Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm very excited

I'm really very excited about tomorrow - the big day - the long awaited day is finally coming.

At 1st i was not really ethusiatic about it, not because i'm not concern but rather i have been disappointed time and again - each time i would only be inform at the very last minute that it's postpone again for no/unknown reason. This time it's for real - IT'S FINALLY COMING. (i'm still keeping my finger crossed - God, please don't do it again - i would surely collapse if it happen again)

i have start stocking up on food - it's has really been a long time since i last bought such big quantity of food. There's a lot of things i wanted to do - i want to do shrimp paste fried chicken wing, panfried pork chop, braised pork (kong bak), assam prawn, salted egg yolk prawn, mayonaise cheese prawn, bake cheesy prawn, crispy fried pork, crispy fried fish, layer cheese cake with jelly top, snow skin mooncake (yes mooncake, haha, i have got the ingredients but didn't do because lack of time and lack of people to consume), cashew nut cookies, etc. etc......
The list can go on and on........... but obviously i couldn't have done all in 1 go, and neither have i stock up on everything. I just stock up my freezer - at least the freezer is no longer empty for the longest time. Wow! i surely have lots to catch up. But for a start, i had already make my signature cashew nuts chocolate chips cookies as requested. Obviously, she have really missed these cookies. I have originally planned to do this just 1 day ahead which is today because i want to have the freshest cookies. But i make it on Sunday night instead. Luckily i did, otherwise, i think i might be over excited and it might not turn out well.

2 hours more before the date jumps - i wish for it to move faster...........

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Playing with my dough

I had been trying to make bread for the longest time already, but because i don't have a bread maker, neither do i have a strong power mixer, so i didn't attempt to do again because the bread i do is always only soft immediately after baking but by the next day, it would be hard already. I have been searching and searching for bread recipe that doesn't require machine, fully handmade, but in vain. Till recently, sifu wanted to teach a fully handmade bread over the radio program, so i was able to acquire the recipe 1st hand since i had been helping with the English translation of the recipe all this while.

Last tuesday, i took a day off to visit my precious girl, after visiting, as i have not make any arrangement for any other activity, i decided to give the recipe a go even before it is put up in the DJ's kitchen recipe blog. (The recipe was put up on the same Tuesday evening after the recipe was taught over the radio program).

After much kneading, swinging and banging with the dough, i finally got my bread (fully handmade). Although the bread is not super soft like those selling in bakery, basically i'm quite satisfied with the result. At least it didn't go down the rubbish chute the next day. Infact, everything was finished up by the next morning by just 2 of us. Well, and at least i enjoyed the whole process of playing with my dough and i came out with the following design:

The interior texture

Ham roll with cheese flower design bread

Ham roll with cheese "pork rib" (supposed to represent) design bread

My greatest creation, pig's head design bread.
haha! isn't this cute? But the true fact is, it's empty inside, hehe!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Newly Acquire Mooncake Mould

This is a continuation of my previous post. In my last post, i only show the exterior of the mooncake that i have make because it's not suitable for eating yet. 3 days later, i cutted the mooncake and took a quick snap of the interior before it was being wallop up. It's a pity that i brought ready make lotus paste and i found it too sweet. Perhaps, next time i should attempt to do the lotus paste myself or otherwise, should look for another supplier. According to my baking friend who bought my mooncake ingredients for me, there's another version of the lotus paste which is reduce sugar but it cost more and he's didn't get for me that since i didn't specifically said so. Reduce sugar means reduce raw material yet it cost more, why? haha, i guess that's when less is more and more is less.

This is my newly acquire cartoon character mooncake mould. There's Doraemon, Garfied, Mickey Mouse (same design as my previous post one but i measured, it's actually slightly bigger), Winnie The Pooh, 2 Hello Kitty (1 head only and another full body) which is my favourite. Some one asked me, why i like Hello Kitty, my reply - because it would not argue with me as it doesn't have a mouth. Well, so does that means i don't like Doraemon? Well not, although Doraemon only got mouth but no ears, i still like it because there will be time when you only want to listen to someone talking instead of you talking, isn't it? Basically, at my age, i shouldn't be so crazy over this sort of things, but some how or the other, when come to this, i didn't seems to grow up and i still wake up early on saturday and sunday to watch the morning cartoon and children's program showed on local channel.

