Saturday, November 01, 2008

Hari Raya Cookies and Open House

*Stuff bought for the Cookie making frenzy.*

I am blogging again but I shall not tell where I am blogging from... location *Top Secret* LOL
My itch to blog overcomes the better of me... thus here I am blogging, but without recipes. So just food porn... ;-)

Thanks to Boss who gave me her brand-new-totally-not-used-been-sitting-in-her-kitchen oven. It's perfect. I think it bakes even better than my current oven.
I made three types of cookies this year:
1. Compulsory Choc Chip Spotties ( No pictures... totally slipped my mind to do that, cos we made it so often)
This is a must each year. When both of were still staying at Mum's, every year my sis and I will make a list of stuff to buy to put in it. Every year it's different types of nuts. There is one year we went crazy and dumped in every single nuts that mum has in her fridge.... we'll prob throw ourselves in too (geddit?) , but we cannot fit into the bowl!! This year it was sliced almonds, walnuts and green pumpkin seeds.

2. Oatmeal Cookies
I bought The Cookie book specifically cos of this recipe....

3. Dates and Celory Cut-out Cookies
I sooo wanted to use up the dates that MIL gave me last year. And I wanted some colour... but I dun like those cherries in the packet. I found this product made of from papaya.. they made it look like cherries. And Mum's Phoon Huat member's card is permenantly with me. Yeay!!
And I tweaked a recipe that I got from the Cookie Book.

And then there is the open house. We invited friends and families over... mostly family. Cos our family alone... parents, in laws, sister, brothers, aunties, uncles... it's enough to fill up the whole house.
We serve a simple spread:

1. Fried Chicken Wings
- 7.5kg of it to be exact.
2. Flat Arabic Bread
4. Kheema

HC helped me with the preparation and the dishes. THANK YOU HC. Love you deep deep. I don't think I could managed w/o her.

F was in charge of the rest of the house. I sewed new curtains and cushion covers. MIL bought us a new carpet. Thank you MIL :-* (Although she dun read my blogs... )
F did a fabulous job re-arranging all the furnitures on his own. My strong F :-*... he dragged the furnitures tho and our neighbour staying below us came up to inform us to keep it down.. shesshhh

We now have a TV corner for F and a reading corner for me.

Another area that I can use to chill with a book in the daylight :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Internet is down....

The internet at home is down.
Sighhh... we are trying to revive it. I'm sneaking in this log from the office ;-)
Oopppss... if you are reading this boss, this is the only time.

Anyways, I'm looking for a new service provider... wich me luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Chicken Recipe - Sze Chuan Chicken and Sesame Chicken

I was telling Jacq the other night that I created my own recipe which I named Sze Chuan Chicken. Well... I was watching Kylie Kwong cooked some pork dish in a restaurant, and I kinda noted what she threw in and explained why she did that. But I cannot remember the name of that dish. So one day I decided I copied her style... served it for dinner. F asked what's this called...? I'm like... errrm... Sze Chuan Chicken, and he's happy with it and started eating. The truth is I don't even know what Sze Chuan chicken tastes or looked like... heheh.

Then Jacq was telling me her style... using sesame oil. I'm like... yeah, that's one ingredient that I read about alot but yet does not have it in my pantry....So last month's grocery shopping, top of the list is the Sesame Oil.

My Sze Chuan Chicken

A small chicx - about 800grms... or you can use chix breast - either one, cut into cubes of about
1" - 1.5" and marinated with a bit of tumeric
1/3 cup Rice flour
1 egg
1 tbs of sesame seeds

3 tbs dark sweet soya sauce
3 tbs of light salty soya sauce
2 tbs sugar
5 dried chillies (more if you like it spicy)
1 tbs grinded onion
1/2 tbs drinded garlic
1/2 tbs grinded ginger

Veggies - I used long beans, carrots and Japanese cucumber

Spring onion to garnish

1. Coat chix with the mixture rice flour, egg and sesame seeds... deep fry in a wok of hot oil, until it's crispy or golden. The tumeric that the chix was marinated in will give it a nice colour.
2. Heat your wok and put in little oil, fry the dried chillies first... then onion, garlic and ginger till fragant
3. Pour in your soya sauces and then sugar
4. Simmer for a bit and pour in your veggies
5. Last is to pour in the chix and stir it around till the sauce evenly coats the chix... you dun need to cook it for soo long since the chix is cooked...
6. Garnish with spring onions and serve.

Sesame Chicken
I used a small chix too - abt 800grms, cut into cubes of about 1" - 1.5"
2 garlic - sliced
1" ginger - sliced
2 tbs of peanut oil
2 tbs of sesame oil

3 tbs dark sweet soya sauce
3 tbs of light salty soya sauce
2 tbs sugar
5 dried chillies (more if you like it spicy)

A bit of water

Veggie - Brinjal

1. Heat up the peanut oil in the wok and fry your dried chillies, garlic and ginger for about 2 mins
2. Pour in your soya sauces and sugar
3. Pour in the chix and let it simmer on a low fire...
4. If you are in a hurry (like me) simmer for about 5 mins, or until you can see that the chix is cooked.... por in the sesame oil
5. At this point, brace yourself cos the smell of the sesame oil will take you off your feet. it happened to me... heheh....
6. Simmer a bit more and arrange your brinjal (i cut mine breadth-wise 1" thick, so I get nice round firm pieces) on top of the simmering chix... you want them to cook but not disintegrate into the dish
7. Cover for about 3mins
8. Open the cover and give it a quick stir so that the brinjal absorbs some of the flavour
9. Garnish with spring onions and serve ( I garnished with a bit more bird eye chillies cos I know the dried chillies will not have much impact for F after being simmered in the sweet sauce...)

Jacq taught me the basic. I decided to add the brinjal as an after thought, and it worked well with the dish!
The longer you cook the dish, the more ooommpph! it'll have, Jacq said.
True enough, heat it up the next day and droool....F loved it too!!

Foul Mesdammes

I made soo many blogger friends after Lydia posted my pantry pixs. This is soo amazing!!
Here's the Foul Mesdammes recipe as requested by Susan G....

Foul Mesdammes
Serves 4 – 6

2 cans of broad beans*
1 can of peas

350 grams mince beef
4 large tomatoes
1 bunch of coriander leaves, about 20 cents worth… more if you like – cut into 1cm length


5 garlic
2 large onions
1 inch young ginger

1 teaspoon each of fennel, cumin and coriander seeds
- Fry the above in a wok without oil, until fragrant. Then grind them coarsely.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

For Granish
- Large onion cut into cubes
- Green chillies
- Sunny-side-up eggs
- A bit more of the coriander leaves

Cooking instructions
1. Puree 1 can of broad beans and 1 can of peas and put it aside
2. Wash and cut the tomatoes into cubes
3. Heat the oil and fry the grinded garlic onions, garlic, ginger and the coarsely grinded fennel, cumin and coriander seeds and salt… until fragrant
4. In goes the mince beef and fry until the beef is cooked
5. In goes the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes is a slightly soft
6. Then pour in the pureed beans, peas and the remaining 1 can of broad beans, water and all.
7. Leave it to boil… stir once in a while to make sure it does not burn at the bottom
8. Salt and pepper....
9. Throw in the coriander leaves... save some for garnish
10. Ready to eat :-)

* Canned broad beans are available at:
- Sheng Shiong supermarket at $0.50 a can. This one’s made in China.
- Mustafa Supermarket at $1.90 a can. This one’s from Dubai.
- Or you can use dried Fava Beans… just remember to soak it overnight

Good luck Susan G!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Pantry Entry in The Perfect Pantry

Errmmm. Okie, it's a mouthful.
Anyways, Lydia of The Perfect Pantry had featured my entry for Other People's Pantries.
Go see my pantry entry in Other People's Pantries #32.

