30 June 2010

dragon boat rice

the dragon boat festival, also known as tuen-ng jeet (端午節) in cantonese circles, roughly translates to "double five festival". i don't know what that really means but it sounds like a celebration of your terrible poker hand.

and i don't know what it has to do with dragon boat racing, but either way, there's still some great foodstuffs that goes along with this festival (as it is for every single chinese festival ever). (i just looked it up and the double fives has something to do with a dead poet).

this godforsaken year, tuen-ng jeet fell in mid-june, which means it's rice-wrapping time! gotta love tsoong (or zong zi in hoity-toity pinyin spelling) because they're convenient packets of glutinous rice and a variety of soong (餸 or rice accompaniments) and freeze super awesomely.

they're great mini-meals for days when you're too lazy or drunk to cook something.

momma chow is an expert tsoong (粽) wrapper, with over 30 years of experience. see for yourself!

[left: momma chow's display of refined tsoong-wrapping technique. right: my display of refined tsoong-mucking.]

it takes her less than 90 seconds to put one together and tie it up; that's the same amount of time a barista at second cup coffee shops is supposed to be able to make a latte (btw, if you as a barista and can't make a latte in under 90 seconds, you are bad at life).

momma chow usually puts glutinous rice with mung beans, fatty pork, chinese sausage and salted egg yolks in hers. but sometimes you can get it in good asian supermarkets like t&t, where slave grandmas fill them with roast duck, chinese mushrooms, roast pork, and/or all sorts of other goodies.

i'm hungry now.

23 June 2010

frozen yogurt made with gold and diamonds

there's got to be a reason that each of these frozen yogurts cost $6.50 CAD, and i am assuming it contains crushed diamond dust and is made of gold-fed cow's milk. maybe it's to pay for the bosses' fancy jeans, their hip runners, their $20k high-falutin' frozen yogurt machine, or its $5k website (not linking to it) but tell me that there's something in it that's worth that much of my buttmoney.

otherwise, it would have been cheaper to pop a yogurt fruit cup in the freezer at home.

[from some [something]berry doppelgänger in downtown tdot.]

make a detour if you feel like you have extra buttmoney that day and you want to bribe your childrens into scrubbing out the caked winter sludge inside your vehicle treat your friends and/or loving family to good homemade-tasting frozen yogurt (in regular, mango or pomegranate flavours, naturally). amore!

22 June 2010

can you say quinoa?

i sure can! and how!*

[quinoa salad with pears, feta and peppers and other stuff (based on the foodland ontario recipe). sweet and tangy, like a disco party in your mouth]

this versatile grain/seed is nutritious, deliciously nutty and an all-round good guy, like the a gay best friend... great sweet or savoury, hot or cold! no wonder the incas were such an innovative and advanced society for their time! smart food for smart people! (though eating smart food won't necessarily make dumbasses any smarter).

here's a cooking tip: use a rice cooker to cook the quinoa, at a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio.

*that's "keen'-wah" btw.

07 June 2010

handsdown banana bread

if you're lazy like my cousin rayray, you will eat bananas, pears and apples for your recommended daily servings of fruit, and avoid oranges, melons and kiwis unless someone peels and/or prepares them for you.

that said, if you forget that you bought bananas and they turned to brown, flaccid unattractiveness, don't throw them out!

instead, transform them from the ugly ducklings they are to the sensuously scented banana bread they deserve to be in!

this is the banana bread recipe i've been using since i was 15 (which was less than 5 years ago)! it's moist, low in fat (though i really don't care about fat content), easier to make than a plutonium bomb -- guaranteed, handsdown, will be one of the best banana breads you'll make in your lifetime.

tips: try varying it by sprinkling brown sugar on top before baking, or adding butterscotch or chocolate chips to the batter. or you can substitute the sugar with applesauce (but reducing the oil when you do).

(low-fat and moist) banana bread
3 ripe mushed bananas (overripe is best)
1/3 cup (~80 ml) buttermilk or soured milk*
1/3 cup ( ~80 ml) vegetable oil
2/3 cup (~160-175ml) packed brown sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 eggs

1 and 2/3 (~400 ml) cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda

*if you don't have buttermilk cause you don't live in the deep south where people actually drink the stuff, make soured milk: measure 1 tsp (5 ml) vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup and then pour enough milk to top it to the amount of milk required. let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
  1. preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 
  2. grease and/or line a loaf pan.
  3. combine the first six ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. in a separate bowl, stir together the three remaining dry ingredients.
  5. add the dry to the wet ingredients and stir until well-combined.
  6. pour into loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  7. eat. 

03 June 2010

once a tart, always a tart

who doesn't love the sweet tartness and mouth-watering flavour of strawberries (other than those deathly allergic to the fruit and maybe koalas...)?

strawberry season is well under way in this neck of the woods. what better way to celebrate them than to eat them?

bounty and seascape are apparently the most popular variety of strawberry plants grown in quebec (about 90% of the fall crop are of the seascape variety, and the majority of the summer )a, and are a type of day neutral plant. the ones usually sold in nurseries for home gardens are usually everbearings, sold as "double-bloomers! twice in one season!" but the fruits are often smaller and the plants don't produce as many runners.

i have double-bloomers but i don't remember what variety they are. either way, i had do something with the berries i got. 

on 5 ingredient fix, that nice lady who has a julia roberts-like talking hole made three things using pizza dough (i didn't know this show existed until a month ago). these mini strawberry mascarpone tarts was one.

super simple technique: roll some sugar into prepared pizza dough, cut it out into rounds, then bake. top the cooled rounds with mascarpone, and then some strawberries that have been tossed with a bit of sugar. drizzle with good quality balsamic vinegar. and then eat.

any leftover strawberries should be eaten or cooked down. but anyone with extra strawberries should probably be punched in the nose.

aaccording to the strawberry and raspberry growers association of quebec.