I call this Holiday Breakfast Basket mainly because I can only make it during holidays, or weekends. Small and cute, they may be, making the baskets is time consuming especially with the two steps taken to complete them.
Once in a while you get fresh ingredients coming to you neck of the woods and you find yourself suddenly stuck as to what to do with them. I'm actually talking about fresh mushrooms that very seldom make their here. Of course, we have the abundance of fresh oyster mushrooms, but change can be good.
The other day, my sister posted a picture of her having lunch with my dad. Obviously, since were live so far apart from each other, it is often difficult for us to sit down and have meals together. But, the interesting thing was, my sister managed to include the name of one of the dishes they had; Iga Sambel Ijo.
It was durian season earlier this month. and as usual the abundance of this King of Fruits locally, at once encouraged me to try out a few recipes using it as one of the ingredients. As you may already know (or not, if you are new here!) I don't like to eat the raw durian flesh. But, I will eat it once it has been turned into some kind of dish or dessert.
I know I recently posted an Asam recipe two days ago, but when the craving for sour dishes hit you, it just comes again and again, and you are never satisfied of having just one particular Asam dish. It's just like having Tom Yam. You can crave for the normal red one, or the light one or the creamy one! All asam (i.e. sour!)
What a relief! After almost three weeks (has it really been that long?) I finally have the chance to switch on my laptop; most importantly to make new entries to my blog. No, I have not been anywhere nice for any holidays, but I have been busy working (yes, working even on holidays!)
I know, I know! The craze for this cake, which started two months or so back, has almost fizzled out by now. The first time it appeared on the net, everyone, expert and novice cooks alike, jumped into the bandwagon to make this cake. But not me. Why?
Okay, I have to admit I made this some time back. I have finally had the chance to complete this entry, one, because I really need a break from what I am doing now; and two, this entry is a long time coming.
My first attempt on making Tiramisu was my cheats version where I used cake instead of ladyfingers. I recently managed to get my hands on these biscuits at my local shop selling bakery ingredients. After having made the almost original version of Tiramisu, I must say that I prefer the looks (and taste!) of my Cheat's Tiramisu.
Nevertheless, it was worth making the one using the ladyfingers if only to find out the difference. The only difference in the making procedure as compared to my Cheat's Tiramisu is, you dunk the biscuits in the coffee (then layer it with the cheese mixture as usual)
Note : This time I didn't use cocoa powder to decorate.
Last Saturday was my missus' nephew's wedding. Actually, I had been travelling to and fro for three days from my place to my missus's sister's house for the wedding preparations. It was rather tiring, mainly the driving part. But all the effort was worth it, because (at least to me!) everything went like clock-work! My contribution may have not been very big, but like what one of my sister-in-laws said: a contribution will complete the preparation, now matter how small it may be!
Well, one of my small contributions to the wedding was to prepare the bride and bridegroom's feast, where the food is usually garnished and decorated (and special) unlike the ones served for the guests! One of the dishes that my missus and I helped to prepare was the Salted Egg Prawns. It went down quite well with the special guests (and the relatives!) I had actually tried it out at home before preparing it for the wedding; this recipe which I have adapted after skimming through a Chinese magazine!
The recipe below is for the one I prepared at my own home (picture above)
300 g large prawns
2 tbs cornflour
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tsp chopped ginger
5 dried chilies, cut into strips
2 tbs apple juice
2 cooked salted egg yolks, crumbled
2 tsp chicken stock granules
1/2 cup panco breadcrumbs
Mix the prawns with the cornflour and then fry until cooked in some hot vegetable oil. Once cooked, set aside. Leave about two tbs of the oil in the wok. Saute the shallots and dried chilies. Once the shallots turn translucent, stir in the garlic and ginger until aromatic. Next, add the crumbled salted egg yolks. When the mixture becomes foamy, stir in the fried prawns. Add in the apple juice and the chicken granules. Wait until any signs of moisture has evaporated before adding the breadcrumbs. Give the dish a few thorough stir, and dish out to serve!
It's the holidays and wedding bells are chiming everywhere almost every week. Since these first two weeks of holiday will see me busy attending weddings or involved in one wedding preparation one way or another, this entry is going to be a short one!
Once in a while, it is good to have something fried for breakfast. It beats having the bland and tasteless (I'm being redundant here!) mug of instant oats that I have every morning. It feels good to munch on something savory and at the same time dipping the food into some sweet chili sauce! Yumm!
This is my second attempt at making this cake, all be cause my first daughter requested for it. I always wonder why the intense desire for this cake because I personally cannot pin-point the difference (from any other ordinary butter cake) Actually, the first time I made it was in cupcakes form; that was out of sheer curiosity!
