Saturday, November 2, 2013

Decluttering and Cleaning

As with taking care of myself taking care of my house has gone to the dogs as well over the years.  My body is in a much better place now to work on the house.  I keep a clean house, but I have piles of stuff that I never know where to put.  Do I need this stuff?  Spoken as a true hoarder... YES!  Seems like the minute I get rid of something that I don't seem to need I need it the next week.  I refer to it as Chaney luck.  We have a streak of buying broken stuff.  Losing things so much we refer to the need for certain items like scissors as saturation.  I need to have 10 pairs of scissors, so I can find one pair.  I need 6 pairs of reading glasses, so I can find one pair.  If I can't find say my nippers that means I haven't reached saturation and I need to buy more.  It's so sad I think some times.  So, are the piles of things.

I've gotten rid of tons of clothes in the past 1 1/2 years.  My closet is beginning to have room to put more things into it.  Although my pairs of shoes are growing now I can wear real shoes due to the weight loss.  My pantry is more cluttered due to eating healthier and just having more food around.  I solved that problem with buying 4 tubs and labeling them, so I can put more stuff into tighter spaces.

I've read the decluttering websites and basically there is no easy fix.  Just like my weight problem.  I need to stop the whining, grow up and just do the work.

Today, DH got the hall closet back together now that the bathroom is fixed.  I can now fill it back up, but will definitely do a lot of purging.  I've had the kids go through the games and decided what they don't want any more.  Half of them will go to Goodwill.  Yay!  More room for towels.  Things that actually should be in a hall closet.  Tomorrow I'll go through my table clothes.  That will be hard as every time I look at them I need every blasted one of them and yet I don't use them hardly ever.

I caught up on the dishes today.  A big bugger boo with me.  I hate unloading the dishwasher and therefore there is never any room for the dirty dishes.  I remind myself at times like this how good I have it.  I HAVE a dish washer.  I'm able bodied and can unload it.  Again, stop your damn whining and just do it.

Turned the self clean on the oven today.  Decided to get the mini vac out and really give it a good cleaning.  I noticed around the outside edges of the inside of the oven was covered with dust? Spiderwebs?  Dust and spiderwebs?  I don't know how anything would have created that fuzzy gray line.  It vacuumed away.  Vacuumed the crumbs where they fell in the joint of the door.  Really scrub again the dirty finger prints the repairman made earlier this summer.  I really don't know how to get them off.  Still gray color on my white handles.

A good start to reclaiming my house.  The holidays are coming.  Would love to let people in the back of my house instead of throwing all the piles from the front of the house into the back for the parties.  Was listening to a decluttering podcast and the woman talked about locking the doors on rooms she didn't want people to look it.  I SO get that and yet find that so sad to have to resort to that.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cleaning Eating Tosca Reno says, "Pack a cooler."

I was reminded today during my Mama Bootcamp class the importance of packing a cooler.  That can be anything from a small lunch box to an actual cooler.  What she means by pack a cooler is to bring your food with you.  Don't wing it when you're running errands or even going to work.  I find my fast food choices aren't healthy, convenient or even something I want to eat.  I've packed sandwiches, salads, smoothies or just a simple piece of fruit, cut up veggies or my Tosca Reno's Power balls.  In my lunch box or cooler they don't get hot in the car.  Keep in mind that if you have something that might get dangerous if it's not refrigerated properly do some temperature checks and some experimenting before you leave it in the car all day.

A few years ago I bought myself my own lunch box.  I'd occasionally use one of my kid's lunchbox when need be.  Usually though they'd be dirty from them using them and not taking care of them.  My kids were plenty old enough to clean their own lunch boxes.  So, I thought I'm going to buy my own.  Only I needed to get one that my kids wouldn't see as the only clean lunch box in the house to use.  I bought a big honking pink lunch box.  Not my favorite color, but DEFINITELY not either of my kid's either.  Neither of them would be caught dead carrying my lunch box and that was my plan all along.

I was at the store today and right now is the perfect time to buy oneself a lunch box.  Barring they don't have family member who'll want to use their lunch box.  So, many fun choices to make Clean Eating a necessity rather than a chore.

