Falling in love with Lisbon (Part 1)

Read Part 2 Here

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Lisboa, A Cidade das Sete Colinas – Lisbon, the city of seven hills

February 2016

Stepping out of the plane, I could not hold myself back from exclaiming “Oh this is perfect!” when I felt the cool breeze passing. Seriously though, comparing to the gray gloomy weather in Paris, Lisbon’s weather was heavenly. The afternoon sunlight was the colour of honey, the sky was as clear and as blue as it could be, the kind of weather that was not too cold nor too hot, just perfect for my family’s plans of visiting the city. This beautiful start of the trip made me that much more excited for my last trip of 2016.

Lisbon hills (4)

Bài viết tiếng Việt: Phải lòng Lisbon (Phần 1)

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The new year’s cake

Matthias’s family invited me for New Year’s eve dinner, and I got to make a cake for dessert. The guests this time were Matthias’s god mother, and a close friend of his mom, so I decided to make a simple vanilla butter cake with frosting. I topped and decorated the cake with fresh strawberries, almond dipped in chocolate and handmade chocolate leaves, as well as the “Happy New Year” text also in chocolate.

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Bài viết tiếng Việt: Chiếc bánh mừng năm mới

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Wooden Drawer (6) – ‘Twas the eve of Christmas eve

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“For Santa and his elves”

This year I spent Christmas with my family in Lisbon (I am writing about this trip and will share it soon with you guys), so I didn’t make a yule log and brought it to Matthias’s like the past few years. However my oven was still working “full-time”, because my little niece, 2 weeks before Christmas, told me “Auntie, I want us to make cookies to put next to the Christmas tree for Santa, as a way to say thanks for all the gifts he gave me”. How could I say no to such a cute request! So a week before Christmas, I dove into ‘researching’ different cookies and their recipes, and 5 days before Christmas, my baking quest began for 3 types of cookies: Linzer cookies, Pinwheel cookies, and chocolate chip cookies.

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Bài viết tiếng Việt: Ngăn kéo gỗ (6) – Đêm trước đêm Giáng Sinh

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Fast and simple way to make Kimchi (Mak Kimchi)

Beside pickled mustard cabbage, Korean kimchee is also one of my favourite side dishes. Other than the crunchy texture and acidic taste, kimchee has a spiciness that is really fitting for this cold weather, and of course besides eating kimchee with rice or bbq you can also use it to make other dishes such as kimchee tofu soup, hotpot, etc, just thinking of all those dishes make my mouth waters already. Making kimchee is not difficult at all, the ingredients are a bit more complicated and it’s quite time-consuming, bit the method is really simple and of course the result is super tasty.

Mak-kimchi/Simple kimchi

There are two ways to make kimchee: the traditional method where you pickle the whole napa cabbage leaves, and the modern method (called mak-kimchi) where you chop the leaves into bite-size pieces. The traditional method has the advantage of longer storage, but personally I found that the modern method takes less time and is also more suitable for students and people who don’t have much time. I learnt this method from my friend whose mother is a Korean, and he also lived in Korea for a while when he was small. I only changed the ingredients measure a bit according to my taste and what I have in my pantry.

Mak-kimchi/Simple kimchi

Công thức tiếng Việt: Cách làm Kimchi nhanh và đơn giản (Mak Kimchi)

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Pickled mustard cabbage

Personally, I believe that picked mustard cabbage is one of the most liked dishes in Vietnam, and is the one that us students who study abroad miss the most, simply because the crunchy texture and the acidic taste of the picked mustard greens is very addictive. Pickled mustard greens can be served as a side dish to rich tasting dishes like caramelized braised pork, it can also be used to make new dishes like crispy skin pork stir-fry, or to make soup with ribs or beef shank when the weather is chilly (I always eagerly wait until the pickled cabbage is very sour to make it into a soup tongue)

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Pickling cabbage is not difficult at all, really. The ingredients for the brine are simple (water, sugar and salt is something everyone has in their kitchen), and the process is simple as well, so let’s dive in a pickle some mustard cabbage, shall we?

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Công thức tiếng Việt: Dưa cải muối chua

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Picking & roasting chestnuts

November just starts, the weather is turning into autumn, making its way to the market stands with the bright orange of pumpkin, squashes, the deep red of juicy apples. Autumn, for a lot of people, is the leaves turning yellow, the smell of cinnamon apple pies, the sweet pumpkin soup. For someone who is hopelessly imaginative like me, autumn is the season to put on my favorite coat, wear a light scarf, takea leisure walk between the trees and, the same time picking chestnuts, and then roast and enjoy the sweet nutty flavour.

