January 3, 2018

IP: Chayote, Carrot, Fish Soup


So it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything. This is mostly due to long work days, long trips away from home (flights, distance driving), and sheer laziness. Though I have to admit, I’m usually so tired by the end of the day, I settle for something like noodles, or fried rice, both of which are nothing special to post about.

So now I do have a little bit of time, and I have an Instant Pot. I got today off, so here’s a soup that I did… And I’m home long enough to be able to finish drinking all of it!



  • 2 chayote, peeled, cored, diced in to 1″ cubes
  • Three medium carrots, sliced in 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, prepared as per manufacturer instructions (can substitute with vegetable stock)
  • 2 blue cod fillets (I used frozen). Too hard to break into pieces, so I put the whole pieces in, frozen


Pretty much put everything in to the pot, fill the remaining space of the pot to almost half way mark, and press the soup button (30 minutes on high pressure). Leave it on slow release when it’s done. Salt and season as needed. I found that I didn’t need to add anything else due to the chicken bouillon. Typically I use chicken stock, but I am only home for the next three days, so I can’t justify opening a pack and leaving it in the fridge for the next 10 days following.

Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than later! I have yet to unlock the full potential of this magical kitchen appliance. Perhaps a small roast next, if I have guests over.

April 30, 2017

Instant Pot

So I recently picked up an Instant Pot (IP-DUO60), and, though I haven’t done too much with it yet, I love it. I actually got it for free because I had worked extra hours for work last December, and they had been enticing us with gift cards… It was $169.99 CAD at Best Buy. To be honest, I had been eyeing one of these since one of my friends bought one on Black Friday and was raving about it. She got hers for $80 CAD. I had recently moved, so I really had nothing except a non-stick pan and a slow cooker. I figured that if I were to end up moving again, then a 7-in-one piece of equipment would be way easier to move than 7 different items. SOLD.

Side note: I was very nervous using a pressure cooker. My final school project was to see if pressure cookers could be used in place of extremely expensive autoclaves in the personal service industry (spas, tattoo parlours, manicure/pedicure salons, etc), but after basically destroying the pressure cooker with wiring and thermocouples, I was paranoid that SOMETHING would go wrong, and the safety mechanisms would malfunction, and I would go down in flames (literally) in the kitchen. I’m okay now, phew.

So far, I’ve made single serving batches of rice, have sauteed things in it, and steamed some frozen buns! My aunt also got one, and I was her making soup in it.

I really don’t have too much to say, really. Not yet, anyway. I’m actually supposed to be packing for another trip!

So far:

Brown rice:

  1. Add a little bit (maybe a teaspoon or two) of oil (I used sweet almond oil) to the pot. Press the saute button. Add 1 cup of brown rice, and stir it around for maybe 30 seconds. I sometimes walked away for a minute to do something else, and when I come back, it’s gently sizzling. Cancel the saute function, and add 1-1/4 cup of water. (The 1/4 cup accounts for the water than turns to steam at this point.) Put the lid on, set the pressure floater to seal. Press the manual button, set to 17 minutes on high pressure, and let it do it’s thing. When it’s done, I just let it naturally vent. This serves one or two, depending on how much rice you eat. I’m a rice monster, so I eat the whole thing. Comes out to maybe 2 cups of rice, at most.

Sauteing vegetables (and stuff)

  1. I find that this takes longer in the instant pot than in a pan, because I think it’s set at a medium temperature, whereas in a pan on the stove, you can crank the heat. However, if you’re just going to further the cooking in the pot (say, for soup, or to slow cook or something), then it’s really handy because there are less dishes to wash (I’m all about the lazy factor!). I’ll have to get a wooden cutting board or something to place over top of an element on the stove too, so I can have it venting/steaming in to the overhead vent. The pot really doesn’t sit well directly on top of the element, nor is it safe.

