Sunday, December 30, 2012


Happy holidays guys! Oh my, I am so sorry, I have been falling behind on my posts and left you in the dark for so long. No worries, I have been very busy in the kitchen baking and cooking up a storm. I always try to live life first, then blog so bare with me. =) Let's see...where to start.

If you live in Toronto, chances are you heard of Winterlicious. It's basically a way for local restaurants in Toronto to promote themselves by giving a set price for a set menu. I decided to use that idea and start a winterlicious event at my place. My friends obviously loved the idea and wanted in on the action. I looked through some of my favourite cookbooks to gain inspiration and kind of put my own twist to it.

So here we go.

This is the Carrot and Pear Puree Soup. At first glance, it may look like your typically squash soup with toast but looks can be deceiving. In this soup there are:

5 carrots (peeled and chopped)
5 pears (peeled and cubed)
1 L of veggy stock
1 sweet onion
10 ml cinnamon
1 generous gulp of olive oil
30 ml ginger
salt and pepper

With a generous amount of fresh ingredients you want to start off by sauteing the onions with olive oil. Add the cinnamon and ginger. Making sure the onions don't brown. Then add the carrots, pears and veggy stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil then simmer until the pears and carrots are soft. When you reach to that point let it cool down a bit and then transfer the soup to a blender and puree the ingredients.

Then serve with a toasted french bread of your choice. If it tastes a bit bland, add salt and pepper to adjust the flavours.

This soup is perfect for a cold winter's night, especially when you are in Toronto where the harsh winds can really take you off your feet.

Next we have the Roasted Chicken with Cherry tomatoes and Asparagus. I always loved working with chicken, I find that chicken is almost like the default meat for any restaurant because you can get so creative with it in so many ways. My dad gave me some good pointers on how you prep the chicken and I felt bad if I didn't listen to him since he was more excited then I was about the party. And trust me, I was pretty stoked. =)

6 chicken breasts
36 halved cherry tomatoes
11 asparagus
olive oil
thyme leaves
rosemary leaves
topped with balsamic vinegar

Season the chicken breast with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme leaves and rosemary leaves. Add the cherry tomatoes, asparagus and spread it evenly. Making sure it covers the top and bottom of the breasts. Let it season for at least half an hour.

Heat up a iron cast pan and sear the chicken skin making sure you get that nice golden brown tone but not to the point where its going to burn.

Preheat the oven at 400F, place the chicken breast along with all the seasonings in the middle of the oven and let it bake for 30 minutes. When it is done, top it off with balsamic vinegar. Serve with choice of veggies or Garlic Mash Potatoes.

Dessert was a no brainier, with the cold weather not going away and old man winter knocking on the door. I wanted to leave my friends with a warm feeling. The Fruit Crumble was an excellent way to end the evening.

2 lbs of fruits of your choice
250 ml all purpose flour
125 ml melted butter
10 ml cinnamon
10 ml nutmeg
125 ml brown sugar

Preheat the oven at 350F.

On a oven safe bowl, scatter your fruits and season them with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Combine the flour, brown sugar and mix in the melted butter. Use your hands to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated properly.

Spread the combined dry ingredients on top of your fruits, making sure it covers all the fruits. Toss it in the oven and bake for an hour until the juices of the fruits start to bubble on the side of your bowl. Serve with whipped cream or choice of ice cream.

Ah, 2012 is coming to an end fast. What are your plans? I can't wait for 2013 to come. It is going to be such a fun and amazing year. I will definately have more dinner parties and share with you more recipes!

Cheers and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hello Hello

Holidays are coming and I am already in holiday mode! Hooray for holidays! What do you guys have planned for the holidays? It has been a crazy weekend with all the partying and family gatherings, thankfully the weather is still a bit mild and not crazy cold yet. Although some snow would really bring out the Christmas cheer. 

Even though Christmas is just around the corner, this blog has always been in my mind. I am constantly trying to come up with new content to share and hopefully some dinner party experiences soon. This weekend my cousin was over and he loves cookies. He is such a cookie monster. I took this chance to really bond with him by making these beautiful, packer with flavour cookies.

The fun part about making these cookies is getting your hands on them. Forming snowball like cookie dough is always a good way to get into baking but I still don't like how the dough sticks on your hands though. Haha.

I have a great Christmas break coming up and for sure I am going to host a Winterlicious party. This time, I will bring to the table recipes that I have never blogged about before. Hopefully, I can manage. On top of that New Year's Eve is coming up and you know what it is, more treats!

Coconut Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies 
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup Bailey's original Irish cream
30 ml Kahlua Coffee liqour
60 ml dry shredded coconut meat
2 1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (6 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 375

Beat the butter with the sugars until fluffy and add egg.

