Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NYC Part 1 - Hakata Tonton

Hi guys, so the last time I actually blogged about something I cooked was like three weeks ago which means... I've been eating out a lot! Even though my insides feel grey I've had some pretty good food! I recently went to New York for a quick family trip and some really yummy stuff!

There was a huge snowstorm in New York so my family was delayed in getting here so I had a chance to meet up with my friend J and so I was glad we could catch up over some food. It was also really cold so I felt like something soupy. She suggested this place called Hakata Tonton which is Japanese food that specialized in hot pot so I was really excited to try!

She also told me the snowstorm was great because lots of people cancel their reservations so you can get a last minute booking at places that are usually very difficult to book unless you do it way in advance - woohoo - The restaurant is small inside, but its warm and not too loud. OK - heres what we ate:

 Foie gras inari - It wasn't as good as I was expecting.. the sauce was really salty, and so you couldn't really get a lot of the foie taste. But we felt like we should definitely try it!

 Hakata tonton hot pot - this was so good - even though I was so full at the end I kept picking at it. The broth is really nice and thick, but not so rich that you can't eat that much. There is pork, pig feet, chives, goji berries, tofu, and veggies inside. It was really really good and the goji berries were really yummy with the saltiness of the other things in the pot.

 We decided to get a rice to go with the hot pot. This one is a spicy mentaiko rice. The mentaiko really is spicy! But with the rice it was really good. I wonder if I can make this at home.

 Grilled pork tonsoki with mentaiko and bonito soupy sauce - this was really amazing. The restaurant said that their tonsoki dishes are their signature dishes along with the hot pots. The feet were soft and tender without feeling too fatty (so I ate like 3 of them). They give you a generous service too and the broth was really good, and was even good to also mix with the rice!

Dessert to finish. We weren't going to get any because we were so full but the table next to us got some and it looked really good. We ordered matcha and strawberry to share, and the matcha was really good but the strawberry was like REALLY REALLY good.

J and I also got drinks, which we both liked! I had an oolong cocktail and I think she had a lychee cocktail...deceivingly strong!

Overall the bill came out to about 120 bucks which sounds expensive but I feel like most food in New York just is generally expensive so it was definitely worth it and I definitely will come back here... The hot pot was so good I want to try and make it at home...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Candle Making Part 2: Birthday Cake candles!

Hi guys, so I'm STILL on this candle obsession since the last time I posted about it - I've been doing lots of research about different ways to make candles without it becoming too complicated because then its not as fun.

So I read an article here about making a candle that looks like birthday cake! However, they used real sprinkles. Knowing that I'm super paranoid about everything (Zika, Ebola, etc.) I'm obviously worried about putting something in my candle that is going to float towards the flame and then set on fire and burn.

So I did some more research (annoying Trevor who was trying to sleep) and found that mod podge is non toxic and non flammable. However, it is glue so it could STILL melt, therefore putting something totally flammable like paper in your candle is a stupid idea. But that was not my idea! I though crayons would be a good way to get faux sprinkles look without risking burning my face off.

I went to Staples to buy some crayons. These are like 2 bucks a pack so its a pretty cheap material. Then I peeled off all the paper and then started slaving away scraping bits of crayon into a pile. I tried not to breathe or cough or anything to avoid blowing the pile away and making a huge mess. Note: I lined every surface I used in this project with parchment paper!!!!!


I tried to use all the same colours that edible sprinkles have. Minus the white, since the candle is white it would be redundant to do it, and a waste of effort. Once I had a big enough pile, I got the Mod Podge out!



Then I poured out a little glob of glue onto the paper (again, a reason to line your surface!) and then mixed in some shavings. I only used a little bit at a time, as it seems like a huge waste if you don't use all the crayon shavings. Then I dabbed the sprinkle glue muck all over the sides, up to where I would fill the candle wax.



Now I don't think I mentioned this in my last post, but I did go and get more wax, so I thought it was appropriate to show how gigantic the wax actually is. Its actually pretty easy to break the big chunks apart, but once you get to smaller chunks, you would be better off cutting it with a knife. To break a big chunk such as the below, you just run your knife around the block where you want it to break and then bang it against the counter.


Then you just follow the process I outline in my last candle post (melt the wax add the scent etc.) I added coffee scent, because when I smelled it it actually almost smelled like caramel or something which is "cakey" enough. 

