Spiced maple apple upside down cake

Hi everyone,

Today’s post will be a short but very sweet one. I want to share with you a delicious, comforting, incredibly moist apple maple cake with you. 176

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Have these pictures convinced you that little description is needed for this cake? No? Yes? This cake will sure to be a hit with whoever you choose to share it with! And the best part of it, it’s technically healthy for you; there are apples in it after all. Right? Perfect for breakfast I must say – heated up with a cup of coffee, how could you go wrong?
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Fish en Papillote

Hi everyone,

Mediterranean style fish en papillote
Mediterranean style fish en papillote

Growing up in an Asian family, steamed whole fish was a staple in our diet. I remember going to to the Asian supermarket with my parents and watching the fish swim in the tanks. And lo and behold, one of those swimming fishes would end up on our dinner table. Nowadays, live fish are available in most supermarkets but now living by myself, I realise that I do not have the stomach to cook a whole, recently live fish by myself. Instead, I choose to buy fillets and bake them. Recently I saw a picture of fish en papillote – a mix of steam and baked fish on the internet and was inspired to switch up my norm!

Asian style fish en papilotte
Asian style fish en papilotte

Over the weekend, Chipgirlfoodie and Alicia came over to try out my brand new Anova precision cooker (more to come later)! We decided to sous vide some duck breast, roast vegetable, make spicy Korean rice cakes and make fish en papillote! A lot of food for 3 girls, I know and we managed to polished  it all off save a few carrots….

Anova Precision Cooker
Anova Precision Cooker

To save you all from reading a ridiculously long post, I am only going to focus of the fish en papillote in this post. I was so impressed with the way the fish turned out, I made it again for dinner tonight! Because the fish is wrapped and baked in liquid, the fish comes out incredibly moist and flaky. From start to finish, this recipe will take you no longer than 20 to 30 minutes depending on what you decide to add to the dish. For our little dinner party, we decided to make a Mediterranean style fish and for dinner, I decided to recreate the flavours of my culture with a twist with a brown butter, soy, ginger, garlic, chilli fish.  Continue reading

Simple butter free loaf cake

Hi everyone,

I have a weird fixation with cake. I love cake and frosting, specifically cream cheese frosting but I don’t like all baked goods, like cookies, I’ll eat them if I’m desperate, but won’t go out of my way to eat them. At work recently, I had an intense craving for egg-y, vanilla cake. I also knew that with my unpredictable work schedule, I wouldn’t have time to wait for my butter to soften if I wanted to get to bed a decent hour. Instead, I needed to find a recipe that required no softened butter, so melted butter recipes or coconut oil recipes.017

A couple clicks on google and up popped a “Lemon Pound Cake with Coconut Oil”. Looked simple enough and I had most of the ingredients save the half and half but I had buttermilk, same difference right? So off I went!022

The cake was incredibly moist and dense. I altered a few things based on what I had and what I had energy for but the cake still turned out really well! The only thing I would change is the cooking time and temperature. At 300 degrees F., the cake needed every minute of the suggested 1 hour and 30 minute bake time to fully cook through. Because of the long bake time, the loaf was able to develop and nice crunchy crust that was delicious. The next time I make this though, I will try bake it at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. Continue reading

Turkey chili with cheddar biscuits

Hi everyone,

I don’t think I have professed my love yet, but I love my cast iron skillet. I picked up my handy heavy duty skillet from Crate and Barrel during Boxing Week and never looked back. I effectively use this pan for everything now. I love that the pan can withstand and handle a high heat point making it easy pan fry and sauté. Because I have flat electric elements on my stove, there is no point of getting a wok because the sides won’t heat up sufficiently. Since the cast iron skillet can withstand a high heat temperature, I just wait until the pan is screaming hot (use an oven mitt) and quickly throw my ingredients and make my stir fries that way.

