Back from Hebei

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I just got back from Beijing from a week-long on-site job and feel oh so tired. Work was more exhausting and more late nights spent. I was also not in the mood of photographing food like last time but of course, I just have to share some. It was a much-needed break though… not to cook that long. Hopefully tomorrow I’d be back to my normal food blogging.

It’s Chinese culture to drink wine and liquor while dining. And it’s improper to say no to a toast. Lunch time and our Client gave a toast A couldn’t say no to. He gave me his third shot. Ahahaha! 58% alcohol and my head spun around!

Chinese fried noodles, chicken lollipops, baked scallop, spicy pork ribs, celery and shrimp salad.

Spicy chicken curry, steamed shrimps and mussels, steak in pepper sauce, fresh sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes, steamed green leafy vegetables.

I enjoyed Japanese food very much especially Sashimi.

Fresh fruits and a slice of fruit jelly. Yum!

A chocolate roll similar to brazo de mercedes, slices of watermelon and iced tea.

A‘s pudding.

The kiddo’s ice cream…

And my choco mousse…

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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