Monday, September 29, 2008

Angel Hair Spaghetti With Bolagnese Sauce And Beef Meatballs


Last night , we had this Angel Hair Spaghetti with Bolagnese Sauce for dinner. I did not follow any recipe which I had in my To-do list but instead make my own concoctions …..so I leave it to your imagination how it tasted. I put in all the ingredients needed to make this sauce but left out the most important ingredient – BIG ONIONS !!!! The sauce was too sourish. I poured in the whole can of tomato puree and chopped in some fresh tomatoes… arghh… I kicked myself during dinner for using too much of this sour ingredient called tomato puree .It didn’t taste excellent but my Piggies and Piggy Ernest managed to finished the whole lot for me. Heehee… aren’t I lucky to have such great supporters ! Surprisingly, my Piggies did not complain about the sauce being too sourish….they each took a second helping , guess they were hungry ^___ *

And the worst part was , I over cooked the spaghetti. Forgotten to read the instructions properly – the 2 minutes cooking time stated on front of the packing. I think I over cooked 5 minutes . I truly sucks when it comes to cooking pasta . I guess I need to go for cooking classes again. So be careful when cooking the angel hair spaghetti – 2 minutes is enough to cook it to al dente . For me and my Piggies , we prefer it to be springy.

The only thing nice was the beef meatballs which tasted excellent. :) so that makes the whole package bearable. The next time I make this, I better follow the recipe when cooking the sauce :)))




The ingredients I used for the Bolagnese Sauce is :-

Tomato puree, tomato paste , button mushrooms, pitted black olive, garlic , big onions ( I forgotten this most important ingredient ) , Italian herbs , cheddar cheese and I added chopped tomatoes ( omit this ) and fresh thyme ( coz I have some left overs in the fridge )and olive oil.

Beef Meatballs

Ingredients:

500 gm minced beef
2 slices of bread - put in food processor and chopped till it turns coarse crumbs
1 tbsp of mustard and dill sauce ( Tesco Brand)
1 tbsp Italian Herbs
salt to taste
coarsely grounded black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Put all the ingredients together in a big bowl and mixed well. Shaped into moth- ball size and fried in hot oil till cooked. Add to the Bolagnese Sauce when about to serve.


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Friday, September 26, 2008

Super Dark Chocolate Ice Cream


Sinfully delicious chocolatey lip smacking ice...this is absolutely a heart melting dessert for my Piggies. It is super super chocolatey and how could I not try it out for them when I know they heart chocolate so much. And I am glad that I tried it out and it won the hearts of my Piggies :P
- Super Dark Chocolate Ice Cream ^______*


Truly, every mouthful is so chocolatey rich that it really gives you the satisfaction…those who love chocolates will definitely love this. The texture is a bit gelato like….gooey and hmmm I love it . I know Piggy boy loves it the most…every mouthful he took came out with this “…..wow, yummy , this is good man…. like gelato….good ” . The trick is to use the best semi-sweet dark chocolate available . You must reduce the sugar if using semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream ( use the non-sweet type) , otherwise it will turn out too sweet.

It melts very fast as the weather was hot , so take note on this , as you can see from the photos…before I can take a good shot of it , it started sweating and melting already (“,) for the weather was so humidly HOT the last few weeks! But after a few mouthfuls , it sort of cooled us down..heehee the happy faces of my Piggies was worth every hardwork done ! A keeper for sure * ^ . This goes well with any chopped nuts as topping.... salivating already!


Super Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (by dailydelicious)
Make about 750 ml

Ingredients:

Condensed milk ¼ C
Heavy Cream (43% fat content) 1¾ C
Unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 3 Tbsp
Sugar ½ C ( ** I reduced the sugar to 1/4 C )Salt ⅛ Tsp
Unsweetened chocolate, chopped 3 oz ( **I used semi-sweet dark chocolate)
Whole milk ½ C
Vanilla extract ½ Tsp

Method:

Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, let it comes to full rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat, whisk in the unsweetened chocolate until it’s melted (it won’t melt completely, a small little bit will remain). Whisk in the milk, condensed milk and vanilla. Pour the mixture into a blender (this is a very good trick from David because all the mixture will be very smooth and unsweetened chocolate will completely melt), and blend for 30 seconds, until very smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (but I suggest put the mixture in the ice bath first, it’s speed up the chilling time), then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sausage Rolls


