Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheesy Bacon And Asparagus Quiche


Now is the time to take full advantage of my free tasters and free workers ( the Piggies )to help out and make a cheesy bacon and asparagus quiche. Asparagus has a subtle, grassy taste that goes well with eggs, bacon and cheese and I thought it would be a good idea to make asparagus quiche since I have some in the fridge.

Quiche is such a versatile dish that one can have many varieties of fillings such as seafood, chicken , leeks and spinach and not to forget fresh mushrooms. I can rap on and on..so to make the story short, I made one last nite after dinner for my Piggies to have for their lunch today :) But as expected, while baking, the aroma that wafted out of the oven had made the Piggies hungry so instead of waiting to eat that quiche for their lunch next day, they gobbled some for supper :p having satiated their hunger pangs ..they managed to sleep well :)) Now you know why they were nicknamed Piggies…not for no reasons! (",)

this is one quiche that is so delicious
that my Piggies stamped it well done :)))
Their approvals meant lots to me :p

before taking it out of the quiche pan....
the Piggies were waiting in anticipation to see the outcome
of the cheesy crust..will it crumble? :p

trust this Momsie!...of course it won't :p

flaky and crisp texture cheese crust with
the awesome filling - cheesy rich plus the aromatic
grilled bacon bits and the subtle grassy taste of asparagus
real heaven on earth!

a slice of heavenly goodness!

so come get a forkful of this cheesy asparagus quiche
while drooling here but better still if you try making this
yourself....I am sure you will agree with Momsie !
I am not advertising for myself but I am sharing
the good news here LOL!



** I used the same Quiche Lorainne recipe
but tweaked it by adding chopped asparagus to the filling



Click here for the recipe



Have a nice day !



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Monday, September 28, 2009

Savoury Assam Fish Head Curry


The one thing that makes me the happiest Momsie is my Piggies love curries! And the best thing that could have ever happened in my life is having them as my Piggies ( they are my free food taster ) …haha I can imagine the scenario as they read this post, their nostrils sniffing in air and oinking away. Well, over the weekend, I managed to cook up this mouth watering and savoury Assam Fish Head Curry with a red snapper’s head I bought from the market…..ok, ok, only Asians love fish heads :p Do you know that the best part of a fish is the head….the smooth and velvety texture of meat could be found here! Those jelly like texture around the lips and around the eyes have me and Piggy gal fighting over those delicious part…so to be fair, she took the left side of the head and I took the right side of the fish head….ok ,ok so no fighting ! :) :) Piggy boy said we were disgusting , eating and sucking out the eyes. But he will only eat the meaty part unlike the sister and momsie attacking the fish head like some , excuse the pun , “ head hunters from the uncivilization ” LOL! Isn’t he adorable…I love my Piggies..they say the darndest thing !

Back to cooking this mouth watering curry . As you know of late, I discovered a stall, a real gem for curry lovers , at the Kg.Simee market , selling this ready cooked curry paste that tasted marvelous and many people I met have the same opinion like me. Thumbs up all the way for this ready cooked curry paste and it has make cooking curries so simple and easy for even those busy working class people like me. Sorry, I am not a share holder but sharing this ' gem ' to all Ipohans :)))

All I have to do is just add in the fish head, some tamarind juice for extra tanginess , some coconut milk/evaporated milk , fresh tomatoes and some okra. Simmer until the fish head is cooked . Easy isn’t it? LOL ! I am so blessed, so are my Piggies ! A delicious and mouth watering dish in just 40 minutes! And a hearty dinner with just this one dish ;p :))

this is the ready cooked curry paste for cooking
Assam Fish Head Curry....save me time and energy :))



red snapper fish head ......the best part of the fish is the head
excuse the pun
" Piggy gal and Momsie are like the head hunters
from the uncivilization " said Piggy boy , LOL!

lots of okra and tomatoes make the curry tastier
all the goodness in one dish

excuse the set of teeth glaring at you :p
but it was this one dish I had my Piggies wagging their tongues
and slurpping the savoury tangy curry thru'out dinner
it was that good anyway...... LOL!



