Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Minty , Tangy Eggplant Appetizer

Eggplant can be cooked in many ways.  I prefer simple one like this...easy to prepare and doesn't take much time to prepare.  Homegrown eggplants are the best as they are not only organic but near at hand too...just pluck them when they are in season :p  Okay, back to making this simple yet delicious appetizer dish.  Minty, tangy and some heat from the bird's eye chillies made this dish so good that I have put in my to-make-again list :)

I learned from a cooking book that give tips on how to cook eggplant so that the inside wont turn dark color.  First ,lightly cook the eggplant as a whole in hot oil. Take it out, then boil in hot boiling water till cook.  I guess it worked as you can see the inside doesn't change color, making the eggplants looks refreshing. The eggplants,  mint leaves and calamansi are from my lil garden space . I whipped out a simple appetizer using homegrown stuffs :)   Hope you like this recipe too :)

first fry the eggplant in hot oil, then boil in hot water
so that the inside will not turn darker color, it works as you can see
the inside is refreshing and maintain its color :)

 
Add lightly sauteed chopped garlic to the eggplant
the minty, tangy plus the sauteed garlic really give
flavors to the bland eggplant and the chillies gives heat to the dish
what can I say, the flavors just explode in the mouth ...mmmm
excellent appetizer dish!

Minty , Tangy  Eggplant Appetizer

ingredients:

5 eggplants -wash and wipe dry
oil enough to fry the eggplant

3 cloves of garlic- chopped
3 tbsp of chopped mint leaves
2 bird's eye chillies - sliced
2 calamansi - cut into halves and squeeze juice
1 tsp of rice bran oil
1 drop of sesame oil

salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a wok and fry the eggplant till skin is lightly brown.  Dish out and put the fried eggplant in boiling water and cook till soft.   Dish out and let it cool down before removing the skin.  Cut into 1.5 inch length wise strips.  Place the cut eggplant in a bowl.

Lightly saute chopped garlic till lightly brown and crisps.  Dish out and leave aside.  Chop mint leaves and slice chillies . Cut calamansi into halves and squeeze juice into a small bowl.

Add the mint leaves, chillies, a drop sesame oil and 1 tsp of rie bran oil to the cut eggplants.  Mix well together and add in salt and calamansi juice to taste. Add in the sauteed garlic as garnishing last.  Serve this appetizer cold  or warm









Beach Wedding

Time flies , it has been one and half years since  my son had a  garden wedding . He had his wedding held in one of the resort at Genting Highlands.   I remembered how busy both families were just organising the wonderful event especially my in-laws.  They did most of the hard work  :)  Thank you to the in-laws for helping out in order that the wedding event went through smoothly.

Now it is my cousin's turn to be busy. Her daughter wanted a beach wedding. Whoa, a beach wedding is something I really looked forward to. It will be my first time and I am excited.  She is smarter than me, she got a wedding planner to do the organizing.  Thus, all she need to do is to pray for fine weather comes end of December :)  She told me she bought all her  dresses needed for the occasions from www.modabridal.co.uk and her daughter Emily has ordered her cheap beach wedding dresses uk from there too. I will check out the website and maybe order two beach party dresses for the beach wedding come December :)   Below is one  that my niece has ordered for her wedding ...simple, and yet elegant !


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stir Fry And Lightly Braised Hairy Gourd With Dried Shrimps


This is Wild Boar's all time favourite dish. Whenever we eat out at those Chap Fun shop, he will be looking out for this hairy gourd dish.  This is also my mom's signature dish. When I was young, my mom used to cook this for the family. I watched her cook this , I was fascinated by the beautiful color of this dish then.  And I watched every step taken to cook this dish.  My family grew up eating this and I am surprised that Wild Boar loves this dish too.

So today, I will be sharing how to cook this simple and easy and delicious stir fry hairy gourd with dried shrimps. The carrot gives the dish a refreshing and uplifting look.  The vermicelli or glass noodles is a perfect combination to this dish giving texture to the dish.  It absorbs the flavorful taste of dried shrimps , making this dish very sought after by my hubby.  I am happy when he said mine tasted better than the one from the shop.  The one sold has a more soggy texture whereas mine has more texture...reason being it was not overcooked and I added less water and giving it a quick stir fry and lightly braised:)

sauteed garlic and dried shrimps gave this dish
the aroma that makes this dish much sought after by hubby

add less water so that the vermicelli is not soggy

Stir Fry Hairy Gourd With Dried Shrimps - Mom's signature dish

ingredients:

1medium sized hairy gourd - pare off skin and cut into strips1 small carrot - cut into strips
1 small bundle of vermicelli/glass noodles - soak in water till just soft, drain off water

2 tbsp of dried shrimps- wash, clean and soak for 5 mins till soft
3 cloves of garlic- chopped
1 tbsp of rice bran oil

seasoning
a pinch of salt
a shake of white pepper
1 tsp of oyster sauce

1/2 cup of water/ stock

Method:

Heat up wok with 1 tbsp of rice bran oil, when oil is smoking hot, add in chopped garlic and dried shrimps and sauted till fragrant.  Add in the carrot and hairy gourd strips and continue to stir fry tillthey soften slightly, Add in soften vermicelli/glass noodles and give a quick stir, add in water/stock and seasoning and give it 6 mins braise under medium heat till water has evaporate a bit. Dish up and serve with piping hot  rice.

