Friday, December 31, 2010

A year that was.

I am hoping that this coming new year will bring more exciting cooking moments for me. I will have my second anniversary in October. Yay for me! I have been reading other food blogs and and realised that we all do the same thing for different reasons. I do think that for a lot of us, my foodies friends on Twitter, it is just because we have bottomless stomach and we blog for the love of the food. I do admire my new found foodies friends who have been doing it for years and are still actively involved and I'm almost ashamed to say that I am talentless compared to them. Yes, I am in awe of you all, just to name a few.

Billy, A Table for Two
Suze, Chocolatesuze
Thang Ngo, Noodlies
Rita, Mochachocolatarita

They support each other and have gatherings at Food Festivals, parks, even during the festive season when they are spending time with family and close friends. I believe that in a way, we are all one big happy hungry family. LOL ;) I love how we continually torment each other with food photos and share stories or new found places.

I have found that, the one thing that makes me, the happiest is when I am cooking or baking. It doesn't matter if it was an epic fail or a success in the kitchen, cooking and taking snapshots of food or just inhaling the aroma of whatever that is cooking awakens my senses, awakens me and this is why I blog about food. It doesn't matter that I am not as famous, YET...hahaha.... just by doing this, it gives me a purpose. A goal. The challenge of the day is not burning down the kitchen ;) so to speak... for me!

So to end, I'm awaiting eagerly for my pie tee mould and rosette mould to arrive from Malaysia. This is what they look like. I bought these moulds on Ebay at http://stores.ebay.com.au/Sassezz-BakeShoppe. Do you remember my jam tarts that I made last year? The pineapple jam tarts? Well, I bought the cookie moulds from this same seller.




Thursday, December 30, 2010

Paper Rice Spring Roll

Hmmm, what to do with extra greens? I could eat them of course, but today I wanted to try out rolling out rice paper roll. First, I added sliced rump steak from my dinner last nite. Then I added crabmeat and mixed it in with the greens. I blanched some beansprouts to add into the salad mix. Then I added a little chilli and hoisin sauce and gave the salad one final toss. I am not using vermicelli rice noodles as I am reducing my carbs intake.

To wrap the ingredients into the rice paper is no easy task for a first timer. You will need a plate. Place a sheet on the plate. Then wet it a little with warm water, do not over wet, that makes it hard to fold. once you put your filling in, fold it up as you would an envelope then roll it up. Ta da! Easy, right? Not so! But you will get there after a few rolls. This is fun! Serve with a bowl of chilli sauce mixed with hoisin, if you have crushed peanuts, add it as toppings to sauce ;)



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Food Coma anyone?

Drinking and eating my way thru Xmas to New year and it isn't over yet...and this is not even counting the chocs and snacks that I have been eating during my Korean drama marathon. I blamed the Fat Guy in the red suit. Tomorrow I am making Vietnamese spring roll without the vermicelli noodles inside (less carb) I will be using crabmeat... slurp!










Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year

To all my FB friends and love ones....I don't really hate Santa ;0

Have a Merry Xmas and an excellent New Year. Thank you for your friendship, love and support of my food blog over the years. Stay safe and have a good one ;)


This is my last post for the year, bring it 2011!!! This blog is for Santa, here's a plate for you tonite.





Monday, December 20, 2010

Durian Ice Cream

I love making this ice cream, simply because I ate too much durian already, and that I didn't want to waste my last durian.


Step 1

Buy a durian from your local fruit grocer or supermarket. It is still available as they are flown frozen to Downunder, Australia. I love the Monthong type, yellow thick flesh with small seed. Highly fragrant and sweet from Bangkok. So at $4.98 per kilo, they must have flown 1st class?


Step 2

With your Ninja ultimate powerful skills, you need to beat it into smithereens... or use a mixer/processor/ pulse...whatever.. but it should be creamy and smooth, no lumpy durians okay? Then you fold it with sweet condensed milk or yoghurt if you are a health freak! At this point I dropped an extra very potent potion in the mix...hahahha ...the wicked vanilla...just two drops okay, otherwise it will kill the wonderful durian taste and smell! We can't have that. Vanilla is supposed to drive men crazy...what does it have to do with this blog? Absolutely nuh duh...


Step 3

And then, after you have pulverized this mixture, you need to transfer it to a container to chill it in the freezer. Why we do this, you ask? God Knows! But it taste better frozen.



