Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cola Ribs

With the balance can of Coca-cola used to marinate the Pork Tocino, I was pondering what other ways to finish up the can of soft drink before it gets flat. Coincidentally I had spare ribs on hand, so pairing the ribs and the soft drink, I replicated the Coke Chicken and cook it longer.

Results were just as delicious as the one before, so now I know this recipe is quite versatile. Another brownie point for that easy recipe.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bento #169 100812

Made some star-shaped bread cups with inspiration from here, but I changed the method a bit because I intended to fill them with tuna. I just cut the bread with a 5-point star cookie cutter, then put that into an egg-tart aluminium cup and baked them 'blind' till crispy and golden. Once the bread cups have cooled down, I added one ice-cream scoop of tuna into each cavity and though there were 3 bread cups in this bento, they were quite filling.

I filled up the rest of the gaps with fruits, namely blueberries, cherries and strawberries.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Healthy Roast Chicken

Roast chicken with lemon, that was what I decided to do for our lunch last weekend. I adapted the recipe from MyKitchen, and halved all the ingredients called for because the chicken I had was only half the weight. The lemony taste was a refreshing change from the usual way I do, and this also helps to cut down the greasiness.

This was also a good time to clear up the assortment of vegetables I had in the fridge to make way for fresh supply the coming week. The array of vegetables can add up to a lot, and for the record there were broccoli, carrot, corn on a cob, tri-colour capsicum, tomato, potato, garlic and onion. Remember to let the chicken rest for 15 minutes wrapped in aluminium foil before consumption to get juicier meat.

1 whole chicken (about 850g)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tbsp chopped rosemary *I adapted with 2tsp dry mixed herbs instead*
2tsp garlic salt
1/2tsp white pepper

1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
1 small onion, cut into wedges
4-5 cloves garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary *I omitted this as I don't have it at home*
1/ Clean chicken and pat dry with paper towel then place chicken in a large zip-lock bag, and marinate with lemon juice, rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper for at least 2 hours (I marinated mine overnight).
2/ Stuff lemon, onion and garlic in the cavity, secure the opening with a skewer. For extra crispy skin, let chicken air-dry for about an hour before roasting.
3/ Rub the chicken with olive oil and place it in the roasting pan (with rack), roast in the preheated oven at 170C for 1.5 hours with chicken breast facing up first.
4/ Rotate the pan every 30 minutes for more even roast and midway through roasting, turn the chicken breast facing down.
Thanks Lydia for this simple recipe of yours.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bento #168 100805

Pancakes from my frozen stash found their way into this breakfast bento, and to go with that, a convenient pack of Nutella and Breakfast Syrup by Heinz. A wedge of cheese as well to fill in the gap.

Bottom left corner were 2 canned king lychees stuffed with grape and cherry tomato, then also a skewer of blueberries and red cherry tomato.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Brinjals with Peanut Butter Dressing

An easy vegetable dish to whip up at and a delicious one at that. This is my second time using peanut butter in cooking, the first was as dressing for tofu. The creamy dressing goes very well with the bland brinjals, and the bits and pieces of nut from the chunky peanut sauce added the extra bites.

I garnished the dish to make it look more appealing as the colour of the dressing was quite dull, and in the end, the shredded lettuce also tasted delicious with the peanut butter dressing. What a discovery!

Adapted from pg 17
2 brinjals - cleaned and cut into half to get 2 cylinders each

4.5 tbsp peanut butter *I used Chunky style peanut butter as there was no specific mention of which type in the recipe*
1.5 tbsp light soya sauce *I used Lee Kum Kee's Select brand*
3 tbsp hot water *I added this to get a smooth consistency for the dressing*
1.5 tsp sesame oil

1/ Cook brinjals in boiling water until soft, dish and drain then tear into shreads using 2 forks.
2/ Mix all the ingredients for the dressing, then pour onto the shredded brinjals and serve.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bento #167 100805

Sausage bread rolls were done using slices of sandwich bread with the crust trimmed. This time, I used a thinner sausage that made the size just nice, not too fat after encasing the sausage with the bread slice. To hold everything together, I secured them with my trusted foodpicks.

The rest of the space were filled up with fruits - canned lychees, blueberries and one chery tomato. Lastly, a packet of ketchup and this bento was complete.

