Saturday, November 25, 2006

Spicy Thai Green Mango Salad

Spicy thai mango salad

Sorry for not keeping to my words that I would be posting the recipe of the braised pork belly with yam. Have been crazily busy over the past two weeks. Anyway, here's a new dish that I adapted from a recipe online. Modified the ingredients a bit, to cater to what was available in my refrigerator. This is a really easy dish to make, the key of success lies in the right type of mangoes. But can be a bit time consuming, as a lot of slicing and cutting is involved.

I have always been yearning to make this dish but never had the chance to get the right mangoes. The mangoes that I previously bought were either tasteless or infested by worms when I cut them. You will need unripe sourish sweet mangoes but the flesh should be preferably yellowish (turning orange) but still very firm. This creates the best taste.

Here are the ingredients I used:
1. 2 medium sized unripe mango - shredded thinly. You can use a shredder but for best aesthetics and mouthfeel, use a sharp knife to slice thinly (about 2 - 3mm thick) and then cut into thin strips.
2. Dried cuttle fish - 2 - 3 pieces, seasoned and ready to be eaten. I bought this from the night market. Tear up the cuttle fish into small pieces.
3. Ginger flowers (Bunga kantan) - you just need a few petals, slice really thinly, about 1 mm wide and 10 mm long.
4. Half a lemon grass - cut the lemon grass length wise and slice really thinly.
5. 2 - 3 stalks of coriander leaves, only use the leaves.
6. 3 - 4 chili padi (small fiery hot chilies)
7. 2 tbsp roasted crushed peanuts (optional)

1. 4 shallots, thinly sliced
2. 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3. 1 tbsp of fish sauce
4. 2 tsp of organic cane sugar
5. 1 tsp of sea salt
6. 2 tbsp of cooking oil (groundnut oil is the best)
7. Juice of 2 kalamansi lime (limau kasturi)
8. Dried shrimps (1 tbsp) - soaked before using.

1. Prepare all the ingredients in PART A and mix together (except for dried cuttle fish, roasted peanuts and coriander leaves) in a big bowl.
2. Heat the cooking oil in pan before adding the shallots and garlic. Fry till golden, add the dried shrimps and fry for another 1 minute. Add the rest of the PART B ingrediets (mix them in a bowl first before adding to the wok) and heat for about 1 minute. Turn off the fire and dish out the sauce, mix into the big bowl with all the PART A ingredients.
3. Stir the salad evenly, and transfer to a plate. Garnish with coriander leaves and dried cuttle fish. If you like peanuts, sprinkle with roasted crushed peanuts. The peanuts I had in the fridge were too old and moldy so I decided to omit them. But the salad tasted just as good!

Results of experiment:
Yummy yummy! A very appetising salad with vibrant colours, good subject for food photography! The slight pungent ginger flower and lemon grass really spiced up the dish's aroma and flavour!

Spicy thai mango salad-close up

Spicy thai mango saladSpicy thai mango saladSpicy thai mango salad

Spicy thai mango salad
This version uses riper mangoes and crushed roasted peanuts. Didn't taste that good because the mangoes were too ripe :-(

Friday, November 10, 2006

Braised pork belly with yam

This is a really time consuming dish.

Took me 4 hours in total yesterday before the dish was finally served on the dinner table. It was meant to be lunch but ended up being dinner! :-S

I am a die-hard fan of this dish, partly because of the yam and the fattenning layers of the pork belly and the gravy, yummy yummy! I know I know, evil but tastes oh so good. This is a rather popular Chinese dish in Malaysia, originated from China (with different variations across the country). I've only eaten it at restaurants or roadside stalls but never cooked. So this was my first attempt!

Found the recipe on the net, but it was in Chinese. Will try to put up the recipe in English soon!

The end result was not too bad, except that the skin of the pork was still a bit tough after steaming for 2 hours, the taste was pretty good though!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Close encounter with Michael Wong (Guang Liang - 光良) - more pictures (click pictures for larger versions)

For some weird reasons, I couldn't upload any more photos after I've published the post, so here are some more pictures.

The pictures of Guang Liang giving his speech, I was just right in front of the podium, cool man!

Guang Liang taken together with my client, Tan Lay Seong.

