New Direction, New Adventure
When life gives you a fork in the road, do you go right of left? Neither way is wrong, because a crossroad is a wonderful invitation for a new direction, new adventure.
When I started Kake2Kale in 2014, I was on a self-created sabbatical from my professional work. I wanted time to explore more creative opportunities and this food blog was part of that journey that had no destination.
Kake2Kale began as a project shared with my sister-in-law, centered on our common interest around healthy eating and nutrition-rich food; hence, the blog’s initial focus on adventures with superfoods and their recipes. She was Kake and I was Kale. The first year of the blog was a good learning experience and it only increased my appetite for food blogging and photography. It turned out that Kake2Kale played a key role in my transition to other food blogging and food photography opportunities – one part passion project and one part new profession. After a while, Kake and Kale got too busy with other things, followed different paths, and the blog took an extended vacation.
Fast forward to this moment, two years later, it’s time for the blog to finally turn a creative corner. In this case, right or left means refreshing or closing this blog. I’m excited to tell you that I am breathing new life into Kake2Kale. The destination is still unknown; however, what I’ve found to be true is that wonderful things happen when you chase your passion.
I continue to find great creative joy as a foodie, photographer, traveller and blogger! So, it’s only natural that Kake2Kale is an extension of what I love to do most – discovering and sharing amazing food and travel experiences through beautiful photography and inspiring blog posts.
To kick off Kake2Kale’s new direction and new adventure, it gives me great pleasure to finally introduce the blog’s new logo. It’s the delightful creation of my talented friend and designer extraordinaire – Morgan Hueston. I hope you’ll agree that it captures the spirit of a renewed Kake2Kale, and I welcome you to join me on my culinary adventures and travels.
Drink your food and chew your drink. What does this mean? An important part of digestion happens in your mouth where initial enzymes are released to break down carbohydrates. So, it is vitally important that with each bite and sip, we take time to chew and savour what is in our mouth before swallowing. If you are a devotee of this practice, then ideally, you should be chewing each bite 40 times. That bite of food becomes liquid at the end. You may think you don’t have time (well, who does?), but this is really the proper way to make your food count. On most occasions, I’m the last to finish my plate when dining out with friends. In this age of fast food and dining, I’m considered a super slow eater but I don’t mind as quality takes time!
How many different ways are there to make hummus? Apparently lots, as my friend Donna and I discovered on a trip to the Middle East a few years ago. Our trip lasted 12 days and took us from Jordan through to Egypt. We had hummus every day. It was served in both fancy and fast food restaurants and we loved every single variation of it.
How do you get your ‘happy’ on? For me it is quite simple, sharing a meal with my family. My Dad was born in Shanghai so Northern Chinese food is what our family gravitates towards, much to the chagrin of my husband and my sister-in-law (not Kale) who are not used to the carb heavy foods that are characteristic of that part of China. The first time my husband joined us for Shanghai food, he joked that it would take him a week to digest all the noodles and breads that made up most of the meal.
What can I say, I love carbs, and so do my family. One of the dishes that we always order, and is snapped up as soon as it arrives at the table, is the beef roll. Even my husband and sister-in-law love it too, which says a lot about how good it is! It is a fairly basic dish, but it is the flatbread that makes it great and holds it together, literally.
About 11 years ago a book came out that got everybody talking – “French Women Don’t Get Fat”. The author, Mireille Guiliano, was on every talk show evangelizing the virtues of eating the French way. It is a conundrum as France flows with Camembert, croissants, rich sauces, and steak frites. I just have to add that it is NOT fair that French women get to eat great food, stay slim and are some of the most stylish ladies in the world. The book became a # 1 New York Times best seller, and in a nutshell it shares the secret of French women – that is, they don’t eat more than three bites of anything and they savour each of those bites. Continue reading
I have many guilty pleasures, but none more so than sitting on the deck with Kale, whiling away the time with a stack of magazines soaking up the warmth of the sun on our faces. Since we live in Raincouver, sunshine is always welcome, as is a delicious iced tea to wet our whistles and to stay hydrated. In fact I decided to make two different teas with you today: Pineapple Mojito Iced Iea and Hibiscus Ginger Iced Tea.
One of my favourite contemporary artist is Gathie Falk, her art pieces always make me happy. I particularly like a painting she did of apples on a canvas, the apples are on a black background and they look like they’re suspended in outer space. The apples are sliced and whole. This painting allows me see this banal fruit with new eyes, as does many works of art that feature food!
Summer in British Columbia is a wondrous time. “Let’s do a staycation and rediscover our favourite spots”, I said to my spouse, after reconsidering several overseas destinations. Unanimously, we settled on Tofino to kick off our summer of local travel.
The lure of Tofino is centered on the Pacific Rim National Park and its spectacularly long, untamed beaches with wild surf. But, we did not go there. Others are drawn to Clayoquot Sound and the Tofino Inlet for whale watching, canoeing and kayaking excursions. But, we did not do these. Nor did we hike in the rainforest, go bear viewing or take surf lessons. “What are you planning to do on your stay”, says a perky young girl at the reception desk when we checked in at our lodge. I tell her that we had no big check list but want to enjoy the slow pace, serene views and local food with a few beach strolls thrown in. She laughs, “That’s the secret to Tofino, I think.”
My teen idol wore shorts and a headband. No, it was not Richard Simmons but a blond Swedish god. A tennis god, Bjorn Borg. Everything about him appealed to my shy, self-conscious teenage self; his lean physique, his flowing blond locks, those piercing blue eyes, his deadly two-handed backhand and his graceful moves on the court. Because of him I took up tennis and found I was pretty good at it, not like soccer (I hate running, especially into people) or volleyball (not good for pianists as I once sprained a finger when the ball hit my hand at a bad angle and I couldn’t play piano for two weeks).
Living in a youth obsessed culture makes it difficult not to be influenced by all the subliminal and some not so subliminal messages that bombard our surroundings. I have been told many times that I don’t look my age and my ego always swells a little when I hear this. I think next time someone says I look younger I will say, “Oh, I wish I looked older.” Then there will be awkward silence………..yes just like this. On second thought, my strict proper Asian upbringing won’t permit me to be ungracious, so I will just have to say, “Good genes”.
I would like to change how I view people who may be considered old. Even just typing the word “old” is not comfortable for me right now. We have come up with ways to avoid using that word, “more experienced”, “golden years”,”senior years, “women of a certain age” (or does this mean women in their middle years). Working in a retail health food store gives me lots of opportunity to have fantastic conversations with all sorts of people and I especially delight in my exchanges with the older customers. Hearing about their life experiences, sharing their knowledge, is so very enriching to me. “Old people know stuff!”