Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Happy 1st Birthday!

August 8, 2011

Time flies, you’re finally ONE and mummy had decided to bake/construct your birthday cake. The cake prices (elaborate ones at $1000!?) scared me. I figured it shouldn’t be tough conjuring up past experiences of play dough sessions some 25 years ago? On top of it, 6 years of model making in Archi School should refine my skills some more. Haha. Besides, it would be a chance for mummy to hone her baking skills so that you could bring some yummy cake to school for your birthday celebrations in future.

It all started like this. Mummy wanted to make some rainbows and googled for fondant rainbow cake decorations and guess what came up! Whisk kid’s rainbow cake via Martha Stewart’s show which included a video as well. The last time I baked was 4 years back when I made a carrot cake for your daddy. But the epic-ness of this all just blew me away and I decided I must must MUST make this. It should come in handy when you are older and want to impress your little friends. Haha. See. Mummy is bribing you already.

So I got my tools from Phoon Huat. Surfed youtube videos, read up on techniques and after 2 tries and and more visits to Phoon Huat, This is IT! Ok the rainbows are missing but there’s the surprise.

It was the thought that you would light up at the colors that kept mummy baking (and practicing on frosting techniques) until 3am!

PROCESS First attempt at the rainbow cake. An American buttercream recipe was used which didn’t fit our weather and ended up melting terribly. Also, the fondant was sweating because it was stored in the fridge. Big Mistake.

The 2nd attempt (above and below) was much better because a local buttercream recipe was used that would suit our weather. The cake was cut when chilled hence less mess was made. The sugar was reduced by 1/3 cup which didn’t alter the cake integrity greatly.

The problem with fondant covered cake is that it cannot be refrigerated . Condensation destroys the fondant. In the final cake (below), the buttercream softened in the humid weather and created a mess. Despite that, it was a huge success as it put a smile on everybody’s face.

The day before the party.

The Lion. The idea came only 2 days before the party. It was nadia’s ‘roaring’ that sparked the idea. She’s a Leo and loves to roar so a little lion would be great! She loved it indeed. When I showed this to her in the morning. She beamed and started roaring away! It was definitely worth the hard work.

The mock up which was done in 10minutes.

It was coloring the fondant that got me working till 4am!!! It should have been made 2 days earlier because the fondant didn’t dry up enough, so the lion’s mane was floppy and the tree was threatening to collapse!

I love doing this and wouldn’t mind making more of it! It just makes me so happy to see little children light up at the sight of the cake. Let me know if you are interested!


Party decorations to match the theme of the cake.

Butter cookies for guests to bring home. I forgot to take a picture of the favors I made! Argh!

french toasts

March 9, 2010

As mentioned in the previous post, the French Toast recipe adapted from Chubby Hubby’s Blog. However, I found the proportion of cream and sugar too much for my liking hence I adjusted the ingredients to my own tastes! The ‘pain de mie‘ I had was smaller and sweeter as well so I reduced the proportion. Feel free to experiment. I’m sure it’ll taste good anyhow!

French Toast Recipe (for 1 person)

> 2-3 thick slices of bread (approx 2cm thk)

> 1 egg

> 2 tbsp heap creme fraiche

> 1.5 tsp sugar (or add less and sprinkle on the toasts when done)

> 1 tbsp butter

Mix the egg, cream and sugar (I tried whisking it but it turned watery. I preferred the creamy texture that resulted without whisking). Melt the butter in a pan. Dunk in the bread slices to soak up the creamy goodness. When the butter is heated up. Place the bread slices in the pan. After both sides are browned, serve.

Friday’s Lunch & Dinner

March 8, 2010

Favourite Lunch Option – Paella

Yummy Spanish Paella from the Market. Really good! The French lady sells only Paella and the condiments to make it. She has 2 giant frying pans, each pan the size of a table. This is one of my lunch favourites and least expensive. It is sold packed full of fresh prawns, squid rings, baby squids, mussels and chicken. She tends to give more seafood than rice when I actually preferred the rice because it had soaked up all the savoury goodness from the seafood. Heh. Gets sold out pretty early!

