Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011!!


Year 2010 is coming to an end soon at this part of the world. There are many ups and many downs too for me this year and I am so glad it will be over soon. I hope year 2011 will be better for all of us.

Here wishing my family, friends and all my blog readers Good Health, Joy and Peace for the year 2011. Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Korean Pancakes/Pajeon

Diana gave me a big bag of Korean pancake mix and it had been sitting in my pantry for a while now. I finally decided to try my hand in making Korean pancakes/Pa jeon. This pancake is very simple to make. All you have to do is mix the flour with some water; add in your favorite veggies like carrots, green onions, cabbage, mushrooms and any kind of seafood of your choice. You can omit the seafood for a vegetarian version.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Korean pancake mix
1 cup water
12 shrimps - peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 cup grated cabbage
3 green onions, thinly sliced
5 button mushrooms – thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste



Monday, December 27, 2010

Cranberry Orange Walnut Cake

There is abundance of fresh cranberries in the market now and I just bought a big packet without knowing what to do with it. It has been sitting in the fridge for nearly two weeks until I finally used it to bake some cakes to be given away as Christmas gift with the cookies. The orange juice and the zest in the cake compliment the cranberries very nicely. The fresh cranberries are tart and refreshing, while the cake is sweet. This loaf will be great for breakfast, afternoon tea especially during the holiday season.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sugar Cookies/Christmas Wishes

I baked these sugar cookies at the very last minutes for my nephew Eu-Xin in Malaysia. My friend is going back end of this month and she is taking these back for me. Thank you so much Choy and I am sure my nephew will be very grateful. I am not good at frosting it and in fact this is the first time I am doing sugar cookies. I hope I will do a better job the next time when I have more time to decorate it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Apple Cranberry Tea Ring

Weather is so cold and snowing outside and the best way to warm up the house is doing some baking. But it is definitely not a good idea to make bread. Wrong move on my part and because of the cold making this loaf of bread took me over 6 hours from start to finished baking. It just refused to rise. I even stick it into the warm oven to help with the proofing. The end results, I would prefer it to rise a bit more and softer. Nevertheless, it tasted good. I think this tea ring will be great for Christmas breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients
Dough recipe adapted from Taste Of Home recipe book.

3/4 cup warm milk (70°F to 80°F)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons water (you might not need it)
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3-1/3 cups bread flour
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blue Glutinous Rice Cakes (Pulut Tai Tai)

I always wanted to make this Chinese Baba Nyonya wedding specialty cakes. It is called Pulut Tai Tai or Blue Glutinous Rice Cakes. The blue stain comes from a flower name Bunga Telang or Blue Pea Flower. Since I still have some of the dried blue pea flowers given by Sonia I decided to made some when my friend Choy’s and her family came to our house for dinner not too long ago Traditionally, this cakes are served with kaya (coconut egg jam) and you can find the recipe here.

Ingredients:

600g glutinous rice – wash and soak overnight
350 ml coconut milk
150ml warm water
4 pandan leaves
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
12 - 15 blue pea flowers – soak in some warm water,crush it to extract the blue coloring.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Coconut Cookies

It has been a long busy week for me. I have been baking non-stop for the past 5 days. There were dozens and dozens of cookies being baked and tons of butter, sugar, flour and eggs used. I am so glad that I am finally done with it and it is going to some happy recipients before Christmas. The cookies I baked are mostly repeats like Walnut Cookies/Hup Toh Sow, Macadamia Chocolate Chips, Festive Meringue Kisses and this Coconut Cookies. Do come back for the Macadamia Chocoloate Chips cookies recipe later.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A New Jewelry Market Place

* This is not a sponsor post*

The Holiday season is here. People are rushing to buy gifts for love-ones. I find that jewelry is one of the easiest gifts to buy for women of all ages. I want to take this opportunity to inform my readers that Diana is part of the team of a company called Bellaga.

Bellaga provides trendsetters a unique online platform to connect with up-and-coming independent jewelry designers. Designers are hand-picked by their NYC based team for their fresh, one-of-a-kind style, and sell their original work directly to you.

