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Friday, December 31, 2010

Grateful thanks to our Lord

            As 2010 is drawing to a close in about an hour's time, I would like to take some time now to thank our Lord for all His countless Blessing and for His Guidance and protection.

            I have so much to be thankful for and this year is one of the best I have ever had and a year of many firsts. When I heralded in 2010 I made some resolutions in respect of things that I have put off doing esp in my passion for baking as inspite of learing them a long time ago, I did not have the courage to do it as they were pretty complicated and I made a resolution that in 2010 I am going to try and if I should fail, I would try and try until I suceed.  Well I am very happy that I kept to my 2010 baking resolutions for, not only, did I suceed in what I put off but I had so many countless orders for these cakes and two of these were my Trifle Cheese cake and Tutti Frutti Mouse cake.



                                                                Trifle Cheese cake





           A year of many enjoyments too.  A first timer in fb [thanks to my niece for opening fb for me and that opened a new wide world for me too in sense of ppl knowing about this insane passion of baking of mine and then increasing my clientele ten fold, wao it is a year of many firsts indeed, then blogging [and then enjoy uploading many baking and cooking recipes for my frens and for others in blogsphire to try my recipes and then I would like to thank all my Followers and all those who visit me] and now playing on ipad, wao so much to do that sometimes I think 24 hours in a day is really not enough!!!


           I would like to thank all my Followers; a special mention of my first Follower, NohNes, a very dear friend, Nicole, my second and a kindred spirit, Ilene, my closest friend, Teejiawen, Joanne Teo, a fellow baker, Fiona, a very close and dear friend, William Chye, a fellow Christian, Jane, a close BEC friend, Darlyn, a new friend, Priscilla, a new friend who is fantastically good in fondant, Nana, a close friend And my latest Follower, Cecila, my best friend and fellow baker; Welcome to my blog Cecila, I hope you find something you like to cook or bake or to just have a good laf.

           Another worthy new friend in blogsphire is Amy Grigsby, my wish for you Amy and Dustin is that everything will be well with Harper and to my drop bye friend, Wonda, I wish you love and peace.

           Blessed and Happy 2011 to one and all alike.  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dried Prawn Sambal


                                                      Dried Prawn Sambal

            YM this is dedicated to you as you were mentioning same at the last cell meeting, this is finger licking good & I was happy that I learnt same. Dried Prawn Sambal is something most of us have eaten esp in our youth when our mothers use to make it and then spreading it on buttered bread, cucumber and lettuce; packing same for us to take to school and each mum has her very own special recipe that most children will swear that their mum makes the best dried prawn sambal and each one has its own special identity.

             For me I love learning as then everything is measured so that the next time hubby or kids ask me to do anything that I have learnt, they can rest assured that the taste would be identical and not a case of hit and run.  Learning is one thing then tweaking it to my own personal taste and of course, recording the changes so that it will always taste the same and then compiling same and passing it down to my kids for posterity that has always be my desire as let's face it, we will not always be around as we all have to go sometime or rather at least we didnt leave the family stranded, so to speak.  Our kids need not face the situation when our own parents passed on and we were, literally speaking, dumb folded as we did not have the forethought, time or the passion to record our mum's cooking and then we ask our siblings whether we had learnt from mum and even if we had, it would have been sikit gula, chilli, etc, etc.  Having faced that problem I have decided that I would type my recipes in my Blog and started compiling what I have learnt for my children and their off springs as food is the glue that keeps the family together then I also wanted to share my recipes with ppl on blogspire too as I believe that is the ultimate call for me as sharing is caring!!!  Enjoy Ophelia

                  For this recipe you can get 540 gm of the dried prawn sambal :) yes I weighed same after it was cooled. 

                        Dried Sambal Prawns

      "A"

      300 gm       Dried Prawns, [wash then soak in hot water for half an hour then blend till fine]
      300 ml       Oil

       "B"

         12            Shallots
           5 pips     Garlic
           1             Serai/Lemon Grass
            2"           Fresh Kunyit
          *5 - 7       Chilli Padi [* this is just amended as my fren said not hot enough]

        "C"

          3 Tabsp      Chilli Boh                                          ] sorry forgot
          1 Tabsp       Freshly grounded Coriander powder ] to type these 2
        1/2 Tabsp     Assam Jawa  ] mix together
        1 Tabsp        Water            ] to get a thick paste
       
         3                  Daun Limau Purut, [remove its vein as bitter] shred finely
       1/2 teasp        Salt
         2 Tabsp       Sugar

         Method
  1. Blend the dried prawns finely, set aside.
  2. Blend "B" separately till fine, set aside.
  3. Mix the assam jawa and water in a bowl to a thick paste. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil and fry just a small handful of the dried prawns to fragrant the oil for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add in "A" and fry for about 5 minutes when you can see the oil bubbling.
  6. Add in the chilli boh & Corriander powder and fry till oil oozes out of the rempah for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the blended dried shrimps and fry on low fire for 30 minutes and keep on stirring [as basically there is not much oil and it will get burnt easily if unattended and if you feel that you want to put slightly more oil, do so according to your taste].
  8. Add in the shredded limau purut and stir for 1 - 2 minutes.
  9. Add in the thick assam paste solution and salt & turn the heat high to let the assam paste cook for 3 minutes.
  10. Lower the fire then add in the sugar [as sugar burns easily] and stir for 2 minutes. Done :)
                  Ready for devouring!

