Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry Blueberry Jam

The other day I made a batch of Strawberry & Blueberry Jam. 

Strawberry Blueberry Jam

Best Served with Warm French Bread

Made with fresh strawberries, blueberries, few drops of lemon juice and sugar.  Let ingredients simmer in a pot!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eat Vancouver 2010

Today I went to Eat Vancouver!! I got there rather early before the crowd came in, and ended up staying for quite some time.  I spent half the day eating and buying food. In the end I bought a pack of Bella Casara Fondue Brie Cheese from the Bosa Stand!  If you love your Brie Cheese, you will definitely love this product..  Basically you heat the cheese up in it's package, and serve.  It's pretty simple, yet brilliant.  Other products I enjoyed include, Vanilla Rice Milk, and Fentimen's Brewed Beverages.

Natur-a Vanilla Rice Milk, taste pretty good, I never knew rice milk could taste so good.  At the moment I'd rather drink this over regular milk, almond milk and even soy milk. 

Fentimen's Brewed Beverage's is best served chilled.  This is a perfect drink to have during a nice sunny day.  The best thing about Fentimen's  is that their soda's have a nice fizz, and  they carry a decent  variety of flavors.  My personal favorite would be the curiosity cola or the dandelion burdock. You can't really go wrong with cola!  Its a classic flavor. The Dandelion Burdock has an acquired taste.  It taste fruity, sweet, with a slight licorice flavor.  I probably like it because it's such a weird combination.  

Overall it was definitely worth my ten bucks, I had a great time, and it was definitely great exposure to different food products.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Salsa & Agave Mexican Grill - Rolled Tacos

The other day, I went to Salsa & Agave in Yaletown. One of the great things about this place, is that it is located near the sky train. It was raining that day, and we did not want to get drenched so we decided to head somewhere that's near the sky train.

Overall I had a pleasant experience.  The service was fantastic, the food came out fresh, and my taco's were crispy!
Stuffed Corn Tortillas pan fried, topped with lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese and avocado sauce (Pollo (Chicken), Carne Asada (Shredded Beef), Papa (Potato)

I would probably return here during the summer, to have some nachos or tacos!
Salsa & Agave Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pandan Chiffon Cake

I woke up early today, just to bake another Chiffon Cake.  So far this is the best Chiffon Cake I've ever baked!

The great thing about this cake, is that it is light and fluffy, and it taste amazing.  It contains no oil or butter. I made this cake using a recipe from another blogger (Lily's Wai Sek Hong)  It's an amazing recipe, and I highly recommend it.  

However I added a step to this recipe.   I stirred a few pandan leaves into the coconut milk, over a low fire, allowing the flavors to incorporate with the milk so the cake will be more flavorful.   

Soft Moist Pandan Cake, Waiting to be Eaten

Preparing the batter and the Final Product

Pandan Cake Close-up!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coffee Chiffon Cake

Today I baked a Coffee Flavored Chiffon Cake!  This is my first attempt ever, and I am happy with the results.  Texture-wise the cake was fluffy, and had a spongy like texture.  Taste-wise, the cake was not too sweet because I used less sugar than the recipe requires. I am usually not the best baker, because baking requires precise measurements, but I managed to pull this off...  So I tried to follow the recipe to the best of my ability, however I made some changes (because I like to experiment).  I decided to give the cake a marbling effect, and add more coffee powder and vanilla to enhance the flavor, and decrease the amount of sugar.  So far I have had a positive Chiffon Cake Baking Experience, and I would love to make another cake, as soon as my friends and family help me finish off this cake.

