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Close to Vaughan Mills for lunch

Maybe try La Taquiza (try to search the board about this place - there was a long post about it). It's on the plaza/ complex right behind Vaughan Mills.

Nov 20, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sweetened Condensed Milk! If that didn't scare you...

We use it for coffee - instead of sugar and milk/cream. We just spoon in sweetened condensed milk - it tastes heavenly!!! :) Also, avocado shakes with condensed milk. Yum!

Oct 16, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Dinner Party for 20

I'd make a good pot of braised stew. Anything from fancy lamb type of stew to Coq Au Vin. It's not at all complicated and reheat super well. Most of them include some marinating time, braising and tossing everything in the pot and let it simmer for couple hours. Serve with good ole mashed potato to soak up the gravy. Aside that, maybe some finger sandwiches for starter. Cut up the bread in advance, and prepare all the spread. Assembly part won't take more than 1/2 hour. Oh, and my favorite of all...Gumbo!! :)

Oct 06, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Wonton skins

You can make into sometype of samosas. Boil and mashed potatoes, add green peas, chopped onions, jalapenos,dash of cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, hot chilies powder. You can fill it to the center and just fold it to half circle. Or easier, use 2 wrappers - put filling on top of 1 wrapper, place another wrapper on top, seal with water/eggwash. Fry.

Sep 17, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Invited 6 couples over for a party Saturday night. Want to do heavy hors d'oeurves and dessert. Please share with me your favorite recipes!

Miniature chicken/beef satay - two bite size pieces of chicken/beef skewered on those hors d'oeurves picks. Simple marinade: ginger, garlic, soy sauce, scallions, brown sugar, sesame oil (optional), dash of vinegar. For quick and easy fix, simply pansear/panfry/bake the meats and then, thread it to skewer. You can serve it with store bought sauce, or peanut sauce.

Fried Eggrolls or Cold Ricepaper rolls or Assorted Dumplings - the filling can be anything you like. Light to heavy.

Puff Pastry - you can buy a couple box of these. Cut it to different shapes. Fill/ top it with different fillings. Savory as carmelized mushrooms and onions. Goat cheese and roasted red pepper. Olives and toasted pine nuts. Or sweet, carmelized apple with cinnamon. Berries, etc.

Panfried Mac and Cheese - sinful but yum!! :) Make ahead your favorite Mac and Cheese - but it has to be those that is dense. Cut to squares or triangles, dip in eggs mixture, roll on bread crumb (panko is great), deep fry or panfry.

Baked mini crabcakes - patties can be shaped few hours ahead. Just dip and roll like Mac and Cheese - slide to 375 degree oven.

Baked mini croquettes - many variations of this. But you can never go wrong with mashed potato, chives/dill, chopped up ham. Mix it with egg for binding and panfry until crispy both sides. You can spoon (or use piping bag and tube) some red-peppered jelly as garnish on top of croquttes.

Have Fun!! :)

Sep 15, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

besides meringues and angelfood cake, what to do with an abundance of egg whites?

Lenguas De Gato/ Cat's Tongue.

Sep 11, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Dad's approach to Dinner... your stories

My dad does not cook much. However, he has one of the best herb garden there is in the neighborhood. Has vast knowledge on fruits and has excellent knife skills - I learn how to gut fish, deboning, et cetera from him. He loves food and will try anything - I got this from him too. We could just sit on table and eat all day if possible.

He does fix a superb oatmeal!! The old fashioned type and he'd just cook it with Milo - malted chocolate, all goey and hot. That used to be my 'meal of choice' when I felt sick. My brothers thought it was just nasty. They probably still think about it that way. :)

Sep 07, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Favorite Seafood Gumbo Recipe?

I make gumbo quite often and though I do add okra, I still started it with roux. Not only roux acts as thickening agent, but it also adds flavor to gumbo; nutty and somewhat smoky. Personally, I think the trickiest part of making gumbo, is the roux itself. The constant stirring to prevent it to burn and the length of time to get it to the right color. Once roux part is done, everything else is pretty easy.

The other thing that I like to do is to chop the holy trinity to 2 different texture. Say, the recipe calls for 2 cups of bellpeppers. I will chop 1 cup of it very very finely. It's a personal taste thing, I guess. :) By having half amount of the holy trinity finely chopped, it gives extra 'weight' and thickness to gumbo. I also love the small specks it creates.

Happy Gumbo Cooking!

Sep 01, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

How do cooks figure out which tastes go well together?

