Monday, January 30, 2012

I am completely out of flour and the only store that sells whole wheat will be closed until next Friday! So I decided to just do something simple and delicious and eat a yummy bowl of sliced strawberries with thick strawberry cream/milk :). 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Simple Noodle Soy Sauce Soup

Today I made a simple noodle soup. It is easy, does not require a lot of ingredients, and can be altered and adjusted in so many different ways.




Noodle Soy Sauce Soup

Ingredients
-2 cups instant rice noodles   -1 cup spinach, shredded or bok choy, divided into separate stalks  -5 tbsp. light soy sauce    –1/8 cup peanuts   -2 carrots sliced in long thin strips  -1/2 tsp. salt   -2 cups water  -1 tsp ground red pepper  -1 cup peas (or soy beans)
-other vegetables can be substituted but will change calorie amounts.
Instructions
-Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients except 1/8 cup peanuts and 2 carrots sliced in long thin strips.
-once everything is cooked add the rest of the ingredients and simmer, stirring until fully mixed into the soup.

Makes: 7 cups
1 cup is  app. 83 calories. (If there is a fairly proportional amount of each ingredient)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hiking


    I have been trying to find more things to do, besides gym and hanging out at my house, so I have spent a long time looking things up and finding places to do it in Kunming. I am going to TRY doing at least one thing outside a week. I found this nice mountain called 长虫山 which literally translates to Long Bug Mountain. It turned out that you can actually see the mountain from outside of my house! (I somehow never noticed it). Everything worked out really well with my first attempt at getting out of the house. I went with Jesse and Aleashea, she is Jesse's sister and my best friend, we didn't get lost, had a lot of fun, and the mountain turned out to be quite nice!


 Me and Jesse :)
                                                                              Aleashea
A tomb for ancestor worship
Hehe if only the people who left it new what that said xD For those who can't see it clearly, the paper that they are putting next to the tombs says "hell bank note"...that's not very optimistic...
Beautiful view! There was also a little stone table and 4 stools in the ground to sit on so I will be going back again for a picnic!
         Trail mix i brought :). I had dried dates, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds and      raisins (peanuts are good but I didn't feel like adding them)
                    A stray cat. I thought it was really pretty, but didn't have any food left to feed it.



Need to edit!

Wow lol I really need to learn to proof read better! Some of my posts are quite full of mistakes! I will get to it eventually ;).
Today I had a great time hiking (which I will post pics of tomorrow) and was quite satisfied by the quality of the horror movie The Descent that I watched with Jesse, my boyfriend.  I LOVE scary movies and am trying to watch 100. I think The Descent will be number 71 =D.  Tomorrow I also plan to make a rice noodle soup and possibly some sort of dessert. Just to give a little explanation; I am trying to make some sort of dessert every Saturday and a breakfast on Sundays.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hot Chocolate

I noticed today that my coconut milk was espessially thick and creamy after being chilled in the fridge. I then decided, you know what? I really want to put a dollap of that on a bowl of fresh strawberries....BUT sadly I do not have any delicious, fresh strawberries; but I still really want to put a dollap of it on SOMEthing it just looked too perfect. So I decided to make some vegan hot chocolate =).




To make vegan hot chocolate you need these ingredients.


Sugar-I think powdered works the best
100% Cocoa powder
Soy milk powder or ,if you are not a vegan, regular milk powder

I am  not going to give an exact recipe measurement because different soymilk powders have a different percentage of soy milk and fillers and different people like their hot chocolate to taste differently. I make mine by taking a container or tupperwear to mix the ingredients first. I add the most soymilk powder, then a little less cocoa and then less sugar. After I mix it into the container really well, I put a tiny bit into a cup, add water, and see what needs to be increased. After I get it the way  I want it, I then have a nice large amount made up into the tupperware to make hot chocolate out of again later.
After I have prepared my cup I dollap just a few small scoops of the coconut milk into it and enjoy :). The coconut milk does a decent job of immitating the effects of melted marshmellows by adding some smooth creaminess to your hot chocolate.