Gradually add vanilla, bailey's, kahlua until smooth. Make sure you scrape the sides to get everything in the batter. 

Mix in the dry ingredients with the paddle mixer, adding a considerable amount at a time. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. 

Fold in dry shredded coconut meat and chocolate chips. Snowball the cookie dough on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until it turns brown. 

Cool in room temperature and enjoy! 

Looking forward to the holiday dinners! =D  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hello Hello

Good morning to you, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. It's been such a hectic weekend with all the Christmas fiascos. So many bright lights and so many people at the mall. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no snow yet and I am a bit sad since Christmas day is just around the corner. Oh well, it will come.

For those of you who don't know me quite well yet, I am a huge fan of baking meringue. When ever I bring this baby out to the dining room table, I get all these stunned looks and questions about "what is that?!" Haha.

It was a recipe that I found off of Jamie Oliver that got me started. His way of baking meringue is so simple and leaves a lot of room for you to play with. He was the only person that I ever got around to believing that meringues don't have to be crunchy and can be a little bit gooey chewy on the inside.

Although no one really likes him, he was the first person that I ever bought a cookbook from. Probably because it was on sale or something. Haha. If you want to check out his book I would suggest "Cook with Jamie."  

I get a lot of questions regarding when to know when you meringue is ready for baking. The answer lies in the stiffness of your meringue. Turn your batter upside down, if it falls off then it is no good.

Happy Birthday Drew!

Here we go Ultimate Fruit Meringue:

6 egg whites
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons of sugar

500 ml 35% cream
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
10 ml vanilla extract
Handfuls of strawberries, blueberries and fruit of your choice.

Preheat 300F
Whip the egg whites till it starts to foam. Gradually add in the sugar until it starts to turn glossy white. Whip it for about 7-8 minutes until it is stiff enough for your to hold it upside down above your head and won't fall down (It never fell on me ever haha).

You can add in any flavours you want to enhance the meringue taste by adding lemon or orange zest.

Pour the meringue batter on a prepared baking pan either as one big round blob or several blobs on the pan.
Bake in the center for about an hour until the outside is crispy and the inside is still a bit gooy and chewy.

Take it out and set aside to cool.

Whip the 35% cream, add vanilla extract and sugar until it starts to come together. Do not over whip or the cream would turn chunky and you do not want it to be like that.

Assemble your cake by putting the whipping cream on top, shower the cream with a handful of fruits of your choice. You can additionally garnish your cake by add crushed walnuts, small mint leaves and if you are feeling very fancy, caramelized sugar would be a great choice.

Eat immediately!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hello hello!

Finally a post of some sort, sorry for being absent today. I had a crazy fun filled weekend and this dessert actually took longer than expected. Boy, am I glad to be back blogging and talking to you guys. Where to start, where to start. Ah, chocolate was on sale at No Frills these past few days. Boy, was it hectic or what. No Frills is having a massive one dollar item sale and it was jammed packed. I hate finding parking but I usually have one rule when finding a spot. Park as far as you can from other cars. You do not want to come back to find a missing door handle. Yes, that's right you heard me, a missing door handle.

So anyways, today I had a conversation with a stranger. He started to ask me about this book I was reading. The book is called The Power of Now and its one fantastic book. I couldn't put it down, I found myself drowning in the information and insightful thinking of the author. We talked mostly about the book and how it affects our lives and such. It was a cool experience.

Back home I finally got a chance to put together the dessert called Banoffee. This was adapted from the book chocolate by whitecap. Basically this is made out of graham crackers, sliced bananas, caramelized condensed milk and melted chocolate. Here's how it goes.

14 oz canned condensed milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 bananas sliced
juice of 1 lemon
7 oz milk chocolate
10 ml baileys
whipping cream to serve

Make a small hole in the condensed milk can and simmering in low heat for 2 hours until brown. Remove from the pot and cool.

Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together. Pack it in a 3 inch diameter stainless steel circle.

Place sliced bananas on top and poor in the caramelized milk.

Melt the chocolate with the double boiler technique. Once melted, add the Baileys. Mix well and pack the chocolate mixture on top of the chocolate. Add whipping cream on top and Serve right away.

As I sat back and enjoyed the sweet joyous taste of chocolate with my Christmas tree, I realized that I didn't do any shopping yet. Eeekkkk! =( Oh well eat now, worry later.

Enjoy. =)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hello hello!

