Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{ Halloween Meal }

I prepared a sort of Halloween Lunch Box for my daughter and for my son, I prepared a Halloween meal for his lunch. He had breakfast for lunch. :P

It's just a very simple meal with ham, bacon, egg with garlic bread. And not so scary bunny apples.

Little Lunch Box #41

On Halloween, I made this a cat pretending to be Hello Kitty, dressing up like My Melody, for my daughter. :P Very lame. >.<

I was a last minute lunch box. She told me wanted pack lunch, so I just used whatever I had in the fridge and whatever ideas I can think of.

The 'Hello Kitty' was ham sandwich with cheese as the 'face'. The My Melody's ears hood (2 pieces) were lightly pan toasted with garlic spread. The flower was a piece of ham resting on bread. Before I pack it, I pinned all the parts down with spaghetti.

I also packed her favourite Edamame and added all the remaining ham and cheese used to make the sandwich to a beaten egg to make an egg roll for her.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pan Fried Ribs with Rosemary

This is one of the earlier dishes I did using the Happy Call Pan (HCP). Again, this was 'hidden' away in the draft folder till now. :P  Age's catching up. I'll be 41 on my coming birthday. :o Memory is failing. :p

I haven't been using my HCP much lately. Just too lazy. I have been letting the oven do most of the work. Perhaps I should use the HCP to make this dish again.

If remembered correctly, the ribs done with the HCP was rather juicy as compared to using the oven. However, I usually oven grill the ribs with the onions. It adds the sweetness of the onions to the ribs. I'm unable to do so with the HCP as it will burn the onion. The onions here is served as a side. Please omit it if you don't like it. I love onions though. ;)

  • 2 Pork Ribs
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • 1/2 Onion, sliced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • 2 teaspoon Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • a pinch of Salt
  • a dash of Pepper

How to do it:
  1. Add ribs to marinade.
  2. Set aside and let it marinate for 20 mins.
  3. In the pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil.
  4. Add in onions and half of minced garlic.
  5. Saute fragant and onions are soften.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Side aside.
  8. Using the same pan, place the ribs and sprinkle rosemary over.
  9. Covered the pan and cook for 2 mins on each side on medium low heat till just done.
  10. To have the ribs more charred and brown, turn up the heat a little and pan fried each side well, uncovered.
  11. Remove and serve with onions.

  • Time required to cook the ribs depends on how thick/meaty the ribs are.
  • You can use any cooking wine you like.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sweet Pan Roasted Chestnut

This was in my draft folder since January this year! :P I might have thought that I have published it and this could be a duplicate. O_o

Roasted Chestnuts has always being my favourite and my sister's too I think. I couldn't resist buying if I see or smell it. I will follow the aroma to get to it! However, you don't get to see roasted chestnuts very often.

These homemade one can't beat those roasted with those small burned stones which help roast the chestnuts evenly. Nonetheless, this will do till I get my hands on the "professionally" done ones. ;)

  • 400g Raw Chestnut, washed, cleaned and dried
  • 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • 100ml Water 
  • 1-2 tablespoon White Sugar

How to do it:
  1. Slit chestnut carefully with a sharp pointed knife to prevent 'explosions' during cooking.
  2. Pan toast the chestnut on medium low heat for 5 mins to dry them.
  3. Remove and toss chestnut in oil to coat evenly.
  4. Return to pan and roast for 15 mins covered.
  5. Remove the cover and stir regularly to prevent burning.
  6. Meanwhile, melt sugar in water by simmering it.
  7. Add sugar solution to the pan.
  8. Continue to let the chestnuts to cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning (like me :P) until the water evaporates and the chestnuts are tender.
  9. Peel and eat while it's hot!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Drunken Chicken with Herbs

This dish was inspired by a lady's cooking I saw on Instagram. I went ahead to tweak on some recipes I did before to do this.

