It’s “grape” to make fresh juice in the Vitamix

Truth be told, a whole fruit juicer had been on my wish list for the last couple of years and my mom knew this. This summer my mom sent me a juicer. She told me they were on promotion: buy 1, get one 50% off. Since this summer, I have probably only used my juicer a dozen or so times. That’s because juicing with the Vitamix is so much easier. If anyone owns a juicer, they probably know what a pain it is to clean up. It takes 5x longer to wash the machine than it does to actually make the juice. I don’t use the dishwasher at my school house, so it also feels like I waste a lot of water to clean the darn machine.

For those of you considering buying a juicer, first read this post to see just how easy whole fruit juicing can be with the Vitamix. Continue reading

Advertisements

Xiao long tang bao (Shanghai steamed soup dumplings)

This year R and I decided that we weren’t going to celebrate our birthdays and anniversary with gifts in order to save money (and plus neither of us really need/want anything). So, we promised each other we wouldn’t buy anything. Well, giving gifts must be a love language for me. I just couldn’t resist doing something for R’s birthday. Each year, the tradition so far has been to cook him a special birthday dinner. It’s usually lamb because he really loves it and it’s something that we don’t make on a regular basis. But in the last couple of months (ever since returning from our summer trip to Taiwan), I can’t tell you how many times he has mentioned xiao long bao. If you’ve never heard of these or eaten these, they are the most delicious dumpling you will ever have. What makes them extra special is that there is a gushing of delicious, savory soup inside each dumpling that escapes and dribbles down your chin as you bite into its tender, slightly chewy skin. If you ever go to Taiwan (or are in a restaurant that serves these), this is a must-eat kinda food. So, in my quest to become a good Taiwanese wife, I decided to attempt to make these and enlisted my roommate (a wonderful cook) to help. Attempting the make these is definitely not for the faint of heart. They take a lot more effort than the usual speedy Taiwanese recipes that we make on a day-to-day basis. Since the first time that I made these about 3 weeks ago, I have made them twice since and found that each time it does get easier.

The recipe below is a translation of something my roommate found online, along with some adjustments from trial and error. Continue reading