Enjoy and hope this dish will take away the Monday Blues



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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cooking Lessons With Chef Amanda Cushman

I’ve been told that I cook well, that I’m more than adept at the kitchen and that at the end of the ‘magic spatula’, things come alive. Flour and eggs and butter and sugar march military style into my mixing bowl and a cake is born. A swirl of batter, a toss of dough, a pat of pastry and delectable aromas waft all the way from the oven to leave an hypnotizing scent, tantalizing and tempting even the most adamant dieter.
What my ‘fans’ (ok ok, I admit, in this case I refer solely to my two piggies who grew up eating my cooking having little or no other choice, but love it nonetheless =p ) don’t know is the effort that goes behind my ‘expertise’ in the kitchen. I wasn’t born wielding the golden spatula. The only reason I’m able to hold a knife and chop at record setting speed whilst carrying on a heated discussion with my then teenage daughter on the merits of eloping versus a full fledged white wedding (yes, my daughter has the tendency to come up with ‘fantastic’ ideas enough to cause any other mother to chop off her fingers if only in exasperation) comes from umpteen years of experience, chopping, getting scalded, ‘practising’ and painful sometimes less than fruitful trial and errors before I stumble upon the perfect recipe.

Advancements usually come too late, and that is the case when I recently heard about Amanda’s Cooking Classes Los Angeles and boy how I wish I could turn back the hands of time ! Imagine how much heartache and pain I would have been spared in the kitchen if I had had someone guiding me and teaching me the right approaches in the intricate art of gastronomic delights. And what’s more, Chef Amanda Cushman offers private cooking class at your home or business teaching hands on. Chef Amanda also caters to private classes of two to twenty and has established a name for herself after coming up with hundreds of recipes for cookbooks. Click Cooking Classes LA for her different types of classes. Amanda has many cooking classes in Los Angeles to choose from.

Christmas is just around the corner and imagine presenting your loved ones with a truly homecooked meal courtesy of Chef Amanda's expert advice and counsel in the kitchen. The joy and expression on your family's faces .......priceless.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Homemade Mango Chutney On Toast


Finally I had the chance to taste what it's  like to spread mango chutney on toasted bread and it is  sure heaven on earth. I remembered Angie of Angie's Recipes , commented on my homemade chutney post that she would like to have a chunk of this mango  chutney on her slice of bread. And I have been wanting  to try it out  but it has slipped my mind till tonite . And truly it was good. I made this mango chutney a month or two ago and it still tasted just as good as I had made it the first day...so it proved that mango chutney can keep for a few months in the refrigerator if it is well cooked. The sugar acts as a preservative! I had quite a heavy lunch today so I thought I will have a light dinner...mango chutney on toast :) yummilicious and it tasted better than having mango jam!


my homemade mango chutney...real good on toast :)


look at those small chunks of mango....yummy, it still tasted good despite
in the fridge for a few months now.....like  mango jam


remember, mango chutney can be used as a spread for toast bread :))

 I had to leave the balance of the toast for
a final shot ....:p


If you like to make your own mango chutney



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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baked Mooncakes


As we have been eating mooncakes for dessert the last few nites, I did not do much baking :)Hope to be able to bake some pies and quiches this weekend for the Piggies :p

I saw some of these cute baked mooncake pastry biscuits in animal shape being sold at the shop and I could not resist them and bought some for my Piggies knowing they will surely squeal in delight upon seeing them. I used to buy these for them when they were much younger but I stopped buying them after they turned into their teens. When they thought those animal shaped mooncake biscuits are for kids only and they thought they were no longer kids then :))

There are two types, one without lotus paste and the other has plain lotus paste, red bean paste and pandan flavored lotus paste. I bought a few of each type seeing they were so cute especially the two chubby piggies ! They reminded me of my two Piggies LOL!

Those at the bottom are the traditional baked mooncakes with lotus paste and melon seeds and assorted nuts with ham and fruit peels. I love the assorted nuts one...once I started eating , I can't stop coz they are so addictive :))

assorted nuts with ham and fruit peels are
made by my friend, selling for RM10 each

these are also the assorted nuts but without ham
as you noticed the nuts are whole so
making them more chewy and you get
to taste the nuts...yummm yummy
RM 12.50

this is the normal lotus paste with duck egg yolk and melon
seeds.....also made by my friend selling for RM8.80 each

this is with plain lotus paste and melon seeds
in the shape of a gold fish....can't remember the price :))

And these pair of cute chubby piggies with plain lotus paste
truly brought back memories of
our childhood......mmmmm many years back



