Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stir Fried Celery With Fish

We were watching Jamie Oliver on AFC last Sunday & while he was chopping celery for a salad dish, hubby commented how celery goes so well with fish in a stir fry dish.

He even commented that we don't seem to have celery in our greens. My I was feeling so guilty, I've never cooked celery as I dislike it a lot !
My girls told me they like raw celery sticks, something I've never fed them, they probably had them at some parties or hotel buffets !

Alright, I have to be honest, I don't cook what I don't eat, so besides celery, you won't find all kind of beans on our dining table, I'll try to add them into our meals from now on ...... I hope.

Stir Fried Celery With Fish

4 Stalks celery, strings removed with a vegetable peeler, cut into lengths of abt 1 1/2".
300g Fish fillet (I've used garoupa), sliced
1/2 Carrot, thinly sliced, about same length as celery
1/2 Can button mushroom, halved
2 Cloves garlic, minced

Sauce ingredients :

1/2 Cup water
1/2 tsp chicken stock granules (no MSG)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Hua Tiao wine
1 tsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp corn flour

Combine all ingredients in a bowl & set aside.

Marinate fish slices with pinch of salt, 2 tsp each of sesame oil & Hua Tiao wine, 1 tsp sugar, dash of pepper & 1 tsp corn flour. Heat a wok with 1 Tbsp oil till hot, add fish slices, remove them from wok when they're half cooked. Add minced garlic, cook till lightly browned, add carrot & mushroom, followed by celery. When everything are well combined, add sauce ingredients & return the fish slices to the wok. Toss well & dish up to serve.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mickey & Minnie

It has been terribly hot these few days, so hot one would love to have ice-cream cake for her birthday & 4 year-old Yii Zhan did !

This is a strawberry ice-cream cake, made from scratch with fresh strawberries. Mickey & Minnie were piped with buttercream. I had this picture taken when the cake was hard frozen, that's why the black colour part of the characters turned a lighter shade.

Another cake done on the same day. A heart-shape mango cake with additional mango cubes that filled the top of the cake.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Lunch

I woke up feeling very 'hardworking' this morning & sure I did........

Home from my weekly marketing :

1. cutting & sorting out the meats to go into the deep freezer
2. marinated/deep fried a batch of pork ribs & freeze them for cooking next time
3. stewed a piece of beef shin, let it cool & into the refrigerator for Monday's lunch
4. boiled some barley drink
5. went out to get my organic greens for next week & did some grocery shopping

By the time I finished all the above, it was only 10am. So I thought I could handle more tasks. Last week JF told me we haven't had home-made pizza for a long time. Sick of buying chicken rice for lunch on Saturday, I decided that we could have pizza for lunch today.

I started making the pizza dough when I got home. While my mixer was kneading the dough, I got all the topping ready. I've got tomato sauce, pepperoni, prawns & mozzarella cheese in the freezer, canned pineapples & ham in the chiller.

I know I won't be using the more than half can of pinaepples I have in the chiller. While waiting for the pizza dough to rise, I made a batch of ham, pineapple & cheese pizza scrolls which uses the similar ingredients.

Everyone of us enjoyed the pizza we had for lunch this afternoon & I even threw in desserts ! It was the strawberry tartlets I made yesterday.

After a morning of 'hardwork', I'm going to enjoy my afternoon nap now (haven't had time for naps for along time !) zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, April 24, 2009

Strawberry Tartlets

I've been saving the last punnet of Korean strawberry that I brought back from Singapore for these tartlets. These strawberries really last for along time, at least 10 days in my chiller ! Strawberries that I get from TH never last more than a week, they get mouldy & mushy !

While waiting for my ice-cream cakes to firm up in the freezer, I decided that I should start on my tartlets, I need DESSERTS !!!!

Crust Ingredients :
100g Butter
50g Icing sugar
1/4 tsp Pure vanilla

1 Egg Yolk

210g Plain flour
1/2 T Milk powder

Cream A lightly & add in B. Cream until smooth. Add in C & mix till well blended.
Let chill for 30 mins before using the dough.
Divide dough into 10 pcs of 40g each. Press each dough ball into a 3 " tart mould. Bake in a preheated oven of 180C for 18-20mins. Remove tart shells from moulds & let cool on wire rack.

Cream Patisserie
Ingredients :

250ml Milk
3 Egg yolks
5g Corn flour
60g Caster sugar
20g Plain flour
1 T Rum

In a saucepan, cook milk, egg yolks, cornflour, caster sugar & plain flour over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when the mixture thickens, stir in rum. If mixture is lumpy, press through a sieve till smooth, into a bowl. Cover the bowl & let the mixture cool.