Obviously hot chocolate is not something you want to indulge in too much but enjoying a nice steaming cup of home made hot chocolate isn't without benefits.

1. The pure cocoa powder has a lot of benefits for the body including iron and antioxidants.
2. The soy powder contains protein and other nutrients
3. The coconut milk, while high in fat, only needs to have a small amount added for a nice effect and does contain a lot of healthy fats.
4. I don't know if this is true for everyone, but a hot cup of chocolate milk really fills me up for a little while and it makes me feel warm and cozy on a cold day :).


My motto is this: Eat as healthy as you can normally so when you get a craving for something (like the chocolate cravings I have been having!) there will be nothing wrong with indulging. Also as you become healthier you realize you don't need to eat as much to get the enjoyment.
Savor it. Don't choke it down.

Some Pictures

I decided to go out and have my sister take some pictures of me. I thought these two turned out pretty nice :)



Vegetable Stew

Yesterday for Dinner I made a Vegetable Stew. I have always loved this dish and it is great for social cooking (cooking with a friend or family member) as it is does not take a lot of rushing around and mostly involves cutting up the vegetables.



Vegetable Stew

Ingredients
-1/4 cup of olive oil  -1 medium onion, diced -3 carrots, cubed  -1 ½ bulbs of garlic, grated  -1 cup of water  -5 tomatoes, diced  -2 red bell peppers, diced -2 cups of green beans  -2 zucchini, sliced into half circles  -2 potatoes, cubed  -1/2 cup of mushrooms, sliced (Pretty much any kind of mushrooms will work for this stew so just experiment with your favorites :) )  -1/4 cup of red wine  -1 ½ tsp salt  -1 tsp pepper  
Instruction
-Heat ¼ cup olive oil in large pot and add 1 ½ bulb of garlic, 1 onion, 3 carrots, and 1 cup of mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes.

-Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil, add 5 tomatoes, 2 red bell peppers and ¼ cup of red wine. Cook for 30 minutes

-Cook 2 cups of green beans, strain then add to a bowl; cook 2 zucchini, strain and add to bowl with green beans; cook 2 potatoes in salted water, strain and add the green beans, zucchini and potatoes to the pot.

Cut the zucchini into round slices and cut those in half
The green beans are best when at about this size.

-Add 1 ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and cook for 15 minutes.

Makes app. 12 cups  
1 cup is app. 105 calories

Tons of flavor and nutrients and low in calories. I love eating mine with crumbled up crackers!


Soy

Recently, on facebook, I had some one telling me how she has researched that unfermented soy is VERY bad for health. I have researched soy before, and finally decided just to go ahead and keep drinking soy milk and eating soy beans. Everyone has to decide for themselves what they will and won't eat and different people get effected differently by things; but here are my reasons for sticking with it.

1. It does not make up 70-80% of my diet as it seems to in all the studies and people who have had bad effects. I drink soy milk with my cereal, I eat soy beans on occasion with a meal, I use it to cook when i need to (which isn't that often) and eventually I will get soy protein powder. That still isn't even 40% of my diet. Of course you will have problems if you consume something as 70+% of your diet!! DUH. I don't think there is a single food you can do that with and not get some sort of health problem. Soy has just become something that people use as their substitution for milk, meat, yogurt, cream, cheese and a bunch of other things.

2. Everyone who says they have had negative effects can't even give proof that it was related. Tends to be "I got a thyroid problem and after researching I found out that because I drink a lot of soymilk that is what caused it." Hmmmmm.....

3. I am going to throw in the "asians don't have problems" line. EVERY site I go on this like "Oh well Asians only eat the fermented soy stuff." Ummm no I have lived here for fifteen years and hot soy milk is a staple breakfast drink, served in schools, restaurants, hotels, home etc. etc. and soy beans are eaten all the time as a dish.  Asians also are generally thinner than Americans, at least before all this American food came here. Also chinese woman have very small breasts and i have heard people say the estrogen in soy can give men breasts but if the woman barely have them and that kind of disproves the whole excessive estrogen thing (No that isn't racist to say chinese woman have small breasts....right?). They also have less cases of any form of cancer and thyroid issues than Americans =/. So I hate to pull out the Asians example but here are thousands of people who consume unfermented soy in healthy moderation and don't get any of the negative side effects that are supposed to happen =/.

