Saturday, September 30, 2006

We like Pizza!

Remember that line from the movie Multiplicity when the character Steve played by Michael Keaton with his third clone who said "I like pizza"? Maybe it's the funny way he said it, but I think of that movie everytime we have pizza. We have a great little place in our town that whips up a delicious, thin, crispy crust, Neopolitan pizza. It's called Proto's, and we like their pizza! Oh, they have great martinis too (I hear!).

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tea time

I have always enjoyed a cup of tea with dim sum, sushi, mooncakes, coffeecakes (or tea cakes), paus, kuihs, etc. So, when my girlfriend in Penang send me a box of her favouritePiao Xiang China tea, I immediately open one to taste. While waiting for the hot tea to seep, I warmed up a piece of my asparagus and ham quiche and sat down to enjoy a quiet moment without little pitter-patter feet running around me...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

More Pau

Cool autumn air is here. It's been very chilly in the mornings and evenings, and warm in the afternoons with no clouds in the sky. Even though I enjoy the crisp, cold air in my mornings walks, the tots are having runny noses again, and I'm having a hard time trying to get rid of this persistent cough. Have tried Children's Benedryl for the tots, and Robotussin, Dayquail, Mucinex, to African Sea-Coconut Brand cough mixture (not all at the same time) for myself, and everything was to no avail. As everyone here have a lacking appetite, I made some chicken porriage for the little ones and some paus for snacks. Used some of the homemade lotus paste with added frozen pandan leaves for flavoring. That's why the fillings has a greenish tint to it. Mmmm, maybe I can tint the pau too and make it for Christmas or St. Patrick's Day next year. About time for a East Meets Irish treat! Ha! Maybe the meds are getting to my head... Also made some red bean paste paus. Now my tots say "more paus, please!"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Caught the Mooncake fever

All I can say is that I am so glad I started late on making mooncakes this year, thanks to my ever energized tots. This is my second attempt in a week, and I love making this snowskin or pingpei mooncakes. It's addictive, and I really enjoy this process. I used all four of my wooden molds tonight, and I have a feeling that I'll be collecting more molds before the next autumn festival. lol. I started working on the pingpei skin after the tots went to bed tonight, and after a couple of hours, I've made 23 mooncakes of various sizes and cleaned up the kitchen. Hubs even had some before heading off to bed!

Bel, I used the fish mold even though it was cracked. You may not be able to see the crack (I hope). Thanks for sending the molds!

Rosie, recognize the molds you send me from Hong Kong? Thanks again, my dear friend!

Anne, I'll make more when I receive the plastic molds as I'm having so much fun! Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Steak and Baby Potatoes

Hubs and tots love steak. I usually slice it thinly against the grain for the kiddos, and serve it with rice and some veggies. Tonight, I halved some baby potatoes and roasted them with some olive oil, minced garlic, chopped onions, and seasonings. They finished the whole plate of food, and had bananas and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lor Mai Kai - Savory Glutinious Rice

Found a recipe in my file for lor mai kai. Tried it this morning while the tots were sleeping. It's usually eaten as a snack and can be found in dim sum places and called hor yip fan if it's wrapped in lotus leaves. There are many variations. Confusing, but nevertheless, very tasty. Here's my first attempt. I used a small glass ramkin for the mold, and added chicken, shitake mushrooms, seasonings, and steamed glutinious rice. Didn't use lap cheong to help reduce the fat content. A small portion goes a long way as it's very filling. Thanks El for your inspiration. Used a recipe from Amy Beh for this one:

400g glutinous rice, rinsed and soaked for at least 4–5 hours or preferably overnight

200g chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 Chinese sausage, sliced

2 Chinese mushrooms, soaked and cubed

3/4 tbsp chopped garlic

1/2 tbsp chopped ginger

1 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 cup water


2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp light soya sauce

1 tsp thick soy sauce

1 tsp Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine

Salt and pepper to taste

3/4 tsp sugar or to taste
Drain soaked glutinous rice in a colander. Heat sesame oil and fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add chicken, mushrooms and seasoning ingredients.