Enjoy !

Christmas Is Just Around The Corner

Wow, time really flies.  In less than a month, it will be Christmas and hubby and I will be spending an early Christmas together with our daughters and son in Singapore.  Killing two birds with a stone. My daughter Joanna will be having her first oversea calligraphy workshop in Singapore a week before Christmas.  We took the opportunity to be there too . We are opportunists....the family can be together for a short break before Christmas. Singapore is lighted up with Christmas decorations now and this is great time for me to be there . As many of you knows that photography is my new hobby.  This trip to Singapore would be a great opportunity to learn night photography from two sifus. One is hubby and the other is son Joshua :)  I am most blessed to have them as my photography sifus ,

Okay, back to main topic.  Now this the time to shop for Christmas gift for the family.  I have been searching online for gifts that will please the whole family.  Shopping online for gifts has made life easier for me and hubby.  Since I will be spending time with the kids in Singapore, I will give them each an early Christmas pressies.  We can have an early Christmas celebration .  It is easier to get gifts for the girls but for the guys, it is harder.

My son Josh loves anything music...we will never go wrong if it is music related and we finally found sometime good for him.  A psp software is a signal processor software that can converts digital information into sound.  Once the info is processed, he can shape the sound however he wants. The plug-ins and downloads found are affordable, easy to install and an absolute blast to use.  This software will be great for him as he loves to make his own music :)  

One gift solved and now . Light and easy to take with us to Singapore :)  Josh will get his early Christmas pressies all the way from the US.  So happy that they ship to Malaysia now. Makes shopping online easy for us. If you still not know what to get for your music friends, check out their website for more ideas what to get for them this Christmas.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Keropok Lekor Terengganu

I can't believe I made Terengganu Lekor !!!  Inspired by Kathy of Small Kucing and Kristy of My Little Space....I took some from Kathy's and some from Kristy and guess what, I got a good combination and the lekor turned out wonderful.  I thought the making entails lot of work but actually it was the washing up that is tiring :)  but it was worth all the efforts.  It was really a delicious snack and what more homemade ones are much more healthier .  Homemade ones are not so fishy as to the one being sold by the traders, reason being those sold ones, they use all kinds of fishes thus giving them the unique taste and aroma :p  I suppose it is the unique taste and aroma that people prefers those sold ones.

I used Ikan Mambong thus my lekor doesn't have that unique fishy aroma but the texture is almost the same.  Infact I prefer the texture of my homemade ones...has a springy feel that is perfect for me and hubby.  Too chewy , it will be hard for us to chew on.  On the whole, I give myself 8/10 rating :p

For my overseas readers who have not heard of this Lekor, here is an excerpt taken from Wikipedia for your information.
Lekor or Keropok lekor is a traditional Malay fish cracker snack originated from the state of TerengganuMalaysia. It is also called fish sausage, fish stick, or fish fritters. It is made from fish and sago flour and seasoned with salt and sugar. It is slightly greyish in colour and tastes fishy. The fishy smell increases when it cools down. The origin of the word "Lekor" is said to be derived from Terengganu Malay which means "roll".
It is usually made by grinding fish or vegetables into a paste, mixing it with sago and then deep-frying it. It comes in three main forms: lekor (which is long and chewy), losong (steamed) and keping (which is thin and crispy). It is frequently served with dipping sauces.
There are two types of Keropok Lekor; Keropok Lekor Goreng and Keropok Lekor KepingKeropok Lekor Goreng is shaped into sausage size and tastes more chewy, whereas Keropok Lekor Keping is shaped into slices and has crispier texture. Keropok Lekor is eaten with Terengganu’s homemade chili sauce.

step 1 - remove guts , wash and  slice two sides of the fish

step 2:  use spoon to scrape off meat from the bone and fish skin

step 3:   place fish meat in blender, add in salt and pepper and a few pieces of ice
and blend into smooth paste, take out the fish paste and put into a mixing bowl
 add in the flour mixture and knead until the fish paste leaves the side of the bowl

step 4:  Divide fish dough into several portions 
roll them into rope shape and coat them with cooking oil ( I used rice bran oil )
arrange them on greased pan.

step 5:  Cook them in boiling water and once they float up, they are done,
coat with cooking oil to prevent sticking.  Frozen them for future use

You can eat them either boiled or deep fried.  I tried both method and 
it was GOOD eating them boiled or deep fried. 

crispy on the outside and springy chewy on the inside...YUMMZ!