4. Soy lowers testosterone. Ok so for this one the asian thing doesn't work so well since most Asian guys living in Asia are so unmanly it is sad but as biast as this may sound i think it is the culture because when you look at singapore the people their consume WAY more soy than China and the guys are more masculine there.. Thai people consume the least soy and they are some of the most feminine men I have ever seen (and not just the ones that are actually girls now...)


So yes this may seem a bit biased but if i actually thought soy was bad I could easily make almond or oat milk so there is no reason to be try convincing myself it is fine if it isn't. A lot of people may not agree and in the future if I find some real reasons to think it is bad I might change my mind; but for now this is just what i think.. 

It is always good to research things but always use your own good judgement too. Studies are ALWAYS contradicting and everyone has different opinions. For all I know I could be wrong! o.O

TTYL

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Dog Loves Veggies Too!

Here are some videos of my dog Meimei (that means little sister in Chinese)

Here Meimei is trying to eat a piece of broccoli through a glass door.

Here Meimei is trying to chew a cooked pea but is having problems because she has a gum problem and most of her teeth have fallen out or had to be pulled.
Dogs have to be the most fun beings in the entire world!

Tips for going vegan and new vegans

 
I was a vegetarian from when I was born until I was about 13, not because my parents were, I just hated it and gagged when my parents tried to force me. At 13 my friends got me to eat meat and I liked it so went full carnivore meat meat meat meat until I was almost 15 (it was about October) and I realized I was NOT healthy at all. I started looking up tons of things about nutrition and weight loss and I fell upon the vegan diet. It seemed perfect to me since it cut out 90% of all the high calorie unhealthy foods I ate and I could get more nutrients for less calories! So I decided to go vegan cold turkey (like my little pun there? =P ). I have continued learning more and more about veganism and now follow the diet not only for health but also for ethical reasons. Here are some words of advice I offer to people who have recently become, or want to become vegan.

1. Do it slowly-Yes I know this is kind of hypocritical of me to say, but for MOST people I say do it sslloowwllyy you don't want to jump right into it and not be able to handle too many changes. Begin by learning more and more vegan recipes, start by weaning yourself off of one type of food at a time to make it an easier transition.

2. Don't go from one thing to the other-What I mean by this is, don't just go from real meat to fake meat immediately (I never eat fake meat so don't feel like you have to if you don't like it). It is the same with any sort of vegan substitutions, they WILL taste DIFFERENT they will. This doesn't mean they will taste better or worse, I mean that really depends on the person but give yourself a little time to forget eexxaaccttllyy how the old stuff tasted before switching to the abundance of substitutions.

3. Mind set-This is true with ANY diet change. Your mind set is pretty much the most important thing; if you jump in thinking “oh this will suck” “oh this will be gross” etc. etc. than even if you would normally like it you will think it is just disgusting. Trust me.

4. One of the hardest parts will be other people- Some people have a harder time switching to veganism than others; but I think something we can agree on is how disrespectful and rude others can be! I mean the majority of people are rude to anyone who is different but because of all the wacko weirdo vegans out there we have a bad rep as being insane people hating animal loving tree huggers on our periods. Just try not to let anyone get to you and above ALL do not be insulting or rude back. Don't prove them right. Also try to remind them that every group of people has its crazies but it doesn't always mean the group itself is bad.

5. Don't be difficult!!-That was my HUGE goal when I went to visit America, just because you made a dieting choice doesn't mean everyone is expected to serve you your own special food on a silver plate. I made sure to keep a can of beans and a box of whole wheat noodles and a jar of hot sauce stuff from China (yes, I did totally bring a jar of hot sauce all the way from China). Whenever we were staying at relatives or friends house I asked if it would be alright if I used their stove and fixed myself my own meal. If someone specifically invites you over for dinner, just say you are a vegan and wouldn't want to put them through the trouble of cooking for you and invite them to eat at your house instead; if they say they truly don't mind cooking something for you than you are good to go; otherwise, just cook something for them. It is the same for anything, Picnics, Thanksgivings, BBQs, just bring your own vegan dishes to eat and share....or just get a LOT of vegan friends x).

