31 December 2010

Thank you 2010 and hello 2011!

new year1-1

Loving 2010 and looking forward to 2011!

24 December 2010

Some hits and some misses

As you may know, I’m terrible at baking. There would be good days and there would be bad days. Good days my cakes turns out nice and yummy, bad days well expensive good ingredients and precious time are wasted. But still being the stubborn person that I am, I kept on wasting baking. The other day I bought some lemons from the market and I have a tub of yogurt sitting in the fridge, so I thought why not make a cake out of these ingredients before they go bad.So I googled for an easy to follow recipes and found this, and I followed the recipe to the T not tweaking even a slight, not even the sugar. Well ok I frosted the cake with whipped cream and marmalade glaze only because the cake top looked hideous (still trying to figure out whhhyy!) And the cake turns out YUMMY! Even my friends think so too

{No more dense bottom layer, only moist cake!}

Feeling victorious and lucky I decided to try another version of yogurt cake but this time in the form of muffins and used some left over dried apricots. I almost ALMOST throw my oven away or at least shake it while screaming ‘whyy oh whyyy, why are you so temperamental! ‘ The muffins turns out inedible in the end even the dogs refused to eat them and I know that’s bad because Leo and Puppy eats anything and everything (except chocolates)

{Looks so promising until}

See how dense the muffin is? Trying to figure out what’s wrong; is it the temperature, the cold eggs, the beating, like what’s exactly wrong.
Anyway this post was supposed to be up this morning but Ashley decided to watch her cartoons on my notebook and after that we met with one of our potential contractors. Thinking I can finish off the rest of the post when we came back I got a call from my mother in law saying that one of hubby’s aunt wants me to bake 4 trays of brownies for her café’s Christmas dinner menu, after sampling some the day before. So I was busy scrambling to look for ingredients (luckily there are three baking supplies store near my place) and looking after a sick kid, trying to get everything done. After 3 hours of baking and 4 trays of brownies later, I finally have the time to finish this post although I’ve lost track of what I was supposed to be writing. Heh.

Oh ya these are the brownies I made yesterday for hubs’ aunt to sample. Got the recipe from one of my baking books and it’s very sweet, for the 4 batches of brownies I’ve cut down on the sugar and going to frost the brownies with white chocolate ganache instead of chocolate icing, so that the brownies looks more christmassy .
Speaking of Christmas, to all my family, friends and readers of my blog wishing each and everyone of you a Blessed Christmas and Happy Holidays!


14 December 2010

Claypot Chicken Rice

Ok even though the title says Claypot Chicken Rice, I cheated because I didn’t use a claypot instead I use a rice cooker. Why? Well I once tried cooking using a claypot and that lovely pot spilt into two when I heat it up! Thank goodness there wasn’t anything in the pot yet otherwise I’ll have a very nice scar right now. Needless to say I’ve stayed away from using claypot as a cooking utensil ever since.
So anyway about this dish, it’s quite a popular one pot dish readily found here in Malaysia, Singapore and China and some places even offer many variations of this dish such as tom yam claypot chicken rice, black pepper claypot chicken rice and I’ve seen some cooked using crabs! But I personally prefer the ‘original’ flavour consists of just chicken pieces marinated in soy and oyster sauce marinade along with shiitake mushrooms and Chinese sausages which is the recipe I’m going to share in today’s post.
If you have a claypot and not afraid to use them like I do, go ahead as cooking with claypot will give you the lovely crust at the bottom and flavourful pieces of meat and mushroom penetrating each grain of rice but cooking with rice cooker will still give you the same flavourful taste just without the crust at the bottom. Just make sure you keep watch otherwise you’ll get a burnt meal.
Serves 4
You Need
2 cups of rice, washed and drained
3 cups of water or chicken stock * add a cube of chicken bouillon to the water if you don't have chicken stock
2 chicken thighs or half a chicken cut into bite size pieces
6-7 dried shiitake mushroom, soaked and cut into slices or half (retain the water used to soak the mushrooms)
1 Chinese sausage, sliced
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
Fried shallots
Chopped spring onions and cilantro for garnishing
1 – 2 tablespoons of oil, peanut oil preferably
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons of oyster sauce
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil *omit this if you don’t like sesame seed oil
1 cm ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of cornflour
1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper

How To
1. Pat dry the pieces of chicken with kitchen paper towel and mix with the marinade ingredients. Set aside and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. In a heated wok, saute the rice grains for a few minutes before adding in the chicken and mushroom. You can also add in the sausage but I prefer to fry them and just scatter the fried bits over the rice.
3. Mix well before adding the dark soya sauce and oyster sauce. Transfer the rice and chicken mixture into a rice cooker. Add in the chicken stock and the water used to soak the mushrooms and turn on the rice cooker. I try not to waste and it gives extra flavouring to the rice, so why not.
4. Once the rice is cooked, give it a quick stir using a wooden spatula to fluff the rice.
5. Serve warm with generous servings of fried shallots, Chinese sausages and chopped spring onions and cilantro. And don’t forget your cili padi (bird’s eye chillies) with soy sauce!
Isn’t that easy? Maybe when I’m adventurous enough I might use a claypot next time! By the way I know some like to serve Claypot Chicken Rice with fried salted fish so go ahead, just mix them in once the rice’s cooked. I don’t quite fancy salted fish unless it’s cooked ala Nyonya style ‘ Masak Lemak ‘ Spicy Coconut Sauce. Hmmm maybe I’ll try cooking that dish one of these days, my mom makes the best Ikan Masin Masak Lemak ever!

24 November 2010

Testing out the oven

Nope, I didn’t get a new oven just finally went to get an oven thermometer after a couple of my friends telling me I should. And I wished I’ve listened to them earlier, because now I know why my cakes always doesn’t turned out right; they would be either burnt or undercooked. To my horror I thought all this while (ok it’s pretty much a guesswork when it comes to my oven) I’m baking at the ‘right’ temperature but turns out it’s not! 170 degrees Celsius supposedly turns out to be 200 degrees Celsius!
before having an oven thermometer and relying on guesswork
after having an oven thermometer no more guessing!

06 November 2010

Almond Crusted Chicken Wings

I love chicken wings, especially grilled or fried ones. Yummy, succulent wings. Mmmmmm. So the other day while cleaning up my pantry I found some chopped almonds, I bought it a while back thinking I might use it for baking but never got around to it. So before they turned bad, I thought of making almond crusted chicken wings instead of just the usual baked ones, not sure if it’s going to taste nice. But now I have another recipe added to my chicken wings collection.

03 November 2010

Lovely Sunday Morning

 It has been so hot for the past few weeks that when it was breezy and cloudy last Sunday, we decided to stay indoors instead of hitting the malls. And of course, eating out is getting costlier these days as well especially for meals like these when you can easily make them yourself at home at home.

And of course, what’s breakfast without fluffy,yummy pancakes eh?
Oh and not forgetting the lil chef Open-mouthed smile
All these while I have been searching high and low on how to make pancakes light and fluffy, I’d would follow the recipe to the T, tweaked it but still the pancakes will always turn out flat and slightly hard. Unlike the fluffy ones you eat at cafes or restaurants until I was beginning to think it’s a secret that everyone but me knows of. So one day by chance, I finally found the secret!And it’s thanks to the months of whisking my eggs whites/yolks/whole into pale, creamy and fluffy texture, I out of habit did the same when I was making pancakes, I beat the egg until it’s pale and light, sifted the flour over the wet ingredients and left the mixture to sit while I clean up and voila I got myself fluffy pancakes! Erm, I better start using other adjectives aside from fluffy. Anyway here’s the recipe for the pancakes and since it’s a lovely Sunday morning, I made garlic butter too. So double recipes in today’s post.Yaay!

