Toronto 2018: Meals Recap!

Toronto is the closest haven for good Asian food. Of course, after last year’s success with Asian Legend for Drew, I started thinking up some spots to go to already. There were some changes in plans but in general, it all tastes pretty awesome and we had a few nice chats and some great drinks.

Lets check out where and what we ate!

Day 1 Dinner: Kinton Ramen, Markham

Kinton Ramen

Hogtown Ale, Sake Mojito and Bamboo

Kinton Ramen

Chicken Ramen

On the day we arrived in Toronto and even the day after, we had still some snowfall and what beats winter like eating some hot ramen. It helps that my husband was so excited to go. And when we got there and they had the whole Yakuza game soundtrack sort of music blasting, it was super good for everyone’s mood.

Day 2: Moxie’s Grill and Bar at CF Fairview



Starters: Sushi Cones


Half rack ribs

Hunger after a long day at the zoo and then some shopping took us to a more convenient location at the mall. We have had Moxie’s before in Markham and Vancouver and both experiences either left us with a sour taste from bad service or kind of average food for the price tag. The one at this Fairview mall however gets a thumbs up in both categories. It had some delicious food and pretty decent drinks.

Day 3: Korean Grill House in Markham

Korean Grill House

Cherry Blossom (Gin + Orange Juice)

Korean Grill House

Special Bibimbap (Spicy)

Korean Grill House

Chicken Bibimbap

The original plan was to do the whole Korean grill experience since my  husband hasn’t tried it before but since we were all fairly tired after EGLX, we ended up just going with some bibimbap. I personally love it a lot but wasn’t feeling quite as hungry so just took the chicken bibimbap. In the afterthought, I probably should have gotten beef but it still tasted fantastic. There was a choice to add on the spicy sauce but I didn’t take any. My husband on the other hand took the special bibimbap which had chicken, shrimp and beef and also added in one spoon of the spicy sauce.

Day 4 Brunch: Ding Tai Fung Restaurant

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Soup-filled Steam Dumplings

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Fried Rice

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Fried Pork Buns

To wrap things up, we went for a lovely little brunch at Ding Tai Fung for a little dim sum. Of course, there was no denying the soup-filled steamed dumplings because they are my faves. We also ordered a few other dumplings and such from the menu as well as a fried rice to wrap it all up. Everything still takes very good. I haven’t been here in 2 to 3 years and its nice to see the food quality still very much the way I remembered it.

Overall, a great foodie trip (as much as it was everything else)! 
We had some nice chats and tried some nice cocktails and beers.
Awesome company usually makes it even better!

Toronto still has lots of great food that we’re going to be trying out soon (or next year)!
The recap of our two main highlights of the trip are coming up!


Battle of Ingredients 2018: Chinese New Year Edition

Welcome to the first Battle of Ingredients of 2018. Let’s call this Year 2! We didn’t get a full year for 2017 but this year, we are already much more organized. Battle of Ingredients has changed over the months and we are working with themed dinners more than we are working on ingredients however, we do try to stick within using seasonal ingredients available to the province of Quebec or ingredients related to the theme we are working with.

I have added Battle of Ingredients to the menu on top so you can check out any of the past events we’ve done that you may have missed in 2017.

The first Battle of Ingredients this year is a little belated celebration of Chinese New Year! Phoebe and I welcome everyone to enjoy this lovely event. Our best friend is back home so we luckily had her drop by to be part of this event along with the usual cast of guests.

Wine of the Night

Main Meal

Battle of Ingredients

Honey-Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry (Kim)

My contribution of the event comes from a recipe that Phoebe shared with me earlier in the week on Pinterest right HERE.

Stir-fry dishes always are a staple of a Chinese meal. I’m not a very skilled cook so this dish worked perfect for us. Its pretty easy to make. The original recipe asks for carrots but being the forgetful person I was, I picked them up at the grocery story to look at but forgot to put them in the basket so I replaced it with green beans. I kind of supersized the menu so I had to modify the sauce a little bit. My meal actually turned out to be a healthy blandness that I like but I offered salt and pepper to everyone to add if they preferred it stronger. The way to improve this one would be to use the chicken broth instead of water. However, this meal did make for some tender chicken as I did use thighs and vegetables had a nice crunch.

