Saturday, 20 October 2007

Srimuka



Hiee everyone!! If u're wondering if i'm still alive, the answer is yes :) The reason for my absence is that my barrier exams are in 6 weeks time and i just don't have the time to cook much and let alone blog. I've been baking off and on but when it comes to meals, everything i eat doesn't take more than 20 minutes to prepare. I'm thankful that my sister cooks most of the time for me so i don't have to live off toast and noodles.

My parents are coming to Adelaide soon to kinda babysit me..aren't i lucky ;). To all my Malay friends out there, Selamat Hari Raya. A few classmates of mine invited a whole bunch of us over for Raya. It was lots of fun. We cooked practically the whole night the day before and they had people coming and going from morning till night. Just like how they celebrate back home.



I'll end this post with the recipe for Seri muka. I've made this many times in the past few weeks. Its just absolutely delicious. The recipe is from lily's

Ingredients

Rice Layer

300g glutinous rice, wash and soak in water for 4 hours, drain
180ml coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

Egg Custard Layer

3 large eggs
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp rice flour
350ml coconut milk
150g castor sugar
1 tbsp pandan paste
1/4 tsp salt
Green coloring


Method:

1. Drain rice and steam on 22cm tray for 20 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, fluff up the rice and pour in the coconut milk, sugar and salt. Mix well. Steam for another 20-25 minutes or till cooked.

3. Using a spoon or spatula,press cooked glutinous rice firmly and use another tray to level pressed rice.

4. Sieve the 2 flours mixture and add them to lightly beaten eggs. Strain mixture. Add coconut milk, pandan paste, green color,salt and sugar.

5 . Cook on high in the microwave, 1 min at a time until mixture is slightly thicken.

6. Pour 1/2 of this egg custard over the steamed glutinous rice and steam for 10 - 15 minutes until cooked. Use a fork and scatch surface, then pour in the balance of the custard, steam further another 10 - 15 minutes until cooked. (steaming time varies depending on the heat of steamer)

7. Cut kueh into serving slices when cooled.




Expect my triumphant return in december once all this fuss about exams is over. Till then, au revoir and bon appetit.

Ps-too all the students who read my blog and are going to sit for exams.. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice



Since young, my family and i use to enjoy dinning in Thai Restaurants back home. We even used to drive across the border of Thailand just to have lunch there and come back. We seldom do that now since Thailand has become a little politically unstable.
We used to always order pineapple fried rice as a side dish when we had Thai food.It always came in a nicely carved pineapple and i was perpetually amused with it. I adore fruit and vegetable carvings. A friend of mine was hankering for pineapple fried rice a few days ago. It has been some time since i had Thai food and thought why not. I knew it was quick and won't take much time to prepare.

close up

While i decided to cook the fried rice, he decided to be useful and started cutting the pineapple and scooping flesh of it out.

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil
1 whole pineapple/ 1 can canned pineapple, drained
3 cups of rice, jasmine preferably
1 cup frozen mix vegetables/ whatever vegetables you desire
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
3 red chilli
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbs soy sauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup prawns or chicken fillet
2 tbs fish sauce(for vegetarians u can get vegetarian fish sauce if not just use soy sauce)
1/3 cup cashew nuts (optional)
Cracked pepper(optional)


Method


1. Slice off one side of the pineapple to remove the skin (do no cut off the leaves). Carve out the fruit from inside the pineapple. Set carved pineapple aside.
2. Pound chilli and garlic in a mortar and pestle to make a paste. If you don't own one just use your knife to flatten it.
3. Place oil in wok and turn heat on to medium-high. Add the chilli paste and onion and sautée until fragrant.
4. Add the vegetables, cashew and prawns and fry for about 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the rice in then fish sauce, soy sauce , curry powder and pepper. Add pineapple in after.
6. Make a hole in the middle of the rice and fry the eggs. Taste the rice, if its not salty enough add soy sauce or salt.
7. Serve in the carved out pineapple.

Its a good dish to bring along for a pot luck or to make if you're having a dinner with friends over. They'll be pretty impressed with the presentation!

Monday, 24 September 2007

French Bean Salad with a Twist of Spice



Would you be surprised if i told you i only started cooking about 3-4 years ago? I only started learning how to cook because my mom kinda forced me to learn before leaving home to come to Aussie land! I never actually paid much attention but just went along and sat in the kitchen just because i was more interested in ways to distract myself and spend time chit-chatting with her *cheeky grin*. But the only thing i remember her telling me over and over again is that if you want to cook vegetables, the main ingredients to put in is mustard seeds and urad dhal(black split beans without skin).