What a neat questionm, reenum! 99% of time, I count on my ultra sensitive sense of smell. I am not sure how odd that is, but my brother and I seem to work around cooking that way. :D I am not a chef or super accomplished cook, but it's almost like what chefbeth mentioned. Once I take a quick sniff on ingredients, I am usually able to come up with different things that can be paired together. I think it comes with experimenting and tons of walking up and down the grocery store/market. ;) I grew up in food business (my grandma, mom and aunts own either bakery or catering) and 'inhaling' all those food 'flavor' for many years, I sort of count on it a lot.

Sep 01, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

I love fritters

I love fritters! And like you, I am not very fond of frying either. But all my favorite childhood snacks involved frying. One of the most common street style fritters - bean spourts fritters. Mixed with some chives and chillies and sometimes, few pieces of shrimp. Or, just 1 shrimp on top of the fritters.

Aug 27, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Chinese Menu Translations

Charles Yu: Hands up! Hands up!! :) I thought I'd have to wait until my mom comes to visit - not going to be anytime soon - before I am able to order food from Chinese menu!! I still consider myself new in Chowhound, just been living in TO for a year. Just has been testing out my way in such diversed dining scene in TO, in comparison to *clearing throat* Kentucky, where I lived for 15 years.

Missmu: That's very brave on your part!! :) I thought about similar method too, like to find out simple characters and just do 'point and surprise me'. I did once, thinking I sort of know what it means, and we got something completely different!! I couldn't even remember what that was, we ended up giggling and laughing our head off and chewing carefully on the dish. Kinda sad, because if put into test, he wouldn't know what to order in Indian restaurant, if the menu is in Hindi!!

Aug 23, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chinese Menu Translations

Oh! What a great post juno! I have always wondered about this. I can understand and speak passable Mandarin, but only know how to read numbers! :) Even being able to speak some, I still wouldn't know exactly what to ask/say!! I tempted to sketch out (on paper, on napkin) the dish I have in mind.

Aug 22, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bland But Strongly Flavored Foods

First, let me tell you how great of a caretaker you are, to take time doing some research for these kind of meals.

When I went through chemo, aside from all the pills and what not that I had to take, I was stunned on such restricted diet (and the nausea, and all icky things) - was not even allowed fresh fruits/vegetables. Anyway, I saw that you already try porridge, I liked mine with meat broth and super very finely shredded chicken. Also, creamed corn soup with broth.

Mashed sweet potatoes. At time, I really like ginger - it helps with nausea and I literally put it in lots of things. Steamed taro with some soy, and sometimes with very mashed up ground chicken. I also loved mashed up carrots with porridge! It's weird, but it was pretty good. Oh, and tofu (though it has very low calories, so probably not what you are looking for).

Best wishes!

Aug 14, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes, with all sort of fillings. With some breaded toppings.

Aug 13, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Help! Have Roasted chicken breasts and don't know what to do for dinner....!

This will involve very little prep :) but I usually shred them up, dump it into soup pan, with a can of black beans, chicken broth, dash of cumin, coriander leaves, chopped tomatoes (or anything else you like). Super filling thick soup and some toasted bread (or tortilla chips) to go along with it.

Aug 12, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

creativity needed ... phyllo

You can make phyllo basket ahead. Cut phyllo to squares, stack/layer onto muffin tins (of course, butter between layers - guilty pleasure of working with phyllo). Fill it with anything you like basically. You can do half of them with savory fillings, the other half with sweet perhaps?

Beggars purse is great suggestion too! Or, triangular shape. I guess, as long as the filling is drier type of filling, nothing too liquidy, I am pretty sure it won't go soggy. You can always have some dipping sauce on the side. :)

Aug 12, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Exactly how long does tahini paste last?

As far as I know, like Val said, it should be fine as long as it has been in fridge. I use Tahini a lot and it seems to last forever (almost forever). :)

Aug 11, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Tempeh Recipes

I love tempe!!! It's a staple in my hometown. My favorite though *cough* actually to fry it and eat it like chips (slice it thin, and either fry it as is, or coat it with light spiced up batter). DELICIOUS!! My aunt make croquette out of tempeh - mashed it up, add spices, green onions, chilies, and some mashed potatoes as binding agent. Either fry or bake it.

Aug 10, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Garlic presses: Good or bad?

Like HillJ, I use microplane or give it good whack and 'smooshing' (chef chiklet) it too. Er..actually, I have never even use garlic press. Too scared my mom will find it in my kitchen drawers and say things like 'You need fancy tools JUST for garlic, now?' Just kidding!! :) I only have three drawers in my kitchen, so..the less thing I have, the less time I spent in playing pull and tug with the drawers. :)

Aug 10, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Jam Making Question

I know the question is about Jam. But I just couldn't help myself - how about passionfruit juice?! Basically just straining the liquid out from passionfruit and cook it with sugar into maple syrup consistency. It keeps for quite long time. And spoon 2 tablespoon of it into glass, add cold water and ice. Oh, perfect drink for summer.

