Weekending: A Labor of Love

We had the whole weekend to ourselves. Just the three of us save for a few hours earlier today when Evan and I were once again Sophia’s beards, so to speak. The young lady had a social engagement — a birthday fete to attend and we were simply the chauffeurs. We spent most of the days catching up on rest, relaxation and some good eats. Oh, I also knitted a verdant green hat for Sophia, but it is not yet finished. Stay tuned for pictures.

Every Thursday evening, the three of us sit down over books and magazines. Sophia usually selects some Dr. Seuss books though her favorite this week is Yum Yum Dim Sum. This book is such fun to read and Sophia always reminds us that her Aunt and Uncle (my sister and brother-in-law) brought it for her. While she is busy reading, we are busy looking at various cookbooks to figure out what to cook this weekend. One of us rushes to the grocery store on Friday evening with a compiled list of everything we will need. This weekend, we decided to make a Saba (mackerel) dish, Roasted Tomato Soup, Chinese dumplings, Chinese chicken soup, brownies and home-made granola.

Evan makes a mouthwatering Saba dish which he pairs with perfectly cooked rice and a cucumber salad. That was Friday evening’s dinner. I made the dumplings for Saturday’s dinner and made enough to freeze for another night (likely a week-night). Dumplings are a special food. If you’ve had someone’s homemade dumplings, it likely means that you are loved. If I’ve made dumplings for you, it means just that — that you’re someone very special to me. They are such a labor of love. Every single dumpling perfectly filled, folded and propped on a board waiting to be cooked and dressed in a special sauce. They take so much time to make and so little time to disappear into happy bellies. I have the most special memories of my mom making dumplings for us — it truly made my dad, sister and I feel loved and I would like nothing more than to hear the same sentiment from Sophia a few years from now.


Chicken soup is very special in our house. It isn’t difficult to make, but takes some time. Usually, my mom makes a few batches for us in case we get a cold. In my book, there are few more comforting dishes than chicken soup. But chicken soup is chicken soup and sometimes you want it with a twist. Enter Chinese chicken soup made with scallion whites and ginger. My house smells so good right now.

While psyching myself for chicken soup, I psyched myself for brownies. I must confess, it wasn’t terribly hard to psych myself for brownies. And once they were in the oven, the granola just sort of happened. Besides, I can’t just have plain greek yogurt for breakfast, can I?



The brownie may not be a looker, but trust me, it is everything a brownie should be. I thought it so nice, I just had it twice!


  1. Dana said:

    The dumplings look scrumptious! Can’t wait to see the hat.

    What recipe do you use for brownies? I like the Smitten Kitchen one, but always on a look out for a good alternative.

    October 28, 2013
    • Nadya said:

      I use one from Cooks Illustrated which is by subscription. I’ll send you a copy privately. They are very good if you like fudgy brownies.

      October 29, 2013
  2. […] — an oldie but goodie. Lastly, I admit, I lied, I also made brownies this weekend but since I’ve made them and regaled you with pictures before, I decided not to tease. They’re still just as good. […]

    March 10, 2014

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