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Monthly Archives: June 2011

11th week of cooking

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11th week of cooking! Menu of the week includes Bulgogi beef ribs, chicken rice, teriyaki cod, croquette, grilled vegetables, red wine beef stew, and lasagna.

simple bulgogi short ribs, using my new George Foreman grill!

We recently bought a George Foreman grill from Walmart, and I’m really excited about using it! So I repeated the simple bulgogi marinade recipe from Rasa Malaysia, this time on beef short ribs, and grilled them. It only took about 5 minutes!

chicken rice cooked over the stove because of my busted transformer

chicken rice chili! combination of ingredients advised by Kimberly 🙂 unfortunately I think my proportions were not quite there... too much garlic and ginger I think!

chicken rice! complete with homemade chili, and cilantro that was grown from seeds at home! yay!

This is one of the first few dishes which I learnt from Stacey’s mum in my first few weeks here. Finally tried making it on my own… Hubby liked it!

teriyaki cod, potato croquette, and grilled zucchini & asparagus

The teriyaki cod is a repeated dish from one of the previous weeks.

I decided at the last minute to do the potato croquette cos I needed to use up the potatoes, and I thought I should do something Jap-ish to go with the cod. Since it was a last minute decision, I didn’t have bottled tonkatsu sauce, and had to make my own… I referred to this website, but I didn’t have some of the ingredients either. It only tasted 50% like the actual thing I think. Thankfully hubby wasn’t fussy and was ok with it. hehe.

I bought zucchini for the first time in my life. Decided to grill the veggies with my new grill again. Yes, I really am quite excited about the grill. I researched for some recipes on grilled asparagus/zucchini, and decided on just ‘marinating’ the veggies in ‘spiced’ olive oil (olive oil whisked in the food processor with lemon basil, italian herbs, and oregano).

red wine stewed chicken/Coq au Vin

Decided to make this stew to use up the potatoes. Found this recipe while searching for thermal cooker recipes… Found some other recipes which seem to be quite different though. I will probably want to try this food network one out the next time, since it has 5 stars! The thing about stews is that they are normally cooked in such large quantities. We ate this for a few days!!

The last dish for the week was lasagna… Didn’t manage to take photos because I was rushing out of the house to go for a Rodeo. Woops!

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10th week of cooking

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Wow, it’s already the 10th week of cooking! How time flies! Food of the week…

Monday – Teochew porridge with condiments (a lighter meal after a weekend of feasting!)

Teochew porridge with chai poh omelette, cabbage, sambal ikan bilis, and spicy black bean paste miced pork

My first time ever trying to cook Teochew porridge! So as with most things I cook, I had to google how to make the porridge, and I found my answer here! The only thing is that 0.5 cup of rice was too little for us, and hubby found it a little watery for his personal liking (although I thought that Teochew porridge is meant to be a little watery. haha)

According to hubby, the accompanying dishes taste correct! Yay!

Recipe for the omelette from Rasa Malaysia; spicy bean paste pork adapted from ‘No more failed recipes’; cabbage cooked with randomly added condiments (garlic, oyster sauce, fish sauce, pepper, sugar, sesame oil and finally thickened with cornstarch solution).

Tuesday – Homemade linguine with onion-garlic chicken

homemade pasta made together with Stacey! took 3 long hours!!! recipe from Jamie Oliver

Second time using my noodle maker, this time for pasta! We used the Jamie Oliver recipe, which turned out to be an awesome choice! Everyone who ate it loved it. I actually compared it against other pasta recipes I found online, and it has many more steps than the others. The next time, Stacey and I are going to try to cut down on some of the steps, just to taste for ourselves the difference that the additional steps make.

homemade pasta with bottled pasta sauce and chicken

I had actually planned on cooking pandan chicken for dinner and had already taken the chicken out of the freezer, but I couldn’t resist having really fresh pasta, so I had to cook the chicken some other way. In the end, I just dumped some onion powder and garlic powder onto the chicken thighs, and fried them with a little butter. Turned out quite ok!

Wednesday – Portuguese egg tarts, Pandan chicken, bulgogi beef

portuguese egg tarts, recipe from Rasa Malaysia

Was trying out this dish as a potential item for a potluck. Recipe from Rasa Malaysia. Unfortunately, I forgot to do one very important step… which is to sieve the egg mixture… thus explaining the holes in the tarts! In the end, I couldn’t give any of this away since it wasn’t presentable at all! So they became our snack for a few days…

pandan leave chicken, recipe from rasa malaysia

Pandan leave chicken, recipe from Rasa Malaysia. I think I fried them for too long, so they became dry and hard. Also, I think I put too much ginger juice (just squeezed and didn’t fully follow the measurements), so it was a little gingery… Plus, there was no pandan leave taste… discussed this with Joyce (one of the wives here), and she found me some explanations for my problems online (frozen pandan leaves which we get here have a weaker pandan smell, and you have to wash with cold water so as to retain the smell)… and I also found some instructions on how to wrap the chicken fully so that it retains the juices. Shall try again!!

