Friday, August 29, 2008

Easy Focaccia Bread

Why easy? Because it is a no knead Focaccia. Just mix the ingredient together and let it proves in the refrigerator overnight and the next day you will be rewarded with Focaccia bread.

Mine turned out looking like bread sticks aren't they? I sprinkled my Focaccia with dried oregano and rosemary. This bread smells heavenly while baking as my house was infused with the fragrant of herbs and olive oil.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Merdeka Open House 2008: Mee and My Malaysia: Stir-fried Silver Needle Noodle (銀針粉) or (老鼠粉)

This noodle is known as silver needle noodle in Hong Kong but "Rat Noodle" (老鼠粉) in Malaysia and Singapore. These noodles are named this way because it is shaped like a needle or rat's tail. It is made of a mixture of rice flour and wheat starch or cornstarch. I have known this noodle as 老鼠粉 and it is usually served in clear soup or stir-fry in Malaysia. I used to eat this as a kid so it brings back memory of home. When I saw Florence making her own silver needle noodle, I wanted to make it too. I have all the ingredients and the recipe seem easy enough. Little did I know that making this noodle actually was quite a tedious process. The process of shaping this noodle each and every single one took me a while. I even enlisted Evy as my helper, but this helper hardly help at all. After she done with a few, she said, "Mommy, I don't want to do it anymore, my hands are tired." Oh man, my only kitchen helper, who normally loved to play with dough quit on me. So, I had to make the rest on my own. Then, I got a mishap when boiling the noodle. The instruction said boil until the noodle turned transparent. But no matter how long I boiled, it never turned transparent. At the end, I just drained it under the cold water, and after I did that, it turned transparent. But the damage was already done, my noodle was soggy and sort of stuck together even after I applied some oil on it. However, I was not going to throw all my hard work in the trash, so in the refrigerator it went (like the instruction said).

The next day when I took it out from the refrigerator, the 老鼠粉 was stuck together in a big lump. So, I had to separate each noodle by hands. I ended out with a lot of broken pieces but I went ahead and stir-fry my 老鼠粉 and the above was the result. Not too bad I would say and actually quite delicious. Not sure I would make it again soon though but will definitely make it when I have the craving again.


老鼠粉/ rat noodle
Shredded carrots

Thinly cut Chinese green, or bok choy

Chopped garlics

Sliced yellow onion

Pork or chicken of your choice

Oil for cooking

Soy sauce
Dark soy sauce

Oyster sauce

White pepper


1. Heat up oil in a wok. When heated add in meat of your choice, garlic and stir-fry until meat is 80% cooked. Add in onion, carrot and green and stir-fry until cooked. Add in rat noodle and sauces (A), stir-fry until well mixed. Serve hot!

I am serving this dish to Merdeka Open House 2008: Mee and My Malaysia hosted by Babe in the city_KL. Do visit her on Aug. 31st for the round up to celebrate the Malaysians' Independent Day. Hereby I also want to wish all Malaysians a Happy Merdeka Day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dong Quai Chicken Herbal Soup (當歸汤)

This Angelica soup (當歸汤) or "female ginseng" is widely used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat gynecological ailments, mild anemia, fatigue and high blood pressure. This soup is also cooked for new mom in the last two weeks of confinement. It is also one of my favorite soups and I cook this soup 2-3 times per month. It is best for women to drink this after each menstrual cycle to revitalize. Bonus is this soup is very sweet and delicious.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Arte-y-Pico Award

I received this lovely award from Sweet Jasmine at Rainbows. Thank you Sweet Jasmine! :*

Before passing this on, here are a few set rules to follow.....

1) You have to pick FIVE blogs that you consider deserve this award for creativity, design, interesting material and also contribute to the blogger community regardless of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given him/her the award itself.

4) Award winners and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the "Arte-y-Pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of the award

5) In compliance with said RULES, the award winner must show the RULES.