So the biggest concern was the pouring step. I was worried that the crayon would melt when I poured the wax. Luckily, I stuck them in the fridge for a few minutes before pouring so it was cooler. As long as you don't shake it around, the crayon won't mix into the white wax very much. Just before the tops of the candles dried, I added some "sprinkles" so that it wasn't just on the side.



When the candles dried, there was the dip that I usually see in my candles (doesn't affect burning effectiveness, just cosmetically less nice). So I decided to top up my candles since I had some leftover wax sitting around. The effect was great and I could re-sprinkle the crayon for a nicer look. Let dry, trim the wicks, and you're done!


Side note, I was super impatient with this project and didn't let some parts of the glue fully dry before I poured my wax. Its not THAT big a deal because the glue is white and the wax is white, BUT I should probably wait next time so it will be nicer looking.



Monday, February 13, 2017

HK Part 3 - Otto e Mezzo (Truffle time!)

Hi guys, so I think this will be the end of my Hong Kong posts. 3 seems like a good number. So we were invited to a dinner at Otto e Mezzo. Just in time for white truffle season too! How lucky - we were so excited about this dinner.

In Vancouver, we definitely have truffles and they are used at restaurants in various dishes, but I have never seen any place as generous with their truffle shavings as this place. The service here was really good, but the food was definitely the best part of the experience!

Mushroom salad. Combination of raw and cooked mushrooms.

Truffle appetizer. Doesn't look like much but it was so creamy and good

Scrambled eggs with truffle. So much truffle.

Truffle pasta. Look at the size of that truffle!

Veal with more truffle. This was good, but not my favourite of the meal. Probably the eggs or the pasta were my favourites!

Dessert! This was made at the table. I think its a mix of limoncello, lemon zest, and other ingredients. The guy whipped the thing in a bowl so hard until it looked like the above. 

The restaurant was so dark so the pics aren't great, but it was definitely a lucky experience that we got to go!

Friday, February 10, 2017

HK Part 2 - Robuchon au Dome

Hi guys, so Hong Kong trip continued. I mentioned in my last post that the lunch menus in Hong Kong seemed to be such a good deal! Robuchon au Dome is no exception! The restaurant is actually in Macau, so lunch was perfect for us as I did not want to stay overnight. After walking around Old Macau in the morning, having a 3 hour lunch was a great way to spend the day!

The restaurant is in the Grand Lisboa Hotel in Macau. Reservations were really easy to make online, and the staff are so well trained it was crazy. I remember when I went to the bathroom I was maybe 10 metres away from my seat and the waiter had already pulled the chair back out and was waiting for me so I tried to walk-jog back to my chair so I wouldnt' keep him waiting.

The lunch set menu is between approx. HKD700 and HKD1000 not including wine. The set dinner menu on the other hand, starts at around HKD2000. We opted for the "menu plaisir" with wine pairings.

Anyways, this lunch was so good, I thought I should post about it separately

Bread "basket"

Serving butter by scraping a chunk off the butter mountain with a heated spoon.

Tuna appetizer course.

Trevor's appetizer course. Crispy soft-boiled egg.


Soup course (corn). Such nice presentation!

Duck breast main. Portion sizes were the right size!

By the time the dessert cart rolled around, we were almost too full. The wine pairings were also really great, and the sommelier was really friendly (even tolerated my lame questions about SOMM the documentary). The food was so good, but what made the meal even better was the service! The staff were almost psychic about coming to the table just often enough.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

HK Part 1 - HK Eats!

Hi guys,  I've decided on another new category to add to this page which is places to eat!

So Trevor and I recently went to Hong Kong for 2 weeks! It was awesome because it was vacation, and also I got to see lots of people that I hadn't seen in a few years. Also, the food is soooo good there. Vancouver has really good food too, but there's just so many more people there, and a lot of them are expats/not originally from Hong Kong so there will be soooooo many more options and varieties too.

Here are a few of the places we managed to get pictures at:

Classified
OK so this was one of the first stops we went to for breakfast, I think it was even on our first day or something. I wanted to go here because I heard their toast was really good. Someone told me after that they really didn't like it, but I thought it was pretty good! We went to the location in Tai Hang, but they have a few locations everywhere.

