Saturday, March 29, 2008

Flower Cookies

This is yet other recipe I found that is easy to follow. The results for this is rather pretty and it taste like a cross between cookie and tart. You know, a bit 'cakey'. Seriously, it's not quite what I like but my kids love it. My husband and his colleagues like it too. I' can't complaining much since they are the one who eat it. *wink*

  • 50g Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 40g Sugar
  • 150g Butter, soften
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 200g Cake Flour, sifted
  • Chocolate bits for decoration

How to do it:
  1. Combine sugars, butter and salt and beat well till light and fluffy.
  2. Combine and beat egg and yolk.
  3. Add into batter over 3 times and beat well.
  4. Add in Vanilla Extract and beat well.
  5. Gradually add in flour and fold in to the batter till all flour are mix well.
  6. Scoop batter into a piping fitted with a star tip.
  7. Pipe batter out to a lined baking sheet giving enough space between each batter.
  8. Add a chocolate chip in the center as decoration. You can use raisin, nuts or cherries too.
  9. Bake at 175C preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or the the edge are brown.
  10. Cool on rack before storing in air-tight containers.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Credits: Cakes & Cookie by Zheng Yan Xue

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grilled Spice Ribs

I saw this recipe from a cookbook when I was browsing at a book stand and managed to remember ingredients used (I think) and I just figured out the cooking method. :P

I like these so much, I only left one rib for my husband. *laughs* Maybe it's the aroma. Even my son like it but he couldn't finish it because it's a bit spicy.

My husband did not really enjoy it as by the time he came back, the rib was cold and the meat was a bit tough (because of the sugar). I shouldn't have listen to him and reheat it for him. He said it's a waste of electricity to reheat for one rib. *opps*

  • 4 meaty Ribs

Spices to grind into paste:
  • 5 Shallot
  • 2 stalk Lemon Grass
  • 1 thumb-size Turmeric
  • 3 fresh Chilli

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 3 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil
  • 2 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce

How to do it:
  1. Marinade ribs with seasonings for 30 minutes.
  2. Coat the with spice paste.
  3. Place in oven-proof dish with cover or use foil to cover.
  4. Grill in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or till cooked at 200C.
  5. Remove cover or foil and continue grilling for 10 minutes or till ribs turn golden brown.
  6. Serve immediately.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Steam Prawns with Chilli Garlic

We love prawns and I must say this is one of the easiest and fastest prawn dish to make. The only important thing you need to have is fresh prawns.

Oh! It's easy to eat too since it's "butterflied". *wink*

  • 12 medium to large Prawns, butterfly and deviened
  • A pinch of Salt
  • A dash of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 6 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh Chilli, chopped
  • A drizzle of Sesame Seed Oil (optional)

How to do it:
  1. Mix all ingredients except prawns and sesame seed oil together.
  2. Place prawns on a shallow dish.
  3. Put in the garlic and chili mixture in the slit of the prawns.
  4. Steam for 5 minutes or just cooked.
  5. Scoop the sauce from the steamed prawns and pour over the prawns.
  6. Drizzle some sesame seed oil sparingly and add some chopped spring onions if you like.
  7. Serve immediately.

The easiest and safest way to butterfly prawns is to use a kitchen scissor. Use it to cut the shells from the head to the tail end, then use a knife to slit it.

  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Home-made Ice Cream

I have been wanting to try making ice-cream on my own for quite some time, especially after reading this! But Vi's method requires half and half (of milk and cream) and kosher salt which I could only get at certain supermarket at town. I decided to do the the 'normal' method without the ice-cream maker.

