Serendipitous Snippets of Summer

Confession: I had to Google how to spell ‘Serendipitous’ and how to use it properly in a sentence. Hopefully I used it correctly?

On a different note, check out this chocolate cake! I made this heavenly recipe. It’s my family’s favourite. My dad loves how sweet, moist, and decadent it tastes, as well as the creamy and super-chocolatey buttercream frosting. Definitely a once-in-a-while treat, but lots of fun to bake… and eat.

PS: decoration done with a ziploc bag (tiny hole cut out of one corner) and a toothpick used to drag the white chocolate through the buttercream frosting.

14215338_1446930668666800_1486121211_o

One dinner we enjoyed recently involved salmon steaks, corn, and boiled broccoli + carrots. Seline had mashed potatoes and gravy with hers. This was my first time having a salmon steak – normally we buy the filets from Costco. I made these with butter, lemon, garlic, S+P, and cayenne. Simple and so flavourful!

Yummy flourless almond meal cake that I topped with sliced peach. This cake was devoured (98% by me) in two days. :O

Do you like red bean soup? My mom makes the absolute BEST out of coconut milk and brown sugar. It’s my favourite Chinese dessert.

14182411_1472494122767880_1413554153_n

A couple days ago, we stopped at Whole Foods after visiting Grandma in Burnaby. There is a new Whole Foods near Brentwood Town Centre. Seline and I each grabbed a takeout box and filled them up with pasta, salad toppings, vegetables, mac and cheese (probably the best thing in the WF hot bar!), potatoes, and more. The tikka masala chickpeas were my favourite part, as was the smoked mozzarella pasta salad and the creamy mashed potatoes. Delicious field greens underneath mixed with house dressing!

Beta5 Chocolates is a place in Vancouver that sells some pretty incredible pastries. I loved every single one of these. Up top, we have an earl grey raspberry cream puff. Going clockwise, there is a dulce de leech cream puff, a chocolate peanut butter eclair with white chocolate garnish, and a creamy vanilla-chocolate-strawberry eclair. Mmmmm.

14191738_1446930735333460_1600179104_o

This spinach egg bake with smoked cheddar turned out like more of a savoury bread than a frittata, which was what I was going for. It was a bit too dense and flour-y for my liking, so next time I’ll add some more spinach and extra eggs. Roasted delicata squash on the side!

Portuguese kale and white bean soup from Superstore, served with sprouted whole wheat toast topped with grated honey gouda. I bought the packaged soup a couple weeks ago, in preparation for meals sans a wisdom tooth.

14191605_1446849755341558_1255759984_o

Delicious dessert: the creamiest Greek yogurt with coconut chips (10 points for Costco), crunchy chia nut butter, and fresh strawberries.

Mom made some tasty noodles one day…

14151824_1470099313007361_1610045876_o

Here they are!

More Mom Meals – tomato scrambled eggs with shrimp is my favourite simple Chinese dish. Mom’s tofu and winter melon stew is also amazing. I’ll miss these tasty Asian meals!

Creamy banana oatmeal topped with my new favourite nut butter and served in the cutest bowl that was handmade in Nepal.

Colourful and tasty lunch comprised of strawberries, kiwi, white peach, peanut butter dip, a spinach egg bread square bake thing, and a slice of sprouted whole wheat bread topped with blue brie cheese, pepper, and honey. The peanut butter dip was made of PB2 (powdered peanut butter), plain yogurt, maple syrup, and cinnamon.

This perfect dinner involved quinoa, maple-soy salmon, and fresh zucchini + summer squash sautéed with garlic. I had seconds thirds on the quinoa!

One evening, we invited some of Seline’s friends over and had a BBQ with another family. Mom cooked up some delicious sesame cold noodles, roasted garlic cauliflower, and we brought out the tiny broccoli egg bites that I made the day before. We also enjoyed some creamy quinoa casserole with sweet potato, corn, and vegetables made with smoked cheddar. I used my favourite mac and cheese “sauce” to mix with the quinoa and veggies.

14163569_1446930695333464_1631876089_o

Vanilla cake made with real vanilla bean! New obsession. Five vanilla beans for $10 – pretty good deal at our local bakery.