Sorry for the crappy picture, but you get the idea.  Many fun choices from which to pick.  Star Wars, Spiderman, Hello Kitty, Mario Brothers and even Pink Disney Princesses if you need to keep your hubby and kids from borrowing your lunch box.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Clean Eating at it's best - Greek Spinach & Feta Turkey Muffins

I had some ground turkey I needed to use, so went to Pinterest to see what might be interesting.  Found this recipe on Gracious Pantry.  Sounded really good.  I did not have any Greek Herb Blend, but when I looked up a recipe for Greek Seasoning I had all the ingredients to make my own.  I didn't have dried parsley as I abhor it.  Left it out.  Also cinnamon and nutmeg in savory dishes kind of overwhelms my taste buds.  So, cut the amounts in half.  That was just right for me.  A hint of flavor that really added to the delight of these mini meatloaves.  Other than being the shape of a muffin that's all they have in common with a muffin.  I stuffed my muffin pan like the recipe said and got 12 not the 15 they listed.  Really worked out for the best as I had one less muffin pan to clean.  I didn't use muffin wrapper just a spray of vegetable oil.  My turkey muffins were so moist and came right out of the pan.  Mine were done in half the time.  They weren't browned like the website, but that didn't matter.  I was afraid if I cooked them longer they'd dry out.  As they were they were perfect.  A recipe that's already in my file for future use.

Greek Spinach & Feta Turkey Muffins

1 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground turkey
3 egg whites
2 T Greek herb blend (see below)
1 T garlic powder
6 oz. feta
2 cups frozen spinach

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, blending thoroughly by hand.

Fill your baking cups level to the top of the baking cup.

Bake at 350 F for approx. 20 - 25 minutes. Check these with a meat thermometer to be sure they are done. They should reach a minimum of 165 F. on the thermometer.

Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator. These freeze well and thaw quickly. Makes 12 muffins.

Makes 2 T of Greek Herb Blend: 1 tsp dried oregano,1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp onion powder, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Monday, July 22, 2013

Get Me On That Team!

I have some cousins, who have recommended that hubby and I go out to Bolinas for the 4th of July for many years.  They said it was a lot of fun to watch the parade and the tug of war between Bolinas and Stinson beach.  They haul a rope across the opening to the Bolinas Lagoon between the 2 beaches.  Then the two teams fight it out until the first 3 people on the losing team end up in the water.  Finally, this year DH and I decided we go "watch."  What DH didn't know was with my new found strength and health that if there was any way I could get on Bolinas' women's team I was going to do it.

I had no idea how this whole thing was organized.  Do they only allow Bolinas residents?  Did they just take volunteers from the crowd?  Was there already a team in place that's been training for this friendly grudge match?  My family has owned property in Bolinas for over 50 years, so we think of ourselves as residences.  Since the town is blocked off to traffic on the 4th of July DH and I decided if the tug of war started at 9am, we'd start walking to town at 8am.  We arrived at the beach at 8:30am.
Immediately, I saw a group of woman circling up.  One gal had a clipboard with a full sign up list.  She was calling roll.  As she was calling I'd hear a "HEAR", but now and then there would be no answer.  The head gal would say, "They knew what time to be here.  If they are not here they are late.  If they are late they've lost their spot on the team."  She was a little lenient as gals ran down the beach yelling, "I'm here!!"  I knew though this could possibly be my IN.  I stood just outside the circle smiling in my 4th of July tye dye listening to all instructions just in case I could wheedle my way in.  Finally, the head gal announced they were 4 short.  I announce my willingness to join the team.  They wrote my name down as a possible.  I'm one step closer.
Now the head gal announces the team needs to warm up.  I'm in the circle now.  I'm warming up as if I'm going to be pulling... just in case.  Wrist bands are being passed out to all on the official list.  Again they are 4 short and the 4 wrist bands are up for grabs.  Not looking at the list of possible people she begins passing out the extra wristbands.  Rule abiding bites me in the butt a good deal of the time.  Since they aren't going to call my name I jog over and grab the last wristband.  As we are in the circle we are asked to call out a number to get a head count.  Even though this is a fun activity there are rules and protocol to be followed for a fair win.  It gets to me and I yell out, "Eleven!"  It keeps going to 31.  Oh no we are one too many.  There can only be 30.  One of us has to give up their wristband to the one gal who was on the sign up sheet and some how didn't get one.  No one is jumping at the chance and the head gal says, "Hey if they were late that's the way it's going to be."  But a gal in a very short mini lace dress says, "It's OK she can have my wristband."  I don't think she'd have ripped her beautiful dress, but it would have definitely wiggled up around her waist during the tug of war.  That's my guess.