Coffee Chiffon Cake

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1tsp. salt
1/2 cups of veggie oil
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup of water
2tsp vanilla
3 tbs of instant coffee granules
1tbs of water
1 cup of egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2tbs instant coffee granules
1 tbs warm water
The Method
1.  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F
Egg Yolk Mixture
1. Sift flour, baking powder into a bowl.
2. Add sugar and salt to the mixture, stir well
3. Add oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla to dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Mix 3tbs of instant coffee granules with 1 tsp of hot water, and pour mixture into the bowl.
Marbling Mixture
1. Mix 2tbs of coffee granules with 1tbs water.
Egg White Mixture
1. Beat egg whites in a large bowl, until they have a foamy consistency, then add cream of tar tar, and beat eggs until they form stiff peaks.
2. Fold Egg yolk mixture into the egg whites gently, using a spatula.  
3. Pour batter into an un-greased Chiffon cake pan.  
4. Add a few teaspoons of Marbling mixture, and swirl the mixture with the batter to give a marbling effect.
5. Bake in oven for 55 minutes at 325 degrees.
6. Cool Cake by flipping the cake upside down, inside its tin, on a cooling wire. Let the cake cool till it is cold.
7. Run knife along the edges of the pan to let the cake loose.
*Recipe I used to create my version of coffee chiffon cake


Monday, May 24, 2010

Bon Chaz - Matcha Green Tea Bun

While strolling along West Hastings during my lunch break,  I could smell the aroma of freshly baked bread lingering in the air.  That is when I decided to step into Bon Chaz.  When I entered, I was offered a sample of the Original Bon Chaz.  Which is a fresh sweet milk bun with a light coffee flavor, topped with a crispy light crust and sea salt.    Ever since I had my first bite, I was determined to return to Bon Chaz to try all the different flavors they have to offer. 

The other day, I walked into Bon Chaz for tea, and I noticed that they had new flavors.  So I decided to give their newest Bon Chaz flavor a try, the Matcha Green Tea. It taste great! The bun was served fresh and hot, right from the oven, and the bread was soft.  The center of the bun had a nice matcha flavor with the consistency of pudding. I will definitely be returning to Bon Chaz sometime soon!

Matcha Green Tea Bon Chaz
Bonchaz Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 21, 2010

DB Bistro Moderne

Before I went to DB Bistro Moderne, I did my research.  When I googled DB Bistro, there were several pictures and various articles that raved about Daniel Boulud's DB Burger.  From then on, I just knew I had to try the NY's ORIGINAL db Burger.  According to the menu it is a "Top Sirloin Burger Filled with Braised Short Ribs, Black Truffle, Served on a Toasted Parmesan Bun" I am 100% sure that my burger had foie gras in the middle...
The Burger tasted amazing! The foie gras in the center made the whole Burger taste rich in flavor.   The only complaint I have is that the burger is difficult to eat without making a mess, I had to use my knife and fork!  Despite that, everything else was great, including the fries.  The fries were amazing! Texture-wise, they were very crunchy.  

Overall I had a pleasant experience at DB Bistro Moderne.  I would not mind going back!
DB Bistro Moderne on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mi Goreng - Fried Noodles

I may be biased, but I believe the best instant noodle is Indo Mie Mi Goreng!  Why? Because it taste great, it is easy to make and it is quick to make!  As a student I would usually eat Mi Goreng, during the busy final season.

Mi Goreng with Fried Shallots, Shrimp, Fried Egg and Pan-Fried Sausage.  

Mi Goreng with Fried Egg, Sweet Soy Sauce, Fried Shallots, and Cilantros

How To Cook Mi Goreng
The Method:
1. Cook Noodles According to instructions. Basically you just have to boil the noodles until they are soft enough to eat, have a bite if you are unsure.  Just don't over cook it!
2.  Mix the noodles with the packaged seasoning and sauces.  (You could eat the Mi Goreng by this stage if you want)
3.  Add your own flare to the dish.  E.g.  Add shredded chicken, shrimp, fried egg, boiled egg, fried shallots, sweet soy sauce, chilli, veggies, whatever you want really...

I usually buy Mi Goreng from the Asian supermarkets, but if they ever run out, I know where to order my Mi Goreng!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Keg Steakhouse and Bar

How do you like your steak? I prefer to have mine served medium or medium rare.   Well a few weeks ago, during the week of Dine-Out Vancouver, I went out to the Keg for a nice medium-rare steak. It was well worth it!

I definitely made the right choice, when I chose to have the Prime Rib.  I was the only one at my table who ordered the Prime Rib, and I am pretty sure that  I made the best choice. The Prime Rib was served medium rare, and came with a side of mash potatoes and crispy fried onions.

Prime Rib served medium rare, with Garlic Mash Potatoes, Onions, Horseradish, Red Wine Herb Au Jus.

