Charcoal Waffles ♡_♡

Mmmm, pizza. It’s been a while since I’ve had truly, truly amazing pizza and this one from Lamanna’s, an Italian bakery and hot table in Scarborough, did not disappoint. Smothered in provolone and mushrooms, the toppings were simple and tasty – but the crust, charred to perfection, was my favourite part.

Dessert? Large gelato with a scoop of pistachio and a scoop of hazelnut (check out that size compared to the little gelato spoon and my water bottle!) – followed by an unpictured lobster tail cream pastry. Talk about an amazing lunch!

Another day, I had lunch at Light Cafe in downtown Toronto, a chic and modern new spot in Baldwin Village.

The truffled mushroom croissant is their specialty, loaded with creamy truffle mayonnaise, sliced tomato, shiitake mushrooms, and lettuce. The croissant was toasted and tasted fresh. Salad was dressed in sesame, and had plenty of fresh tomatoes inside.

The soup was another highlight: rich, creamy, savoury Lobster Bisque!

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For dessert, I had to order the famous Light Cafe dish – black sesame waffles. There were four heart-shaped black sesame waffles, made with charcoal for that incredible colour, a little vial of rich sesame syrup, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a scoop of black sesame ice cream. All of it was devoured. 😇

Waffles with ice cream is hands-down one of my favourite desserts of all time, and bonus points for special-flavoured waffles like ube (purple yam, specialty of the Philippines), black sesame, or red bean.

This is one of my favourite photographs from my trip downtown. I love how 50% of it is that urban traffic look with trees in the back, and the other half is a pretty lake with trees, and apartments in the back. The contrast is cool!

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The reason for my Toronto trip? Stock. Up. On. Muffins. Since I don’t go downtown very often, and I won’t be going often anymore since it’s starting to get chilly, I bought plenty of muffins, chopped ’em into thirds or quarters, and stashed them in the freezer. These are some of the muffins I remember:

  • blueberry streusel
  • blueberry bran
  • plain blueberry
  • blueberry scone
  • lemon poppyseed
  • carrot
  • banana chocolate chip
  • mixed berry and oat
  • cornmeal
  • lemon currant scone
  • ginger scone

There were definitely more, but that’s all for the ones I can recall. 😎 Apparently, I seem to like muffins a lot?

Excitement. In the form of a delicious plate of coconut Thai green curry with broccoli, mushrooms, onion, and carrots – and in the form of a new book. Sci-fi isn’t really my genre, but this one, RUSH by Eve Silver, had me intrigued all the way through.

A trip to the library meant I took lots more snapshots of the books that are on my to-be-read list. I can’t wait to take these out and see if they’re good.

On Mid-Autumn Festival, which is like Chinese Thanksgiving, I had an incredible meal at a buffet called Dragon’s Pearl, with friends of my grandfather. I. Love. Buffets. So what did I enjoy this time?

  • yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes and gravy
  • steamed ginger and scallion fish
  • Japanese sweet egg, bean curd sushi, other assorted sushi
  • stir-fried vegetables, crispy stir-fried noodles
  • peking duck on a flatbread, with sweet and sour sauce and cucumber
  • creamy crab salad
  • crispy shrimp cakes
  • garlic mussels
  • grilled salmon and plaintains

Dessert was just as delicious.

  • tiramisu
  • green tea cake
  • sweet sesame mochi ball (favourite)
  • regular cheesecake
  • unsweetened cheesecake
  • bread pudding with golden raisins, whipped cream on top (#2 favourite)
  • English trifle
  • kiwi custard tart

Do you like buffets? I’m a sucker for variety, so I adore buffets!

One morning, I had some quiet time to myself in the office so I started designing a new poster for the Integumentary System, which is the system about human skin, hair, and nails.

Totally random note here. This is such a beautiful logo! I like graphic design a lot and want to learn more about designing lettering.

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Speaking of graphic design, I’m creating a PDF doc of Anatomy-related study tips. The entire study guide is written out now, but I’m figuring out how I’d like to design the other pages. What do you think?