6. Don't give up-Everyone makes mistakes and when you first go vegan you will probably be constantly finding yourself accidentally eating or buying non-vegan things. First thing you need to remember is to always look at the ingredients, do not be afraid to ask (for all restaurant people know you are deathly allergic ;) ) and you WILL make mistakes so don't feel like an awful person when you do. It gets easier!! It really is amazing how much stuff is NOT vegan though haha. Even the other day I was shopping for a sweater and it dawned on me that wool isn't vegan! but the sweater wasn't so I bought it and it looks awesome! =D. So just remember to keep learning about stuff and do not be discouraged by mistakes because they will happen. Good Luck!

7. As long as you do not have any absorption problems, eat lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains you will not become deficient!-Everything has protein....I have gained all my muscle from the gym AFTER becoming vegan and I eat like 1,200 calories a day and do not worry about protein. My boyfriend’s friend has already asked me like 3 times where I get my protein….”from…everything…I…eat”. Yes, anyone who is trying to get a LOT of muscle needs protein shakes and powder and stuff, as will I to get to my end goals for muscle, but that applies to carnivores too. Iron, calcium and all those other things people will bug you about are also present in a TON of non-animal plants but I will let you guys look those up yourselves ;). Other than that, the ONLY vitamin you cannot get from non-animal products is B12. Your body naturally makes enough B12 in your intestines (look it up) the problem is absorption, if you have a thyroid problem, are overweight, drink smoke or do drugs often and a few other things; it will make your body less able to absorb B12. B12 is synthetically fortified into most non-dairy milks, cereals and many other things and you can take pills for it or if you are a girl could always try swallowing xP.

That is about all I can think of for now. I hope it helped at least a little bit and good luck :).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My favorite cardio options

Ok so I was planning to read some more of this chinese comic book for character practice but I am feeling pretty high energy and jittery from not going to the gym in a few days (it is closed for a week because of chinese new year *sniff sniff*) so I decided to do a post about my favorite forms of cardio =).
1. Jogging-Jogging is a great form of cardio and can help tone your legs =). It is espesially a great exercise when you feel like you are awesome. What I mean is, jogging is the best when you feel confident and happy, listening to some upbeat music (This is one of the big reasons I love Eminem! most of his music is PERFECT for working out) and running like you are the coolest person in the world. Even if you are upset about something just get yourself worked up get yourself pumped up and feeling like you are COMPLETELY awesome to get a great energetic run. Also one of my most important tips for any sort of exercise: Don't think about what you can't do but what you will be ABLE to do if you stick with it. Seriously working out is about confidence, even if it is bull shit convince yourself you are just SUPER awesome and working out will be so much easier and more fun! =D
2. Jump rope-Jump roping is a great cardio exercise that also tones your legs (espesially calves! they will be so sore after your first time! hehe). Jump ropes are also super cheap and portable and great if you don't have a ton of time or space. Jump roping is also something you can do while watching tv. Just as long as you make sure to clear some space first and that don't live in an apartment where your downstairs neighbors will come up stairs at 6 in the morning pissed off about the noise.....trust me on that one....
3. Hula hooping-This one is SO awesome and SO under rated!!!! Hula hoops are really cheap and once you get the hang of it (which takes some people a while so don't be discouraged!) you can hula hoop while watching tv for hours =D. Just turn on your favorite tv show and the whole time you are watching it you can be burning calories and it really isn't that hard at all. It does take some people a long time to get the hang of it but just stick with it and you will get the hang of it :) I used to drop mine constantly but now I can do over 5 hula hoops of all different sizes easy.
4. Swimming- Swimming is awesome all year round, whether in a sunny outdoor pool in the summer, or a heated indoor one during the winter. This is a great exercise and can be lots of fun if you invite friends; just remember that sitting on the side sun tanning does not count as exercise!!! and sun tanning will make you look like you are 60 when you are 40 =/....I have family members that are living proof. I have been looking for a good in door pool in my city and have even bought an awesome bikini to wear when I finally do find one! =D (ARSS! Awesome Revealing Swim Suits!-yet another motivator to work out X) ).

