Monthly Archives: February 2011

Oscars Thoughts

Hours away from the Oscars, finally had the chance to put Little Patch to nap so I can complete my Oscars predictions with the hubby.  He’s not really into the the Oscars so this is just a lottery game to him.  I’m a major celebrity news junkie ever since I could read so I have many many thoughts.  Though I’ve yet find myself ever on the same wave as the Academy.

This year, I am biased.  Even if my gut instinct tells me otherwise, I will refuse to pick any winners from Black Swan, The Social Network, and The Kids are All Right.  I’ve seen all the movies and I could not find a reason to like it. Read the rest of this entry

Vancouver Eats – Kulinarya Filipino Eatery

Located in a strip mall with plenty of parking.

Tonight was the first time I’ve had Filipino food in a restaurant.  Which is surprising because I’m a godparent to my Filipino friend’s kid.  But I’ve had homemade food before (pig’s blood stew, yums) so I guess it never crossed my mind to have it at a restaurant.  Besides, my Filipino friends would usually suggest Chinese or Shanghainese food.

We went to Kulinarya Filipino Eatery which was minutes away from my friends’ place in Coquitlam.  It was their regular take-out restaurant. Read the rest of this entry

Valentine’s Dinner Part 4 (Final) – Duck on Duck Action

Duck breasts were Patch’s money dish of the night along with a foie gras sidedish.   It was really good but so so fattening.  But then when you’re on a roll with crab brains and foie gras, why stop and think about your health?

I am aware of how ducks are raised and force fed to get them and their liver plumped but I am sorry, I just don’t think about it… and if I do, I end up craving instead.

Duck Breasts with port and Cherry Sauce
Foie Gras Side Dish

Duck Breast Ingredients: Fresh duck breasts (skins on), 1 chopped shallot, handful of pitted cherries, half a can of chicken stock, and port.

Foie Gras Ingredients: foie gras, pitted prunes, port. Read the rest of this entry

Salesrep Dishonest Tactics

I hate going to Future Shop to shop but sometimes I have to because the man needs something essential that he can’t find at his favourite computer shop.

When I walk into Future Shop, I go my own way to browse, usually at laptops or video games.  Then a piranha comes out and questions what I’m looking for.  It’s like they rarely try to find something suitable for you but rather than find something that fits in the high end of your price range.

But what I’m about to say is even worse because it should be a crime!!!  Read the rest of this entry

Valentine’s Dinner Part 3 – Shellfish Party Like It’s 1999

Bah. Whatever that means.  So this was the dish that I made.  Patch doesn’t eat shellfish so he picked up some shellfish and the rest was my responsibility.

Shellfish Cooked in Wine

This is an extremely simple dish.  The secret is to get fresh ingredients.  One of my favourite places to get seafood is from The Lobster Man in Granville Island.  It is not too expensive, what you would expect a proper fish store would charge (T&T, Superstore, etc are not fish shops!).

My 2.5lb crab was $25, and mussels and manila clams were $5 per pound.  I got a pound each of mussels and clams.  Read the rest of this entry

The Start of Potty Training Adventures

Attempts to potty train Little Patch has all been crap, down the drain.   Few months ago, Patch and I have bought LP a cute portable potty (because cuteness plays a vital role in squeezing a poop out right?) in hopes to get LP potty trained.

We were hoping that combined with the use of cloth diapers, which isn’t as absorbent (meaning: comfortable in pee) as disposable, LP would start using a toilet, just like the rest of us. We bought an actual potty, and not a mini seat that attaches to an adult toilet because I didn’t want to freak him out as putting a baby on an adult toilet is like pushing a puppy into the mouth of a live volcano. Read the rest of this entry

Valentine’s Dinner Part 1 – Italian Style Turnip Soup

This is the first part of our epic meal. It also has the least action photos because well, I was helping Patch… but not in terms of cooking. When he’s cooking, all of Little Patch’s duties would be mine while he cooks. That didn’t take long for me to calculate it’s a good trade of my baby sitting service for a gourmet meal. Oh wait, that child is mine too.

Italian Style Turnip Soup
(inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Cooking for Friends’ recipe)

I love turnips, radishes and beets. Sometimes I get them confused even though eating beets makes my teeth look like Gollums afterwards.

Ingredients: 2 medium turnips (1cm dice), 1 medium onion (1cm dice), pancetta (Gordon calls for bacon), 150g risotto rice, 800ml chicken/veg stock, 5-6 tbsp freshly grated parmesan. This calls for parsley but I don't like parsley so we left that out.

