THAI ICE TEA

Thai ice tea with tapioca pearls

  • Thai tea mix
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Cream or milk

Directions:

Bring 4 cups of water to boil and add Thai tea mix (3 tsp. of the tea mix for 1 cup water)

While boiling, add 1 cup of sugar, and stir well. Continue cooking for 5 minutes

Remove from heat and let it cool down. Make sure to transfer the liquid tea mixture into a strainer over a glass jar.

Place in a fridge until cool.

Add cream (or you could use milk instead of cream if you don’t like the creamy taste), ice cubes and tapioca pearl (optional) when serving

Thai ice tea

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“I AM GRATEFUL” Jar

At the end of November, I AM GRATEFUL for:

1. Passing the G driver license

2. Having two places I could call homes – Toronto & Montreal

3. My parents and parents-in-law, that they are still alive and be healthy

4. Never being hungry or without a roof over my head.

5. My soul mate husband, who understands something I am going through and always be there for me when needed

6. Being able to cook and prepare meals everyday

7. Traveling on our new car

8. Being myself and alive

9. Starting my own new blog (https://chopstickspoon.wordpress.com/)

10. Opening my mind to Buddha – learn to satisfy with what I have and appreciate little things in life

11. All the opportunities I’ve had so far in my life.

12. A one time delicious home-cooked dinner ready by my husband

13. Seeing a family close friend, who came from New York

14. Discovering new places in the city I am living

15. A smile

16. Meeting and making new friends

Image
One of my wedding photos – Props are made by me & Family tree is a gift from our cousin from the States

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What are you grateful for? (Write quick notes about something you are grateful for and put in a jar. At the end of the month, read each note and appreciate all the blessing in your life, either big or small)

Good luck!

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.Joel Osteen

GARLIC + CHIVES AND ONIONS BREAD

“One of my friends just moved to live in NYC, and I know how excited she is to celebrate her FIRST THANKSGIVING with her newlywed husband and friends. Her husband will show off his cooking skills for this special holiday, it is without a doubt that his foods will taste good. What will you make for Thanksgiving? How about trying this recipe for the very best Thanksgiving side dish, easy to make in little time. Garlic bread is sure smelly but tasty and healthy in its way, so there is no wrong time to eat it!”

2 loaf artisan French bread (I used 4 Vietnamese baguette)
4-5 heads of garlic
1 sticks of  salted butter
1 bunch of chives and green onions

Grind garlic with a pestle
Wash chives and green onions, then chop them into small pieces.
Add chives and green onions into the mixture of garlic butter, mix well.
Slice baguette into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake at a standard temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to heat the bread, and then brown it off for color under the broiler for a minute or two.
When the bread is finished broiling let it cool for a minute or two. Slice and serve.

VIETNAMESE CONDENSED MILK COFFEE

Vietnamese condensed milk coffee

      • 2 Tablespoon Sweetened Condensed Milk
      • 3 Tablespoon Ground Coffee

Directions:

  1. Pour the sweetened condensed milk in a tea-cup. Boil water
  2. Add about 3 table spoons of ground coffee and place into the filter chamber. Place and slightly press the filter press down on top of the coffee you just put.
  3. Pour a bit of hot water to wet the coffee. Wait 20 seconds for the water to sink into the coffee, and then add more water in till it is almost to the top of the filter chamber.
  4. Put the cap on to let the coffee to brew. Wait for coffee drip down (it takes about 3-5 minutes). While waiting, you can read couple pages of a book, or surf internet.
  5.  When it’s all done, stir to combine coffee and condensed milk together
  6. Taste and adjust to preference (if you prefer sweet, add 1 more tsp. sweetened condensed milk)

*You can add ice if you prefer to drink cold

vietnamese brew coffee

“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value ~Albert Einstein

OVEN BAKING POTATOES AND EGGS

oVEN BAKING POTATOES AND EGGS

Do you know that Potatoes are filling, low in calories, non-fattening, and are an excellent way to ensure your continued success in eating healthy? Eggs is one of main ingredients to improve weight management, brain development, eyesight protection, concentration, protein, Omega-3, and much more.

To start a new week with full energy for work and school, here is another easy making potatoes recipe. Happy Monday!