Now we are at 30.  DH is walking around watching and still doesn't know I'm serious about being on this team; until he sees me pull my workout gloves out of my pocket as we warm up.  I'm strapping them on and suddenly it comes to him that this has been my plan from the start.  OH yeah it was.  It's the 4th of July, I'm in Bolinas and there is a tug of war going on.  Where else would I be?  I'm not letting the Bolinas women's team not have a full roster.

As we are warming up the rules are told to remind the past members and to let the new members know.  NO sitting down.  NO letting go of the rope.  NO more than 30 pullers.  All will disqualify us as a team.  Then we get a pep talk.  She says, "It's all legs lady."  I think to myself, "I've got this!"  My legs are very strong and my arms well they are getting there.  "Ladies, we win because when there is a stalemate we don't give up.  We dig in!  They get tired and we pull them in.  Don't stop pulling until we say to stop pulling," says the head gal.

Now we run over to the rope.  Oddly they all line up on the left side of the rope. I started on the right side, but was the only one there.  I switch over.  I don't know why, but I don't want to be the screw up that loses the Bolinas tug of war.  I figured I could pull well from either side.  We are told to line up tallest in the front on back to the shortest.  This is because of the slope of the beach.  Today we don't have a lot of beach as it's nearly high tide, but we get spaced out on the rope nicely.

It begins.  We pull and pull and it's coming our way quickly.  I figure it must be tightening of the rope across the water.  Now it's pretty difficult we are digging in and pulling.  Our coaches are great telling us to pull.  Encouraging us to hold tight.  Moving people from the back forward as they lose beach.  At one point I'm thinking damn this is WAY more strenuous than I thought it would be.  I should have hydrated better!  It's OK I'm strong and I'm not tiring yet.  I can feel Stinson trying to pull us forward, but we dig in and pull harder.  The crowd is so encouraging chanting, "PULL, PULL!!"  Yelling, "DIG IN, DIG IN!!"
Sweat has now squirted out every pore of my body even though it's probably about 65 degrees out.  How long have we been pulling and digging in... 20, 30 minutes?  Finally, the rope starts coming our way slowly, gradually, now slightly faster.  My finger tips are burning.  My workout gloves are fingerless. They are being sand papered away, but I'm going to pull until they are bloody if I have too.  I am not the going to be the weakest link on this team!  Note to self full length gloves next time.  No sooner do I tell myself that and we hear the roar of the crowd that we've won!  The Bolinas women's tug of war team has won, again!!  We are all hugging, high five-ing, and knuckle bumping with each other and crowd.  What a great feeling, but quickly our attention turns to the men's team lining up on the rope.  I think it's going to be a lot of fun watching and knowing what these tuggers are feeling.
Stinson Beach pulling with all their might.
I have no idea where my husband is at this point.  Shooting photos I'm sure, but right now I'm just a person from Bolinas rooting for my town.  Wanting to know what's going on across the water I post myself close to the water's edge.  I yell whatever the coaches are yelling.  I don't want to give the tuggers any mixed messages.  Where sweat just beaded up on me it is rolling, dripping and pouring off these men.  Their turn is clearly longer than the women's.  Just how much I don't know. They are exhausted.  Some want to sit and dig in, but are reminded you can not sit.  They are changing directions trying to find that last bit of energy and pulling strength.  I see what they mean by having rules of no more than 30 tuggers as I have to resist with all my might not to jump on that rope and help.  I'm sure the whole crowd felt that way.  Finally, again after a long stalemate the rope starts pulling in Bolinas' direction.  Another win!  The men fall into a heap of sweaty exhaustion for a split second.  Then get up to rejoice.