Piggies are back for their two weeks sem break and you can guess that Momsie will have two weeks of swell time baking and cooking and puffing and kneading away in her little sanctuary where she can show off her culinary skill to her offsprings :))) . Gosh , I can’t tell you how much they mean to me…lotz, no words can depict this little thing called LOVE ^* Unconditional love………

I juz love to make them eat and eat and enjoy life greatest enjoyment…food indulging till their heart content. And give them SUPPER every night to satiate their growing appetite. I made them this sausage rolls for supper and their breakfast tomorrow. It turned out well and they ate it heartily and gave their due compliments…haha of course to their Momsie’s utter delights!!! The best sausage rolls they have ever eaten so they both proclaimed… as not to embarrass them I stopped myself from skipping around the room like a little girl who just got her first praise from her teacher ^__________* but gave them a beaming smile instead.

This Sausage Rolls recipe is from Dailydelicious and it is easy to prepare and like what she said on her blog , even first timer will have no problem making this rolls. I brushed on the base of the dough some garlic parsley butter which I had made some time back , before I braided the rolls with the sausage for a more flavorful taste and you can imagine how the aromatic buttery garlicky fragrant filled the whole house while it was baking in the oven. Of course, it accelerated our hunger pang further :))

Eating the freshly baked rolls while watching a movie together is what I would described as heavenly ! And they also ate their Momsie’s famous homemade Super Chocolate Ice Cream…. something for them to remember when they go back to college to start their 2nd sem. in October. The best ices and the best rolls and the best Momsie (“,) :)

the risen rolls waiting to go into the oven
they looked so cute...:)


can't wait to chomp on them
the moment they are out of the oven.....
the aroma of freshly baked rolls...hmmmm yummy

cooling off on the rack

the soft and fluffy texture warrant another round of baking


Thanks once again to Dailydelicious for sharing this recipe with us.

Please click here for the recipe



Monday, September 22, 2008

Banana Cream Pie



I have this Williams-Sonoma Pie & Tart book since March this year but have not done anything from this book. Piggies must have dessert after dinner and I was out of idea what pie that is simple and easy to prepare . So I looked through my collection of recipe books and found this Banana Cream Pie from the Williams-Sonoma Pie & Tart. I will be trying out more pies & tarts from this book, so stay tuned :)))


First time making this pie and I find the pie crust yummy crunchy and it is indeed simple and easy to prepare. A very good pie for after dinner dessert. Lots of banana in it and it tasted fantastic with a dollop of whip cream. I used the non-diary cream as topping.


first layer of sliced bananas...yummz

My two Piggies gave their thumbs up for this pie. Piggies requested to have this pie again before they go back to college so I will be making it again.

pour custard on the layers of bananas and
chilled in the fridge for 3 hours till the custard sets

Serve cold with a dollop of whip cream
as topping

I like this banana cream pie and would recommend you to try it. Nutritiously yummy and a good treat for the young and old :)))




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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beer Chicken



Being an adventurous person when it comes to trying out new recipes, I can’t postpone any longer to try out this wonderful recipe –a western style Beer Chicken from KWF’s blog. Since my Piggies are back for their sem break, I decided to cook it for dinner. Wanting to surprise them with a new dish and waiting in anticipation for the outcome of this dish coz it has been in my To-Do list for quite a while .

As I was preparing the ingredients for this recipe, Daddy was surprised to see a can of beer amongst them ;)))) and when I told him it was for a new dish that I am going to cook for dinner , I could read this on his face…. “ Why can’t you stick to old recipes ”. I am different.. I can’t wait to try out new recipes and this one is definitely a keeper and I thank God that I am adventurous otherwise I would have missed a wonderful dish.

A simple and easy to prepare dish whereby the cream of chicken blends well with the beer and the after taste of beer is quite prominent in this dish. My Piggies love this dish so I will be making again for them before they go back to college. A keeper definitely !

Thanks KWF for sharing such a wonderful recipe with us on her blog.




