22.12.07

Almond Cookies

This is my first attempt in baking almond cookies. In fact, I thought of baking it during CNY, but can't wait to try out the recipe from DJ Fen Ying (粉樱) . I have modified some of the ingredients used to suit my taste. The result was very good, taste just nice, not too sweet. However, I still post the original recipe over here.

Ingredients A :
130g butter (I reduced to abt 100g)
120g shortening (I reduced to abt 90g)
200g icing sugar (I reduced to 140g)

Ingredients B :
2 egg yolks
¼ tsp vanilla oil

Ingredients C : (sifted)
350g plain flour (I reduced to 300g)
5g baking powder
5g bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt

Ingredients D :
150g ground almond (I used only 100g)

Ingredients E :
1 egg yolk (beaten for glazing)

Method:
1. Cream Ingredients A till well combined
2. Add Ingredients B and mix well
3. fold in sifted flour (Ingredients C)
4. Add in ground almond to form a soft dough
5. Shape into small balls. Arrange on greased baking tray at least 3-4 cm apart to prevent sticking. Brush with beaten egg yolks
6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC about 20mins





10.12.07

2 days ago, I baked a sour cream cheesecake which the recipe I extracted from Alex Goh's "Fantastic Cheesecake". I have made some modifications to the recipe. The major modification is that the original recipe calls for Mascarpone Cheese, but I don't have, so I omitted it totally.

The cake turned out to be a bit "chao da" (burned) on the top and side, all because I forgotten to use water bath method to bake the cake! How forgetful am I! However, my DH, after tasting it, said that the cake is very good. This is my little consolation though ...

Here are the ingredients and pictures:


Ingredients:

Cake base:
140g Marie Biscuits
100g Melted butter

Crushed the biscuits in to fine pieces, as fine as possible. Melt the butter over low heat. Then pour liquidified butter on to the biscuits and mix well. Press the biscuit base onto the bottom of the greased 20-cm springform tin. (But i use a 20cm cake tin line with foil paper)

Filling:
(A)
250g Cream cheese
100g Fructose (the original recipe use normal white sugar)
30g Flour

(B)
2 nos. Eggs (original recipe use 3 eggs)

(C)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
2 tbsps Lemon juice (original recipe use Orange juice)
1 Lemon zest, grated (original recipe use Orange zest)

(D)
100g Sour cream

Method:
1. Cream (A) until smooth. Add(B) one at a time and cream until smooth.
2. Add (C) and mix until well combined. Add (D) and mix until well incorporated.
3. Pour cheese filling over the prepared biscuit base.
4. Bake in water bath at 160*C for 40-45 mins or until golden brown.
5. Run a small knife around the rim of the tin to loosen the cake. Set aside to cool.
6. Cover the cake with foil paper. Refrigerate for 5 hours or more.
7. Remove the cake from pan and serve with piped cream rosettes, top with lemon rind. (optional)


Chocolate Chips Muffins

Today, I tried baking muffins again. Well, I should say, I have improved a little. Why is it so? This time round, my muffins did rise up! Thanks to Happy Home Baking's tips on baking muffins. However, the texture of the muffin still need lots of improvement. I think I have put too much flour, and have over-mixed the batter, that's why the texture is not like normal muffins, more like kueh kueh.

Here are the pictures.




Chocolate Walnut Brownie

This is my first attempt in baking brownie. Thank goodness the outcome was quite satisfactory. I hope the next time I bake, it won't be too moist. :)

Ingredients:
90g Unsalted butter
200g Dark chocolate
2 nos. Egg
250g Caster Sugar (I cut down to 200g)
1 tsp Vanilla essence
108g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
115g Chopped walnuts

Method:
1. Melt the butter & chocolate on a double boiler. Keep stirring till both ingredients have melted.
2. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla to light & foamy.
3. Then fold in the plain flour, baking powder and chopped walnuts.
4. Line a square bake tin (9"x9") with baking paper, then pour batter into tin and bake for 35-40 mins over 160*C.

22.11.07

Chicken Sausage Pizza Bread

Made this for morning breakfast.

I topped bun with tomato pasta sauce, chicken sausages, mixed peas and sprinkled with cheddar cheese. Baked for 10 mins until side of bun became crispy.



21.11.07

Chocolate Chips Cookies

On Monday, I was yarning to have some choco chips cookies. When a woman craves for something, that must be fulfilled right away, if not before her red alarm starts to sound, the world will change ...... hahaha .... ;p

Walked into the kitchen, I saw some choco chips sitting down there "smiling" at me, and I thought why not I do it myself? After that, the process started. This was my very first attempt at baking choco chips cookies. Taste wise, I think I passed, but shape wise still have lots of room for improvement. Here's how they looked like......



As my oven is small, I couldn't do all at a time. Hence, I separated into two batches baking them. The first batch was good, I mean the colour of the cookies. Whereas, the 2nd batch was like having too much of "sun tanning". The top looked so brown. All because of my itchy hands. I changed the oven heat to only top heat after 10 mins into baking. Thus, this was the result. But but but, the taste of the cookies were "seductive" ......

The recipe is from Ja's Kitchen (thanks to Jasnette):

Ingredients:

125g Butter
70g Castor sugar
70g Brown sugar
½ tsp Vanilla essence
1 Egg
260g Self-raising flour (I used only 240g)
130g Chocolate chips
60g chopped walnuts

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
2. Sift the flour, set aside.
3. Beat butter, essence and sugars using mixer until smooth.
4. Add egg and beat until well combined.
5. Stir in sifted flour and the remaining ingredients.
6. Take rounded teaspoons of mixture and roll into balls.
7. Place balls about 4cm apart on slightly greased oven trays or line with baking sheet.
8. Bake in pre heated oven for 15 minutes or until browned.
9. Cool in trays for short while and transfer to wire rack for cooling.

