Life at Warp Speed

life, faith, food, parenting, homeschooling and just about anything else that is on my mind

Diet book for school kids?!? August 24, 2011

Filed under: Children's Books,Parenting — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:58 pm
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Diet book aimed at children causes uproar – Los Angeles Times.

To be honest, I have not read this children’s book. I’m really not sure I want to because the concept of this book makes me quite uncomfortable. I think that it is important that girls have a good self-image and live a healthy active lifestyle for the sake of themselves and not because of what other people think about them.

I just find myself at the crossroads of a cultural and societal dilemma. How did we arrive in the place that we have at the same time an epidemic of childhood obesity side-by-side with major problem of anorexia and bulimia with boys and girls even among those who are just old enough to start school?

It is a perplexing problem. I think about how much parents obsess over this issue of the trifecta of early childhood issues (eating, sleeping and pottying). Sometimes, I think we as adults project a lot of our own issues onto our children. Other times, I think that we are a very neurotic, narcissistic society. And still other times, I think that this is very much a First World problem that because our basic needs are pretty much met, we seem to create these new problems in our society to struggle with because we don’t worry for the most part about food, water, shelter and basic safety.

What do you think about this book, the LA times review, or how our society and culture relates to food?



Pork and Summer Squash Potstickers

Filed under: Chinese,Cookbooks,Parenting — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:30 am
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I saw my cousin’s comment on the Beef and Tomato Potstickers recipe ( about being reminded about her mom’s marathon potstickers sessions. Now as an adult, I have very fond memories of sitting in my aunt’s kitchen with my cousins pressed into service to mass produce handmade skins for folding all sorts of dumplings. As a kid, I have to confess I would have been much happier reading instead. Isn’t that the irony about childhood experiences? Sometimes those things we resented so much as children become precious, valued, and even yearned for again with the passage of time.

It does make me think about the things I do with M which quite often are not fun at all for him. Someday, I hope that my parenting choices will be appreciated decades from now when he is able to see the long view. There are so many things that my parents and our wider family clan have taught me for which I have greater appreciation. I use “clan” in the fullest sense of the word since I am related to well over 250 people just in the Bay Area. It can be mind-boggling to contemplate the full impact of that.

Before I go too far off on this bunny trail, I will say that I will probably post more on those topics when I have time to do it justice. Let’s get back to the whole point of this which is sharing with you, my tweaking of another recipe from Stuart Chang Berman’s Potsticker Chronicles (  His recipe calls for lamb, so I substituted ground pork. I really think the world is divided into lamb and non-lamb people; either you love it or you hate it. Obviously, I am in the latter camp.

This is a really great way to use up all that squash that seems to grow like weeds in my backyard. Homegrown squash is so good compared to supermarket squash. There is almost a sweet flavor profile to the squash, and this tastes fantastic in this recipe. It works better to use younger, more tender squash than overgrown gigantic squash the size of your arm.


Pork and Summer Squash Potstickers


1 pound summer squash, finely minced
1 pound ground pork
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, or mushroom soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
48 store bought or handmade potsticker skins
1 egg white, lightly beaten (optional)


1.    Place squash in the center of a cloth. Gather the edges of the cloth to form a ball. Twist the gathered fabric and the ball in opposite directions to squeeze as much water out of the squash as possible.
2.    Place the squeezed squash in a mixing bowl. Add the pork, green onions, garlic, soy sauces, rice wine, sesame oil, and black pepper to the squash and mix well with a pair of chopsticks.
3.    To wrap dumplings, you can either use lukewarm water or egg white to moisten one side of each skin. Place about 1 tsp of filling in the center of each skin. Fold and crimp into crescent-like shapes. (Here is a youtube video on how to fold potstickers. Place on a floured tray. Potstickers may be cooked immediately or frozen on the tray. Once frozen, transfer the dumplings to a freezer bags for storage.
4.    You can either boil (Northern style) or pan fry (Canto style) the dumplings to your preference. I find that pan frying works best when you freeze the pot stickers first.

Note: The potstickers turn out better if you use the fattier ground pork available at the Asian markets.


$24.99 Melissa & Doug Deal

Filed under: Baby/Toddler,Deals,Preschool,Toys — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:46 am
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Kids.Woot® : One Day, You’ll Understand™.

We love Melissa and Doug toys at our house. They are very sturdy, well designed, and hold up well over time. This 3 pack bundle includes the upper/lower case alphabet wooden puzzle, the ABC stacking/nesting cubes and the upper/lower case alphabet stamp set.

Great pricing. As always, the woot deal is only until 10 pm PST or until they run out.



$14 admission to Gilroy Gardens

Filed under: Deals,Things to Do with Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 8:00 am
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Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park — Home of the Circus Trees!.

Our family just loves Gilroy Gardens. It is such a pleasant amusement park best suited for the 8 and under crowd. Older kids may find this place a bit tame. M loves the balloon ride, the train, and old-fashioned cars the best. We have had season passes the last two years.

It is a very doable park for young children since there are lots of places to stop and take a break. The park has lots of mature trees so there is plenty of shade. We have found the lines are generally reasonable and even short or non-existent on some visits. The food is actually pretty decent considering it is amusement park food. I will warn you that the garlic fries are good but really strong and pungent. A lot stronger than say the ones you get at AT&T park at a Giants game.

The park is offering their back to school special which is good through November. Admission is only $14. Kids under 3 are free.



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