small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China



Yunnan Mint Butter Beef

We moved to Kunming nearly two years ago. It’s high time I started adding some Yunnan recipes to my repertoire. So, here’s dish #1. My creation is loosely based on an iron-plank beef dish my family loves here in Kunming. It’s… Continue Reading →

One Pumpkin, Four Ways

Our friends gifted us with this gorgeous gourd about a month ago. Wow. It was so pretty that I couldn’t bring myself to slaughter it right away. I just wanted to enjoy looking at it for a while before we… Continue Reading →

A week at our table – Day 1

So, what do we eat here in China? We get asked this all the time by people here, who assume we eat nothing but this, all night, all day. If I had to eat these “Western” dishes every day, it… Continue Reading →

A week at our table – Day 7

Day 7 – Saturday Breakfast   Time for a weekend treat. These are  “Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls” from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which is my favorite book/method for making bread overseas. But of course, you guessed it!… Continue Reading →

A week at our table – Day 6

Day 6 – Friday Breakfast At the supermarket last night, I bought date mash bread, which tastes pretty close to banana bread. We tried this at Walmart in the provincial capital a couple of times, but the bread always had… Continue Reading →

A week at our table – Day 5

Day 5 – Thursday Breakfast Yes, that is Honey Bunches of Oats. Really, truly, verily. We bought it in the provincial capital for way too much, and were saving it for a special occasion. Or a terribly ordinary morning when… Continue Reading →

A week at our table – Day 4

Day 4 – Wednesday Breakfast I thought today’s breakfast would finish off the Wonder Bread, but we still have a few slices. Drat. Today we toasted it, fried some eggs and sliced up an apple. Not great, but it’s better… Continue Reading →

A week at our table – Day 3

Day 3 – Tuesday Breakfast I made a bacon and leek quiche, a honey-lime berry melange topped with almond creme, and a grapefruit spritzer to drink. No, no I didn’t. We had faux Wonder Bread and jelly. Not even any fruit… Continue Reading →

A week at our table – Day 2

Day 2 – Monday Breakfast Leftover pancakes. I sometimes dread pulling out leftovers, but not leftovers like this. I can just pop them in the oven to heat up, and it feels like convenience food. There was no more whipped… Continue Reading →

How to cook frozen jiaozi

Frozen jiaozi (速冻饺子) are some of the only packaged convenience food available in small town China. It’s nice to keep a bag in the freezer “just in case” since it’s not like I’ve got canned soup or boxes of mac… Continue Reading →

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