We had THE most delicious Chinese dinner at Ala Shanghai in Latham NY last night!
Hubby calls me at just about 5PM, I’ve been working late a lot lately because it seems to be the only time that things slow down enough to actually catch up with my new assistant and figuring our next steps for the ever growing project list.
“Hey babe, how’s your day?”
(me) “Long, *sigh*”
“Well you’ve had a lot of long days huh”
(me) “yeah… (another sigh)… so what’s up ?”
“Why don’t we go out to dinner?…. “
And there began our adventure to Ala Shanghai, recommended to us by our great neighbors Bob and Lisa.
Great staff, great atmosphere, huge menu with just about any kind of Chinese food you want have or try all served family style and at a great pace for sharing.
- Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs cold appetizer (can you say meat candy? delicious)
- Pork & Crab Soup Dumplings (amazing! and we both agreed that we would go back there JUST to eat those again)
- Mu Shoo Pork (served artfully table side and freakin’ delicious, made me want to grow a 2nd stomach)
- Clams w. Ginger & Scallions (beautiful and delicious)
- Seafood Lo Mein (hand made noodles that are spectacular and light)
Can’t say enough good things about this place or how quickly we want to go back and sample more from their vast menu - I’m wanting to try their crispy duck or Beggar’s Chicken next time.
Easy ! and the Chicken Meatballs freeze well for later. I tend to make a double batch so I have an easy make meal in the next week or week after.
4 tsp Ground or MInced Ginger (3 for Chicken dumplings, 1 for the sweet and sour lo mein)
1 tsp of Sesame Oil
2 tbsp of Lite/Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Cup of Chopped Scallions/Green Onions (1/2 for dumplings and 1/2 for garnish for the lo mein)
4 oz of Dreamfields Angel Hair Pasta (or any low carb, whole wheat variety)
3/4 Cup of Cider or Rice Wine Vinegar
3 tsp of sugar (or substitute 2 tsp of Splenda)
1 tsp Red Pepper Flake or Cayenne Pepper (chili paste also works well here)
2 cups of Broccoli (Steamed and served on the side)
This makes 2 servings, double ingredient list for 4 servings.
In a large bowl combine: 10 oz Ground Chicken or Chicken Breast, 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce, 2 Garlic Cloves (minced), 3 tsp Ground or MInced Ginger, 1 tsp of Sesame Oil, 2 tbsp of Lite/Low Sodium Soy Sauce, 1/2 Cup of the Chopped Scallions/Green Onions.
Mix well and form 1 oz size balls of the mixture. I use a kitchen scale to ensure that each one is about 1 oz. Place each ball in a large skillet (that has a cover). Once all of the dumplings are formed and in the skillet add about 1/2 inch of water to the pan, cover and bring water to a simmer. This will steam and cook the chicken dumplings without drying them out. About 10 - 15 minutes depending on how many your making (single batch - this recipe, or double the recipe is a little longer)
Heat your water and begin cooking your pasta (about 10 min)
Steam or boil your broccoli (1 cup each person) - I use the microwave for this - super easy.
In a smaller sauce pan, on medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, red pepper flake. Once the sugar has dissolved remove from the heat.
Drain your pasta and return it to your pasta pot, toss with the vinegar mixture and remaining Scallions/Green Onions.
To serve, pile 1/2 the pasta on each plate, with 1/2 the broccoli (1 cup each), and top with half of the dumplings (8-10, each plate).
* If you made a double batch, then only 1/4 of the dumplings , let the rest cool and put into a freezer bag and freeze for later.
They say if you do something routinely for two weeks that it becomes a habit, and that habits can become personal rituals one uses to perform the necessary functions of the day to either accomplish the basic tasks of life or evoke an emotion or state of mind such as relaxation or joy.
For me, I have observed that rituals can be vast and complicated or simple and independent, but in the end essentially a daily “ritual” is a daily practice of doing the same thing, wanting the same thing, or setting up the same series of circumstances.
My daily ritual involves a series of actions that take care of ME, each person is different some just want the same coffee from Starbucks everyday, but me.. mine starts around 4:30 a.m. (ok sometimes 5 a.m.), my own personal (almost) tai chi dance from getting out of bed to getting out the door or just simply starting the day:
“I’ll get more sleep when I’m dead” - I like to get up early before the husband and puppy stir.
“MOVE!!! & Sweat” - I like to work out really hard and get a good yoga stretch in - must do down facing dog - must do folding triangle and rag doll.
“Cleanse” - Time for a HOT shower (not warm, but HOT)
“Hair the musical” - Hair prep - it’s curly and frizzy so there is a “moussing” and some kind of Argan oil thing that I’ve fallen in love with, and air dry
“Mangia” - I like to make my breakfast just about every day, and usually end up with some combination of a low fat meat (deli honey ham, turkey sausage crumbles, real bacon bits), egg whites or eggs (no more than 2), cheese, tomatoes, asparagus. Sometimes I mix it up with some leeks, baby spinach or hot salsa and a little avocado. There is also some kind of bread - multigrain, 8 grain, crusty and toasted with a smidge of real butter. HOT strong coffee (giant cup) black, no sugar no cream.
“No News” - I work on emergency management stuff all the time, and get to plan for the crazies and the bad stuff, so I don’t watch the news - ever. I don’t even check for traffic or weather. So I watch something fun on Netflix or my Hulu Plus account… I have a favorite for just about every night, but I’ve picked up my Ugly Betty habit again on Netflix.. so I’ve been watching re-runs of that lately.
“Get ready” - Husband and puppy still quietly tucked in bed have now trained themselves to sleep through hair dryer, curling irons and make up rituals as I quietly watch something on the computer, check facebook, put the face one and get ready for work.
“kiss the pup” - and the hubby
When that all goes as planned - it’s a good day.