The 7000-Mile Omelet + A Big Announcement

Mushroom Omelet | omnivorescookbook.com

The post today is less about food than about life. Plus, I won’t be doing much of the talking here.

If you’ve ever read my About page, you know that my boyfriend Thomas has been helping me with the blog behind the scenes for a long time. He reads every post before it’s published, to help with grammar and style.

Today, I invited him to write a post to share our big news with all of you. Beyond this, you’ll find a short recipe at the bottom of the post. It was our special way to celebrate Valentine’s Day earlier this year. You will find out more about our celebration below.

Thomas at Istanbul | omnivorescookbook.com

Hello everyone! I’m Thomas, Maggie’s boyfriend. Although I have been helping a bit in the background of Omnivore’s Cookbook, making a few edits, suggesting recipes, and doing kitchen prep, this is my first time actually writing a post for the site. I had known Maggie for nearly three years before the blog was born, and it’s really been a treat to be a part of it and to watch it grow for nearly two years since.

Beijing beginnings

I was lucky enough to live in Beijing for a few years, and to meet Maggie while I was there. We shared an instant bond over living in unfamiliar countries (she had just moved back from Japan, I had just gotten to China), traveling to new places (at the time, she had recently returned from Egypt, I was soon to venture to South Africa), and the fascinating array of cuisines around the world.

Our adventures, both in and out of Beijing, often involved exploring regional specialty cuisine – together we discovered African Chicken in Macau, Rou Jia Mo in Xi’an, the best hot pot of our lives in Chongqing, and roast yak in Qinghai. The non-culinary parts of our trips brought us to the breathtakingly scenic Mount Hua and Mount Tai and to the vast deserts, mountains, and Buddhist monasteries of the Tibetan plateau. Each of these trips, as well as those that followed, have brought us closer together and helped shape our perspective on the world. We’re both very interested in gaining insight on the world’s cultures through cuisine, and travel is a huge part of that.

Thomas and Me at Tibetan Plateau | omnivorescookbook.com

Thomas and Me at Xi An | omnivorescookbook.com

Staying connected

We did spend quite a bit of time cooking together while in Beijing, but I didn’t really learn to cook any Chinese food before returning to the US and embarking on a long distance relationship.

Fortunately, this blog has given me a way to replicate the home-cooked Chinese dishes I miss (which are largely unavailable in the US). Deep down, I actually miss the entire experience of being in China – exploring a new world of unfamiliar of language and culture, yet having the comfort of being with one person who understands me.

For me, food offers a sort of time travel – a taste of a dish from my past can instantly bring me, mentally and emotionally, back to a certain time and place. Classic homestyle Chinese dishes, such as hot and sour soup and zhajiangmian, widely appealing and comforting as they may be, are specific and unique enough to allow me to relive the wonder I experienced in Beijing.

Another thing this blog has given us is an additional medium to connect through. Not only do the recipes here resonate with my fond memories of us being together in Beijing, but we have also spent a lot of time working with each other to make the blog better.

Whether brainstorming recipes together, giving feedback on what does/doesn’t work, finding inspiration in books or on the web, or discussing the best expression to use in a post, we’ve almost certainly spent more time together because this blog exists. I can’t claim very much credit for the awesomeness it’s become, but the fact that I’ve been able to collaborate on it has brought us closer together – a great (and perhaps unintended) side effect.

Adventure in Istanbul - Travel Photos and Shoot Locations

Bridging the longest distance

It has sometimes been challenging to stay close across the long distance over the past two and a half years. Some of the adventures we’ve taken together since being 7000 miles apart have been documented on the blog, and it’s true that every time we meet is like going on a date.

Only meeting two or three times per year, we have to try to live an entire year in those few weeks. But the other 47 or so weeks out of the year, they can be difficult. Further complicating things is the reality of a 13-14 hour time difference, which realistically gives us a window of only a few hours per day in which we could talk, and those also happen to be the hours that one of us is getting ready for work and the other is getting ready for bed.

I will spare you the details of the pain of being so far apart, but for us, the relationship has been one of those things where you either have to give up or give it everything. There is no such thing as a half-hearted relationship over that kind of distance.

A new adventure

Fortunately, we have worked out a plan to eliminate those 7000 miles. A new adventure is on our horizon, an adventure that will last the rest of our lives. I am elated and excited to announce that Maggie and I are engaged and that she will be coming to live with me in the US! This summer we will be starting our life together in the fine city of Austin.

Getting engaged | omnivorescookbook.com

We have been working on this plan for quite a while, having submitted our original petition to Homeland Security back in August of last year. The immigration process is a long one, with countless forms, verifications, and evidence required. More than anything, though, it just requires waiting. I suppose there’s not really any way around it, but that waiting, combined with the uncertainty of whether the petition will even be approved, is worrisome at times.