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 75g Sugar
  • 250ml Milk
  • 300ml Thickened Cream
  • 1 Vanilla Bean or 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

How to do it:
  1. Beat egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Combine milk and cream in saucepan.
  3. Split vanilla bean in half, lengthways, and scape the seeds from the bean.
  4. Add both seeds and bean to the pan.
  5. Bring milk mixture almost to a boil.
  6. Remove milk mixture from heat.
  7. Remove the bean and set aside for washing and drying (please see note below).
  8. Beat while gradually pour the milk mixture to the egg mixture.
  9. Cook the combined mixture at low heat, stirring constantly till the it begins to thicken and coats the back of your spoon.
  10. Add in the vanilla extract now if you are not using vanilla bean.
  11. Stir to mix well.
  12. Do not boil the mixture to a boil.
  13. Transfer to shallow pan and cover the surface of the mixture with cling or plastic wrap.
  14. Freeze it.
  15. Remove every hour to stir with a fork.
  16. Repeat for 5 to 6 times or till it set.
  17. Serve.

  • After washing the vanilla bean, hang it to dry completely. Have it buried in sugar and a week or two later you have have vanilla sugar.
  • If you like chocolate flavoured ice-cream, sift in a tablespoon of cocoa powder with the milk and cream. You can use melted chocolate too if you like.
  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

* Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream *

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Starry Egg or Eggy Star?

How do you fry your egg? My husband like his sunny-side up. I like mine with the yolk covered by the white, like pouched eggs. My kids obviously like them in shapes! Seen here is the star-shaped fried eggs. *wink*

It's a bit more work to do this but I like to see how the kids sitting at the table waiting to see what shapes will their eggs be like. It made their meals more enjoyable. This is great for bento too. Wanna know how I do it? Nah, I'm not telling. Kidding.

You will need two cookie cutters, one large cookie cutter and another medium cookie cutter. The size of the cookie cutter depends on the size of egg you are using. I'm using two same shape cutters. You can have different shapes, like a big star with a small heart for example.

How to do it:
  1. Heat and oil your frying pan.
  2. Oil both whole cookie cutters on all sides.
  3. Place the cutters in the pan with the smaller cutter in the larger one.
  4. Crack and separate the yolk.
  5. Place the yolk in the smaller cutter and the white in the larger one.
  6. Use a toothpick to spread the egg if necessary.
  7. Continue frying on low heat till it's half set.
  8. Carefully pour in some hot water around the large cookie cutter to cook the egg till the whites are set. ** You can omit adding water and continue frying till it set but I prefer to use water so the base won't be hard from frying (my kids won't eat it.)
  9. Use a spatula (with slots if you have used water), to remove the egg. Be careful because the white and yolk will separate if you oiled the cutters well enough.
  10. Place it on a plate and remove the cookie cutters from the egg.
  11. Serve immediately.
Oh, if you don't have large cookie cutters then try using quail eggs instead. The result is cute! Have fun!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mars Puff Balls

I realised I didn't post this. This was done quite some time back. To be exact, during Chinese New Year period as an experiment and it turn out very well.

It all started with the left-over pineapple tart's crust dough and a bag of Mars Minis we bought during Christmas. I got this idea from the pineapple cocoon.

But I got to warn you first if you are going to try this. It keeps exploding like a volcano with sticky caramel chocolate. It was better on my second batch. The trick is, make the crust thin and bake on low heat. So the puff balls will be baked before they explode. At most you get are crack lines.

The is definitely for those with sweet tooth, like me! Try eating it after it has cooled slightly. Love the oozing chocolate! But be careful. It's still hot.

  • 250g Butter
  • 2 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 400g All Purpose Flour
  • Mars, chopped into about 1.5cm cubes
  • Some regular white sugar or brown sugar

How to do it:
  1. Beat butter, sugar and salt till creamy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla essence.
  3. Mix evenly.
  4. Fold in the flour and mix into a dough.
  5. Roll dough into 9g balls each.
  6. Flatten the dough with your palms.
  7. Place the mars cubes in the middle and fold the dough to cover it.
  8. Roll the combination into ball.
  9. Gently press it on some sugar. (So when the sugar melt from baking, the puff gets a shiny top)
  10. Baked in tray lined with baking paper for 8 to10 minutes in preheated oven at 150C.
  11. Cool on wire rack before storing.
  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Baked Fish in Banana Leaf

This is my husband's favourite fish dish. Phew! At least it's not expensive cod. This is just the opposite. It's cheap! It only cost me a dollar to get one Selar. But it doesn't taste cheap though. *laughs*

As it's a hassle to prepare the spices, I usually do more and keep it in the fridge for a few more days. It goes quite well with squid too.

