Paris in May, which means we’re half way through spring already, but for some reasons the weather, for the past few weeks, has been really gloomy, with rain most of the time, and it’s really rare to see a day of sunshine. Spring shower, that sounds pretty romantic, but seriously the feeling of walking out on the street feeling the freezing wind blowing rain in your clothes and face is not fun at all. At times like these, spending time in the kitchen cooking up good food is my way to keep my mood from spiralling downwards. I actually made and photographed this recipes a few months back, but looking at these photos of the beautiful ruby red jam and writing down the recipe makes me feel a whole lot better.
It’s now the season of plums in Vietnam. Vietnamese-type plum is a rarity here, so I spent the last few seasons just staring at the photos and drooling. Fortunately somehow, back in the end of February, I stumbled over some plums in the supermarket neat my house, those with green skin, red flesh and a sweet sour taste just like Vietnamese plums. I must have consumed a kilogram over a week, and after stuffing myself I decided to make some jam and syrup (which turned out to be a good decision since after that, I couldn’t find any plums in the supermarket anymore).
If it’s plum season where you live, you should really try this recipe out. One process that yield two products that are both delicious and pretty, and you can use them for other dishes as well.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Xi-rô và mứt mận
It is officially spring here in France, with the clear blue sky dotted by white clouds looking like it stepped right out of a postcard. This is also the season for a flower that can be seen in almost every grass fields, flower pots, or even hiding in a corner in front of the gate: dandelions. Maybe for a lot of people, dandelions is just an ordinary kind of flowers, but for me the image of a green grass field dotted with dandelions as bright as the sun is utterly beautiful. It’s the reason why I sometimes just pick some flowers on my way back from doing grocery to put in a small pot like this, even though they would be wilted when night falls, the bright yellow flowers still manage to light up a whole corner of my room.
Recently on a Facebook page about cooking that I join, there is a trend for dandelion jelly. I was really curious when I first saw it, because I’ve never thought that jelly can be made from flower. After some internet research, I found out that it’s a pretty popular thing in the US, and a lot of people go harvest the flowers and turn them into jelly whenever the season comes. Looking at photos after photos of the topaz-coloured jelly jams made me want to just sprint outside, pick up flowers and make myself some, but the fear of flowers growing on the sidewalks or parks getting “marked” by puppies made me hesitated a whole lot.
Luckily I went on the Facebook page of Vietnamese student union in France and met some girls that had the same interest of harvesting flowers and strolling in the forest. So we made a quick plan, and after exploring the forest and talking about anything and everything, I came home with a bagful of dandelions, and after that a jar of jelly was well in my fridge. If you can I really recommend you to make this jelly, the bright sunshine like colour will make your breakfast or the afternoon cup of tea much more pleasant.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Mứt hoa bồ công anh
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.
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.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Kompot / Nước hoa quả tươi
What kind of beverage do you guys think of when summer comes? For me, whenever the heat goes up I crave for a glass of refreshing lemonade. You are probably thinking why is there a need for a whole blog post on the simple drink of water, sugar and lemon juice? Well, the answer is simply because this is not just a blog post on “How to make lemonade”, but a post on how to spice up your lemonade and make it even more delicious both for your eyes and your taste buds.
Everyone probably all knows how to make basic lemonade: take a cup of water, squeeze in some lemon juice, then add sugar and adjust to your preference. My method is basically the same, with just one small addition of making simple syrup, a mixture of water and sugar, and I use that syrup to sweeten the lemonade instead of directly using sugar. The nice thing about using simple syrup in making lemonade is that simple syrup dissolves in water much easier than sugar, so it can be added directly into cold water without fearing that it would be hard to dissolve like sugar.
The ratio for lemonade I use down here is perfect to my preference, but you should adjust it to your own taste. If you are going to serve your lemonade with ice, you should make the lemonade a bit sweet so the ice will water it down to the right level. These recipes will work for key lime as well.
Công thức tiếng Việt: 3 cách pha nước chanh
My facebook newsfeed is now filled with status about how hot it is in Vietnam. I’m quite lucky since Grenoble is pretty much surrounded by mountains, so even though the weather is warmer now, it’s not yet at the point of making you feel like melting. Still, the temperature is enough for me to crave cool drinks and desserts. My kitchen, therefore, has been pumping out a bunch of desserts the past few days, which I of course will share with you guys on this blog.
To kick things off I want to introduce a very simple and quick recipe: Oatmeal milk. I bought a box of oatmeal milk from the supermarket once and was quite satisfy with the taste, so I wanted to try making it at home. I have to be honest though, when I first taste the homemade version I was a bit…disappointed, because the milk doesn’t have the same rich taste as the store-bought version, and after reading from other bloggers, they all say that homemade oatmeal milk taste very different from store-bought, since the method is different and store-bought also have added ingredients.
I didn’t want to waste the milk so I had to try and drink everything, and the taste started to grow on me. The homemade version is less rich, true, but it has a much more prominent natural ‘sweetness’ of the oatmeal, and it also feels much fresher. I added a bit of vanilla extract and sugar so it’s much easier to drink. It’s very quick and easy to make oatmeal milk so if you have some oatmeal to spare, you should really give this a try, after all, homemade version is still safer and more authentic than store-bought
Công thức tiếng Việt: Sữa yến mạch
After making candied honey orange peels I have a lot of pulp left. I got tired of eating them for dessert so I decided to make some honey orange marmalade. One big bowl of orange pulp, add some thinly sliced orange zest (I juiced this orange to use later), and I got myself three little jars for breakfast or tea.