Luckily for us, the petition was approved after nearly seven months of waiting, and our case has progressed to the State Department for visa processing. The longest and most difficult part of the process is behind us, and we’re eagerly looking forward to the visa application and interview to follow.

Another way food brings us together

Since this is a cooking blog, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a recipe with you. This past Valentine’s Day, we weren’t able to be in the same place physically, to celebrate the occasion. We decided that a virtual date over Google Hangouts was the next best thing, and that brunch was the optimal meal to have together, as whatever can pass for brunch can also pass for dinner (we both happen to like brunch a lot, especially with a bottle of bubbly).

Mushroom Omelet Ingredients | omnivorescookbook.com

We also wanted to cook the same dish, as much as possible, given the different food available in our different locations. We chose a mushroom omelet, as it is a simple and satisfying classic.

The omelet is topped with a tomato sauce similar to the Spanish sofrito, which we habitually enjoy with tortilla española. There is something fundamentally delicious about the combination of tomato and egg, as evidenced by the Chinese tomato egg stir fry, sofrito and Spanish omelet, and the ubiquitous children’s dish of scrambled eggs with ketchup, and we didn’t hesitate to apply the principle here.

We prepared this dish and enjoyed it at the same time – she in the morning in Beijing and I in the evening in Austin. While there may be something inherently un-romantic about spending Valentine’s Day dinner talking and toasting to a computer, I am extremely thankful that I live in a world where it is possible for us to share a moment like this.

Here you are – the 7000-Mile Omelet.

Mushroom Omelet | omnivorescookbook.com

Mushroom Omelet with Tomato Sauce Recipe

Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Fusion
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

For the omelet

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms I used shiitake, enoki and white mushrooms
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper

For the sauce

  • 1 small tomato cubed
  • 1/2 small onion cubed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

For the mushroom topping

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups minced mushrooms I used shiitake, eryngii and white mushrooms
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram powder

Instructions

To make omelet

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat until warm. Add garlic, stir a few times until fragrant. Add mushroom. Stir and cook until the liquid is evaporated. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Transfer all the mushrooms to a plate.
    Omelet Mushroom Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  • Omelet Mushroom Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  • Combine 2 eggs and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Mix well.
  • Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium heat until warm. Pour the egg into the skillet and let it cook until the bottom is set. Add half of the mushrooms on top. Fold the omelet into a half-moon shape. Cook a bit more and transfer to a plate. (*see footnote) Cook the other omelet in the same way.
    Omelet Mushroom Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  • Omelet Mushroom Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com

To make tomato sauce

  • Mix tomato and onion in a medium size bowl. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Add olive oil and garlic into the same skillet. Heat over medium heat. Stir a few times until fragrant. Turn off heat and immediately pour everything onto the tomato.
  • Drizzle lemon juice and add cilantro. Mix well and set aside.
    Omelet Mushroom Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  • Omelet Mushroom Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com

To make the mushroom topping

  • Heat butter in the same skillet over medium heat until melted. Add garlic and stir a few times until fragrant.
  • Add mushrooms. Stir and cook until the liquid is evaporated.
  • Lightly season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with marjoram powder. Stir to mix well.
    Omelet Mushroom Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  • Omelet Mushroom Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  • Transfer to a small bowl.

To serve omelet

  • Add mushroom topping and tomato sauce onto the omelet. Serve immediately.

Notes

You can also choose to use less oil and cook scrambled eggs instead of an omelet. Turn to low heat. Transfer half of the mushrooms to a plate and leave the rest in the skillet. Pour the egg on top of the mushrooms. Stir and cook until the egg is just cooked. Transfer everything to a plate immediately.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 2 servings generated by this recipe.

Mushroom Omelet Nutrition Facts | omnivorescookbook.com

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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54 thoughts on “The 7000-Mile Omelet + A Big Announcement

  1. Kathleen | HapaNom

    Omg, this is such a lovely story! And you two are adorable together – congratulations on the engagement and upcoming move! If you’re ever traveling through Atlanta, let me know! We’ll have to have a cooking party!

    Omelets are one of my favorite breakfast dishes, and this recipe would definitely be very popular in my house! I especially love your generous use of mushrooms – nom nom nom 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Kathleen! Will definitely let you know when we travel to Atlanta. Really looking forward to having a fusion cooking party with you 😉

      Reply
  2. Lail | With A Spin

    Congratulations, Maggie and Thomas!! What a great news. I can totally relate to the pain of long distance relationship and the painstaking immigration process as my husband(then boyfriend) and I had been in to one for about 5 years. So happy for the two of you.

