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. =)