Anyway, sorry for random suggestion that is so unrelated to jam. :)

Aug 10, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

A shoyu/soy sauce question for all of you Asian cooks out there

Haha. That's just too hilarious!! :) But you are right though, I cook almost everyday, and even that, a bottle of soy lasts me way way much longer than the same size bottle in my mom or grandmas' kitchen! Everything with soy! ;) Out of topic here, but we even eat boiled, half boiled, sunny side up, scrambled eggs with soy! Not salt. My husband thought it was weird, until I got him converted, that is. Double black soy is yum!

Aug 10, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

A shoyu/soy sauce question for all of you Asian cooks out there

Hmm..I don't put mine in the fridge. Growing up in S.E.Asia, we just leave their soy sauce in the pantry or kitchen countertop (away from sunlight). But, I can't vouch for other type of soy sauce (I've never use Kikoman or Yamasa) - since I am sure some of their ingredients or process of making are slightly different. :) Hope it helps a bit!

Aug 10, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Help! Any good recipes for someone with a really bad appetite due to illness?

Sorry to hear about your health! I know how stressful it can be with such restricted diet.
These below are couple suggestions - of what I ate during my bad appetite during chemo:

Like Jen76 suggestion, simple baked fish, fillet or whole. There is low sodium soy, and you can add ginger and green onions (and any vegetables, bokchoy, sweet peppers) wrap in foil and put it in oven.

Soup - tons of vegetables and I like to use chicken wings (yep) - give it a good whack to crack the bone joint. Drop it to broth/water, and its meat falling off the bone has much delicate/ easy to digest texture than any other part of chicken.

Crockpot is superb too!! Basically you just 'dump' everything in there and it'll cook on its own. If there is any special dish you like - usually, you can find the crockpot version of it online.

Oh, since you mentioned congee. Isn't it yummy?!! :) Anyway, you can always make Asian style chicken steamed rice. My aunt succesfully cook it in her rice cooker (I don't have rice cooker) - but basically you are just cooking rice (use brown rice, since you aren't allowed white rice), low sodium broth, chicken pieces, ginger (tons of it), garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce (low sodium or you can substitute with sweet soy sauce), dash of sessame oil. You can add carrots in there too. For this dish, I actually cook it it a little more liquid than regular rice cooking. I like it in more softer texture, not quite mushy, but just about.

Best wishes to you!!

Aug 10, 2008
ceciel in Home Cooking

Any ideas where I can find screwpine/ pandan ?

Thanks Apple!

I hope my replies won't be popping out more than dozen times. The internet froze up on me.

Anyway, which T&T did you get it from, Apple? I only frequent the one on Cherry St.

For extract, I tear it up, mash with mortar and pestle, strain with cheesecloth.

Aug 09, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Any ideas where I can find screwpine/ pandan ?

I should pay more attention. Chinatown (as to vorpal's suggestion) and now Sanko on Queen West, though I have never went in there, we walk pass by it hundred of times.

Thanks Dimbulb!

Aug 09, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Any ideas where I can find screwpine/ pandan ?

Thanks vorpal!!

It's a wonder on how I never thought of looking into Chinatown stores and I go there so often! Geez. I checked out that technique in video and saw it was Make A Dadar video. Can I safely assume that you like pandan dadar? :)

I usually extract it by using mortar and pestle with little bit of hot/warm water then strain it with cheese cloth.

Have never had or use frozen leaves .. wonder if it might work out like frozen lemongrass. A friend who lives in Florida succesfully grow lemongrass on her backyard - and it made me think whether pandan can be home-grown in certain tropical area too. They are very common herbs found in people's backyard in S.E.Asia. But of course, I don't know a thing about gardening or planting. :) Wishful thinking.

Aug 09, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Any ideas where I can find screwpine/ pandan ?

Thanks squingy!

Unfortunately, we don't go up to Scarborough that often. But it's always good to know some alternative places :)

Aug 09, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Any ideas where I can find screwpine/ pandan ?

Hello,

I run out of pandan/screwpine extract and wonder where in TO I can find them? I'd love to get the leaves if possible, but paste/extract will do. :)

Thanks much!!
Ceciel

Aug 08, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Any ideas where I can find screwpine/ pandan ?

Hello!!

I run out of pandan/screwpine paste and wonder where in TO I can find them. Any suggestion? I'd love to get hold of the leaves if possible at all. But essence or paste will do.

Thanks much!!
Ceciel

Aug 08, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

La Taquiza: Mexican food in the GTA -- no, really!

On Rutherford Road near/outside the mall :) Not IN the mall itself.

Jun 22, 2008
ceciel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)