Goals for 2013

Looking at some of my life’s ultimate goals it can be a bit overwhelming. Slicing them down to smaller goals. I shall add and update to this list throughout 2013.

  • Try at least two new company ideas
  • Live in Montreal for a week (or another city)
  • Vegan for a week
  • Drink the recommended of daily water consumption for one week
  • Try to have a regular schedule for two weeks
  • Have a Thai restaurant debate
  • Cook for my family
  • Go to the gym every two days for a month

Organic Peppermint Amour Herbal Review (from David’s Tea)

Peppermint amour does not weigh much which makes quite affordable. Peppermint is quite unique. It opens up the sinuses and give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling. When I get tiered of drinking tea or want something refreshing to cheer me up I reach for the peppermint. I always have peppermint leafs in my tea cabinet.


The recommended steep time is 30–60 seconds. I steep for 30 to 45 seconds. I find that steeping more than this makes it too strong and make the flavour bitter.

Personal Score: 4.5/5
Would buy again? Yes

Vanilla Orchid Oolong Review (from David’s Tea)

I’ve only tried two oolong so far but I think I’m liking it. At the time of writing I’m quite a newb to tea. Oolong seems to have a very pleasant and soothing taste. It’s very light with little bitterness. I have to say it’s mostly enjoyable when it’s still hot.


The same leafs can be steeped multiple times. I steeped for about 4 minutes. I might need to think about new ways to steep. I’ve read about the Gong Fu method with Yixing Teapots here and here.

Personal Score: 3/5
Would buy again? Maybe. I will explore other oolongs before making a decision.

Red Velvet Cake Black Tea Review (from David’s Tea)

At first the name, smell and fancy garnishes threw me off. Once steeped it didn’t taste nearly as to what I was expecting. The after taste funnily tastes like eating a cake without frosting.


Steeped 5 minutes. Subsequent steeps do not result in the same taste even after steeping for a long time. I would say leafs can only be used for one steep.

Personal Score: 2/5
Would buy again? Maybe. It’s more of a treat tea. I wouldn’t drink it regularly.

Coq au Vin (cooking cost + review + recipe)

For New Year’s Eve 2012–2013 I cooked a Coq au Vin. This traditional French cuisine recipe was great! My guests enjoyed it and asked for more. I’ll repeat this recipe sometime soon.

The recipe is quite simple. Here’s what I did:

  • Season chicken (salt + pepper) then massage with all purpose flour.
  • Tap excess flour from chicken and sear in a large pot to give it color (about a minute a side). Once chicken has a nice sear (not cooked just a nice color) remove it and set aside.
  • Use the same pot to sear vegetables (about 3 minutes).
  • Add 3/4 of a bottle of wine to the vegetables. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer for 10–15 minutes.
  • Add chicken then add broth until 3/4 of the chicken is covered. Add some thyme and bay leafs.
  • Cover and let simmer for 1–1.5 hours. Remove bay leafs when done.
  • Optionally add chopped parsley as a garnish.

Technique Notes

  • Searing: Medium/high heat + grape seed oil (or extra virgin olive oil).
  • Do not overcrowd the pot when searing. Cook in batches if required.

Would cook again?


Notes for next time

Mushrooms could of been used. I simmered for 1 hour and 10 minutes. I could of left it for another 30 minutes at a lower heat. It seemed that people liked the thighs more than the drumstick so maybe I could repeat with just the thighs.


Description Cost
Total (4 portion at two chicken piece each) $28.50
Total per Person $7.13
Carrots (used 1/2 but kept all in total) $1.99
Celery (1/4 used but kept all in total) $2.49
Pearl Onions (about 20) $2.99
Pre-made Chicken Stock: Knorr Chicken Stock Bouillon ($3.49 for 4 but used one) $0.87
Garlic ($0.43 but only used half) $0.21
4 Chicken Thighs $4.98
4 Chicken Drumstick ($7.03 for 8 but only used half) $3.52
Wine: Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet ($11.25 includes $0.20 deposit. Only used 3/4 of the bottle for recipe but wine needs so be finished so I included in total) $11.45