Making Cheese Curds

The next item in the Dairy Making 101 workshop is making cheese curds. Cheese curds is compressed, processed and stored to form cheese. In Indian cuisine, cheese curds is strained and squeezed to make paneer. Fresh cheese curds is used in poutine, a French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and brown gravy.makingcheesecurd-17

The cheese curds is rather bland and the texture is like medium hard tofu. We made the cheese curds with two types of acid, one with white vinegar and another with lemon juice. I cant really tell the difference in taste between both of them.


To make cheese curds, we start with heating the milk to a gentle boil.


When the milk comes to a gentle boil, add acid while stirring the mixture until you see the milk starts to curdle. (more…)

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Dairy Making 101

I was able to attend another workshop organized by Arzeena who is the outreach coordinator of the Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project at Garrat Wellness Centre. This time it’s a Dairy Making workshop.


The workshop was conducted by Thomas Hicks, the gentleman behind the red cooler. He briefly introduced himself and told us that he has been growing his own food in his own backyard and community farm. He became more interested in growing seeds as he can share the abundance of seeds. He also has experience working in a chicken farm where he took care of 400 chickens which he thought has distinctive personalities.

He also enjoys preserving food when they are in abundance so that he can enjoys them all year round. He likes to use local produce for preservation. He introduced us to this book by Sally Fallon.


It’s this book, Wild Fermentation where he successfully made sauerkraut. This book was available for sale at $25 during the workshop.


While doing all the introduction, he passed around 3 jars with full cream milk and asked us to give it a good shake and pass it down when our hands are tired.


In the jar, there were also a few pebbles. So, it’s quite noisy as the bottles were being vigorous shake.


After some 15 minutes of so of shaking, we ended with butter and butter milk. This can be a good project for school kids.


The butter is very soft and creamy. Dont forget to remove the pebbles in the butter.


We made some gorgeous scones using the butter and butter milk we just made. We enjoyed the scones with the butter too.

Click on Read More for the recipe of the scone.


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Tuna Pie

Tanni made a simple pie which is great as a snack or for school lunch. It can be made with canned tuna or salmon. We made both in the kitchen. We found that the Tuna Pie taste better. Perhaps, the salmon flavour is slightly stronger.


The Tuna or Salmon Pie is filled with carrot, tomato and potato. It’s a good way to incorporate vegetables into a dish which kids will eat. This can be eaten warm or cold.


  • 1 can tuna or salmon
  • 4 oz butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 medium carrot, boiled, peeled and diced


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Cream of Broccoli Soup

Minoo and Tanni teamed up to demonstrate in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen. Two person demo makes the job lighter and less stressful. This is a good way to encourage participation.


Minoo made a Cream of Brocolli Soup. The recipe calls for evaporated skim milk which makes this creamy soup low fat. However, Minoo did not have evaporated milk on hand and she replaced it with half and half.

Here are some nutritional facts of broccoli:

  • high in Vitamin C
  • rich in soluble fiber
  • contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
  • high in Vitamin K

Broccoli can be eaten raw in salad or hor-d’oeuvre. It can be boiled or steamed but boiling reduces the levels of anticancer compounds. Preferred preparation methods which will not reduce the presence of anticancer compounds are steaming, microwaving and stir-frying.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium all purpose potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
  • a teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Click on the link below for the instructions.


Continue ReadingCream of Broccoli Soup

Vermicelli Soup

The Vermicelli Soup is not really a soup but it’s like vermicelli in thick broth. This is great by itself as a vegetarian dish or you may add some meat in it to make it a dish in one pot.


This vermicelli dish reminded me of the dish my mom used to make for me when I’m sick. The texture of this dish is like ‘mien sien’.


If you like it to be more soupy, add more chicken broth and water. The vermicelli is like a sponge and by the time we served it, there is no more broth visible.


  • 100g enoki mushroom
  • 20g dried mushroom
  • 100g vermicelli (made from mung bean)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • finely sliced green onion and carrot for garnishing
  • white pepper
  • sesame oil

Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Bamboo Fungus Chicken Roll

Peggy made Bamboo Fungus Chicken Rolls in Vermicelli Soup in the South Arm Community Kitchen. This is the first time Peggy demonstrated in the kitchen and she introduced us to a new ingredient which is the Bamboo Fungus.


Bamboo Fungus or Bamboo Pith is a fungus which grows among bamboo forests. It is called Zhu Sheng in Chinese and is commonly used in vegetarian dishes.

Bamboo Fungus has many common names based on its appearance, including long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn, basket stinkhorn, bridal veil fungus or veiled lady.


Those on the left in darker color are wild bamboo fungus which Peggy brought from Taiwan. The wild bamboo fungus has more intense flavour and smell. The lighter ones on the right are commonly found in Chinese groceries stores which sell dried seafood and other dried groceries. Those had been trimmed. Only the stem part is used in this recipe.


  • 100g chicken breast
  • 50g carrot, peeled and cut into match stick
  • 50g asparagus, peel stem part if necessary can cut into 1.5″ length
  • 50g dried bamboo fungus
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 slices ginger


Click on the link below for the instructions.


Continue ReadingBamboo Fungus Chicken Roll

Easy Vegetable Quiche

Minoo demonstrated an Easy Vegetable Quiche recipe in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen. Quiche is a pie which uses egg as binder to hold things together. Quiche is great for picnic or school/work lunch as it is very convenient to carry them around and it can be eaten cold like pizza.


This is a Vegetable Quiche but you can add in meat like bacon, cooked chicken, ham or turkey as other alternatives.


  • 1 package of ready to mix pastry
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped sweet peppers
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 bunch of green onions, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes pesto
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch of dried basil, oregano and marjoram
  • some chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Quinoa is 100% whole grain and is close to being a perfect food source. Technically it’s not a grain but the seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein. A 1/4 cup of Quinoa has a nutritional value of 30g carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 1g sugar, 5g protein equivalent to 12 to 18%), 3g fat and 5mg sodium. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Quinoa is “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom”.


Quinoa contains the amino acid lysine which helps the body to produce protein. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in Quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products. Therefore, Quinoa is a good source of protein for those who are allergic to cows milk.


Quinoa has been one of the primary foods of the Inca Indians for more than 5000 years. The Incas referred to Quinoa as “Mother Grain”. Most Quinoa is grown in the Andes in South America. Some Quinoa is now being grown in the Colorado Rockies. The fact that Quinoa will grow in extremely poor soil together with its great nutritional value makes it a true super grain to feed the world. However, it is still not a common food that you can find in the supermarket. Minoo bought this 1 kg pack of organic Quinoa from Galloway for $12. Someone in the kitchen told us that you can find Quinoa in the bulk section of Save-On-Foods.


The Quinoa and Black Bean Salad is absolutely great. The Quinoa has a nutty, smoky flavour and is less filling than other grains and pastas.


  • 1 1/2 cups Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black bean, rinsed if canned (you may substitute black bean with red asuki bean)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked corn
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander or parsley


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Chicken Paprika

The main course for the Seniors’ Cooking Club meet is Chicken Paprika. It is made with skinless and boneless chicken breasts or thighs meat which is leaner and less hassle to eat. Arkensen likes boneless chicken while I prefer to cook chicken with bone. A dish cook with bone in is more tasty. That’s why chicken broth is made from chicken bones and not with chicken breast.


The Chicken Paprika is a very saucy dish and will be great with steamed rice. It’s not spicy despite it’s made with lots of paprika.


  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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