Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It's a Summer Thing - PNE Fair Eats

Come every summer, food fairs start popping up everywhere. And while it excites me to have community events like these, I've unfortunately haven't been to a lot. I've only been to the summer night market in Richmond and recently - at the PNE Fair.

I've heard of PNE Fair for as long as I've lived in Canada and have only recently decided to check it out with Nick. And I just wished I could've gone every year before too! I'm not a fan of crowded places and would avoid them if I could but there's something about community events like this that I don't mind the crowd. But I think it's most likely the fact that we're walking around eating that calms me down and makes me happy. Who am I kidding, of course it's for that reason!

It was a a particularly good day too, considering summer was almost ending. The crowd was still thick too, even though we went a week before it officially closes. This made for a very nice atmosphere, you know those movies where the main characters are walking around a fair, eating and playing games? It absolutely felt like that, it got me really excited the whole day! Laughing and holding hands, taking photos, eating and playing silly fair games with Nick, it's the stuff of movies! I'm still smiling at the memories as I write this.

But before this turns extremely cheesy, let's get on with the food photos.

Deep fried butter
Yeah, not a fan of this but Nick wanted to eat it again as he's tried it last time.  

Deep fried coffee topped with espresso flakes and mocha chips
This was my fave of all the fair food at the PNE. I love 
espresso flavored food and this definitely did not disappoint.

Hotdog stuffed pickle
Just something different, I guess. I like pickles but at that time that time I was transitioning 
to become 80% vegetarian (I'm sure I'll share some recipes here) so I just had a bite. 
I kind of get the tangy and salty flavors that they're trying to give and could 
see others loving this. But it's not something I'd go back for again there. 

Watermelon drink
This I was happy to drink! The fruit drinks were the ones I really wanted to try, just cause. 
The juice itself wasn't that sweet, which was nice since we've been stuffing ourselves with 
all kinds of flavors that day so having a refreshment just like this was definitely welcomed. 

There's still quite a few bites that we tried but not as different as these. We'll definitely add going to all food fairs and food trucks there are within the vicinity to next year's summer bucket list.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Ever since falling in love again with Everyday Italian by Giada de Larentiis on Food Network, I've tried replicating her garlic and olive oil pasta. But every time I do, the taste doesn't seem quite right. Although I think it's because I use Spaghetti made of quinoa so it could at least be healthy. And if you've cooked quinoa pasta, then you know if you're not careful, it could easily be a miss. I've had a couple of misses so of course pairing it with just olive oil and garlic doesn't really improve much on the taste.

I've decided to finally try it with the regular Spaghetti. I searched for another way of doing this dish and found one with garlic not minced, but sliced thinly and a trick on how to properly infuse the garlic in the olive oil. So off I went to grab some fresh parsley and a block of parmesan cheese and set about the tasty task ahead - a good Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

It was a success! I paired it off with a simple broiled salmon seasoned with Thai sweet chili sauce and it was just perfect! Well almost - I wish we had a good Riesling and cheese plate to munch on after this meal. But nonetheless, it was definitely palate satisfying. The garlic aroma was mouth-watering and the freshly-grated parmesan cheese just really gives it the extra edge in flavor.

Happy eating! ☺

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Very Healthy & Tasty Lunch

I love Pinterest and always go there to look for healthy recipes. It's my go-to website/app before I start listing down my grocery items for the week and of course it helps that recipes always look good there. Anyway, I found these two dishes there and since I love Asian food and healthy dishes, these immediately drew my attention - Japanese Quinoa Salad and Korean-Grilled Chicken Breast. Put them together and you have a tasty and healthy protein-packed Asian meal. 

I do not like chicken breast - which isn't a good thing since they're healthy and full of protein. My dislike for them was because I couldn't find a recipe that won't leave it bland and dry. All healthy recipes call for baked and the sauces or rubs are only outside, leaving the inside tasting blech. I'm Asian so my taste is rich. I like flavors and fragrance. I've tried baking chicken breast with pesto (which I love) but discovered I don't like them together. I wrapped breasts in bacon (because, bacon!) and still didn't like it. I've actually given up and just stopped trying to make chicken breast tasty. 

