Sunday 29 January 2006

First Day of Lunar New Year

I'm posting the pictures first, text to follow when I'm free. Kung Hei Fatt Choy!!!

Lots of beautiful flowers to start the year with a bang!

cny01 CNY06

cny02 cny03


Luk Mei Tong Shui to start off the day to ensure the whole year will be sweetened with loads of goodies...

luk mei tong shui

Vegetarian Mixed Vegetables, on the observance of the vegetarians for the day.


Friday 27 January 2006

Gong Xi Fa Cai

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I would like to wish everyone a new year filled with joy, laughter and happiness. May the year of Dog bless you with good health and good fortune.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
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IMBB#22: Use Your Noodle

Wow time really flies and had I not gone into Is My Blog Burning yesterday, I won't know there is one IMBB this month. This round is hosted by Amy of Cooking With Amy. The theme is Use Your Noodle, so all sorts of noodles ie. rice, pasta, spinach noodles etc are allowed. Well not that I really cooked something for this event but so happened I had some noodles last weekend so why not submit this for IMBB#22.

Before I went to the market that day, I checked my fridge and found I have some herbal soup stock frozen up, a leftover actually made of kampung (free range) chicken and a packet of Chinese herbs (I forgot what combination, will post them up later). Since I didn't have time to cook up some dishes to go with rice, I decided to cook some soup noodles. Whilst at the market, I looked around and bought a variation of fishballs, fish cake and stuff made from fish paste (some of them looked like surimi). Checked the loh shue fun (Cantonese literally translated as rat tail noodles, hehehe actually it does not contained any rat hahahaha just that it's a type of rice noodles where the shape looked like one fat rat's tail.) and one packet for the three of us would not be enough whilst two packets will be too much. So I ended up with a packet of fresh udon. Next I bought some tong hoe (Garland Chrysanthemum, hubby hates this but since I liked it, he would still have to tolerate them kekekeke).

Went home and washed up everything. First I boiled my soup and added in salt (usually I don't add salt for my Chinese style soup) and garlic oil. Next I dumped in the udon and the various fish paste stuff. I've also added some sliced chicken fillet marinaded with some soy sauce and cornflour. Then added in the Chrysanthemum leaves before dishing up. Do not over cook the udon else it will be too soft. Simple lunch for us.

Thanks Amy for hosting this round of IMBB. Will post up the photo later when I get home.

UPDATED 29 Jan 2006: Here's the pic...


Tagged with: +

SHF#15: Sugar Low Friday

banana muffin

This round of Sugar (not) High Friday is hosted by Sam of Becks & Posh. Sam had came out with this theme after toothing all the sweet stuff during Christmas. The challenge this time is not to use any processed sugar for desserts. Substitutes for sugar such as honey, maple syrups, fruit syrups etc are welcomed.

I wasn't really sure if I could have make it this round since I have been super busy with work and all the running around to shop and get things done for Chinese New Year celebration. Anyway, during my free time, I browsed thru my cookbooks and I had a tall time finding one dessert that do not use any processed sugar at all! Actually I was toying around about using gula melaka (palm sugar) but I couldn't find anything easy and simple for me to squeezed into my busy schedule. I nearly gave up until I saw a really easy peasy recipe for Banana Muffins in Nigella Lawson's How o Be A Domestic Goddess. Best of all, this recipe uses NO sugar at all. Wooohooo... but then again can muffins be considered as dessert? Heck, never mind, this is sweet ain't it?

In between my baking frenzy of cookies and cakes, I made up a batch of these muffins. It's really really simple, just melt the butter, honey and vanilla essence. Mixed in mashed bananas before pouring into flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and cinnamon powder. Stir gently and pour into muffin tray lined with paper cups. Bake in the oven and voila... a healthy no-sugar version! I won't print the recipe but you can get it from HERE.

The recipe called for 2 bananas, however, I wasn't sure how much exactly to put in since the bananas found in Kuala Lumpur are usually way smaller in size as compared to the Western countries. So I just guesstimated and oh boy... BIG mistake... too much and the wet mixture was simply not enough to bind the dry mixture. I had to rescue the mixture by adding more honey. Luckily I've used natural (unprocessed) honey which is not too sweet, otherwise I would have ended up with sickly sweet muffins.