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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Steamed Pumpkin Cake



In the mood for making kueh lately, I tried out this Steamed Pumpkin Cake by Mykitchensnippets last Sunday. Those who loves pumpkin will like it. For me , it is quite okay if you have enough seasoning on the batter to brings out the flavor. I realized that it tasted better the next day and firmer too. The toppings make the cake more savoury delicious !

Thanks once again Mykitchensnippets for sharing this recipe . I love all her recipes and have added a lot of her recipes to my To-Do List :))))) so look out for it here.





Steamed Pumpkin Cake ( by Mykitchensnippets )

Ingredients :

300 g pumpkin(remove seeds, hard skin then shred it)

Batter (Combined)

250 grm rice flour
70 grm of wheat starch
1 tbsp of chicken granules
1 tsp salt750 ml water

Topping :
100 grm of chicken meat (cut into small cubes)
4 shallots (thinly slice)
4 bird eyes chilies - slice thinly
2 red chilies- slice thinly
2 spring onions - cut small
Some cilantro (garnish)
salt and pepper to taste

1.Put some oil in a hot pan and fry the shallots until golden brown. Dish out and set aside.

2. In the same oil stir-fry chicken until cook. Sprinkle some salt and dish out and mix it with shallots, chillis and spring onions. Add in a bit of salt and pepper and set aside the topping.

3. Using the same pan and 2 tbsp of oil, stir fry grated pumpkin for 2 minutes.

4. Pour in the batter mix and continue to cook and stir until batter thicken. Turn off the fire.

5. Grease a pan or small mould with some cooking oil and fill it up with the batter.

6. Steam over high for 30 minutes. Remove from steamer and sprinkle the topping on top.

7. Leave it to cool and cut into slices before serving.

Note : If you are steaming it in little mould let it cool completely before un-moulding and then sprinkle some topping.


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Pan Seared Salmon



Salmon is delicious with exceptional nutritional value and is rich in omega 3 fatty acids . My Piggies love salmon like I do but Daddy is a no fish man. This orangey hued salmon can be served in variety of ways and I normally baked them with mixed herbs and cheese.Their flesh ranges in color from pink to red to orange . Needlessto say, the price ranges too according to the species. I paid RM39 /kg :)



But , for today dinner, I pan seared them for a change. Rub salmon with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper . Use a non-stick pan, brush with olive oil and on low heat pan seared the salmon till half cooked. Add fresh Italian parsley (chopped coarsely) and fresh thyme –mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of butter and as the salmon is half cooked, spread the herbs on the surface and pan seared it till the fish is juz cooked.





Grate some lemon rind onto the salmon and squeeze some lemon juice over it. Served hot. The fragrance from the buttery herbs added omphhh to the salmon plus the lemon juice gave it a nice tangy taste …. Managed to force Daddy to try some (“,) It sounded not complimentary to my cooking coz I have to forced him to eat :))))))


Pan Seared Salmon

Ingredients:

a piece of salmon slice
a pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper crushed coarsely

3 sprigs of fresh italian parsley – chopped coarsely
a few sprigs of fresh thyme – remove stem
1/2 teaspoon of butter – mixed with the above herbs

some lemon rind
some lemon juices

1 tablespoon olive oil for brushing on the non-stick pan

Enjoy!

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Pumpkin Cake



I have a slice of pumpkin left in the fridge so I can’t wait to try out KWF’s recipe on Pumpkin Cake. It is good for health as it uses olive oil and not butter. I twist the recipe a bit and used natural molasses sugar instead of brown sugar. I have a bottle left in the pantry so might as well use it up coz it might not keep long. I used ground hazelnuts instead of peanuts . Heehee, the color of the cake is much darker and has a nice fragrant too. I am not sure whether it affects the texture of the cake coz I have no opportunity to try out KWF’s Pumpkin Cake …maybe KWF can advise when she comes by to read this post of mine :)) Surprisingly, the texture was a bit kueh-ish and a bit cake –ish so it turned out to be quite nice and I think I will bake again for my Piggies when they are back for their holidays mid September. A good for health cake ,as olive oil and pumpkin are full of good nutrients for our body. I reduced the sugar to 100gm coz taking into consideration pumpkins are sweet in nature thus the sweetness was juz nice for our taste buds. A very very delicious cake indeed! A keeper for sure :)



my bottle of natural molasses sugar - recommended
sugar for cake making

Out cooling on the rack, the pumpkin seeds
are for deco purposes only

As usual, one for the album :)))