But I want to live a healthy lifestyle. I've gotten to a point where I cannot eat any more salmon (and I love it!), chicken thighs, leg quarters (just too big!) without being unsatisfied. There's really only fish and poultry as meats for healthy eating and my taste buds just needed variety. It's gotten to a point where I can smell the chicken (they're cooked too!) and I just couldn't take a bite of it. And salmon! Don't get me started on that, it's a new post altogether. Okay, I've rambled way too much. 

So I had to try and go back to eating the healthy part of it - but it had to be a really tasty recipe or else I'm screwed. I found Korean-grilled chicken breast and I was sold. I absolutely love Korean food and needed it to be healthy. The recipe promised flavor and tenderness so I decided I'd give it a try. 

And now, I'm back to liking chicken breasts again! I am in love with the recipe! It's overflowing with flavor and fragrance! I have vowed to do this recipe every week after taking my first bite. It's so easy to make. I could just throw everything Sunday night and marinate and cook them when I need to add protein to my meals. And how come I didn't realize before that pounding on these breasts would make them loads tender?? Seriously. 

And then there's quinoa. I've learned to love quinoa, after I learned how to cook them properly. Haha! And you can spice it up with dressing and veggies and meat and it's a complete meal. Then I found Japanese Quinoa Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing. Sooo good! This one takes time to make though - as you need to cook the ingredients separately and put them together. It was work. But worth it. But I don't think I'll have it everyday. 

The Japanese Quinoa Salad and Korean-Grilled Chicken Breast didn't exactly look like the ones on Pinterest (when do they ever turn out exactly like Pinterest anyway?) but they taste delicious! And yes, brown lump in the bowl is the grilled chicken breast. Lol! I know, never mind that it doesn't look Pinterest-y, it doesn't even look like chicken breast! Haha! It's only cause the I put the extra marinade sauce on top coz it was really good! Anyway, check out my Pinterest for some healthy recipes!

Happy eating! ☺

Friday, September 4, 2015

Tebasaki Chicken

I love Japanese cuisine. Their cuisine intensifies the flavor of each ingredient and makes use of their aroma to bring out a craving and completes the satisfaction for the dish. Ingredients are carefully chosen to either complement each other or bring out the other's intense flavor. And the Japanese' attention to detail ensures that we're in for a treat beyond their appealing presentation.

That is how I've come to see their food after watching endless Cooking with Dog videos on YouTube. I love that channel. I mean, it's how I learned how to do the famous Japanese Omurice and impressed Nick (yet again) with my cooking. It's one of the first things I prepared for him when we started dating. I'll share that in a different post.

After watching so many videos from that channel, Nick decided that he wanted to try making one of their dishes - Tebasaki Chicken. Because, who doesn't love wings? And a Japanese flavored one? Get me an order or two of that, thank you. Nick made such a good job making this the first time too. It was so good, I instantly loved it! I still ask him to make this anytime I get a craving for it. He's more than happy to comply, as he loves this as well.

Despite the burst of flavor and taste, this dish was easy to make. You only had to put a little bit of work in grating the garlic and ginger - which were what gave this Japanese dish its distinct taste, aroma and palate satisfaction. Anyone of our family and friends who've tasted this loved it. It's actually become Nick's specialty dish.

And being the Asian that I am, rice is a staple with my Tebasaki chicken meal! I'm trying to be healthy so I paired it with brown rice. But who am I kidding, I still ate a lot of it. I just couldn't help it, especially with the Nori Komi Furikake Rice Seasoning. So good.

Are you drooling now? Sorry not sorry. Happy eating! ☺

Monday, August 31, 2015

Summer Grilling

One of the things that Nick and I look forward to in the summers (and I think everyone else for that matter) is that we can finally go outside and grill. Summer can mean lots of parties and out of town trips that we let ourselves indulge in food, and then overeat. I mean this is the time that we attend hosted summer barbecue parties and what does this mean - lots and lots of red meat and burgers with a side of baked potatoes. I am feeling full just by typing that out.