So that's all i remembered when it came to cooking vegetables. However, after coming over to Australia, i started cooking and just absolutely loved it. My dad told me once, If you know how to cook, no matter where you are, you'll make friends.'

think+mustard+seeds

After discovering Sunita's blog, I came across her monthly spice event of 'Think Spice,' and I was thrilled when she announced mustard seeds being the spice of the month.

I kept thinking about what unique dish i could come up with only using mustard seeds. I didn't want to put up a normal South Indian vegetable dish as its too mundane. Instead, my sister and i decided to dish up an east meets west recipe for French Bean Salad using mustard seeds. Not to worry folks, I'm still keeping up with my quick meal theme!

This dish is soo easy, refreshing and the best part is that it has a twist of spice to it. A good side dish to go with anything that you want. And the absolute clincher is that it doesn't even have to be an Indian meal.

French Bean Salad with a Twist of Spice
Serves 4

Ingredient
3 cups of French Beans, cut into 4 cm pieces
1/4 cup grated carrot(optional)
1 tbs oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 green chillies, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
100g( grated coconut)
70g (1/2 cup) almonds instead pounded
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tbs honey whole grained mustard (Master food)



Method

1. Boil some water in a pan. Drop in French beans and return to the boil. Or what i did was i just boiled water in a kettle and poured it into a bowl with my beans and covered it for about 2 minutes. Drain the beans and rinse in cold water.
2. Set aside in mixing bowl.
3. Heat oil in a separate pan. Add mustard seeds and fry. Add onion, chillies and grated coconut. Saute for 1 minute and then add the honey. Fry till the coconut turns brown or until fragrant.
4. Combine your beans with sauted ingredients. Add grated carrot, salt, sugar and mustard. Mix well.
5. Best served cold after being refrigerated for about 30 minutes.


Not only did i use mustard seeds, i also used honey whole grained mustard in my salad. Therefore, i think i do qualify to enter Sunita's ' Think Spice, Think Mustard seed' event ;)

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Lunch + Dessert in 45mins



I've realised that our young generation these day are very impatient people. They want everything done quickly and with perfect results. I guess with all the vast developmental and technological revolutionary changes that are happening around us, you can't help but try and keep up with the rest of the world.

I get alot of my friends telling me to put up quick and easy recipes for them to follow and of course tasty ones too :) With my barrier exams coming up in about 2 months time, i too have not had much time to make anything too complex. Therefore, as I needed a quick sugar fix, i decided to make Portuguese egg tarts today. They're quick and best eaten hot. Whenever i go for yum cha, its a must for me to order their egg tarts.I used to make these egg tarts very often last year after discovering it was so easy to make them.


Portuguese egg tarts
Makes 12

Ingredients

2 sheets of buttered puff pastry
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup of milk
3 drops of vanilla extract


Method

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Lightly grease muffin tray and cut out 12 circles from the buttered puff pastry sheet. I used a round cookie cutter to make my circles.
2. Place your circular shaped ready made pastry in the muffin tray.
3.Use an electric mixture and beat in your other ingredients. Strain it once your done.
4. Fill your pastry with the filling mixture( ~3/4 full).The filling will puff up once you bake it.
5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the filling turns light brown.
6. Eat the egg tarts while its HOT !!!

Note- I found by using 1/3 cup of sugar my egg tarts turn out pretty sweet. I normally cut the sugar down. But if you're a big sugar fan, go ahead!

roti canai

After making my egg tarts, i had bits and pieces of remaining puff pasty and decided to fry it to make myself some roti canai. It WORKS!! Of course, it doesn't taste 100% like the real roti canai, but i'll say its about 85% close to it! I had my rotis with left over dhal..SUPERB!

Not only did i prepare a good snack, i prepare lunch too! All in 45 minutes :)

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Couscous Salad



I bet you know how it feels to make a list of big plans but you end up doing close to nothing on your list of things to do. Well, i hope i'm not the only one! Anyway, i had a long list of things that i wanted to experiment with in the kitchen this weekend but ended up doing nothing *hehe*

I ate out most of the weekend except for dinner on Sunday.Somehow, i don't like going out on Sunday nights. I just like to wind down and just kinda mentally prepare myself for a busy week ahead. I just wanted to make something really simple and quick for my sister and me before America's Next Top Model came on tv. I looked into my fridge and saw a punnet of cherry tomatoes that i totally forgot i had in the fridge.What interesting dish can i make with it i mused? A couscous salad with lots of vegetables and feta cheese was the answer! I ended up making a simple couscous salad which let me tell you, is so easy and quick. I created my own dressing to cater to my own palate.

Ingredients

1 cup couscous
1 cup cucumber(diced)
1 cup cherry tomatoes( cut into halves)
Half an onion (cut into rings)
1/2 cup feta cheese

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vineger
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 tsp mint sauce
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar


Method

1. Cook the couscous according to the directions behind the box.
2. Cut up the onions, cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese.
3. Once couscous is cool, add all the ingredients for the dressing and mix.


