Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crispy Pizzelle

I developed this crispy pizzelle by accident. I wanted to make kuih rose but the new batter that I tried didn't work for me. So, I had to improvise and use my pizzelle press in an attempt to save the batter. Hey, it works! It turned out very crispy, way better than the kuih kapit recipe I tried earlier. The kuih kapit recipe I tried earlier turned soft and I had to bake it in the oven again to make it crisp. But this batter is a keeper for me, it's crispy and stay that way. So, this is not the original pizzelle recipe (different flavor too), but a recipe I discovered by accident. A new recipe to try for people who own a pizzelle maker! Feedback would be appreciated. :-)


Monday, January 26, 2009

Asian Mustard Green (Gai Choy) Soup

The Asian mustard greens sold in the Asian market here came in a big bag. I still left with half bag of mustard greens from the "chai bui" I made earlier. So, what was I going to do with so much mustard greens? I never tried stir-fry it before so I was not sure about the taste. I did an online search but I couldn't find any recipe neither. So, I made this recipe up because I know it was good in soup. My recipe didn't fail me as this soup was so delicious even both my girls loved it, they loved the soft sweet carrots and the mustard greens. My hubby loved the peanuts and I simply loved everything. By the way, how do you normally cook the fresh Asian mustard greens? Is it good in stir-fry?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai 2009

I want to wish all my readers a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Lunar New Year!! May this Ox year brings us great happiness, better economy, full tummy and wealth.

Too lazy to make pineapple tart this year, so I only pick easy cookies to make. For easy access of my recipes, click the links below:

Cornflakes cookies
Crispy Pizzelle
Peanut cookies
Kuih bangkit
Almond flavored sugee cookies

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stir-fried Chicken with Dried Beancurd Sheet

This dish was created because I didn't have much time to soften the dried beancurd sticks. So, instead of beancurd sticks, I used the dried beancurd sheet. As you can see, it is doable as well. The stir-fry beancurd sheet actually gave a more chewy texture. Not bad at all, give it a try if you have limited time to cook up a dish.

I like the sauce I created with this dish so I had to pen it down quick before I forget. I whipped up new recipe all the times and if I didn't write it down I would forget. So, normally for a sauce that I liked, I will pen it down and post it on my blog for my future reference.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Awesomely delicious!


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 pkg. (4 oz) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour (all purpose, unbleached)
1/2 Tbp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 1 min. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition, until very light and fluffy. Add cream cheese; beat 1 min. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, beat to mix.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture. Beat 1 min or until well blended. Pour batter into greased and floured 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes. Stick with toothpick to check for doneness.

Check out my Green Tea Pound Cake.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake on Foodista

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chai Bui (Leftver Vegetable Stew)

This dish is widely popular in a Hokkein household. Usually it is cooked the day after a wedding banquet, on Chinese New Year or whenever there is a lot of leftover. I remembered I always picked the Asian mustard green and siew yoke (roasted pork) to eat. This hot and sour dish is easy to cook, everything in it will be the leftover food except the mustard green. Of course today, we don't really have to depend on the leftover in order to cook this dish (I never have so much leftover in my house). So, I enjoy this dish without much of the leftover. Whenever I buy a whole roasted duck, I will save the bone, neck parts and freeze it in my freezer. Then, I will add it in with some lean pork and lots of Asian mustard green to cook this dish.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trans Fat in 3 in 1 Coffee or Milk Tea

I couldn't believe my eyes this morning when I opened a newly bought bag of 3 in 1 Taiwan milk tea that was manufactured in Singapore. One packet of this has 0.7g of trans fat! I didn't check the label because it never occur to me that milk tea has trans fat. I quickly looked through the ingredients list and the culprit came from the non-daily creamer used. I was at a shock because I just spent $5 for it and I didn't know whether I should throw it away or just have one packet of milk tea per day until it finished and never to buy it again or double check the ingredients list of this product in the future. I beat myself for not checking the ingredients list. Is it safe to consume 0.7g of trans fat a day? Okay, perhaps that was too much, probably two packets per week (by the way, I have a very good total cholesterol level and optimal LDL reading). Of course I quickly threw away the non-daily creamer in my pantry, luckily I only used this when I ran out of milk. Guess it is all come down to this, back to basic! Eat from nature (vegetable, wild-caught fishes, meat, etc), drink from the fresh (milk, cream, etc), and avoid processed food as much as possible. Now I can see the importance of organic food because certain fresh food is still minimally processed unless it is certified as organic. We never know how many years down the road that the scientist will discover something new again.

Okay, before I lost my focus, the thing I wanted to say is go check the ingredients list on your favorite 3 in 1 coffee, 3 in 1 tek tarik or milk tea.
So that next time you can buy other brand that has no non-daily creamer (mom, sis, go check yours too!). I know how we love to drink from the 3 in 1, so I want you to be aware of this too. I love the 3 in 1 coffee because I can never make my instant coffee taste as good as 3 in 1. Of course I quickly checked my 3 in 1 coffee made in Vietnam, I like 3 in 1 Vietnamese coffee because I found it less sweet. Luckily it didn't say it has trans fat in the label and on the ingredients list, it said creamer instead of non-daily creamer. Can I assume creamer has no trans fat because it didn't make from partially hydrogenated oil? Anyone knows?