Darn, I found out in Chubby Hubby that the recipes in this book are often inaccurate. His wife made a batch of this and he found them a bit bland. As for my verdict, I think the recipe ought to be refined further to achieve the right consistency. Due to my little disaster, the muffins came out slightly on the dry side. Taste wise they were ok especially when more sweet bananas are added just have to make sure to use more butter and honey.

Thank you Sam, once again for hosting SHF.

Tagged with: +

Wednesday 25 January 2006

Chinese New Year Cookout: Arab Cookies

Sorry guys, I've been super busy. I have two memes in my pocket, so gals, IOU first ok! I've loads of photos taken for the festive season but I did not have time to download and post them all!!!! Anyway, to cut things short (since it's close to 2am already!!!), this cookie which I first tasted at Kakak's Raya open house last year. Tasted super yummy as it really melts in your mouth. I managed to get the recipe from her and recreated for Chinese New Year this year. I've never been so hardworking and diligent all these while baking anything for the new year. Somehow, the simpleness of this recipe really got me in full swing and in da mood... Click on the pictures to view the enlarged version.

arab biscuit01 arab biscuit02

Arab Cookies (not sure how Arab came along in the name... anyone?)

2 cups wheat flour (1 cup = 250ml)
¼ cup sugar,
measure volume, then blend to powder (use a dry miller, this eases the kneading)
Ghee (just enough to make into soft dough)
Milled castor sugar (for
coating the cookies after baking)

First mix flour, milled sugar, and ghee into soft dough, roll them into balls, about the size of a marble.

Place them unto ungreased cookie trays. Leave some gaps in between the cookies. Bake at 15 min at 150 deg C, or until the edges are very slightly brown.

Remove cookies and place then on a cooling rack. After cooling,
coat castor sugar to coat.

Thank you Kakak for the recipe ;-)

UPDATED 26 Jan 2006

I've missed out this picture of me kneading the dough. Boiboi took this using my camera phone.

kneading arab cookies1

AND for ghee (clarified butter), remember to use QBB brand. It's more fragrant!

Thursday 19 January 2006

Review: Tong Shin Char Kuey Teow

**Non-Halal Post**

tong shin char kueh teow

That was my sinful dinner sometime back! Packed with carbo, fats and lard... it's no other than a plate of Char Kuey Teow (fried flat noodles) which I opted for yellow noodles and kuey teow (flat rice noodles) with generous amount of shrimps, sliced Chinese sausages, eggs, bean sprouts, chives and fresh cockles. If you don't fancy blood red cockles, you can asked them for cooked cockles version but I liked my cockles fresh, to be mixed into the hot-off-the-wok noodles to avoid being over cooked.

Should you happened to be in the golden triangle, do drop by Kedai Makan Goreng Kuey Teow Tong Shin. This particular husband-and-wife team has been in business round a corner lot along Tengkat Tong Shin (opposite Radius International Hotel) aeons ago and they're still popular in Kuala Lumpur as ever.

Their Char Kuey Teow packed a punch with enough "wok hei" (heat of a wok), generous ingredients and of course the right amount of oil and sauces that emits a very very fragrant aroma. They opens from noon till 2.00 am but try not to be on the dot at noon, sometimes the couple are not in the shop yet. Their helpers will tell us that their bosses are still sleeping and we need to wait for a short while before the couple come downstairs to "char" the "kuey teow".

Kedai Makan Goreng Kuey Teow Tong Shin
2, Jalan Rembia, Off Jalan Tong Shin
50200 Kuala Lumpur


Monday 16 January 2006

Babe's Roast Chicken With Vegetables

It was a Saturday morning and after boiboi finished drinking his milk, he was making funny and horrible faces at me. I told him, he looked like a camel. Next he started imitating animal sounds. I proceeded by asking him to imitate donkey, cow, cat (his fave), dog and next chicken which he went "pooorrrppp poorrrkkppp poorrrkkkpppp". Conversation ensued...

Boiboi: Mummy, want to eat.
Me: You want to eat chicken?
Boiboi: Yeah (his current fave word when we asked him questions)
Me: Okay, Mummy cook you some chicken.
Boiboi: Mummy, I want CRUNCHY one.

Goshhhh I went laughing out loud until hubby came out looking groggy and asked me what happened. I related to him and his eyes went wide and he was certainly wide awake by then. I did not realised how much my boiboi had grown until he knows how to demand what kinda style of chicken he want to eat!!! BTW, he's 3 1/2 years old now.

