Archive for November, 2010

Farewell My Friends

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, and no, my kiddies didn’t get a new pet, nor did they capture a huge spider. They just discovered what they were going to have for dinner. If you’re wondering, L is saying, “What’s that, Mommy?”

Meet Mr. King Crab from T&T supermarket. We usually buy our king crab from Costco when they have their seafood roadshow, but when my Mom saw that they had fresh ones at T&T, she decided to give it a try. This was part of our farewell dinner for our guests from Vietnam whom I mentioned a couple posts ago. They were here for two months and left Friday.

Before they left, we wanted to treat them to a seafood dinner since the crab and lobster are different here compared to the ones in Vietnam. Our guests requested everything to be steamed so they could taste the true freshness of the seafood. I think it’s because they didn’t want to trouble us. We started with Dungeness Crab. Along side all the seafood, my Mom blanched some Yu Choy and then drizzled them with oyster sauce, stir fried some vermicelli noodles with some homemade XO sauce, and I made tarts filled with crab and pineapple guacamole.

We had two types of dipping sauces: butter, and lemon juice with salt and pepper. When seafood is this fresh, you actually shouldn’t even need any type of sauce. The meat will be sweet enough on it’s own. Tip: If you go to a restaurant and order steamed fish, but they suggest you deep fry it, you know the fish is not very fresh and that they’re trying to cover up something. Pass on getting the fish altogether.

The lobster came next.

Then finally the “king”. Delicious and sweet as fresh seafood should be. As I mentioned before, we usually buy our king crab from Costco. This fresh king crab that we bought from T&T did not taste as salty as the ones from Costco usually do. I should mention that the ones from Costco are frozen. Anyone else buy king crab from Costco? Do you know why their king crab is so salty? Well, I hope our guests enjoyed this meal and their time in Canada as much as I enjoyed their stay. They even got to see snow for the first time in their lives before they left, how exciting for them! I know a lot of you are preparing for a feast of your own this week. So I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Before I leave, a while back, Alisha (AKA Magic of Spice) from The Ardent Epicure tagged me with some questions. I’d like to take the time to answer those questions right now. I’m not going to tag anyone as I’m (ashamed to say) quite behind on answering these questions, but I will welcome anyone who wants to use these questions on their blog and tag anyone else to feel free and do so. If you haven’t visited Alisha’s blog, please do. You’ll be amazed (as I was) with her gorgeous photos and delicious recipes. Thank you for the tag Alisha.

1) What single thing or entity most inspires your dishes?
Definitely my kiddies. If I come across a recipe or ingredient that I know they’ll enjoy, I will try to make the dish or incorporate that ingredient into a dish.
2) What do you love most about having a blog?
Being able to interact with people all over the world who have a common interest with me and being able to share that common interest while forming friendships.
3) What is you favorite type of music?
Okay, I’m a total sap when it comes to music. I enjoy love songs. There, I said it…don’t judge ūüėÄ
4) What would you most like to do with your spare time (if you had any)?
It’s a toss up between blogging and eating; hence the title luvtoeat ūüėČ
5) What are your 2 favorite flavor combinations?
I love coconut flavored dishes, so I’d have to say spicy and coconutty.
6) What is your favored reading material?
In this day and age, I think it’s safe to say blogs count don’t they?
7) Who is your favorite Chef or Cook at this moment?
My Grandma. In my heart, no one can cook like my Grandma did. She cooked authentic Chinese and Teochew dishes.
8) What is your zodiac sign?
Aries.
That’s it for this week. Until next time, friends and family :-D.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Yup, everywhere you¬†look there are¬†signs¬†of Christmas.¬†On the streets, people’s homes, in the malls. Santa is making his way to town.

I saw this at Costco about a month ago and bought it for my daughter.

I’ve been meaning to share¬†it with you, but kept forgetting. It comes with:

  • 24 plaster ornaments
  • 9 tubs of paint
  • 4 tubes of sparkle paint
  • 4 paint brushes

and it was only $9.99!! I thought that was a steal for 24 ornaments.

While little brother napped, big sister painted. She really seemed to enjoy it.

I joined in on the fun. These are the perks of motherhood, you get to enjoy everything you didn’t get to do as a kid, only better because you get to create these memories with your own kids.

Great bonding time!

Christmas is extra special for us as my daughter was born on¬†December 24th. Yuppers, she’s my Christmas eve baby. Best gift a mom could ever get for Christmas, I’d say. Speaking of birthdays, my in-laws came into town to help celebrate my son’s two-year old birthday this past weekend so¬†we also decided to start putting up our tree.