Close encounter with Michael Wong (Guang Liang - 光良)

Okay, I know this has nothing much to do with cooking but I'm just very inspired by him after spending a whole afternoon and evening "with" him and thought I have to pen it down.

Guang Liang is the honorary recipient for the Outstanding Young Malaysian Awards 2006 in the category of Cultural Achievement. I've always admired his talents, and have listened to his songs from his first album till now. What I admire about him, is not just his music talents, but his perseverance and passion about what he does best, and also his constant strive for perfection, ensuring that he only produces the best piece of music.

For those who don't know him, Guang Liang is a popular Chinese Malaysian singer and songwriter who is also internationally popular in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China; and has won numerous important music awards held locally and in the above mentioned countries. He was also the first Malaysian singer who has his concert held in Hong Kong Coliseum, the largest indoor stadium in Hong Kong.

Actually my client for a book I translated recently is the merit certificate recipient for the personal achievement and development category, so I had a free ticket to the dinner cum award presentation. The press conference was held in the afternoon before the dinner and I had the chance of sitting just 3 feet away from Guang Liang, lucky me! I was actually there to help take pictures for my client but spent more time looking and taking pictures of Guang Liang instead haha.

The award presentation was very inspirational, not that it makes me want to be world and Malaysia famous like Guang Liang, but it has inspired me that I should do something for the less fortunate. Which is where cooking comes in. I've wanted to be able to feed the poor and the less fortunate for free. Hopefully this will one day become a reality. I believe that what I have today is a result of what I've done in the past, and deep down inside, I know I have a mission to accomplish, not just for myself, but for the society at large.

My new kitchen will hopefully be a place to cook for charity, without asking for anything in return. It will also be a place that people can come in to experiment new recipes and get together with friends, loved ones, or like-minded people. It's not difficult by the sound of it, but what is tough is how to implement and sustain it.

I am a firm believer in the power of dreams. Without a dream, your wish will never come true. When I first started as a full-time interpreter, I set a resolution that I wanted to become the most sought after interpreter in Malaysia in five years' time. Two and a half years have passed, while I'm not sure if I am already in that position, I have already carved a name for myself in the interpreting profession. When you have a dream, coupled with hard work and perserverance, it will become a reality some day. Just like what my ex has said, and has become a principle that I practise: "Don't try your best, DO your best," and you will definitely be there, one day.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Seared scallops with gingered oyster sauce and soy sauce

Pan-fried scallops with gingered oyster and soy sauce Pan-fried scallops with gingered oyster sauce and soy sauce

Created this a couple of weeks back. A really expensive dish. A few days before I made this, I had a painful experience of being cheated with "fake scallops" that tasted rubbery and chewy (would not tear even if u chew hard) at the wet market. So this one is the REAL scallops that I bought from Village Grocer in Bangsar Village.

Ingredients (Serves 3):
9 jumbo size scallops, pat dry using kitchen paper towel (defrost if frozen)
1/2 cup groundnut oil
10 thin young ginger slices, shredded thinly
2 sprigs of spring onion
2 sprigs of coriander (cilantro)
1/2 red chili for garnishing
Light soya sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp oyster sauce

1. Thinly shred the spring onions into 2 inch long strips and tear up the cilantro. Clean the seeds of the red chili and shred it thinly into 2 cm long strips. Soak the spring onion and red chili in water (preferably purified) for about 30 mins to get a curling effect.
2. In a wok (you can use a pan if you don't have a wok), heat up half of the groundnut oil, sesame oil and add in the shredded ginger, fry till golden. Dish out the oil and ginger and leave in a small bowl.
3. Heat up pan, heat the remaining groundnut oil and add in the scallops.
4. Sear the scallops until golden on each side, takes about 2-3 minutes for each side. Dish out the scallops, drain the oil on some kitchen paper towels, and arrange 3 scallops on each scallop shell (in my case, the shells came from Sydney when I was there for work early this year). If you don't have the scallop shells, no worries! You can use white Chinese soup spoons instead, like what you see in my "Props hunting day" post.

5. Mix the groundnut oil with fried ginger strips with light soya sauce and oyster sauce. Pour the sauce mixture over the scallops and garnish with the spring onions, coriander and chili strips.

