Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I have some leftover Gula Melaka syrup from the Tang Yuen (glutinous rice balls) and whenever I have some leftover syrup, I will make another dessert to go with it. Gula Melaka is scarce here so throwing it away is a no no. So, having some green beans, mung beans or red beans in my pantry is just perfect for situation like this. *Sign* Don't we wish we have the luxury like our fellow bloggers in Malaysia or Singapore, then I would love to have some cut "You Tiao" (Chinese fried cruller) with my tau suan (mung beans dessert). For my tau suan recipe, click here.
I truly miss the salty ham chim peng with five spice powder, or sweet ham chim peng, the one that looks like 8 and the one with glutinous rice in the middle! When I go back, I love to visit the morning market for all these fried stuff, but then I would be attracted to the other kuih stalls, and then nasi lemak and so on. I get really greedy as I want to eat everything but I know I have to control myself because 10 pounds is the most I can gain. Our dilemma of going home, want to eat yet afraid to eat too much. (Sigh!)
Saturday, December 27, 2008
With the bad economy today, we have to think of more way to save money. I have been preparing lunch box for my husband years ago. It started when we were trying to save money for our first house down payment. We were pretty poor at that time and those days were pretty trying as we couldn't go out and eat. I had to cook everyday and the most that we could do for eating out was to order from the fast food chains “A Dollar" menu special. We couldn't go shopping or spend unnecessarily and it was pretty tough. But we went through it and now my husband actually prefer to bring lunch box to his office. These days I figure most of the offices have a microwave for the employees. Thus, bringing a lunch box for lunch can really save you a lot of money. In addition to that, you know what you put in your lunch box and thus it is healthier compared to eating out. Furthermore, my husband dislike the food in the cafeteria and he actually like the lunch box I prepare for him.
As for the math, let's say if you go out for lunch, it will cost you at least $8 per lunch (drink, tax and tips included), but if you bring a lunch box to work, it will save you $40 for that week. And $160 per month, that's $1,920 per year. Not a bad idea huh?
Oh forgot to add, the above is my nasi lemak lunch box, yummy right? Share with you a tips of mine, normally I cook more for dinner and pack some for his lunch box the next day before we started eating. The next day, he just take it out from the refrigerator and put it in his lunch bag and off he goes. Easy, healthy, delicious and cost saving, you should try it!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
My final cookie baked for this year. Next year I will be starting on Chinese New Year cookies, hard to believe it is just a month away. Hereby wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to those who don't celebrate it. Oh, in case you are wondering, I cut my biscotti in half for easy storage.
I also had a minor accident two days ago. Believe it or not, I accidentally cut my left index finger (cut into half of my nail) and my left thumb while chopping a cooked chicken into smaller pieces. That was pretty scary especially I used my biggest and sharpest cleaver at home. Of course some screaming and blooding scenes followed and then rushed to an urgent care facility to see if any stitches needed. Luckily no stitches required because they could not possibly stitch through my nail, just some sterilized strips and bandages for now. But half of my nail will probably fall off in due time (that was too scary and painful to imagine and I am too afraid to take off my bandage!). Needless to say, with my left index finger and thumb bandage, working in the kitchen has been slow and quite inconvenient. I made those biscotti prior to the accident that morning.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Today is Winter Solstice festival or Dong Zhi “冬至节”. Chinese celebrating this day by having a reunion dinner and eating tang yuan (glutinous rice balls in sweet syrup). I always make tang yuan on this day, have been doing it for years so it's like a custom already. This year I made Pandan flavored tang yuan with Gula Melaka syrup.
I actually made a mistake because I was out of glutinous flour and I added too much water, so the dough was too wet. So I had to use some rice flour to make the dough pliable. In my mind, I was hoping that it works because throwing away the dough was too wasteful , also Evy was too eager to help and eat the tang yuan. In fact, she has been bugging me to make tang yuan and I always postponing her by saying wait until Winter Solstice day. So, I can't possibly disappoint her again. Luckily it still works! The shape is not as round as I prefer but taste wise it is still very similar to tang yuan texture.
Now, wishing everyone in U.S.A a Happy Winter Solstice Festival (as Malaysian celebrated it yesterday).
