5.31.2011

Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

05.07.11

Topped w a chunk of "chunks ahoy!"

Here’s post #3 about cupcakes/frosting and all things sweet. Of course I’ve still got a long way to go in my journey of cupcake discovery. And that’s perfectly fine with me! 

Although the list of “to-try” recipes just seems to get longer and longer. Not sure if that’s a good thing right now…considering beautiful (beach) weather’s on its way, like the sun we finally saw come out today!

I’m a huge banana bread fan so finding this recipe for banana cupcakes is comparable to when you randomly find a 5-dollar bill in your purse—and that feeling ladies and gents, is awesomeness. I want to say “invincibility” but that might be a little too far. But we’re talking about a sweeter bite-sized version of banana bread here!!






Let’s get started. This is a super simple recipe. I halved it to make a dozen mini-cupcakes and 6 regular sized cupcakes. 
This is my scribbly halved-version of the recipe.


For a full recipe, you will need:


5.27.2011

Mini Carrot Cupcakes w Maple Cream Cheese Frosting


05.20.11

 

Cupcake post #2! Well, technically it’s more like #4 or 5 but if taking my frosting craze into account…then it’s #2 so far. Mmmm I am not afraid to say this but I love the Martha Stewart show! Haha And her site’s got probably thousands of recipes! Amazing. I know she herself did not amass all of them, but to have such a collection is pretty phenomenal.

And that’s where I got this recipe. Once again, like the Vanilla Cupcakes, I halved the recipe. 

Worry not! I am slowly improving my piping skills. One cupcake at a time. Or batch. haha







5.25.2011

Vanilla Cupcakes w Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

05.07.11


To start my cupcake adventures, I went with a simpler recipe, forgoing any fancy ingredients or embellishments. This way, I have a solid base from which to build from. 

Cupcakes are essentially personal cakes…think “cake in a cup”. Lightbulb moment? Well, I definitely just had one back there HAHA.



<-- The finished product. Not too sure why the paper liner didn't stick to the cupcake. I'm gonna guess it's because the liners I used were smaller than the muffin tin so the whole expand/contract temperature thing happened? 




Basic Cupcake How-To

Mini Carrot Cupcake w Maple Cream Cheese Frosting & Caramel Popcorn

5.23.2011

Dumpling King

05.07.11

Lady making dumplings!
What? Dumpling King for dinner
Where? 3290 Midland ave, Unit 2 (take the 39 Finch east / 199 Finch express. 5 min walk north of midland & finch or take the 57 Midland bus for one stop)
Price? $40 (dinner for 5, 6 items)
The skinny: With the reputation of "2nd best dumplings in Toronto" as ranked by blogTO in 2010, no doubt my interests were peaked when I found out that it’s rather close to me. I have yet to make my way down to Chinatown to Mother’s Dumplings but second best isn’t bad at all! Located in a strip mall off Midland & Finch (the one with the mini water fountain), it was hard to find this restaurant but it worked out in the end.



5.20.2011

Mango Pudding

05.18.11 


Last week after making the jasmine rice pudding, I thought I would be done with the whole coconut milk thing…but turns out there was still some left! My grandma has also gotten into the habit of gifting me mangoes (I love my grandma and her thing of giving us random groceries LOL like chick peas…). So mango + leftover coconut milk = mango pudding!! :D:D Yes, I love dessert.



5.19.2011

Mother's Day!

05.08.11

Mother’s Day passed almost two weeks ago and only yesterday did I finally get around to editing my food photos from that day. It was a day to recognize out loud all that my mumsies does for me and my brother. And by “all” I mean she does A LOT. I’m pretty sure the word “mom” comes hand in hand with “sacrificial”. And unconditional love. Somebody loves me, yay! Haha


To show part of my appreciation, I decided to take over dinner duties that night. Easy to say, hard to execute. I couldn’t for the life of me decide on what to cook! Too many choices. 

Eventually, I came up with a compromise. Three kinds of fingerwiches: Dill lemon Tuna. Grilled cheese w/ apple chutney. And classic French toast. I really wanted to make a fourth—Croque Monsieur—but was short on time and couldn’t go out for a grocery run. 








5.15.2011

Jasmine Rice Pudding

05.10.11

This will be either the last or second last post about coconut milk as a main ingredient in a dish. At least for awhile. Just so you know, from my CoconutSpiced Chick Pea Soup and Sai Mai Lo to now, all the coconut milk is from a single can. Now that’s a worthwhile purchase!


Here I decided to change it up a bit from the sago dessert, but still keeping the dessert component. Looking online, I found a recipe for “JasmineRice Pudding”, thanks to MarthaStewart.com. YAY! They’ve saved my life many times when I was clueless as to what to cook. 
 

5.11.2011

Coconut Sago & Taro Dessert / Sai Mai Lo / 西米露


05.09.11 

This dessert has many names, in Chinese it's called 西米露
I’m pretty sure Sai Mai Lo has Filipino roots and not Chinese as I had always thought. If you have your own version, please feel free to share! :D

I remember my mom making this dessert since I was young. Since I didn't know how to say the name, my brother and I would call it "bau bau" which means "little bubbles" and the name kinda stuck.

 

 
  


This is a simple dessert to make and can be enjoyed hot or cold. You have your three main ingredients: coconut milk, sago (or tapioca pearls), and taro. 