                  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia
           

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Three fold

   
             For the price of one 1pad as a Christmas love gift, it garnered 3 ardent fans, yours truly being the most "hooked" and ever since then it has been bye bye to Bejewel 2, Bubble, Majhong Dark Diamension and now I m completely hooked to "Restaurant Story" and "Bakery Story" obviously because of my own passions in both baking and cooking and if only all the tips were real, I probably would be working my way towards being a millionaire!!!

                So now I find my free time divided between blogging, fb and "ipad ing" and at times 24 hours a days is way too short unless of course when I have any cake orders which would then preceded anything else when I would take my time to prepare and then bake slowly and enjoy the ride as baking is my first passion!!! So today after the Tiramisu was collected, I went to purchase ingredients for my Sugee/Semolina cake order on the 30th for a very dear fren, had dinner then fried my sugee and infusing same with butter so that I could bake it tomorrow and then the rest of my nite was devoted mostly to blogging and playing on the Ipad.

                  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010


               I feel that Christmas this year was the best I ever had.  I decided not to take any orders except for my 5 orange cake orders for a close fren as I wanted to spend more quality time with the immediate and extended family and that I could bake and cook more comfort food for my family.




Orange Cake I baked


               We spent Christmas nite in a warm cosy manner, celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus singing Christmas carols.  This year we decided that the theme for the pot luck would be finger food instead of our usual heavy spread of typical Malacca Baba food with the inclusion of some other fusion food.


The dish I made "Baked Exotic Chicken"



Chicken curry
Roti Jala

Yummilicious pasta sauce with minced meat and bacon amongst other things


Angel Hair


Canapies

Another delicious canapies
Christmas Yule Log
                    After our sumptious dinner, it was time to breath the fresh air in the lovely garden that was very well maintained that I could almost feel I was in fairy land.




I was told that the red bunches of flowers will bloom continuously and low maintenance











Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia


Santarina came acalling

              I was busy yesterday baking my Exotic Chicken that I didnt realise Santa placed a gift for me especially at my gate and Sundae was in the house, so she wasnt able to do her guard duty at the gate, haha and as such no barking when Santarina came and a good thing though she was in the house otherwise I think Sundae would have helped me open my present as I dont trust her 100% anything to do with food as I havent got yet got over the fact that she ate my tray of tarts that I made Last year!!!

              Hubbie on getting up from the sofa in the hall spotted the gift at our gate and beckoned me to it and this was what I found, hanging on my gate.  Never experienced this kind of stuff or this kind of love and this Christmas 2010 is really the best.



             This gift was from a new fren I made with Lisa and to you Lisa, thank you for your lovely gift of love.  It warmed me to find this bundle of love.  Thank you so much my dear fren, "May the Blessings and Joy of Christ reign in your heart and home always". 

             Till my next post, xoxo Ophelia

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Exotic Baked Chicken



                                                                                      Exotic baked chicken

        2 kg            whole chicken

        Marinade

            1                        piece Nam Yee
            2 Tabsp             Brown Sugar
            1 Tabsp             freshly coarse grounded Coriander/Ketumbar Powder
            1 Tabsp             Chilli Boh
            1 Tabsp             Hot Bean Paste[Lee Kum Kee's Chili Bean Sauce [Toban Djan]
           1/2 Tabsp           Black Vinegar
           1/2 teasp             5 Spice Powder
           1/4 teasp            Salt
           1 teasp               Fish Sauce

        Method

        Wash & damp dry the chicken.
      
         Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mash the nam yee well.


                   Mix all the marinade on the chicken both inside the cavity, underneath the skin & outside.



 
       Rubbing the marinade inside the cavity, all over chicken, even lifting the skin just above the cavity and rubbing Gently the marinade underneat the skin so that you dont tear the skin and between the thigh flesh.

                  Marinade covered in the fridge for 4 hours or overnite.

                  Remove chicken from fridge & thaw at room temperature for 30 - 45 mins.

                 Preheat oven at 200 degrees celcius for 20 minutes.