  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • parsley
Directions:

      1. Peel potatoes and cook them until just soft enough to be cut
      2.  Take cooked potatoes out and let them cool down completely. Cut into small pieces, then put in a food processor, just couple blend are good enough (or you can grate it)
      3. Preheat the oven at 450 degrees.
      4. Mix the grated potato with a little of parsley, salt and pepper.
      5. To make sure the potatoes do not burn when grilled, spray cooking oil over a cookware bowl.
        Then put the potatoes around a thin layer. Using clean fingers slightly press potatoes down the middle to create the recess for the eggs.
      6. Bake the potatoes for about 20-25 minutes until golden. Take the cookware bowl out of oven, let it cool down.
      7. Add egg. Put the bowl back in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the eggs are fully cooked. Sprinkle pepper and salt, then it ready to serve.

STEAMED LAYER MUNG BEAN CAKE

“Steamed Layer mung bean cake is one of my favorite childhood snacks, and is a dessert cake for Vietnam, especially in the South. My grandmother used to call “Pig skin cake” and I still don’t why. Time has passed, maybe it fades away many things but I will never forget my memory of seeing my grandmother makes a layer mung bean cake for me back then. For a long time I haven’t tried any mung bean cake made my grandma since we are far apart half way around the world; but I am grateful that she is still alive and lives healthily in Vietnam. Today I made this steamed layer mung bean cake again to hope get back some memories of my dearest grandma”

 

INGREDIENTS:

  •   2 cup tapioca starch
  •   1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1  1/2 can coconut milk (1 can for Pandan flour batter, 1/2 can for mung bean mixture)
  •   Pandan extracts flour (or green food coloring)
  •  1 cup and 3 tsp. of sugar (1 cup for Pandan flour batter, 3 tsp. for mung bean mixture)
  •   1 tsp. salt
  •   1/2 cup of dry mung bean

 

MUNG BEAN MIXTURE

1. Cook mung bean in a rice cooker.

2. Blend mung bean with 1/2 can of coconut milk and 3 tsp. of sugar in a food processor (I used Magic Bullet so I could clean easily after finishing)

 

PANDAN FLOUR BATTER

1. Sift the tapioca starch, rice flour, and salt in a bowl.

2. Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 can of coconut milk

3. Add 1 tsp. of green Pandan flavor (or you can use green food coloring)

4. Stir the mixture well

 

 

DIRECTIONS OF STEAMING LAYER CAKE

1. Put a non-stick container inside a steamer (or you can use a small bowl like me if you don’t have), cover lid for 2 minutes.

2. Pour first layer of Pandan flour batter into the non-stick container. Cover lid and wait for 2 minutes

3. Add a layer of mung bean on top of the Pandan layer. Cover lid and wait for 2 minutes

4. Then pour another layer of Pandan flour on top of the mung bean layer. Remember to cover lid

5. And continue do the same until the non-tick container is full filled.

 

SERVE

  •  Make sure to let the non-tick container cool down before taking the Steamed Layer Mung Bean Cake out and cut.
  •  You can make a cup of hot tea or coffee while enjoying this delicious mung bean cake. Enjoy!!

SIMPLE POTATO SNACK

Wash and slice potatoes thinly almost all the way through. Make sure NOT to cut all the way, leave a little at the bottom so it stays together.

potato snack_chopstickspoon's recipe

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Season with oil, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Place potatoes on a baking pan.

Put in the oven for 30 minutes at the bottom rack, then switch to top rack to make the top layer get crispy

simple potato snack

Take potatoes out after one hour cooking, or when the outside turn golden brown and crispy. Rub butter around the potatoes to add extra flavor.

simple potato snack

simple potato snack
chopstickspoon.wordpress.com

 

It is healthier and better than fries. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out @chopstickspoon.wordpress.com

VEGAN CABBAGE KIMCHI

Kimchi is a supper delicious side dish, a bit smelly but easy to make. There are a lot of recipes of how to make kimchi with fish sauce or shrimp paste, but since my mother-in-law is vegetarian, I will make vegan cabbage kimchi today.

 

 Ingredients:

1 head cabbage

3 green onions

1/2 cup salt (depend on the head cabbage size, you may want to increase or reduce the amount of salt)

1 tbsp. sugar

5 cloves of garlic

2 thumb size of ginger

1/2 cup red chili flake

Start…

vegan kimchi step 1
https://chopstickspoon.wordpress.com/

Rinse cabbage under tap water.

