Breakfast at Alleluia Cafe, Richmond

Jeannie, Liz and I met up for breakfast to catch up with one another. They are my ex and current neighbours. Jeannie suggested  to meet up at Alleluia Cafe, a Hong Kong style cafe. Jeannie wanted to introduce Chinese style breakfast to Liz who is a Hungarian.

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The breakfast menu came with a drink. Liz had the honey lemon tea while Jeannie had the hot milk tea and I had the hot Hong Kong style coffee. I had heard that the refill of drink is free here but have never ask for a refill. One cup is enough for me.

Ben had blogged about Alleluia Cafe here but it was for lunch.

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The breakfast menu here is pretty reasonable considering that it comes with a drink with free refill. You can click on the menu to have a larger view.

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I ordered a Toast with Condensed Milk and Peanut Butter since I already had breakfast at home. This is only $2.95 with a drink. I love the sweet and slightly saltiness combination of flavour from the condensed milk and peanut butter.

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Liz had the Spanish Omelete which is a more Western style of breakfast. The Spanish Omelete comes with a toast and a drink too. It is $4.50. The Spanish Omelete is filled with ham, onion, sweet pepper, mushroom and is ketchupy. It is moist. Liz enjoyed her omelet. Liz commented that she likes the sentimental music here. She thought the restaurant will be broadcasting some Chinese music. Continue reading

Ben’s First Burger after Returning from Beijing

The first thing Ben wanted to do on the first weekend after his return from Beijing was to go shopping in Bellingham. He wanted to shop for some clothing. Ben does not like the men’s clothing in Beijing. Guess where we had lunch?

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Ben was yearning for a good burger and we had lunch at Shari’s in Bellingham. We had blogged about Shari’s in Bellingham here and Shari’s in Seattle here. Shari’s is a chain restaurant that opens 24 hours.

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Ben ordered the Trail Boss which stacks high with ham, bacon, Swiss cheese  and most important of all a fried egg.  The fried egg is the reason Ben ordered this. The Trail Boss is $9.99.

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It was impossible for Ben to eat the Trail Boss with his hands holding the burger up. So, he ate it like a gentleman with the fork and knife. He loves to add ketchup to his burger and fries.

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Nanzaro ordered a Double R Ranch Double Stack Bacon Burger which is also $9.99. This is a 2-patty monsters. Unlike Ben, Nanzaro ate his burger like a cowboy. He squeezed the burger so hard that the buns actually broke up.

For the burger, the server asked if Nanzaro wanted the meat pink. Nanzaro wanted his pink. Continue reading

Beet Pink Lemonade

Michelle shared a drink recipe from her website MintGreenApron.com in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors on Valentine’s Day.

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It’s a Beet Pink Lemonade. The beet is used to color the drink pink.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 beet, scrubbed and peeled
  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • approximately 4 cups cold water
  • ice cubes, if desired

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Source: MintGreenApron.com

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Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans

Originally, Michelle intended to serve the Chicken Paprikash with a side salad of Spinach with Pomegranate and Candied Pecans. However, Stella could not find pomegranate during the groceries shopping since it’s not in season. We made the salad without the pomegranate. The ruby red color of pomegranate is to tie with the Valentine’s Day color scheme.

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Here is some nutrition facts of pomegranate which Michelle found out:

  • it has been used as a traditional remedy for thousands of years
  • good source of Vitamin B5
  • when consume with the seeds, it is a high fiber source of food
  • some studies have shown that pomegranate juice may reduce LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches spinach, washed and stems removed or 1 small package of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate (which we omitted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • thinly sliced apple or feta cheese (optional)
Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (original recipe asked for Balsamic vinegar but we do not any in the pantry)
  • 1/2 shallot, finely minced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Candied Pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, rough chopped or halves
  • optional salt and pepper to taste

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Please note that the icing sugar should not be in the picture. Missing from the picture are most of the dressing ingredients.

Source: the vinaigrette is adapted from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook

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Chicken Paprikash

The main dish planned for the Valentine’s Day in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is a chicken dish.

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The Chicken Paprikash is seasoned with paprika and accompanied with red bell pepper to coincide with the red color theme of Valentine’s Day. You can serve it over buttered egg noodles.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin slices
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)

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Please note that the milk is not supposed to be in the picture above.

Source: this recipe is adopted from Bravo! The Best of Bridge Cookbook

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Beety Vegetarian Borscht

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors met again on Valentine’s Day. Michelle had planned a Valentine’s Day menu with the color red in mind. Unfortunately in the morning of the meeting day, Michelle did not feel well and had to leave the kitchen to Stella to manage. We wished Michelle well.

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We had a group of very capable seniors and everything went well.

The first dish is a Beety Vegetarian Borscht. It is a sweet vegetable stew of beets, cabbage, carrot and tomatoes.

Here are some nutritional information on beets from Livestrong.com:

  • low in calories
  • rich in fiber, containing 3.4g per cup
  • good source of potassium, 518mg per cup, 15% of your daily requirement
  • rich in folate, 136mcg per cup, 34% of your daily requirement
  • contain Vitamin C, B6 and protein
  • contain unique nutrients that may lower cholesterol level

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill or 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ground pepper to taste

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Source: via Michelle Li

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Finally, Got to try [CRA 2010 Signature Dish] Lamb Hotpot 羊腩煲 from Excelsior Restaurant, Richmond

Updated: 1st Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed.

When we came to Excelsior last year in July to try their CRA award wining dish, lamb hotpot, we were disappointed because we were told that they only serve that dish in winter.

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So, in this winter, I make sure that I come to Excelsior to try the Bamboo Lamb Hotpot. I came with Lorna to celebrate her belated birthday. Lorna told me that Excelsior has been around for a long time, more than 20 years. Lorna is an old timer here. She’s been here for more than 30 years.

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We arrived just before 12pm on a week day. It was not busy at that time but customers started to trickle in soon. Most were middle aged customers. I guess they are all loyal customers who have been patronizing this restaurant. At the far end where the cashier is, you can see the CRA award being hang on the wall.

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There are lunch combos range from $6 to below $10 being served during lunch hour. You can click on the menu to have a larger view.  We already know what we want, so we just ignored the lunch combo menu.

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The Lamb Hotpot was written on a board on the wall. I noticed that the price has gone up since last year. When we visited last year, the menu price was $18.80 but now it was $23.88. Continue reading

Red Currant Muffins

Minoo had some red currants in her freezer from last summer. She decided to use them for a Red Currant Muffins for dessert in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen.

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Red Currant is very sour; hence do not skim on the sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • about 1 cup red currants

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Source: this recipe is adapted from an American Muffin recipe

Yield 8 muffins

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Mushroom and Barley Soup

Minoo prepared a hearty Mushroom and Barley Soup for her vegetarian theme recipes in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen.

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The Mushroom and Barley Soup is a delicious and healthy dinner option. It can be a quick meal if you can find the quick cooking barley which is pre-steamed and takes only 10 minutes to cook.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds white or brown (cremini) mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
  • a splash of milk

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Everyday Food.

Makes 4 large servings

Please note that the broth should be vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

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Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry with Onion and Mustard Seeds

The second Brussels sprouts dish demonstrated in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen was a warm side dish.

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How do we maintain a vibrant green on Brussels sprouts when cooking them?

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (about 2 pounds/1 kg)  small Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper each
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Canadian Living

Serves 6

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