Instagram Week 2

Here are a few of my favorite shots from this past week!

There are probably several of you that know about my severe bird phobia. Well, one morning I was sitting in the lounge working on the laptop and suddenly I got this very icky feeling. I turn around and just outside the window this little guy was staring at me. Thank goodness there was glass between us or I would have been in full blown panic mode. Since then I’ve been told that this bird is lucky. Let’s hope so!
Eating out with friends at a Japanese restaurant. Mmmm, sashimi! Also on the menu, steamed eggs, wasabi squid, tempura shrimp, grilled garlic, and stuffed conch shells.
Delighted to find an import store that sells cocoa powder. Not the greatest brand in the whole wide world, but it sure as heck will do when I have a craving for a brownie once we move into the new apartment!
After enjoying the familiar comfort of the import store (and cocoa powder) I was reminded that things are still very different here. How about some fresh chicken feet? (PS. This photo was taken at Walmart)
Friday I went in to work with Jesse to take some photos of the facility. In order to be allowed in the print room you have to gear up in a clean room suit (or as I like to call it a “zombie makin’ suit”). I seriously look like the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

I also finally got out my real camera this weekend and will be sharing some of those photos later this week. Along with a fantastic fish recipe for all your lent needs.

Have a great week!!

Instagram

>4 years ago Jesse gave me my dSLR camera. It is a Canon Rebel Xti and even though I haven’t explored a lot of lenses (just the kit lens, 50 mm and 70-300 mm) I absolutely love it. One day I hope to upgrade both the body and lenses, but for now it serves me well. I have captured a lot of shots with that measly kit lens of my mine and the nifty 50 is my best friend when it comes to food photos. But…. I have a confession to make… Since arriving in China I have only taken my camera out of the bag once, and the battery was dead so I didn’t even take it with me.

I have totally fallen in love with an iPhone app called Instagram (It might be on other smart phones, like Android, as well. Anyone know?). In case you somehow haven’t heard about it yet, it’s a photo app that moonlights as a social networking app. You use it to take a photo, then you choose one of the preset filters (or leave it as is), give it a title or description, and upload it to your feed. You can find your friends and follow their photo feed and in return they can follow you. Another cool feature is the ability to link it to Facebook and Twitter. So if you really like a photo, you can post it right to your Facebook wall from the app.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a lot of fun using this app. I love it so much that I am thinking about trying to do a weekly Sunday post with my favorite Instagram photos from the week.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from this week!

Last weekend we found a grocery store with a huge selection of butter. SCORE!

On Tuesday (Valentine’s day) we had dinner at the hotel then hung out in the hotel’s bar for a little bit. Isn’t my Valentine handsome?

My new friend, Joyce, took me to a new place for lunch on Friday. Mushrooms, rice and soup!

Jesse’s coworker and friend, Derek, took us to lunch on Saturday. How about that fish?! It was actually really really good. Sweet and sour fish with NO bones!

After lunch on Saturday we took a little walk around the pier next to the restaurant.

Today Jesse had to go in to work for a few hours so I’m doing some blogging in the lounge.

Are you on Instagram?? If you are, look for me! My username is Jigginjessica. Let’s share the photo love. 🙂

Bear with me please!

>I realize the main reason people visit food blogs is to see (learn about/read about/ pin/drool over) food. I also realize that it may appear that I have been slacking lately. While I haven’t been the best food blogger recently, I most certainly have not been slacking. I’ve been buried beneath boxes and stuff and planning and more stuff and stress… Oh and more boxes!

Also, while I do have recipes and photos ready to share, I thought it might be in my best interest to wait until I’m more clear headed to post actual recipes. One too many “I see this on the ingredient list but not in the recipe” recently. I don’t want to be that girl!!
For now you can point and laugh at the ridiculous amount of boxes I have for my KITCHEN! No other rooms included in this pile (except a few of the photos leaning on the right). How it ever fit into that tiny space will forever be a mystery to me.

So for now I’ll be buried in boxes. Tomorrow the movers come, Wednesday Biggie and I fly to Ohio, and next Thursday I’m off to China!!!
再见!(that’s good bye!)

Shanghai Stir-Fried Pork and Cabbage

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If you’ve read this little blog for any amount of time over the past year you have probably noticed that I mention China a lot. That’s mostlybecause it seems like Jesse is always there. In 2011 he was there for a grand total of almost 6 months. That’s a lot of time apart. Of course I was happy to get to spend time in China with him last summer but it still seemed like we were apart so much. Now that we know he is going to spend a significant amount of time there again this year, I’m headed back!

This trip is going to be almost 2 months and I couldn’t be more excited. There are only a few weeks before I leave and I have been so busy getting ready for the trip.

With traveling to another country and living out of a hotel for 2 months I probably won’t be cooking much but don’t worry. Part of my getting ready for the trip has been making a plan and building a nice back-log of recipes and pictures so I can continue to post while I’m gone. I’m still deciding exactly how I want spread things out, but I will have recipes to post and I’ll also probably be doing a weekly recap of foodie finds and exciting sites in China. I may have other tricks up my sleeve, but you’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂

I know the food is what really makes a food blog, but I hope you’ll stick with me as I work my way through this craziness. In the meantime I bring you Shanghai Style Stir-Fried Pork and Cabbage to celebrate my traveling to Shanghai.

This recipe jumped right out at me as I was flipping through last months Food & Wine Magazine. Of course I was immediately drawn to the name and the picture sealed the deal for me. The ingredient list might not look that exciting and you may wonder if you should tweak it and make some additions. Trust me, it doesn’t need a load of garlic or dash of ginger. It’s one of those “less is more” kind of things. The pork is juicy, the mushrooms are savory, the cabbage is a little tangy, and it’s all brought together nicely with a simple sauce.


Shanghai Stir-Fried Pork and Cabbage

Ingredients
3/4 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat
8 dried shitake mushrooms
2 tsp corn starch
1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 cup peanut oil
Kosher salt
1 pound Napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into thin strips
Cooked rice and Red Chile Sauce for serving

Directions
Place the pork loin in the freezer for 15 minutes to make cutting easier.

While the pork is in the freezer, reconstitute the shitake mushrooms by covering with boiling water and letting stand for 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the water and press out the water. Remove stems and cut mushroom caps into strips. Set aside on a paper towel.

In a small bowl whisk together the corn starch, rice vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil, pepper and sugar. Remove the pork from the freezer and cut into 1/4″ slices. Stack the slices on top of each other and cut into 1/4″ strips. Place the strips of pork in the sauce and stir to evenly coat.

Heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until the oil just starts to smoke. Using tongs, carefully add the pork strips to the hot oil. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the pork is no longer pink and the edges just start to turn golden brown, using tongs to stir the pork to evenly cook . Remove the pork from the wok and set aside on a paper towel.

Add another tablespoon of oil and a pinch of kosher salt to the wok and allow to heat for about a minute. To the wok, add the shitake mushrooms and half of the cabbage. Stir-fry over high heat until the cabbage has wilted. Return the pork to the pan and add the other half of the cabbage. Cook just until the cabbage is tender, but not completely wilted.

Serve with rice and red chile sauce (I was so hungry I forgot to add the sauce and get a picture, don’t be like me, don’t forget the red chile sauce!).

Source: Food & Wine Magazine, January 2012