Taiwan: Peking Duck in Taichung City

This meal and trip are hosted.

After a spiritual experience for our minds/souls, we are getting a spiritual experience for our bodies at 928 Goldmine in Taichung City. All before a Peking Duck Dinner at Wein Restaurant.

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This isn't my first time getting a Chinese Foot Massage, but it is for Tara and Gigi!  Heavenly.

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After some Milk Boba Tea (invented here in Taiwan!) and a quick visit to two malls, we sit down to our last dinner at the stunning Wein Restaurant.

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I am still stuffed from our vegetarian lunch so I only have a bite of a few things, knowing we will be sitting on a 12 hour flight right after.

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These string beans wrapped around minced pork are as divine as they look.

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Stir-fried Loofah with Crab Roe Sauce and Salty Eggs.  Crazy.  Crazy good.

I can't remember what kind of meat this is, but it is delicious, and sizzles away at the table!

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A whole entire fish for Gigi...

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...I didn't eat any, but it smells great.

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One dish I can't resist is the Peking Duck, the restaurant's specialty.  There is even a little elevator to transport the birds to different floors!

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As you can see, it isn't served traditionally.

For one thing, they give you the option of wrapping it in pita bread.  You can also add condiments from all over the world.  From cheese to kimchi to raspberries to olives to hot peppers to...chocolate?!?

Of course I eat mine with chocolate.  Duh.  It tastes  better than chocolate-covered bacon!

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I also try some with Parmesan Cheese, fresh sprouts, and their gorgeous rainbow of sauces (representing elements like clouds, grass, and water).

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Obviously, it is the best Peking Duck I've ever eaten, and so is this soup they make from its delicious roasted bones.

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Abe gets his own veggie version, with mushrooms...

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...in addition to several other stunning dishes.

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For more photos, follow along on social media using the hashtags #LynninTaiwan and #ItsonTaiwan.  This trip is being sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Board.  All opinions are on my own.

***UPDATE - You can watch my videos from Taiwan on my YouTube Page***

Taiwan: Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery

Abe has been obsessed with a fruit mentioned in the book he's reading, the Atemoya.  When I mentioned trying to find one to our tour guide, she informed me we already one ripening on the bus!

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Enjoyed en route from 85 Sky Tower to a nearby Buddhist Monestary.  It tastes a lot like a Cheremoya, aka a Custard Apple, and for good reason - they're related!

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Speaking of relatives, remember Hsi Lai, the temple I visited in Hacienda Heights shortly after my father's death 3 years ago?  Fo Guang Shan are the Big Mama World Headquarters...

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...and it's HUGE!

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They don't have incense to burn here, but I did say a prayer for my father with this flower, a donation, and the ringing of a bell.

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We were there in time to watch 3000 people fill this hall to eat in silence.

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We headed to another building on the grounds for lunch as well...

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...but I certainly wasn't expecting it to look like a mall - complete with a Starbucks!

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This meal at Hi-Lai Vegetarian Restaurant was probably closest to how Abe and I eat at home.

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We are vegetarian dumpling freaks.  These were perfect.

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There were several soups...

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...and dishes with fresh bamboo.

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Several with fake meat too...

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...this was "fish."

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I was especially excited for him to finally try my favorite, Zongzi.

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And we were both super stoked to see fresh Tofu Hua!

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Then we headed back on the bus for another long bus ride - but this time, with karaoke!

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For more photos, follow along on social media using the hashtags #LynninTaiwan and #ItsonTaiwan.  This trip is being sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Board.  All opinions are on my own.

***UPDATE - You can watch my videos from Taiwan on my YouTube Page***

Taiwan: Taitung to Kaohsiung

We woke up so early from the Naruwan Hotel in Taitung that there was no time for breakfast!  Snacked on some fresh fruit (including my favorite, lychees) on the long drive to the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area.  First stop - Donglong Temple...

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...where we got to see their King Boat, which will be burned at a festival on October 4.  You can read more about the ritual here.

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Surrounding the boat are people's wishes.  For $100 Taiwanese Dollars (roughly $3 US), you can add yours to be lit in the fire to come true - so hopefully I'll have some good news for you in the fall!

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Next up, lunch at the nearby Sunrise Seafood Restaurant - lots of seafood, obviously, both cooked...

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...and raw.

A pumpkin soup with all kinds of fishiness...

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...shrimp rice, and crab.

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This was my favorite dish - Beehive Shrimp.

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There was EVEN MORE food on the table but I was 90% full so I stopped, even though it looked terrific.  Especially since we were about to go on a boat ride!