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Guess what? I decided to play with my cookie dough recipe again. I substituted some butter with cream cheese and came out with this. The dough came out to be a little hard to manage, I couldn't roll it out without breaking the dough. So, it was very hard to cut it with a cookie cutter, so I had to change my method. Hence, I rolled it into a ball and press a thumb print in the middle (follow the thumb print cookie method), even that the dough was very difficult to handle. Look at the above picture you would know, the dough cracks like that even before baking. I used raspberry preserve for my cookie. Surprisingly it came out pretty good because it was all in our tummies already. I won't be sharing the recipe though because I am not sure about this recipe.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This is one of my lazy night dinners. I would store some dried wontan noodle (egg noodle) in my pantry for a day I bought some ground turkey. This noodle dish is very simple, only few ingredients needed, dried egg noodle, ground turkey or meat of your choice, dried Chinese mushroom and garlic. And the result would be a satisfying meal.
Egg noodle (about 6 bundles), boiled in boiling water until cooked, drained and set aside.
Ground turkey (about 1/2 pound) or ground meat of your choice.
Chopped Chinese mushroom (About 6-8, soaked in warm water until soften)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Dark soy sauce
A little sugar
1. In a heated oil, add cooking oil. Add ground turkey and garlic, stir-fry until the meat is cooked. Add mushroom and stir-fry well.
2. Add drained noodle and stir well. Season with sauces and a little water if needed. Dish out and serve with chili of your choice.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Decided to make some Christmas cookies with my kids. Evy would be the little helper while Edda would be the on looker. Whenever I told them mommy is going to make a cake or some cookies, they would be really thrilled and ran over to my kitchen countertop. Evy would say can I help to do this or that. Edda would be happy just sitting on the kitchen island stool starring at us working. I did not try any new recipe but picked my simple crisp lemon cookies recipe. What to do, I prefer easy recipe and my kids loved lemon cookies.
Edda is starting to pick up more words. She is also trying to express herself more with words instead of action. That was good as compared with her sister, she was considered slow in speech development. Evy now is really talkative and she has so many questions, can be quite annoying. So, when the mommies said once your kid started talking, they won't stop is so true, so should appreciate the time when they still couldn't talk much. Hahaha...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Received this as a suggestion from a reader. And since I have some canned red bean and water chestnut paste in my pantry, I decided to give it a go. I used my green tea yogurt muffin recipe and added a dollop of red bean and chestnut paste in the middle before baking. I thought red bean paste pair better with green tea flavor, so I tried it with green tea muffin. It yields 18 muffins for me, so again I have to give some away and freeze some for later consumption. I will take it out a night before and let it defroze and be ready for breakfast the next day.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Showing a picture of my dinner few weeks ago. Asparagus was on sales again during the week of Thanksgiving and I always took the opportunity to buy the on sales vegetable. The usual way of cooking asparagus for Malaysian was with sambal chili. I decided to add some shrimps and carrot to make it more complete. I used the shrimp paste in chili oil and my own chili in oil for this dish. This recipe is similar to my Sambal Dried Shrimps Okra.
Or you can try the western version: Season the asparagus (just cut the hard bottom off) with some olive oil, salt and pepper (toast well) and baked in preheated 450'F oven for 15 minutes. Remember to line the baking pan with aluminum foil (heavy duty prefer) so that no washing required, just fold and throw. Very easy!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
It looks very much like tau sar piah (mung bean biscuit) isn't it? But it is not! This pastry is soft and supposed to look like mooncake, but mine turned out looking completely different, more like Shanghai mooncake. I used Peony's walnut pastry recipe but omitted the walnuts and used mung bean paste as filling. I did alter the baking instruction in the end and perhaps that was the reason my pastry look different? I didn't bother to take it out and apply a second egg wash and put it back for additional 15 minutes. Instead I baked mine for a total of 25 minutes with egg yolk glaze. You think that's the cause?
For those who are interested in Peony's pastry recipe, click here. Hmm...I should decorate the top with some black sesame seeds or melon seeds ya! This recipe yields 22 mooncakes for me. I gave half away to a friend who came for tea. Don't think we all can finish so much within couple of days since I have no idea how long this homemade mooncake keep in a container.
