Richmond Community Summer Open House

The Richmond Community Based Programs with includes Community Kitchens, Success by Six and Nobody’s Perfect Programs held a Summer Open House on the 15th June, 2006. There are 2 open houses in a year, once in winter and another in summer.

The guest of honour was the mayor of Richmond, Malcolm Brodie. All the leaders of the community kitchens and volunteers who made this happen were presented with flowers as an appreciation. A big applause for Minoo who is the coordinator of the Richmond Community Kitchens.

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From left: Lancy, Minoo, Julie, Vanessa, Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Tanni.

The high light of the open house is the potluck. Each family brought their favourite dish. There were two long tables setup for the buffet and the tables were full of delicious food.

Here are some of the dishes:

Beef Samosas with some chilli dipping sauce.

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Swiss rolls, I believed this is from Andrea of South Arm Community Kitchen.

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Smoke Salmon appetizer.

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For more pictures, click the link below.

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Cold Tofu

This is a very, very simple dish and yet is a favourite in the family. I first learnt it on a show on the TV called Spicy Steve. I liked that show a lot but I have not seen the show for sometime already. Spicy Steve is a Vancouver based cook whose show focused on food from South East Asia.

I really don’t know what to call this dish. So since this dish is so simple, I will call it by a simple name — Cold Tofu.

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The ingredients are very basic — stuff an Asian kitchen will almost always have. The Tofu has to be the smooth, soft type. For sauce, I used a combination of the light soy sauce and sweet soy sauce. You may substitute the sweet soy sauce with hoisin sauce or oyster sauce if you don’t have sweet soy sauce on hand. For garnishing, I used chopped green onions and fried shallot.

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The two sauces goes on top first. I suggest that you use equally amount of both sauces.

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Then sprinkle the chopped onions and fried shallot.

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You can prepare the fried shallot yourself but I just use those that I bought pre-made from the stores. You can also topped it with meat floss.

There you go … a very simple dish.

Atlanta Trip Report Day 4

I woke up late today and skipped breakfast. There were more meetings today and I also forego lunch until I got to the Atlanta Airport at 3pm. There were lots of choices at the airport.

I would normally get something quick like a sandwich or pizza but decided this time to take the train two concourse away where there is a bigger food court with proper tables. I had the Spaghetti with Meatballs Combo which included a salad and a drink.

The spaghetti is nothing special but I like the big meatballs. That big piece you see down there is not chicken breast — but it sure does look like one, isn’t it? It’s a piece of bread — not sure what you call that type of bread. It reminded me of the Indian naan bread.

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The Combo included a salad and I chose Blue Cheese for dressing. The salad does not look fresh at all. The costs is just above USD $10.

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Atlanta Trip Report Day 3

Day 3 in Atlanta. Have been putting long hours going to one meeting to another. I really hate doing this because it does not give me time to plan for the meeting and not having a proper time to recap what the take-aways were. I figure that out tonight in the hotel. By 6:00 pm my mind was so saturated that I just don’t want to think about work anymore!

Like Mark promised, he brought Paul and I to a Southern Cooking place. It was a really nice restaurant called South City Kitchen Vinings. The service was excellent — one of the places that stands out as genuine service, not waiters who fake it for a bigger tip.

Thanks to Maritza who recommended that I order “sweet tea”, I chose this. It is basically iced tea and was pretty sweet. Free refills, that’s what I like.

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We were served muffins with butter. The muffins were soft and buttery. Just took only one coz I know the main dish will be large.

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Atlanta Trip Report Day 2

Mark took me to a Mexican place for lunch today. I’ve never really been to an authentic Mexican restaurant before although there were a few around Vancouver. Not that I don’t like Mexican food but it’s just that I don’t know what to order besides Taco.

The nachos and salsa were free. Mark told me that most Mexican restaurants will serve it free. The salsa was made fresh and the nachos warm. Very nice — definitely much nicer than those we make at home.

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I really can’t remember what it is I ordered!🙂 I know the short name — it’s the Lunch Special #6. Well, it has some rice. It also has some fried beans — all mashed up. Almost every dish has beans. Mexicans like beans but not me. There is also some guacamole (spelling correct?) — it’s the green stuff. Avocado, I believe.

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The lunch special was just $5.45. The restaurant is called The Border — kind of an odd name for Mexican restaurant, if you ask me, especially when these days the US is getting less tolerant of illegals from Mexico.

Mark said he’ll show me Southern Cooking tomorrow.

Atlanta Trip Report Day 1

We thought we will take a break on blogging about recipes and such — and will instead blog for the next two weeks of my business trips to Atlanta and London. There’s going to be a total of 34 hours of flying time in all! However, so not to turn off our blog readers, I will continue to blog about food.

