April 22, 2013

Chinese Congee 粥

chinese, congee, porridge, pumpkin, rice, salted egg, 粥, cantonese porridge

What's the Chinese equivalent of "chicken soup"?  Why congee, or 粥of course, that delectable, nourishing and soothing rice porridge cooked by the Chinese since time began. Recently I've been making a lot of chinese pickles, both the rice vinegar pickle and the soy sauce or hua gua pickle and, duh, suddenly realized that having tons of chinese pickles means congee heaven.

So I've started making congee a lot and it's not only easy and fun to make (you can throw most everything in and make delicious congee)  but also a serious nourishing the soul kind of food as well as being very, very good for babies, kids and persons feeling under the weather.  Did you know that Chinese moms always feed their babies congee?  

Little old chinese ladies used to stop us on the street and in the shops to ask us if we were making pork bones congee for our little girl when she was one or two years old.  And when we replied ashamedly "Umm, no...", those poor ladies always appeared very distressed and anxious.  Ah well, it's better late than never.

Chinese Soy Sauce Hua Gua Pickles 花瓜

vegetable, chinese, cucumber, soy sauce, hua gua pickle, 花瓜, pickle, soy sauce, chinese, recipe

This chinese Hua Gua pickle is just so easy and delicious that it's ridiculous.  Inspired by the success with our chinese vinegar pickle I was gripped with a nostalgia for the Hua Gua pickles, 花瓜 or 醬瓜,  of my childhood.  These are delightfully crunchy Taiwanese soy sauce pickled cucumbers that Mom bought in little glass jars to go with our congee.

It was such a tasty treat that we used to fight over these little suckers when the Grandma and Mom weren't looking.  There was never enough to go around with three hungry little chinese girls and just a little tiny jar of pickles.  And, just to be clear, hungry little chinese girls can eat alot of food!  Well, now all these years later I have discovered that, as I mentioned earlier, these pickles are just ridiculously easy to make and taste just like the (actually better!) store bought kind (minus the yummy (not!) flavours of chemical preservatives of course.)

April 15, 2013

The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking

Image from Jeanyee Wong website
Published: 2013-04-15
I was checking out some old Chinese cookbooks (a favorite pastime of mine) and happened upon this great old video made as promotion for a Chinese cookbook called The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking by Grace Zia Chu that was published in the 60's in USA.  

Had to share it, what a cool video!  Check out the big can of "Glutate" at 0:17 (MSG, anyone?) and the little monster heads arranged around the stir fried peas at 1:00!  Oh my gosh, what the heck kind of Chinese food is that!  Hee, hee...

April 14, 2013

Chocolate Cookies

chocolate, cookies, recipe, world peace

This is the perfect chocolate cookie to go with the little cup of hot chocolate that I posted about the other day.  It's so nice to have home-baked cookies and these are especially easy and convenient in that you can stick them in the freezer and then bring'em out, slice and pop'em in the oven and ta-da!  Fresh, heavenly cookies!  

But these are not your ordinary chocolate cookies.  Oh, no, not at all. These are Mercedes Benz of chocolate cookies.  So chocolately, double chocolately actually with the chocolate chips, but not too sweet either, slightly crumbly, meltingly just moist and then there's the deliciously unexpected sea salt flavor that blooms on your tongue after a few moments.  What a wicked taste sensation!

April 11, 2013

Hot Chocolate - One Little Cup at a Time

chocolate, hot, milk, homemade, hot chocolate

My little girl doesn't particularly like milk too much so to tempt her I make a little cup of hot chocolate for her every once in a while.  It's a warm tasty homemade treat made all the more fun using the whimsical cups and saucers we discover on afternoon rambles through our neighborhood second hand shops.  

It's similar to the drinks that our Hong Kong coffee shops are starting to offer for children, usually know by the cute name of "babyccino."  My girl loves to play at being 'grownup' and carefully sips her hot chocolate in the most delightfully ladylike manner.  Try it as a special treat for kids (or yourself!) on a chilly day.