Crazy changes here in Toronto, first the weather and now a well known food network star is coming to town! This is exciting news, I might want to try and catch this man, haha. He will be filming this week in Toronto's cold weather at the down town core. Some places that he will be checking out is:

Caplansky's Delicatessen

The Lakeview

The Stockyards

Not going to lie but after all this madness has ended, I am going to be checking out each and every one of these places and see if they are worth checking out. Or maybe they over hyper their food, there's only one way to find out! This is so exciting! I can't wait till they view this on T.V. Haha.

Do you check out places that T.V. shows recommend?

P.S. If you are going to go during this week, please call ahead because their store hours are weird this week since they have to film.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Haro Haro!

Sorry, I got a bunch of cheesecake crammed inside my mouth.

Ah, there we go. All gone, hello again and happy black Friday weekend! Shopping this weekend was so chaotic. Everywhere was so crowded and filled with people wanting to get the latest deals on what-so-ever. Anyways, cutting to the chase. It took me two days to make this Cheesecake Factory replica red velvet cheesecake.

Yes, I fell deeply in love after the day of my cousin's birthday party when her mom took out a box of red velvet cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. I had to try and bake it myself but I needed some help from people who did this before. Turns out, it's just a very long process that took an extra day to do. No biggie.

I adapted this recipe from It was very easy to follow and he tells me that people always ask for seconds once they are done with the first one, so I had to give it a shot.

The smell of fresh moist red velvet cake in the morning is something you simply can't resist. The hint of vanilla and cocoa powder really gives this cake a boost in it's value.

It was such a hassle cutting the cakes in half, especially when the cream cheese part tends to bunch up together. Here's a tip, heat up a sharp knife and run through it quickly but carefully. You don't want to cut yourself and end up adding extra food colour. Haha.

Cake for breakfast anyone? I swear that line came from somewhere, maybe Breakfast at Tiffany's?  Or not Haha.

Sinking my teeth into this soft and flavourful cake was exciting. First I love moist cakes, I am such a sucker for them and with the combination of cheesecake is just to die for. The sweet rich aroma of cream cheese blended with cocoa powder and cream. So smooth!

Here is the recipe

3 8-oz pkgs cream cheese - room temperature
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs vanilla
3 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream

Red Velvet Cake
2 Tbs butter - softened
2 Tbs shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring (a small bottle)
1 cup + 2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz pkg cream cheese - softened
3-1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Spray two 9 round cake pans generously with PAM.
Trace bottoms of pans onto parchment paper, cut out, and place in bottom of pans. Set aside.

For the cheesecake:
Cream together cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch with mixer.
Add eggs and vanilla - beating until smooth.
Add cream & beat in just until combined - dont overmix.
Pour into one of prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes - watching closely near end of baking time.

Cool at room temperature, then place in refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Run knife around outer edge, tapping pan to remove cheesecake onto the palm of your hand. Set in refrigerator until cold.

For the cake:
Cream butter, shortening, and sugar.
Add egg, then mix in cocoa and food coloring.
Scrape bowl with a COLORED spatula (red would be best to keep from staining a light colored one).

Add flour and salt, then buttermilk - beating well. Sprinkle baking soda over batter, then pour vinegar and vanilla over the top.

Youll see it foam slightly. Fold into batter until well mixed.

Pour batter into the other prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until it tests done. Cool, then remove cake from pan. Using large serrated knife, cut this layer in half when cold.

For the frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Add sugar and salt, then cream & vanilla. Continue to beat until smooth and it forms peaks. Set aside.

To assemble cake:
Place first half of cake layer onto serving plate (be sure to remove parchment paper from the bottom!) Protect outer edges with waxed paper if desired.

Spread generously with a layer of frosting. Carefully slice cheesecake in half in the same way as the red velvet layer, placing one half on top of red velvet cake & frosting.

Add another layer of frosting. Repeat layers. Spread frosting carefully around outer edge of cake - being careful not to drag red velvet crumbs with the knife.

Now frost top of cake. Using remaining frosting, place in pastry bag with decorative tip. Pipe edge on top and bottom.

*Note: This frosting contains butter, which can soften and melt in your warm hand. Work quickly, or it can make the frosting start to droop. Store in refrigerator & serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Love the holidays!

Good luck! Have fun with it and try not to break anything in the kitchen. =)

Monday, November 19, 2012


It has been such a busy week with all the final finishing touches to this blog. I have to say, its always an one going process but so far I am happy with what I see. Improvements to come!

It was my little cousins birthday and she has asked me to bake her a chocolate cake since chocolate is her favourite. She has always been such the energy in the family, with all her smiles and laughter. Sometimes its good to have someone to remind you of such positivity.

