Sour Cream Biscuit

The Richmond Community Kitchen resumed this week for the fall 2006 session. The Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen had it’s first meeting on Wednesday.

Jean who is the leader of the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen has the honour to be the first to share her recipes. She shared her Sour Cream Biscuit and Apple Cabbage Coleslaw with us.

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The Sour Cream Biscuit is a very simple and quick recipe to prepare. All the ingredients are easily available in our pantry or refrigerator. It took less than 30 minutes from start to end to make it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup raisins (if desired)

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Coquitlam Watershed Tour

Today’s blog is centered around WATER — the tasteless, odorless substance that is essential to all known forms of life. About 72% of the human body is water and need about 2-3 litres of water (including food sources) to avoid dehydration.

Currently about 1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. In terms of available drinking water per capita, Canada would be the No 1 country. With an every increasing global population and shrinking water supply, I won’t be surprised that water could one day be tomorrow’s oil.

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The Greater Vancouver Regional District manages three forested watershed to provide Lower Mainland with clear and pure drinking water. The watersheds are closed to the public to safeguard the water supply. However, every summer, the GVRD organizes free bus and walking tours to the scenic watershed. We registered for one such tour this summer to the Coquitlam Watershed. This is a 3.5 hr bus tour.

We board the bus from the Town Centre Stadium Parking Lot. The tours were always full and one has to register weeks in advance.

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It took 25 minutes to get from the Coquitlam City to the Coquitlam Lake. It is located in a remote area out of bounds to visitors. The Coquitlam Lake is huge — 0.5km width and stretches for a full 12km. That is equivalent to about 50 Stanley Parks.

The Coquitlam Watershed is part of the network of three watersheds in the Lower Mainland. All were located north of the city. The other two watershed are Capilano and Seymour.

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The water quality in the three watershed are high. One of the measurement used to determine water quality is NTU which is basically the measurement of turbidity (cloudiness or haziness of water). The recommended minimum NTUs in GVRD is 5 or lower but the turbidity here is less than 1 NTU. Despite that the water in lower mainland is treated with ozone and chlorine as additional safeguard.

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Nibbles and Bites of Richmond

Any plans this weekend? If not, I highly recommend you to check out a food event known as the Nibbles and Bites of Richmond. This is a food event where about two dozens of the top restaurants in Richmond showcased their cuisine.

You buy coupons and redeemed them for food. Last year, it was something like $10 for a strip of 10 coupons. Each dish generally costs only 2-3 coupons but they are in small servings. This way you get to sample a lot of variety.

The event is held on Saturday (September 9th) and Sunday (September 10th). They open at 11am. It could get very crowded. If you plan to go, I suggest of you get to the place before 11am.

It’s in the Thompson Community Center.

We plan to be there — looks like it’s gonna be another beautiful day according to the weather forecast.

Mini Malaysia Restaurant in Coquitlam

Update 26-Feb-2010: According to Darcy’s comment below, this little family run business shut down about a year ago due to sharp increases in rent.

We were in Coquitlam a few weeks ago for the watershed tour. We had always wanted to check out the Mini Malaysia Restaurant in Coquitlam for a long time ever since the restaurant moved from their original location in New Westminster in 2002.

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The restaurant is located in the Eagle Ridge Place on Lansdowne Drive. It is a family owned business.

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Arkensen ordered the Hainanese Chicken Rice. The dish costs $6.99.

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I ordered the KL Hokkien Char. This is close to what is better known as Shanghai fried noodles but with a Malaysian twist using darker soy sauce. What is missing is the “jee you jar”, fried crispy pork fats! The sambal which came with the dish were home made by the restaurant. Dish costs $8.99.

The wife of the owner, appears to be the one who does the cooking, came out and told us, twice, that she personally made the sambal herself. The sambal was really authentic. We love it.

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Suanne ordered the Nasi Lemak, also for $8.99. We are very picky about our nasi lemak and this does not really measure up to our expectation … although, we must say that the presentation was pretty nice. The anchovies were really small and the curry chicken is more like dhal chicken.

Mini Malaysia Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Porkchetta

We have always wanted to try one of these ready to heat up or marinated roast in the groceries store. We bought this Porkchetta from Real Canadian Superstore for $9.99 to try.

I was pretty surprise by baking instructions. The Porchetta has to be bake in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Its not those that can be microwaved and ready in few minutes. I try not to bake anything in summer because it could be very hot around the house everytime I do that. Well, I guess I just got to endure the kitchen heat this time.

The Porkchetta was baked in a pan filled with 1/2 inch of water at 375F for 2 1/2 hours.

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The Porkchetta was amazingly good. It is a pork roast filled with herbs and wrapped in pork rind. The rind on the top is crackly and crispy. The roast is spicy and very flavourful. I will certainly make this again during the colder days.

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Yaohan Foodcourt

We used to go to Yaohan’s food court very often. However, it must have been at least two years since we last step into this chinese mall located along No 3 Road in Richmond. Perhaps, the reason is because of the poor parking condition. Yaohan’s car park must be the worst in Richmond, maybe even the worst in the whole of Lower Mainland. We often had to circle the car park at least twice before we get a parking spot. This place is just soooo busy all the time.

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There’s only two (although huge) draw factors to Yaohan — the food court and the Osaka Supermarket. Osaka is a very popular Chinese/pseudo-Japanese supermarket. We like the sushi selection in Osaka.