Turned out to be a little of a sian day for me… 2 failed dishes in a day, and I ended up busting my transformer which I need in order to use my SG appliances. So I had to cook rice on the stove with a pot, and had hard gingery chicken to go with the watery slimy rice! haha. One good thing that came out of it is that I was forced to learn how to cook rice without a rice cooker.

Thank God for His provision, Jing Yi generously donated her rice cooker to me yesterday! 🙂 yay! no more rice stuck to the bottom of my pots!

bulgogi beef using simple marinade recipe from rasa malaysia

ok, this was the saving dish of the night, given that we had soggy rice and hard chicken. I will definitely be repeating this dish many times, because of how simple and delicious it is. Marinade recipe from Rasa Malaysia.

Friday – Homemade angel hair with homemade tomato cream sauce

homemade angel hair with tomato-cream sauce

My first ‘from scratch’ pasta sauce. Jaslyn gave me her whipping cream because she was going on holiday, and gave me the idea of using the cream for pasta sauce. I also searched the Big Oven app for some ideas, and these are the ingredients I finally added, given whatever I had in my kitchen… whipping cream, prawns, mushrooms, Italian herb mix, tomatoes, salt, and grated Parmesan cheese.

2nd sewing project: a fork and spoon pouch

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One of my daily responsibilities is to pack hubby’s lunch/dinner for him to eat at office. There is, however, one very important thing which I very often forget to do, leaving him to have to beg/borrow… and that is to pack him a set of fork and spoon! Woops!!!

I have been doing it in a very environmentally unfriendly manner, packing the cutlery in new plastic bags everyday. I have been searching for takeaway boxes with compartments for a set of cutlery, unfortunately, to no avail. Perhaps, my discomfort with being so environmentally unfriendly has subconsiously made me repeatedly forget to pack them in for hubby. Ok, I know it’s an excuse!

Anyhow, I finally thought of a solution, and settled it once and for all today! A fork and spoon pouch!!

I googled for such a project, and found one post with instructions on it. Thankfully, it was just what I needed! Here’s some pics!

my $6 jeans from BKK which I have been wearing very regularly for almost 4 years... about to be given a 'new life'

done!

the fork and spoon have finally found their home

I hope that I will never forget to pack the fork and spoon ever again!

I am actually VERY tempted to sew on some bright and happy flower buttons that I bought from Walmart recently… but I shall resist at all costs, since this is after all going to be hubby’s and not mine! haha

My other new hobby – my mini herb garden

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One of the first few ‘hobbies’ I picked up after coming here was ‘gardening’. It’s not technically gardening, because I don’t grow the plants in the garden, but indoors. Mainly because the weather is not right yet for the plants that I have. It has been a fun and pretty satisfying journey so far, although I probably don’t put in as much effort into researching about and understanding each plant as I should!

majority of my plants (have chives & cactus at my kitchen window, and lettuce outside.. and a strawberry plant that died 😦 )

I recently decided to read up on how to care for my lemon basil, after seeing how tall it has grown, with flowers and all, yet not quite with the amount of leaves I envisaged, based on the bunches of leaves normally being sold in supermarkets. After googling it, I finally understand why! I am supposed to cut off the center shoot after about 6 weeks, to encourage side growth and prevent early flowering!!! WOOPS! So I immediately cut off the flowers, and chopped off a few more leaves from the center. I also changed some of the dishes of the week to include the use of lemon basil. Hopefully, there will be more side growth and bigger bunches of leaves now!

It’s quite fun and satisfying to see the plant grow. I didn’t realise how small it was when I got it, till I looked back on the photographs that I took! Thank God that the plant didn’t die in my hands. haha.

before... the 'baby' I first got from the farmers' market

It's now half of this height after the cooking (forgot to take a pic before chopping the flowers off)

The poor flowers that were cut off!

 

 

 

 

9th week of cooking

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This was a tiring week of cooking 2 meals a day. Tiring but fun. 🙂 managed to experiment with more recipes!

Menu of the week includes: curry fried fish with noodles, wuxi ribs (cheater version), sukiyaki beef, chawanmushi, oven fried fish nuggets, pasta, ‘claypot’ chicken rice (different recipe from last week), carrot cake a.k.a. cai dao kuey, salmon in a bag, salmon soup, tom yum soup, basil chicken, mango sticky rice.

Bonus dish made together with other wives: rice dumpling a.k.a. ba zhang

Curry fried fish with soupy noodles

Decided to do a variation of the fried fish noodles which I have been making since I learnt it from Jaclyn. After frying the fish, fry some garlic, add fish, and curry powder.

Wuxi ribs, recipe from 'No more failed recipes'. cheater version because I took the ribs which I used to make pork soup stock, so they were already soft!

