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Showing posts from October, 2008

Scone or Biscuit?

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When I pulled these out of my freezer, the bag read: "Critus Scones - 10 Aug 2008". So I take it to mean that these are critus scones made on that date. And since I am out of breakfast options, scones sounds perfect.
Well, they always say that kids say the darnest things. And my little tot did just that when she woke up to the smells of the baking goodies.
She: "Mmm, smells nice. What did you bake?"
Me: "Take a look." (Fully expecting her to say scones.)
She: "What biscuit is it?"
Me: "..."
And it did taste like a biscuit. Maybe I was overzealous in patting the scone thinly that I over did it or left it too long in the oven (I was busy kneading the focaccia). The scone didn't rise much in the oven. That was pretty much the height when it went into the oven. Scone or biscuit? It didn't matter much, my main customers (and perhaps only customers of the day!) love them anyway. I going to pop some into the oven for my princess to bring to…

Olive Focaccia

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The past few days was one of the best weekends that I could ask for. Kinokuniya was on sale and I had time to do some cooking! Yay!!

Just the first day of the sale, I picked up Best Food Writing 2008 and immediately started reading that night. And just after reading the first essay, I felt enlightened. I felt that I have been fitted with a new lens looking at the food that I eat. The essay was lifted off the book by Michael Pollan's In Defence of Food. The book opened my eyes to what is real food and what is food products (ie what looks like food but really isn't). For some of the bullet-points of what the essay was all about, click here to find out more. The author used the example of supermarket breads to illustrate the difference between food and food product. Have you seen the ingredient list of that loaf of supermarket bread? Does it have an ingredient that you don't know? Well, I picked up my loaf and saw ingredients such as Nacin and Dough Conditioner. Ignorant as I …

Kimchi Pancakes

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In my previous post, I mentioned that I have been experimenting with making kimchi pancakes and I think I have finally got a recipe which I will stick to from now on. As with all pancakes, the comabination that goes into the mix is seemingly endless.

*********************************** Kimchi Pancakes ***********************************

1 1/2 cups plain flour 2 med size eggs, lightly beaten 1 1/2 cups water Thumb size ginger, finely chopped 1 sprig of spring onion, chopped 250g cooked ham, finely chopped 1 1/2 cups kimchi, finely chopped
Mix the flour, eggs and water in a mixing bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients. Cook as you would any pancakes.
Here's the batter after combining:

In the skillet:

And the finished product:

Chicken Pot Pie

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For some unknown reasons, my little princess asked me to make her chicken pie. I looked at her and wonder what kind of pies had she eaten to make her ask for more chicken pie. I racked my brains and the possible pies that she had eaten doesn't sound like something worthy of my effort to replicate.
So I hit my books and came up with this: chicken pot pie. I highly doubt that she has eaten this from stores, but I am willing to bet my last penny that she would love it. For one simple reason: it is creamy. She loves creamy foods. Pasta Alfredo, Pasta Cabonara, Cream of [fill in the blank] soup, etc. I've made chicken pot pie before, but I doubt I fed any to her. The previous recipe calls for whole chicken whilst this recipe calls for parts. Since I'm not in the frame of mind to handle a whole chicken, parts seems a perfect alternative.
It was no surprise when I was making the roux, she came running into the kitchen.
She: "Mommy, what's that smell?"
Me: "Smells …

Freezer Candidate: Chicken Balls

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These chicken balls freeze very well. Good for lunchbox, into soups or just another side dish. This is also good for BBQ, just baste with ready made teriyaki sauce.
I've adapted this recipe from The Japanese Kitchen by Hiroko Shimbo. In the book, this recipe is for yakitori chicken dumplings.
******************************* Chicken and Mushroom Balls (Adapted from The Japanese Kitchen by Hiroko Shimbo) ******************************* 500g minced chicken meat 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper 3 sprigs spring onions or cilantro, finely chopped 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger 1 whole egg, lightly beaten 2 tsp sesame oil 6 med shiitake mushroom, diced finely (if using dried ones, reconstitute before use)
1. In a medium size bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
2. Shape into balls with your hands.
3. In a frying pan heated with a little oil, pan fry the balls until they browned.
To freeze: When cooled enough to handle, portion the number of balls for each serving. Wrap the balls p…

Peek Into My Fridge & Freezer

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With my beloved camera back, I immediately put it into use.