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That’s pretty much it for today, guys. Hope you all have the most wonderful rest of the week. 🙂

Mom Dinners Galore

Hi everyone! How was your week? I hope life has been great for you this summer. Like I mentioned in my last post, summer’s on here in BC! Well… that’s in terms of school. We were burdened with heavy rain ALL DAY today, and just before dinner, we had thunder and lightning! :O Hopefully the upcoming week will have beautiful weather, because we are planning another trip to the Sandbar (seafood restaurant) in Granville Island.

Below you’ll see a chart of my recent meals and a short analysis. I have no idea why I did this – obviously I am REALLY bored this summer – but I wanted to share it anyways. Pictures of these meals are coming!

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I wanted to share a lot of old Mom Meals in this post. Our schedules have been jumbled up recently with other activities, so I actually haven’t had a Mom Meal for a while. Looking at old photos of home-cooked meals makes me so happy. 🙂

This is quinoa topped with tomato scrambled eggs (and sesame), and steamed cauliflower sauteed with ground pork and scallions. I LOVE both of these dishes. Chicken drumstick on the side… yum. I like drumsticks and thighs so much better than chicken breasts, which I find a little too dry. Dark meat is so juicy – I love it!

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This is rouzao rice, a traditional Taiwanese dish made with ground pork, soy sauce, and lots of aromatic spices like star anise and cinnamon. Mom also adds some hard-boiled tea eggs. I had a big scoop of this on top of white jasmine rice, next to some buttered corn on the cob, Chinese chicken salad with sesame dressing, and shrimp + vegetable stir-fry. This was actually a party dinner, much like this party brunch, where we have lots of food options.

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Fried rice! Again, I am in love with my mom’s fried rice. This was made with cubed trout, mixed vegetables, scallions and onions, and fluffy jasmine rice. Have you ever tried trout or salmon in fried rice?! It’s amazing. Some simple steamed broccoli on the side.

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Italian food is definitely one of my top three favourite cuisines, and I think Mom does a great job cooking it. Here we have shells topped with vegetable bolognese sauce and parmesan cheese, plus a super tasty side of roasted broccoli with garlic. The garlic gets really crispy – like garlic chips. I love ’em!

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Look at how the spinach peeks out of the side. I like to stir a little spinach or kale into the tomato sauce. The flavour mellows out and is covered by the sweet-ish and tangy tomato sauce. I have the same meal (almost) here, with noodles instead… and no broccoli. 😥

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Lots of protein in this dinner: beef and asparagus stir-fry with onions and mushrooms, pork ribs with braised carrots and daikon, and steamed edamame on rice.

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This here is Thai fried rice with shrimp and egg, garnished with peanuts. Thai fried rice, in the Wei family, is essentially the same as regular fried rice… but we add lots of minced garlic and ginger, cubed pineapple, extra onions and scallions, plus a splash of coconut milk. Oh! And we cook it in coconut oil instead of olive oil. I don’t think I will ever go back to regular fried rice! The peas are really sweet and yummy. The sweet caramelized pineapple is the best part. Love how a splash of soy sauce and a drizzle of lime take fried rice to the next level, too. Thai fried rice is so, so fragrant and ultra-flavourful. The creamy eggs, slightly coconutty rice, and crunchy chopped peanuts are to die for!

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Served with sauteed vegetables on the side. Black cloud ear fungus, bok choy, mushrooms, and carrots, stir-fried with a little soy sauce and garlic, then topped with sesame. Really tasty with the special fried rice.

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More ribs here: this time braised with carrots, firm tofu (dougan), baby shiitake mushrooms, and daikon. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these baby shiitakes. They are so juicy and… brothy? I love the rich, savoury mushroom flavour. They are great when braised in soy sauce and spices.

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We also have some broccoli sauteed with onions and scallops. These little scallops are so buttery and soft. Lastly, we’ve got a fried egg and a big scoop of jasmine rice. Of course, everything is sprinkled with sesame. I really like these photos!