I find out later each bout was timed.  The women's team won theirs in 4 minutes.  The men's team won in 9 minutes.  The head gal said she thought the men's bout was the longest lasting tug to date.  4 minutes!!!  Really?  It was one of the longest 4 minutes of my life.  I can't even imagine having it go on to 9 minutes.
After their win we are told to come get our t-shirts.  I had no idea.  I'm proud to wear my "Winner" shirt all afternoon.  It's covering up my red, white and blue tye dye, but I don't care.  I feel so proud of my accomplishment.  I got on the team and I helped pull it to victory.  Through out the day I get compliments on the win from strangers in the 4th of July party crowd.  I see fellow tuggers in their shirts and we high five or knuckle bump when we see each other.
I had a great day.  It felt great to earn a shirt that says, "Winner!"  Clearly a check on my bucket list.  I hope some day my daughter can make it out here and give it a go.  She'll have a blast.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Molasses Cookie Baskets (with a minor tweek)

In May I was asked to bring a dessert to a get together.  It was already getting hot, so I wanted to bring something that would be good, refreshing and would use seasonal fruit.  I like to treating my family to something wonderful even if it takes some time and effort to make.  BUT I like things to be easy if they can be.

I found this recipe for Molasses Cookie Baskets served with Lemon Sorbet and Blueberries with a Ginger sauce.  Not only did it sound good, but I knew it would just look impressive.  Brown little baskets filled with yellow sorbet and bright blue berries.
The instructions for making the baskets in the oven sounded a bit precarious according to the comments.  Getting them off the heated cookie sheet in one piece sounded pretty challenging.  Draping them over a cup to shape them while still hot and hoping they didn't break.  Not only would they not look impressive broken, but I wouldn't be good company if I spent an afternoon wrestling with them.  I thought why not try the recipe on my waffle cone maker.  It's pretty simple to use.  I've had great success with it. I wouldn't have to heat up the big oven on a hot day either.

The batter made as the recipe says did not work in the waffle cone maker.  It was more sugary and candy like.  Where as a cone is crispy and more cookie like.  That made me think I need to fix the batter so it more closely resembles waffle cone batter.  I got out one of my waffle cone recipes and began adding flour and egg to firm up the batter when it's baking in the waffle cone maker, yet keeping the delicious molasses, ginger and lemon flavorings.

They turned out great and were very easy to create cups.  I served mine with only blueberries as that's what's in season in May.

Molasses Cookie Baskets
(with Lemon Sorbet and Gingered Fruit )
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light unsulfured molasses
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour, sifted
1 large egg
1 large egg white

1 pint strawberries, hulled, quartered
1 1/2-pints blueberries
2 peaches, peeled, pitted, sliced
2-4 pints purchased lemon sorbet

Syrup: Stir first 3 ingred. in small saucepan over med. heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil 3 mins. Refrigerate ginger syrup. (Syrup can be prepared 1 week ahead.)

Cookies: Bring first 5 ingred. to simmer in small saucepan over med. heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla, then flour. Cool cookie mixture 10 minutes. Then whisk in eggs.

Preheat Waffle Cone Maker. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Wipe off excess. Drop mixture by level tablespoonfuls on to preheated Waffle Cone maker. (1 T for small bowls. 2 T for large bowls with ruffled edge.)
Working quickly, lift cookie from Waffle Cone maker. Drape cookie over inverted 3/4-cup custard cup. Gently shape cookie with another 3/4–cup custard cup on top; this will automatically crimp sides to form fluted cup when doing the 2T amount. Repeat baking and molding process with remaining batter. When one cookie is baking remove cookie from custard cup to cool on storing plate. 

There is another custard cup under the cookie creating the cookie shape.
To serve: Place 1 cookie on each plate. Fill each with 3 small scoops of sorbet and spoon fruit and ginger syrup over.

