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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.