Kok Chai (Chinese Peanut Puff)


Happy Lunar New Year! Sometimes you can’t help but reminisce about the good old days, especially with traditional celebrations just around the corner. For me, part of the good old days was making treats with my family on the roof of the building where my po po (婆 婆) lived. Read More

Pickled Tomatillos

Photo Credit: Ruth Skiba


Recipe Adapted from Farmer Karin
3lb tomatillos
2 cups of water
2 cups of white distilled vinegar
1 green chili pepper
4 tablespoon sea salt
4 teaspoon sugar

1. In a sauce pot, combine all ingredients, except tomatillos, and bring to a boil.
2. Carefully pour hot liquid over tomatillos in sterile jars.
3. Place the lids on the jars and close fingertip tight. (Alternative to sealing the jars, you can cool the mixture and and vacuum seal it.)
4. Place the jars in the pot of water – water should be one inch below the top of the jars. Bring the water to a boil, once the water reaches a full rolling boil, boil the jars for 10-15 minutes.
5.  Turn off the heat and remove jars with lifters or tongs.

Note: This is a basic pickle recipe that we often use. If you are making refrigerated pickles, you can have a 1:2 ratio between vinegar to water.

A Better Brownie Recipe


In my cooking program, students typically have the freedom to explore whatever recipes they want, with a budget and a final consumer in mind of course. When students create a savoury dish, it normally goes to a catering gig or to clients of the food bank. On the other hand, sweets often end up in the stomachs of hungry teenagers. If you know teenagers like I do, it won’t come as a surprise that each year there are requests for a few common items: cookies, brownies and a molten lava cake.

A major challenge of giving students freedom with their recipe choices is consistency. If we want to be able to sell the product, and avoid wasting ingredients, we need to have some confidence in the results. One goal of mine is to come up with a reliable set of recipes for some of these favourites. First up: the brownie.

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Rum and Coke Mini Gummy Bears

Isn’t he cute?

A fun approach to this recipe would be to make two batches – one coke gummy mixture and one rum gummy mixture and pipe them into two separate layers for some nice colour/flavour contrast. This would work for other drinks as well…Moscow mule anyone? With enough planning, our next party may have a gummy bar. Read More

To Shine or not to shine.

For some time now, I have been debating whether or not it’s worthwhile to polish panned products. The approach of making your chocolate panned items shine is becoming more and more popular recently. This process is sometimes finicky, the final shine is very much dependent on time, temperature, relative humidity, and even batch size – many variables as you can see. I guess it comes down to a preference, what do you prefer?

Before polish and shellac

After polish and shellac