I'm not someone who enjoys having a dish that is infused with wine (I get drunk :P). I just didn't quite like the strong wine taste. Hence, I cut down the used in wine. However, my husband finds it lack of wine. It wouldn't be called Drunken Chicken if didn't have enough wine in it. This chicken is still sober, he said. =_=|||

So, if you want a truly drunken chicken, do add more wine. :P

  • 2 Chicken Drumstick, deboned

  • 4 stalk Spring Onion, only the white part, bruised
  • 2 slice Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Cooking Wine (like 绍兴花雕酒)
  • 11/3 teaspoon Salt

  • 300ml Chicken Stock
  • 200ml Water
  • 2 slice or 7g Angelica Sinensis Gui 当归, use as it is or grind into powder
  • 6 Red Dates 红枣 
  • 10g Wolfberries 枸杞子
  • 100ml - 300ml Chinese Cooking Wine 绍兴花雕酒, add according to your preference
  • Salt and Sugar to taste

How to do it:
  1. Bring all except wine, salt and sugar, in seasonings to boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer for 20mins.
  3. Add salt and sugar to taste.
  4. Add wine after the simmered seasoning has cooled.
  5. Chill the seasoning for later use.
  6. Meanwhile, flatten and tenderize the chicken using a mallet or the back of the knife.
  7. Pat dry with paper towel before adding the marinade.
  8. Marinate for at least 30mins.
  9. Prepare a sheet of foil with baking paper for each piece of chicken.
  10. Roll the chicken as tightly as possible.
  11. Wrap with foil with baking paper inside.
  12. Steam chicken roll for 25mins or till completely cooked.
  13. Remove foil and baking paper.
  14. Plunge steamed chicken rolls together with the sauce into the chilled seasoning prepared earlier.
  15. Let it sit in the seasoning till completely cooled.
  16. Refrigerate till chill or over night for better results.
  17. Sliced and serve chill.

  • If you would like to remove more alcohol in the wine (step 4), add wine together with the other ingredients when preparing the seasoning (step 1).
  • Omit the Angelica Sinensis Gui 当归, Red Dates 红枣 and Wolfberries 枸杞子, if you want a non-herbal version of the drunken chicken. (I used it to help reduce the strong taste the wine has and to bring fragrance.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mini Sesame Balls

I vaguely remembered having these when I was a little girl. I don't remember how it tasted like though.

After trying them out after so many years, I find that it's like eating the deep version of Muah Chee. It's sort of crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Sadly, It didn't bring back my childhood memories. :P

  • 250g Glutinous Rice Flour
  • 20g All purpose/Plain Flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon Vanilla Essence 
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • White Sesame Seed for coating
  • Oil for deep frying

Sugar Solution:
  • 80g White Sugar
  • 140ml Water

How to do it:
  1. Prepare the sugar solution by simmering the sugar in water till it dissolved.
  2. Set aside to cool for later use.
  3. Mix glutinous flour and plain flour together.
  4. Add the sugar solution, vanilla essence and egg to the flour mixture.
  5. Mix and knead into a smooth dough.
  6. Roll dough about 5g-7g into a ball.
  7. Coat with white sesame seeds.
  8. Deep fry till golden brown.
  9. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little Lunch Box #40

My daughter has finally beginning to like fruits. She used to hate fruits. She would promised me to try to eat the fruits I packed for her but each time they returned with only a bite.

Recently, she has been asking for apples. It's a good start. I'm pushing my luck today by adding just a few grapes. Hopefully she will accept it.

The panda sandwiches are with choco spread. The fruit panda consists of apples and black grapes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Little Lunch Box #39

I made 2 (kaya) sandwiches for my daughter. She wanted to have one after her school enrichment class and the other for recess.

I used 2 types of cheese. The orangy one is Cheddar and pale yellow is the regular Cheese singles. The rest of the parts were made out of seaweed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cheesy Meatball Soup

I was clearing some cheese and decided to use it on meatballs. I usually fried the meatballs but I wanted to do minimum cleaning, hence, I used the meatballs to make soup instead.

I'm not sure if people are acceptable with having cheese 'in' soup. I'm odd I guess. I kinda like it.

  • 100g Minced Chicken
  • 100g Prawn, shelled and minced
  • 100g Fish Paste
  • 3 slice Cheese, cut into 4 pcs each
  • a tablespoon Cornflour
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 litre Chicken Stock 
  • Coriander and/or Spring Onions, chopped (optional)

    How to do it:
    1. Mix chicken, prawn and fish paste together.
    2. Add chopped coriander to the paste if using
    3. Season with pepper and salt.
    4. Add cornflour and mix well.
    5. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of paste onto your (clean) oiled palm.
    6. Take a piece of cheese, cut it further into 4s and stack up.
    7. Push cheese into the middle of the meat paste.
    8. Fold in the paste so that it covers the cheese stack.
    9. Shape it with your palms.  
    10. Gently drop into boiling stock.
    11. Bring soup to a simmer.
    12. Cook till meat balls are well done.   
    13. Add salt to taste.
    14. Served with a dash of sesame oil.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Minestrone Soup with Garlic Toast

    Minestrone is one of my favourite western soup. Usually I will add macaroni in it for my second meal and that makes a very filling meal. I'm using french loaf here to make the garlic toast as it will soften when it's dipped into the soup and it soak up the soup better then  bread or bun.