Now, I would love to share this award with these five lovely blogs:

My Kitchen Snippets
Kedai Hamburg
More than Words
The Adventure of my cooking diary

Friday, August 22, 2008

Love Letters Using a Pizzelle Press

Love letters or Kuih Kapit, one of my favorite Chinese Lunar New Year snacks. I was using the Cuisinart Pizzelle Press that I just bought and it only made 4" pizzelle. The size was a bit too small to fold it into a triangle or fan shape. If I rolled them into egg roll shape then it would take up a lot of storage space. So, keeping it just the way it is was the way to go for me. As you can see, it was tinted green, that was because I added Pandan extract. I simply love the smell of Pandan (screwpine leaves) so I couldn't help myself from adding some.

Pretty thin right? Of course it was not as thin as the traditionally kuih kapit but this was easier to do. You can get the kuih kapit recipe from Amy Beh (Kuali) if you are interested. I shall try the Pizzelle recipe provided by Cuisinart in my next attempt to see the difference. Oh I learned this tips of using the Pizzelle Press to make Love Letter through J from Singapore. Kuih Kapit is one of my favorite CNY cookies so I was thrilled to learn of this tips. Now owning my own Pizzelle press, I can make this thicker, non-traditional kuih kapit version anytime I feel like eating them. Great! ^.^

Note:  it turned soft after it's cooled down.  I had to toast it in the toaster oven to make it crisp again.

Easy Stir-fried Shrimps

Sharing an easy home cook shrimps recipe here. It's so easy to make anyone can make it. You can add yellow onion, scallion, color bell pepper and red chili into this recipe as well. Just season to taste with more salt or soy sauce.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chai Po Tan (菜脯蛋) / Salted Turnips Omelet

Chai Po Tan or 菜脯蛋 is one common home cook eggs dish at my house. My husband and Evy love anything with eggs, either boiled eggs, eggs in soup, scrambled eggs, omelet or stir-fry eggs. This salted turnips omelet is something I had when I was small so naturally I love to buy and cook this for my family. Here's my recipe to share, for newbies who doesn't know how to make this easy dish. :P Good with rice or porridge!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shaved Ice Again (Ice Kacang)

It's summer and the best way to cool off is to have some shaved ice or ice kacang. Making shaved ice is so easy these days when you own the shaved ice machine. It comes in two forms, electric or hand power. I bought an electric one few years back and it's really useful.

I used canned sweeten red beans, canned peaches and canned green jelly so making this is really easy. All I have to do is make some Gula Melaka syrup to put on top of the shaved ice. Oops! I forgot to add the evaporated milk, no wonder it didn't taste as fragrant. :P

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hooray! My Edda is Weaned!

A pat on the back for me because I finally weaned my 22 months old daughter. Weaning her was fairly easy because I knew she could understand me well. At first I was thinking to only start weaning her after she turned two. But that one fine night (last week) when she wanted to have some, I didn't know what happen but I started to "TALK" to her while carrying her and looked her into the eyes. I told her she is a big girl now and she shouldn't ask for mommy milk anymore. I asked her to look at her elder sister, whether she have seen her sister asking for mommy milk or not? I told her no right because her sister is a big girl and she doesn't need mommy milk and so is she. I told her she is a big girl now too and should stop asking for mommy milk and be a big girl just like her sister. Well, she fell asleep in my arms that night without any resistant. So, I persisted with the same conversation the next day and the following day. Sometimes she just fell asleep in my arms, one or two times she would make a fuss about it but again I gave her the same speech. Now, whenever she is sleepy, she just lay down on the sofa and sleep on her own. Great huh? One more thing, she also has been sleeping through the night, so no more interrupted sleep for me. ^.*

