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Just a week ago we celebrated Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Ox. And like every other CNY, it’s the perfect the opportunity for us to cook and eat a lot of good food and observe our cultural traditions.

This year, Mama Lam made a Poon Choi / Pancai / Big Bowl Feast / 盤菜. According to Mama Lam, the concept of this giant feast was originated from the late Song Dynasty when Emperor Bing fled to Hong Kong to escape the attack of Mongolians. The villagers in HK hosting the emperor pulled together everything they could find and cook, and due to the lack of serving vessels, they resorted to washing basins to be able to hold all the food. And this village tradition has been passed on and modified to the current form, typically being served for celebrations and special occasions.

How many layers do you think there are in this Poon Choi that Mama Lam made?

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Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is back! Given the global COVID-19 pandemic and Public Health Order restrictions in BC, most participating vendors not only offer dine-in hot chocolates, but also to-go options and DIY kits. On the top of my list to try was Mon Paris Patisserie because both flavours on the menu sound so good!

On an almost snow day this weekend, we went to Mon Paris for a taste. I was hoping to sit inside the patisserie actually, but both tables were occupied so we could only take them to-go and enjoy them in our car ride.

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Vancouverites will soon have access to interesting Indonesian food products. Sourced from Indonesia by Indonesians, Archipelago Marketplace curates and delivers a wide variety of unique, high quality products to North America, offering customers an authentic Indonesian experience and a taste of the culture. Their products will be available on Amazon as well as at the pop-up store in Gastown at the Indonesia Trade Promotion Centre at 310 West Cordova Street.

I had the opportunity for a sneak preview at the pop-up store. It carries products such as tempeh chips, cassava flour, vanilla sugar, various types of coffee, butterfly pea tea and ginger powder. They also have interesting products that I’ve never heard of, including curcumin powder and the Indonesian ginseng called Tongkat ali.

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This Christmas is nothing like before. There will be no big public events, no big company parties, and no big family gatherings. But hey, we can all still celebrate the holiday season with our core bubble.

Don’t feel like cooking this Christmas? Local restaurants and caterers are offering to-go options that you can celebrate Christmas safely at home, while still enjoying restaurant quality dishes. Here is my round-up. I will continue to update this list as restaurants continue to promote their offering.

Make sure to check the order details for each one to not miss out!

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We are only a few days away from Halloween, and this Halloween isn’t going to be the same. We are all trying to be more creative and have fun, all the while being safe. Baking at home is definitely fit for this occasion. We made some monster fingers by adapting from a recipe on beanpanda.com. This is super easy to make and there are ways to involve your kids (or the kids in you)!

Ingredients

  • 50g Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 10g Whisked Egg (or Liquid Eggs)
  • 90g Cake Flour
  • 20g Almond Powder
  • 16 Raw Almond (approximate)
Monster Finger Cookies
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