A holiday gift to yours truly was to get a move on with my book, “One More Sip of Whine.” It’s a book comprised of short stories about my adventure thus far, as a mother. It’s raw, real, honest, foul-mouthed, and I hope, hilarious. *Side note: As I write this, I am at a ‘child play land venue’ downtown Portland. Why do I love it? My child is amongst the other batshit crazy kiddos in what looks like a cage in a kiddie jungle, as I sit and type this with a glass of pinot grigio. Bless the man or woman who created this space. I think I’m in love with you… *Back to business: I’ve previously shared a few of my chapters (each short story is a chapter) with you all and thought that I’d share the beginning of the book: My introduction, and the shortest and very first chapter of my book, “Dear Abby.” I’m SO excited that my book has been through its beta readers and is now in the editing process! Do I realize the harsh reality of getting a book published? I think I do. I’m totally stoked about it anyway and am proud of myself for attempting to move in this direction!
I wrote another book about my experience as an expat in Beijing, China that I will self-publish when this current book is all said and done. It’s called, “Crazy China Sh#% (Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? I do).” This book was written to better explain to my friends and family what my life was truly like on a daily basis whilst living in such a foreign place. I’ve just started 2 new books as well. My first ever, to be self-published, e-cookbook AND a book that details Greyson’s life as a 3 year old, month-by-month. Writing is my therapy and a place that lets me escape and relax, a comfy pocket of my life to retreat to. That being said, I love cooking & eating food just as much, hence this blog! And, I did name it foodgalleygab… let us not forget the ‘gab’ portion of this space and place! I’d love to hear your opinions on my intro and first chapter, or opinions on any of the other 3 chapters that I’ve previously posted. Many thanks and I hope you enjoy this crazy book journey with me, as I’ll post the whole process as it happens. Happy Saturday!
“One More Sip of Whine”
I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE WRITING this book because no one could’ve ever prepared me for the absolute insane and yet, insanely wonderful ins and outs of motherhood. There are no words, however, I’ve tried to use many in this book to describe to you my experiences. Did I ever expect that a little person would be poking me in the vajajay and screaming “vagiiinnnaaa!” Or shouting like a madman “I’m crazy, mommy! I’m so many women!” Excuse me? No, I absolutely did not expect this to be my life. It’s a totally and completely, crazy and fucked up ride. I’m not going to preach to you about the latest studies in child rearing because I’m making my own up as I go. Unless, of course, the study states something that I’m already doing right, in that case, I win. Killin’ it as a mama. I have no idea why I thought when I became a mother I’d be in the elite five percent of motherhood. I’ve been knocked off that pedestal… hard. Those elite moms are often what I will refer to as the ‘mother shamers’ in this book. Also, it’s a code name for ‘not taking responsibility and feeling totally okay about my batshit crazy child rearing ways.’ I’ll get all real on ya at times and explain the seriousness of some of my struggles, but the rest? Well, that’s just a comical twist on the fact that bringing a kid into this world challenges every last sane and sleep deprived bone in your body. And, that sometimes, I think a glass of wine is the best medicine for almost all child related ailments (for you of course, not your child, I’m not that much of an asshole).
It’s the moments when your kid escapes the shower wearing his underwear on the top of his head while shouting “I’m so cute!” And, now you’re running late to a birthday party only to notice you failed to put mascara on both eyes after you’re miles away from home, but your new philosophy since becoming a mom has become “fuck it!” To virtually every facet of your life. Phew! Words to live by. When the word ‘sex’ is something you think you remember from your college years, and the word ‘poop’ is something you use in almost every sentence. When you think the world is over because your child might not be going to Princeton, when in fact, he has yet to begin preschool, and you’ve not figured out why all the mother shamers got on that shit while their kid was still in utero. Yes, it’s all of these beautiful moments that at the end of the day, make your life so totally weird and nuts but somehow, makes it the best life you’ve ever lived.
My lil’ man is the coolest little shit on the block. His name is Greyson and he rocks at life. He was born in Beijing, China because I was working there at the time and I think that makes him even more rad. He is bilingual and bad ass and I love him more than Brad Pitt. G is the reason my world spins so crooked but so right. My husband, bless his Scottish heart, deals with our shit daily and I think is entertained by our unpredictable ways. And this, folks, is my life.