Serves 2

Note-If you're tired from work and just want something quick try this! For health conscious people, you can substitute normal couscous with whole wheat couscous.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Spicy Tomato Chutney



After my little test on Friday, i just felt so drained and tired even though it wasn't a big exam. I just didn't want to go through the hassle of washing up and cleaning the kitchen. All i wanted was a quiet lazy weekend when i could just sleep in!

Speaking of sleeping in... I had gone out for a few drinks on Friday with my friends, as well as watching Hairspray too which i thought was AWESOME :) and just wanted to sleep in on Saturday. However, a few friends disturbed my peaceful slumber with a wake up call early Saturday morning and said they wanted to come over for breakfast. It was a good day to celebrate as it was our Lord Ganesha's (God of Wisdom and Prosperity) birthday and i thought why not?!

I guess a normal person would have gotten really pissed off but i was happy they did call and turned up at the door after giving me a 10 minute warning. I ended up making a traditional Indian breakfast of Tosai(Indian pancake) and uppuma (a savory semolina dish) with tomato chutney. I have to admit the Tosai and uppama was made using instant packet stuff. Its not that i don't know how to make the real dishes, its just that i wasn't expecting anyone to appear at my door for breakfast ;)

As for the tomato chutney the recipe is at follows;

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Ingredients

2 tbs oil
1 tsp mustard seeds(optional)
1 large onions,finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic minced
3cm (1 1/4 in) ginger, minced
600g (3 cups) ripe tomatoes, blanched
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt


Method

1. Heat oil in heavy bottomed pan and saute the onion, garlic and ginger and mustard seeds until aromatic.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and simmer over low heat until thick, about 20 minutes

Serves 6-8

Note-It's really easy to make and goes really well with tosai!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Rich-Moist Brownies



BROWNIESS..how i love brownies!!!The first time i had brownies was when i was about 6 years old and i had them in an Australian family friend's house(the Kings) in Malaysia. I recollect being very puzzled at the texture of the brownie after taking a bite into it. What is it i thought to myself?? It wasn't soft like a cake yet it wasn't hard like a cookie, so what was it i remember thinking to myself...Its a brownie Aunty Debbie uttered from across the room after seeing the look on my face! It didn't bother me much on what it was called as it tasted really good and that made me a really happy 6 year old kid.

I had an exam last Friday to study for and was a bit stressed out. Therefore, after reading and going through my notes for what seemed like the 100th time, i decided to bake something to divert my attention for about an hour. Since, my registrars and consultants in my rotation were really nice to us students and always insisted on paying for our morning coffees and muffins, baking them a batch of rich chocolate brownies was what i decided to do to show them my appreciation.

'How to be a Domestic Goddess' by Nigella Lawson was where i got my brownie recipe from. I knew Nigella will not let me down. And guess what..she didn't :)

Ingredients

(makes bout 48 according to the book-but i got about 25 pieces)

375g soft unsalted butter
375g best- quality dark chocolate
6 large eggs
1 tbs vanilla extract
500g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1 tsp salt
300g chopped walnuts

tin measuring approx 33x23x5.5cm


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.Line the brownie pan
2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy-based pan. Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla.
3. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.
4. When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar, and then the nuts and flour. Beat to combine smoothly.
5. Bake for about 25minutes. When it's ready, the top should be dried to a lighter brown but the middle still dark and dense and gooey.

Note- Keep checking your brownies. It only takes a few minutes for it to turn from a perfect moist brownie to a dried up yucky brownie

Have a good weekend :)

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Pandan Jelly Roll



I was craving for kaya( coconut jam) and even more for Pandan Swiss roll. But the thought of standing over the stove for HOURS to make the kaya was a major turn off! However, after Ioyces from Our Cooking Escapades left a message that she made kaya in the microwave, a sudden urge to satisfy my craving overwhelmed me.

whole roll

The kaya recipe was done following the recipe from Lily's Blog. Its really fast and easy to make. A BIG farewell to the traditional kaya making! Not that i'm mocking the traditional way, but to me personally, this recipe is so much easier and faster.


bread and coffee

Having kaya on toasted bread with a little dash of margarine over a hot cup of white coffee..heavenly!!!!

The recipe is as follows :

Ingredients
5 eggs (280 gm)
280 gm sugar
200 ml thick coconut milk
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp of powdered vanillin


Method:

1. Stir and whip all ingredients except vanillin in a glass bowl to break up the eggs. Strain mixture.
2. Microwave uncovered for 5 mins on level 4(i am using 1000 watts) and then stir. Repeat again 5 mins on level 4, by now the mixture will be thicker.
3. Continue to Microwave for 3 mins on level 3, remove from microwave and stir. the custard should be thickened by now.
4. This time, cover with cling wrap and leave an opening for steam, microwave on level 2 for 5 mins.
5. Remove wrap and stir while adding in the vanillin and let it cool.

