Monday, June 28, 2010

'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie'

This is the ultimate cookie guys. The Cappuccino Chocolate Chunk from Cookies By George. Eat one and you will be full and do not leave until the next day, it's not the same! Soft, chewy, loaded with cappuccino flavor mixed with the just the right amount of sweetness from the white chocolate. Totally worth the price and it's true, why give a girl flowers when you can give them cookies.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet Jane, Chikuwa Cheese and ... a Mouse?!

In my eyes, Ma's Clubhouse is one of the best restaurants in the Lower Mainland. I usually order the same meal every time I come, and the food quality and taste is always consistent! This is my favorite sushi roll of ALL TIME - the Sweet Jane Prawn Tempura Roll. Stuffed with prawn tempura of course, sweet potato, asparagus, sweet bean curd and drizzled with teriyaki sauce, this is one plump and satisfying roll!

My second favorite is very simple, a spicy salmon and avocado roll. Refreshing and flavorful.

Now, this is the Chikuwa Cheese dish. Deep fried fish cake, baked with mozza and cheddar cheese, topped off with teriyaki sauce and a bit of seaweed. I've had this dish at many other Japanese tapas places and this one is by far the best. Plentiful in size and cheese, and perfected gooey-ness. DELICIOUS!!!

And of course, the yummy Japanese pancake 'okonomiyaki'. Last night, we had it with the prawns and it was delightful. Pan fried dough mixed with lettuce, your choice of meat, ginger and lathered with teriyaki sauce and lined with mayo, this is an amazing entree. You can also opt to have it with yakisoba underneath but we would've overloaded. I've also had this at The Eatery and it was soooo nasty. Come to Clubhouse for an authentic and tasty okonomiyaki y'all!

Now we were contemplating on ordering their yummy 'Sonna Banana' dessert consisting of crepes, ice cream and bananas until I freaking saw a mouse scurrying by! EWWWWWW! Well I mean, there is a lot of construction in that area with the Olympic Village, and it is sort of a hole in the wall restaurant but when you actually see the rodent, ugh! However, knowing me, I will definitely be back, the food is too delicious to ignore! I did mention it to the owner and she said she would take care of it ... but you know Asian restaurants. So we just went back to my place and devoured a mini ice cream sandwich each, the perfect size! On a side note, seriously guys, my Blackberry camera is so amazing, look at my pictures! I can't get over it! 9700 Bold all the way!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


My super amazing friend MR is an even more amazing cook! She has introduced me to healthy ways of eating by drumming up these super delicious vegetarian meals! Before I met MR and her food, I would've never looked twice at veggie meals but now I do! Plus, she always manages to include some sort of secret ingredient to make us all regular (like chia seeds, quinoa, fibre). You gotta love that. Above is a personal favorite of mine - her plentiful, fibre boosting, vegetable and bean crazy delicious chili!

Now, a saucy meal always needs some bread for dippin'! MR's Pumpernickel Garlic Bread is a recipe for success! Flavorful, healthy and a perfect dipping tool!

Slice the bread into small slices but thick slices.
Dice or press 2 cloves or garlic and simmer in a little bit of water for 5 mins.
Drain the water and mix the garlic with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of melted margarine. Spread onto the slices as desired and broil in the oven until lightly toasted.

Served over quinoa and topped off with yogurt (to replace sour cream) and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, this recipe is perfect for that -rainy-day-bachelorette-watching-and-bashing-girls-night-in. Here's her recipe below, give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!

1 can – Kidney beans
1 can – Chick peas
1 can – Corn
1 can – Diced tomatoes (either unsalted or low Sodium)
1 jar – Tomato sauce
1 cup – Frozen peas (cooked in microwave)
1 cup – Carrots (slightly steamed in the microwave)
1-2 Cloves garlic (pressed or diced)
2 tablespoons Oregano (dried )
Chili seasoning (as desired)
Lime juice (just a dash)
Honey or Agave syrup (tablespoon)
Veggie ground (half a pack)
½ Large onion – diced
Pinch of Cayenne
2 Cups of cooked quinoa
Plain fat free yogurt
Shredded cheese

