Kompot / Fruit juice

I knew of Kompot when I was in secondary school. Back then we got a really big package of Satsuma Plums (which is a kind of plums that has green and red skin and maroon flesh), we couldn’t finish the whole thing and just left a few of them lying around, so my mom decided to make them into Kompot. The plums, which were ‘rejects’ before, after being turned into a cool, sweet and sour Kompot suddenly became the ‘diva’ of the household, and we were literally fighting for it.

Kompot fruit juice

I was cleaning my fridge the other day when I saw a bunch of fruits lying around: apples with skin starting to wrinkle, strawberries and raspberries being left-over from when I was decorating a cake, each with just 1-2 pieces or a bit less than half a container. I decided to throw them all into a pot, turning them into a pretty ruby coloured Kompot, which both helped cleaned out the fridge, and gave me a big bottle of water for my meals, which is much healthier than soft drinks.

Kompot fruit juice

Công thức tiếng Việt: Kompot / Nước hoa quả tươi

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Roasted BBQ ribs

I love roasts, especially this cold and cloudy weather make any roast dish that much more tasty. Plus, roasts always use little to no oil and is pretty much self-maintenance, so on days that I don’t feel like constantly watching a pot on the stovetop, I would always turn on the oven and roast something along the line of chicken wings, pork belly, etc.

One of the roasts that both Matthias and me really love is BBQ ribs. Usually roasted ribs takes a lot more time to make compared to the other roasts since beside the whooping 80-90 minutes cooking in the oven, you have to marinate the ribs for at least 12-18 hours for the flavours to soak in. However for someone who is absent-minded and is usually prompted by sudden cravings like me, I don’t always remember or crave at the right moment to defrost the ribs from the freezer and marinate it. That is why I had to look for a method to reduce the marinating time but still allow the ribs to be flavourful.

BBQ ribs

After reading a bunch of tips and recipes online, I chose to combine cutting the ribs into individual pieces (instead of roasting the whole rack), and start the ribs with a short dry rub marinate and then roast the whole thing in diluted BBQ sauce, hoping that the individual ribs and the diluted sauce will allow the flavours to cling more onto the ribs. The results did not disappoint me at all! The ribs were so flavourful and tender, with the thick and sticky sauce evenly coats every pieces. You can use store-bought BBQ for this recipe, but personally I prefer the homemade sauce since I find that it has a bit more depth to the flavours.

BBQ ribs

Công thức tiếng Việt: Sườn nướng sốt BBQ

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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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