Saturday, March 29, 2008

Steamed Fish Fillet

I have no idea whatsoever, why they named this dish 'steamed fish fillet', as there was no steaming involved. The fish was pan-fried and sauce poured over it.

Pan Fried Fish Fillet (taken from November issue of 'Food & Travel' magazine)

Ingredients -

400g soon hock fish fillets*, sliced into 2 pcs
2 bulbs ginger, shred thinly
1/4 cup fish stock (I used the fish bones to make this)
1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
spring onions and sliced tomatoes for garnishing

* You may also use sea bass, garoupa, red snapper.

Method -

1. Pat dry the fish with paper towels and marinade with salt and pepper.

2. In a pan, heat 1/2tbsp of sunflower oil and fry the fish until crispy and golden brown. Remove and set aside.

3. In the same pan, heat remaining sunflower oil and saute the ginger until crispy. Remove from oil.

4. Add in dark soya sauce and fish stock and let it simmer.

5. Add in the brown sugar and simmer until the sauce caramelizes.

6. Pour the sauce over the fish. Garnish with the fried ginger strips, spring onions and sliced tomatoes before serving.

Steamed Herbal Chicken

Do any of you read the 'Food & Travel' magazine? I am very pleased to be introduced to it by Kenwood when I joined as a member and was given 4 copies of them. In them, I found many simple recipes to experiment with and most of them turned out quite nice. The pumpkin curry I prepared earlier was also from this magazine. Just this week, I made this herbal chicken and also the steamed fish fillet which were both simple to prepare, and tasted good.

Steamed Herbal Chicken (taken off the November issue of the magazine)

Ingredients -

2 chicken thighs
2 tsp Chinese wolfberries
2 tsp polyconattum (yok chok)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp Chinese rice wine
salt and pepper to taste

Method -

1. Marinade the chicken with all the ingredients for about mins.

2. Place the chicken and the ingredients in a bowl and steam for 25mins (I did 35 to get it more tender).

3. Serve immediately with rice.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Tried out this recipe from Daphne's blog as it is something different from the usual boring plain chocolate chip cookies. It includes both my favourite ingredients - white chocolate and macadamia. :D

I love it, and hubby too was full of praise! He loved the macadamias in them.

Whilst in the oven, they gave off a beautiful caramel-ly fragrance, which was simply divine. I couldn't wait for them to be ready and cool enough to pop into my mouth. You just can't stop at one. ;)

Try this today. You won't regret.

Macadamia and White Chocolate Cookies (makes about 40)

125grams of butter
2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
3/4 cup of brown sugar (maybe can cut down a bit to slightly less than 3/4cup)
1 egg
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of self raising flour
1 cup chopped unsalted roasted macadamias
3/4 cup of rolled oats
200gms white choc bits

Preheat Oven to 180C

Beat butter, eggs, sugar and essence till they become light and fluffy. Fold in flours, nuts, oats and chocolate.

Shape tablespoons of mixture into balls; placed them on lined baking trays. Bake for 15 minutes or till browned slightly. Cool and EAT.

Note to Daphne - how come mine didn't turn out as white as yours? Hehe.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

A blessed & Happy Easter to all.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday Dinner

Came home from church and put together a 'simple yet took lots of time preparing' dinner. Hehe. It took ages to butter the filo pastry which I used to make spinach puffs and being a little short on the spinach, I made the last one for princess with a piece of banana and chocolate chips.

Spinach puffs were made with a spread of Boursin garlic & fine herbs cheese, then topped up with ready creamed spinach, rolled and baked. Simply gorgeous.

I also made a salad with butterhead lettuce, celery, Japanese cucumber, corn bits, cherry tomatoes and hard-boiled egg. Tossed them in Ranch dressing & ready to serve.

