Tag Archives: Cooking

Sweet Crepe

Here’s a video remake of an old blog post recipe we made a few years ago.

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Canada Day Pasta

Happy Canada Day!

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It’s been a while since we last posted, so here’s a quick post on a Canada Day themed pasta. Savory foods can look pretty too! 😀

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I got that pasta from Winners again. I think it’s the same brand as the previous colored pasta post.

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Ingredients: colored bowtie pasta, pasta sauce, shaved parmesan cheese, and grape tomatoes

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I’m thinking of using these red and white bowties again for Christmas 😉 .

– Ricelessasian

Quick and Easy Banana Pancakes

Here’s a quick and easy pancake recipe we’ve previously featured on the blog. We added chocolate chips to half the batter and fresh blueberries to the other half for variety.

This is probably the most fun we had pouring maple syrup on pancakes and joking about Instragram (so far) :).

– Ricelessasian

Basic Mille CrĂȘpe Attempt

When we said this mille crepe was basic, we didn’t mean drinking Starbucks and listening to Taylor Swift. It’s a classic mille crepe recipe made up of layers of crepes filled with vanilla custard cream in between.

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Mille crepe literally means “a thousand crepes” in French. It’s like a cake, but it’s made with very thin layers of crepes instead. It was something that was on my baking/cooking bucket list for quite a while now, but I didn’t want to attempt making it until I tried a store-bought one. I wanted to make sure I knew what a good mille crepe was supposed to taste like!

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A few weeks ago, I finally got to try the mille crepe from Millie Creperie at Kensington Market. It definitely lived up to the positive reviews I’ve heard about their crepes. Their mille crepe had the right amount of sweetness with a creamy filling. The filling tasted like pastry cream mixed with some whipped cream. Now that school’s over and I’m on the verge of unemployment, I figured it’s about time I try making a mille crepe.

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I used this recipe as a reference for making the cream filling. I highly recommend using vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste for the cream; it makes a huge difference! I also increased the amount of sugar because I felt that the cream wasn’t sweet enough. As for the crepes, I stuck with my go-to crepe recipe. I love the addition of using a citrus zest to the crepe batter as it adds a subtle flavour to the crepe. I tripled the amount of the crepe recipe and added about 3 tablespoons of sugar for a sweet crepe. That yielded me about 16 crepes. I used 15 crepe layers for the mille crepe because I messed up the last crepe. I nibbled on it while dipping the crepe with the remains of the cream filling stuck on the bowl. It was delish.

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I was initially going to leave the crepes plain with a dusting of powdered sugar, but I ended up garnishing the mille crepe with strawberries and cream.

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Verdict: I really enjoyed the cream filling and it tasted similar to the mille crepe I tried at Mille Creperie. However, I felt like there wasn’t enough cream or perhaps the cream dried up after leaving the mille crepe in the fridge overnight. I’ll have to tweak the crepe-to-cream ratio next time I make a mille crepe again.

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Matchachoco recommended I make a matcha mille crepe next time (of course she would), so that’ll be my next mille crepe attempt!

‘Til the next blog post,

– Ricelessasian

Growing Oyster Mushrooms

The world is your oyster…mushroom.

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A few months ago, I was able to take part in a mushroom growing workshop organized by my school’s homegrown garden. I took home a bag in which oyster mushrooms were supposed to grow from, and for weeks, I observed the mushrooms gradually grow out from it. I was really amused. I love eating mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, portabello, crimini etc…you name it!), but I’ve never really given much thought about mushroom cultivation.

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Recently I was on the search for mushroom growing kits and I managed to find one at Loblaws. The mushroom kit yielded a lot more oyster mushrooms than the one I got from school. It only took me about 4 days before the mushrooms were ready for harvest!

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I thought it’d be interesting to pair the homegrown mushrooms with something homemade, so I did! I made an open-faced sandwich with homemade herbed focaccia bread (I used Chef John’s recipe from Food Wishes) topped with sautĂ©ed oyster mushrooms.

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For the oyster mushrooms, I sautĂ©ed the mushrooms with garlic, olive oil, and butter. I seasoned them with salt and freshly ground black pepper, added some romano cheese, splashed in some balsamic vinegar, and finished with some chopped fresh parsley. I can’t remember the amounts I used (hence no recipe), but it was pretty good!

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The oyster mushrooms turned out quite flavorful; they really absorb the flavours you cook them with. Although next time I probably wouldn’t make an open-faced sandwich as it was quite messy to eat (despite how neat it looks in the photo) lol.

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Looking forward to make more food “from scratch” 🙂

– Ricelessasian

Our Year in Review (2014)

2014 went by so fast! We can’t believe it has been almost two years since we started UCL. Here’s a review of our eventful year:

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We went to Canoe for Winterlicious.

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We learned about Nigerian cuisine for a school project.

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We went on a Vancouver food trip. This was Ricelessasian’s first time visiting  Vancouver.

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Baked a giant cupcake for a special girl’s birthday party!  

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Ricelessasian made a lot of colourful cupcakes.

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Although Matchachoco stayed in Vancouver, we met again in Los Angeles a few months later. We went on a food trip…again (lol).

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We made our own birthday cakes!

Ricelessasian’s birthday cake:

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Matchachoco’s birthday cake: 

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Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck with EatPrayBake 🙂

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We had a couple of pasta posts throughout the year 😛

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Ricelessasian made an edible Christmas tree.

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Looking forward to more food experiments in 2015! 🙂

Happy New Year!

