Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

I have bad cold…*blowing my nose*…excuse me!  I was in the mood to sip warm soup…..roasted red pepper and tomato soup!

Time to roast!




*Yummy*  I am so into making varied soups…what’s next?  Pumpkin? Carrot??

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

• 3 red peppers
• 3 tomatoes
• 5 cloves garlic
• 2 medium shallots
• 1 large onion, cut in thick wedges
• drizzled olive oil
• 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
• 4 small dried bay leaves
• 3 cups chicken broth
• pinched salt and black pepper

1. Quarter and seed the red peppers.  Core and cut the tomatoes in the wedges as well as onions.  Cut the shallots half.  Place these ingredients and cloves garlic in a bowl and drizzle olive oil.  Add the thyme and season the black pepper on it.  Use the spatula to mix all together.  Then gently take out the ingredients onto a foil-lined baking sheet from the bowl.

2. Roast on the bottom rack of the oven at 450°F for 50-60 mins or until tender and slightly charred.  When a time’s up, take it out and cool for 30 mins. Slip skins off tomatoes.

3. While the cooling down, heat to warm the chicken broth in a pot.

4. Put all the ingredients in a blender to puree vegetables along with chicken broth (not all) until smooth.  Return to the chicken broth pot.  Season it w/ salt and black pepper.  Add bay leaves and stir it well.  Serve immediately.

Thanksgiving (Canada)

A day before Thanksgiving’s Day (October 11th), my family, friends, and I have Thanksgiving dinner.  That day, I was busy to make bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, roast beef, roasted butternut squash soup, and bake the turkey!  Of course, I had extra hands from my brother, Tessar, and his girlfriend, Erika to help me for preparing food.  I am here to share pictures of Thanksgiving meals that I made.

Blended sage, rosemary, and thyme together for the bread stuffing and butter.

Toasted/Cubed baguette bread, celery, onions, and dried cranberries for bread stuffing.

Why is that turkey in the plastic bag??  For brining!  The brine would make it juicier and more tender.  Before the day of cooking, I made brine, put the thawed turkey in the plastic bag, and poured the brine in.  Tied the plastic bag tight and left it in the refrigerator overnight.

Crusted Roast Beef

Sliced the crusted roast beef.

My family dog, Neko begged for delicious food. :p

Pureed the roasted butternut squash for soup.

I thought that turkey may be a bit dried because the skin looks a little dark, not golden.  However it was tender and juicy…phew!

Carved the turkey.

Cork popped out to celebrate my parents’ 32nd wedding anniversary.

My parents romantically crossed their arms to drink the champagne…cute!

Simple Brine Recipe

• 1/2 cup light brown sugar
• 1 cup salt
• 1 handful of rosemary, thyme, sage
• 1 gallon water
• 1 tray of ice cubes
• 1 tbsp black pepper corns, cracked

1. Combine all ingredients except ice cubes, in a pot and stir on medium heat until the salt and sugar combined.

2. After the salt and sugar have dissolved, turn off the heat and add a tray of ice cubes to the mix for cooling down the brine.  Then let it cool down for about 30 to 40 minutes.  Prepare your turkey for brining by removing the gizzards and place it in a brining bag, a clean plastic bag that will cover your turkey.

3. Place in a cool area overnight.  After brining overnight, wash off the brine and pat the turkey dry before placing it in the oven tray.

Erin’s Cooking Dinner

Last week, I visited Rochester, NY for meeting Global Reach Out staffs and visiting my good friends too.  I enjoyed my short vacation there.

Anyway, my adorable friends Erin and Joshua whom are hospitable welcoming me to stay over at their place.  What’s more, Erin and Joshua offered me wonderful red wines and cheeses that we enjoyed to eat together.  Erin cooked the yummy dinner…

My dear friend, Erin!

I munched the food and emptied the plate!  I really like this dinner except the brussels sprout that I am not crazy about.  However I endured eating the brussels sprout because I don’t want to waste the lovely dinner that Erin made for me.  Erin and Joshua….thank you very much for the hospitality and especially food and red wines!

Lemon Matcha Pound Cake

Two weeks ago, I decided trying to make the lemon matcha pound cake that I found via the blog (I cannot remember which is the site).

I  divided the batter in half into two separate bowls when I combined the flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and sour cream together.  I grated the lemon zest and put lemon juice into one bowl.

In the other bowl, I added the matcha tea powder and folded it until the batter becomes green.

Pour some of the lemon batter into the pan, then top it with some of the matcha batter. Repeat these methods until leaving at least 1 inch of room at the top of the pan for the cake to rise.  Swirl gently with a chopstick.

Used up the remaining batter for making mini muffins or cupcakes.  Bake the cake pound at 350°F for 55 yo 60 minutes.  The mini muffins will take around 15 minutes and the cupcakes will take around 18 to 20 minutes.

