Monday, December 17, 2007

Chicken and Cabbage

Lunch was a simple affair today. Just finished my night shift and can't think of anything to cook... or eat. By the time I arrive at the market, all the vegetable stalls had packed up for the day. Yup I was really late... like prob 12pm. The butcher store located outside the market is still open, so was the vegetable stall outside of it... they usually open till quite late anyways, for people like me. The butcher gave me a knowing grin... shessh... I hope it is obvious that i was after work and not from home.

Mil gave me half a (HUGE) cabbage head the last time that I helped with cooking. Yup.. the cabbage stayed THAT long in the fridge. I gave half of it to Mum and during my the last visit, she had used it all up. Now F and I isn;t much of a cabbage eater. I used to looove it when I was young... all the way thru my teens. I suppose I ate my lifetime's worth.

I decided to get adventurous and bought 1kg of minced chicken meat. Geez... you call that adventurous!! Oh well...

I made Cabbage Parcels. There's really no name for it.. it's just soemthing that I put together. I know some culture has got something similar and theirs is more intricately made. Mine is the throw-in-what-you-have sorta thing, which I felt is what creative cooking is all about heheh

There's no pictures cos I cannot find my camera!!! The last picture I took was of the Flourless choc cake that I tried to make and it was a totally flop...that was last Thursday.

Cabbage Parcels

500grms mince chicken meat
2 stalks of spring onion
Salt & pepper
1 tbs rice flour or corn flour

2 tbs chopped onions
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 cubes of chicken stock (I used MSG-free Knorrs Chix cubes...)
500ml water
a dash of soya sauce
(no salt cos the chix cubes are salty enough...)

10 leaves of Cabbage

1. Steam the cabbage leaves until it's soft. Put it aside to cool
2. Chopped the spring onions and mix it well with the meat, flour, salt and pepper
3. Take your steamed cabbage and slowly cut away part of the middle stem... so that it's easier for you to fold ur leaves...
4. Place one tbs of the chix meat and fold the leaf into a parcel... put it aside
5. I managed to make about 10 or so...
6. Heat oil and fry the chopped ingredients
7. Put in teh chix cube and pour in water and soya sauce
8. Let it simmer for a bit then carefully arrange your little parcels in the pan...
9. Parcel should sit neatly in the pan.
10. Let the gravy simmer until the chicken is cooked...

We ate it with rice of course. F said it'll be marvellous with sambal belacan.. but then anything is marvellous to him with sambal belacan.. heheh...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sis Choc Tart

Check out the glint on the choc!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Another batch of Oatmeal bars

I've been waiting for a chance to make another batch of Oatmeal bars. I've even clear the fridge to make way for the bars. Heheh...

After fighting a battle with all the Sunday calls in the office. I came home to a very tired F. So while F sleeps his reservist tiredness away, I whipped a batch of the Oatmeal bars.

This time round I added white sesame seeds and choc covered preztels. The choc covered preztels were the unsuccessful attempts to make choc covered preztels. Duh!

I dipped each preztels into a too thick cooking choc and was too impatient to let it hardened one by one... so I just dumped everything together. So I ended up with one huge lump of choc and preztels. Heheh...

So the preztels were pounded into smaller pieces, addedd cocoa pops...and all the other goodness. This time round, skipped on the choc chips bits since there's choc covered prez.

Discovered this brand of yoghurt at the 24-hr supermarket near my home. The blueberry ones tasted like the purple Yakult but thick and creamy. Yum... dream come true. Today I discovered that they have Pink Grapefruit. It was delish! Not too sweet and not too sour. Treat myself to a cup after making the oatmeal bars... not that it was hardwork...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ayam Taliwang

F's coming home today after 2 days serving the nation. Decided to cook our favourite dish. Ayam Taliwang. We chanced upon this dish on our trip to Batam once. I just ended my job at the bank and started on a new job at the assistance company. We decided that we need a trip and tramped down to Batam for a few days. On our way in and out of town, we saw many many stalls by the roadside selling Ayam Taliwang. We didn't dare ask the cab driver to stop so that we can try. The cab fare costs us SGD 22, we do not want to imagine what it'll cost us for him to stop and wait while we savour the unknown dish.