Experimental Dinner – Bacon, Mushrooms, Asparagus and French Toast

Bacons with Asparagus or Mushrooms or French Toast never goes wrong! Found a bunch of asparagus from the Market and coupled with the bacon I got from the stall (mentioned in the previous post), I decided to cook something different. I got hold of some fresh chanterelles (caught W looking at them once), brown button mushrooms and another mushroom (which tastes like shitake). And since I was feeling adventurous, I also bought a tub of freshly made creme fraiche to make french toast for breakfast. However, after going through some blogs, I have decided to make the french toasts for dinner instead! I am so glad I did it. The sweet creamy texture of the french toast goes really well with the salty bacon! All thanks to the amazing creme fraiche! With it, I also made a mushroom sauce with the mushrooms. It was a great dinner and quick to prepare too!

Mushrooms Recipe

> 2 Tbsp Butter (I use lightly salted)

> 5 medium sized brown button mushrooms / 1 Handful of Chanterelles / 5 medium size shitake mushrooms / or any mushrooms

> 1 Tbsp fresh cream

> pinch of salt

> pepper (optional)

Wash the mushrooms. If you are using Chanterelles, give it a quick brush or quick wash (drain with kitchen towels). Melt the butter and skim off the milk solids to leave the golden liquid behind. Toss in the hard mushrooms first and fry for 2mins followed by the soft mushrooms. As the mushrooms begin to shrink and brown, stir in the cream. The mushrooms would release some juice and a sauce is formed. Add salt and pepper to taste. You do not want the mushrooms to overcook and turn mushy. Take mushrooms off the fire once a thin film of sauce is formed at the base of the saucepan. It would continue to cook on its own.

Asparagus Preparation

Break the dry end of the asparagus. It would break naturally at the most tender section. If you are getting large spears, use a vegetable peeler and peel away the ‘skin’ 5cm away from the tip of the spear to the end. Heat up a frying pan. Add olive oil. Fry up the bacon slices (if you have) until brown and move to serving plate. With the remaining oil (flavoured by the bacon), toss in the Asparagus Spears. If the pan dries out, add a little water. The water would make a sauce to aid the cooking of the asparagus. Once the asparagus has turned deep green and soft, move to serving plate.

French Toast Recipe

> see following post

old cucumber soup

November 8, 2009

Wintermelon

INGREDIENTS

> 600g Pork Bones (or chicken)

> Dried Red Dates, Wolfberries & Dried Scallops

> 1 Old Cucumber (lao huang gua)

> 2 Litres Water

> Salt to taste

Put the pork bones into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil a further 5 mins to remove the blood. Wash the cooked pork bones and scrape off any traces of blood. Discard the used water. Prepare another 2 Litres of water and place the pork bones into the pot. Bring to a boil. Add the Red Dates, Wolfberry and Dried Scallops and simmer on low fire for 2 hours. Stop the fire and cool. 3 hours before dinner, bring soup to a boil and add cucumber. Simmer the soup until ready to serve for dinner.

The longer the soup is simmered, the tastier it would be. However, I like to cool the soup and allow the flavours to seep before re-simmering. Saves gas this way too! Hence, the soup is usually prepared in the mornings. However, do note that the cucumber disintegrates easily, so add them later.

Old Cucumber : The more wrinkles at the ends, the better. Scrub the cucumber. Slice the cucumbers and scrape off the seeds. Do not remove the skin otherwise it would disintegrate, forming a mushy messy soup.

lotus root soup + steam fish

September 1, 2009

The high costs of ingredients in my estate’s market has driven me to get my supply of fresh goodies from Toa Payoh at 2/3 the price here. I would take a lift in my FIL’s car to Bishan MRT Station and join the others on their trainrides to work. I like it! Hehe. Being the odd one out, I am ALWAYS amused. ME in my T-shirts, berms and flip flops vs THEM in dresses and heels.

OK. Back to the market. My conclusion is this, Jurong is STILL the CHEAPEST. Alas, Jurong is on the other side of Singapore. Sigh. Since Toa Payoh is an established estate with MANY elderly residents, the prices are pretty reasonable. In fact, the stalls are all manned by old aunties and uncles in their 60s-70s! For one particular stall, the uncle was so old, you queue to pay whilst he slowly lifts each basket of veggies to weigh!

So here it is! My fresh buys from Toa Payoh’s Wet Market.