There are other methods of cardio but these are my 4 personal favorites :).  Remember though, even if you are mainly trying to lose weight, having a good amount of muscle helps keep your metabolism up and muscle burns more than fat! So don't just completely cut out any weight lifting or strength building. Good Luck! =)

Tomato Sauce

I make my tomato sauce a bit chunky but if you don't like any chunks in it just throw it in the blender before adding the corn starch :).


Basic Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

-4 cups of water -5 tomatoes, diced  -1 bulb of garlic, grated -1/4 cup of onion, diced  -2 tbsp. olive oil 1/2 tsp. black pepper  -2 tsp. salt  -1/4 cup corn starch mixed with ¼ cup of water    (look below for style of sauce)

Instructions

-Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil and add the 1 bulb of garlic and ¼ cup of onion.


-After onions are translucent and tender, add the 5 diced tomatoes.

-Boil for 10 minutes.
-Add remaining ingredients except corn starch mixture.
-Bring to a boil.
-Add corn starch mixture and simmer until thick (btw it does get to a good saucy thickness, the picture just makes it look a bit watery :) )

Home made pasta with broccoli and peas, topped with tomato sauce and served with garlic bread!

It tastes the best if you salt the water used to cook the vegetables and noodles first.












Makes 6.5 cups
1 cup=60 calories
Italian flavors sauce-
-1/2 tsp basil  -1/4 tsp oregano  -1/2 cup red wine 
Mexican flavors sauce -
-1/8 cup diced fresh cilantro   -1/8 tsp oregano   -1/2 tsp cumin  -1/2 tsp chili powder

Bread Loaf

I decided to make garlic bread with my pasta so I decided to make up a recipe for it and it turned out great expesially for the first time! To make it into garlic bread I just used a cooking brush (those things people usually use to brush marinade on meat) and brushed some olive oil onto each piece and sprinkled with garlic salt.




Bread Loaf


Ingredients
-2 tbsp active yeast –1 1/3 cup warm water  -1 tbsp. brown sugar  -1 ½ tsp. salt  -2 tsp. olive oil  -1 tbsp. olive oil  -4 tsp. baking powder  -1 tsp. baking soda  - 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of white flour
Instructions
-Mix 2 tbsp active yeast and 1 1/3 cups of warm water and let yeast dissolve and foam.
-Add 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 ½ tsp. salt, 2 tsp. olive oil, 4 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. baking soda.
-Add the 4 cups flour and knead on lightly flowered surface.



-Form into a ball and place in greased bowl, cover with towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
-Form dough into two  nine inch long loaves, cover with towel and let rise 20 more min.


-After loaves have risen cut a long slit down the middle and using a cooking brush brush each with the 1 tbsp. of oil.

-Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 302 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Bake for 35 minutes.


Makes 2 loaves, 13 slices each
1  slice is app. 70 calories.
Great for garlic bread or making bruschetta (which i will totally put a recipe for eventually!)









Home Made Pasta

I decided to make spaghetti with tomato sauce and garlic bread.
Here is my recipe for home made pasta.


Home Made Pasta
Ingredients
-2 1/2 cups of white flour  -1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour -2 cup of water  -extra flour for dusting  -2 tsp salt 
Instructions
-Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix together, then knead on lightly floured surface.
-Divide dough into 8 sections.
-Take one section and wrap up remaining sections.
-Dust the section and roll out with a rolling pin to make it thin enough to put through pasta maker.
-Lightly dust and put through the normal flat part of the pasta maker on the thickest setting, dust any sticky parts and put it through a slightly thinner setting. Dust again and cut in half (unless you want super long noodles). Put each half of the dough through the pasta maker and put your hands around the noodles that are coming out so you can easily take them and place them on a towel.