It is delicious but a little dry.  Moreover, the flavourful tasting needs more lemon and green tea!  I will continue to experiment this recipe next time!

Recipe of Lemon Matcha Pound Cake

• 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
• 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 6 eggs
• 2/3 cup sour cream
• zest of one lemon and juice of half a lemon
• 1 tbsp matcha powder
• 1 stick plus 7 tbsp (15 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1. Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter the loaf pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess.  Also butter a mini muffin pan or line a regular muffin tin with cupcakes papers for the small amount of excess batter.  Set aside.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Whisk the eggs into the sugar in the mixer for a few seconds and added the vanilla extract and sour cream.  Continuing with the whisk,  and gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick.  Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions.

4. Divide the batter in half into two separate bowls. One for the lemon flavour as adding the zest and lemon juice.  Another bowl, fold in the matcha tea powder.

5. Pour some of the lemon batter into the 9″ x 5″ x 4″ pan.  Top it with a portion of the green tea batter.  Repeat these methods.  Fill the loaf pan, leaving at least 1 inch of room at the top of the pan for the cake to rise.  Swirl gently with a chopstick to get a good swirl effect.  With the remaining batter, make mini muffins or cupcakes.

6. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.  The mini muffins will take around 15 minutes and the cupcakes will take about 18 to 20 minutes.

7. Once removed from the oven, allow the loaf to rest in the pan for 20 minutes before running a spatula along the edges of the pan and turn around the cake onto a cooling rack.

Roasted Tomato Caprese

Yesterday, I made roasted tomato caprese sandwich for lunch.

My favourite sandwich is Ciabatta Baguette, basil, tomato vine, mozzarella, evoo, and balsamic vinegar!

First, I sliced half-ciabatta baguette, drizzled and brushed evoo on it, and broiled it in the toaster oven for 8 mins.  While broiling the ciabatta, I sliced 1/3 thickness of the tomato vine, put the sliced tomatoes on the foil, drizzled evoo and balsamic vinegar over.  Then I seasoned salt and fresh black peppers on tomatoes.  I took the baguette out and put the sliced tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes.

Beautiful golden brown!  I cut 1/3 thickness of mozzarella and put it on the toasted baguette.  Then I put the
roasted tomatoes on mozzarella.  I placed some basil on them.

Yummy…I can taste the yummy balsamic vinegar and mozzarella juicy when I chomped it.

BQM Diner

Two days ago, I guided my good friend who visited here from Rochester for the past weekend, around in downtown.  We were hungry while we walked on Queen Street.  We supposed to go to Manpuku restaurant but BQM Diner‘s phrase, “All Our Beef is Naturally Raised, No Hormones No Antibiotics” got my attention.  I asked my friend if she would like to try eating that burger.  She didn’t mind at all, because she was also curious to taste it!  We came in the restaurant and sat down.  We ordered “The Natural” burger because we wanted to taste the natural beef without additional flavours. We asked the waiter that we rather medium cook.  I also ordered onion rings to share with my friend.  Our orders arrived our table and we were so excited to eat it…

*Please excuse these pictures quality.

The medium cook beef was perfect and juicy when I bite it.  It was delicious burger I’ve ever eaten in my life.  However I there is another place, Craft Burger.  I heard that restaurant is really good too.  Mmm…..

Beautiful Yellowish-Orange like the Fall!

Yesterday, I looked through different food blogs because I want to make good meals for this weekend.  I found a good recipe, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from my favourite food blog, use real butter.

Ingredients of the soup:

I cut the squash in half and I scooped out the seeds.  I put them on the oven tray and drizzled light olive oil over squashes. Roasted it at 400°F for one hour or until soft.

While the squashes are roasted, I put diced apples, chopped onions and shallots in the chicken broth.  Boiled and simmered for 30 minutes or until soft.

Time’s up, I took the squashes out and let it cool for a minute.  I peeled, chopped, and put the squash in the mix blender. Pureed it while I poured some of the broth from the simmering pot.  And I poured and scattered the squash puree into another pot, and put it aside.  I drained the broth into a bowl separately from apples, onions, and shallots.  Then I blended the apples, onions, and shallots in the blender. Poured it mixing with the squash puree in the pot.  I poured the broth to the purees and mixed it well.  I seasoned salt and fresh black pepper.  I added three dried bay leaves and butter to the soup.  Stirred it well.

I poured the soup into my cute and small bowl.  I scooped a little sour cream on it and stirred it.  I slurped it with the spoon and its taste is really delicious as sweet and buttery.  It made me so warm.

Perfect time for the Fall Season!

You can find this recipe at use real butter’s blog.  FYI, dried bay leaf is optional because it is not in the recipe.

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