We then noticed the dish on the menu at the Hotel's restaurant and decided to try. It was amazing!! Back home, a quick search on the net and I tried to reminiscence our Batam trip. The dish just got stuck to our palate. Even mum loves it.

Ayam Taliwang

1 mid-size chicken
100 ml cooking oil
Juice from a lemon

To grind:
14 bird eye chilli
2 onions
a clove of garlic
An inch of belacan*
A handful of cekor/ kencur**
2 candlenut
Salt and sugar to taste

Any sort that you like
I use Onions, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes
Today I am trying to use brinjals.

You'll need an ovenproof dish and an oven

1. Heat the oil in a wok and pour in the grinded ingredients
2. Fry until the smells makes you drool (fragrant) .... or until you see the ingredients combine and looks kinda springy
3. Put in your chicken pieces or the whole chicken
4. Let it simmer for about 10 - 15 mins
5. Meanwhile, cut your veggies into big chunks and arranged it at the bottom of your ovenproof dish
6. Stir your chicken and ensure that chicken absorbed all the goodness of the grinded ingredients. Chicken will turn to a pale brown colour. This is gooooodddd....
7. Arranged the chicken on top of the veggies in the dish. Scoop the remaining gravy left in the wok and pour it on top of chicken. Leave some gravy for basting.
8. Pop it into the oven at say 130 degrees celcius for about 40 - 60mins
9. Remember to baste the chicken once in a while
10. The chicken will cook and all the flavours will be captured by the veggies. You might see some liquid at the bottom of the dish. Pour it out and use to baste the chicken too.
11. Serve with hot white rice.

* See my very first blog entry.
** Cekor in Malay or Kencur in Bahasa is in the same family as Galangal, which all hails from the Ginger family. The very first picture at the top there is Cekor. Wikipedia said that it is aka Kaempferia galanga. It smells like Galangal but sweeter and I felt nuttier.

You can either cut the chicken into 12 pieces or smaller. Sometimes I like to use whole chicken. If you decided to use whole chicken, then just double the amount of grinded ingredients.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Five and Half KG of Roti Arab

Mil cooked for a wedding over the weekend. F and I arrived late on Saturday to render help. So I have to start my sob story of having to wrok till 2am the night before. Which is the truth.... The bride ... or is it the groom... is F's cousin. Well, I am yet to grasp the family tree.... but it's just amazing how everyone was there having fun. They even arranged for me to wear the same colours as the rest of the ladies of the family. That, I felt was rather touching...

Anyways, Mil requests for 5.5kg of Roti Arab for dinner on Saturday night for the guests. I made two batches, 3kg first. Then another 2.5kg. Knead it by hand, divide them into little dough balls and roll it out into saucer-size flat bread. Sil helped to fry it on the flat pan. She got really excited when the bread puffed up. She's getting good at frying them.. all the bread turned out nicely brown. Mum's nagging turned out well too cos' all the bread puffed up nicely and it's soft. [knead more...knead more... until the dough is smooth... no more. Some more...sighhh.......]
F's dad enjoyed it soo much, he ate FIVE!! Mum was there helping.. she was there since morning and wasn't pleased that we came at 4pm... Mum was there. She was there alright... she was barking orders at me... no do it like that. Do this... do that. I hinted at her that different people have different styles of cooking. She got the hint.. but forgot abt it after half an hour.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mum-in-law birthday

M-i-l's birthday is next Tue. Another reason to make yet another choc tart. This is what's left after the attack. Heheh. .

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cupcakes from HC

Yeay! Cupcakes for tea!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The beginning of soo much more....

Haha, the chocolate tart was just the beginning. Now that I know how simple it is to make... and how amazingly dreamy it taste. [Yup, despite my throat infection, I couldn't resist a sliver of the tart. I swear it was a sliver!!]

Well, my crust turns out thicker than I imagine. I suppose cos I used a 8-inch fluted tart tray instead of the 9-inch that the recipe indicates. But I liked it, that way the ganache wasn't too overwhelming. Dad said that the choc's a bit bitter. I used Van Houten. But I thought it was alright... not too sweet.

