Monday, January 21, 2013

One Egg Lemon Pound Cake

I had a major lemon craving this week and quite frankly lemonade wasn't cutting it anymore, so I decided to bake something lemony. I found a recipe in a vegetarian cookbook for lemon squares, but when I checked the fridge to see if I had all the ingredients I realized that I was two eggs short. Alas, my hopes for baking these delicious lemon squares were ripped from reality and I was left alone in my kitchen to mourn a dream that once was. However, failure was not an option and I refused to give up so easily. I googled another recipe for some other sort of lemony baked good that required one egg (and wasn't a cookie ) and stumbled across this "One Egg Lemon Pound Cake".

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and grease or line a 6x5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp salt. Cut in butter.

Break the egg in a measuring cup and fill to the 1 cup line with milk. 

Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add 1tsp vanilla extract and 2tsp lemon juice (taste batter to decide if it needs more lemon juice or not)

Pour batter into your lined pan and bake. The recipe said to bake it for 30 minutes, but I found that it took at least 45 minutes. 

It turned out delicious and perfectly moist. Next time I think I will use a little more lemon juice because the lemon is more noticeable in the aftertaste. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Anti-bacterial soap vs. Regular Soap

There are many debates on whether antibacterial soap any better than regular soap. It is true that antibacterial soaps can and will kill bacteria but at the same time, they can also help the bacteria to mutate and become immune to those chemicals that are in the antibacterial soaps. Every time you would use antibacterial soaps, new bacteria will start growing with brand new survival abilities. Soap has 2 main functions to decrease water's surface tension and bind to dirt, oil and bacteria. Regular soaps does get rid of bacteria but antibacterial soap needs to be in use for at least 2 minutes in order to be effective but many people are inpatient. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) say that the most effective way to have clean hands is just by using ordinary soap with warm water. That is why it is very important to know how to take care of yourself (wash your hands after going to the restrooms) and know what type of product will keep you safe. Because if you don’t wash your hands, bacteria will grow and start spreading. Another thing is, when using hand-sanitizer; it contains 60- to 90 % alcohol and will eliminate any bacteria that the hand-sanitizer has touch. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Restaurant Review: Sushi California

One day after my brother’s hockey game like any other Friday night, my brother suggested to go to this little sushi place.  After a short 15 minute drive, we arrived at the restaurant. The exterior honestly didn't look too appealing to me, but this tiny restaurant was packed with people waiting inside and outside of the restaurant.  My brother insisted on heading inside, wanting to taste their take on Japanese sushi. 
It actually took us maybe half an hour to get seated because of the line, but after the meal, I didn't regret a second of it! The sushi was absolutely delicious and by far some the best sushi I've ever had. Sushi California is actually now my “go to” place for food.  First of all, it’s quite healthy, the price is very reasonable and inexpensive, but most importantly, they have authentic Japanese chefs who are very well trained in this field of cuisine.
The first time I went to this restaurant was about 2 or 3 years ago. Even till this day,  Sushi California is my favorite local sushi place! My family goes to this restaurant regularly now awe are well known customers there. The chefs and waitresses are practically friends and family to me now. The chefs are very friendly, greeting customers with their smiles behind the sushi bar, making everyone feel welcomed. My one critique about this restaurant is that their service could be better, but overall I give this restaurant an A! I strongly suggest all of you to give it a try!

Sushi California is now open in 2 locations:
 501A North Rd, Coquitlam, BC
(604) 931-8284

833 Broadway Vancouver, BC

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sushi Mori ~ Restaurant Review

    So a little while ago, my friend and I decided to go out for lunch and catch up. Since we’re both pretty new to sushi, we figured we should go to a sushi restaurant. After reading a couple reviews, we decided to go to Sushi Mori. After a short bus ride to the Coquitlam Centre Mall area, we walked over to the restaurant. The outside wasn’t anything special but the interior of the place was beautiful! It felt like we were sitting in an authentic Japanese restaurant. As we entered, we were greeted and seated immediately. Their menu was full of variety and prices were definitely affordable as well. Our meal started with a complimentary soup which was pretty good. We chose to share a bento with a side which arrived to our table pretty quickly. It cost around $13 dollars not including drinks. It was a great experience; from the food, to the service, to the cost. It was extremely delicious and I’ll most definitely be going back really soon and my friend had the same amazing experience that I did. So, I definitely recommend everybody reading this to go check it out! You won’t be disappointed. 

Here’s their address and number if you’re thinking about going,
2565 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam
(604) 468-7253

This is a picture of the interior of the restaurant. It was really pretty!

