Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Cornucopia of Winter Fun

Disney Downtown, New Years' Eve

Winter Break is a blessing in the middle of the school year. After a long semester of studying and work (along with bits of fun thrown in here and there for good measure), it's nice to come back home and not worry about the next onslaught of midterms and homework. Even better is the warmth of my hometown compared to Berkeley. Down south, it feels like a warm spring! I remember the chilly air on those sunny Berkeley days reading out 50 some degrees Fahrenheit. Despite it all, it was a refreshing walk through the city and campus, but once I got inside a warm classroom, nothing else could have felt better.

Now, back home, I watch the news and see the weathermen talking about subzero conditions elsewhere in the US (frozen lizards falling from trees, people dying from cold), and then compare it to our wonderful conditions here in SoCal. Wonderful 70-80 degree weather. My insulating-lacking body loves it! But, I just saw that there will be cooler weather coming in soon, along with some rain on Wednesday. It'll be a nice change, I suppose, and the dry SoCal terrain needs it.

In my long hiatus from blogging, I've done a lot of experimenting and taste-testing. As is the usual case with me, I felt too lazy to post; rather, I read other bloggers' posts and went on Facebook to pass the time. This morning, I decided it's finally time to post up my collection of Winter experiences. These will follow in subsequent postings after this one. Enjoy!

Nov 8, 2009: Asian Christmas Veggie Mix-Up

Ha, my attempt at an original name for something I made. This is something I quickly cooked up in Berkeley to replicate a dish my mom always makes. I didn't have the par-fried tofu we usually get from the Asian supermarket, only the silken tofu from the American stores. The problem with this tofu is that is crumbles at the slightest touch, which really changed what I was going for. Nevertheless, the dish came out still good and refreshing, as my mom's is. The other thing I was lacking at that moment was green onion and cilantro to garnish with. I served this with brown rice for a very healthy yet delicious lunch.

Garlic, minced
Frozen or fresh green beans
Plum tomatoes, sliced into thick wedges
1 pack firm tofu (if you want to do it like in the picture) or semi-fried firm tofu
Soy sauce
Olive oil

Saute the garlic in olive oil until yellowish-brown. Add the green beans next if using fresh, otherwise, add both the green beans and tomatoes. Saute for a bit longer until the juices of the tomatoes comes out and the vegetables are soft. Add in the tofu. Add in some soy sauce and sugar to taste, not too much sugar. Saute until tofu is cooked as well. Garnish with sliced green onion and cilantro.

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