Step 4

Serve it cold and frozen, in a cute ice cream bowl, so all your guests will go...."OOOH.... WAHHH!!!"

Hahaha..yumminess ;)

Lastly, a big shout out to Coles and Woolworths in Wagga Wagga for sourcing durians for me and Sunny Park Queensland for the durians.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Choc and Cherry Something!

So I went a little berko on buying cherries again, I just love them and black cherries are in season. I toyed with the idea of following Ellie's recipe and realised that the woman is a pro at baking and I was being too ambitious. So I googled for something simpler.. you know what they say, little steps.

Just because I bought two baking books, doesn't mean that I am a pro now. I am the gal who sinks pavlova, burnt sauces and cakes and nuked donuts.  I am almost a qualified firestarter in the kitchen when it comes to baking. Let's hope this recipe does not cause any fatal injury. I've already stabbed myself several times pitting the cherries last nite.

The recipe below is from Taste.com.au, I did everything except for the pastry part, instead I got myself some butter puff pastry from the supermarket. So I ended up with a cherry and choc mascarpone sandwich free form pie ;)

Baking is hard, please don't judge me...I deserved another glass of wine!

Cherry and Chocolate Tart


    * 300g (2 cups) plain flour
    * 45g (1/4 cup) icing sugar mixture
    * 150g chilled butter, chopped
    * 1 egg yolk
    * 2 tbs water
    * 1 x 240g pkt Cadbury Dream white chocolate, coarsely chopped
    * 200g fresh ricotta
    * 1 x 250g ctn mascarpone
    *
      Cherries in red wine syrup
    * 125ml (1/2 cup) light red wine (such as pinot noir)
    * 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
    * 550g fresh cherries, pitted

Method

   1. Place flour, icing sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and process until dough just starts to come together.
   2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
   3. Preheat oven to 200°C. Divide pastry into 6 even portions. Roll out 1 portion between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to a 4mm-thick disc. Line a round 3cm-deep, 8cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with pastry and trim excess. Repeat with remaining pastry. Use a fork to prick the bases all over. Place on a baking tray in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
   4. Meanwhile, to make the cherries in red wine syrup, place the wine and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Add cherries and boil, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until syrup thickens. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.
   5. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until the chocolate melts and is smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Use an electric beater to beat the chocolate, ricotta and mascarpone in a bowl until smooth. Divide the ricotta mixture among the pastry cases and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
   6. Divide tarts among serving plates. Top with the cherries and syrup to serve.

More photos to come...waiting on finished product..OMG that cherry syrup is to die for..slurp..and Ladies, you keep checking that the wine is still okay too ;)
Tada! My finished product. No kitchen was burnt in this production ;)
Cooking cherries with red wine and caster sugar
Melting the white choc
Testing the red wine ;)
Yumminess!



Ahh!!!! So proud of myself.... but will stick to cookies next time ;)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thai Fish Cakes

This blog is for a friend who is surely missing her Thai Fish Cakes by now....nudge winks! I got my fish patties from an Asian supermarket recently. However, if you can't find any, do not despair, these fishcakes are easy enough to make if you have a food processor. Asian fish cakes are much better than western coz they are tastier, flavoursome with herbs and non-battered.

This is my version, once again.. measurements are approx only since I never measure when I cook.

Ingredients

3 pieces of boneless white filleted fish meat
1 tablespoon of red curry
2 tablespoon of fish sauce
Couple of kafir leave, use coriander if none, sliced thinly
3 french bean sliced thinly, use spring onions if none.
1 tablespoon of cornflour for coating

Method

Put fish meat in the food processor and process for a couple of minutes,
Add remainder ingredients, make sure it is smooth paste.
Put in fridge to chill for few minutes. This makes it harder and will not crumble to bits when frying.
Bring it out from fridge.
Make into patties, coat with flour
Fry the patties til they are brown.

You can served it hot with rice and sweet chilli sauce for dipping sauce.

Today, I have made sambal belachan as my sauce. The belachan (shrimp paste) was toasted in oven wrapped in tin foil to spare my neighbourhood from the strong smell. I cut a small piece and wrap in tin foil and baked it in the oven. Frankly, they have no idea what they are missing out on and I love the smell. Yup! I licked the tin foil after I was done toasting..inhaled the chilli too..