It's great doing things for fun especially when it comes to cooking! I remember reading some words of wisdom that sounds something like this : 'If you love your work, you will never work all your life!' Well, cooking is not exactly my livelihood, but I must say I love doing it!
It's Saturday morning and I was at the morning market with my youngest girl. It's only the two of us today because the missus has gone spend the night at her sister's place. She will be part of the 'rombongan merisik' for her nephew. I couldn't attend because I have a baking class (baking class? haha!)
This morning we had another potluck session in our staff room. In fact potlucks have become like a trend here in our room, that every time we want to have one, it becomes almost like an event; everyone planning what to bring!
The whole family was actually looking forward to a simple dinner! Fried flat noodles (or Char Koay Teow) is something we usually have for breakfast. But when the kids, there would be cockles and prawns in the dish, they cheered with joy!
Today is Idul Adha, and unlike Idul Fitri celebrated two months back, we are celebrating it here in our own home. I guess it is a different feeling to celebrate Raya in your own home, especially being the elder in the family, you wait for your children to come home, to celebrate the festivity with you and your better half.
This Friday the 26th of October will mark yet another religious festival for the Muslims. It may not be as grand as Idul Fitri which was celebrated in August, but it is still a celebration nevertheless. And when it is Raya, kids (and the kids-at-heart!) will want cookies to usher in the celebration.
This is the last of my 'Dari Kebun Ke Dapur' (from the garden patch to the kitchen) series. And I am ending it with another recipe using pumpkin. The thing is, there's only one pumpkin plant, but it bore 4 too many pumpkins for our family's consumption. And none of our next door neighbors (after asking them) wanted any. When in season, pumpkins are not as popular here as in the US where fans get crazy with new recipe creations using pumpkins!
This is one of my favorite dishes mostly because it is an all-in-one dish (suitable for lazy people like me!) and secondly because there isn't a single fat or oil or what-so-ever related to it (suitable for lazy people like me; lazy to exercise that is!)
This is another recipe using yet another part of the tapioca which we planted in the small patch of land in front of our house. After the Tapioca Cake recipe using the tuber of the plant, this time is a recipe using the tapioca shoots.
The small patch of garden (kebun) that we have in front of the house, has been very faithful in providing with small but steady stream of crops. There may be only a few types of plants there, but every time we gather the small harvest, there is always that feeling of fulfillment.
It was another potluck session this morning! But this time around, the brunch which consisted of 'Soto Nasi Impit' was sponsored by the person who is going to retire! Strange! Usually other colleagues would hold a potluck for a friend who is retiring! However, over here it works both ways and we eat twice!
This is the second installment for this edition of 'Dari Kebun Ke Dapur'. This time I'm using the pumpkin from my small garden patch. As you can see from the picture, the pumpkin itself resembles the patch; small! However, even though it is small, it's got that bright orange color that is so pumpkin-ish!
I have always had a few Rendang dishes in my repertoire including Rendang Tok, Rendang Cili Api and Rendang Selangor. So, the other day when I was feeling peckish about having some rendang for dinner, I chanced upon this recipe in the 2007 issue of Flavours magazine (incidentally, I prefer the old version as opposed to the new one!)
I have been asking around for a recipe for Thai-style fried fish, but, until now, no one has given me any replies, because those whom I've asked have either kept a low profile after that or feign forgetfulness every time we chanced upon each other! In fact I've been waiting for one such recipe from a particular friend for almost a year now!
I'm so used to eating Beriyani, Nasi Minyak, Tomato Rice and Coconut Rice, that too many good things too often can make you feel, well, tired of them. That means it's time to search for other creative ways of preparing the ubiquitous rice!
It's off to matriculation college for another visit. My daughter called the missus earlier this week and she was wondering if we could come and visit her. At the same time, she also gave a menu of the dishes that she wanted us to prepare and bring over. Demands, demands!
The preparation of this dish has been long overdue and my better half has been sulking due to the delay. She has, in fact, been asking me to prepare it since way back, ever since she had the less than satisfactory verstion of this Spaghetti Carbonara at one of the so-called famous Pizza outlet! In fact, after one mouthful, she shoved the plate to me, and I, in turn, shoved it to one corner of the table; forgetting about it forever!
Okay. This entry is definitely not about food! But it does have something to do with one of my tiny corners. In this case the tiny corner is in the teachers' common room in school. In my seventeen years here, this is the fourth room that I have moved into; in other words changed teachers' common room.
Last Saturday, during my weekly visit to the Saturday morning market, I chanced upon this new fruit seller who was selling oranges! Not that there was no other people selling oranges, but this guy was literally giving his oranges away. Navel oranges which usually went for RM5 for 10, was sold at the same price but for 25 oranges!
I don't usually take recipes from local magazines to try out in my tiny kitchen. I specify local magazines because I have had a few disasters where the recipes did not result in similar looking dishes or cakes shown in the magazines. In fact, some were totally inedible.