The food court is perhaps the cleanest chinese food court around. The food is cheap. If you’re looking for cheap eats, go after 6pm. That’s when the stalls pull down their signs and replace them with ones with lower prices. For instance, rice with 4 dishes are $5.50 before 6pm and $4.75 after 6pm.

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Nanzaro ordered a Kimchee ramen noodle from a Korean stall. The noodle appears to be just instant noodles. The noodle soup came with some thinly sliced Korean beef, slice onion, carrot and chopped green onion. The serving is quite big.

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Nanzaro’s order came with a side dish of some shredded pickled vegetable and some candied sweet potatoes. The candied sweet potatoes is surprisingly good. Continue reading

Picnic at Riverfront Park

I organized a picnic among friends on Saturday last weekend at the Riverfront Park in south Vancouver. Seeing that it was the last weekend before the start of another school year, I wanted to make this picnic to end the summer with a bit of a bang. There were about 9 families in all.

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The Riverfront Park is a little known park located on E Kent Ave S, just south of SE Marine Drive at the turn off in Jellicoe. The park had a great view of the Fraser River and is very well maintained. It’s a great place for a quiet picnic.

As usual, the picnic is centered around food. Janice brought her peanut satay sauce marinated chicken wings. Bernie did all the barbequeing. The wings were very well grilled — and very juicy. He kept the supplies going for quite sometime.

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Eric is the master chef among all of us. He always try making something new for us each time we met. This time he made Briyani Chicken Rice. The Briyani Rice were flavourful and reeked with spices. It was awesome. Sabrina is such a lucky girl to have a husband who loves to cook!

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Wai Bing brought her homemade Vietnamese Rolls. She told us she learnt this from her sister just before she came to Vancouver. It was very nice, especially when it goes with sweet chilli sauce.

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Prune Plum Clafouti

I found a very good deal on prune plum last week. It only cost 49cents per pound. I bought more than 7 pounds with the help of Polly. I like prune plum because it is very convenient to munch on due to its small size. I presume it also has the laxative quality like prune and plum.

Since I bought so much prune plum, I have to use some of them in baking. I found this Prune Plum Clafouti which is very simple to make and sounds fancy.

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The Prune Plum Clafouti turns out pretty nice with the mild eggy and lightly sweet topping and a hint of tartness from the fruit at the bottom.

This is another great summer recipe which works just as well with many other summer fruits.

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh prune plums or one 3/4lb canned plums, drained, pitted
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 oz (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Cow’s Ice-cream in Whistler

Still on the topic of our day trip to Whistler … Polly, being the reluctant organizer of our day trip, told us that we absolutely must go for ice-cream in Whistler. Frankly, I did not understand what the fuss was.

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The place she brought us to was COWS. Polly did warn us that there will be a line-up at the ice-cream shop … indeed there was. It was a long queue too. The line stretches all the way out the door. Wow, this must be one awesome ice-cream.

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We bought a double scoop cone. We get choices of cones and selected the one with the most stuff on it which is the chocolate rimmed with peanuts. For the gelato, we selected two different flavours: the Mocha Almond Fudge and the Messie Bessie — we love any flavour with chocolates.

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It was heavenly. The ice-cream were creamy and rich, indeed one of the best ice-cream we ever tried.

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Got home and checked out their website, http://cows.ca and found out the following info about their ice-cream.

“COWS ice cream is SUPER PREMIUM, because we use cream with a very high butterfat content of approximately 16%. Our ice cream is mixed slowly so that it contains very little air – just enough to prevent the ice cream from freezing into a solid block of ice! The result is our creamy, high-density COWS ice cream that melts slowly in your mouth, allowing you to truly savour the taste. Some other ice cream producers mix their ice cream at a high speed and inject air to increase volume. Finally, we use the finest ingredients available to make our ice cream. All of our ice creams contain fresh cream, real eggs, and sugar. Today, we make 32 + flavors to delight the taste buds of true ice cream lovers! As we introduce each new flavor, we carefully select only the finest ingredients available. For instance, our Strawberry ice cream is made with fresh Prince Edward Island berries, our Chocolate ice cream is made with the finest cocoa imported from Holland, and our Vanilla ice cream is made with pure natural vanilla.”

When you’re in Whistler, you should check out Cows. I bet you’ll like it.

COWS Whistler on Urbanspoon

Picnic in Whistler

Polly invited us to join them for a day trip to Whistler last weekend. Since we had nothing particularly planned for the weekend, we tagged along. We have actually never been to Whistler in summer before.

Whistler is world famous for snow skiing in winter having been voted many times as the premier ski destination in North America. Whistler will be hosting many of the events of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

We have always enjoyed the drive on Highway 99 (known as the Sea-to-Sky Highway) from Vancouver to Whistler. The scenery was spectacular to say to the least.

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When we got to Whistler we headed straight for the Lost Lake and set ourselves up for a picnic. It was a perfect day for a picnic.

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For once, we decided to bring along chinese style picnic stuff. Polly bought some siew yoke (roast pork) from Parker Place in Richmond. The roast pork from Parker Place seems to be the best around. There are people queueing up to buy them pretty much throughout the day. The roast pork were great.

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Polly also brought along some instant noodles. The one below costs $1.79 per pack. I am surprised this costs so much. I wouldn’t pay $1.79 for instant noodles, no siree.

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