Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Endnotes gone crazy........ so i have to reinsert most of my references
My graduate counselor is sick.............and i am really lost
Still waiting for my passport...........I hope they will reply my email tomorrow
is 9 pm, still at work..............well i guess i was at work from 8:30 am to 11:30 pm yesterday
Hopefully, tomorrow will be a much better day >.<
I want to go home..... but i guess i should at least finish my corrections for Chapter
3..........Hang in there Chris Fish..... hang in there
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Today is the second day of the biggest snow storm ever..........
I have never ever seen so much snow before..... well i guess that is also partly because i grew up in a very warm place up until I was 18
Got a call today from my boss Mary...... "the library is close today.......too much snow..... I don't think anyone will come to the library today"
I usually work on Sunday at the library as a librarian from 1-8.......Yeah a day off..... but what am i going to do?
I can't really get to school (or i don't want to head out in the crazy snow) and work on my thesis......
maybe i will make that cupcake that I have been dreaming about ever since i found those mini muffin tins in the kitchen at my new place.........
I have to admit during busy times, i am a lazy baker and find myself using a lot of cake mixes to save some time..........but i always use organic cake mix...... cake mix without all the weird chemicals in conventional cake mix that i myself ,a self-proclaimed scientist or my chemist sister cannot even understand.............and if you are a label reader like me.... you will find that the ingredients in organic cake mixes are just about the same ingredients that you would use if you start from scratch
In this package of cake mix that i used...... the ingredients are
- organic wheat flour
- organic cane sugar
- baking soda
- cream of tartar
- organic natural vanilla flavour
- organic carob bean gum
This cake mix calls for
- 3 large eggs (Organic if you want to maintain the organic theme)
- 2/3 cup (150 ml) organic milk
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) organic vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup organic soy milk
- 2 over ripen organic banana (mushed by a fork and some "heavy duty arm strength")
- 1/4 cup organic pear puree (which act as a substitute to the vegetable oil.....you see that people use applesauce for the same purpose a lot too.....but i like the idea of pears in cakes.......* A little trick of mine: you often find applesauce or other fruit puree come in big jars and if you only use it for baking once in a while, then is really not worthy to buy a big jar..... what i do is i get the baby food fruit puree.... they are inexpensive, alway come in little jars and free of additives)
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Mix all wet ingredients together
- Combine wet ingredients with cake mix
- Pour batter in mini muffin pans (a package of cake mix should yield ~48 mini cupcakes)
- Bake for 15-20 mins
- Cool in pans on rack for 10mins and then remove from pans for complete cooling
- Ready for frosting
- 1 pkg of cream cheese (~8 oz)
- 1/2 stick of butter (~1/4 cup)
- Pecans as much as you like
- 3 cups of confectioner's sugar
- a dash of vanilla extract
- Blend cream cheese and butter until soft and fluffy
- add sifted confectioner's sugar in the mixture until desire sweetness and consistency
- Add a dash of vanilla extract for flavouring
- Grind pecans in food processor or coffee grinder until fine (not the one you use to grind coffee though)
- Add processed pecans into cream cheese frosting and mix with a spectula
Frost the cupcakes and CONSUME!!!
* I coated some pecan with organic dark chocolate for deco of the cupcakes
* I know the piping is a bit weird..... I can't find my piping tips.... WHERE ARE YOU???
* You might see some pink bites in the frosting.... that was because i added too much sugar in the frosting cause i wanted a stiffer consistency and end up being to sweet, so i added a little bit of grapefruit juice to cut the sweetness
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I saw a world of white...........
everywhere was covered with snow.............well i live on the 28th floor now...... so i have a view of half of the city..........................
It totally reminded me of Tahoe...................
Anywaz.... heading over to a Christmas Party tonight...... should be fun.........
I better work some more so i can play harder tonight
Thesis... thesis... thesis...
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Had my first Christmas Party today... I love going to parties cause there is always free food... and i have to say i was impressed..... i was thinking it would be the usual pizza flare... but instead we had sushi, roast chicken, meat balls........and of course...... Mary's famous salad (Master's Choice dressings i believe :)
Well with the holidays coming soon..... you start to get emails, msn messages, or facebook notes about the question of "what are you up to these days?"
To answer all questions...... here is a picture of what i am up to lately.... are you ready? It is for sure not for the faint hearted.......
I have been taking pictures of water striders......WHY? well i guess i will have to tell you all later..... cause i still haven't fully transformed from applied aquatic ecology to the dark side of evolutionary biology yet...... so if you are interested (really interested...), stay tune!!!!
Above is a Water Strider picture.... it is a female of a species named Gerris buenoi.......
I was also taking pictures and measurements of some giant water striders Gigantometra gigas which is the largest known Gerrid.........They are endemic to regions of Vietnam and south China...... I am not normally a bug fan... but i have to say they are so cool..........nothing like the common little striders you see in lakes and ponds...............i will try to get some pictures on here when i bring my camera to work
oh... i guess i got steered off track from what i initially wanted to say in this post... TRAVELING
i have been getting a lot of facebook notices these days about people posting their vacation pictures..... well i guess i will be doing that very soon too !!!
I am heading back to HK and Taiwan for Christmas.....mainly because is my very very BEST friend's wedding.... and I am in it..... but also for all the family and friends that i have missed for a long long time.... and not to mention the great food in HK and Taiwan........
