Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken Malindo

Whether you realize it or not, the price of fish is escalating like nobody's business!  Weighed and priced before it is cleaned, one fish can cost more than a fillet of beef.  And after you clean the guts, the scales, the fins and the bones of the fish, all that work and price just don't seem worth it!  I used to love fish, in fact I still do.  But the steep price, plus my gout problem, is making seafood in general my last choice of food to put on the table!

And winning hands down, is the ever favourite alternative; chicken!  Of course, there are one thousand and one ways to prepare chicken and the versatility makes it more popular!  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Walnut and Feta Puffs

I know it's Saturday and I had already bought a 'kuih' or two from the Saturday market this morning.  But, I just couldn't resist taking out the oven and dabble in a bit of baking.  Plus I have always wanted to make something using Feta cheese.  I knew I had a few things in the oven that I could use to make something for tea this evening!

So, after going through the fridge, I managed to find things to make my Walnut and Feta Puffs.  I knew at once that I would like them, one because they are so easy to prepare (always my first choice when I want to make something!), secondly because so few ingredients are required and finally because they don't contain any kind of meat.  Well!  Once in a while endevour without meat or fish won't hurt!  Like I said earlier, I liked them, but unfortunately no one else in the house did!  Carnivores!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Steamed Chicken with Shitake

School holidays is the time to binge on lots of food laden with cholesterol of all kinds; from the coconut creamed Rendang and curries and Kormas, to the sugar sweetened drinks and desserts like puddings and cakes.  Aah!  The bliss and joy of thoughtless eating at the many wedding invitations that are held at this time of year.  But the happiness of all that eating suddenly hits you with a reality check, and you become guilty, guilty, guilty!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Something to Hide

Sellers will do anything to ensure that their goods are bought by customers, especially unsuspecting ones.  Some, of course use more devious ways than others and seem quite inconspicuous to the customers!

I have always put a great trust on the people who sell their goods.  By that I mean that these people usually have my trust in displaying and selling the best of their produce!  If I go to a supermarket and the produce, fruits for example, are prepacked, I will not show any signs of irresponsibility of opening the packaging and pinching the fruits (which, unfortunately, some people do!) to ensure that they are fresh! 

Smoked Salmon Sandwich

My daughter is a very picky eater.  She's very choosy about what she eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  She sometimes wants a few different types of food to choose from during each meal like breakfast for example, especially on Saturdays.  This is the day when I do my weekly shopping for foodstuff.  She would expect me to buy at least three different types of food like Nasi Lemak, Fried Noodles and a Kebab for her to choose from according to her fancy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mackerel Kerabu

Okay!  I think this must be Kerabu crazy week because just within a few days of posting my previous blog about Battered Fish and Mango Kerabu, I've come up with another Kerabu dish.  Frankly, I think, Kerabu to the Malays is a lot like what Salad is to the Westerners; an assortment of uncooked vegetables tossed in some kind of dressing.  And eating fresh vegetables gives me the feel good factor unlike that of a naughty boy indulging on a bucket of greasy fried chicken!  Well, frankly,  I am that little boy once in a while!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fruit Tartlets for the In-Laws

My in-laws had called earlier that they would be dropping by our house today.  After discussing with the missus, we decided to make my now famous (haha! famous among my school colleagues; that's it!)  And since today is a school day (the first after a week-long holiday!) I decided to prepare some of the basic necessities a day earlier.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Curry Chicken Pie

Okay!  I know that having a pie for breakfast is going a little bit overboard, but I was in the mood for baking all things pastry, so, even though it was time consuming and very tiring work, I pressed on.  I was happy with the way the pie turned out (this is my QC!) all puffy and golden brown!

It really did take me a lot of effort because the last time I baked a pie was way back in 1979.  Haha!  No excuses for the long time it has taken me to start baking again, but like I said in my earlier entries, I only recently plucked enough courage to dabble in cooking again.  Plus, my wife has allowed me to share her domain; the kitchen!

Prawn Quiche

The first time I ever had quiche was when I was studying in the UK.  It was the last day of the orientation programme for overseas students in the School of Education, and our group had been invited to a tea party.  Of course, I was excited to attend the do, if only to see the spread that they had prepared for us.

And, of course, the first thing on the table that I tried was the quiche (a vegetarian one!)  I was always given the impression that British food is rather bland but I found myself enjoying the pastry dish.  And, suffice to say, that I had longed to make my own quiche ever since.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Turkish Fish Cakes

This is a recipe I have had for twelve years and never once had a chance to try out.  I love to collect recipes, especially those that I think I would like, but I have never found time to try them.  I know it's no excuse but really, I have never had the time.

Since I started this blog and began to try out some of my favourite recipes (favourite meaning those that look good in pictures and the list of ingredients look obtainable locally!) I have begun to appreciate my wife more.  The fact that she spends a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food for me and our children, is a task I need to take my hat off to. And to other ladies out there, who are just like her, my hat off to you too!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Significant Other's Birthday

It just happened that the day we went back to Kuala Lumpur was the same day as my wife's birthday.  So, I took this opportunity to treat her to a birthday lunch.  Of course, being her birthday, I knew she suspected that my daughter and I had been planning something for her behind her back; but she pretended not to notice.