                 Lay a foil [matt surface of foil on top as matt surface retains heat while shinny surface of foil reflects heat and in this case we want the heaton baking tray. Either grease lightly a rack with little oil & place rack on top of the baking tray so that the drippings will drop on foil and makes cleaning easier [greasing so that chicken wont still on either foil or rack] Or if you dont have a rack, grease the foil lightly but skin may still stick to foil.  For best presentation grease the rack lightly with oil and place on the foiled layed baking tray.

               After chicken has thawed for 30 - 45 minutes, place breast side up on the rack & bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Brush with a little oil & 1/2 teasp honey with put in the oven breast side up still for 5 minutes being very careful as Honey burns easily.


              After the 5 minutes is up, remove from oven turn over the chicken to the other side then brush it WITH A LITTLE OIL ONLY & bake for 20 minutes.  Enjoy the aroma floating out from the kitchen, it would definitely make your family hungry!!!


              Remove from over now brush chicken with a little oil And Honey & bake for 5 minutes. Remove and prick chicken thigh [thickest part and takes longer to bake] with a skewer and if juice from chicken thigh comes out clear, chicken is well baked.


           Remove from oven and cover chicken with a foil & let chicken rest for 20 minutes, this step of resting is very important.


              N/B     Personally, I feel that this roast is the mother of all chicken roast as, as its name implies, the chicken taste exotic, it has hot, spicy and sweet taste and this recipe is definitely a keeper and my Malaysian viewers should take advantage of me posting this and doing same and I truly hope that you would come back to my blog and comment on it and tell me whether you agree that this is truly a gem.

                    

                                         Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, December 24, 2010

What does real friendship mean in our life?



                  I met this wonderful fren, Cecillia at cake class about 5 years ago.  I brought a few slices of the Yam Layer cake which I baked to eat during the break as didnt have time to have lunch and offered some to her.  She ate a slice and after listening to me talking about my passion in baking, she asked whether I could bake a cake for her fren, which of course, I did.

                 We then picked it up from there and as she was quite new to baking and wanted to learn baking, I knew there and then that I had a mission, so to speak, to do and one very positive aspect of her is that when she loves a recipe, she is very eager to do it quickly even though she has so much work at her office, she would find time to juggle so that she could bake at nite when she came back from work.  My hats off to her cos even I did not do such thing.  For me I dont practise straight away but if I love something I learnt, I would take leave and do it.

                   I took her under my wing and mostly tutored her via her handphone and once at my home where I gave her a hands on demo on my Orange cake.  I also remembered she wanted to learn my Mini Coconut buns and we spoke at length on numerous occasions; coaching her, giving her the moral support and when she was baking the buns and she had any problems; trying to trouble shot the problem.  Those were beautiful memories of days of past and I swelled with pride when she could bake the buns with just "phone calls lessions".  Yes Cecillia, you made me damn proud of you on your success.

                     I feel quite sad that we dont get to meet so often these days as we dont go to the same classes and that made me remember a touching email about the sessions in a person's life in relation to friendship; that there was a time to bond with good frens and then there will come a time when frens move apart; wish I had that email so that I could post same.  When 5 of my good frens moved on, the sadness I felt was almost tangible and the only saving grace is that we were just a phone call away and the 5 ladies who touched a vital spot in my life were Cecillia, Min Choo [who even though Min Choo was away for more than 7 years and now in the US, she never failed to call me every 2 weeks since she has been away], Aimee, Rosie, Janet.  I met all of them at baking class and somehow I jelled well with each one of them and were constantly touching base; helping and prodding each other along when the need arises. 

                       So Cecillia thank you very much for your lovely basket of fruits, I loved them and you made my day.  Thank you for always remembering me, I love you too and to you my dear fren may God bless you and fill your days with GLADNESS, LOVE & PROSPERITY.



                   Till my next post, xoxo Ophelia

         

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Red Bell Pepper Sauce

                                    Red Bell Pepper Sauce

         200 gm            Red Capsicum/Bell Pepper, wash and dry it well
         100 gm            Yellow Onions
           50 ml             White Wine
         200 ml             *Chicken stock [see my mushroom sauce recipe for the stock recipe]
           75 ml             Whipping cream [brands like, "Anchor", "Shani", "Emborg"]
           20 gm             Butter
                                  Salt & Pepper to taste

          Method
  1. Roast the Red Capsicum on direct fire until the skin turns black.
  2. Immediately place the roasted red capsicum in a plastic bag and tie the bag and leave it in there for 5 minutes in order to "sweat" them.
  3. Straight away peel all the black parts of the skin [do not wash it, clean it with a kitchen towel].  Cut it and remove the seeds and then slice them into pieces.
  4. Melt the butter in the pan, [making sure you dont burn the butter as butter burns easily and if you are afraid it would get burnt, add a little vegetable oil] & saute the yellow onions for 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the red bell pepper, stir same.
  6. Add in the white wine & let the liquid reduced to half its amount about 3 minutes.
  7. Add in the chicken stock.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Add in the cream, salt & pepper to taste.
  9. Serve this with any Roast Chicken or my Cajun Roasted Chicken and the Mushroom Sauce.
                   Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rest well, mum


My mum happily extending hand to His Grace, Pope John Paul
              My beloved mum passed away in 1995 and every 22nd of December, since the time she was alive and then when she died, I always remember her more as it is her birthday and I neednt worry that I would forget as the Chinese community would be celebrating the Winter Solstice Festival/Tong Yuen but as though I needed anything to jog my memory, the memory of her birthday is implanted deep in the recesses of my mind.