Love this next picture. They’re even holding hands…melts a Mom’s heart.

We still need to finish decorating. When you have kids, sometimes you just have to finish things in steps.

Pssst…just between you and I, I heard Santa loves milk and cookies ;-). At least that’s what I think she’s saying to him. What do you think K is saying to L?

When I think of Christmas, I also think of FOOD. We bought some diver scallops to make as a side for L’s birthday dinner.

I know a lot of you would just eat the “meat” of the scallop and throw away the rest because¬†it may contain toxins, but I grew up eating everything. When we made them at home, my parents would throw away the small black sack and keep everything else. Even at some Chinese restaurants they would keep everything.¬†Since that’s the way I was brought up eating them, I decided to keep it that way.¬†Christmas and birthdays are about tradition, aren’t they?

I steamed the scallops for 5 minutes. As they were steaming I heated up some oil in a pan. When the oil was hot enough, I threw in some garlic. As soon as the garlic started browning, I threw in some ginger, sautéed those for about a minute, threw in the green onions for another minute and then added a pinch of salt.

When the garlic, ginger, and green onions were done, I separated half the mix¬†and topped them on¬†four of the scallops (there were eight scallops in total). With the remaining¬†half that was still in the pan, I added some soy sauce, tossed them around and then topped them on the remaining four scallops. To be honest, I wouldn’t add soy sauce next time as it was too overpowering on the scallops. Scallops should be kept very simple so that you can taste the sweetness and freshness¬†of the wonderful meat. Plus, I think it looked much better without the soy sauce.

For an appetizer, I made these lovelies: Filo Cups with Crab and Pineapple Guacamole. 

When I saw the recipe on Devaki’s site, I knew I had to make them, and boy¬†was I glad I did. They were a hit! You can’t go wrong with guacamole and crab meat. Thank you for this wonderful recipe Devaki. I couldn’t find filo cups so I used pastry cups instead.

Two weeks ago I tried two of Denise’s dishes and absolutely fell in love with them. On the left was her Apple, Bacon¬†Duck and Onion Galette. I don’t eat pork so she suggested I use duck instead – brilliant! On the right was her Roasted Potatoes with Mushroom Vinaigrette. Both these dishes seriously blew my mind away. Thank you Denise for your delicious recipes.

I loved the potatoes and mushrooms so much that¬†I had to make them for my in-laws and parents to try on my son’s birthday. Needless to say, they were tasty. The only problem I had was¬†that the recipe called for peeled potatoes and I got lazy and didn’t peel mine. Plus, I used small potatoes when I should’ve used big ones.¬†DO WHAT THE RECIPE SAYS PEOPLE! I didn’t enjoy the potato skins. I am horrible at following instructions.

I also want to add that Denise and Lazaro are teaming up again to host another Quickies challenge. This time it’s a Quickies Noodle Challenge. Join in on¬†the fun if you have time. The prize is Denise’s amazing cookbook.

Along side Denise’s wonderful dish, hubby made a roast beef. I’m not a huge meat-eater so I had a quarter of a slice. My Dad kept complimenting him on how perfectly cooked his roast was. It’s nice to get complimented once in a while, isn’t it Gary? (I’m playing the guilt card towards a new camera everyone ;-). LOL.)

The roast WAS cooked beautifully. (And out comes the suck-up card :-D.)

A wonderful dinner shared with loved ones. By the way, don’t set up two cameras on auto shoot at the same time. Can you see that some of us are looking one way while others are looking another way?¬†Not very smart of us….haha. It’s party time from here on for us as K’s birthday is Dec. 24th, then Christmas, then new years, then Gary’s birthday right after new years. Lotsa partying…woot woot!¬†

Do you eat the whole scallop, or just the meat (white part)? If you celebrate Christmas, when do you usually start putting up your tree?

Lastly, Lynn of The Actor’s Diet¬†made an awesome video of the Foodbuzz Festival 2010. Here it is if you missed it. Thanks for making and sharing this video with us Lynn.

That’s it for this week everyone, thank you for reading. Until next time, friends and family :-D.

New Asian Village

Thank you all sooo much for all your sweet comments on my last post!

The last time I ate at this restaurant, it had not been renovated yet. I actually didn’t know it had been renovated until I stepped foot through the doors.

My oh my what a surprise I got.

