Make Jujube Tea, Not War.

The health benefits of dates have been well-known in China for thousands of years, They are believed to cleanse and enrich the blood, enhance immunity, promote white cell formation, reduce cholesterol and protect the liver, among many other supposed gains. Dates are rich in vitamin C, calcium and iron and are believed to be therapeutic for the elderly as well as growing children and those with anemia. Red dates (hong zao in Chinese) are also known as jujubes. For more on China’s “cure-all” fruit, click here.


I’ve been drinking red date (or jujube) tea since I was a child. It was something my mother would make for my sister and I to keep our little bodies strong. Growing up, I thought of this as some sort of magical mommy-creation. I had no idea how easy it was to make! Continue reading

Cinnamon Rolls: Ooey Gooey Goodness

The weather outside is frightful…or becomingly so. As we enter into the cold months, I find ways in the kitchen to warm the body, heart and soul. The cold, crisp winter air chills you to the bone. There is no better comfort than to feel the warmth of the oven, watch buns bake and to have the smell of cinnamon and sugar fill your home.

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I LOVE CINNAMON ROLLS! (And it’s probably safe to say that you do too.) These sweet, sticky, oozing buns full of cinnamon flavour are something I can’t refuse. It’s a mystery why I hadn’t tried baking these sooner! The satisfaction of creating each gorgeous little bun, and perfect cinnamon swirl, is unsurpassed.

I’ve had my share of different cinnamon buns from all over the place and some are definitely better than others. A good friend of mine baked a batch last month and brought me a couple (I have the greatest friends!). I had to make them for myself, THEY WERE DELICIOUS, and so she sent me the recipe that she used. The original recipe is from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, who has a wonderful blog, great recipes and a cookbook. I made a few slight changes and cut the recipe in half, because who could eat 50 cinnamon rolls!? I mean, I could…but I wouldn’t… 🙂 Continue reading

Autumn Apple Maple French Toast

Fall is such a gorgeous season. The weather begins to cool and leaves begin to turn wondrous shades of red, orange and yellow. I wake to a crisp, still morning air and fall asleep under warm, toasty covers. Each deep autumn breath carries the faint aroma of hot apple cider and warm cinnamon. It’s a season of harvest, coziness and sweaters; a season of warm ovens and warmer hearts. Each day is full of rich colour and the smell of hot bubbling pies, freshly baked and ready to be devoured.

This is my first official fall post this year and a perfect time to share this amazing apple brunch creation I made yesterday. I went apple picking near Collingwood, Ontario last week with my family and brought back a half bushel of McIntosh and Cortland apples with me. I’ve been spending the past few days thinking of ways to use them all. The funniest part about this is that I am slightly allergic to apples so I don’t really eat them myself (once in a while, if I can’t resist).

The classic French toast I was going to make on a Saturday afternoon, became something so much more delicious…and pretty. I took a couple of my fresh-picked apples and made apple maple French toast. Sauteing apples in butter and maple syrup turns them into a sweet, warm, caramelized apple topping to spoon over vanilla cinnamon French toast. Continue reading

The Best Kale Recipe: Fritters!


Kale is the new black. (At least I think it kind of still is…) I’ve never seen a leafy green so in-fashion! A few years ago, when I first heard rumours of this new “thing”, everyone was talking about it. “Kale is SO good!”, “Have you tried kale?”, “Superfood!”, “Nutrients!”, “Kale saves lives!”. It was all around me. Kale salad, kale smoothies, kale chips, sauteed kale…everyone in the world, it seemed, was being kale-ified. Of course I had to taste this veggie for myself!

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, a group of veggies including cabbage and brussels sprouts. I always say it looks like huge, curly spinach. It’s a little bit tougher, and some say it has a bit more of a bitter flavour. It has been called a superfood and one of the healthiest foods in the world. It is packed with nutrients and has a ton of health benefits, while also low in calories. Here’s a top 10 list of kale health benefits.

Kale can be eaten raw or cooked. I absolutely love it (although I don’t think there’s a single vegetable that I don’t love). The problem I had with kale was that I didn’t know a lot of kale recipes. I never knew what else I could do with it, other than sauteeing it with garlic or making a salad. I mean, I love kale salad, but there’s got to be other ways to eat this stuff… And I found out that there definitely are! Here is one of my new kale favourites! Delicious kale fritters! Flavourful and full of kale (and spicy if you want). They’re so hard to resist! Continue reading

Indonesian Chicken Soup For The Mind, Body and Soul

We all have our bad days. Days where you have too many questions and not enough answers. Days when your mind feels full and empty at the same time. Days when you’re sick, tired, or both. Sometimes we need a moment to see the light; something to intervene our thoughts. A great intervention: chicken soup. Soup is an amazing answer to any question, no matter how big or small. It can be an equally good addition to a good day, cold day, lazy day or busy day all the same. Soup clears your mind, fills your insides, warms your heart and brings a smile to your face.


“Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.”
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

It may be my Asian upbringing, but there is nothing better than a hot bowl of noodles and soup. The breakfast, lunch or dinner of champions! The best soup noodles are homemade. You take the time to make a delicious broth and the rest comes easily. The noodles take no time at all, and you can quickly add simple toppings. I make batches of broths to freeze. That way, there’s always a bowl of hot noodle soup waiting to be made in a flash. Continue reading

Tomato Salad In A Snap!