If you can't get banana leaf, you can use aluminum foil, not that it taste nice lah. At least you could cover it (like a tent) to bake. So the fish won't get too dried up, exposed to direct baking and to let the fish gets the flavours. Only open up the foil to let it bake for 2 minutes at the end if you wish.

Does this reminds you of those BBQ fish in Singapore? *wink*

  • 2 Selar Fish
  • 2 stalk Lemon Grass, slightly flatten
  • 2 slice Galangal
  • 2 Banana Leaves (big enough to wrap the fish)
  • 2 Lime, cut
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt for marinading
  • 3 tablespoon Oil for frying
  • Additional Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar

Spices to be grind together:

  • 3 Shallot
  • 3 clove Garlic
  • 1 thumb size Turmeric
  • 2 Fresh Red Chillies
  • 2 Dried Red Chillies
  • 4 Candlenuts

How to do it:
  1. Clean fish and rub with salt.
  2. Set aside for 1/2 hour.
  3. Wash and dry banana leaf.
  4. Coat with oil and place on baking tray or oven proof dish to be used later.
  5. Heat oil in wok and fry the grind spices till fragrant.
  6. Add in lemon grass and galangal.
  7. Continue frying till fragrant.
  8. Add in sugar and salt to taste.
  9. Remove and set aside.
  10. Either bake the fish in the oven or pan fry it for 5 minutes so it's slightly cooked on the surface.
  11. Coat fish with spices and wrap with a banana leaf. (Just fold leaf over and secure with toothpick)
  12. Bake in preheated oven at 200C for 8 minutes before turning over to continue baking for another 5 minutes or till fully cooked.
  13. Squeeze in lime and serve immediately.
  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Chocolate Melting Moments

The recipe is pretty straight forward for a novice baker like me. I should be able to handle it was what I thought when I first saw the recipe. *laughs* Plus I'm always curious what they meant by 'melting moments'. *stick out tongue* Sooo... it very crumbly till it feels like it as melted in your mouth!

Only thing I do not like about this recipe is it not sweet enough (for me). The next time I do this, I'm going to make it even much smaller so I could get more Nutella. Either that or I'll add more icing sugar to it. Yeah, I got a sweet tooth.

  • 125g Butter, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Icing Sugar
  • 110g Plain Flour
  • 2 tablespoon Corn Flour
  • 2 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 85g Nutella

How to do it:
  1. Preheat oven to 170C.
  2. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in dry ingredients in two batches.
  4. Spoon batter into piping bag (with a star tip).
  5. Pipe on lined tray allowing 3 cm apart.
  6. Baked for 10 minutes for till biscuits are firm.
  7. Stand for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.
  8. Sandwich biscuits with Nutella to serve.

  • If you have a sweet tooth, add more icing sugar.
  • The biscuit is rather bland without nutella.
  • Try using peanut butter as filling too.
  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Ps. Notice the change in my blog? *wink* Not as sweet anymore but I hope this change will make loading faster and in some case, make loading possible! Yes, one or my friends couldn't load my blog!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cabbage Soup 高丽菜清汤

I think I have the weirdest kids. I totally didn't expect them to like this soup but they love it! They ended up having rice with this soup only, totally ignoring the rest of the dishes. My son had an extra 1/2 a bowl of rice and even finished the cabbage in it. Not to mentioned, they finished it rather fast too.

This is one of my comfort soup. My mother cooked this a lot when I was young. If you remembered, I mentioned before my mother doesn't really know how to cook. She made this soup using stock cubes and added (minced) meatball in it. So there's soup, veg and meat. No headaches. One dish settled the dinner. Simple *laughs*

Here, I used home-made chicken broth instead. It's really simple to make. Just cook 1 litre of broth with 1 to 1 1/2 handful of shredded cabbage for 20 minutes or till the cabbage and soft. Season with salt and that's it. If you are adding meatballs like what my mother did, add them after the soup starts to boil. How easy is that!