*She is blowing a kiss to you*

My next challenge now would be to move her and her sister into a room. Since she is sleeping through the night, when ever her daddy is ready to convert her crib into a toddler bed, we are ready to move both of them. Guess now I am waiting for my hubby to get the job done (might takes forever since he doesn't like to do this kind of thing!). Sigh! Maybe have to use a cane to force him, then he will do it! LOL! (just kidding!) :P

Friday, August 15, 2008

How to Make Ground Meat from Scratch

I decided to make this post so that my daughters will know it is actually very easy to make your own ground meat at home. I figure if I don't show them, they will not know when they grow up. I noticed a lot of people only know how to purchase ground meat at the supermarket and really have no idea how to make it at home. So, if you haven't gotten a clue before, after reading my post, you will know! :D Of course I learned it from my mother when I was little, used to help her made ground meat in her kitchen.

First you will need a sharp Chinese cleaver. And then of course ground meat of your choice, pork, beef, chicken, etc. You will have to cut the meat into small pieces and then use your cleaver to chop on it. Just chop through the meat, flip it and chop again, flip the meat again and chop again until you have worked all your muscles. In the olden days, the butcher used two big cleavers to chop ground meat for his customers. This is really a good hand exercise for anyone who wants to try. Haha...

My ground pork is done after multiple times of flipping the meat and chopping. Now it's ready for seasoning for my pork balls noodle soup later.

Serving up my homemade pork balls with glass noodle (tang hoon) soup!

Who wants to try my pork ball with Thai chili? :P

I cooked my broth with 2 chicken drumsticks, 1 baked chicken cavity, 1/4 cup of yellow beans, shrimp shells that I saved, dried Chinese mushroom stems (I saved this for making broth too), 1 whole large yellow onion and 3 carrots hence my broth turned out very sweet and flavorful.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Black Glutinous Rice Dessert (Bubur Pulut Hitam)

This is my black glutinous rice takes three! Yes believe it, my third time making this dessert only. Can you tell how lazy I am? I tried the rice cooker and stove method, I tried straight from the stove method (takes very long to make the rice soft) and my third time was a charm. I used my lazy slow cooker method!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Brilliant Weblog Award

Yes another award! I would love to thanks My Household Capers for giving me this award. It came as a surprise and I am glad that you think my blog is worthy of this award.

Brilliant Weblog is a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogsphere.

Here are the rules to follow: When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliant Weblog’. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).All the bloggers have wonderful work and content in their blog and all deserve to get this. As per the rules I would like to pass this award to my fellow bloggers mentioned below:

Soy and Pepper
Teczcape - Escape to Food -recipes, cooking, reviews
More than Words
Beachlover's Kitchen

Enjoy ladies and do pass it along! ^.^

Monday, August 11, 2008

Use of Leftovers 4: Stir-fry Steamed Rice Rolls

Leftovers: one piece of salt & pepper pork and XO fried steamed rice rolls from a Chinese restaurant.

Turned into: Yummy plate of stir-fried steamed rice rolls with shrimp paste sauce.

I cut the steamed rice rolls into smaller pieces, added 1/4 yellow onion, 3 stalks of scallions and sliced the salt & pepper pork into smaller pieces. Heated up my wok with some oil, added in some garlic, onion and the pork, steamed rice rolls and stir-fried until warm. Added in shrimp paste in chili oil, my homemade chili in oil and dark soy sauce. Lastly added in the scallions, gave a few good stirs and dished out and served hot.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Party Food: Toothpick Fruit Mix

Dhanggit is hosting her first blog event in celebration to her precious girl's 1st birthday party and her event theme is "Perfect Party Dishes". I wanted to create a dish that is easy to prepare, stress free and easy to eat. So, I thought of this toothpick fruit mix on a melon, in this case a cantaloupe. Any melon can be used as a base and any fruit in season that won't turn brown like apple can be used as fruit on a stick. You can use decorative toothpick (like me in this case) or bamboo sticks.