* that's all I bought for the coming mooncake festival and have already
started eating them everyday for dessert...hopefully
there are some left for the festival then.... :p
and I won't be sharing on mooncakes anymore :p
till next mooncake festival , 2010



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chilled Dragon Fruit Snowskin Mooncake For Dessert


Mooncake festival is just around the corner , it falls on October 3, and every Chinese household around the world , I am sure will be feasting on these cute little sweet cake now which can cost between RM5 to RM 14 per piece. Homemade ones are slightly cheaper which will cost about RM8 to RM10 depending what the fillings are. There are many types of mooncake, they have the baked ones and the non-baked ones (ping pei) and different varieties of filling. People have become so innovative and creative that they come out with so many tasty and flavorful fillings but we prefer the traditional ones being the baked one with plain lotus paste with duck egg yolks or without the yolks and those with assorted nuts and ham. Will post them up as we eat along :p 

Making these mooncakes can be very tedious . So I rather buy them from my friend who is good in making mooncake of different varieties.  Homemade ones are less sweet . Since the Piggies love both types , I bought the snowskin ( un-baked ) and baked ones for them to enjoy since they are back for the sem break :)) The chilled Red Dragon Fruit Snowskin ( ping pei ) with the authentic lotus paste with egg yolk filling was the first we tried and it was yummilicious. This costs RM8.80 per piece .



the snowskin has a slight dragonfruit flavor...mmmmm yumm


the Piggies preferred the one with the duck egg yolk


I love the ones without the yolk
so that I can savor the original taste of
the lotus paste with the melon seeds
mmmm...we only get to eat this once a year :p



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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dragon Fruit Chiffon Cake



I can never tell you how delighted I was when I took the cake out of the oven. The first thing I checked was the height of the cake. Wow…how like a chiffon cake ! I was afraid that it may not rise up light and fluffy…but it did :)) ) Yay! And this is the first time I tried baking a chiffon cake and it was good. Moist as in the texture not dry like those bought ones. I prefer this texture coz you can really eat a lot and still not feel that you have over eaten. Everyone likes it…and we finished the whole cake in less than an hour. It was served as a tea snack while waiting for dinner to be served and watching a movie at home together with my Piggies is sheer joy and am looking forward to the long weekends…we have extra 2 days becoz of the Hari Raya holidays….gosh ….I am dancing with joy…imagine four days of baking and cooking and feeding my Piggies ** this is the only time that my bakes will be finished in an hour LOL! I can’t stop growing young adults from eating the whole day , can I :p
I used the recipe shared by Amy Beh and she has always been my online baking guru. Her recipes are foolproof and the steps are easy to follow for new learners too. This dragonfruit chiffon cake is one that I would want to make again and again and this is good to bring for my pot bless party too. It is light and fluffy and good for the young and old for no butter is used. When I have to bring something for pot bless , I make sure that the food is good for the old and young :)) and this is definitely good!



The first thing I looked for in this cake was the height..
the height tells you that the cake is correctly done :p


the only flaw is the color of the cake...looks like the dragonfruit puree
was not evenly distributedinto the batter :p
but hey I am not a pro yet so please allow a bit of flaws...LOL!


the texture was perfect..moist as in not dry...
yet light and fluffy :)


a closer look at the texture....good for a first timer...rite???


^________*



Dragon Fruit Chiffon Cake by Amy Beh

Ingredients:

3 large eggs, separated
25g castor sugar
50g red dragon fruit puree
40g corn oil
¼ tsp vanilla essence
55g self-raising flour
1½ tbsp cornflour
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
60g castor sugar

Method:

Whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in dragon fruit puree, corn oil and essence. Lightly mix in self-raising flour and cornflour.

In a separate clean bowl, whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and castor sugar until fluffy and stiff. Carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the beaten egg white until well combined. Turn batter into a 16cm chiffon cake pan.

Bake in preheated oven at 170°C for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and invert pan immediately. Leave undisturbed until completely cooled.



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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stir fry Bitter Gourd Spindle With Mushrooms



When I was young , I never like bitter gourd and my mom loved to cook for dinner as one of the veggie dishes…telling us how good it was for our blood etc etc….the same old tales we have to hear over and over again and today wasn’t I glad that by her frequent cooking of this dish , I grew to love the taste of this bitterish yet delicious veggie called bitter gourd :) A bowl of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, bitter gourd possess innumerable health benefits and healing properties. Stir fry is one way of cooking bitter gourd and the Chinese cooked them in soup or as tea too.