Friday, December 17, 2010

Sambal Prawns with Petai

Err, I couldn't take it any longer! After batting my eyelashes at the buah petai jars in the pantry for several days, I finally caved in. Yesterday I just had to cook my first jar of Petai. This Ninja here bought three jars while I was in Melbourne, so clever of me, right?

This is a very simple easy dish to make, all my dishes are usually easy and fast. I get too hungry and don't have the patience. I have never measured anything I cooked and that is probably why I find that baking is so hard because baking is all about measurements and precisions.

Anyway, back to me, ahem!

Ingredients, approx only:

500gm of fresh or frozen prawn meat
1 jar of buah petai ( from asian supermarket)
Chilli Paste/jam
1 tablespoon of oil for frying chili paste
2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of kicap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)

Fry the chilli paste then throw in those suckers, the prawn I mean..
Add buah petai, strain the juice from the jar
Stif fry away.... left right left...and around we go!
When the prawns has changed colour, then it's cook.
Tada!!!! Serve with rice..;)



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pandan Coconut Mochi

This is like nyonya kuih with Kaya inside. Super yummy! They are soft and squishy and sweet.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sesame Mochi

I bought these on my recent Asian grocery run to Melbourne. Never had them before but they tasted like nyonya kuih. Nice ;) Inside is a dark black sesame paste.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

I♥Melbourne

My trip down to Melbourne to meet my BFF from school was very successful. We stayed at Hotel Enterprize by Southern Cross Station in Spencer Street. After hearing all those bad reviews about the place on Trip Advisor, I was almost terrified to check in but I did.

We arrived around 2pm and got the last carpark berth in the hotel. Thank God for that. There is another secure carparking in Flinders Lane right behind the hotel but I didn't really know what ticket to get for my park. The was no carpark attendant on a Sunday.

Just a quick word on Enterprize Hotel, all the renovation are finished, the courtyard is looking beautiful, the new rooms are modern with flat lcd screens, strange to have frosted screen for bathroom to room. I chose the Business rooms which is on the wing, room and decors are classic, the TV is old, so is the airconditioning. And I didn't find a data point for Internet as advertised for Business Rooms. However, we had a pleasant stay, room was clean and bed was comfy to sleep in and it was affordable for three nites stay at $91. I love the sounds of tram outside my window. Some might find it noisy but that is a Melbourne icon and it stops at 9pm at nite anyway and it was lovely, for me.

So anyway, I made it to Melbourne and had a ball with my bestie. There was lots of eating and window shopping and doing the touristy thing. It was fun. It was heartbreaking to leave them but I gotta come back to work for my next 'runaway'.


I wanted to take this lovely thing home but it wouldn't fit my suitcase. Isn't it gorgeous?

video

My BFF Karen
Dinner at Mekong
Vietnamese pho

Crown City Casino

Yummy Desserts

Xmas decors in malls

Melbourne Aquarium

Fish and Chips @Southbank

My Asian Grocey Heist
So that's all folks, there are more pics but this is just a summary of what we did in Melbourne. I'll be back!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mekong Vietnamese Restaurant

So our Melbourne's dining out experience was not a total loss. I have one word for Mekong and that is WOW!!!!

This was my first time dining on vietnamese cruisine. We have a chinese/vietnamese place in Wagga and they don't really do Vietnamese dishes, which is a shame.

So, no funky music or decor in this place but just noisy people talking and laughing and enjoying their food, busy waiters, lots of people slurping away with their noodles. The smell of the place was a typical aromatic asian kitchen, I can also smell the fresh mints on the tables as you walked in.

We ordered vietnamese pho, what else does one eat in a vietnamese restaurant? I didn't know that when Clinton visited Melbourne, this was the place he was taken to and apparently he had two bowls of noodles. Impressive as I could only manage the small bowl because we also ordered paper spring rolls as side dishes. The noodles comes in two sizes, small or regular...although the regular looked like a large... HUGE even..slurp slurp... wipe forehead!  Hot and steamy!

The chilli paste is to die for... they sell that as a takeaway condiment, you can buy it home...Sweet, I don't have to be a smuggler then! hehhehehhe! You can't take me anywhere...oh, and I love that we can order our drinks by the colour ;) Who does that? Heheheheh! Mine was Assam juice, Karen had something with coconut which tasted like chendul, the others ordered something with barley in it?

And the hot tea was free ;)






Pho Bo Ga Mekong Vietnam on Urbanspoon
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