Apex Coffee

Apex Coffee has been around for a while now but we had just visited it recently. Actually not that recent also as the photos were in the archives until now. Ambience was cozy but menu on the other hand wasn't extensive.

We ended up ordering two items which had chicken curry in them. Guess that is their Signature dish?!? First order that arrived was Nasi Lemak, average only if not for the curry chicken.

This was mine, Chicken Curry in Bread Bowl. I love the uniquely interesting bread that it came in.

In fact, this bread was specially baked for them as it was not hollowed out. The top 'cover' resembled a cupcake, right? The bread had the curry chicken pieces while the gravy was served in a separate bowl do that the bread won't get soggy.

Our drinks of Iced Tea and Iced Coffee. The latter was quite thick and certainly packed the oomph!!

Can't recall how much was the meal but I was surprised that the bread was pricier than the rice.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Winter Melon Rock Sugar Candy

Intrigued that Winter Melon Rock Sugar Candy can be produced at home, thanks to Kel's testimony, I was eager to try my hands on them. Steps in doing this was pretty straight forward so I made a note to remember buying a thick slice of winter melon when I dropped by the wet market.

The slice of winter melon I bought was 1 kati (equivalent to 600g) and it was a mere RM1.20. After skinning and deseeding, I got about 550g which I cubed them 1cm per the recipe's instruction. Added in the soft brown sugar to macerate the tiny cubes of winter melon for an hour, I was ready to cook that over the stove. I only cooked mine for 60 minutes and it has turned syrupy thick gooey consistency after the occassional stirring to prevent the base from getting burnt. Then I cooled the whole pot for a bit before pouring it into a soft plastic mould to make unmoulding them easier.

I tried a few types of mould and found this to be the best option because after the rock sugar has hardened, I only need to push them out from the mould. Unlike a hard mould, I had to use a butter-knife to dislodge it, and still the hard candy won't budge and I ended up with Winter Melon Rock Sugar Lumps instead.

550g winter melon - skinned and seeded
550g soft brown sugar
110g black sugar

Ratio to be 5:5:1 for the above, so you just need to work out the sugar amount with whatever weight of winter melon you purchased.

This was the packaging for the black sugar portion I used.

Another shot of the Winter Melon Rock Sugar Candy From the original weight total of 1.2kg by totalling up the ingredients, the resulting product was only 600g and I got 12 pieces of the above size, which means 1 block weighs 50g. Dissolve one cube in hot water and you get yourself a cup of cooling tea, and if you want it to be colder, just pop that cuppa into the fridge before consumption. I prefer that way than adding ice cubes so as not to dilute this further.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

JJ Swiss Rolls from Ipoh

Enroute to KL during our recent holiday, we dropped by Ipoh to pick up some swiss rolls as gifts to our relatives there after having our lunch in the city of Perak. I first heard about this yummy fluffy swiss rolls from this Mommy and what a great suggestion to buy something new rather than those famous biscuits. As the tagline of JJ Cakes go, their swiss roll is preservatives free and low in sugar and indeed, true to their words they were to the delight of my aunt and cousins and their offsprings.

JJ Cakes has a few outlets, but we went to the one at D'mouth Restaurant as it was the most convenient. It was just a counter with a fridge load of swiss rolls and we had a hard time deciding what flavours to pick.

In the end, after standing at the side of the counter for a couple of minutes, and during that brisk period, there were 2 customers that came and went with their bagfuls of swiss rolls, we walked away with ours.
We chose 3 boxes of those assorted varieties so that we can cover as much flavours as we can.

Mini Premium @ RM8 -
Top row left to right: Pandan, Coffee;
Bottom row left to right: Chocolate, Vanilla

Mini Premium @ RM10 -
Top row left to right: Carrot, Pumpkin;
Bottom row left to right: Banana and Spinach
Fruity Mix RM12: Orange, Dragon Fruit, Kiwi and Yam
We only got to try those mini ones because the box of fruity regular size swiss roll was given to a cousin. I liked the Chocolate and Coffee ones best, followed by Banana. Those with the shredded vegetables in them got good bites from the added fiber, but the fragrance was very subtle. One has to try hard in order to determine what flavour it was. Despite that, kudos to the JJ Cakes for their innovation and creativity.

