Blog Archives

Healthy Soup – Winter Melon Soup with Pork

A light 'cooling' healthy soup.

Here is a nice, clear soup that is easy to make, cheap, and good for you.  I like making this winter melon soup because a big pot would last my family for a few days.

The main ingredients are pork tenderloin/shank (depends on what you prefer), duck eggs (for saltyness) and winter melon.   Winter melon can help detoxify the body and is normally used in soups, and stews.  Some fancy chinese restaurants serve the soup in the melon (after it’s scooped out) but will require advance notice to order. 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

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

Silky Smooth Like Buttah

I absolutely love butter beef so I’ve tried to make my own recently.  Even though I used a wrong cut of meat, it still turned out really well and my tummy didn’t have to pay for it.

Ingredients:  thinly sliced beef (I used round eye because Patch bought it for a roast but he cut out a part for me to experiment this dish with – freeze it so that you can easily cut the beef into thin slices), cilantro, a bulb of garlic (yes, a bulb!), red onion, lemon, lime, fish sauce and butter.

Beef, fish sauce, lemon, red onion, lime (not shown), cilantro and butter.

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Quick Recipes – Wine Chicken

Wing Tat Specialty Chicken

My family ordered a box of specialty chickens from Wing Tat poultry.   A box comes with 8 chickens (they are on the small side) and it comes to around $5.50 each.  What a deal, you can’t even find that at a chinese BBQ shop (siu lap poe).  This is including FREE DELIVERY straight to your doorstep (plus tips for the driver).

So I decided to make wine chicken. Read the rest of this entry

Quickest Topping Everrrrrr – Fresh Berries Sauce

Here’s a quick and easy  recipe for making the yummiest fresh topping fsauce or pies, ice cream and fruits.  Simple ingredients in a few easy steps.  Great to keep in the fridge.

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Ong Choy, The Spinach That Can Swim

Patch and I would like to start eating more healthy Chinese food for dinner.  Healthy chinese food sounds like an oxymoron!  You can have healthy homemade non-greasy chinese dishes to accompany rice or congee.   One of his favourite veggie is Water Spinach also known as Ung choy, Tung choy but I always thought they are hard to prepare.

I bought the ong choy from a Chinese supermarket.   It almost $2 a pound and you have to throw out a good portion of the stalk where it’s hard and tough.


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Quick Fix Snack – Midnight Guacamole

I was craving for a snack shortly after midnight.  Another one of my quick fix recipes would be guacamole.  Doing a search on recipes sites has led to many different versions of guacamoles.  Other than the main ingredient avocado, you can pretty much do whatever you want with it.  Here is my version of this tasty, filling snack (or dip as most people would use it as!).

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Quick Fix Meal – Buttered Mushroom, Corn & Garlic Soup

As a busy mom, I don’t have time to make food from scratch although Patch still cooks gourmet meals from scratch.   Couple days ago, I was struggling with making lunch as Little Patch is not napping as much as before.  I had some cans of soup but I didn’t want to eat ‘a can of soup’ so I added more ingredients to make it more gourmet.  But not too gourmet as my free time is limited!


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