Ever wonder how my fridge and freezer looks like? Scroll down but try not to be alarmed.
This is the top half of my fridge:

This is the second half of my fridge:

Top half of my fridge door:

Bottom half of the fridge door:

Top freezer drawer:


And a peek into it:Bottom freezer drawer:And a peek into it:As you can see from the photos, I'm not a terribly organised person. And for your information, this fridge is BEFORE our weekly grocery shopping which we will be doing tomorrow or the day after. (^.^) Here's what I made for dinner last night. Salmon skewers. I didn't thread it myself. I bought it prepared from Fassler. Can't remember how much it cost. The fish is fresh and this makes good item to have for a BBQ.

Fallen In Love With Your Freezer Yet?

Looking back into my archives, I realised that I started building up my freezer inventory in earnest in July 2007. Since then, there was no turning back. What I cook and how we eat has very much changed. For the better of course!

My freezer is now so very important, that I dread the day it will whole fridge die on me. *touch wood!* So much so, that I am contemplating buying a standalone freezer. I found out that some breastfeeding mommies buy such freezers solely for storing excess breastmilk, maybe I should get second-hand from them when they are done with their freezers?

Anyway, I quote from Nigella Lawson's How To Eat: "The freezer can easily become a culinary graveyard, a place where good food goes to die." This was very true even for me long before I realised the usefulness of the freezer.

I have been asked by friends how I freeze this and that, so I thought that maybe I should share in more details what are the things that I stash in my freezer and hopefully you would…

Sheperd's Pie

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Just a quick post today.

Made some sheperd's pie last night. Recipe from Joy of Cooking ('97 ed.). Taste wonderful and the best part is it was super easy to make. Even my princess loved it too. The meat filling can easily be frozen for later use.

My camera is coming back tonight! Yipee! *doing a happy witch dance around my chair*

Can You Survive On S$36 A Month?

It seems like every weekend when I open the newspaper, there would invariably be articles of how some families here are cutting back on their spending given such challenging times. And most recently, it ran an article of how some big spenders are paring down their bills after they came to realise that their hopes for a fat 10-month bonuses are nothing but a figment of their dreams.

I mean it is really interesting to read how folks here are cutting back and saving for rainy days. But isn't it enough already?

I once read from somewhere a saying that goes "the shoeless should look at the footless". By the way, my sister completely hates it whenever I say this.

So if the middle class income families are complaining how hard life can be these days, perhaps we should all look at the those who are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Our Public Assistance scheme hands out S$330 for living expenses and S$36 in meal vouchers per month to our needy folks here. So what is it like to liv…

Hunting Korean Food (con't)

After we left my friend's baby shower, our little princess kept asking that we go out for lunch. So we hopped into the car and sat there racking our brains where to go for lunch. We certainly want to avoid those crowded weekend places, so we had this converstaion:

Me: "What do you feel like eating today?"
Hubby: "Why don't we go to that Korean restaurant you went?"
Me: "Huh?"
Hubby: "I don't mind having Korean today."
Me: "You sure? That place is not fanciful and the food is average."
Hubby: "Let's give it a try."

So within minutes I was back to Kim's Family Restaurant again. This time more tables were taken when we walked in at 1pm. Mostly Korean families. We were served by the same server again and she gave me a wide smile. Again a big jug of cold tea and we are back to the crumpled menu. This was what we ordered:

* Bibimbap [S$10] - This is my first taste of the dish that appeared a few times in the Korean dram…

Morning Breakfast

It's 5.30am and I have a steaming mug of tea one hand and a plate of pancakes on the other. The house is all quiet and I am sitting in front of the computer catching up on the news and blogs. Ahh ... Bliss!

Except that the pancakes are not your regular buttermilk or blueberry pancakes. They are savoury and spicy kimchi pancakes. (^.^) I made these 2 days ago on a experiment and it tasted good, but I am sure that there has to be better recipes out there.

Until my camera gets back and also finding a better recipe for the pancakes, sorry, no photos for now.

Hunting Korean Food

After reading an online article about Korean restaurants, this was what I wrote in a tiny slip of paper.

* Kim's Family Restaurant *
* Lorong Kilat *
* Spicy octopus fried rice *

And armed with that slip of paper, I enlisted my sis to drive my mom and I to hunt down the place. Well, I can't call it hunting, cos it only took us a 5 mins walkaround to find it.

The place is quite inaccessible (from my point of view, wearing 2.5 inch heels) unless you drive and it is located in the most unlikely place whereby its neighbours consist of a mix of foot flexiologist, car repair shops, an ice cream parlor and a tour agency (I think).

But first let me apologise for not having any photos in this post. I couldn't manage my flimsy handphone camera while handling/feeding my little tot.

The shop was quite empty when we headed in. Only one table was occupied by two diners who were ploughing through their big stoneware bowls of rice. When we were seated, a server immediately send us a big jug of c…