LOTUS ROOT SOUP

lotusrootsoup

INGREDIENTS

> 600g Pork Bones (or chicken)

> 10 Dried Red Dates & Wolfberry

> 3 Dried Oysters

> 1 Lotus Root (10cm diameter, 20cm length)

> 2 Litres Water

> Salt to taste

Put the pork bones into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil a further 5 mins to remove the blood. Wash the cooked pork bones and scrape off any traces of blood. Discard used water. Prepare another 2 Litres of water and place the pork bone into the pot. Bring to a boil. Add the sliced Lotus Root, Red Dates, Wolfberry and Oysters and boil another 30mins-1hour. Simmer on low fire for a further 4 hours.

If the soup tastes bland due to excess water, just increase the boiling time to intensify the flavours.

The Lotus Roots sold in the markets are covered in mud. Just wash the mud off, peel the skin off the root and slice.

STEAM FISH

steamed fish

INGREDIENTS

> Fresh Fish  (check with the Fishmonger which to steam or fry)

> Salt

> Chinese Wine

> ‘Old’ Ginger (sliced)

> Spring Onions (cut to 1 inch length)

> 1 tbsp Light Soya Sauce

> 1 tsp Sesame Oil

Clean out the gills and all. There is a huge vein running along the rib of the fish which you can see from the opened belly. Make sure that vein is removed (before freezing as well). This would remove the fishy smell from the fish. Rub salt over the fish. Drizzle Chinese Wine over. Stuff Ginger slices and Spring Onions into the fish stomach. Plate the fish. Lay the remaining ginger slices and spring onions above and below the fish. Cling wrap and refrigerate until use.

Boil water in a wok or other steaming appliance. After the water has boiled, place the plate of fish into the wok and steam for 7-10mins (depending on the size of the fish). Poke the fish with a fork. If the meat comes loose easily, it is cooked. Drizzle Light Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil over. Garnish with chopped onions, chinese parsley, fried garlic or fried onions. Serve.

Fresh fish – Choose fishes with bright clear eyes, bright red gills (when you lift the gills) and firm meat.

Tell me how it goes!

homestyle ee-fu noodles

September 1, 2009

Ok guys, this is what I’ve been busy with.

Collecting quick, simple and delicious recipes from my parents and experimenting on them. No worries. I only post recipes after I’ve tried them out at least twice (just in case). Haha. My family likes the dish. Go ahead and tell me how it goes!

eefu-1

eefu-2

RECIPE (serves 6 persons)

> 6 Garlic Cloves (pound and flatten with flat of knife)

> 400g Roast Pork Belly (Cut into chunks across the fat)

> 8 Fresh Shitake Mushrooms (sliced)

> 1/2 Fried Fish Cake (sliced)

> 6 Baby Corns (halved)

> 2oog or 1/2 Can of Pork Ribs Stock (or Chicken Stock)

> 6 Cups of Water (to cover the ingredients for simmering)

> 1 Packet of Ee-fu Noodles (4 pieces)

> 1 Bunch Chye Sim (or other greens, the photo shows Baby Kailan)

> Spring Onions (for garnishing)

Heat up the wok (on large fire). Add 2 Tbsp oil and brown the Garlic Cloves slightly. Add Roast Pork Belly and fry for another 5 mins (approx). Add fish cake, baby corn and mushrooms and fry another 10mins or until vegetables are soft and tender.

Pour Stock and Water to the wok ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil a further 10 mins with the cover on. Lower the fire, remove the cover and simmer for another 20mins or until the liquid is reduced. Taste the soup and if it’s tasty enough (and you prefer more liquid to the dish), just add on the noodles. After adding the noodles, bring to a boil and when the noodles are ready, garnish with spring onions and serve.

Just a note. You can add the noodles directly to the mixture above. However I prefer to do a quick rinse of the noodles separately in boiling water to remove excess oil or starch. For the soup/gravy, the quantity of water and stock can be varied to your taste. However, note that the liquid should be sufficient to cover the ingredients for simmering. Cornstarch mixed in cold water, can be added later to give a thicker consistency. I don’t add salt because the Roast Pork Belly is savoury and adds to the flavour.

The stock I use, available from most supermarkets. To remove fat, just place the can in the freezer before use. The fat would coagulate at the surface and easily skimmed off from the can.