Hubby being the "yar sei hau low dao" (loving daddy with weak heart!!!) suggested that we take him to KFC that day but I don't really fancy bringing my kid to fastfood restaurants. In fact all these while, I think we have brought boiboi to McDonald's or KFC for less than 10 times in his whole entire life!!!

So my mind went racing... I don't really like to eat deep fried stuff and I hate to fry stuff too. Too much cleaning up to do hahahaha... I took out Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef and start flipping thru the pages. Hmmm... roasted chicken would perhaps been the next best bet. I've never worked on one whole chicken in my whole entire life... yeah hard to believe. I usually buy the necessary parts or I'll just ask my friendly chicken seller to chop the whole chicken up for me. See how much a "yar sei hau" Mummy can sacrifice!

That got me trooping off to the market to get the chicken and some vegetables that I could find closest to the recipe. I know I can never cook the whole dang thing following 100% to Jamie Oliver's recipe due to limitation of ingredients in the "ulu" (suburb) place that I'm staying. Let's just put it that I've merely following the steps in the recipe, hence in a way it became MY recipe inspired by Jamie's Sweet and Sour Roast Chicken (can't really recall the exact name)Pot-roasted Chicken with Sweet and Sour Sauce heh.

After cleaning the chicken... I had a tough time getting rid of the stuff in the cavity but slowy and steadily I managed to get it done... YAY!!!! After trimming off the fats and such, the chicken is ready. I rubbed some ginger juice, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and dried basil (the only dried herb left in my pantry!!!) all over it. Next I stuffed loads of garlics, ginger (after extracted the juice) and some lemon wedges into the cavity. I left in the fridge for a few hours.

I've chopped carrots, red and yellow bell peppers (capsicum), potatoes, red onions and Japanese cucumber into large chunks. Place them inside a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkled some sea salt and black pepper before mixing them up thoroughly. Placed the chicken on top (breast side up) of the vegetables and drizzled more olive oil.

babe roast chic

Ahem... this was the ensemble all ready to be placed into the oven. Please excuse the horrible look of it. This Babe gingerly asked the chicken seller to removed the Bishop Nose cos I'm so used to doing that all the time kekeke... Silly me, I should have left it as it is, now that left an ugly spot on the chicken rear! Anyway, I stuffed the tray into the oven. I've used fan asissted top and bottom heating element at about 180 degree Celcius. I've expected the chicken to be cooked in an hour but it was cooked under 40 minutes. Half way thru I dumped in some cherry tomatoes. To check for doneness other than the browned skin, is to poke a skewer on the meatiest part of the chicken. It's done when clear juice oozes out.

Now, to prepare the sauce, I removed some of the vegetables from the tray and placed them in a saucepan together with all the liquid from the tray. Using my handheld blender, I liquidised the chucky vegetables into a thick liquid (Jamie uses a blender though). Since it was pretty thick, I thin a little with some water. Added some balsamic vinegar, sugar to balance the sourness and some salt to taste and bring it to a boil.

babe roast chic 02

Nice looking eh but it was not browned thoroughly and don't looked very crispy. Hubby commented on that and I only found out later from other recipe books that I need to turn the chicken over half way but I guessed Jamie's style does not call for that. I've made some buttered rice to go with the roast chicken and they're a winner! This was how I plated them.

babe roast chic 03

That evening, my boiboi devoured the whole chicken thigh by using a fork and a knife for the first time without using his fingers! Amazingly he could cleaned out the tender chicken rather well. We kept on coaxing him to use his fingers but he refused. It's very satisfy to see him cleaning his plate whilst enjoying the chicken he requested that very morning.

Now the post-mortem... I must not remove the Bishop Nose (must repeat that on my head for a hundred times!!!!). I ought to turn over the chicken half way to brown the chicken all over and leave it in the oven slightly longer to have crispier skin. Hubby's commented that there is not enough of herb taste, not crispy enough and the sauce was slightly too sour for his liking (but I liked it though).

Overall, I had a wonderful experience cleaning and roasting my first WHOLE chicken but the best part had to be the way boiboi savouring and enjoy every bit of the chicken. With the initial fear of roasting whole chicken gone, I think there will be more roast chicken recipes coming the way... *wink*

Updated on 17 Jan 2006 to correct recipe name.

