Roasted Pumpkin Soup

When the temperature drops, there’s nothing I love more than curling up with a soothing hot bowl of soup. And what better soup to heal your soul during fall than a pumpkin one? I make this roasted pumpkin soup on rotation throughout the colder months and it’s rich, velvety, and simply luxurious. The coconut milk gives it a nice, silky texture and is pure coziness in a bowl.

Last week, I attended a dinner hosted by World Vision Canada to celebrate food in support of their #hungerfree campaign. With 795 million people chronically under-nourished around the world, the goal of this movement is to unite Canadians around the idea that everyone deserves access to a sustainable supply of healthy and nutritious food.

As today is Thanksgiving for all my fellow Canadians, I thought I’d share my Meaningful Meal with you all and inspire you to create your own Meaningful Meal. With World Food Day approaching on October 16th, I encourage everyone to support the #hungerfree movement by hosting your own Meaningful Meal, donating to World Vision, and then sharing your Meaningful Meal on social media with the hashtag #hungerfree.

For more information and to get started, check out www.hungerfree.ca.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup (serves 6):

Slightly modified from this recipe here.

  • 4-4 ½ pounds pumpkin (you can use any type of pumpkin or squash)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger (from a 3-inch long piece)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp coconut Thai seasoning (from Bulk Barn)
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat or light)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a heavy, sharp knife or cleaver, cut the pumpkin into quarters and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes. When cooled, peel the skin from the flesh and chop the pumpkin into bite-sized chunks (the smaller the better).
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste and fry for another few minutes. Add the curry powder and coconut Thai seasoning and fry for another minute.
  4. Add the pumpkin chunks and salt, and fry everything together for about 5 minutes, stirring to ensure everything is incorporated well.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender or pour the soup in batches into a blender. Be sure to hold the top down with a towel and blend carefully. Add more salt if needed.
  7. Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro or parsley. 

Let’s celebrate food and help create a #hungerfree world. Happy Thanksgiving!


Flip A Coin Tapas & Bar

Coming from a Chinese background, I can be rather picky when it comes to Asian cuisine. Don’t even get me started on Mandarin, Manchu Wok, or Spoon and Fork. If you like any of those places we cannot be friends. Many Asian fusion restaurants have popped up over recent years, but none have really impressed me. They seemed a little gimmicky and lacked flavour and authenticity.

Enter Flip A Coin, a new Asian tapas restaurant and bar, the first of its kind in Port Credit, Mississauga. Dark and beautifully moody, the d├ęcor evokes a modern Asian flair, from the lovely paintings on the wall, to the oil-paper umbrellas that hang from the ceiling, with accents of red throughout the restaurant.

Their boldness is also reflected in the tapas, in an array of tantalizing, authentic flavours with a modern twist. I hungrily got a taste of their menu before their grand opening last Saturday and everything was fresh, delicious, and beautifully presented. One of my favourite dishes is their Kick-Ass Poutine, with sweet potato fries, eggplant, pulled pork, house gravy, and cheese curds. Not your average poutine, this one has an Asian spin and is definitely kick-ass.

Other standout dishes include the Umami Fried Rice with kimchi, brown rice, egg, and veggies, Seared Duck with smoked duck breast, edamame, grilled mushrooms, and a chocolate berry sauce on a Chinese bun, and finger lickin' Pork Ribs. The bold medley of flavours in all their dishes work perfectly together and every bite was simply delectable. This is real Asian fusion as its finest.

Their Asian inspired cocktails are also not to be missed, and with names like Yogurt Tokyo, Tiger on the Beach, and Mr. and Mrs. Margarita, you’d wish it was cocktail hour all day. If you’re in the Mississauga area, or are simply craving good Asian food with a twist, definitely check out Flip A Coin!


Just Peachy

With summer gradually winding down (insert crying face emoji here), I’m making the most of these last few weeks of warm weather, patio hangs, and numerous ice cream trips. This peachy dress is my ode to summer with its soft, pastel palette. At first glance it may seem like a simple dress, but it’s the back details with bow accents on the straps that makes you go ooh. I may need to start walking backwards in this dress so everyone can see how pretty the back is.

If you’ve noticed that my lashes look more voluminous, it’s because I recently got lash extensions done for my best friend’s wedding a few weeks back. I have typical Asian lashes that are stick straight and absolutely refuse to stay curled. I swear its life mission is to piss me off. But thanks to Divine Lashes, I was able to have luscious lashes that stayed curled and were picture perfect for the wedding. Check them out if you’re ever thinking of getting lash extensions done!

Dress: Club Monaco | Shoes: Guess (similiar here) | Choker: Aldo


Tickled Pink

When your outfit matches a wall, you simply must pose for a photo in front of it. Although the location for this photo shoot wasn’t exactly planned, I think it worked out rather perfectly. Anything pink always makes me feel girly, and when you add in a lot of ruffles, it just makes it that much sweeter. A pair of white scalloped shorts adds to the flirty theme and has quickly become one of my summer staples. Overall, I guess you could say that I was tickled pink :)

Top: French Connection (similar-ish here) | Shorts: Club Monaco (on sale) | Shoes: Zara (similar here)

Photographed by: Dine and Fash


The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Regular chocolate chip cookies can be a bit of a bore to me. I like mine to have more than just chocolate, an added punch that takes it to another level. One of the best chocolate chip cookies in the city has to be from Maman Toronto and I love it so much that I was inspired to create my own version. Thick and crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside -- this chocolate chip cookie is everything you want it to be and more. Loaded with lots of melted dark chocolate and a crunchy blend of macadamia nuts and walnuts, I can’t help but sigh with each scrumptious bite. Now this is a chocolate chip cookie I can get excited about.

Thick & Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies with Macadamia & Walnuts

Slightly modified from this recipe here.

Serves: 12 giant cookies

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. On a large baking sheet, place parchment paper on and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it comes together in one lump, about 1 minute.
  4.  Add the coconut sugar and beat for another 1-2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved into the butter.
  5. Lower the speed to medium-low and mix in the eggs and vanilla until the batter is lumpy. Gradually add in the flour mixture, beating until a little flour remains.
  6. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Shape the dough into a ball, but do not roll it. Place them on the baking sheet, placing each about 2 inches apart. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but up to 12 hours before baking.
  8. Preheat over to 375F. Bake cookies for 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, then proceed to stuff your face immediately.