Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What we eat

 One question we are often asked is what do you eat?  We always answer  that we eat different things.  Chinese friends ask us if we eat out often or if we cook at home, we do both.  When we cook at home, we usually (but not always) cook "western food".  In their minds, that means we just cook pizza and hamburgers.  I decided it would be interesting to take pictures of every meal we eat for one week.  We did have hamburgers and pizza this week, but believe me, we do not do that every week. 

 Breakfast: I did not get pictures of this, but we ate leftover pizza (yes, for breakfast), toast, tea, and milk tea.

Lunch:  We ate at a small restaurant we call "the dancing place".  At least two times when we went there, they were playing a popular dancing show on the t.v. so we named this place the "dancing place".

 This is a fired egg thing.  I don't know what it is really called.  It has some onion and a little meat inside it.  It is pretty greasy, but tasty.

Tang su li ji (sweet and sour pork)

 ban guo hua cai  (cauliflower cooked with bacon)

Tie ban niu rou (beef cooked on a hot iron plate)


We had a big lunch and wanted something pretty quick so that Liam and Jon could make it to Kung Fu class.  We went to a(n overpriced) restaurant across the street from the apartment complex.  We ordered one  pizza, some french fries, and chicken tenders.  We made the mistake of ordering 3 cans of sprit for 15 yuan each!  Now, I remember why we don't eat at this place very often.  This was probably the most expensive meal of the week, and it was a "light" meal.

 Grits! They were a little runny, but warm and filling.

Lunch: We ate at McDonalds.  We needed to go buy some things and there was a McDonald's at the shopping center.  McDonalds has had a very limited menu for some time now due to a problem with their supplier in China.  They still have no lettuce or tomatoes for their sandwiches but at least they have beef again.  This is a treat.  We do not eat here that often.


I cooked at home.
 Cabbage and bacon.  Yummy!

 We eat it over rice and even the kids like it. 


We had toast and tea for breakfast before  we left to go to Chinese class. 

We ate at a small restaurant that we call "Two Brothers".  It is a small family owned place.  One of the first times we went here, they had some family come in.  The guys hugged and smiled when they greeted each other, and we thought they looked like brothers, so that is what we call the place now. 

 Ban guo bao cai  (cabbage)
 yu xiang rou si ( a dish with vegtables and toufu--one of my new favorites)

 Gong bao rou ding (gong bao ji ding) kung pao chicken

Supper:  We had "search and rescue" also known as Leftovers.  I did not get any pictures of this.

Wednesday I cooked all three meals at home this day.
 I made some pumpkin bread and we ate it with milk tea. 

 Lunch:  I  cooked some noodles with spring onion in some beef broth.  This is super quick and easy.

 Supper:  We had chili and crackers.    I used canned tomatoes and beans, but I could use fresh or frozen if I had them.  I was going to make some cornbread, but the corn meal looked moldy.  Thankfully we had crackers.

 We all ate some different things for  breakfast this day.   Liam had toast.  The girls had some pumpkin bread and Jon had some shao mai.

These are dumplings filled with spiced rice and meat.  We buy them from street vendors usually, but this time we bought them in the grocery store and steamed them to heat them up.

 shao mai

Lunch- my list says that we had noodles, but we had noodles the day before.  I don't have any pictures for any lunch.  Maybe we ate at the Muslem noodle shop, but I am not sure.

 These are home made hot dog buns.  I have a recipe  for hamburger buns, I just try to change the shape some.  They are not perfect, but they work. 

 Most of the sausages or "hot dogs" you can get here are different if not gross.  But occasionally I can find the kind that actually taste like American hot dogs.

We ate them with chips and onion things that are a little bit like Funnions, but not quite.


Breakfast:  I made some homemade granola bars from a recipe I found on Pinterest.  It was ok, but they could have been better.
No pictures but we had sandwiches on the the leftover "hotdog" buns.   Liam had a leftover hotdog and Hallie had peanut butter, but Eryn had ham and cheese.  I toasted mine with some butter.

 We had shao kao.  You choose vegetables, meat, or even bread on sticks and they grill them over a coal fire.  They sprinkle a delicious seasoning mix with cumin and other spices on the kabobs.
 shao kao
 nian gao (rice noodle things)
 tu dou niu rou fan (beef and potatoes with rice)  Hallie ordered a dish instead of the shao kao.
 qie zi!  This is a whole roasted eggplant.  They add some noodles, peppers, spices and garlic.  It is soooo good!


Breakfast:  Cereal.  The kids have a tradition of having cereal for breakfast on Saturdays.  Cereal can be very expensive here.  We make it cheaper by buying  the Chinese brand cereal and trying to find it on sale.  Even then, the boxes are really small and cost about 20 yuan a box!  We need at least two boxes for breakfast.  This is why we only eat it once a week or less. 

 Lunch: Eryn and I had somewhere to go (modeling shoot) and needed something quick, so we ate at Subway.  I did not get pictures.  We were still at the photo shoot at supper time, so Jon, Liam and Hallie ate without us. 

Supper:   They ate at our favorite Muslim Noodle shop.  Jon took these pictures.

Liam ate:
 rou jia muo.  They sometimes call these hamburgers.  It is meat with onions and peppers served in a pita type bread. 

Jon had beef and sliced noodles (in the foreground) and Hallie had beef and potatoes over rice.

I am not sure if this was actually a "typical" week or not. It did seem pretty typical.  It is much cheaper to eat out here than in America.  So we do eat out quite a bit.  So what do you normally eat?

Grocery Store

The other day, we were in the grocery store and I needed to pick up some soy sauce.  I was struck with all the choices.  It  made me think of the differences in what is available in the US and here in China. 

 This is only about 1/2 of the aisle.  How many kinds of soy sauce are available at your local Kroger or Walmart?

What about noodles?

How about instant noodle otherwise known as ramen noodles?

What kind of ice cream do you like?   Here we have red-bean and green pea ice-cream bars.  And Green tea ice-cream.  hmmmm

Or how about some yummy corn flavored ice-cream?

We could compare this with the cereal aisle or the frozen pizzas available in the US and almost non  existent here.

Things are just different.