Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Carrot Walnut Cake Recipe

Please do not ask why I did not update this blog for so long, ok? Lazy to explain how busy I am again. ;)

Here is the long due recipe requested by one of my reader. My family came to penang and we celebrated Christmas together. So, I took the opportunity to learn this carrot walnut cake from my mum.

Flour Mixture:
2 cups self raising flour
1tsp soda bicarbonate
pinch of salt
1tsp cinnamon powder

Other ingredients:
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup oil
3 eggs
2 cups grated carrot
3/4 cup toasted and chopped walnut

1. Preheat the oven at 180 degree c.
2. Beat sugar and oil till dissolve.
3. Add in egg one at a time and continue beating.
4. Add in flour mixture and mix well.
5. Add in grated carrot and walnut.
6. Grease the cake tray and pour the mixture into the tray.
7. Bake at 180 degree c for 35-45 minutes.

Note that you do not need a mixer for this recipe.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dinner gathering with university friends

Yes, I know. I know I had abandoned this blog for a very long period. September and October are busy months for me. I went to Vietnam in September and 2 days later, I will be going to China. I spent a lot of time doing research for my trips. Furthermore, new project had started so everyday I go back from office very late. Honestly, I do less cooking. Even if I cook, I cook easy and repeated dishes. No more new recipes. I hope that after October, everything will be back to normal and I can cook daily.

About a week ago, my university friends came to my place for dinner gathering. I had to prepare dinner for 9 person. It was a challenging task to me. Tell you, I will get panic when everyone has arrived and I still have many dishes to cook. :) So, I decided to cook few dishes that could be prepared earlier. There were Pork Belly with Yam(芋头扣肉), Pig Tribe Pepper Soup(胡椒猪肚汤) and Chinese Spinach in Superior Stock(上汤芫菜). Then at night, I only had to cook Clam in Kam Heong Sauce(甘香拉拉) and Crispy Eggplant(脆炸茄子).

Thanks god, there was no big mistake. If not, we had to order Pizza. Everyone gave nice comments to my dishes. But deep in my heart, I know I still need more practices, especially preparing food for bigger group. Anyway, it was fun to cook and great to meet up with friends.

A note of thanks to:
Lam, who took the above photos as I was busy with food.
Lee Peng and Anne, who cleaned the mess after the dinner.
Other attendants, a perfect gathering with all of you.

Looking forward to the next gathering.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Noodles with Mushroom Sesame Toon Sauce

Finally, I tried out the organic food bought from Pulau Tikus. The organic shop provided samples for their mushroom sesame toon sauce. I found that it was not bad. So I bought the sauce together with some noodles. Again, this was very simple. I just mixed the cooked and drained noodles with 1-2tbsp of the mushroom sesame toon sauce. I like the noodles as it would not become soggy easily. Left picture is the thin noodles and right picture is the thick noodles. So, replace your instant noodles with this? Deal?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Porridge with meat balls

I like this type of porridge, example would be Macau Sam Un or Canton-i Queensbay. So I made use of my secret paste, and cooked a pot of porridge with it. It was so simple, just need to scoop the paste into the boiling plain porridge. I added some sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper when served. I think I will cook this again very soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Soya Bean Milk

Last Sunday, my plan to make chinese crullers(油条) and soya bean for tea break was not successful. I only have time for a glass of hot soya bean milk. Luckily my mum brought me a box of cream puffs. So instead of chinese crullers, I have cream puffs. ;)

I prefer the soya bean milk to have stronger bean taste and less sweet and this is my ratio.
60ml soya bean
500ml water
1 pandan leaf
2 tbsp sugar

1. Soak the bean.(optional)
2. Blend all together.
3. Filter and bring to boil.(optional)

Optional steps are depends on blender.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Toast with Cheese and Bacon

It was a very busy and contented weekend. On Saturday morning, I went for Jusco Day and spent the rest of the day for rebonding in hair saloon. Then on Sunday morning, I went to Jusco again and later was picked up by a friend to have lunch in town. I also met up with my mum for a few hours. And at night, it was two hours of badminton game. Time flies, but weekend seems to fly faster. :p

I only managed to do some light cookings. For the uncompleted list, I guess I have to push them out to next weekend. Do not worry, I still remember that I need to do a peanut jam post. ;) But now let me share with you my breakfast today. I have toast with cheese and bacon this morning. The melted cheese and the bacon smell are too good that I am craving for another piece. :)

Toast with Cheese and Bacon:
1. Preheat the oven.
2. Spread the bread with butter and top with a slice of cheese.
3. Place the bread into the oven. (I used 220 degree celcious)
4. Grill the bacon(I used back bacon) with a non stick pan.
5. Remove the bread from the oven and place the bacon on top of the cheese.
6. Enjoy.

