Saturday, November 15, 2008

7 facts about me

I'd been tagged by Happy Home Baker to do a "7 random facts about myself".

Here are the rules for tagging:

1. Link to my blog (tagger) on your blog.
2. Give seven facts about yourself.
3. Tag another seven bloggers by leaving a comment on their blogs and letting them know they were tagged and listing them (and their blogs) on your blog.

Here it goes:

1. My zodiac sign is "Cancer" - the crab!

2. During my twenties till I got married, I was "quite" adventurous. I'd scaled a few "mountains" with groups of friends. The first mountain was "Mt Ophir" in Malaysia. The most memorable one was the climb up Mount Kinnabalu in Sabah. You see, there were these 2 guys who thought there were the fittest among all (commandos). In the end, because of acclimatization they almost couldn't make it to the top!

3. I remembered my first travel by airplane in my mid twenty was to... Nepal - an unforgettable experience. I hope I can visit this country in future with my kids and husband.

4. I love trekking and backpacking very much. I'd visited countries such as: Vietnam, Sabah & Sarawak, New Zealand (self-drive with four friends), Europe, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Then, I could travel with a backpack, t-shirt & sandal and off I went. Now.... with two kids in tow, I can't do that any more! :(

5. We don't own a car. Most of the time, we commute by public transport.

6. I've a big family with total seven siblings. If my father & granny were still alive, we would have ten members (一家十口)!

7. I don't watch any drama serial. I like to watch cooking programmes. :)

Hope the above are not boring you. I don't have any one to tag since some had already been tagged. So I'll just let the tag ends here. Sorry!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brown Rice Milk Buns



If you have a copy of "孟老师的100道面包",you will find this recipe familiar: 糙米饭鲜奶面包. Who would have thought of using brown rice to make bread? Do you? :)

The original recipe is a plain bun with 50g of 松子(pine nuts?) and wheat germs as decoration. Since I didn't have these two ingredients on hand, I made a bold decision to change it a savoury buns, incorporating chicken cheese sausages. Sausages are a favourite among my kids and husband. So, if my buns didn't turn out well, there would be three more mouths to help me finish them! (My husband hates brown rice! )

I did not cook the brown rice just to make these buns. But rather it was our lunch (me & my 2 kids). I just reserved 50g of the cooked rice as my tangzhong starter.


I was very doubtful initially:

1. whether my tangzhong starter was cooked correctly or not?
2. whether the dough was easy to handle or not?

Luckily, everything turned out well. The dough was rather easy to handle and the dough was proofing normally thereafter.

Once the buns had cooled, I was very anxious to test the texture of the bun. Well, needless to say, it was very nice: soft & fluffy. It tasted just like a normal bun but with the goodness of brown rice. :)


I had tried a number of recipes from 孟老师and most of the times it turn out very good. She has a couple of unusual bread recipes which I hope to try one of this day. This is one of them. :) Next round I'll make it plain. May be as a burger bun?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Vanilla Yogurt Ice Cream





If you're a yogurt lover, you may like this ice cream. This is unbelievable simple. No eggs and cooking are involved. Simply: mix, whisk, pour and freeze.

Recipe courtesy from Gina of Kitchen Capers. Since I didn't have any fresh peppermint on hand, I changed it into a vanilla flavour one. Here's my version:

Ingredients:

2 cups plan yogurt (I used "Pauls" set yogurt 500g -$4.60/tub)
1 cup whipping cream (I also used non-diary)
120g caster sugar (I used 10g less: don't think is significant)
1/2 tsp salt (I used extra fine sea salt)
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla oil (or essence) [Add slightly more if you want stronger taste. ]

Method:
1. Whisk yogurt, cream, sugar, vanilla oil/essence and salt in a mixer until well blended.

2. Pour into container and freeze till set. (Between 4 t0 6 hours) **

3. Top with chocolate chips/rice or whatever cross your mind. Enjoy!

Note:
1. After 2 days, I noticed that the ice cream became very hard to scoop. So I checked with Gina of Kitchen Capers. Her advice was to whisk it a few times and put it back to freeze. (When you take in and out of the freezer, condensation will happen and water vapour turns into ice.)

2. Was wondering whether one should whisk a few times when the ice cream is semi-set. (Just like those ice cream with eggs & cooking involved). Is it the same or??? Anyone out there have better ideas?

Anyway, this is a very refreshing dessert with the warm weather out there. Taste wise, it has a bit of the sourish taste from yogurt. Think next time will stick to the 120g castor sugar called for.

My two boys were the one who enjoyed the ice cream most. They love yogurt. They were very happy that mummy can make ice cream from now on ! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Steamed Tofu with Fish Paste


This was a dish that I first made sometimes back in September. Ever since then, I had cooked on two occasions: one, for my mother-in-law's family, second, for my family again. This dish was very received and particularly appeal more to the kids!

The ingredients are easily found and best thing, you can whip up in minutes if you run out of ideas what to cook! (which happens quite often to me).

Recipe as follows:

1 tub soft tofu, lightly mashed (I used Silken Tofu, 300g)

150g fish paste (I think I bought at $1.00 per 100g)
1 egg
1 tsp corn flour
1/2 tsp salt (I omitted, since fish paste is already salty)
Dash of pepper
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
Some chopped spring onion and some red chili (for decoration)
1 tbsp light soysauce (adjust accordingly: some brands are more salty)

Method:

1. Mix fish paste with egg.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Steam at high heat for 10 minutes or till cooked. Remove.
4. Heat up oil and saute chopped garlic till fragrant. Pour over steamed tofu.
5. Sprinkle spring onion and light soy sauce on top.

Recipe Source: 好好吃!大牌档菜 作者:郭子仁

Note: There are quite a number of mouth watering recipes in this book. Most of the ingredients are easily found or available in your pantry.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My favourite sweet bun

My kids love buns. Buns with hot dog, pork floss, and lotus seeds are their favourites. My little son has very sweet tooth. He likes anything sweet! :)

This is a very versatile recipe. You can bake it as a loaf or turn it into a sweet bun just like this lotus seed buns.


One thing I like best about this recipe is that all the ingredients are very basic: water, bread flour, milk powder, sugar, salt, butter (sometimes I substitute with corn oil), and yeast

I try to double the recipe and keep half in the fridge so that whenever I feel like making buns or loaf, I have one ready-made. :)

My two kids love to eat lotus seeds buns. However, my husband prefers savoury buns in the morning...




The texture of the bread: soft and fluffy!
Recipe over here.