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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cake Pops 2

I decided to make more cake pops since I had some store bought icing left from last time. I thought it was suppose to last 3 months but read the label again and it said 30 days. Darn! Had to throw it out.

Luckily the cake was kinda moist that it held together as a ball so I didn't use any icing. I didn't go out to buy because the icing would be wasted since I'd use less than 1/3 of the icing.

I crumbled a cake that I froze previously and made into balls. I put them in the freezer to firm up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Roasted Squash Soup with Apple and Brie

I love soup...doesn't matter from where or what country. Give me a bowl of steaming hot soup and I'm happy!! I think it's because I grew up having soup after supper every night and if there wasn't homemade soup, well, instant was better than nothing. I don't have soup after supper all the time now and miss that so soup is a big treat!!

I'm not so into creamy soups because they are too rich. The only creamy soup I like are New England Clam Chowder and Mushroom soup. Unfortunately I don't know how to appreciate rich soups.

Recently I noticed in the last 5+ years, butternut squash soup and roasted red pepper soup are really popular. I've been wanting to make this type a soup for a long time.

What stopped me was when I looked at the recipes, many asked for cream or sour cream to be added to the soup. I know that adding the dairy product will make the soup silkier and smooth but also more calories. One big pot of this would be too much for me to enjoy.

As well most soups are pureed. I didn't own a blender until recently and Magic Bullet for a big pot of soup would take forever. So that was a major deterrent.

So when I discovered this recipe called "Roasted Squash Soup with Apple and Brie" in my The Rest of the Best and more, I was excited.

Even better was that it required ingredients I already had at home. To make it rich and creamy, the recipe asks for Brie, which seemed optional to me.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I just wanted to show my nails. I went to Bloom Essentials to get a pedicure. At Bloom Essentials, they have a pedicure called Picasso Pedicure, where they draw pictures on your nails.

I've posted my Skull nails before and really liked it. I was pretty sure I was going to get the skull one again.

The esthetician showed me the Christmas designs and I ended up also really liking the snowflake one. I couldn't decide on skull or snowflakes. The esthetician suggested doing both so I had snowflakes AND skulls.

The blue was really cool and wanted to paint my finger nails too at home but Bloom Essential sold out on their OPI "Roadhouse Blues" nail polish. They suggested to go to another spa close by to buy it. But I was walking in flip-flops in the cold that I decided that I just wanted to go home.

Now that my Christmas party is over, I probably won't be buying the nail polish. I don't wear nail polish on my fingers because I bake too often and usually touch the dough. So I didn't want people to accidentally eat nail polish in my food when it starts to flake off.

Bloom Essential's website is
You'll love their Picasso Pedicure!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Fascinator 2

At work, we decided to have a Secret Santa gift exchange. For those of you unfamiliar with this, we pick names out of a hat and buy gifts or write notes to that person. In school, we called it Kris Kringle. Anyways for work, to make it easier, we only did one gift exchange. The gift price limit was $10.

Now I hate buying gifts under pressure and dreaded this. I looked around at shops and couldn't find anything decent for $10. Then I decided to make a fascinator for the person I got.

At first I was going to use a hair comb to make the fascinator but since I was making a small fascinator, I decided it was too big.

I found a smaller hair clip that was unused at home. I decided to use that as my clip.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Meat & Bread

A friend took me to this place around springtime and I LOVED it. I couldn't blog about it then because my phone battery was dead. I was determined that I would come here again because it was is delicious and also to share with my readers.

Unfortunately I tried coming here on a Sunday and found out they were closed. So this time, I went on a Saturday. They were busy!

The name of this sandwich place is simple. It describes what they serve, Meat and Bread.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011 New Year's Resolution update- FAILED

I just broke my 2011 New Year's Resolution. After working so hard on keeping my resolution for 11 months, I finally failed. I was so close!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

ABC Restaurant

At the suggestion of an anonymous comment, I went to ABC Restaurant (愛彼茜餐室) to try out their souffle.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The One

After supper, I was very thirsty and didn't want to go home. So where did I go??? Bubble tea!!!