There is no better time than tomato season to enjoy tomatoes. Everywhere I look, my friends and family are harvesting their crop and bragging about how good their tomatoes taste. My father started a vegetable garden last year and is growing all sorts of tomato varieties. He planted so many he doesn’t even know what to do with them all! And so, of course, I have a never-ending supply of sweet, ripe tomatoes coming to me. I have to say, these homegrown tomatoes are the best I’ve ever had!


Take advantage of the delicious tomatoes in season and enjoy them in a simple salad! Tomato salads have always been a staple in my home, and I have my father to thank for it. He is the man always on a quest for the freshest, ripest, sweetest tomatoes, and was the one who first showed me this recipe. (I’m sure this is how I developed my love for balsamic vinegar.)

This is the easiest salad to make. It uses only a few ingredients, and takes minutes to make. Continue reading

Wrap & Roll! Learn To Rice-Paper-Wrap Anything And Everything.

I get a lot of requests for easy, quick and healthy recipes. Here’s a recipe that can’t get any easier or quicker, and can be super duper healthy! These were inspired by Vietnamese rice paper spring rolls and can be 100% vegan or vegetarian-friendly if you want them to be. If you’ve ever tried Vietnamese food, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.


Rice paper wraps are my best friend. They’re so quick and easy to use and they don’t cost much at all! Rice paper is like thin, steamed rice crepes that have been dried out into thin, hard, round sheets. You dampen the sheets, one by one, in warm water and you’re ready for wrapping! They get nice and sticky and adhere to themselves to make a gorgeous fresh roll in one step. They’re also much healthier than fried spring rolls. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Avocado Brownies: A Healthier Brownie Recipe

This is a recipe for the chocolate addicts, the bakers, the health-conscious eaters, the avocado lovers, and my non-gluten-eating friends. Despite the fact that I called these avocado brownies, these are regular brownies, that taste amazing. They’re not green, and the gluten-free aspect doesn’t change the texture or the taste of them. I know sometimes gluten-free baking results in a weird taste or texture you might not be used to, or like. I can assure you. These brownies are yummy!

Confession: I couldn’t wait for mine to cool before devouring…so it didn’t come too nicely out of the pan. (Note the giant holes.) It still tasted the great! 🙂


Continue reading

Seriously Delicious Homemade Pizza: Easiest Recipe Ever!

When the moon hits your eye like this homemade pizza pie, it’s gonna be some serious amore. I promise.

I use a whole wheat pita for the crust. You might think this sounds crazy, but give it a chance! These are the fastest super-yummiest thin-crust pizzas I’ve ever made! And it’ll take you less time than it takes to call for delivery…and taste better.


I had this brilliant idea a couple years ago, and I haven’t stopped making these pizzas since. The best thing about them is that you can customize them to your own liking. Put anything on them! Get creative!  There are no limits to the yummy creations you can make. You can make them as healthy (or not healthy) as you like. You can even use gluten-free pitas/ingredients, or make them vegan. You just pile the toppings on a pita, and bake in the oven.

The result: A deliciously crispy thin crust anything-you-like-on-it pizza pie. You’ll be super impressed, along with whoever’s eating them with you. My non-pizza-eating mother has even started eating these when I make them.

Get your toppings, and hop to it!

Easy Thin Crust Pizza

*Use gluten-free or vegan-friendly ingredients to make this work for you*


  • Pita bread. Large or small. Each pita makes one pizza, so use as many as you want to make. I use the thinner, drier, whole wheat pitas that can open into a pocket, as opposed to the moister, more dough-y pitas.
  • Pizza sauce. You can buy pizza sauce, or make your own, any tomato sauce will probably work fine.
  • Cheese. I usually use mozzarella, this time around I used a blend of mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan. Play around with other cheeses as toppings too!
  • Toppings!!!


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line baking trays with parchment paper and lay your pitas down on top. If you’re using smaller pitas you can probably fit two pitas on one tray.


3. Spread a THIN layer of sauce over your pita. I use a spoon. **Make sure you dont over do it. Just a thin layer is enough, or your pizza will be soggy.**


4. Cheese it up! Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella (or whatever cheese you’re using) over top.


5. Lay your toppings on.

6. Add a bit more cheese as a finishing touch if you think your pizza needs it. If I’m going to use a different cheese as a topping, like a blue cheese or brie, this is when I do it.

7. Put the pizzas in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until you can see that it’s starting to brown and get a bit crispy around the edges. You don’t want a soggy pizza, so if it still looks wet, leave it for a bit longer. I trust you, you know what a ready pizza looks like! Sometimes I put the broiler on at the end for a couple minutes, just to get the cheese a little golden. 🙂

I made a broccoli & aged cheddar pizza, veggie pizza with zucchini, red onion, garlic, green pepper, arugula & spinach, jerk chicken pizza with mushrooms, garlic & red onion, and my meat pizza had pepperoni, hot salami, olives, garlic, mushrooms, & green peppers. (Incase you’re wondering what’s in the pictures.)