Note: It is best to get a good quality light soya sauce that is not too salty. Otherwise, it will taste too overpowering and you will not get to taste the scallops well.
Pan-fried scallops with gingered oyster and soy sauce

Fake "scallops" version, created a few days before the REAL scallops (without additional lighting, just built-in flash):
Pan-fried local

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Props hunting day

This was meant to be written for yesterday but I was too tired after reaching home and had to wake up like 6 am this morning. Yesterday went to Ikea and Jaya Jusco in MidValley Megamall to hunt for props. Not that I needed them urgently, but just wanted to satisfy my craze for the white Chinese soup spoons and wooden chopsticks to be part of my props. Ikea was for lighting. I have a simple lighting temporarily set up while waiting the right time (money and space concerns) to get proper studio lighting for food photography.

Props are a very important part of my food photography endeavour. They make my food creation more appealing, creative and different (or ruin it otherwise). Plus I get bored of the old ones pretty fast so I have to keep getting new stuff haha. Those I bought yesterday were specially selected for Chinese and Asian dishes, to give them a oriental feel.

The results? Four white chinese soup spoons, ten pairs of sandalwood chopsticks, one piece of orangy red table napkin and a cheap halogen table lamp from Ikea. Oh, not forgetting a piece of acrylic table top (marble-like) and rejected laminated wood kitchen cabinet door given for free from my kitchen cabinet builder, can use as background for my creations. Yay...happy happy!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Grilled lobster with parmesan cheese

This was created together with the chili crab on Father's Day. It was a totally coincidental creation as the lobsters were selling really cheap at the market, about RM 50 (about USD 13.50) a kilogram, so I bought two of them (A bigger one and a smaller one, total cost about RM 75 (USD 20.30)). Again, a first-time attempt. The results were so-so, but okay for a first attempt. The taste is a combo of asian (curry leaves, ginger) and west (parmesan cheese, parsley), which can taste a bit weird for some people. My personal opinion is that it needs to be improved further haha...

Word of caution: Shelling the lobster is a bit tricky and you need a lot of strength to do it. What I did was I used a big Chinese chopper and hit it with a mortar's pestle to break the shell into two. Make sure you do this on a solid and hard surface so that you don't break it!


2 tbsp of butter
2 stalks of curry leaves
Chopped ginger and garlic
Chopped Italian parsley (added to parmesan cheese)
Shaved parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ tsp of brown sugar

1. Heat up oven (around 180C) .
2. Boil lobster and cut lobster into two (vertically), get the flesh out from the shell and slice into 1 inch cube.
3. Melt butter in pan, fry lobster meat together with curry leaves, ginger and garlic.
4. Add salt, pepper and sugar to the lobster.
5. Scoop lobster meat into the shell and top with parmesan cheese + parsley mixture and grill for 30 minutes.

After thought: This dish and the chili crab is a good example of "cooking heals love and relationship." These two dishes were specially created for Father's Day, all of us happily gathered at the dining table when the dishes were ready. My dad finished every single piece on the plates!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Chili Crab

Okay, I have to admit this is not an original creation. The original recipe was from somewhere on the web, can't recall where it was from, but I altered the recipe a little bit here and there to make it simpler to cook for me. First time cooking chili crab, it was created on Father's Day this year (2006), together with grilled lobster (recipe follows later, time for bed now! It's 11 pm and drove 3.5 hours in the rain from my home town today) and some stir-fry watercress shoots. Picture not very good as it was taken using my Sony Ericsson k750i, my Canon EOS 350D has not arrived then.

Perhaps when I see fresh crabs in the market next time I will recreate (or improve on) the recipe. I used blue swimmer crabs but I guess it will taste better with fresh mud crabs.

First time cooking chili crab was not too bad, tasted quite yummy actually. If you like more gravy, you can add in slightly more water into (B).

