Archives for posts with tag: peking gardens

This photo popped up on my Twitter feed this morning and it is true.  This is a frequent topic of discussion in my family — mainly among Alan and me, because we’ve had quite a few experiences with Asians who do not believe that a Caucasian man and a Korean woman are an ideal couple (which I will write about later).  At PG, there is a Chinese waitress who looks to be in her mid-twenties.  Apparently, she’s closer to her thirties.  And the woman who translated my sister’s adoption papers in the early ’90s and now has a teenage daughter?  She has no gray hair and a petite figure.  And the mother of that Korean boy (and by “that Korean boy” I mean “the only Korean boy in school”) I “went out with” in middle school?  She still looks like she’s 20.  And, when I was in England, I met an Asian woman who looked to be 18.  She told me she was in her early thirties.

I’m frequently mistaken for either a 16-year-old or a 26-year-old, depending on how I wear my hair and makeup.  Dad says I’m in that “in between” stage where my age can be guessed on either extreme.  Either way, most Asians do seem to age a lot more slowly than any other ethnic group.  While I assume that genes play a huge role in the youthful appearances, I believe that a good part of that can also be credited to skin care.  For example, Mary Kay TimeWise Replenishing Serum + C is a very popular anti-aging product.  Guess who developed it and uses it?  Asians!

Also, stereotypically Americans believe that tanning = beautiful.  And I will admit that I have, for years, spent many summer days lying out in my backyard, prepping my skin for melanoma — however, I have decided that I’m done with that, because I do not want cancer and I do not want to have a seasonal tan on my wedding day (I hate looking back on photos and being able to tell distinctly when they were taken, based on my skin tone or haircut).  Koreans, on the other hand, do not tan (and by that I mean that Koreans slather on the sunscreen and carry parasols, not that Koreans cannot tan).  According to a New York Times article, “‘skin color’ and ‘peach’ are synonymous.”  And no tanning = no advanced aging + no loss of moisture = no wrinkles.

Or maybe Asians are just incredibly blessed in the aging department.

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Today was full of blessings.  First of all, Alan did not have to work today.  Second of all, Mom, Sarah and I had lunch with Nicole at Peking Garden.  Nicole recommended that PG might be the perfect location for a rehearsal dinner, instead of the reception (especially since I think the tables seat ~80).  Alan and I are leaning more heavily toward having the reception catered at Grammy’s house.  And, PG holds many memories for us, since the owner of PG translated my sister’s adoption papers for my parents (meaning that we, as a family, have been eating there for as long as I can remember), and it was also the first place where Alan and I had dinner together (and it was also where I met Sarah and Andy!).
After we ate lunch, I asked Nicole to be my bridesmaid, and she accepted.  Nicole is a very important part of my life, as my former pastor’s wife of 12-ish years and surrogate sister.  Plus, her sons (especially her middle and youngest) were very close with Sarah and me when we were younger, so they really are family.  We’re just missing the paperwork.

The, this evening, Katie, who has been my best friend since eighth grade, and Mark, her fiance (who has been my friend since preschool), came over this evening to make dinner with Alan and me.  We opted for Parmesan-Crusted Chicken and Boursin Creamed Spinach (from a Cuisine at Home magazine Mom received), and Grammy dropped off a coconut cake (that she decorated with tiny red roses and green leaves and piping, and then said that it wasn’t very good), which we ate for dessert.  Katie and Mark also brought some Oreo truffles, the recipe for which she found on Weddingbee.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 C. coarse, dry bread crumbs
  • 1 T. chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 C. grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 450F.  Flatten chicken breasts.  Mix egg whites, cornstarch and lemon juice to create dipping mixture.  Combine remaining ingredients in a wide, shallow dish.  Dip chicken into dipping mixture and then bread crumb mixture.  Place on a baking sheet and cook until done.

Boursin Creamed Spinach

  • 2 C. diced onion
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/4 C. flour
  • 2 C. skim milk
  • 1 C. heavy cream
  • 2 pkg. Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese
  • 20 oz. chopped spinach
  • 1/4 C. grated Parmesan
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper and cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 C. coarse bread crumbs
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.  Saute onion in butter on medium heat until soft.  Add flour and stir to coat onion.  Gradually whisk milk and cream into onion mixture, stirring constantly.  Simmer for one minute.  Stir in Boursin until melted; remove from heat.  Add spinach, Parmesan, lemon juice and seasonings.  Pour into a shallow, greased baking dish.  Mix remaining ingredients and top spinach mixture with crumbs.  Bake approximately 20 min.

It was nice for the four of us to cook together and then dine and fellowship with one another.  Alan and I talked about Shooter’s graduation like those parents who celebrate their children “graduating” from fourth grade to fifth grade (For the record, everyone’s child moves from fourth grade to fifth grade.  Your child is not special, and you are celebrating mediocrity if you are celebrating that “graduation.”  High school graduation is also included.  As is the earning of a bachelor’s degree.  If you want to celebrate your child’s achievements, wait until she has a master’s degree or a doctorate in hand.), and we ate delicious food.  I was quite impressed with the way everything turned out, from the taste of the food (since Alan and I have a habit of throwing things in without measuring) to the fact that everyone enjoyed it (Katie and I are lactose intolerant, and I strongly dislike meat).

Have you ever tested a new recipe on company and been delightfully surprised (or mortified)?