Battle of Ingredients

Ginger-Garlic Abalone (Phoebe)

Phoebe went with a lovely abalone dish. Abalone is a staple of a classy Chinese dinner ingredient. Sometimes the simplest way to make a dish is to go back to the basics. She used frozen abalones along with ginger and garlic on the top and put it to steam. It still had a little bit of the fishy taste here but to us, it was still very good. However, she did forget to bring green onions which would have helped with added a little more flavors to mask the seafood taste that some people (aka my husband) doesn’t like.

Sticky Rice (Outside contribution aka my mom)

Sticky rice is one of the Chinese dishes that you can find at dim sum restaurants and its also one of my favorite things to eat. Luckily, my mom had a potluck the day before and she contributed the sticky rice that one of her friends made to use for our Battle of Ingredients. It was delicious. One year, I will figure it out and I’ll give it a go.


Tangerines, Dark Chocolate & Wife Cakes

I slacked off on my original plan to make Baked New Year Cake (recipe HERE) and Egg Tarts (recipe HERE). However, we did have some tangerines which is pretty normal to have for a Chinese New Year fruit dessert as well as some Wife Cakes, which is a delicious Hong Kong pastry made with winter melon. Without any coordination, both Phoebe and I ended up picking up some Theobroma Chocolate from Costco. I like the Raspberry flavor Dark Chocolate one and she got the Original 72% Original Chocolate one.

That wraps up our Chinese New Year Edition of Battle of Ingredients!
We had a few months of hiatus but we are back!
We are getting back into the groove of things 🙂
Our next one will be next month with a little Easter celebration!

Recap: Goodfood #14

Its been a whirlwind of movie reviews over here lately with the Ultimate 70s Blogathon and Valentine’s Marathon tag teaming it, which is great but I’d like to change the pace a little (if just for myself).

Let’s take a quick recap at the Goodfood box last week!

Singapore Noodles with Haddock & Pickled Turmeric

Singapore Noodles

I love Singapore noodles! However, I also have no idea how to make it before this box obviously. It was definitely pretty nice especially since we don’t usually eat haddock and that was a nice change. However, this one is quite fancy with having to grind our own turmeric. If you haven’t used turmeric before (like myself prior to this experience), when they say it stains, boy does it stain? My fingers were yellow for two days after some intense scrubbing throughout. The taste of the dish was somewhat worth the hassle . It had a nice taste and the spices were really nice. The pickled turmeric also came out decent, although honestly, I was a little worried to eat it in fear of my mouth turning yellow. If I were to do this meal again, I’d probably just get some grinded turmeric instead and save some of the hassle.

Creamy Gnocchi with Mushroom, Sundried Tomatoes & Green Beans

Creamy Gnocchi

I had this meal without the creamy sauce and the cheese. This portion is my husband’s who got all the sauce and cheese so it looks slightly overwhelmed unless you love cheese like he does. He liked this one a lot. To be honest, the meal tasted really good just with the lactose-free base. I did overcook the gnocchi which was my fault since I normally fried gnocchi instead of boiling it like pasta.

One Pan Greek Chicken with Roasted Vegetables, Feta & Crispy Croutons

One Pan Greek Chicken

This is the actual version of the meal with the feta cheese. Mine was without the feta cheese. This one is actually really easy to make and tastes very good. Its mostly 15 minutes preparation then its popping in the oven. I can’t emphasize how much I love efficient cooking solutions especially when this one not only had really tender chicken and oven baked bread which turned into some delicious croutons.