Ricotta cheese toast with chili and onion

I actually ordered too much food - but it was just because I wanted to try so many things! To be honest most of the toast was fine, but this was my favourite. A bit spicy for breakfast but I'm not actually a huge fan of tradition egg breakfasts/brunches, so this was a yummy alternative.

So the thing I noticed about Hong Kong is that (1) their sushi is SO GOOD. Maybe because they are so close to Japan, but their fish (especially tuna) is AMAZING. (2) their lunch menus are SUCH a good deal. Sometimes the restaurant can serve the exact same menu at lunch and dinner but the lunch will be significantly cheaper. Someone recommended Sushi Mori as a definite place to try so we went!

Nigiri Combo as part of the lunch set

The lunch set comes with miso soup, appetizer dish (chawanmushi in our case), nigiri combo, soba, and dessert! We were so full at the end. Its a bit pricier but definitely worth it! Their seared nigiri was also so good the texture of some of the fish was like butter. Of all the sushi places we went to Trevor and I still remember this place as the best one.

Unnamed Chinese Restaurant
My bad on this one, I never got the name of the restaurant!!! How we ended up here was a funny story. Trevor decided to get a suit made by this tailor Banz, who did a really great job by the way. I've never seen clothes that fit Trev so well. Anyways Trev and Banz seemed to get along really well, and Banz also helps make some of my uncle's suits, so he invited us out to dinner! He took us to a restaurant in Sham Sui Po, and I really wish I remember what the place was called now. 

Mantis Shrimp with "Bei Fung Tong"

This was the BEST dish we had at the restaurant, and some of the yummiest shrimp I've ever had. The shrimp in Cantonese is called "lai liu ha" which if you directly translate in English I think means "peeing shrimp" - I'm not really sure how to translate "bei fung tong" in english, but thats basically the seasoning you see on top. Banz kept trying to scrape it off for me (MSG), but I kept piling it back on. 

Another highlight of the meal was the sweet and sour pork, served over ice. The ice makes the outside of the pork crispier, and the two temperatures (cold outside, hot inside) makes it taste more interesting. 

This place came super highly recommended by everyone we talked to. Its an all beef place, and our friend invited us to eat here. We did one of the omakase menus and it was so good.

A sample of some of the dishes in the omakase meal

The raw beef rice bowl

The beef was really good quality and they teach you how to cook it so that you don't end up ruining all the nice different cuts of beef. My favourite dish was the rice bowl with raw beef. It looks really weird in the picture but I swear its so good I could have eaten a massive bowl of that.

Another place that I unfortunately didn't take a picture of food was at Che's Cantonese Restaurant. I go with my family everytime I am back. This place has the best BBQ pork buns and egg yolk custard buns ("Lau Sa Bao"). Too bad no pics but must be mentioned! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ratatouille

Hi guys, so I think a couple weeks ago I said I was trying to be healthier, so I'm trying to come up with stuff other than skinless boneless chicken breast and steamed veggies. Mostly that means lots of different types of salads (tuna, chickpea... maybe i'll post those later), but then I remembered that movie Ratatouille from a while ago, and they made this dish that looked so good. I know its an animated movie but the animated food looked super good..

Ratatouille
So I think this is a really good way to use up veggies, especially if they are on their last leg. I don`t even know exactly what veggies they used in the movie, but in my kitchen when I made this, I had an eggplant, a zucchini, a yellow zucchini, sweet potato, and some cherry tomatoes. I'm sure you could put whatever you wanted in this, as long as it was sliceable.

Obviously the cherry tomatoes would be too small to make into that nice disc shape thing so I just improvised and put them on top! The best thing for this recipe is a mandolin. I got one from Crate and Barrel, and its really useful and speeds up the cutting process.

I looked up like 10 different recipes, and they are all pretty similar in terms of the steps:

Ingredients
1 eggplant, sliced, scraps saved!
1 zucchini, sliced, scraps saved!
1 yellow zucchini, sliced, scraps saved!
1 sweet potato, sliced, scraps saved!
some cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 red, orange, or yellow pepper, rough chopped
1 onion, rough chopped
1 clove garlic, rough chopped
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Add the pepper, onion, garlic, some tomatoes, and veggie scraps to an oven safe pan. Saute the all down until its cooked
  3. Dump all the sauteed veggies into a blender and blend with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any additional herbs you may want. This is your sauce! Pour it into the bottom of the pan and spread it in a thin layer
  4. Take all your sliced veggies and arrange it so it looks good.
  5. Drizzle a bit of oil on top, and cover with parchment paper. This was the worst step because you have to cut the paper to fit the pan!
  6. Bake for 60 - 90 minutes (depending on the thickness of your slices). Serve!
Ratatouille before baking

I think I might add tomato paste to my blender sauce next time for more taste. but as you can see I just put the tomatoes on top because I didn't want to bother trying to slice them thin as they were already so small. Trevor thought this was pretty good, especially since there is no meat in it so he is always skeptical of meatless dishes. OK bye!


