Too cool for Vichyssoise

Thanksgiving blessings

I hope you and yours had a marvelous Thanksgiving Day and weekend. Hope y’all are full-filled and stuffed with yummy, delicious food.

2021 #thankfulchallenge

We are coming to a close on this year’s #thankfulchallenge. It’s always fun sharing the things I’m grateful in November. Here’s the complete list.

  1. Peaceful and tranquil lake.
  2. You Are My Glory, Chinese drama series.
  3. Hugs.
  4. Love.
  5. Hawai’i’s KIKU TV (was a channel that aired multi-cultural shows).
  6. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle.
  7. The end of daylight savings time.
  8. Meditation apps.
  9. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  10. Bubble gum.
  11. Stars.
  12. Good nutrition.
  13. Iryu: Team Medical Dragon series.
  14. Adele.
  15. Prayers and miracles.
  16. To All The Boys I Loved Before trilogy books and movies.
  17. Sunsets.
  18. Empowerment.
  19. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
  20. Foodnista Soul’s supporters.
  21. Podcasts.
  22. Shows that showcase beautiful Hawai’i.
  23. Ambition.
  24. SJO Wellness.
  25. Instrumental music.
  26. The forest.
  27. Peaceful sleep.
  28. Laughter.
  29. CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult), an Apple TV+ original movie.
  30. Escoffier classmate friends.

This week’s featured dish

This week, we are highlighting a vichyssoise soup, which was simple to make. The soup was delicious hot and cold. The taste changes when drank hot compared to served cold. I prefer it cold. It was very refreshing and tasty.

Vichyssoise 411:

  • Pronounced (vee-chee-shawz).
  • Invented in 1917.
  • Named after a French town called Vichy.
  • Cold soup made with leeks, potatoes, and heavy cream.
  • Can be eaten hot as well.
  • November 18th is National Vichyssoise Day

Vichyssoise recipe (yield: 4 servings):

  • ½ lb leeks (white part only), sliced
  • ½ lb russet potatoes, peeled
  • ⅔ fl oz olive oil
  • 1.5 pt chicken stock
  • Salt, to taste
  • White pepper, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 5 fl oz heavy whipping cream
  • Chopped chives, to taste
  • Mixing bowls/cups for mise en place ingredients
  • Food scale
  • Chef knife
  • Cutting board
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Bowl for potatoes to soak in water
  • Pot (two)
    • One for the soup
    • Another for the ice bath
  • Food mill (or an immersion blender, which is preferred)

Production steps:

  1. Sanitize kitchen (sink, countertops, stovetop/oven, cupboard handles, phone, computer).
  2. Scrub and peel the potatoes.
  3. Cut potatoes into cubes and soak in water to prevent oxidation (potatoes turning brown).
  4. Clean leeks.
  5. Cut leeks into half moon thin slices.
  6. Mise en place ingredients.
  7. Sweat the leeks in olive oil in a pot.
  8. Add the chicken stock and potatoes into the pot and bring to a boil.
  9. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
  10. Purée soup with an immersion blender, food mill, or mesh strainer.
  11. Add heavy cream to soup
  12. Chill the soup thoroughly (40ºF or below).
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Garnish soup with chopped chives.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I’m excited that my favorite time of the year is here again! I’m looking forward to my traditional holiday baking and more cooking. My pâtisserie course for my online culinary program is coming to a close in three weeks. Twelve weeks surely flies by so fast! I’ll be starting my third course on world cuisines the week of Christmas. That will be very exciting! I love trying different cuisines from across the globe.

As we head into the final month of 2021, I wish you all a joyous and safe holiday season. Don’t stress and become frantic. Breathe and be patient with yourself and with others. Set small, reasonable goals. Create new memories and celebrate the old ones, too. Let’s finish the year strong! We got this!

Happy Holidays!

FS x

Glorious Caesar salad and all the works!

Thanksgiving already?!

Happy Thanksgiving week! I can’t believe we’re heading into the last full week of November. I love Thanksgiving. It’s an entire month dedicated to reflecting on what we’re thankful for and the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. I have a lot to be grateful for.

I look forward to the scrumptious food we eat during this holiday. Turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, yam, gravy, mashed potatoes, fresh cranberry/blueberry sauce- you name it! They’re full of love and warmth.