Back to my newly acquired mooncake mould. This didn't come easy. Another baking friend of mine from Malaysia have specially went to Kuala Lumpur to search for it. I just happened to over heard sifu mentioning, and i immediately requested for one set. When this baking friend reach the shop, there's not much balance - only 4 sets. She herself got 1 set, sifu 1 set, another of sifu's student 1 set and so kind of sifu to have reserve the last set for me. Inorder not to create any commotion (haha, as if we would fight over it), i rushed down to sifu's house 1st thing when the mould arrived. Every body was laughing why am i in such a hurry. Haha!

In order to test out the new mould, sifu have specially prepared 2 sets of pastry for testing out. 1 set is the traditional pastry and the other set is the chocolate pastry.

The above 2 picture is the traditional pastry with chocolate lotus paste fillings.
You may have noticed, there's 2 character which is not among my set of mould. Actually it belongs to someone else and we were too eager to check out how it look, so we tested out. These 2 does not belong to the 6 in 1 mould. It's 2 standalone separate one. My ealier Mickey Mouse one is also a standalone one. Now i have 2 mickey mouse. 1 among the 6 in 1 and another standalone.

These 2 pictures is chocolate pastry with chocolate fillings. So rich that u would thought you are eating chocolate bar.
Surprisingly, it turn out that my camera captured the chocolate pastry one better than the traditional pastry one.
Originally i bought extra moooncake ingredients because i'm anticipating someone's present for this season. However........
I have not tested my new mould yet because i'm in no mood of making anything. My long awaited ........ is postpone again.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Making moon cakes

These are some of the cooking that i make some time back. Because i don't have time to upload the pictures plus busy playing games in facebook, therefore i drag till now then post up and it seems quite meaningless to post now. So just a short one before i head to my main purpose of this post.

This is coconut huat kueh with pork floss stuffing. Because the huat kueh is quite small, so i can't stuff in a lot of pork floss fillings. Basically still quite nice. Something different from the original one.

This is orange peel and raisins muffins. This was make for a quick snack as i wanted to finish the orange peel and raisin left over before it expires. I began to realise that i always buy ingredients which i intended to use but after that didn't use due to laziness and busyness. I think i should really stop this bad habit. But what to do, sometimes when i visit phoon huat that sells bakery item, i couldn't help but would buy because i always thinks that i may need it. Why must phoon huat be so far away from my house? If only it is just right beside my house, i wouldn't have to do this and develop this bad habit.

This is chocolate brownies again. I found this brownies so delicious that i couldn't help making again. Plus hubby's craving for it, therefore i make again and bring some for my colleague to try, and all said very yummy. This was also make quite sometime ago and i have stop making any stuff after this till last saturday.

Last saturday, i make traditional mooncakes in my sifu's house. Well, i do know how to make mooncake before this. It's just that it's rather inconvenient for me to get the ingredients needed and i have stopped making till saturday. Well, it's not so much of the making mooncakes that attract me but rather the atmosphere in Sifu's house, the laughters and company that makes times passed so fast that before you could realised, it's another day gone.

This is mini traditional mooncake with flower design - the mould belongs to Sifu.

This is mini Mickey Mouse Face traditional mooncakes - I got my baking friend to get the mould from Malaysia.

A close up

These are the bigger one.

These are the mini one.
All are with white lotus paste with salted egg yolk.

This 2 are the one that i like best. By the way, these mooncakes (except the bigger one with the fish design) are make with push out plastic mould type which my baking friend bought for me from Malaysia. Infact i just got a call from Sifu that this baking friend managed to get another set with 6 interchangeable design for me too. I have to wait patiently (hopefully not too long) for her to bring to sifu's house so that i can get it from her.