Went to a place called The One Restaurant (美味x係-can't replicate 3rd word)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Why is Christmas Pudding Considered Rich?

I was just talking with a co-worker and she said her husband makes the most awesome and rich Christmas pudding. I love Christmas pudding. Every Christmas, it is a treat that my dad heats up (no he does not make his own) and makes a custard sauce to go with it.

My co-worker described it as "rich". Many people have described it the same. I have always wondered how or why it was considered rich? It's filled with dried fruits, shouldn't it be health? Is dried fruit rich or unhealthy?

I tried looking at recipes to see why it was rich. Is it because it uses a lot of butter? I've seen variations of 1/2 cup butter to 1 cup butter. But cakes also use that much better. OR because of the eggs? But the recipes I looked at required 2 to 4 eggs. Cakes and creme brulees use way more eggs. Some traditional recipes use suet which is beef or lamb fat. Not many recipes I saw used it. But if it did, I guess that would make it rich, right?

OR is because it is typically served with a custard or hard sauce? That is rich. My coworker's husband serves with an alcohol-spiked butter sauce. That would also be very rich! Is this why Christmas pudding is rich, because of the serving sauce?

Why is Christmas pudding considered rich? Does anyone know the answer?

Just a rambling from the mind. (ps. It's so much nicer to blog using a computer than an iPhone!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mr Zhang's Karaoke Restaurant

Initially I wanted to have Chinese hot pot for supper but when my friends and I saw that the price was $25 per person, we decided it was too expensive and tried this new restaurant.

It seems that Northern Chinese food is quite popular. I'm not sure if it's because there are a lot of new immigrants from China and not from Hong Kong or it's a trend but many new restaurants are popping up that serve this type of food.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bel Cafe

Georgia Hotel finally opened up their cafe. Prior to their renovations, they had an amazing cafe with extraordinary desserts. It was called Senses. After they closed, I haven't found many comparable to that. I would describe their desserts like eating a cloud...that luxurious!!!

So when walking home, I saw Bel Cafe opened and walked in to see their desserts. I was disappointed with the selection since there were only 5 items....cheesecake, various pound cakes, lemon tart, dark chocolate hazelnut raspberry vanilla mousse and white chocolate something coconut. And macarons.

I bought a pistachio macaron. It was ok. I think I've had better. It didn't have enough pistachio taste compared to what I had from other bakeries.

I've started to develop a taste for macarons. Though a bit sweet, I love the airy texture. My favourite is pistachio. Actually it's the only one I've tasted since I find it too expensive to try all the flavours and end up always picking pistachio.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hot Pot Rice

One of my favourite food when I visited Hong Kong in winter is hot pot rice (煲仔飯). I like it when they cook the rice outside the door of the restaurant. Here's a close-up of rice pot made in HK that I found on the Internet.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lin Chinese Restaurant

I went to a Chinese Restaurant for lunch. I've been here a couple of times and have always enjoyed the food. Strangely, I've never been there for supper, only lunch. The restaurant is called Lin's Chinese Cuisine and Tea (林餐館).

Usually this restaurant is so busy that you have to wait for a seat but this time, we got a seat right away. Maybe it's a Sunday.

Cake Pops

I bought Cake Pop recipe book over a year ago (before my New Year's resolution). I've been wanting to try it but timing didn't work. It's got great pictures that I love looking at the pictures.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Bavarian Apple Cheesecake

After posting on my Facebook that I was willing to bake anything for anyone, as long as they pick it up or it's on my way to where I'm going, my coworker requested a cheesecake.

I decided to make this cheesecake as it's easy and one of my favourites. I've made this many times for potluck. One person commented that she's never liked cheesecake but she really enjoyed this one. I believe her because I've seen her decline cheesecakes before at other parties.

This recipe is from Kraft recipes from their website. Here is their picture of how it should look like.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I had a Thermomix class with Agnes to make some Exotic Snacks. It was a very good class as it demonstrates what the Thermomix is a capable of.