Back on topic now. The only thing I had to keep in mind was, it had to be "grandma" friendly. That's right, what does "grandma" friendly mean you ask? Basically, from all the cakes that I have made, she likes cakes that are soft, moist and not that sweet. The chiffon cake that I had in mind was Anna Olson's and this was inspired/adapted from her. Time to show off my moist cake baking skills! Let's get it! =)

Putting this together was simple and easy. Here we have all the dry ingredient together all in one bowl. Remember to leave the egg and coffee at room temperature. You do not want to cook your egg yolks just yet.  

When the dry ingredients meet the liquids, it should come off like a chocolate mousse. I love working with chocolate, it just makes me so happy.

Heres how it goes:
Bailey's Chocolate Chiffon Cake

435 ml cake and pastry flour
250 ml icing sugar
75 ml cocoa powder
7.5 ml baking powder
1 ml salt
200 ml coffee
100 ml Bailey's Irish Cream
125 ml veg oil
5 eggs at room temp
2 ml cream of tar tar
60 ml sugar

Preheat the oven to 325F
  • In a large mixer bowl with the whip attachment.
  • Sift the flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. 
  • Add the coffee, Bailey's Irish Cream, oil and egg yolks, and whip on high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy. 
  • In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tar tar until they are foamy, then slowly add the sugar. Whip until the egg whites hold a stiff peak. Then fold a third of the whites into the chocolate batter, then fold in the remaining two-thirds. 
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased angel food cake or tube pan. 
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool upside down. Run a palette knife around the inside and outside edge to get the cake to slide out. 
Yes, yes, Christmas is just around the corner and I promise I will hunt for a better camera. I am looking for a good SLR to satisfy my photography needs. So bare with me and stop yelling at me through the computer screen. Haha, I am kidding. I hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Like the new look? I'd figure that after a year and a bit of the old stuff, its time for a change. If you don't like it please comment and I will make sure I make this as user friendly as possible. I have been holding back on the posts for a bit ever since but today was my favourite woman or all time's birthday!

That means that I had to shake off the dust and work my butt off in the kitchen. The recipe that I came up with was inspired by Anna Olson and Jamie Oliver.

The filling was from Anna's side, her list of ingredient was just so perfect. With a little tweaking and modifications, I made a perfect adult dessert that will leave your hungry hungry hippos wanting more.

The crust was from Jamie. Every time I bake the crust, I always get punched in the face with "Oh my God, the crust is what makes me want a second piece."

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake

6 oz bitter sweet chocolate
3 oz dark chocolate
3 pkg cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
125 ml sour cream
5 ml vanilla extract
4 eggs at room temperature
125 ml Bailey's Irish cream

9 oz digestive biscuits
10 tablespoons of melted butter

Pre-heat oven to 350F
  • Crush the biscuits and mix the melted butter in. 
  • Pack it in a round 9 inch spring form pan, making sure you get the side walls too. Grease the sides and bake it for 10 mins. Set a side to cool. 
  • Melt the chocolate with the double boiler technique and set aside to cool. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy and add the sugar, scrape the sides every so often. Beat in sour cream, vanilla, Bailey's Irish Cream. Beat in the melted chocolate, then add the eggs one at a time. Remember to scrape the sides. 
  • Pour the mixture into the cooled crust. 
  • Bake the cheesecake for 60 minutes, until the outside is set but the centre still has a little jiggle to it. Allow the cake to cool down fully before putting it in the fridge over night. 
  • Garnish the cake with chocolate shavings. 

The balance between chocolate and cream cheese was just perfect. Everyone loves chocolate and I wanted the cake to be more chocolate dominant. The hint of Bailey's was sensational and having seconds was mandatory.

 I still feel that there could be some more improvements because as cheesey as it made sound, design is always a process. So give me a shout. =)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Currently, things are a mess here as you can see. Please be patient with me and I will get things in working order once again. =)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ever experience a time period in your life where you just don't know what to do? Well, I think I got the right answer for you. Don't let it get to you and just start spending time in the kitchen. It's magical and it works. =)

For the past few weeks, I fell in love with macarons. Why? Because, A: it tastes way too good and you can get so creative with it. B: When you take it out of the oven and see that it is not cracked but in a perfect shell. You just feel this crazy warm and fuzzy sensation in your stomache that makes you want to jump for joy.

