Happy lunar new year! Hope everyone celebrating it was able to eat some good food and connect with loved ones (hopefully safely!). This year’s new year eve (February 11th) crept up on one of my busiest weeks of this semester so far. I didn’t have any special celebrations, but my house did get some good (authentic) Chinese takeout! Yum, because while I am Chinese, my cooking skills do not reflect well on Chinese dishes. I am also a huge dessert gal. This year I did not get to enjoy any of my favourite Asian desserts, but not a problem – I drew them out, and I will be justifying this by telling myself that I need to cut back on sweets. The dumplings were just extra because they are so fun to draw.
An brief introduction:
Tang yuan are glutinous rice flour balls, usually with a sweet black sesame, red bean, or peanut filling. They are similar to mochi but they are typically served hot in a light, sweet broth.
Sesame balls are once again made with a glutinous rice flour, covered in sesame seeds, and deep fried. The filling I learned to love and adore is red bean. This treat hits a nostalgic spot for me because they were my number one favourite dessert growing up!
And speaking of nostalgia, the eight treasure rice (very loose translation – I apologize to any native Chinese speakers) holds a special spot in my heart. I have fond memories of my grandparents making these for me. My dear, sweet grandma also puts a pretty display of toppings in concentric patterns – so cute!
As you can see, a pretty obvious pattern is emerging here. I love anything made with glutinous rice flour and has a sweet red bean filling – haha!
If you celebrate Chinese new year, I hope you were able to find joy in any way you might have chosen to celebrate – big or small! And if you don’t, I hope if you ever get a chance to try these tasty desserts that YOU DO! That’s all from me for now. Cheers everyone. Happy lunar new year! 🥳
Happy new year everyone! 🥳🎉 What do you get during winter break in a house full of hungry and bored university students? Lots and lots of charcuterie & cheese boards. I made this graphic for a close friend of mine for their birthday to honour their unconditional love for charcuterie boards. I wanted to make a quick post to share this fun graphic I made!
The word “Charcuterie” stems from 15th century France (according to various blogs and Wikipedia) where a specific guild was responsible for the production of salted and dried meats – referred to as “charcuterie”. On the other hand, cheese boards are enjoyed by the French and British. The French often have a cheese board before dessert, while the British prefer cheese after dessert. It appears that charcuterie boards emerged between WWI and WWII as a dish enjoyed by the upper class (source). Nowadays, charcuterie cheese boards have been popularized and often include all kinds of ingredients, some perhaps unorthodox. I’ll bet the elite class enjoying charcuterie boards during the interwar periods won’t have predicted seeing vegan cheese and vegan meat on such a platter. The beauty of charcuterie boards is that you can make your own, tailored to your taste. Furthermore, the meticulous process of assembling your board is ultimately rewarding if you achieve an aesthetic product. Thus, if you are ever bored during the holidays, try making a charcuterie board!
Give your thanks to the autumn season and all the thanksgiving dinners (in Canada). I made thanksgiving dinner not once, but TWICE! Perhaps I watched too much of The Chef Show on Netflix… But it was so great to reconnect with family and friends (while following COVID-19 precautions: limit your social bubble and keep indoor gatherings small) – and for this, I am extremely grateful.
Here are some of the recipes I “followed”. Peep the outcome in the photos above 👀
Stuffing: (10/10) I skipped the eggs but it still came out delicious!
Mashed potatoes: (8/10) I added parsley, dill, and parmesan for more flavour.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on most people’s mental health, mine included. If anything, thanksgiving has taught me the value of reconnecting with family and friends. If you are ever feeling down, reach out to a friend or family member, whether it is meeting them at a local park (safely) or scheduling a Facetime call. Give thanks to the people who mean the most to you, or make them a wholesome meal to express your gratitude. Just be sure to follow the COVID protocols specific to your location while doing so. Here are the BC guidelines for my BC peeps. Happy Thanksgiving from Canada! 🥳
Quarantine calls for extra time spent reminiscing. And specifically about childhood snacks. I have a raging sweet tooth, but I think this doodle will hold me over until I can get my hands on these goodies again 🤩
Inspired by my Montreal bagel. Sometimes the greatest joy I find in drawing my favourite foods. It was also interesting working with the oil painting tools in Procreate. I ended up cheating by using markers but the oil paints allowed me to add more texture to the graphic 😍
I hated the Kraft dinner stuff growing up so I always assumed that mac and cheese tasted bad…Until this year. One of my friends makes some of the best mac and cheese, and I have been converted ever since. This recipe from The Chunky Chef (https://www.thechunkychef.com/family-favorite-baked-mac-and-cheese/) is pretty similar to one my friend made.
Me being me though, and I never follow recipes exactly, I made my own adjustments. If you like flavour, texture, and food that is not bland, (no one asked asked but here it is 💁♀️) here are some ways to elevate your mac and cheese:
How to make mac and cheese less of a gooey mess: add BREADCRUMBS. In a low heat dry pan, toast those bad boys until they are golden brown. I smother my noodles with this stuff. It’s so good!
How to make it healthier: substitute half or all the cheese with nutritional yeast. You can do without that extra calories for very little change in flavour.
How to make mac and cheese more umami: add shrimp and/or pan fried mushrooms. I made this once, and the mushrooms add so much flavour. The shrimp gives the dish more texture.