Saturday, January 28, 2017

New Category + Candle Making

Hi guys, so so my co-worker DD suggested that maybe I should start writing about things other than just recipes. He has a point, since there are some weeks where I won't cook anything! I was thinking maybe I would add another category about some hobbies/crafty things I've been trying - like candle making!

I love candles and using them in our apartment. I don't really like ones that smell too fake, or too "sweet" if that makes sense. But the problem I have with candles is that they are SO expensive. A reasonable sized one (a.k.a. not a scentless tea light) is usually around 30 dollars, and higher end brands could be even more. SO I thought I would try making my own.

I first did a bit of research, and debated buying everything on Amazon, but they surprisingly had a super limited selection. So I looked up to see if there were any places I could buy locally, and there is this amazing store called Wicks and Wax. They literally sell all the supplies you would need for basic to advanced candle making, and their staff are the most helpful people ever. Trevor was not too enthused about going but hes already promised to go back. he he he.

I decided to make 8oz candles, as it seemed like a reasonable size. Too big, and they never seem to burn out, and too small, they burn way too fast! So I needed the following:

Wax
Wicks
Scents
8oz jars
Wax pot

I also needed the following, which I already had at home:

Pot for water
Thermometer
Fork, committed exclusively to handling wax
Chopsticks

Clockwise from top left: scents and wicks, paraffin wax, 8oz mason jars, and wax pot
The store had beeswax, paraffin wax, and soy wax. From what the guy told me, for a noobie like me making candles, paraffin is the easiest to work with, and it absorbs scents the best. So I went with that!

First step is to break the wax into manageable chunks. The guy gave me 4kg of wax, and estimated that 1kg would be enough for 3. This guy must have been making candles forever because that was super accurate and I got 3 candles exactly when I broke out a quartere of my wax block.

Next, dump the wax into the wax pot. Fill your other pot with water, and submerge the wax pot into it. Heat it up, and the wax will start to melt. Mine took about 10 minutes. I stirred it around with my fork too.

Once the wax starts to form a melty puddle, grab a wick and dip it in the puddle. Immediately stick it in the CENTER of the jar. It will harden and make the wax stick. Next, take a pair of chopsticks, and just sandwich the wick between them. You just need this so the wick doesn't wiggle around when you pour the wax in.

Once the wax reaches about 160F, take it off the heat. By this time, most of my wax was melted, so I took it off, and the wax pot stayed hot long enough to melt the rest of it without the stove.

Apparently the scents are best poured in when the wax isn't too hot, so that it doesn't evaporate. So I waited till it cooled to about 140F and poured in the scents. The recommended amount was 10ml for every 8oz of wax. Therefore, I put in 30ml.

Pour the wax into the jar, let it dry, and thats it!


You can see the bottom candle looks weird and ugly. Its because I thought the candles were full enough but I decided to add more. But then by the time I topped off my third candle I ran out of wax. Lesson learned!
 Side note, make sure your craft station is well separated from the rest of the kitchen! Trevor was eating cheese while I was doing this, and he put the cheese fork near my wax fork. I didn't notice, so I grabbed the CHEESE FORK and started stirring my top-up wax. I didn't realized until after and freaked out about spores or mold sprouting out of my candles. Luckily I called wicks and wax and they said it was nothing to worry about - especially trace amounts. The wax still melted clear so I wasn't too worried after that.

Finished product!
 So at the end of it all, I calcuated, and each candle cost me about 9 dollars. Considering that it didn't take a ridiculous amount of effort, and it was pretty fun, I would say I would definitely do this again.



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pasta Making Part 2

Hi guys, so I'm going to talk about more pasta because I might as well get it all out in a row rather than scatter them everywhere. I also think only about 2 people read this so unless there are any objections I will keep documenting the way I want!