              I take some time to thank her for all she did for me and to reflect on her generousity esp her donations for the building of new Churchs and the one that strike me most was, after she died and we needed to go through her things, we found so many receipts for thousands of dollars esp for the building of a Church in East Malaysia and the thing that was beautiful as the ppl there did not know she passed away, would always send her a card to thank her for her generousity.

              I thanked her for raising me up to be what I am today.  I may not have been a professional in life but I think I have found more blessing/happiness in my own well knit family  and my mum taught me well, just by sheer observation of her immense Faith, Belief & Trust in our Lord and Our Lady and she was always praying to our Lady, that if we place all our trust and faith in the Lord and even if our faith was as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains.  Praise the Lord, Allellulia. Amen

              May she rest in the grace of Our Lord as I am very sure she is now singing and praising with all the Angels in homage to our Lord the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and I am also very sure she is praying up there for my family and me too.  I love you mum and if I havent expressed enough my thanks, forgive me.

                Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Mushroom Sauce to accompany chicken roast

                                         Mushroom Sauce

         Make the stock first as it beats any store bought chicken stock hands down and you can do this 2 days ahead.

           Ingredients for stock

               1                  Chicken carcass, cut into smaller pieces
               1                  Yellow Onion, cut into half
               1                  Carrot, cut into big chunks
               1                  rib of Celery
               5 pips           Garlic, smashed opt
                                    the hard stubs from the mushroom

                         Lay a foil on a large baking tray, place all the above on it and bake at 140 degrees centrigrade for 1 hour.



                     Remove from oven place all the above including all the drippings and if there are any residual, which is the "good stuff" remove it gently from the foil and place in the pot.  Add water to cover the level of the bones and veg and bring it to a boil.  Once it has boiled, lower the heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for 1 - 2 hours and skim off the scum from the surface.  If you wish you can also add 2 Tablespoon of white wine during the simmering period, which will give your stock an extra umph.

                 Cool completely & then store it in a tight fitting tupperware till the day you want to make the Mushroom Sauce.  You can do this *stock 2 days in advance before you want to roast.  By roasting it first and then boiling to make the stock, the net result is that your stock will be more robust and deeper in colour than just boiling the stock without roasting the bones and veg first.  Of course in a sense it is more work but I always advocate myself and anyone who learns from me, that walking an extra mile has its own advantages.

       Finale

         Ingredients for Mushroom Sauce

             2 Tablesp           Oil
             2                        Big Yellow Onions
         200 gm                  Fresh Button Mushrooms
             2 Tablesp           Flour, sieved
             2 cups                *stock
             4 teasp               Light Soya Sauce
             4 teasp              Tomato Sauce, must add
             1 teasp               Sugar
             1/8 teasp            Freshly coarsely grounded Black Pepper [to be added last to give a zing]

          Method for Mushroom Sauce
  1. Remove the *stock from the fridge and let it thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 Tablesp oil & saute/sweat/fry the Yellow Onions.
  3. Add in the mushrooms & saute it for 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the flour gradually and stir same till it combines and becomes a smooth mixture.
  5. Then add in the light soya sauce, tomato sauce, sugar & the *stock & bring it to a boil.
  6. Add in the freshly grounded black pepper.  Taste and adjust to your liking. Serve it as an accomplyment to any roast chicken.

                Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia
     

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cajun Roasted Chicken

                                                      Cajun Roasted Chicken



Ingredients

    2 kg               whole chicken [marinade the chicken for 2 - 3 hours in the fridge as below]

                Marinade the cavity of the chicken with [for all measurements use a cake measuring spoons]

                    3/4 level teasp           Salt [use a cake measuring teaspoon]
                    1 level teasp              Cajun seasoning/All Spice
                    1 level Tablesp          Lemon juice
                    1/2 level Tablesp       Paprika

                  Marinade the outside of chicken with

                     1 level teasp            Salt
                     1 level teasp            Thick Black Soya Sauce
                     1 level Tablesp        Cajun seasoning/All Spice
                     3/4 level Tablesp     Lemon juice
                     1/2 level Tablesp     Paprika

           Ingredients for the "miorpiox"