Pork Burgers with Homemade Sauerkraut, Roasted Red Peppers & Potato Salad

pork burgers

Last meal we cooked was pork burgers. Whenever burgers are a choice, that week probably ends up ordered. I never knew my husband had such a deep love for sauerkraut until he wanted to get this burger. So this box taught me homemade sauerkraut which was fairly easy since these boxes always ask us to pickle one thing or another. No complaints since I have learned that while I don’t digest raw vegetables well, pickles is a different story. It also had a delicious pork patty with some amazing spices along with a potato salad which included making our own dressing. All of the above worked so well together.

Overall, last week’s box was pretty decent. A lot of the bad was my own fault for overcooking. The burger was great. Despite staining my fingers, the singapore noodles were also really good and then the one pan chicken was delish and efficient whole the gnocchi turned fairly well also.


Recap: Goodfood #10

We’re somewhat back to normal programming this week. I’m still off today for Boxing Day as all the time. I wasn’t able to get the post done before I headed out for shopping so a little late on my part so today we’re taking it easy with just a quick recap on last week’s Goodfood meal box. We’re at the 10th box! That’s pretty awesome since so far, they’ve been still very impressive. The recipes are helping us learn a lot about different ingredients and different types of meals.

Let’s check it out!

Spiced Shrimp & Preserved Lemon Topping
with Jerusalem Couscous, Sauteed Zucchini & Multicolored Carrots

Goodfood Spiced Shrimp

Preserved Lemon was the highlight ingredient of this dish. I personally have seen it before. Preserved lemon is actually very good to use for honey lemon tea to soothe sore throats. Actually, my mom used to prefer using that when I was younger. With that said, I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out as a main dish but this shrimp dish was pretty good. Plus, for us, the main highlight might be tasting Jerusalem Coucous which isn’t commonly used in these meal boxes. However, I’d like to compare them a little to orzo and thats a compliment because I really like Jerusalem couscous and would consider looking at more recipes for it.

Chicken & Udon Stir Fry
with Chinese Broccoli

Goodfood Udon Stirfry

Udon, chicken, stir-fry plays exactly to what I like. I love learning how to make some of these dishes as I don’t have a really extensive know of Asian cuisine even though I’m Chinese and probably should. I get the idea of how to make many different Chinese meals but I do love Udon noodles and Chinese Broccoli so this one was pretty good. The spices and the simplicity of putting this together all turned out very delicious.

Homemade Merguez with Herbed Yogurt Sauce
& Bulgar Salad

homemade merguez

The husband was the one that got to eat both of the meals here. I did help with putting together the bulgar salad and doing the preparation work. He is a fan of merguez so suffice to say that he enjoyed the meaty part of this a lot. The bulgar was different for him. It did seem like a fresh sort of salad with a mixture of bulgar along with fresh vegetables. However, the yogurt herbed sauce didn’t really come into play here as we found some fabric in the yogurt and while I was positive it wasn’t hair, he took the safer measure to not eat it as we didn’t know where it came from. Something perhaps for Goodfood to be a little bit more careful about when putting together their boxes especially when dealing with food related business.

Whisky Rubbed Pork Chop with Scalloped Potatoes
Green Salad & Sweet Onion Vinaigrette


Finally, the last meal was this whisky rubbed pork chop. I prepared most of the meal and made the scalloped potatoes however, my husband took care of cooking the pork chops. Thanks to holidays, these last two meals were more of a collaborative effort to make which is always fun. He had the salad and the scalloped potatoes while I had the pork chop paired it with some cooked romaine lettuce. Scalloped potatoes are quite interesting to make to be honest and it was pretty fun and probably more efficient with a mandolin which I didn’t so I had to just thinly slice the potatoes with a knife so there was some uneven parts. However, the whisky spice blend here had a bit of heat but was very flavorful.

Overall, four good meals. It was definitely an educational box with preserved lemons, Jerusalem couscous and scalloped potatoes making appearances.


Dinner: One Pot Chicken and Sausage Pasta

Efficient meal solutions are my favorite thing to look up. The one that has caught my eye recently are all those one pot meal recipes. Its always felt very weird even if the idea does work. The coincidence of the situation was that we had sausage and chicken that needed to be cooked and a crazy amount of pasta so I decided to find a Pinterest recipe which didn’t actually happen that matched with I wanted but found a similar one so used it as a guideline.