Talking about bitter gourd cooked as tea…I remembered I had acne problem when I was in my teens and my mom will boil bitter gourd tea for me….ewwww u imagine how horrible it tasted… to glup down a big cup of bitterish water every alternate days after school. The healing of acnes ! It helps detoxify the blood… and today I gave the same treatment to my Piggy boy…..gave him a taste of what I went through as a teenager with acne problem :p He hates the tea but he loves to eat it stir fries though :))

Yesterday , I tried stir fry bitter gourd spindle with enoki and Korean mushrooms (buna shimeiji) It was a good combination…a simple yet delightful dish. I love it and hope you too will appreciate this dish….lots of goodness in this dish.

bitter gourd spindle...lots of nutrients
Vitamin A, B1, B2, C and Iron

stir fry with enoki and shimeiji mushrooms

crunchy texture from the three ingredients
spindle slices , enoki and shimeiji
what a wonderful combinations!





Stir Fry Bitter Gourd Spindle With Mushrooms

Ingredients:

4 bitter gourd spindle - cut into thin slices
1 bunch of enoki mushrooms
1 bunch of shimeiji _ korean mushrooms
4 pips of garlic- chopped fine
1/4 tsp of salted black beans
2 bird-eye chillies - seeded
1 tbsp of olive oil

thickening

pinch of salt
1 tsp of corn flour
5 tbsp of water


Method:

Heat up olive oil in a non stick pan, add in garlic and salted black beans and saute till fragrant. Add in the bitter gourd slices, chillies and all the mushrooms and stir fry till cooked . Add in the thickening and cooked for another 3 minutes. Dish up and served with rice.


Enjoy a healthy dish with me :)))



** extra notes on Bitter Gourds

For centuries, bitter gourd has been widely used as a natural remedy for many health complexions. Its properties are antidotal, antipyretic tonic, appetizing, stomachic, antibilious and laxative. It contains higher concentrations of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, phosphorus and carbohydrates. This vegetable is a panacea medicine for the diabetes. The rich concentrations of Vitamin A, B1, B2, C and Iron provide relief in many health complexions including eye complications, neuritis, hypertension and defective metabolism of carbohydrates. It helps in purifying blood tissues as well as in enhancing digestive system.






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Monday, September 14, 2009

Assam Rayfish Curry


I discovered that there is this stall from the wet market in Kg Simee, a neighbouring housing estate to where I lived, that sells all kinds of curry paste..you name it they have it. For instance if you want to cook chicken dry curry style, pork ribs curry, chicken curry or assam curry they will have the paste weighed out ready for per cooking. Everything is in the curry paste…lemongrass, curry leaves, onions, and their secret curry spices and they even have the tamarind paste all combined into the special curry paste…believe it a not it has made things so much easier for curry lovers and it tasted exactly like those restaurant cooked curries.

I have to thank my neighbor for sharing this wonderful secret with me :p and now for Ipohans if you want to get good curry paste.. go Kg Simee wet market and ask for the stall. It is so famous that you juz mention the famous curry paste, the people there will point out the stall to you. My neighbor was kind enough to buy the paste for me , so I am not able to tell you which stall yet…you have to do a bit of detective work on your own if you can't wait :) I will be going to get the paste this weekend so I will keep you updated where exactly the stall is situated :) Be patient……..


I used the paste ( meant for cooking Assam Fish Head Curry ) but I used Rayfish to cook this Assam Curry and it was yummilicious…rayfish being Daddy’s favourite and true to what my neighbor friend told me…the curry was delicious.

I juz have to add 1 torch ginger flower ( bunga kantan ), some laksa leaves ( daun kesom ), ½ cup coconut milk and 1.5 cups of tamarind juice to the curry paste…the pot of curry was so aromatic that we can’t wait for dinner time to come fast especially that particular person is none other than Daddy! Kept asking when is dinner time…“ I am hungry…”, so pitiful, so we had an early dinner ! :p slurping and tucking in like hungry wolves…. (“,)

this assam curry paste is so good that I know
I am going to cook this for the next pot bless dinner
for it is easy and can whip up in such a short time

so delicious...Mmmmmm yummilicious
tangy spicy hot....who wouldn't love this

I juz have to add in the lady fingers and tomatoes,
beside the rayfish....you can use fish head instead
for asians who love fish head....a delicacy no doubt


I bought a new clay pot recently :p
I must never step into a crockery shop....
for I can never leave anything alone...
I have to leave with something.....
and Daddy started his 'singing '.....