Frozen buns

  1. So I made frozen buns this morning, and all I did was use the metal rack that it came with, added maybe 50 mL of water to the bottom (for steam production), put the buns on the rack (no oil), pressed steam (left it at it’s original setting of 15 minutes), and let it go. Internal temperature came up to about 77C, which was perfect. Quick and easy! I’d do it again. Grandma always makes me buns to take home.
October 4, 2016

Creamy Corn Egg Drop Soup

Another freelancing recipe, complete with horrible picture. It tastes better than it looks, I promise! 

I have zero camera skills. It was also super dark outside because it was storming, and I don’t have any of those fancy photo set up, so here we go. Creamy Corn Egg Drop soup! 


  • 1 can of cream corn
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • Half can of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Basically, put the corn and water in to a heated pot set at medium heat. Keep stirring every couple of minutes or it may burn. Once it is boiling, slowly drop in the beaten eggs. Use a fork in the pot to push the egg around a bit, so it comes out stringy. Let boil for five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Eat straight out of the pot. 

May 21, 2016

Thai Coconut Salmon Soup

2016-05-21 17.29.26.jpg

(Sorry for my long hiatus. I really haven’t been in the mood for cooking, nor have I had the time. I started a new job in January, and it’s been go go go since then. Every month, I travel for an average of two weeks, so that just means hotels and restaurant or grocery store food. I am now located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but I am still a west coaster at heart. We’ve had some really nice weather, and suddenly, this May long weekend, it’s cold and raining. I even had to turn the heat up. And so I also figured it was time for a soup, since it’s been too hot for soup in the past few months. An opportunity arose, and I jumped on it!)

Well, we know how my camera skills are with food: poor at best. Here’s the finished product: Thai ‪#‎salmon‬ ‪#‎coconut‬ ‪#‎soup‬. At first I thought I could eat the whole thing in one night, but it proves to be too big of a challenge, and my eyes were hungrier than my stomach. Tbh, it probably feeds 4-5 people if each person has a medium sized bowl, and seconds.

This is a great recipe for a cold day. It’s warm, not too thin and not too thick, and there’s plenty of different ways to change this up. I originally was going to cook up the chicken thighs that I had frozen a couple weeks back because I wasn’t able to finish them before I went on my work trip, but I went shopping yesterday and found salmon on sale… So why not! Western/Asian fusion.

2016-05-21 11.47.53.jpg(This is what it looked like just before I put the lid on. The red isn’t an indication of how spicy it was. It’s not too spicy at all! It just makes your insides warm up in a fuzzy kind of way. A good fuzzy.)

Ingredients (ball park, since I freelanced this one):

– 2 cans (398ml each) of coconut milk
– 1L chicken broth (I used 900ml Campbell’s chicken broth)
– 5 medium red potatoes, diced
– 5 carrots, diced
– 2 ribs of celery, diced
– 4 leaves of cabbage, cut in to squares-ish
– 2 cuts of salmon (leave as is)
– 3 tablespoons of Thai Tom yum paste
– 3 tablespoons of peanut butter (smooth or crunchy doesn’t matter)
– 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon grated ginger


Throw everything in to slow cooker and leave on low for 6-7 hours. The sauces won’t melt right away, but just stir them in and let them do their thing. When it hits the 5 hour mark, the salmon should be cooked, or at least really soft. Take the opportunity to take them out and in to a bowl, and pull it apart so it’s flaky. Drop it back in to the pot, and stir, and let it go for the remaining time.

Anyway, hope you give this a go. It’s really good! I’ve had my second bowl and I’m about ready for a nap.

When I think of crock pots and slow cookers, I am always reminded that mom once asked me where the “Crack pot” was. Oh, mum. Miss you!


February 14, 2016

Fried Rice

fried rice

Just what it says in the title. Fried Rice. Really though, it’s one of the simplest dishes to make. It involves a lot of chopping, but once you get that over with, it’s smooth sailing from there.

