About MichelleChiang.design

Southern California Designer for Residential and Light Commercial Projects

What Do I Do For A Living?

I posted a short online survey asking people what I do for a living. I only got 4 (heart-warming) responses:
Maker of fine tea bags, interior designer and space planner, freelance autoCAD or technical drawings for other designers
Drafting design
Beautiful interior/deco design
I wasn’t too surprised how few people responded. I am glad to see “design” appeared in every answer. (A friend wrote ‘guardian angel’ on my Facebook. That was so sweet! But I can’t do it for a living.)
I had been struggling with explaining my job. “Designer” sounds very vague. I have not perfected my “elevator speech”. After all these years, my name has been going around as this “good CAD drafter”. I am uncomfortable being defined to by the tools I use. I am not just a CAD technician/operator. I am a professional designer skilled and experienced in the art of drafting. CAD programs are tools I use to enhance my presentation and documentation.
My blog article back in 2012 ‘MICHELLE CHIANG’ is A Brand still describes how I feel about what I do. My job titles depend on what I want to “sell”. It’s time to rework my business mission statement and “menu”. It is more about what I want to do, rather than what I can do.

Summer Fruit Bowl

cooking time: 10 minutes – 60 minutes (depending on the amount of fruit)
Perfect for a BBQ/pool party.
2 small seedless watermelons – cut to small bite size pieces
3 ripe mangoes – peel and cut to small pieces
1 pound of strawberries – sliced
10 oz of blueberries
2 lemons – zest and juice
Thai basil leaves – tear into small pieces
Agave syrup – to taste (optional)
  1. mix all fruits.
  2. add basil leaves and syrup to taste
  3. serve cold.
  1. freeze some of the prepared fruits and assemble at the destination.

Beef Porridge

cooking time: 2 – 3 hours
Another of my lazy creations. Beef, tomatoes, and soy sauce are delicious together.
roasted beef bones (leftover bones from prime rib roast used this time)
chopped garlic
chopped onions
chopped tomatoes
thinly sliced celery
cooked rice
soy sauce
  1. in a soup pot, add oil, sauté onions, garlic, and tomatoes
  2. add beef bones to pot, add as much water as possible
  3. shimmer for 2 – 2.5 hours
  4. remove bones from pot, remove meat from bones and cut meat into small bites
  5. add cooked rice to pot, cook for 15 minutes
  6. add add kale, celery, and meat to pot, cook for 5 minutes
  7. season with salt and soy sauce
  1. if using uncooked rice, extend cooking time. Or add rice while making broth

Chili Dressing

cooking time: less than 10 minutes
This is a typical finishing touch for a lot of dishes that I grew up eating. Making this ahead of time is very convenient.
thinly sliced scallion
finely chopped chili peppers
chopped cilantro
sesame oil
  1. place scallion in a bowl, mix with some salt
  2. mix in chili peppers and cilantro
  3. dress with sesame oil


  1. good as dressing for cold cut meat and for cooked noodles (with or without broth).
  2. can be mixed with vegetables to make salad.

Chili Salad Dressing

cooking time: less than 10 minutes
disclaimer: I don’t eat salad (only if I have to). This is a recipe I “designed” for a friend who wanted to sue my chili sauce for salad. Please let me know how this turns out if you try to make it.
chili peppers
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice – half the amount of olive oil
  1. roast whole chili peppers and garlic cloves
  2. set aside roasted peppers and garlic clove, chop to small piece when cool.
  3. add chopped peppers and garlic to olive oil. (This can be used as flavoring/dipping oil.)
  4. combine step #3 with lemon juice; add salt to taste
  5. save in the jar and refrigerate
  1. oil used for salad dressing shouldn’t be heated.