Keropok Lekor Terengganu - from Kathy and Kristy

ingredients

400 gm fish meat from1 kg of Ikan Mambong 

flour mixture
120 gm sago flour
60 gm tapioca flour
20 gm all purpose flour

2 tsp of salt
1 tsp ikan bilis granules 
1 tsp pepper

4-5 pieces of ice blocks ( 3/4inch X 3/4inch )

Method:

Please refer to steps from pictures above


Enjoy !


JBL PA Speakers

This is my first time being introduced to JBL PA speakers.  Hubby and I were searching around for music related gifts for our son Joshua.  But this jbl pro is not suitable for him but maybe this is great for our music friend Joe. JBL has a wide range of speaker options for music artists at every level. From aspiring DJs to professional stage engineers touring with chart-topping bands and whatever the scale of production and pro audio may need, it is the perfect PA speakers for this group of people. Thus we strike this out of our christmas gift list but has put it under KIV in case we need to get something for our friend Joe :)

They have a great range of speakers that is right at home in any venue, delivering the flexibilit needed to cater to any audio setup.  Good news for our  musician friend Joe.  He has his own band and he might want to change his old set for a more powered model :)  It is no secret that JBL makes truly world class speakers ! Check it out at their website to know more about about their portable multimedia speakers :)

Btw, we found the most appropriate Christmas gift for our son.  Will share in my next coming posts :) stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Spicy Hot Balitong With Kangkung

Its been a long time since the last time I cooked this dish.  Saw the balitong ( sea snails ) being sold at the UTC market and who could resists it..of course I could not and bought home 1 kg with mud and all.  WB is against me eating but temptation is just too strong for me.  I failed when it comes to food. The glutton me , huffing and puffing away preparing this dish in the kitchen while the man of the house kept coming to the kitchen and nagged away. " dirty looking and bad for your health "  The woman of the house replied " No worries , don't we always ask God to bless the food before eating, sanctify it and make it good for our body? "  LOL !  That was part of the conversation recorded in my brain in my kitchen last Saturday :)

Eating these balitong reminded me of my childhood...my grandma used to stir fry with hot fiery rempah :) and we had the  thrill of sucking out the meat from the shell :p And my grandma was the one who taught me how to suck out the meat from the shell.  Kids learn fast and when I first introduced to my daughter, she learns fast too and till today, she loves to eat these too.  My son doesnt like balitong ....too scary for him as in he doesn't know what is inside the shell  hahaha he is scared of worms :p

I tried to replicate this dish, Spicy Hot Balitong With Kangkung (water spinach ) that is being served in restaurant :)  And I know mine taste good :p   Serious !

Anyway , this is one of my favourite dish.   Homecooked ones are still the best :)

Here is another link for another balitong dish that I cooked some time back 


ingredients to make this flavorful and  delicious dish

love the aroma of the rempah and dried shrimps
wafting out from the wok while it is being saute

adding the water spinach makes the dish more complete

a kg all to myself :) 


Spicy Hot Balitong With Water Spinach

1 kg Balitong - wash off mud, wash and rinse until clean, 
                       chop 1/4 inch off end of shell with the back of a cleaver
                       and wash off the chippings of shell before cooking

a small bundle of water spinach - wash and pluck the tender leaves and stem for use, 

2 cloves of garlic - chopped
3 shallots - chopped
3 tbsp of dried shrimps - soak and  pound coarsely
3 tbsp of fresh rempah ( from the wet market ) * use 1.5 tbsp of fish curry powder if fresh rempah is                                       not available.
1 stalk of lemongrass - crushed
a tsp of sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp of rice bran oil

Method:

Heat up wok, add in oil. When oil is hot , add in the chopped garlic and shallots and saute till fragrant. Add in the fresh rempah and dried shrimps and saute till oil separate from the rempah. Add in the balitong and stir fry for 5 mins. Add 1/2 cup of water, sugar and salt to taste, cook with wok cover on over medium high heat.   Remove wok cover after 15 mins, add in the water spinach and stir fry until the water spinach is cooked.  Dish up and serve hot.


Enjoy!