* simple Cabbage Soup *

Raspberry Cream Cheese Tarts

I did a batch of egg tarts as tea-break snacks for my husband's colleagues. I saved some of the pastry for the crust for my little experiment. And it turn out quite well too. Looks pretty too!

Ingredients for Crust:
  • 340g Top Flour
  • 230g Butter
  • 70g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Beaten Egg
Ingredients for Cream Cheese filling:
  • 220g Cream Cheese, softened
  • 390g Condensed Milk
  • 10ml Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Other ingredients:
  • Fruit, like Blueberries, Strawberries, Grapes, Kiwi. (I used Raspberries)
  • Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
How to do it:
  1. Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  2. Add egg into mixture and mix until combined.
  3. Add flour and mix into a dough.
  4. Cover dough with cling wrap and keep in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Weight dough into 10g each (depending on size of mould) and press into moulds or muffin tin.
  6. Preheat oven at 180C and bake for 10 minutes of till the crust is slightly brown
  7. Remove and set aside to cool.
  8. To prepare the cream cheese filling, beat cream cheese till fluffy.
  9. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue beating till smooth.
  10. Cover and refrigerate till ready to pipe.
  11. When ready to serve, just pipe enough cream cheese into the tart and top with fruit. Dust on some icing sugar if you like.
  • I rolled the dough into a ball and flatten it before put it into the muffin tin.
  • What you see here are mini tarts. They are about 4cm in diameter.
  • The recipe here can make more than 50. So cut the ingredients if you do not intend to make so much.
  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cod with Mango

Urgh! Not another Cod recipe, you say?! Now you know how much I spend on fish for my kids. As long as they eat it, I don't mind paying for it, as long as I can afford it.

The kids love this dish because it colouful. But I failed to make my daughter eat the fruits (she hates fruits). Better luck next time.

  • 1 Cod, deboned
  • 1/3 Mango, diced coarsely
  • 1 sprig Spring Onions, cut into 2" sections
  • 1 glove Garlic, diced or sliced
  • Flour for dusting
  • Oil of frying

  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1 egg white (optional)

Sauce (to be mixed together):
  • 4 tablespoon Chicken Broth
  • A pinch of Sugar
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cornflour

How to do it:
  1. Marinate Cod with marinade for half an hour.
  2. Heat wok with enough oil for pan frying.
  3. Dust cod with flour and fry it.
  4. Flip over after 3 minutes or when it turn slightly golden brown.
  5. Continue frying till the other side has also turn golden brown and fully cooked.
  6. Dish and drain from excess oil.
  7. In a clean wok, heat 1 teaspoon oil.
  8. Saute garlic and spring onion till fragrant but not brown.
  9. Add in stock.
  10. Simmer in low fire.
  11. Gently stir it till it starts to thicken.
  12. Add in the mango and continue cooking for another 10 seconds.
  13. Pour the sauce over the earlier prepared cod.
  14. Serve immediately.
  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Raisin Butter Cake

I'm going to 'talk' less and post more. I'm going to try to get more recipes out. My list of upcoming recipes are getting too long and I'm losing my notes (just realised the kids are colouring my food pictures on my notes :P) So, sorry if I seem less 'chatty' or perhaps you are glad I am. *laughs*

Anyway, this is one of the kid's favourites and mine too. I have over baked this but luckily it's only the outer layer that's a bit dry and crumbly. The rest was still nice.

  • 5 Eggs
  • 180 Sugar
  • 200g Self Raising Flour, sifted
  • 250g Butter, soften
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 80g Raisin, soaked to soften and dried (omit to make butter cake)

How to do it:
  1. Grease baking tin.
  2. Reheat oven at 170C
  3. Beat butter and sugar till creamy and light.
  4. Add egg one at a time and mix until well combined.
  5. Add flour and fold in slowly.
  6. Mix in vanilla essence and mix evenly.
  7. Pour mixute into baking tin.
  8. Bake in reheated oven for 45 - 50 minutes.
  9. Remove and cool on rack.
  • Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.