1055

That’s the fun thing about Chinese Cooking. Just vary any of the ingredients to your liking (I add carrots and other mushrooms too) to make your own homestyle ee-fu noodles.

asparagus, mushroom & cheese sandwich

August 3, 2009

Mushrooms with Cheese. This will never go wrong. W was resistant to mushrooms in sandwiches initially but I decided to go ahead and stuff them in. Heh. RESULT. He loves it now!

asparagus&mushrm

INGREDIENTS

> Organic Asparagus . Organic Aragula . Brown Button Mushrooms

> Organic Cranberries . Organic Sunflower Seeds (toast) . Walnuts (toast)

> Herb Brie . AMD Cheese . Mozzarella Cheese

> Jap Mayo

> Light Rye Bread

Spread Jap Mayo on the inner sides of the Bread. Lay the Aragula followed by the Asparagus. Add Brie (think food glue). Lay the mushrooms and sprinkle the seeds, nuts and cranberries over. Add the AMD Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese and cover with the other slice of Bread. Place on the Sandwich Press and watch the cheeses melt!

I love Brie for their ‘creaminess’ and it goes really well with the mushrooms. If I prefer a stronger flavour to it, I’ll add stronger cheese like AMD Cheese or Mature Cheddar to add more depth. Mozzarella Cheese gives the extra chewiness.

Also, Mother In-Law was pretty concerned about preservatives in food recently. Hence, I’ve cut down on the meats and weighed in on organic vegtables. But think W is getting tired of the greens so I’ll be popping down town soon (maybe Three Sixty in Ion) to get more interesting meats, cheeses, breads and Basil to spice up the sandwich!

The idea of mushrooms and cheese was so enticing that I had to make one for myself too! Heh.

asparagus&mushrm-mine

I woke up at 6.20am THIS MORNING to make these sandwiches! The sky was pretty dark still, hence the poor lighting quality of the photographs. But don’t be fooled by the pictures. You should try it. It was really delicious!

sandwich galore!

July 17, 2009

The light rye bread, Herb Focaccia buns, Blackforest Ham, Roast Beef and Smoked Turkey Ham I bought just days back expires this week! ARGH.

In my attempt to reduce wastage, I’ve been having sandwiches for both breakfasts and lunches this past week. I was never THAT HEALTHY. My breakfast is usually a simple assemble of 2 slices of soft toast slathered with butter and kaya accompanied with a small cup of coffee. VERY KILLINEY (pic from Killiney)

killineybanner

Oh well, I guess it is good in a way coz like Gordon Ramsay has ‘highlighted’ in his show in Hell’s Kitchen, ‘Taste your food!’. Up to now, I’ve been rather pleased with the results so since my appointment with THE CLIENT has been changed to Monday, *YEAH!* that leaves me with some time to share the following recipes with you guys!

ROAST BEEF & MOZZI SANDWICH

IMG_3065

INGREDIENTS > 2 Slices Roast Beef . Mozarella Cheese . Black Olives . Basil . Jap Mayo and Mustard . Wheat Bread (Sun Moulin)

This is the first time I’ve tried Roast Beef. The look of it always puts me off. BUT. Imagine my surprise when I first tasted it. It has a subtle flavour that is not overpowering and goes really well with the cheese! Got them from Cold Storage for S$5.71 for 9 thin slices. Black Olives are the first for me too! The flavour is not too sharp as compared to the green ones or maybe its the liquid used to preserve the olives that made the difference. Must find out more. Hmm.

BLACKFOREST HAM & ASPARAGUS

IMG_3043

INGREDIENTS > 1 Slice Blackforest Ham . Asparagus . Basil . Brie . Toasted Walnuts . Raisins . Multigrain Bread (Gardenia)

I first read about Blackforest Ham in PaniniHappy and I was surprised to see it sold in Meidiya. It’s got a really nice flavour and cheap too! I also love Asparagus in sandwiches. They give a refreshing taste and crunch to the sandwich. Walnuts give the extra crunch to the combination and I like using raisins coz they lend some sweetness to the sandwich without being overly fruity.

