Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Konnyaku Jelly recipe

konnyaku jelly
You'll need:
1 packet of konnyaku jelly powder (see pic below)
200gm castor sugar
95oml water
1 can peaches (or any canned fruit), cut into wedges

Boil the 950ml water in a pot.
In a bowl, mix the konnyaku jelly powder and sugar together.
Then slowly pour the mixture into the pot, stirring continuously.
Once it's dissolved, remove from heat. (Do not let it cool too much)
Put fruits in mold, jelly cups or even muffins cups will do.
Pour jelly in.
Put in into the fridge till it's set and cold.
Serve chill. Wonderful on a hot day!!

+ kids have to watch out as the jelly mixture is hot..
+If you use another type of konnyaku jelly powder, just follow the instructions behind!!

<-----this is the one i used.

Cut Out Cookies/20mins cookie recipe

175g butter
200g sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla essence
375g sifted plain flour

Have kids stand around the counter and get them to get the ingredients ready. Once all the ingredients are ready, let's start the actual work. (well, if you don't have kids, but still would like the cookies, just follow the numbers..haha)

1) Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl. Add the sifted flour, egg, egg yolk, until it comes together as a dough. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate it till firm.

Now, divide the dough and lprepare each kids work station. It consists of a floured board, rolling pin and cookie cutter and then the kids will handle it from here.

2) Put the dough on a floured work surface, and place bigger sheet of cling wrap over it. Roll out dough to about 6mm thick.

3) Then, cut out dough with cookie cutters!

4) Once done, place cookies on sheets, and bake for 10 mins. Watch it closely as it gets burnt easily.


Chocolate ones: add bit of milo

Shapes: Alphabets

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kids Wanna Have Fun Menu

Since kids have quite a short attention span, the preparation time should be fast and interesting, and they should be kept busy all the time. I found that these cookies fit the bill.

1) Cut out cookies

2) Ice cream cookies

Then, the jelly, there are many different kinds that we could do, but in the end, i opted for konnyaku. It's easy and it's suppose to be healthy..
3)Konnyaku Jelly

Recipes next..

Simple Entertaining- Kids Wanna Have Fun!

School holidays!! I wanted to have fun with the kids, and also have them learn something in the process. So, i decided on something interesting for them to do: bake cookies and make jelly.
It's a win-win situation, they learn skills, have fun and also have food at the end of the day. :0)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bean Sprouts and Tofu

beans sprouts with taupok
400gm bean sprouts
2 pcs of firm tofu, cut in cubes
3 pcs tau pok (tofu puff)
2 stalks of spring onions
1tbsp oil
Minced garlic and onion
*If Tau Pok is difficult to find, use fish cakes instead.

Heat up oil, and add in garlic and onion. Once it's fragrant, add in the tofu, Tau Pok, and spring onions. Fry for 30seconds, and add in bean sprouts. Fry all of it for another 30 seconds, add in 1/8 cup of water, and salt and pepper. Once the water boils, taste. If it seems tasteless, add more salt, pepper, and also sesame oil. Be careful that the bean sprouts are not overly cooked. (if it's cooked it'll be a little crunchy, not too soft)

Top: Tau Pok
Middle: Firm Tofu

Pan-fried Chives Dumplings


You'll need:

Handful dried prawns, soaked and chopped
400gm chives, chopped or diced
1 carrot (shredded, optional)
20 Dumpling skin/wantan skin
2 tbs minced garlic and onion
1tbsp oil
1/2 tbs oyster sauce

1) Heat up 1/2 tbs oil, add chives, dried prawns, carrots. Fry till fragant. Dish up.

2) Use a dumpling skin, put 1 heaping tsp of filling in. Fold skin, and crimp the edges. If it doesn't stick, use a little water to seal.
3) Repeat till filling is all used up.

4) Back to the pan, heat up 1/2 tbs oil, pan fry the dumplings until brown. Add water and the 1/2tbs oyster sauce, enough to cover, and let it cook, till almost dry. Dish out and serve.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Rolls recipe

spring rolls

This recipe requires only 6 ingredients and it's simple when you try it. It's just when i put it into words, it looks like it's a lot of work.

