Comforts!

April 6, 2016

When you’ve got some time on your hands, nothing beats some homemade comfort foods.

My first time making tomato soup – fresh, tangy, healthy, yummy! As a kid growing up, I loved having the Campbell’s tomato soup with Premium Plus crackers. Now I know, homemade soup is on a whole different level!

IMG_7500 Would love to eat these fresh on the streets of Korea one day, but for now, we will enjoy some piping hot Hotteok at home! These are sweet chewy pancakes with a molten brown sugar, cinnamon and walnut filling – as delicious as it sounds! IMG_7486

Kitchen Moments of February & March 2016

February 21, 2016

Roasted Japanese eggplant!

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February 27, 2016

A nice batch of homemade kimchi – using mom’s famous recipe and my favourite – sugarloaf cabbage!

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And I have perfected a new favourite in this Canadian household – Butter pecan tarts! Now we don’t have to crave them anymore!

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March 2, 2016

I made one of our favourite Vietnamese dishes – Bun Rieu Cua – vermicelli served in a crab infused tomato broth with crab cakes, tomatoes, tofu, mushrooms and greens. A frequent request from Michael! Had Jess, Jin and Richard over to enjoy as well – the had seconds, I think that’s a good sign!

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March 5, 2016

A homemade Vietnamese classic – rice topped with fish sauce and scallion oil served with BBQ pork!

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Classic banana fritters

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March 6, 2016

I made an apple pie from scratch… for the first time! After a few goes, I think I’ve got my pastry recipe down. My crust looks laughable, but dang, it was good!

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March 19, 2016

Butternut squash on sale = making one of my favourite soups = perfection on a cool day

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March 22, 2016

An easy, but impressive favourite, crispy skin duck roast! Served with salad and golden roasted potatoes

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March 30, 2016

Somehow, I realised I had the right combination of ingredients in the fridge – pork mince, Chinese sausage, eggs, peas, onions, garlic, etc… for my mom’s traditional ‘banh bao’ or ‘steam bun’ However, I had also been craving her famous pate chaud. So we made the best of both worlds – puffed delights filled with the comforting flavours of steam buns.

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It was a kitchen day – also made a ton of my favourite white choc cranberry cookies for the O&G staff! The end of the first rotation of the year already, can you believe it?

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Ruixi & Chris’ wonderful Save the Date

They did such a great job on this, I had to share!

Fingerprint heart design on the cover, each half unique from one member of the couple.

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And the lovely surprise when you open it up… Knot tightens as the card fully opens.

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How cute is that? I love the fact that they are homemade, simple but with a really cute theme. Not to mention they were probably able to save a bunch of money!

Can’t wait to see what other surprises they have in store!

Homemade Foods!

It’s been a while since my last food update!

We’ve been cooking a lot of the same dishes I’ve made in the past, but I have baked a few new things! And don’t worry, I only bake when I can give most of it away and share… we are not constantly eating desserts, I swear!

Rice with stir fried water spinach and pan fried tofu with hoisin based sauce and crushed peanuts

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English muffin with Vietnamese BBQ ground pork, homemade garlic mayo and cucumber

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We had many lemons so it only made sense that we make a lemon loaf with lemon glaze drizzled over the top

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Mini puff pastries with cinnamon cream cheese, whipped cream and cooked pear

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Chocolate chip cookies made without butter

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Nacho night 🙂

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We bought this wonderful green tea with red bean cake at Bread Top, one of our favourite bakery chains. So tasty!

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Breakfast for dinner – something we haven’t made in a while – eggs benedict

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I made a small baked ricotta dip for the first time, pretty tasty!

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Weekend breakfast – lemony pancakes with maple syrup

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Peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies sprinkled with sea salt

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Had a little bit of gouda so baked it with some pecans and cherry jam. It looks a lot bigger in this photo than it was in real life.

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Made cauliflower (with a little bit of bacon) soup for the first time. Tasty, definitely something we’ll make again!

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Breast of love 😛

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Rice, breaded chicken with a lemon fish sauce and garlic glaze

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And that’s all for now! 🙂

Some food firsts

Since my last cooking update, I have made a number of ‘first dishes’ all of which I have been so very happy with. Today, I finally stop being lazy and share them with you!

After making risotto for the first time and having leftovers, it was only natural to try making arancini for the first time too! Arancini are rice balls that have been coated in breadcrumbs and fried.