In a large pot, simmer onion and garlic until onion becomes translucent.
Add veggie ground and simmer for few more minutes.
Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, honey, lime juice, cayenne and oregano. Stir until well combined.
15 mins later, add kidney beans, corn, peas, chickpeas and the steamed carrots.
Simmer on medium/low heat for an hour or so to desired consistency.
Serve the Chili on top of some cooked quinoa, topping each with a spoonful of plain yogurt and a bit of grated cheese . Serve with Pumpernickel Garlic Toast.
*Should easily serve 5

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Favorite Auntie, is Auntie Anne

MmmMmm, please tell me you've had one of these Auntie Anne's 'pretzel dogs'. The wieners are literally soaked in butter (much like the corn on the cobs rolling on that wheel from Churches Chicken) and then stuffed in a light fluffy pastry. The combination is to die for. The salty, buttery hot dog, with the sweet pretzel bread makes for a delicious snack to share. I always have to have one of these on my States shopping trips. Satisfies me like no other.

We also wanted a sweet pretzel so we opted for the cinnamon sugar flavor which also coats your finger in the mixture when you rip pieces off. Deeeeeelish! You might want to opt for the 'stix', much easier to eat when walking around and shopping.

I also love their creative lemonades. This time we had the new mango flavor. A perfect thirst quencher to the best pretzels!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Perfect Pork Tenderloin

Another lovely meal at my sister's place to celebrate my cousin LW getting on the honor roll for the first time! His special request was scalloped potatoes so it was specially prepared for him along with a few other dishes. Nachos is a quick appetizer that is easily prepared and fun to chow down on. Made with marble cheese, jalapeno peppers and sides of guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Always a fun munchie while watching sports on TV!

I was feeling quite lazy to whip up my own guacamole and opted to buy a pre-packaged one from Urban Fare. This Western Family's guacamole was actually super tasty, but a bit on the pricey side.

A lovely fresh salad is a staple to every meal to compliment the heavy protein and carbs, and to keep you regular! Here we have some spinach tossed with strawberries, goat cheese and nicely toasted pine nuts! (Pine nuts are really expensive, btw.) I love nuts in salads!

And here is LW's prized possession. Scalloped potatoes thinly sliced and layered in butter, marble and Parmesan cheese and milk. Then baked until a bubbly brown crust appears, this side dish satisfies your stomach like no other!

For the main course, LC marinated her pork tenderloin in fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and JC grilled it to perfection on the BBQ.

The middle pieces were juicy and plump with flavor oozing in every bite!

Ta Da! Dinner at LC's never gets boring and there is always more than enough to go around and bring home for leftovers!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Corn Soup for the Toothless Soul

Does anyone else's mom out there make them a special corn soup when they get their wisdom teeth removed? Mine does ... and actually, it's not that special. It's a can of Green Giant's Cream of Corn mixed with an egg. But it's simple and delicious and served its purpose during my week of soups, ice cream, pudding and congee. We like to eat it with BBQ pork sandwiches for lunch. Come on Asian peeps, I know you can concur! Yum!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Culinary Skills of the DC Crew (and their momz)

Thanks to EL for hosting some of the DC veterans and challenging everyone to cook a delicious dish to be featured on my blog! Above you can see his favorite, salmon sashimi, cut and prepared with the lovely sliced oranges for a pretty garnish. Fresh and abundant!

Next we all fosho have to bow down to KD's momma's special chicken. Notorious to all the DC-ers stomachs. Marinated in her secret recipe and baked to the tee, there are flavor explosions in your mouth in every bite.

KG did fail to cook herself but satisfied our cravings by bringing her momma's delicious spring rolls! A potluck ain't a potluck without spring rolls y'all.

PY's lemon squares were a great way to end our big piggy potluck. The crust was perfect and not crumbly, moist with just the right amount of butter and the lemon filling was a tart delight. Gave my recipe a good run for its money for sure! Also, PY's momma is definitely one of the best cooks and bakers out there - she taught Linda how to bake the perfect turkey! This recipe will be soon shared, check back!

Klu's yummy appetizer nachos. Baked with tomatoes, cheese and love. I was very impressed that KL even browned his own beef! Haha!