Thanks Lydia!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cooking frenzy

F's coming home today. After five days in camp. My poor sweetie have been eating endless packed rice and junk food i.e. pizza delivery (sheesh... talking about roughing it out in camp). Bet he missed home cooked food. I have leftover Mum's Nasi Lemak (which I have to add is AJ's fav dish) and F's fav quail eggs sambal. I decided to cook another of his fav dish - Ayam Ungkep... or Ungkep Ayam. Whichever way you pronounced it, it is a Javanese dish full with coriander flavour. Must make it spicy for him.

I learnt that this was his fav dish way before we were married. I asked MIL how to cook it. Thinking that I have all the skills of a chef, she just blabber the ingredients. I was flabbergasted. So after we got married, I surfed the net for it (ahhh... the wonders of internet) and chanced upon this one:

Ungkep Ayam
1kg chix wings (or you can use a whole chicken cut into 10 pieces)
5 tbs Coriander powder
1 tbs Cumin powder
1 tbs Grounded inger
4 - 5 Onion
1 - 2 cloves garlic
A pinch of tumeric powder
A bit more tumeric powder to marinate chix
Half cup of water
Salt and sugar to taste
** If you like it really spicy, then a few chillies. I used dried chillies and sometimes bird eye chillies. Depending on the heat/ spicyness.
The easiest method is to chuck everything (except the chix of course!) into a blender and grind until smooth.
1. Use a bit more tumeric powder to marinate the chix, leave it for 30mins. Then sear the chix pieces in a hot hot wok, no oil cos the chix will produce it's own oil.
2. Remove chix from the wok. Use the oil from the chix and perhaps a bit more to then fry the grinded ingredients till fragrant. You can add your salt and sugar here... or after step 3. Whichever rocks your boat....

3. Add chix and stir until chix are coated. Add water and let it simmer.
And voila.. you have Ungkep Ayam. Yet another chix recipe from the chickeney kitchen......
Here's a pix of the golden seared chix:

I have a confession. I overslept in the bus on the way home today and ended up at another neighbourhood. Heheh... I am quite familiar with the place, the fact that I overslept in the bus more than once. Hey... can't blame me, I did a 12-hour graveyard shift. And I had this overpowering urge to buy and cook veg veg veg. Also the fact that NL and I just discussed about doing a tour of the farms in Lim Chu Kang. Soo exciting to know that we have working farms in Singapore. Not just a lame educational farm with a few patch of Cai Xin and Cabbage.

Anyways, I bought the following:
A bag of carrots
2 bunches of spinach
2 ears of corn
A small bag of beansprouts
And a Thai Pumpkin... now I really dun know the exact English name but Mum called it Labu Siam. Literally translated Thai Pumpkin. Here's how it looks like:

OK. So I forgot to take a pix of it before I cut it. But the colour is just like a Guava, but more in a shape like a pear. The smaller ones, slightly smaller than your fist is nicer and sweeter. The bigger ones has less flavour.

And I went into a cooking frenzy. Planning and cooking for the next two days' meals. While the chix simmer, I made a Javanese Veg soup. It's really refreshing and you can put any hard veg that you like. Into the soup goes the corn, carrots, thai pumpkin, long beans (I have that in my fridge) and a small can of braised peanuts (washed off of the soya sauce coating). That'll be for the upcoming two days.

The spinach will go into a clear chicken stock soup. That's for today to go with the chix.

Since I only use the Spinach leaves for the clear soup... I took a bit of the stems, cut it into little pieces. Combined with julien carrots... and I'll make veg fritters. That's be for the upcoming two days too. I'll fry the fritters tonight for tmrw's lunch (I am working on Sat and Sun.... thus the rush).

And then..... I planned to do a stir-fry of beansprouts, spring onions (have that in the fridge k...) and little pieces of salted fish. I know I have some salted fish that mum or 3rd bro got for me on their last trip to M'sia. Yummy... but this one have to be eaten when it is freshly cooked. So this will probably be Monday's lunch. Hope the beansprouts lasts till Monday.

OK. So which veg recipe should I type first?

Javanese Veg Soup
Soup base:
2tbs dried prawns (soaked for a few mins in water to wash off the salt and then pounded)
2tbs grinded onion
2tps grinded garlic
1tbs grinded chilli (i used dried chillies)
1 tbs oil
About 4 - 5 cups of tamarind water
Salt and sugar to taste. (More sugar... cos the tamarind can be rather sour. But if you like sour... by all means...)

Again... the easist way is to just chuck everything into a blender and grind.

1. In a pot, fry the grinded ingredients until fragrant.
2. Pour in the tamarind water and let it come to a boil.
3. Put in your fav veg. You can choose from my shopping list above. Sometimes I put in cabbage too.
4. Bring it to a boil or until whatever veg that supp to be tender is tender e.g. corn.

The marvellous part is eating the corn. Cos it absorbs a bit of the sour, salty, spicy flavour of the soup.... but somehow retains part of its sweetness. So when you bite into the corn you can the soup flavour... and then the sweetness of the corn hits you. YUMMM!
More about the rest later I supp. F's back.... heheh

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

House arrest, and tear & share bread

Came down with a throat infection last week and had some terrible body ache. That graduated to a runny nose and chills. I seldom catch such flu bugs but when I do, it's just the worst anyone ever see. I was out of office for two days. Plus my off days, it was a total of almost six days. But I promised AC that I'll cut it short and come back on Monday. But I still look and sound terrible I suppose, cos AC send me home packing early and asked that I paid a visit to the doc again.

That I did. And it made me miss the family doc that I used to visit when I was staying with my mum. He's an elderly chap, very caring and always filled with some soothing words that made you feel like a six year old. He'll send you out of his room with a "take care" and "rest well" ... it makes you feel better already. But the queue at his clinic takes ages, be prepared to wait at least half a day to wait for your turn. He does not accept appointments too.

So I went ahead and have my record created at the 24hr clinic next to KFC near my place. It's a mere 2mins walk. But cos they are like a company, rather than a private practice (speaking of which Private Practice is playing on Starworld now!).... so the docs kept changing. And it is always these young chaps, prob just graduated with a few years under their belt. And if you get those on a night shift on a weekend... boo!! they look sicker than you. LOL.

Anyways, so with that, I didn't step out of the house for a good 5 days. I got totally bored that I started working on the weeks' worth of laundry that have been sitting in the guest room waiting to be folded. I then ironed two sets of F's reservist uniform (he's away on reservist now... for 5 whole days.....). And I decided to iron some of my clothes... work clothes that I didn't bother to wear anymore cos it needed ironing. There was one night that after taking my medi and I couldn't sleep.... I ended up making bread. Heheh... again.

This time, I used a recipe I got from one of the library books that I borrowed. I like the name... tear and share bread. That means that the bread does not have to be in a perfect shape.... I like that idea. Tear and share. It also evoked the memory of eating those yummy tomato and olive bread during our company's financial year kick-off celebration and the bread at Raffles Hotel's Bar and Billiard Room.

Olive and Tomato, tear and share bread

475g strong white flour
1tsp salt
1tsp caster sugar
1 1/4 tsp fast-action dried yeast
2tbs olive oil
275ml water
125g pitted or stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
40g sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), roughly chopped
coarse sea salt and paprika, to garnish

Making by hand
1. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a large bowl. Add the olive oil then gradually mis in enough wam water to make a soft dough.
(mum taught me to always put in the oil last rather than first, that way it 'cleans' up the whole bowl and there'll be no dough sticking to the bowl... whichever works for you...)

2. Knead well on a light floured surface for 5mins until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough back inyo the bowl and cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 1hr or until doubled in size.

3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well. Gradually work in the chopped olives and tomatoes. Pat into a rough circle about 20cm (8 inches) in diameter. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and mark the dough into 8 wedges, but do not cut right through to the base.

4. Sprinkle with the salt anf paprika then cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 30mins or until half as big again.

5. Remove the clingfilm (duh!) and bake in a preheated oven 200C for 30mins. Check after 15mins and cover with foil if overbrowning.

6. Transfer to wire rack to cool....

Now I didn't have any olives and all I have is the sun-dried tomatoes and capers in oil. So I used them. The book says that if we are using the tomatoes that's in oil, doubled the quantity, cos the oil would have made them heavier. Agreed. Also... I used the oil that the tomatoes and capers were soaked in, rather than freash olive oil.

ME was asking me for the recipe for the bread that I brought to office the other time. So ME, here's to you!! And oh! just add some Italian Herbs, chopped garlic (you can sautee the garlic a bit in olive oil to tone down the flavour a bit) and those sliced cheese (chopped them up a bit) to make it like the pizza-like bread that I brought to office. Remember to bring it to the office too!!

For the tear and share bread... I kept it in this air-tight tin I got courtesy of KT. It used to hold the popcorn that we got when watching Hancock the other time. Thanks KT!!

And when hunger pangs attacked... I sliced a few thick ones (yeah... I sliced and not tear) toast it up a bit and spread a thick butter.... YUMMMYYY!!! It's good with soup too. Which is my diet for the past 6 days.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I made bread!!

I made bread!! I did!! I MADE BREAD!Bread making was initially soo daunting to me. I borrowed a number of books from the library to understand bread-making. Read from end to end. They talked about flours, organic, stone milled, whole wheat, barley etc etc. And then there is yeast, dry, wet, fresh, instant. And then there is the bread culture in Europe, America.... Artisan bread, country bread, festive bread. I'm like wha...??? I had planned to bake during my whole 4 days leave recently. But my bones just seems too heavy. We were out celebrating F's bday. [Happy 29th sweetie!!! Hope you enjoyed ur 3 full days of celebration].
But 2 days ago, I decided that I will brave the bread-making front and faced it hands-on. No Kitchen Aid, no bread maker. Just my trusty Kenwood, the hook and my bare hands.And oh! My Mario Batalis... heheh. Sis made some the other day too, so I was soooo motivated to try. Hah!! I scaled the floury mountains and conquered.
Ok enough! Here's the proof:

Of course I have my office-ful of guinea pigs. Hehe.. my critics. Too dry, what happened? (AC). Too sweet (that's me). Just nice (Dad). Taste like pizza!!!(ME) I like the cheese ones (JW and she came back to my desk for seconds).

When I first tried to make bread. It was the Cheese buns using the Straight Dough method. It does not yield the kind of softness and texture I enjoyed in bread.

This time, I tried using the Sponge and Dough Method. I love it!! I left it overnight to rise. Wake up in the morning and knead my stress out. Fun fun fun!

Straight Dough Method
(A)480g Bread Flour
120g Plain Flour
110g Sugar10g Salt
20g Milk Powder
4tsp instant yeast

(B)1 Egg
300ml Cold Water

(C)60g Butter

Mix (A) till well blended
Add (B) and knead into a dough
Add (C), continue to knead to form a smooth and elastic dough.*

*What I did was basically to Pour the ingredients into my Kenwood until it forms a dough. Take it out on my kitchen top and knead knead knead. Mum's words in my head. Not smooth yet... not smooth yet. Okie...

Sponge and Dough Method
(A) Sponge Dough2tsp Instant Yeast**
2tbs Water**
1/2tsp Sugar**
420g Bread Flour
220ml Cold Water

(B) Main Dough
120g Plain Flour
60g Bread Flour
1tsp Instant Yeast
110g Sugar (I omit this and add only abt 1tsp when making my savoury bread)
10g Salt
20g Milk Powder
40ml Cold Water (I mix this with the yeast too and the sugar)
1 Egg
60g Butter

For the Sponge mix, mix instant yeast and water and set aside for 10 mins.
** I read somewhere that Sugar is Yeast's 'food'. The instructions did teach me this... But I mixed Instant Yeast, 2tbs water and Sugar together and let it mix it well. It will become bubbly and looks like wet/ fresh yeast.

Add remaining ingredients and knead into a dough.
Cover the dough with clear film and let it prove for 2.5hrs. I let it prove overnight....
Then add the sugar, salt, eggs from Main Dough ingredients.
Mix till well blended (into the Kenwood babes!!)
Then add flour, instant yeast, milk powder and water.
Mix well and knead into dough (this is where you bare your muscles... and start kneading).
Add butter and knead until smooth (not smooth enogh!! more more...) .
Cover with a clear film (I am assuming you know that you are to place your dough in a bowl.. yes).
Let it prove for another 10 mins.

Now you are ready to put in your creativity.
My first attempt was Sweet bread with cheese toppings.Soo... I follow diligently the recipe for the Sponge and Dough. Every single grain... and when bread is almost done... I sprinkle sugar... and put cheese slices on top. And then I sprinkle more sugar when it comes out of the oven.

My second attempt... the ones that ME said tastes like pizza, but AC and the rest of them said is a bit dry...I omit the 110g sugar. Add a bit more salt. Use Olive oil instead of butter. [Now the next portion is sis' idea with a bit of tweaking... must give her some credit you know]. Add sauteed minced garlic, mashed honey tomatoes, chopped sun dried tomatoes and dried herbs.

Tonight will be my 3rd and 4th attempt. The sponge dough are proving right now. I will try making the more moist version of the sun dried tomatoes bread and 4th batch is using whole wheat flour. Tune in....

Thursday, July 03, 2008

June ....Oh June

June had never been this slow for me. I can't wait for it to end. It dragged and dragged ... but yet there is soo much to do. So little time... but somehow it just never ends. I suppose cos May ends with such a bang!! We had a BBQ to celebrate my birthday and our wedding anniversary. We were too busy to even bother taking pictures. Mil and family decided that it'll be a good time to organize a BBQ.... with 15kg of chix wings.
I've seen lots and lots of chix before. But that's when we cook for weddings, like 1000 pax. But 15kg chix wings defrosting on my kitchen floor. I was overwhelmed! But guess what??!!! It weasn't enough. Mil went down to the nearby supermarket to buy 4kg more. Of course we didn't only serve chix. The menu were as follows:
  • Chix Wings ala Thai (Iused my Kua Curry Recipe)

  • Chix Wings ala Percik (I used my Ayam Percik Recipe)

  • Merguez [spicy Mediterranean Sausages that I read about in recipe books, saw it at Mustafa, jumpped for joy and bought a few bags!!]

  • Baked potatoes with Corned Beef [2nd bro in law's idea - YUMMMY!!!]

  • Hotdogs

  • Mil fried up two HUGE tubs of rice and noodles.

  • Choc Fondue [errmm.. apparently the kids didn't care much for the choc fondue... they took the marshmallows and grilled em' on the fire... and had a gooey feast!!]

  • Garden salad [people didn't seem to pay much attention to them... I wonder what happened to the salad in the end....]

AND About 3 family size tents, for sleeping in of course. We stayed over after the guests left. 3rd Bro and Lala came. I was soo glad!!! The rest of the guests are F's family and friends. J & A's kids played ball on the large patch of green that we had. Their youngest one can run REALLY fast. He took something out of my hand and ran and ran ... and altho I have longer legs, I couldn't catch up!!

Sleeping by the beach. It rained in the middle of the night.... 3rd bro in law's GF zipped the windows of the tent shut. I would have probably sleep thru even if the tent flew away... then again the tent won't fly if I am in it. It's called gravity pull... :-P

In June I managed to squeezed in a number of activities. There was the belated birthday dinner courtesy of NL, KT and JW. Thank you babes!!! The yacht ride.... spending the evening like the Rich MFs that we served. An experimental Preztel, a walk thru the old Sembawang Park and alas, the month comes to an END! And comes July and I am on another FIVE days leave!!! Happy days are here again!!

Coincidentally I got an order of Egg Mayo, and Cucumber sandwiches for tomorrow. Let's have a pictoral run thru of the events....

The chix wings for the BBQ

The Yacht Ride

A walk down memory lane at Sembawang Park. It is still the same!!!

I remembered having a BBQ Party for my 18th Birthday there. My childhood friend, good old crazy punk rock NA decided that we should have one, eventho all my Poly pals ditched me on my birthday to go JB for seafood, or something. I recalled feeling weird for being ditched... rather than disappointed. So I call NA and he dragged out an old satay pit, gathered all BBQ-able food from his mom's freezer, dumped it into a red pail and off we went on his scooter. LOL!! And we managed to dragged a few others staying nearby to drop by to finish all the food. And we stayed till abt 2am, which is unheard of in my parents' books. They busted my mini BBQ party and dragged me home. NA refused to dropped by my house after that, afraid that my dad will strangle him!! I think I still have the pictures someplace. And from then on, each time I think of Smbwg Park, I remembered my 18th Birthday Party.

I thot the eggs looked beautiful... I'm boiling them for the egg mago sandwich tmrw.
Oh, I alomost forgot! I promised Sis the Pretzel Recipe.

Heheh... I got it from here.
Which brings us to a silly story....

I tried the recipe once. It turned out well... edible, not picture worthy tho.
I told mum about it... describing it like the Aunt Annie's pretzel that mum loves to eat. So i promised her that I will make a batch when I next drop by for a visit. I doubled the yeast... water, etc... I doubled the flour 2 3/4 Cups X 2 = 3 1/4 cups.
I waited and waited and wondered why the dough is sooo gooey still. It was just IMPOSSIBLE to roll. Then I realised that the flour shoukd have been 5 1/4cups... not 3. F came up with the idea of frying the dough instead. Which I did...

And after, glazed it with syrup. Yummy!!! There was still a strong yeast smell... but otherwise it was our tea time snack for two days. Mum got a tupperware full of them too.
And then I realised that the recipe of such combination seems very familiar.... and indeed it is!! It is the Moroccan Donut recipe that I read abt in the Cooking Moroccan book that I borrowed from the library.

2tsp active yeast
1/2tsp sugar
375g all purpose flour
oil for deep frying
caster sugar to serve
Ground cinnamon to serve (optional)

Ain't it ammazing!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

High-tea at Carousel & Cookies from Sis

I am on leave for FIVE FULL days. Ooohhh the luxury of it. Met up with Mel today to catch up on a few months of news. We went for Hi-tea at the Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts. The spread wasn't fantastic today. We had a little morsels of everything... we of course skipped those that we can easily get outside. I had the Chix Char Siew Bun, among other things. The kind that I always see at those Hong Kong Bakeries... or that fascinating windows of Dim Sum place at Lau Pa Sat. It's interesting to see what people enjoyed eating... but we didn't think about taking pix of the food. One cos I've been there several times, before and after the renovations. Two, cos we were too busy talking and stuffing our mouths. That's the only thing that stuck in my mind. The bun has got a nice buttery skin... more like a pastry than a bun. Layers of flaky buttery skin and then sweet, brown chix char siew fillings. Yum!

Anyways, Mel has good and bad news for me.... [Kavs, you have to ask her yourself.] But all I can say is... no worries, I will hold the fort in Singapore as loong as I can.

On another note...Sis read the entry on Princess' cookies [Not surprising...]. So she made me cookies too. Hehehe.... and was bugging me about getting her fame on my blog too. Not that it'll much of a fame. She said that she used the Neiman Marcuss recipe. First thing that came to mind was that really expensive department store in NYC. And I was like.. I didn't know that Neiman Marcus sells chocs or has got anything to do with food!! Because of the work we do, Neiman Marcus is always associated with Fashion Items or Luxury Accessories. So I decided to venture beyond... yup yup. True enough, they have Gourmet Food sections.

So here's the cookies from Sis....

Kavs read my blog too and got worried when I mentioned about being busy busy after the BKK trip. Thanks Kavs for thinking of me eventho you are halfway across the world *HUGGSSZZZ*

Another highlight for today was that Mel & I trooped all way to Tudor Court to check out the Hediard Store there. Hail from the land of Fine Cuisine, I was intrigued when they first open their doors in Singapore. We were too full after the High-tea to consider a small bite of something sweet at their cafe (the dessert at Carousel wasn't fantastic). So we feast our eyes on the items on the shelves. I couldn't think of anything to buy. So we contemplate on jams... sooo many different fruits, all jammed. All in large jars, which will take us forever to finish... the fact that Mel shops for one... and I for two. We didn't take pictures either cos we were self-conscious and the store was REALLLYYY small.

Mel stared for the longest time at a huge canister that is labelled "Assam". I suppose she was thinking why would a French gourmet store choose to sell "Tamarind" [which means Assam in Malay]. And then, our Secondary Four Geography lessons came to mind, complete with Ms Shanti's face. [Kavs can relate to that one...] She'll be pleased to note that we remembered. "Assam" is tea... definitely from the namesake region in India. With its sloping grounds and sunlight and rainfall, a perfect place to grow tea.. etc etc etc.

I bought the cheapest thing I could find in the store - Guimauve. I chose lemon... I don't know why I did. But I just did. It tasted a bit chemical-like to me. There was Violet flavour & another in green... but I chose Lemon. I still don't know why. And when I paid at the cashier, there was no fancy nice box or ribbon. The cashier didn't even offer me a bag. Hmph! So much for a fancy gourmet store. I was too shy to ask for one and anyways I'll probably discard the bag after a day.

I thought I remembered that it does not use gelatin. But when I checked C&Z recipe page again, I realised that I remembered wrong. I don't eat gelatin unless I know the animal origin... so the rest of my gourmet purchase was discarded. . .

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cookies from Princess and Items from BKK

While dad was in hospital, we kinda took turns arranging lunch or dinner for whoever is waiting at the hospital (usually Mum). There was fried pasta and Chilli-tuna-mayo sandwich and potato chips from me (not both on the same day of course...), sis brought black-pepper beef and rice (which I missed out) and nasi lemak (which I brought the left-overs home)... of course there was plenty of packed rice from the food court downstairs and from 3rd bro's school canteen. Princess... made choc-chip cookies.... Chewy, decadent and just soo yummy. I ate five at one go. I brought it to the office and they were enjoying it too.... gonna have to ask her for the recipe. She was actually returning my Tupperware that she brought home and she filled it up with cookies. And I thought that it is really the kind of cookies that you say Thank you with. It's yummmmeeeeee. Really gotta ask her for the recipe.

And then there are the items from BKK. I managed to drop by the supermarket!!! Yeay!! I love supermarkets. Esp. huge ones with wide aisle and high ceilings and tall tall shelves. Like Giant. In BKK there's Big C. F agreed to go cos we couldn't find that Banana Honey Chips that the office gals loved anywhere on the streets. Of course we paid Supermarket price... but what the heck... I managed to grabbed a tin of Cocoa that I thot was v v v interesting. I just chucked it in our trolley knowing that I will definitely use it someday. Closer inspection detailed that the Cocoa... (indicated as Cacao on the tin) hails from the land of Tulips. . .

And we have leftover THB. I know I said that we ran out of THB on our fourth day in BKK. Clever me put aside THB 1000 in case we were asked to pay for airport tax. Even after numerous advise from frequent travellers that we will not be asked for it. Anyways... that means that we have some moolahs to spend at the airport..... prior to the trip I was aggravated by the fact that I cannot find Holy Basil at the market. And what is really the diff between the two (Holy basil and basil). No one in the office can answer me... and I was too lazy to investigate further. Anyways, found a teeny can of it for THB50 at the airport and it is from the Blue Elephant Cooking School.....*put on haughty-tottie look here* Only one of the highly-acclaimed cooking school in BKK. So simple-me got excited... Geez, it's just Basil for goodness sake... I knowwww.... but me likey. OK.

To date the Cacao is still untouched... but of course sans the platic wrapping, inspected every square inch of it. Used two piece of the basil.. to add aroma to my fried rice (i used the Kua Curry paste to fry the rice... ) heheh....

Canelé Pâtisserie Chocolaterie

Just last Saturday, NL decided that it's cake eating day and set off during her lunch break to venture the Pâtisserie that we unearthed while sourcing for restaurants for clients. Fun job I have huh... yeah, the job hazard is that we craved for food that we were sourcing for.

So before we sent NL on the mission, we took turns browsing thru the website to decide what we wanna eat. AK was very firm on her choice - Strawberry Short Cake. I want a Straberry Shortcake... without even looking at the website. I couldn't decide between Gateaux Chocolat and Tarte Citron. I decided that I wanna try a Lemon Tart. I know it may sound lame... but what with all the Daring Bakers' Challenge and their qualms on (baking) a lemon meringue pie/ tart. Gotta gotta gotta try one. Here's the order for the day:

Tarte Citro for moi
Macha for NL (check it out... the cake is the same colour as her tortoise)
Strawberry Shortcake for AK and KT
And... something else for KT.. with loads of Strawberry on it...

And they all come in individual boxes... or rather NL asked for the cakes to be packed seperately... so that we can all indulge in our little corner. And they arrived just as how it was pictured in their website....I was just sooo amazed. I've never really had a cake/ pastry and being well-informed about it way before sinking my teeth in it.... except for those that I baked.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Bostini Pie inspired cupcakes & Kua Curry Grilled Chicken

Left Mum at the hospital waiting for dad's ops. Dad met with an accident on the day we returned from BKK. Came home to cook dinner for F before he leaves for night shift. His working hours are crazy... morning at Changi, night at Alexandra. Poor F. The least I could do is feed him well. Heheh...

While waiting for F to come home, thot I blogged a bit more....
I read about the Daring Bakers' Challenge... about them making the Bostini Cream Pie. Smally-mally Boston Cream Pie. It inspired me to make something similar... but not really close to it. What the ...??? Ok OK... I made cupcakes topped with icing and chocolate ganache (Ga-nache... not Ga-NA-CHEE... NL told me how to pronunce. heheh).

It's basically Martha's cupcake and frosting recipe. Kak N taught me that I should beat the egg whites seperately to get a lighter, not so weighed down cakes. And then I poured the Choc Ganache from my previously posted Choc Tart recipe but minus the butter.

But remember to allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting it. And allow the frosted cakes to chill in the fridge before pouring the warm ganache. It's a three-step deco process... but trust me. After that the bite into the completed cupcakes is ooohhhh soo worth it.

Also, since F is such a chicken fan. Yup.. anything chix is F's favourite dish. Fried, grilled, simmer in sauce... he up for it. As long as it is chix. I've been collecting chix recipe. I looove grilled chix more than anything else. Plus it is healthier than fried. So, in the anticipation of our upcoming BKK trip, I borrowed The Big Book of Thai Curries by Vatcharin Bhumichitr from NLB. I have to confess, I made the paste like a week before we left for BKK. I made too much and kept the rest in the fridge. Two weeks after our return, bought really cheap frozen chix wings from Giant the other day. 2kg for $7.60. I took two packets. Now I have 4kg of chix wings in the fridge.... so i decided to make grilled chix wings. Yummy!!!

Kua Curry Grilled Chicken

Recipe for the Kua Curry Paste.
It says in the book that it makes roughly about 14 tablespoons (now... I didn't noticed that fine print when I was making the past in the beginning....)

10 small dried chillies (i used normal bird-eye chillies)
5 large dried chillies (skipp....)
1 tbs sea salt (errmmm... I used normal table salt)
20g shallots
50g garlic
1tbs finely chopped galangal
4tbs finely shopped lemongrass
1tbs finely shopped kaffir lime peel
1tbs white peppercorns
1tbs finely chopped fresh tumeric (if unavl, use the same qty of ground tumeric) ... i used ground tumeric

Abt 1 kg chix wings + 3 tbs of the above paste + 100ml of thick coconut milk (i used the ones in the box...)

1. Heat up some oil and fry the paste till fragrant
2. Add in the coconut milk and same qty of water
3. Simmer for a few minutes and add in your chix
4. Simmer till chix is half cook
5. Meanwhile, heat up the oven
6. Grill chix until nice and brown (basting it with the gravy every now and then)
7. Once done, heat up the remaining gravy until nice and thick (until it becomes like a paste....kinda remind me of the Rendang's gravy...). You can place the thick gravy on the side when serving the case you wanna use it for extra ooomph!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sugared Cheese Buns, Insect Buffet and a peek at my Pantry

Phew!!! It's been more than a month. My dedicated reader [noticed that it is singular... I dun have much of a following... unlike Tiesto - ermm.. more abt that later] had feedback that it is getting boring here. So here's some updates.

I really have nothing to yak about but quite a while back, I did tried my hand at bread-making. Still have another 500grms of Bread Flour yet to be ventured upon. Got the recipe from S's Bread-Making book that she bought. You can see traces of dried dough on the book. You can say that the book was well-used... ;-)

The recipe is somewhere in the kitchen....

And then there was the Bangkok (BKK) trip. F & I decided that it is time for a trip. Our last trip was a rushed trip to KL with lost h/p and all. So BKK was calling. My dreams of getting all Eid Celebration stuff like curtains and cushion covers were jamming my mind. So we went.

We walked Pratunam and Platinum Mall. Got lost at Thieves Market near BKK's Chinatown. Took a longer route to Khao San Rd involving a Train, Ferry and a Taxi Ride. Got caught in the rain at Chatuchak Weekend Market and ended up buying a pair of Orang Tab Levi's and a three-seater stool. Ran out of THB on our last day there... we decided to load up on breakfast to keep us full the rest of the day so to save money on lunch. We ended up sleeping off our full stomach in the Hotel room.... was brought back to reality the minute we touched down in SIN... and not much rest after... I supp it goes the same for the rest of my family. Sis will know what I'm talking abt...

I didn't get any stuff for home except for the stool. None of the pretty ladies' tops fit big-size me.... so we ended up with tons and tons of t-shirt (can you say cheap cheap...). And also THB 20 worth of insects.... fried locusts to be exact.... check it out.

About Tiesto and the following. A liitle birdy told F that DJ Tiesto is spinning at Club 808 on RCA in BKK. Now, this guy... he has a HUGE following [... Tiesto... not the little birdy chap.] It is like a cult, a religion... which I will never understand. Just like fan clubs... any sort of fan clubs of an individual. So we went to check it out. The place was soo packed... I can't even twitch my nose and not hit someone. I kept telling myself it is the experience... the experience. And indeed it was. Cos everyone was there for that one reason... there was no judging.. no holier-than-thou attitude. Everyone had one main purpose i.e. to have the hell load of fun. And we meet people from Jerusalem, New York, Australia.... we got to know some locals too. All in the name of fun.
And then there is the curious-cat me [meow] who is always interested to know on how other people's home/ kitchen looks like. Chanced upon this website earlier today and they are calling for entries to "show us your pantry". And it is really interesting to note that I am not alone in stocking up. Amazing stuff you see people keep in their pantry.... and I would like to share mine:

More about some interesting buys in BKK later on.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Potluck Party & Moroccan cooking

Kak N just moved to a new place and called for a potluck party the other day... on Good Friday. By the time I arrived, the dining table was filled with soo much goodies, there was no space for my Arabic Bread and Keema.

Kak N made Swedish sandwich, a special request from AJ. It was delish! Really really rich!
Kak S made Pilaf, Kak H made Satay Goreng and S made Briyani. There was also fried chix wings, salad.... Kak N even prepared some appetizzers. I could sit and eat forever! The highlight of the night is Kak N's infamous cheese cake. Kinda regretted that I didn't take pictures. Didn't cross my mind to bring camera....

Everyone got to bring the leftover food home. Heheh.. F was soo looking forward to the food when he came back from his night shift. We had a huge brunch. I saved the Satay Goreng and the leftover Arabic bread in the freezer. Planning to make a wrap with lettuce and onion and salsa. Hahaha....

Mum gave some Mee Rebus gravy earlier (Saturday). And MIL is having a religious feast today (Sunday), that would mean more food! I have more cooked food in my freezer than non-cooked items. That's a load off me brain for a week I guess.....

But I have been researching for new recipes. I borrowed two books from the library the other week... Moroccan Cooking and Thai Curries. Thai Curries in anticipation of our upcoming trip.. I know overly enthusiatic. But hey.. that's me!!

Moroccan cooking is so amazing. The ingredients are easy to get since they are quite common spices in Malay cooking. Things like Cumin seeds/ powder, Flat Parsley, Cilantro. Even if your nearby Mama shop doesn't sells it, I'm very sure Mustafa would. I like how their recipe combines meat and veg in one dish. And they combine a sweet veg with spices for a balanced flavour. There's lots of beef and lamb recipe which is what I was looking for. I'm trying to cook less chix and more beef and lamb. I am trying to wean F from chix... heheh. and Oh! Most of the recipe calls for you to pop the dish into the oven. Me likey!! That way, you just put it in the oven... and I can sleep (after night shift) or do other stuff... and do not have to worry. But have to stock up on the alu-foil. I might just get my own book!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Indonesian Caramel Cake aka Kek Span

I've been glued to the TV since Monday morning when I opened my eyes at MIL's place. And I continued the saga at home.. watching a new... well not new NEW... but it's called Weeds from Showtime. It's desperate Housewives cross SITC cross something... But i supp Showtime won't described it like that, cos most of the reviews goes something like... it is better than anything on HBO. Oooohhh....

F pulled me away from TV to retrieve a work file just a few minutes ago. And I thot... OK might as well update the blog. I owe Kak S this recipe for the longest longest time. Here goes:

Indonesian Caramel Cake aka Kek Span
**yields a 8X8" cake

6 eggs
80 g Butter (softened)
200 g sugar
210 g all purpose flour
1 can of evaporated milk
2 tsp bicarbonated soda

150 g sugar with 100 ml water... to make golden syrup. yields abt 180ml golden syrup.

1. Beat eggs and sugar. Mix well.
2. Pour in the flour and bicarbonate soda and evaporated milk and beat well.
3. Then add in the Golden syrup and beat quickly
4. Sieve the mixture and add the softened butter
5. Leave mixture for at least 4 hours... preferably overnight
6. Bake using the bottom heat first until it rises
7. Then use both top and bottom heat

The recipe comes from my mum. And the above was translated from her cursived handwriting in Malay. I hope I did well in the translation. Esp. the part abt pouring the Golden syrup in quickly. Her exact words were "...masukkan gula goreng kacau dengan cepat baru ditapis masukkan pula mentega.." No fullstop, commas.

I am yet to try the recipe. At least by putting it in here, I know where to find it when I decided to make it... and misplaced the recipe again.

Good luck Kak S!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Cakes fior SIL and a TERRIBLE Migrane

OK. I managed only about 100 little sunflower cupcakes just like the ones I made in Oct for Eid Celebration. I also managed about 30 little choc tarts, before the TERRIBLE Migrane hit me realll bad. I've already got 2 batches of the tart dough in the freezer. And I could not take it anymore. I made one big tart and that was it.
F managed to arrange to visit NATAS Fair and we got our trip to BKK arranged. Yeay!!! MBK here we come. Younger BIL just returned from his second trip from BKK and he has maps and lots of tips for us. Mum gave me leftover Thai Bahts from her last trip. Shessh... it's like everyone had gone there before except us.
F stuck to the plan and research that my colleagues and I had made. He took up Thai Airways and choose for us to stay at Baiyoke Suite. Yeay!!!
Our plan is to go there with empty bags. Just the clothes on our back and shop shop shop!! I'm even gonna get toiletries from the Boots Pharmacy there... rather than bringing from SIN.
I've already got a list of stuff to buy:
- Fake Birkenstock and fisherman's pants for Fourth Month
- A retro sling handbag for SIL
- A bunch of clothes for Ulfah
- A bunch of clothes for First Bro youngest son
- Possibly curtains and cushion for this year's Eid celebration
- Clothes for me me me
- F's prob want those fisherman pants too
More updates after April on our BKK trip. Yeay!!
Oh oh oh!! and K, you'll be glad to know that we will be using the GBP that you gave us for our wedding pressie as spending money for the trip. Nope, have not changed it to SGD yet. We are holding on to it till we go to BKK in April. It'll be money well spent!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cakes for SIL

F's Lil sis getting married.... been practising my cake skills and still cannot decide what cakes to make. Tried to make brownies the other day before my Sunday Night shift. Thot it'll be a nice surprise for the office on Monday morn. I wanted to make 2 batches... so I doubled ALLLL the ingredients... but when it came out of the oven... I realised that it does not look dense. It looks very cake-like, very light and airy. I took another half hour pondering on it and then realised that I doubled ALLLL the ingredients EXCEPT the sugar. Heheh... So I got cake instead of brownies. But since it has the chunky choc pieces and almonds (from Kashmir), it was still a special cake. And they love it.
Pictures later....

And boy do they need a sugar boost on Monday!! We were short-staffed that day. In fact, we have been in the situation for the whole month now.... sigh.. and everyone else were going sick and here we are, the seniors, trying hard not to fall sick.. downing herbal teas after herbal teas. I worked 3 days in a row of 12 hour shift... and one day off and 2 days... I think I see more of the office than F or the house. On my off days, I tried to rush all errands, cleaning, cooking.. all the time reminding myself to treat myself something...

Sooo... that day was CK Tangs Cardmembers' sale preview. Preview I did!! Shop too... Got meself a gift set, comes with Shower Gel, Lotion and Parfum. Yeay!! Gonna use it on special occasion, such as SIL's wedding...

Ooohhh. back to the cake...So I'm contemplating on the following cakes:
- That special chunky choc cake that I made by mistake..
- Tri-colour marble cake
- My infamous choc tart (might make this for A's sake... cos she read the entry on the choc tart and DROOOOLL...)
- The simple, simple Hershey Choc Cake... made them into little little cups like during Eid...

Friday, February 15, 2008

My day out....

I was forced to surf thru the new Changi Airport Terminal 3 website in search of restaurants suitable for V Day dining yesterday... for my client. We dun celebrate V Day.. shessh. Became curious about what's in store. Since I was in the east today and Airport was just round the corner.... and it is my ONLY off day .... I decided to explore.

Chanced upon a few treasures which I thought was rather exotic... will bear it in mind next time I feel like treating myself. There was Harnn & Thann with its line of spa products. I was particularly attracted to its Lavender Body Balm. It will be a nice treat.. to rub it on shoulders and neck after a long day at work. $25 a bottle and they dun have a traveller's size that I can carry in my purse. Skip. ... but ermmm Sis... It can be ONE OF my Birthday presents :-D

Next was the Tea shop. I cannot remember the name of the shop but the girl was very very very nice, she let me smell alllll the teas available. I'm serious, ALL. I drool over the Emir tea or something, it has a heady smell of caramel. Yummy!! I can imagine when I am craving for a sugar rush but dun wanna indulge in a luxuriously sweet pastry... or even spent time making one. I just go round into make the Emir tea. The fact that the name of the tea is almost similar to thrid bro is not really appealing... but the smell... and imagine it with raw sugar. Yummm...and the packaging was to die for. Very chic...$19 - $27 a Canister. And all the time I was thinking of the two boxes of unopened Ahmad Tea at home... skip.

And thennnn..... there was the Chocolat Factory. this point... I cannot resist. The lady let me try the jam.... and I thot that it was really really really interesting to have on top of cupcakes... or I was imagining scones (on my way home in the bus). $14 for a bottle.... Not cheap for Jams. They have Choc & Orange (which I thot was quite common).. Choc & Pear (interesting) .... The lady at the store prefers The Choc & Chestnut (too overwhelming for me cos I thot that Chestnut Jam already taste like choc in itself, where's the fun in that then...??) and Choc & Mint (never like this combi... not even those After Eights stuff). Course their Choc & Orange sold the most, they only have 4 bottles left. I decided to go for the Choc & Pear. The jams were from Barcelona. OK so, I did treat myself after all.... I am yet to open my jar....

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mario Batali

Never heard of him before until today. Seriously. I dropped by United Sqaure today. I've never had any business to drop by anymore eversince I switched jobs and my old office moved to Toa Payoh. It's all cos I won a $50 United Square voucher at the Company's Dinner & Dance recently. And I only know just one place in the whole mall... one place that I will definitely definitely spend my money at. It's that basement shop alongside Cold Storage... it sells the most amazing kitchenwares.

After my night shift this morning, and a tummy-aching-laughing-gossiping-lunch with TW and AJ... I dropped by Utd Sq. I also need a new dustbin for the kitchen. The one that we bought from IKEA previously, is hanging on to it's dear live with one screw... heheh. Rust. It's cancer for boats (got it from some movie.. I think it's the Meet the Fockers) and apparently metal pedal dustbins too. Heheh.

Man... it was like stepping into a candy store. There were shelves of yummy coloured bowls behind the cashier. And Umbra bins and holders.... and then there was Mario Batali. I was soo attracted to the Cast Iron pots, it looks soo pretty. But I don't have a use for it. I don't cook stews and stuff. But I magined that it'll make a good pot to cook rendang in.... And it costs $299 after discount. Ok, forget it. I only have $50 to spend.

Next to the cast iron pots were these measuring bowls.. or what Mario called prep bowls and measuring spoons in matching colours. How yummy is that!! I was deciding between the Pesto and Expresso colored ones, and I saw the sign 25% off. Heheh... a grin got plastered on my face and wouldn't come off. I decided on Pesto... to match the kitchen.

Bought me a dustbin at 50% off too... Powder Blue to match the dish-rack. How great is that!!! Paid for everything and left the store. Still grinning..mind. And couldn't help thinking abt the Persimmon Orange bowls and measuring spoons. It'll look soo good next to Sis' Kitchen Aid. Managed to get her on the phone in the midst of her teaching...confirmed that her Kitchen Aid is indeed Orange. Rushed back in and bought a set for her... still grinning.

Shessh, wished I have a Kitchen Aid to match my Pesto coloured bowls and spoons. Mine's red.. and not Kitchen Aid. It's Kenwood. But I'll live.....

Gonna find an excuse to use the bowls and spoons. Tonight's dinner will be Tandoori Chix. Yummy!!.. still grinning.. heheh

Monday, February 04, 2008

Martha Stewart Sticky Buns

Sis' crazy about Nigella right now. There was Nigella Choc Muffins and Nigella Choc Cheese Cake. I've tried her choc muffins, not the cheese cake yet. Hope there's still some left when I drop by.

She got a Kitchen Aid Mixer from her husband for her Birthday. The rest of us shared to buy her an oven. Heard that she's been baking ever since. Heheh

With all the adventures of her baking that I received thru sms, I realised that it's been awhile since I baked too...

So the order of the day is To Bake. There's still sour cream in the fridge.... and the only use I know for it soo far is to make sticky buns. Got it from Martha Stewart's website - Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Buns. But cos I dun like cinnamon, I omit that. And instead of using corn syrup, I used Golden Syrup. I made only a third of the batch... that's just nice for me for 3 days. F does not fancy it too much. It's baking in the oven now.

Can't wait....

Course mine doesn't look anything like Martha's. She's such a perfectionist... I'm far from that...

Friday, February 01, 2008

The retro bowls and the Malay Jars!!!

And the bowls... Sis and I have been searching high and low for that retro looking mixing bowl. We wanted the exact ones like Mum and grandma used to have. We first saw them at Spotlight but it'll set us back a good SGD 30. And it is soo heavy to carry home. And the thought that it is made in China and it is SGD 30, we are not willing to spend.

Recently, we are willing top part with that SGD 30 cos we sooo wanted the bowls but Spotlight does not carry them anymore. AND THEN... on my recent trip to Johor with Mil, I saw it at the Giant hypermart for like RM 18 for the large one and RM 11 for the small one. And you guessed it, it is made in China. I bought a set for Sis and a set for myself and was just soo estatic about the whole purchase. Can you imagine how many of those bowls we could have bought with SGD 30...?
And on the same aisle, I saw something else to add to my jar collection. The Garam (Salt) Jar. Sis and I first saw the Asam (Tamarind) and Kunyit (Tumeric) Jar ages ago before Sis got married. I still remembered Aunt A and Uncle W drove us into Johor for the fun of it and there we bought all the items to prepare for Sis' wedding. Giant hypermart was around the corner. And we saw the jars and got really excited. Well you see, in Singapore we have all the normal Ang Moh jars with Coffee and Tea and Sugar. Boring... and then we saw these in Malay. And we were like WOAH!
When we brought it home for Mum, she got excited too and her next question was, how come you didn't buy the Garam (Salt) jar. And we were like Ibu, if they have it in Garam, wouldn't we have bought it huh.... shessh. Mum been using it since.....
And sooooo when I saw the Garam ones... I took 3 jars immediately. Bet Mil was wondering why I was soo excited... heheh.
And the news has it that after I bought Sis the Garam jar, she accidentally broke her Kunyit jar. So my next mission when I'm in JB is to buy her the Kunyit jar. Shessshhh......

Ayam Percik

Mum gave me this gadget when we first moved into the new home. Did not used it much.. wel actually not at all until recently.

I saw this recipe for Ayam Percik on the internet and my mouth starts drooling. Thoughts of the smoky smell waiving from the stalls at Air Hitam in Johor enroute to our Kampung in Muar. I just have to try the recipe.

And I remembered that gadget that Mum gave. It looks like a pan, as you see in the pix above. But the middle portion, sits directly over the fire on your stove... and when you switch on your stove, the middle portion turns... as you see in the following pix.. a blur sight. It kinda disperse the heat, giving you the kinda heat you'll get out of slow burning charcoal, if I may say so....

You'll need a big wok... mine is a 36cm Supor brand to dump all the chix in.

A bit of tweaking to the recipe again. Rather than just marinating the chix in the Spice Paste (what spice paste, what recipe... geez, click on the link will ya?), I dumped in my chix into the gravy....and let it cook for a while. Then I just grill in on my spanking cool gadget until the chix turned crispy and brown on the outside.

Pour the remaining gravy into a bowl and place it near the stove.
Once in a while, dip your chicken in teh bowl and put it back on the grill.
The end result is a smoky, crispy chix with amazing flavours.

Cooking 101 - Butter Chix and Summer Salad

Don, Fourth Month and Kak H decided to drop by last month to try our hand at some recipes. It was our first ever cooking lesson together. I owe Don this post for the longest time. The results were satisfying. They came to cook lunch and eat em'. Menu for the day was:
  • Flat Arabic Bread
  • Butter Chicken
  • Summer Salad

We did not manage to take pictures of the Butter Chicken and Summer Salad. We were soooo hungry while waiting for the chicken to cook. We were gulping down Coke and the peanuts that Kak H bought just to tame down our stomach juices. And when the chicken was ready, pictures were definitely the last thing on our mind!!

Don, here's the recipe that I owe you!!

Butter Chicken
** Recipe from Sis but with a bit of tweaking

Part A
1 small chicken
1 tbs lemon Juice
1 tbs chilli powder

Part B
1 cup yoghurt
1/2 tbs Garam Masala
2 tbs melted butter
1 tbs chilli powder
2 tbs grinded ginger
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil

The Sauce

1 tbs butter and a bit of oil
1 tbs Garam Masala
1 tbs grinded ginger
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tbs chilli powder

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups pureed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 tbs Yellow Bell Pepper, cut into squares
1 tbs honey
Salt to taste

Ok here goes...
1. Take all of Part A and mix and marinate the chix for about 1 hour (as per instructions from Sis)

2. Then take all of Part B and mix well and pour it over the marinated chix and put aside for 3 - 4 hours. Preferably overnight.... and then you bake the chix till Golden Brown.... **

3. Take the first para of The Sauce. First put in the oil and butter in the pot, wait for the oil to heat and butter melted... pour in the rest if the ingredients and stir until fragrant.

4. Pour in the heavy cream and let it sit for while.

5. Pour in the rest of The Sauce ingredients and let it simmer to a boil.
6. Pour, YES pour in your baked chicken. All the juices during the baking and all.... into The Sauce. Simmer for while more and......ermm.. eat?
** at this point you will be soo tempted to just eat the baked chix. Cos it looked so good.
Confession from the kitchen... we could not wait to bake the one portion of the chix cos Don was running late for his driving class, so we fried one batch (abt 5 - 6 pieces)... it was just as marvellous. But of cource your frying oil turns murky cos of the yoghurt. But the chix was tender and moist. And since we know how the chis is gonna taste.... we could not wait to have the bakes one ready... we were wathing the oven door like as if it was a TV.
there was about 4 of us in the kitchen that day, with Don chopping and 4th Month stirring and Kak H flipping the Flat Bread. It was chaos but things get done faster. If I was alone, I probably take half a day just cooking all these. But it turned to be quite simple cos if you can gauge your timing well, while waiting for some things to happen, you can do other things.....
The four of us.... we prepare our meals in the following carefully thought of steps:
1. Marinate chix with Part A. Put chix in fridge.
2. Make dough for Arabic Flat Bread ** Do not peek at the dough while it rise ;-)
3. Put Dough aside to rise
4. Take chix out of fridge and Marinate with Part B
5. Watch TV, smoke, drink, etc...
6. Take chix out of fridge and put it into a oven safe dish... bake.
7. Start kneading the bread dough and rolling and frying the bread
8. After frying abt 3/4 of the bread, start heating the pot for The Sauce
9. Start making The Sauce
10. While The Sauce simmer, start you Summer Salad
11. At the end.... ta dahh!! You get 4.. OK 3 (cos Don left after eating the fried chix) very happy and sleepy individuals on the Blue Sofa... trying hard not to snooze. Ermmm 1 did snooze. I'm not gonna name names.
Summer Salad
2 Japanese Cucumber*
2 firm tomatoes*
Abt 50g of Feta Cheese cut into cubes
Black Olives soaked in Olive Oil
Black Pepper and salt to taste
* cut them into the same size as the Feta Cheese.
I called it Summer Salad cos it is soo refreshing and best served COLD. I first ate it at this cafe in Arab Street. It used to be a small cafe owned by this chap from Egypt but now the grew into two units with lower and upper level dining.
Anyways, for the recipe I used the Emborg feta cheese. They have the ones that comes in a jar Feta in oil w/olives & herbs... or there's another brand. I cannot remember, it comes in a plastic container and in smaller portions.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy 2008!!!!

Hah! My camera went MIA on me a few days before my trip to KL. I've only managed a few pictures using the handphone. One of it is the template grafitti we saw while spending our times on the KL streets at 5am. Yup! 5am. And then there was the advneture with F's missing hp.

We kinda guessed that his hp was stolen from him while we were having supper before catching our midnight bus to KL. We didn't realised it till we board the bus & was trying to place the hp on silent mode. To cut the story short, a guy sms me and informed that he bought the phone from someone for RM250. The guy saw the many sms that I sent to F that he still kept.. some dating years back when we were still dating (ain't he sweet..? F...not the guy who found the hp). He req that we pay him SGD 100 to have our hp back. Of course there were alot of speculations abt the integrity of this fella. But at the end of the day, I would still believe in the fact that there are still genuine kindness in this world. We paid and got the hp back.

Other than that... been trying my hand on a few recipes... some successful, one flopped, literally.

The second pix is the Pizza Pie:

500g Plain Flour
1 egg
1 tbs milk powder
1/2 tps salt
1/2 tbs sugar
6g instant yeast (abt 1/2 tbs)
1/4 cup corn oil, olive oil... or any veg oil

1. Mix bit of water with the instant yeast and sugar
2. Mix everything else except the oil and water
3. Pour in the yeast mixture
4. Slowly work the water in until it becomes a dough
5. Pour in the oil and knead the dough until it becomes nice and smooth
6. Let dough rise a bit (I saw in one of Jamie's cooking show that for making pizza, you dun have to let the dough rise at all.. let it rise in the oven... I am yet to try this)
7. Roll out dough into a pie tin....add in the yummy fillings (see below)
8. Cover the top with a very thin layer of the dough
9. Bake until golden brown

1. Mozarella cheese, grated
2. Mince beef - pre fried with garlic, onions, salt and pepper until it turns nice and firm
3. Eggplants (eggplant and cheese is sooooo yummy)
4. Mushrooms (any kind... it works well with cheese.. but i'm allergic to mushroom...but oh well, once in a while, I'll live with abit of rash on my arms... go ahead judge!)

The third pix to the right of the pizza pie is the flopped flourless choc cake. I was trying to be super super super experimental. I used the Flourless Cake Recipe from Martha and try to incorporate it into a tart, cos I have one more tart case wating to be filled in the freezer. I dunno where I went wrong.. still trying to study the recipe.

Then I decided to be a good girl and follow the book. So I used Jamie's recipe:
From Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef (it is his very very first book, I think)

Baked Choc Tart
1 Tart shell, baked blind

140g unsalted butter
150g best quality cooking choc (70% cocoa solids) - I used my Tulip brand ;-)
8 tbs cocoa powder, sifted (I used Hershey's....and have to buy a sifter just for this recipe...)
small pinch of salt
4 eggs (Singapore's eggs are small, I used 6)
200g caster sugar
3 tbs golden syrup
3 medium heaped tbs sour cream or cream fraiche

1. Place butter, choc, cocoa and salt into a bowl over a simmering pot of simmering water.
(double boil....??)
2. In a seperate bowl (duh!) beat the eggs and sugar until light and well creamed
3. Add the golden syrup and sour cream
4. Mix the melted stuff to the eggs mixture.. or vice versa....
5. Pour into the tart case and bake for 40- 45mins

According to Jamie, during the cooking, a beautifoool crust will form on top.
Once done, you have to remove it from the tin and let it cool for at least 45mins before cutting it.
Of course I didn't wait THAT long. It was yummy.. But i supp I didn't bake long enough to have a real crusty crust on top. But it sure taste yummy. Though a tad bit on the sweeter side. Maybe...maybe.. My cooking chocs is alrdy sweet enuf and with all the added sugar and golden syrup. It gave quite a sugar rush. Next time, i'll skip on the golden syrup... anyways I am proud to announce that I've used up allllll the golden syrup I had in the fridge. I think it had almost been a year. heheh