Bon App├ętit | August 1992
Yield: 32 small baskets or 16 large baskets
And yes everyone was deliciously impressed.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Making of a Natural Beauty

Apparently is takes 25 bottles and 7 scrubbies to make 3 eighteen year old college room mates naturally beautiful. LOL!  I stopped by to take my daughter out to lunch and on the way home I needed to use the bathroom before my drive.  I walked in and thought this is crazy.  My daughter said only one bottle of shampoo and one bottle of body wash was hers.  She said it is crazy to get into the shower and kick over a few bottles.  Then when there is shampoo in your eyes a few more bottles fall into the tub.  She then said you have to shuffle your feet around until the soap is washed out of your eyes, so you don't fall.  Then you can pick up the bottles.  Oh the college years and all the strange memories that get added in that shape your future.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chalkboard Easter Eggs

So easy and so much fun.  I painted wooden goose egg sized eggs with Martha Stewart's Chalkboard paint. I bought the paint and the eggs at Joann's.  I thought about sanding them.  I thought about putting a base coat on them.  What I did was get out a 1" foam brush and just started painting them.  I made 6.  I put probably 5 or 6 coats on them.  I knew I had put enough on them when they dried they had a nice shine still.  Before that they would dry and be a flat color like the wood had absorbed the paint.

Then I primed them with chalk I had bought at Walgreens.  It was $1 for a plastic box full of 12 large sticks of chalk.  I figured when the kids were tired of drawing on their eggs they could draw on the sidewalk.  That's exactly what they did.

I wrote their names on the eggs and hid them with a stick of chalk with the other Easter eggs.  They had a lot of fun finding them.  I had also made an egg for the oldest cousin who was 16.  I didn't want her to feel left out even though I figured she was too old for such nonsense.  I over heard her say as she sat and drew on her egg "This is so cool."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Love My Tea

Never thought I'd be a tea lover.  It's just never been... well... my cup of tea.  I keep reading over the past year how good it can be for you.  So, I've been trying to find something I like.  My daughter and I were at the mall and she wanted to duck into Teavana.  I'd just been to China and knew good tea is expensive, but really didn't think about it when I fell in love with Youthberry White tea at the Teavana store.  My daughter and I really liked it.  So, I thought let's get some.  The salesman was very good and he talked me into buying a pound of tea and a tin.  It was all on sale you know.  He rang it up and said, "That will be $92."  I didn't want to embarrass myself or my daughter by yelling out, "NINETY TWO DOLLARS!!"  I just got out my ATM card and paid.

After I left the store I expressed my concern over the expensive tea.  My daughter got out her calculator and figured out that the amount of tea I bought would come out to 62 cents a cup.  I calmed right down, because really that's quite reasonable.

I've had the tea for over a month and I have 2 cups a day.  I still LOVE it.  I even bought more.  Every time my daughter talks to me I've bought more tea.  MOM!  She says knowing it's not cheap.  I only got 2 more flavors.  I got Opus Rouge for making ice tea.  It was very strongly grape flavored almost raisiny and I don't care for raisins too much.  So, I bought another flavor called Wild Orange Wulong to combine with the Opus Rouge.  The combination is so good.  So, good I started combining it with the Youthberry too.

That's where this post come from is my love of the Wild Orange Wulong.  It had chunks of dried orange.  I make sure a piece of it is in every cup.  I realized even with breaking them up I'd never have enough for the whole bag of tea.  I decided to dry my own orange.  A new fun experiment.
Fresh and ready to dry.
My dehydrator is in the garage as not to heat up the house in the summer.  That's when I use it the most.  Now that I'm thinking about it it's winter and maybe I should bring it in the house?  I got 8 Cara Cara oranges.  They are my favorite oranges.  Love their pink color and their great flavor.  Crossing fingers they'll be great in tea.
After a few hours of drying.
Anyhow I keep expecting to go out into the garage and have it smell like wonderful orange.  Nope.  My dehydrating book said, "Do not dry citrus fruit."  Not very encouraging.  I'm thinking they are saying you wouldn't want to eat it.  I plan on making tea with it.  I want it dry and crispy.  I started it at 130 degrees F and after a few hours it said to turn down to 125 degrees F.  They are pretty juicy.  I checked it after about 4 hours and I feel confident to leave it drying all night.  Hoping garage will smell great in the morning.

February 28th the next morning.  Garage never did get a wonderful orange smell to my disappointment.  What it lacked in smell outside it smelled fantastic inside the dehydrator.  I opened it up to see my little beauties dried to perfection!
I sliced up 8 oranges that weighed about 5 pounds. 