    I have shared both the recipes for Minestrone and the Garlic Bread here before. For easy reference, I'm re-posting the recipes with minor tweaks for both recipes.

    Minestrone Soup


    • 1.2 litre Chicken Broth
    • 2-3 tablespoon Tomato Paste
    • 1 stick Celery, diced
    • 1 Potato, skinned and diced
    • 1 Carrot, skinned and diced
    • 1 Onion, skinned and diced
    • 5 French Bean, diced
    • 4-5 leaf Cabbage, chopped
    • 2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
    • 1 Bay Leaf
    • Pepper and salt to taste

    How to do it:
    1. Heat a little oil and saute onion and celery till slightly soften.
    2. Add in potato, carrot, french bean and cabbage.
    3. Cook for a minute.
    4. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for pepper and salt.
    5. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
    6. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes till vegetables are tender.
    7. Season with salt and pepper.

    • Size of the veggies used, ie, potato, carrot and onion, depends on your preference. If you not going to eat much of the veggies, get smaller size veggies.
    • Add more tomato paste if you prefer the soup to be to be thicker.

    Garlic Toast

    • French Loaf, sliced
    • 4 tablespoon Butter, Soften
    • 16 clove Garlic
    • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley (optional)

    How to do it:
    1. Preheat oven at 180C.
    2. Cut the base (hard part) of garlic, leave the skin on.
    3. Toast slice french loft and garlic for 12 mins.
    4. Remove and set aside to cool.
    5. Squeeze the garlic out from the skin and smash into paste like.
    6. Add the garlic to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
    7. Spread on toasted sliced french loaf.
    8. Toast for 10 to 15 mins.

    • Pre-toast the french loaf to make it dry so it will stay crunchy.
    • Time required depends on how thick the slices are.
    • Toast it again if you feel that it's still soft in the middle.
    • Store un-used french loaf in air-tight container till stated expiry date.
    • You can grate fresh garlic into paste like instead of toasting it if you like.
    • You can also mix some Parmesan Cheese to the Garlic Mixture.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Seafood Egg Drop Soup

     Something easy that I cook very often. It's a very versitile, quick and easy soup. You can change the ingredients if you like.

    The idea here is to stock up of homemade stock so you can always have home cook soup in minutes. You can always get store bought stock if you are really hard pressed for time.

    • 1.5 litre Chicken Stock
    • 2 Egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 small can Button Mushroom, sliced
    • 1 handful Frozen Pea, thawed
    • 5-6 stick Imitation Crab-stick, cut in 3 pieces each or sliced length-wise
    • Pepper and Salt to taste

    How to do it:
    1. Put all ingredients except pepper and salt, in a pot.
    2. Bring to a boil.
    3. Stir in beaten eggs.
    4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    • You can also stir in corn flour mixture to thicken it too.

    Coco Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Just a quick post to let you know this blog hasn't closed. :P

    Haven't been actively updating due to a few reasons. My PC is giving me lots of problems, though not as much as the amount of problems my son has given me, which caused me to nose bleed again. :/ I'm serious.

    It happened last year and I had some parts of the blood vessels cauterised. This time, I'm 'smarter'. Shut my eyes and ears as much as I can, while I can, so as not to get too worked up. So, minimum bleeding this time. After a month, finally it shows no signs of continuation. So, I'm good for now.

    Anyway, that made me 'gave up' updating for a while. I'm just not in the mood to do anything. Can't do much with one hand pinching the nose most of the time anyway. :P

    So, while both my hands are free, here's one that I did for Teachers' Day.

    • 200g Butter, soften
    • 200g Brown Sugar
    • 2 Eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
    • 200g Chocolate Chips
    • 30g Corn Flour
    • 220g Self Raising Flour
    • 25g Cocoa Powder

    How to do it:
    1. Preheat oven to 180C.
    2. Cream butter and sugar till pale and creamy.
    3. Add in eggs and vanilla essence and beat well.
    4. Fold in shifted flour and cocoa powder.
    5. Fold in chocolate bits.
    6. Scoop spoonfuls of mixture ( on tray lined with baking paper or pipe on baking paper.
    7. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, depending on size of cookie, until lightly golden.
    8. Cool completely on wire racks before storing in air-tight containers.