Tag Archives: food writing

Welcoming Change

Happy new year, everyone! I know, I know – it’s nearly the middle of the month, and you might all be feeling the new year is already feeling a bit old. But since I’ve been so busy, I haven’t really had a chance to do “the new year thing” – and I figure I can celebrate the New Year at any time, right? And invite you all to celebrate with me, too!

So, happy new year, everyone!


This will be a year of many changes for me, a lot of wonderful changes. I’ll have one child starting university in September; it’s a strange feeling that. I know he’ll have a wonderful time, but at the same time, it will be so funny not to have him home all the time.

Ward and I also have big plans afoot for the dojo, which I can’t talk about right now because everything is still under wraps and will be until our Kagami Baracki celebrations next Sunday (Kagami Baracki is the martial arts new year). But they’re very exciting changes, and I’m looking forward to them tremendously.

Some Blog Changes

And there’s another change around our household, blog-wise. A few days ago, I introduced you all to my sister’s blog; I’ve been bugging her for years to start blogging, and I love her new blog, BananaViews.

I’ve also been exercising my persuasion elsewhere, too. For a while now, Ward has been blogging over at my food blog, Muse in the Kitchen, but it really felt to me like he needed a cyber home to call his own, something that truly reflects who he is.

So earlier this month, we started up a new blog for him – and for those of you who’ve heard all about him here on the pages of Ms. Bookish, I’m sure you’d agree that Sensei Cooks is a much more suitable name for Ward’s food blogging!

And as for Muse in the Kitchen, I’ll probably start writing about food and food-related stuff there again – but no cooking! Because I don’t cook. But I do love to eat. Do I ever love to eat!

As For Ms. Bookish

I will be revamping Ms. Bookish this coming month as well. I was too swamped with deadlines to participate in Bloggiesta this past weekend, so I’ll be holding my own version of the event here this month. Along with an anticipated template change, I will be taking a good, hard look at exactly what I want Ms. Bookish to be about.

Many of you have probably already noticed that I have not stuck to my original intent of blogging about books only. I started blogging about my writing, and then I started posting about other things in my life, and one thing has lead to another. I’m not so sure that I can really say that Ms. Bookish is a book blog anymore. It’s that, yes, but more.

And I am so thankful that you all have continued to come and visit me here even though I’m not always posting about books!

And Last, But Certainly Not Least: You

Picture this: I’m in my flannel PJs, hunkered down at my desk, working my way through yet another index (or, when I was deep in the middle of the two major science texts I was working on, it felt more like working my way through days and days and days of chemistry and biology).

Occasionally, I would sneak some time to write up a post for Ms. Bookish, because I missed writing here. A lot.

And every single time I’d post here, someone would always drop by and comment. I can’t tell you how much your comments uplifted my spirits.

A lot of work is great when you’re self-employed, but working too much can have a deadening effect. It’s too easy sometimes to come away from a long, hard working session feeling a little depressed.

But I never even got near that low place these past three weeks. And I owe a lot of that to all of you who came by to read, and especially to all of you who took the time to add your comments.

So, to finish up my New Year’s post, thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart!

Now, if I could only figure out how to make smooches here …

Ah, well. This will have to do for now: image

Banana Views: Being Chinese-Canadian

I am almost finished (almost almost almost – so tantalizingly close) with this latest clump of deadlines and I’m really looking forward to settling back into the blogging life again.

In the meantime, though, I wanted to introduce you to my sister Dawn’s new blog. I take great pride in it, because she finally succumbed after years and years of persuasion (read: nagging) on my part – Dawn’s a real food lover, and lives the most amazing foodie life deep in the heart of Toronto. She has tons to write about, and I know she’ll just love her new cyberhome, Banana Views.

Have you ever noticed that sisters can so often surprise and delight one? And that’s what Dawn’s done this time around – she’s surprised me and delighted me, because as it turns out, Banana Views doesn’t focus just on wonderful food and city life; she’s also been posting about life as a Chinese Canadian.

It’s funny – all these years and I’d never read anything my sister’s written. And so another wonderful discovery I’ve made is that she’s a superb writer. Funny and quirky, too. Just the kind of writing I love to read. Here’s a quick sampling:

Red, White and Yellow. This is Dawn’s inaugural post, where she explains, with a good dollop of humor, what her blog is all about. Once you read it, you’ll understand why she named her blog “Banana Views”.

Dinner with Richard. I may be biased, but I think Dawn’s food writing gives Ruth Reichl a run for her money. And she has such a knack for meeting interesting people who quickly become fellow foodie friends.