 Not including a couple pieces of sushi and a couple spring rolls we ate right away, this is the bento my friend and I shared. It was huge and super filling. :)

Oh and they give these complimentary cookies with the receipt that are absolutely delicious! Nothing like your average cookie, it was so good!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Umberto's Trattoria Review

A few weeks ago I went to Whistler for the weekend with my family and one of my friends. It was my birthday when we were there so we decided to go to my favourite restaurant to celebrate. We went to Umberto's Trattoria.

When we got to the Trattoria we were seated right away. We always sit at the bar when we go there because you get to watch the chefs prepare the food. Our waiter was very friendly and brought us drinks right away. We got some appetizers to start our meal. We shared a caprese salad and got a platter of antipasto toscano.  It was a great start to our meal!
After our appetizers, they served our main courses. We all had pasta, it was delicious and beautifully presented. I had Tagliarini di Mare, it was pasta in a tomato and chili sauce with seafood. I had never tried it before, but it was absolutely delicious. 
After our main courses they brought dessert for my friend and I. They brought me a chocolate torte and my friend tiramisu. It was a great way to end our meal and made my birthday dinner feel very special. 
All in all, we had a great experience at the Trattoria. The food was delicious, it all tasted fresh and it was cooked and presented beautifully. Since the chefs were preparing the food right in front of us we got to see exactly how they prepared the food, which was really cool. The service was excellent, the waiters and the chefs were all very friendly and made sure that everyone enjoyed their meals. If you are visiting Whistler I would highly recommend the Trattoria, it is definitely my favourite restaurant!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review on Mr. Mikes Steakhouse

A few weeks ago I went to the restaurant Mr. Mikes with my dad and brother for my birthday dinner. This is one of my favorite restaurants. I always have steak and a baked potato, and my brother and my dad always have burgers and fries. I love going to Mr.Mikes because they have amazing service and everyone is always so friendly. I go here once or twice every two months. This was an especially good night because we were seated immediately, after we ordered our food we honestly barely had to wait, because the next thing you knew is that they were back at our table with our hot meals ready to go. While eating we saw the manager of the restaurant walking around and were wondering if he would go up to every table and ask how their meal was. I said that he might go up to a few tables but then just kind of walk around and then my brother said that he would go up to every table...and he was right. We watched him and he went up to every table asked everyone how their meals were and being very polite. After our meal we ordered dessert and once again it came immediately. It was great service all night and defiantly recommend to go there! 

A Taste of Fall

A Taste of Fall 

For no specific reason, I recently decided to make a fall-themed dessert. Inspired by the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, I choose to try a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Macarons. If you have yet to try a Pumpkin Spice Latte, I would totally recommend it. It is by far my favorite autumn drink. It perfectly combines the flavors of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg and I was excited to try to reflect those flavors in a dessert.

A macaron, by definition, is a sweet meringue-based confectionery made with egg whites, confectioners sugar, granulated sugar, ground almonds and food coloring. To make the macarons, I decided to use a recipe I found online. This particular recipe imitates the definition of a macaron well and as an added bonus the recipe is clear, concise, and easy to follow.   

Pumpkin Spice Macarons:

The first thing I did was preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

The second thing I did was whisk together both the confectioners’ sugar and the ground almonds. I mixed the ingredients together in a medium size bowl, as it was what I found to be most appropriate.

After that, I placed egg whites and the pinch of salt in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid. Then I whipped the egg whites on a medium speed until the mixture became slightly foamy.


I then increased the speed to high and gradually added the granulated sugar and the pumpkin pie spice.

After that, I continued to whip the mixture until stiff glossy peaks formed.

When the stiff glossy peaks formed, I gently folded in the confectioners' sugar mixture with a rubber spatula until it was completely incorporated into the batter.

The next thing I did was line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Then I transferred the macaron batter into a standard pastry bag and piped 1-inch disks onto the prepared baking sheets.  

After that I let the uncooked shells sit at room temperature until the shiny surfaces of the macarons turned dull, which took around fifteen minutes.

The next thing I did was bake the macarons, which also took around fifteen minutes.

When they were done, I removed the baking sheets from the oven and then I let the macarons cool down on the baking sheets.

When the macarons were cool enough to touch, I gently pulled the macaron shells away from the baking sheets but I first used a spray bottle to spray the baking sheets with water to help release the macarons from the parchment paper.

The final thing I did was construct the actual macarons. To construct a traditional macaron, a filling is used to glue two macaron shells together. The original recipe recommended a pumpkin filling; some other similar recipe recommended a cream filling but I was too lazy to actually create a filling so instead I used a bit of melted white chocolate.     

I was happy with the way the Pumpkin Spice Macarons turned out in the end even though some of them had cracks rippling throughout their structures. In my opinion, the macarons resembled the Pumpkin Spice Latte quite well, which was my original intention and they also made for a perfectly appropriate fall-themed dessert.