Saturday, July 30, 2005

Layering

Was getting bored. I am down with a stupid cold that doesn't seem to go away. The feelings reminded me of a broken nose that I endured many years ago. Like it was punched swollen. I got a feel it might not be a cold but rather sinusitis. So to distract myself, I did a Layered Agar Agar which I wanted to experiment many months ago. Boy, this is really hard work. The waiting game. I don't think I will attempt this another time. Recipe is the same as milo agar agar. Photobucket">
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Yipee, I have succeeded

Today, I am so happy. After a day of doubting myself whether I can do it, I finally did it.

Never had the gut to try but had been wanting to bake a chiffon cake for upteen years ago. My mom's hand me down a chiffon tin that I feel, was way too big.

I asked her why she bought such a big one and she told me during that time, we had a big family to feed!!!

After reading so much good review on Florence's Orange Chiffon Cake, I decided to give it a shot even though I don't have a chiffon tin.

As I was cutting the cake, hubby came back earlier than before. With my back turned, he took two pieces. Guess he loves it. Thanks Florence! Your recipes always give me confidence to try another one.

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What you need

115g Cake Flour
3/4 tsp Baking powder
85ml Warm orange juice (put it in hot water bath)
Grated zest of 1 large orange
5 egg yolk
30g castor sugar
Salt 1/4 tsp
5 egg white
50g castor sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
60ml Corn oil
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence or 2 tsp Rum

Method:

Sieve flour and baking powder.

Use hand whisk to whisk egg yolk until creamy and light in colour.

Add in corn oil then warm orange juice and rum.

Add in flour mixture into yolk mixture lightly.

Add in orange zest.

Beat egg white with electric beater until big bubbles formed.

Sprinkle in cream of tartar and beat until it is white in colour.

Add in 50g sugar 3 times (a little at a time) and beat until stiff perks formed. About 8 - 10 minutes for 150w egg beater.

Pour 1/2 egg white into flour mixture in (3) and blend well.

Pour flour mixture into the rest of the egg white and blend well.

Bake at 175C for 45 minutes or until cooked.

Invert the cooked cake during cooling process.
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Noodles

On its own, I don't fancy the yellow noodle because of its taste. But if I were to cooked it as Fried Hokkien Mee, I am okay with it. Photobucket What you need: Yellow Noodle Rice Noodle Prawn Squid Pork with some fats Pepper Fish Sauce Seafood broth Pork Bones Chives (optional) Method Scald the pork with boiling water. In a big pot of boiling water, parboil prawns and squid. Remove. Remove prawn heads and shells. Slice squids. Add in Pork and pork bones. Remove pork when it is soft. Slice thin. Add the prawn heads and shell back to the stock and continue to simmer for an hour or more. Once broth is done. Remove and prepare the noodle for frying. Heat wok and add in garlic and sautee till fragrant. Add in the noodles and stir fry till semi soft. Add in broth and continue to cook till noodle is soft. Add in seafood and pork slices. Season with fish sauce and pepper. Serve hot.
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Another Tong Shui

This is really a nice and good Melon Tong Shui for a hot day. Especially good for cough as it has almond to it.

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What you need

White fungus Melon 冬瓜
almond
Rock sugar

Method

Remove skin and seeds, cube melon into small cubes.

Soak white fungus, remove impurities.

Break them into small pieces.

Soak almond for 1/2 hour.

Add all ingredients into water and boil for 1 hour over medium heat.
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Friday, July 29, 2005

Good bye

After a long illness, my dear "trusted" PC decided to bid me farewell yesterday. I am down and out without a computer. In the morning, I am so used to checking my mails and latest news, I felt so handicapped now without my tool. Now I feel so helpless because it will mean that I have lost those fabulous site addresses that I have collected over the months for recipes, blogs and knowledge. Also, I won't be able to print out exciting recipes that I wanted to try out this weekend or download that something special that I have created. I have to start bargain hunting to get the best deal in town. But in the meantime, What am I do to now?
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Another way

This vegetable, kow gei (in cantonese) is known to "help with eyesight" making it less "cloudy". My mom used to make this into soup with liver. My aunt used to say that if you drink this soup once a week, your eyes will be clearer. Game to try it?

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Last week, I found another way of preparing it. Known as Kow Gei with Salted Egg, it was really nice.

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What you need

Kow Kei
2 Salted egg (beaten)
Pork broth or chicken broth
Minced garlic

Method

Saute vegetable with minced garlic

Add broth and then the beaten eggs.

Simmer till vegetable is soft.

Season with pepper.

To make this into soup.

Shorten the stem into half.

Blanched the pork.

Add the stem (with the thorn) and pork into a pot of water (6 cups) and bring to a brisk boil for 30 - 40 mins.

Remove steam and add in the leaves. Cook till the leaves turned soft.