They dried up to weigh 1 pound.  They were the perfect size.  I sliced the fresh orange in 1/2 inch slices.  Then I quartered them.  They dried to 1/4 inch thick pieces just like what came in my tea from Teavana.  As I was leaving for my knitting meeting a threw a couple slices into my tea to go.  The extra orange flavor was delightful.
 Make sure to bag them up tight.  No telling what kind of vermin will try and get at them. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twinkie Chan I think I love you

OK I sound a bit stalkerish, but she comes up with the cutest crochet patterns.  2 Christmas' ago DH bought me Twinkie Chan's book "20 Yummy Treats to Wear."  I started following Twinkie's blargh. This year she has 2 free patterns on the Michael's website for February.  I tend to like to make things that are cute and fun rather than just beautiful.  So, her aesthetic is right up my alley.  There I go using that word that is overused on Project Runway and makes me want to smack someone.  Not you Twinkie never want to smack you.

Here is my Chocolate Truffle Scarf.

I also made Twinkie's Sweetheart Sugar Cookie Brooches.  I made 3 for my daughter and her college roommates and 1 for me of course.  Sorry about the blurry photos, but sometimes I get so excited to give something away I forget to take pictures all together.  This time I hurriedly took some before I gave them away. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I decided this year to make a treat for my friends I was going to see that day.  I was going to my machine knitting meeting and then I was going to the gym and I wanted to treat my daughter and her college roommates.  I saw this project at a Stampin' Up get together the week before and just had to do it.  It was SO easy and so adorable.  I used 2 bags of Valentine M&Ms, 1 X 8 inch cellophane bags, and a Valentine stamp from Stampin' Up.  This made 28 of these Valentine Treats.
Only one person came to me privately and said, "Can I give these back to you?  We don't celebrate Valentine's Day."  I had given her 3, so she could give one each to her 2 young daughter's.  I've always thought it strange when my kids would bring home Christmas gifts they had made for their teachers saying some teachers refused to take them.  Numerous reasons... "I'm diabetic," "I don't celebrate Christmas," "I don't accept gifts from my students."  It's a frickin gingerbread cookie, not the Mona Lisa.  Really?  It's not about the cookie.  It's a person wanting to give you their glad tidings for the holiday.  You don't have to eat it, wear it, or hang it on your wall.  Just accept it with the spirit in which it was given.  What you do with it later is totally your own business.  The person talking to me is a young friend of mine and I told her just that.  She said she was embarrassed and didn't want my handy work to go to waste.  I said that's the beauty of it.  I'd never know.

I've gotten a thing or 2 over the years that I didn't want.  Like the time I was at a BBQ and the President of the soccer club didn't want the giant bottles of Costco mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard to go to waste (even though they had been out in the heat all afternoon).  Nobody would take them understandably so, but he was so concerned about them being wasted.  I said, "Yes, I'll take them."  They felt so good about them not going to waste.  Dear hubby got into the car with his eyes wide as saucers that I was going to give our whole family salmonella.  I said, "Are you kidding me!!  Those bottles of poison are not stepping one foot into our house, but the President doesn't need to know that."  Hubby winked at me, pulled on to the road home and said, "You did a good thing."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Balsamic Vinegar... contains lead?

Is this normal?  In reading my vinegar labels looking for sodium I saw this little box that I obviously didn't notice when I bought it.  My husband and I had used half the bottle.  Kind of scary!  Kind of scary that I didn't see it.  It's not like they were trying to slip it by me.  I just never would have thought in checking the nutrition of my food I needed to look for lead.