The assembly line ready to go!

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I pan-fried instead of deep frying them so they turned out a little lopsided. Didn’t matter because THEY WERE DELICIOUS!

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This is actually the second time I’ve made this dish: rosemary butternut squash and feta cheese dip. Great with our homemade baguette crisps or pita chips!

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Potato bake. Potato tossed with (a very moderate amount of each) sour cream, white cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Also mixed in some sauteed onion and cooked bacon. Topped with mozerella and into the oven!

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Michael made cinnamon buns – I ate too many. Because they were delicious.

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After a couple of attempts, I have perfected a new recipe. Pear cupcakes… fluffy, fruity and moist! My own recipe created by my own brain. Who would’ve thought.

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I missed ‘nem nuong’ (Vietnamese BBQ’d ground pork). I finally made some for the first time since coming to Australia and… it tasted like mommy’s cooking back home. ❤ I only wished I had a BBQ!

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That wasabi lime mayonnaise we tried at Burger Urge definitely made a lasting impression. We had all the ingredients in the house so of course, we made crispy our own sweet potato chips with wasabi lime mayonnaise – delish!

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And that’s it for now! 🙂

Egg Bistro – A great find

The first thing we liked about finding our way to Egg Bistro: super easy to get to from our house via public transportation. Lovely, because it means we may have found a new favourite spot.

Warmly greeted by the friendly waitress as soon as we walked in, we were given the choice of either sitting in the air conditioned dining room or in the secluded and shaded courtyard. It was a lovely day, so we opted to sit outside.

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Service was prompt as we were immediately brought menus and water. Mike and I had a discount voucher – $19 for a value of $39, simply pay the difference if we order more. We were told that even though our voucher was for breakfast and brunch, we were more than welcomed to order from the lunch menu. A nice option as it was nearly lunch time and the lunch menu items were enticing as well.

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For drinks, Mike ordered a flat white ($4) and I got a Tea Drop Mint Strawberry Iced Tea ($4). Coffee was awesome and my iced tea was very light and refreshing – definitely good choices.

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Loved the fancy-design matching cutlery

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After a bit of deliberation, we both ended up choosing items off the brunch menu. Didn’t have to wait long, food came out quickly!

Mike ordered the smoked salmon on rye with cream cheese, spinach, coddled egg & caper hollandaise. Yummy hollandaise sauce, a nicely poached egg and generous amounts of smoked salmon – Michael was a pleased man.

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I got the spiced lamb sausages with quince, radicchio, cauliflower, kipfler & thyme dressing. Lots of components but loved the combination of flavours! The sweetness of the quince (my first time trying, not disappointed), the bitterness of the radicchio, the creaminess of the cauliflower, the poached egg, and of course, the lamb sausage – so yummy! Also a very generous portion, especially with the potatoes, I shared quite a bit with Mike and was still completely stuffed!

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Despite sitting outside in the back of the restaurant, we were checked on during the meal to make sure everything was good, and it was!

After eating, we stayed for a while and got some studying done! (Looking at lectures of skin conditions may be awkward in public spaces, haha). Never felt any pressure to leave, which was great and when we went to pay, our waitress even suggested next time grabbing the couches so we could spread out and be more comfortable.

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Home made soda syrups and jams for customers to buy. Mike and I plan to pick up something next time we’re back.

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Come back you say? Yes, most definitely. We didn’t have expectations when we read the mixed reviews online, but we could not fault a single thing during our visit. Great service and great food. We went on a weekday in between breakfast and lunch – perhaps that’s the trick to avoiding the long wait times we read about. 😉

What could make a really enjoyable experience even better? Our waitress (forgot to get her name :() had packed up 2 pear and buttermilk muffins for us to take away. She didn’t want them going to waste and figured we would be peckish later – so nice! And they were delicious 😉

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Egg Bistro on Urbanspoon

Photo #13: Blackheads Be Gone

March 12, 2012

Want to make your own pore strips? For cheap?

1 tbsp of gelatin + 1 tbsp of milk. Stir until evenly clumpy. Microwave for 10 seconds, stir, microwave another 5-10 seconds if not fully melted. Using a foundation brush or similar, test on hand first to make sure not too hot. Then paint the facial areas you would like to remove blackheads. Wait until dry and peel off. Look at the gunk taken from your face and secretly enjoy it.