Cut 1 head of cabbage to 3-inches pieces (like in photo)

Choose a large shallow mixing bowl. Add all cabbage and sea salt into the bowl, and mix well.

Leave it for one and half hour to let sea salt dehydrate and remove all water in the cabbage

 

After 1.5 hour…

vegan kimchi step 2
https://chopstickspoon.wordpress.com/

Drain and squeeze all cabbage to get rid of water.

In food processor mix garlic and ginger together. Add the mixture into the cabbage bowl.

Add 1/2 cup of red chilli flake (If you are a spicy lover, add another 1/2 cup, depend on how spicy you like), green onion and sugar.

Mix well together

Put in an empty jar or container to store in room temperature to let it ferment. Check daily, if the kimchi taste ripe, still a bit crunchy, you can transfer the jar/ container to a fridge

 

When Kimchi is ready…of course, you can eat!

vegan kimchi_chopstickspoon
https://chopstickspoon.wordpress.com/

You can eat with freshly cooked rice, tacos, hot-pot or just eat alone like the way it is 🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

Places you might not know in Toronto

1/ One hour

435 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2G6

onehour.cc

The first impression is fresh, youthful and warm welcoming with wooden tables and bean bags place around nicely when walking inside One Hour. They serve bubble tea, some main dishes, light snacks, crepes and dessert at affordable prices; no wonder why it always crowded (mostly university students) during the day. I have always been obsessing over the Taiwanese bubble tea drinks, so I always go with red bean matcha green tea slush. Tang Yang and cheesecake IN A JAR are nice signature dishes.

 

2/ Bun Saigon

252 Spadina Ave, Toronto ON, M5T 2C2

IMAG0185IMAG0081IMAG0170

It is not so hard to find, since it locates on a main street. The restaurant is narrow and long, but clean and inviting. The service is also fast and friendly. We  have tried different dishes (duck bamboo shoot vermicelli, steam rice rolls, chicken and rare beef Pho, seafood stir fried noodle, spring rolls, and much more). It’s apparent that everything is prepared on-site. 

 

3/ K & K Tropical Fruit

298A Spadina Avenue

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It is close to the intersection of Dundas and Spadina. The way they display all tropical country fruits so eye-catching that make you just want to grab it all. I usually drop by this kiosk when ever I am in  Chinatown. Sometimes price is cheap, sometimes higher, depend on the market price, but guarantee you will get the best quality fresh fruits in Toronto.

 

4/ Banh Mi Nguyen Huong

322 Spadina Ave.
Toronto, ON M5T 2E7

http://www.nguyenhuong.ca

They are so famous that my friends from Montreal have to order 100 Vietnamese baguettes before drive back, especially with a cost of $1.75 for each, why not? I personally love stir fried turnip cake and cow cake at there. Everything is fresh made in the day and under $5.00 (so great for students’ budget), highly recommend it.

 

 

5/ Thomas Lavers Cannery & Delicatessen

193 Baldwin St. Toronto Tel: 647-351-1959

Photo: Kimchi Jam - Good Morning!!

It is an unexpected kimchi discovery. If you are kimchi lovers, it is a must to drop by their store at Kensington market. They have a fabulous and tasty kimchi jam that nowhere else has.

Price: Kimchi $7 / Kimchi jam $5

*(I will keep you updated, so stay tuned and check this post often. Next will be Kinton Ramen and Dessert Trends)

One red bean fish cake for me , please!

 

Red bean fish cake
chopstickspoon.wordpress.com

Weather in Toronto, Canada is slowly changing from Autumn to Winter with a bit of sunlight, but I still feel colder than ever. Wrapped myself in a thick jacket, scarf, and a warm hat; I decided to go get some red bean fish cake.

Everything in Toronto is far; you have to drive at least half an hour if you want to buy something. In my case I had to drive about 1 hour to get to a Korean store that sells my favorite red bean fish cake. Sometimes I hate my random foods carvings!

After almost one hour drive long in the chilly weather, I got to Pat Oriental Foods (333 Dundas Street East, Mississauga, ON L5A 1X1). The smell of hot fresh red bean paste and flour on a waffle iron made me drool. “Can I have four fish cakes please?” -gave the vendor owner $5 dollar bill, I couldn’t wait to take a big bite….”MmmMmm, Yummmmyyy!”- It was so worth it!