14139331_1470098873007405_302760651_o

Stuffed tofu is one of my favourite dinner treats! My sister has a new addiction to bean sprouts. I think they taste really… earthy. Grassy? How do you feel about them?

14151762_1472494356101190_1281546683_o

B-R-I-O-C-H-E!

14151821_1470098989674060_816220899_o

After my dad revealed his deep, true love for toasted brioche bread while we were on a weeklong vacation on Vancouver Island, I decided to tackle the challenge. This buttery, doughy challenge.

After mixing, waiting, rolling, waiting, rising, waiting, brushing, waiting, re-brushing, waiting, and finally baking – there was more waiting to do before we could finally slice in. I made two batches in a week, using two different recipes.

The first batch had an intense buttery flavour and great texture. It also looked better, but took a total of THREE days to complete. The second batch took just a couple hours and made two loaves, but lacked in flavour, had fewer air pockets, and was a bit denser.

Last but not least, here is a sneak peek at a poster that I made out of a sheet of handmade paper (actually, wrapping paper!) from Nepal. It’s a project for my Yoga Teacher Training, called a freedom manifesto. I covered it with cutouts of things that are special to me, like Disney movies, bakeries, my family, places that I grew up in and places I’ve travelled to, and, of course, places that I’m dying to visit.

I also used a metallic gold Sharpie to doodle words and phrases onto foam board to decorate the poster. This will go on my wall in Waterloo! It isn’t 100% done yet 🙂

14191718_1446849215341612_942555590_o

Good night, friends!

13 thoughts on “Serendipitous Snippets of Summer

  1. Wow Cindy! You should be on Chef’s Table if you can make such a deliciously artistic cake like that! 😀 And the almond meal cake looks great! I love peaches so much! ❤
    Whole Foods really is the best. Yesterday, I visited 365 by Whole Foods in Glendale, CA and fell in love with its hot bar! SO MUCH Indian food. It was amazing! I can't get enough of it 🙂
    Your mother looks so cute too! My mom loves cooking too but she HATES taking photos, LOL! We haven't cooked in a long time because we just moved into out apartment and will be staying there for only a few months until we settle into a new home. Until then, we've been eating out a lot and I can go restaurant hopping! Ready or not, here I come, empty wallet!
    The poster looks so so beautiful Cindy! The Nepal trip must have been so exciting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, I have a serious soft spot for Indian cuisine. What is your favourite dish? I like palaak paneer, which is spinach curry with cottage cheese. I wish my local WF had so much Indian!

      So jealous of your recent restaurant-hopping – but not super envious of that empty wallet, haha! You know what they say: empty wallet = full heart. Or perhaps in this case… empty wallets make full bellies!

      I can’t wait to see all the incredible things you’ve been cooking up and eating!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello baby, all your foods display so well. Beautiful plates and yummy food. The whole foods food was incredible delicious. I believe you can make those yummy food too. Let’s eat well and balance! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! The almond cake is one of my favourite things to make, because it can be done in one bowl and served in less than 40 minutes. It’s also so crumbly and fragrant with all the ground almonds. Have a lovely Friday, Grace! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would have looked it up just to make sure too.

    Beautiful cake decoration. I would have left out the flowers as the spiderweb design was just perfect. I love your brioche but I think you need a nice long French rolling pin to help you roll out the dough. Which version would you make again … the quick one or the slow one?

    I like bean sprouts … when I buy a bag for pad thai, which I made yesterday, I always have to think of something else to do with the rest of it cause they’re so perishable. So I made tofu hot and sour soup today.

    Very creative poster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I didn’t do the flowers and leaves, either! I just felt bad because there was so much leftover melted white chocolate. Then, one accidental dribble led to another leaf, and another flower…
      What is a French rolling pin? I have never heard of that before – off to Google it soon!
      My mom and I agreed that we’d make the long, slow brioche again (when we absolutely have nothing to do!).
      Bean sprouts go bad so quickly, unfortunately. Tofu soup with the sprouts sounds delicious and filling.
      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have those incidents of overdoing cake decorations too. 🙂

        A French rolling pin is just a long wooden rolling pin with tapered edges. I’m sure you found it. Nothing like the petite Asian version.

        It’s hard to think of something else to do with bean sprouts … chop suey of course. But I had nothing else to add to it so hot and sour soup was it.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s