300g meat (chicken/pork)
sesame oil
Shao Xing wine
2 carrots
1cup peas
3 stalks spring onions, chopped
Spring Roll Pastry (see below)

In a food processor, grind the meat and carrots separately. Marinade the meat with a little salt, pepper and sesame oil.
Add the carrots, peas, spring onions to meat.
Put in the fridge till ready to make spring rolls.

To make the spring rolls:

1) Make sure the spring roll pastry is at room temperature. Peel one sheet off, careful, it's quite fragile. Place it on a plate.

2) Put the fillings at the bottom part of the pastry sheet, 3cm from the bottom.
Leave 3cm of the sides of the pastry empty.

3) Next, just fold the 3cm part over the meat, and continue folding till you have one last fold.

Fold sides in and finish folding. Seal it with a little water.
(to seal it more securely, mix cornflour and little water, and use the mixture to seal the edges. )

4) Continue till you use all the meat.

5) Deep fry all of it

Credits: My mother. Thanks, mum.

(Available in many supermarkets)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dumplings and Spring Rolls Menu

(oops, the dumplings will be in another pic!! )

Spring Rolls
Pan-fried Dumplings

Side Dish:
Stir-fry Bean Sprouts

This is a little obvious heh?
Recipes and more pics in the next few posts...

Simple Entertaining- Dumplings and Spring Rolls

I haven't had dumpling and spring rolls for such a long time!! And i thought that these are very suitable for entertaining, reason being that it's easy and fast. Another plus point is that it can be prepared earlier, and then cooked before serving. But, we need another dish to make up a menu..hmm...menu idea next...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Baked Potatoes and Vegetables

Baked Potatoes: (with time constraint :0)
Scrub potatoes, rub skin with olive oil and salt. Steam for 20 minutes or when it's nearly cooked.. Wrap with aluminium foil. Bake for half an hour. Done!

Serve with sour cream and bacon bits.

Carrots, peas

Blanch the peas in boiling water.
Boil the carrots. Combine salt, pepper, dill, little brown sugar. Pour on carrots.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Ingredients: (8 servings)

3 cups of pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp cinammon
1/4 tsp ginger
a little nutmeg (careful, very strong)
a little salt
black pepper, white pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbs chopped garlic
8 cups of chicken soup
1/4 tsp chicken stock
3 tbsp butter
1 cup of whipping cream

1) Place butter in pan, saute onions, garlic, ginger. Add in cinammon, ginger, pepper, pumpkin puree and 2 cups of chicken soup, and chicken stock. Bring it to a boil. After that, let it cool down a little.

2) Transfer to blender, and puree it. Careful, it'll be hot.

3)Transfer back to pan, and stir in the rest of chicken soup. Taste, add salt, nutmeg to your liking. Stir in whipping cream in the end, and turn off heat. DO NOT BOIL.

Serve with garlic bread.

Note: this is a spiced soup, and the cream will soften it. If you don't plan to use cream, please be careful of the spices. Consider adding the spices like cinammon, nutmeg later, so that you can taste till you are satisfied.

Herbed Lamb Recipe

Serves 8 (Estimated cooking time- 45mins)
12 chops
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp basil
2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper
Olive oil

1/2 cup shallots
red wine
balsamic vinegar

1) In a small bowl, mix together rosemary, basil, thyme, salt, pepper. Rub mixture onto lamb chops. Set aside for a few hours.

2)Heat olive oil in a pan, and when it's hot enough, place lamb chops in pan. Cook for 4 minutes per side. This will be medium rare.

(If you want it more cooked, then, continue till desired doneness. But the safest way is to finish in the oven. Checked after 5 minutes in oven, maximum 10 minutes.)

3) Back to the pan, add in shallots, and a cup of red wine, and 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking till sauce reduced. Serve as sauce

Monday, March 16, 2009

Anniversary Party Menu

My father likes lamb, and mum loves pumpkin soup so, naturally, lamb and pumpkin soup has to be part of the menu..

Pumpkin soup and garlic bread

Herbed Lamb
Baked Potatoes
Carrots, peas


Red Wine
Sparkling grape juice (for non drinkers)

Simple Entertaining- Anniversary Party

My parents celebrated their anniversary and we wanted to have a surprise dinner with some close friends.Since it was going to be a sit down dinner, we decorated the table. Simple but beautiful. (closeup pic in read more...)

You'll need:
Cutlery, Napkins, plates, wine glasses, roses, flower petals, white table cloth, vase, candles and you're done.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coffee Banana Trifle recipe

This is a easy, it just needs assembling. Target time: 30-40mins.