Here are some of the pictures she provided me with.







For all the gentlemen who still don't know what to get your wives, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, here's Bellaga for a start. For the ladies, please show this website to your husbands or boyfriends, and hopefully they will get the hint.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lobster Rolls

Our neighbor Nancy gave us some lobsters last week. I decided to make some lobster rolls out of it. This classic New England lobster rolls, a basic hot dog bun filled with lobster salad. There are no fancy seasonings here; the lobster is showcased of this rolls. It is just a simple mayonnaise dressing with a bit of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked lobster meat – cut into bite size pieces (3 lobsters)
¼ cup low fat mayonnaise
¼ cup finely diced celery
1 spring onion – finely diced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
A few dash of hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 hot dog buns
A few leaves of lettuce

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Festive Meringue Kisses

Christmas is just around the corner and it is time to do some baking. Like usual I will have to bake 3-4 types of cookies to be given away to friends, neighbors, mailman and a few others. This is the first time I am baking meringue kisses because I am not a fan of it as I find it to be a bit too sweet for my taste. This cookie is not difficult to make but it took a long time to bake so you have to be very patience. Baking it low and slow is the key to a perfect crispy and light kisses. It took me over 3 hours to bake these whole lots cookies.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

If there is a choice between French fries or sweet potato fries I will definitely pick the latter. But not many restaurants serve this so I will normally make it myself. I baked this instead of frying it so it's much healthier. The baked sweet potato wedges might not be as crispy as the fried one but they tasted just as good. They are slightly crispy on the outside and sweet and soft on the inside. I like serving this with a mix of mayo and ketchup.

Ingredients:

2 pounds sweet potatoes – about 3 large ones
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp paprika (or any type of spices of your choice)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Basil Chicken/Gai Pad Krapow

Basil chicken has long been my favorite Thai dish. This is something that I cooked often if I have some Thai basil in hand. Thai basil spoil rather fast so I like to finish it up within a few days but many times it did gets black and I have to throw it away. I have to plant my own Thai basil coming summer. It is just too expensive to buy it every other week and then throw half of it away. This dish takes no time to prepare yet the flavor is simply amazing. You can serve it with rice, over noodles or even as lettuce wraps.

Ingredients:

2 pieces chicken breast – remove the skin and fat and cut into tiny cubes
3 cloves garlic - chopped
1 small onion – cut into tiny cubes
3 bird eye chillies – cut small
1 small bunch of Thai basil

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wild Rice Turkey Soup

Each year we have problem finishing up our 12 pound Thanksgiving turkey. Actually that was the smallest bird I could find from the supermarket. The 3 of us only managed to finish one side of the breast and I have to think of ways to finish them up. I already made some rice porridge with one of the turkey leg and wing, turkey pot pie with the meat, sandwiches with the breast meat and turkey stock from the carcass. This is one of the soups I made from the stock and the leftover meat.



Saturday, December 04, 2010

Orange Scented Pound Cake

This is the perfect cake for breakfast, tea or even after dinner dessert. It is wonderfully moist, not too sweet with a nice aroma of orange. If you let the cake sit for a day or two it taste even better.

Ingredients:

2 stick/226 gram softened unsalted butter
4 tbsp. milk
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. grated orange zest

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Chicken Rendang/Dry Chicken Curry

I always have a soft spot for chicken or beef Rendang. That is the very first Malay dish I learned to cook from my friend Kak Zuliah mom’s many years ago. Now there are so many ready packed rendang paste but I still prefer to cook it from scratch as most of the ingredients are readily available here. I even plant my own kaffir lime and turmeric plants now. Turmeric can’t survive the winter so I cut all the leaves up and freeze it so that I can use it whenever I want. The ingredients are pretty similar to my beef rendang; the only difference would be the cooking time as the chicken get tender pretty fast compare to beef.

Ingredients:

1 chicken – around 2.5 pounds
3 fresh turmeric leaves – sliced thinly (optional)
3 tbsp of kerisik (coconut paste)
3 kaffir lime leaves (limau purut)
2 cup of coconut milk + some water
Salt and palm sugar/sugar to taste