Toss well to combine. Add glutinous rice to mix. Pour in water and stir until water is absorbed into the rice.

Arrange a few sliced sausages into each deep bowl. Spoon glutinous rice into the bowl until almost full to the brim.

Press slightly. Steam the filled bowls over a medium heat for 30–35 minutes or until rice is done. Turn out the rice and serve immediately.

Note: a little tedious to prepare, but makes a nice addition to a dim sum branch for the family.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Shrimp Scampi with Jasmine Rice

Vickie came over for dinner tonight, and I made her Shrimp that was baked in butter, shallots, garlic, mustard, lime juice, cilantro and paprika and served over jasmine rice and baby bok choy. Also baked a Death by choclate Cake for dessert and served it with vanilla ice cream.

Mooncakes and gifts from Taiwan

Vickie's parents were back in Taiwan recently, and she told them to bring home mooncakes for me. She's so sweet, and her mom even bought some Hello Kitty hair clips and ID tags for the tots! I took a pic of the mini mooncakes as they were so cute. Thanks Vickie and Carol!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mooncakes adventure 3!

No one told me how fun it is to make the ping pei mooncakes. I had a blast playing with the mooncake molds. The banging part was so fun! I had to put down a few towels as patting on the granite counter so as not to wake up the napping kids though. Followed Amy Beh's recipe to the letter. Here's the results of my first attempt!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Our relationships and food

A long time ago, I had the pleasure of meeting two wonderful people. They were our next-door neighbors who became like family to me. He always had a smile and humor that was delivered with a straight face. And she always have the news and facts in her finger tips. I used to have them over for meals and I would sit and listen to their stories of when they lived in New York and Wisconsin, or when she was a 2nd grade teacher till she retired. I was just learning to cook and bake, and I often send cookies and cakes over to them. After we moved from that area, they would bring me to restaurants whenever I was in town, and they kept me informed about the old neighborhood. Even though we only lived next to each other for seven years, we kept our friendship through letters and phone calls through the years. Today, I thought of them fondly as I was baking my mango bread pudding. For more than a year now, they have both departed from this world, but I'll always treasure the memories of them...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

It was another cold day, and I made a pot roast. With toddlers running amuck (or amok), I decided to use my pressure cooker that Hubs gave me couple of years ago. I love my Russell Hobbs pressure cooker. It's so convenient to have a pot roast dinner done in under an hour. I browned the boneless chuck roast in the cooker, added broth, Lipton's onion mix, and cooked it for 30mins. While that is going, I chopped up some celery, onions, carrots, mushrooms and turnips (more flavor than potatoes) and minced garlic. These veggies and seasonings were added to the pot roast after the safety button is released, and cooked for another 15mins. The result was quick, moist, tender pot roast which I served with brown rice and a green salad.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lime Juicer

Found a wonderful lemon and lime juicer last weekend. Used it for the first time yesterday, and I loved it! I had a big bag of limes that are quite ripe, and I juiced it in under 10 mins. I yield more than 2 cups of juice. Made limeade, salsa with lime, spegatti with lime chicken, and lemon-lime cake! Good thing my family likes lime too!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pork chops with mushroom sauce

Made this tonight. I marinated the pork chops with soy sauce and garlic. Then browned it, and baked it with fresh button mushrooms, cream, seasonings and rosemary for 45 mins. It came out juicy and tasty! Served it with julienne vegetable medley and rice.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Time for mooncake adventure 2!

