Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fruity Cake Tarts

How was your Christmas celebration? I hope all of you get all you wanted from Santa. I must be really good this year as I got what I wish for and very happy with all my gifts. I got Canon Macro EF 100mm lens , a GSP (for me to zoom around with it when I am in SF), Nordic Heritage Bundt Pan ,Emile Henry Tarte Tatin Pan and etc…Life is good!! I can’t wait to use all of them.

Ok let’s end the year posting with something pretty and sweet. 1 made these pretty little cake tarts for our Christmas dinner dessert. Instead of the usual tart with pastry I made one with sponge cake. I didn’t bake the cake as I already put away all my baking pans so I just used the store bought plain sponge cake and top it with nutella and fruits. If you like to make this you can always bake your sponge cake in a muffin pan, once it is done hollow out the center and top it with nutella and fruits.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

To my family, friends and blog readers,
May lovely and happy times decorate your holiday season,
May warm, special memories brighten up your New Year,
May the wonder of Christmas be with you forever.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Have A Happy Blessed New Year Everyone!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flaky Buttermilk, Parsley and Bacon Biscuits

I made these a while ago and am only just getting around posting it here. I made these flaky biscuits to go with the Corn and Potato Chowder . They are decadent, flaky and pretty to look at too especially with the green parsley and bacon flecks in it. There’s really nothing hard about making biscuits. The secret to making great and flaky biscuits is not to overwork the dough.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Vanilla Beans Giveaway Results

6 more days before Christmas!! Are you done with your baking and shopping yet? For us, it will be a very lay back Christmas. We won’t be doing anything elaborate in the mid of moving. The house is in a mess with boxes and things everywhere. Moreover I am not well since I got back from SF. Still having cough and stuffy nose and with the blasting cold winter it didn’t help much. So I am not in the mood for anything. Not even shopping. I just can’t deal with the crazy traffic and crowd everywhere. I end up buying some of the gifts online this year.

Enough of rambling as I am sure you all are eager to know the results. Here it goes.

The first winner is comment No: 38 - Edith

The second winner is comment No: 70 - Chloe

The third winner is comment No: 44 - Esz

Congratulations to the winners and I will email you soon for your address and Beanilla will mail you the gifts. Thank you everyone for participating and Beanilla Trading Company for providing us with the wonderful gifts.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chocolate Chips and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

If you have not entered the Vanilla Bean Giveaway, you can do so here .

I baked this batch of cookies to mail it to Carlos. They are just regular chocolate chips cookies but to make it extra special I top it with a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cup since it is Carlos favorite. They turn out pretty darn good and you can’t stop by eating one or two. They are so addictive! If you like chocolate and peanut butter –these cookies are for you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vanilla Beans Giveaway (Closed)

It the holiday season again and I am sure all of you are getting ready for Christmas and Chinese New Year baking. During this period I used lot of vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract is expensive so I like making it myself. As you can see I don’t skim on my vanilla. I will put at least 6-7 beans to make a bottle of extracts that is why I used a lot of them. I’ve ordered vanilla beans from an online store before but I was not too happy with their beans and also their customer service until I found Beanilla Trading Company . I love their fat plum vanilla beans and they come all vacuum pack to retain its freshness and their customer service responds all your queries promptly. I am so glad that I found their online store.

Since it is the holiday season I wrote to them asking if they want to sponsor this year giveaway? Brent of Beanilla responded right away and generously sponsors all the gifts here.

The Beanilla Trading Company specializes in providing the best quality vanilla products to chefs, breweries, restaurants and at-home enthusiasts around the world. They take great pride in the quality of every product we offer.

Beanilla will be giving away their products to 3 lucky readers of My Kitchen Snippets. Each winner will received 5 Madagascar vanilla beans, 5 Mexican vanilla beans and a 2 oz package of vanilla fleur de sel.

Madagascar vanilla is incredibly smooth, rich and creamy. This is the most traditional type of vanilla and it goes well with any type of baking.

Mexican vanilla is bolder with tones of smoke. Mexican vanilla is often regarded as the best in the world. This variety pairs well with chocolates and other rich desserts.

Vanilla Fleur de Sel is a blend of premium sea salt, imported from the coast of Brittany, France. We blend this with our premium Tahitian vanilla beans. The result is incredible. Fleur de Sel is perfect for topping caramels, brownies or anything with peanut butter! This is potent stuff, so just a pinch will go a long way.