How to pick turnips - choose small turnips with unblemished skin that's dense and heavy for its size. Overgrown turnips may seem easier because you don't have to peel as many turnips but they can be woody tasting.

Add butter and oil in the saucepan. When the butter begins to foam, add the panchetta and stir fry until golden brown.

Stir in the onion, turnips and salt and pepper and cook until the veggies are soft.

Add the rice and oil to the veggies and stir until the rice is toasted. Then pour in the stock to cover and partially cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste. Stir in the parmesan just before serving.

We fed Little Patch some of our risotto. He loves risotto. Now there's more Italian in him than Chinese. He can be the first Chinese-Guido to be cast on Jersey Shores.

It's tasty because of the panchetta, turnips didn't add too much flavour, but this is a nice 'stew'. I wonder if it's supposed to be thick or if the rice expanded while we were finishing up the other dishes. But I would make this hearty soup again.

Valentine’s Dinner Part 2 – Panchetta is the New Bacon
Valentine’s Dinner Part 3 – Shellfish Party
Valentine’s Dinner Part 4 – Duck on Duck Action

Vancouver Eats – Long’s Noodle House

My parents and I went to Long’s Noodle House to celebrate Chinese New Year.  When we go out and eat, we normally each pick a dish or two.  Patch and I usually pick the regular dishes and my mom likes to try new things.  Lots of food tonight!

Hot & Sour Soup ($6.95)

To start, we had the hot & sour soup.  Surprisingly, we’ve never had the soup here before so we ordered it tonight.  It was just okay.  It was peppery, more towards the white pepper taste and not very spicy.  I know a good hot & sour soup when I have it.  My favourite hot & sour soup is from the original Mui Loong Chun’s on Kingsway (by the now-gone Dragon’s Inn Smorgasboard and across from the now-gone Wally’s burgers) but Ningtu is not bad too. Read the rest of this entry

Today is ‘What Mo Wants’ Day

Figured out tonight’s menu last night and Patch made a trip to Granville Island this morning to get the ingredients.  I will contribute to the cooking of course!  I will also try to take photos along the way of preparation.

Prepared by Patch:
Italian-style Turnip Soup (Gordon Ramsay)
Soup Au Vin (Anthony Bourdain)
Duck Breasts with Port and Cherry Sauce (Gordon Ramsay)
Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Panchetta (Gordon Ramsay)
Fois Gras (simple preparation)

Prepared by Me:
Dungeness crab, manila clams and mussels in white wine (not really a recipe, it’s just what I want to eat – shellfish in alcohol yeah!)

… and tonight, We Shall Feast (well, for as long as Little Patch allows us to enjoy our time eating)!

A Personal Chef for a Day

Patch and I rarely celebrate commercial holidays with each other.  That means no gift-giving, no mushy cards and no acknowledgement of the day (because we forget). But this year, Patch wanted to cook me a meal on Valentine’s day.  He normally makes a lot of gourmet meals at home (he puts my personal recipes to shame, but then it’s not that hard) but it’s usually what he feels like making. I think cooking for me on Monday is more of a treat for him than me.  😉

Patch is a great cook and he loves to cook ethnic cuisine.  He reads up on a lot preparation methods and understands cooking in theory.  I always tell him that if his current career doesn’t work out, he can always go to culinary school.  He would be an excellent hobby chef but we live in a dump and I’m sure that would somehow cloud judgement on his food!  I like to make simple meals out of everyday ingredients while he loves making things from scratch, searching all over Vancouver to find his ingredients.  I’m Nigella and he’s Ramsay. He used to render his own pork fat to use in his cooking.  After a few months of cooking in pure pork fat, his doctor put him on Lipitor. That didn’t stop him from cooking what he loves, he just adds flax seed to control the cholesterol. LOL!

I want to find something that he normally doesn’t eat… like seafood.  I get to pick anything from his collection of recipe books and I’ve narrowed it down to 4.  If he has the French Laundry book, I would probably pick everything from that book.

Narrowed it to 4 books

So what should I pick?  Here are my guidelines:

  • no heavy pasta as they waste tummy real estate.
  • some sort of shellfish
  • update: no steak and any part of lamb since he makes it often, so I put Lobel’s Prime Cuts back on the bookshelf.

If you ask me what my favourite foods are, I can’t say something specific like chicken or a dish name.  A word to describe what I like to eat is ‘Raw‘.  I like my steak still moo-ing, my fish still flapping and my octopus tentacles still fighting in my throat, well, you get the idea.  My dream buffet is a farm.  I salivate when I’m at a petting zoo. Baby animals! But please don’t tell my son that though.