Sis apparently read my blog before I left the house and was all anticipating the arrival of the tart.

I've decided that I'm gonna try other choc recipes. Recipes that in the beginning I thought was too advance. Anything that requires me to double boil or melt choc was too overwhelming for me. Cos I'm not a very neat or cautious person, and was afraid that I might just end up spilling all the choc all over the cabinet top or even the floor. I saw a flourless choc cake recipe somewhere... and my Jamie Oliver cookbooks has got a baked choc tart... the picture shows a sugary sweet crust of choc on top. Yummy... maybe will try it when Kavs came by. She'll go crazy.

I went to the grocery store nearby my home and saw this Indonesian brand cooking choc. I recalled Mum said that it's quality is just as good as those top notch brands. And I remembered wanting to buy the 2kg slab I saw at Mustafa's. And it is soo dirt cheap... like $5.20 for the 1kg pack that I bought.

And at the back of the pack it says that it's suitable for ganache, coating... etc etc. Well, I suppose they really know what they are talking about. 1kg will make about 5 of the tarts that I made yesterday and at 1/5 of the price.

There's still another quarter of the tart in the fridge... Hmm... maybe just another sliver.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Throat Infection and Chocolate Tart

I think it was the endless soda that I drank... and the leftover chocolates from Eid celebration. I am down with a throat infection. It's really bad. Doc said that my lymph node swells up and with all the anti bodies fighting in me, it gave me a slight fever. So I've been eating porridge for the whole day today. That explains the picture of the mushy looking thingy up there. It has minced meat, peas and carrots. I've never cooked porridge for myself before in my whole existence. Oh well... there's always a first.

Although my throat can't swallow anything solid now... I've been wanting to bake a choc tart for the longest time. I still had that bar of baking choc from my attempts to make choc covered pretzels. I had downloaded the recipe from the internet... now this one I cannot remember exactly where I got it from. It was from someone else blog I think.

Mum gave me this antique-looking pie baking tray that she had for as long as I can remember. I don't remember her making pies or tarts when we were young though. But I remembered once when she made this really yummy puff pastries filled with minced meat and veggies and potatoes... I ate soo much I couldn't eat dinner!!

I'll be bringing the choc tart down to Mum's place tomorrow. Sis will definitely get her share too since her home is en route to the bustop for me to catch my bus home from Mum's place. How convinient!!

Well that means I get to play with Miramon... and see how big Ulfa is now. Heheh.

Okie dokies.. this time round, i followed the recipe to the core. However, I didn't have enough choc, the bar I have is only 7.05oz. And I realised that the smallest whipping cream packaging (I used Emborg) is 200ml. OK... so I didn't really follow the recipe to the core... But i hope you will and tell me how yours turned out.

It says here that it was adapted from Baking: From my home to yours; Dorie Greenspan. Mann... I seriously cannot remember where I got this from. I printed the recipe the minute I saw it..

My crust didn't look worthy enough to be pictured...

For the Crust:
1 1/2 Cups of plain flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
130g cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk (in Singapore, I find the eggs very small, so I usually use 2)
A 9 inch fluted tart pan
1 piece of aluminium foil large enough to cover your crust

1. Put the flour, sugar and butter into a mixer (i used a Kenwood mixer with the K Beater) and beat to combine. (if you don't have a mixer, you can put the ingredients in a bowl and rub it with your fingers.... kinda remind me of my secondary school home econs class..)

2. when mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, add in the yolk and continue to beat. When ingredients are mixed uniformly, turn it out to a work surface and knead the dough to incorporateb any dry ingredients that might have escaped the mixing.

3. butter a 9 inch fluted tart pan with a removable botton. Press dough evenly over the botton and up the sides of the pan. Freeze the crust for at leats 30mins.. preferably longer.

4. centre a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 180 degree celcius, butter the shiny side of the aluminium foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust.

5. Put the tart pan on a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust puffed, press it down gentlly with the back of a spoon. If you prefer your crust to be more brown and crisp, bake for another 8 mins or so.

6. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool completely before filling it up...