Imagine all these years when trans fat has not been discovered, people were delighted at the invention of shortening, margarine and non-daily creamer that have low saturated fat that were supposed to be good for us (heart healthy they said). And now all these are considered bad because they were made from hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil that has trans fat that is more lethal than saturated fat. So, all these years we have been eating food that was made with trans fat but not knowing it. Now we have the mean to know and thus should take precaution especially people with high cholesterol and/or coronary heart disease.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sardine Sandwiches

Sardine sandwich - a popular sandwich in Malaysia. Hmm... but I have no idea whether it is still popular now as I have been living here for so long. This is a flavor I remembered when I was in secondary school when my friends came over to my house to teach me how to make it for a school event. These days, I made it as an appetizer for guest or tea time snack. Not only this is easy to make but very nutritious as well, as we know sardine is a good source of calcium, protein, iron and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Say NO to Trans Fats

I feel like I need to raise the awareness of industrial process trans fats or also known as partially hydrogenated oil. There was a buzz about the seriousness of trans fats few years ago but have you taken steps to avoid consuming food that contained trans fats?

Trans fats (trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that add hydrogen atoms into the liquid vegetable oil to make it more solid. Partially hydrogenated oils are widely used in commercial because it is cheaper, provide longer shelf life and produce a desirable texture. Most of the trans fats are found in fried and baked goods, such as bread, crackers, donuts, fries, etc. However, it is the most deadly fats out there, much worst than saturated fat. Eating industrial process trans fats will increase your bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease your good cholesterol (HDL) and thus causes the increase risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, etc. It is a very BAD fat and you certainly don't want it to be in your body.

Please don't be fooled by the "zero trans fat" or "trans fat free" labels. Under the FDA regulations, if the serving of trans fat is less than 0.5 gram, it shall be declared as zero trans fat. So, if the serving contains 0.48 gram of trans fat, the manufacturer can declared it as zero trans fat in their nutrition facts label. So, even though it said zero trans fat, look under the list of ingredients, if there is partially hydrogenated oil, shortening or hydrogenated oil listed, that means it has trans fat. However, FULLY hydrogenated oil has no trans fat and is considered safe, for example peanut butter.

So, please check the nutrition facts label whenever you pick up a box of your favorite cracker, potato chips or bread and read the ingredient list. I found that most of the famous brands have partially hydrogenated oils in it. Also, don't be fooled by trans fat free shortening because it still uses partially hydrogenated oil, so avoid shortening at all cause. If you take charge of your life and stop buying the products that used partially hydrogenated oils, it will send a message to the manufacturers. Once they see their sales drop, they will ask question, seek a solution and start using fully hydrogenated oil for their products and we all will benefit.

As for fast food chains, KFC and Wendy now use trans fat free oil in frying their food. So, go support the fast food chains that listen to us and made a change (Wendy has been good at being the pioneer in change, change that is good for the consumers). But what about the restaurants? Perhaps we can ask the waiter/waitress what kind of oil was used in the kitchen and avoid ordering fried food. I haven't done this but perhaps I should start asking especially those we frequent often. I know a few chain restaurants have started to use trans fats free oil in their restaurants.

I can considered myself lucky as I am living in the United States where all the food has to be labeled with nutrition facts label and ingredients used. But what about people in Malaysia? What about the Chinese crackers like tau sar piah, hiong piah, biscuit, do they still use shortening in preparing those? Just check or ask whenever is possible.

In conclusion, Trans Fats is lethal, once you consumed it, it will remain in your body and do funny thing, so please take charge of your life today (if you haven't done so) and stop buying any products that have partially hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated oil and shortening in their ingredients list. Together as a consumer, we can make a difference, we will show them why their sales drop and make them listen to us. In fact, go check the crackers in your pantry right now, I can tell you most have partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list (Most well-known, well-liked brand I tell you!). So, let's us start today by making a difference, together we will win.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Baked Tilapia Fish Fillets

We are a family who prefer white fish meat. Salmon and Tuna which have the pink-hued meat are not to our liking even though they are high in Omega-3 fatty acids especially salmon. I guess we are not used to it as majority of the fishes we consumed in Asia are white meat fishes. Among all the frozen fish fillets sold here we really like the texture of Tilapia fish. It is soft and smooth and go well with steaming, baking, deep-frying, pan-frying or in soup (just add it in last), because of that it is the best frozen fish fillet to have in my freezer. Strangely enough, this fish is considered cheap in Asia but not here. I have seen the value of this fish increase over time, and it is about $4-$5/lb now. Anyway, sharing with you my easy no cleaning fish dish with you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Chrysanthemum Tea/ Drink

Chrysanthemum drink is a herbal cooling drink, it is best to drink it if you feel heaty or you sense that a sore throat is coming. My elder girl and hubby have been complaining about a possible sore throat so I prepared this tea for them. I made mine very simple with just dried Chrysanthemum flowers and yellow rock sugar. Still my elder girl complained it was too bitter and would not touch her tea at all, but she is not someone who likes the taste of tea. My little one happily finished her cup without any complaint.

My big pot of Chrysanthemum tea! Did I put too much dried Chrysanthemum flowers? I just put in two handfuls of dried Chrysanthemum flowers and filled the pot with water and let it boil. When it boiled, I turned the heat to low and let it simmer for 25 minutes. Then, I added rock sugar to taste. Sieve and serve warm, at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator.

Edit to add: this tea is not supposed to boil for too long. Turn it off when it started to boil and let it sit, add rock sugar or honey to taste.