After making this dish, I have decided that I will henceforth ‘braise’ whatever meats I use for my soup stocks.

Sukiyaki beef, recipe from foodnetwork

This is my favourite dish of the week. Googled and looked up my cookbooks for sukiyaki beef recipes, and decided on this one from foodnetwork, because the author is Jap! haha. And it turned out to be a fantastic recipe. It’s pretty easy to make too. That very night, the recipe was added to my Paula Dean recipe box (I add all super yummy recipes discovered into the box).

Only parts which I didn’t follow for the recipe were: I didn’t have wagyu beef/fat, so I used mock chuck beef; used mini portobello mushrooms instead of shiitake; no enoki, chrysanthemum leaves, and yam noodles.

I figured that since there was sukiyaki beef, there should be chawanmushi! chawanmushi recipe from Rasa Malaysia

Oven fried fish nuggets (forgot to photograph them before eating, and was only left with a few!). recipe from comfort food diet cookbook

pasta and some randomly seasoned chicken thighs (was rushing out for rice dumpling wrapping!)

It was a frantically prepared lunch because I running quite late for the rice dumpling appointment. It’s great to have lots of spices in the kitchen. I didn’t have time to prepare a happening chicken dish, so I just dumped on things like rosemary, thyme, italian herbs mix, pepper… whatever was in my line of sight!

'claypot' chicken rice in a rice cooker. this time, I used the Rasa Malaysia recipe, which I prefer to last week's attempt!

I love this recipe from Rasa Malaysia so much more than the one I made previously. Definitely adding this to the recipe box. Rasa Malaysia is such a blessing to me. haha.. I have been trying out so many of the recipes from there… And they have been yummy!

White radish cake for the cai dao kuey, made together with Stacey the night before. Recipe from Rasa Malaysia.

cai dao kuey... unfortunately, doesn't taste quite like the hawker centre ones. I think I need more practice!

the black version!

Salmon in a bag, seasoned with my home grown lemon basil leaves

I just wanted to use up the lemon basil leaves which I had cut out the night before, so I chopped them up and rubbed them on with salt and black pepper (I shall write a post on why I cut the leaves out).

The baked salmon in a bag was for hubby, and this soup was for me! Was inspired to make salmon soup because daddy told me that er ge and Gerry made salmon soup! haha... And that sparked off a craving for it!

Tom Yum ingredients

Tom Yum soup!

Lemon basil chicken, recipe from Rasa Malaysia. Used my home grown lemon basil leaves once again!

It's now half of this size after the salmon and lemon basil chicken dishes. haha

Mango sticky rice, recipe from Kimberly. Unfortunately, I think I soaked the rice for too long, so it became quite soggy. Sobs...

BA ZHANG!!!

8th week of cooking

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This was a fairly relaxed week because I had to cook only for myself… Hubby wasn’t able to eat any meals at home. But this also meant that I had to repeat chicken in various forms for a few days cos I had to defrost 1 whole bag of 5 chicken thighs!

Menu: tomyum vermicelli, ‘claypot chicken rice’, chicken noodles, chicken pasta, salmon in a bag.

Tomyum... finally! But the cheater-bug way, using the box of tomyum powder which I bought from Thailand!

'claypot rice', cooked in a rice cooker

used BA KWA in place of the taiwan sausages that are typically seen in claypot chicken rice!

Left over chicken which couldn't fit into the claypot chicken rice... with noodles, and the most lovely Taho chili 🙂

The same chicken AGAIN, with turkey breast and pasta

Salmon in a bag... recipe from 'No more failed recipes'

First sewing project – Plastic Bag Dispenser

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I have completed my first sewing project! It’s a plastic bag dispenser, which eliminates the need for us to fold our plastic bags… Just stuff from the top, and pull out from the bottom.

I compared the instructions from 2 sites – the Martha Stewart website and another online tutorial. In the end, I followed more of the other online tutorial because the Martha Stewart one was working more with a dish towel with a hem as the base, but I had already purchased cloth (of course, without hems) from Walmart. I followed the tutorial pretty closely, with the exception of having to sew the brown cloth onto the white cloth – the tutorial’s cloth already came with some form of layering of cloths.

I chose white & light brown cloths to go in harmony with the rough colour theme of our house, and, in particular, the toilet, where the dispenser would ultimately belong (already have one Ikea plastic bag dispenser for the kitchen).

I must say that my workmanship leaves much to be desired, with some crooked stitches and stuff. Haha. But I am thankful that at least, it generally looks like a plastic bag dispenser, and can hold the bags without falling apart! 🙂 It’s a good thing that I picked this fairly simple project as my first, if not it might well have become my last project!

Just out of the box, ready for its first project

'raw' materials from walmart, bought together with the machine

the completed plastic bag dispenser!!

plastic bag dispenser again!

Plastic bags can be pulled out from the bottom