For the filling:
8 oz bittersweet choc, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2tbs whipping cream
55g butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

1. Put the chocs in a heatproof bowl and have a whisk at hand. Bring the cream to a boil, the pour half of it over the choc and let it sit for 30sec. Working the whick, very gently stir the choc and cream in small circles, starting at the centre if the bowl and working your way out.

2. Pour in the remainder of the cream and blend it into the choc, using the same circular motion. When the ganache is mooth and shiny, stir in the butter piece by piece. Don't stir the ganache any more than you must to blend the ingredients - the less you work it, the darker, smoother and shinier it will be.

3 Por the ganache into the crust and gently turn the pan from side to side to even the ganache. Refrigerate the tart to let the ganache set.

The tart had been in the fridge for the last 1 hour... but I've opened the fridge at least twice to check it out. Heheh. I feel like a little kid... I always do everytime I start a baking project. I will kept peering at the oven to watch the cake rise. I suppose it is the anticipation of it. And once the cake is out of the oven... before it even cools off, I'll be the first to eat i. Well, there's only F & I at home. And most of the time when I baked, he is either at work or sleeping. So heheh... I'm always the first. I'll save the cake for a few days. During that few days, F will be the one eating the cakes... and by then I totally lose interest in the cake. I'm weird like that.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tuesday's Breakfast recipe

It was a last minute decision to make the banana cakes. So I did not follow any written recipe. I just throw in all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well... here goes..:

Banana Cake
Yields 12 (muffin size) cup cakes

4 Delmonte Bananas
1.5 cups flour
125 g salted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vaniila essence
1 cup brown sugar
2 small eggs
A handful of raisin...

Heat oven to about 140 degrees celcius
Placed everything in a bowl and mix well....
Pour batter into the cups
Bake for about 30mins or until it is nice and brown

The whole department gets to enjoy the banana cakes. That shows how small my department is...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday breakfast

Tuesday's breakfast is banana cupcakes ;-). Made them last night. . . Recipe coming up later. Blogging from my hp now.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Oats and fruit bar

Haha!! Tried out my new hp with the new option to sent pix that I take from the hp camera straight to the blog. How cool is that!!!!! The other week, tried my hand at making the chewy oat and fruit bar.

It was actually a request from F after he tried the cornflakes cookies. He wanted a chewy oat bar with dates, raisins and choc chips and all the other goodness found in the cornflakes cookies. Well basically it was sliced almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and white and choc chips. He wanna eat it before he go on his cycling... it supp to act like a Powerbar.

So I did some research on the internet and came up with a recipe from Recipe Bazaar. It is their recipe #22206 - Chewy Fruit & Oatmeal Bars. Tried it but it turned out more cake-like than those Chewy Quaker Bars or Granola bars that you buy from the stores. Gave some to sis and she said that Miramon loved it....

Attempt #2 came out more like the real McCoy.... It came straight from the grandfather of oats himself... Mr Quaker.... Heheh

Quaker's Fruit & Oatmeal Bars

1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine or butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
One 6-ounce package diced dried mixed fruit (about 1-1/3 cups)
1-1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

Preparation Steps

In medium saucepan, heat honey, margarine, sugar and cinnamon over medium-low heat until margarine is melted, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Stir in dried fruit, rice cereal and oats until evenly coated.
Press mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 8-inch square baking pan.
Cool completely. Cut into bars.
Store tightly covered in refrigerator.

I had some golden syrup from my attempts to make sticky buns. The golden syrup had been in the fridge for like the longest time. It kept calling out to me but really, my sweet-tooth was asleep during all those time. So instead of using sugar that was called for in the recipe, I replaced it with the golden syrup... the liquid gets prepared faster. Also I couldn't find the normal rice krispies that the recipe called for. So I used Cocoa Pops.
For the dried fruit, I have cranberries and raisins in the fridge, leftovers from Eid's celebration cookie making session. There was also pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds. That goes in as well... together with white choc and choc chips.

You wouldn't call the bars healty. But it's packed with goodness... Tony the Tiger would agree, or maybe that Monkey on the box, whatever his name is....Heheh.

No pictures of the ready product... cos I just popped it in the fridge after it cooled down and cut it into bars a few days later.

