Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chinatown CNY Grabs

Dh made a date with his mum to help her with a CNY shopping. They made a trip to Chinatown and also to this shop named Tai Chong Kok. For the last couple of years we had been buying the nian gao from this shop. Dh also bought the pineapple tarts from the same shop.
From the street hawkers dh bought two sets of CNY decorations , some traditional coconut candy strips and sugared water chestnut sweets.

Lavender Cookies Galore

This year I got orders from my dear brother for sixteen bottles of Lavender Cookies. I had no idea how much baking I needed to do. On top of this order I also had to do my own baking for family and friends. My small table top oven could only bake twelve cookies at a go. After many, many hours and also many kilograms of flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and lavender flowers I realised the life of a home baker with a small oven is really tough work LOL. Up till this point, I still have not completed my baking yet ...haiz.
Well to look on the positive side, I still have another weekend to complete the baking and then I'll rest for the rest of the year till near Christmas LOL

Wu Xiang (Ngoh hiang)

I was watching a segment of a programme when this caught my attention, the name Lao Zhong Zhong ... a famous wu xiang stall at Macpherson. The stall is in the coffee shop also named Lao Zhong Zong. It is next to Siang Kuang Avenue. Although I've come across this famous wu xiang stall several times on tv, I've yet to taste the wu xiang there. So finally during one of the rare mornings when dh was home, I made a lunch date with him to eat at this stall.

Wu Xiang is actually minced meat mixed with different vegetables and seasoned using five spice powder and other spices. The minced meat vegetable mixture is then wrapped in bean skin and then deep fried in hot oil. The outcome is a crispy and tasty fragrant roll.

This particular stall owner makes his own 14 varieties of wu xiang every day. You can see some of the varieties of wu xiang that we ate and they tasted good. The chilli sauce that went with it also had a unique taste. Dh also commented that he liked eating the wu xiang here even though the chilli sauce was a bit too hot for him. We will defintely eat wu xiang from this stall again.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Carrot, Maize and Tomato Soup

This soup is another of my dd's favourite.
Using 500 g of meat to 1.2 litres of water, I just added 2 nos. tomatoes, quartered ; 1 no. carrot, 1 no. maize and a handful of kei chi with 4 slices of ginger and simmer the pot of ingredients for about 2 hours. Season with a little salt and it tastes yummy.
She even loves eating the meat when they are dipped in black sauce.

Blueberry Cake with Crunchy Topping

I baked this for my dad's birthday. The recipe was from Cindy's Kitchen published in The Straits Times sometime in November 2007.
It is a good and wholesome cake with fresh blueberry fruits and a macadamia nut topping.
I would definitely bake this again.

Here's sharing with you the recipe I adapted from Cindy's Kitchen ....

Ingredients and Method

Crunchy Topping
130 g flour
100 g brown sugar
100 g unsalted butter, chopped
100 g macadamia nuts, chopped.

Prepare the crunchy topping first by rubbing together the flour , butter and sugar till they look like coarse bread crumbs.

Lastly add in the chopped nuts and stir till they are well mixed.

Cake Layer
130 g unsalted butter, softened
130 g caster sugar
2 nos. eggs, beaten
1 tbsp Irish Cream Bailey's
250 g self-raising flour
120 mls UHT milk
one and a half packets fresh/frozen blueberries

Pre-heat oven at 180 degree C.
Line a 9 inch baking pan.
Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add in the beaten eggs, Irish Cream and milk in three portions.
Stir in the flour in three portions too till the mixture is well mixed.
Pour batter into the baking pan and place the blueberries on top of the batter.
Place the crunchy topping over the blueberries.
Bake the cake for 50 minutes or till inserted skewer comes out clean.
Remove cake from baking pan and completely cool before cutting and storing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Spreader of Love Award

This came as a surprise and timely for me. I was losing my mojo to blog since the preparations for christmas gatherings.Fighting tiredness and also running a fever for almost a week and then after that trying to recover from a wretching cough, I almost wanted to take a permanent break from my blog.
Thanks to precious moments this award became a motivation for me to continue posting in my blog again.

I guess many of us somehow will come to this stage at one time or another. Sometimes an encouraging comment at the right time will surely lift the spirits up. I remember that I blog to leave this legacy behind so I will continue as much as I can.

Thanks E for sending me this award.

And I will pass this award to clumsy pig. A fellow blogger whom I've met a couple of times during IK gatherings.S bakes and spreads her love for baking to her families and friends.