Wednesday's dinner

Our dinner dishes two nights' ago. Used the leftover soup from day before that and added some seaweed meatballs and spinach. We had an outing with KY in the afternoon and didn't have much time to prepare dinner, so I had to plan simple things that I could whip up in a jiffy. I think I'm getting good at this - preparing for dinner in the morning haha. I did that twice last week, as was busy and out mostly, so only had minimum time to put together a quick dinner.

Fish was easy too as it was just a matter of putting the seasoning and garnishes and leaving the steamer to do all the work. Vegetables were soaked and prepared before I left the house, and there were these cheese fishcakes to be fried, and voila, dinner was ready. :) I love the fishcakes as they have cheese oozing out when you bite into them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Super busy

Very busy day for me today. Was working non-stop from the time I got up at 6plus this morning. Made a lunch of long bean porridge which my Ah Ma used to make a lot and something I love till today. I had a packet of salmon flakes, from Daiso if not wrong, and added some to the porridge. I couldn't really taste the salmon, so that was good, meaning it didn't add more salt to the porridge.

Cooked a big pot of broth with chicken breast bone, soya beans, piece of ginger, ikan bilis, and also a cob of corn (is that how it's described?). Used half the broth to cook the porridge in and the other I kept for dinner to make yong tau fu soup. For the porridge, I cut up long beans into little pieces, sliced thinly some tau kwa and added some meatballs. Just like how Ah Ma used to do it, except that she used to fry the tau kwa and beans prior to adding to the pot, but I thought my way's much healthier. For seasoning, I used light soy sauce, pepper, and a few drops of sesame oil, and garnished with salmon flakes and fried shallots.

While I was out, I couldn't resist picking up some hot cross buns and they were yummy. I got them from Four Leaves, even though I was planning to try out Alex Goh's recipe from 'The World of Bread'. I have to say mine didn't turn out looking like his and I felt that I could do with a little more sugar. It was pretty bland, and something was just missing from it. Maybe Allspice? I could hardly even taste the cinnamon. I usually love to eat hot cross buns on their own and not slather jam over them, but maybe in this case, I should.

For dinner, on top of the soup, I also stir fried some Shanghai greens and made some white pepper pork slices.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St Patrick's Day!

Myspace Graphics
Myspace Graphics
Happy Paddy's Day to all Irish!

Due to conflicts with Holy Week, which began yesterday, this year's St Patrick's Day masses had been brought forward 2 days, although it doesn't affect the
celebrations today in Dublin.

There was a celebration in Singapore and it's been going on the 3rd year now. We caught the one last year down by Boat Quay but we weren't there for the one yesterday.

These were pictures taken in 2007.

Chocolate Mint Cookies

In case you haven't noticed, I have not baked sweet stuff in quite a while, since the Chinese New Year. We did have some ant problem and hubby banned baking. So that's why you saw more food being cooked. However, I've been wanting to bake something sweet and so decided to make these cookies. The recipe come from a magazine that I got free at the MRT station one morning, sometime before Valentine's Day. I loved that it had mint in it. I would never have thought of adding mint to chocolate cookies. Hmm... That is kind of silly, considering how well mint and chocolate go together.

This is a soft cookie and I added something a little extra in the middle, sort of as a surprise, but also, I thought the cookie needed something more. Plain is ok, but not that great. Well, I kind of deviated from the original recipe a bit.

Chocolate Mint Cookies (Makes 36 cookies, but am very sure mine had more)

Ingredients -

3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tbsp water
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate block 70% cocoa)
2 eggs
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
36 chocolate mint sweets (I didn't use these. Instead I used block Cadbury chocolates, not mint, and broke them into squares to put inside each cookie)
** I used about 1/2 tsp mint essence in the dough mixture as I did not use mint chocolates for the topping.

Method -

1. In a large pan, over low heat, melt butter, sugar & water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat & continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand for 10mins to cool off slightly.

2. At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Add essence. Reduce speed to low & add in dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about an hour.

3. Preheat oven to 175 deg C (350deg F).

4. Roll dough into balls with a piece of chocolate square in the middle & place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 - 15mins.