Season with pepper and soya sauce.
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Monday, July 25, 2005

Deep fried

Inspired by Glad's Fish Paste Wanton, and since I have already got some sotong paste in the fridge. I turned it into Sotong Paste Wanton instead.

Verdict: Good

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For a long time, we didn't have Fried Prawn Paste Chicken Wings (暇酱鸡). This is a hot favourite with my family and it is so easy to prepare. The trick is to marinate it over night.

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What you need

1 tbsp fine shrimp paste
1 kg chicken wing
Rice flour for coating

Method

Marinate it over night.

Deep fried till golden brown.

Note: Per some enquiry, here is the fine shrimp paste that I used. This paste sometime is also known as prawn paste. This is different from those used in rojak.

Mine version is Cantonese Style.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Farm outing

Today, we brought the kids to visit a fish farm and a nursery. We had lunch at Bollywood Veggies. Initially, when I read the write up of this place, my impression is that it will be nice to have lunch and impart some education to the kids at the same time. Unfortunately, we were pretty disappointed. Food is nothing to shout about and service is hardly there. Maybe the price is also steep, for S$3, you only get 4 pieces of nuggets. They also charge S$2 per adult to view their "farm". Lots of banana trees and guava trees, only certain trees or plants are labelled. Other trees and plants are either dried up or "scattered". Not taking into consideration that overgrowns grass and weeds are everywhere. In fact, personally, I feel that the place is pretty badly maintained. Photobucket After such disappointment, we drove to our next destination and got some tropical fishes to bring home. Next we visited a nursery, we saw so many different types of herbs that now, my fingers are itching to grow them at home. Wanted to buy a pot of sweet basil but it was so loaded with red ants that my hubby refused to have it in the car. We were able to identify some herbs that we saw in Bollywood Veggie over at this farm. On our way back, we swing by the Kranji War Memorial. Took the opportunity to impart some history to our 8 year old. Photobucket
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Friday, July 22, 2005

My sister

Today is my second sister's birthday. Eversince I stopped working, she has been a great help in keeping me company during my "lonely" days. Knowing that I have been so stressed out, she actually bought me a voucher for massage on Mother's Day. So, I think it is my turn to do something nice for her. I decided to surprise her with a Steam Chocolate Fudge Cake later on. Though I am better in baking cheese cake, unfortunately she doesn't really fancy cheese. Let's hope that she will like this one.

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Source: Seadragon and Jo's Deli Bakery

What you need

90g castor sugar
150ml milk
150g butter
100ml condensed milk
50g cocoa powder
150g cake flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda, sifted together with cake flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Fudge:

60g butter
180g dairy whipping cream or double cream
340g cooking chocolate, chopped

Method

Combine sugar, milk, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.

In a mixing bowl, add cocoa powder. Pour milk mixture slowly into cocoa powder while mixer is mixing at medium speed. Make sure there are no lumps formed. Set aside to let cool.

Add eggs gradually into chocolate milk.

Fold flour into mixture until no lumps are found.

Pour into a greased 8 inch round tin.

Steam for 40 minutes over rapid boiling water. Add boiled water during steaming, if necessary.

Let cake in pan for 10 minutes. Turn cake onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

To prepare fudge:

Stir whipping cream and butter over low heat until hot and well blended.

Add chopped chocolate and continue to heat until chocolate is melted. Stir constantly.

Once fudge is cool, you can start to frost the cake.
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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Lemony?

I have always love the smell and taste of lemongrass. A cook once told me that only the area around the roots are the best for cooking.

Some people will discard the rest of the stalk but according to her, you can actually save and use it when you are making chicken stock. So here is my Lemongrass Chicken, definitely goes very well with plain fluffy white rice.

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What you need

2 chicken breast (I removed skin), according to your choice of sizes
2 stalks of lemongrass (bashed and thinly sliced) (only the white part, nearer to root)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp honey
1 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp water

Method

Marinate the chicken overnight with the above.

Heat oil in wok, and add the chicken.

Stir fry till meat are "sealed".

Add water and let it simmer till cooked. Increase heat and fry till water reduced.

Serve with rice.

Note: If you like a tinge of spicy, can add chilli.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Golden Dragon?

As some of you are aware that I have been coughing for nearly a month. Have tried so many different medication till my aunt advise my mom to brew this for me, Five Golden Dragon Claw (五爪金龙).

My mom has checked with her Chinese Phyiscian but this herb apparently is not available in Singapore. My aunt got it through one of our relative.

Amazingly, after two doses of this drink, my cough has subsided and am feeling much better except for the phelgm.

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What you need

3 bowl of water
15 pieces 五爪金龙
rock sugar to taste

Method Rinse 五爪金龙.

Add water to it and boil (at medium heat) for 1 1/2 hour.

