Kian featured photo

Cooking with Kian: The only Chinese cookbook you’ll ever need

betty ming liu Food 2 Comments

Just in time for Feb. 8th’s Lunar New Year! A new Chinese cookbook has me serving up elegant dishes that are shockingly simple to make. What an emotional bonus. Finally, it’s possible to be authentically Chinese without torture. Never before have I paid so little for such high-quality therapy. My go-to resource is the recently-published “Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential …

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Indian cooking spices up mother-daughter bonding

betty ming liu Food, Travel 2 Comments

When my daughter and I take cooking classes together, the power struggle and bickering stops. Our generational divide closes as we surrender to the instructor and the magic of food. Our latest love fest? Indian cuisine. The adventure also marked our first visit to the new digs for Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). This venerable cooking school trains professional chefs …

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Dining dinos

Planting my 1st vegetable garden, thinking of Dad

betty ming liu Food, Holistic health, Money 9 Comments

Once upon a time, gorgeous yellow lillies bloomed in my front yard. Then, I ripped them out to grow veggies instead. The urge to try farming in some small way brought a surprising bonus. Of all things, I’m making peace with my control freak dad. More on that in a minute. First there’s the tale of the kale… I kept …

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Giverny flowers

The price of freedom: My $9k dream vacation

betty ming liu Art, Food, Inspiration, Relationships, Travel 12 Comments

Running away from home for a 10-day painting vacation in France came with a price — $9,079.80, to be exact. But it’s what I wanted to do. I had a great time. Plus, I learned the value of letting go. “Me first” is my new mantra! Everything was new. I’d never gone on a vacation by myself before. Never went …

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Honfleur waterfront

Honfleur offers 12th century charm & more

betty ming liu Art, Travel 6 Comments

Just arrived in Honfleur! It’s easy to see why the Impressionist painters loved it here. Between the ancient architecture and gorgeous light, I’m inspired too. This seaside town is located along the Seine at the point where it meets the ocean. Honfleur is tiny; the tourism board says the population is only 8,500. But 3.5 million people visit annually to …

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5 reasons to love the Hastings-on-Hudson farmers market

betty ming liu Food 5 Comments

It’s that time again here in my hometown! The farmers market is setting up for the summer at its outdoor location overlooking the Hudson River. There’s something special about buying stuff grown and made only a few hours away. It makes me feel connected to the earth. Good for the soul. And, the stomach too. Through the winter, a scaled-down, …

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