What do you think? Easy party food (fruit) that guests would love right? You can use more fruit variety (play with different colors combination) if you are using a bamboo stick. In my case, I cut the cantaloupe in half, scoop the filling out with a melon scoop (I don't know how to scoop the melon out in round shape at all, *sad*) and use the red grape as contrast. I used decorative toothpicks and alternate the fruit in the toothpick and just stuck them onto the cantaloupe. Sorry for my ugly attempt, I tried.

I would love to submit my toothpick fruit to Dhanggit "Perfect Party Dishes" event as an idea to her (I bet anyone would make a prettier one than me). Do check out her round-up during the week of Aug. 15th.

Friday, August 08, 2008

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cute Toasted Breads

Don't we moms want to make eating breakfast fun for the kids? I got the inspiration from Peony as she loves to make bentos and lovely toast for her grandson. Of course she used the cute Hello Kitty print for toast bread which I don't own. Then, I was thinking, wait a minute, I did buy some ice-cream sandwich molds last year at WalMart. It was on clearance for $4/pair and I just couldn't let it pass because I saw the possibility in it. Hence, I took them out from my drawer and gave it a try. It made a really nice clear print on the bread and came out great. The bonus was of course both my girls finished their toasts!

Now I know I can use this print to make pig or cow face cookies too! At first, I saw that it was great for making mini mooncakes and now I have more uses for it. I know it can be used to make cute pig and cow boiled eggs too, just need to tie it with rubber band. So, for $2 each, not too bad a toy to own right? :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Steamed Banana Muffins

The main purpose of this post is I want to share this tips with you. See the picture above? For those that own the oval shape silicon cups, you can actually use the round paper cups in your oval silicon cups. When you pour in the batter, it actually spread into the oval shape like mine above. I love to use paper cups because I am too lazy to clean the silicon cups, if you are like me, you will love this tips.

For some reason my steamed banana muffins actually smiling at me. It's probably because I poured in more batter and steamed at rapidly boiling water. ;)

I just love this steamed banana muffins! Hmmm...should I called this a muffin or cupcake? I like to call all my cake baked or steamed in paper cups cupcakes because they are basically cake in a cup right or cup size cake? But I read that the frosted cupcake is called a cupcake and all the unfrosted cupcake is supposed to be called a muffin? Don't know why I always associate muffin to have denser texture compared to cupcake. :P

Monday, August 04, 2008

Use of Leftovers 3: Stir-fried Soba Noodle

Haha, my hubby was real funny the other night when he saw the leftovers from picture on the left, he asked what are you going to do with this? I made noodle soup the other night and I have a plate of extra ingredients sitting on the table just in case he wanted more (he can always add in with his noodle you see). I told him, I could make something out of it. Now, see how I turned these leftovers from a Chinese take-out and ingredients for noodle soup into a yummy plate of soba noodle.

I just boiled some soba noodle, drained and rinsed with cold water and set aside. Then, I stir-fry all the leftover ingredients in a wok with a little soy sauce and pour them on top of the soba noodle. Mix well together and season to taste with Chinese vinegar, more soy sauce, a little salt and sesame oil. This noodle can be enjoyed cold or warm.

Now, I have a plate of yummy soba noodle that didn't look one bit like eating from leftovers! Serve this up with cut chili padi (bird eye chili) or my chili in oil. Delicious!

I'm also serving this dish to Pesto Pasta Night. This week host is Michelle, from the Greedy Gourmet
, do check out her blog on Friday for the round up.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Strawberry Cranberries Cookies

I was invited to participate in this July Key Ingredient's Cooks Kitchen contest and the key ingredient for this month is berry. Since I just bought a packet of dried cranberries, I thought that would be perfect. I wanted to make a cookie recipe and since the key ingredient is berry, I thought a strawberry flavor cookie would be great. So, I came out with this crispy Strawberry Cranberries Cookies. Well, my daughters both loved it and walloped half of the cookies before it even had a chance to cool down. My hubby later finished the rest. I hope you will like it too!