Sunday, May 31, 2009

Malacca Goodies


They were gifts, nice gifts from a couple of nice folks from Malacca, Malaysia for us. These are goodies that are typically available in the local Chinese Pastry shop. I know that one of them has green mung beans inside, while the others...... I could not even guess. Too bad, I also do not know what they are called. They are all sweet basically. I, however, am only fond of the first one.




Since nobody else in our house is willing to eat them, we are pleased to pass them to someone else who appreciate the food much more than us.

By the way, the last time we went to Malacca was nearly 13 years, I never realized it until just now. Maybe we should re-visit the place???

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gone Is The Quiet Week

It's another hot day, another hot and sunny Saturday afternoon. Now there are four....

I had a quiet week with two kids being away and a husband being so busy although he was in town. I was left with one who was busy studying for her exams. It coincided with me feeling unwell. I slept more than I normally did. I went to ENT doctor again to be prescribed with another set of medicines. Strong ones again, just like the week before and they did mess me up a bit. I am seeing the dear doctor again next Wednesday. Yes, my new routine indeed! I do not want surgery!!!!!!

One was back this afternoon after spending lots of time under the sun in Tioman Island. She was well roasted, red and tanned, despite all the generous amount of sun screen. And she officially declared that she hates kayak. So do her friends. Everyone of them! So do I! That's it! No more kayaking!


With the anticipation that a proper food eater was coming back, I prepared a bunch of delicious thumbprint cookies and Mac & Cheese today. It was nice to cook and bake again........

Friday, May 29, 2009

Introducing The New One...



It's not so new anymore actually. It's been with us for around two months and is doing a fantastic job, taking up to many places. Happy to have him or her?!
Thinking 2

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hot Days Are Still Here


When we started having rains here sometime last week, I really thought that my horrid hot days would be over. But of course I was wrong. I went up to my room one evening only to find out that I could not immediately rest and enjoy the comfort of it. It was 33C or 91.4 F. It was soooo.... hotttttt!

And we are still having many hot days these days....

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Graduation...

Whoa... finally, we have a graduate, a high school graduate to be precise and this happened too much sooner that I could ever dream. She was one of those that graduated this year, Class of 2009. It was said during one of the speeches that this is the most diversified group ever graduated from the school, 50 countries. That's a lot of countries.


So where is our graduate now? Hopefully, she is save and sound, enjoying the beach and beautiful weather in Koh Samui, Thailand with friends before everyone heads to many different corners of the world, to pursue their dream.

Next: college.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Did It...


For many years, I knew that that I should have done it and get it fixed, but I found thousands and more excuses to keep on delaying it.... Until paranoid took over and I started fixing whatever need to be fixed and made myself a priority to a higher extent...

So an Ear Nose Throat Specialist was recommended by my OB Gyn and an appointment was made. There were many temptations to cancel it along the way but I tried my best to stick to it. It's so hard being an adult and a mother too, so much responsibility and so easy for me to pick up the phone and cancel an appointment that I do not like to keep....... I have way too much power to make happen. I also dislike going to the dentist, which I know that I am due to go this month too.Melodramatic

Despite everything, I went to my appointment anyway and spent sometime with a very nice doctor that did an excellent and super thorough check up and in the end gave me three types of nose sprays and four types of medicines and charged me nearly $500 !!! And asked to return next week...............Help


A little wicked treat for myself today being a brave girl (yay!), Chocolate Almond Upside-Down Cake by Gale Gand, see the recipe here. A note to myself: I should not be brave too often as this fatally will result in chubbier cheeks! Not funny.

PS: The doctor taught me the correct way to blow my nose!!!!!! I did not know that there are many incorrect ways apparently.


Monday, May 18, 2009

In Loving Memory Of Mother

She returned to the Lord's home seven years ago and left behind all the pains and sufferings from Parkinson's disease that she had to endure for so many long years.


She is always remembered, we miss her and we will always think of her and her unconditional love. I miss thousands things of her and thousands more of things we did together. I can picture her smiling from above. Peace and love!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Zero Calorie ...


It's good to receive gifts, especially those that do not bring temptation that could result in higher number shown in my bathroom scale. It is even nicer that the givers thought of me and did not associate me with eating something.

Thanks for the great Mother's Day gift girls! I'll make good use of it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jam Shortbread Thumbprint



For months I wanted to make these sort of cookies and never did. I was looking for a recipe that allow the jam to be baked together with the cookies, because that's just the way I like it. I am not so sure how to keep the cookies with fresh jam outisde the fridge. I finally found and put together an easy recipe that satisfy my requirements.



Jam Shortbread Thumbrint recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
Jams of your choice (strawberry, apricot)



Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Add in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, or 1 1/2 -inch balls and place them on cookie sheets.

3. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.

4. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Cheese Popovers



Light, hollow and delicious. That's popover. I was a bit intimidated with making popovers, before I even tried doing it. Shame on me! But now, after baking them a few times, I am getting more comfortable. It's not that hard. There are only 5 ingredients needed namely eggs, milk, flour, salt and butter. Plus cheese if you want them on your goodies. I am still trying to use different kind of pans to see which one I like better.