Note- I used 1/4 tsp drops of Vanilla essence instead of powdered vanillin and it worked for me. I wanted it to be pandan flavoured so i added 2 drops of pandan essence to the recipe


As for my swiss roll, it was my first time making it. I was always under the impression that swiss rolls are really hard to make and therefore the idea of making it intimidated me. But after reading how East Meets West was on the roll with her swiss rolls, i decided to try it out too.

Since i could not find a good recipe for Pandan sponge cake, i decided to improvise.I found a sponge cake recipe on Delicious days. Click here for the recipe. I added a few drops of Pandan essence to the recipe. I don't know why but my sponge cake turned out to be a half cake + half hard jelly. But guess what i really liked it. I remember we use to get Pandan Jelly cakes at the bakery when in Malaysia and this truly reminded me of that.If you can figure out where i went wrong please let me know..Its still a BIG mystery to me. But like they say...everything happens for a reason.


tray


Ps: Iocyes, here's a picture of the pan i used. My housemate bought it from Myers. But i'm sure you can find it in any cookery shop or even woolies.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Waddling Along



A whiff of freshly cooked waffles she was awoken with,
Breakfast in bed was her surprise for the day,
Cutely dressed penguins dripped with maple syrup was what she got,
What a perfect way to start her day she thought :)

I got a Woddles Penguin waffle maker for my birthday last year and it has been put to good use ever since i must say. The little penguins have depressions in their belly for ice cream! A Perfect dessert don't you think?? It comes with a reliable list of waffle recipes that I've tried due to my curiosity. The recipes are really easy to follow and I just find all this little kitchen gadgets really cute and amusing. I've tried making Chocolate chip waffles, apple and cinnamon waffles and just plain basic waffles which go really well with any toppings!
Here's the recipe for basic waffle batter:


Ingredients

1 cup self raising flour
1 egg, separated
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
45g butter, melted
1 1/2 tbs caster sugar


Method


1. Pre-heat waffle maker.

2. In a large bowl combine the sifted flour, egg yolk, milk, water and butter. Using an electric mixer; mix until smooth.

3. Using clean beaters; beat egg white in a small bowl until soft peaks form then gradually add the sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Fold the egg white mixture into the mixture.

5. Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons of mixture into each penguin waffle mould; using a plastic spatula push the mixture into the hands and feet of the moulds.Close lid.

6. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove waffles with a plastic spatula onto a cooling rack. Allow waffles to cool slightly before serving.

side view

Back in Malaysia, my friends and i love the kaya(coconut jam) waffles from the local malls. It's a must have snack when we go shopping. I should try making it here one day.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

French toast



'Have you ever had restless leg syndrome?' was the first thing my housemate asked me this morning as i walked into the kitchen! It seems she was up all night walking about as she couldn't sleep. No, was my answer, but i was startled, as i was unable to stay abed that very morning and had jumped out of bed, rushing to the kitchen with my own 'restless bake syndrome'!!The plan was to sleep in today, but i was just so restless and was just dying to hit the kitchen but didn't want to wake anyone up. So i waited patiently in my room till the clock striked 9 before i dashed down to my kitchen to whip up breakfast for everyone. We had a few friends who slept over last night so i was even more excited to make breakfast.

WEEKEND= BAKING/COOKING time!!!I love weekends! No time limits for my cooking sessions, no lectures and ward rounds that i have to run off to and most of all i don't have to feel guilty that i'm not studying.

While perusing through my myriad of food blog sources, I came across a recipe for Crunchy French Toast on Simply Recipes and really wanted to try it out. I wasn't in the mood to make anything too fancy in the morning and gave the recipe a go!It's really easy and the recipe originally came from the book Kitchen for Kids .

The recipe is as follows :


Ingredients

2 or 3 slices of bread, cut into quarters
1 cup cornflake cereal
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 drops of vanilla
Butter and pancake syrup



Method

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

2. Put the bread pieces on a lined baking sheet into the warming oven (it does not need to be at full temperature) to toast lightly for 5 minutes. Cool the bread completely.

3. Seal the cornflakes in a heavy plastic bag. Crush them with a rolling pin to the size of rolled oats. Pour into a pie pan or a shallow dish. Set aside.

4 .In a large bowl, whisk to mix the eggs, milk, flour and vanilla until blended. Be sure there are no lumps of unmixed flour. Pour into a pie pan or shallow dish. In batches, lay the bread pieces in the egg mix. Soak about 1 minute on each side in the egg mixture. Be careful not to rip the bread.