I’m a total mess! I’ve screwed up and this mistake can’t be taken back. I’m losing my shit and it all began with me getting stupid drunk in Shanghai on Valentine’s Day almost three years ago. I mean, I could barely see straight kinda drunk. Weeks later, I found out I had done it; I’d gone and gotten myself good and knocked up. Fast forwarding, I now have this little baby… fast forwarding some more, I now have this little toddler… and his dad, my husband. My boobs have never felt the same and I barely breast fed (which I cried about daily for 6 months and am pretty sure I’ve been added to the Motherhood of Shame list. You don’t believe me? I assure you, it’s real. It’s a secret, or really, not so secret society of mother ‘shamers’), I’m developing cellulite overnight, my baby hair is coming in at a rapid rate and I regularly look like Alfalfa, my husband tells me I’m sexy and I tell him to ‘shut up’ because we both know that’s a big fat lie, and I’ve ignored my friends for approximately two years now guaranteeing me little return in the friendship department. I love my child but I think I love my brandy and wine almost as much. I thought I was a tiger mom but now I think I may be the most underachieving mother and wife who’s ever lived; and guess what, I’m TOTALLY okay with that! What’s wrong with me?! Am I going to hell in a hand basket with an empty bottle of booze?! Surely, the Devil knows this is my worst fate, and I will, therefore, receive just that. What can I do to score some sweet points with the Mother Goddesses? I’m a good person, I swear! Wait, I don’t think I’m supposed to swear. See! I don’t even know the rules of this sick and twisted game they’re calling “motherhood.” Help me, Abby! Help!
DEAR MOMMIE DEAREST:
Has it occurred to you that you may be affecting your husband’s self-confidence and possibly giving your child a litany of bad examples with your love affair of alcohol and general disregard for the people in your life? You say you’re a ‘good person’ but this may not be the side of yourself that you’re letting your child, husband, and friends see or get to know. I’m not advocating for ‘tiger mom’s’, however, I do not think accepting failure is the alternative you should take. Perhaps reflect on the impact of your actions to others and to yourself, and then slowly make positive changes like thanking your husband and spending quality time playing with your child; pick up the phone occasionally to check-in on your friends to maintain or rebuild your relationships.
Sauteed Veggie & Farro Spiralized Zucchini Salad totally made my mouth melt. I purchased Trader Joe’s 10 minute barley & 10 minute farro a couple of weeks ago and knew I’d eventually use the farro for a salad. If you’ve never had farro, you’re missin’ out! It’s an ancient wheat grain with a fabulously chewy texture. It’s an excellent source of protein, fiber, and nutrients like magnesium and iron, so eat up veg-heads and vegans! Or, of course, anyone wanting an awesomely healthy grain. 😉 I love my Paderno Spiralizer almost as much as I love my Vitamix, so that’s saying a lot! I spiralized my zucchini and then shaved my carrot with my spiralizer. I sauteed spinach, broccoli, and small white beans with some herbs and garlic powder. I had some farro that I had cooked with veggie broth (the BEST) and then put it all together in a bowl, tossed it with some Goddess dressing, and voila! A salad star was born. I was definitely left full and satisfied, as a good salad that is meant to be a meal should leave you feeling. When people tell me they don’t like salad or that it doesn’t “fill them up,” my response is that they’ve never gotten creative enough in the salad making department, and with a few ideas, they could eat a different salad everyday of the week that would totally satisfy them, fill them with nutrients, and load their mouths with deliciousness. I’d bet my Paderno on it! 😉