The silicone pans give me no problem at all with removing the popovers. The dough rise almost evenly on all around unlike using the metal pans or ramekins. Irregardless which pans I use, the taste is more or less similar to one another. I.e. they are well sold out! Eaten! Finished! biggrin



These popovers are great for breakfast. You can eat them they way they are or with butter and jam. Here's the recipe that I use from SFGate by Flo Braker.

Popovers

INGREDIENTS:

2 eggs

1 cup milk, at room temperature

1 tablespoon melted butter, or vegetable oil

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven; preheat the oven to 400°. Grease each popover cup generously with softened butter or solid vegetable shortening.

Combine the eggs, milk, melted butter, flour and salt in a blender or food processor; process for about 40 seconds. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times and blend until the mixture is completely smooth.

To make by hand, whisk together the eggs, milk and butter in a large bowl. Add the flour and salt and beat until very smooth.

Pour the batter into the greased cups, filling them half to two-thirds full. Bake until the popovers are puffed and golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Do not open the oven door during baking or the popovers will collapse.

Yields 6-8, depending on the size of the baking cups


Friday, May 08, 2009

Chicken Pastry



I am treating this blog more and more as my food journal these days, more than I originally planned. wink In a way it's good for me. There are times when I need to refer to something that I have done in the past and I have very little memory of them, I could try to retrieve them from this blog.



These are chicken pastry, made using the frozen puff pastry and minced chicken. The filling is a mixture of minced chicken, egg, salt, pepper, various herbs, sugar, milk and bread crumbs. I brushed some egg wash on top of the pastry prior to putting them in the oven.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cocunut Crepes-Dadar Gulung



Ask Indonesian people, and they would say that this dessert is theirs. The same answer would likely be the same if you ask some Malaysians or Singaporeans, I do know that these desserts are available around the region here, I am not sure, however, who invented them.

Anyway, these are basically sweetened grated coconut wrapped in crepe. In Indonesian, these are called "dadar gulung" or rolled crepes. In English, people tend to call them Coconut Crepes or in Malay it is known as kuih dadar or translated as, hopefully I am right, crepe cake.



Why green? It is contributed by the fact that the dough for the crepes is mixed with pandan (screwpine) leaves essence, which is green. I am aware that some bottled pandan essence is not green. Pandan leaves are green, the real essence of the leaves is green. I had first hand experience in extracting the juice from pandan leaves and I know it is green.

The filling is brown because the coconut is cooked with palm sugar, which is brown in color. The taste? Delicious, simply delicious.



Dadar Gulung/Coconut Crepes

Ingredients:

Coconut fillings:
200 ml water
200 gr palm sugar
300 gr grated coconut (fresh)
pandan leaves (one or two)
1/2 tsp salt

Crepes:
1 c flour
3/4 c coconut milk
3/4 c water
2 eggs
1 Tsp cooking oil
1/4 -1/2 tsp salt
a few drops of pandan essence/paste

Method:

Filling:
Boil water with the palm sugar until it is completely dissolved. Add the coconut, pandan leaves and salt and stir well until nearly all the water is absorbed.

Crepes:
Mix all the liquid well and slowly add to the flour while stirring and whisking until they all well combined.

Heat the pan to make crepes, brush with a little bit of oil or margarine. Pour enough batter on to the pan, tilt it to spread the batter around. Brown the bottom side and flip over.

Fill each cooked crepe with the filling, the same way you do to spring roll. (I assume you know this one, please!)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine Greets May

So it's May. We are having a big concern over Swine flu, aside from other concerns that are already on the plate, economy and war among them. The school sent many emails concerning the procedures and precaution measures they are taking to ensure that everyone is safe and well and the school and exams could take place. We went to see the dentist last Saturday and the clinic is located in the hospital. Right after the passing the main entrance, everyone had his/her temperature taken and given a green sticker prior to entering the building further. It's good to see that this country is taking swine flu very seriously.

It constantly amazes me how times moves really quickly and how I keep on wishing that I could enjoy every second that I have a little bit better. A third of the year has gone by. I forget (enjoying) most of the time and just fall into the trap of doing my routines without thinking much of anything else. My No.1 has technically finished her high school, she is waiting for her exam and graduation ceremony and off she goes, to college -to life as an adult, away from home, learning to live on her own.

I occasionally still feel that I only got married last year and had her not that long ago. When I saw her pictures when she was small, I could not help wondering where the time went.... Time can be such a scary thing for me.... I closed my eyes for a bit and things change so much.



First of May was Friday and we had grilled black pepper salmon for our dinner with salad and homemade dinner roll. It was simple as always and as I would like life to be. Keep my fingers that I don't make life more complicated that it already is. Have a great healthy week everyone!razz

Friday, May 01, 2009

Chocolate Revel Bars


Whoa! It's really heavy duty-super yummy-delish dessert. This chocolate revel bars should have been made long time ago. My No. 3 asked me and reminded me to make them a couple of times but I never was too interested in getting into it. Until the time came for me to use the melted chocolate chips that I had due to the extreme hot weather .......



I adapted the recipe from Better Homes and Garden, but some similar ones can be found on the net too. I left out the walnuts since nobody really likes them here. Truly rich and fudgy!