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Castella/Kasutera (Japanese Sponge Cake)


Aside from eating, one of the most important aspects of my food journey is learning how to make things. For those that have read my blog, you probably have seen some of the hits and misses of my experiments. I have been craving cake lately but I didn’t want anything with icing so I did a little research and stumbled on this recipe which was relatively easy to follow. Castella is a form of Japanese sponge cake that is quite popular in Asia due to the fact that its sweet but not overly sweet. I have found that as much as I love sweets, there are cakes out there with more icing than cake which actually makes my stomach ache (Mom was right after all).

When I was trying this recipe, it was a bit of a challenge because I have never baked without baking powder or baking soda before. This cake rises through the excessive beating of the eggs in order to create the air bubbles to help the cake rise. Another tip for those that plan on trying it is to make sure that the eggs are at room temperature because that is when the eggs blend thoroughly with the other dry ingredients.

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Kyouka Ramen


Despite the warm weather this weekend, I just had a terrible craving for ramen but I was a bit too lazy to head downtown. Fortunately there was a ramen shop that had opened by the beaches not too long along ago which was perfect because I can easily take a stroll afterwards to work off the calories. For $11, the Shoyo Ramen was a satisfying and filling at the same time. The noodle texture was fabulous with the right amount of firmness without being too tough which made the meal all the more satisfying. I cannot tell you all the amount of times I have had ramen where the noodles were either too soft or too hard which can ruin the experience even if the broth is done right.

Check out their official website: http://kyouka.ca

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Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns)


With the cold weather alerts that we have been receiving, I have been craving mantous which are these amazing fluffy plain buns that are divine. Mantous are native to Northern China but they are so commonly eaten that you can find them in just about any dim sum restaurants. They can be eaten plain as part of a meal or deep-fried with condensed milk as a dessert. Although these guys look simple, don’t be fooled as making any type of bread is a labour of love.


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Salted Caramel Cookies


I didn’t think it was possible but after baking as much as I did this past holiday season, I think it was safe to say that I was cookied out for 2016. Thankfully, it is a new year so the cookie quota starts all over again. I normally make classic cookies as gifts for family and friends such as gingersnaps or chocolate chips but I had wanted to change it up. My attempt on the salted caramel cookies had some ups and downs with the ones that did not turn out properly ending up in my stomach.


I didn’t realize that there were so many types of sea salts which was a learning process for me. With this cookie, I only had coarse sea salt on hand so I used that which wasn’t the best idea as it really made it salty. However, with the subsequent batches I managed to get my hands on flaked sea salt which is a lot lighter and easier to crush by hand when you are trying to garnish the cookies. Lesson learned. I am not sure what kind of cookies I will make this year but I think I will be a tad bit more cautious this time around.


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Lobster Lasagna


I wish I could take credit for this but this all goes to my cousin who is just amazing in the kitchen. With Christmas, we had several dinners and there was inevitably leftovers. For Christmas Eve, we had lobster and then for Christmas Day I went over to my cousin’s for dinner and she turned it into a lasagna which was out of the world. She made sure you used every piece of the lobster so none would go to waste and what was particularly inventive in my opinion was her using the lobster shell to make a broth out of it. I know about using animal bones but it actually never occurred to me that you can use lobster shells. I still have a lot to learn.

If anyone is interested in her Instagram feed, please check out this link.