Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thick Beef Stew Recipe

1 pound beef stew meat
4 tbs flour
2 beef cubes
2 tbs teriyaki sauce
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 potatoes, cubed
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms,sliced
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
3 cups of water

Place meat into the slow cooker. Mix in flour, stirring to coat. Add in the others, and mix well.
Cover, cook on low 6 hours.

Note: If it doesn't thicken, transfer to pot on low heat and use cornflour mixture to thicken.

Credits: Adapted from allrecipes

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Simple Entertaining- Entertaining in a jiffty

It's nice to have guests, but it's nicer if we can entertain with minimum time and effort. One clever way to do so is to make good use of the crockpot or slow cooker.

Once we get the main dish done in the slow cooker, the rest is really easy.
  • Cook pasta or rice

  • prepare a side dish (eg: roasted potatoes)

  • put a salad together

  • get ready a bottle of wine,

  • set the table (eg: candles with different heights as middle piece, see pic above)

and (drum roll), we are done!!

You can actually do a lot of dishes in the slow pot and beef stew is a very popular choice. There are many recipes out there, but I'll post one in the next post..
pic credits: potterybarn.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wet! Wet! Wet!! Have fun with the Sprinkler!

Since the party venue is outdoor, and kids normally love water games, they can have fun with the sprinkler out in the lawn. Here's two games to start the ball rolling:

1) Get the ball!
Divide all into two teams. Place a ball near the sprinkler. At the sound of "ready, set, go! ", a designated person from each group will run towards the ball, at that time, turn on the sprinkler so that it'll prevent them from easily getting the ball. The first one who gets the ball back to their team gets a point.

2) Freeze!
Instruct players to move around the sprinkler area, and they can do anything they want, pose, make funny faces at each other..etc... When the sprinkler is turned on, kids must freeze in position without moving until the sprinkler is turned off again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Last Day of School Party-Sundae Party

To celebrate the last day of school, have a sundae party for the kids.

Here's how we do it:

Set up a table with bowls of fruits, candies like m&ms, nuts and chocolate chips. Don't forget chocolate sauce or caramel sauce too.

Get the kids to make their own sundae, by putting anything that they like.

To make it extra special, get each kid to pose with their creation, and take a picture of them. You have to be fast though, kids just cant wait to dig in!!

Present the kids their own picture at the end of the party.

(pic credit:martha stewart)

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Last Day of School" Party-Sundae Party

It's the school holidays again. Some kids i know are having a two week break, while others have long summer holidays. To celebrate the last day of school and the beginning of holidays, let's have a simple party for the kids!!
Decor Idea:
I think most kids love to be outdoors when they are not in school. So, an outdoor party will be ideal. To have simple decorations, and set the mood of the party, colourful paper garlands can be used. Just tie it between trees or near the eating area, and it brightens the whole party area!!
(pic above from pearlriver)

What to serve:
Sundaes!! The kids will be so happy that they will be jumping up and down non-stop.

(more in next post)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hotpot Party/ Steamboat Party Menu and Recipe

Soup base:
We normally have 2 types of soup, one is chicken stock and the other is tom yum soup.
(If you need the recipes, please look through my previous posts)

Any ingredients will do, but this are the basic ones, and easy to get.

Thinly sliced meat (chicken, pork, beef)
Sliced fish

Bean sprouts
Cabbage (very important)
Fuchok (made out of tofu)
Bok Choy
Mushrooms (esp. enoki)

Dipping sauce:
Hoisin sauce
Chilli Sauce
Soya Sauce

Yee Mee/ Egg Noodles

Cold Chinese Tea

For each guest, you'll need a soup bowl, paired with chopsticks and a soup spoon.

You'll also need a few ladles so that everyone can scoop out from the pot.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hotpot Party/Steamboat Party

Hotpot or steamboat (local term) is a very good party idea. It's lots of fun, and the best part is that it's simple to prepare. Hotpot is basically a simmering metal pot of stock placed at the center of the dining table. Then, ingredients are placed into the pot, and thereafter covered, so that it will be boiled and cooked. Ingredients such as meat, seafood, vegetables are cooked first, and at the end, noodles are added. By that time, the soup is sweet and full of goodness, and goes well with the noodles.

The advantage of entertaining with the hotpot is that there's very little cooking time. You'll just have to prepare the stock ahead of time, and cut up all the ingredients. That's all. Just leave the rest to the guests, as they'll have a fun time putting the ingredients into the pot.
Picture this: Friends and family sitting around the table, taking part in the cooking, then while waiting, they sip tea and chat with the others, and 10-15 mins later, food is ready!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Strawberry Smoothie Recipe


1 cup milk
1 tbs sugar
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 tbs oats
1tsp vanilla


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mango Banana Smoothie Recipe


1 mango
1 banana
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup ice


Credits: yoplait.com.au

Monday, June 1, 2009

Simple Entertaining-Smoothie Party!!

Smoothies are oh so wonderful on a hot day or after a hard day's work. With a group of friends, it's even better as you can make many different kinds and then share it out. Smoothies are normally yoghurt based, but there are some that are juice based.

A good party idea is to invite your friends over and get them to make their own smoothies. And everybody can get a sip or two and vote for the best smoothie and the nastiest smoothie..

Basic ingredients that you need:
Fruits-mango, strawberries, blueberries, bananas.
Orange juice, sugar and Ice

I'll post some tested recipes to give a headstart...