Thanks KWF for sharing such a wonderful cake recipe with us.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Steamed Cake




I looked through my To-Do-List and found this simple to make cake. Steamed Cake, and it uses olive oil instead of butter and one large egg only. What intrique me most was the olive oil and this was the first time I came across steamed cake using olive oil. Will olive oil be nice ?? As I looked through the ingredients and the method , I knew I had to make this for tomorrow breakfast …:))))

It was the most simplest to do cake and even those who are amateur will be able to do it. The sesame seeds gave the cake a subtle scent and gave it a nice speckles appearance. The only thing to take note is the heat when steaming. It should be on medium flame and do not over steam. The original recipe has a smooth top and not ‘ smiling’ face like mine…shhhh I steamed it on high flame and that’s why the cuppies gave me a big wide smile ( i prefer them smiling )anyway steaming on high will make the cuppies looks like ‘ Huat Kueh ‘ but will not affect the texture .


After frying the sesame seeds, I used a heavy metal spoon and pressed the seeds so that it will be more fragrant when mixed with the flour mixture. One load can make 6 small cuppies..juz nice for Daddy and I. We ate two for supper coz we can’t resist it when it came out of the steamer and kept the rest for breakfast . ….mmmmm yummz :)

Simplest method ever :)

One load can make 6 cuppies


steaming on high will cause the cake to smile
original cake has a smooth top :)

the smiling cuppies still in the steamer

I took some to office for my friend Nan
lucky lady

One for the album
*wink, wink*
Actually showing off to my Piggy boy.
Has my photography skill improved?


Steamed Cake

Ingredients:

130 g superfine flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
70g caster sugar
1/8 tsp salt
85 ml milk
3 tbsp olive oil
10g black and white sesame

Method:

1) Sift the flour and baking powder together.
2) Stir-fry the sesame in a wok until fragrant. Remove from wok and leave to cool.
3) Whisk the egg, sugar and salt in a large bowl until thicken and the sugar has dissolved
4) Add in milk, stir the mixture until combine, follow by olive oil, mix well
5) Add in the flour mixture. Stir until the flour is fully combined with the egg mixture,
finally add in the sesame
6) Scoop the mixture into 6 cupcakes or 5 muffin cups
7) Steam the cakes for 15 minute on medium flame.



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Pot Bless Night

My church held a ‘Pot Bless Night’ for a member’s 40th Birthday , last Friday night, so each family were to bring something for the party. I did a bit of snooping here and there and I found out that most members are bringing meat and vege dishes, so I thought maybe I should make something sweet for the younger and older members. :) The pictures below was what I baked for the Pot Bless Party. At the last minute , I added one more dish, my famous ‘Assam Chilli Trotters ‘ :) (I forgot to take a picture of the dish )

I baked some Garlic Buns for the youngster and Steamed Banana Cupcakes for the older generation..heehee needless to say, the later one was more popular with the young and old. I got reviews that the Banana Cuppies were yummy…after the party ended many church friends were asking for the recipe (“,). A member whom I did not mix much became closer and at the end of our conversations , guess what , we enchanged recipes and another member even taught me how to prepare the ‘ Fried Tofu with Thai Chili Sauce ’ …haha what a wonderful and blessed 'Pot Bless Night ' and surprisingly I enjoyed myself so much that I am looking forward to another ‘ Pot Bless Night ’. Hah…now I know that many of our ladies are good cooks…..truly God’s Blessing!

Small cuties - Garlic Buns

Steamed Banana Cupcakes

I regretted that I did not bring my cam with me otherwise I can display here the food that the others brought for the night. Lotz of nice home cooked dishes plus Roast Pork ( the most tasty roast pork I have eaten so far and home roast by the Birthday gal herself ) .