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For now, that’s all I have to show you! :mrgreen: I hope you enjoyed these healthy home-cooked meals by my mom.

Recently I’ve been looking at good restaurants in Montreal, and I am so excited to go… only 12 more days until the flight. Woopeee! See you in my next post, and I hope you have a not-so-manic Monday. 😉

 

Party Party

PARTIES.

I promised I would post about the party on this post, and here it is now. 🙂 I am so excited to share all of these with you guys! We told our guests to arrive at 12:00, and when they did, the food was all prepped so we could just sit down and chow.

By the way, our guests = Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Mimi, Uncle Charles, and of course my family of four.

Now, onto the food!

 

Eggy egg egg salad crackers to start. These were made with chopped hard-boiled eggs and green onions, mixed with a little mayo and a squirt of mustard, plus lemon juice and black peppah. I think I snacked on three while I was making them. These crackers (from Whole Foods) are grainy, wheat-y, and really hearty. I love crunchy crackers. These have an “ancient-grain” taste. I loved it with the sassy, creamy egg salad.

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Uh oh! Ran out of egg salad. These are pita crackers from Trader Joe’s and some rice crackers from Costco.

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Chinese chicken sesame salad. The usual, with sliced “omelette eggs” and cucumbers.

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Spicy seaweed salad, a Chinese dish made by Mom.

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Quinoa salad with mixed greens, feta cheese, and sundried tomatoes. I had this for lunch on this day!

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Pork ribs and lotus root soup. I didn’t have any, but my grandparents RAVED about this!

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Lamb with daikon and tofu. Again, I didn’t have any lamb, but the guests really loved this dish. I guess I’ll have to try it next time!

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Maple-soy salmon. I had one and a half – you’ll see in a minute! Oh, and you can also see maple-soy salmon on ‘dis post.

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Incredibly crispy-creamy rosemary roasted potatoes. These were incredible, but I wish they weren’t so spicy. I went a little heavy on the red chili pepper flakes – oops!

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Maple, brown sugar, and cinnamon roasted butternut squash. This. Was. Divine. I had it leftover in quinoa salads for lunch, and also straight out of the microwave for dinner!

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Bok choy and cloud fungus stir-fry with onions.

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Squid with snap peas, canned Chinese straw mushrooms and carrots, sprinkled with sesame.

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The whole spread!

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This was my portion. YUM!

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A scoop of jasmine rice on the side. Perf for soaking up all of that maple-soy sauce from the trout.

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Serving #2!

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Coffee! This was organic decaf that Aunt Mimi brought. I usually don’t drink coffee, so this was just a splash from her mug + lots of milk. 🙂

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Then we brought out ze cake…

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Whole Foods New York Cheesecake with mango! Yum…

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My serving + Mom’s serving. 🙂

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The one in the green-framed plate is mine. I had seconds! I can NEVER turn down cake, especially if it’s sitting in front of me! But I thought the mango tasted a little artificial. Not in a powdery-fake way, but almost like it was canned (it probably was). A little more fibrous and chewy than usual.

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And I had this for dessert on that day (dinner) as well. Truly a fantastic party. I keep telling Mom that we have to do this again soon!

 

In other news, I am STUFFED right now. Just had a big, big Mom Meal dinner with rice, corn, edamame, cabbage, fungus, fish, oh man. Then I had to try the farmer’s market strawberries (first BC strawbs of 2014!). So I put some yogurt on it. Then I added some muffin… and then went to town with muffins. I had big slivers of all three muffins (from Matchsticks) and I think I had the equivalent of half a medium muffin?! Holy.

Well… there’s school tomorrow and I can’t wait to have oatmeal with muffin on top. Oh, and we also bought mizuna from the farmer’s market! I’m gonna put some with quinoa and bell peppers for my lunch. Can’t wait. Tutor’s coming soon – see ya!

Goat Cheese + Avocado Toast, and MORE Good News!

