RSSArchive for December, 2007

Low Fat Creme Brulee

A Creme Brulee is a custard topped with a thin layer of melted sugar. The melted sugar provides a delightful contrast in textures – the silky, smooth custard against the crackle of the sugar candy top. A traditional creme brulee is a mixture of eggs and cream cooked until the proteins in the eggs coagulate.

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This Low Fat Creme Brulee is made from milk, egg substitutes and reduced sugar which brings less guilt when we indulge in this deliciously rich dessert. But yet, it still maintains the silky smooth custard texture that we love.

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup low fat egg substitute
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar for topping

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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New York CityPass Contest Results

bow_home_ny.jpgCongratulations to Christine Duncan for being the first entry with an all correct answer to chowtimes’ first (and hopefully not last) contest. Christine wins a pair of Winter Special New York CityPass.

Christine, I will send you an email later on today on claiming your prize.

A total 13 responses were recorded, which is pretty good for a start. As a matter of fact, the questions are so easy, everyone got it correct. So, it actually boiled down to who responded first. Christine’s response was received just 5 minutes after the questions were posted. In case you are wondering who responded when, here it is:

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Anyway, I wanted to thank Susan Wilson from CityPass for sponsoring the contest tickets.

I think it’s kind of fun doing contests. So, I was doing a little thinking over the past couple of days. Here is what I am proposing but not sure if any sponsor will bite. I could do food reviews or restaurant reviews for any Richmond or Vancouver area restaurants. In return for a review on this blog, the restaurant or food sponsor will sponsor something in return for a contest. For example, I do a review of the restaurant, the restaurant will donate a dinner for two or something. Anyone interested to have chowtimes do a review? Just email us at chowtimes@gmail.com

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Bistro Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Lorna had requested a creme brulee making demo in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen quite sometime ago. I can’t think of anyone who does not like creme brulee even though it is not exactly the most healthiest dessert around. Karen remembered Lorna’s wish in this week’s cooking meet. So, Karen made not the normal type of creme brulee but two: a Bistro Pumpkin Creme Brulee and a Low Fat Creme Brulee (yippee!).

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The Bistro Pumpkin Creme Brulee is made on the stove top. However, this creme brulee does not have a silky smooth custard as traditional creme brulee but it’s quite grainy instead. It’s more like a pumpkin pie filling. Try it for a change particularly around Halloween. It’s a change from the normal creme brulee.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin or cooked mash sweet potatoes
  • 2 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Savoury Muffin

Andrea made some savoury muffins in the South Arm Community Kitchen. The savoury muffin is something different from the usual sweet ones like banana muffin, chocolate chip muffin, blueberry muffin and more which you can find in the quick bread category in chowtimes.com.

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These savoury muffins are great for school lunch or picnic. It is a complete meal with all the basic food group like grain products, vegetables, milk and meat. What I like about this muffin is its portability. It can be easily fit into a lunch box and can be easily transported in a cupcake caddy.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 4-5 green onions, diced
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 cup cooked ham, cubed (about 200g)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese (Cheddar or Harvarti), about 100g

The buttermilk can be substituted with the following:

  • For each 1 cup buttermilk called for in a recipe, use 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream or
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup or
  • 1 cup milk plus 1 3/4 tablespoons cream of tartar or
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk powder and 1 cup water

Usually, when a recipe use baking soda as a leavening agent, it needs an acidic environment for the chemical reaction to take place.

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A little side note here, the South Arm Community Centre will be starting a cooking club for seniors in January 2008. It will be held in the South Arm Community Kitchen every 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 10am to 12:30pm. The cost for this program is $3 per session, to cover the cost of the ingredients. This cooking club is intended for seniors to come and meet regularly and cook healthy and nutritious meals. For those interested, you may contact Stella of South Arm Community Kitchen @ 604 718 8070.

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Win Two CityPasses to New York

A couple of weeks ago, I contacted CityPass asking if they would be kind enough to sponsor a couple of CityPasses to New York that I could give away to readers of this blog. I was pleasantly surprised that they replied and told me that they would love to do that. So, here it is … chowtimes’s first contest.

THE PRIZE

CityPass had agreed to sponsor TWO CityPasses to New York. These CityPasses is their Winter Special where it is valid until Marh 15th (their normal CityPasses is only valid for 9 days from first use). You may find out more from the link to their Winter Special here.

This CityPass will make a great gift and would especially useful for people who live in or around New York City. Imagine … you don’t have to rush from one attraction to another … just take your own sweet time to properly explore the museums and other sights all through Winter to Spring.

HOW TO WIN THE PRIZE

It is simple. You just need to answer correctly 5 questions posted below. You answer by clicking on the comment link at the bottom of this entry and submit your answers. The first entry with the most correct answer will win the tickets. I will announce the winning entry on December 30th which means a two day period for you to participate.

