to grow up to be an awesome addition to society, so far she's been sorta boring. her literal snooze fest has been a figurative snooze fest for the few times i've visited but i guess that just means i should visit more often. i do suppose it's unfair of me to request a high-five from her just yet. 

her birth was seamless and all of her fingers and toes add up to the correct number. she came out just slightly above average for length and has massive (a little bit of an exaggeration but they're still pretty big) hands. Jeremy seems to be discouraged by this because he's imagined her to be a tiny person, just like his wife. well sir, based on her hand size she's going to be a giraffe...but still like an asian version of a giraffe. tall for an asian but not tall if you compare her to non-asians. my guess is 5'6". we should make a bet and then when she's an almost adult reveal the winner to her when she stops growing. then she'll fully understand why Aunty Reg kept telling her to hang on the monkey bars. i never really understood when people claimed who a newborn baby looks like because let's be real, for the most part they just look like puffy shrunken humans with barely any features. they come out of the womb all misshapen with hair in strange places as if they're gorilla pups (for the record they're not actually called "pups" they're called "babies" just like humans, which i'm not sure how i feel about. i know they're just one slot down in the evolutionary chain but can we get just a little bit of separation, please?). but from the moment i saw Lily i thought she looked just like my brother. those Choy genes sure are strong!

so now all of our lives have changed and we have this little creature to love and take care of. people ask if i'll babysit as if i'm some anti-child but i've never been anti-child...i've just been ambi-child (shortened from 'ambivalent'). of course this particular one holds a special place in my life so of course i'm going to babysit! but. well. maybe i'll wait until she can feed herself. juuuuuust kidding! i'm going to take her to the Academy of Science, the zoo, Disneyland, and all of the places that we all loved as kids. and you bet i'm going to teach her a little bit of sarcasm while i'm at it. 

day 1 of existence

three generations! would be four if Lily's mom weren't bedbound. 



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

zuppa toscana (an Olive Garden copycat)

as i've grown to be somewhat of a food snob i find that i can't bring myself to chain restaurants with any anticipation of enjoying a meal there. there are however a few items that i actually don't mind and from time to time even find myself missing though. pizookies at BJ's, cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster or bottomless fries at Red Robin's come to mind. but one thing that i've always loved, despite their grotesque overcooked pastas is the zuppa toscana at Olive Garden. it's so damn warm and tasty. eating that soup is like getting an internal hug on a cold long day. while i could probably go to Olive Garden and join in on their all-you-can-eat soup, salad and breadsticks deal, i prefer to make the soup at home because at home nobody will judge you for slopping down multiple bowls of soup. and in place of their breadsticks, i like to toast up some nice crusty, chewy bread from Acme or Tartine for dunking.

zuppa toscana


-1 lb mild italian sausage
-1 large onion, chopped
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 c white wine for deglazing
-1 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 russet potatoes, cut into cubes
-5 c fresh kale, chopped
-3 c chicken broth
-2 1/2 c water
-1 c heavy cream
-salt and pepper


1. in a large stockpot over medium heat, crumble and brown sausage
2. set sausage aside
3. in the same stockpot, cook onions until softened
4. add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant (about 1 min)
5. add wine to the stockpot to deglaze (scraping off all of the browned bits)
6. add potatoes, kale, chicken broth, water and sausage to the pot
7. increase the heat to medium high until it begins to boil
8. once boiling, reduce heat to medium low
9. allow soup to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender
10. stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper

Saturday, October 4, 2014

come back, Rain!! (on California's devastating drought)

Lake Shasta on 09/26/14, at 25% it's once upon a time capacity

ever so dearest California Rain,

                  i think the best way to start this is to blatantly say that i miss you. dearly. i know we treated you like the friend that literally rained on our parade but we were being jerks. sometimes you don't know what you had until it's gone and i'm currently in that boat. when they taunted you with "rain rain go away, come again some other day," they were being complete assholes. please do come back. the sooner the better. perhaps tomorrow? pretty please? pretty please with an umbrella on top?

                  i miss you because things around here have changed without you. sunshine and warmth were once such rarities that we would gladly push you aside for a potential day at the beach or Dolores Park. but only before 5pm because we all know that after 5 it gets chilly. well that's what once was anyhow. i haven't felt that cool crisp air in a long time now. even past dusk the thick humidity keeps the air warm and our arms bare (i know anybody living anywhere outside of the bay area is rolling their eyes because any "humidity" i speak of here is a joke to most, but bear with me...i grew up with the most cool, refreshing air so it's all i know...and i miss it to pieces). we haven't truly felt your presence for what seems like over a year. september and august used to be our indian summer but i'm pretty sure it's been summeresque here since our last indian summer. everybody loves a sunny day but man oh man are they all sitting thirsty now, huh? Lake Shasta looks more like Pond Shasta. our water companies are threatening to fine us for using more water than a determined average amount (which i am completely behind). watching people partake in the Ice Bucket Challenge was infuriating.

                  and on a selfish note, i miss wearing sweaters. and boots. and soup. i miss warm hearty meals and blasting the heat in my car. and the refreshing smell of a dewy morning.  i used to feel guilty about "wasting" a sunny day if i didn't spend every last moment of sunlight outside. but now i find myself  missing staying in and watching movies all day and night. i crave the calm of your pitter patter and the life you bring to our soil. i'm not a fan of earthworms but sometimes i wonder if they're even there anymore.

 Yin misses Yang. please come back and bring us some relief.

                                                                                  it's true i heart you,