crockpot coconut curry chicken

photo 1 (2) photo 2 (2)

i took the recipe from here and modified it as i saw fit. i love crockpots because they fit in so easily to a busy, work-filled schedule.

ingredients: coconut milk, chicken, olive oil, garlic, onion, ginger, black pepper, sea-salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, and whatever other vegetables you’d like to throw in there.

the night before work: place the ginger, onion, and garlic in a blender, and blend together until it forms a paste. heat up a pan with olive oil in it, transfer the paste into the pan, and add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, pepper, and sea-salt to it – cook for a few minutes. chop up all your vegetables as well – put everything away in the fridge.

the morning before work: place the chicken and vegetables in the crockpot – cover everything with the coconut milk and paste. turn it on low, and let it cook while you’re at work.

the evening after work: come home to a delicious smelling place, make some rice, and enjoy a dinner that essentially made itself!

crockpot magic: dinner that will make itself, and leftovers for lunch

photo 1 photo 2

crockpots are one of the most incredible inventions of mankind. the greatest thing about crockpot recipes is that most of them require little to no prep, you can toss all the ingredients in there in the morning before work, leave it to cook for the day, and come home to a delicious dinner that cooked itself.

here’s the recipe to a dish i tried last week. i didn’t use measurements as usual, but just felt it out according to my personal preferences and taste-buds (eg. i like garlic, so i put a lot of garlic in there).

ingredients: chicken, black beans, corn, onions, garlic, chicken broth (just enough to almost cover everything), cilantro, avocado, sea-salt, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, and rice.

the only real prep that this recipe requires is chopping up the onions and garlic, which i did the night before. i put all the ingredients (except for the cilantro, avocado, and rice) into the crockpot, and left it to cook for the day on the “low” setting (i turned it on at 7 am and came home to it at around 6 pm). then i shred the chicken up into pieces (with a fork and knife) without taking it out of the crockpot, stirred it around, and left it to cook for another 15 minutes. while it was cooking, i made some rice in my rice cooker, chopped up cilantro and avocado, and then put a bowl together when it was all done.

i also had leftovers for days, and i brought a tupperware full with me to work the next day. bringing my lunch to work is something i’ve never been good at, but managed to successfully do four out of five days last week – it was quite the milestone for me, as this was the first time that has happened in my entire working life. according to this article, people who go out for lunch every single day spend roughly around $2,500 a year on lunch. definitely something to think about.

lunch

yabu: house of katsu (manila, philippines)

katsukatsu2katsu3katsu5katsu6katsu7

 

while i was in manila a few months ago, my sister took me to one of the best katsu places i have ever been to – yabu. their katsu sets (whether you want chicken, beef, or pork) all come with unlimited miso soup, rice, cabbage, and fruit. they give you a bowl and the ingredients to make your own sauce. the meat is tender and it’s breaded to perfection; the sauce is rich and tangy; the rice is soft and fluffy; the combination of all three parts in your mouth results in the utmost satisfaction… and eventually a food coma.

bali: my personal travel recommendations

after almost a decade, i returned back to one of my favourite places on earth this december – bali. boy has it changed. first of all… traffic?! secondly, wow has it become expensive! this isn’t the cheap asia i used to know and love. pitchers of sangria at potato head were $50! i wouldn’t even pay those prices here in vancouver, which is allegedly, the most expensive city to live in north america. also, “the place to be” has changed from kuta to seminyak (although it was nice to see apache, bounty, and paddys still all there on the streets of kuta). but despite the traffic, the inflated prices, and all the rain that happened in the two weeks we were there, beautiful bali still remains on my list as one of my favourite places in this world. there’s just something inexplicably magical about it that will always remain close to my heart.

here are some of my personal travel recommendations taken from my recent trip back:

photo (1)

have a bintang – you’re in bali, it’s obligatory to make this beer your first drink. it might also be the only thing you drink, since it is significantly cheaper than all the other drinks on any menu. it was even cheaper than the mocktails (cocktails without the alcohol aka JUICE) my mom drank.

photo 5

eat nasi goreng (fried rice), mie goreng (fried noodles), and satay ayam (chicken satay) from a warung. “warung murah” was the best warung we ate at on this trip. “warung” is a stall on the side of the road that serves food and “murah” means “cheap” in indonesian. warung murah can be found down the street from seminyak square and serves legitimate indonesian food for very cheap prices (especially considering it’s located in seminyak). a plate of nasi goreng or mie goreng was around $3 (or less, i can’t remember the exact prices). the satay ayam (pictured above) was my favourite.