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Out to Oyster Shell Island....

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...and then a stop to the Penbay International Circuit for a behind-the-scenes look at race car driving.

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One hour drive later, we were in Kaohsiung.  I'm currently blogging from our INSANE hotel which has the most amazing view, waiting for dinner to start.


For more photos, follow along on social media using the hashtags #LynninTaiwan and #ItsonTaiwan.  This trip is being sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Board.  All opinions are on my own.

***UPDATE - You can watch my videos from Taiwan on my YouTube Page***

Taiwan: Culinary Exhibition in Taipei and Formosa Pearl

This meal and trip are hosted.

We're here in Taiwan!!!  After a 13 hour flight on China Airlines we arrive in Taipei at 9pm and go straight to bed.  I'm kinda obsessed with the "magic wall" in The Novotel's bathroom.

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I was up earlier than the sun; we checked out the hotel's huge breakfast buffet, which had everything from Pancakes and Trix Cereal to Noodles and Xifan (congee).  Abe had the latter...

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...I stuck to a very simple breakfast of fresh fruit, since I knew we had a lot of eating ahead of us!

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First stop - The Taiwan Culinary Exhibition, inside the Taipei World Trade Center.

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Since 1989, this event showcases the food and culture of Taiwan.  We sampled a whole bunch of goodies...

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...and stopped to admire the rest.

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Exhausted after walking around for a few hours.  There was a lot to see, plus a touch of jet lag.

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Next, we headed over to the nearby Taipei 101, one of the world's tallest skyscrapers.

You can ride all the way up to the top (which we did) but inside is a ginormous luxury mall, reminiscent of Las Vegas.

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On the first floor, Din Tai Fung!

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We've been to the ones in Los Angeles many times, but it was exciting to eat their famous soup dumplings in the city where they were born.

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As you can see, there was an insane amount of food ordered...and a lot of leftover dumplings.

Just a few hours later, we hopped in our tour bus, east to Yilin - and it was time to eat again!

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Formosa Pearl is one of the country's finest restaurants, focusing on Kaiseki Cuisine.

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No, we're not doing homework - we're writing postcards!  The restaurant offers to send them to any address in the world.  And if you're wondering what the calligraphy on the scroll in the middle is, that's the evening's menu - chef's choice.

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Eight courses!  Starting with Scallops and Pickled Radishes...

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...Shrimp, Sea Urchin, Sashimi... Grilled Red Throat Fish with Popcorn on the Stem...

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...Giant Prawns and Local Fresh Figs...

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...Mutton with Fish Sauce...

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...Toasted Nori filled with fried fish roe, yogurt, and rice noodles...

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(hand-rolled by candlelight)

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...Taro Balls in broth filled with mushroom, topped with Mochi, Crab, and Edamame...

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...and finally - Lotus Ice Cream on top of Passion Fruit gelee, with a milk chocolate fan.

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I know you're wondering about what my husband ate - not to worry - Abe enjoyed 8 special vegetarian courses as well, including this Golden Apple.  As in real, edible Gold on top.

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As bad as I felt to only take a bite of everything, I knew I'd feel even worse if I overate.  I made a promise to myself before this trip that I would pace myself.   I don't want to get sick - we've still got another five days of this left!

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Follow along on social media with the hashtags #LynninTaiwan or #ItsonTaiwan where Gigi, Tara, and I are posting up a storm.


This trip is being sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Board.  All opinions are on my own.

***UPDATE - You can watch my videos from Taiwan on my YouTube Page***

A Beautiful Pot of Cashew Chili

I'm having some girls over for dinner tonight but I started cooking last night. I was told to:

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This book is one of my favorites, A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell - the recipe is for a Cashew Chili, which I switched up a little. Start by sautéing TJ's Mirepoix (onions/celery/carrots) and 2 chopped cloves of garlic in 2 TB Coconut Oil with one chopped bell pepper for 8 minutes...

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…then add a can of black beans, corn, tomato sauce, and whole tomatoes + juices (<---the big one).

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Spices - 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. dried basil, 1 tsp. dried marjoram, 1 bay leaf, S + P.

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Bring everything to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring every once in a while.

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The part that makes it not your everyday vegan chili - 1 cup raw cashew pieces, and 1 cup Golden Raisins.

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I think I'm going to add those later when I reheat the soup…something in my gut is telling me don't let this sit in the fridge overnight.

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I did wind up eating my share of cashews, though - prepped a few other dishes, including a vegan cheese recipe I can't wait to share with you!

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