The extensive list that got us pondering on what is the best choice:
We wanted to buy some more on our drive back home but didn't get round to that because we were tired and it was getting dark. I was eyeing the Cempedak, while my other half, the coffee lover wanted to try what-else but Coffee Walnut. That means another trip to Ipoh is in the horizon *wink*

Bento #166 100804

Bento half-filled with dry instant noodles with lettuce as divider. After the generous sprinkling of crispy shallots, I added 3 carrot roses on the sides to adorn it.

Some broccoli florets which also acted as the 'wall' to stop the noodles from cascading down were used, and I added a hard-boiled egg decorated as a 'chicken' in one corner while the other nook was filled with what else but red grape tomatoes pinned with a blueberry using the transparent flower picks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Home Made Pork Tocino, A Philippino Dish

This is a very easy Philippino dish to make and with minimal effort, the resulting pork slices were full of flavour because of the wonders of the marinade which comprised of items easily available at home. All it takes is the time needed to cure the meat in the fridge before cooking, one recipe suggested 5 days but Wendy's wrote 48 hours. I did my batch for 4 days because I marinated it over the weekend when we were away.

Traditionally Pork Tocino was eaten with fried rice and a bull's eye omelette, we had ours with bread ala burger style. Not sure if it was the brand of ground black pepper I used, this was quite peppery hot to my tastebud so I might use that more sparingly for my next attempt.

PORK TOCINO (adapted from Simply Anne's)
1kg pork shoulder slices
250ml canned pineapple juice (Lee brand) *I used F&N's Fruit Tree which was unsweetened*
125ml Cola drink (coke or pepsi) *I used Coca-Cola*
125ml ketchup
80ml light soy sauce
200gm brown sugar
1 tbsp grated garlic
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

1/ Marinate everything together for at least 48 hours in the fridge.
2/ Put pork slices in a pot and pour in some marinade till the pork is submerged in the marinade, then cook on medium heat with pot lid on until the gravy dries up.

+ Do not cook till the gravy is too dry because upon cooling, the gravy will dry up further.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bento #165 100803

Sandwiches made with kyuri slices added to provide some crunch. The sides were young corn 'umbrella', onion rings and some cherry tomatoes. I also added a skewer of blueberries in this breakfast bento.

About 20 minutes was invested in preparation of this bento.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Killer Cream Cheese Scones Recipe

I love to bake scones because it's so easy and the leftover freezes very well too without losing its flavour. This makes it an ideal breakfast item as all it needs is a quick toasting in the oven to warm up before serving, and our usual way of eating scones is with a splash of fruit jam. We skip the clotted cream part for obvious reason - calories.

Thus when Table for 2 shared this on her blog, I bookmarked it for my weekend baking whereby we can have fresh warm scones for our lazy morning breakfast. Thanks Wendy for sharing this recipe, we are sold by it as the scones were soft and crumbly even till the next morning. Though this batch of scones was quite light in terms of buttery fragrance to our tastebuds, the softness made up for the shortfall. I might tweak this the next time I bake them by using equal amount of cream cheese and butter to come up to the total weight of 150g used in this instead of the current ratio of 4 parts cream cheese and 1 part butter and see what's the outcome.

Another interesting note to point out is that instead of using a mould to cut-out the dough as was the usual method, the dough was instead spooned into the mould. This lessen the need to work on the dough too much, not to mention, the mess that came about with flouring the dough and the working surface if the conventional way was followed. From hereon, I would adopt this method for scones recipe.

adapted from Natalie's Killer Cuisine
Yield 6 pieces of 100g each

125gm all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120gm cream cheese at room temp
30gm cold butter, cubed
90ml milk
1 egg, remove 1 tbsp for glazing
80gm dried cranberries, coarsely chopped *I skip the step of chopping them coarsely*

1 Tbsp egg mix with 1 tsp milk
Extra melted butter for glazing *I skip this part and used brown sugar for sprinkling instead*

1/ Preheat oven at 200C. Sift flour and baking powder twice to aerate, then mix in salt.
2/ Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
3/ In a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre of the sifted ingredients and add in the creamed cream cheese and butter.
4/ Use finger tips to work the mixture till it resembles fine crumbs before pouring in the egg and milk mixture.
5/ Mix everything until moistened using a fork and lastly mix in cranberries lightly.
6/ Spoon dough into floured moulds and lightly tap to flatten. Bring mould onto baking tray and lift mould carefully, leaving scones on the tray.
7/ Glaze scones with egg mixture and sprinkle with soft brown sugar if this is used and bake for 15 minutes. OR
8/ Glaze scones with egg mixture and bake for 9 minutes, then remove them from oven and quickly brush on melted butter before putting them back into the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
9/ Leave to cool for till warm before serving.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bento #164 100730

I spread some Nutella onto these bread ends and sprinkled them with some 100s and 100s before rolling them up into a log, then sliced them into 3 pieces for each skewer. To prevent the bread from unravelling, I used cherry tomatoes as 'stopper'. Length of bread and tomato skewers was just nice for this bento box.