-Repeat this with each section of pasta. It might be slow at first but once you get the hang of it it will go quite fast.
-Sprinkle the noodles lightly with flour so they don’t stick and let sit for atleast 30 min.
-You can either cook the noodles immediately in boiling water, freeze, or dry by placing in the oven on the lowest heat until they are stiff and crunchy. I recommend drying them before cooking so they will not be too soft after being boiled.

Makes app. 7-8 cups
1 cup is app. 220 calories

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tea

I drink tea almost every single day. I do enjoy the flavor but one of the biggest reasons i drink it is because of how healthy it can be. Artificial sweet teas obviously are not going to be that healthy but natural teas made of tea leaves and various spices and herbs can be amazing for you.

How I like my tea. I drink my tea hot with green tea leaves, fresh ginger slices and dried chrysanthemum flowers.
Green Tea: Green tea is a leaf from the Camellia sinensis plant. All tea leaves actually come from this same plant; however, it is the way that they are prepared that makes them into the different types of tea leaves. Green tea is supposed to help boost metabolism (which is always worth a try!), help you keep a healthy immune system, it is a very powerful antioxidant, and green tea helps with cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Green tea is also believed to help with increasing your life span. Even if the effects of green tea are not enormous or significant, there are no down sides to drinking it.

Dried Chrysanthemum Flowers: These flowers help to mild out the bitterness of the green tea. Chrysanthemum flowers are known to help sore gums and mild tooth aches, it is supposed to help the "inner cooling" of your body and is often used for detoxification. This flower contains may vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, Calcium and Iron, it also helps with digestion.

Ginger: Ginger's main benefits are for easing stomach and head related pain. This makes it great for morning sickness, headaches, stomach aches and period cramps, Ginger also has known to help in preventing many types of cancers and helps prevent and treat colds. I enjoy the slight lemony flavor it gives to the tea as well. :)

All of these mixed together in a nice steaming cup of tea is not only really healthy and zero in calories but also tastes good even without sugar :). Give it a try.

Banana Bread

We have a bunch of browning bananas so I decided to make some banana bread. I changed my recipe up a bit and it turned out to be way better.  They are nice and moist but not too dense.


Banana Bread

Ingredients

-3 ripe bananas, mashed   -2 cups whole wheat flour   -1/2 cup milk  -1 cup oats -1/2 cup sugar (preferably raw)   -1/2 cup of chopped almonds   -2 tsp. cinnamon   - 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda  -1/4 tsp. salt  -1 tbsp. vanilla  -1/2 tsp. nutmeg  -4 tsp. baking powder -1 tsp. cocoa powder

Instructions

- Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 302 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Mash the 3 bananas in a bowl with a fork.
-Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly together in a bowl, add flour last so everything mixes in easier.
-Pour into 2 greased bread pans.
-Bake for 1 hour.
-Let cool completely before slicing.
Makes 2 loaves, 16 slices each.
1 piece is app 70 calories.
If you want bigger slices make each loaf have 8 slices and it will be 140 calories per slice








Monday, January 23, 2012

Jiao Zi

I cook dinner everyday at the same time as i cook lunch so all i have to do is heat it up when I come back from the gym. Today I am making Jiao Zi or Gyoza, as i have hear some call it. Jiao Zi is a chinese dish traditionally filled with pork but I filled these with vegetables and chinese style seasonings instead, making them healthier, higher in vitamins, lower in fat and calories and delicious! :).


