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Showing posts from January, 2007

Finally, ... my bread is here (con't)

This is my second batch of white bread. Is my shaping skills a tad better? Raw dough Raw dough (top view) Finished product Cross section of bread with large hole in between

Finally, ... my bread is here

After so many months of procastination, I managed to get my butt going. But I must credit Mr. Richard Bertinet of Dough for getting me started. I have been trawling through books and internet on bread making and the more I read, the more confused and intimitated I become of picking up the yeast and flour. However, Mr. Bertinet said very aptly that "do you need to know how a carburetor works to learn how to drive?" This revelation hit my like a oncoming train. Duh! Well, as the saying goes: Analysis till paralysis. After the initial (major, if I may add) hiccup of ingredients measurement, I managed to get the dough going. The dough is really soft and wonderful to work with. Easy for shaping, too, considering that I am such a freshie at it. So here's my first batch of fougasse, please excuse my lousy shaping techinque. Shaped and baked by me: Shaped by me and baked by Hubby: Well, I think Hubby is a much better baker than me! Hmph....

Food Forecast for 2007

Came across this article in Food which discuss predictions of food trend for this year in the Western part of this world. I thought maybe I ought to do some forecast of my own culinary targets for this year. Call these new year resolutions of sorts in food terms, if you wish. So here's my top forecasts for the coming year: ** Bake bread ** I just realised why I have been dragging my feet on baking that bread that I have been talking about for ages. It is not the long process that puts me off, but rather the fear of turning out yet another dense and rock hard bread. I have seen so many blogs showcasing beautifully shaped and baked bread, and I am filled with envy and also the burning desire to pick up the yeast and flour. But fear will slowly creep up on me and devour me completely before I make it to my flour cabinet. So I am going to tell myself to adopt Nike's slogan - Just Do It, and take the plunge. ** Go Japanese ** So far I have only managed to scrape

Rushing Through Dinner Prep

I am so totally sold on the idea of eating Japanese-style. I have tried my best to prepare rice, soup and a side dish for breakfast for Hubby everyday since last week. Though it was really quite a challenge time wise, but it actually forces me to relook at my food preparation and think simple and healthy dishes. It is much appreciated change especially for weekday dinners. Made a dish of cold tofu and breaded chicken for dinner. Something simple to put together for a typical rush weekday dinner. The cold tofu is such a simple dish with so few ingredients and yet it taste so good. Little wonder we are willing to pay so much to eat it in restaurants. If you are interested, this are what you need for the cold tofu: 1 block of tofu (UniCurd has one specially for such cold dish) 1 tbsp light soy sauce A handful of bonito flakes (the brown thin shavings on top of beancurd) 2 shoots of spring onions Here's my breaded chicken nuggets. It is a far cry from being called a katsu, so that'

Gnocchi with Bolognese Sauce

Having worked in an Italian restaurant before, I thought I could say that I know a thing or two about pastas. After tasting so the numerous shapes and sizes of pastas with just as many variety of sauces to make pasta dishes, there is still one pasta that remained elusive to me. And that seems like an itch at somewhere where you can't reach. Meet gnocchi, one of the few pasta variety that are hard to come by over at this part of the world. Gnocchi is Italian for "dumplings" and it is made from potatoes, flour and occasionally eggs and cheese. So you can probably see that it is more potato dumpling than a pasta per se. I have never tasted gnocchi before and I don't think I could live it down if I didn't at all. So I told myself that I would make it from scratch if it doesn't turn up ready made any time soon. But lo and behold! I spotted a few packets of it at Carrefour and one immediately went into my shopping cart. The dumplings in the packet is not freshly mad

Going Japanese

I have finally some time to sit down to my stash of cookbooks which I have mentioned in my previous post . So here's my review of the first two books to start the ball rolling. The previous night, I picked up this pretty pink book entitled " The Japanese Women Don't Get Old Or Fat ". For some reason, instead of reading from cover to cover, I scanned through the contents page and I was drawn to the last chapter "The Samurai Diet". It was certainly an interesting read. It tells abit of the history of Japan and how it shaped the way the Japanese eats and at the end of the chapter, the author invites the reader to try The Japanese Power Breakfast (consist of cooked brown rice, miso soup, eggs and vegetables) as an introduction to eating The Japanese Way. Maybe I am a simpleton, or maybe I am a prey of this author cum marketing counsultant. Whichever it is, I decided to give it a try since Hubby has been complaining that he is a borderline obese case and he loves

Running out of shelf space

First off, Happy New Year to all my readers and may the coming new year be better than the last! After what seem to be a whirlwind holiday break, I decided to pack up and put away some of my shopping done during the past days of the year end sale. Among the stash, I have got many cookbooks, enough to last me for the next few months. Yipee!! Or at least till I am unable to surpress my urge to buy the other 14 cookbooks which I have short-listed from Amazon. (^.^) Trying to find some shelf space for these: ## Update on my bread making project ## Well, I still haven't gotten round to actually do the practical part of it yet. Yes, I am a sluggard. In the meanwhile, I am currently reading " A Blessing Of Bread " by Maggie Glezer. It is a book about Jewish breads mainly, but still a wonderful read for the basics in bread making. It is really encouraging to hear that you don't have to use pre-ferments to have good bread; just let it have longer proving time to dev