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My Chai Tea Brings all the People to the House

With the chilly weather, a mug of masala chai warms the soul, and fills the home with goodness. There are a variety of holiday drinks – from eggnog to hot chocolate, but my winter drink of choice is a cup of chai with a heavy hand of cardamom.

When I have company, I like to impress them with homemade chai. I can tweak the amount of sugar and spices to my preference – the advantage over using an instant mix. Chai has become my signature – I’ve given multiple lessons as per friends’ requests, and had even received an inquiry to make a pitcher if one provides the milk. [Read more →]

December 11, 2012   1 Comment

Dish Crawl in Chelsea, NYC

Everyone eats, and the food we eat intertwines with our background and lifestyle. Dish Crawl hones in on the idea that food is a part of us. Dish Crawl creates a business of combining socializing centered on culinary experiences by bringing together fifty diners to four restaurants in one neighborhood, over a course of four gluttonous hours.
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June 28, 2012   4 Comments

For Good Luck on Your Wedding Day: Sooji Halva (Semolina Pudding)

Recipe and Photos by: Sonia Leung

Restaurant Baby (RB) #3 tied the knot in May of 2011. She was the first in our family to marry. If there was one thing Mom made sure of, it was for RB#3 to marry with all the luck and good wishes. Mom consulted relatives, and friends – especially those with an elderly at home, on our hometown Chinese wedding traditions. As it turns out, RB#3’s mother-in-law (Auntie K) was also doing the same.

On the day of the wedding, while all the girls were primping (starting at 6:30am), Auntie K brought breakfast galore and the much appreciated coffee to the bridal chamber. Along with breakfast she dropped off a tray of semolina pudding, and instructed that everyone eat some: “At least a bite. It’s sweet. This is a lucky food in our culture (Gujarati).”

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May 14, 2012   3 Comments

Teriyaki-Dressed Quinoa

Adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini’s Japanese-Inspired Quinoa

Kim (aka Restaurant Baby #4) is a fan of Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. We started accumulating all sorts of whole grains (and, yes, one bottle of blue agave nectar). When I was looking through our pantry for Eat Down the House, I found a handful of red quinoa, less than one cup to be exact. What to do with the quinoa?! Luckily, Chocolate and Zucchini posted a recipe for Japanese-Inspired Quinoa .

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February 20, 2012   No Comments

Lap Cheong and Shitake Mushrooms Risotto


Finally! There is finally time to make the lap cheong and mushrooms risotto. You may recall the lap cheong and dates dish from Eat Down the House. Well, a small supply of lap cheong is still hanging out in the fridge, and I have been saving it for for a risotto. Today is the day!

And “Why today?” you ask. This risotto will be my “carb-loading” for a running race tomorrow. I have never carb-loaded before, at least not for a purpose. (In our household, you may think every day is a carb-load day.) What do you like to carb-load on?
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July 4, 2011   5 Comments

Eat Down the House: Wrap-Up

Eat Down the House: Wrap-Up

Eat Down the House was inspired by an overflowing pantry and refrigerator, a lack of time, and a desire to save money. It lasted about six weeks, from the end of March until the beginning of May. Perhaps the experiment could have lasted longer, but alas our humble abode became wedding central and hosted bridesmaids and friends from afar. I had no choice but to go grocery shopping and make sure our guests were well fed.
The content of just one cabinet.

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June 13, 2011   4 Comments

Bangladeshi Ambassador at Khaabar Baari

Khaabar Baari
37-22 73rd Street
Jackson Heights, Queens 11372
(718) 639-6868

I celebrated Memorial Day by participating in the Bangladeshi Ambassador Program organized by Jeff Orlick of Iwantmorefood.com, and hosted by Bangladeshi Ambassador Mr. Rashid Mohammad and the owner of Khaabar Barri Restaurant Mr.Kaysar Halim.

The colorful tricycle in front. Photo by: Jeff Orlick.

The Ambassador Program, as described by Jeff Orlick on Iwantmorefood.com:

“The Ambassador Program has one expert of a culture lead a group of people for their own dream meal… This allows us diners to let go, eat well, and expand our boundaries for the city, the world and our palates.”

It was no surprise that Mr. Mohammad chose to showcase Bangladeshi cuisine at Khaabar Baari. On this Monday afternoon, Khaabar Baari was a bustling hub for the community – filled with families, as well as groups of men socializing both inside and outside of the cafe. On the main floor are savory snacks, and sweets, along with a buffet of hot foods. The downstairs dining room offers Bangladeshi Halal Chinese fare. [Read more →]

June 9, 2011   4 Comments

Eat Down the House: Grandma’s Tomato Eggs

Grandma’s Tomato Eggs

The Eat Down the House Challenge, is to go without grocery shopping, and eat from the stock in the fridge and pantry.

The dish in the pictures has a higher egg:tomato ratio than the recipe below. I only had 2 tomatoes in my fridge.

Tomato eggs is a common Chinese dish. There are many versions, the more common version has chunks of tomatoes stir-fried with egg scrambled. But my favorite is my Grandma’s version, which is a silky blend of eggs and skinless tomatoes. During our grandmother-granddaughter trip to North Carolina to visit my cousin Vivian, my grandma taught us both how to make her tomato eggs.

The beginning of our grandmother-granddaughter trip
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June 6, 2011   2 Comments