1. To Enter: Post your comment here and tell me what you want to do with the vanilla beans or the Vanilla Fleur de Sel.
2. For additional entries: Post about this giveaway at your blog, linking back to this post. Come back and leave me a comment with the link to your post.

This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere in the world. Remember to leave your email address in your comment so that I have some way of contacting you if you win. I will pick 3 lucky winner (s) by random drawings and Beanilla will send the gifts directly to you. Dateline for the Giveaway will be on 19th December 2011 at 9.00am (Eastern Time) Good Luck!!

My Kitchen Snippets Full Disclosure: Beanilla provides their products for the giveaway. I only promote things that stay true to my taste and interests. The opinions expressed here are my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Beanilla for sharing your wonderful products with us.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Cranberry Maple Almond Slices

How times fly. We are now into the second week of December. With the holiday season just around the corner I am sure all of you are busy with Christmas baking. I won’t be baking too much this season as I already packed up most of my baking tools. Sam of Oh!Nut so kindly sent me some their products like Almond slices and  dried strawberries for my holiday baking. Do go and check out their website as they supply a wide range of nuts and dried fruits for your holiday baking.

I love cranberry especially cranberry juice. I bought some gorgeous fresh cranberries before I left for S.F and I have to make something out of it before it gets mushy and all dries up. As you know fresh cranberries only make their appearance this time of the year and I always take advantage of it and use them in my baking. I made these slices with it and it turn out really good. I just love the tartness and slightly bitter taste of it and it compliment so well with the crunchy almond topping. What so great about these slices is you can use your leftover cranberry sauce (make sure is freshly made one and not from the can) or any type of fruit jam for the filling.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Sur La Table – San Francisco

It has been a while since I visit this favorite store of mine. I used to go there when we were living at Southern CA but not since we moved to PA. When I am in here I am like a kid in a candy store. I just want to grab everything in sight and run out of the store. Carlos said he will go broke real fast if I come here often. We went to the Pier at San Francisco Bay area over the weekend. The weather was perfect to walk around. It was sunny, windy and cooling at the same time. I dread to go back to the cold PA winter. Oh well, I still have a few days here and then back to PA again until our final move in mid January.

Here are a few pictures I took from the store at the Pier. Don’t you just love all the kitchen stuffs they sold here? There are a few things I (WANT) on my Christmas wish list and I hope Santa grant it to me ha ha...Can you guest which one it is?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Bok Choy Gyoza/Bok Choy Dumplings

I like making dumplings and I will normally make a big batch and freeze them up and we can have it whenever we want to. They are not difficult to make as now you can get the ready made gyoza/dumpling wrappers from the Asian Supermarket. Over the years I made lots of it and each time I will try using different type of meat and vegetables. You can basically put any type of fillings you like in it. Instead the usual napa cabbage I replace it with baby bok choy for this batch of dumplings.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shrimp Carbonara

Since Carlos is not around I hardly cook anything elaborate. My lunch and dinner is just something quick and simple that I can whip up in no time. I like to have pasta in light creamy sauce rather than the red sauce. This carbonara sauce comes together easily and you can play around with the ingredients you have in hand. You can check out one of the version here and for this pasta dish I added some fresh shrimps and some lemon zest to it. The pasta turns out light and tasty and the succulent shrimps with a hint of fresh lemon works really well in the carbonara sauce.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mushrooms Tarts

I made these tarts as our appetizer before our Thanksgiving dinner. This year we just had something simple as we are in the mid of packing and moving. So there is no turkey for us as I don’t want to have any leftovers. I roasted a Crispy Skin Roast Chicken with a few side dishes. As for this appetizer, I just used store bought puff pastry but if you like to make your own pastry you can always do so. They are easy to make and look sophisticated too and great for party. All you have to do is pre-baked the tart shells, cook the mushrooms and assemble it when your guests arrive.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shoo-fly Pie

Shoo-fly pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch pie. I fell in love with this pie the very first time I tasted it 6 years ago. We were driving through some farm land in Lancaster, PA and we saw a little vegetable stand by the road side and we stopped to get some fresh produce. There was this little Amish boy taking care of the stand and beside vegetables he sells pies too. One particular pie caught my eyes as it look different from the rest of the pies. He told me it was Shoo-fly Pie. The name sounds funny to me so I bought half a pie home to try it out. I actually like the taste of the pie. It has a nice molasses flavor, cakey like on the side and gooey and soft at the center. Here is a bit of history on this unique pie.