Sunday 15 January 2006

Cooling Drinks for Hot Weather VIII - Vegetables and Fruits Juice

Okay I know it's not exactly hot these days but since I've mentioned "juicing" a few times recently, I guess I'll write about what I usually juice about. Most weekend mornings I'll make some carrot and orange juice for my boiboi since I'm a bit worried to feed him raw vegetables juice. For hubby and I, the kinda stuff I've used in various combination usually consisted of carrot, celery, orange, apples, beetroot etc. The glass below has a bit of everything including beetroot that gave a deep red hue to the juice. If I have a lived-in helper, I'll definitely have some juice every morning otherwise it's pretty tedious to wash the juicer heh.

mixed fruit & vege juice

I've yet to use the small bittergourd cos I doubt hubby will like the bitterness but I've heard so much about its benefits. Anyone drink the juice? What other fruits or vegetables I can add to it to make it more palatable?

For my previous cooling drinks series, check them out here.

Thursday 12 January 2006

Review: Goon Wah Restaurant

**Non-Halal Post**

One of my colleagues took us to this place called Goon Wah somewhere along Old Klang Road for lunch. I've very vague idea how to get there but I know it's just nearby Seri Setia school. It's located in a quiet row of shophouses. I managed to get the phone number, so maybe you can call and ask for the proper direction.

My colleague told me that this place served a very delicious Claypot Loh Shue Fun which he claimed better than Seng Kee in Chinatown. We gave him the liberty to order our lunch which consisted of the Claypot Loh Shue Fun (literally translated as rat tail noodle which is a type of rice noodle. In Singapore they are known as bee thai bak), Wart Tarn Hor (Cantonese for flat rice noodles in smooth egg gravy) and fried rice. I scanned around the packed shop and it seems like every table have standard order of fishhead bee hoon (rice vermicelli). When I enquired about it and my colleague said he didn't like their style of cooking. Darnnn... we should have ordered a small portion to try out but nevermind, there will always be a next time.

First to arrived on our table was the sizzling loh shue fun in a claypot. It's a dry version (unlike Seng Kee's which I think it's not fair to compare since they are of different cooking style), very much like dry fried loh shue fun but Goon Wah's one came in a claypot instead. It's not too oily and very very fragrant as in enough "wok hei" (heat of a wok). Have bits and pieces of minced meat, eggs, onions and beans sprouts in it. It was so tasty that four of us walloped the whole pot in a jiffy. We ordered a 2-pax portion which is not really enough since it was so tasty. Next time, I'm gonna have one all by myself!!!

goon wah loh shue fun

This is the close up look of the loh shue fun. Look delish or not??? I'm not sure about you but when I looked at this picture again... my mouth watered... heh :p

goon wah loh shue fun upclose

This was our 2-pax portion of Wart Tarn Hor which is essentially fried hor fun (also known as kuey teow or flat rice noodles) in hot oil with some soya sauce. Dished up and the gravy was cooked separately and thickened up with cornflour. This dish is so-so only, nothing outstanding. We were hankering for more loh shue fun actually but was afraid to order another portion as it may have been too much for us.

goon wah wat tarn hor

We waited for a very long time before our fried rice came. By then our maginal utility for food have dropped tremendously that I did not even bothered to take any picture of it. We quickly finished up the rice and thank goodness we ordered a one pax portion. Actually the fried rice was pretty good with the rice being fluffy and not overly dry and oily.

To round up our meal, four of us shared 2 bowls of ice kacang (some places known as ABC for Air Batu Campur - Malay for mixed shaved ice) after eyeing our neighbouring tables ordering it. This ice kacang did not have enough gula melaka syrup, hence it was not that flavourful. All these together with 4 glasses of leung char (Chinese herbal drink) costed RM6 for each of us... not too bad eh.

Whooops so this place is in Kuchai Lama and not really Old Klang Road... if you're really game, do call up and ask for the direction.

Goon Wah Restaurant
G13 Jalan 3/115C, KP2, Taman Kuchai Lama
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama
Tel: 603-79820048/79840722

Wednesday 11 January 2006

Mini Cheese & Spinach Quiche

spinach and cheese quiche

I had always like to make this quiche as it's pretty easy to make and can be done in a jiffy. I first got the recipe from Her World magazine annual cookbook Volume 49. I tried searching for the year but it was not stated anywhere or maybe I could have missed it or got pasted over with the price tag. It could be dated back to 1995. Yeah, I've been collecting such mags because of the beautiful mouthwatering pictures since way back when I was a student and I don't even attend home science hahahaha... So I guess I was almost born a glutton!