When the cream patisserie is cooled, put it into a piping bag & pipe onto the tart shells.
Place sliced strawberries on top of the cream patisserie & refrigerate.

* I omitted the rum & add a dash of pure vanilla instead. This portion of cream patisserie is only enough for 7 tartlets so I froze the remaining 3 tart shells for next time. I did a lousy job in arranging the strawberry slices onto the cream patisserie. Nevertheless the good taste was able to make up for my incapability of arranging the strawberry slices !

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mocha Chiffon Cake

Each time I have a craving for cakes & lazy to go through the hassle of frosting a cake, I'll turn to chiffon cake. Light, fluffy & so easy to make, it can be done in less than an hour.
This time, I added some instant coffee granules to my chocolate chiffon cake batter to turn it into a mocha flavoured one.

Ingredients :

42g Plain flour
12g Cocoa powder
3g Baking powder
36g Sunflower/canola oil
5g Cornflour
42g Milk
15g Caster sugar
3 Egg yolks
2 tsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tsp hot water

Ingredients :

3 Egg whites
50g Caster sugar
Pinch of tartar

Combine all of ingredients A in a large bowl, stir till smooth & lump free.
In a seperate dry, clean bowl, beat egg whites till foamy, add tartar & caster sugar. Continue beating till the mixture is thick & glossy.

Fold half the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold the egg yolk mixture back to the egg white mixture, until well combined.

Pour batter into a 18cm tube pan. Bake in a preheated oven of 160C for 35 mins.

Once the cake is done, invert the pan & let the cake cool completely.

* Like my other chiffon cakes, this is baked in a table top oven. I noticed that the heat circulate faster so 160C is good enough, but with a built-in oven, the temperature should be 180C. But of course the temperature should be adjusted according to individual's oven.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Milk & Cheese Loaf

Easter break is over & school's starting. No more lazing around, time to get back to the usual routine. Bread making is one of them, for the most important meal of the day, our breakfast !

Tried a new bread recipe today, a milk & cheese loaf. This is supposed to be a plait but I couldn't cope with the braiding so I gave up & make it into a loaf instead.

The recipe is from Don Yong's Bread Winners :

Ingredients :

500g Bread flour
75g Milk powder
8g Bread improver *
4g Instant yeast
70g Sugar
9g Salt
310g Water
40g Butter

Topping :

Cheddar cheese (grated)

With an electric mixer & dough hook, mix the dry ingredients for 1 min on low speed. Add water & mix on low speed for another min. Increase to medium speed to develop the dough for 3 mins & add the butter. Continue mixing for 10 mins until the dough is fully developed.

Round up dough & place into an airtight container to rise in a warm place for 1 hr until the dough is double in bulk. Divide dough into 50g pcs. Round up the dough & leave for 10 mins.

To braid a loaf, roll out 4 pcs of dough into 20-cm long strips. The strips should be thinner on the ends & thicker in the middle. Place the 4 strips with the tips at one end touching. Weave the strips together to form a braid. This is done by weaving strip 2 over strip 3, strip 4 over strip 2 & strip 1 over strip 3. This is repeated until the braid is completed.

Prove the braid in a warm palce for about 1 hr. brush beaten egg over the surface & sprinkle cheddar cheese over it. Bake in a preheated oven of 190C for 20-25 mins.

* As usual I left out the bread improver. This bread is so aromatic, so milky tasting due to the high content of milk powder in it. The texture of the bread is very chewy too. Besides the cheddar cheese, I also sprinkled some sugar on the top before baking. Verdict from the girls : so yummy ! They've always like bread with cheese so this is a sure winner, packed with milk & cheese, perfect for their breakfast tomorrow morning.
Oh, I've shaped the dough into 2 logs, baked them for 21 mins.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Can You Name Them ?

I got this though an email today from a friend. I was staring at everyone of them with my girls. Oh dear, it was tough, I could only name a few, don't ask me how many !!! Some of them looked so familiar but I couldn't name them (excuse !!!)

There are more than 100 world known personalities on this painting.
If you can name a minimum of 25, you may consider yourself a cultivated person, good luck.....

A Good Easter Break !

I had a good Easter break, a really good one.

A whole week of eat, sleep & shop. Total indulgence & relaxation, I really allowed myself to get away from all the stresses I've been having. I had my trainers with me but it was hiding in the shoe cabinet for the whole week. Every morning when hubby came back from his run, I was still in bed !