Last weekend, I cohursted my dear girlfriend to come over and help me make the lotus paste for mooncakes. I had bought the dried lotus seeds with husk, and she instructed me to boil 600gm till the husk fell off, then wash all the husk away. Removing the husk was tedious. I then placed it in the pressure cooker for 30 mins, and when she came over, we processed it till fine. Now comes the slow part. Then we had to fry the sugar till it carmelizes, added the lotus seeds, and cooked it till dry. Then we added vegetable oil, and cooked it till all the oil was absorbed. I was definitely working those arm muscles that day! Will freeze these until I have time to make some ping pei mooncakes next weekend.:P

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Hubs loves chicken satay. I made these with a combination of recipes from girlfriend C, and my cookbooks. It's has a little kick from ginger, and a nice fragrance from the orange zest. The roasted and crushed peanuts added a wonderful crunch to the sauce and I used a little of C's chilli oil to add a hint of heat. Hubs wants me to make this again. If only I remember the quantities of ingredients that I put in during my experiment! (HA!)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Chinese Olive Fried Rice

Since I couldn't get hold of Chinese Olives over here, I made do with Kalamata Olives and it added a wonderful flavor and depth to this dish.
I have been cooking alot of Hub's fav food lately. Maybe it's because he came up with the name of this blog, and I tend to think of him everytime (almost) I make a blog entry. Made him this version of fried rice, with Talapia and scallops on the side. The tots had seconds!

Ground turkey
Cooked rice
minced garlic
chopped onions
kalamata olives, chopped
fish sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

I prefer to use a flat-bottom non-stick wok or deep skillet for my fried rice. Heat up a little oil in the skillet and brown the ground turkey, breaking up large pieces as you cook. Drain turkey and set aside. Add a splash of oil to the skillet, and saute onions and garlic till fragrant. Add kalamata olives and toasted pine nuts and cook for 1-2 mins. Add rice and mix well. Return turkey to skillet, and cilantro and fish sauce and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with sliced cucumbers.

Note: I also added some toasted pine nuts, and it made this dish better!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fresh sweet baby corn and sayur lodeh

Was so excited when I found this! This is my second purchase. Fresh and not canned. And so cute! My mom used these in her stir-frys, but I decided to make a vegetable curry today. It's my version of Sayur Lodeh with corn, asaparagus, shallots, and golden raisins. Made my rempah, added coconut milk and simmer the vegetables for 10-15 mins. Served with nasi lamak (coconut rice) and grilled halibut. Yummm...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Herbal Soups

Although I grew up on herbal soups (according to my mother), I have never really missed a hot bowl of chicken ginseng soup, or whatever concoction there might be. Or so I thought. Until I visited my girlfriend's place in Colorado Springs recently, and saw her brewing a special concoction on her stovepot. She showed me her collection of different herbs and and I was intrigued. The aroma in her kitchen was comforting, and faguely familiar to those at mother's house, and it drew back memories of mother steaming and stewing some soup or other in a special bowl with a lit and there was usually some sort of meat (with bones) inside with herbs. I remembered my auntie saying '... and don't cook it for too short of a time, or too long in a crockpot, or else the beneficial properties would be cooked away...."

Now, after years of living in Colorado, and not craving these special soups, I'm now thinking that it'll be quite interesting to try them again. So, I bought some ready mix packs from the asian market over the weekend. I bought the ones that are 'safe' for both sexes to consume, as some herbal soups are only meant for women. I listened to my girlfriend's advice to use drumsticks, added the herbs to it, and made myself a bowl of chicken ginseng soup. And it's not bad... I even convinced Hubs to have a small bowl! Now I hope that it will give us more energy to cope with the tots. Ha!

Kitchen with a view

I love rainy days. It was pouring rain yesterday afternoon. It was a microburst that lasted a short while. As I looked out my kitchen window, I saw a beautiful crane posing infront of the pond. I couldn't believe my eyes. I grab my camera and took a picture of this awesome bird. I didn't do the pic justice as the rain was still coming down when I tried to capture the moment...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Chicken Salad

Hubs requested for chicken salad, so I poached some chicken breasts and enhanced it with red grapes, celery, sauted red onions, toasted sesame seeds, salt and pepper, and topped with a mayo-lime dressing.

Today is also our friend's wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary George and Karen!