                     200 gm                       Yellow Onions, cut into half
                     100 gm                        Celery, cut into chunks
                     100 gm                        Carrots, cut into chunks
                       50 gm                         Leek, cut into chunks
                     100 gm                         Pumpkin, remove skin & cut into chunks
                         1                               small Granny Smith apple, to be pricked & inserted in the chicken cavity
                         5 pips                      Garlic, smashed

     Method
  1. Remove chicken from fridge & allow it to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven at 180 degrees celsius for 20 minutes.
  3. Lay a foil [matt surface of foil upwards as it retains heat whereas shinny surface reflects heat] on a large baking tray.
  4. Place the miorpiox i.e. the vegetables except the Granny Smith apple, spaciously on the foil.
  5. Then place a baking rack.
  6. Prick alot of holes in the apple, to allow the aroma of the apple to infuse in the chicken & insert it in the chicken cavity.
  7. Place the chicken breast side up on the baking rack & bake it in the pre heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 45 minutes or till baked.
  8. Half way through the baking time i.e. after 20 minutes, remove chicken from oven, tilt it upwards so that the drippings/oil can flow into the vegetables & baste both sides with some melted butter.  For those of you who would like to do away with brushing with a brush, make an impromptu brush, cut 5" from the bottom of a serai/lemai grass, discard the rest, wash then use a sharp knife and make some long slashes on the serai and use this as a brush.  This is pretty cool as you can then also infuse a little bit of the aroma of the serai when you brush the melted butter on the hot chicken, learnt this trick from a Chef.
  9. Now bake the other side of the chicken for probably another 25 minutes or so.  To know when the chicken is baked properly, insert a skewter in the thickest part of the chicken, ie. the thigh, and the Juice that runs out should be Clear.
  10. Once chicken has been baked, remove from oven & let it REST for 20 minutes before chopping.
  11. Collect all the veg and drippings into a small pot, add 1/2 a cup of water & boil it.  Then thicken with a solution of 1/2 Tablesp of corn flour & 1 Tablespoon of water.  Once you add in the cornflour solution, bring the mixture to a boil.  Immediately after it has boiled, switch off the fire.  If, after adding the corn flour solution, and you do not bring the mixture to a boil, you will have a floury taste.
  12. Pour the sauce on the chopped chicken.
                This is in dedication of Nana, my Follower, who wanted a roast chicken recipe for Christmas.  Check out my next Mushroom Sauce and Red Bell Pepper sauce which can accompany roast chicken as the sauce you make from this Cajun Roasted Chicken will not be alot.

                  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Blessed & Merry Christmas & NY to everyone who logs in here :)


As Christmas is only days away, cleaned the altar and made the altar area more joyful to welcome our dear Lord

             This year's simplistic Christmas Decor to Welcome the Birth of our Lord and to Welcome Him to our home.  He died on the cross to save us All.  God bless you everybody who logs in here.  Thank you for your visit and do drop by often :) Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 21.12.2010


Minilistic Chrismas decor put up.  The one that is boxed in like a fence was bought separately and assembled by my daughter

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Steam Egg with Minced Meat Sauce

                                           Steam Egg with Saute minced Pork Sauce


             In my younger days when I was ardently learning how to bake and cook I always followed a recipe rigidly now after more than 2 decades, I think I have earned my star and stripes and have decided to occasionally go outside the perimeter of an imaginary box by "marrying" one recipe with another with the hope of raising my own bar and creating something of my own and today is the culmination of one of those days.

          I dont have fresh soya bean milk as didnt go to the market which I needed to make my homemade Tofu to accompany the Sauted minced Pork Sauce but then I had alot of fresh eggs in the fridge, fingers strumming on my head.  "Well, perhaps, I told myself, I can make steam egg and pour this delicious sauce over it. Hmmmmm, good idea but then I thought to myself, I have never in my life steam eggs, so how lah.

            My best friend taught me eons ago that it was not difficult, the only thing to remember was the ratio 1 part egg to 1 part water [and for those of you who, like me, have never steam egg and too shy to ask me, the weight of the egg is minus the shells[ and inspite of her assurance I never made it as my better half does not, generally, like to eat bland food.  For him, it is always, Chilli, Chilli and more Chilli!!! But never mind I told myself, I shall compromise.

            So in order to fill our bellies, when the fridge is almost bare, I decided today shall be the D Day for me to put the theory to the test.  Guess what ppl I am so mighty glad that I finally did it as my family loved it and the texture of the eggs was smooth and pouring the sauce on the steam egg was a big bonus as better half loved it.  One important trick that I learnt in my cooking classes is that whenever you steam tofu or steam egg, you should NOT cover the lid completely; leave a slight gap as this makes the texture Level, AND you should grease the bowl/cake tin with a little oil as easier to scope out and wash and for those of you who want to try this, the recipe for my Saute Mince Meat Sauce, see my earlier post on Homemade Tofu. 