To counteract and stay true to our healthy lifestyle (half the time), Nick makes sure to grill seafood and veggies. And sometimes, they come with a side of meat. Open fire grilled veggies are quite the revelation. Vegetables, for me, were always in a soup or sauteed but grilling them - tomatoes, red onion, eggplant, and zucchini - brought out a whole new flavor. Red onions became sweet! I really did not know that! And tomatoes became so juicy! For some reason I thought, everything you grill turns out dry, especially vegetables, so this was such a treat for me. I'm happy to be proven wrong this time. I have a whole new love for veggies, grilled and which have been seasoned simply with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Every time Nick grills these, I always have a funny dilemma though. Which to eat last? Eggplants or zucchinis? I cannot choose a favorite between the two! On the other hand, I like corn better when boiled and then brushed with butter and sprinkled with a bit of salt. Ahh! Everything's so good!

And another treat for me? Seeing my man working that grill under the sun. ;)

What's on your plate this summer? Happy eating! ☺

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer Night Market in Richmond

Richmond boasts of having two summer night markets every year - Richmond Night Market and International Summer Night Market. The former, I think, is the more famous one cause even though you have to pay a dollar fifty to two bucks (can't really remember) to get in, a lot still go there evidenced by the backed-up traffic it causes on the weekends. Or at least in the early summer months.

I do not like big crowds and waiting in line so of course I didn't dare go there. They have a lot more stalls and a lot more food, mind you, but I really just wanted a stress-free night stroll in the market. So the better choice was the International Summer Night Market. It used to have a lot more stalls than it has this year but it was worth a go if you want a night market experience without the stress of the crowd and line up. It was still pretty crowded, especially at the famous food stalls of course. They're worth it though. Hey, if there's a line up, that usually means a good thing.

The crowd

Fried squid

4 different kinds of Takoyaki - Sriracha, corn, green onion,and garlic mayo flavored

One thing I missed this year though was this overpriced deep fried mars bar which we got last year at the Richmond Night Market. Oh my gosh this was such a delight! 

Not gonna lie. We would go to Richmond Night Market if only to get a taste of that mars bar again.

Happy eating! ☺

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

An Anime-Inspired Dish Coz Why Not?

If there is one thing that friends from high school would remember me for - it is that I absolutely love anime. It started with my best friend insisting that I watch one of the hit animes back in our grade school years (I'm not gonna say how long ago that was!). After that, I was hooked.

Fast forward to a lot of years later and I'm still as hooked as I was back then. But my focus shifted from looking at the bishounen characters (I don't think anyone would be surprised that I spent most of my teenage years drooling over fictional men - I did attend an exclusive all girls school!) to noticing how yummy the food and bento boxes are in these animes! I've started drooling from boys to food. Haha! You can see how much I've grown there, right? Or did I actually? Haha! 

Anyway, since I love cooking, I immediately searched for anime food and wasn't surprised to see the number of Tumblr pages dedicated to just that! I was in heaven looking at those colorful bento boxes! And one of these sites actually shared the recipe of a Japanese dish that I usually see in animes - Shiozake or Salted Salmon. You cure the salmon with salt for at least three days, bake it, and you have yourself a traditional Japanese dish! And oh my gosh it was so good! I loved it immediately upon first bite! My taste is salty so this definitely catered to that. 

I only wish I had the same salmon cut as the Japanese one, then this dish would have been perfect! I usually buy fillets at a Canadian supermarket. But hey, I recently found out that a little Japanese supermarket in my city sells the exact salmon cut so the next time I do, it'll look exactly like the anime! And with the miso soup, green tea and Nori Kome Furikake topping on the rice, I have myself a traditional Japanese meal. Teehee.

Happy eating! ☺