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!