And if you are running out of holiday dessert ideas already, not to fear because here is another one:

You'll need to buy the piping tip #234 (from Wilton), which has many small holes that pipes out stuff to look like long strings of spaghetti (or worms) *ew*

And while you've got your piping tip fitted into the bag full of the smooth puree of chestnut, why not make some mont blancs to go with them? Recipe is right here

Crunchy tart shells work the best with a filling this smooth and creamy. And that perfect tart shell would be a sable breton, though you could go with a flaky crunchy one made with lard too!


If you happen to be short on time with cooking, sashimi is a fast and easy dish.

Buy the sashimi grade from your fish market, keeping it chilled at home until you're ready to cut and serve:

Unwrapping the gift of from the sea

Serve alongside wasabi and soy sauce!

Wishing all my dear readers a healthy weight gain from holiday feasting!



Merry Christmas!
If you happen to have a lot of people to entertain in the coming weeks, this is the most welcomed appetizer/finger food I've served in the past few months. And you'll only need three ingredients:

I poured the syrup I kept from poaching pears over the brie before baking

Pear (any kind except for asian pears which are too high in water content)
Cranberry (or other dried fruit)

We cut up four pears to cover a whole brie baked in a 10 inch dish.

If your brie is too big for your baking dish, cut it up.
Scatter cranberries all over, and arrange pears on top.
Bake at 350 for at least 10 minutes, or until it's all melted if cut up/the brie is puffed up if it is baked whole.

Serve with small spoons, alongside ciabatta, rye, water crackers.

Best kind of pears I found for this? 



No holiday party would be complete without dessert:

(That is, unless you happen to forget to invite me to yours)

Wishing all my dear readers a food filled holiday!

*I believe I wished you all the same thing last year too*



Well here it is... a continuation of my current obsession of making chiffon cakes. Maybe it was because I had stopped making them for so long, that once I made my first one in a long time, I couldn't stop with once a week but upped it to 2-3 chiffon cakes a week.

But they're so light and fluffy - I could eat 2-3 slices at a time...

For a friend's birthday I took white chocolate candy melts (the white circles) as impromptu cake decoration to spell out the birthday message using peanut butter (because I only had white chocolate and writing white chocolate on white chocolate wouldn't be very well seen now would it)

Above is also a jar of peach jam made from a time when peaches were 0.29$ a pound and my mom and I went and filled two bags full of peaches. Only to find out that these were previously chilled and thawed upon selling. Rendering the peach flesh unpleasant to each fresh because it took on a powdery texture. And the only choice was to peel and then cook them to a compote (as pictured two pictures above) (just peach and sugar and a vanilla bean).

I don't want to leave home - so that I can have access to my fully stocked kitchen of baking tools whenever I want.

And bake things like this, which you can now bake too!

~ Ingredients ~

6 egg yolks (room temp*)
20 g white sugar

50 g oil (vegetable, corn)
100 g flour

60 ml warm milk (3.25%#)

6 egg whites (room temp*)
80 g white sugar

* Optional
# Can switch to water or lower fat % milk

~ Method ~

Beat A until pale yellow
Add B into A, mix well
Add C into A, mix well

Beat whites in D on low for 5-6 minutes (until foamy, small bubbles)
Beat whites on medium for 2 minutes until soft peaks

Gradually add sugar, beating on high until firmer, but not stiff peaks
(beating on high for less than 1-2 minutes is enough)

Pour 1/3 egg white into yolk, mix well
Pour 1/3 white into yolk, fold gently
Pour last 1/3 white into yolk, fold gently

Bake 30 minutes 350F in greased angel food cake pan
Place upside down when finished baking 

Remove from pan when cool

There you go. Now from the cooled cake, you can cut it into 2+ layers, add canned/fresh fruit in between, top/coat it with fresh whipped cream (never icing for a light cake like this one)

I put 2-3 tbsp of matcha powder into the flour when making green tea chiffon


Back when the weather was still above 15 degrees Celsius:

My team and I went to a park and had a bbq lunch:

It included too much food and we ended up bringing back a good third of what we had brought there, along with a stomach that could no longer fit any more.

The river where there was an old man who decided that it would be  

a nice place to fish some fish.

Dear readers - what have you been fishing lately?



For my birthday we went to JaBistro...

And ordered ahi tuna, chopped up with spicy mayo, green onions, micro sprouts, salmon roe, uni
Eaten with some crispy seaweed.

This was on the daily special. Was very much like spicy tuna, but made elegant and with the uni and roe. And I just have to comment that the rectangular bamboo board is actually the same one from Dollarama. I don't know about the box though.

