Friday, February 13, 2015

Crockpot Potato Soup

Interesting venture today.  I made something that I disliked for a very long time...POTATO SOUP.  Whats about it that is so very delicious which made me make it couple of times now.  Bacon and cheese!!!

We had a church gathering and everyone was asked to bring soups and after looking around, I found this wonderful crockpot soup which does not need babysitting.  All in a pot ! and best of all no knife and cutting board.


Ingredients

1 30oz frozen diced hash brown
1  can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 32oz box of chicken broth
1 8oz cream cheese (full fat)
1 packet of bacon bits ( half to add into the soup mix and the other half for garnish)
1 packet of shredded cheddar cheese (garnish)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

In a slow cooker add all the ingredients and cook on high for about 4 to 5 hours.  About 1 hour before cooking time is over add the cubed cream cheese. Stir well.  Cheese will be white and curdy but keep stirring every now and then. It will eventually melt and thicken the soup.

Serve with remainder bacon bits and cheddar cheese.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Steamed Fish (Chinese style)




I have never steamed fish fearing that it might smell or worst still that I might overcook the fish but today I tried steaming and it's so perfect and yummy...

Ingredients

2 pcs of cod fish (I bought the cod steaks without skin)
You can use any type of white fish.
Ginger
white pepper

Sauce

1 Tb Light Soy Sauce
1Tsp Sugar
1 Tb water
1 Tb Hsao Xing Wine (Chinese cooking rice wine)

Garnishing

3 clove garlic ( chopped finely)
1 Tb cooking oil
Spring onions
Sesame oil

Method

Clean fish and pat dry.  Place fish in the middle of steaming place and place ginger on top.

Bring water in steamer to boil and place the plate on top and steam for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the sauce to a simmer. Take it off the heat.

In another pan, fry the garlic in the oil.  Dont let it burn or else it will taste bitter.

Check for fish doneness. When done, take the fish off the steamer and pour away the liquid in the steaming plate.

Add a dash of pepper and pour the soy sauce mixture on the fish and garnish with the golden brown garlic and spring onions.  Serve immediately.



Pizza Dough






Guess what? I made pizza from scratch and it turned out simply superb.  I even made it the 2nd time and it was better.  The dough is pretty straight forward and does require a little rising time but I am sure we can spare at least 1 hour of ahead time for dough preparation.  I made Hawaiian Pizza and the ever so popular Pepperoni Pizza.

Source:  Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients


1 packet ( 21/4 tsp) yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
3 1/2 cup flour plus more if needed
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tb olive oil
1 Tb sugar
1 tsp Italian seasoning, optional
cornmeal, dusting the pan

Method

Combine yeast, water and 1 tsp of sugar. Mix and leave in a warm place until yeast is foamy and dissolved.


In another bowl combine the flour, salt, olive oil, seasoning and balance of the sugar.  Pour in the yeast mixture and knead dough adding in more flour as needed.  Dough needs to be soft and elastic when poked in with finger it should slowly bounce back up.  Cover tightly with clingwrap or kitchen towel ( I usually have one towel just for making bread).  Let rise in warm place, I usually place my bowl inside the oven for about 1 hour or until double in size.

Once it has rise up, punch the dough down and let it sit for another 15 minutes.  At this point you can freeze the dough by place it in a oiled ziplock and sealed tightly for about 3 months.  **

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Oil the pizza pan and spread with cornmeal.  Take the rested dough and spread out.  Pinch the sides slightly to create a rim.  Spread the pizza sauce ( I bought a store bought one).  Fill in the delicious toppings.  Bake in a screaming hot oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Take it out and slice it immediately and serve.

Leftover pizza can be stored tightly in the refrigerator and reheated when needed.

** Its important to know that this recipe is enough to make two 12 inch pizzas.

Put your frozen pizza dough balls(s) in the fridge overnight or for about 12 hours to thaw.  When ready to make the pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and set out on the counter to rest for 30 minutes and come to room remperature.




Sunday, January 4, 2015

St Louis

Its vacation time again and this time its St. Louis, Missouri.  We visited few must see places and I have taken some pictures. First we went to St Louis Zoo.  The heat was almost a 100 degrees F.  At the end of the day we went to Union Station.  Walked for a while then off to dinner. Called it a day at 10 pm.
Second day we went to The Science Center and the Cathedral of Basilica Church.  Whenever we go to St Louis, we always make it a point to visit the church.   Then we headed off to the Budweiser Brewery. The brewery tour took about 1 hour and the best part was you get a free mug of beer for tasting...., and the last destination was the Grant's Farm.

Pictures below are some random ones that I really liked and wanted to share...

Ant Eater

Hippo swimming. This was the nearest shot I could get. Its amazing how these huge  mammals swim  and float in the water





The Fudgery
Gateway Arch or Gateway to the West


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Snowman Cookie


Fluffy ButterCake

I made this awesome fluffy and soft buttercake today using a different method of mixing.  This recipe also uses emulsifier to fluff up the batter and the butter is added right at the end.

I just made half the recipe called for.

Source: mykitchensnippets

Ingredients

100gm sugar
100gm cake flour
100gm butter (melted)
3 eggs
1 tsp Ovalette/emulsifier
2 tbsp whole milk or condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
drop of pandan food coloring

* No cake flour - substitute with 1 cup of flour minus 2 tbsp.  Add in 2 tbsp of cornstarch and sift well.


Method

Sift the cake flour into bowl,  Add sugar, salt, eggs, ovalette, vanilla essence, condensed milk.
Whisk in a stand mixer until white and fluffy.

Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and whisk with medium speed till well combined.

Divide in a small bowl and mix with pandan food coloring on one bowl and pour alternately in a greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes until skewer is clean when tested.

Remove from oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Turn it onto a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting to pieces.



Sewing and Knitting







6th birthday (Yellow Cake)




My baby celebrated his birthday by decorating his own birthday cake. It was a simple yellow cake with buttercream frosting and blackberry filling.

Source: Make Fabulous cakes

Ingredients

2 1/4 cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup sugar
4 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
4 egg white

Method


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line with parchement 2 x 9 inch cake pans.

Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl cream butter and sugar till white. Add vanilla and egg yolks one at a time.

Sift the flour in alternatively with the milk. Scrape down the sides and beat for another minute.

Beat eggwhites in another bowl till soft to medium peaks form. Fold in the eggwhites into the egg yolk mixture slowly so that you do not deflate the air.  Pour batter into the cake pans and bake for about 45 minutes. Test with wooden skewer.

Let cool for about 10 minutes. Loosen the sides and invert onto a cooling rack.

Frost as desired.

His sketch on how the cake is going to be!


Kuih Lapis - updated




I tried this after many tries and I think I am going to stick to this recipe as it is soft and easy to peel apart.


Ingredients

400 ml water
400 ml coconut milk
100 gm sugar ( add more if needed)
2 pandan leaves, knotted
1/4 tsp salt

180 gm rice flour
120 gm tapioca flour
1 tb cornstarch

Food coloring

Method

Boil sugar, pandan leaves, water, coconut milk until sugar is dissolved. Turn heat off and let it cool completely.

Stir in the rice and tapioca flour until dissolved.  Strain and divide into 2 bowls.

Grease a 7inch pan and place the pan in a steamer and steam till hot.

Steam each layer for about 6 minutes.  The top layer has to be in dark color.  Once all done let the kueh cool down completely for about 2 hours.  Cut with a plastic knife.