Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chinese Style Green Beans & Happy New Year!

This green bean dish can be easily spotted at the Chinese buffet table. In fact, that was how I discovered this cooking method. Below is how I imagine this dish is prepared and I made it for our Thanksgiving dinner. It was very closed to the original except I needed more sauce.


Green Beans
3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

Salt to taste

1 tsp. chicken stock granules

Cornstarch water


1. In a pot of boiling water, add a pinch of salt and a little oil. Blanch the green beans for a little while. Dish out and place in cold water.

2. In a wok, add in a little oil. Stir-fry the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add in some water. Season with chicken stock granules and salt. Thicken it with cornstarch water and add in the cooked green beans. Stir-fry until well coated with the sauce, dish out and serve.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Do you ever have some apples sitting in the refrigerator for weeks that no one wants to eat? I always have a few sitting there. One day, I was out of bread so I decided to make some apple muffins for breakfast; one, I could get rid of the apple; two, we could have muffins for breakfast. I wanted this muffin to be healthier too so I used some whole wheat flour, canola oil and lots of apple. I always love muffin with crumbs topping but that would means added fat as normally it is made with butter, flour and brown sugar. So, my healthier alternative would be cornflakes cereal for the extra crunch. It is really crunchy and delicious when eaten on the same day. But the cereal will turn soft the next day when kept in an air-tight container, but not to worry, just toast it for 4-5 minutes in the toaster oven to crisp it up and warm the muffin before consuming. Enjoy! It also makes an healthier snack compared to cupcakes packed with frosting.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fish Paste Tofu Egg Drop Soup

Whoa, it is very COLD here, as I am typing this, it is 15'F (-9'C). The high today is only going to reach 21'F even though it is sunny outside. We had snow shower the previous day and it is going to be a white Christmas for us here. According to the weather forecast, it is going to snow on Christmas day (tomorrow). How to keep warm on such a cold day except staying at home, treat yourself with a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate, exercising on Wii Fit Plus (this is a great one to keep warm, LOL!) and serving up a bowl of warm soup. Here sharing with you a bowl of my warm soup to warm yourself up and wishing all my readers a joyous and safe holiday seasons. Be happy, be healthy, be stress free, eat healthy and exercise more in the new year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

The easiest way to serve sweet potatoes for holiday dinner, no steaming, no mashing required, just bake it in the oven. Minimal washing too as you just need to throw away the aluminum foil. That's why this can be prepared last minute. I am waiting for it to go on sales again on Christmas week so that I can make this again.


  • Sweet potato, cut into fries shape like above
  • Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • JoJo potato seasoning


1. Preheat oven to 375'F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Put the cut sweet potato fries on top.

2. Pour some olive oil on the sweet potato fries, season with salt, pepper, paprika and JoJo potato seasoning. Toast to coat well.

3. Bake for 15 minutes, flip it and bake for additional 10 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 2-3 minutes before serving (keep an eye on it).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Evy & Edda Updates (Nov & Dec. 2009)

Evy has a Holidays recital coming up, she is practicing her piano. Her hair is getting long too, more feminine and look nicer to me. She is currently top at her class, rated at 1.9 whereas the kindergarten started at 0 level. We are thinking whether to jump her to Grade 2 next year or not. A lot to think about, for those who has his/her child skip a grade, what's your thought on this, to skip or not to skip a grade? Currently she is going to the Kindergarten Enrichment session once a week for some extra academic opportunities. Since we speak 90% of Mandarin at home, I really wanted her to learn English or to improve her vocabulary. She reads perfectly but she is unable to understand the meaning behind it (given the fact we speak Mandarin at home), so how to increase her understanding of what she read? The more I think about it, the more I want her to remain in her grade, at least she can learn more English and still remain the top in her class. Also she gets to go to the enrichment session and if she is still the top in her class at Grade 3, she will get to go to the Talented and Gifted class. It is the understanding of the meaning and comprehension of the things she read that is worrying me. If we put her in Grade 2, she might be having a little hard time and feel challenging at school. Yet I know for a fact that if we put her in Grade 1, it will be no challenge for her as she knows most of the stuff already (she already rated 1.9 at this mid-term assessment).

Want to challenge her academically or not? Or let her cruise through?