Our mango tree has been hiding another bunch of mangoes, away from the prying eyes of naughty primary school students; these are the ones who threw sticks and stones at the fruit just to get at them! And also well-hidden from the beaks of hungry birds!
Hmmm! What to do with the remaining wantan wraps I have lying in the fridge? I have used some for making wantan soup, where I filled the wantan wraps with shrimp and fish meat. The thing is, you would only need a quarter of the wantan bundle for one cooking session. On top of that, I find that the use of wantan wraps is so limited (any suggestions for other uses are most welcome!)
The mango tree in front of our house has been bearing fruits for the first time since it was planted seven years ago. Quite a few were stolen by some (and the same!) Indian school children almost every day after they were dismissed from primary school. So, we were left with the few unripe ones that we could salvage because waiting for the mangoes to ripen would mean exposing them to more thefts by those kids.
I've been keeping about fifteen sweet pastry shells in my Tupperware for almost a week now. The missus has been nagging me about the possibility of the shells turning bad, and that it would be a total waste. I knew she was right, but I was too lazy to make anything.
Going to an all-boys school like Sekolah Sultan Abdul Samad in Petaling Jaya after oh-so-many years in co-ed schools was a thrilling experience, to say the least. There are tonnes of experiences that I still cherish even until now, one of which is the food I ate. Of course back then, there were no qualms about Muslims eating food prepared by Non-Muslims and they could sell food to all races in a government school. Aaaah! Those were the days of racial-unity bliss!
I had no intentions whatsoever to buy crabs at the Saturday market last week. But, I was rather taken aback when the fishmongers there were continuously screaming that the price of fish and other seafood had gone down. It had been spiraling upwards since before the fasting month. The price of crabs was RM30 per kilo then, but last Saturday it went down to RM19 per kilo. I bought two kilos!
Two weeks back (yes, I'm late with my entry!), my wife's niece and her husband plus two boys dropped by for a Hari Raya Visit. They were on their way back to Manjong after visiting the hubby's parents in Johor. As usual, I found that as an excuse to try out another cupcake recipe from one of my recipe books; this one from Ann Nicol's For the Love of Cupcakes! Actually, I'd use any reason as an excuse to try any recipe from my recipe books!
My daughter eyed the huge Australian strawberries I had bought earlier. She asked for one and I gave her. I knew she'd ask for more because the strawberries were sweet. She had also been munching on the half kilo of marshmallows I had bought for her earlier. I knew she'd make them both disappear and we won't have a share. So, I decided to do something about it!
I have completed the six-day non-obligatory fasting during the month of Syawal. So, this morning it was back to thinking of what to bring (tapow!) for brunch at school. It's a good thing we just came back from Seremban yesterday and had stopped by Jusco 2 (now AEON) and Seremban 2 Tesco, where I managed to get some of my favorite things!
There comes a time when you come to a mental block and you simply cannot think of anything to cook. With picky eaters (like one of my kids), cooking is always a challenge to the point that you give up thinking about what to cook. So, when all else fail, the missus and I would usually resort to something simple. Sometimes simple works best!
I had a fun time making these. As usual I had made the shells earlier (two days earlier) and last night I made the custard. This morning, I assembled the fruit tartlets and delivered them to a friend who ordered them. Sounds simple even though the making is quite tedious.
I'm not good at making brownies, I must confess. But when my sister called saying that she and her family of eight were coming over for Raya, I immediately thought of making these brownies. These are quite different from the ones I have made before. These ones are softer and moist while the ones before were a bit crunchier and crispier around the edges!
It's been a hot few days and fasting during Eid when every body is eating and drinking merrily to their hearts' content is an awesome challenge. I have decided to do the non-obligatory six-day fasting during Eid and I have four more days to go! Seeing my colleagues drink and eat, got me to thinking about this juice that I made for Iftaar during Ramadan.
This year's Raya celebrations has been a busy one with guests coming over almost every day (Thank God, they came in small groups!) It was not much of a challenge trying to think of dishes to prepare for our guests. In fact, I enjoyed thinking of and preparing menus for them. I can't say the same for the missus because she is the one who spends most of the time in the kitchen!
This is one of the puddings I made for Iftaar during this year's Ramadan. I am not apologizing for this late entry because as with other desserts, this pudding can also be prepared for any other occasion! I have been wanting to try this recipe ever since I saw it in the June issue of New Idea, mainly because the dessert uses many local ingredients.
It's been more than a week into the Eid celebrations and I personally, have had enough of the constant menus containing meats and chicken. Thank God, my gout has not been acting up (knock on wood, fingers crossed and all that!) Being someone who prefers fish to meat, the past week without any kind of fish dish has got me wanting for some.