Why does my tongue feel like I've been eating paint chips?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Chinese Style Steamed Fish

While I was in Hong Kong there were many delicious things to eat.  Found out the Chinese food and Dim Sum served right here in my town is very close to what the real stuff is like.  What I wanted though was something I could make at home and enjoy.  We ate several meals at my SILs parents house and they were all so good.  The tools, ingredients, and recipes seemed a bit over my head.  Then one night what they called a Chinese steamed fish was served.  It was so fresh and delicious.  I thought it could really solve my issue of wanting to eat fish once a week, but not finding any recipes that made a store bought fish palatable (dang my dad for being such a good fisherman when I was a kid).
With my SIL translating I told my FIL that the fish was delicious and I'd like to make it when I get home.  Could he tell me how it was made?  He gave me a look "of course I will tell you, but it's really nothing special."  He went into the kitchen and brought out a bottle of Season Soy Sauce for Fish Lee Kum Kee brand.  I recognized the brand immediately as something sold here in the states.  I thought there may be some hope I can duplicate this recipe.  I found the soy sauce, but it's called Season Soy Sauce for Seafood and in parenthesis is says "very good with fish."  The FIL told me to use spring onions, Chinese parsley, and ginger.  Just steam it.
After I got back to the states I thought I'd look for a recipe online and found something even better Lee Kum Kee has made a video of how to make Chinese Style Steamed Fish.  The over dubbing of English is a bit silly sounding at times, but it's very helpful.  What I found out from the video is the fish is steamed right on the plate it's served on. I had no idea.
I went shopping for green onions, cilantro, ginger, Seasoned Soy Sauce for Seafood and a whole fish of course.  Who would have thought finding a whole fish was going to be the hard part.  I looked at the Chinese Market near me.  Nope.  I went to Whole Foods and they had sardines not what I was looking for.  I went to a fish market near me.  Nope.  Then I thought I'd try my 2 local grocery stores.  Nope.  So, I called my brother as I remembered him saying my SIL occasionally makes steamed fish.  He said his local Chinese market had whole fish.  That they even have them alive in a tank.  Talk about fresh.  Not very convenient for me to pick one up, but it is close to where my husband works for future reference.  Sunday though we were in the area and I said, "Let's pick up a fish."  They only had carp in the live tank and I'm sorry my dad conditioned me to not like carp.  They did have a nice Striped Bass on ice and I bought it.  They cleaned and scaled it for me.
Once home it was time to get started.  I pulled out the Farberware Wok I got as a wedding present 25 years ago and sad to say I've never used it.  I kept it all these years as I've always wanted to use it.  After cleaning it I plugged it in to make sure it worked.  It did we're in business.  I knew I could steam fish on one of my dinner plates as they are oven safe.  Next I began peeling and slicing the ginger.  I sliced green onions for under the fish and chopped some to sprinkle on top.  I then chopped up the cilantro.  I got the fish out rinse, dried it and rubbed it with salt.  I layed it on my bed of green onions.  I placed the slices of ginger on top.  The wok was set up and boiling and I set the fish inside and tried to close the lid.  My fish was a tail too long for the wok.  I didn't want to chop the tail off.  The presentation just wouldn't be what I wanted.  So, not to be detered I folded the tail up with the lid and set the lid down.  So, the tail is a little wonkie.  At least it still had the tail.  I set a time for 10 minutes.  While it was steaming I measured out my Seasoned Soy Sauce and cooking oil.
Once the fish was steamed my plate was filled to the brim with I guess fish broth.  I really didn't know what to do with it, so I tipped the plate over the sink and poured it off.  I didn't remember the plate being full of anything, but soy sauce, oil, green onions and cilantro in Hong Kong.  After removing ginger I sprinkled fish with sliced green onion and chopped cilantro.  I then heated the oil poured it over the fish.  I could hear the fish crackle as I did this.  I warmed the soy sauce and poured it over and it was ready to serve.  I couldn't believe that this fish looked just like what I had in Hong Kong.  As we ate it I was so pleased that it taste equally as good.
This morning my son said he had a dream about my steamed fish.  He said he had a whole fish to himself and ate it leaving only a plate of bones behind.  In the dream when his father asked for some steamed fish he threw the plate of bones at him.  Dreams can be so funny.

I think that it's a great compliment if people are dreaming about something you cooked.  We will definitely be doing this again and again and again.
Chinese Style Steamed Fish
1 1/2 - 2 pounds fresh fish
6 slices fresh ginger
3-6 stalks green onions
3 sprigs of cilantro
3 T cooking oil
6-8 T Season Soy Sauce for Seafood
See video for instructions on how to make you Chinese Style Steamed Fish.