So here it is, another addition of macarons. Try to bare with me and not get bored of me just yet. I promise that I will bake something more innovative over the week. =) 

Here are the flawless shells I have been talking about. Later in this post I will share with you on how to bake these flawless shells. You can never go wrong with blue and white. =)

Gah, I need a new piping bag or better piping skills. You see the top of the shell? It has a little "dip" and it's not suppose to be like that, I think it's because I kinda fling it out after I pipe it down. I will make sure I fix this. =)

All packed up and ready to go. Hope you like it! =)

Heres what you need to make this:
75 g ground almonds 
115 g icing sugar 
2 large egg whites 
50g sugar 
food colouring of your choice

55g unsalted butter 
115g icing sugar sifted 
2 tablespoons of coffee

Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process for 15 seconds. (Very important part and this will determine the smoothness of the shell)
Sift the mixture into a bowl.
Line baking two baking sheets.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until holding soft peaks.
Gradually whisk in the sugar to make a glossy meringue.
Whisk in food colouring of your choice.

Using a spatual, fold the almond mixture into the meringue one third at a time.
Fold until it forms a shiny batter with a ribbon-like consistency.

Pipe the mixture onto the baking sheets. It should make 32 small rounds.
Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325F ( I usually do 310F)
Bake for 8-9 minutes. Watch closely and make sure they don't crack.

To make the filling, beat the butter, add sugar and coffee until smooth and creamy.
Now make a sandwich with the macarons and dust it off with icing sugar.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I have been meaning to update my blog for a long while but personal business came up and I had to deal with that first. So unprofessional, I know but here I am! And welcome to my utopia. Thankfully, I have the time to finish off the weekend with a nice post.

Sadly, I have been as active as I should but I did mange to spend some time in the kitchen. I baked a Bailey's chocolate cheesecake. I swear one day I am going to invest in a awesome camera but till then you will have to bare with me.

In order to make this cake a little bit more fun and personal. I mixed two recipes together, Jamie Oliver and Anna Olson. The reason being is that, I really love the way Jamie makes his base all you need is:

9 oz digestive biscuits crushed
11 tablespoons of butter 

Bake for 10 minutes at 350F

Every time I use this base, I get smiles and tears of joy all the time. Its packed with the aroma of butter mixed with freshly baked biscuits (drool).

For the filling:
6 oz semisweet chocolate
3 oz dark chocolate
3 pkg cream cheese
2 cups of sugar
1 cup sour cream 
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
60 ml baileys 

Olson always taught me that if I wanted to make a recipe more personal, add a little spice. ;) The baileys was seriously a nice kick and added the 18+ to the whole cheesecake experience.  The texture was very smooth, the sugar didn't over power the filling at all but instead the chocolate was very dominant which I loved. I got nothing but good remarks on this cake. Honestly, I was quite scared when it came out because the center was still very "jiggly" and the filling almost topped over the rim of the pan!

As a bonus, I baked a batch of macarons for the girls of the party. These are always "wow factor" desserts. Every time I bring them out, everyone would crowd around and they'd be gone in less than 60 seconds. I did spot a small error during the process of baking these. For future reference, I highly recommend you to process the icing sugar and ground almonds if you want a smooth and clean shell. Otherwise you will get a bumpy texture which is not pleasing to the eyes at all. Secondly, I tried my best to mix the colour brown but I didn't add enough food colouring and it turned out peachy. =( Which didn't go very well with the coffee cream filling. Blah oh well, now I know.

'Till the day I get a new camera, you guys will have lay your eyes on poorly designed apple cameras. =( Maybe I should have thought of that first instead of buying a new guitar. Oh well. I'll bake it till I make it if that makes any sense.

Keep on coming back for more. =)
P.S. That is my friends Husky. Her name is Holly. Say hi Holly, you are on my blog! =) 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chinese families love one thing, and that is good company. It was my uncles birthday and we had a big celebration for him, therefore my old man had to do all the cook with some of my help too of course. Now I don't remember all the names he told me but the one above is potato skin with cheese, bacon and sour cream. It was a very simple appetizer but with a big impact. Everyone loved it, especially my grandma.(Who is most important, haha!)

Now this appetizer is a mystery to me, I totally forgot the name of this but I will tell you whats in it. Its basically a spinch dip wrapped with a pastry sheet. Baked for X amount of time. Sorry, I got to stay on top of my foods and names. =(

Next we got mini pulled pork sliders. These were to die for! I love how small it was, it was just the perfect sandwich for a cold winter day or in this case, fall. The pork was pressured cooked until tender, topped with bbq sauce and pickle! So easy and so enticing. Couldn't have just one.

This was one of the newest dish that I have never seen before. Apparently, its like a seafood mixed rice? Let me explain, there were three layers. The bottom layer was rice, second layer was veggies? And the top layer was mussels with cheese. Again something that I have to double check since I only had a little and this was such a new and refreshing dish.

Next you can see the whole fam jam pigging out and if you look closely, you can see my sister in her natural habitat. Eating with and talking with her mouth full. HAHA! Don't tell on me. Enjoy the rest and come back for more! =)