The entrance was beautiful and very inviting. It made me feel like I was entering a castle.

As you can see, the decorations are stunning. My camera doesn’t do justice for the beautiful art and decorations. Time for a new camera, Gary? Hint hint, nudge nudge…keekeeekee.

The bar and buffet station.

I should mention that we had the lunch buffet at $12.99 per person (or $15.99 sorry, I don’t remember). I wanted to try the buffet cause I’m not familiar with East Indian food so I thought this would be the best way to try a lot of different dishes without constantly bothering the waiter.

Lots of desserts and fruits .

The salad bar.

With many choices of chutney and sauces. I didn’t try the mint chutney as I’ve had that before, but I did enjoy the mango and tamarind chutney.

This one was very new to me. I usually enjoy pickled stuff, but this was a bit too strong for my liking. Kind of curious what dish one would pair this with. If anyone out there is familiar with this item, I’d love to know how you eat it.

I’ll try to talk less now and let the pictures do the talking for a bit. Again, sorry about the blurry pictures.

Tandoori Chicken: Tender skewer roasted chicken marinated in herbs, spices and yogurt tandoori glaze.

Butter Chicken: Char broiled chicken marinated in herbs, spices, and cooked in a rich butter sauce.

Baigun Masala: Traditional dish of Punjab made with eggplant, chopped onion and tomato with aromatic herbs.

Aloo-Gobhi: Long cut potatoes and cauliflower mixed onions and herbs on low flame.

Vegetable Korma: Rainbow vegetables and homemade cheese cooked in a thick creamy sauce and topped with homemade yogurt. This is my favorite dish so far of all the East Indian dishes I’ve ever tried.

Goat Rogan Josh: A spicy thin curry cooked with cracked whole spices and goat. I stuck to all the meatless dishes so I didn’t try this, but Gary liked it.

Chilly Chicken: Chicken and seasoned vegetables sautéed in a spicy Indo-Chinese style sauce.

Turnip Masala: Long cut turnip cooked with creamy curry, herbs, and spices.

Chana Masala: Chickpeas cooked with creamy curry, herbs, and spices.

Oh my gosh, such a horrible blurry picture. I tried to take pictures as quickly as possible so people wouldn’t get impatient with me. Guess I paid the price. Here are some more shots of the restaurant before we move onto dessert.

They have many pieces of beautiful art like this on many of their walls.

A picture of the huge welcoming entrance from inside the restaurant.

A section of the restaurant that obviously wasn’t being used.

Jalebi: White flour and sugar combination deep fried and dipped in sugar water.

These tasted nothing like what I had expected. I thought they would be extra crispy and crunchy, like a deep fried pretzel dipped in candied glaze. Instead, they had a somewhat soft and sweet while melting in your mouth type of texture. I wasn’t a big fan. Still glad I tried them for the experience though.

Mango Pudding:

This was my favorite dessert. It was smooth, creamy, and had great mango flavor. I was expecting this to be really sweet, but it wasn’t too sweet at all.

Kheer: An Indian style of rice pudding with some aromatic spices.

I wanted to try this, but was already too full. Next time for sure though. The rest of the dessert consisted of watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and I think honey dew. I really enjoyed munching on this guy:

They also had naan and rice that I didn’t take a picture of. I think you all know what those look like. All in all, I really enjoyed the whole experience. The food was delicious, service was friendly and very attentive, and the restaurant was renovated beautifully. The only problem I had was that a lot of the dishes were too spicy for my kiddies. If you have young children, I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant, but if you like great tasting spicy Indian food, I’d highly recommend this place. There are four New Asian Village locations in Edmonton. We went to the West side location.

I forgot to share this cake pop picture with you on my last post so I’d like to share it with you now before I leave. My friend Anju made these for my kiddies for Halloween. Thank you Anju, you’re such a sweetie! Isn’t Frankenstein cute?

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Until next time, friends and family :-D.

Blogging Rocks!

¬†I hope everyone had a really great Halloween! In case you didn’t get enough sweets over the weekend, I’d like to share some sweetness with you right now. Let’s start with¬†the many reasons of why blogging rocks for me! (In no particular order of course.)