Background of Thermomix

The Thermomix is a German designed and French produced kitchen appliance. It was initially designed to make baby food, as it was healthy, safe and quick/easy to use. However, others decided to apply it in other parts of their cooking and have een very successful. Chinese have now used it to stir-fry, steam and make soups. Even professional chefs are using it to make mousse, puddings and other difficult dishes.

The Thermomix replaces many applicances including blender, grinder, blender, food processor, stand mixer, ice shavers, juicers, slow cookers and probably a lot more. The only thing that it cannot do is deep fry and bake. Actually, that's not the only downside. The downside is the price...however if you do not have a lot of kitchen appliances, and plan to buy, this will be perfect since you will only need ONE machine and it will take up less space than owning 2 appliances. Plus many of my classmates who have bought this machine have started to use it regularly and all vouch that it's a great appliance to have at home.

Here are some links praising it. Honestly, the only negative feedback with this machine is price.

Globe and Mail's view on Thermomix

This last link is from Anna and Kristina's Grocery bag. It's a blog so was not on their show.

Anna and Kristina's view of Thermomix

It cannot be bought at the store but by a dealer directly. It is a very popular applicance in Australia. If you do any search on it in English, you will find many users in Australia and ways they have learned to apply in their daily lives.

Here's a picture of Thermomix:

So back to the main topic Exotic Snacks using Thermomix:

As with all my classses, I do not take pictures of each steps since I'm learning in the class and also it's hard because there are other students around. I only take the final product. However, when I do replicate the recipe at home, I will definately show you my steps. In the case of Thermomix, I can only do that when I have access to a Thermomix.

We made three items in this class.

The first item was Green Tea Pudding. It was very nice and smooth pudding. The flavour was subtle but you can play around that by adding more sugar or green tea powder. Thermomix was used because when heating milk, this machine will keep the temperature constant so you don't need to have a thermometer. If you have ever made pudding, it's not always easy because you have to constantly stir to prevent burning and two you have to control temperature so the milk and cream doesn't boil over. With Thermomix, just put your ingredients in, close the lid and turn on the setting and after 15 minutes, your mixture is ready to be put in the fridge.

I liked it but I don't know if I'll make it again. I'm not a pudding person and if I had to eat extra calories that pudding has, I would probably prefer a different dessert. Here's a picture with Japanese red bean topping.

We then made Spinach Corn Muffin. It was so easy to make this. Just put spinach and grind. Then add other ingredients and done. If you look at my blog, I recently made this with a blender and a mixer. It was such a mess, even though the recipe is great. I green liquid from the spinach spilling out plus i had to pulverize my spinach numerous times because the blender blades were not as powerful as Thermomix's blades. I really like the muffin because of the green colour which would be great for Halloween but also because it was healthy!! It tasted good as well.

Lastly, we made a traditional Chinesse dessert called Chinese Birthday Steamed Cake (賀蕁紅粿) Wow! I loved this. I really loved the filling. It was amazing!!! I know that there is NO way I can make this without Thermomix. If I had to make this without Thermomix, I would probably not bother. As well, to make the red colour, we grounded up a beetroot, so the colour is natural plus you get the nutrients of the beet.

Without Thermomix, you can probaly use a food processor and a pot afterwards to cook the beetroot. In this case, I didn't need to use another equipment, just Thermomix mixing bowl.

Here are some pictures.

Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed this class. It was a great way for me to see even more the potential of Thermomix. I am planning to buy one for myself, as I can see myself using this for at least 2 of the above items. Also, many of my classmates who already have this machine say that they often cook their rice, soup and steam veggies/fish all at the same time so they are able to have a full meal within 15 minutes. How great is that for someone who doesn't like cooking like me?

I tried the spinach corn muffin at home and it worked really well. It was harder to make without the Thermomix but doable. The Chinese Birthday steam Cake might be a challenge without the right equipment. I will make this though!! The pudding was good but not my thing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Muffin, Cake and Brownie

Tonight I felt like baking so I baked. If I had a big freezer and ingredients at home, I'd bake more things. Actually ingredients is no problem since Safeway is opened til 12am so my problem is storage. I don't like wasting food, that unless it is eaten, I can't make more.

