Peanut brittle (no corn/glucose syrup, no thermometer)

Nut brittle is a common name for a snack consisting of different kinds of nuts coated by hard sugar candy, and it’s usually served in the form of broken pieces (hence brittle) from a big chunk. The snack is named after the nut used (I used peanuts so it’s called peanut brittle).

Peanut brittle

I started looking into how to make this treat when I tried the Macadamia nut brittle flavour of Haagen Dasz and fell in love with the rich caramel taste that reminds me so much of the Alpenliebe candy I used to eat back home. I remembered that back then, the advertisements for Alpenliebe always emphasis on the love and care between couples, between family members, between friends, with the lovely tagline “Sweet as a loving embrace” (I think it’s now changed to “Connecting love”). Since Valentine is coming, I think is a very fitting gift to make and give to not only your lover but also to your family and friends, especially because the ingredients and the process of making this treat is so very simple. Plus, there is no glucose/corn syrup nor thermometer required for this recipe.

Peanut brittle

Công thức tiếng Việt: Kẹo đậu phộng ‘vỡ’ (Peanut brittle)

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Lunar New Year’s sweets and treats

This Lunar New Year my family went back to Vietnam (except me), so my new year’s eve dinner was spent with my Vietnamese friends here in Paris. I, of course, volunteered to bring sweets and treats for tea time and desserts, and also to keep up the gift box ‘tradition’ from last year.

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Bài viết tiếng Việt: Bánh kẹo ngày Tết

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Flying noodles / Stir-fried noodles with soy sauce chicken breast

Happy New Year! I hope you guys will have a year full of happiness and inspiration from your kitchen. It’s the start the year so I want to introduce a light, simple and flying dish, in hope that this year will be a year full of flying ideas. It’s “light and simple” because it’s only stir-fried noodles with chicken breast and a soy sauce based sauce, and it’s “flying” because…the noodles are really flying!

Flying noodles

This flying noodles has been the hype for a while, so I’m actually a bit behind on the trend laughing but no matter if I’m late to the trend or not, and no matter if the noodles are flying or not, stir-fried noodles is still a very easy and delicious dish. I think this is a fun way to present noodles in a family meal, and if you have kids then this is a good way to make them more excited to eat. You can switch chicken breast to any kind of proteins, and you can also change the vegetables to anything that is in seasons and to your liking.

Công thúc tiếng Việt: Mì bay / Mì xào lườn gà sốt xì dầu

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Falling in love with Lisbon (Part 2)

Read Part 1 Here

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Beside the charming single carriage tram, the rich and sweet egg custard tarts, Lisbon attracts tourists with its architecture style that is a mixture between Gothic, Baroque, and Neoclassicism. Taking a walk around Lisbon is to weave your way into narrow alleys that barely fit two people holding hands, to gaze at colourful houses cascading on the hills, and to admire churches and stations with entrance that is finely carved.

Lisbon architecture (1)

Lisbon architecture (5)

Lisbon architecture (2)

Most of all, don’t forget to look down, because Lisbon is full of streets and pavements with artistic mosaic patterns.

Look down (2)

Look down (3)

Bài viết tiếng Việt: Phải lòng Lisbon (Phần 2)

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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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