19.11.07

Itchy hands want to cook

My itchy hands wanted to cook yesterday, so I whipped up a spaghattie, potatoe pancake and a dessert.

Spaghattie with wine prawns, broccoli & baby bamboo shoot topped with chicken sausages tomatoe mushroom sauce.

Potatoe pancake. It comprised of green & yellow bell peppers & shredded potatoe & carrot, batter: a little flour, egg white, cold water, pepper & salt. Mixed together well. Pan fried till brown.

Dessert: Gingko nuts, lotus seed, beancurd sheet sweet soup (what a long name for this dessert, but in Chinese is 腐竹白果莲子糖水)Soak lotus seeds in water (I used dried lotus seed). 1 can of clear water ginko nuts (remove the small bud inside as it is very bitter). Soak also beancurd sheets. All these take less than half an hour.Then bring to boil about 2.5 to 3 litres of water with 4 knots of pandan leaves (to give aroma), then put all ingredients to boil for 1.5 hours. Add in sugar to taste. I used fructose instead of fine sugar to cut down on calorie intake.

6.11.07

Did you ever wonder ....???

1) Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these pink dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?

2) Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there... I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it's bum.

3) Why do toasters always have a setting so high that could burn the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

4) Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

5) Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their bum when they ask where the bathroom is?

6) Why does your Obstetrician, Gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?

7) Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs !

8) If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests? (This one kills me !!!!)

9) If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from ?

10) If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons ?

11) Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Stop singing and read on . . . . . .. . . . .

12) Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

13) Did you ever notice that when you > blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his > head out the window?

14) Does pushing the elevator button > more than once make it arrive faster?

25.10.07

A Slice of Life: Pebbles

Find that the story is interesting and meaningful. Share with all of you now.


Pebbles

One night a group of nomads were preparing to retire for the evening when suddenly they were surrounded by a great light. They knew they were in the presence of a celestial being. With great anticipation, they awaited a heavenly message of great importance that they knew must be especially for them.

Finally, the voice spoke, "Gather as many pebbles as you can. Put them in your saddle bags. Travel a day's journey and tomorrow night will find you glad and it will find you sad."

After having departed, the nomads shared their disappointment and anger with each other. They had expected the revelation of a great universal truth that would enable them to create wealth, health and purpose for the world. But instead they were given a menial task that made no sense to them at all. However, the memory of the brilliance of their visitor caused each one to pick up a few pebbles and deposit them in their saddle bags while voicing their displeasure.

They traveled a day's journey and that night while making camp, they reached into their saddle bags and discovered every pebble they had gathered had become a diamond. They were glad they had diamonds. They were sad they had not gathered more pebbles.

That story was featured in an article written by John Wayne Schlatter, from the book "A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul".

Every experience, whether small, overwhelming, joyful, or upsetting, is a pebble we find on the road. If we leave it there on the road and glean nothing from it, then we will end up with an empty bag at the end of our journey.

However, if we begin to cherish and appreciate every pebble, learn something from it, and keep it in our bags, we will finish our journey with a bag full of diamonds.

The irony of the story is in the arcane message delivered by the mysterious voice, supposedly the voice of God. Understanding fully the nature of Man - which is to be suspecting and lazy - he knew from the beginning that the nomads would finish their journey both glad and sad.

Not one of them was faithful or industrious enough to follow the instructions properly, and so they all ended up regretful that they had not gathered more pebbles.

Treat every experience in life like a pebble that will yield a diamond in the future. In this way, you'll ensure that you constantly develop and grow, as well as accumulated a wealth of knowledge to enrich you in the years ahead.


Written by Eugene Loh Story taken from "A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul" edited by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

A Slice of Life is written, produced and presented by Eugene Loh unless otherwise stated. If you wish to share the scripts with others, please credit it to 'Eugene Loh, A Slice of Life, 938LIVE, a station of MediaCorp Radio'.

16.9.07

A simple meal with dessert

My journey for cooking has only started a few months ago. Now, my love for cooking has not stopped increasing. However, because of time constraint, as I'm working full time in school, I can only cook simple decent meals for my dear husband (DH) and myself.

Before married, I didn't attempt to cook a single meal for my family. One reason is my mother doesn't allow me to touch her precious utensils, and she always says that I can't really clean up the kitchen properly ;( The other reason is I don't know how to cook sophiscated dishes. Simple ones like fried egg, white rice, I have no problem at all. However, I don't know how much seasoning to put for other dishes. That's the biggest problem. Therefore, my mum says "You better eat my cooked food, do cooking after you get married!" ... ....

Well, that's what I am doing right now, learn cooking after married to a man who loves home-cooked food. No choice, I have to roll up my sleeves and start browsing through one cookbook after another, to learn the art of cooking. Well, to date, I am confident enough to cook, not only for my dear husband, but for his family too, after two years of marriage.

Recently, I cooked a simple dinner (at least to me), came with a dessert. After dinner, my DH commented that my cooking has improved a lot, but still room for improvement. I have 3 dishes and a dessert. Honey-baked chicken wings, french beans with spicy shrimp floss, fried peanut tofu slices and sweet almond & gou qi zi sweet paste. For 2 persons, that's quite a lot, but every bit was swopped up by my DH.

Here's the pictures:

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