One Pot Chicken and Sausage Pasta

One Pot Chicken and Sausage Pasta

This is the recipe that I used as a guideline to see how it all worked:


4 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken drumsticks, skin removed and meat separated from bone
4 honey-garlic sausages, cut in pieces
1 zucchini, chopped
dried pasta
chicken broth
salt & pepper
olive oil

  1. Heat olive oil in a large cooking pot over medium heat.
  2. Add chicken, both the bite size pieces and the bones to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken.
  3. Add in the sausages to the pot and cover the pot so it can cook through.
  4. Add in the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add in chicken broth and dried pasta. The broth has to cover the meat and pasta. Add water if not enough broth.
  6. Stir the ingredients together and bring to a simmer.
  7. When it simmers, lower the heat. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Make sure pasta is cooked. Remove the pot from heat.

The one pot experiment was pretty successful. What makes things that simmer or bake in the oven really great is that you can set a timer and walk away to do something else. In terms of cooking, it still takes the same amount of time if you did it all separately, except here the bulk of time is on preparation and it frees up a little more time as everything cooks are about the same time. I would love to try this with some variety.

Have you tried doing one pot recipes?


Recap: Goodfood #8

These Goodfood boxes have captured us lately and we’re trying really hard to eat healthier, meaning less processed food. The last month was pretty nice and overall, its already feeling much better. Especially with me starting back up the whole workout process. I’ll talk about that in the upcoming Weekly Adventures segment instead. Who knows, maybe we’ll start back up the old segment for workout roundups. We’ll see, right?

Last week’s Goodfood was a lot of interesting experiences to say the least. Let’s check it out!

Japanese 7-Spiced Pork Ramen with Lacinato Kale

7 spiced pork ramen

Its pretty common to start off with the ramen recipes a lot of times because its usually the simplest to put together. Its why I love making them so much. This one was a little crazy since we had to cook the pork chops with the seasoning. Its one of those instructions that I never quite understand the process of and am trying how to pat a meat dry and then season them. My husband says we season it in the pan but that doesn’t make sense since we should season it outside and then put it in the pan. Regardless, the main deal with this one was when I cooked up the pork chops, I think the spices were super spicy because we both started coughing like crazy. I’ve been having allergies and sinus problems so it was a slower reaction for myself. This plate was pretty spicy even without the sambal added in. However, it was also super delicious and my hunch is that the spiciness comes naturally from the ginger cooked with the kale.

Chicken Cacciatore with Seared King Oyster Mushrooms & Mashed Potatoes

chicken cacciatore

I had originally wanted to make changes to the Chicken Cacciatore so that I could have it also. While I did for a part of it, I decided to make the mashed potatoes as is. My plate had the chicken and the mushrooms while my husband had what it was supposed to be like in the picture above. The highlight of this dish was trying out the king oyster mushrooms. I can’t say that I’m particularly in love with it. We’re both much more into portobello mushrooms. However, this one does have a distinctive taste to it, maybe a sweeter taste but a more spongy texture because its cap is so tiny. However, I love how we simmer the chicken in sauce because it makes it super tender and while takes longer, is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken.

Spiced Beef Platter with Hummus, Chopped Salad & Pita

spiced beef platter

My husband was the only one who ate this one however, I did prepare it. This is probably one of the easiest meals to prepare since we got any of these meal boxes. It said 20 minutes to do and was pretty much on point. Its not a lot of chopping. The multitasking potential for this one is so high as you can get the pita in the oven and cook the beef and everything almost side to side. I had a timer for one task and my eye on the pan while plating in the final stages. It was pretty fun to do and didn’t take too much time which is what I love as a break from some of these more elaborate meals.