250gm instant custard
cold milk
2tbs of instant coffee (i used malaysian white coffee)
1 coffee swiss roll
500ml whipping cream

1) Follow instructions on instant custard packet. Instead of water, replace with milk. Dissolve instant coffee with little hot water. and add to custard. Taste, set aside.

2) Whip cream up. Set aside.

3) Cut swiss roll into rounds of 1/2 cm. Now we are going to assemble.

Line a glass bowl (see picture) with swiss roll, then custard, then bananas, and cream on top.

Repeat again with swiss roll, custard, bananas, and cream. Repeat till full, but make sure cream ends up being the top layer. Smoothen it out, and chill for 4 hrs or till your friends arrives in the evening.

Unexpected Guests- after dinner dessert

Rather than doing the usual, there's something classy and simple enough to do... a dessert that can really wow your friends. This is what i made: Coffee Banana Trifle !!

Many of my friends can't have coffee at night, but they absolutely love coffee, so this is an alternative. The recipe in the next post...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

simple entertaining-unexpected guests!!

If you had a phone call in the morning from friends who say that they will drop by after tea/dinner, what'll you do? Well, friends are friends, and the right thing to do is to entertain them. The next thing to do is to think about what to entertain them with, the usual thing of coffee and biscuits?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hot hot hot! Game

Our "hot and spicy" party must be complete with a game. This is played while eating the meal. The pros of this game is that you find out your tolerance towards spicyness and find out more about your friends too!! :0)

Preparation: While your friends are waiting around for the meal, get them to write out questions that they want to ask each other. After that, fold them up and put them in a box or bowl.

Rules: You have to finish your meal, including the soup.

Start playing:
Player A takes a question from the box, writes his answer behind the paper. And announces the question. The other friends have to try to guess the answer correctly.

If the neither of his friends can get the answer, player A will serve the punishment. Punishment is a tsp of Sambal added into their noodles.

The end is since all of you are eating the noodles and adding sambal to it as you go, it becomes hotter and hotter, and the one who gives up in the end, loses.

If player A doesn't want to answer the question, the other friends each add a tsp of sambal into his bowl!!

***if fire comes out from your friends mouth symbolically, stop heat with milk or a piece of bread, chew it slowly and it should stop the heat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tom Yam (Yum) Noodles recipe

Need: (serves 4)

Instant Tom Yum Paste (see pic below)
Fresh red chilli X 2 (sliced)
Garlic, onion
Chicken broth (How to make it?? -note below)
150gms Glass noodles

Bunch of coriander

This needs tasting expertise, you've to taste as you go!! :0)

Ok, for 4 people, we need about 12 cups of chicken broth, or about 2 L. Bring it to a boil in a pot, and add chilli, garlic, onion.
After 1 minute, add in 3 tbsp of instant tom yum. Taste. If it's too diluted, add tom yum paste, if not spicy enough, add more fresh chilli.

When you're satisfied with the taste, add in the glass noodles. Please note that the glass noodles will soak up a lot of the broth, and the noodles cook fast. So, about 1-2 minutes should be sufficient.
Serve immediately and garnish with coriander.

Note: Chicken broth
The easy way using slowpot - Put 3 drumsticks and add water 4cm above chicken. Put on low for 6 hrs, high for 4. Shred chicken later and put in with noodles.

Note2: Try this with vermicelli and glass noodles together!! Wow!

Picture on right is the instant tom yam, on the left is sambal that can make your noodles even more spicier. Sambal is Not to be added to the soup, so, serve separately, for eg, in the centerpiece bowl.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hot and Spicy Menu

This menu is very simple, and everything can be done in 15 minutes. Check out the recipes, and you'll know why. The drink of lemonade is to help cope with the heat. And the dessert is to help cool down. Recipes next...

Tom Yam Noodles


Ice cream (to cool down)

Hot hot hot!!

If you're wondering what that middle thing is, the centrepiece bowl is suppose to have sambal. (next post will have the pic of which sambal i use)

Simple entertaining-Asian "hot and spicy" party

I like hot and spicy food, and Malaysia is full of it.
A lot of spicy food like sambal, curries, take some time, but i wanted my friends and I to have a quick meal.
Hence, this week's mini party theme is "hot and spicy". Menu next...