My little one hair is getting long but she loves her long hair.
I managed to potty train her before she turned three. I thought she would be the difficult one as she never potty in her potty before but guess all the mental preparedness worked. She is starting to speak in English too. Sometimes her sister will speak to her in English and both of them will be role playing in English. I had a hypothesis and I tested it out on both of my girls and it proved true. We speak 90-95% of Mandarin with them, their first language was Mandarin but at three years old, they started to speak a second language English naturally. We teach them Mandarin, the television teach them English. LOL! If you are interested in learning my hypothesis, read through my older posts on my girls.

Don't you just want to pinch that cheeks of hers? I do!

Here wishing you all a very Happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stir Fried Vietnamese Rice Noodle (Loh See Fun)

I found the Vietnamese rice noodle at my Asian supermarket. This is just like the Malaysia Loh See Fun as it was made with rice flour, wheat starch and water. The texture is soft unlike the previous one that I had. Instead of preparing it in soup, I did a quick stir-fry in white sauce. I was too lazy to prepare the soup for it and wanted a change from my usual black sauce.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Step-by-Step Zebra Cake Guide

I promised my friend, SIG to show her the step-by-step pictures guide the next time I made the zebra cake, so here it is girl friend.

Two different colors batter.

First, put a dollop of white batter in the center of the pan.

Next, put a little dark batter on top of the white batter.

Then, you add another dollop of white batter on top of the dark batter.

Again, add another layer of dark batter on top. Just keep alternate different color of batter on top of each other until all batters are used.

I didn't do a great job on this as it was not center.

Example of how it would look like when baked and cut. Good Luck!

Recipe of this marbled banana chocolate cake can be found here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Longevity Noodle Soup

Chinese loved to eat long noodle on their birthday because it signify long life, it is like a tradition especially for older people. We will have long noodle, red eggs and peach steamed buns for older people. Today, I made my noodle soup with ShanDong ramen (山东拉面). It is similar to the noodle that Taiwanese served on their beef noodle soup. This noodle is packaged dried in a rectangle box that you can get in the Asian store. Good in soup and stir-fry.


ShanDong ramen, homemade chicken stock, tofu fish cake, fried fish balls, napa cabbage and mini sausages.


1. Prepare the homemade chicken stock with 1 chicken, 1 big yellow onion, small piece of smashed ginger, 2-3 stalks of scallions, 3 carrots (cut). Simmer for 2 hours. Season to taste with salt, sugar and chicken stock granules.

2. Cook noodle per package instruction. Set aside.

3. Sieve the chicken stock. Turn the heat to high, when boiling, add in napa cabbage, tofu fish cake, fried fish balls and mini sausages. Let it cook for a minute or two.

4. In a bowl, place in the noodle. Scoop the soup on top with ingredients to serve hot. Eat with chili padi (bird eye chili) for extra kick.

I'm sharing this noodle with Presto Pasta Nights, an event created by Ruth from Once Upon a Feast. This week host is Kevin, do go and check out Closet Cooking delicious round up on Dec, 11th! Thanks!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Mini Sausages with Special Sauce

This is the Asian sauce I created for the mini sausages. I used this sauce before for my Yong Tau Foo and it's a good mix too. This sauce is on the sweet side because I wanted it this way. Salty sausages with sticky sweet sauce as coating, sounds good right? This dish was well received by kids and adults.


Mini sausages, sauce mixture= (3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce + 1 Tbsp. honey, mix well)


In a wok, add in a little oil. Stir-fry the mini sausages until hot. Add in the sauce mixture. Coat well and serve.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Sweet Potatoes Porridge

Sweet potato is super cheap this time of the year. I saw it as low as 25 cent/lb at WalMart. I regretted I didn't buy some at this price to keep. Edda was not feeling well and I decided to cook her some porridge. Instead of the usual fish porridge, I tried the chicken and sweet potatoes porridge. I made the porridge quite watery and cut the sweet potato into tiny cubes for easy swallowing. But guess what? She didn't like it at all. I think she is not a fan of sweet potato cooked in this way. Anyway, you can substitute the sweet potato with pumpkin.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Roast Chicken with Garlic and Thymes

I tried a new chicken recipe for my Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe can be done last minute as it doesn't need to be marinated/seasoned before hand. This chicken was fragrant and tasted divine. You can eat the garlic together with the chicken or spread it on bread to enjoy. Remember to place the garlic close and underneath the chicken when baking or else it will be burned and turned rock hard. You can substitute the dried thyme with fresh thyme. Stuff a few inside and sprinkle some cut thyme on the skin.