Bol Kentang

It's my second off day today. The office needed me to come in cos there was not enough people on the floor, but noooo...... it's been awhile since I tried something new in the kitchen. Well, the dish is not exactly new new cos mum cooked it in her kitchen before. But the dish was not introduced in my kitchen before.

F enjoyed it but he felt that it is not satisfying (for his tummy). He wants rice...
He ended up eating last night curry with fried chix and a hard boil egg.

I enjoyed my Bol Kentang. It's simply mashed potatoes (or Kentang in Malay) made in a Ball (thus the word Bol)... with minced beef and mixed veggies stuffing.
I sauteed some onions, garlic and ginger. Add the mince beef and mixed veggies. Stir it around till it's cooked. Salt and pepper....
The boiled potatoes are mashed, mixed with a bit of butter, milk and ohh.. I found some grated Parmesan cheese in the fridge. So I used them in the mashed potatoes. Heheh...
The potatoes ball are fried in a little oil to firm it up. And you eat it drench in a nice hearty bowl of beef stock soup. Yummy....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The seamstress' daughter

My mum was a seamstress... she dun sew much these days. When we were younger, with the Eid celebration round the corner. Our small living room will be filled with colourful clothes that the neighbours sent for sewing. We stayed in a modest 3 room apartment and there is a pipe that runs along the living room to the kitchen. Mum will hang the ready clothes along the pipe. It's like as if our living room had turned into a night market. There is a 6 seater dining table where mum will cut out all the cloth for sewing. My job is to go under the table and collect all the cloth remains and put it in a plastic bag. If I'm good, mum will make a a little doll from the cloth. Heheh... it was a simple life.

I tried my hand at sewing but never get good results with clothes. I still have not master sewing sleeves or rounded edges....

So I tried easy projects like throw pillows covers and curtains.

October October October...

October had been a crazy month.

But I had fun. There was the Eid celebration... and there was F's bike race. That's another story to tell. The fact that I slept on a park bench while the bike race goes on around me.... heheh

October gave me the opportunity to utilize all my baking desires that had been bursting to escape ever since I got the new home and oven...

Managed 5 batches of oatmeal and raisin cookies, 5 batches of cornflakes choc chip cookies and 3 batches of the hershey choc cake. Made the choc cake into little mini cup cakes. Mum gave me the metal thingies to hold the cake together while it bakes. The name just slipped my mind... what do one call those things anyways... She said that if I dun place the paper cups in the metal thingy then my choc cake will turn out square... well I definitely want round cupcakes....

Squeezed the batter into yellow paper cups and it turned out like little sunflowers. The inside is moist but the outside is crispy when you first took it out of the oven. I kept it in the fridge to serve when guests come over to our little corner home.

Recipe for the Choc Cake... taken from the back of the Hershey Cocoa box


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

You can view the instructions from here.

I replaced the sugar with brown sugar. I love the taste of brown sugar in baked goods. But I've not learnt enough baking to know what's difference in terms of texture.. or flavour or what happened when you mix one with the other. I just like it...

Monday, July 23, 2007

It's been a year

Lost my log-in ID and password for my blog. Took me a year to figure out a way to retrieve. Who knows Blogger and gmail have somekind of arrangement.

Anyways, loads happened since that last post.

We managed to settle in to our new home. We nicknamed it the hippie lounge. Cos seriously it consists of hand-me downs furniture, untiled unlaminated floors, homemade everything else from curtains to cushion cover.

I am currently on a project to sew a new sofa cover. It is way-challenging taking into account that my sofa is a semi octagonal in shape and can accommodate 6 people very comfortable. It is now a dusty suede blue colour. I am trying to sew up a orange cover to bring in more colours to the living room. Managed to get this really cheap cloth to experiment with... like SGD2 per metre. I bought 40metres. Yupz! I kinda calculated and that is really how much I need. Of course I take into account failed attempts... I know myself too well.

Will keep you updated on the progress...

I've figured out how to upload pictures to the laptop too, so pictures coming up too.

I introduced my friend to sewing and it was like a I just introduced her to a new miracle slimming chocolate or something. She's just ecstatic.. check out what she did....