TGIF! 🙂

Actually, as I mentioned in my last post (which, by the way, you should look at, because THOSE. PANCAKES.), this week has just flown by. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of May already – less than a MONTH until school is out! My summer is pretty much planned out: summer school (Physics 12), {hopefully} researching medical science/working on a science fair project with a UBC professor/doctor, volunteering at a local art camp, studying for SATS, baking, blogging, and going for walks in the sun. I’m not really excited for the summer school part, but I’m sure everything else will be a BLAST.

Like I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been re-loading pictures onto the old posts (the photos were deleted, remember?). Here are the newly-fixed posts. If the headline interests you, click on the blue link! It will take you to another tab.

Easy, quick, and healthy lunch ideas
Amazing Whole Foods hot bar + sandwich + desserts
Coconutty strawberry pancake stack
Really good Mom Meal: Braised Ribs + Broccoli + Egg Dinner
Dessert for breakfast: creamy chocolate peanut butter oatmeal
Maple-soy salmon with edamame and butternut squash, Chinese chicken salad with sesame dressing + Trader Joe’s Shopping List
Seafood fried rice… covered in cheese?!
The story of apple pie oatmeal: a failure
Amazing weekend: pancakes, oatmeal, sushi, dessert, stir-fries, and leftovers for lunch!
One of my #1 favourite Mom Meals EVER: taro chicken stir-fry, steamed eggs, sauteed broccolette on rice

Seriously. Click. I just spent three hours fixing up the darn pictures. So time consuming, but worth it. 🙂

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So… I’ve got a goodie for you today.

It’s creamy.
It’s crispy.
It’s cheesy.
It’s crunchy.

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It’s goat cheese + avocado toast with a fried egg on top!

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Okay, it’s sort of a rip off of my cheesy avocado toast (better photos), which I’ve been making FOREVER (no photos 😥 ).

And it’s SO easy to make, not to mention healthy, filling, and super quick. I’ll show you how!

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Start with a slice of bread, halved bun, whatevs. I used a halved focaccia bun from the local bakery. It’s studded with all kinds of Italian herbs, and POPPYSEEDS, which are super addictive. I highly recommend using a high-quality, herby bread. I’m sure ciabatta or French baguette would taste great, too. Just steer clear of those flimsy Dempsters white bread slices. Anyways, toast it up!

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Mash an avocado. If you’re using a big one, half will be enough. But I like to buy small avocados so I don’t have to be wasteful (no doubt half of it will be sitting in the fridge, turning brown on the edges, before I can think of another use). So, mash it up and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Lots of lemon juice for me – I love lemon flava. You can also season it here with salt/pepper/garlic powder/red pepper flakes, but I used a few grinds of black pepper only.

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Arrange some mixed greens, spinach, or arugula on the avocado. Mmmm, arugula. I use mixed greens here, but arugula is definitely my favourite green!

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Plop a fried egg on top. I like my yolks extra runny! Sorry for the dark photos – I really wanted a bite.

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Dot the fried egg with big hunks of goat cheese. I got some yummy goat cheese medallions from Trader Joe’s. Goat cheese is really, really different from creamy mozza and sharp cheddar. My mom says goat cheese tastes more “raw”. It’s not really milky, either – I think it’s kind of like a ‘fermented’ sour cream cheese?

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Sprinkle with black pepper. I added some red pepper flakes for heat because I was feeling spice-ay. I usually hate spicy food, so I think I did this mostly for aesthetic appeal. 😉 DONE! What was that, like, 10 minutes?!

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Dig in!

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Runny yolk is life. As you can see, I start by picking it up with my hands, but then… I can’t resist the temptation of breaking the yolk. Knife and fork to the rescue!

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This is so, so good.

Creamy, herby, salty, crispy, fresh, and made with minimal yet flavourful ingredients. Enjoy this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

I guess, if you wanted to make this lower-calorie, eliminate the goat cheese and add extra greens… but why would you?! It’s already an open-faced sammie – we’re already ditching half of the bun. Woot! Plus, the cheese makes it so tangy-good.

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^ or with your math homework. This cheesy toast makes logarithms not-too-bad. 😉

Have a GREAT weekend!