Dried Ginger

This is just a filler entry. A quickie to make sure that we have a blog a day while we take a couple of days off from our regular blog.…

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Seattle Trip “Trader Joe’s”

Friends have told us about Trader Joe’s and raved about how different they are from other grocery stores. We don’t have TJ’s in Canada and have always planned to check out TJ’s the next time we’re near Seattle. We found one in Everett on the way to Seattle.

TJ’s products are private labeled. They are known for their low prices and boasted the fact that each and every item in the store are tasted by their own panel. Only items they like are sold to the public. If you don’t like the things you bought, you could always return them, with no questions asked.

Since we’re travelling we just bought a couple of snacks for the trip, although there are so many other stuff we wanted to buy too. We bought a bag of TJ’s Spicy Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips for $1.99.

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The tortilla chip is really good. It has a flaxseed (like sesame seed) embedded on the chips which gives it a nutty flavour. The spiciness was just right. We couldn’t stop munching them in the car.

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Kelowna Trip Report: Snacks on the Road

It takes about 4 hours in all to get from Vancouver to Kelowna. I think it’s about 400 km in all. We took Highway 5, which is better known as the Coquihalla Highway. This is the more scenic route as it climbs up very rugged and spectacular scenery.

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Along the route, there are a lot of creeks and rivers. We stopped by one of them for a few minutes.

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There are hundred of miles of greenery along the route. I am always amazed with the sheer size of the forests in British Columbia. BC is beautiful because of the abundance of nature.

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For the past few years, the mountain pine beetle has infested much of the forests. It is a major concern in BC because there is no effective way to contain the infestation. The only effective way to contain the beetles is to have a prolonged freeze of -40C to kill them off. Winter never gets that cold in this part of BC.

You can see that the infestation has taken root with the forest turning flaming red. This is the beginning of the end of the tree and within a couple of years, they will completely die and turn the scenery grayish.

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Indian Fries (Chana Na Bhajia)

Zee made her sons some Indian Fries called Chana Na Bhajia. Chana is a kind of lentils flour. Na Bhajia means the shape of the food which is kind of oval or in a blob.

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Ingredients

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons chana flour
  • salt and chilli pepper to taste
  • about 1 cup of cold water

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Click on the link below for instructions.

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London Trip Report Day 2 “Breakfast”

It was a long trip to London — exhausting, tiring but exciting at the same time. You see, I was in the historic city of London for a four-day company training and at the same time I had some work too which urgently require my attention. I did not have any time at all while in London updating the blog. However, Suanne did a marvelous job continuing to blog with a borrowed camera. I am going to catch up on the London Trip report over the next few days.

One thing that really hit me hard in London was the sticker shock. I mean, although people did warned me how expensive London is, it really did not hit me until I actually had to pull the credit card out of the wallet.

A buffet breakfast in the hotel I stayed in was 17 GBP! At the exchange rate of CAD$2.13, that breakfast costs a whopping CAD$35. It’s Sunday today and I could not rightfully expense breakfast to the company. So, I decided to just go to the city centre and try to get something cheaper.

I travelled via the tube to the city centre (somehow, Londoners don’t call it downtown) and found a Tesco Express outlet. It’s very much like a 7-Eleven except that you see a lot of grab-and-go meals. I grabbed the Cheese and Tomato Pasta Snack for 98p.

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The snack included a folded fork on the lid.

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I know, it’s not much of a “breakfast” but it does fill the stomach for the morning.

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Spanakotyropita

Jenny, who is Panos mom (and Panos is Arkensen’s best friend) had agreed to show me how to make a Greek dish a few months ago. Jenny was very busy and only until now she has the time to show me. Jenny is a Canadian and her husband is Greek. Jenny lived in Greece during her early marriage and she learned to make Greek dishes during her stay there.

The dish which Jenny showed me is called Spanakotyropita, The word Spanakotyropita comes from the Greek word spanaki (spinach); tiri (cheese); and pita which is a hand held snack.

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Other pitas which you may be familiar with are the round cooked dough type typically filled with cooked meat, onions, tomatoes and a dab of tzatziki and are often served at Greek festivals or tavernas.

Ingredients

  • two packages frozen chopped spinach
  • one package phyllo pastry (in the Grocer’s freezer section next to frozen pie/pastry shells)
  • approximately 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil or vegetable oil
  • one large cooking onion or 1 leek, rough chopped and sauteed or 1 bunch of fresh green onions which can be added directly to the spinach.
  • 1 teaspoon bouillon (powder form, not cubes)
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 large sprig of fresh dill or approximately 1 tablespoon of dry dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt and ground pepper (or according to taste)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan chesse
  • 1 package (1/2 lb) Greek style feta cheese
  • 3 or 4 large eggs

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Click on the link below for the 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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Hershey ‘n’ More

This must be another new Hershey chocolates. I have heard of S'Mores but have never come across 'n' More. Bought this pack of three for just 97 cents and decided…

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