Sauce (A)
3 fresh red chilies, deseeded
5 dry chilies, deseeded and soaked for about 30 minutes
5 shallots
5 cloves of garlic
2 cm cube of belacan (prawn paste)
Juice of 3 kalamansi (kasturi) lime

Sauce (B)
1/2 cup of tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp of sugar (or to taste)
1/2 tsp of salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup of water

Crabs & etc.
3 fresh crabs, clean and cut
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp of groundnut oil (or any cooking oil, except olive oil - taste a bit too strong)

1. Blend all ingredients in (A) using a blender or food processor, leave aside. Mix (B) in a separate bowl.
2. Put groundnut oil into hot wok, when oil is hot, add garlic and fry till fragrant.
3. Add the blended sauce mixture (A), fry for about 1 minute then add crabs and fry for about 2 - 3 minutes, then add (B).
4. Close wok with cover and turn the flame down to cook for about 5 minutes or until crab meat turns from translucent to white.
5. Serve hot with white rice.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stir-fry chicken with ginger and leek on organic basmati rice

Stir-fry chicken with ginger and leek on organic basmati rice

This dish was created for the same meal together with the Table Water crackers appetizer, as the main dish. It's actually quite a weird combo, Western appetizer but Chinese main course. Anyway, the main reason for making this and the appetizer was to shoot them, eating is just the reward after that! ;)

Ingredients (serves 2 persons):
Two chicken thigh, chopped into small pieces (Ask the chicken vendor to skin the thigh and chop it up into small size for you, save you lots of trouble. You can also use chicken breast if you prefer. For chicken breast, it will taste better if you slice it thinly.)
1 stalk of leek (organic preferably, tastes sweeter)
1 piece of young ginger (older ginger tends to be more overpowering)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
2 tbsp of peanut oil
1 tsp of sesame oil
1/2 cup of organic basmati rice + 1 cup of water for cooking rice (adjust the water level accordingly, if you want it softer or harder)
Spring onions and coriander leaves for garnishing

For marinate (A):
1 tbsp of light soya sauce
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

For gravy (B):
1 tbsp of light soya sauce
1 tsp of dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp of corn flour
1/2 cup of water
Sea salt, ground black pepper to taste. (If you like it slightly sweet, you can put in about 1/4 tsp of raw cane sugar. In my case, I used organic raw cane sugar)

1. Marinate chicken thigh with (A). Leave aside for about 30 mins. Cook rice.
2. Clean (leek has hidden dirt between the base of the leaves) and cut leek in slanting direction, about 1 cm thick.
3. Slice ginger thinly.
4. Thinly shred spring onion (lengthwise of about 3 cm) for garnishing later. If you want the spring onion to have a "curling" effects, soak the shredded spring onion in water for about 20-30 minutes.
5. Heat up wok/pan, add peanut oil and sesame oil. When oil is hot, add chopped garlic and sliced ginger until you smell a savoury aroma.
6. Add the marinated chicken into the wok, fry and close the wok with lid (chicken gets cooked faster this way) for about 3 minutes, then add leek, leave in the wok closed for another 2 minutes or so. Remember to turn down the flame to small or it will get burnt really fast!
7. Mix all ingredients in (B) evenly in a small bowl and pour into the wok. Fry for another 2 minutes and dish out.
8. Serve on hot organic basmati rice in a Japanese wide bowl and garnish with shredded spring onion and coriander leaves (see picture) and bon appétit!

Note: You can basically use any type of rice but I find organic basmati rice tastes the best. Also tastes good with Japanese sushi rice. It's best to mix the rice with the gravy before eating so that the flavour of the gravy absorbs well into the rice.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Finger food appetizers using Table Water crackers

Front: Carrot and cucumber dressed with yogurt and mayoinaise with green olives on table water crackers
Front: Carrot and cucumber dressed with yogurt and mayoinaise with green olives on table water crackers

Back: Smoked salmon, avocado, organic cherry tomato and creme fraiche on table water crackers

Woke up on Thursday (October 26, 2006) and I had this inclination of making some finger food appetizers using Table Water crackers. Kept seeing round mini-sized finger food around and thought I just have to satisfy my desires or else I won't be able to sleep over it.

So I sms-ed a friend if she wanted to come over to join me for dinner. (See, this is what I call "cooking heals loneliness" :-)). I was alone at home, no one to have dinner with, but dying to photograph some of these mini appetizers. So what the heck.

Ingredient hunting was a pain. Went to Village Grocer in Bangsar Village initially. Headed straight to the chiller to check for Creme Fraiche. Expiry date mid November 2006. Okay, definitely wouldn't be able to finish up by then. Decided to buy it at Cold Storage in Bangsar Shopping Complex, probably have later expiry date.