            A last note to add is that it is easier to make the steam egg in comparision with the homemade tofu, not for any other reason than that you would probably have fresh eggs in the fridge than fresh Soya Bean Milk :)



                   Till the next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Monday, December 6, 2010

Have you ever?

           Do you notice that everyone has a "Have you ever?" list.  To some, it could be, "Have you ever":-

  1. been loved?
  2. been kissed?
  3. made a real good fren, who has stood by you all the while, lifting you up when you are down, sharing yr joy when you are overflowing with joy?
  4. lost someone dear to you and feel that the world has stopped revolving?
  5. baked and the cake was a total disaster?  Well, I had when I first started learning baking more than 2 decades ago But that never stopped me from giving it all up altogether even my husband had, Read one of my earlier blogs on his attempt but in his case, it was not pursued any further :(
                 Well there are so many Have you ever, but for me, these are "Have you Ever" that stopped me in my tracks.  Have you ever:-
  1. been awaken with a kiss by your dog??? If you have, you will know how beautiful this is, aside from the fact that it is going to be a "wet" kiss and one which you will instinctively rub off.  Sundae my 5 year old Lab always wakes us up with a kiss to sort of tell us, "Hey where's my breakfast?"
    1. prior to meal times been barked at to sort of give you a gentle prod in that direction.  I can almost "swear" that she has a built in alarm in her body.  Every day at 8 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. she Waits patiently for her food and if you have forgot, you dont have to worry, she will Bark to remind you of same. Then if that is not enough, at 1 p.m. she would look expectedly at you while you have yr lunch as for her it is time for her apple.  Maybe Sundae can teach us a thing or two about keeping up to schedules be it at the work place or at home and as I can't jolly well upload a video on how she wakes us up with a kiss, I leave it to your imagination to know that Sundae fills up any imaginary void in our lives, she gave so much Love to us unconditionally and evoke so much Love in us and this "big" bundle of joy that came into our lives as a Christmas present 5 years ago to fill the void that our beloved 17 year old Lindsey, our pet, left behind on the same very year as our children felt that it was fitting to put someone in Lindsey's prominent absence.
                    Till my next post, xoxo Ophelia

Onde Onde

                                       Onde Onde

           Ingredients

              6                 large Pandan leaves, wash & snip into 1 cm lengths
            75 ml             Water
          200 gm            Glutinous Rice Flour, sieved
            90 ml            Hot water that is just boiled
          200 gm            Gula Melaka, finely chopped
               1 cup          grated Fresh coconut
            1/2 teasp        Salt

           Method
  1. Place the grated fresh coconut in a plate and add the salt to it and mix it well.  Set aside.
  2. Blend the pandan leaves and the first quantity of water i.e. 75 ml, and whiz till fine.  Strain and squeeze juice.
  3. Place the sieved Glutinous Rice Flour and the pandan juice in a large bowl.  Add in the hot water [leave just a bit behind as you have to check first the consistency of the glutinous rice flour] and knead well to form a smooth pliable dough [if you feel that th dough is slightly dry then add in the balance of the hot water & continue to knead].
  4. Cover this dough with a damp cloth to prevent dehydration.
  5. Boil water in a large pot.  Once water is boiled, lower the fire to medium low to allow the water to boil "gently".
  6. Pinch off small balls of dough the size of a limau kasturi and roll it between your palms to make smooth balls.   Carefully make a small dent in the centre and fill it with the chopped gula melaka/palm sugar and roll up to close the hole.  Make a few and then drop them into the hot, simmering water.
  7. When the balls float up, use a slotted spoon and drain off excess water and drop into the plate of "salted" grated coconut and roll it in order to coat evenly.  Shake off excess grated coconut and transfer to serving plate.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bubur Cha Cha

                                                                      Bubur Cha Cha

          "A"

         300 gm        Purple Sweet Potato [weigh after skinning same. Steam then mash]
         300 gm        Yam [weigh after skinning. Steam then mash]
             8 teasp     Sago, wash & drain [no need to soak same]
       1800 ml          Water
             4              Pandan leaves
          200 gm        Gula Melaka
             2 Tabsp    Castor Sugar

          "B"

         150 gm         Yam [weigh after skinning.  Cube then steam]
         150 gm         Purple Sweet Potato [weigh after skinning Cubed then steam ]
         200 ml          FRESH Santan/Coconut Milk
         1/2 teasp      Salt