For original recipe, do this -

Do not add chocolate squares to the middle. While cookies are baking, unwrap mints and divide each in half. When cookies are out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie. Let the mint sit for up to 5 mins until melted, then spread the mint on top of cookies and enjoy!


Had some cool desserts yesterday at Bakerzin. I love how they set up their menu. Desserts spread over the first few pages, followed by mains, etc. We had gone there for lunch yesterday, and princess and I were mesmerized by the array of desserts in the many pages of the menu. Mains took a backseat while we were drooling over the dessert tapas, the ice-creams and sorbets, the macarons, etc. We picked out our desserts before we even thought of what to have for lunch. Hehe. I decided I was going to have macarons, while little one could not decide between ice-creams, tapas, ispahan, strawberry New York cheesecake, and macarons. Haha. She wanted everything actually.

She had her usual pumpkin soup with breadsticks, and an additional order of bread. She also had a little of Daddy's meatball spaghetti. Afterwards, she decided she was going to go for the mix of forest berries ice-cream, raspberry panna cotta, and strawberries in chocolate fondue. What a great choice it turned out to be. My little girl is so uber posh. Hehe. I thought kids will usually go for chocolate ice-cream, but no she wanted forest berries. Also I wasn't sure if she'd like panna cotta, and was offering something else but she stuck with her choice. She even told me she could taste the vanilla beans in the panna cotta. Mummy, see the little black bits in it, I can see those beans. Oh God, what have I created? All of 6 yrs old! Lol!

I highly recommend this dessert choice as you get to try the many varieties of desserts and it doesn't burn a hole in the pocket.

I, on the other hand, had rose as well as chocolate banana macarons. I loved the rose more than the chocolate. Was lovely the slight hint of the flower in it. Hubby is usually the boring one who is not very adventurous and went for the cheesecake. But in Bakerzin, the bakers can do no wrong. Any choice of cake is a good one. However, we all got to share in the tapas as princess was really full after a while.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Have you seen the sun?

Woohoo, no rain yesterday and today. :) Never thought I'd be rejoicing at seeing the sun, but after a week of non-stop rain and being homebound, plus laundry taking ages to dry, it is a happy moment. At least it's not inconvenient to get around, seeing that I had to go out yesterday and today. We went for Disney on Ice and thank God for the dry weather, or else it'd have been more than a bit troublesome to get to the venue, as the car park is uncovered. Went with cousin and nephew and the kids enjoyed it very much. Princess was there for Ariel, and Ariel alone. Haha. She had her tiara on, and took along her Ariel baby doll. I had to resist buying the Ariel wand despite all the pleadings. Told her we'd get nicer things at Disney soon, and that'd be loads of Ariel stuff. Even the t-shirt they were selling at the show was nothing great. I think she's gonna go nuts over in Disneyland.

For dinner, I made eggplant with hae bee hiam...

Long beans with minced meat.

Baked chicken breast in Teriyaki sauce with onion and thyme.

Honey BBQ spare ribs. This picture isn't very sharp but the one with flash made it look very black so this pic will have to do.

Fruits after dinner consisted of mango, apple, dragonfruit. Litttle princess is a fruit bat. She eats any kind of fruits and goes crazy when she sees them. Hehe. Mangoes are her all time favourite, followed by bananas. She loves dragonfruit too, and other than durian, I haven't come across any that she won't eat.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wet, wet, wet

Another wet day greeted us today. It's been raining non-stop 24/7. Yesterday, incidentally, had the heaviest rainfall so far this month. I personally too, feel that yesterday's rain was the worst. However we braved the lashings today and ventured out to the supermarket. I've been wanting to bake some stuff but didn't have the right sugar at home. Just have been trying to hibernate as usual. I love rain, don't get me wrong. But it's just super boring not being able to go out.

Bought some chicken wings from the wet market this morning and decided to cook a dark sauce chicken with some organic (so they say) dried shittake mushrooms I had gotten a week back. Somehow, my sauce didn't turn out as thick as the one dad does. I think it's the dark sauce used.