Strawberry halves at the top orange silicon cup followed by a mixture of canned longan and blueberries in the red cup and lastly, cubes of canned pineapple rings. Arranged 3 foodpicks, and this was done.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ah Keat Seafood II

This is definitely not our second time visiting Ah Keat Seafood, but for the lack of a better title, I just put a number to the same title to differentiate the postings. In fact, this is the third write-up in this blog about this eatery, first here and then again here.

We tried different items from the menu each time, but Sweet Sour Crab remains the ONE item that we would not miss. Actually, it was the very reason we patronise Ah Keat Seafood - for the fresh crabs in the thick gravy.

This Mantis Prawn in Thai Style is their house best-seller. Crispy battered mantis prawn was first deep-fried first, then tossed with lots of ingredients namely big dried shrimps, dried cuttlefish, green bird's eye chilli and Thai Chilli Sauce for the fire factor before a generous sprinkling of cashew nuts and macadamia nuts. This was RM10.

In the first post, I wrote about their Guiness Stout Pork, but today we consumed their Guiness Stout Chicken instead. Both are equally good, so it depends on one's preference of meat. This was also RM10.

The must-have star of the day, Sweet Sour Crab with crispy mantou. A simply to die-for platter that never fail to bring a smile to dh. This costly plate of seafood was RM55.
We noticed that today's food presentation was better with the garnishing of cucumber slices compared to our past visits, not sure if it was because we were the first customer?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bento #163 100729

Big pau in this green froggie bento box was tucked in with 2 strawberries as companion.
In the disposable square aluminium container were canned pineapple rings, grapes and red cherry tomatoes arranged for some colour contrast.

Realised I forgot to pack in some packets of chilli sauce for dh to go with this meat pau as that's how he eat this.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Home-made Pickle Cucumber

Tempted by Kel's crunchy pickle cucumber, I was so keen to try it immediately when I chanced the recipe, but no japanese cucumber in the fridge, so I had to shelf my plans till I re-stock the weekly supply of kyuri. Finally when I bought the japanese cucumber during grocery shopping, I set about working on this the soonest I can because it needs at least 3 days of marinating.

2 japanese cucumbers
1 liter water
1/2 tsp salt

Marinade ingredients:
[Ratio of the marinade ingredients [water : brown sugar : soya sauce = 2 : 1 : 1 ]
6 tbsp cold boiled water
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp light soy sauce *I used Lee Kum Kee's brand*

1/ Wash cucumber, chop into bite size of about 4 cm thickness.
2/ Bring 1 liter of water and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil, then pour the cucumber slices into hot boiling water and let cucumber stay in boiling water for 15 seconds before straining off the water.
3/ Cool cucumber under the fan.
4/ Mix the marinade ingredients, bring to a boil then pour the boiling hot marinade into cooled cucumber.
5/ Cover the mixture and let it marinate overnight at room temperature.
6/ The next day, drain off the marinade from cucumber and bring it to a boil again.
7/ Pour marinade liquid back to cucumber, cover and once cool, let it continue marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 days.

This is so cheap and good, best of all, not salty at all unlike those commercial ones. Definitely worth the trouble and effort to DIY to be rewarded with such crunchy bites.

Thanks Kels for sharing the recipe!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bento #162 100728

I made two 'sailboats' using a hard-boiled egg cut into half, and scooped out the egg yolk to be mixed with some mayo and pepper before piping the egg yolk mixture back into the cavity. The 'sail' was done using bread crust cut into triangle and secured to the 'boat' using toothpicks.

The lower box of this basket bento was used to keep some fruits, namely canned peaches with blueberries in the centre. The rest of the gap was taken up by four strawberries.
I broke the process of doing this into 2 as the egg yolk took some time to set till firm in the refrigerator, but assembling them into this bento was easy and fast, think within 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pandan Chiffon Cake

With the remaining box of Kara coconut milk which I used in the previous post of Pumpkin Chiffon Cake, I was thinking of ways to use it up and this sprang to mind. Just like SIG, I used quite a big chiffon cake tin, thus the height of my Pandan Chiffon Cake was only 2". But no complaints because the resulting chiffon cake was perfect like what it should be, soft and moist, akin to eating clouds as it was featherly light.