         Method
  1. Do not shred the pandan leaves till the very end.  Then knot it.  Shredding releases the aroma.
  2. In a large pot. put 300 gm steamed mash Purple Sweet Potato, 300 gm steamed mash Yam, Sago and 150 ml water, knotted pandan leaves, gula Melaka, Castor Sugar and boil it at High heat for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.  OFF THE FIRE, SO THAT IT DOES NOT OVER BOIL.
  3. Put the fresh Santan in a bowl.  Once No.2 has been boiled, spoon 1 Big ladleful of the hot mixture into the bowl containing the fresh santan, stir it in order to incorporate it Then pour it into the, same, pot and all the balance of ingredients in "B" bring this mixture again to a boil then switch off the fire.
               Tip:- What I am about to write below is my own notes on my observation and what the Chef mentioned in passing and these are things not written at all in the recipe.  So my tip to you when you attend baking or cooking class, talk less and pay attention cos you will never know that you may have missed out what the Chef is telling and when you come back from class, try to retype the recipe with your notes interlinked so that you will know where exacting it should fit it but please dont go and confuse yourself in the process, if you are not an "old hand" in something like retyping, I suggest you dont retype as you may confuse yourself and if you find that you can adapt to my style ie retyping and putting in the relevant notes at the stragetic place, type it, if possible on the same day when the things are fresh on your mind and once you have done so, do not throw away the original, keep them both together as a cross reference :) :) :)



           (a) when you add the hot liquid to the fresh santan, this is called, "Tempering" and is a trade secret as if you put all of the fresh santan all at once into the hot boiling mixture, mixture may curdle];

           (b)  another secret is, if your fire is Too HIGH the bubur cha cha will curdle and wont be smooth];

            (c)  Another tip is once you have attended a class, you should do it asap when things are fresh in your memory :)

            (d)  This Bubur Cha Cha truly packs a punch as the mashed Yam and Purple Sweet Potato gives it a slight thickness and not very sweet.  When I first learnt it back in 2005, I made it and brought it as a Pot Luck to one of our Catholic BEC meeting at a member's house and after our prayers, when we were eating, I could literally hear the "ooos" and "aaas" of my Church members who were truly delighted with the Bubur Cha Cha and for a few minutes, I was an "instant celebrity".  Do this and be an instant celebrity too!!!  You wont be disappointed :)  And for those of you who will take up this challenge I am throwing to you to do same, let me have your comments pse as all these recipes comes from the heart and it will be a reward to me if you tried same and comment on the post. God bless. Ophelia

                Till the next post, adious, xoxo. Ophelia

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Man in a Hurry


           It was a busy morning at 8.30 a.m. when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.  He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9 a.m.

          I took his vitals signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him.  I saw him looking at his watch and decided that since I was not busy with another patient, I would inspect his wound.  On inspection, it was well healed so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redressed his wound.

         While taking care of his wound, I asked him whether he had another doctor appointment as he was, apparently, in such a hurry.  The gentleman told me, no but he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.  I enquired as to her health.

         He told me that she has been there for quite a while as she was a victim of Alzheimer's disease and as we talked I asked him if she would be upset if he was a bit late.  He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

         I was surprised and asked him, "And you still go there every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?

        He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me but I still know who she is".  I had to hold back my tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arms and thought, " This is the kind of Love that I want in my life.  True love is neither physical nor romantic.  True love is an acceptance of All That Is, Has Been, Will Be and Will Not Be.  It made me reflect that the happiest person doesn't necessarily have the best of everything, They just make the Best of Everything they have.  Life is not about how to survive a storm But how to dance in the rain.  We are all getting older, tomorrow may be our turn.  Enjoy and appreciate Life now, everything has an expiry date!!! 

                    A very touching email that I have read in a very long time.  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, December 3, 2010

Apple Pie Crumble

                                                         Apple Pie Crumble

              "A" which is the Crumble

              150 gm        Self Raising Flour, sieved
              100 gm        Brown Sugar
                80 gm        Butter OR Vegetable Shortening

              Method for Crumble "A"  - You can mix everything manually, lightly & short while till it resembles coarse corn meal.

      Tips for "A" 
                  
       1.  This can be done a day earlier, cling wrap, put in a tupperware BUT DO NOT PUT IN
             FRIDGE; leave it at room temperature;

       2.  In respect of the 80 gm Butter OR Vegetable Shortening if you use Vegetable Shortening,
             the Crumble is more crispy.

              "B"

            300 gm           All Purpose Flour/Tepung Gandung
            150 gm           Vegetable Shortening
                5 Oz            Water approximately 150 ml
            1/2 teasp         Salt
                1 Tabsp        Brown Sugar

          "C" [filling - mix well]

              1 can              Apple Filling
          100 gm               Raisins
              1/2 teasp        Cinnamon powder

                  Mix all these 3 together but if you want to make your own homemade apple filing, I teach you a very simple one :)

                   Remove skin of 2 green & 2 red apples, soak it in water, to keep them from discolouring, while you are attending to coring and cutting them.  After cutting drain the water then add 1 Tablespoon of Lemon juice to keep them from discolouring.

