Posts with tag "dessert"

The Lazy Cook: Simple Healthy Baked Apples

Without a doubt, I got the ‘Extreme Hostess’ gene from my traditional Chinese mom. When we host big family dinners, she would make enough food so that EVERYONE has enough to eat for the rest of the week. During Thanksgiving long weekend, I attended 3 dinners and for each one I made at least 2 dishes. The most difficult dish I made  was actually a cheesy (Gruyere+Parmesan+Strong Cheddar) herb potato gratin. A gratin is usually easy to make but the manpower behind it exhausted me….imagine washing, peeling, thin slicing 8 to 10 lbs of potatoes. For the longest time, I refused to buy a mandolin because I wanted to be old school aka using a cleaver…think I want to finally invest in one.

For my family dinner, I made baked apples for dessert.   It still has that Thanksgiving theme to it and it was not too heavy to enjoy after the coma inducing turkey meal.

Ingredients (makes 8)
- About 1/2 cup of chopped dried cranberries or raisins
- About 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped nuts (can try with pistachios, almonds, walnuts and/or pecans)
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- zest of one lemon
- 8 apples such as pink lady, gala, empire, winesap, liberty
- 4 tbsp of unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Directions
1) Heat oven to 375° F. Remove and discard the cores from the apples (use a melon baller or a small spoon to core them). Place the apples in a medium sized ovenproof dish (big enough to fit all of the apples).
2) In a saucepan, combine the apple juice, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and let it cool.
3) Combine the nuts, sugar, and butter. Divide the mixture among the apples.
4) Put the apples in an ovenproof dish. Divide the nut stuffing between the apples, top it with a small piece of the butter and cover them with their tops.
5) Bake for about 1 hour or until the flesh is tender, regularly drizzling with the cooking juice.
6) Best served with a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt

That’s it and enjoy!

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt started in California in 2007 and within a few years it has become a popular fast growing chain. It’s popularity further skyrocketed with star sightings at its location from paparazzi friendly Paris Hilton to Hollywood parents like Bennifer. This self-serve frozen yogurt joint recently opened in the Fairview area near the Cambie Street Bridge.

You go in and there’s a selection of frozen yogurt in yogurt that you can mix and match. And the cool thing is that they have nearly 100 flavours in rotation which include a range of regular, nonfat, low-carb, no added sugar, gluten-free, vegan, and dairy free yogurts. You can expect flavours from fruit to just plain old vanilla and chocolate to ones that really taste like dessert in a cup (ie Red Velvet, cookie, cake etc).

In terms of toppings, there’s an assortment of candies, usual ice cream like toppings like sprinkles, chocolates and nuts

Also some fruits and these amazing popping bobas which are so much more amazing than bubble tea pearls.

As mentioned on their website, you ‘mix’ your combination of yogurt, then they weigh it for you, and you pay ($0.55/oz)

It’s a fun place to check out for a light healthy dessert and a chance to be creative and play with your food.

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
2315 Cambie St
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

Fairmont Pacific Rim

Chinese New Years is about celebrating the beginning of the new year and being with your friends and family. I did the traditional family dinners and this year I welcomed 2011 with class with some sassy ladies. One of my long term girlfriends, Lisa, organized a high tea afternoon at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. It was a gathering of old and new friends.

The lobby of the Fairmont Pacific Rim is regal, chic and comfortable. The modern fireplace in the middle adds a touch of glamour to the room. We sat near the fireplace on very comfortable couches as we scanned the menu of teas and treats. I picked the sencha green tea because it sounded the most healthy and cleansing which I needed after the many feasts that week. One of my girlfriends had to go on a strict diet and specially ordered a fruit plate.

The Fairmont delivered a colourful selection of melons, berries, pineapple and dragonfruit.

For us girls who were able to indulge a bit more, we first enjoyed incredibly warm light scones

The scones were amazingly soft and buttery but not too greasy. It was served with berries, jam, and dollop of devonshire cream.

Next came the impressive looking tiered pastries and sandwiches platter

It was a mix of classic finger sandwiches, sushi, cakes, tarts, and chocolates. We immediately dived for the more savoury choices. The sushi selection consisted of miso tofu, tuna tataki, and crab and cucumber. The miso tofu is a mix of sweet miso paste and pressed tofu. The tuna tataki piece was a mix of pineapple, rice and lightly seared tuna and the crab and cucumber roll was made of of tobiko and crab rolled with thinly sliced cucumber. The sandwiches consisted of chilled tiger prawn, avocado and maple roasted turkey. My favourite was the chilled tiger prawn bite. The sushi pieces were simple and underwhelming and an odd thing to add to the menu but I’m guessing they were trying to do the ‘west coast fusion’ thing

By this time, we were too full to enjoy the sweeter selection but I did sneak a bite of fruit tart and chocolate though.

The high tea was about $35 for each person (and my friend who ordered the fruit platter had to shell out $13 for her fruit). It was a fun time of sharing stores of boys, business, family, love, and dating (per usual) over good tea in a decadent surrounding.

Fairmont Pacific Rim
1038 Canada Pl
Vancouver, BC V6C
Lobby Lounge at Fairmont Pacific Rim on Urbanspoon