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Black Bean Braised Tofu

Black Bean Braised Tofu

52 weeks of cooking – Tofu It may be hard to believe, but there are some days when I don’t want to cook, the key word there is some. And on those rare occasions where I don’t want to cook but still need to cook […]

Swedish Apple Pie

Swedish Apple Pie

The group of friends I made on Bounty will always be with me even if we are miles apart, we bonded over a shared love of the ship. Every few years a group of us gets together for some event, recently it’s been weddings, but […]

Books a Sail and San Juan Escape

Books a Sail and San Juan Escape

As the season finally begins to comes to an end I am burnt out. I can image that when you don’t live and work in the same location going home is relaxing, you get away from the stresses of your job and are able to put the day behind you with a little more ease. When I relax I just go over to the other side of the galley, to the mess table and sit there thinking of all the things I could and sometimes should be doing instead of sitting. So with that in mind, that I’m getting tired of the season I glomped two overnight trips together in one post.

Books A Sail

Think of this sail as a mini book club, the passengers are told in advance what books to read and each day they discuss a different book. This year we read Feathers by Thor Hanson, Wind by Jan DeBlieu and Mink River by Brian Doyle. We even had Thor Hanson the author of Feathers come on board with us and help lead the discussion on his own book. Last year on this trip a passenger asked me if I had a cook book, I don’t, she said I should and that she worked for a small publishing company and was willing to help me out. We had a few conversations about writing a cook book and I did some of my own research, starting this blog is my first step towards writing cookbook. My plans for the winter are to start choosing and testing recipes for my future cookbook.

Day 1
Lunch: Calzones stuffed with pepperoni, ricotta and green bell peppers, Italian dressed salad
Dinner: Chicken paprikash with crème fraiche, egg noodles and grilled Brussel sprouts

Day 2
Breakfast: Oatmeal, honey bun muffins and fruit
Lunch: Split pea soup with pulled pork and sauerkraut open faced sandwiches
Dinner: Korean BBQ meatballs, rice, doenjang green beans and kimchi pancakes
Dessert: Swedish apple pie with cinnamon ice cream

Day 3
Breakfast: Artichoke quiche with bacon, fruit and sourdough toast
Lunch: Preserved lemon chicken wraps with garlic sauce, Mediterranean pickles and tabouli

 

San Juan Escape

This trip is always done towards the end of the season, I get it, sometimes you just need a name for a normal trip, but we’re not escaping the San Juans, we are going right to them! I need to escape them! Help! I guess the idea for this trip is more so to explore the islands, have some time ashore for a hike or so, but we had some pretty wet weather so there was really no time ashore.

Day 1
Lunch: chicken pot pie with leeks and fennel, green salad and brown butter peas
Dinner: Turkish meatballs with rice and yoghurt, tahini roasted eggplant

Day 2
Breakfast: Apple and cheddar biscuits with ham, fried eggs and fruit
Lunch: Shrimp laksa noodle soup with bok choy
Dinner: Cornbread and chorizo stuffed pork loin with poblano cream sauce, boiled potatoes and green beans
Dessert: Poached pear tart

 

Day 3
Breakfast: Pancakes with pecan maple syrup, sausages and fruit
Lunch: Mushroom and beet soup with onion rolls

Papa’s Zucchini

Papa’s Zucchini

During the summer I’d visit my grandparents, all by myself, we called it Grandma Camp. Most of the time my grandma would be the one entertaining and taking care of me, but when it came time for dinner my Papa took over. He always made […]

Cluster Granola

Cluster Granola

52 weeks of baking – Breakfast/Brunch When I cooked on Class Afloat I made large batches of yoghurt from scratch, it seemed more practical than having to buy and refrigerate several small containers. I could just make the yoghurt when I needed a big batch, […]

Desolation Sound Part 2

Desolation Sound Part 2

Day 6
Breakfast: Blini with sour cream and jam, breakfast sausage, yoghurt, granola and juice
Lunch: Squid stuffed with spinach in a white wine sauce, green beans almondine and leftover mac and cheese
Snack: Lamb cigars with yoghurt tahini sauce
Dinner: Cachapas with pulled pork, coriander black beans and lemon lime coleslaw
Dessert: Cinnamon laced pots de crème with dulce deleche

We pulled up the hook before breakfast to get going early so we could have enough time to play at Frederick Arm. Once we got there the crew took the kayaks ashore, dragged them up the river and to the lake. After lunch the passengers went ashore for most of the afternoon for hiking and kayaking around the lake. Oysters were grilled once again followed by perfectly cooked cachapas, I’ve made them a few times this year perfecting them each time and these have been the best yet. Creamy sweet corn cakes cooked slowly on a grilled, topped with melted cheese and citrus pulled pork, coriander black beans and tart lemon lime coleslaw. It was a long day, felt like it was never going to end, but this whole month has felt that way.

Day 7
Breakfast: Caramelized onion, bacon and cheddar quiche with cinnamon swirl bread
Lunch: Falafel with babaganoush, crispy chickpea salad, pickled vegetables and spanikopita
Dinner: Japanese yoshinoya beef bowl with rice, simple okonomiyaki and steamed broccoli with miso butter
Dessert: Butter mochi and mango sorbet

Another early morning, well not as early as yesterday, but as soon as the crew finished their safety meeting we pulled the hook so that we could get through the rapids at the appropriate time, otherwise we’d have to wait another 6 hours. Today’s goal was to make our way south out of Desolation and start heading for home, we spent the day motoring and finally anchored at Scottie Bay.

