February 2017: Sweet and Slow Winter

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Beta 5 chocolates for Valentine’s – Pop up on Cambie till Valentines day, it’s time to go back and pay a visit!
How’s your New Year so far? After “MIA” for almost two months I finally have time to catch up a little…I have been busy at work and spent most of January fighting the flu bug…and I have spent some wonderful time with my lovely sister…

Catch me on Wednesday February 22nd, 2017 1030 am sharp, Ms. Deborah Moore’s show on AM 1470 (OO)


A different kind of cooking:  My new favorite stores on Main (Soap Dispensary and Welk’s)

My lovely sister is a beauty guru; she lives for beauty products and fittingly she’s in the business. During her recent visit while “snowed in” and confined to home, she decided to try something new and turned my kitchen into an experimental beauty lab.  Our DIY’s are based on recipes my sister found online through many sources, we whipped up different batches of creams and balms, giving them away as precious Valentine’s gifts.

I find the process much simpler than soap making; as there are no chemicals involved, so it is much easier to handle.  There are lots of videos available on-line you can use as reference; the best part is spending quality time with my sis…

My latest favorite shops on Main: the wonderful Soap Dispensary (soap refills, “low impact” living and fine products) and Welk’s (General store where we purchased the mason jars, they have almost everything at reasonable prices).

https://www.thesoapdispensary.com/

http://www.welks.ca/

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Orange Chocolate Body Butter – my sister made this especially for me, my childhood favorite was the Jacob’s Orange Chocolate Biscuit…

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Different blends of Lip Blam – Bee Wax, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil all mixed up and “flavored” with different oils: orange, frankincense , lavender, rose hip….and honey
Simple lip balm recipe:Sterilized the little containers. Melt 100 g mixture of different oils (50 g coconut oil and 50 g sweet almond oil) and 18 g of bee wax in a double boiler or small glass bowl over a small pot of boiling water, keep stirring until melted.  Add 1 to 2 spoonful of honey, stir and mix well. Remove pan from heat but keep mixture over the still hot water to keep mixture melted.  Add your favorite essential oils: we used orange and frankincense).  Pour into container and let it set.

(Frankincense (sap burnt in incense) is a common essential oil use in aromatherapy,  can help to reduce stress, pain and inflammation, boost immunity etc).

Van Koji Foods, Benkei Ramen and Japanese Crepe Sasuke at Nikkei Center Flea Market:

Two years ago I’ve talked about using shio koji (see old short blog post), a natural seasoning made with salt, water and rice koji (typical mold -Asperiguillus Oryzae used for fermentation) and I’ve read about making this natural seasoning (from Just One Cookbook) at home.

Recently when I checked out the Book and Flea Market at the Nikkei Center, I made a wonderful discovery: meeting Ms. Tonami who makes and sell koji products from her company, Van Koji Foods.  I have used the shoyu koji as a marinade for a mushroom rice dish and it has a very nice subtle flavor.  I had a lovely chat with her and later signed up to attend the miso making class in early March.

http://www.vankoji.com

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I also had some delicious foods at the market:  Japanese Crepe Sasuke (Richmond Market – currently no permanent physical location): nice thin crepe with strawberries and matcha ice-cream,  check out their page on Facebook.

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Japanese Crepe Sasuke : Strawberry and Matcha Icecream Crepe: – perfect dessert for me! Strawberries and crepe has always been my favorite…all ties back to childhood memories.
And a mini bowl of shio ramen from Benkei Ramen:  remember Taka-san, Japanese sushi chef who teaches sushi making class at the Nikkei Center during the winter season?  He is also the creator behind Benkei Ramen.  I stopped by the stall to make the purchase and he remembered me!  Taka-san, great seeing you!  Check out his Facebook page (Taka’s Sushi Class) and look for updates for his classes.