5 .Place the bread pieces in the cornflake crumbs. Coat both sides with the crumbs. Place on the lined baking sheet.

6. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes on one side. Then flip over with tongs or a spatula and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until the crumbs begin to turn brown. Eat warm with butter and pancake syrup.

Makes 2 or 3 servings.

Note- I felt that i couldn't taste the egg much in this recipe. The next time i make this, i'm going to use 3 eggs instead of 2 and reduce the amount of milk.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Semolina Cookies



I was feeling a lil homesick and was craving for 'Malaysian' cookies!! One of the things that i've missed most about Malaysia since being in Adelaide for the past 4 1/2 years is celebrating Malaysian festivals and eating all the lovely cookies and yummylicious food!

I can't remember the last time i celebrated Deepavali back home or Chinese New year or Hari Raya. Oh how i missed my mother's peanut cookies and jam tarts! Since i'm thousands of miles away from home, i made my mind up to make some asian cookies for a change. But the million dollar question was, What kinda cookies are easy and fast to make?? I was riffling through my favourite malaysian recipe site, cyberkuali from 'The Star Online'. It's the best site ever especially for homesick students who are yearning for Malaysian cuisines.

I was trying to remember all the palatable cookies that i've had in my life. It felt like i had pressed the rewind button on a tape player.. *hehe*. And KABOOM!!! Suddenly my thoughts stopped and focused on the cookies my best friend Ching fern and her mom had made for me once when i was vegetarian at home. Semolina cookies they were. Its called Suji biscuit among the Indians.

Semolina is used alot in Indian cooking. I was quite amazed that my dear Chinese friend uses semolina too in her cooking and made cookies out of them. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients

150g butter

80g castor sugar

3/4 tsp vanilla essence

Sifted

150g plain flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

40g ground almonds

50g semolina

1/8 tsp salt

Some castor sugar for dredging the baked cookies



Method


1.Cream butter, sugar and essence until creamy. Beat in sifted ingredients, ground almonds, semolina and salt.

2.Mix until well combined. Refrigerate mixture for 10-15 minutes if it is too soft.

3.Roll out the dough on a lightly floured tabletop. Use a cookie cutter and stamp out desired shapes or, if preferred, roll out into small balls, the size of small limes.

4.Arrange them on a lightly greased tray. Press down the small balls of dough with a fork to create an impression. Bake in preheated oven at 170°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

5.Place cookies on wire racks to cool before dredging in extra sugar.
For all you vegetarian readers out there, here's a recipe you should try! These cookies reminds me of butter cookies and melt in your mouth as soon as you take a bite into it!

Ps- I finally got to try out my new cookie presser! It makes cookie making sooo easy! I use to hate making cookies as they take up too much time. Guess i'll be making lots of cookies from now!




Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Busted!!!!

I've been tagged by nirmala from Nirmala's Cooking Corner . I'm going to be nice and gonna give you a sneak preview into the recesses of my soul.


Before I begin, here are the rules:

  • Players must list one fact, word or tidbit that is somehow relevant to their life for each letter of their first or middle name.
  • When players are tagged they need to write their own blog-post containing their own first or middle name game facts, word or tidbit.
  • At the end of their blog-post choose one person for each letter of your name to tag.
  • Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
  • If I've tagged YOU, please join in on the fun!
K-I'm such a klutz!!!~!Embarrasing myself has become a norm to me.Ever since i was small i use to fall everywhere..Trust me i even fall down on flat surfaces! YUP FLAT!!! To tell you a little secret i fell down in the hospital on Monday while walking.. One minute i was preoccupied with the things i had to do when i got home and the next thing i knew i was on the FLOOR and RIGHT outside the toilet..Haihh..Now you know why my mom refuses to let me get a bike here in Adelaide.

O-Obesity is my biggest fear :)I get a little paranoid sometimes. For example, I ONLY drink skimmed milk / low fat and never full cream milk as i feel like i'm pouring solid fat substances in my drink if i use full cream milk...I'm weird i know.Like they say, medical students have more obsessive compulsive triads in them than other people.

G- Gooseberries are my favourite!! Its really hard to find fresh gooseberries in Malaysia. I haven't even bothered trying to look for it here. I'll probably get weird looks if i asked a fruitseller here :P. There used to be a gooseberry tree near my house when i was growing up in Penang and everytime my dear friend Zafirah and i use to go cycling we used to climb the tree and pluck the fruits. NO we didn't steal them from anyone's house. The tree used to be outside an old uncle's house who no interest in the fruit!