Oh yeah, you need to leave your email address when you submit your entry so that I know how to contact you. For the winner, I will forward your email address to CityPass who will then contact you to deliver the CityPass.

THE QUESTIONS

A tip here … answers are found throughout my New York series.

  1. What is the name of the apartment building that John Lennon lived last?
  2. How much does it cost for a CityPass to New York?
  3. How many floors does the Empire State Building have?
  4. Name at least two types of Jewish cuisine/food that I had tried in NYC.
  5. What is the name of the theater where the Late Show with David Letterman is shot?

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Merry Christmas

Hi All:

Here is wishing all of you a Christmas that is filled with Joy, Peace and Hope. As you spend time with your family and loved ones, remember the Reason for the Season.

With warmest love from
Nanzaro, Arkensen, Suanne and Ben

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New York: Going Home

This is my last posting on the series on New York. I actually had only five full days in the city but did managed to squeeze in quite a lot within that short span of time. And to think of it, this had resulted in 27 individual blog entries. Frankly, I had as much time blogging about it and sharing my vacation with you as I did on the vacation.

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My route back to Vancouver was not without drama. Since I was traveling on staff pass, I had very little choice when it comes to the routing. I had to fly from Newark to Houston to Vancouver. That will take me the entire day traveling alone.

I knew it would be a challenge getting on a standby flight. So, without taking any chances, I attempted to get on a 2PM flight from Newark to Houston. I figured that if I could not get on this flight, there are two other hourly flights.

Guess what … the flight was full and it appears that there are more people trying to get on standby than I could imagine. There were 45 names on the standby list … and me being on what they call a SA5 (space available priority 5), that means that, well, my name is #43 on the list. Moreover, they only have 20 seats available for this flight … that sounds like real trouble to me.

I waited for the flight the next hour, and it was not much better … there were over 30 names on the standby list and as a SA5, I am always at the bottom. My last option was the 4PM flight. If I could not get on the flight, I would miss the connecting flight to Vancouver. I went to customer service for help and as much as they tried all possibilities, it appears that my only real option is to try to get on the 4PM flight and land in Houston with only SEVEN minutes to get to the connecting flight gate!

Well, I guess, I might as well take the chance since the worst thing that could happen is that I either stay one more day in New York or one more day on Houston.

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I finally got on to a half empty fight from Newark to Houston … it’s weird to think that just two flights earlier, the flights were absolutely full.

While on the flight, I took the time to do some research for “Plan B” … a day trip in Houston in case I missed the connecting flight.

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The inflight meals is good … much better than most other American domestic flights I had ever been to. They had hot burgers … real meal and not just packets of peanuts.

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I could not believe my ears when the captain announced the landing in Houston … we were (GOSH!) 30 minutes ahead of schedule. That had never happened to me before — flights are more likely late than early and once in a blue moon, I’ll be something like 5-10 minutes early … but never 30 minutes. Apparently there was (divine?) tail wind during the flight.

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The plane took off on schedule and I made it back to Vancouver on schedule as originally planned.

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OK … there it is … my solo vacation to New York. I hope you enjoyed reading of my adventure. This is certainly one of my most memorable vacations ever.

BTW, if you want to read the entire New York series, it is all in this link: New York 2007.

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New York: Tick Tock Diner and Grill

This was my last meal in New York City. Looking back, it had been a really eventful vacation for me, especially so, when I had not really finished planning for this until I was on the plane. If there is one thing I gained most from my job, it’s the experience in traveling.

So, for this last lunch before I head off to the Newark Airport, it was nothing fancy. I just chose a diner close to the Penn Station where I am due to catch a airport shuttle bus. One last thing, I wanted to try … it’s that illusive Egg Cream … this time with chocolate syrup.

The place I went to is the Tick Tock Diner and Grille.

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I had Egg Cream in Katz but it was with vanilla syrup. I later read that the real deal with Egg Cream is with chocolate syrup. I like it a lot but I do also think that this is very very fattening. It’s a fizzy drink. Despite its name, there is no eggs nor cream … it is made milk. carbonated soda water and of course, chocolate syrup.

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The Tick Tock Diner seems like just any diner you find. It’s located in a very very busy section of midtown. I like the service. As a matter of fact, I find that the generally table service in Manhattan was really good … very fast, accommodating, and friendly. I was a bit early into midtown and as such had about an hour and a half to burn here.

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The menu was nothing special. I just got an item from the Tuesday Specials. It started with a cup of onion soup.

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The main dish is the Broiled Filet Flounder. You know what flounders are, right? It’s one of those weird flat fish where they have both eyes on one side of their head. The fish was alright … although a bit tasteless. The mashed potato was alright … and tasteless. And the vegetables … well, they are alright … and tasteless.

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$11.95 for this and the cup of soup. It was alright … and … oh never mind.

Tick Tock Diner on Urbanspoon

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