Individual Vegetarian Pot Pies with Cremini Mushrooms & Broccoli

Vegetarian pot pies

Pot pies without any dairy products? Count me in! These vegetarian pot pies were pretty decent. For myself, I thought it was pretty good. Its a little time consuming because there is a ton of stuff to chop and then cook and then bake. I also didn’t quite understand the idea of only having the crust on the top to cover and the bottom not having it. I guess the concept of pot pies is that the bottom of the pie is in a pot? We had aluminium bottoms which I do appreciate Goodfood team for providing. However, it does remain that there is a blandness to it. My husband thought so because of the lack of spices. I thought it was a nice balance to the week full of crazy flavors. I can see myself doing this recipe again but adding some meat in it since I get the concept of how to make it now.

That’s it for last week’s Goodfood box!
A few new ingredients we tried out and learned a few new recipes that we’d probably try again with our own twist.
My fave does go to the 7-spiced pork ramen. It was perfect for the weather and while it was spicy, it was really satisfying.


Recap: Goodfood #7

Last week, we took had another Goodfood box. Its been quite nice to have these coming in although it makes for some late night cooking sessions since I mostly take these for lunch and my husband has it for dinner. Our working schedules being in the way of actually sitting down and having these meals together. However, it does help cut down especially since I’m slowly getting a little faster. Some meals like one of these actually came rather close to the time they said it would take which made me feel quite good about myself. This box was one that we took quite a few chances on so let’s see how it turned out.

Kicking us off, we start with…

Chef Garnier’s Thai Shrimp Curry with Bell Pepper, Tomatoes & Couscous


Chef Garnier’s Thai Shrimp Curry

This box’s highlight menu is Chef Garnier’s recipe for Thai Shrimp Curry. I have to say that this one was a delight. It had a bit of heat but I was okay with it also. The sauce was delicious and we put the couscous as the bed and it meshed so well to give this nice consistency and texture to the whole meal. We’ve made a few curries from these boxes (not always Goodfood) and this one is hands down my favorite. I’d make it again (or order it again if it showed up on the choices). An absolute great start to the week.

Chicken Piccata with Fresh Gemelli Pasta & Garlic Chives


Chicken Piccata with Fresh Gemelli Pasta

If there was a meal that highlighted this box, it would be this one. Chicken Piccata and fresh gemelli pasta. I already like gemelli pasta to start with and I love chicken and the sauce here is fantastic. The cooking process got a little dangerous for me because the oil splashed up and grazed my cheek which was painful but the husband took over and got it all under control. It was so delicious and honestly, if I knew where to get capers, I’m down to make this one again. Well, maybe prep it and have the husband do the actual cooking.

Black Bean Burrito with Mango, Cucumber and Roasted Pepper Salsa


Black Bean Burrito

I’m really sorry that this doesn’t look like much. The way to do it would be to take pictures of the salsa, the cooked ingredients before stuffing it up because it turned out to be quite a bit so I ate it pretty deconstructed. The rice was very good for the burrito however, the salsa is great on the side. Having it on the inside had this weird taste. It was fresh and I like mangoes so it didn’t bother me too much but I’d have had a bowl of mangoes on the side and added in the cucumbers and roasted peppers to the rice and black bean blend. It was a nice thought though and it was pretty alright.

Beef Lomo Saltado over Roasted Potatoes with Soy Sauce & Spicy Jalapeno


Beef Lomo Saltado

As you can see, the potatoes were a tad overcooked. Not sure why. But my best guess is either the cook time was a little too much (which it obviously was) and that the potatoes were not sliced thick enough. My husband ate both of these ones because I can’t have jalapeno and beef isn’t my favorite type of meat. He only ended up using half of the jalapeno pepper. It seemed decent.

Overall, this box was pretty good. We like two of the meals a lot. The burrito was pretty decent as well. I wouldn’t eat it as a complete burrito but as deconstructed, it was still pretty tasty. The preparation times were all very decent and nothing too crazy. I like the fact that Goodfood uses the oven more with its recent recipes. Ovens are great for multitasking and its something I implement a lot in my everyday cooking as well. If not, its just boiling everything in salted water when I want to eat healthier. Still enjoying these boxes quite a bit.