Chicken Soup

Bummer! We all have the sniffles, so I made chicken soup. Added navy beans for a twist instead of the usual rice or pasta. Vi-pye had bumped her head and received six stitches at the emergency room last Thursday night. She's slowly getting her appetite back, and she likes this soup. It's her first ouwye, and she was such at brave little girl through it all. Mom, on the other hand, was a total wreck!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


LCOM told me about Prima Taste Laksa Mix, and we actually shared two cases that we bought from a website. Well, I'm into my third box, and loving the special taste of laksa on a cool day. Thanks to another LCOM tip, I added DODO fish ball to my salmon and shrimp laksa. Thanks girlfriend!

The Prima Taste Laksa Mix was great as it came with all the neccessary ingredients like powdered coconut mix, chilli sauce, and even a small packet of extra hot chilli for those who love hot and spicy! It was a convenient snack while dreaming of Singapore.

Food for Tots

My toddlers are getting bored with the regular mac and cheese, pork chops with rice, and seafood spagetti. So, I'm constantly coming up with different variations to get those kiddos to eat. Above are a few pics...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Treats for babysitter

My wonderful babysitter is a vegetarian, so I made her a version of beans and rice. I simmered corn, red peppers, peas, and green onions to kidney beans, favored it with a touch of cumin and served it with brown rice. To my delight, she had seconds! Unfortunately, I didn't take a pic! I also baked her a blueberry cake. And I remembered my camera! Made it in a bundt cake mold, and it turned out great.

Memories of angku...

When I went to the asian market last month to purchase a over-the-stove steamer, I was taken by the different sizes and choices. Since I bought a big (38cm) steamer, I decided to make some steamed kuihs. As I requested, my dear sweet cousin send me some angku molds recently, and I decided to put it to good use after seasoning the mini mold. My first attempt in angku. If only my dad can see me now! These sticky morsels are not for Hub's palate, but I know of many asian friends who love this kuih. Finding the frozen banana leaves from the asian market was the easy part! This is for you Bel!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Time for mooncake adventure 1!

Since having kids, I have developed a craving for many sweet morsels, including mooncakes. Maybe it's because I miss the huge array of different mooncakes in South East Asia where one can select from ping pei, cantonese, teochew, ice-cream and the list goes on... Ahhh, and the exciting part of friends and aunties discussing who and where has the best selections each year.

I have only seen the mooncakes from China and Vietnam sold here at the asian market, and since I do not like egg yolks, I bought a box of the best no-yolk lotust paste mooncake last week to satisfy my sweet tooth.

However, it didn't curb my curiousity to make mooncakes. Two months ago, I had asked my cousin in Singapore and a good friend in HongKong to get me mooncake molds. I also went to to look at the ones available at the Wok Shop in San Francisco. I now a small selection of wooden mini mooncake molds and a large wooden one too. Thanks Bel and Rosie!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lime Chicken

Hubs wanted a simple dinner, so I made one of his favorite dishes, lemon chicken. Since I only had limes around, I decided on lime chicken instead. He ate a whole chicken breast before I had a chance to snap this pic! The kiddos liked it too.

It's chicken breasts, marinated, coated with batter, pan fried, and topped with a limey sauce.

Spice Toaster

Bought a sesame seed/spice toaster from a cooking store as I wanted a gadget (like I needed more!) to toast small amount of sesame seeds over the gas stove. Here's a pic of it.

Tau foo fah

Tau Foo Fah is smooth, silky soya bean curd that's commonly eaten as a sweet snack in Asia. Judy had introduced me to this Japanese 'instant' quick packets in Manila a while back, and I forgotten about them until LCOM mentioned it. Had some at LCOM's recently, and was craving for more. So I made some and added almond essence favoring in the sugar syrup. Mmmm...


Fall is in the air today, and it was cccold. Made Mom's Chili but without adding the spicy peppers, and it hit the spot. Even the tots were having seconds...

I browned the ground turkey, then added shallots, onions, tomatoes, corn, no-salt pinto beans, kidney beans, vegetables and spices to the crockpot, and it was ready when dinner came.