Tonight I made three items but will only blog on two of them. I made a pound cake, spinach corn muffin and brownies.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Traditional Chinese Pastries Class

I took another class with Agnes Chiu (趙太). Her class was a Traditional Chinese Pastry (中式糕餅班). It was a good class since I had the chance to learn pastry techniques, which I've been wanting to learn.

We made Almond Tofu (杏仁豆腐) using Chinese almond (南杏). I always thought the almond that we snack on is used to make this. As well in other recipes that I've seen, they used almond extract only. This almond tofu was quite refreshing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Portland, Oregon

I went to Portland, Oregon for an overnight trip. It was a nice trip. The people in Portland are amazingly friendly!! I thought Canada was friendly but definitely nothing like Portand. Everyone was being polite by avoiding walking into you, so both the other person and you play the avoiding each other dance that eventually the other person makes a big circle around you while apologizing. However, it was pretty dead city eg not much people or things happening. Maybe downtown is the wrong area to be.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steamed BBQ Pork (Char Siu) Bun (叉燒飽)

I had extra BBQ pork this weekend and it was way too much food to eat as leftovers plus it was pretty fatty. So I decided to make steamed BBQ pork buns. The best recipe is the one my mom used to make using Bisquick. It was a "cakey" dough. Unfortunately that recipe has been missing since 1990s and could not be found. My mom asked my grandmother and my aunt but no avail. (To my relatives in SA, if you read my blog, please ask your mom if she has a BBQ bun recipe. It's important because it came from our grandmother and don't want to lose that recipe).

Anyways, I was going to use the recipe I got from my cooking teacher but I couldn't find it either, so I used this book's recipe.

This book was a gift from a good friend many many years ago. She stated that it was pretty authentic. I agree. I haven't tried a lot of recipes because many are from other parts of China, I have so many recipes from my mom and grandmother to perfect plus I'm taking cooking classes that it's hard to try so many recipes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pop Bakery

I don't usually review books without testing recipes. It really annoys me to read book reviews of recipe books where the reviewer has NOT tried any recipe and just reviews the pictures. I can do that myself by visiting bookstores or libraries!!! So I don't review recipe books without trying it.

However, this is one review where I'm going to review without testing the book. I'm talking about Pop Bakery

I borrowed this book from the library. I was curious to see how this booked compared to the Cake Pop recipe book that I bought. I really like Cake Pop but have not reviewed it yet since I haven't tried the recipes.

To view a sample of Cake Pops, go to the author's blog, Bakerella. I love her stuff!!

Back to Pop Bakery...

The book had a great cover. That's why I borrowed the book.

However when I looked at the pictures in the book, I was disappointed with the designs. The designs were things that I would not make and would not impress others, if I made it. What made the book worse, the quality of the designs looks very amateurish. For example, the tiger pop's lines look like what I would do and I have a very shaky hand.

Final Thoughts:

Though I haven't tried the recipes, I was disappointed with the pictures and the quality of work shown. Because of that, I would not purchase this book. I know that Pop Bakery is a bakery in UK so it might taste amazing. Unfortunately, the pictures didn't attract me to make anything.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dirty Apron - Japanese Izakaya King Class

I went to a cooking class at Dirty Apron.

They are by the same owner as Medina and Chambar. I heard about the Dirty Apron in the newspaper when they first opened. However when I went to their website, I thought it was expensive. As well, I was only interested in making dessert and baking then and they didn't have much selection in those types of classes. So I just ignored it and went to other schools.

However my coworkers went to a class there and really enjoyed it. It piqued my interest.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yorkshire Pudding

Today I was in the mood to make roast the way my mom does. Many who visited my house and tried my mom's food has often said that her cooking is really good. And those who stay longer than one meal have often said that they gain weight.

Anyways since I was making roast, I decided to try to make Yorkshire pudding. I was going to use one of my recipe book's recipe. However, it said to put the batter in a 8"x8" pan. Wouldn't that make it a huge square Yorkshire pudding??? I've never seen that so I decided to go on the Internet and use a recipe there.