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Mini Shio Ramen hit the spot on cold rainy day

Interesting Read: The Ultimate Grocery Storage Guide from food connections (Thanks to fellow Dinner Party YVR hobby chef Ms. Elaine Cheng for sharing on the homepage)

Useful tips for reducing food waste!

http://www.food-connections.com/grocery-storage-guide/

Vietnamese Food:  Au Petit Cafe (4851 Main Street, Little Mountain – Vancouver), Mr. Red Cafe (2680 West Broadway in Kitslano) and Banh Mi Tres Bon (Smart Centre – Richmond)

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Old Favorite Au Petit Cafe – My sister ordered the chicken pho for the first time, tender chicken, clear broth and green vegetables,; I stick with my all time favorite: pork meatball with French bread.

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Checked out the Mr. Red Cafe in Kitslano finally! – Love the Vietnamese Crepe – prawn, egg, bean sprouts, mint, lettuce and fish sauce for dipping sauce

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Banh Mi Tres Bon – new Vietnamese/French cafe style eatery in Richmond – Enjoyed their vegetarian banh mi; first timers may check out their trio (meatball/chicken and house special) to try their flavors; Vietnamese French Coffee and TWG teas available. It gets very busy quickly, take out available.
 

 

 

August 19th, 2015 Radio Show

IMG_8884I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on AM1470 this morning 10:30am sharp!  Really look forward to chat with her about food and anything else! Content is subject to change, depends on the flow of the program.  Thank you very much for tuning in!

Cool down with “real food” – Hiyashi Chuka (Japanese Chinese Cold Noodle)

Here’s my version of the Dipping sauce: 200 ml dashi stock (or chicken stock), 120 ml organic soy sauce, 100 ml rice vinegar, 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, maple syrup (sugar is normally used, adjust to taste)

Heat dashi, soy sauce and maple syrup in saucepan, bring to a boil and turn off the heat.  Add the rice vinegar while mixture is hot, then finish off with the tablespoon of sesame oil.  Pour mixture into clean glass bottle, refrigerate after it cools down.

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My version of hiyashi chuka: Boiled prawns, fish cake, cherry tomatoes, seaweed, braised shiitake mushrooms, cucumber , kinshi tamago (egg omelet), and Chinese noodles, served with homemade dipping sauce and japanese mustard
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skewer the prawns with bamboo sticks when blanching

Pork Belly Garlic Scape wraps with “shogayaki” sauce:  (full recipe coming soon); I served this with cauliflower “fried” rice and it was a delicious combination.  Thank you PPQ for inspiring this dish!

Ginger apple sauce: mirin, soy sauce, grated onion, grated granny smith apple, grated ginger root (ratio 1-1-1-1-1) and sake or water (1), maple syrup (to sweeten, adjust accordingly)

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Food Finds on East Hastings:

Mr. Red Cafe: Northern Vietnamese cuisine, friendly service, delightful dishes prepared with lots of care and love, great prices

address: 2234 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC.

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Traditional Vietnamese sticky rice with mung bean and fried shallots
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Appetizer: Steamed pork and shrimp tapioca dumpling wrapped in banana leaf

Basho Cafe: Quaint and cozy Japanese cafe serving savory lunch sets and the cutest baked goods with In-house Coffee Master 

2007 East Hastings (and Victoria)

http://www.bashocafe.com

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Tiny tasty baked goods on display at Basho: mochi cakes, lemon loaf, matcha brownie., kabocha muffin…just to name a few..and we want to try them all!

Pear Tree: 17 years on East Hastings..it’s great to revisit old favourites in town http://www.peartreerestaurant.net

In April I celebrated my birthday at Pear Tree restaurant and had the most delicious vegetarian carrot risotto ever..I had to ask our server three times to check if indeed it was vegetarian…

Are you sure this is a vegetarian dish?
Are you sure this is a vegetarian dish?

Chau Veggie Express: 5052 Victoria Drive (between 34th and 35th): Serve primarily Vietnamese inspired vegetarian and vegan dishes, casual communal dining.

http://www.chowatchau.ca

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Insanely delicious taro chips with spicy dip (made from tofu)

Must try: To Die For lemon Loaf, made by hand in Vancouver, BC 

http://www.itstodiefor.ca

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Food waste:  What can we do?

The new organics/recycled bylaw and volunteer stints at UGM makes me rethink more about the way we live..

Coincidentally last month I came across this interesting post on Twitter which led to an old article posted through Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s website…

http://www.marcussamuelsson.com/news/165-billion-in-food-waste-what-can-you-do