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So, for the next four days, I will be in Atlanta, Georgia. You know what I hate most about going to the States? It’s getting thru US customs and immigration. Those guys have a perpetual scowl on their face. Treats everyone as either potential illegal immigrants or terrorists, if you ask me. Why, while queuing up to clear immigration, there was this young woman with her cute 5-year girl ahead of me. The little was bubbly and tried chatting with the immigration officer. You know what happened? The immigration officer upgraded his scowl to a growl — poor girl.

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I have always been proud to live in best city in the world (OK, the 3rd best city in the world this year but for a long time we were No 1). It’s so beautiful. We have everything within minutes from downtown — the sea, the mountains. The setting is just beautiful. Vancouver is about the only place in the world where you could sail, golf and ski on the same day.

In the foreground is the University of British Columbia. In many other cities, this piece of land would have been prime real estate but no, the forefathers of Vancouver had the foresight to reserve this for an university. Unless you are a Vancouverite, I bet you don’t know that there is a nudist beach right smack in the university. Never been there because they insists on fair-play.

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Hans Freitag’s Noblesse Assortment of Biscuits and Wafers

Suanne and I had the chance to go for a short walk in the Deer Lake park in Burnaby last weekend. It has been a while since we visited this park in the middle of Burnaby. I somehow clearly remember it was about four years ago — don’t really know why it stuck to my mind so much, odd.

Since we blogged about Hans Freitag’s Desiree Wafers and researched about Hans Freitag’s products, we bought a different type of their product to try. We like wafers a lot. The one below is a bag of mixture of biscuits (or in Canadian, cookies) and wafers.

I like times like these — when we have really nothing to do at the park and just sit by the picnic tables and just nibbled and chatted meaningless stuff. The weather was perfect on that Saturday.

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There are seven different types of biscuits and wafers. I personally don’t care much about biscuits and so picked on the wafers only. Suanne like the biscuits, especially the one with jam in the middle. Arkensen and Nanzaro loves the other biscuits. I still prefer the Desiree product over thos Noblesse.

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We walked along the trail on the southern part of the Deer Lake. Saw some ducks (what do you call these ducks anyway?) and took some pictures. They are so used to people and allow me to move very close them without getting them startled.

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We expected a lot more people here on a weekend but it was very quiet. Don’t you sometimes hate it when there so many people that you gotta say “hi” every ten steps!🙂

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If you want to see more pictures we took in the Deer Lake Park, click on the link below. Enjoy!

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Pocari Sweat

Pocari Sweat is a very popular Japanese sports drink.

The first time I heard about Pocari Sweat was through a comment someone made on our entry on Ice Cool Sports Drink. We checked the net for Pocari Sweat and what we found was pretty amusing. Just just gotta try it and see for ourselves what it actually is.

We found Pocari Sweat in the Big Crazy Chinese grocery store in Richmond quite by accident. I must say it was pretty pricey. A small bottle costs $2.50. We bought just one to try.

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Contrary to the name and the translucent color of the water, it is NOT made of sweat and NEITHER does it taste like sweat too. It has a relatively sweet and mild taste — quite like Seven-Ups with no gas and milder.

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Well, if this has been cheaper, we would have bought this on a regular basis but certainly not $2.50 for this small bottle. Gatorade is much, much cheaper.

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Pumpkin Tempura

Tempura refers to Japanese classic deep fried batter dipped seafood or vegetables. Common vegetables used are bell peppers, sweet potato, okra, carrot, eggplant, potato, lotus root, cucumber, mushroom, bamboo shoot, zucchini, etc.

Cora made pumpkin tempura in this week’s cooking class. She got some mini pumpkins which is very sweet, almost like sweet potato.

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The pumpkin tempura was awesome and they just disappeared as fast as they came out from the wok.

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Ingredients

  • 1 mini pumpkin, cut into thin slices
  • Tempura mix
  • ice cold water

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Click link below for cooking instructions.

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Sesame Ball (Zeen Duy)

Cora’s second dish is Sesame Ball (Zeen Duy). Sesame balls can be found in many Chinese bakeries. Chinese believe if you eat sesame balls, your fortunes will expand like the dough expands when it fries.

I like Zeen Duy a lot and remember the days in Malaysia where I always stop and buy some when I see it. In Malaysia, they are usually sold at roadside stores. The ones in Malaysia were huge — like 3 inches in diameter. I miss those stuff a lot. As a matter of fact, this is the first time I have tasted sesame seed balls in Canada, although they are served in some dim sum restaurants.

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The Sesame Ball is very light and is practically filled with air on the insides. This is a plain sesame ball but it is also common to have a little bit of fillings of stuff like red bean paste. Anyhow, the plain ones is just as nice because the main flavor of sesame seed is in the crunchiness of the fried sesame seed.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of glutinous rice flour (227g)
  • 2 slabs of brown sugar (peen tong)
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of hot water
  • White sesame seeds for coating
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of sake (Japanese wine); optional

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