Breakfast of Chinese Champions. Dawn whips this up for breakfast, but around here, whenever Ward’s teaching classes (aka “Are we having pizza, going out for dinner or having eggs on rice” night among my kids), I’ll often serve this dish. It’s easy, filling and delicious. And yes, even the extremely picky eater in our family will eat this. But no, I’ve never made it with quail eggs …

Hangover Remedy # 1. Dawn does a lot of socializing – she’s usually booked through to the next year when it comes to parties and get-togethers; her life is a whirlwind of social activity. Including the occasional night of too many bottles. This post talks deliciously about one of her favorite hangover remedies, and I bet it’s one most of us haven’t tried before.

Can Two Wongs Make a Right? And this, her latest post, gives you a very good idea of the delights to come.

I’m really looking forward to reading my sister’s blogging thoughts this coming year!

Found Treasures From My Book Stash

This year my husband and I seem to be in a major de-cluttering mode; one result is that I have been going through my books trying to figure out which ones to add to Bookmooch, which ones I should give away and which ones I really want to keep.

And so of course, I’ve been finding books that I own, that I haven’t yet read – and that I actually DO want to read.

Here are the treasures I unearthed from my own book stash this week:

The Mother Trip: Hip Mama’s Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood, by Ariel Gore. I bought this one back when it first came out (that will give you an idea how LONG it’s been on my shelves!), and when I first came across it the other day, my first thought was to add it to my Bookmooch inventory.

And then I started flipping through the book. I really shouldn’t do that, you know. Because of course I found a few paragraphs here and there that were interesting, and on further investigation, there were lots of essays in it that looked interesting … and now this book is in my TBR pile.

The Manolo Matrix, by Julie Kenner. This is a chick lit mystery, and I’d read and enjoyed the first book by this author (The Givenchy Code). So of course I added this to my TBR pile – and wouldn’t you know it, I ended up picking up a copy of The Prada Paradox when I was online book shopping last week for a great price. Very synchronistic.

And speaking of synchronicities … a few weeks ago, I’d been by Beth Fish’s blog, and loved her review of French Lessons, by Peter Mayle. I decided to put the title in my i-want list – but guess what? Yup. No need to get it, because it turns out I already own it!

De-cluttering is great when you end up getting rid of stuff; it’s not so great when it just swells your TBR pile. And as some of you already know, my TBR pile is really huge already ….

Friday Finds: Another Eclectic Assortment

It’s Friday Finds again! Here are the books I’ve added to my “i-want” list this week:

Mystery: And Justice There is None, by Deborah Crombie. I read a review of this book at Kittling: Books and remembered how much I had enjoyed the first book in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series I had read last summer, A Share in Death. I’ve put the remaining books in the series on my i-want list – I had enjoyed reading A Share in Death very much.

Food Writing: The Language of Baklava, by Diana Abu-Jaber, which I discovered while browsing through Beth Fish’s Weekly Discoveries (this is a wonderful feature at Beth’s blog – she posts her discoveries every Sunday). I’ll likely be getting a copy of this to review at Muse in the Kitchen, the food blog my husband and I have (he cooks, I eat – life’s pretty wonderful, isn’t it?).

World Lit: Family Planning, by Karen Mahajan. This is one of the reasons I love book blogging so much – Family Planning is normally a title I would have passed by, but I read the review of this book at She Is Too Fond of Books, and realized it was a book I’d probably love.

General Fiction: The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington, by Brian Francis. This is another book I would have missed if it weren’t for the book blogosphere – Joanne from Book Zombie has a great review of this book, and I immediately added it to my i-want list.

General Fiction: The End of East, by Jen Sookfong Lee. Joanne from Book Zombie mentions this book in her review of Fruit, and I knew I wanted to read this one too. It’s a generational story about a Chinese family in Vancouver, and since I am a Chinese daughter of immigrants who settled in Vancouver, I knew it was a book that I couldn’t resist adding to my TBR pile.

Urban Fantasy: Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead. I didn’t make a note of where I came across the Vampire Academy series, but it sounds like a whole load of fun – and I’m hoping Bookmooch will come through for me with this one (I find my library isn’t quite as up-to-date as I would like when it comes to urban fantasies).

So these are my finds for the week – make sure to check out what other book bloggers discovered this week at Friday Finds. It’s a great resource when you’re looking to add to your TBR pile. Now that I’ve signed up with Bookmooch – my username is msbookish and I’ve added a short list of books so far and two have been “mooched” already (both going to Germany! so I’ll be weighing the pros and cons of international shipping …) – I’ll probably add whichever titles on my i-want list that my library doesn’t have to my Bookmooch wish list.