Jiao Zi

Ingredients
Wrappers
- 3/4  cup white flour  -1/2 cup whole wheat flour  -1/2 cup water   -1/4 tsp salt  -extra w.w. flour to dust
Filling
-1/4 of a potato, grated  -1/4 of a carrot, grated  -1/2 cup broccoli, minced  -1 tsp. ginger, grated -1/4 bulb of garlic (this is about 1/2 of a garlic clove), grated  -1/2 tsp. soy sauce  -1/2 tbsp. water  -1/2 tsp. salt  
Instructions
Wrappers
-Mix 1/2 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt together, add 1 ¼ cup of flour to mixture and knead.
-Use extra flour to keep dough from being too sticky.
You want to roll the dough out a little bit so it is not too thick before putting it into the pasta maker.
-Knead until smooth and use a pasta making to roll out into thin sheets of dough. If you do not have a pasta maker, it can be done by hand but will be much harder. To use the pasta machine, roll it out as shown in the picture above and run it through the thickest setting on the pasta machine. Continue running it through, bringing the settings thinner and thinner until it gets to a fairly thin strip of dough.
-Use a 4 inch bowl to cut out the jiao zi wrappers.








Filling
-Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl
Jiao Zi
-Scoop 1 tbsp. of the filling into a wrapper









-wet your fingers, fold it in half with the filling resting in the middle and pinch the sides together tightly.
-These Jiao Zi can either be pan fried or steamed.

-Cook until the dough tastes cooked (pinch of a part of the end to taste.)

Makes app. 14 jiao zi  
1 jiao zi is app. 42 calories.


Jiao zi are traditionally dipped in vinegar and or soysauce but feel free to get creative J.



Chinese New Year

Here are some videos I took of Chinese New Year 2012

Here are some fire works that were being lit off outside of my boyfriend's house.

Here is a super loud firecracker that someone set off. You can barely hear afterwards!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Bath Time

I have gotten into the habit of taking a nice long bath once a week on Sunday. It is really great for relaxing and pampering myself and getting some relaxation time in preperation for a new week.


 Here are the things I use on bath day:
- Shower cap (can be found at almost any hotel or dollar store.)
- Aroma therapy oil and bubble bath (I bought that brown colored bottle at walmart for about 5$
- A foot exfoilator (it kind of looks like a cheese grater but works great for getting dead skin off of your feet)
- Scented bath salts (can be found at pretty much any dollar store)
- A good regular conditioner and a leave in conditioner
- A body exfoiliating scrub
- A face scrub (It has honey in it but I bought it before going vegan and decided I might as well use it up)
- A body wash
-Some olive oil

To begin I fill up my bath with nice warm/hot water. As it is filling up ,I add the bath salts, aroma therapy oil and the olive oil. Olive oil is great for softening and moisterizing your skin while you soak in the bath and makes it easier to exfoiliate.
Before I get in I like to put on some music to listen to while I take my bath :).
After I get in, I wet my hair and add the conditioner. Add only a small amount to the top of your head; then divide your hair into two parts (one on each side of your neck) and gently comb the conditioner through your hair with your fingers. After your hair is fully covered in conditioner, put it into the shower cap to let it sit. This is really good for conditioning and moisterizing your hair, expesially to heal it from damage caused by blow drying, curling, straightening or dying it. If your hair gets greasy easily, it would be better if you did not apply any to the hair around the scalp and used a plastic hair clip to clip your hair to your head instead of putting it into the shower cap.
Next I shave; if you usually wax I would recommend doing that before the bath because the warm water can help reduce redness. After shaving, I use the foot exfoilator to get all the rough dead skin off of the bottom of my feet.  Next I use the body exfoiliater to gently scrub off dead skin on my body. Doing this is really good for your skin and keeping it fresh, clean and smooth; it can also help prevent ingrown hairs. After this, I use a wash cloth to wash myself with the body wash; I have always loved scented body washes but to be completely honest most of them don't have a very large effect on how your skin smells =/ but any kind of body wash will do.
After this, I usually soak for a while then drain the bathtub and use the shower hose just to rinse out my hair.


It is good to apply lotion after a shower to lock in moisture and prevent your skin from drying out. I usually lightly dry my skin off before applying. The lotion in the picture is available at either target or walmart. I am kind of frugal and it lasts me a long time. So as long as you don't use tooo much of this stuff it will last you quite a while :).


This bath day is really good for your skin and hair as well as having some nice time to relax so I would definetely recommend trying it!