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Showing posts from February, 2009

Classic Beef Stew

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Another recipe from Cook's Illustrated. This recipe is really easy to put together except for the browning of the meat which is really treacherous. I am still not really doing it right, but I'm getting the hang of it (I would like to think!).
Over here, we just drown our rice and pasta in this stew. I prepared this the night before for dinner and we had it again for lunch this afternoon. Easy peasy. It was so delicious that there wasn't much left for me to freeze!
**************************************** Classic Beef Stew (adapted from The Best Slow & Easy Recipes) ****************************************
1. Season 1.6kg beef chuck eye roast with salt and pepper. 2. Brown in batches and place on plate (I use Thermos Shuttle Chef for this recipe). 3. Heat oil in same skillet and add 2 minced med onions and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until softened. 4. Add 3 minced med garlic and 1 tsp dried thyme. Cook until fragrant. 5. Stir in 3 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp tomato paste. 6. Whisk in 1 1/4cup…

Freezer Candidate: Scones

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Recently I have been hitting the books from America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated alot. I love their books and their recipes even more. I wish I could have their entire collection! Well, I will be looking out for them on the library for sure.
Needless to say, this Blueberry Scone recipe is by them. Or rather, I should say that it was adopted from their version of it. Click here for the original recipe, courtesy of From The Kitchen of ... . Their version aim to produce flaky and airy scones and hence requires extra steps in the preparations. However, to me scones are classified as Quick Breads because they are meant to be quick to prepare! I don't want to mess around with a grater and I don't want to walk to and fro my freezer to temper with the dough (not that my freezer would give me any space). So while making the scone, I keep imagining how the person who wrote the recipe would shake his head dismal if he were to see me pulling this off on his recipe.
So how did …

Sweet Peppers

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I have 2 red and 2 yellow bell peppers sitting in my fridge for the past week, waiting for me to decide their fate. I have actually bought them for these, but I changed my mind when I remembered that I am probably still lugging extra cheese around my waist after the nachos.
Out of desperation for some vegetables (since I haven't been to the supermarket), I pulled them out of the fridge and did a quick saute with some sliced onions. Season with salt and black pepper. Add a chunk of frozen turkey (from Christmas, of cos!). Open a bottle of pasta sauce and pour over the mixture. Volia! Dinner is served.
How did it taste? Great! I didn't really expect the bell peppers to be so sweet after being sauteed. I had set aside half of the bell peppers before adding the turkey, and I used them for omelette the next morning. Again another wonderful dish.

Princess Bento #5

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Haven't been doing grocery shopping these days, so I am relying heavily on whatever I have in the freezer. The ultra hot weather is keeping me rooted to my sofa with fan blowing at its highest speed.
What's in the lunchbox? Crispy chicken bites and boiled cauliflower. Simple and filling (read: boring).

Bento Resource

For my readers who are keen to dip their toes into the world of bento, I can assure you that there is not better time to do so than now. Food costs are going up (and from what I hear about the current crazy weather, I bet it will go up even further!) and the need to stretch every dollar are issues on everyone's mind these days. So give it a try and pack a bento this week!

But how do you pack a bento?

Despite its sterotype of being ultra cutesy, bentos doesn't necessarily have to be cute nor artistic nor cartoony to be called a bento. To me, the major differences in the way the Japanese pack a bento and say a non-Japanese way is that the bento style utilise every possible space/crevice of the container to ensure that the food doesn't start rolling about when being transported and also the attention to colour contrast to make the food more appealing to the eye.

If you need some visuals to get started, a good place to start looking would be at Flickr Bentos. Lots of photos to gi…

Princess Bento #4

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What's in the lunchbox? Pan fried salmon, pan fried chicken pieces, broccoli and plain rice. She is still quite recluctant to eat lunch in school and will only do so after she managed to gain some concessions from us. It is amazing to see how she negotiates a deal with us. (>.<)

Rice Cooker Chicken Rice

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I am nursing a stiff neck here and can't hang around the computer for too long, so I am going to keep this post short.

This recipe came from one of the Japanese books I lugged back previous and is the first recipe I am trying from it. However, I have added more ingredients to make it a standalone dish. It is simple to assemble and requires no supervision once you turn on the rice cooker. Although Hubby commented that it was on the bland side, this dish was good enough for Princess and me to eat a big bowl each.

I am still trying to get a hang of this recipe flow chart thing and I would like to hear from you if you think this chart is making things more confusing. Let me hear your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.

Oatmeal Raisin Bread

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While rammaging through my pantry the other day, I realised that I still have lots of oats left after making those Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisins Cookies. Making more oatmeal cookies was out of the question as I still have lots of them sitting in my freezer. So what to do with these oats?

So I looked up The New Best Recipe's Index. They have oatmeal cookies (no thanks!), oatmeal granolar bars (interesting but not today), hot oatmeal (no thanks), oatmeal sandwich bread (yes! yes!). Took some quick notes of the recipe and tagged it to my fridge. And finally, I got around to making it on Sunday, with help from Hubby and Princess.

The dough was easy to make. No starter, just dump everything in and give a quick knead and let it rise. Although the recipe had called for 15mins kneading by machine, I did it by hand for less than 10mins as I felt the dough was already thoroughly mixed, and not to mention my arms were seriously protesting by then!

The bread came out beautiful and smelled good.…