(note)
Last 1/2 hour add sugar to taste.

Note: Once it reaches a little more than 3/4 bowl, the herb drink is done.

For child dosage: half the recipe.
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Bother me no more!!!

My daughter and I are plagued by this mucus problem for so long. Whatever medication that claimed to dissolve phlegm, we had tried.

My last resort, I bought a bottle of this chinese herb that is known to clear the phlegm for her.

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And also to prepare what my mom once taught me, Double Boiled Lotus Root Juice, known to be good for clearing phlegm and lungs.

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What you need

8 segment of fresh lotus root
Rock sugar (to taste)
1 tbsp fresh ginger juice
A little water (about 2 tbsp)

Method

Grate lotus root till fine, using a cheese cloth, squeeze out the juice.

Add ginger juice, water and rock sugar to the prepared lotus root juice and double boil it.

Stir till sugar melted and juice slightly thicken.

Pour into two cups and steam it for one and half hour.
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Monday, July 18, 2005

Mouse?

I don't know where this name came about, but in Cantonese, we called it 老鼠粉. In some dialect, it is known as Mee Tai Mak or Bee Tai Mak. If I am not wrong, many many years ago, our government did a ban on this noodle. I think the reason was the borox as one of their ingredient. Over time, I believe they improved on the manufacturing method and thus the ban was lifted. Whatever it is, it is easy to cook and easy for the kids to eat as not much chewing is required. Andrea told me it tasted like Udon. It was her first time tasting this 老鼠粉. The satisfaction was that she love it. Photobucket
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Busy Busy Busy

I have been busy babysitting my friend's two girls, Samy and Andrea since Thurs. Preparing dinner and delivery it to their home. Thankfully, hubby is around the weekend to keep the kids occupied.

On Sat, we had a mini picnic by the river bay. Though it drizzled, the kids had fun buidling a "tent" with the umbrellas that we standby.

The mood was not dampened because we ended it with fireworks (National Day Parade Rehearsal).

I remembered when I was young, we used to watched it on my granny's roof top. It was really a good experience for the kids and we were very close to the action rather than at a distance.

The impact of the fireworks was really beautiful. The kids had fun.

On Sun, hubby brought them to the reservoir for a walk. There they saw plenty of "cool" monkeys who were obviously oblivious of mankind.

Kids being kids, they love to try out new things all the time and have been pestering me to bake something with them.

We decided to bake some brownies, so Samy in charge of weighing out the ingredients, Andrea helped out with the sifting of flours and my son, did the greasing of the tins.

Our results of our Cream Cheese Brownie by Amy Beh and Chocolate Brownie (using Del's recipe).

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Another two more days to go and then I will be busy again, preparing my son for this forthcoming quarterly test.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Babysitting

Today, I am going to help my girlfriend to babysit their three kids. So instead of eating out, I cooked dinner and bringing it over. I do not know what is the name of this gourd (I think so) but I have tasted it last week at my mom's place and it is really sweet and crunchy.

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This dish is one of my favourite when I was young. It is easy and nutritional.

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I got some really good yam and thought that it will be a waste if I mashed it and make into a Chinese Dim Sum. So I decided using the same durian pengat recipe and replaced it with yam instead. Nice even though I don't like coconut milk. Somehow the gula melaka over power it.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

What is love?

I was in high spirit and wanted to bake and cook so many things today. Then my mood was dampen by a phone call. Somehow, I couldn't get the conversation I had out of my system, I kept thinking "what is love?" and "What if the love is not reciprocated?". Had no choice but have to bake Banana Muffin as planned as the banana was ripe enough to be baked. Then again, it is so true to say that if you are not in the mood, don't bake because I wasn't really happy with the result. Let's see what the kids have to say about it tomorrow. Photobucket
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Friday, July 08, 2005

Very close?

As planned, I did a batch of Durian Pengat today.

For those who had tried Merchant Court Hotel Buffet. One of their signature dessert is this. To obtain the fragrant of this dessert, I choose palm sugar that is originated from Malacca.

Actually I modified this recipe to suit my taste. Had done this a few times and all my neighbours loved it.

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What you need

350g durian puree
350g durian pulp
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups milk
160g palm sugar (shaved)
8 pandan leaves, knotted

Method

Put milk, palm sugar and pandan leaves in a pot, simmer and stir till sugar melted.

Add durian puree and durian pulp and simmer gently for 15 mins.

Put in 1 cup of coconut milk.

When mixture boils, add in the remaining cup of coconut milk. Serve hot or cold.

Note: Personally, I prefer cold.

As for our dinner, we had Garlic Prawns and Scallops with Mashed Potatoes and Onion gravy. Salad is Capsicum with Balsamic vinegar.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Craving

I normally dislike shaving those tiny water chestnut. Once I witness this lady from Cameron Highland who can do such an amazing job. She was shaving it at such fast speed with a big long knife. I guess practise makes perfect.