Day 8
Breakfast: Cajun oatmeal with Andouille sausage, fried eggs and corn muffins
Lunch: Leftover-palooza
Dinner: Apple cider molasses pork chops with roasted sage potatoes and a green salad

Today we made more headway south, luckily there was wind today so we got to sail rather than motor, but it was another late night and the crew didn’t stop until 1 am at Narvaez Bay.

Day 9
Breakfast: Pineapple coconut cardamom cake with yoghurt, oranges and scrambled eggs
Lunch: Meatballs with chimichuri sauce, cotija sweet potato fries and cucumber salad with a chili and orange dressing
Dinner: Chicken marbella with couscous and roasted vegetables
Dessert: Smores on the grill

Ahh, back in American waters and to our usual stomping grounds of the San Juan Islands. We cleared customs before lunch which made lunch timing tricky because people went ashore, I ended up having three seatings for lunch, at least it wasn’t complicated. The afternoon was slow and I finally got around to working on the sewing project I had brought with me for this trip, didn’t get very far before I had to start dinner. We anchored at Spencer Spit, grilled up the last of the oysters and finished off the evening grilling smores over the last of the coals.

Day 10
Breakfast: Strata with bell peppers and spinach, breakfast sausage and cereal
Lunch: Roasted cauliflower soup with rice and onion bread

Last day of the trip, everyone went home and the crew finally got a chance to relax and drink a well deserved beer.

Desolation Sound Part 1

Desolation Sound Part 1

This is the big trip of the year that everyone has been waiting for, 10 days in Desolation Sound Canada. It’s a beautiful place and well worth the effort it takes to organize everything to get there, but it is a bit of an organizational […]

Sticky Toffee Pudding Ice Cream

Sticky Toffee Pudding Ice Cream

52 weeks of baking – Creams, Curds & Puddings I’ve been making a lot of ice cream this summer, experimenting with new flavors and playing with the amount of egg yolk, heavy cream and sugar to find the right texture. I’ve fallen in love with […]

Steamed Custard Buns

Steamed Custard Buns

52 weeks of baking – China

Coffee shops in Asia are just like ones in the west, coffee drinks, a selection of teas and pastries, both sweet and savory, the only difference is the flavor of those drinks and pastries.

Like other steamed buns the outer dough of this custard bun is soft and tender. The filling goes in thick and creamy but the steaming processes continues to cook the custard and it disappears into the dough creating a sweet vanilla center. The only tricky part in making the buns is getting the custard in the them, the dough needs to be rolled out bigger than you think so that you have plenty of clean edges to pinch together.

My favorite drink from those coffee shops is yuanyang, a hot drink composed of half coffee, half tea and sweetened condensed milk. At first it’s an odd tea flavor and then as you finish it you can identify a hint of coffee, it’s a unique flavor, something that shouldn’t be missed. But please seek out a proper Chinese style black tea, you can make it with plain western black tea, but it’s not the same. To go along with my steamed custard buns, I made a yuanyang flavored ice cream, just like at a coffee shop, but with my own little twist. I got the ice cream recipe from the food blogger Two Red Bowls.

 

Steamed Custard Buns

  • Yield: 12 steamed buns
  • Category:

Ingredients

Custard filling

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c powdered sugar
  • ¼ c flour
  • ¼ c cornstarch
  • ¼ c milk
  • ¼ c heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. butter, softened

Dough

  • 2 c flour
  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 1/3 c water

Assembly

  • Parchment squares or cupcake liners
  • Steaming basket

Directions

Custard filling

  1. Heat a few inches of water in a medium pot to create a double boiler.
  2. In a medium sized metal or glass bowl beat together the eggs and powdered sugar, beat for a minute until combined.
  3. Sift in the flour and cornstarch, mix, add the milk and heavy cream, whisk until smooth.
  4. Place the bowl over the double boiler, turn down the heat to a simmer and continue to stir the mixture until it thickens. It can take a few minutes to get it started but then once it starts to thicken it goes quick, the mixture should be stiff when finished cooking.
  5. Scrape the custard out into a bowl, press a sheet of plastic wrap to the surface and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Dough

  1. Add all of the dough ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead for 10 minutes with a dough hook.
  2. Lightly grease a bowl, scrape the dough into the bowl and cover. Let rest for about an hour or until it doubles in size.

Assembly

  1. On a floured surface dump out the dough and roll it into a log, cut it into 12 portions, do not roll them into balls, leave them in thick slices.
  2. Flatten out each portion into a large disc, a few inches wide, a short rolling pin is useful for this step, I ended up using a vinegar bottle.
  3. Scoop a few tablespoons of custard filling into the center of the disk, gather the edges of the dough and pinch together.
  4. Place the buns seam side down onto squares of parchment paper and place them into a steaming basket. Repeat the with the reaming dough and filling.
  5. Place the steaming baskets over a pot of simmering water and steam for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Four Sheets to the Wind

Four Sheets to the Wind

This trip is named four sheets to the wind from an old nautical saying, usually in reference to less sheets, but if someone is three sheets to the wind then they’ve had a bit too much to drink. If two alcohol themed overnight trips are […]