    Also, Maggie, Austin is about 3 hours drive away from where I am and we often go there to meet friends. I hope once you settle in, we get to meet in person some day. Best wishes. xoxo

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Lail! I’m so glad to hear you live nearby. Let’s definitely find a time to cook together, and I’m looking forward to learn more about Bangladeshi cooking 🙂 Really excited that we can meet in person soon!

      Reply
  3. Shinee

    OMG, Congrats, you guys!!! What a beautiful story. It reminded me of my dear friends’ story as well. I had no idea about the painfully long application process, but now that it’s behind, so many exciting stuff is awaiting for you! So happy for both of you!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Shinee! I didn’t expect the process is so long and painful either! Can you believe we already made a long list of the restaurants we gonna try out in Austin? 😉

      Reply
  4. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners

    Oh my gosh, I am crying while reading this -SO happy for you guys!! We’ve done the virtual dinner thing over Skype and it can actually be quite awesome. Such a wonderful love story. You have so many wonderful adventures ahead of you! Congratulations 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Robyn! When Thomas passed me the post and I finished reading, I actually told him “hey, your writing is really amazing and 10 times better than mine, would you like to take over the blog?” lol
      Yeah, virtual dinner sounds a bit strange, but it’s the best thing we can do for long distance. Thanks to the grate invention of the internet!

      Reply
  5. Prash @ YummilyYours

    Maggie! This is exciting news! First off, Congratulations to the two of you. 🙂 Second, you are moving in to Austin! I live in Dallas, a 4-hr drive from you. Once you are all settled in, we shall plan a cook-your-pants-off party! 😀

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Prash! I’m so glad to hear you’re living so close by 🙂 Never had a cook-your-pants-off party before but I want it NOW! I will need your help with learning Indian spices and I can cook some Chinese dishes to share. How fun! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Kevin! Really excited about Austin because I heard all the good words about the food truck and tacos. Can’t wait to try all of them! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy

    Congrats Maggie! Wonderful news! and what a beautiful ring! I m sure this time of planning and preparing for the new chapter of your life is exciting! Enjoy it! 🙂 I had to go through the immigration process myself and i know how tedious it is.

    Reply
  7. Kayiu @ Saucy Spatula

    Maggie and Thomas,

    Congrats on the engagement! I’m so excited for you guys to embark on a brand new journey together! Picking up your entire life and adapting into a brand new one is never easy, but I know Maggie will do just fine given her amazing self!

    I heard Austin is one fine city (a friend of mine who moved there loves her new city), and I cannot wait to come visit!! 😉 (Yes, I’m creepy and kinda invited myself there already! LOL)

    Anyway, I cannot wait to hear all the things about your new life together in ONE place!

    恭喜你們 Congrats you two! 🙂 The power of love! YEAH!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Haha Kayiu, nope, it’s not creepy at all and you’re always welcome to stopping by! I’ll probably come up with some sort of lists already by then (e.g. the 100 food trucks you need to try or ultimate guide of tacos places), so I’ll be your food tour guide 😉
      Thanks for all your kind words and I’m really excited about my new adventures. Looking forward to see you in person soon 🙂

      Reply
  8. Christine | No Gojis No Glory

    Congrats to the both of you for overcoming the tremendous challenge of a long distance relationship, and taking the next step in your journey together! I’m so excited for you guys!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Christine, thanks for all the kind words! Really looking forward to travelling more in the US and hope we could have the cooking party soon!

      Reply
  9. Nagi@RecipeTin Eats

    OMG OMG!! CONGRATULATIONS!! Maggie, I am so excited for you! You guys make the MOST ADORABLE COUPLE EVER! I love seeing those photos of you two together. And moving to the US?? SO EXCITING! AGGGHH!! Guess what, I’m coming over at the end of this year! I hope you are in Austin by then as I am definitely going to texas!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Nagi! Are you planning another road trip? I just saw you mentioned you’ll travel to Maxico this year. How exciting! Have you figured out the time when you’ll go to the US? According to my plan, I should be in Austin in July (if everything goes smoothly!). Definitely stop by Texas if you can! I will organize a big party to welcome you 🙂 I’m already planning it in my head. E.g. get some grills and we can have BBQ (Texas style, kebab and Chinese chuar the same time) and beer party by the lake! (and another 10 party ideas in my mind)

      Reply
  10. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Maggie!!!! CONGRATS!!!!! and I love that your (now) fiance wrote this post! so special!!! I was born and raised in Dallas, TX and attended the University of Texas at Austin!!!! you will love Austin .. such a great and diverse city, with GREAT food!!! so excited for you!!!!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Alice! I didn’t you you’ve been living in Austin. Great to hear you like the city and the food! It will be my first time to visit Austin and I’m super excited about it!