Taken from What’s Cooking America:

Pennsylvania Dutch cooking is indigenous to those areas of southeastern Pennsylvania that were settled by the Mennonites and Amish. William Penn (1644-1718), founder of Pennsylvania, was seeking colonists for the Pennsylvania area. The Amish and Mennonites both settled in Pennsylvania as part of William Penn's "holy experiment" of religious tolerance. He wanted to establish a society that was godly, virtuous and exemplary for all of humanity. Encouraged by William Penn’s open invitation to persecuted religious groups, various sects of Christian Anabaptists-Mennonites and offshoots such as the Amish and the Brethren-emigrated from Germany and Switzerland. The first sizeable group arrived in America around 1730 and settled near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Crumbly Cake

This is a pretty healthy cake. I actually baked this cake a few months ago and only get to post it now. I love the texture and nutty flavor of this cake. Like Bee Bee said, it has a nice fragrance of banana and the right amount of sweetness to it too. Beside that I like the crunch topping too. This cake taste even better if you let it sit for a day and it goes well with a cup of tea. This recipe is from Honey Sweet Bee and I lightly toasted the oatmeal for 6 minutes in the oven and blend it in the food processor before putting it in the cake.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Egg Floss Butter Prawns

This is by far my most favorite prawn’s dish. I love the crunchy egg bits, the taste, the smell and the presentation of this dish. I usually like using the whole big prawns but I can’t get them from the regular supermarket so I have to make do with the headless prawns. Instead of deep fried them I pan fried them till lightly brown and as for the egg floss I used my leftover egg yolks from my French Macarons , they should be in thinner strands which I still couldn’t perfect it. But what the heck, they still taste divine. I will definitely cook this again but not anytime soon as I have to watch my cholesterol. I just saw my doctor last week and my cholesterol reading was good so no problem. Can indulge again, maybe ;) Nah, I think I just wait till Diana come home for Thanksgiving and cook this for her.

Monday, November 14, 2011

French Macarons # 3

I made these macarons for my doctor. She has been taking care of my well being for the past 6 years and she is such a kind and gentle lady and I am going to miss her. I hope I am able to find someone like her when I am in San Francisco. Since this might be my last visit to see her before our move, I decided to make her an Orange Scented Cake , Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Cookies and these Macarons.

I’ve made macarons many times but they don’t usually turn out all perfect. The first tray will usually have cracks on top and some of the macarons will have no feet. It really puzzles me as the second tray will usually turns out perfect. I normally bake one tray at a time rather than putting two trays in at one go even though my oven is big enough for it as I wanted them to have an even heating. I just filled them up with some melted dark chocolate to cut down on it sweetness. This is a repeat recipe from here but I am just going to repost it again.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Corn Croquettes

This recipe is from Min’s Blog . I bookmarked this recipe some time ago and only get to tried them out recently. I love the rich milky taste of these croquettes. They were crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside and I think they make a great appetizer for the coming holidays get together. You can make it a day before, put it in the fridge and fried them up just before your family and guest arrives.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Kuih Talam Gula Melaka/Steamed Palm Sugar Cake

This is another popular snack from Malaysia and Singapore. ‘Talam’ is a Malay word meaning ‘tray’, because the kuih is steamed in a tray-like steaming pan and it is made into two layers, one layer is sweet and the other is on the salty side. One can easily find these kuih (cake) sold at in the morning or night market. Instead the usual green and white one, I tried it with palm sugar. The top coconut milk layer is slightly salty and it compliment well with the sweet fragrant taste of the palm sugar from the bottom layer.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Crispy Skin Roast Chicken

When I saw Kristy of My Little Space posted this roast chicken at her blog I knew I have to try it out one day. They skin look so evenly brown and super crispy. True enough, they were perfect. Even Carlos who is not a fan of chicken skin eats it all. Kristy sun dried the chicken outside but I didn’t do that as I don't want my neighbor to wonder what was I doing to the poor chicken and moreover it was summer and I don’t want it to attract any flies or insects. So I just sit the chicken on top of a wine bottle and let it dries out for a few hours on the kitchen counter. It still turns out great. I adjust the seasonings a little bit as Carlos is not a fan of fermented soybean paste. You can check out the original recipe here .

Friday, November 04, 2011

Kam Heong Chicken/Fragrant Chicken

It is difficult to get into regular blogging after a break. I didn't cook at all since I came back from SF as my fridge is running low of supplies and I am trying to clear it all up before the move. I might drop by the supermarket to get some greens and fruits tomorrow.