– Underground Culinary Lab Team

Christmas Kale Minestrone Soup

It’s that time of the year again. I don’t know about you, but one of the best parts of the year is the weeks that lead up to Christmas. There’s a lot of excitement in anticipation for Christmas; the environment is beaming with white snow and Christmas lights. You also have an excuse to throw holiday parties!

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In spirit of the season,  I decided to get these Christmas-themed pasta I’ve been eyeing on for quite a while now. Initially, I was waiting to get it after Christmas when it goes on sale, and use it for next Christmas. But apparently, I don’t really have that much patience…

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Since I’ve recently been into soups because of the cold weather, here’s a minestrone soup post featuring one of my all-time favorite veggies, kale. It’s sweet, tangy, and hearty from the beans and vegetables used.

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Put your hands up like you just don’t kale.

– Ricelessasian

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Christmas Minestrone Kale Soup (makes about 4-6 servings)
Adapted from Laura Vitale

Feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients according to your preference. You can add whatever vegetables you want; I just used what I had at home. Meatballs would also be a great addition to this soup.

Ingredients

2/3  cup diced carrots
2/3 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
1 can (796ml) diced tomatoes
4-5 cups of chopped kale
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
~1 cup pasta
1-2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for cooking

Directions

  1. In a cooking pot, cook carrot, celery, and onion with some cooking oil over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions have softened and become translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook vegetables for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and diced tomatoes. Allow the soup to come to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the kale. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the kale has wilted. Add water if the soup reduces too much.
  3. Add the black beans and the pasta. Continue to heat the soup until the pasta is cooked al dente. Season soup with salt and pepper, and finish with some chopped fresh parsley. Serve with more parsley for garnish and parmesan cheese.

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Jack-O’-Lantern Stuffed Peppers

Belated Happy Halloween!

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This year, I have once again been assigned to do the Halloween post. Halloween, for me, has turned out to be one of my favourite holidays that I look forward to. Although I’m not a fan of horror films or anything scary, what I love about Halloween is how creative and novel people can get with their Halloween costumes. Halloween is also a perfect time to get creative with food! 🙂

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For a while now, I’ve been eyeing on the idea of jack-o’-lattern stuffed peppers I saw from a couple of food blogs, and I thought it’d be great to try them out  around this time of the year. Since I’ve never tried making stuffed peppers before, I followed this recipe by Diana DeLaFuente from Youtube. I made a few changes to the recipe by using ground turkey instead of ground pork, and adding mushrooms. It’s a very flexible recipe!

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Apologies for the lack of carving skills, but at least the stuffed peppers look happy! 😛

I also made jack-o’-lantern tangerines on the side. I’ll dedicate a separate Halloween post for those later. Forget about pumpkins, let’s try making jack-o’-lanterns with different foods!

– Ricelessasian

Balsamic Kale and Cranberry Pasta

It’s that time of the year again! Leaves are turning brown, everything is pumpkin-spiced, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This week is also my reading week at school, so I get to have some time to cook/bake again 😀

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Here’s a dish inspired by Laura Vitale’s Kale with Cranberries and Balsamic. This is one of my favorite ways to cook kale, and the cranberries give the dish some sweetness and a Thanksgiving feel to it.  I added pasta (I’m not really sure what type of pasta I used, but it’s a cool shape!) and some toasted walnuts to Laura’s recipe. I love the combination of ingredients, and I think it makes such a light and healthy autumn-themed dish, in contrast to Thanksgiving dishes which tend to be very heavy. If you like, you can finish it off with a sprinkling of some Parmesan cheese.

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This dish could be part of the Thanksgiving table as a light alternative, or if you’re looking for a recipe to make using leftover turkey, it can be included to the dish as well for added protein.

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Hope you’re having a great Autumn!

Kale me maybe,

– Ricelessasian

Cooking for One: Colourful Heirloom Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

It’s too pretty to eat…

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Here’s another Cooking for One recipe and a very simple and colourful one as well!

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I think I get easily amused with weird pasta shapes and colours (as evidenced by this previous post and this one), so I was really happy when I found these coloured bowtie pasta on sale at Winners. These bowties were naturally coloured with turmeric, beets, and squid ink. The red portion of the pasta becomes a little dull after cooking the pasta, but the black and yellow parts remain vibrant after cooking. I’m inspired to colour my own pasta from scratch, but first I’m going to need to find out where I can get my hands on squid ink and a pasta maker!

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Since these bowties are so colourful, I thought about pairing the pasta with some colourful heirloom tomatoes. I was thinking of what kind of pasta dish to make, and I decided to stick to something simple.

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Although it’s very simple, it turned out pretty well for a dish that does not require a lot of ingredients and effort. It’s convenient to pack for lunch and also portion controlled (lol).

Eat the rainbow,

– Ricelessasian

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Colourful Heirloom Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad (Serves 1)
Adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients*

~1 cup of coloured bowtie pasta
1/4 cup of chopped heirloom tomatoes, including the juice released
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 large basil leaves, chopped
1/4 – 1/2 clove of garlic, finely minced
2-3 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

*Adjust amount of ingredients according to your taste. Experiment by adding ingredients such as onions, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and olives. This is just a guide to how much I used for one serving, and I just used what I had at home.

Directions

  1. In a non-reactive bowl, mix together olive oil, heirloom tomatoes, chopped basil leaves, and finely minced garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let this mixture sit while you are cooking the pasta. TIP: If you don’t like the taste of raw garlic, you can sautĂ© the garlic in olive oil first before mixing all the ingredients.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, toss warm pasta with the heirloom tomato mixture. Toss with crumbled feta cheese. Eat it as it is, or refrigerate and eat it as a cold pasta salad.