I already have a list of places that i want to go eat in HK and Taiwan......hopefully i will be able to take better pictures of these yummy pleasure with my new found "skills" with my camera
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Empirical modeling approach to predict how water temperatures of the lake will be affected by climate change
i guess i should take myself out for dinner and read a fun book tonight........ can't decide what to eat!?!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
It was from NY.....................
and now............i can be still........i can make plans.......
one thing off my check list..........3 more years to becoming a canuck
and the World???
Oh and DOT for those who knows........
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I am moving next week.... so i have to clear out my fridge..... all leftovers must.... as well as all frozen storage..........
So here is what i have
Chicken thighs, frozen spinach , evaporated milk, frozen mozzarella, yogurt
I know is a weird combination.... but remember this is a mission of reviving leftover.... so i have to just work with what i have......
So this is what i smell....... seasoned chicken swimming in a creamy spinach sauce topped with mozzarella cheese.........put under the broiler until cheese turn golden and gooey.......
2 pieces of chicken thighs (de-boned)
1 pkg of frozen spinach
1 can of evaporated milk
A healthy pile of grated mozzarella
2 tbsp of plain yogurt
2 gloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, let rest for 10 mins
In the mean time, in a sauce pan, heat oil and add minced garlic. Saute until you can smell the aroma of garlic
Pour in the sauce pan evaporated milk and let it simmer. Slow boiling will allow the milk to develop flavour
Pan-sear the chicken with skin side down first until 80% cooked, then cut it into small pieces
Put in the chicken and de-frosted spinach (squeeze dry beforehand) in to the milk mixture
Top the mixture with 2 tbsp of yogurt, put the lid on and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes (the fat in the yogurt will slow separate from the curds and give the sauce a nice finish.... rich with a sweet tang)
Transfer the chicken and spinach concoction into a oven-safe dish. Top the mixture with mozzarella and put the dish under the broiler. Bake until cheese become gooey and golden brown
I had mine with a slice of garlic Naan (store bought)...............garlicky............
Enjoy my silly creation.......
I have to say is mighty yummy!!!
a poor student........ dreaming to become a scientist.........still believe that she can help save the world one fish at a time (yeah i study fish and global warming...killer combination).........cooking in a tiny kitchen....... no expensive ingredient, just the bare essentials........food might not be gourmet...but definitely hearty and full of L.O.V.E.
This will be a scented map to remind myself.......imperfect grammar but definitely understandable............. Life is beautiful with food, adventures, friends and family..............
Warm cinnamon, turmeric-spiced eggs, crushed almond and a heaping dose of tender chicken covered by layers of phyllo pastry with a touch of snowy sugar
a sweet and savory concoction......
Getting ready to move out of my place.... and venture into a new domain.... i found a box of phyllo pastry hiding at the corner of my freezer.........a box of delicate feathery sheets..........My first bite into a Bastilla pie was at a place called Bulter's Pantry on Queen West, Toronto a few years ago.....and the sweet and savory taste never left my mind ever since....
I am sure a lot of you are aware of the delicate nature of phyllo pastry..... and that is why it took me so long to finally attempt to recreate this fond memory of mine
There are a lot of Bastilla or Basteeya pie recipes out there.....from few simple ingredients to spices intensive creations, but a few key ingredients are essential:
chicken, onion, garlic, almonds, cinnamon, turmeric, eggs, ginger, sugardid not follow one particular recipe but an adaptation of much......my pie fits nicely in my cast iron skillet
For the chicken
· 1 medium size chicken (roasted with salt and pepper)
· 8 tbsp. butter, sliced
· 2 onions, grated
· 1 tsp. ground ginger
· 1/2 tsp. turmeric
· 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
· a pinch of nutmeg
· 1 bay leaf
· salt and pepper
· 2 tbsp. sugar
For the Almonds
· 1 cup toasted almonds
· 4 tbsp. sugar
· 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
For the Eggs
· 4 eggs, beaten
· 1/2 cup reserved chicken sauce
For the pie
· 1 package phyllo pastry
· melted butter
· 1/2 cup powdered sugar
· 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
Prepare the chicken
Pull off and shred the meat of roasted chicken (can save rack for stock), and set side.
Saute onions with butter until soft and caramelized.
Add ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper and salt to onion mixture, mix well and sautee together for 5 minutes.
Add the water, chicken, bay leaf and nutmeg to the mixture and bring it to a boil and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from the pot. Add sugar, mix and set aside.
Save the simmering liquid for the eggs.
Prepare the almonds
Put toasted almonds, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and grind.
Prepare the eggs
Warm the simmering liquid over low heat. Bring it to a slow boil and slowly add the eggs, stirring constantly. Cook until they have a scrambled egg consistency. Drain any extra liquid and let cool.
Assemble the pie
Butter cast-iron pan and place 4 or 5 phyllo sheets on it. Brush with melted butter, spread a thin layer of chicken and cover with 2 or 3 phyllo sheets. Brush phyllo sheets with butter, spread a thin layer of almonds, cover with another couple of sheets of phyllo, butter and spread a layer of eggs. Repeat with other layers of chicken/almonds/egg/ until all the fillings are used up. Cover with several sheets of phyllo dough and tug them into the bottom of the pie, encasing the whole thing. Score the top of the pie into diamond shape design and sprinkle the pie with some water (prevent too much puffing of pastry)
Heat the oven to 425F and put the pie inside (no preheating required). Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until golden. Brush with powdered sugar and cinnamon.