I’ve missed having big, fluffy blueberry-studded pancakes topped with the creamiest nut butter and a smattering of more fresh blueberries.
So much, in fact, that I had this breakfast three days in a row. Half a mashed banana in the batter makes quite the difference for texture and subtle sweetness, in my opinion.
I made banana pancakes another morning, bunny-style. Pretty proud of how these turned out, in terms of taste and presentation!
Seline is a fabulous artist, and she persuaded me to do some doodling with her. We drew the same picture of a goddess character from her favourite anime, Seven Deadly Sins. My rendition is on the left, and hers is on the right.
My mom cooked Hainanese chicken rice another day, which we enjoyed with braised broccoli and carrots.
We played with the aerial silks at the Vancouver Circus School, went to the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival in Coquitlam, and looked over LaFarge Lake.
More delicious Hainanese chicken rice was devoured. This is one of my favourite versions of chicken + rice. I love Chinese bok choy, stir-fried with garlic.
There is always a plethora of cookies and baked goods in the Wei family home. Here, I have dessert: yogurt with a blueberry-banana muffin top, lemon poppyseed muffin, cream cheese pound cake, and a coconut cookie.
Mom is looking so cute here as she cooks. Seline put a removable tattoo on my wrist, and I think it’s fun to look at.
Mom makes a great winter melon stew with krill, as well as braised chicken drumsticks with taro chunks. I adore taro. Do you like taro? Have you tried it in sweet and savoury dishes?
More dessert: I made an Earl Grey cake on my second day home, and that was super flavourful and crumbly. On the right: cream cheese pound cake turned into French toast for one breakfast, topped with a generous smear of Nutella.
This morning, my breakfast consisted of a large mug of unpictured English Breakfast tea latte, and a big plate of two scrambled eggs, baked treats, a chopped peach, and creamy honey-flavoured yogurt with flaxseeds and blueberries. Breakfast was followed by a little too much nibbling on shortbread cookies.
The family doggie turned nine a few weeks ago, but he is still full of energy. He loves the park!
Yesterday, met up with the grandparents in Burnaby, where we ordered lots of great sushi. My favourite rolls are the Aburi flame-seared ones.
This is completely out of place, as it’s from back in Waterloo – Famoso Pizzeria, where I savoured this great Cavoletti pizza with (get this!) toasted walnuts, chopped dates, honey, crispy prosciutto, brussels sprouts, and gorgonzola. For my side, I chose a salad topped with Caprese ingredients – mozzarella, tomato, and pistachio pesto.
With tiramisu and a scoop of salted caramel gelato. Yummmm. Tiramisu is amongst (among?) my top five favourite desserts.
Rouzao rice is a Taiwanese specialty that my mom cooks once in a while. It’s essentially a stew of ground pork and pork belly, spiced with soy sauce, star anise, onions, and garlic.
A couple nights ago, my family and I went to the Richmond Night Market, where Seline and I shared a carton of takoyaki (deep-fried octopus balls), and I had a bag of sesame bubble waffles and a taiyaki (Korean fish-shaped waffle filled with red bean).
Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time working on our vacation plans. My family is going to Salt Spring Island in two weeks, so I am very excited about all the activities we’ll be doing.
With a mug of tea, I spend some mornings designing the activities of each day. It’s such a short vacation (~3 days total), but so much to do there.
I can’t wait to go to a public skating session. Skating is great in the summer, in my opinion.
Yesterday, I feasted on the most delicious homemade crepe I’ve made. Here’s the super simple recipe:
Easy Nutella Banana Crepes
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 banana, sliced thinly
- 3 tbsp Nutella
- Whisk together all crepe ingredients.
- Grease pan with butter or coconut oil. Pour batter into large pan and rotate pan in circular motion so batter coats the surface evenly.
- Cook over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes, until bottom is cooked. Flip and cook the other side.
- Place crepe on a cutting board and generously spread Nutella on the entire crepe. Top with sliced banana, fold, and place on a plate. Decorate with more banana slices.
NOTE: You can place banana slices on the center third of the crepe and then fold the two sides over, or place bananas on 1/4 of the crepe and do two half-folds.
I also baked up a storm!
Blueberry Banana Muffin Tops
Makes 6 large, 12 small
- 1 packed cup almond flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup nut butter (I used a mix of brazil nut and cashew nut butter)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup crushed nuts (I used a mix of roasted nuts from Costco, like cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts, etc.)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine almond butter, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and banana in a bowl. Whisk until well-combined. Add a splash of water or milk if needed.
- Add almond flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix in blueberries, and combine.
- Mix all topping ingredients together.
- Spoon batter into 6 large or 12 smaller muffin tops.
- Bake muffin tops for 20 minutes, or until done.
I also made these tasty lemon poppyseed muffins.
Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 tbsp water)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or grape seed oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 cup flour
- Preheat oven to 375. Grease or line a standard muffin tin.
- Prepare flax eggs. Allow to rest.
- Add applesauce, lemon juice and zest, oil, almond milk, maple syrup, sugar, baking soda, salt, and whisk for one minute. Foaming will occur as the lemon juice reacts with the baking soda.
- Add flour, almond meal, and oats. Stir with a spoon until combined. Do not over-mix. If batter appears too thick, add more almond milk. It should be thick and not pourable. Stir in poppy seeds and whisk again.
- Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin tins.
- Bake for 17-22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for several minutes in the pan. Remove from tins, and let cool on a cooling rack. Will keep, covered, for several days.
The muffins, and the muffin tops, were both incredible. If you have a day in the kitchen, I highly recommend giving them a shot!
Another recipe I tried, adopted heavily from Allrecipes to reduce sugar (original was 2 cups), and swap 75% of the oil for unsweetened applesauce.
German Apple Cake
Serves one 9×13, can cut into 12 medium-sized pieces
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 heaping cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I used 4 gala apples)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 9×13 inch cake pan.
- Toss diced apples with a scoop of flour to coat (prevents sinking).
- Beat oil and eggs until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla.
- Add cinnamon, baking soda, then salt.
- Add flour, and mix until combined. Fold in the apples.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, until cake tests clean.
Have a beautiful week, everyone ❤