Welcome to More Than Yesterday, a blog that takes life in with all 5 senses.

It’s going to take a little while to catch up on four and a half years of exciting experiences, and not everything will be in chronological order.  However, since a lot of these are places that we are constantly revisiting, timeline doesn’t really matter.

Occasionally the usual “review” blogs might be interrupted by personal asides…think of these as the extra sense – to feel something from the heart.


Hello, long time no write.

A lot has happened in the past few months; I’ve finished school and have relocated back to Vancouver, Kim has also finished school, but hasn’t relocated anywhere, thankfully.

I’m almost six months into my new job (it’s a sort of in-between job, between being a student and being an actual professional) and as such I get paid in-between

I have a goal to save $10,000 by next July 1, 2012.  Now, I’m only about $2500 in, and I only have about seven months to go.  Part of my budget is going to be eating economically.

What I’m going to do for the next ~30 days is to prepare nutritious, easy meals, that don’t break the budget.  I would like to aim to spend no more than $60 on groceries over the next 30 days.  You could say I’m “cheating” a little because I do have some meat and stuff saved up, but I will account for the cost of those items as I go along.  The main goal is to prove to myself that you can make good meals without spending a tonne of money.  There will be a couple of exception days: it’s entering Christmas season and I’m going to be invited to various functions.  So on those days I won’t cook.  But in the end I should have done 30 days’ worth of cooking.  I anticipate to be done my challenge around Christmas day.


Day 1: Chicken soup with ginger, tofu, and Chinese vegetables

Chicken thighs: 2 thighs (approx $2)
Ginger: approx $0.10
Tofu, cubed: $3.00
Rice: approx $2 for 4 servings

Total for this: $7.10 for 4 servings


1. Using a clay pot or other soup pot, bring about 4 cups of water to a low boil
2. Add in the ginger, and the chicken thighs
3. Turn the heat down to low and let simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is nearly cooked.  Meanwhile, cook the rice
4. Add the tofu
5. When the chicken is cooked all the way through, add the chinese vegetables (I think pretty much any leafy chinese veggie will do)
6. Add salt to taste
7. Spoon out 1/2 cup of rice and add some soup over it.  Debone the chicken, leaving the bones in the broth (it will help enrich the flavour as it sits overnight).

Refrigerate uneaten portions.

my hainanese chicken with tasty rice…too bad photo is a little washed out

You know how people love to reminisce about comfort food?  Mac ‘n’ Cheese, pot roast, soups…all very common.

My top two comfort foods are probably 柱侯蘿蔔炆牛腩 (stewed beef brisket with daikon) and 海南雞飯 (Hainanese chicken rice).  They are just both so easy to eat and tasty, and the flavours just melt into your mouth in a way that I can’t get enough of it.

I went off of this recipe: http://steamykitchen.com/5068-hainanese-chicken-rice.html, and it worked out really good!  I was only cooking for Kim and me, so we just used chicken thighs instead of the whole chicken.  Probably with a whole chicken it may have cooked a bit more evenly, but all the same it was delicious.

(Close contender for comfort food status would be 白切雞, or “white-cut chicken.” It’s pretty much the same preparation as Hainanese chicken but without the delicious rice on the side, and you eat it with a hot oil/ginger/scallion sauce.)


I think the saddest thing about Filipino food is how underappreciated it is.  Many people will say that their least favourite Asian food is Filipino (unless they are Filipino, then maybe it is their favourite).  Since I love most foods (except pork/beef livers and kidneys…I can justify this because these are the parts of the body that filter pee and blood, and are therefore gross), I suspect part of it might be because they’ve just never had good Filipino food.

Perhaps more sadly, there is a lack of quality Filipino restaurants.  I’ve been to a couple of the buffet table variety, and they really don’t hold a candle to home cooked food.  Part of it might be the presentation.  It can be unappetizing to look at the gloppy trays that are all huddled together under a heat lamp.  But fresh hot food right off the stove is a different story!

I think part of my mission in cooking Filipino food is not only to give something to Kim that is familiar and comforting, but also to prove to people that this often misunderstood and ignored cuisine really has a lot of complexity and depth that they’re missing out on.

So here we go!

I love chicken wings.  You might say, almost pathologically so.

