Hello hello hello! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted. Just wanted to know that I am alive and well and I have NOT given up on my food and hiking adventures. But, I suppose everyone believed this crazy girl has finally given up on blogging! Well, I’m sorry to disappoint but it’s very likely that I will keep coming back when you least expect me to.
MOVING ON. As you may guess from the title that this is a very very special post requested by a dear friend of mine. Someone that I really aspire to, not only is she caring, full of heart, and fun, she is also not afraid of chasing her dreams. Although she may not admit it, I think she is one of the strongest people I know. I feel really lucky that the universe decided to let us meet and pulled us closer. If many many different things/events didn’t line up, we would have never known we had so many connections and we would’ve never became the friends we are today. Blessed. No joke. She has been a very supportive friend even now that she’s miles away. So when she approached with the idea of doing this post, I was more than happy to be able to contribute.
She specifically requested to have me create a customized birthday menu for a special person in her life. Unfortunately, I have not yet had have the opportunity to meet him in person, but I’m delighted that he enjoys my dishes and follows the blog.
The dishes we are featuring today are my take on two of their favorites dishes that they always order when they visit a Taiwanese restaurant: Chicken with Black Bean Sauce and Three Cups Tofu. And to top it all off, since a birthday post would not be complete without some kind of birthday cake, so I’m making the birthday boy’s favorite: Berry Marbled Cheesecake.
To be honest, I have never even heard of Chicken with Black Bean Sauce, but it immediately reminded me of a popular Cantonese dish that I would often get with dim sum. After I googled the dish, I realized while the Cantonese spareribs are steamed with fermented black beans, this chicken dish is meant to be a stir-fry. Anyway, I went with my gut and I think the dish turned out pretty good!
說實在的，我還真的沒有聽過豆鼓雞丁這道菜呢! 這時我想到每次去港式飲茶幾乎都會點豆鼓蒸排骨，但請教谷歌大神後，豆鼓雞丁不是用蒸的，是用炒的喔! 這次真的是實驗品。但沒想到第一次就覺得滿不錯的，很適合當便當菜，而且料備好，幾分鐘就可以上桌。
The tofu dish has got to be my favorite out of the three. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for three cups sauce. What are the three cups you say? Sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine. Traditionally, the ratio is 1:1:1, however, I tend to cut back on the sesame oil. I think the real star of this dish is the sweet basil. Fresh. You must use a big handful of fresh basil to bring out the flavors.
Oh one disclaimer, most of the time, I’m an advocate for healthy food and I’m not a big fan of adding cornstarch/flour to thicken my sauces. Therefore my dishes are often a healthier take on popular restaurant dishes. Just thought I’d put this out here. Please feel free to add just a teaspoon or two of cornstarch/flour to thicken your sauce.
Last but not least, the Berry Marbled Cheesecake, New York Style. Ok, so the request was actually not this specific, it’s just Strawberry Cheesecake so I let my creativity wander. Since, we are heading steadfast into summer right now, there are just aren’t any fresh strawberries to be found! I had to substitute fresh for 100% natural jam. Here, I used a jam that consists of a medley of four different berries, feel free to choose your favorite This cake turned out beautifully and I think it would make a great gift for many occasions, birthdays, baby showers, housewarming…you name it!
And there you have it. Thank you for this amazing opportunity to spark my motivation and creativity. My boyfriend, roommate and I were honored to be on this food journey and stuffed ourselves sampling these dishes.
And my warmest wishes to the birthday boy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASHISH! I hope you are pleasantly surprised by this customized menu and post. My sincere wish is for you to get into the kitchen and recreate your favorite dishes!
大功告成啦! 再忙碌的生活中也一定要享受一下做菜的樂趣。謝謝好朋友給我動力、重新點燃我對料理及撰寫食譜的那把火。身邊的男友、室友也贊助了他們的胃，幫我品嘗，大家都吃得很飽很滿足。最後，當然要正式跟今天的主角說大聲說 生日快樂! 希望你會喜歡我們為你準備的一切。你有被嚇到嗎? 感動到嗎? 我真心希望你有機會走進廚房也能做出你喜愛的中國料理!