Anyway,  along the way, we stopped at Seremban.  And since, it was still too early for lunch,  I told my wife that the little girl and I would go to MPH and she could go an buy whatever it was she had planned to buy earlier and to rendezvous later at a certain restaurant at about 12.30!.  So, when we went our separate ways, my daughter and I dashed to Secret Recipe and bought (yes, bought!!! I had no time to bake a birthday cake!!!) a Strawberry Marshmallow Cheesecake!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

We'll be going off to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow, not because it's school holidays, but because my dad will be coming back from his Umrah.  We didn't go back when he left for Mecca two weeks ago since it was on a school day.  But since now it's the holidays, I have no excuse.  But a good excuse at that, because I will get to see my sisters whom I have missed so much!

My sister (the one who lives in Alor Setar!) have always asked me to buy smoked catfish every time I go back to Kuala Lumpur but this time around, she made no such request.  But, since I know her fondness for the delicacy, I bought it for her nevertheless.

Sticky Chicken Wings

This is a late entry since this dish was cooked especially for my birthday dinner, by myself!  In fact, I had typed three entries in February and decided to wait until 1st March to post them because I am anticipating March to be a busy month, where school activities are concerned (talk about foresight!!!)  And I thought, if I had a few entries as drafts, then I could post them whenever possible (talk about planning! Hehe!!!)

Anyway, back to the dish!  I was thinking of something simple to make for dinner, since my birthday cake that I made (which was chosen by my daughter!!!)  was a very rich cake!  For the carbo part of the dinner, I talked my wife (successfully!) into preparing a simple fried rice a la herself!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mocha Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I wanted to make Lemon Mousse Cake but my daughter had got her heart on making this Mocha Cake.  In fact, she had gotten hold of my cake book three days earlier after I had gone through it.  She went through the book and decided that she was going to make it.  It didn't matter to her that I had my heart on the Lemon Mousse Cake for my birthday!  Of course, in the end, I gave in.

Initially, I didn't want to make this cake because I know full well that my wife doesn't like cocoa very much.  Even though this is a mocha cake, it still contains cocoa, besides coffee.  I had wanted to make the Lemon Mousse Cake because I knew that it would go well with the Sticky Chicken Wings that I was preparing for my birthday dinner (the Eggy Fried Rice was prepared by my wife!)  I knew the tartness of the lemon would out the oiliness of the rice and roasted chicken!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Farewell Potluck for Kak Limah

Today saw another potluck session for yet another senior teacher and old friend (no pun intended!) who will be retiring as of tomorrow.  There was a large variety of different types of food which indeed reflected the taste-bud of the person who will be retiring, that is Pn Helimah bt Ujang.

It is always a poignant day when someone whom you have known for a long time (sixteen years long!)  In fact my acquaintance with her even extended to her two of her three children whom I have taught.  Her eldest son, who is now studying in Universiti Utara Malaysia, was one of my students until form 6.  I taught her second son when he was in form 3.  However, I did not have the pleasure of teaching her third and youngest son.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Battered Fish and Mango Kerabu

I was passing through the school canteen's kitchen when I saw about twelve unripe mangoes on one of the tables.  I knew the proprietor, Kak Yam, would be making Mango Kerabu to sell for lunch, and so before that happened, I asked her if I could buy one of the mangoes to make my own Kerabu.  I was thrilled when she agreed because I had imagined this dish the moment I saw the unripe mangoes!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Real Roaring Red Velvet

There's a time and place for every thing I always say, and today seemed suitable enough for making Red Velvet.  Not least because of any specific special day, but because I had this tub of Kraft Cream cheese in the fridge.  In addition, I have been longing to make this dessert for quite some time.  And, as lazy as I am, I always look for the easy way out by trying out recipes that are easy to prepare, avoiding the more tedious ones.

Ayam Panggang Menado

Finally I have gotten tired of baking (really?) and so, this weekend I decided not to bake.  But the novice cook in me, is calling me from deep inside my bowels!  It's telling me that if I don't want to bake today, I should at least cook.  

What to cook?  I know the main ingredient has to be chicken!  And so I flipped through some old magazines, and I do mean old (five years old, that is!).  I eventually came upon an Indonesian chicken recipe that I felt would cater to my family's taste buds!  The most interesting thing about this recipe is not the ingredients or it's origin, but the magazine in which it is printed!  A Chinese magazine (Did I really buy this magazine?)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Strawberry and Vanilla Cupcakes

I was quite surprised when my son came back just one week after we sent him back to campus to continue his studies.  When I asked him his reason for coming back (I know I shouldn't have asked!) he said his time-table will be packed after that and that he will not be able to find time to come home.  What he didn't tell me was, he had actually came home to celebrate my birthday (this he told his mother!!!)  I was touched my his gesture.
That Sunday when he was supposed to go back to campus, I decided to bake some cupcakes for him.  I know he will never take cupcakes back to campus to share with his male friends (nor would I!!!) so, I made sure I baked some in time for him to eat them before he took the afternoon bus back.