PANDAN CHIFFON CAKE (recipe taken from Prima's website)
100g Prima brand Top flour *I used plain flour*
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp pandan juice *I used 1/2 tsp pandan paste*
100ml coconut milk *I used 130ml of boxed Kara brand as I wanted to finished the box*
50ml corn oil *I used 20ml only as I used more coconut milk*
4nos egg yolk
1/4 tsp green colouring (omit this if pandan paste is used)
1/8 tsp salt

5nos egg whites
100g castor sugar *I used 120g per SIG's recommendation*
1/8 tsp cream of tartar *I used 1tsp corn flour instead*

1/ Sift flour and baking powder together, then mix them together with the rest of the (A) ingredients and set aside.
2/ Whip egg whites till foamy followed by a tablespoon of castor sugar till finished and lastly the cornflour until meringue gets to soft peak stage.
3/ Take a quarter of meringue and add to mixture (A) till well blended.
4/ Add mixture (3) to the rest of the meringue till homogenous, then pour batter into 22cm chiffon cake tin to be baked at 170 degree Celcius for 40 minutes.
5/ Invert cake after removing it from the oven, leave it to cool before unmoulding.

I tried using cornflour instead of the usual cream of tartar as I had seen some bloggers doing that per Japanese method. Results was good, so I think I will stick to cornflour from now on when baking chiffon cakes.

I tried to do some marbling effect here :)

Thanks SIG for this keeper recipe!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bento #161 100727

Sandwich bento again, but this time I made them into 2 shapes, rectangle and triangle. Was testing out the bread mould to check if it seals well, and it did live up to my expectation.

The other compartment had 3 yellow cherry tomatoes with one plump strawberry plus a handful of blueberries to complete this bento.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pumpkin Chiffon Cake

WE love pumpkins, but most of the time I prepare it into savoury dishes. This is my first time using it in baking, and the result was good. The golden yellow colour of the finished product looked very inviting, and this being a very moist and light chiffon, makes it so irrisistable. I had to quickly pack them and send them my neighbour's way, else there will only be crumbs remaining. Eventhough healthy, eating this 24" diameter x 2" height cake will no doubt make one's calories soar, so better to share them in order to stop myself.

Adapted from Alex Goh's page 86 "Pumpkin Chiffon Cake"
80g pumpkin (diced then steamed till soft and mashed while still hot)
30g castor sugar
60g coconut milk *I used boxed Kara brand*
60g vegetable oil
4nos egg yolk
1/4 tsp salt
120g low protein flour *I used plain flour*
1/2 tsp baking powder

4nos egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
100g castor sugar

1/ Sift flour and baking powder together, then mix them together with the rest of the (A) ingredients and set aside.
2/ Whip egg whites till foamy, then add cream of tartar followed by a tablespoon of castor sugar till finished until meringue gets to soft peak stage.
3/ Take a quarter of meringue and add to mixture (A) till well blended.
4/ Add mixture (3) to the rest of the meringue till homogenous, then pour batter into 22cm chiffon cake tin to be baked at 170 degree Celcius for 40 minutes.
5/ Invert cake after removing it from the oven, leave it to cool before unmoulding.

This Pumpkin Chiffon Cake was not sweet at all, and the fragrance of pumpkin was quite minimal since pumpkin don't have strong aroma.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bento #160 100727

It's sandwiches again, how boring...but I jived it up by decorating it using slices of hard-boiled egg. I cut out the a hole in the bread first then only seal the sandwiches, followed by lifting off the cut-out and replace the cavity with the hard-boiled egg.

Side dishes were kyuri slices, two strawberry halves, mixture of yellow and orange grape tomatoes with some blueberries thrown in.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Egg Tarts Again

This time I tried a different recipe, from Aunty Yochana's. Somehow this time the custard started boiling, thus I didn't get a very smooth surface, but still passable.