Twenty one day #2021thankfulchallenge recap

  1. Peaceful and tranquil lake.
  2. You Are My Glory, Chinese drama series.
  3. Hugs.
  4. Love.
  5. Hawai’i’s KIKU TV (was a channel that aired multi-cultural shows).
  6. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle.
  7. The end of daylight savings time.
  8. Meditation apps.
  9. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  10. Bubble gum.
  11. Stars.
  12. Good nutrition.
  13. Iryu: Team Medical Dragon series.
  14. Adele.
  15. Prayers and miracles.
  16. To All The Boys I Loved Before trilogy books and movies.
  17. Sunsets.
  18. Empowerment.
  19. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
  20. Foodnista Soul’s supporters.
  21. Podcasts.

Visit my social media pages to view the detailed posts.

Making my own Caesar salad dressing

It was so much fun making my own salad dressing from scratch! I honestly had no idea how Caesar salad dressing was made. I’m not the biggest fan of Caesar salad. I don’t eat it often. I only found one restaurant that makes the best Caesar salad. That’s Ruscello at Nordstorm.

The recipe:

  • Handful of capers (I substituted it for anchovies)
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ¼ fl oz lemon juice (first quantity)
  • 1.25 c olive oil
  • 1 ½ fl oz lemon juice (second quantity)
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Mixing bowls/spoons/cups for mise en place ingredients
  • Food scale
  • Electric mixer
  • Whisk
  • Grator
  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • Bottle (for storing)

Production steps:

  1. Mash and mince garlic and capers.
  2. Add yolks into a bowl of a mixer and let the machine whip until well-beaten (use the whip attachment).
  3. Add the garlic and capers and first quantity of the lemon juice. Whip until well-mixed.
  4. With the mixer on high speed, slowly add the oil, one drop at a time.
  5. When the dressing becomes thick, add some lemon juice.
  6. Gradually beat in the remainder of the oil, as well as the second quantity of the lemon juice.
  7. Grate parmesan cheese and add salt.

Caesar salad recipe

  • 1 lb romaine lettuce
  • 2 oz white bread (for croutons)
  • ½ fl oz olive oil
  • Caesar dressing, as needed
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • Capers
  • Mixing bowls/cups for mise en place ingredients
  • Food scale
  • Frying or sauté pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • Colander
  • Grater
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Plate

Production steps:

  1. Wash and drain lettuce, and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Cut the crusts from the bread and cut into small cubes (1 cm).
  3. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a sauté pan over moderately high heat.
  4. Add bread cubes and sauté in the oil until golden and crisp. Add more oil if needed.
  5. Remove croutons from the pan. Do not refrigerate.
  6. Toss greens with Caesar dressing.
  7. Plate and garnish with croutons, capers, cracked black pepper, and shaved parmesan cheese.

I was so proud of my croutons. They were so crunchy and way better than store-bought! I also had fun plating my salad. It looked so elegant and fancy!

Thanksgiving wishes!

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving! Eat lots of delicious food!

Thank you to all my supporters. I am immensely appreciative of everyone who visits and reads my blog. It means the world!

In thanksgiving,

FS x

No beg for eggs!

The meaning behind today’s blog title

A few years ago, a good friend and I talked about creating a unique community service project on feeding the homeless. He thought of the idea of serving eggs (egg sandwiches), and wanted to name the project “No Beg for Eggs!” Haha! This project is still in the making, even though we’re in different states now. We’ll make this happen one day…

Fourteen day recap of #2021thankfulchallenge

Here are the last 14 things I’ve been grateful for this month.

  1. Peaceful and tranquil lake.
  2. You Are My Glory, Chinese drama series.
  3. Hugs.
  4. Love.
  5. Hawai’i’s KIKU TV (was a channel that aired multi-cultural shows).
  6. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle.
  7. The end of daylight savings time.
  8. Meditation apps.
  9. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  10. Bubble gum.
  11. Stars.
  12. Good nutrition.
  13. Iryu: Team Medical Dragon series.
  14. Adele.

Visit my social media pages to view the detailed posts.

Eggs, eggs, and more eggs!