These are the real traditional one - make with wooden mould and black bean paste. Well actually the ingredients which my friend bought for me for this mooncake session is actually white lotus paste, salted egg yolk and roasted melon seeds. But the mooncake above is a mixed up during Sifu's other class. When conducting class, sifu use black bean paste. At the end of the session, while i was away in the supermarket getting kitchen paper towel, the large mooncakes which originally make by me was being swap accidentally and mine was being taken away by one of the 2 students there. No choice, just my luck.
As i can't eat these mooncake till tommorrow, (waiting for the pastry to be soften after 3 days - the purpose is for the oil to be return back to the pastry), so there's no cut up mooncake in this post. By time when i cut, hopefully i can remember to snap pictures.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nothing seems to go right for me

Lots of stuff happened recently. But then nothing seems to go right for me. Wanted to move to a new environment - sold my flat but didn't get a good price. Thought i could make do with a smaller flat but then the asking cash over valuation is too high and i'm like always fighting like in the stock market - the highest bid got it. Finally settle for a not so fantastic (because low level and not near MRT) same size flat because the cash over value is within my reach. Thought nevermind, at least i'm pepared with a new environment and how big is the country only, it may be a little inconvenient but at least i can have the serene of the surroundings. Thought problem solved - but then next come the housing loan problem. As i'm no longer eligible for the subsidised loan rate, i have to approach the commercial institute instead. Thought with my callibre, it shouldn't be a problem a get a loan, but then to my surprise, even though i'm going to be the sole finance of the property for all the future instalment, but because the house is under 2 names, so whichever party that has a bad credit record, it does affect the application. All the hussle is still going on. I always joke that maybe i have to move under the bridge one of these day - and now it does seems like it's going to be true. Can someone please tell me where's the widest/broadest bridge? But then i really need a permanent proper address inorder to receive someone back. Sigh! so living under the bridge is also beyond my means. And this someone, can you please "jia you"? Can you please be good so as to be able to reunite with me again? Every looking forward have always ended with disappointment. WHY DOESN'T THINGS GO THE WAY I WANT IT TO BE?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Have been pondering

Have been pondering:

Is the road really brighter at the end of the tunnel?

Does hard work really always pays off?

Is it true that if you did not harm anyone and you would be safe from harm?

Does GOD/SKY really have eyes?

I think i would not be able to know the answer unless i have really reach the end of life. Sigh!

Sharing here some pictures of the recent solar eclipse which i got thru' email. It was taken by some astrophile all over the world about the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century pitched a swath of Asia into near-darkness after dawn, as millions gathered to watch the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon today.

I manage to convert it into a slide show, but i especially like this picture:

And here's the slide show that i do with the available pictures:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

As i step into.......

Gosh! As i step nearer to half a decade, look back and it seems like i have not achieve anything. Except lots of regrets..........

No birthday bash, lunch at koufu foodcourt, dinner at a nearby coffee shop. Played bejewelled blitz on facebook the whole day thru'.

But i do appreciate some great friends for making my day less boring thou. Got lots of smses of birthday wishes, birthday wishes from baking/cooking group, birthday wishes from some commercial advertisement and that's about all except great appreciation to STsn for her surprise birthday gift via post. Buddy! you really make my day.


Thursday eveing - went to sifu house to pick up this.
From the box, you could clearly tell that it's a cake inside, but what type of cake is it?

It's actually dark chocolate mousse cake. This is specially hand made by sifu for my birthday.
The top layer is super yummy creme brulee, with a outer layer of super soft sponge cake, the base is also sponge cake. The center is dark chocolate mousse. Look at how well made this cake is - from outside, you could see that there's 3 layers, yellow -creme brulee, center dark brown color - dark chocolate mousse, and the lighter brown color is the sponge cake outer layer.

The interior.

Although i'm not much a fan of mousse, but this cake is super yummy.

After assembling the candle,

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Family member

Yesterday, my other nephew arrived. Weighing 3.2 kg and 49 cm in length. Yipee! Another new member is added to the family line. Visited my sister today at noon. She looks good and well. So happy. With my brother-in-law support, a domestic helper and a confinement lady, i'm sure she would recuperate well.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I nearly forgot

What did i nearly forgot? Haha.....i nearly forgot my log-in name and password for this blog. When you don't have much interesting things to update, you tend not to blog. Or should i say the lazy bug is in me and so i didn't bother to blog. Plus, when you have so many passwords to remember - from bank accounts password, personal email password, company's email password, company's server's password, etc, etc.......... the list can go on and on. Probably some would suggest using the same password - which i did formerly - i realise that i began to forget where am i logging into. Oh dear, that just me. Mmm.......... am i suffering from early Alzheimer?
My friend did crack a joke saying that and that's why i'm recording what have i done thru' blogging. Am i or am i not?

Now, back to my event recording again. Kekeke..........