Next, no smoked salmon!!!!!!!!! That was horrifying! The whole intention to make it was with smoked salmon on creme fraiche! So I bought other things and headed straight to Cold Storage.

"Sorry ma'am, we ran out of stock for smoked salmon."

What????? What is wrong with all the supermarkets today? Thank goodness there was still one last resort, Mr. Ho's Fine Foods. Got it there. Phew!

Here's goes the recipe:

Smoked salmon, avocado, organic cherry tomato and Crème fraîche on table water crackers

Smoked Salmon
Table Water Crackers
Crème fraîche (A slightly tangy, slightly nutty, thickened cream, originally from France. You can find them near the butter or cheese section in the supermarket)
3 pitted green olives
1/2 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Cherry tomatoes, cut into 4 pieces lengthwise (oval shape, and organic ones taste a lot better)
Dill leaves for garnishing

1. Spread about 1 tsp of Crème fraîche on Table Water Cracker.
2. Add smoked salmon (about the size of table water cracker, you can fold a bigger piece if you prefer more).

3. Arrange sliced avocado on the smoked salmon and top with cherry tomato, green olive rings; and garnish with dill.
4. Serve immediately before crackers get soggy.

Carrot and cucumber dressed with yogurt and mayoinaise with green olives on table water crackers


1/2 stick carrot (cut lengthwise)
1/2 cucumber (cut lengthwise)
Plain unsweetened yogurt (2 tablespoons)
Mayoinnaise (1 tablespoon)
3 Pitted green olives, cut into rings
Finely chopped Italian parsley (1 sprig)
Italian parsley for garnishing


1. Using skin peeler, peel carrot and deseeded cucumber into 6 long thin strips each.
2. Steam the carrot strips for 5 minutes, set aside to cool.
3. Dice the remaining carrot and cucumber into about 3 mm squares.
4. Mix yogurt and mayoinnaise into diced carrot and cucumber, leave in refrigerator to cool for 15 mins.
5. Arrange carrot and cucumber strips in circle on Table Water crackers. Fill the center with the mixture from (4.) and garnish with green olive rings and italian parsley.
6. Serve immediately before crackers get soggy.

Smoked salmon, avocado, green olives, organic cherry tomato and creme fraiche on Table Water crackers

Smoked salmon, avocado, organic cherry tomato and creme fraiche on Table Water crackers

Behind every blog, there's a reason for its existence

Linguine Pesto with white wine sauteed swiss brown mushrooms and crispy bacon Linguine Pesto with white wine sauteed swiss brown mushrooms and crispy bacon Linguine Pesto with white wine sauteed swiss brown mushrooms and crispy bacon

Okay, I know the title is almost the same as my first post. But not quite. Why must I start blogging when I do not even have time to sleep and rest, not to mention to find time cooking. I know if I don't start, I will start losing my recipes. Right now the only place I save my recipes is the area situated between my two ears, and digital photos to remind me how the output look like.

Now some of you may say, you don't need a blog to document the recipes, you just need some discipline to type them into your computer. Yes, you are right again. But, that alone is not strong enough to motivate me to do something about it.

So why then blog? Simple. Hopefully someone will read my posts and when they do, at least I know I am being watched, so I put in more caution and care into what I write and prepare. Simple as that, I need people to whip and push me to put things into action.
So what's next? Recipes, recipes and more recipes. Self-created recipes. Or inspired by other sources. Photos, photos, and more photos about what I created (and occasionally by others). Also not-so-often ramblings about my thoughts surrounding food and life around me.

Please forgive my grammatical and spelling errors if you come across any. Focus on the food and recipes instead! ;)

So watch me, as I slowly build up my little world of culinary arts...

Rose - purple double tone

Behind every blog, there's a story to tell

Smoked salmon, avocado, organic cherry tomato and creme fraiche on table water crackers + Smoked salmon, avocado, organic cherry tomato and creme fraiche on table water crackers. Watercolour effects using Photoshop.

There're thousands of cooking blogs out there, so why mine? Just like the name of my blog, cooking is healing for me. If there's shopping therapy for most women, then on top of that, there's also cooking therapy for me.

Everyone knows that food has healing properties. If you eat the right food, you get to prevent diseases/ailments. But this blog doesn't just talk about eating right, it's about the action of cooking itself.