1. Stella @ The Witchy Kitchen

2. Ameena @ Fancy That….Fancy This

3. Denise @ Quickies on the Dinner Table

4. Jessie @ The Happiness in Health

5. Lazaro @ Lazaro Cooks!

6. Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet

7. Valerie @ A Canadian Foodie

8. Mary @ Keep Learning, Keep Smiling

9. Biren @ Roti n Rice

10. Ann @ Anncoo Journal

11. Brittany @ The Day Just Began…Already

12. Aletheia @ La Fille Naturelle (even though you don’t blog anymore,¬†I want you to know I’m still happy to have met you through blogging)

13. Sophia @ Burp and Slurp

14. Tanantha @ I just Love My Apron

15. Monet @ anecdotes and apple cores

All of you are on that list because I believe that real friendships can definitely be made through blogging, do you?

This award was MADE and given to me by Brittany @ THE DAY JUST BEGAN….ALREADY.

Brittany’s blog always puts a smile on my face. Even when she’s not having such a great day, she still blogs with enthusiasm and laughs off her mishaps. And when she¬†IS¬†having a good day, y’all better watch out cause there’s going to be some crazy fun headed your way. This was a LONG¬†OVERDUE thank you (blush). So thank you Brittany for your patience and your continued support. Keep blogging the way you blog!

The next award was passed on to me by Biren of Roti n Rice.

Biren’s¬†blog always has¬†wonderful and¬†delicious¬†recipes that she so kindly shares with her readers every week. She is also a stay at home mom, but much much¬†more talented than I am. Aside from her lovely recipes, I also love visiting Biren’s¬†blog for ideas of activities to do with my kids when they¬†get older as Biren enjoys doing with her boys now.

I was then honored again with the same award from Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks!¬†Words can’t explain how touched I was when I read this post. If you follow Lazaro’s blog, you’ll know he speaks from the heart and is not afraid to dish it out the way he sees it. Speaking of dishing, he also¬†creates some of the most amazing dishes I’ve seen. Lazaro, you know what I think of you and your blog. You¬†are a true talent in the kitchen.¬†

Thank you Brittany, Biren, and Lazaro for thinking of me with these awards, I really appreciate it! I’d like to pass the second¬†award onto the 15 bloggers that I listed above. Please just take the award with no obligations of posting about it. I know some of you have already received this award, but you’re on¬†MY list because I appreciate your friendship and want to thank you for always replying to my stalking emails¬†;-).¬†

Besides the lovely friendships I’ve made through blogging, here’s another reason why blogging rocks! (sorry for the blurry picture and the horrible attempt at getting some light.)

Trying out different recipes. This is Mrs. Chen’s (Lynn’s Mom¬†of¬†The Actor’s Diet)¬†delicious bitter melon with flank steak recipe.¬†Her wonderful¬†recipe can be found here¬†on Lynn’s guest post¬†on Angry Asian Man’s blog. Gary gave this dish a two thumbs up, needless to say, I loved it as well. Wanna know what else? Kiddies even ate this too. When I was a kid, I hated bitter melon, so either my kids are very easy (picture me shaking my head right now), or Mrs. Chen knows how to cook up some delicious bitter melon. Thank you Mrs. Chen for this wonderful recipe. Hubby has requested I now cook my bitter melon this way every time. No worries, it’s all cool, I can admit defeat to great recipes like this :-D.

I also tried these Matcha ChocChip Macadamia cookies from Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron.

I’m almost ashamed to show you my cookies, cause when compared to her’s, mine look horrible. They tasted quite the opposite of the way they looked though. Please don’t take offense to that Tanantha. It’s just really bad baking skills on my half.¬†I loved that these weren’t too sweet and had just the perfect amount of¬†green tea taste.¬†I’ll definitely be trying this recipe again, and I promise I’ll do better next time Tanantha. I changed the recipe a little and¬†left out the macadamia nuts because of my allergies, and¬†I used white chocolate chips because that’s what¬†I had. I’m a white chocolate kinda gal ;-).

One more thing before I leave. Alisha aka Magic of Spice tagged me in one of her posts with some fun questions to answer. Seeing that this is already quite a long post, I’ll save those questions for another post. Thank you Alisha for the tag.

There you have it, the many reasons of why blogging rocks for me. Why do you love blogging? Is there something you hated to eat as a kid, but have grown to enjoy now? Thank you all¬†for reading again. Until next time, friends and family :-D. Happy Blogging! I’ll leave you with these Halloween pictures. I call this first¬†one: “The Loot!” or “Drive Mom Bananas for a Year”¬†

But how do you say no to this face?

PS

The jacket on the floor —–> hand me down. I’m too cheap to buy anything like that :-D.