I found an easy one by Jaime Oliver. It was stated in a forum that it was a fool-proof Yorkshire pudding. That sound promising, as I've heard it easy to make but hard to be successful.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


This post is different from past posts since it focuses on not food but my craftiness.

A friend invited me to her 30th birthday party. She's rented out the whole restaurant to have her party. It's a high tea place so we're all suppose to wear hats or fascinator and dress up.

After seeing Kate Middleton's pictures wearing a fascinator, it's now a fashion craze. I'm not into feather only fascinators but really love hats and wanted something fancier than a headband. Here's a pic of a fascinator that I like.

Farmhouse French Bread

I made Farmhouse French bread before but didn't blog it because when blogging bread, after a while, they look the same. The first time I made it, I made it the night before, baked it the next day and had fresh and warm bread at a picnic.

Today, I was in the mood for crusty bread with cheese so decided to make a crusty bread like this one today. However I started late so had to eat something else for lunch since the bread wouldn't finish in time for lunch.

I got the recipe from Wooden Spoon Bread. It's a pretty good recipe book for bread. The only problem is it lacks pictures and diagrams, especially for breads that have special shapes and I'm not familiar with.

Friday, September 9, 2011

WE Coffee

I was craving Japanese crepe on Tuesday. I've become kinda addicted to it since eating it at Harujuku in Tokyo. It was soo good!! Anyways the Japanese crepe place was closed. I found out that it closes on Tuesday.

So then I decided to have waffles at Michi Waffles but it's was closed. It is no longer operating. Wonder what happened cos it was quite busy?

So continued walking until I reached WE Coffee. WE means West End.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Street Cart Food - Feastro Food

Tried a couple of food stalls this weekend. The one we tried was called Feastro. It's a purple food cart around Coal Harbour.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


This is not related to food. Today I just wanted to wish a Canadian icon a happy retirement. Tonight will be Lloyd Robertson's last newcast on CTV National News.

I remember as a child seeing my dad watch Lloyd on the news. As a young child, I thought he was old but remembered his voice. As a kid, I didn't know what professionalism means but he looked smart and knew what he was talking about, even if I thought it was boring (and sad).

When I grew older and started watching news, I watched CTV for sentimental reasons but realized that I enjoyed watching Lloyd. At times I tried other newscast, but felt their news too opinionated (if I can guess what angle you are aiming for, it's pretty obviously it's biased) or the news anchor without much personality or lacking professionalism and integrity.

It's interesting that my youngest brother, who is many years younger than me, also watches CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson. He was not influenced by anyone in our family, as far as I know. It just shows that Lloyd Robertson had such a strong personna and trustworthy in news that almost half a generation family member is attracted to watching his news.

Tonight Lloyd retires. I know that I will miss his voice, his knowledge and him. I wish you a happy retirement with family and friends. I'm sad that I won't see you on tv or the next generation watching you, a Canadian icon. I'll miss you ending your nightly broadcast with your catchphrase "And that's the kind of day it's been." And Thank you for giving the news to me and to Canadians for 35 years on CTV!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I really needed to make something for breakfast. Last little while, I guiltily went to Starbucks to buy their "baking." I feel guilty cos 1) I can make them 2) it costs unnecessary spending 3) I know what I put in and control the ingredients whereas with them, I don't.

Anyways so Saturday, I decided to bake something with cinnamon with some old Digweed CDs. I wanted something cinnamon not because I crave it but because the last time I baked I accidentally mixed flour and sugar with my cinnamon and it's bothered me since!!!! I felt I had to use it up.

I wanted cinnamon buns but the recipe I had needed buttermilk and I didn't want to go out and buy. So I had a choice of stacked cinnamon bread (from my Wooden Spoon Bread book) or Cinnamon Raisin Bread (from the Kitchen Aid Baking Companion). Since I never used the Kitchen Aid book, I decided to try it's recipe.