Orange marmalade is very easy to make, and it doesn’t take much time either. The basic ingredients are oranges, water and sugar, but in this flu-prone weather I altered the recipe a bit so it’s more ‘up-to-date’, adding honey which is very good for your health. Homemade orange marmalade, compared to store bought marmalade, is just as fragranced, bonus the very subtle sweet smell of honey, the color is somewhat richer as well, and the orange taste is much more obvious, and it is so tasty with the additional tangy taste of the orange zest. On a gloomy February day, eating breakfast with this jar of golden marmalade feels just like bringing the sun inside.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Mứt cam mật ong
I am not one with the best health, and to top that off I very often catch a cold. Ever since I came to France, the temperature in the winter can go to under 0°C, it’s even more often that I have sore throat or catch a call. Having a sore throat is very uncomfortable, often I wake up with a very dry and hot throat, and it hurts just swallowing my saliva, my head is in a daze the whole day, and I cannot focus on anything!
In times like that, my ‘knight-in-shining-armor’ is one of my favorite and most used food that is also a remedy: Honey lemon slices. Winter is coming (and actually in the mountain areas like where I live, it is very near already, the temperature sometimes go down to almost 0°C, and it rains sometimes the whole day), so I want to share it here. This remedy is very cheap and easy, and takes very little time to make, so Iyou should really give it a try
Công thức tiếng Việt: Bài thuốc ngọt ngào: Chanh ngâm mật ong
The weather in France is starting to get chilly, so of course I crave for something nice and warm. Passing the metro stations these days you can always see carts that sell roasted corn. Looking at the corn in the carts, I suddenly think of corn milk, and the dish keeps haunting my mind for a whole week, so finally I decided to go into the kitchen and make some.
Corn is pretty much a popular dish that can be eaten all year round, thanks to the amazing technology of processing the corn after harvesting, so even canned corn or frozen corn still keeps their natural taste. However I never use canned or frozen corn for corn milk, simply because beside using the corn kernels, I also use the cob, the husk and the silk, to enhance the corn smell and to get nutritions from them.
There are a lot of different recipes on the internet. My recipe is derived from reading a lot of recipes, and at the same time tweaking them to suit my taste. Some recipe use milk or condensed milk to make corn milk, sometimes they use both. I prefer using milk since I think it keeps the natural sweetness of the corn, and using unsweetened milk meaning you can add sugar to your taste when you drink it. In addition, most recipes only use sweet corn to make milk, but I also added a field corn to thicken the milk a little bit and add a touch of creaminess to it.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Sữa ngô (bắp)
French weather can be very fussy at times. For instance, recently it is usually a bit chilly in the morning until 9-10 o’clock, to the point that I would have t wear a light jacket if I want to go out, and then suddenly at around 11-12 the sun would be up and shining, and the temperature would be more or less 30°C. Fussy weather, together with the fact that I just got robbed on the street, really makes my mood going downhill.
With both the weather and my mood being not good like that, I can only think about making finding something nice a refreshing to cool down when I go to the supermarket, and of course the fruits and yogurt shelves become that much more inviting, especially when the watermelons are in season, and they are all so ripe and juicy. Walking back from the supermarket, my bag is filled with a small watermelon, a few passion fruits and some yogurt. Combing home, I went straight to the kitchen and start chopping, a few swirl of the blender and I finally had my refreshing drink.
I made a big cup like in the photo, with a few spoonfuls left in the blender. The leftover is of course taken care of right after this big cup is saved for after dinner, when I have showered, sit on the part of the bed near the desk, and enjoyed the drink while watching Friends. All my worries and bad moods seem to be washed away with the light sweetness of the watermelon, combined with the slight acidity of the passionfruit and the freshness of the mint leaves, life just suddenly becomes so much nicer.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Lassi Dưa hấu & Chanh leo
The last two weeks in France is so hot, as the country is having a heat wave, the temperature is always around 30°C, even in the evening. With this hot weather, medias never fail to remind people to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. To be honest, I am very lazy when it comes to drinking water as I only drink when I’m very thirsty, so with this heat wave, I try to think of ways to encourage myself to drink more. One of the ways that I found was to use fruit infused water.
Fruit infused water is simply plain water with chopped fruit in it, let sit and infused for a few hours. There’s no added sugar, only the natural taste and sweetness of the fruit blended in with the water, so it’s always so fresh and nice to drink. Thanks to this, infused water is packed with health benefits, first and foremost it makes drinking more water so much more fun and easy, I mean, just look at how beautiful a bottle of water with fruit is and already I want to keep drinking, and there is also the vitamin that is packed in the fruits themselves. Furthermore since there is no added sugar, infused water is usually used for detoxing and weight-loss.
It is very simple to make infused water, and the ingredients are very versatile, as you can choose and combine whatever fruits you want or have in your fridge, and you can change the ingredients as well as its quantities according to your taste and purpose. You can also do a small amount and infuse in a glass of water to serve right away.
Công thức tiếng Vịệt: Nước ngâm hoa quả