Friday, November 11, 2016

Okra And Tomato Salad

I collected only 4 okras from my okra plant at a time.  I pinch myself that I should have planted more :p  okay I can't cook anything fanciful with just 4 okras.  I decided to make a simple salad with some cut tomato.  Gosh...this is so good that I will definitely make this again.  So healthy and delicious.  I make a simple dressing of soy sauce , sesame oil, sugar and wasabi..yea you heard right!   Wasabi adds heat to the dressing...so yummy that I had to share this simple to make and taste so good salad :)  
homegrown okra taste sweet and tender 


the moment the rice is cooked, just place the okras on top of the cooked rice
and leave it there till needed

 stir together the wasabi in soy sauce with a pinch of sugar and a drop of sesame oil
before pouring over the okras and cut tomato

YUMMZ!

Okra And Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

4-5 okras - steamed over cooked rice, cut into halves
2 firm ripe tomato- deseed and diced

dressing:  stir the dressing ingredients in a sauce dish till well combined
1.5 tbsp of soy sauce
a drop of sesame oil
1/2 tsp of wasabi powder - mixed with 1 tsp of water
a pinch of sugar

Method:

Wash okras.. steam for 5 mins in boiling water or just place on top of cooked rice and cover lid till needed.  Cut steamed okra into halves and arrange on salad plate. Diced tomato into bite sized and placed in center of plate .  
Stir the dressing ingredients together in a small sauce dish till well combined
Pour dressing over the okra and diced tomato .

Enjoy !



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Savoury Stir Fry Sea Clams Chinese Style



I have been indulging in seafood the last two months. I don't understand why I have this sudden cravings like a pregnant woman...thinking of seafood day and night.  I woke up early yesterday morning and I was still having this stupid craving for Lala ( sea clams ). I pestered Wild Boar to take me to the wet market (UTC building) and he was so kind.  We were there quite early and managed to get large sized Lala which costs us RM24 per kilogramme.  Bought half kilo back and I whipped out this delicious savoury stir fry clams.  Very chinese style and trust me, homecooked ones taste lots better than store bought ones.  My piggies and Wild Boar love my savoury stir fry. So appetizing and delicious and this really satisfied my cravings :)


simple and easy to whip out dish
the ingredients are fermented beans (tauchu), 2 pickled sour plums,
chopped garlic, bird's eye chillies and  julienned ginger
spring onions for garnishing




Savoury Stir Fry Sea Clams (Lala) Chinese Style
serves 2 persons

ingredients

1/2 kilo sea clams ( Lala) - soaked in salt water for 10 mins - rinse and drain off water
 (A)
1 tbsp of chopped garlic
3 bird's eye chillies - chopped
3 slices of ginger - julienned
2 pickled sour plums
1 tbsp of fermented beans ( tauchu)

a pinch of sugar
1/2 cup water
1.5 tbsp of rice bran oil

spring onion and coriander for garnishing

Method:

Heat up 1 1/2 tbsp rice bran oil in a wok , add in ingredients (A) and saute till fragrant.  Add in the sea clams and stir fry till it turned pinkish. Add 1/2 cup water and cover wok with lid and cook for a further 7 mins.  Open lid and when all the clams has opened up, add in a pinch of sugar. Dish up and garnish with spring onions and coriander leaves.

Enjoy !

Life’s Too Short to Skip Dessert for Breakfast

You know that old saying, “Life’s too short, eat dessert first?”  I’m sure I have that on an apron or t-shirt somewhere, but today I want to take that a step further and say eat dessert for breakfast.  But you’ll see how easy it is to prepare and will want to make them yourself for everyone you love.

I was inspired to make this item when a friend returned from a trip abroad and couldn’t stop talking about the delicious waffles they make in Belgium.   Now I know a thing or two about making waffles, I have the best waffle iron on the market, but I didn’t have one that makes those thick waffles that are what she was talking about.  Then, I went online searching for a good deal and came across the Groupon site.  There’s a new feature I’ve been wanting to try and it's called Groupon local.  You search by category and city, and bam! You get offers for goods and services that match your needs. 

And I’m talking about name brand merchandize.  I saw a coupon for one of my favorite stores and couldn’t believe how much I could save just by using a Groupon coupon.  They have items at up to 65% off and more.  I started shopping there because I liked the clothes they carry, but I’ve since broadened my list and now buy household appliances and kitchen aids, too.  In fact, they had just what I was looking for – a Belgian waffle maker and it was on sale.  I was able to apply the money saving Groupon right from my phone and snag the deal before I could think twice.  Now I can’t wait to show my friend how many colorful and fully loaded waffles I can produce.  It’s really easy.  Cut up fresh fruit like strawberries, melon and grapes.  Arrange them in a pattern of your choice and drizzle hot chocolate syrup over them.  You can even use the fruit slices to make cute faces on the waffles for the little ones.

I’m so pleased with my purchase I want you to take advantage of the deals, too.  So go to the Groupon site and see how many wonderful things they offer or do like I did and buy a waffle maker so you can have dessert for dinner, too.


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