I also spied some preserved/century eggs in the market this morning, together with some salted ducks' eggs, and picked those up. Decided to steam them. Unfortunately I wasn't too pleased with the result. It was edible, but I am bad at steaming things other than fish. Eggs are the worst. So pardon me if the steamed eggs look kind of awful. Oops, then again the picture is too small for you to see it clearly. Hehe.

In-between cooking dinner, I fried some jemput jemput, using some bananas from the big bunch that hubs insisted on getting during the weekend, and have so far only had one. I did stop him from buying the big lot but well, I didn't win that time. Now I can say, 'I told you so'. Thanks HK for the recipe so many moons back, but it didn't work for me. I don't blame the recipe. It's the fault of the cook. I don't know what went wrong but it was kind of tough.

Sliced Fish Hor Fun

This is perfect food for rainy days. Have been wanting to cook this since last week, but didn't get round to it. Finally did it last evening.

Cheat's way to get the colour on the hor fun. I used light soya sauce and just a couple of drops of dark soya sauce. :)

Dig in!

Ingredients used -

1. Sliced Batang Fish
2. Fishcakes, sliced
3. Couple of pieces of ginger
4. Garlic, sliced
5. Xiao Bai Chye
6. Thick Hor Fun
7. 1 egg
8. Oyster Sauce
9. Corn Starch mixture

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chocolate Rocks

These are really cute. I couldn't resist them when I saw the packaging in Daiso. I hardly buy their snacks as most time they aren't that nice. Have bought snacks a couple of times, but maybe it's just the wrong stuff I picked up, except for the corn puffs. But I decided to give this a chance and was rewarded with all the pretty colours in the packet. :) They taste quite nice too. The sugar coating isn't too thick or hard on them.

Gosh, this rain is making us miserable, and it seems to be getting heavier every day. Even as I am typing now, I can't see the block of flats out through the window, and you know how close flats are spaced out here. It stops for a bit and them a storm again. Geez!

Rain rain go away, little princess wants to play...

Sorry for having gone missing. The exam is finally over!! Hurray!!! Now I can heave a sigh of relief. My Wednesdays are free again! Got some updates which have been accumulating...

I didn't send princess to school on Monday morning as I wanted her to get sufficient sleep and not be tired out by 4pm. She will not put on her best performance otherwise, if she'd been running around in school before that.

So we went to the supermarket near our place to pick up some stuff to bake with. My intention was to bake some brownies or little cakes for the girls, but in the end, spent too much time browsing the aisles that there wasn't a lot of time left to do so. Hehe.

Our first stop was 'Wang' for a breakfast of Mee Siam. I liked it much more than the one served at 'Toastbox'. I thought the taste was perfect as it had the right balance of sweet and sour, unlike Toastbox's one which is more on the sour side. It was a good portion for $2.90 too.

After the exam, we went together with mum, to Parkway and had a steamboat dinner in the basement food court. This was where I bought my chilli from during the CNY period. They only sell them once a year. I find that the prices have gone crazy sky high from the time when they first started this stall, way back when they were still a small stall facing the barber down in the old food court. I guess you get quality ingredients for the price you pay, such as 'live' jumping prawns, and meatballs made with real meat and not just flour. The wantons were great too, with big juicy pieces of prawns in them.

While we were at the supermarket on Monday, we came across a touch screen device which you can print recipes and tips out from. I read about it in the papers a week ago, I believe, and totally forgot about it. We had fun with it and princess came across the recipe for 'sausage pasta salad' which she wanted to try. So we went around looking for ingredients. Well, we left out the feta cheese and parsley and just made some adaptations to the original recipe. I had a packet of baby spinach and wasn't keen on getting the parsley so she said we didn't have to get that. Just use the baby spinach, so that's what I did. :)

I hadn't planned to cook at all last evening as we had a playdate lined up in the afternoon. I knew there was no way I could make it home in time to do anything. Unfortunately the weather had other plans. It was terrible, on and off rain and heavy as well. So, thankfully J gave us a lift home. She had even offered to pick us up because of the rain and she did. So kind of her, but I really do not like troubling people.