I woke up late every day, from 8am, to 8.30am, to even later at 9.30am & I felt so good. When I'm in KK, most days I'm up at 4.30am for our morning run !

Oh, did I forget to mention, I went home again this Easter holiday. My girls are having their Easter break & airfares are so affordable now, so we just packed up & go.......

As usual each trip I'll be savouring all the yummy cakes that I see, everywhere I go.
This time I tried the famous Hilton Hotel cheesecake, which many people have been raving about. I would say it's creamy but too salty for my liking, I think salted butter has been used. I've always use unsalted butter in my baking as I don't like the tinge of saltiness in my cakes.

Ok, this is a piece of cake that I really liked. It's from my favourite bakery, Canele Patisserie.
It's raspberry cheesecake - the bottom crust was chocolate based, studded with macadamia nuts, creamy cheese filling, raspberry jelly, topped with some piped cream. I liked the piped cream on top, it's infused with rosemary, which I found it so unusual. In fact, when I saw the sprig of rosemary leaf on the cake, I was thinking, could there be rosemary in it ?? But I brushed it off my mind, how can it be ? I was really anticipating the first bite when the cake arrived on our table, hmmm I was right, there's rosemary flavour in the whipped cream !!! It was really yummy, I'm into most kinds of herbs, especially lavender. Hubby thought the cheesecake was horrible, so I had the whole piece to myself................. yum yum

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Easter Bonnet Parade

Every year in April or maybe late March, the school will organise a Easter Bonnet Parade for the primary kids. This is one event that gives me headache each year. For the past few years, my girls were either wearing any hats that I could find in the cupboard or simply nothing at all because the mummy is so not creative in arts at all. Yes, the best score I've ever had in arts was a D in my secondary school days !!

So this year, 3 days before the parade, I decided that maybe I could try to make something for the girls. After some searching & searching on Google, I got an easy idea of how to make a Easter bonnet. Off to Popular Bookstore on Wednesday, 10 mins there & Rm 7.20 spent, I got the materials.

When I started on making the bonnets, they weren't as easy as I thought !! There were measuring to do, flowers & leaves to print & loads of cutting to do. I spent 5 hours making the bonnets but over 2 days, as I have baking to do, as well as other errands to run. I finished with the last bits of gluing & sticking at 11.15 pm on Thursday night, much much later than my bedtime !!

I got 2 identital bonnets for the girls. By the time I finished, I told myself this will probably be the only time I'm making Easter bonnets................

From this pile of flowers & leaves cutouts.......

To this flowery Easter bonnet.

This is my favourite, it's so gorgeous !

This is funny too !

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bikini For Bev

It was Bev's birthday yesterday. No joke, she had this bikini for her birthday ! L sent me sms on Monday for this idea of a bikini cake with big boobs & a crab on the private area, with seashells around.

It was fun creating this cake for her, making sure everything was the right size & right place !! H
By the way, this is a vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting.

Check out the video from FB about Bev & her bikini..........

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Basic Fondant Cake Decoration

After a busy day at the school bazaar last Saturday, I didn't have the chance to wake up late on Sunday ! I was up at 6.30am , much earlier than my usual 8am on Sundays. Why ???
Because I was scheduled to attend the first cake decoration in my life & I was rather excited about it.

After breakfast, we ( yes we, D & I) sent the girls off to a friend's house, & later in the day another friend had to fetch them to a birthday party at Rasa Ria Resort, what a busy day for all of us ! We had to rush to Alamesra, where the class was, before 9am. The class was conducted by Yasmin of Baking Project, from KL.

In this class, we learnt to make swags, frills & ribbons, as well as rose from scratch, without the help of any gadgets. Besides these, she also taught about covering the cake with fondant.

After 2 attempts with fondant covered cakes, we're rather confident with rolling, covering & trimming the fondant. I've got quite a few cake decoration books that show different ways to play around with fondant. But looking at a book is different from real hands-on practice, so after knowing that Yasmin is coming to KK, I persuaded D to attend the class with me. How did I do it ? Well, I paid for the course for both of us !!

Yasmin was kind enough to provide lunch for us (or was it in the class fee ?). Nothing great, just a packet of greasy fried bee-hoon from a nearby coffeeshop. While we were heading home, we passed by another shop in Alamesra that sells 'yong tau foo', so being gluttony, we went in for another round of lunch.

Our dummy cake, covered in fondant. I think D did a good job, ours was the smoothest of all !

The swags were done pretty well too !

Oh, I'm really terrible in shaping, had a hard time making ribbons & the roses. D made better ribbons than me but was becoming impatient after several attempts in rose making. I think he rather make bunny like this !


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