Pate Sucree (yield 400g)
125g butter - chilled
60g icing sugar
1/2 egg white
1 egg yolk
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Egg Custard (yield 550ml)
280g fresh milk
160g sugar
3 nos. eggs
1 tsp rum *I omitted this*
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1/ For pate sucree: Beat butter and icing sugar till well mixed, then add in the egg yolk and egg white.
2/ Add in vanilla essence followed by the flour and mix into a dough.
3/ Rest dough for 10 mins, then press dough into small tart moulds.
4/ Bake the tart shell till half-cooked for about 10 minutes.
5/ For egg custard, heat sugar and milk together till sugar dissolves, then switch off the heat.
6/ Gentrly whisk eggs and pour into the milk mixture. Do not whisk till frothy.
7/ Add in rum and vanilla essece.
8/ Sift the egg custard and pour into tart moulds and bake at 180 degree Celcius till egg custard sets.

Yield: 17 pieces (top 8cm diameter, base 5cm diameter, height 1.5cm) with one extra tart shell.

Verdict: The crust for this egg tart was crispier as it was pre-baked first before the filling was poured in. The filling was a lovely darker shade of yellow compared to the previous attempt.

Bento #163 100729

It's big pau bento in this green froggie bento box with two strawberries in the little space left after I added in the square disposable liner of fruits. I just arranged the canned pineapple rings. grapes and cherry tomatoes to create some pattern and colour.

Realised that I forgot to add in some chilli sauce for dh because that's how he eats pau with meat filling.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bento #159 100727

Main star in today's bento were the square pocket sammies with egg mayo filling. Each set of sammy was done using a piece each of white bread and wholemeal bread. I imprinted a bunny onto it for some visual impact.

Blueberries, strawberry and cherry tomatoes on skewers filled up the rest of the gap.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Home-Made Meat Floss

I learnt to do this from Kel's blog, but my version was not as flossy as hers.

I think my problem lies in my thin slices of meat, and because of that, I was not able to tease-tear them apart as what Kel wrote in the instructions. Taste wise, it was awesome with such simple seasoning. It didn't take me long to pan-fry the seasoned shreds of meat over low fire on the stove, think about 10 minutes only was invested, though I admit the shredding part was a bit more tedious.

In the cup on the left was the seasoning of 1 tbsp of soya sauce, 2 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tbsp of shaoxing wine. Stir them till sugar melted, then pour over this over the bowl of 100g torn meat and fry over a non-stick pan with a pair of chopsticks till dry. Store in a glass jar once cooled down.

I know it might sound silly, but I was so keen to try making this home-made meat floss that I purposely boil tonic soup with the meat to get it tasteless and dry.
Thanks Kel for generous sharing, I will try again to get nearer to your beautiful floss.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bento #158 100706

2 canned pineapple rings cut into half, followed by 2 plump strawberries and a wedge of chinese pear on the left side of this manly black bento box.

On the right was spicy version of Indomie Mee Goreng, just nice for my lunch.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Haagen-Dazs at Juru Auto-CT

Extremely hot weather calls for cooling dessert, so to Haagen-Dazs we went end of last month to kill two birds with one stone as we got a 20% discount voucher to be used up by August, that being dh's birthday month.

After oggling at the ice-cream counter and trying their new flavours, we went to the table to oggle some more at their new menu. All items looks so mouth-watering, but we still went for Banana Split despite we saw lots of other tables going for their Seventh Heaven. Now the banana came caramelised, making it crunchy with a thin film of sugar coating on the cut surface. We love this new style of preparing the banana, and to go with it, we had Dark Chocolate Orange, Cappuccino Truffle and Caramel Biscuit and Cream for the ice-cream. All these 3 that we chose were new limited edition flavours.

Next came Paradise, which was 6 scoops of ice-cream sandwiched and stacked between 3 pieces of crispy waffles served with chocolate and strawberry sauce. For this platter, we had Rum & Raisin, Belgian Chocolate, Macadamia Nut, Tiramisu, Chocolate Midnight Kiss and Cappuccino Truffle.

Now, to wait for October for the other voucher so that we can check out their Seventh Heaven.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bread Gyoza

Was not in the mood to churn out any bento, reason being that I didn't go grocery shopping to stock up on food, so I took out some 'toys' and started to play around with them.

I seriously need to get down to sorting my bento stash because I didn't realise I had 2 different types of gyoza mould in the cupboard. Nevermind then, I can do a comparison here and see which of the two performs a better job.

