Monday, 27 July 2015

Upon Her Turning 12: Mini Crême Brûlée Birthday Cheesecakes (gluten free)

Birthday Cheesecake.
Say what? 
You want me to make Mini Cheesecakes for your birthday?

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Homemade Fizzy Grape Kombucha


Homemade Fizzy Kombucha
This Kombucha experiment was anxiety-ridden and exciting and most importantly economical! Do you struggle with paying almost $5 for those bottles of effervescent flavoured kombuchas too?
I failed somewhat in trying to grow my own SCOBY from a bottle of store-bought GT Unflavoured Raw Kombucha.  I don't think I had the right ph balance and I never got anything beyond a translucent scoby that was a few millimetres thin.  When I found out that a local shop was selling scobies I practically went there the next day.  Interestingly, there was a kombucha workshop running that day but I didn't stay for it.  I knew what I wanted and after purchasing some other supplies (at a pretty reasonable price!) I went home to try and make my own kombucha.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

BC SPOT PRAWN FESTIVAL! Stir-Fried Ginger Scallion and Soy Spot Prawns

BC Spot Prawns w/Ginger, Scallion & Soy
It's BC Spot Prawn Season! yay!

The season lasts from May to June and after seeing friends' Spot Prawn pics posted on FB I had a yearning too.  I sent the man down to T&T supermarket where they were on sale for $15.99/lb until May 18.

A photo posted by Cake Brain (@cakebrain) on


The Spot Prawns were lively in their plastic bag.  These guys have pokey antennae and sharp spear-like tails and heads.  You have to buy the Spot Prawns with the intent to eat them within a few hours.  I kept them in the fridge for an hour before I was ready to prep them.  I am squeamish and even with rubber dish gloves to protect me from their sharp pointy bits, I couldn't handle how each prawn would squirm and hop out of my hand.  In the end, I held a prawn with tongs in my left hand and worked the scissors in my other hand. It gave me the willies...but I was not deterred enough to stop because I knew these prawns had to be cooked quickly to maintain their freshness.  After they die, the prawn flesh becomes mushy...bleh...inedible.  When cooked fresh, they have a firm 'n bouncy texture and they're sweet and juicy.  They do not require much fuss in terms of cooking.  

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Ayoub's Dried Fruit and Mixed Nuts

love the chandelier in Ayoub's
If you love nuts and dried fruit, you'll have to check this place out.  Ayoub's first of all is beautiful. It's like walking into another world.  The white shelves, silver urns filled with fragrant spiced nuts and the huge candelier hanging in the centre of the room make for an impressive first impression.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Crackle Crème, Vancouver

Duelling my 7 year old for the crackle!

Basho Cafe & Sweets, Vancouver

Matcha Latte Afternoon Tea special ($5)
Upon entering Basho Cafe on East Hastings (my old teenage stomping grounds!) you are immediately taken aback by the fine details evident in the decor and the food.  By gosh, even the door handle at the front has a knitted warmer wrapped around it!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Earnest Ice Cream, Vancouver


London Fog
Do you ever argue with family members about where to eat for dinner? well, this is us practically every weekend.  I figured out a compromise.   One person chooses the resto for dinner and another can choose a different place for dessert.  Win Win!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Blueberry Milkshake

Blueberry Milkshake
My friend gifted me a HUGE ice-cream pail full of perfectly sweet local blueberries from a UPick farm in Richmond.  The blueberry season is here NOW! and I don't know about you, but I have blueberries starting to turn mushy and I'm heading to the freezer now with trays of them to save them for smoothies and baking.  

Aside from a healthy smoothy, a more decadent way to enjoy a nice heap o' blueberries is in a milkshake.  Here's my quick recipe:

Blueberry Milkshake
2 scoops vanilla ice cream (can be made dairy free with almond or coconut ice cream)
1 cup milk (can be made dairy free with almond or coconut milk)
1 cup blueberries

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until combined and no longer lumpy.

Parthenon Greek Supermarket, Vancouver & a GF rant

Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)
Spanakopita (Spinach pie) 
The best part of living in Vancouver is my proximity to good authentic eats if I'm craving it.  I live within 10 minutes of excellent foods from India, Greece, China, Japan, the Middle East, Italy, France and practically every other major country you can think of.  I'm so lucky. Today, the crave of the day was Greek.  The Parthenon is a Greek supermarket that's been around for ages.  It's always been there on W. Broadway as long as I can remember and I was born and raised in Vancouver.  Let me google it for you and see if I can find out.  Oh! Over 45 years!  that's pretty close to my age (which I shall stay mum about).

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Matcha Chiffon Cake (gf)

Matcha Chiffon (GF)
I'm looking forward to seeing a few of my high school classmates today.  It's kind of neat to be able to see them so many years later and catch up.  I see some of my high school friends only once a year.  We make a bit of time to have coffee or tea and chat for hours about life events and all sorts of things.

Gluten Free Flour Blend


The following GF flour blend recipe is the one I have tripled and kept in an airtight container to be used in place of regular flour.  It has been truly amazing and I imagine you can adapt it, as I have seen numerous permutations on the net.  For cakes, you will find that using the Thai Rice Flour brands that I have pictured below are important for fine texture.  You will find the 3 Elephants Brand rice flours in Asian markets.  They are really cheap.  You can buy a whole bunch at once and  blend up your mix.  For the other starches, I believe brands are not as important. 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

ONE BLUEBERRY MUFFIN! NOW! (Small Batch Baking)

One Blueberry Muffin.  Now. 
My 7 yr old loves blueberry muffins.  The trouble is no one else in the household is that crazy about them.  

Monday, 28 July 2014

CHRISTMAS IN JULY COOKIE CONTEST: Vanilla Pod Butter/Tiffany Snowflake Cookies

Christmas in July Cookie Contest!
Can you believe I've been blogging since 2007 and this is the 1st contest I'm entering?  I'm submitting my butter cookie recipe to the Eat In Eat Out 3rd Annual Christmas in July Cookie Contest

Matcha Coconut Mochi (GF)


Matcha Coconut Mochi.  An excellent Japanese sweet to serve with tea or coffee.
Summer's here and I have the kids full-time.   Aside from locking them out of the house once because they were fighting, I think I've been able to keep them busy enough to stay out of trouble.

Monday, 7 July 2014

LAZY SUMMER LOCAL STRAWBERRY & VANILLA ICE CREAM TARTS


Fresh local strawberry & vanilla ice cream tarts 
In keeping with my "Lazy Summer" theme I started with my last post, I thought I'd show you a sneaky-delicious treat to use up those local strawberries that are so juicy sweet this month.  After we visited the driving range in Richmond, we noticed the blueberry & strawberry farm next door to it had a "U Pick" sign.  It didn't take much to convince the kids to pick berries.  They were half-way across the strawberry field before I could finish "Do you want to pick..."

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