Toll House Crumbcake

This is another chocolate cake recipe in my collection. In my house, it can never go wrong with a chocolate recipe. As long as there is chocolate, Arkensen and Nanzaro will gobble up whatever I make even though they might not look nice.

This crumbcake is very chocolaty and nutty — and sweet. It’s great for an afternoon tea break.



  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups (12 oz package) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream


Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Raspberry Braid

I made this Raspberry Braid for breakfast. The recipe yields two braids. I made one with raspberry jam from the original recipe and the remainder one with hazelnut chocolate spread for the boys.



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon yeast


  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted – cooled


  • 1 tablespoon butter, soft
  • 2 tablespoons white flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

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Diet Coke and Mentos Geyser – Version 2

This is our second attempt to reach a 18 ft geyser. We had earlier only managed to get about 6 feet with 4 mentos in a 2 litre Diet Coke. This time we decided to use all 12 mentos in a pack.

We had to devise a paper funnel to make sure that all 12 tablets drops into the diet coke quickly. The reaction was instantaneous and we just can’t take our sweet time to do it. Nanzaro and Webster were too chicken to drop it — so Arkensen did it again; this time he was much more confident.


So how high does this look to you? Certainly more than 10 feet, maybe 12 feet I say. Amazing, it was great fun.


Salt and Sugar Shrimp

This is another thing I prepared for the recent BBQ at the South Arm Park. It is simply called the Salt and Sugar Shrimp. The recipe for this was also from the Safeway Great Grilling Recipe. All the recipes are simple but yet looks very appetizing.


The shrimps are marinated in 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and sugar for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 hours. Rinse the salt and sugar mixture and pat dry. Thread in a C shape onto skewers.

Pour 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic over the shrimp. Grill the shrimps uncovered, turning once until the shrimp are bright pink on the outside and opaque but sitll moist-looking in center of the thickest part (cut to test). This takes 5 minutes.

I found that the shrimps way too salty. I suggest that you reduce the salt in the marination.


Polly brought some chicken drumsticks, some vegetables and also some beef short ribs for the BBQ. We had a great time at the BBQ.


Grilled Pepper Poppers

I got this recipe from Safeway on one those free recipes stand. I made it for a BBQ get-together with Polly and family a couple weeks ago. It is a great cheesy appetizer — not to mention it being so colourful.

The filling in the sweet peppers consists of chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded cheese and salt to taste.


The peppers are grilled over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the peppers blistered and slightly charred on the bottoms.

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E Ben Brittle Plum Juice

We had a BBQ with Polly and family a couple of weeks ago. We brought some drinks and instead of just the normal pop, we also brought a non gassy one because not everyone enjoys carbonated drinks.

We chanced on a great deal in T&T. The E Ben Brittle Plum Juice (not sure what the name really meant!) costs only 99 cents for the 1.5 litre bottle. The original price was $3.29.


It’s a plum juice imported from Taiwan. It’s a good thirst quencher and light. The taste were sweet with a bit of plum sourness.

The ingredients were described as water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and brittle plum juice.


Kam Do Restaurant and Bakery in Richmond

Updated: 25th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed.

We sort of stumbled into the Kam Do Restaurant and Bakery a few weeks back. We have passed by the restaurant many times before but have for some reason never ever thought of checking that place out. A few weeks ago, we did and were very surprised of what they office.


Kam Do is a Cantonese style cafe — one which serves authentic cantonese food and also western style breakfasts like toasts, omelettes, etc. There were a lot of people the weekend we were there and had to take a 5 minute wait. Like many Cantonese style cafe, at the waiting area was a pastry and bread section.

You know what we like most about these sort of places, it’s that most of the dishes you ordered comes together with a choice of drinks and soup. We always ordered the “lai char” (milk tea) in such places.


The free soup was a good starter. Some restaurants only serves the soup mostly with bones but this actually had good chunky meat with some preserved vegetables.


The Pan fried Seafood Noodles costs $8.98.

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Classico di Sorrento Bruschetta

During the same groceries shopping trip, Ben also picked up a bruscetta topping for $2.97.

The Classico di Sorrento Brushetta make it so simple to prepare bruschetta. You can easily whip up a snack or prepare a party tray of appetizer in just a few minutes.

All we need is a french baguette, a clove of garlic, some extra virgin olive oil and the Classico di Sorrento Bruschetta topping.


Slice the french baguette at diagonal about 1/2″ thick. Brush with olive oil and toast in a toaster oven for 2 minutes. Flip over the french baguette to brown the other side.

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Cool Whip Chocolate Wafers Log

Last week, during a groceries shopping trip, Ben picked up a Mr. Christie’s Chocolate wafers from the cookies aisle. This is one of the rare moments these days where Ben tag along for the shopping since I have started doing it during the weekday.

Mr. Christie is a very thin chocolate wafer which looks very appealing. Reading the instructions on the box and the mouth watering picture, we decided to make this Cool Whip Chocolate Wafers Log. The instructions sounded pretty simple.



  • 1 package (200g) Mr. Christie’s Chocolate Wafers
  • 1 tub (1 L) Cool Whip or Cool Whip Light Whipped Topping


The Cool Whip Chocolate Wafers Log turned out pretty nice. Nanzaro loves it.


Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Jiaozi (Chinese Dumpling)

Polly also showed me how to make Jiaozi (Chinese Dumpling) when she came over to make the salted mustard with pork belly dish. Polly learned how to make Jiaozi from Xiao Qin who came from Taiwan.

Jiaozi is a Chinese dumpling which consists of minced meat and chopped vegetables wrapped into a piece of thin dough. The more popular meat filings are ground pork, ground beef, ground lamb, or shrimp. The vegetables can be Chinese cabbage, green onion, leek, chives, shiitake mushroom, water chestnut, etc.

Jiaozi can be boiled or shallow-fried and then steamed. When shallow-fried and steamed, it’s call potsticker.

On Chinese New Year’s eve, making and eating dumpling is a tradition in China. Family members would get together to make jiaozi.



  • 3 lbs lean ground pork
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 8 pieces shallots
  • 2 medium onions
  • few celery sticks
  • 10 pieces of dried shiitake mushroom, soak overnight
  • 4 packages of dumpling skins, about 200 pieces


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 eggs


All the ingredients except the dumpling skins and eggs have to be chopped finely. Mix all the ingredients except the dumpling skins together with the seasonings in a large bowl.


Click on the link below for the instructions.

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