Initially I just placed the square piece of bread onto the mould, then add the filling (I used meat floss as it is the fastest for me, no cooking/preparation necessary) and start to clamp the bread shut using the mould. Result was ugly as the bread was kind of 'hanging' on the mould, and when I clam it shut, I didn't get the full filling encased within it. Don't quite know how to explain, let's just say I had to find a better way.

So out came the 2 sets of metal cutters in different sizes, one is smooth-edge while the other is scallop-edge. The second largest cutter of each set fits the mould perfectly after I 'measured' them. With 2 different cuts of bread, and 2 gyoza moulds, I got 4 versions of meat-floss bread gyoza in the end. I love best the end-product at the bottom right side, which was the combination of scallop-edge bread and the bigger gyoza mould.

Comparing the 2 different types of gyoza mould, do you notice that the ones on the right row gave a fuller filling while the one on the left was kind of 'flatten'? The mould on the left was rigid, while the bigger mould on the right has a flexible piece over the filling part. Both does the job of sealing the edges equally well, but I prefer bitting into a not-so-compact filling, so to me, the bigger mould wins in my humble opinion.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bento #157 100629

This is a tea-time treat, so I just steamed a multi-grain mantou to go with my hot cup of coffee. The other half contained orange slices and green grapes decorated as ballon, while red grapes were rings.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Style of Udon

Dinner mid of last week, I decided to change my style of preparation udon. Instead of frying everything together, I made this salad-style. I only had to cook the minced meat sauce, in which I included small bits of reconstituted dried shitake mushroom and shallots.

The multitude of colours for the toppings were fine strands of kyuri for green, carrot for orange, omelette shreds for yellow and filament crabstick for red. I also threw in some corn niblets for some bite, and the must-have of shallot crisps. Would be ideal to add in scallion as well, but that I don't have.

Toss everything together and serve, this was quite filling for 2 pax with only 1 packet of udon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bento #156 100624

A 2-tier bento box of Prawn Noodles which I tossed in a simple dressing of dark and light soya sauce for flavour, and without fail, a topping of home-made shallots as crisp shallots go very well with dry noodle. Finally I managed to do a ham-flower which didn't tear. Trick is to get the person at the deli to slice the ham quite thin so that when it's folded, the loop just folds gently over. With a green jewel pick at the centre, I completed this 'masterpiece'.

Checkered red apple made an appearance today, but instead of squares, I cut them into diamonds. Yellow mango slices and a few pieces of canned lychee filled up the rest of the gap in this square blue box.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Q Wok Nyonya Curry House in BM

Decided to check out this Q Wok Nyonya Curry House with its catchy bright green paint job one fine day. We passed by the place from time to time, it just didn't strike us to drop by for a visit until we had cravings for some spicy food and voila, we were hooked. Thus far, we had dine there thrice because it's a lovely restaurant with clean environment, and most importantly, it's air-conditioned, making eating hot spicy dishes a no-sweat experience.

First dish that came - Vegetables Curry with Salted Fish Bones, RM6 for this small serving. Received thumbs up from dh as the spices were sufficiently strong, and there were visible chunky pieces of salted fish without fishy smell. There were cabbage, long beans and eggplants swimming in the thick gravy and went very well with the white rice.

The 8 pieces of loh bak was so-so only for RM3.

This RM15 Ayam Risa was something that caught our fancy because we haven't come across such a dish anywhere else, so we were game to try. Came served in a mini wok, it was quite a big serving to us. The chicken pieces were deep-fried first before being cooked in the sourish spicy gravy, thus we find the meat a tad too dry. Overall, we quite like this item with lime leaf and lemon grass, with lots of onion rings.

This RM10 Sambal Udang was awesomely done with cucumber slices, a good balance between spicy and sourness that came from tamarind. Prawns were fresh despite being small in size, but we were compensated with the large quantity of prawns, so no complaints.

We ended up with too much dishes as we didn't expect the chicken dish to be a curry as well, so we packed away some of the Ayam Risa in order to leave some room for dessert.

And after all the tongue-numbing dishes, what better way to ease the numb than a big tall bowl of Ice Kacang. We love this because they use gula melaka, and at RM3.50, it has lots of ingredients such as raisins and nutmeg slices which we hardly get these days in a bowl of Ice Kacang amidst the usual suspects of cream corn, red bean, peanuts, attap seed and jelly. The ice shavings were very fine as well, simply good combination.