Usually when I go to The Keg or any other steak house, my favorite cuts of meat  would be the Rib-Eye or the Tenderloin (Filet Mignon).  However after this experience I will probably consider adding Prime Rib to the list.

French Onion Soup
Pecan Crusted Sirloin with Goat Cheese 

On to the desserts! We had the Sweet Temptation Dessert Shots.  It was okay... but I'd rather have a slice of The Keg's Billy Miner Pie. (:

Keg Steakhouse and Bar (Thurlow) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Campfire Smores - Earls

One of the best places to go out for a nice casual lunch is Earls Restaurant, there are several locations around B.C.  Earls is one of those restaurants where you can go to have a good time, and  good conversations with friends.  Whenever I have a chance to dine at Earls, I usually order their Thai Style Wings, Clam Chowder, Pizzas or Pastas.  I highly recommend the Thai Style Wings if you enjoy eating chicken wings!  They taste great!  For dessert I would usually have the Sticky Toffee Pudding, which I find taste like warm soft chocolate cake drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce. It taste phenomenal! However recently I discovered the Campfire Smores on their menu, and I decided to give it a shot.  
Campfire Smores at Earls

The Campfire Smores are served with graham crackers, house made marshmallows, chocolate sauce, and chocolate and vanilla bean gelato.  

This dish brings me back to the days where I would roast marshmallows at bonfire with my group of friends.  Usually we would end up burning the marshmallows because we roast them to long over an open flame.  The Smores were served warm, sweet and well presented.  The marshmallows were melted to the perfect consistency and the graham cracker had a soft texture. I would definitely order this dessert again if I were looking for a sweet treat. 

Earl's (Burnaby Kingsway) on Urbanspoon Earl's (Broadway & Fir) on Urbanspoon Earl's (Robson) on Urbanspoon Earl's (Yaletown) on Urbanspoon Earl's (Burnaby Bridge Park) on Urbanspoon Earl's (Scotiabank Theatres) on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tom Kah Gai

Every time I go out for Thai Food, I always end up ordering a side of Tom Kah Gai to compliment my meal.  So one day, I decided to cook up a pot of Tom Kah Gai at home, without a proper recipe.   I basically went with my instinct with the proportions and ingredients.  I have been cooking Thai food for quite a while so I have been exposed to some of the unusual and exotic flavors of Thai Cuisine. 

The ingredients include coconut milk, chicken stock, cubed chicken, fish sauce, lime juice, mushrooms, lime leaves, galangal, lemon grass, and cilantro.  

The Method:
1. Bring chicken stock to a boil, and add 2-3 slices of galangal, 2-3 sticks of lemon grass chopped into three segments, 3 pieces of lime leaves and the cubed chicken into the pot.  Allow the flavors to incorporate.  The lemon grass, lime leaves and the galangal are the two key ingredients that really enhance the flavors of this dish. 
2. Add sliced mushrooms into the pot, along with some lime juice and fish sauce.
3. Add as much coconut milk as you want, I usually add 1/2 - 1 can of coconut milk. (Depends on how health conscious you are).  This is another key ingredient, the coconut milk really balances out the flavors. 
4. Allow the soup to simmer.
5. Garnish the dish with cilantro.  

As long as you end up with a well balanced, flavorful bowl of Tom Kah Gai, you know you are on the right track!  Go with your instinct and experiment with flavor!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Beef Bourguignon

After having French food at a French Bistro, I was inspired to create some Beef Bourguignon.  Beef Bourguignon is a classic French beef stew,  that is braised in red wine.

The method of cooking involved searing the beef until it is golden brown.  Then slow-cooking the seared beef with red-wine and vegetables until the meat is tender. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sliced Cured Salmon with Fresh Dill and Lemon

A few day's ago I found a recipe for cured salmon, and I was fascinated by the simplicity of the curing salmon.  It is so easy to make! Not only is it easy to make, it taste just like packaged smoked salmon which you can purchase from the store.

Cured Salmon is best served with: Crackers, Cream Cheese, Dill, a Lemon Wedge.

A Whole Piece of Cured Salmon Before Slicing
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