                   Cook the apples with 1 Tabsp Sugar and the Cinnamon powder on medium low fire.  Cool completely.

      "Final" Method
  1. Remove your dough from fridge and let it thaw for 20 - 30 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle/dust little flour on large plastic sheet [this is transparent plastic sheets which hawkers normally pack the food and which you can buy from markets].  Place dough on top then dust little flour on another large plastic and place the floured side on top of the dough.
  3. Use a rolling pin and roll in one direction only Not up and down.
  4. Preheat oven at 180 degress centigrade for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Straight away take a cutter and cut the dough and place the cut dough on a tart mould [you know the fluted tart moulds which ppl use to make egg tarts].  Press the dough lightly then take a fork and poke some holes.
  6. Add the cooled [if you made your own] apple pie filling and scatter the crumble on top & straight away bake in the Pre heated oven for 20 - 30 minutes.
               Another tip

               (a)  Most important Must important if you make the crumble a day ahead, Do Not put it in
                      the fridge, read my recipe on how to store the same at room temperature;

                (b)  After cutting the dough and placing it on the tart moulds, putting the apple filling and
                       placing the tart moulds on a baking tray, you can now cover with a large plastic and
                      put in the fridge.  Next day, pre heat oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, When oven
                      already preheated, remove from fridge, straight away add the Room Temperature
                      crumble and bake it straight away in pre heated oven for 20 - 30 minutes.

                        Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Homemade Tartar Sauce

                                                  Homemade Tartar Sauce

         Ingredient

             5 Tabsp         Mayo [cake measuring spoon]
             1 piece          Anchovy Fillet & 1 teaspoon of the oil from the Anchovy
             2 Tabsp         French Mustard
             4 cloves         Garlic, chop finely
             3                    Shallots/small onion, chop finely
             3 - 4              Red Chilli Padi, chop finely, opt
             1 teasp         Worcestershire Sauce
            1/2 teasp        Freshly ground White Pepper
            1 Tabsp          Lemon juice
            1/2 teasp       Paprika
            1 teasp          Olive Oil

          Method
  1. Combine all the above ingredients, except the Olive oil and the oil from the Anchovy in a bowl and stir same till combined.
  2. Add the Olive oil and the Anchovy oil and stir.
  3. Taste and adjust accordingly.
             N/B

            (a)  Make Fish and chips and use this Tartar Sauce as a dressing;

            (b)  All the spoon measurements are done with the cake measuring spoons;

            (c)  For my Malaysian viewers, I bought my Anchovy Fillet from 1 Utama.  This Tartar Sauce is yummylicious and I improvised it to make it more Malaysian by adding the chilli padi for my family and my daughter told me that it was delicious and spicy enough that she need not dip the potato chip with any chilli sauce!!!  I was very happy to hear that as I spent more than 20 years learning baking and cooking and now I am venturing "outside the box" by adding the chilli padi in order to make it more Malaysian and personalised and the net result was that it was very good.  One advice I would always advocate is whenever you are making any personal changes in cooking, to always write down the changes, this is something I always do.

             If you are interested to make the fish, buy Sole fish, it is very tasty too. Make your own bread crumbs a day ahead.  It is so easy to do and it is more fresher and save you the hassle of storing the balance if you buy the bread crumbs.

              Take 3 pieces of bread, preferably bread that is about 2 - 3 days old.  Put the bread on a wire cake rack and let it air dry for 4 - 5 hours, after which the bread will be, crispy like toasted bread.  Then blend it in a dry mill and store it in a air tight bottle.
  1. Cut the fish then marinade with salt and freshly ground Black Pepper powder.  Put it in the fridge and let it marinade for 1 - 2 hours.
  2. Put some All Purpose Flour/Tepung Gandung on a plate.  Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground White Pepper powder to the flour [this is called, "season flour".]
  3. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl with some White Pepper powder till eggs frothy.
  4. Put the bread crumbs on a plate.
  5. Remove fish from fridge and let it thaw for 30 minutes.
  6. Heat oil in a wok for deep frying the fish.
  7. If you want to know whether the oil is hot enough for frying, put a chopstick in the hot oil and if you see alot of bubble bubbling around the chopstick, your oil is hot.
  8. When oil is hot, straight away Reduce the fire to medium low as you dont want the outside of fish to cook and the inside raw. 1.  Coat the fish in the season flour. SHAKE off the excess flour from the fish.  2.  Then dip the fish in the beaten egg.  3.  Then dip the fish in the bread crumbs.  Repeat with the other slices of fish.
  9. Fry on both sides till golden colour.   Drain on kitchen towel.
  10. Serve with salad, potato chips and tartar sauce.
                  till the next post, xoxo. Ophelia