And ending off with GL's competing chicken! It's a shame that he came almost two hours late and we were all full by the time we got to taste these Korean flavored chicken breasts. Don't worry GL, it was still amazing, despite the fact that you forgot one ingredient, but you biking it over in the rain, in a giant pot, in your backpack makes it all worth while. =)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Quick and Easy to Cook Seafood Creations!

This appetizer I'm about to share with y'all is a Phan party favorite! It's super easy to pull together with a guaranteed 'party in your mouth' flavor! Warning, the ingredients are a slight bit on the fattier side so diet-conscious people, watch out! Combine 1 cup of mayo, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese, 1 package of an 8 ounce cream cheese, 4 cloves of garlic, and two cans of crab meat (make sure you select a can with crab legs!), mix together and scoop in a pan or container for baking! At 350 Celsius, bake for 45 minutes until a crispy golden brown on top and serve with tortilla chips, bread or my favorite, Stacey's pita chips. Trust me, everyone will be drooling over this!

Next up is this delicious Atlantic Salmon Salad recipe that my sister LC passed along to me. Again, really quick to prepare and a potluck fave! Lay the filet of salmon out on foil and season with salt, pepper, fresh dill, and slices of lemon (don't forget to squeeze all over as well). In the oven it goes at 350 Celsius just for a mere 30 minutes and you have yourself an amazingly moist and tasteful fish! We love to top this dish off with Olivieri's Sundried Tomato Pesto sauce and served over a fresh garden salad as you can see below! This was my contribution to our DC reunion potluck and the rest of the yummy dishes and photos are yet to come in another post! Happy cooking!

Best paired with Urban Fare's Shiitake Sesame Vinaigrette Dressing, one of my favorite salad dressings that I've mentioned before.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Behold the All Mighty Pot of Pho!

Nothing is more comforting than a warm bowl of my momma's home made Pho. Unless it's a hot summer day, then it's just torturous. Brewing for at least 4 hours, the chicken & pork bones, ginger, garlic, chicken stock, fish sauce, S&P to taste and some secret goodness, makes for an amazing soup base. Clear pho broth is the best kind, if you can't see through your broth at a Vietnamese restaurant, be worried. (I heard a rumour once that if you don't finish all your soup, they just pour it back into the big pot in the kitchen to re-use, ew!)

Behold! My mom 'Susan Vuong' aka ' Mai Tuyet Voung's mouthwatering, soul satisfying, would- climb-mountains-for, Beef Pho. Topped with fresh parsley and fresh squeezed lemon juice, this dish is good to go. My mom got her English name Susan from her siblings who decided to crown her with that name after she perfected her bowl of Pho. The name was taken from a 'famous chef Susan' in Vietnam to which inspired my mom's zest for cooking this delicious staple in Vietnamese cuisine. I love it when my mom mixes it up and adds chicken, seafood or ox tail to this dish - mmMMmm!

And of course the meal wouldn't be complete without the above sauces. A red chili hot sauce 'rooster brand' and a strong fish sauce to give that bowl of Pho that extra 'zing'!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

'Jamaican Me Hungry' at The Reef!

The Reef on Commercial Drive. The perfect place to brunch on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Feeling like you're dining in a straw hut, reggae tunes in your ear and the best comfort food in the block, it was the best way to treat my taste buds. Here you see their famous johnny cakes served with coconut butter. PLUS, if you go on the weekends, the insides are filled with bananas! What could be better? My sister one time had a mango surprise in hers! YUMMY!

The Reef also usually has a smoothie special on weekends as well. This time, I slurped on a mango, pineapple, strawberry, banana smoothie and WOW, seriously WOW. It was the most delicious smoothie I've had in a while, complimented my meal quite nicely.

Now for their daily special, jerk salmon omelet with a cream cheese sauce served with toast and jam. I honestly have not had such a good restaurant food experience since The Flying Tiger. All of the flavors just intertwined so well - I was amazed!

I also shared their trini roti filled with their jerk tofu, served with a side of fresh coleslaw. Jerk anything is delicious! I would also recommend their Island Thyme Chicken, Fried Chicken and Calypso Oxtail. Chill environment, best reggae jams a restaurant in Vancouver has to offer, in the neighborhood AND tasty, filling food? I'LL BE BACK!

PS - I'm sorry to have taken such a long food blogging hiatus! I promise to never leave you pigs stranded for this long ever again!