      Reply
  11. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter

    This is the BEST news!!! Congratulations Maggie and Thomas!!! So so happy for both of you! I absolutely loved reading this post – seriously brought tears of happiness to my eyes! So excited for your new life together in Austin! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Kelly, thanks so much for these kind words! Hopefully we could meet in the US one day, and do let me know if you ever travel to Austin 🙂

      Reply
  12. Lokness @ The Missing Lokness

    Awww…. How sweet! Congratulations to the both of you! You two are so cute together! It is so exciting that you will be moving to Texas soon!

    I have been through the petition process. I know how painful it is. But I am sure you have passed the most difficult part by now. Everything should be much smoother and easier at this point!

    Once again, congrats! We will soon be closer! Hope to visit you one day! 😉

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Lokness! I hope the most difficult part is finished, but still quite anxious about the visa application. Hope everything goes well and fingers crossed!
      Will let you know once I got there and looking forward to touring you around Austin 🙂

      Reply
  13. Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    Ooooh … what a WONDERFUL story! I devoured every word of this post!
    As a Brit (previously) living in Greece & now married to an Australian, I somewhat understand the particular challenges of what you’re trying to achieve. You will get there, guys. It’s SO worth the journey & patience, as I’m sure you know already!

    Great joint job on the blog, by the way. I have been enjoying Maggie’s blog for a few months now and will certainly be sticking around. I was wondering if Maggie had a little perfect-English-speaking ‘helper’ hidden away somewhere! 😉

    I really hope we’ll be reading more from you here soon!

    Wish you both all the very best with all your exciting plans!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks so much for the kind words Helen 🙂 Pretty sure I will let Thomas handle more blog posts because I found he’s very talented at this 🙂 (write mush faster and better than me!)
      Btw, he has been living in Greece for a while too. If we will ever meet in person some day, pretty sure we have a lot to talk about!

      Reply
  14. mira

    This is such a great post! Congrats Thomas and Maggie! So happy for you! And congrats Maggie on coming to the US soon! You’ve done a great job with the blog! Omelettes are my favorite for breakfast, when I have time 🙂

    Reply
  15. Michelle @ The Complete Savorist

    Maggie (and Thomas) I am so excited and happy for you. Congratulations. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness. What a wonderful post. Looking forward to reading more about the adventures as the move get closer and the long anticipated reunion and new life together begins. Oh the omelet looks good too!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks for the kind words Michelle! I’m pretty sure I’ll have more to write about after the moving. Everything will be new to me and really excited about living in Austin 🙂

      Reply
  16. elaine

    Great news! Maggie!

    It is really touching to hear that you two will live together in the future after the long distance relationship. Wish you two happy in the following life adventure and eating more yummy and delicious food together.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks so much Elaine! We will explore more delicious food in Austin for sure. And hopefully I can still find Asian ingredients to cook Chinese food too 😉

      Reply
  17. Patty

    I am really excited to have you as a sister, Maggie. Thomas could not have chosen a better woman to share his life with.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I’m so happy to hear you saying this Patty 🙂 Me too, very glad to have you as a sister.
      It’s a pity that I can’t make it to the Spring break this year, but really looking forward to seeing you guys soon!

      Reply
  18. Karen

    That’s wonderful, happy news, Maggie! I saw your post on Instagram and just wanted to come here and congratulate you and Thomas.

    The omelet looks delish by the way! (I had to google eryngii mushrooms – I only knew them as king oyster mushrooms…and I learned something new today :p)

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks for the kind words Karen!
      Wow, didn’t know the mushroom has another name! Great to know it and I just learnt something new too 😉

      Reply
  19. Susan

    Congratulations, Maggie and Thomas. Your story gives me goosebumps. I’m very happy for you, and wish you a long and happy life together. Austin is a great city, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, too.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Susan. I really like to explore a new city, and I believe there’s so many things I can discover in Austin. First plan, food truck tour 🙂

      Reply
  20. Michelle Masters

    Congrats ! Your going to love Texas. I can’t wait to move back home. I hate being a missed place Texan. I can’t wait to see you mixing up some recipes from down south. Best wish’s

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks so much for you kind words Michelle! I heard Austin is an awesome city and I’m really looking forward to my new life there. And yep, I’ll start to cook more local food. And one of my biggest goals is to find THE perfect BBQ recipe 🙂

      Reply
  21. Bam's Kitchen

    Congratulations Maggie and Thomas!!! I am so delighted to hear this news and your plan to shorten the 7000 mile gap! Just think blue skies, less humid and a new life. No worries, I am sure you will find an Asian grocery store near you and if not just let me know and I can sort you out well, at least for a bit longer while we are still in HK. Let me know if you need anything during the transition. Take care, BAM

    Reply