It's mid August which means Toronto is bursting with summer produce. Our local farmer's market is, to me, almost like a candy store to a child. Tables are piled high with an abundance of fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables hitting their peak. I am in heaven! In particular, tomatoes are having their long-awaited moment in the sun, literally and figuratively. :)Read More
Whenever stone fruit season rolls around, Marian Burro's infamous plum torte seems to pop up everywhere on my Instagram feed. You may have missed it ... if you live under a rock ;) She wrote this iconic recipe for the New York Times in the 80s and they claim it is one of their most requested recipes. I never did get around to making her original recipe but this grain-free adaptation of her plum torte is so dang good I don't think I ever actually will!?Read More
Years ago, a friend gave me a jar of Rooibos loose leaf tea to try. She told me it is an non-caffeinated tea with health benefits aplenty. I later read that Rooibos is high in antioxidants, helps lower high blood pressure, aids in cancer-prevention and digestion health, bone health and more. Seems like I should be drinking this stuff like water! Instead, it sat in my pantry untouched for months, or closer to a year. When it comes to hot beveraging, I can't help but choose an Americano, a matcha latte or for so many years, my top choice was English Breakfast tea with a splash of milk (a reflection of my British-influenced Hong Kong ties).
Tea in desserts, on the other hand, I dig! A LOT. Like these earl grey cookies or the earl grey ice cream I made for pear frangipane tart. Heaven. So it is no surprise this Rooibos Chai Panna Cotta Tart with Honeyed Strawberry Rhubarb Compote is totally my jam. The only surprise is why I didn't think of it sooner. Everyone I served it to thoroughly enjoyed it too! Weeell if I'm being honest, everyone except my 4 year old who ate only the tart crust and "saved" the panna cotta part for her mama. But I can't blame her for loving the crust - it's so dope.Read More
I think there is a certain consensus among those of us who are living through Winter right now that citrus fruits are basically the best part about it. The other features of our winter - air so cold it hurts any exposed skin, shoveling and de-icing all the things all the time, extremities that are always cold even while INDOORS, plus a few other things that make you swear under your breath - I can live without!Read More
Even though these sauces are simple in their ingredients as well as their preparation, they really elevate a grain or noodle bowl or salad or seared tofu or roasted veggies (or all of these things together in one meal haha!) to another level. I find that when eating clean and simple foods, it's kinda all about the sauce to take it from ho-hum to super extra extra yummy. I very much do believe the sauce is king. That's why I really wanted to share these two go-to sauces with you. Plus, I've gotten enough DMs on Instagram whenever I make it on stories that I think it's finally time I deliver!Read More
WHUT. Christmas is less than a week away, and the year is done-zo in less than two! How are you feeling? Are you getting holiday stress? I had myself a panic moment a few days ago when Aubrie asked me why there are still no presents under our tree. I mumbled something about not wanting them to poke around the presents and wreck the wrapping like last year, instead of the truth, which is I was procrastinating the mundane task of wrapping them up. On the actual gift-buying side, I had 90% of gifts purchased by early December but the last 10% is by no coincidence, the most difficult. People like my dad, dad-in-law, etc are impossible to buy for. So I'm still working on that last 10% ... kiiiinda cutting it close, I reckon. Socks? Again?Read More
This season, Vitamix came up with this Winter Spice Seasoning of cinnamon sticks, crystallized ginger, cardamom, pink peppercorns, cloves, dried orange peel, salt and brown sugar (tip: sub coconut sugar for Paleo / refined sugar free version!) blended into a fragrant seasoning of warmth and WINTER MAGIC.
Vitamix and theFeedfeed partnered up to sponsor this post so that I can bring you this recipe I created using that heavenly seasoning mix. Can you smell it in your mind's eye...eerrr, nose? I want to put it in everything, both sweet and savory!Read More
Toronto weather can be pretty bipolar. We just had a sudden 10-degree (or 50f) swing from near 30c (86f) back down to more seasonal temperatures. I guess Summer wanted a last hurrah. I was okay with that!
Now that it is Fall, for real, it's time to embrace all the upsides it brings including pumpkin things, crisp air fragranced by wood-burning fires, over-the-knee boots and cozy meals exactly like this Chicken Stew with Almond Flour Biscuits.Read More
With the start of school and adieu to summer vacation, I begin to accept that Fall is just around the corner. Every year when I spot the first copper-y dried leaf fallen on the sidewalk, I think of (lower your device's volume if you're at work haha) this old KFC commercial where the woman is screaming and pointing at something. The camera then turns to the sidewalk in front of her, showing a single fallen maple leaf on the ground with the voice-over saying "summer can't last forever". She then bolts in the other direction. I feel exactly the same way! Does anyone else (Canadian) remember this one? Best. Commercial. Ever. My favorite. :)Read More
Cauliflower has been having quite a moment in the sun.
Have you seen all the clever and creative uses of cauliflower lately? The popular ones that spring to mind are cauliflower steak, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower buffalo 'wings', cauliflower tater tots and even using cauliflower as a smoothie ingredient to provide bulk without the added sugars of bananas and other fruits (can't say I'm sold on that one ... yet).