I had to think really fast and plan a menu right away and so we had 'sausage pasta salad'. I also had some cream of broccoli soup with the stock from the bbq chicken bones leftover from the chicken I bought a couple of days back to make the mango chicken wrap. I had stripped the chicken of all the flesh and the rest of the flesh was used for a pasta stir fry during the week which I had no time to take photos of. The worst part was I had run out of pasta, haha, and we had to use the Hello Kitty ones. Not sure if hubs realised. ;)

Cream of Broccoli

Sausage Pasta Salad

Recipe (serves 4) -

Ingredients :

6 thin beef sausage (I used chicken)
350g short pasta (e.g. shell, penne, fusilli)
1 red onion, peeled and sliced thickly
250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
200g feta cheese, crumbled
4 tbsp olive oil

Method :

1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack. Drain. Set aside in a large bowl.

2. Mix 1 tbsp oil into the onions and place on the BBQ flat plate with the sausages. (I put them in the oven). BBQ or bake them for 10mins or until the onions are soft and caramelised and sausages are cooked through.

3. Cut the sausages into bite-sized pieces and toss together with all other ingredients in a pasta bowl. (I actually cut them before baking.)


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Mango Chicken in Tortilla Wrap

I did it, Daphne. Made it for lunch today. Bought a small bbq chicken from Cold Storage last evening, and shredded it. Am boiling the bones now for stock. Unfortunately, little one didn't like it, even though hubby and I enjoyed it very much. She says it's because it's got mayonnaise in it... Huh? But she eats mayonnaise! Maybe she is a purist. Mango doesn't = mayo? Hehe. So, daddy had her portion. It was lovely, and the mango I had today wasn't super sweet. Was slightly sour. So it balanced the richness from the mayo. I also shredded some carrots and added a stalk of mizuna cos simply lazy to make a salad. A simple, delicious lunch. Thanks for the idea. :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Some meals

Meal 1 -

Baked salmon in Teriyaki sauce.

Broccolini and Mushrooms in Oyster sauce. These were cute as princess said they were like flowers as they had a long stem. She'd bite off the flowers, then slowly chewed off the stems. Personally I prefer normal broccoli. I boiled mine in water and made the sauce separate to pour over. Garnished it with fried shallots to serve. Coincidentally, little corner of mine cooked this dish as well, on the same day.

Baked Chicken Wings by special request of the princess.

Seaweed Usahana on a mound of rice.

Black pepper sauce which I used to bake other piece of salmon with.


Meal 2 -

From this... (I wanted to take a photo of the vegetables before they were cooked to show the beautiful flowers on them.)

... to this. (I'm not sure of the name of this vegetable but I believe it belongs to the Kai Lan family. It's really crunchy and sweet, I believe it's also because of the oyster sauce used.)

Fried some Thai fishcakes which were nice but too spicy for the little one. Packet for my reference.

It was basically an instant meal with seaweed wrapped chicken and ready chicken rice mix. I somehow am 'off' this seaweed chicken as I find over the years that they have added more fat to it. It does get pretty disgusting biting into them. I stopped buying them for a while but princess asked for them as she recently had them at the CNY party in school. Have to look for another brand unless they cut off the fat on these.

Tada! The meal is ready.

Note - The vegetables were bought at the vegetable and fruits stall in the basement of Tangs Departmental Store. I used to love to buy from the lady whenever I made a trip downtown. Her produce is very fresh but I noticed they have kind of downsized the stall as the other half of it is taken up by a new vendor. She has unusual veggies and that was how I came about the broccolini and the other veg. I should have asked her the name of it though. So, if you are ever in that part of town, do check it out.