Tag Archives: Recipes

Lonely Chicago π

Today’s date can be marked as March 14 or 3.14, which is the official day for the mathematical symbol π (pi).  In light of this mathematically significant day, I decided I would honor it by baking (what else of course?) a pie.  Waitress, my favourite movie, just so happens to have a plethora of pie ideas to choose from, and I have seen it too many times not to try to bake one of them.

Jenna, the main character in the movie is (surprise, surprise) a waitress at a pie diner, and she is also the person who bakes and creates the pies.  Throughout the movie she mentally bakes pies with unique combinations of ingredients and gives them names to reflect her mood.  The pie that I chose to make was ‘Lonely Chicago Pie’, made up of blackberries and chocolate.  There is a DVD set that comes with recipes for some of the pies she creates, but I sadly do not have that set.  Instead, I put my thinking cap on and created this recipe:

Lonely Chicago Pie (Inspired by the movie Waitress)

Makes 1 Pie


  • 1 Deep Dish pie shell (Recipe I used here)
  • 5 Tbsp Dutch Processed Cocoa
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 50g Dark Chocolate
  • 300 mL (1 can) Condensed Milk
  • 4 Egg Yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 340g Blackberries, washed and thoroughly dried
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly mash berries in a small bowl with a pestle or the back of a spoon.  Mix thoroughly with 2 Tbsp flour and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix together cocoa, remaining flour, salt, and dark chocolate.  Add condensed milk, yolks, butter, and vanilla, then heat over medium low while stirring constantly.
  3. Once the butter has completely melted, pour chocolate mixture into pie shell followed by berri es.  With a spoon, carefully blend the berries and the chocolate together making sure not to scrape the raw pastry.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the chocolate has centre has set.  The mixture will still be slightly wobbly.  Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Before making ‘Lonely Chicago Pie’, I watched and studied what Jenna did and added to the her pie to try to emulate her as closely as possible.  Jenna may have been a pie genius, but her pie baking methodology would not hold up without the magic of movie making, unless there was something I missed.  In the movie, ‘Lonely Chicago Pie’ is made by sprinkling brown sugar into the base of an unbaked pastry shell and topped with melted chocolate and mashed blackberries.  I wasn’t about to make a pie that was filled with straight melted chocolate–it would just turn out to be one big chocolate puck!

Even though I don’t agree with some of Jenna’s methods, my mouth still waters every time I watch Waitress.  This pie was sweet and velvety with a juicy burst of berries in every few bites.  I never was a very good at it, but math sure can be delicious sometimes.

A North Road Less Travelled

A few weeks ago, I woke up and made myself a pancake breakfast using a Japanese pancake mix that I purchased from a Korean grocery store a while back.  The recipe and instructions are written in Japanese, but there are some easy to decipher pictures.  Still, I wanted to be thorough and get the actual instructions instead of my guesstimations.  Before I received the instructions from my friend’s Japanese co-worker, who was gracious enough to translate them for me, I tried to google them.  What I did find was a rather amusing interpretation of the instructions on another blog that gave me a laugh.  Might I add, the pancakes were the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever made.

Later that night I went out to dinner and browsed through the aisles of a couple in the Korean grocery stores on North Road.  At Hannam Mart there was an entire aisle dedicated to different types of seaweed.  Fresh sea cucumber, in water packs similar to what you’d imagine pet goldfish go home in, were also for sale– something I’ve never seen before.  When I asked the fish monger on duty how they were eaten, he briefly explained that they were eaten raw with a bit of seasoning.  I wouldn’t mind trying raw sea cucumber, but I didn’t want to taint my first experience being disgusted by improper preparation, and worse yet–getting sick as a result.  After picking up a few things, I went in search of a restaurant for dinner nearby.

An aisle devoted to seaweed

Fresh Sea Cucumber

It didn’t take very long at all to find a restaurant, because I immediately noticed a piggie logo on the same block which belonged to a downtown restaurant I had long been wanting to try.  The piggie logo was really the only reason that the restaurant stood out in my mind.  To be honest, I didn’t know what kind of food they served, but fortunately for one of my favourite foods was on the menu.

Some of you may already know about my minor obsession with hamburg steak and my previous posts here and here, and that was why I was so excited to accidentally stumble into Dae Ji.  Dae Ji’s signature item is actually their pork cutlet, so I was happy to find out I could order a combo meal that included both the cutlet and steak.  The combo was served with a coleslaw, corn, macaroni salad, rice, and miso soup(which I recommend upgrading to kimchi soup for an additional charge).  Everything was smothered with gravy, so there was plenty of flavour to lend to the steamed rice which I added a fried egg to.  The pork cutlet was crispy and tender enough to entice a rabbi to hang up his kippah.  The hamburg steak was thick, juicy, and flavourful, but after a few bites I realized that because they added so many flavourings to the meat, it more closely resembled meatloaf than it did hamburg steak.

(Clockwise from top left)Coleslaw, Macaroni Salad and Corn, Steamed rice with fried egg, Pineapple Hamburger Steak, Pork Cutlet.

The cuisine at Dae Ji is what I would consider yoshoku fare.  But if this type of food is common in Korea, perhaps they have their own name and variations on the dishes.  I had fun shopping in the grocery stores and Dae Ji was a delicious end to my evening of exploration and discovery.  While this was not the ideal hamburg steak, it was still pretty darned good.  Congratulations to Dae Ji on their second location, and I hope their success will result in third location closer to where I live.

*On a side note, fellow blogger, Photos by Foodie, claims that this is a good recipe for hamburg steak.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks delicious!

Dae Ji on Urbanspoon

Jasmine Tea Infused Birthday Cake

Since my grandmother celebrates her birthday according to the Chinese calendar, the day we celebrate her birthday changes dates from year to year.  This year, her birthday fell within a week of my sister’s, so they both celebrated their birthday together.  I wanted to make a cake that was a little more Asian inspired, so I infused jasmine tea into an ATK recipe.

Jasmine Tea Cake

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Recycle, Reheat, Restock (Chocolate Nuttella Button Cookies)

If someone were to look in my pantry closet, they might think that I’m trying to store food for winter or a nuclear disaster.  In actuality, I am a hoarder.  Only, I hoard food.  For example, the apple butter I used to make my Remembrance Day Cake was in the fridge for over a year before I cracked it open.  I only opened it because I knew it was about to expire.  I still haven’t used all of it.

Chocolate Nutella Button Cookies

I buy, buy, buy; and then I hardly ever actually eat, eat, eat.  Continue reading

Cure for Turkey Leftovers

Growing up in a first generation Chinese Canadian family, unusual dishes have made their way to our Thanksgiving dinner table.  Snake soup, sushi, sea cucumber, and abalone have all made regular appearances during the holidays.  Thanksgiving never had much meaning to me other than a reason to get together with my family and have a sensational meal.  Even though we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving as it was intended, the turkey was still the guest of honour.

Playing refrigerator tetris with containers like this after the holidays.

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Maximum Capacity

I managed to get a skein of salmon roe from a friend who knew someone who had fished for salmon in the Vedder River.  I had never cooked with roe before, not even cured roe.  But, I was eager to give it a try because salmon roe has been one of my favorite foods since I was a child (yes, even as a child I have had sophisticated tastes! lol).

Salmon Roe - Cured it myself!

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Fire Fighting

A few weeks ago, when I visited the Korean Presbyterian Church for their garage sale, I picked up a few things which were meant to be prepared at home. A few days after the garage sale, I decided to prepare a Korean themed dinner at home.
Barbequed Korean Style Short Ribs

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