SMOKED TURKEY WITH BRIE SANDWICH

IMG_3079

INGREDIENTS > 1 Slice Smoked Turkey Ham . Brie . Toasted Walnuts . Black Olives . Basil . Jap Mayo . Ikea’s Lingon Berry Jam . Herb Foccacia (Cold Storage)

I love smoked turkey ham the most! On the date of its expiry, I fried up the rest with red onions and beaten eggs flavoured with soya sauce. A modified version of ‘fuyong dan’. It tastes great! I’m gonna get more of this from Cold Storage. No wonder this is the bestseller amongst the Turkey Hams.

WHITE SALAMI & MOZZI SANDWICH

IMG_3086

INGREDIENTS > Salami . Mozarella . Basil . Jap Mayo . Light Rye Bread (Cold Storage)

This is my Breakfast today in bid to use up the Light Rye Bread. Argh. But there’s still half a loaf left. If you have noticed by now. I use Basil Leaves in every sandwich. I love it! Basil gives it the ‘gourmet’ tastes that you get from restaurants.

SALAMI ASPARAGUS & KUMATO SANDWICH

IMG_3089

INGREDIENTS > 3  Slices Salami . Asparagus . 1 Kumato . Basil . Black Olives . Toasted Walnuts . Ikea’s Lingon Berry . Brie . Cheddar . Herb Focaccia (Cold Storage)

This is my lunch today and I have managed to use up all the meats. Only 1 Focaccia Bun left and 1/2 a loaf of Light Rye to go. Fortunately I have a fresh batch of Asparagus, 1 Kumato (keeps surprising well for 2 weeks!) and bits and pieces of leftover cheeses and walnuts to go with the bun. Sandwiches are great for leftovers because you can throw anything in and yet produce a wonderful tasty sandwich! This time, I added Ikea’s Lingon Berry Jam to give it a fruitier flavour and it turned out really well against the salami!

Lemon Grass Drink

July 3, 2009

lemongrass drink

Think I’m in a cooking frenzy lately, inspired by my fresh buys in the market yesterday (read previous post). This is another of my buys from yesterday’s market excursion. Heh. Fresh Lemongrass!

I first tried this drink years back in a Viet Restuarant and I was hooked immediately but I never drank it again because I don’t frequent Vietnamese restaurants often. Recently, we discovered an amazing Thai Restaurant (will update later) which serves the Lemongrass drink. This prompted me to recreate the drink! I simply love the aroma from Lemongrass!

RECIPE

> Pandan Leaves (I used 5 medium leaves)

> 8 Lemongrass Stalks

> 1 4x4x4cm Rock Sugar

> 1.5 Litres of Water

> Honey to taste

Boil a pot of water. In the meantime, remove any withered Lemongrass and trim the tip and the base of the plant. Split the Lemongrass into half lengthwise and pound the Lemongrass to release the flavours.

When the water has come to a boil, dunk the Pandan Leaves, Lemongrass and Rock Sugar into the pot. Bring to a boil. Turn down the fire and let simmer over low heat for 30 mins, covered. Avoid simmering for too long because it would have a bitter aftertaste. After 30mins, turn off the fire and leave to cool in the pot. After it has warmed down, add honey to taste and serve with ice!

Whilst cooking the drink, a nice soothing aroma from the lemongrass would sift through your kitchen. I think it is a pretty fragrant and therapeutic drink. So do try it!

Kumato and Sandwich

July 3, 2009

kumato sandwich

Just bought this amazing tomato yesterday from Bishan NTUC Fairprice.They are called Kumato and these are cultivated in Malaysia. According to this Kumato website, these black tomatoes are not genetically modified and are usually produced in Europe *Hmm*. I first chanced upon them in our Cold Storage Gourmet supermarket and the listed price of S$6++8.50 (also from Malaysia), for a box of 6 tomatoes, put me off! I have heard about them but they were just too expensive for me to satisfy my curiousity. BUT! I was elated when I saw the exact same box selling in NTUC for S$3! 50 PERCENT!

Like I’ve mentioned previously, I usually need to work with 2 sandwiches in the morning. They both have to be DIFFERENT. Naturally, W is the guinea pig. Hehe.

You know what, he didn’t like it?! It was funny watching him take a bite and see him examine his sandwich with a weird look on his face. I took a bite and I am an immediate CONVERT. It was sweet and it goes so well with the cheese and spinach! I made another for myself. Hehe. I guess the Kumatoes are all mine now! Buar Har Har.