I made this dish a few months ago and only get to post it now. This is a popular dish in Malaysia and I’ve tasted one done with prawns, lala (clams) and crabs. I never try it with Chicken until now. Kam Heong literally translates to ‘Golden Fragrant’ from Cantonese dialect. This dish has a flavor of Chinese, Malay and Indian all mixed together. With the combinations of dried shrimps, chili, curry powder and curry leaves it gives this dish great flavors and aromas. The next time I cook this again I will try it out with other protein. I think it will taste good with tofu too.

Recipe source: My Kitchen Snippets

2 chicken breast - sliced
1/2 egg white
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp salt
a few dash of pepper
1 tsp cooking wine - optional
3 tbsp cornstarch

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Closing the 30-Day Challenge .... Announcing One Lucky Winner!

I'm back from San Francisco! What a tiring week! The road trip went well, we passed through 8 states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada to arrive in California. It was a long journey but I'm glad we did it. We are unlikely to make a similar road trip again but there are two states I want to return to visit in the near future - Nebraska and Utah. More about why later.

For now, I thought I'll round-up the Royal Selangor Jellyriffic Challenge with this special video my good friend, Rita Ho created for me to recap all my 30 jelly-mould entries. She made a movie of them! The accompanying song you hear is 'We Are The Champions' by Queen, a favorite song embraced by many breast cancer patients in their individual battle and often played at awareness programs for the illness.

Again, very special thanks to Royal Selangor for the opportunity in participating for this great cause and to all my blogging friends and readers for their comments, suggestions and support.

Last but not least, it is my pleasure to announce the winner of the Olympus Camera generated by, the true random number service. Josephine was the commenter's No 683 from Bailey's Mocha Pudding - Day 25 .

Congratulations, Josephine! I hope you enjoy snapping endless memories with your prize! Please email me your address so I can send you the gift. My email address is at my profile.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pink Ribbon Cake – Day 30

Phew! A lot of emotions went into creating this Pink Ribbon Cake, my final entry for the Royal Selangor Pewter Jellyriffic Challenge . I feel both relieved that a 30-day kitchen marathon has ended and sad that I will no longer have the daily rush of meeting a deadline doing one of my favorite things. It will also be strange to not enjoy the morning ritual of excitingly checking out the amazing creations of my fellow Challenge participants. Most of all, I feel honored to have been given this unique experience by Royal Selangor Pewter that supports breast cancer awareness and welfare in its entity – proceeds from the sale of each Nick Munro jelly mould go to the Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA).

A friend asked me what I thought of the jelly mould after a month of using it. I did not hesitate to say, “You should buy it!” It truly is a versatile multi-purpose utensil that enhances the presentation of all dishes and makes ordinary looking desserts the centerpieces of all table settings. My list of 30 include 10 jellies and puddings, 7 savories, 3 cookies, 5 cakes, 2 kuihs, 2 breakfast items and 1 steamed bread but I still have ideas to do another 30 but not all in a month though. It was a different scenario at the beginning when jellies tumbled out in pieces, steamed cakes had wet batter and the shape of kuihs changed! Lots of laughs and some at my kitchen counter! Thankfully, it took only a few practice sessions before it was a breeze to use. The mould now has a permanent place in my collection for Royal Selangor Pewter wares.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Steamed Savory Glutinous Rice/Loh Mai Fun/Chu Bee P’ng - Day 29

Actually I have no plan to make this dish but quite a few of my readers suggested that I make loh mai kai it so after giving it some thoughts I decided to make something similar. I really appreciate all your suggestions. I am not sure if this is a typical Hokkien dish but my mom always serves this dish on special occasion especially during our family get together. We practically grew up eating this. Each time I cook this dish it makes me think of home. Being so far away from home this is sort of like a comfort food for me. I made this before and the original recipe is here but I am going to re-post it again with some minor change as I find the one I made before had too much dark soy sauce in it. So the dish does not look so appealing.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cendol Pudding - Day 28

We are into day 28th of the Selangor Pewter Jellyriffic challenge. It is sad that it will be come to an end soon as I am growing very attached to my jelly moulds. Oh well, all good things must come to an end but for sure it won’t be the last time you see the moulds making an appearance in this blog. I am definitely going to use it again to make some of my dessert.

I like this traditional Malaysian style jelly a lot. I made this before something ago and you can get the recipe here . But for this challenge, I tried out the recipe from K.Nor of Secubit Garam . K.Nor is a great supporter of this challenge and never fails give me a lot of encouragement and ideas. Terima Kasih K.Nor. Do check out her blog as she has a lot of mouthwatering recipes there.