H- My all time favourite sweet when i was growing up was apple flavoured 'Hi-Sour'. It really is very sour indeed but i used to love it. In college, we use to eat heaps of it to keep awake during our Physics lectures! Boy, did the lecturer know how to put us to sleep!

I- I LOVEEEE Lipton Ice Lemon Tea! I can drink it everyday, 365 days a week and never get sick of it..But of course i don't do that.Wouldn't want to end up with diabetes at 35!

N- Nutella is my all time favourite bread spread. I can just eat it straight from the bottle. When i was young, my mom used to give us little tiny packets of nutella to eat in school. It had like a little spatula to eat the nutella with.

I-Ice Popsicles!When i was in primary school, the ice-cream seller in school sold these ice popsicles that were only 10cents! I use to love eating it and had it everyday. I think that was the main reason i was always eager to go to school. And my mom thought i was a super good kid who dreaded skipping school or according to my sister, a super nerd!

E- Eggplant is my number 1 choice of vegetable. From eggplant pickles, grilled, chutney to dips.. you name it, I LOVE it!


My targets to be tagged are

Jun from 'From Durians to Floating Pies'
Josephine from 'Pssst'
Suling from 'Life of a chocolate loving piggy'
Tankiasu from Tankiasu
Nimrita from ' Yes, this is a nimbo blog'
Amrita from 'Le Petite Boulanger'
Sweesan from 'Self proclaimed Foodaholic'
Chrissy from 'And they lived happily ever after'

It was really fun doing this name mnemonic thing. I normally think this kinda things are super lame but i really enjoyed myself. It was mind boggling and it stimulated my little brain cells. Thanx nirmala! So for those who i've tagged try it k. I'll BE WATCHING YOUR BLOGS!!! *cheeky grin*

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Nibbles



Here's the recipes of the nibbles i made for my cocktail party. I was unable to put it up earlier as i didn't have my lovely cook book with me in Broken Hill. Most of the recipes are adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly "New Finger Food" cookbook. I reckon its a good investment for finger food lovers!

Lamb Kheema

Recipe by Dr. Daya Singh



lamb kheema CU



Ingredients

Mutton kheema -1/2 kg

Red onion or scallot-s-1/4cup(finely chopped)

Ginger garlic paste-1tbsp

Tomato paste -1tsp

Garam masala-1tsp

Chilli powder-1/4tsp

Ground pepper-1tsp

Ground cumin-1/4

Fennel-2pinch

Turmeric powder-1/4tsp

Soysauce-1tsp

Worcestershire sauce-1tsp

Bread crumbs-2cup

Egg-1

Salt to taste





Methods

1.In a mixing bowl, mix kheema, onion, ginger garlic paste, tomato paste, garam masala, chili powder, ground pepper, ground cumin, fennel, turmeric powder, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt and 1/4 of bread crumbs.
2. Make it into a small lemon sized ball and roll it on the bread crumbs, deep fry in hot oil.
3. Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and onion.



Tandoori chicken on cucumber


tandoori chicken CU


Ingredients

2 tbs thick yogurt
2 tbs tandoori paste
200g chicken breast tenderloins
3(450g) Lebanese cucumbers
Whole coriander leaves

Mint Yogurt

¼ cup(70g) thick yogurt
1 tsp shredded fresh mint leaves
1 tsp shredded fresh coriander leaves
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp lime juice



Method

1.Combine the yogurt, tandoori paste and chicken in a bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2.Cook the chicken on a hot grill plate or frying pan until cooked through. Cool slightly

3.Slice the cucumbers into1.5cm rounds, about 8 rounds per cucumber. Using a tsp, scoop a small amount of the seeds from the centre of the rounds, without scooping all the way through.

4.For the mint yogurt, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

5.Slice the chicken thinly and place a rounded tsp on each piece of cucumber; top with the mint yogurt and the whole coriander leaves.

Note- Not suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave. This makes 24 bite- size morsels. Chicken and yogurt can be prepared several hours ahead. Assemble close to serving.



Bacon and cheese baby potato bites


potato


Ingredients


12 tiny new potatoes (480g)
1 bacon rasher (70g)
10g butter
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons finely grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives



Method

1.Boil, steam or microwave potatoes until just tender;drain.Cool.

2. Preheat oven to moderately hot.

3.Cut shallow slice from top of each potato; using a melon-baller, scoop out about two-thirds of the flesh of each potato. Reserve flesh.

4.Cook bacon in small heated frying pan until crisp;drain on absorbent paper, chop finely.

5.Mash reserved potato flesh in small bowl with butter, mustard, cheese and sour cream; stir in half of the bacon and half of the chives. Divide filling among hollowed-out potatoes; sprinkle with remaining bacon. Place potatoes on oiled oven tray. Bake , uncovered, in moderately hot oven about 15 minutes or until heated through.