So despite it's pale and unexciting appearance, turns out this cruciferous veggie kinda has superpowers! And cauliflower RICE, for me, is the most super-y-est of them all because of it's ease of preparation (including how much faster it is to cook versus rice), superior nutritional value over rice, it's versatility and above all, how satisfyingly well it stands in for rice.Read More
Hiya! It's been a minute since I posted. How has this month flown by so fast? Oh I remember now. It's because I've had my hands full with the girls who are on summer break. Why even is there a summer vacation? People who work don't get 2 months off their jobs (I mean other than school-related staff). Stay-at-home parents don't stop cooking / dishes / laundry / vacuuming / groceries / chauffeuring and all of that for a couple of months every year. Why do children get 2 months off school? Isn't school basically their job? Seems like a good idea to keep their minds sharp all year round. Maybe next year I will sign the girls up for math camp all summer heh heh. #tigermomgoalsRead More
Does the internet really need another 'spaghetti sauce' recipe? For a year and half since I started this blog, the answer to myself was consistently NO. Yet here it is. Why?
Instead of seeing it as too pedestrian to be blog-worthy, I now see it as invariably delicious, nourishing and actually an excellent representation of what we eat hence what I like to bring to the blog. A ragù (an Italian term) is a sauce made with ground meat and vegetables usually used for pasta. This is my take on the ubiquitous dish. It is uncomplicated yet deliberate in ingredients to maximize both taste and nutrition. It is beloved in my universe (my family). It is tried, test and true.Read More
If you know my modus operandi, you know I'm all about tasty and healthy meals with minimal effort. People often assume I love to cook (whatever gave them that idea ;)) but the honest truth is, I'm more driven by the end game than the process. My paramount goal has always been to feed my family simple homemade meals created from clean, whole ingredients. That's why I gravitate toward uncomplicated food. Are you anything like me? If so, this recipe is perfect for you too.Read More
The girls showered me with their praises when they tasted this loaf. And since I thrive off flattery and compliments (heehee), I made a second loaf immediately for next morning's breakfast which was greeted with the same gleeful enthusiasm.
Stroke stroke stroke. My ego.
Never you mind that the judging panel was comprised of a 6 year old and a 3 year old. I decided I would definitely share this recipe on the blog with you so you too can have your ego stroked. Or at the very least, have your breakfast sorted.Read More
I assume most people's mornings are just as hurried as ours. Mine goes like this: wake up, get self ready (aka barely splash some water on face and put a bra on), dress children, make breakfast, pack lunches and most importantly drink that coffee that's getting cold dammit. The saving grace of warmer mornings now is more simple options for breakfast, such as chilled overnight oats or overnight chia puddings. Lately the girls have been obsessed with chia pudding parfaits and they really get a kick out of choosing their own fixings and assembling their own little parfaits. Which is a complete score for me. I can sip my hot coffee while they take over that part of the morning routine.
Besides hurried mornings, this Do-It-Yourself concept translates really well for overnight guests or a weekend brunch gathering with friends too, as the main event (as it is definitely filling enough) or a hands-off component of a larger spread. The assortment of goodies is more or less the same, although you may add more options to make it extra special (see my suggestions further below). All you need to do is scale up in quantity. The best part is how it can be styled beautifully into an impressive spread, as I've done for this blog post. Isn't it pretty? As a mama of a daughter with food restrictions, it's bonus for me that it is suitable for both adults and children, as well as people with dietary constraints since the entire set up is dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar free, vegan and paleo-friendly (if the granola is omitted from the parfait for those individuals).Read More
I'll concede that as far as food trends go, you're much more likely to see a chia pudding pop up on your Instagram feed than a tapioca pudding. You might even say the latter is super old-school. But to people like me and my husband who enjoyed it growing up, it holds a supreme ranking as far as desserts that delighted us as children.Read More
The selfish part of me doesn't want to publicly share how ah-mazing beef cheeks are for braising! Beef cheeks are at once lean and tender. When slow cooked or pressure cooked, it is extremely flavorful and yields lusciously to your fork. Or should I say, spoon because that's the utensil to use for this dish. It's how wonderfully tender it is!Read More
Currently my favorite caffeinated iced drink (I was obsessed with this horcatta iced latte for awhile too), it beats any iced latte drink you can order at SBux. Although I was thrilled that Starbucks recently started offering almond milk option, it still comes out of a carton. Nothing compares to homemade nut milk. Nothing! Before you think there is no way you have time to make this, think again. Besides the passive time required to soak the nuts (see note below re soaking), it takes about 15 minutes to make a batch which can be savored over a week of lattes. That's a pretty solid ROI if you ask me!
Of course, you can drink the nut milk straight up. It is so, SO delicious! But what isn't improved with a shot (or two) of nice strong espresso? I think you know the answer my friend. Cheers!Read More
Guess what! I have another awesome mash-up for you. OKONOMIYAKI WRAPS
First of all, what is okonomiyaki? Other than that it's fun to say (rolls off the tongue doesn't it), it is a Japanese savory pancake originating from Osaka, Japan. The pancake batter itself is traditionally flour-and-egg based, with finely shredded cabbage mixed right in. The name itself translates to "grill as you like it", meaning you can adapt it by adding to the pancake batter a variety of different ingredients from veggies (i.e. corn, mushrooms, potatoes) to meats (i.e. pork, beef, chicken) to seafood (i.e. shrimp, squid, fish). When we lived in downtown Toronto, we were lucky to be a 2-minute walking distance from Okonomi House, a small Japanese-run restaurant that specializes in - you guessed it - okonomiyaki. It was there that we discovered this ultra tasty food.Read More