If you’ve been regularly following my blog-o-la, you’ll know that I’m not happy with my weight. I have gained a bunch since last year and miss my beautiful wardrobe. I moved from Beijing, China back to the US a year and a half ago and gave all of my clothes away before I left. Upon my return, I purchased a seriously dope, brand stinkin’ new, amazeballs, wardrobe that is just waiting to get back together with me, as I am, with it. I told myself that if I lost 5 lbs by this Sunday (almost there; gonna happen) I’d treat myself to a haircut and nail appointment. It’s been far too long since I pampered myself. Plus, I cut my hair the week after I moved to the US… I’ve occasionally trimmed it myself over my garbage bin at work only to have my students ask me why I have pieces of “hair” or “string” on my clothing. This has GOT to stop. Haha. Laziness at its finest! Not cool. 😉 Anyway, I mention this because I’m salads, everyday, at least once a day, yoga everyday, at least once a day for almost 2 weeks now and it feels great. I recommend this to anyone looking for health & happiness, or just to lose some holiday bloat. Plus, it’s delish! Inside and out. 😉 Happy salad week to all! XO
PS- This beautiful lil’ leaf is from my adorable kiddo who had come back from the park as I was about to shoot my food. He said, “Mom, this is for you! You can put it in your blog!” So, duh! I totally did! Thanks, G-man! XOXO
- 2 C spinach
- 1 carrot (spiralized or shredded)
- 1 zucchini (spiralized)
- 10 small broccoli florets
- 1/2 a 15oz can of small white beans
- 1 C cooked farro (I use TJ's 10 minute farro & cook with veggie broth)
- Oil for pan (I used extra virgin olive oil)
- Dressing of choice (I used Goddess)
- 1/2 Tbl garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp basil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the farro on one burner, and heat medium sized pan on another burner on low-med with oil
- Put the broccoli, beans, salt & pepper in the pan and stir for about 3 minutes
- Add the spinach, oregano, basil, and garlic powder - stir for another 2 minutes (broccoli should be cooked but crunchy and still bright green)
- Divide all of the ingredients from the pan, divide the raw zucchini & carrot, and put into 2 bowls
- Toss with dressing
- Pinot Grigio
Tahini Mushroom Dumplings were inspired by my love for mushrooms, missing my favorite Beijing restaurant, Din Tai Fung, and what was left lurking in my refrigerator (waste not). Mushroom & veggie dumplings are my ultimate faves. Usually, I like them steamed, however, I was in the mood for some serious crispiness. I purchased some dumpling wraps last week and was itching to throw my shrooms in them! I decided Saturday was it, dumpling making day. So, I got out my mushrooms & wraps and then realized I had no idea what I was going to cook the mushrooms in. I ended up grabbing soy, dijon, white miso paste, and tahini. Holy sh#% balls! They were amazing! I stuffed 6 dumpling wraps, fried them, and served with a soy/Goddess dressing blend. Typically, my fave is soy & wasabi, OR soy and chili oil (ahhh… Din Tai Fung days…). I was crazy regretful that I had only opted to make 6! Who knew my kiddo would come over and go to town on them, too… which is why this also turned into a Greyson photoshoot. After all, he IS my most favorite subject. 😉 Hence the obscene amount of photos in this post.
I love sunny Oregon days. Especially when I have time to enjoy the outdoors and shoot some dope grub! Two for the win! Winter is coming. It’s frosty in the morning now. Last year, I missed 9 days of work due to snow days. Crazy! Portland wasn’t prepared for that kind of snow and did not have the resources to clean it up. Was insane! I cooked loads, drank loads of Pom juice mimosas, lit fire-after-fire, and played with my kiddo. Here’s to hoping for more snow days this year! I’ll make hundreds of dumplings! -FGG
- 10-12 mushrooms - diced (I used white mushrooms)
- 6 dumpling wraps
- 1 Tbl soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbl white miso paste
- 1 tsp tahini sauce (Trader Joe's make an awesome tahini sauce - different than their plain tahini)
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- Oil for pan (I used 2 Tbl of sesame oil)
- Heat the pan on med and throw in all ingredients - mix well for about 3 minutes
- Remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes
- Evenly distribute mushrooms over all six dumpling wraps
- To wrap, start at one end, fold and pinch, and continue this way (hint: use a little water on the wrap where you're pinching)
- Heat pan on medium high with oil (I used 2 Tbl sesame oil), add dumplings
- Turn dumplings as they crisp. Mine cooked for about 3 minutes total
- Serve with dipping sauce!
- My favorite dipping sauce is soy mixed with chili oil and a small flick of vinegar!