Make this yesterday - FRENCH BROWNIES. Super yummy - even hubby couldn't help but requested that i make it again some other day.

Pretty, isn't it?
This is sarawak kek lapis . A lot of work is involve in making this. A lazy bum like me would probably not attempt to do this unless if i really have so much time to spare. This was given to me by one of my friend's relative from Indonesia. Another super yummy delicacies.

What is this?

Have i gone to the beach?

Under this super hot and humid weather?

Definitely not unless if i want to get some skin problem.

So what is this actually?

Well, this is one of the very old and traditional hokkien dessert call MEE TAY

It's make from flour, shallot and pork lard.

Nowaday it's hard to come by outside, and i believe not many people have heard or eaten this before. Infact, some hokkien dialect group have not heard of this before too. It i'm not wrong, this was originated from China - Xiamen Hokkien. When i was a little child, i remember my mum used to make this for my brother. I heard that it works like a tonic that build up the inner strength of the body.

Since it's so hard to come by, of course i'm not able to purchase it. This was specially make by my sifu 2 weeks ago when i visit her. She have given me 2 container full which i pass one to my brother. I believe my brother must be enjoying it since this was once his "tonic food".

This is how it looks like after mixing with hot water.

I prefer mine this way. If you add more water, it would be more dilute and you could actually drink it like a beverage.

Monday, June 15, 2009

After a long break

It had been a long time since my last posting. Some times i'm in that sort of mood whereby i don't feel like doing anything at all. I just laze around, blog hopping around, browsing aimlessly on the internet and doing nothing fruitful at all. Or if some (or is there any) may have noticed, i changed my blog layout.

Well, i play silly games on facebook too. Well, i don't understand myself too, why do i still play when i find it silly. Recently, i have been hooked on this bejewelled blitz (i can't even remember the spelling correctly, i think that's how it's spelled), i guessed that's why i call it silly.

It would had been really quite a disjudgement to myself if i had stop baking/cooking altogether since this have been my greatest hobby. Thanks to childhood friend STgt for giving me a reason to pick up from where i left out. My recent meeting up with her for our usual feast (oh, it's seoul garden korean BBQ buffet again. I hope we could be more "innovative" the next time we meet up again and hopefully not too long) had given me a reason to bake my signature chocolate chips cookies again. It has been quite some time since i last bake these cookies. These cookies are well liked by my colleagues and friends. Since i don't meet up with STgt very often, usually i try to make some thing for her. Since the arrangement to meet was a very last minute thing, i couldn't find time to do anything more except this as it's the easiest to make and keeps well too, so there's no worry that it would turn bad. But for i believed, this must have been "wallop up" in no time. **wink wink**

Making these cookies also given me an opportunity to revamp my recipe picture. This is one of the oldest recipe that i have put up for sharing. The last picture was badly taken, you could hardly see the chips and nuts in the cookies. Well, i wouldn't say this is well taken (given very little time to snap my pictures before packing my cookies for STgt), but at least you could see the chips and nuts.

Yesterday, i pull myself together to give my cooking hobby another boost. I think the lazy bug is still in me and i'm fighting hard with it.

This is a little different from my recipe in my bon appetite blog. For this, i use every thing fresh - from chinese sausage, i switched to fresh pork strips, from chinese dried mushroom, i switched to fresh shiitake mushroom. The only thing that remained unchanged is the dried shrimp. i also added braised peanuts, spring onion and chillies as garnish and it just add more flavour to the glutinuous rice. For such yummy food, preparing just a little will not be enough for my weekly gathering at my brother's place.

As such, this is what i had make - a full 22cm tray.

Of course, this is not the only thing that i have make, i also make a all time favourite of my family - steamed pumpkin kueh. Whenever i make the above glutinuous rice, i always would make this pumpkin kueh because the ingredients that goes into the kueh is almost the same as that of glutinuous rice and it's easy for me to prepare them all at one go. My mum use to prepare the best pumpkin kueh which neighbours loves so much that they would place their order with her for their family occassions. I'm glad that i'm able to produce just equally good pumpkin kueh (my brothers and sisters said so).

Yep, it's another 20cm tray.

