In no particular order, other than what comes to mind...

1. Amy and her kettle corn
2. My Moms
3. John Reed making me laugh
4. Gandolf the Grey
5. Board meetings at the CH
6. The Justice League...and Kid Flash
7. Liga Privada cigars
8. Community. Don't f@ck it up, NBC.
9. Bear Boat Russian River Valley pinto noir
10. My body finally getting used to waking up at 6am
11. Chili Peppers Fresh Mexican Grill
12. Glenlivet 21, Macallan 18 and Johnnie Walker Blue (trust me, it's all one thing.)
13. Subway footlong oven-roasted chicken subs with extra peppers
14. Everyone i've met through W.E.
15. Tatuaje cigars
16. Negroni's
17. The color changing wall behind the Hudson sushi bar
18. Mr. Dan and his mutant power to fix anything
19. Audiobooks
20. George RR Martin...although it's more of a love/hate relationship.
21. Downtown lunches with JBM
22. Sokolowski's
23. Sunday night dinners at home
24. chefheinzyee.com
25. DnD
26. The Walking Dead
27. Chris revamping entire menus and then making bar shelves in one night.
28. The McKenzies
29. Skyline with Zimm
30. My iPhone
31. Halloween costume making with Amy
32. Li Wah's dim sum not getting any worse
33. Jeremy building my humidor
34. Waking up
35. Arie Shapiro and Ron Goldman
36. Masterpiece Mystery
37. NPR
38. Washington Enterprises
39. 20 minute naps
40. Eddie's Grille...nostalgia Americana
41. Sup Sam Yee, Karl and Master T
42. The Toons
43. Chinese dinners with the Family
44. Jason M.
45. Wonton Gourmet
46. Pallotta's Bakery
47. Coffee Colony
48. Down range time
49. Reconnecting with my Hong Kong peoples
50. Bill Murray
51. Partagas Cigars
52. Really great friends...you know who you are.
53. The ability to travel
54. Saffron Patch in the valley
55. Handel's Ice Cream...especially Graham Central Station!
56. Adam Jorgensen's crazy tattoo skills
57. Candied bacon
58. Vanilla bacon bourbon manhattans w/ real maple syrup
59. Great Harvest Bread - especially the cinnamon apple bread. Insanity in a loaf!
60. Seoul Garden - repping Korean food in Cleveland
61. Kimchee Chronicles
62. Unbroken
63. Finally finishing my bug out bag and car kits
64. The Booty Bandit
65. Mid Autumn Festival Ball
66. Couchsurfing
67. Sam and Marco
68. The Wedneday night Half Priced Sushi crowd
69. Sydney Bechet
70. Blue Mountain Coffee
71. Kuma's proper Japanese gyoza
72. Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery
73. The first 2 months of Wine Club
74. Monster By Mail
75. LifeFactory glass bottles
76. Pyrex food containers
77. Mario Batali
78. Karaoke Wednesdays
79. Mitchell's Ice Cream...their new local flavors are amazing.
80. The Swizzle Sticks Band
81. The Tony Koussa Jr. Band
82. The Survival Mom Website
83. Kwong's hot and sour soup
84. Marrying Amy
85. Ricky Pun's new attitude
86. Joss Whedon
87. Our house, especially, our kitchen
88. Getting beers on tap
89. Everything Amy has done for me
90. Having good jobs
91. FM 91.5, the Great American Songbook
92. Scrabble with Amy
93. Holiday traditions
94. Holmes on Homes...for scaring the $h!t out of me.

95. Game of Thrones and the entire Song of Fire and Ice series for ruining any chance I had at happiness and productivity.
96. Still enjoying martial arts after all these years
97. How I Met Your Mother...although there were some suspect plot lines.
98. Everything
99. The fact that you are reading this
100. Everything Amy has done for Otani's
 
 
I miss Taipei.
 
 
_Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is known as "Spring Festival," the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節, since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, the first solar term in a Chinese calendar year. It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月) in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chúxī (除夕) or "Eve of the Passing Year." Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors. These include Korean (Seollal), Bhutanese (Losar), and Vietnamese cultures.

Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.

Although the Chinese calendar traditionally does not use continuously numbered years, outside China its years are often numbered from the reign of the Yellow Emperor. But at least three different years numbered 1 are now used by various scholars, making the year beginning in AD 2012 the "Chinese Year" 4710, 4709, or 4649.

I stole most of this from wikipedia...stop SOPA and PIPA!
Year of the Dragon

Fifth in the cycle, Dragon Years follow the Rabbit and recur every twelfth year. The Chinese New Year does not fall on a specific date, so it is essential to check the calendar to find the exact date on which each Dragon Year actually begins

The Year of the Dragon is one of the most revered years of the Chinese New Year calendar, and those born under the sign are regarded as innovative, passionate people who are colorful, confident and fearless.

The  Dragon is sometimes called a "karmic sign." The Dragon is larger than life and its appearance means that big things are to come. The Year of the Dragon is a flowing river, not a stagnant lake, so things happen quickly earlier in the year. The Dragon marks progression, perseverance and auspiciousness. It may also bring about unpredictable events.
More importantly, 恭喜發財, 新年快樂, 年年有餘,
身体健康, 龙马精神, 生意兴隆.

Happy New Year!

 
 
man, i am jones-ing some chinese food right now.
 
 
_I am jones-ing for a bowl of proper hot and sour soup right now. Where the stock isn't overly sweet (ahem, Golden Dragon in Mayfield Road) or too sour (ahem, the rest of the Americana Chinese restaurants in Cleveland).

The keys to a proper H&S soup are:
1. Proper use of white pepper
2. Proper use of corn starch "slurry"
3. Cutting all the ingredients into thin julienne strips proportional to the rest of the ingredients
and 4. Not overloading the soup with ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 5 dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup dried lily flowers
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup diced bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 cup pork loin, thinly sliced and quick marinated with sesame oil, salt/pepper and cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 package firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
Directions
  1. Soak the dried mushrooms and lily flowers in warm water for 20 minutes. After trimming off any tough stems, slice the mushrooms. With your hands, break apart the lily stems. Julienne them all into thin, similarly sized strips.
  2. Saute the the pork in a sauce pan with a little oil. When it's about half cooked, place the mushrooms, lily flowers, stock and bamboo shoots into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in soy sauce, sugar, salt, white pepper, sesame oil and vinegar. Combine cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water. Add a little of the hot soup to the cornstarch, and then return all to the pan. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the firm tofu, and cook for a few minutes more.
  4. Just before serving, turn off the heat. Gradually pour the beaten egg in circular motion, let stand for a few moments before very lightly and very gently stirring. Taste and season if needed.
  5. Ladle into bowls and garnish each bowl with diced scallion and a splash of red chili oil.