Sprinkle potato bites with remaining chives after baking.



Sun-dried tomato aioli and prawn canapes

prawns CU


Ingredients

1 cup myonnaise
2tbs sun- dried tomato pesto
2 cloves crushed garlic
A Baguette
Smoked prawns
Basil leaf
Method

1. Combine the myonnaise with you sun-dried tomato pesto and 2 cloves of crushed garlic
2. Cut the baguette into slices and toast them.
3. Spread your paste onto toasted baguette slices.
4. Top each with 1 prawn and 1 fresh basil leaf.
Note- I didn't toast the baguette as it acquired too much work but it still tasted good.





Deep-fried mozzarella sticks



chesse sticks CU



Ingredient

1 cup( 150g) plain flour
1 cup (150g) cornflour
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/2 cups (375ml) water
1 cup (100g) packaged breadcrumbs
500g mozzarella
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Chilli pesto dipping sauce

1/3 cup (90g) sun-dried tomato pesto
2/3 cup(160ml) sweet chilli sauce

Method

1. Whisk flour, cornflour,egg and the water in medium bowl until smooth; place breadcrumbs in small bowl
2. Cut cheese into 1 cm-wide fingers.
3. Dip cheese sticks, one at the time, in batter, then in breadcrumbs to coat. Dip cheese sticks, one at a time, back in batter, then in breadcrumbs to double coat.
4. Heat oil in large saucepan; deep-fry cheese sticks, in batches, until golden brown, drain on absorbent paper.
5. Serve hot with chilli pesto dipping sauce

Chilli pesto dipping sauce
Combine pesto and sauce in small bowl.
Makes 32

Note- Do ahead. Mozzarella can be cut into sticks and sauce made a day ahead. Cover separetely; refrigerate until required.







Smoked salmon and dill


salmon CU


Ingredients
1/4 cup( 60g) sour cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 tbs finely chopped red onion
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs drained capers, chopped finely
100g smoked salmon slices, chopped coarsely
16 small fresh dill springs
1 packet of mini toast


Method

1. Combine sour cream, dill, onion, rind, pepper and capers in small bowl,
2. Divide sour cream mixture and salmon among the mini toast, top with dill.
3. Serve at room temperature.

Dessert

Mars Bar slice
Recipe by Monica Hong


mars bar


Ingredients

4 Mars bars

1 tsp margarine

1 tbs honey

4 cups rice bubbles

200g good quality cooking chocolate




Method

1 .Melt margarine, honey, mars bar in microwave 1 ½ mins

2. Stir occasionally, add to rice bubbles. Refrigerate while melting cooking chocolate.

3. Melt chocolate and pour on top rice bubbles.

4. Refrigerate for ½ hour. Remove and slice it up (the longer you keep it the harder it will be to slice it up and the top will crack) and continue to refrigerate.

I seriously should get back to my books! *sigh* Good luck in making the nibbles!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Nutella Cookies


Monica my dear housemate was going to leave for her 3 week rural placement to Minlaton and I wanted to make her a ‘care package’ with all her favourite conglomeration of snacks.


After being away for 3 weeks, I just HAD to bake something. I didn’t care what as long as I could use my oven I was happy. Monica and Jo got me a new ‘TOY’ for my birthday. A cookie press and icing set!!!! You should have seen the look on my face when I got it..classic !Thanx guys.. MUAKS




I was in the mood to make peanut cookies but surfed across some nutella cookies instead on Alpeneberry. I couldn’t resist making them!Unfortunately, the cookies didn't require a cookie cutter. Not to worry, I'm sure i'll find a recipe real soon that requires a cookie cutter :P

I took out my whisk with a whiff, a swirl and a whirl OFF i went!! Here’s the recipe :

Nutella Cookies
(makes 30 cookies)

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
7 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted & skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped



Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in egg.

Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips and hazelnuts.

Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for about 11 minutes until the edges look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then carefully remove to cooling racks.





I was totally distracted in the kitchen with friends chatting away in the kitchen while making these and forgot to add the required egg to the recipe. But guess what, it turned out well without it. However, I decided to try a batch with the egg. It made my cookies really chewy. So for chewy cookie fans, don’t forget the egg.

bon appétit!

Monday, 27 August 2007

An Outback Birthday




After being in Broken Hill for the past week, I’ve been impressed by the indomitable spirit of the wonderful city. The vibrant earthy colours and magical light of the landscape have drawn many film makers and artists here.




BH is the longest continuous mining operation in Australia and the largest single source of lead, silver and zinc ore.
Sandeep came down to Broken Hill to visit Khobe and me. It so happens that his birthday is on the 10th of August. Just 3 days before mine.