potatohead1 potatohead2potatohead5

grab a bed at potato head and watch the sunset. despite the $50 pitchers of sangria, potato head still served $4 bintangs (our beer of choice not necessarily out of choice, but more out of cost). the beds have a minimum spend of 500,000 rupiah (around $50), which is not hard to do with drinks and sunset snacks. there’s an infinity pool that overlooks the beach and is equipped with a swim-up bar. deep house music + the views + good company + a drink in your hand = ultimate relaxation.

kudetaphoto 1 photo 2

watch the sunset at kudeta and order from their “grazing” menu. they actually have a grazing menu. kudeta is very similar to potato head (in prices and vibes), and another great place to go to relax and catch the sunset. we even went for a dip in the ocean and came right back. their moroccan eggplant house made dip served with pita bread (pictured above) is so tasty, and their no kisses for you tonight (confit garlic puree, parmesan, parsley and mozzarella) pizza (also pictured above) is simple, yet so delicious.

photo 3 photo 4jimbaran

experience the best seafood in the world at jjimbaran. i’ve been to a few of the restaurants lined up along the beach, and all have been spectacular. you can pick out what you want to eat (crab, lobster, fish, etc.) and you can literally pick the specific live pieces you want to eat from the tanks out front of each of the restaurants. they will then prepare your meal for you fresh, and serve it with a side of rice and kangkong (water spinach) stir-fried with chili and spices. a little fresh fruit platter is also served for dessert. there are tables and chairs set up right on the beach where you can enjoy a nice meal by the ocean. heinekens were actually the same price as bintangs at the restaurant we ate at during christmas eve, which was a welcomed change.

vasantivasanti3photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5photo 3vasanti2vasanti4

stay in a poolside room at the vansanti, create a makeshift swim-up bar, and eat breakfast overlooking rice-terraces. for around $60 a night (expedia deal) we lucked out by getting a room that was literally connected to the pool. i thought the concierge was speaking metaphorically when he said that the room was so close to the pool that you could jump in… but it was meant in a literal sense, because you could just jump into the pool from your room since the patio (equipped with lounge chairs) is connected to the pool. the staff is extremely friendly and so accommodating. the free buffet breakfast that’s included is amazing – the food in general at the restaurant was great, which was surprising for a hotel. there’s a rooftop lounge located on the sixth floor with impeccable bali sunset views.

jl jl2 jl3

chill on a beanbag along jalan double six. this was, hands down, my favourite part about bali that didn’t exist ten years ago. this strip of the beach is quiet and lined with restaurants that lay out beanbags right on the beach. servers come right up to you to take your order and serve you beer and food on the beach. there are also women who walk around randomly offering spa-services, such as mani/pedis.

what are your favourite things to do in bali and favourite places to go to? please leave me a note in the comments, i’d love to hear your own personal travel recommendations!

our girls’ night go-to: incendio

Image

whether you’re dining-in or getting it delivered, the pasta at this place is to die for. once i discovered the new orleans (chorizo, chicken breast, red peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a cajun cream sauce), i knew it was the one and that i’d never want to order anything else from this place ever again. so thick, creamy, and full of flavour… and for that reason, i recommend incendio only for special occasions (unless you’re totally cool with gaining 100 pounds).

a picture recipe: oyako-don

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

last night, yukiko came over and taught me how to make a traditional japanese dish, oyako-don.

ingredients: chicken, onions, green onions, hon dashi, soy sauce, cooking sake or cooking rice wine (it’s been confirmed by a legitimate japanese person that both are basically the same thing), eggs, and water.

it was incredibly fast and easy to make, and is best served over rice. follow the pictures above for directions on how to make it.

i was able to come home for lunch today to eat the leftovers. it’s funny how lunch-breaks for me used to be going out to eat every single day with someone… and now, it’s actually a nice change to be able to come home and clean, or do laundry, and just have “me time” to take care of myself and my life. we often get so busy and are constantly surrounded by so many people in this world that we forget just how important it is to get away from it all, in a quiet place, and just have some time alone… even if it’s just for a short period of time each day.

alone

all the money i’ve been saving from not going out to eat all the time is pretty awesome too – we’ll see if i can keep this up once patio season rolls around again.