Thursday, February 28, 2013

Week In Pictures

Life is and will continue to be a bit chaotic for about the next six months. We are beginning to wind down our time in Beijing. Kids are busy with spring activities at school. Repatriating back into the United States will be an interesting and learning process.
Let's do this!

My week and a half after our trip to Australia was great! Coming back to Beijing is more like home each and every time. I hosted book group at my house. We read The Shoemaker's Wife and since it is very Italian, I decided to make all the food things that I've learned from my Nana or mom. Of course, pesto was on the list. Unfortunately, I can't read basil in Chinese and bought four containers of mint instead. Plan B was jar pesto and mint water. 

Mint, not basil! Duh, now that I know it is very obvious the leaves are too small!
Mom's Homemade Pesto
2 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 C fresh Parmesan Cheese
1/2 C Olive oil (may need to add more for desired consistency)
1/3 C Pine Nuts 
3 medium cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Blend in a blender until smooth. Freezable. Serve over gnocchi or spaghetti with fresh green beans and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

My very favorite cookie to make is homemade biscotti. The pure almond extract makes the house smell so yummy and the butter makes them melt in your mouth. 
Almond Biscotti before they are baked.

Homemade Almond Biscotti
1 C softened butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure almond extract
3 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 C chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and extract. In another bowl mix in flour, baking powder, salt and nuts. Add dry mixture to creamed mixture little by little until dough forms. Divide dough into thirds. Using floured hands, form 1/3 dough into logs that are the width of the baking sheet. BE SURE TO BAKE ON A SILPAT OR PARCHMENT PAPER. Leave about one inch between logs since dough will expand while baking. Bake all three logs on 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for no longer than two minutes. While hot, with a sharp knife, slice logs on a diagonal to form biscotti shape. Lay each cookie on it's side and bake for an additional 10 min on 350. One batch makes aprox 4 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Book Group  Treats

Blue Sky dad with Galaxy Soho

An example of chic Chinese head fashion

Lunch with visiting teachers. Hand pulled noodles.

And here are the noodles.

The boys in my family were thrilled to be back in China for the remainder of Chinese New Year. That means fireworks!

Friends and fireworks!
The rest of my week consisted of getting the house and family ready for me to be gone for THREE WHOLE WEEKS! I have the great opportunity to fly to the US. For a week I will be in Southern California on a "fact finding" trip to see if we could relocate there. Then I will head up to Northern California to spend time with family and friends. Yay me!
The day before I left was actually a gorgeous spring day!

He always thinks he is coming with us.

In San Francisco this would be fog. In Beijing it is smog.
We still took off on time!

We used frequent flyer points for me to upgrade to business class.
This could be very dangerous! It was glorious!
Next stop: Los Angeles!

No comments: