Friday, November 16, 2007

So in love...

with the short-crust pastry for the pie that I made it again, this round with chicken pie filling. No particular recipe, went by agaration, hahah...that's the fun of cooking mah, rite?

What better meal than to go with Cream of Celery for wet weather such as now..

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p/s: pardon me for the short entry, kinda busy at the moment with some abrupt plans...

Monday, November 12, 2007

After Halloween Meals..

Not that I celebrate Halloween, but because this meal involved Pumpkin, thus the name loh...

Pretty easy to prep up, just need to cube those golden yellow butternut pumpkin (without its hard skin, of course), then marinate with some salt, mixed herbs and a touch of olive oil (along the line of health-consciousness, or any other type of oil you have in your kitchen). The longer you keep this marinated in the fridge, the more flavourful it becomes. I normally bake them in parcels the next day, so much easier to get them cooked since the oven will take care of the work for say, approximately 20minutes. Check for doneness by pocking with a satay stick into those aluminium-foiled pockets...if it goes thru the pumpkin with ease means they are ready. What's more, cooking this way will keep the vege warm till ready for consumption, and did I mention the precious sweet natural juice that is being extracted? Plus, this relieves you of much precious time. Try it to believe it, bet you won't believe it that I picked this way of cooking the beta-carotene rich humble vegetable from an Execute Chef of a renowned hotel, would you? It's true, no bluff at all, hahah...I always believe in simplicity being the best.

This goes well with Salmon Steak (with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce), hmm, heavenly...quick meals in a jiffy.

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Salmon Steak on a bed of Roast Pumpkin

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Red Red Berries...

A visit to another outlet of Tesco (in Sungai Petani) a fortnight ago, I came upon this punnet of strawberries. What caught my attention was the uniformity in shape, not to mention the rich red tone which were seemingly rare in the past. Usually the strawberries would be in a sorry state, squashed here or bruised there that I won't even give it a second glance. So I bought a box home to try, and this is what I used it for:
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"Red" Forrest Cake?!?

This will surely see me getting more strawberries because each fruit is such a beauty, perfect in all condition (but I'm also quite wary of amount of pesticide involved to get it to this stage)... A few recipes that call for strawberries sprang to mind now as I am typing this...

Dua lagi

I went "tropical" for these 2 bottles of fruit enzyme, hahah...since I used gula melaka for the sugar. I wasn't aware that this type of sugar can be used, and supposedly it's a better option since it is not as sweet...and I simply love it's dark hue, gives the impression of a richer taste, for me at least. This I learnt from a recent visit to a friend's place and her mum is so much into enzyme that I picked up some tips from her. Sure nice to meet more folks on the same subject matter :)

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Yellow..., where's the green to make up traffic light?!

As the water content in bananas is not that high, the liquid in that bottle takes longer to form. Usually by the end of day 1, all the fruits would have submerged in the liquid (for comparative sake). Will reveal the sweet taste of the harvest 9 days time...counting down every moment of it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Time of the --- again...

Of course it's not month's "Time of the Year again"...time to do what then? After yesterday's celebration, the next up-coming event would be Christmas, and this being my 2nd consecutive year joining in NK's Annual Xmas Cookie Exchange, it's about time I bake and send those cookies on their way to the rightful recipient :) After last year's experience, I learnt my lesson which is to send the parcel earlier and not wait till last minute, which is a classical 'trademark' of me, hahah... Not that I don't know the consequence of a last-minute worker, but well, habits die hard mah..and as age is catching up (fast) with me, I doubt I want to go thru the cycle of stress for something which is to be joyful for it's the season of JOY...

I know it's far too early that the cookie will reach one month ahead of the occassion, but I don't fancy the constant nagging thought in my mind if I don't get round to it sooner. Of course I would be looking forward to what I will receive from another fellow NK forumer, coz that's how it works... So my dear recipient, do update me when you get the parcel of love from me, ya? Sure would like to know what packaging works for the cookie to survive the travelling, and that you get to enjoy cookies and not crumbs :)

Definitely I can't be posting pix of what I'm sending today, rite? Else, no more surprises... I will leave the honour for doing that to my dear friend, or at the very least, I shall wait till she gets the pack before disclosing what is within the parcel I send. Shall see how it goes...remember to check back for updates, will ya?!?

Sharing what I got last year from my sender, coz I was asked what I got to at least get an idea, and I wasn't doing it justice for I kenot really recall all the 3 items I received, only managed a 2 out of 3...that's bad of me. Of course with that in mind, I will do a followup on what I get this year as well...just a matter of time.

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The Surprise...

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3-tiered goodies...

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...and they were Rugelach, Cornflake Cookies & Ginger Cookies

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Big, really big...

Chanced upon this hawker food stall at the famous tourist strip of Penang, a place rarely frequented by locals unless one is willing to fork out extra money for an item which is semi-good only on average...I mean look, who would want to pay a tad more when a decent better equivalent item which taste more superior can be found somewhere else without josling with the throngs of crowd, rite? Me for one, would only go to Gurney Drive (that's the name of the place) for its variety when I have visitors, or when I want to enjoy being a tourist for that short moment, hahah...

So back to the 1st sentence, this particular stall caught my eyes because of its name :)

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"Ye Zimei" Big Pau

Sure live up to its name, look at the size of the paus being offered:

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@ 1st sight of it, I feel full d

And what can be found within is the salted duck egg yolk, definitely a change from the conventional ones :P

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Treasure enclosed within...
A good try, I would say, but me not a big fan of pau, fact, it's my very first time ordering a pau for dinner...normally I will consume it for dimsum, but then again also very rarely at that. Once is more than sufficient to last me now for the time being...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Let the shine continue...

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Festival of Lights

Yay, so looking forward to tomorrow's party, hahah...and it's an all-chinese party at that, though with Deevali as the theme. Actually just finding excuse to have party lah...we girls (and guys) just want to have some fun, that's all. In fact, this year's party are less d...last year I think average a party with this group of friends every month. We simply let our imagination run wild to come up with whatever theme we fancy that at least it's coherent rather than just a no-reason kind of potluck.

Will update on my "mischiefs" after the makan (eat), minum (drink) & parti (be merry)...

Doubt my readership is that high so as to have any Indian viewers? But well, we celebrate every occassion lah...that's the spirit lah. So, enjoy the holiday for those of you working as it's a public holiday mah...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The easy way of making toffee...

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Do, Re, Mi...

Chanced upon this article in Reader's Digest about the person who started "Banofee Pie"... and as usual, any recipe will make my day, hahah... Curiousity got the better of me, and off I went to test out the authenticity of the words in that article, knowing how not all recipes will work out all the time so I'm prepared should it not turn out.

After 3.5 hours of "boiling" the can of condensed milk @ 150 ºC in the oven, and waiting for the extremely hot can to cool down, I finally got to the rich chestnut brown toffee... From then on, I always have ready-to-use "home-made" toffee, so easy no mess unlike the conventional type where I have to keep an eye on the temperature, else it will turn out to be boffee (b from the word burnt). My take is that it's not overly sweet, and the aroma is heavenly with the amount of milk involved. Do try it to believe it :)

Let me convince you can last very long unopened. In fact, read that if it is kept unopened long enough, sugar crystal will be formed, and you get those brittles, hahah...but then, no mention as to how long it will take though. I have tried keeping for 3 months but still no luck on those crystals :P Downside is I have to do it a can at a time with reference to the postscript.

p/s: the whole can has to be submerged in water all the time, so I used my big pyrex bowl with cover to do it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Literally shop till I drop :)

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An extreme long awaited trip to Little India for so many donkey years since I saw someone donning a punjabi suit, I finally am a proud owner of one, hahha... No, it's not the one featured above coz I have yet to take a pix of that.. This one is showing one of those better ones I tried, couldn't believe that we practically went in and out of every boutique in 'Lil India spanning 4 hours to get something to our fancy, hahha... Talk about fussy shoppers, well oh well, it was the colour that was so bright which simply doesn't go well with my skin tone, then there's the usual budget, cutting, style and of course, the (inevitable) size, heheh...

I actually like this white one, but white is a hostile colour to me, hahah..for the simple reason that I simply don't look good in it. So well, can say that my wardrobe is predominantly black, hahah..gotta hide those layers of fats away mah, no choice :)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Coffee yet again?!?

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"Rosetta" with leaf

This is posted on behalf of dh...he learnt about me posting the very first pix of his coffee rosetta in my blog, and from thereon, it has sorta spur him on to be more "diligent" with making them, hahha...WOW, time surely flies, I checked back, that post was dated exactly a month ago...didn't feel like it was that long though :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Food Review: SG

Been wanting to try out the set lunch @ Seoul Garden since I got the flyer, but as usual, there's always the delay coz of timing...there was once we went to the place, but it's no available. Duh! Finally got round to nailing it... The Beef Myon was good..we opted for the soupy version for the wet weather we have been having of late, to go with udon. The next choice would be it was Bulgogi Chicken rice set for see, we normally try not to have duplicates when ordering so that dh and meself get to try more in the end we have 2 choices of meat and 2 choices of carbs as well...needless to say, we usually take a fair bit of time to make up our mind when ordering. Quirky folks we are one. :)

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His: Beef Myon Soup with Udon

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Hers: Bulgogi Chicken Set

Good food, though slightly pricey for the portion we got...I was kinda put off by the miserable strands of vege in my side-dishes...the yasai (vege in jap) was like just one quarter of the saucer it came in..doubt adding a few more strands would cost them a bomb, would it?!?

Neway, as usual, been there, tried that...won't be returning, many other restaurants to give it a shot mah.

On a side note, though we were full from that meal, we kinda felt not satisfied, know why? Because, the buffet bbq is their main attraction, and looking at the feast the rest are having, psychologically we felt that we had less compared to them. Lesson well-learnt today :)

O2 the Nyonya Kuih

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Olive-green balls...

Finally I got round to getting fresh dessicated coconut from the market...not that it's difficult to get unlike Sg, but more coz I don't normally go to the wet market. And even if I go, I don't fancy pushing my way through the throngs of housewives who take their own sweet time to stroll the market as if they are going through a funfair, thus I go very late, very near to closing time, hahah... Well, I normally go with a mission in mind (my purchases are very little, and it's the normal recurrence items, so I will just head to that few particular stalls to get it over and done with), therefore I'm done market-ing in like 20 minutes or less.... I simply cannot understand what's so attractive at the wet market..going to a supermarket and enjoy browsing the wet market isles, I'm game..but the former surely is not my cup of tea. Well, shall not talk about that, just my rambling...

With the minimum (ya, you read that right, I almost if not always get the least of everything) amount of fresh 'kerisik' in my possession, I set down to work on my long awaiting sweet potatoes with the easy recipe posted in Peony's blog, proportion as below:

2 parts sweet potato + 1 part glutinous rice flour + 1/2 part warm water

Here's how: (as usual, I modified the steps to my lazy short-cut way)
1) Remove the sweet potato skin, cut them into chunks and boil with a knotted & bruised pandan leaf till cooked.
2) Put only the soft cooked sweet potato in a ziplock bag, roll over them using a rolling pin to smash them till smooth. *clean and easy way, and you don't burn your hand as well, coz the sweet potatoes need to be mashed while hot to get a fine texture*
3) Mix the glutinous rice flour and mashed gooey sweet potato, then slowly add in the water from step (1).
~I dilute some pandan essence in the water to get the fragrance and green colour~
4) Once a pliable dough is formed, divide into small balls before wrapping them with chopped and cubed gula melaka, then seal properly so as no sugar will seep through.
5) Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil with snippets of pandan leaves (for added fragrance and to get rid of the glutinous rice flour's floury smell), then remove the leaves before adding in the sugar-filled balls.
6) The green balls will be cooked when they are afloat, so drain them well and toss into the steamed (to avoid them getting sour in our humid weather, with pandan leaf snippets as added fragrance) slightly-salted fresh dessicated coconut to coat them all around.
7) Pop into your mouth and let those sweet lava flow... or opt to chill them a 'lil in the fridge before consumption.

Yields: 30 balls

p/s: Olive green colour was obtained coz I used orange flesh sweet potato :)