At right is a chunk of taro with the top cut off. Great contrast in colouring of the flesh and skin. Always amuses me for some odd reason haha







Tapioca Pearls (left: available as small, shown here, and big pearls) & Coconut Milk (right: available in cans)
   

Coconut Spiced Chick Pea Soup

05.10.11

bowl of coconut spiced chick pea soup :D

My grandma really enjoys giving us random groceries. It’ll range from blueberries and oranges to ice cream and hot pockets. She’s always given us weekly bottles of her homemade broths (which are so yummy!) but has recently taken to giving us bottles of cooked chick peas. Thanks grandma? Haha yep.





Grindhouse Burger Bar

05.04.11 


"The Wild Boar"

What? Grindhouse Burger Bar for burgers! (and late lunch)
Where? 365 King st W (504 King West streetcar OR 510 Spadina Streetcar, across from MEC)
Price? $7-$15 (beef burger – buffalo wings )
The skinny: Having heard and read about their “Sliders & Beer Pairings”, Grindhouse burger bar was bumped up to the top of my “future food adventures” list. A friend of mine, a beer enthusiast, and I were to go after exams were over. We made plans, I checked the menu, then…was let down. No more sliders?! NOO!! Nevertheless, we had made a “promise” to go so we did. Here’s what happened.









grindhouse





We decided to go for a late lunch, around 2PM. There were two other tables occupied when we got there and only we were left after they had gone. There’s some seating at the front of the restaurant, looking out onto the street, some at the bar, and the rest were conventional tables in front of a long red-upholstered bench stocked with comfy pillows.








Seating areas



5.10.2011

I Cook Buffet

04.30.11 

What? I Cook Buffet for AYCE hot pot
Where? 7030 Warden Ave (Markham, same plaza as the T&T supermarket)
Price? $16.99 (for adult, Weekend +$1.99)
The skinny: I’ve never heard about this place before. But individual hot pots + seeing some awesome friends? I’m so up for that! I’ve gone on a handful of food adventures with two friends, Mike and Phoenix. But now one of them, Phoenix is leaving for Australia (for a year!! Lucky her :D) so she organized a goodbye dinner, at I Cook Buffet. 




There were 7 of us (2 came later) in total and with differing tastes, it’s so clever that the restaurant offers individual hot pots so you can get both the soup base and food you want!






5.07.2011

Oshio

05.06.11 

Shops on Steeles


What? Oshio for early Mother’s Day dinner (sushi restaurant)
Where? 2900 Steeles ave E (Don Mills & Steeles, at “The Shops on Steeles” plaza) à accessible by bus 53 Steeles from Finch station
Price? $7.99 - $15.99 (prices are a little pricier but you pay for quality & quantity)

The skinny: I’ve been coming to this sushi restaurant for about 6 years now (ever since they opened in 2005) and have almost always had great experiences. The servers (all females) are attentive and polite.








Old favourites: Dinner Box 2 (6 pc sashimi, salmon teriyaki, assc tempura, gyoza, salad, soup, ice cream) and the Chicago roll (shrimp tempura, unagi, salmon…). 
I definitely man-handled this piece of the "Shop Special" Roll.

5.06.2011

Pork & Spinach Dumplings

04.26.11 

what's this? oh nothing...just amazingness lol


My mom's side of the family loves to cook together and share food. That's how we all bond, usually through my uncles AWESOME dumplings. I'd say that he's made the best that I've eaten...but then again I'm hugely bias because it's not only the taste that makes it so good, but the company with whom I eat them with. Family...can't beat that. Usually haha

Most of my family’s in Hong Kong but those of us here in Toronto, do get together from time to time. We bond over lamb, watercress, or pork dumplings. A little nostalgic, my mom and I decided to make pork & spinach dumplings. 

I don’t have a set recipe but I’ll describe what I can along the way…with the help of many many photos :D




5.01.2011

Sushi on Bloor

04.28.11 

nice tree...obstructing the sign.
What? Sushi on Bloor for an insanely late lunch (aka 3pm)
Where? 515 Bloor st w (3 min walk from Bathurst station)
Price? $5.99 (for lunch special)
The skinny: The 20 or so award plaques on the wall greeeting you by the entrance should be enough to tell you that this place is successful. Very. Successful. If that’s not sign enough, then you would intrigued to know that the restaurant was still full at the hour that I arrived, aka 3PM. Cheap, good sushi. That’s what I’ve read and heard.


Wall of awards. The table I sat at? Right below the plaques...where that Starbucks coffee is haha



Sushi World

04.18.11


What? Sushi World for cheap lunch
Where? 281 College st (SW corner of Spadina & College – 510 streetcar from Spadina takes 3 mins)
Price? $5.99 (for lunch special, PS UofT students get 10% off for dinner service!)
The skinny: There are dozens of food joints in Chinatown and among them at least ten sushi restaurants. The big sign caught my eye and triggered some memory of having read a positive review about Sushi World so after a quick eyeball of the lunch specials I entered the restaurant.










Although it was lunch time, there weren’t a lot of customers. However, over the course of the meal, a few people came in to pick-up their orders so all’s not as it seems.

I sat right by the window in order to get shots of the entire restaurant (small but not surprising for a restaurant in such a convenient location)

The restaurant seems to be kept really clean, but that should be expected right? haha