For me, cooking heals stress, cooking heals pain, cooking heals emotions and loneliness, cooking even heals relationships and love. And most importantly, cooking is a huge part of my life and soul.

Coming from a horticultural background during my undergraduate days, I have had intense interest in plants since I was a young kid. Ironically though, I do not have green fingers. Plants don't thrive when I try to grow them. But, I guess I am still of use, since I can make "dead" plants edible and look enticing to be eaten.

As far as I could remember, I started my adventure in cooking when I was 6 or 7. While other girls in my neighbourhood played chef using cookery toy sets, my toys were the smallest wok you could find, and burning small pieces of wood chips under the wok between two stacks of bricks, and oil, salt, and pieces of vegetables stolen from my mom's refrigerator. I would hide in the backyard and quietly finish my cooking while my parents were out or busy attending to something else.

However, my REAL cooking experience started when my father insisted I should take up home science (more like home economics to be precise) instead of the Commerce option when I entered secondary school. As much as I wanted to do Commerce for the sake of better "prospect", I am glad that I had to follow his order. Since then, I have not been separated from cooking and the art and love of food.

I wasn't a popular student in home science cooking classes as I always insisted to do something different as compared to my partner (two of us shared a cooking workstation). Every year, we had this thing called "Canteen Day" in school where the students would take over the canteen ladies job as we would prepare food to sell and collect money for contributing to the school. I remembered making sardine rolls and some other stuff every year. And when other kids did not get a chance to celebrate their birthday in a big way (I lived in a semi-rural town) , or had their parents organized their birthday parties for them; I had always organized and cooked the food for my birthday parties every year from 10 years old until I left my hometown 8 years later.

When I was studying in the university, my love for cooking and food never faded. Besides studying plants, I had deep interest in making food taste and look good. And thanks to health concerns, I've experimented with all sorts of diet, from "normal" to low-carb to vegetarian to vegan to raw vegan (yes, no animal protein or dairy, and all the rest were eaten raw). Well, let's not go into the boring details of my health problems.

I like to create art with food, making them look, feel and taste good. Cooking for me is a true combination of science and art. Knowing what you eat and what benefits/disadvantages your ingredients bring to you is not less important than making the food you cook look appetizing and taste good.

Stir-fry chicken with ginger and leek on organic basmati rice
Stir-fry chicken with ginger and leek on organic basmati rice

With my current busy work schedule and hectic lifestyle (I'm a English-Malay-Chinese translator/interpreter and run a translation/interpreting agency), the art side of cooking naturally dominates over the science, as I no longer practise my horticultural knowledge except for knowing veggie/fruit names, choosing the right or ripe types and storing them properly. Well good enough I suppose. At least my knowledge is not dumped into waste. Oh, not forgetting I use it for my translation and interpreting work as well.

Regardless of how busy I was and am with work, I always find time to cook. The busier I am, the more I miss my cooking time. Hundreds of people have asked me, since I like cooking so much, why don't I have a career that has to do with cooking.

Well, I've always had the fear of losing my passion if I make cooking my full-time job. The analogy is like having a lover outside a proper marriage. You get married finally, enjoying the thrill of a new life together with someone. You have a good husband that brings back the bacon, pays the bills, takes care of your children's expenses, and satisfies your emotional and physical ;) needs occassionally.

But you need more than that. When marriage becomes a big part of your life, it becomes routine somehow. There're always kids to attend to, house chores to be done, and etc. etc. A married life no longer has its passion like it first began. This is the time you look for other excitement, something fun outside marriage ;) Same happens to cooking for me. I will rather keep it as a "lover" outside marriage than the other way round, so that I will always miss and look forward to that little excitement ;). Not that I am endorsing extramarital fun (Hey, I'm a loyal and faithful person!), just something I use to keep you reading my post hehe...

In this blog, I'm sharing my culinary journey and my recipes created wholeheartedly with passion and soul. As much as I can, I try to create recipes from scratch or come up with something after being inspired by a great chef, a special person, a delicious dish, a spectacular restaurant, a wonderful travel journey, or an inspiring cookbook/cooking show. As much as I've enjoyed creating the recipes, I hope you will be inspired and have fun with them, to come up with something of your own. And when you do, listen and see with your heart, and you will feel and understand the healing magic of cooking :)