Let me recall what dishes the members brought:

1) Vegetarian Curry
2) Chicken Curry
3) Roast Duck
4) Baked Salted Chicken
5) Roast Pork
6) Assan & Chilli Trotters
7) Fried Pasta
8) Fried Tofu With Thai Chili Sauce
9) Braised Pork Ribs
10) Sit-fry Mixed Vegetables
11) Fried Beehoon
12) Fried Wat Tan Hor ( Koey Teow )
13) Egg Sandwishes
14) Steamed Banana Cupcakes
15) Garlic Buns
16) Watermelon – a big one costs RM25 ( expensive)
17) Pomelos – I enjoyed this very much….juicy and sweet
18) Birthday Cake – Layered Kiwi Sponge – a bit too sweet for me :)

I may have left out some dishes coz I was busy savoring and crapping with the members...the oo and the arr :))) Truly, the party was a success and the warm fellowship among the members further strenghten the relationship. I love the food and the warm friendship ...a wonderful gathering that will become fond memories for me. Food brings people together...how true!


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sausage Cheese Rolls



Baking and happily baking away….in my little sanctuary where peace and happiness surrounded me and the heavenly aroma of baked Sausage Cheese Rolls wafting out from the oven was enough to make my heart sings joyously last night.
I have this burning desire to try out this bun recipe by dailydelicious and last night I juz had to try it out. Sausage Cheese Rolls….oohhhh I know one person in the Piggy clan who will love it and I told myself this “ for Piggy boy sake, no matter how tiring it can be , to be palm wrestling with the piece of dough, I have to succeed and make the best bun ever ” . And Daddy will be the taster… ( he had put on extras lately, I noticed his waistline has expanded further) (“,)





This is the fun part of the whole bun making. As you can see from the photos, it was great and I had so much fun braiding the rolls. Frankly speaking I was a bit nervous when doing this for I am not sure whether I followed the instructions correctly or not. But I know that Pook always shares the best recipe and I have confidence that it will turned out nice. God Bless her for sharing such a wonderful cheese rolls recipe…after baking the rolls for 10 minutes…I couldn’t believe my eyes…the rolls turned out PERFECTLY like those sold in bakeries (",) and the best part was it tasted BETTER than those sold in the bakery!!! Jokes aside…for those who love buns and would like to try making your own buns, this is one recipe that should not go unnoticed. Thumbs up!!!















Quote for the day

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well,
but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.
~ Vaclav Havel ~



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Crispy Calamari




Crispy Calamari…this is so sinfully artery clogging!!! And yet temptingly delicious at the same time!!! Deep down, I knew it was bad for us but somehow temptation overpowered thus we ended having this dish for dinner sometime last last week…so yummy ,boy …how could I resist it when I saw this recipe on someone’s blog. Moderation is the keyword here so, no problem cooking this dish once in a while, I guess :))))))

I realized that I have put on some weight lately and all the eating out the past few days had added more to my already rounded figure :(

My US citizen brother came back for a short break last Saturday. So that explained why I have not been posting for some time now. So much to share and yet not enough time to blog about it…haizz…busy entertaining this US guest the whole of last week and I really miz my baking and I have a lot of bun recipes that I need to try out…and now that my US guest had gone back to NJ…I can finally get back to my world of baking (;

This Crispy Calamari is simple to prepare and very very yummilicious. Served as an appetizer or as main dish for dinner or as a side dish for drinkers..heehee. Dip with your favourite chili sauce….wow surely it’s finger licking good!!!

I omitted the cornmeal coz I ran out of cornmeal ( you must have the cornmeal coz it gives the calamari a more crunchy texture )



Crispy Calamari (adapted from Nigella Express)

Ingredient:

1 pound calamari /squid, cleaned, and cut into rings.
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1 cup peanut oil ( I used canola oil )

1. Heat oil to 375 degrees in a small (but hopefully tall) saucepan.
2. In a ziplock storage bag combine cornmeal, cornstarch, and seasonings.
3. Add squid and shake until coated.
4. Working in batches fry the squid. If your squid is small, it could be done in 35-40 seconds. If it is larger, it could take as long as 2 minutes. If you overcook squid it will be rubbery.


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