Lobster miso. Who knew miso could taste so good. They dislodged most of the lobster claw meat while keeping it pretty in the shell so it was easy to pick out and eat. It's a rather large bowl of soup when you compare it to the ones you typically get from the black-outside-red-inside-with-lid bowls of miso everywhere else. There were probably 2-3 bowls of the small ones in this one large bowl.

There is our pretty platter being made by the very energetic chef

We were debating whether to get the $50 platter or $100 platter. According to our very informative server, the difference is quality and selection. So of course we dived in on the $100 platter, adding also the lobster platter (at market price) (which included the lobster miso soup).

Wagyu skewer and clusters of lobster sashimi up at the very top

Wagyu was all that we had hoped it to be: the well marbling of fat was cooked very slightly, keeping the meat soft and melt-in-the-mouth (when you put it in your mouth).

The lobster was very crisp, and like the shrimp, creamy. We had lobster sashimi at Guu Sakabar, and I liked that one more. It was blanched very slightly, then cold shocked, making the lobster meat so much softer and creamier than just, plain raw.

Salmon, hidden under the swirl of daikon skin, with very distinct near-the-belly layers of fat, was not particularly better than the sashimi grade salmon you can get at the fish market on certain days.

The piece (or was it 2) of geoduck was amazing. Crisp and crunchy, and very creamy as you laid it on the tongue.

The uni was the same uni from most Japanese restaurants (they took it out of the very distinct sectioned white container I had once ordered from the Japanese food wholesaler). Had I expected more? Yes of course. For a 100$ platter I expected a bit more.

We had three types of tuna: lean, medium fatty, and full fatty (left to right, increasing in lightness of pink). We ate them in that order, savouring the fattest for the last. Yes, it really was the best piece of tuna I've ever had.

Above the tuna, underneath the swirl of daikon (which I think serves very little aesthetic purpose) is kanpachi, or amberjack. The entire slice was creamy and full of flavour, especially in the red colored flesh.

The scallop was cut in half lengthwise (semi circle), was not fresh (i.e. previously frozen) and still had the extraneous piece of muscle clinging to the side (which they should have removed). Last week we bought fresh scallops from the fish market to eat raw, and it was better than Jabistro's.

In there somewhere was also a slice of abalone. Abalone is best when raw or very slightly blanched. They served it raw here and it was indeed good.

On the right, is the shrimp head with the creamy delicious head innards, and an extremely sweet and clear tasting raw shrimp meat (not in the picture)

Then is hamachi (translucent and pink) and sea bream (with dark skin still on). Hamachi or yellowtail, was not exceptionally different from other places, but sea bream, what is usually not available at many Japanese restaurants, was delicious here. The chef scored the skin and torched only the skin, contributing to an almost smoky smell. It has a very distinct mild taste and a meaty texture.

What did I not like about this sashimi platter?
The excessive use of cucumbers scattered all throughout and touching my fish.

Ok yes, maybe it makes everything look better (gives the platter more dimension) but I'm not a big fan of having the taste of cucumber on the pieces of fish that are touching it.  

I ordered the JaBistro slipper, which had a cherry that piqued my interest. My friend got the green tea mojito. Both were very refreshing.

The matcha brownie was amazing. I don't even like brownies but this was an exception. Very dense but not too chewy, they gave us 3 or 4? pieces of very strongly concentrated matcha cake. It was not crumbly, and almost creamy in texture. Sitting on top of a bed of a crisp cookie and pistachio crumbs was your typical matcha ice cream (I want to say it is the one and only Hime one), accompanied by blueberries and strawberry quarters (you know, when they cut a strawberry down the tip into 4).

Yes, and that is chocolate sauce and matcha powder circling the edge of the plate. Being a person who doesn't like chocolate that much enjoyed the little bit of chocolate here very much.

Let me borrow your hands for a sec so I can give this *four thumbs up*

Those knives, are so beautiful and could easily cost more than my tuition *drools*

Along with our receipt came a chocolate for each of us. And because you're at JaBistro, you don't just get any after dinner candy but Valrhona dark chocolate. They are famous for being camel-toe-shaped.

JaBistro on Urbanspoon
It's on urbanspoon! 

It was dark and you can only see my silhouette, right by the fish's mouth *points*


At Trader Joe's (during our Washington trip) we found a hybrid fruit:

We were going to buy some (actually it was only me that was going to buy one out of curiosity, but we ended up buying brie instead (again it was just me that wanted to buy the brie.

Dear Readers, where will you be eating for your birthday?


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