" there is no place to store all this......
thank God I don't own a crockery shop or else..... "
I played deaf for the journey home :p :)
and my new toy was on my lap and
can't wait to use it.....finally I served this
Assam Rayfish Curry
in it :)


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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Soybean Milk Longan Jelly


Yesterday, we had Pot Bless in Church and since I was working on a Friday and have not the time to cook anything elaborate, I decided to make these melt in the mouth jellies the night before for the pot bless…haha smart Momsie :p …light and easy for the old and young. The kids loved them and the older ones simply slurpped them up, and went for second helpings :p but alas due to shortage and not enough for second helpings, they could only licked their lips and wished the smart Momsie had made more for them :p Next time..I promise to make more okay….:))

Of course , needless to say, this Momsie stole one and had a photoshoot session first and ate one before the rest had them..hahaha so bad this Momsie…nope , I had to test them out first before I take them to Church :p in case it turns out too watery…can? It turned out marvelous and not overly sweet to my delight or I will have to get something else for dessert :)

I used the same soybean milk jelly recipe from my previous post, added the tin longan together with the syrupy water and added 1.5 more tsp of agar agar powder. I had to make a few loads in order to make sure that each guest will have at least a cup each :) too bad no second helpings for them :p

I found my garden roses blooming again...thus
took one for deco so that my jelly looks more
photogenic...can? :p

melts in the mouth...smooth ..mmm

can you spot the longan sitting in the center?
with the rose bud sitting on it :)
even the bud could not resist and stole a lick :p


seriously speaking this is the best dessert
for me and my Piggies love them too...
Ouch...sorry babies..juz drool for the time being,
not enough to pass around nor send thru a
FedEx box





***Remember, just add the longan syrupy water
from the tin longan and add 1.5 more teaspoon of
agar agar powder to the original recipe.


Have a great weekend ! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Savoury Bacon Cheddar Cookies


You know, I have been craving for savoury cookies since a month ago , like some pregnancy cravings :p and when I found this awesome savoury cookies recipe delivered to me in my foodbuzz inbox, what do you think I will do, of course baked it! :)

Awesome ….bacons goes well with cheese and each bacon studded cookie bursting with the cheesy and smoked flavor ! It is addictive like she said and the smoky bacon and cheese turned into a cookie that no one can really resist! Can you ? :p It is simple and easy to make and the beautiful thing is , you can make them one day ahead , wrapped in cling wrap and store in the fridge and bake them the next day! Thank you Evil Shenanigans for sharing this awesome recipe. This recipe came at the right moment when my craving still persists…:p MMMmmmm utterly saliva inducing…on a cold rainy day , munching these cookies with a cuppa hot black coffee watching a drama series…this is what I called heavenly indulgence :p Let me enjoy this sinful decadent for this moment…LOL!

I made 1.5 portions = 2 rolls

slice them into 1.5 inch diameter disc

this is awesome...you can make the dough one day ahead
cling wrap them and store in fridge..
cut them into slices of 1/4 in thick

studded bacon and cheese cookies ..mmmmm the aroma
is saliva inducing :p

taken with a cuppa hot coffee or tea
my sinful indulgence for the moment :p




Bacon Cheddar Cookies ( taken from Evil Shenanigans )


Ingredients:

4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped finely
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 stick softened butter, cut into cubes ( I use salted)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preparation:
In a large skillet over medium high heat cook the chopped bacon until very crisp. Drain on paper towel.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, cayenne pepper, butter, egg, egg yolk, and cream. Mix until well combined.

Add the shredded cheese and crisp bacon to the work bowl and mix on low speed until combined.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board and roll into a log about 1 1/2″ around. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

During the last half hour of chilling heat your oven to 350 F.

Once chilled slice into 1/4″ thick disks and place about 1/2″ apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the cookies are just turning golden abound the edges and the cookies are firm to the touch.

Cool on a rack until they are slightly warm.

Store them in air-tight container when they are are completely cool down and can keep well for 2 days





Enjoy!



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