I spent the entire weekend cooking eggs. I’m EGG’D OUT! I went through over two dozen eggs. I made six different types of eggs (poached, over easy, sunny side up, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, and scrambled). I’ll be eating my “lemon” eggs for days! It was a frustrating and trying weekend, but I succeeded in the end. Thanks to grace and patience. Eggs may seem simple and easy to cook, but they’re not at all, especially if it needs to be cooked “perfectly.”

An egg-cellent tray of different varieties of egg cookery

My fave kind of eggs: runny yolks

My most favorite type of eggs are soft-boiled and over easy. I grew up eating over easy eggs. Many people in Hawai’i love the runny yolk over hot rice, with shoyu (soy sauce) drizzled over. Mmm, mmm! We can eat this all day long!

Helpful tips:

Pictured below are: poached, sunny side up, over easy, and soft-boiled eggs. These yolk oozing pics were very satisfying.

The challenging eggs were poached and over easy. I had to make them several times before they were photo-worthy and acceptable to submit to my chef instructor. Practice, practice, practice!

Helpful tips on poaching eggs: straining the egg first to remove the outer albumen, the egg white, which contains several thick and thin layers and 40 different proteins, adding vinegar to the water, and creating that swirl before adding the egg into the water.

For over easy eggs, flip it in one go, without a spatula. That’s right; you read right. No spatula. I’m not expert at flipping things in a frying pan, but I was able to gently flip my egg pretty nicely. That was luck! Having a non-stick pan and spray helps tremendously.

Surprisingly, sunny side up was the easiest. I hardly had to do anything, except move the egg around the pan occasionally so that it wouldn’t brown underneath.

Until next time…

Peace,

FS x

This caramel sauce is ENTICING!

The holidays are here!

Happy month of THANKSGIVING! There’s SO MUCH to be grateful for. The holidays are back once again and I’m excited! It’s one of my most favorite times of the year.

2021 Thankful Challenge

The entire month of November, I participate in a #thankfulchallenge on my social media platforms. Each day, I list something I’m grateful for. It could be anything. There are no stringent rules. It’s something I started in 2018 and it’s been an annual tradition ever since. I always get excited about my thankful challenge postings.

Something that really touched my heart this year was that a high school classmate was inspired to join the challenge. They shared that they’re tired of the negativity and wanted to give this challenge a go. Awesome! I’ve enjoyed reading and being inspired by their daily posts. I love to inadvertently motivate and inspire others. We could use more of that in this world.

Quick recap of the last seven days of the #2021thankfulchallenge

Here are the things I’ve been grateful for this first week in November:

  1. Peaceful and tranquil lake.
  2. “You Are My Glory,” Chinese drama series.
  3. Hugs.
  4. Love.
  5. Hawai’i’s KIKU TV (was a channel that aired multi-cultural shows).
  6. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
  7. The end of daylight savings time.

Visit my social media pages listed at the end of this post to view my detailed posts.

Highlighting homemade caramel sauce

This week, I’m highlighting caramel sauce. I was ecstatic to make this. I love caramel. I didn’t know how easy it was to make this glorious sauce. I was gleaming for joy after the outcome. I couldn’t believe how simple it was. Was I dreaming? I know what I’ll be making more often for desserts. Hehe…

The recipe and cooking equipment needed:

  • 8 oz. sugar
  • 2 fl.oz. water
  • ¾ tsp lemon juice (or corn syrup)- I chose lemon juice
  • 6 fl.oz. heavy cream (or water for clearer sauce)- I chose heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt (for salted caramel)- I decided to use the salt in my recipe
  • 4 fl.oz. milk (optional- to thin)- I opted not to add additional milk to thin out the sauce
  • Food scale
  • Measuring bowls/spoons for mise en place ingredients
  • Pastry brush
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Mason jar (for storing)

Production steps:

  1. Mise en place ingredients.
  2. Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Do not stir.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. 
  4. Wash sides with a pastry brush as needed to avoid crystallization.
  5. Cook the syrup to the caramel stage, where it will turn a honey amber color.
  6. Towards the end of the cooking stage, turn heat to low to avoid burning the sugar or letting it get too dark.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Slowly whisk in the cool cream. If some sugar solidifies, then return to a low heat and stir until all the caramel is dissolved.
  9. Add 1 tsp of salt or more to taste for salted caramel.
  10. Cool completely.
  11. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Da pixs!

