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Showing posts from January, 2009

Ultimate Spicy Beef Nachos

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I can't believe my luck when I spotted The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2008 at my neighbourhood library! I nearly wanted to jump with joy, but of cos I didn't as I was carry another 4 heavy books in my arms and trying to keep one eye on my little princess.
As I was flipping the pages, this gorgous page of nachos almost jumped out of the book. It made me drool like crazy and I knew that I had to show to this to Hubby. Once he gave his blessings, I promptly made a long shopping list for the next day.
If I had done this dish at one go, it would had easily taken me more than 3 hours since all the parts that go into it are made from scratch. Hubby had prep the beef the day before, and all I had to do was make the salsa, blend the beans and then assemble the nachos.
The nachos were the best that we had ever tasted. Full of flavours, spicy to boot and filled with lots of cheese pockets. This was the best junky dinner we had recently. But as the recipe yields 8 servings, there we…

Princess Bento #3

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Another of my little princess' lunch. Again nothing special, just her usual favourites. I think she might be getting tired of such lunches. Well, I'm off surfing for some inspirations now ...

Internet Radio Station

Non food related post but I wanted to put them here for my own reference.

Appeared on today's Digital Life section.

Live365 Internet Radio

ShoutCast Radio

BBC Radio One

AOL Radio

AccuRadio

Got Radio - gotta be careful of avert banners

School Lunches

I'm back after my test and .... I passed! Yeah! Another step closer to the goal.

Oh ok, back to what I had wanted to talk about ...

My princess has been taking her lunches in school and the best part was that she did it out of her own free will! All I told her was that I would leave her packed lunch at the canteen and if she got hungry while waiting for me to pick her up, she could have her lunch first. Well, I shan't gloat overmuch at this early stage, incase she changed her mind in the coming days. But I do miss having lunch with her at home. Sigh ... I am such a contradictory mommy.

I didn't take any photos as Hubby packed her lunches and they weren't exactly bento style (read: 菜饭 style). Well, I guess I will have lots of opportunities now to practice my bento packing!

Chinese New Year is just round the corner and I haven't planned to prepare anything special for the occasion. Haven't any inspirations to work on yet. Are you planning to make something? Let me kn…

Princess Bento #2

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********************* Pan fried chicken thighs Old English sausages (behind the bear food separator) Long beans eggs Rice balls Mayonaise (in the little orange container) *********************
Yesterday's lunch in school went well! She was so proud that she finished the whole box, she ran up to me and declared that she was going to watch TV with her friends for a while before we head home.
Encouraged by her willingness to eat there, I packed another box for her today. But instead, I cut the pieces smaller (cos yesterday the teachers were struggling to cut the breaded pork for her) and skewered them with toothpicks. Hubby called it the kiddy yakitori lunchbox. It was definitely easier to eat but in her haste to join her friends to watch TV, she didn't finish up the whole thing. Sigh ... kids and TV.

Princess Bento #1

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This is the first bento that I prepared this year!

I have suggested to my little princess to try take her lunch in school so that we can prepare to sign her up for the extended programme in school. Since day one, she has rejected most of the food that the school served up during snack time, so I have resigned to packing her snacks for her. Now that it has come to lunch (which happens to be her biggest meal of the day), it seems like even a bigger huddle to overcome.

So I packed her favourite breaded pork and broccoli for her trial lunch in school today. I have also promised her that I would be at the school canteen to look in on her. The last time we did the trial, it ended up in alot of tears and coaxing. Hopefully, this time round it would be slightly better. *wringing my hands*

Beef Barley Soup

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Wow, I just realised that the last time I wrote about a slow cooker recipe was 6 months ago! Well, if you are wondering if my slow cooker still has a place on my countertop, it is still there. But sadly, it is time for the old gal to go. I have found another love - Thermos Shuttle Chef. I bought the Shuttle Chef hoping to cut back on my staggering electricity bills. And it did! My soups and stews turned out so well that I am pulling it out from the cupboard every other day.
This Beef Barley Soup was taken from Cover & Bake and was supposed to be cooked in a slow cooker, but the Shuttle Chef did a fine job too. If you hadn't noticed, I love books from the folks at Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen. The soup was easy and delicious! Click here for the recipe from another blogger's page. I let the soup cooked overnight in the Shuttle Chef and it was ready for Hubby to pack to work the next morning.

In case I have gone quiet in this blog in days leading to Chines…

Buns & Rolls

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Have you heard of this sound by Meat Loaf that goes like this: "And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are" ?

I don't know why I asked, but when I saw this photo, the song just popped into my mind.
Anyway, in case you are wondering what monsters they are, let me assure you that they are just meek little sausage buns.

I decided to finally try the white bread recipe from my Japanese bread book which I lugged back from Tokyo the last trip. The recipe yielded bread that was slightly tougher than I had expected. It lacks the soft and fluffy mouth-feel. Maybe the recipe was intended for a loaf but not buns. The recipe had only yielded 8 buns, so the next time when I am making it, I will most probably double it. Same amount of effort right?Some of the buns in the picture are actually sweet potato buns (i.e. contains mashed sweet pototates as filling). I didn't take a picture of the cross section as I was too busy snatching them from my princess who ha…

Food Forecast For 2009

In line with what I started back in 2007, I thought I ought to jot down the general direction for this blog in the coming year.

But before I get into that, perhaps let's take a look at how this blog has fared in 2008. I've listed:

(1) make bentos for Hubby;

From records, I only see that I got to Bento #4, but I would like to think that I was probably at Bento #10. Why Bentos #5 to #10 didn't make an appearance here? They were just too ugly for a shot. I am just no food stylst in the mornings. But will I be making bentos this year? You bet!

(2) freeze pre-cooked foods;

I didn't only freeze pre-cooked items, I even froze unbaked bread (which turned out to be a diseaster!), unbaked scones/muffins/cookies, baked bread, etc. All in all, it was a bountiful year for my freezer which is now filled to capacity. Will I be freezing more stuff? For sure!

(3) learn Japanese; and

Strictly speaking, this isn't a food related resolution, so I shouldn't feel bad that I hadn't made…

Cooking Blind

Tick tock ... tick tock ...

It was 1 o'clock and my little princess is hungry for her lunch.

I looked at the 2 packages of minced beef on the counter and a bag of potatoes on the kitchen floor. What can I to do with these?

Sheperd's Pie, of course!

Dang! No time to refer to recipe book as I was giving my little princess a teachable moment (more like terrorising her now that I think about it - bad mommy!).

So I was on my own. Flying, or rather cooking, blind.

And how did the Pie turn out?

Thank goodness it tasted good enough! I was almost 95% close to the recipe, except that I didn't add stock to the mixure before I finished cooking mince mixture.

While cooking I recalled reading this piece Do Recipes Make You A Better Cook? It is a very interesting read and I sure agree with the author. Recipes are just spring boards. A guide to making a dish your own. The idea of cooking without a recipe (think: no need to flip your book with oily/wet hands!) is quite liberating, don't you t…