Jelly Mooncake Recipe

With no indications, my hard disk submitted resignation letter to me two hours after my previous post. Even tough I have most of my data backup, but I still lost some of the recent works. So, no more jelly mooncake photos to share(see previous post for photos). :( Anyway, here is the recipe that I have promised earlier.

Egg Yolk(Make about 50)
50g lotus paste
250 water
1/2 tbsp agar-agar
100g sugar
90g fresh milk
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients and bring to boil. Add few drops of orange coloring. Pour the mixture into the mould. Remove from the mould when it is set.

Filling(Make about 24)
240g fresh mango paste/sweet corn paste(canned)/red bean paste/lotus paste
480ml coconut milk
130-150g sugar
1tbsp agar-agar powder
100ml fresh milk
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients and bring to boil. Pour the mixture into the small mooncake mould and place the egg yolk in the center. Remove from the mould when it is set.

Mooncake skin(Make about 24)
21/2 tbsp agar-agar powder
2l pandan flavoured water(Boiled water with pandan leaves)
120-150g sugar
4 tbsp condensed milk 4

Mango filling: mango essence(optional) and yellow colorings
Sweet corn filling: green colorings
red bean filling: rose essence(optional) and red colorings
Caramel lotus filling: 4 tbsp instant nescafe

Mix all ingredients and bring to boil. Add related flavours and colorings. Pour the mixture into the big mooncake mould until 80% full. Slowly put in the filling when the mixture is half set. Remove from mould when set.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jelly Mooncake

Mid-Autumn Festival is approaching and it is time to savour mooncakes again. There are many selections in the market, the traditional mooncakes(baked skin) and the modern mooncakes(snow skin, jelly or ice-cream). Do you notice that we could have dumplings(bak chang) all over the years, but not mooncakes? Mooncakes are only available for 1-2months in a year.

For the recent long weekend(Mederka Day), I spent most of my time making 4 flavours of jelly mooncakes. This time my mum suggested to make it. After my first attempt 6 years ago, there will be request to make it every year. One of the year, I even made more than 100 boxes. Even tough I was a bit relunctant and was complaining all the way(I was not feeling well), but I was very happy with the outcome.

My recipe made 20-24 boxes. For this recipe, you will need egg yolk mould, small mooncake jelly mould and big mooncake jelly mould. I had 2, 3 and 6 of these moulds. We split out the works to 3 days. On Saturday, we made the egg yolk(2 rounds to get enough egg yolks). Then on Sunday, we prepared the 4 fillings, red bean, mango, sweet corn and caramel lotus. So on Monday, we were more relaxing(not quite also). We made the mooncake jelly(4 different colors) and packed them in boxes.

I would suggest to split the works to at least two days. One day for egg yolk and fillings. Another day to finish the mooncakes. I will share my 6-years experience recipe in the next post. Meanwhile, here is some of the photos taken during the making. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Working Day Lunch Gathering

A few friends came to my house for a speedy lunch on a working day. Since recent lunch and tea break topics are all about photography, Mark brought his reflector, flash and wireless trigger along. It was not convinient to bring their expensive but bulky DSLRs to the office, so they had no choice but to use my LX3.

While I was busy in the kitchen, they were entertaining themselves with the photograhing session. The lunch was just simple one dish meal, Black Pepper Chicken Chop paired with Mojito Mocktail. And of course, we were not going back to work before sipping a cup of espresso.

Here are the food photos taken by the talented photographers. And thanks to Mark for editing the photos.

Mojito Mocktail

Lemon(cut into cubes)
Lime(cut into cubes)
Mint leaves
Lychee(Canned, cut into cubes)
Ice cubes

Mix all ingredients together. To make Mojito Cocktail, just replace the soft drink to Rum/Vodka.

Monday, August 17, 2009

10-grain rice(十谷米)

I have been drinking 10-grain rice these day, mostly for breakfast. The 10-grain rice, oat and brown sugar were from the organic shop. Nowadays I go for organic food whenever it is possible. I am kind of lazy to explain the benefit of 10-grain rice. When I restock, I will remember to capture the package and post it. By the way, if you do not have such blender, you could also cook it as porridge.

10-grain rice, oat and pandan leaves.

Place all ingredients in the blender and add brown sugar according to your taste.

