madrid street

5 reasons why I love Madrid

betty ming liu Money, Travel 3 Comments

Last November, a 10-day vacation in Madrid made me a fan for life. The city was so welcoming and filled with surprises. The art, the cultural immersion — I was totally enchanted. I also learned a few things about the immigrant experience. Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip. To be honest, visiting Spain was never on …

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Weight Watchers, Week 8

How Weight Watchers helped me knock off 8.8 lbs. in 2 months

betty ming liu Health, Inspiration 15 Comments

Yes, I’m doing Weight Watchers. So far, it’s been two fascinating months. Slowly and steadily, I’ve been shedding both fat and bad habits. This is a freakin’ miracle. This is also not your mother’s Weight Watchers. The program got its start in the early ’60s with the late Jean Nidetch, a Queens housewife with big blonde hair. She gathered friends …

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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, Health, Money 10 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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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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Chuang Yen Monastery — a giant Buddha in the Hudson Valley

betty ming liu Travel 6 Comments

With the older folks in my family dying off, I’m going to a lot of funerals. They’ve become affectionate occasions to catch up with relatives. The latest gathering surprised me because I found diversity in the most unexpected location. When people from Chinatown and Queens choose cremation, their survivors make the 90-minute drive north to Chuang Yen Monastery in the town …

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