Back to the quiche... the recipe is so simple and I've substituted the vegetable with whatever that I could think of such as mushrooms, brocolli, ham, sausages, meat, carrots and so forth. Those in the photo, I think have spinach and grated carrots. The recipe for shortcrust pastry was given but I don't have much time here to type them all in. I guess it can be easily searched using any search engine or just be like me, to save time - buy ready made frozen pastry. Here's the basic ingredient:

Mini Cheese & Spinach Quiche

300g shortcrust pastry
200g fresh spinach
1 tsp butter
salt and pepper
5 eggs, beaten
300ml milk
100g cheddar cheese, grated
100 gruyere cheese, grated

Roll out pastry. Using an 8cm plain cutter, cut out about 15 rounds. Use the rounds to line a patty tin.

To prepare filling, first wash and drain spinach. Chop into 3-inch lengths, then put into a saucepan together with 1 tsp butter, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occassionally until spinach wilts. Remove pan from heat and drain spinach, pressing out all the liquid.

In a bowl (I normally use a jug for ease of pouring), beat eggs and add cheese and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked spinach.

Spoon the custard and spinach filling into the prepared pastry cases and bake for 30 minutes or until puffy and golden. Serve hot or cold.

Happy trying!

Tuesday 3 January 2006

Ways With English Muffin

Gee I hoped everyone had had a wonderful time ushering the new year. May the New Year bring you happiness and peace, and the strength and courage to follow your dreams. May you forget the weight of yesterday and focus on the path ahead, guided by your heart and the light of hope. May you find beauty in everything and goodness in every heart. And may you always remember that you are blessed.

Life has been hectic both at home and work. I have very little time catching up with all the postings by all the food bloggers, so I'm kinda pretty lost and out of touch of the blogsphere. I have thousands and one pictures (back from December) but sad to say I don't have much time to process them, let alone writing them up here. So, updates here gonna be sporadic. Gosh... and Chinese New Year is coming along pretty soon too!!!!

Anyway, I got grounded at home sometime last month for having sore eyes. I managed to have some "alone" time catching up on my sleep (I sleep very little these days... I usually knock off around 1.00am or later and wakes up around 6.00am) and reading up blogs that I've missed. Knowing very well that I'll be grounded all alone, I got myself some English Muffins from Meidi-ya Fresh Bakery. I've no idea if this Meidi-ya is related to the Japanese store but all I know this bakery bakes loads of cottony soft Japanese breads and pastries. I'm sort of addicted with their breads since they first opened in Kuala Lumpur way back in the mid 80s. I can claim that ALL (better don't put this, just to be polite hehehe) most of their concoctions are delicious down to the last bite and they do not stinge with their fillings or toppings.

These English Muffins were introduced a few months back and I was rather happy to say they tasted utmost delicious. I got the wholemeal ones but they have the plain ones too. Surprisingly to know that English Muffins were originated from America hahaha yeah... you can read them all here and here. There are 4 muffins in one pack (sorry forgot the price) and here are some quick and easy ways I went round to feed myself.

After going thru my larder and fridge, I found a small can of baked beans which is near expiring and some celery and carrots (for my juicing). I stir fried the chopped celery and carrots with some olive oil before adding the baked beans and some water. Dished up and topped with some freshly ground black pepper. Woooshhhh... delish OK, but then again I might be biased cos I simply loved baked beans in any style. I served this with buttered muffin.

english muffin1

For my next meal, I checked up my larder (yes, I have a pretty large one, 4 tiered tall pull-out cabinet filled to the brim with foodstuff, kekekeke like magic only, anything also can be found inside) and I took out one can of TC Boy Tuna with Mayonnaise. I kinda like TC Boy's tuna with mayo cos it's not too creamy and sweet, best it has some corn bits in there and I forgot what else that I liked. Buttered my muffins, spread some tuna mayo and topped with grated carrots plus a slice of cheddar cheese. Heh, another way to devour the muffins.

english muffin2

Next, I spread the tuna mayo mixed with grated carrots on the muffins. Topped with grated cheddar cheese and toast it using a mini oven toaster. Mmmmm another tasty way with the muffins.

english muffin3

Well, this is the lazy person way of taking care of her meals at home alone even though restaurants, hawker stalls and 7-11 are merely a stone throw away hahahaha but seriously speaking, I loved bread so much that I can just eat them all the time even for all my meals :p Anyone up to making me a sandwich???

Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

16 Oct 2012