Since I was craving for Water Chestnut Cake available usually when you are having Dim Sum. I got my act together and only managed to shave 300g of fresh water chestnut. So I need to half what Do What I Like was sharing with us, her Water Chestnut Cake. Thanks, it was really yummy.

I will learn to be a little more patience because it is much easier and neater to cut it when the cake was cooled down. I also reduced the sugar.

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What you need

125g water chestnut flour
250ml water
300g fresh water chestnut (skinned and diced)
375ml water
120g rock sugar

Method

Mix water chestnut flour with 250ml water.

Rest for 10 mins and strain.

Cook rock sugar with 375ml water till sugar dissolve.

Add in the diced water chestnut.

Pour water chestnut mixture and keep stirring till thicken.

Pour the thicken chestnut mixture into a well greased 6" pan.

Steam on high heat for 20 mins.

Cut only when the cake has cooled down.
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Thorny business

Durian is a tropical fruit and also one of my favourite. I find durian a very mysterious fruit. Each and everyone has its own unique taste. Personally, I like mine creamy with a tinge of bitterness. To many of us, either you hate it or you love it. In my family, most of us love this fruit except for my sister in law. I remembered when we were young, eating durian is a major event. My dad will buy the whole basket load of durians and all my aunties, uncles, cousins and our grandma will have a feast. It was such a joyous gathering. Over time, durian is easily available during the year and somehow, it kind of lost its authencity. But still eating durian around June till July has the best harvest than any other months. There are so many recipes created from this fruit. Tomorrow, I will share some of mine which is popular in my family. Photobucket Photobucket
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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Sweetie sweetie

Was down at the supermarket and saw three different types of sweet potatoes. On impluse, I bought all the variety. Then it got me busy looking for a recipe.

Since, we never eaten Sweet Potatoes in Syrup (Vietnamese Style), I decided to try it.

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What you need

320g sweet potatoes
80g each of sago
30g green bean vermicelli (cut to shorter length)
1/2 cup coconut milk (I substituted it with fresh milk)
5 tbsp sugar
2 cups water

Method

Wash sago clean, soak for 20 min, boil over medium heat until translucent, pour out and soak in ice water.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into cubes

Soak green bean vermicelli in hot water till soft. Then in cold water to prevent it from being sticky.

Put sweet potatoes in water and boil till soft.

Add vermicelli, sago and sugar over medium heat for 5 mins.

Pour in coconut milk and a 1/4 tsp salt.

Bring to boil

The quantity required for the above was just a portion of what I have bought. In order to finished it up, I did another batch the traditional way. Sweet Potatoes Tong Shui

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This one only requires ginger, pandan leave and sugar.

I found packets of sesame seed in my fridge while I was cleaning it up. So let's have Sesame Chicken for dinner.

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What you need

70g plain flour
50g corn flour
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
60g sesame seeds
4 pcs of chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water oil for frying

Method

Sift flours, pepper, paprika and stir in salt and sesame seeds.

Dip chicken into egg mixture and then coat well in seasoned flour.

Heat frying pan, add oil and fry chicken till golden brown.
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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

100%

Scene One Me, busy preparing dinner in the kitchen while my daughter was napping. Scene Two Daughter: Mommy, mommy, can you help me to paint my nails? Mommy: Later on sweet pea, mommy is busy at the moment (without turning my back). Daughter: Mommy, mommy, can you help me to paint my nails pleeeeeeeeeassse? Scene Three Mommy turned her back and saw this. (nearly fainted). Photobucket This is not all, she did her toes as well. I was trying to figure out how she can do both hands and feets. On top of this, she even painted her lips with my lipstick. Thanks God not with the nail polish! Phew! Well, at least I am sure I got a 100% daughter.
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Monday, July 04, 2005

Is this the one?

I heard so much about Japanese Glutinous Rice Flour being different from the local ones. To kill my curiousity, I asked my sister to get me a packet from Daiso when she was in the vicinity.

Let's see whether this Red Bean Daifuku is any different from the mochi skin that I made some time back.

I have reduce the sugar to 30g to counter balance the sweetness of the red bean paste.

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This is the packet of gluntinous rice flour that was from Daiso. Did I use the right one as I seriously doubt about the authencity of this product because it is made in Thailand. Have yet to find out when my hubby next make a trip to Japan.

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Verdict: Hubby said it is more chewy.

After a few days lapse of not really functioning in the kitchen. I prepared Minced Pork with Mushroom using a special sauce that mom bought from China.

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I got some fresh scallops from the supermarket and I wanted something healthy, we had Broccoli with scallops. To counter balance the steamed broccoli, I used dried scallops to make the sauce.

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