- Anchor Steam
Dear Santa Baby is a post of two letters that I’ve written to “Santa.” My mother always asks me what I want for Christmas via email and I always respond with a list, and then a fictitious letter to the jolly old dude. If you don’t want insight into my ‘interesting’ sense of humor, workings of my odd brain, if you’re easily offended, or don’t think life is funny and meant to be laughed at, stop reading now and just continue to follow my blog for the good eats. 😉 I mean, my true wishes? To be a blogger full time, to publish an amazing cookbook with a bonafide publisher. For my book, “One More Sip of Whine,” to hit the ground running and find an incredible publisher to work with, and, of course, to find a magic skinny and happy pill. One that puts me in both of those states permanently. Hehe… seriously though, those are my magical wishes.
My first Santa letter is the one that I’ve just written to my momma, and the second letter is one that I randomly just found from 2008! Enjoy, and I hope you still come back to my blog for more of me and my grub. Happy holidays friends and followers! MWAH! XO
Dear Santa Baby,
This year’s been a rough one, sir. New house, new three-nager, the ol’ ball n’ chain, and of course, the turds and turdettes that I teach daily. I know, I know, I can feel your tears for me now, and I knew you’d understand. This being said, I think I’ve been an extra good girl this year, as I’ve endured the wrath of ‘poverty’ (house poor), politics (Trump-o-la), and pain (I have a hus-child, ya know). What more can a girl go through before the good people of the Lotto decide that my good reward should come now, this very year, this very Christmas, and be GRANNNDDDD.
A few things: My closet and all of its glorious inhabitants have been suffering from a severe lack of vitamin D, as I’ve gotten fat and can’t wear those goods in the outdoor venue in which they are so deserving of. Also, I live in OR so naturally, my skin is suffering from the same lack of vitamin D. This all being said, I would like the following 2 things from you:
1- A magic skinny pill so that I can eat everything I want and still maintain the svelte figure of Giselle Bundchen. Thanks
2- A trip to Bora Bora for some well-needed sunshine, sanity, and surf
Loaded Tofu & Veggie Bagel! has been in my dreams as of late. I’ve been craving a bagel sandbo, don’t know why, but knew it was gonna happen and be my next blog post… so here it is! I love everything bagels. Pretty sure that if you left me on an island with only 1 food option, I’d opt to survive on everything bagels. I’m a carb-a-holic (if you can’t tell by the everything in my blog)! I’m also a lover of crispy tofu, especially on a sandwich! Loaded Tofu & Veggie Bagel! is stacked with avocado, crispy tofu, cucumbers, carrots, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, spinach, and smeared with Tofutti Cream Cheese and my sundried tomato & basil hummus (click for recipe). This bagel was bustin’ with goodness and flavor. I always feel extra great when people realize that something SO healthy can taste equally as delish!
Being that I live in Portland, OR, it is often rainy for parts of the day. I really wanted to have a picnic with my kiddo. Currently, he is obsessed with his new Radio Flyer mini-wagon, so we opted to pack the wagon with grub and picnic indoors! I ended up putting a blanket down with a vase of flowers and we ate to the tunes of Dizzy Gillespie (one of my kiddo’s faves… and mine). Love that my little G-dog is 3 and has been requesting “Gillespie” since he was 1! I did something right in this world! LOL. Anyway, picnic indoors, picnic outdoors, picnic by your lonesome or with friends or fam, picnic with your dog, picnic with a ‘lova’… just make sure you’re doin’ it with this super fabulous Loaded Tofu & Veggie Bagel! by your side. Happy days! MWAH! XO
- 1 everything bagel (or bagel of your choosing)
- 3 thin slices of firm or extra firm well-drained tofu
- 1 Tbl sundried tomatoes
- Small handful of spinach
- 2 basil leaves
- 4 thin slices of carrot
- 4 thin slices of cucumber
- 1/2 of an avocado - sliced
- 2 Tbl cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
- 2 Tbl sundried tomato hummus (or any hummus you have)
- Garlic powder to taste
- Onion powder to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat a small pan on medium/high - high
- Add tofu - gently so not break and add a pinch of garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper
- Flip when crispy, about 3 minutes & add pinches of powders, salt & pepper again
- Cook until crispy, about 2 minutes
- Cut bagel and smear one side with hummus and the other side with cream cheese
- Top hummus half with avocado, and cream cheese half with sundried tomatoes
- Top on cream cheese half: basil, carrots, cucumber, tofu, and then spinach
- Place hummus half on top, cut, and devour!
- Feel free to replace any of the veggies or add more. Use what you've got in your fridge!