May 29, 2016

Sunday Snapshots | Featuring My Mom

I recently came across a few pictures I took that I never posted so I decided to do this little post as it is also my mom's birthday today! What you see here are all the ingredients that our family uses to make sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. Keep scrolling to see each of them more closely!

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The bamboo leaves were purchased in store and had to be soaked overnight in order to soften them up.

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These are the salted duck egg yolks... we save the egg whites to make another type of Chinese dish.
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Dried scallops that have been soaked overnight, rinsed and drained.
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Dried mushrooms that have been soaked overnight, rinsed and drained.
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Peanuts that have been soaked overnight.
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Green beans (yes they are yellow on the inside) that have been soaked overnight, rinsed and drained.
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Sweet glutinous white rice that has been soaked overnight, rinsed and drained.
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Pork belly that has been marinated overnight with various Asian sauces.
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Chestnuts! Best to soak these overnight as well.
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The preparation part takes the longest, but the making and wrapping of the sticky rice takes a long time too. After waking up, my mom rinsed and drained everything then sat down for several hours making the sticky rice. Whenever she makes them though, she usually makes them in a huge batch (in and around 50, plus or minus 10) and gives them to family. 

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I would try and help but I can never tie them correctly so they don't fall apart when we cook them. After wrapping all of them, we take big 12L pots, fill them with water, and cook the sticky rice for 3 hours. Yes, 3 hours. So after overnight soaking, the actual process of wrapping the stick rice up, we then have another 3 hours to cook them. It takes an entire day - worth it in my opinion as it's one of my favourite things to eat. We usually freeze bags of these things and defrost and boil them for another 15 minutes again when we want to eat them.

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With all that being said, I also just want to thank my mom for everything. She doesn't read the blog but I've come to a better understanding of everything that she has sacrificed for us. Even then, she doesn't pressure me into pursuing a career just to make money if I have no passion for it. She continues to support my decisions and her hard working attitude has been passed on to me. Happy birthday!

May 26, 2016

Explore YEG | Tres Carnales

Tres Carnales | 10119 100A Street

I finally tried out Tres Carnales! From the moment I walked in, I noticed the friendly and inviting atmosphere: friendly staff, lively music, natural light from the windows and a small patio. We went during a lunch rush, but it did not take that long to order and get seated.

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The picture above is of the Salsa Y Totopos, basically salsa and chips. The chips were freshly baked and extremely crunchy, the salsa fresh and sweet!

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This is the Papas Fritas: "potatoes topped with a guajillo chile chimichurri, queso fresco, and cilantro" It looked a bit questionable at first, but it was actually soooooo good. The flavour combination was absolutely amazing.

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When you order, you have the choice between Tacos, Tortas, or Quesadillas and also what "type" you would want. For myself, I got the Vegetariano Tacos: which is actually also Vegan, topped with beans, zucchini, bell peppers, DELICIOUS GUAC, and radish! I devoured these and although they seem small, it was actually really filling along with the chips and fritas!

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My friend got the Barbacoa de Res: Alberta Beef braised with onions, garlic, and chiles! (Or at least that's what I think it is...)

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I THINK this is the Pescado, once again... it was my friend's order so I honestly have no idea. Either way, all of us really enjoyed our meals and would definitely come again for a quick, delicious meal!

May 22, 2016

Sunday Snapshots | Interactive Cooking Experience

The pastt Friday, my friend invited us over to his house to have an "interactive cooking experience", as he called it. Basically, we went over to his house and watched his mom cook for us and tried our best to help (while I took pictures). The food was delicious and it was a really fun to be able to learn how to make authentic Korean food! 

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Zucchini!

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Japchae - Sweet Potato Noodles stir fried with noodles

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Ddukbokki - gochujang, rice cakes, fish cakes, soft boiled eggs and scallions.

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Jeon - Korean pancakes

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Kimbap

I think for Asian families in general, sometimes we take for granted the authentic food that our parents make for us. Thinking back to when I was younger, I always wanted pizza, McDonald's, anything but boring, old Chinese food. But now, I'm always excited to eat something my mom makes since it's usually not something you could eat just anywhere.

What "traditional" foods do you make at home? 

May 19, 2016

Explore YEG | Kyoto Japanese Cuisine

Kyoto Japanese Cuisine: 10128 109 Street

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I was a big fan of the interior - especially these lights.

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The accompanying Miso soup and bean sprouts with the Don Gyu.
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Left: Don Gyu; Middle: Isobe Roll; Right: Kyoto Special Salad
The Don Gyu was a bit pricier and perhaps not exactly worth it in my opinion, as it's a rather easy dish to make! The beef was also a bit overcooked, making it tough and chewy. As for the taste however, that was pretty good.

I really liked the Isobe Roll - tuna, salmon, and avocado wrapped with seaweed and coated with tempura! The texture was really interesting - biting down on the crunchy tempura then having the fish and avocado just melt. 

The salad was also very tasty and I think a lot of it had to do with the dressing they had. I can't remember what it was exactly, but it had a tangy sweet taste to it. The salmon and tuna on the salad weren't perfect but passable. I did appreciate the variety of ingredients in the salad - Macadamia nuts, pecans, cranberries, grapes, strawberries. 

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Black Sesame and Green Tea Ice Cream!
The dessert was probably one of the best parts as the flavours just burst in my mouth! I even switched back and forth between the two and could still taste both flavours!

May 15, 2016

Sunday Snapshots | An Eventful Week

This week has been extremely relaxing as IB exams are going on and most of my classes have basically come to a stop since I'm only in French IB. On Tuesday, after about 8 months of really wanting to go to Little Brick, I finally made the trip down to this cute little cafe.

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I sat in the Fireside Room by the window and just worked on some homework and enjoyed my time there. The atmosphere of Little Brick is extremely friendly and welcoming; I will definitely be returning soon!

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On Thursday, I went to Tres Carnales with my friends! A full post on that will be coming up next week, so stay tuned for that. In short, I really REALLY liked the food.

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After eating, everyone felt really full so we decided to take a walk. That walk ended up being about an hour and a half long, and we walked all the way across the river and back to school. It was an extremely beautiful day, perfect weather for walking, and a day well spent with my friends.

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May 12, 2016

Explore YEG | Old Strathcona Farmers' Market

Last week I went to the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market. The weather was absolutely beautiful and perfect for a day of walking around. Here is only a small part of what I saw that day:

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This is the first stand I saw as soon as I entered the market!


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I loved all the beautiful colours of the flowers everywhere.

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A head of lettuce and two eggplants. I'm not exactly sure what type of eggplant they were but they were really good!

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A bag of potatoes and purple cabbage! 

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We also bought two tomato plants: Sweet Baby Girl and Lemon Boy

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A loaf of flax bread!