Italian Wedding Soup

While the meatballs are in the oven, Sydney is busy preparing the vegetables for the Italian Wedding Soup. The term ‘wedding soup’ is originated from the Italian language, minestra maritata which literally means ‘married soup’. It is referred to the green vegetables and meats which go well together.

Joyce was jokingly saying that it’s great to work with Sydney again on this recipe as both of them were working on the Pavlova Roll with Passionfruit Cream with great success at the previous cooking meet. However, she continued to say that she does not need another wedding as she enjoys her single and free life now.

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The Italian Wedding Soup is very flavourful and is rich with lots of vegetables, especially the escarole which has a very mild hint of bitterness in it. With the addition of pasta in this soup, it is very filling too and can be a meal by itself. It is also great to serve the soup with some bread sticks which I will blog later.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or beef stock (we used a combination of both)
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup small pasta, such as ditalini, orzo, or stars
  • 1 12 oz. bag of spinach, or 1 bunch kale, chard, or escarole (broad leaved endive), chopped
  • additional Parmesan for serving

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Italian Meatballs

Back in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors, Charlene prepared three recipes for the seniors to cook. The usual menu will consists of a main dish, a side dish and a dessert. For the main dish, the seniors will be making Italian Wedding Soup. There are two parts to this soup; the first part is to make the Italian meatballs and the last part is to make the soup which the meatballs will be part of the ingredients. Joyce, Karen and Sydney are the main participants for this recipe but others also help out in rolling the meatballs.

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The Italian meatballs have a little spiciness in it. The are made with ground chicken meat and Italian sausage. The parsley adds freshness and fragrance to the meatballs.

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten and it serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 slices white bread, torn into small pieces, with crusts removed
  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

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Chicken Mole

It has been a while since I attended the Caring Place Community Kitchen. The reason is most of the demonstrations in that kitchen had been blogged already from other kitchens. Minoo will make it a point to inform me if there is something new in Caring Place Community Kitchen so that I can blog about it. This time, we had Rosa to make Spanish dishes in the Caring Place Community Kitchen.

This is the first time I met Rosa. She is a very cheerful lady with great passion in cooking. Coming from Las Vegas, Rosa told us that the chicken and beef here tastes different from those in the United States. She still goes to the Bellingham Costco to get her meat which is also cheaper there. Rosa told us when she first moved here where her family got to stay in a hotel for 2 months, she lost 20lbs as she cant do her cooking. Once they settled down in a house, she gain back her weight. This is how much she enjoys her own cooking.

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Rosa made this Chicken Mole which is her family’s favourite dish. You may cook this dish in the mole sauce or cook the chicken and the mole sauce separately. This way, the sauce will last longer in the refrigerator, like a few days. Otherwise, you have to freeze the chicken with the sauce if you have left over.

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The most important ingredient for this Chicken Mole recipe is the Mole sauce. Mole is a Mexican condiments. It is made with cocoa, sesame seeds, chili pepper, peanut butter, sugar, spice, etc. Rosa told us that you can get Mole from Safeway. There are different flavours of Mole, like Adobo, etc but according to Rosa, the original Mole is the best.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken pieces (Rosa used chicken thigh which is more flavourful)
  • 1 can Mole
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 6 to 8 pieces bay leaves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt

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Making Pizza from Scratch: Sausage, Fennel and Olive Pizza (Part 5 of 5)

Out of the four pizzas that the seniors made in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors, I like this most. Perhaps, it’s the cooked sausage and sauteed onions and fennels which gives this pizza a lot of flavours. Joyce, Karen and Sydney worked together to make make this pizza.

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Although I’m not a fan of olives, I find that the taste of these black olives is quite mild. I love the sweetness from the sauteed fennel and onion and a hint of spiciness from the Italian sausages. This Sausage, Fennel and Olive Pizza gets the thumbs up from me.

Ingredients

  • 2 Italian sausages
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/3 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

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Pork Pancake

While Lucy still have time a couple of weeks before her pharmacy course starts in the middle of March, we are fortunate to have her to show us how to make Pork Pancake. She brought some of these Pork Pancake to the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen for us to try and we enjoyed it very much. So, we pleaded her to show us how to make these pancakes in the South Arm Community Kitchen while she still can attend the community kitchen.

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These Pork Pancakes are popular in the northern park of China. These pancakes are great for school lunch as it’s portable and filing. You can filled these pancakes with your choice of meat like ground chicken, ground turkey, ground beef or ground lamb. You can even make a sweet version of these pancakes with ground peanut and sugar. I will have to try the sweet version one day.

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This is a great demonstration as you can see that all the participants have hands on in making their own pancakes.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 4 cups (1000ml) flour
  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

For the filing:

  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 to 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh shiitake mushroom, finely chopped (optional)
  • a little cooking wine, optional
  • 1 egg for egg wash, optional
  • sesame seeds for topping, optional

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Beef with Onion and Ginger

This Beef with Onion and Ginger dish is from Hugh. Hugh and Joyce made this dish together for the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors Chinese New Year celebration.

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This Beef with Onion and Ginger dish is appetizing with the addition of ginger which gives a zing to the dish. The beef is tender and this is a great dish with steamed rice.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 to 1 pound beef steak, flank or round, sliced thinly across the grain
  • dash of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • few drops of sesame oil
  • 6 to 8 slices ginger roots
  • 1 teaspoon cooking wine
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks green onions, cut into 2″ length, divide white part from green part

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Chicken Fried Rice

Sydney is new to the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors, at least to me. He volunteered to cook fried rice for the group. He did a pretty neat job and did some wok tossing which amazed us.

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The Chicken Fried Rice looks and tastes pretty good. I’m sure Arkensen and Nanzaro will love this. The chicken can be substituted with other meat like BBQ pork or shrimp.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 cups cooked rice, preferably overnight
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 lb to 1 lb chicken breast, diced
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • dash of cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste

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