So I've tried a few combos of pasta and sauce, and here is one that I really like: Braised Oxtail. Also, I won't repeat the pasta recipe because I already talked about it here, so you can just refer to it yourself!

Braised Oxtail Sauce
This is a super mega hit with Trevor and the guests we made it for. Actually, I test kitchened this recipe on Geo and Rik with short rib first, which was also delicious, but the next time I went to the butcher they had oxtail and Trevor said it was way better than the short rib! Also, the reason I picked this was because the guests we were hosting were coming on a Friday, so I needed something that would look more impressive than the amount of work it required, as I had to work (shoutout to Trevor, when can I retire?). This sauce is good on pretty much anything but for pasta, I would recommend a bit thicker and wider pasta because its so chunky.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
Salt and pepper
6 pounds oxtail, cut into chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic sliced then mashed in salt to puree consistency
1 onion chopped
1 cup red wine
1 big can crushed tomatoes
1/2 small can tomato paste
Water, to cover
3 bay leaves
2 pounds carrots peeled and chopped into large chunks

Directions
In a shallow bowl, add the flour. Season well with salt and pepper.

Dredge the meat in the flour, shaking off any excess.

In a large pan, add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the meat, and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. When all of the meat is browned, remove the meat from the pan and set aside on a plate. My kitchen gets crazy when the meat starts cooking so you might want to turn on your fan!

Add the garlic and onion to the pan and sweat. Add to slow cooker. Add the wine, browned meat, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, and celery.

Add enough water to cover the meat and add the bay leaves.

Slow cook 6-8 hours.

Remove from heat and serve. In this case, I actually dumped my cooked pasta into the slow cooker and mixed it all up!

Braised Oxtail pasta

I love pasta so much but sometimes the sauce is so hard to make. However, there are other ways I like to eat pasta that are fairly simple! Like with just butter and cheese... he he he.

I've also been suuuuper lazy with my photos so thats why theres only one!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Returning to Blog and Pasta Making

So its been almost 2 years since I posted anything on here. I got a new job twice in that time so now maybe I can start posting again. I've also been taking my lunch to work lately so I have lots of salad ideas. In fact, I'm eating a tuna salad as I'm doing this post.

Since last time, Trevor has gotten me some new appliances to help me cook and help him eat food that tastes better. This includes the Anova, which is great because the sous vide duck that I posted about is a lot easier since I don't have to stand over a pot for an hour anymore. Maybe he got it because he read about my Anova party from two years ago.. he he he. The other thing he got me was a Marcato pasta making machine! Which is what I'm going to talk about today.

So the Undomesticated Kitchen and I went to a pasta making class in Vancouver. Its great! If you haven't tried it you should (http://www.pastafamiglia.ca/). This guy named Peter teaches the class and its super hands on. So after this class, the machine has been really useful and we have gotten a lot more use out of it than we had imagined. He gave us a recipe that I use. I skip a couple details but the general process is pretty much the same:

Fresh Pasta
Ingredients

  • Flour (100g per person. I don't have a food scale so I have to look on the nutrition info on the flour bag to estimate the amount I need)
  • Eggs (1 for every 100g)
  • salt
  • maybe some water
Method
  1. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well.
  2. Add the eggs to the well, and a pinch of salt (I make the pinch bigger the more pasta I am making)
  3. Beat the eggs until its all mixed with the flour. At this points its pretty dry and usually doesn't form semi solid ball, so I add a TEENY TINY bit of water.
  4. Once the dough is formed, flour a countertop and start to knead. My abs actually hurt the next day from kneading so much. Knead for about 15 minutes until the ball becomes smooth and silky in texture
  5. Wrap the dough ball in saran wrap and rest for 15 - 30 minutes
  6. After resting, cut the dough ball into more manageable pieces. Run the piece through the pasta machine until its as thick as you want it (I usually do about setting 6 on my machine). Flip the pasta each time you run it through so both ends have a turn running through first.

Once all the pieces have been rolled in the machine, you can make lasagna, or cut it into different pasta depending on your attachments!