And I love Filipino food!  So what better way to combine the two than as Chicken adobo…wings!

Recipe after the cut…


Since I had the great pleasure of going to California’s Central Coast for a rotation, Kim was helpful enough to help me move all my stuff there.  We decided to give him a driver’s treat – the Pacific Coastal Highway, or Highway 1, that snakes down the California coastline.

I have to admit, the scenery was really awesome, but I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

I’m really glad we took the long way there, the scenery alone was well worth it and it gave us a lot of time to chat and stuff too, which was something I always relish when we spend time together.

I got this recipe from rasamalaysia.com and made a few adjustments according to my available ingredients.  For instance, I substituted shrimp paste for fish sauce because I forgot to buy it at the grocery store, and I added more ho fun instead of the vermicelli because I forgot to buy that as well…

The result was something which, as RM described it, resembled something called “waht dan hor” in cantonese, except I had not added the “waht dan,” or stirred eggs.

I will try it again later this week though, perhaps as “waht dan hor!”

almost got the wok-hei!

Kim tried a few earlier this year but unfortunately we both forgot screenshots! Noo!!

As some of you, or more likely, none of you, know, I’m a student that is currently moving all over the place as part of my program. I won’t go into much more detail other than to say I’m in my last year in a health professional grad school program.

At any rate, I’m starting one of my last on-campus rotations, and this means my last chance to be in a highly diverse and multicultural environment (I’ll be south of Seattle, Washington next, and all of the towns that are NOT Seattle/Bellevue/Everett are very small and very white).  I’ll be taking advantage of this for the next 9 weeks to do something a little novel, for me anyway:

9 weeks, 9 regional cuisines, and I’m going to cook my way through them.

Now, what regions should I tackle?  There are conveniently “8 Great Traditions of Chinese Cuisine”:  Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang.  Of these 8, there are four that are considered the most influential: Cantonese, Huaiyang, Szechuan, and Shandong.  I’ll be focusing my efforts on these 4.

For the other 5, I would like to explore other regions surrounding China.  Tentatively:

– Korean
– Vietnamese
– Malaysian
– Filipino (still quite determined)
– Thai?? Japanese?  can’t decide on the last one.

Anyway, it will be nice to experiment with these cuisines which use a variety of different ingredients after primary eating Trader Joe’s frozen meals and barbeque’d ribs for the past two months (and getting dyspepsia).

When I first heard of lemon curd, I thought, gross, curdled lemon juice!

Thank goodness that’s not really the case.

Lemon curd is more like a lemon jam.  You can even compare it to the filling in lemon meringue pies.  I love lemon meringue pies, but I’m unable to eat an entire pie by myself, and the meringue part always stumps me (I’m too impatient for the egg whites to form peaks), so lemon curd is a good compromise.

I was given a huge bag of homegrown and humongo lemons by a friend.  I’ve left them in the fridge for the past week because I really had no clue on what to do with them.  Lemon curd would be perfect!!!

Later I’ll make some biscuits, but I’m just about to go on a jog with a friend.  Probably good to counter all this eating I’ve been doing lately.

I followed a recipe from joyofbaking.com, where there are tons of great, tasty, and easy to follow recipes for tonnes of different things.  Here I reduced the sugar and the butter amounts by just a tad.

my friend told me it would taste good on scones…she was right!

Lemon Curdadapted from Joy of Baking


3 large eggs
3 lemons, juiced (I used a mix of regular lemons and Meyer lemons), enough to make 1/3 cup of liquid
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest (3-4 lemons’ worth)
3 tbsp butter

Over a double boiler (stainless steel bowl over simmering water), whisk the eggs, lemon juice, and sugar together until they form a thick sauce (about 10 minutes).

Remove the bowl from the heat, and whisk in the butter a small portion at a time.  I added the pieces one at a time, waiting until each one was incorporated before adding the next one.  Add the lemon zest, whisk it in, and then cool while covered.

Joy of Baking also says to strain it to make a smoother, unlumpy lemon curd.  Unfortunately I don’t have a strainer, so it’s lumpy jam for me.

This recipe was super easy to follow and I finished doing everything in about half an hour.  And the kitchen now smells really good and lemony fresh!!