Garlic Bread

This is a favourite breakfast of Ben’s. He’s a light eater as far as breakfasts goes and this Garlic Bread is just right. I use the baguette because it is hard and crusty — perfect when toasted. The garlic spread, Parmesan and cheese gives it the extra kick.

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Ingredients

  • baguette
  • garlic spread
  • Parmesan cheese
  • shredded cheese

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Decadent Cheesecake Brownies

The second recipe which Minoo shared with the cooking club is a decadent cheesecake brownies. These rich and creamy brownies have less than half the fat of regular cheesecake brownies.

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Ingredients

For the cheesecake topping:

  • 1 8oz pkg light cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon flour

For the brownie base:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup stick margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

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Lubria Polo (Persian Green Bean Rice)

In this week’s cooking club at Gilmore Park Church, we had Minoo to sharing with us two recipes. Minoo is the coordinator for the entire Richmond’s Community Kitchens. There are six community kitchens in all Richmond. She is also the group leader for 4 cooking clubs.

By the way, I’m attending 2 cooking clubs, i.e. the South Arm Community Centre cooking club and the Gilmore Park Church cooking club. I look forward going to the club meetings every week — I get learn cooking techniques and best of all made some good friends.

Here is the first recipe, the Persian Rice with green bean.

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Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 300-500g ground beef
  • 2 cups green beans, cut, 1 cm
  • 1/2 teaspoons saffron
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 5 1/2oz can of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Tomato Soup

During our weekly Cooking Club, we take turns showing two dishes. Earlier last week, it was Andreas turn. I have blogged about the Beef and Noodle dish earlier. This one is about her other dish which she called simply Tomato Soup.

This soup goes well with some crusty bread or crackers.

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Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2-3 lbs tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 2 carrots, cut into coins
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Since everyone at home like Vietnamese Noodle so much, I thought I should try to make it at home. Last month, I went scouring for the ingredients to make the beef broth and found them in a Vietnamese grocery store along Kingsway (near Main). The Beef Flavoured Pho Soup Base costs $8.99 and is used to make 20 bowls of soup!

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The soup base had been sitting in the shelf for a long time because according to the cooking instructions, it takes over 2 hrs to make. Along with that, I was mulling over how is the family going to finish off 20 bowls of Pho soup. Anyway, I finally gotten down to making it over the long Easter weekend. I must say it was more successful than I anticipated. The soup was better than any we have tasted in Vietnamese Restaurants … well, according to everyone in my family anyway. We have chunkier meat which we felt tastes better than the thin sliced beef we were served in restaurants.

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You know what is the bad thing about this? We have been eating this for three consecutive meals (yesterday’s lunch and dinner and today’s lunch!) and we have quite a bit left! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am certainly going to make it again but I will think of how I am going to give away some to friends.

Here are some interesting facts about Pho on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pho

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 lbs of beef flank (or brisket)
  • 1 lb beef tendon — since I could not buy them, I got the marinated/cooked ones from T&T
  • 1 bulb onion
  • 2 piecese of ginger

I also bought 1/2 lb of beef tripe since Norm and Marc likes them. I also bought 1/2 lb of beef balls.

Please note, you need to have a 2 gallon pot to make the Pho soup.

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Coffee Cake with Chocolate Frosting

You know, I have never tried making cakes with icing on it. I enjoyed looking at nice birthday cakes at bakeries and am always amazed on how creative people are in making them. So, I think I better start simple and especially so when I have a birthday boy at home recently who has always clamored for a “birthday cake with icing”. I made a Coffee Cake with Chocolate Frosting.

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Some months back, I bought a book called “1000 Chocolate Baking and Dessert Recipes — from Around the World” for just $24.99. I like recipe books that has lots of pictures and have been flipping through them and bookmarking some of the pages. This is my first attempt, sort of my first of 1000 chocolate cakes/dessert! ๐Ÿ™‚

This Coffee Cake is intensely flavoured and is complemented with delicious chocolate frosting, sans decoration. Since I did not have an icing spatula and other stuff for decorating, I made it real simple. I think I will get myself these stuff one of these days and start making nicer looking ones.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • Scant 1 cup golden superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • Scant 1/2 cup strong black coffee
  • 1 can of creamy chocolate frosting

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Beef and Noodles

Andrea showed us how to make the Beef and Noodle in our last Richmond Cooking Club. Andrea told us that she adopted the recipe from the Canadian Living magazine and that she makes this often for her family.

It is a variant of a dry rice noodle flavoured primarily with soya sauce. This is a simple and quick dish to make.

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Ingredients

  • 6 oz rice stick noodles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional)
  • 6 oz top sirloin grilling steak or inside round marinating steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli or green beans
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or 1 tablespoon of fish and soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley
  • lime pieces

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Banana Walnut Muffin

I have two over ripen bananas sitting on my counter. I know nobody is going to touch it. So, I decided to put them to good use by making Banana Walnut Muffins. With the recipe below, you may use pecans or hazelnuts instead if you like.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • generous 1/4 cup golden superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped coarsely
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

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