To cook the pasta
  1. Boil some water
  2. After it boils, heavily salt it
  3. Plop your pasta in for about a minute and a half, depending on the thickness (you'll have to taste it to test it)
  4. Strain the pasta, but keep some pasta water!
  5. Add pasta and pasta water to your sauce. The pasta can continue cooking in the hot sauce, so I try to take it out of the water before it gets to the best tasting point.
My ugly first test bowl of pasta! Tasted good at least
Notes
  • Sometimes I forget, but its important to flour everything to the point of thinking it might be too much. If the pasta sticks together it sucks.
  • NEVER add too much water. Add very little bits at a time. One time I accidentally added too much, and then the pasta came out tasting super weird.
Anyways thats it - maybe I'll post some pasta recipes with the sauces I used. To be continued.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Anova Party + Parchment Paper Cod

This weekend Alicia and I went over to The Undomesticated Kitchen's place to try out her new Anova Precision Cooker and it was awesome! It turned into one giant dinner - We made a bunch of other things together with LOTS of pictures so this won't be a boring post.

The only "new" recipe I will be posting about here will be the parchment paper cod because it was the only one that's new for me and the only one that I paid attention to while drinking.

Korean Spicy Rice Cakes

As an appetizer, Alicia brought over all the ingredients to make Korean Spicy Rice cakes! It was actually really easy! The most important part is the hot pepper paste you mix with soy sauce and sugar to make the sauce. Otherwise it won't taste the same


I should have paid more attention when Alicia was making it but you basically add fish cakes, dried anchovies, green peppers, green onions, and cabbage in a pot and add the sauce. Then you add the rice cakes and cook it down until the mixture thickens.


Sous Vide Duck

So since it was sous vide the first thing we thought of sous vide duck! I've blogged about this before (RECIPE HERE), but with the Anova, it was so much easier. No need to stand over the pot watching the thermometer for an hour until I go cross eyed!


The Anova circulates water and heats it up to the temperature you set it at and keeps it there. It was way better and tasted delicious. We ate all four breasts in like 5 seconds.



This time the duck was dressed with some Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar and fresh thyme. Usually I just eat the duck without any sauce because it tastes so good on its own but the blueberry vinegar with it was so yummy. I think next time it would be really good if we made the vinegar into a glaze yum.


Roasted Veggies

Next was some roasted veggies. This was just carrots and cauliflower combined on a baking tray with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Baked at 400 for an hour. MMmmmMmm...



Parchment Paper Cod

The next thing we made was the fish! The Undomesticated Kitchen bought some cod and things to dress it with! It was super simple.

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small can, black olives
Capers, as much as we want
Fresh Thyme
Olive Oil
White Wine
Salt 
Pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut the cod into pieces. I can't remember how  The Undomesticated Kitchen did it, but it really just looked like she eyeballed it into single person servings.

Lay each piece on its own piece of parchment paper. 
Add some tomatoes, olives, and capers to each one. I think the amount you add will really depend on personal preference. It seemed that we added just the right amount!
Add salt, pepper, and a few sprigs of thyme. 
Add a splash of wine and a bit of olive oil to each one.


Wrap each piece in a pouch using the parchment paper. We folded up the edges and rolled them down together. Then I twisted each end so it looked like a giant fish bon bon.


Bake for 8 minutes and serve. The fish was awesome because it just flaked apart and wasn't overdone.

The dinner was so much fun and all the food was good! I hope we do it again sometime soon.. Maybe after Chinese New Year.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hummus Deviled Eggs

I am so tired lately I have only been back to work for 3 weeks but it feels like 3 years is that even possible.

Since last time I recently posted about hummus, I thought maybe it would be good to post something where you could use the hummus for a purpose other than dipping veggies in. I love deviled eggs but I really try hard not to put mayo in stuff because if I do use mayo I don't like using the lite versions so it'll have to be full fat.

I made this for a party once and everyone really liked it because they would eat like 5 of them but justify it by saying there was no mayo in it. I also didn't have a lot of pictures making this because boiling eggs isn't that interesting and I didn't have anyone to take the picture while piping.

Hummus Deviled Eggs

9 eggs, hardboiled

1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup HUMMUS (RECIPE HERE)
Salt
Pepper

Paprika, to garnish
Green onion, chopped, to garnish

Hard boil your eggs. You don't want to over or under boil it otherwise it'll just ruin everything. I usually put my eggs in water and from start to boiling to finish I leave it in for about 10 minutes.

Once the eggs are done, cut the eggs in half and CAREFULLY scoop out the yolks into a bowl. You have to careful I screwed this up because I scooped it too hard and broke the whites which was so annoying.