Before I close, I want to give a BIG shout-out and say THANK YOU, MAHALO, to all my supporters here as well as on my social media platforms. It means a lot to me to have lovely support who views, reads, likes, and comments on my blog and social media. Thank YOU VERY MUCH! Wishing all of you a fabulous new week! Until next time!

In thanksgiving,

FS x

, ,

FooDNisTaSouL

Bon appétit French baguettes

Halloween greetings!

Happy Halloween! I hope you and your loved ones had a spooktacular and bootiful holiday.

Updates on life

It’s been a couple weeks since my last post. I was away visiting my dear friends on the mainland. I went to North Carolina, North Dakota, and Minnesota. It was a wonderful trip. I love traveling and experiencing life away from home. I’m so grateful for the time I had with my friends and that I was safe from COVID. Thank you, God, and to my guardian angels. I’ve selected some favorite pictures from my trip.

  • L top: Sunset near my hotel in Durham, NC.
  • L bottom: Beautiful day in downtown Durham.
  • R: Sidewalk in downtown Durham.
  • L: Cool chess board/pieces at Babb’s Coffee House in Fargo, ND.
  • R: Downtown Fargo.

Baking my own bread

This week, I baked French bread. I can smell the fresh aroma as I sit here typing this post. Mmm, it smells lovely! Baking this bread was a weekend’s work. I had to re-do my assignment twice. The first time, the loaves almost looked burnt. I describe it as badly suntanned, haha. Thankfully, the inside of the bread was fine. It was actually good. It was just very difficult to cut and bite into because it was so hard. Eesh! Thank goodness I didn’t break my teeth. Ha!

Yikes to the picture on the left, right? Gosh! I learned that we can’t always follow the recipe’s baking time. The recipe said 30 minutes but look at the outcome after 30 minutes. It was not good and unacceptable in my eyes to submit to my chef instructor.

The second time, I watched my oven like a hawk, setting timers every 10 minutes, as I peeked through the oven window. The color I was looking for was golden brown. After 25 minutes, I took the loaves out. It looked golden brown from the oven window. The loaves were so beautiful, soft, and chewy, with a bit of crispiness from the crust. I was so pleased and happy. Yay to baking bread from scratch!

Recipe and culinary equipment for the French bread:

Here is the very simple recipe for this time-consuming process. Make sure you set a lot of time aside to make this.

  • 375g bread flour
  • 262.5g water (may need to use less to prevent the dough from getting really sticky)
  • 9g active dry yeast
  • 7.5g Kosher salt
  • Food scale
  • Measuring bowls for ingredients
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic scraper
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Rubber spatula
  • Timer
  • Plastic wrap
  • Big cutting board (for kneading) or counterspace

Production steps:

The production steps to making this fresh and comforting bread:

  1. Sanitize kitchen (sink, countertops, stovetop/oven, cupboard handles, phone, computer).
  2. Scale ingredients.
  3. Mise en place ingredients.
  4. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix with a rubber spatula until the dough forms and it is fully mixed.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for one hour.
  6. Release dough from the bowl with a scraper.
  7. Stretch the dough into a rectangle and fold into thirds (add flour onto the bench (counterspace) if dough is sticky).
  8. Round dough into a ball and put it back into the bowl.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Weigh dough and divide into 250g.
  11. Shape the weighted dough into a ball and bench for 5-7 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap.
  12. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  13. Shape dough into a baguette by shaping dough into a rectangle, folding it into thirds, and pressing the seams with the heel of your palm.
  14. Roll the dough with your hands (spreaded fingers) into 12-17” baguette with tapered (narrowed) ends.
  15. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.
  16. Proof (rest) shaped dough, covered in plastic wrap until it doubles in size.
  17. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
  18. Slash proofed dough through outer skin in an angled cut, covering the length of the loaf.
  19. Bake until the crust is golden brown.
  20. Cool on a rack for at least one hour.
  21. Cut the baguette and serve.

Annual #thankfulchallenge

In 2018, I started a #thankfulchallenge, where I list 30 things I’m grateful for during the month of November. Please visit my Facebook and Instagram each day to see what I’m thankful for. I’ll be listing the recap in my blog posts each Sunday in November. I’m excited! Thanksgiving is coming sooner than we know it! Let the holidays begin!

Cheers!

FS x