Chinese Beef Rolls

Chinese Beef Roll

Chinese beef rolls or Niu Rou Jian Bing in Chinese. These bad boys are in my top 5 street food. I’ll give you a short description if you’ve never had them. Slow cooked tender beef, greens, sweet bean sauce, all rolled in a thin, crispy and flaky scallion pancake. No need to tell you it’s ridiculously good. You can usually find these rolls in Northern Chinese cuisine restaurants but the good news is you can also make them yourself.

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Pan-fried Tilapia & Ratatouille

Pan Fried Tilapia and Ratatouille

I clearly remember the first time I had ratatouille. It was in France, at Nico’s parents. His dad had prepared this wonderful vegetable stew called ratatouille. At the time, the only thing I knew about it was pretty much limited to the movie. But I soon found out how great it is. When it’s cooked well, this humble dish really captures the essence of each vegetable that’s in it. I had to know how to make it. There are probably many ways but the one I had that day was so delicious. Nico’s dad is no amateur either, he once owned a restaurant, trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and occasionally caters for some good people.

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5 Minute Whole Grain Loaf

Five Minute Whole Grain Loaf

Few months ago, we decided to start making our own bread at home. There were many reasons for this change to happen. I guess the question was: Can we buy quality bread that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, all within walking distance? If we lived in France, I would probably answer yes. In fact, Nico’s parents have the chance to live near a bakery with a MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France, a hard earned title of best artisan baker) who makes wonderful bread. Their baguette is amazing and cost less than a $1.50. Such a deal cannot be found in Toronto, and probably North America. Artisan bread is just too fancy of a thing here. No one is to blame for that, it’s just that bread is not as essential as it is in France.

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Peanut Banana Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Banana Peanut Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Being a stay-at-home mom is no easy job. Simon is a little boy full of energy and one of our biggest challenges is to keep him busy. We are always trying to find new activities to burn all that energy of his. The more he’s active, the better he sleeps, and that means a happy toddler. Recently, we were thrilled to see the opening of the new aquarium in Toronto, which is within walking distance from our apartment. The great thing about it is that it’s very kid friendly and Simon loves it. He makes a fish face every morning to tell us that he wants to go. So we’ve been going there twice a week.

Whenever Simon and I go out, I always bring him a few snacks. That generally includes some biscuits and fruits. Apart from berries that he loves, his favorite is probably banana. While he loves banana, he would not eat overripe ones. Actually, Nico and I don’t like them either but they are perfect for baking, whether it’s in bread, cake or muffins. I’ve been making these banana muffins for the last couple weeks and I simply love them. They are moist and fluffy, and the pecan streusel adds a nice texture.

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Taiwanese Braised Pork & Handmade Noodles

Taiwanese Braised Pork (Lu Rou)

One of my biggest regrets after living for so many years in China is not having travelled to Taiwan. I’m a big fan of Taiwanese cuisine and while I had good experiences in Shanghai, I know the food must be better in situ. If I go there someday, I’ll spend all my time wandering in food markets and eating Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings). In the meantime, I’m comforting myself with a classic Taiwanese recipe of braised pork: Lu Rou.

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