We met a lovely couple up here in Broken Hill, Paul and Sharon. Sharon is a superb cook I must say. I’ve picked up a few cooking tricks from her while being there. Paul is a very chatty bloke with a heart of gold. He never fails to entertain us.
They’re very down to earth and sincere. It’s quite hard to find people like that in the big cities. You’re always wary of people and their intentions. I used to trust people a lot very easily and had to learn the hard way when I came to live on my own here. No parent to protect you and to give their judgments about people. Like they say, Mother’s are ALWAYS right.




It wasn’t long till Sharon found out that it was my birthday and she insisted on making me a birthday cake.




If you’ve been a loyal follower of my blog, you’ll know my perception on chocolate cakes..it has to be perfect! The cake was divine! Not too rich, moist and perfect!
Of course I couldn’t resist not getting the recipe from here.
Moist Double Chocolate cake
Ingredients
125g, butter, chopped
¾ cups (180ml) water
2 tablespoon cocoa
100g dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup (220g) sugar
¾ cup (110g) self-raising flour
½ cup (75g) plain flour
1 egg

Method
1. Grease deep 20cm round cake pan, line base and side with baking paper.
2. Place butter, water, cocoa, chocolate and sugar in medium saucepan, stir over heart, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved; cool to room temperature.
3. Stir flours and egg into mixture, pour into prepared pan
4. Bake in moderately slow oven about 1 hour.
5. Stand 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool
6. If desired, split cold cake, fill and top with chocolate fudge frosting.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
45g unsalted butter
2 tbs water
¼ cup (55g) castor sugar
¾ cup (120g) icing sugar mixture
2 tbs cocoa


Method
1.Combine butter, water and castor sugar in small saucepan, stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.

2.Sift icing sugar and cocoa into small heatproof bowl, gradually stir in hot butter mixture; cover, refrigerate until thick.

3.beat with wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and spreadable.
If y If u're looking for a easy and yummy recipe, give this a go!

Friday, 17 August 2007

A night to Remember




Being an eager fetus in my mother’s womb, I decided to pop out 2 months earlier and on the 13th of August. Meanwhile, in another labour room after all the puffing and screaming, my dear friend Jun came in to the world 2 days later on the 15th of August. Of course from a different mother!




As our friendship slowly developed in the past 5 years here in Adelaide, I came to know a young lady of great strength of will and character. Being Leo’s we have the same taste and mind you that’s good taste *hehe* and similar principles in life. We’ve been celebrating our birthdays together almost every year.




This year, the verdict was to go to a cozy-chilled back place where we can let our hair down and relax. No pish-posh place where we need to control our loud voices and where Hooi Wen needs to control her hyper excited self.








We decided to go to Tap Inn which is a pub+ dinning bistro. The reason for our choice of place was to try out their tapas from their extensive tapas menu. Tap Inn has 54 tapas on their menu to try from!





As usual we kinda went overboard..... We tried at least 2-3 from each category. The seafood tapas were our favourites for the night.






Since the night was still young, we headed off to Boho’s, the local bohemian retreat, for some cocktails.










I absolutely love the deco of the bar. With can-can mannequin dancers and trapeze artistes hanging from the ceiling, you’re one step closer to having a Paris Moulin Rouge extravaganza!



After hearing so much about absinthe thrills, we grabbed the opportunity to do so. My vote was to try the flaming fairy which is a blend of French absinthe, apple and cinnamon. Read the line again! Do you see the word APPLE….NOW you know why I wanted to try it.






We were in the spirit of internationalism and after trying something from France we wanted something from Germany. The Black forest cocktail was a creation of Chambord and chocolate with not to forget cherries!




Bombay Sweetness which was a mix of Bombay sapphire gin, apple, elderflower was on our must have list.



After Boho bar, if you think we called it a night, you’re WRONG! We wanted to experience the sights and sounds of Adelaide at night. We headed to Windy point to enjoy the spectacular view of Adelaide and to remind us that Adelaide is not just a rectangular box as what people perceive it to be.





Being born on an Island with water all around you every corner you turn, guess where our next stop was just so that we could feel closer to home?? Glenelg!! After being so caught up in our “what’s been happening throughout the week and in life” session we forgot about our presents!








Being really helpful friends, we decided to help give Dave a BIG hint on Jun’s unconditional love for Tiffany and Co jewellery. Hooi Wen came up with the brilliant idea of wrapping up Jun’s present in T&C colour themes. Boy, did she find that highly amusing.






And being a cooking and baking freak I made life so easy for them on what to get for me.
“ How to be a domestic goddess” by Nigella Lawson was my gift from them with BIG hints that they’ve been deprived of good food.







It was a night to remember with my 2 dearest girlfriends I must say with deep dark secrets being revealed more and more as the night went by. Cheers girls!