Monday, December 08, 2008
How can a bowl of instant noodle looks so appetizing? These days the instant noodles are getting creative and we certainly can buy a lot of variety of instant noodle like bak kut teh, duck herbal flavor, prawn mee, mee goreng, assam noodle, tom yam, tom yam with coconut milk, yee mee, pan mee just to list a few. If you are only used to the flavors offered in the supermarkets, I suggest you to pay a visit to your local oriental store and pick up other exotic flavors to try, you won't be disappointed. Warning: huge selection, might give you a headache! :P
This is a bowl of instant prawn mee from Ibumie made in Malaysia. I really love this mee as it tasted pretty authentic to me. When you are lazy, a bowl of instant noodle made in Malaysia can be really satisfying. What is your favorite brand and flavor of instant noodle?
Friday, December 05, 2008
I made a big pot of chicken stock for my noodle soup the other day. Had some leftover chicken stock for my tofu and corns soup the next day. I love to make this soup with my leftover chicken stock as the soup will be very sweet and pretty healthy for the kids, considering tofu and corns were used.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I bought some sweet potatoes and wanted to experiment with making a sweet potato cake. I used the pumpkin cake recipe as a base and made this cake. Since sweet potatoes is sweeter in nature, so I cut down the sugar a little so that it won't be too sweet. I also provided my short-cut version of making the mashed sweet potatoes. Of course if you don't own a microwave, you can always peel and then steam the potatoes for 20-30 minutes (or until soft) and then mash it.
Monday, December 01, 2008
I have a leftover turkey thigh courtesy of Lily. Actually I requested it from her so that I can make some turkey porridge the next day. :P She was really generous and just asked me to take, so I did. :P Thanks Lily as now we have a day of delicious turkey porridge to enjoy. This was the first time I made a turkey porridge using leftover as I never baked a whole turkey before. This porridge turned out to be very good as it also got a thumb up from my hubby and two girls. Evy even requested for lunch box the next day.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Eat more broccoli! Broccoli is very beneficial to us so there is no reason why you should not consume this veggie. Since Weekend Wokking secret ingredient this month is broccoli and I have some broccoli at home, so I make this super easy broccoli chicken to share with you. It is so easy that I think a lot of you already know how to make this. If you don't know, then this can be a very easy one dish Chinese stir-fry dish to eat with your rice. All you need to do is to buy one bottle of Lee Kum Kee oyster flavored sauce. Hmmm...I think WalMart might have it in the Asian aisle but of course it will be much cheaper to buy it at the Asian market.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I want to wish my readers a Happy and Full Thanksgiving! Also presenting you my Sweet Potatoes Pie. Hmmm....I think this year I bought a really orange color sweet potatoes as my pie looks really orange in color.
You can get my pie crust recipe here. And the sweet potatoes pie recipe here. My girls and I really love this pie and hope you will like it too.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I am going to share a very easy stir-fry spinach dish here. I love to buy the packet prewashed baby spinach when it goes on sales for $1 each. It comes cleaned and cut so all I have to do is to throw the whole pack in. However, even though it said prewashed, it is still best to give it a rinse under running water. As sometimes they might missed a spot of dirt hidden under the leaves. I had it happen to me before so I know, we definitely do not want to ruin a whole plate of vegetable because we keep eating dirt. So, I still recommend you to rinse it first before throwing all in a wok to stir-fry.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Some like the Singaporean version of white pepper bakuteh (pork ribs soup), some like the Malaysian version of dark herbal taste bakuteh. As for me, I prefer the Malaysian version and thus I decided to give Tean's Gourmet Bakuteh a try. I bought few packets from mytasteofasia.com as I hardly shop at Denver anymore. Oh yeah, MyTOA is going to close down its' business for the unknowing time being and the last day to take your order is Nov. 26th. So, go grab whatever you want before it's too late (if you haven't done so already!).