I bought this book a long time ago. It's actually one of the reason why I decided to have a New Year's resolution of not buying a recipe book unless I finish making everything in one recipe book (that New Year resolution is partially successful in that I haven't bought any recipe books but failure because I'm not going to complete 1 recipe book by the end of this year. By 2012, I'm gonna be buying!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a craze for cookies and making cookies. Right after university exams and before Christmas, I'd make three or four types of cookies. My dad said it's because after studying and writing exams, holidays were anti-climax and so I would bake to not be bored. I just kinda thought it was for sentimental reasons when my mom liked to bake for the Holidays so I was recreating that. Or simple I loved cookies that I wanted to eat them. Mine friends used to call me Cookie Monster cos I would be willing to be late for class just to buy a cookie (from Cookies by George).

Anyways, I stopped baking cookies so regularly because I experienced baking other things and really enjoyed making those other things eg bread and cakes.

Today I wanted to send some baking by mail as a gift to my brother for his birthday. Cookies were the easiest to send so decided to make Chocolate Chip Cookies from my favourite book.

I made their chocolate chip cookies before and thought it was good but too sweet. I decided to try again to see how it taste.

First I mixed flour, salt and baking soda.

Then in another bowl I mixed melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar. I reduced the white sugar by 1/4 cup.

The recipe said that the trick to successful chewy cookie is melted butter. The cool thing about America Test Kitchen is that they test ideas and recipes in order to give the best baking or cooking advice!!!

Again, I don't like how butter is measured by sticks in this book. I don't use sticks or tablespoon when measuring my butter!!!

Anyways, I also added vanilla extract. The vanilla extract I used was a vanilla bean infused vodka.
See the vanilla pods?

Put all the ingredients together.

Then mix until it becomes thick which takes about 1 to 2 minute.

Add 1 egg and 1 egg yolk and mix for 30 seconds.

Then add flour and mix for 30 seconds again.

Then add chocolate chip. I should have used semi-sweet but instead I used milk chocolate chips. I like milk chocolate more but was worried it might be too sweet so wanted to use semi-sweet. However had no choice because Urban Fare sold a big bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips for $5.99 and a small bag of milk chocolate for $3.99 and I only had $5 with me. So had to buy milk chocolate chips.

This recipe instructs that you roll 2 tablespoon of dough into a ball. Their rationale is that the edge of the cookie will be smooth and even. I personally prefer dropped cookies rather than rolled so next time, I'll just drop the dough onto the baking sheet.

After baking, let it sit on the pan for 10minutes.

Then enjoy eating or let it cool on a wire rack.

Final Thoughts:
The cookies were crispy outside and moist/chewy inside. The chocolate chips were slightly melted. Yum-mee!!!

They were really good cookies. I would still reduce sugar a little more because it's still a little too sweet for me but would make it again!!

This is a recipe you have to share because it uses a lot of butter. I guess butter is necessary to make the cookie crispy.

The book stated is if you want to freshen your cookies to make it crisp, put it in the oven for about 3 minutes.

Well, gonna enjoy my cookies!! Mmmmmmm...

La Gavroche Restaurant

Recently I went to La Gavroche for supper. It was a Monday night.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blueberry Crumble Tart

Yesterday I made a Blueberry Crumble Tart (yes I bought sugar!). It was from a recipe book I borrowed from the library called In a Small Kitchen.

The authors' name is Cara Eisenpress and Phobe Lapine. It just came out this summer. This book is designed for people living and small kitchens and don't cook very often.

I read reviews and people seem to like the simplicity and the taste of the food, though one reviewer felt the book would have been more suitable for her 10 years ago. Another comment more for those in their 20s and just starting to cook.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jang Mo Jib Restaurant

I went to a popular Korean restaurant in downtown. It's called Jang Mo Jib. The food is very tasty. They have multiple locations, though I've heard the one in downtown is the best. They can be quite busy and might need to wait to get a table. It's the restaurant I take guests to eat Korean food because the quality is consistent and don't have to worry they had an off day with their cooking. It's almost guaranteed that guests will enjoy!!


While baking hearty rolls, I also made pizza. I made dough from my favourite recipe book, The American Test Kitchen.