Saturday, December 29, 2007

Beef in Red Wine

I remember watching David Rocco's Viva Dolce when he shared this recipe in the programme. It seemed so easy to make. Just need to add lots of purple onions with garlic and then season the red meat with pepper and salt and stew the whole pot with a whole bottle of red wine called Chianti for about 2 hours.
I found Chianti a bit too expensive for me and decided to get what you see here based on the recomendation of the promoter at Giant.
By the time the dish was ready I had dh to do the taste test. He took one look at the dish and commented, "Why is the meat purplish black in color? Gosh ...are you going to serve this for our gathering? Maybe you better not serve this." Calmly , I said, "What about the taste? You think it's passable?" He replied in half jest, " If I close my eyes to eat, it's actually quite good if you like the red wine taste." What went on inside my head was what a waste it would be to throw away a whole kilogram of beef chunks after spending so much effort to cook the dish.
So what you see in the photo was my attempt to make the color of the dish more appealing by adding in the colored peppers after frying them with garlic. The verdict at the gathering was... some liked it and some did not. So I guess, the taste of red wine is an acquired taste. I think it's better to cook this dish with Carlsberg beer instead since my family hardly drink red wine.
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Dd's Birthday Cake

I did this using the vanilla cupcake recipe from IK and frosted the cupcakes with buttercream.
Must say that there's still a lot of room for improvement for the whole works.
My dd loved them even though the cuppies were half baked LOL
I'm still wondering what went wrong that day when I baked the cuppies.

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Almond Cranberry Walnut Qbread

I baked this quickbread recipe too as a gift during Christmas. Here's sharing with you what I did ....
250 g butter
200 g sugar
3 nos. eggs, beaten
200 g AP flour
100 g ground almond
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp evaporated milk
100 g dried cranberries soaked in 2 tbsp Bailey's
100 g walnuts, chopped

Cream soften butter and sugar together till white and fluffy.
Add in the beaten eggs and stir in the flour, ground almond and baking powder.
Mix till well blended and then add in the milk and the cranberries and the nuts.
Batter can be spooned off into 4 aluminium loaf pans and baked in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 40 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.

Blueberry Orange Oats Qbread

This was one of the three quickbreads that I baked as a gift.

Dry Ingredients:
206 g AP flour
40 g quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
200 g caster sugar

Wet Ingredients:
120 ml orange juice and zest (2 large oranges)
120 ml vegetable oil
2 nos. eggs, beaten

Fold into batter 140 g fresh/frozen blueberries

Topping: 2 tsp caster sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon


Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Stir till they are well blended.

There's enough batter to fill up to 4 aluminium loaf tins till 1/2 way.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 45 mins or till skewer comes out clean.
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IK Gathering Dec 07

This time round we had a small group gathering at the newest joint at Keong Saik Rd ....
25 Degree Celsius Pte Ltd .... a joint that sells fusion food and cook books too!
I had a good time there chilling out with the regulars and new members too. Vi from the US and Chin from Australia joined us.
After doing so much cooking and baking during the week before Christmas, it was really good to just sit back and relax and enjoy the food the joint cooked LOL

Here's sharing with you the gals and the food there .....

Some of the main courses that were eaten .....

The yummy desserts ......

The gals ..... and a gentleman and a pre-teen :-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Gifts of Quickbreads

My gifts of qbread this year for my sil, mil, aunties, uncles, tuition teachers and friends.
I made three recipes this year .... Pumpkin Pecan Quickbread, Almond Cranberry Walnut Quickbread and Blueberry Orange Oats Quickbread. I hope they like them.

X'mas Gathering 2

Here was what we had for the 2nd party.

Baked Pasta
Bacon Roll
Beef in Red Wine
Sausage/Fish Ball Platter

Curry Chicken
Assam Pork
Smoked Chicken from CS
Honey Baked Ham from CS
Vegetable Salad

Brownie Muffins
Lime Jelly Cheesecake

Uncle W bought Steamed Crab and Chilly Crabs .
Dh bought Oatmeal Prawns, Salted Yolk Crabs, Peppered Crabs and Chilly Crabs too.
Because of dear Uncle W's contribution, we ended up with 5 kinds of crabs this year.

It was a night of catching up with the extended family members, lots of food when everyone had a chance to 'ta pao' something home. Good memories were formed when the younger ones had a chance to play with one another. My dear SIL helped me out with the washing up after the rest left and I'm so thankful for having her do that for me. GT 'xie xie ni'.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

X'mas Gathering 1

This year I will have two family X'mas gathering at my home. So for the last week I had been kept busy planning the menu for the two days, marketing for the party food as well as cooking and baking. It is tiring but I always feel joy when I see family members enjoying the food I prepared for them.

The Menu for this gathering .....

Curry Chicken
Sausage Platter with Fish Balls
Baked Hickory Chicken Wings
Black Pepper Roast Beef from CS
Honey Baked Ham from CS

Rice and Bread

Peach Agar-agar
Orange Jelly Cheesecake
2 Kinds of Cookies (Chocochips and Lavender)
Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Vegetable Salad
Seedless Black Grapes with Strawberries

My SIL also contributed Sushi from Sakae Sushi and dh bought butter oatmeal prawns and peppered and chilli crabs too.

There was a lot of food ... more than we could eat and everyone had lots of ta pao food to bring home.

Have A Blessed Christmas Everyone :-)

Wishing all who visit my blog to have blessings and the hope, peace, joy and love of the season of Christmastide befall on you and your families too.

Here you see the mini X'mas tree and the Nativity set up at the balcony in my home. This has been a yearly ritual since I moved into this home. The baby Jesus is still missing in the set up and the family will put in the final baby figurine on Christmas day as a short blessing prayer is being said.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Soya Bread

Bought a loaf of this bread from the supermarket and intended to have it for myself. Came dinner time and realised that there was not enough food for all in the family. Knowing that the boys and dh didn't like anything to do with bread that has grains in them I really was at a lost as to how I could share the bread and make them eat it. Finally decided to do it this way to hide the grains in the bread by spreading some butter on the bread and then putting some ham and cheddar cheese on it and toasted them crunchy. Then I squeezed some Japanese mayonnaise on them and wallah ... they ate the bread without complaining about the grains in the bread.