This is how the packet looks like. Overall, I still prefer Yew Chian Haw and A1 bak kut teh premix. If you are buying this, don't follow the salt amount indicated in the packet because it will turn out too salty.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I have been tagged by Happy Cup for 7 facts about me. Gosh, I haven't done any tag about myself for quite some time so here it goes.
1. My life is pretty routine and non-challenging at the moment. Except to invent recipes or come up with something interesting for my blog (ok, that can be challenging as now I am in the blank!).
2. I love to be a stay at home mom.
3. I never held a full time job in my life before.
4. I started this blog to share my food pictures and never thought that my blog would earn me money one day.
5. I have a sister who is a year older than me and people always asked whether we were twin.
6. I am glad that I learned to ski before my first child was born. Those skiing years were sure fun and now it gets expensive. :(
7. I love watching Korean and Taiwanese dramas. :P
Here are the rules for tagging:
- Link to my blog (tagger) on your blog.
- Give seven facts about yourself.
- Tag another seven bloggers by leaving a comment on their blogs and letting them know they were tagged and listing them (and their blogs) on your blog.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Assam curry or sour based curry is normally cooked with seafood. Most commonly is assam fish or assam prawns. Since I didn't have any fish fillet at home, I opted for shrimps, bay scallops and fish balls. I also threw in some green beans and fried tofu.
I used the Singlong Instant Curry Nyonya Assam Mix (Spicy) that was given by a friend. I added a little whole milk for extra creaminess. Overall it was pretty good but it was too spicy for the kids.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My little cat lady.
My little bee China doll.
Both of them can't wait to go trick-or-treating.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Since I haven't cooked fried kway teow (fried flat noodle) for awhile, while shopping at the Asian grocery store recently, I picked up the necessary ingredients and cooked it at night. The Asian restaurants here serve this noodle in a different way, they called it beef or chicken hor fun (炒牛河 or 鸡炒河). It is cooked differently from our Malaysian kway teow.
This is my hubby and daddy favorite dish. I don't normally eat this dish while I was in Malaysia. But once I came here, all these hawker style noodles, like char kway teow, hae mee, curry mee, mee rebus, mee goreng, or lam mee became something special. I guess the saying is true, you don't know how to appreciate when there is in abundance, but you will see the value when it is scarce.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
My steamed glutinous rice with Chinese dried mushroom and chicken. I will cook this dish once in a blue moon when I miss eating some glutinous rice (sticky rice). This is like a substitute for "bak chang" (wrapped rice dumpling). They also called glutinous rice sweet rice here. You can look for sweet rice from Thailand in the Asian grocery store to make this dish.
I like mine steam instead of cook it in the rice cooker.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
One of my Friday night noodle dishes: Spicy Mee Siam.
This fried mee siam recipe I invented years ago, as I was not (and still) someone who flip through cookbook for recipe. Sorry won't be sharing this recipe so don't bother to ask me for the recipe. Just enjoy the food porn. :P
Monday, November 10, 2008
Thank you Smell & Taste Are My Memory for passing me this Kreativ Blogger Award. You know I love to display all the awards I received from my blogging friends, right? ;) Now, I would love to pass this award to my fellow blogging friends for their creative juices in coming out with a recipe or in their writing style.
My Kitchen Snippets
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I always prefer crispy cookies, if you have read my blog or a long time reader, you would know most of my cookies are hard and crispy in nature. However, once in a while I do enjoy some soft and chewy cookies, especially those oatmeal raisin cookies. Since I was in some experimental mood today and have some roll oats and raisins at home, so why not? So, I experimented with this recipe that I figure should work and hope for the best. Well, it turned out great, soft and chewy and even passed my hubby taste test. Now I have another new recipe in file whenever I feel like some soft and chewy cookies. My girls couldn't stop asking for and raving about this cookies too.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I was recommended by aunty Lily with this Chili Paste with Holy Basil Leaves. Since I could not find it at my area, she got me a bottle to try. This paste is not spicy at all so if you wanted more kick just add some chili or sambal or chili paste when stir-frying. I should have added a little fish sauce as well (I just followed the direction from the bottle and found it a little bland). I cooked it with chicken breast, celery, carrot and onion.
This is how the paste looks like if you are interested.