Orion loves chili and freshly baked goods. There may have been certain instances where I have made banana loaf and before I know it, the whole loaf has been devoured. With the weather steadily dropping (Vancouver’s warm spell has come to an end), I decided to make a lazy one skillet chili dish and top them off with Pillsbury biscuits… wait wait…I mean homemade cheddar biscuits! How hard can it be right? I mean I learned how to make scones in Foods 12….10 years ago…..

The biscuits were surprisingly easy to make and turned out light and flakey! I will definitely be making different variations of these in the future! I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet and it was big enough to make the whole chili in it without any spillage. This one pan recipe was a hit with Orion and Gail and clean up was a breeze – one pan recipe remember? One note of advice: have everything ready to go for the chili, the pan is hot so the food cooks fast. There isn’t much time in between steps to prep the ingredients.  Continue reading

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Hi everyone,

Today I would like share with you a simple 20 minutes dinner recipe that is not only delicious but good for you! After a long week of work, I lightly toyed with the idea of going out for a meal with Orion but opted to enjoy a meal together within the confines of our home (ie: in front of the TV) with a nice bottle of wine. Given the simplicity of the meal that we had, I initially had not planned on blogging on this but the chimichurri sauce that I whipped up was too good not to share.

The bright, spicy, and garlic-y chimichurri was definitely the star of the show. This sauce really helped lighten an otherwise very meaty and fatty piece of meat. In the quest to be more cognizant of portion sizes and red meat intake, Orion and I shared one steak and served a large salad (sweet kale salad from Costco) and boiled broccoli on the side.

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Chicken Pho (pressure cooker)

Hi everyone,

Right before Christmas, I treated myself to a “pressure cooker”. I “quote” because in the effort to save counter space, I purchased a 5 in 1 Fast Slow Cooker  from Breville which features slow cooker, saute, steam, pressure cooker and warm functions. I have never owned a pressure cooker before and while critics may say that this is not a legit pressure cooker, I have nothing to compare it with but I am super happy with the pressure function of this product!

Breville Fast Slow Cooker!
Breville Fast Slow Cooker!

Recently I came across an article on Serious Eats for pressure cooker chicken pho. I love pho otherwise known as Vietnamese noodle soup. This is comfort food for me, a large bowl of carby goodness (rice noodles) topped with meat and steaming hot broth. I have always toyed with the idea of making my own pho broth but the thought of standing over the pot for 12 hours skimming off layers of foam was not appealing to me. When I came across this recipe, I was stoked, pho after 20 minutes in the pressure cooker? Sign me up!

Chicken Pho!
Chicken Pho!

I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty the broth was after only 20 minutes in the pressure cooker! It had a nice clean flavour, but found that it lacked a bit of depth. However, when I had the leftovers the next day, the flavours had settled in more and the soup tasted richer. Next time I make this, I will prepare the soup the day before and let it sit overnight in the fridge to give the flavours more time to meld together. I will also add some chicken wing tips which is fatty and contains collagen to create a silkier, and richer broth.  Continue reading

Lavender lemon bars

Hi everyone,

Busy season is right around the corner and things at work are picking up. I’m finding it harder to make time to blog especially during the weekdays. I am still cooking away but more for nourishment (ie: feed my tummy) rather than for fun. On the weekends, I am still aiming to create one pretty/elaborative/photograph’s well dish so I can at least post one yummy item a week and maybe one of my quick meals on the go!

Lemon Bars
Lavender Lemon Bars

Today I decided to make lavender lemon bars. The lavender part because I wanted to spice or sweeten? them up from the normal lemon bars. I’m normally not a big fan of lavender in my food preferring it in my lotions and body washes but decided to put some lavender in to change up the otherwise classic recipe. Throughout the process, I kept thinking the lavender scent was extremely overpowering and was regretting my decision to blend the lavender into the sugar. The taste was surprisingly delicate, giving off a light floral flavour. If I wasn’t looking for it or know that lavender was in the bars, I may not have guessed the lavender was in the bars. So I will call this experiment a success!  Continue reading