Oven roasted chestnuts

For study-abroaders like me, especially girls, chetsnut picking is one of the fun activities in autumn. It’s a chance to hang out with friends, to take photos with the romantic background of autumn leaves, and then leaving with a bag full of delicious chestnuts wink When I first got intereted in chestnut picking, I found it strange that people have to go so far for chestnuts, while I saw a lot of what I thought to be chestnuts lying around on the streets, those like the ones in this photo.

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Source: Reader’s digest

I read a bit online and found that those are called horse chestnuts, usually only used for decoration and are inedible becaus ethey are poisonous (fortunately I didn’t pick any and try to eat them laughing). I have friends who also made the same mistake as I did, and even Matthias thought the same thing before, so this post, beside sharing how to roast chestnut in an oven, I will also share how to distinguish horse chestnuts and sweet chestnuts, as well as chestnut picking spots that I know near Paris.

Oven roasted chestnuts

Bài viết tiếng Việt: Nhặt & nướng hạt dẻ

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The joy and sadness of Vietnamese summer rolls & dipping sauces

 

The reason this title sounds a bit ‘head-on-the-cloud-kind-of-title’ is because of my motto of eating summer rolls no matter if I’m happy or sad. If I’m feeling happy I will boil a piece of pork belly to make summer rolls, if I’m sad I will…boil a bigger pieace of pork belly to make summer rolls laughing When I was in university, I always had lunch at an Asian restaurant nearby since they have a pretty cheap set menu, and I always chose summer rolls as my entrée. The main source of protein in those rolls were the one shrimp sliced in half, the rest was only vegetables and rice vermicelli, but I ordered them every lunch nonetheless.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

When I moved out, my weekly shopping bag always consist of a piece of pork belly for summer rolls. This dish is pretty popular with both my French and Vietnamese guests, and it works well both as an entrée or as a main course. Summer rolls can be served with simple chilli and garlic dipping sauce (recipe here), in this post I will introduce a peanut diping sauce and sweet & sour dipping sauce, both of which go very well with summer rolls.

Công thức tiếng Việt: Buồn vui món gỏi cuốn & nước chấm

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Homemade peanut butter

Summer in France is quite long this year, so it’s not until mid-September that there starts to be chilly days. Although it’s not yet frezzingly cold, the chill is enough for me to feel like snuggling in my blanket, read or watch something, and eat some of my favourite food. This chilly weather makes me think of peanut butter. I don’t know why but peanut butter always give me a very warm feeling, and when I feel like having a snack, a few slices of apple with peanut buttle is a very tasty and healthy choice.

Homemade Peanut butter

Peanut butter can be used for breakfast with bread, o you can serve it with apple, banana or carrot as a snack, add a spoonful into a fruit smoothie, make a dipping sauce, or you can even use it in baking, the possibilities are endless. Making peanut butter is one of the simplest thing in the world, you only need to know how to turn on your blender/food processor, the ingredients are simple too soit’s worth it to make yourself a jar right wink

Homemade Peanut butter

Công thức tiếng Việt: Tự làm bơ đậu phộng

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Wooden Drawer (5) – The end of a road

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I haven’t updated this blog for more than 3 weeks, which I think it’s the longest that I’ve not posted ever since I created this blog. Of course my love for the kitchen is still very much there, it’s just that for the past 3 weeks I was focusing on finishing and defending my thesis, so I had a hiatus on updating Miamivores.

The last 3 weeks where I just focused on writing and practicing for the defence, I was on an emotional roller-coaster. 3 years I’ve gotten used to almost banging my head against the wall every time I have to look for an article, to drinking coffee for those late nights writing, and to sometimes feel like giving up. There are times that I prayed to every god possible to be done with the thesis so that I don’t have to deal with all those headaches anymore. However, when I finally got the green light from my supervisor for the defence, beside the happiness I suddenly felt a bit…loss.

Bài viết tiếng Việt: Ngăn Kéo Gỗ (5) – Kết thúc một chặng đường

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Chicken rice

The past few weeks we were cleaning the apartment to give it back, so cooking was reduced to minimal in order to keep the kitchen clean, as well as not having to clean too many dishes. I therefore tried to look for dishes that would be fast to cook don’t use too many cooking utensils, but still tasty and nutritious, and this Chicken rice is one of the top candidates.

Chicken rice

Chicken rice is a very simple dish, you only have to boil the chicken, then use the broth to cook and rice and that’s it, but the result is so surprisingly tasty. The chicken is cooked just enough to become tender and sweet, the rice absorb the natural sweetness of the broth so it’s much more flavourful than normal white rice. You only have to add a few slices of cucumber to have a delicious and nutritious meal.

Chicken rice

Công thức tiếng Việt: Cơm gà

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