January 31, 2023

Vegetable & Mushroom Dumpling 蔬菜蘑菇餃

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Hope that all our dear readers have had a most auspicious Chinese New Year!  We've been pretty quiet, just resting after the fierce study schedule we've been on to support my little girl's long and hard preparation for mid year exams.  It's crazy that the schools in HK have so many exams!  😵‍💫

So better late than never, here's our vegetarian offering for the Chinese New Year: a simple but really yummy vegetable dumpling!  It's a tradition to eat vegetarian on the first day of the new year to cleanse the body and spirit as well as to cleanse out the energy of the old year.

We like vegetable dumplings but have found that it's hard to find a really good one.  Recently, however, we tried a mushroom and vegetable dumpling at one of our local dumpling shops that was simple and yet so memorable and tasty.  I kept wanting to go back for more.  This is our version of that same yummilicious Vegetable and Mushroom Dumpling 蔬菜蘑菇餃.

January 20, 2023

Chestnut Purée 栗子泥

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Okay, this is one of those things were I’m like, floored, at how something I made at home can be so damn good.  Previously when I needed chestnut purée for cake, etc., I had bought cans of ‘crème de marrons ’, (french for chestnut purée).  The French are crazy about chestnuts, apparently, and rightly so.  Crème de Marrons is sooooo yummy!!  I just want to eat it up straight out of the can!  

However, this year, just as I was gearing up for my yearly Chestnut Birthday Cake 栗子蛋糕 (for my hubby😘), my grocery store stopped carrying crème de marron.  Of course.  Right when I need it. Thanks, grocery store.  

So my only option was to try to make it at home.  I was pretty nervous, under a lot of cake-y pressure.  Would it turn out anything like the delicious chestnut purée that I needed for my cake?

Turns out that homemade chestnut purée is pretty easy to make and pretty darn close to the commercially packed ones.  Golden, nuttily sweet with a thick smooth texture, homemade chestnut purée is absolutely fabulous!  And it saves me a buck or two, yay!

January 16, 2023

Chestnut Birthday Cake 栗子蛋糕

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This is the Chinese cake du jour for birthdays!  At least it sure seems to be as almost every Chinese person I've asked has preferred this cake over all others as their birthday cake.  And it's a delight really, this cake, whipped cream frosting layered with the creamy, light, nutty, and irrepressibly delightful flavors of chestnut.  

My hubby has loved this cake since his childhood when a chestnut cake was the only slice of cake he got the whole year.  Poor thing.  Not nearly enough cake.  So every year, for his birthday, I make him a chestnut cake.  😋

Our cake has chestnut in the cake (a revelation!), white chocolate marscarpone frosting and freshly homemade chestnut purée piped on top in a golden, gorgeous, chestnut-y pile.  Lightly sweet, creamy, and packed with delicate nutty flavor, it's chestnuts all the way, baby!

December 26, 2022

Gingerbread Birdhouse

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Merry Christmas, dear readers!  We present to you our own gingerbread birdhouse, completed just in time for Christmas day.  The design was inspired by a wee birdie, a lovely little lovebird, who recently adopted us.  In a very short time he has totally charmed all of us with his lively personality and cheeky attitude.   Yeah, he's the boss, pretty much.

The other point of our inspiration was, quite naturally, the cuckoo clock!

December 22, 2022

Five Spice Spritz Cookies

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Christmas is just around the corner, so fast, amirite?!  And we're buzzing around, making secret gift plans, decorating the house and, of course, making our Christmas cookies.  

This year we made cookie press cookies, also known as spritz cookies.  A couple years ago I tried making these cookie press cookies for the 1st time and it was a big ol mess: cookie dough not sticking, not pressing out right, just about everything going wrong... 🥹  So I gave up.

I thought to try it again.  But this time we added our own twist to these Christmas Spritz Cookies, a touch of five spice powder to add an exotic flavor to these yummilicious crisp buttery cookies.  We also worked out how to successfully get those darn cookies out and onto the cookie sheet!

December 14, 2022

Homemade Sui Mai Wrapper 自製燒賣皮

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As a fitting start to our Dim Sum exploration I thought to start with the quintessential Siu Mai dim sum 燒賣點心, one of the most favorite and famous of all the dim sums.  However I quickly ran into a problem- it was hard to find and purchase the distinctive yellow sui mai wrapper that form such an integral part of the iconic look of the Siu Mai dim sum dumpling.

So I decided to make my own.  It’s pretty straight forward to make but does require some time, mostly for the cutting up of the individual wrappers.  But man, oh man, was I able to make really nicely thin wrappers which is a must for the really good little dim sum dumpling - no one wants a mouthful of wrapper rather than a mouthful of yummilicious savory filling!

November 30, 2022

How to Wrap Sui Mai 燒賣包法

How to Wrap Sui Mai 燒賣包法
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Time to wrap some sui mai 燒賣!  We have just posted our recipe on homemade sui mai, those iconic Chinese dim sum dumpling treats.  Now we have some tips and tricks for how to wrap sui mai 燒賣包法.

We had a few hiccups with the sui mai wrapping and wanted to share both the hiccups and how we fixed them.  

November 29, 2022

Sui Mai - Chinese Steamed Dumpling 燒賣

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We're getting serious about dim sum 點心!  What is dim sum?  It's the Cantonese version of tapas, small servings of savoury or sweet bite-sized delicacies, enjoyed with cups of fragrant tea during the ritual of morning tea, known as 'yum cha 飲茶'.

The sui mai 燒賣 is one of the most iconic of these Chinese dim sum treats.  It's certainly one of the most visually distinctive with its yellow skin and orange sprinkles on top.  Also a crowd favorite, so popular in fact that it has popped out of the dim sum restaurants and into a new life as a street food.  It's widely available at corner stores and convenience stores.  Sui mai has become the snack du jour!

These street level sui mai are quite delicious of course but they are very simplified forms of the original sui mai dim sum.  Today we’re going to make the traditional sui mai 燒賣 as served in the dim sum teahouses:  savory juicy morsels of pork and shrimp wrapped in a delicate skin and topped with that classic bit of orange roe.

November 22, 2022

Chinese Walnut Dessert Soup 核桃糊

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Here’s a yummilicious and tummy warming dessert for the cool nights of autumn.  This delectable and decadent creamy Chinese Walnut Dessert Soup 核桃糊 is easy to make and truly satisfying with the toasty, nutty rich flavor of toasted walnuts and the caramel notes of the slab sugars.  If you like nuts, you’ll go nuts over this sweet soup!

November 15, 2022

Homemade Grenadine Syrup

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This particular food love of mine started on a day long ago.  It was a perfect day, the sky was blue and shiny.  From the inside of a quaint cafe came the tantalizing aromas of coffee, however, that day I wanted to try something new.  I ordered something called ‘Grenadine Italian soda’.  I fell in instant food love at the first sip of this beautifully pink, refreshingly bubbly fruit flavored concoction.  

Fast forward to the near present and it had been years since I last had a grenadine soda.  Actually, I had forgotten all about it.  But one day, while browsing the liquors available at the supermarket, I saw a bottle of grenadine syrup and the memories came crashing back.  Excitement!  I would make it for my little girl and she would love it just as I had!

However upon closer inspection I discovered to my disappointment that the bottle of grenadine syrup was just sugar and artificial flavorings and colors.  Yucky!  Surely that was not what grenadine syrup really was.  To my relief I discovered that traditional grenadine syrup was made from pomegranate.  It was time to make some delicious fruity and refreshing Homemade Grenadine Syrup!