2 minutes of blending

In 2 minutes time, a very healthy glass of drink is ready for breakfast.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Peanut Butter

I have new gadget!

It is a 800W, 2000RPM multifunction blender which could do a lot of wonders. Even though it is a more powerful blender, I would have hesitated in buying it as I am targeting on Kenwood Prospero which comes with a free blender attachment. But I am still very excited when I received it as a gift.

This powerful blender can blend almost everything into fine and smooth texture so you do not have to do filtering. It can blend ice cubes too so I could use it to make smoothies or even ice-cream. Another great advantage of this blender is it can take in boiling water. The food will be cooked when you blend it with boiling water. So, there is no need to cook the food after blending. A good example will be soya bean.

brand new blender

The first thing I made using this blender is peanut butter. It was very time consuming as the peanut had to be toasted and then the peanut skin had to be removed. The toasted peanut was blended together with extra virgin olive oil and brown sugar. I could smell the nice aroma of peanut when I opened the lid. I slept at 1am to get this done.

This morning I blended organic 10-grain rice(十谷米) with this blender. Will blog about it when I have time.

Peanut butter

Monday, August 3, 2009

Shark Dish

I saw this fish fillet at wet market. When I know that this big piece of fish fillet was selling at RM6, I was overjoyed. I paid for it without giving it a second thought and my mind was filled with fish & chip. Right after I handed over the money to the fish seller, I saw her husband removing the skin from a baby shark and throw it to the fish fillet area. I was shocked and I knew that I had bought the wrong fish. I had never cooked a shark dish before. Luckily after a while, I came out with an idea. So I bought the other ingredients and went home to cook. :)

The fish fillet was even longer than my chopping board.

I cut the fish fillet into small pieces

Dry red chili, ginger, spring onion and garlic.
I did not take a picture of the seasonings. But in case you want to know, they were black soy sauce, fermented bean paste, sugar and corn flour for thickening.

This was the shark dish I cooked.
A bit like Kung Pow in cantonese(宫保) or maybe char hu in hokien(炒鱼).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice

My mum and I cooked Hainanese Chicken Rice yesterday. It was decided during my last trip back to Ipoh. I am the only cook during weekday, so it was quite fun when there was companion in the kitchen although we always quarrel over trivial stuffs. :)

We started with preparing the dipping sauce, ginger sauce and chili sauce.

Ingredients: young ginger, red chili, bird eye's chili and garlic

Left: blended young ginger
Right: blended red chili, red bird's chili and red chili

Brought the blended young ginger to boil with some oil(we used chicken oil) and seasoned with salt

Mixed with spring onion

And for the chili sauce, seasoned with salt, sugar, calamansi juice and oil(I used chicken oil).

For the chicken, soaked the whole chicken into boiling water with minimum heat for 20 minutes. Then, removed the chicken and soaked it into iced water for 5 minutes.

Placed cucumber slices on the plate as base.
My mum complained about my cutting and decoration.
She said it was too ugly. :)

Chicken on a bed of cucumber.
My mum knows that I blog, so she placed the chicken head, wings and drums at the correct position.

Then, it was time to cook rice.

Stir fried some garlic and ginger with oil

The normal water was substituted with chicken stock(result from cooking the chicken).
The above garlic and ginger, together with the oil were added in.
We also added pandan leaves and salt.

chicken rice

When serving, the chicken would be covered by chinese coriander.
My family loves chinese coriander.

We made use of the remaining chicken stock for meat ball soup.
recipe for meat balls)

I would say it was not the perfect Hainanese Chicken Rice. But I enjoyed every bite of it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Simple Home Cooked Lunch

I was on "vegetarian" diets for the past 6 days. How could I not mentioning it in my blog. It was my first time, and might be my last time. My "vegetarian" is vege plus fish. Instead I had done it for the weekend before my Phuket trip and I am going to share one of the meal I had that weekend.

Bought erringi mushroom, some vege and a piece of codfish from jusco.

This small piece of codfish was rather expensive, RM11.
If you know a cheaper source in Penang, do drop me a message.
So after an hour in kitchen, I had 3 simple dishes for lunch.

blanched vege topped with crispy garlic

Tips: add some oil(i used garlic oil) and sugar in the boiling water so that the vege look greener

braised mushroom in oyster sauce

steamed codfish, chinese coriander was a must for me.

It was Unagi day and two piece of unagi were sold at RM29.90(vs RM26.90 per piece on normal day). I quickly grabbed one and headed to the cashier. I was going to have unagi for dinner again. :)