In the bowl of yolks, combine with the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and hummus. The deviled mixture should be smooth. I think in the hummus post I said I wanted to make it creamier and this would be a good reason why! This process is really based on personal taste. You have to keep tasting this until its good to you which is dangerous because I almost ate it all.


Put the deviled mixture into a Ziploc bag and cut a hole in the corner. This is the best part. Cut the hole big enough so you can get a nice fat swirl of devil in the egg. When I made it it was a big too small so it looked really strange. Pipe the deviled mixture into the hole in the egg white. Top with some paprika and green onion. Serve.

If you look at the picture you can see that one of them ended up being really tall and pointy because I just wanted to get rid of the stuff so I could start eating. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Forty Garlic Chicken

So Trevor and I are in the process of moving. It sucks! But I am really excited to move to the new place as it will mean a better area and a working patio for BBQs! Hopefully I can do more cooking there too. A lot of the time I try to cook stuff that both of us will eat AND like. Sometimes its hard because we like different things.

For example, I really love garlic a lot I could use it on everything. In fact I just ate a bagel with garlic cream cheese. I especially also really like the Garlic and Fine Herb Boursin Cheese because it combines my favourite foods - garlic and cheese!!! Trevor I think is just whatever about it. UNTIL I found a recipe that he and I both like equally! Forty garlic chicken! There are recipes all over the internet for this. Yes it might sound weird and stinky but the way the garlic cooks its not stinky anymore its just sweet and yummy!

For this recipe, you have to make sure your proportions are right otherwise the sauce will get messed up. On my second or third time making this, I tried to put more garlic to wine, and the sauce came out really weird and gelatinous.

For two people, I used 4 chicken legs, so that meant 20 garlic cloves. You would have to make 8 chicken legs for the full 40.

Forty Garlic Chicken

4 chicken legs, thigh and drummette, skin on bone in
20 cloves of garlic, skin on
1/2 cup of white wine
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 tsp sage
A few twigs of thyme
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Heat a dutch oven and olive oil on medium high.

Season your chicken with salt and pepper on each side. When the dutch oven is hot, lay the chickens skin side down and fry it for about 5 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Brown the meaty side for about 3 minutes. Set aside.


In the dutch oven, throw in the onion and some oil. Add the garlic and saute until the onions have browned. Add the wine, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and stir. Lay the chicken down on top of the mixture and close the dutch oven. Bake for one hour and serve.


The sauce comes out so yummy and almost creamy even though there's no cream to it. The garlic is actually SO SO good I could probably just eat that for dinner.


Doesn't the sauce look so amazing! Also, I literally got the Dutch Oven to make this dish. Success!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy New Year + Homemade Hummus

Yay its 2015! I went on vacation and its been so hard getting back into this blogging. But I think its good because I always get so stressed about work stuff that I need to do something else to distract me! Trevor and I went to Hawaii and LA for Xmas break and all we did was eat POKE! Hopefully one day I can make that but I don't really trust myself with raw fish like that.

Anyways so one of our goals is to eat healthier this year, and to eat in. Because Trevor can't exercise as much as before so we need other ways to be healthier us! We went to Granville Island when we got back and I went crazy and bought lots of beans, and legumes in an attempt to substitute out rice, pasta, and potatoes a bit in our diet. 

My first experiment was hummus! because we always eat hummus I thought I should try and make my own.

Hummus

4 cups chickpeas, prepared *
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup water

*I bought dried chickpeas. This means I had to soak it overnight AND THEN boil it for two hours guh it was a lot of effort and I would probably use canned chickpeas next time. I wonder if the nutrition level is worse or something.



Once the chickpeas are prepared, dump the chickpeas, oil, garlic, and lemon juice into a blender. I used the Vitamix which is seriously the best thing ever. A lot of other recipes say to peel the chickpeas so its smoother but the Vitamix can like grind through your bones so it will grind up all the skins too! 


But you have to use the stick thing to keep the stuff moving because it will be really thick. Gradually add water until the hummus is the desired consistency.

Serve with a bit of paprika and olive oil on top.


This was like the easiest thing ever to make which is good because I was so lazy when we got back from vacation. Trevor said he liked it, but I think next time I will increase my olive oil to almost 1/4 cup so it gets a bit creamier and smoother. The canned chickpeas might also be a bit softer. I might also try different flavours, like roasted pepper!