Check out my review on Lee brand's Chili Paste with Sweet Basil Leaves.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
We have a favorite Italian restaurant (Zio's) that we go to for our Chicken Alfredo. I tell you their chicken Alfredo, either the spicy one or the regular really hit the spot. The creaminess and flavor is just right, perfect!
So, for my Friday night dinner, I decided to cook this dish but with whole wheat spaghetti and store bought Alfredo sauce. Of course the store bought Alfredo sauce is nothing compared to the restaurant standard. I will still go back to that restaurant for the real deal.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Remember the other day I bought lots of bay scallops and finding way to use them? Since I also bought some imitation crab meats and tofu, I just combined them into my spicy Korean soup. The key ingredient here is Gochujang, Korean red pepper paste. You can easily buy this at any of the Korean grocery store. This paste alone is pretty spicy but I always want an extra kick and added a few dashes of cayenne pepper powder. Guess who besides the parents loved this soup?
My little Edda enjoyed this spicy soup very much. Even me the mother thought this soup was spicy and yet this little fellow finished a bowl and requested for more! I had some leftover for the next day so ladled the rice with this soup and some tofu and crab meat for her and she finished everything in her bowl. WOW right? As for the big sister, she won't even dare to touch the soup!
For recipe, click here. Oh, I also added an egg into the soup this time.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Like many others, I don't really like my pumpkin cake with a lot of spices. But I do like the fragrant of cinnamon powder but not too much. So, I created this recipe to suit my personal taste. This pumpkin cake is moist and soft and totally delicious. My keeper pumpkin cake recipe thus far. Bonus is very easy to make and absolutely divine.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
On lazy day, I love to cook easy, throw everything in one pot meal. I love to add a lot of vegetable in my seafood curry because I love veggies. With Claypot curry mix, I don't even have to worry about preparing coconut powder or coconut milk because it has been included in the packet. However, I don't really like this Claypot fish curry mix as compared to it's rendang beef. I preferred Delimas vegetable curry paste better. That's solely my own opinion okay. This big pot lasted us for three meals!
1 packet of Claypot Nyonya Fish Curry Mix (also available at mytasteofasia.com)
3 fish fillets, cut
1 bowl of shrimps
8 fish balls, cut into half
1 bowl of fried beancurds (taufu pok), cut into half
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup of frozen green beans
1/4 of head cabbage, cut
In a big pot, add in oil in medium heat, fry the spice mix until fragrant. Add in the recommended coconut milk and all the vegetable. Simmer until the cabbage has soften, add in the seafood and fish balls, simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with white rice.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Want to eat some sushi but too lazy to make your own? Want to save some money instead of going to the restaurant? Well, you can buy this at Cosco for $5.65 each at my area. It is definitely double the amount that we found at other supermarket. Furthermore, it is very fresh. If you look closely at the picture, my hubby already stole a piece of the sushi before I could take a picture. LOL! Beachlover, told you you made me want to eat some sushi the cheap and lazy way. :P
Instead of eating out, sometimes we just buy this prepared meal at Cosco, like sushi, pizza or rotisserie chicken. It is way cheaper than dining out in a restaurant these days.
Friday, October 24, 2008
A glimpse of the healthy cookies I submitted for the Home Food and Garden magazine March, 2009 contest. I can't publish the recipe now but will share this wonderful cookies recipe with you all next year. One of my best cookie recipes yet, bonus is very healthy and crispy and delicious! Can't wait to share this recipe with my readers.
I will be off this weekend to spend a night at my friend's house. She organized a little get-together "makan" (eating) session with my fellow friends living up north since we haven't met for quite some time. I was thrilled and really looking forward to meet all my friends again. I baked her some of this cookies to show my gratitude, hope she and her husband like it. (^.^)
The recipe of this cookies is posted here! Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I bought some bay scallops when it was on sales for buy one gets one free. I loved to buy it to substitute for chicken breasts. I was thinking hard on how to cook the bay scallops and came out with this dish. The deep-fried tofu was a great addition in this dish as it soaked up the flavor and sauce of green curry and went very well with rice. Now I am curious, how do you normally prepare the bay scallops since it's so small?