So I guess a little update on my situation here. At my mountain, in mid December, I was offered the lead hand position. Within 24 hours, I was offered a supervisory position. Right when that happened, I was working over 40 hours a week (I think I managed 60, so this was like Hobbiton days all over again, except more enjoyable). I no longer had the time or energy to keep up with my swimming. But it was good, because I knew I was a very big part of the team (I always knew it!). Either way, it wasn’t something that made me change my ways. I just kept doing what I usually did. The only difference now, was that I had to print off reports, so really, no biggie.

Before all that happened though, I told them I had an interview with a company that I didn’t think I would get in with. So my mountain still went ahead with promoting me, and I hid nothing.

One week later, I was offered a full time, permanent job late December, and since then, it has been go, go, go. As soon as January rolled around, I reduced my hours to weekends only, because the second week of January saw me in Milton, Ontario for orientation. The following two weeks saw me back in Vancouver doing my hands-on training in the field. Then I had one weekend to move all of my stuff to Edmonton. It was only a 1.5 hour flight away. Easy, right? Especially because I did the same thing when moving to New Zealand. Nope. Nope nope nope. Because now I have to find a real place to live and I’ll be signing leases and stuff, and with that, furniture. AHHHHHHHH the expenses!!

Anyway, I managed to find an AirBnb spot, which is pretty sweet. In the past two weeks of being here, I’ve had my landlady’s dog bark and growl at me every single day, he’s chewed up my work shoes, and left a small present outside my door. It sounds pretty horrible, but I’ve had pets before, and my landlady’s been super nice. She’s paid for a new pair of shoes, and has been extremely apologetic. I’ve had pets before, and I’ve had to clean up diarrhea and vomit before. It’s not like I haven’t dealt with it in the past, even with humans.

So in the past week, I’ve found a place to live sort of downtown Edmonton. $925 a month, with heat, water, and parking included. I just have to pay for power. It’s not going to be so bad, because I could be traveling up to 50% of each month, so I really don’t have much to pay, except to keep the fridge going. That, and I get overnight bonuses, and $35 per diem. Boss says that if I don’t use the full amount per day, I can roll it over, and do a huge grocery shop when I get back home. Pretty sweet, eh?

ANYWAY. Enough of that. Back to the actual task at hand.


NOTE: As with most Asian cooking, there is no real measurements. It’s pretty much “put as much as you want in it.” If I can put a measurement on it, I will. Otherwise, have fun! 🙂

  • Rice (I don’t have a scoop, so I eye-balled it. Usually for white rice it is 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water. If you’re going to use brown rice, add a bit more water, say 1.5 cups. This is using a rice cooker. I used a pot because I don’t have one yet *cries*)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 of an onion, diced
  • 1 large white mushroom, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stalk of spring onions, diced
  • 2 pieces of BBQ pork, diced
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce


Cook the rice in the rice cooker.

Wait maybe 10-15 minutes before the rice is finished (because this part is fast). Put some oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Throw in the garlic and onions, and stir it around for about a minute, or until the onions start to become translucent. Throw in the mushrooms, and stir until mushrooms and onions are almost soft. Push them off to the side of the pan, and lower the temperature to medium.

Drop in a bit more oil, and crack the egg over it. Hopefully the egg is bubbling. If not, turn the heat back up to medium-high. Use your spatula (or whichever utensil) and chop it to bits, so it becomes scrambled. When all of the egg white is now solid white, mix all of the vegetables together. Add the spring onions and BBQ pork.

Hopefully now the rice is done, otherwise you’ll have to put the pan aside (or else the stuff will burn). Leaving the pan on medium-high heat, throw the rice in to the pan, and mix with the veggies and meat. Keep stirring it around so everything is mixed and heated equally. Then put in the oyster sauce (drizzle it over everything), and stir it again.

Serve hot.

This is about the amount you get at a Chinese restaurant. Maybe less. 1.5 of this recipe could make up a decent sized dish. It’s a whole lot cheaper too. 🙂

Now, back to couponing!