Buttermilk Pancakes
(Adapted from Joy of Baking)
You don’t have to use buttermilk but I stumbled upon it the other day while grocery shopping and got it to see what’s the hoo-haa using buttermilk in cooking and so far I’m impressed

You Need
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (28 grams) granulated white sugar. I omit this and used 4 tablespoons of honey
1 large egg
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, you can use fresh milk if you can’t find buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
3 tablespoons (40 grams) butter, melted
Plus extra melted butter for greasing the pan

How To
1. In a large bowl, whisk the egg like how you usually do for sponge cakes until light and fluffy. Next beat in the honey along with the vanilla essence.
2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and soda over the egg and honey mixture. Mix well before beating in the butter and buttermilk.
3. I know some recipes said you shouldn’t over-mix the batter but in my case, I did and the batter will form a slow ribbon when I raised my whisk.
4. Let the batter sit for for 10-20 minutes for the chemistry to work (Baking soda reacts to honey and also buttermilk causing the batter to have bubbles, and this of course makes the pancakes light and fluffy*again!* )
5. While waiting for the batter to sit, heat a frying pan over medium heat and oil the pan using the extra melted butter.
6. Using a small ladle, pour about 3/4 full ladleful of batter onto the pan. When you see bubbles start to appear on the surface, by this stage the bottoms of the pancakes are already brown, you can flip the pancake over and cook until lightly browned.
7. Repeat until you used up the remaining batter.
8. Best serve HOT with sticky sweet honey (or if you can find maple syrup) and butter or jam.
9. Depending on your ladle, but this recipe makes about 6-8 pancakes.

Cooking Pictorial


How To

And now for the garlic butter, once you start making your own garlic butter you will never buy them anymore. It’s so simple to make and hassle free (well unless you count mincing garlic as troublesome, you can always grate them instead) and home made ones are 100 times so much nicer than store-bought version. I have been snacking on garlic toast nearly every day (that explains why the scales have been tipping over at the wrong side) because it’s so delish!

Garlic Butter
250 gram butter at room temperature (I use SCS butter as I find them creamier and more suitable to use to make garlic/herbed butter compared to other brands)
2 bulbs of garlic, minced or grated ( if you find 2 bulbs of garlic is overwhelming you can use 1 bulb instead)
1 tablespoons of dried mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
salt to taste

Just mix everything together and there you go. Freshly made garlic butter. Told you it’s easy

p.s I’m trying out another image sharing site, so do let me know if it’s any different or still the same yea while you go through my blog Smile
p.p.s And guys I didn’t go through to Round 3 of Project Food Blog Sad smile but thank you so much for voting for me yea!

28 October 2010

Such a long cooking time

Hey everyone, quite a few of you have mentioned to me that some of the pictures here in my blog is taking such a long cooking time for them to load and I think it’s high time for me to consider other (free) image sharing sites even though it’s loading just fine over at my side. Currently I’m using imageshack.us and contemplating whether I should use tinypic.com (but tinypic.com has a trial period?!) so if anyone of you knows any good, reliable, FREE! image sharing sites do let me know will ya? Photobucket, I tried before but there’s limited bandwidth.  Thank you!

14 October 2010

M&Ms and Pasta

If you're wondering why things are a little quiet here and also on my Twitter, it's because my notebook is once again sent in for repair. First it was the cracks on the casing and next my windows decided to die on me (well actually more like I killed it trying to reformat the notebook on my own bleh). So anyway I'm notebook-less *again!* but it's nice to have nothing to distract me or take up most of my waking time (aside from Ashley). I spent the past few days cleaning up my room, clearing all the backlogged tasks; writing down those recipes I've collected from newspapers and magazine over the year, amongst other things. But the one thing I missed most is reading all the Project Food Blog entries.
So anyway the hubs went to work today and I finally can use the PC without having to fight with him over it plus a few friends asked for the recipe of Ashley's lunch today after I shared the picture on my Facebook Page I decided to post it up before people start forgetting the existence of my blog I forget. Today I made something really special for the lil picky eater , meatballs with mash hence M&Ms and hubs told me at the last minute that he wants to have his lunch at home before heading out for work so luckily I had some leftover pasta with newly bought tomatoes and I found a can of tomato puree in the pantry. So I whipped something up real quick for him.

27 September 2010

Pictorial Tutorial in making Kourabiethes

As promised, since some of you have voted for me , Efxaristo! here is the pictorial tutorial for the Kourabiethes. You can get the recipe here
The ingredients     How To
Step1-1Step2-2 Step3-3Step4-4WM1-02Mommy dearest!Step5-5WM-24WM-25