Here are some toppings I’ve used to help you get thinking:

  • zucchini
  • tomato
  • arugula
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • peppers
  • olives
  • garlic
  • basil
  • anchovies
  • jalapeno peppers
  • banana peppers
  • onion (red or white)
  • capers
  • broccoli
  • brie cheese
  • blue cheese
  • feta cheese
  • chicken
  • prosciutto
  • pepperoni/spicy salami
  • sausage
  • ground beef
  • You can even use leftover meat from a previous meal (roasted chicken, bbq chicken, steak). I’ve done jerk chicken pizzas a bunch of times.



Cowabunga dudes! xx

Soupe A L’oignon: That’s French For Delicious!

Oh gosh, where do I begin? I love French onion soup. It was love at first taste. Onions, croutons, and Swiss cheese are put into a little pot of steaming-hot goodness. I always begin by battling the mountain of bubbling cheese melted over top, trying to get a spoonful to my mouth without cheese strings hanging down my chin. (French onion cheese beard, not a good look.) Once I’ve made a path through the cheese and bread, it’s a mix of eating soup, onions, bread, and cheese until it’s all gone.


“You will find this to be a more oniony soup than the usual kind but, as the cross old lady said when a stranger told her that her slip was showing, “I like it that way.”  ~Margaret Yardley Potter

I don’t know why it took me so long to think of trying to create this at home, but I finally did. And guess what, IT’S SUPER EASY!

Onion soups have been popular since…forever. They’ve been said to have been made as far back as in ancient Roman times. Onions were readily available, and easy to grow. Today, you can buy a whole bag of onions for two bucks! I read, over and over again, that the key to an amazing onion soup is TIME. The longer you cook your onions, the sweeter and more flavourful your soup will be. I found a ton of recipes with onion cooking times ranging from 20 minutes to 2 hours. So I killed two birds with one stone: let the onions cook while I took a nice long bubble bath. 🙂 P.S. You’re going to smell onions…everywhere…but it’s going to be wonderful!

I love using recipes that can easily be made vegetarian/vegan friendly or gluten-free. Classic French onion soup is made using beef broth or a combination of both chicken broth and beef broth (each made on its own, and then combined). There is flour, bread, and cheese in this recipe. However, I’ve noted substitutions you can make for a few of the ingredients to make this soup work for you.

French Onion Soup

* I used long cooking times, which makes for a really wonderful soup. However, this can be done in less time. If you’re pressed for time, you can experiment with cooking the onions for less time, and you can cut the soup-simmering time as well. But taking the extra time is definitely worth the wait. Your soup will taste amazing!


  • 3 pounds of onions (I bought a 3lb bag at the store)
  • 6 tablespoons butter (3/4 of a stick) (Vegan version: use olive oil or vegan butter/margarine)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 cups beef broth (Vegan/vegetarian version: use veggie broth)
  • 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (Gluten-free version: use potato flour or other flour of your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)
  • French baguette (or bread of choice…I used an old baguette that had gotten kind of hard.) (Gluten-free version: use gluten-free bread)
  • Swiss or Gruyere cheese (or both) (Vegan version: skip the cheese or try using vegan cheese)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


1. Peel onions and thinly slice, about 1/8-inch thick.

2. Melt butter in a large stockpot. Add onions and cook on low heat, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours. The long cooking time make the onions mellow and sweet and give your soup more flavour.

3. Stir in pepper, paprika, and bay leaf. Saute for about 10 minutes.

4. Add flour to onions and stir until mixed well.

5. Pour the beef broth and wine into the pot. Add salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil.

6. Reduce heat and simmer slowly for about 2 hours. Have a little taste and add more salt or pepper, if needed.

The soup part is done! Have some right away or refrigerate overnight and serve tomorrow!

I ladled my soup into 1 cup servings and froze them in the freezer for a convenient way to have a bowl whenever I like. 🙂

Serving French Onion Soup:

*Warm it up before you pour into the bowls. I served my soup right after I had made it, so it was still hot. I don’t know if 5 minutes under the broiler will completely heat up the soup while the cheese is melting. This way you can be sure your soup will be steaming hot.

1. Pour your soup into ovenproof crocks or bowls. There are the classic French onion soup bowls with the little arms, but anything ovenproof will do. The only things I had that were the right size were ramekins, so I used those.

2. (Adding the parmesan is optional. I happened to have a bit in the fridge, so I sprinkled it over my soup for some extra cheesiness.)

3. Top with a slice of toasted bread or croutons. Slice some bread, brush with olive oil (can sprinkle with sea salt, maybe add some garlic) and toast in the oven. I used a baguette from two nights before that had hardened. This soup is a great way to use up old bread. 🙂

*If you’re doing a vegan version without cheese, this is where it ends… the soup is delicious on it’s own or topped with a yummy slice of toasted bread. 🙂

4. Now for the cheese. Sprinkle grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese, or a mixture of both, over your bowl of soup. Be generous! The more cheese, the yummier.

5. Stick your bowls in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.

Be careful taking the bowls out of the oven.

Get out your spoons, and enjoy!!! xx