The "interior" of the kueh.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Learning how to make dumplings

Last Saturday, i make a trip down to Sifu's house without notifying her. Haha.....actually, she did hint that she will be making new type of dumplings. Since i could find the time to go down, i thought, it would be a good experience. I have never done any dumpling wrapping myself before except back during school days, i did help my mum with the preparation for making hokkien bak chang (dumpling) and nonya dumlings.

Wow, making the nonya dumpling is really a lot of work as my mum used to fry her own coriander seeds, pound it, sieve for the powder form, pound again and sieve again. Besides that, have to dice the pork, dice the pre-soaked chinese mushrooms, dice the 冬瓜糖 (dong gua tang) which is actually the sugar preserved melon strips, then fry them all togther to make the fillings for the nonya dumplings. Till this day, i still couldn't find any nonya dumplings as good as what my mum make. Perhaps because my mum makes everything the very traditional way and it just taste fantastic. Nowsday, a lot of things are being simplified for convenience, and as such it just losses it's traditional flavour. I really missed mum.

Making the hokkien bak chang will have lesser work because there's less cutting needed. Usually the pork is cutted into large chunk, mushroom is leaves as whole, dried chestnut is soaked, washed and peel off the skin and leaves as whole too. Besides that, there's also dried shrimp which is also leaves as whole. Sometimes my dad loves to add dried oyster too which is an optional item. All these will be pre-fried with five spice powder before wrapping into the glutinuous rice. I also missed my dad, some food (example is the China style mooncake and chinese tea although i didn't like dried oyster) was only shared between the two of us as other family members couldn't appreciate them like dad and me.

If i'm not wrong, for the cantonese style, the fillings ingredient are more or less the same as hokkiedn bak chang except minus the five spice powder but a salted egg yolk will be added into the fillings.

Oh so much of my dumplings talk, now back to my learning trip in sifu's house.

This was what i got from sifu's house after my learning experience

The above were wrapped by me. I specially make a marking so that i could retrieve it after the steaming. Normally the traditional "chang" were all boiled in water. I shall explain why i say steam instead of boil here later. What do you think? Sifu said for a beginner, i have done a good job. Heehee...... Oh, probably you would be wondering why am i a beginner since my mum is such a good dumpling maker. Well, those days, my mum use to make so many hundreds of "chang" for all my uncles, aunties, grandmother and even neighbours too. So she would always say, "Don't disturb me, you are slowing my process" Haha.......... so normally we would be kick out of the kitchen after all the preparations work is done. lolz...

This is done by sifu single handedly the day before my trip. It's make of glutinuous rice still, but it's not the usual fillings like the one that i describe above. This is actually the nonya kueh - rempah udang. The traditional rempah udang is actually in the form of a cyclinder shape. Over here, sifu make it into the shape of a dumpling. The fillings is actually make of shredded coconut and dried shrimp fried with chillies and many other spices.

Now, back to the new flavour of dumplings that sifu taught. Look at the blueish and pinkish little dumplings. The skin actually make from glutinuous rice flour. It tasted some what like the "Ang Ku Kueh" - QQ and smooth. Because the skin is make of glutinuous rice flour, so there's no need to boil it. Just steaming will do. Unlike the traditional one, the outer part is half cooked glutinous rice which will take a longer period to cook. As such, the traditional one are usually boiled to speed up the process. They say these glutinous rice flour tranluscent type are the taiwanese style of dumplings. For these, we make 3 different type of fillings - the blueish one is rempah udang fillings, the pinkish one is peanut fillings. There's one more shredded coconut filling which is not inside my picture because it was mixed up in the packet that i brought back so i was not able to snap a photograph. haha.... for this, i tell a little white lie saying that i didn't snap a photo because i'm saving it for consumption at a later date. But, those who were in the picture of my trip knew what's happening. Oops! i think i have let the cat out of the bag already. lolz...
Beside bring back the taiwanese style dumpling, i also brought back the traditional hokkien bak chang which is a compliment from another baking friend from Malaysia who was also there last saturday. I called these the "smuggle bak chang" because she really run the risk of not being able to bring it over if she's being stopped at the custom. She had single handedly make these bak chang herself in the early wee hour before setting off here.

Look at the generousity of the fillings.
Every time i goes down to sifu's house, it's always a fruitful and abundance one. Not only for the food but also the laughter shared among us. LAUGHTER IS ALWAYS THE BEST THERAPY.