Saturday, 29 September 2007

WBB# 15 - Leftovers

I had some extra cooked macaroni from last night's dinner. As I highly value food, I did not have the heart to throw it away. I am a person who eats until my plate is clean. Hence, the pasta went to the fridge.

This morning, I opened the fridge and wondered of what to do with the pasta. My thinking bell rang and I came up with a super simple breakfast.

Macaroni Frittata

What do we need:

1/4 cup cooked macaroni
1/4 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tap oil
freshly milled black pepper

How do we do it:

Beat the eggs with milk and garam masala.

On a non stick frying pan, heat the oil and pour the egg mixture. Sprinkle the pasta and mixed vegetables onto the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat to prevent burning. When the top is almost cooked, very carefully flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds.

Serve Macaroni Frittata hot with dash of ketchup or chilli sauce. Along with a glass of orange juice, it makes a great breakfast.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Showing You My Cookbooks

Participating in events is so fun packed. It enhances our creativity. This time, there is this event that does not need us to cook. Rather we just have to show our cookbooks. This is more like a game and hey, I am enjoying it.

Collecting cookbooks have always been a great passion of mine. Bought my very first cookbook at the age of 12. Since then, I was into baking. Everything paused when I entered college. Later, continued after started to work until to date.

I bought quite a number of cookbooks during my 6 months stay in Malaysia for my delivery. Managed to bring back just a few. Many are still lying there. Hopefully my dear little brother sends them soon.

Below are just part of my collections that I wish to share for the Show Me Your Cook Books Event.

These are a few of my cookbooks. Some are in English language and the rest are in German language.

A large number of recipes are filed this way.

These are recipes in magazines, handouts and brochures. All of them are in German language.

Previously, I had also shared a few of my cookbooks here.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Think Spice... Think Mustard

Mustard is one of the oldest, least expensive and most widely used spices. For centuries, it has been used in cooking and as a medicine. Originally, it was the condiment, not the plant that was called mustard.

Mustard is a seed grain. Generally, it is globular, dark brown and just about one mm in diameter. Though mustard does not have any aroma, it has a very sharp and fiery flavour, which is more relevant. Precisely, there are three different kinds of mustard. White mustard is a round hard seed, beige or straw coloured. It is milder in flavour and has good preservative qualities. Black mustard is a round hard seed, varying in colour from dark brown to black, smaller and much more pungent than the white. Brown mustard is the same size as the black mustard, vary in colour from light to dark brown and is more pungent than the white, less than the black.

Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are used whole, ground into powder or processed further into prepared mustard. The leaves are used mainly in Chinese and Southeast Asian cooking. Whole seeds are used in pickling. It especially adds piquancy to Sauerkraut and is sometimes used in marinades as well. Mustard is an important spice in Indian cooking for it is the main ingredient used for tempering; the whole seeds are fried until it pops, producing a milder nutty flavour. It is also ground with other spices to prepare curry powders. Mustard oil is piquant oil that may be used in cooking. Powdered mustard is simply finely ground mustard seed that acts as an emulsifier in the preparation of mayonnaise and salad dressings. Mustard seeds could be stored for up to a year in a cool and dry area, away from light. Powdered mustard stays for about 6 months.

Over 4000 years ago, the ancient Greeks believed mustard had been created by Asclepius, the god of healing, as a gift to mankind. Mustard oil is a powerful irritant. It could cause blistering of skin but then, when diluted as a liniment or poultice it soothes and creates a warm sensation. Mustard plasters are used to counter irritants. Mustard has been used for scorpion stings, snake bites, epilepsy, toothache, bruises, stiff neck, rheumatism, colic and respiratory troubles. It is used to induce vomiting and an irritant that draws the blood to the surface of the skin to warm and comfort stiff muscles. Mustard is also used for bathing.

I personally feel that mustard ought to be used more innovatively in cooking. Therefore, here goes my entry for the Think Spice Event.

Mustardy Sweet and Sour Chicken

What do we need:

3 pieces chicken breast

1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 carrot
1 celery stick
1/2 red capsicum
1 medium onion
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder
freshly milled pepper

1 tsp corn flour
1 tbsp water

How do we do it:

Combine the marinade ingredients. Cut each chicken breast into 6 pieces. Marinade the chicken pieces for at least 30 minutes.

Slice carrot into thin rings. Dice the celery in 1 cm thickness. Cut the capsicum into 1 inch size pieces and quarter the onion.

Fry the marinated chicken pieces in highly heated oil for 2 minutes. Add carrot, celery and water. Simmer until the chicken has cooked. Add capsicum, onion and pineapple chunks. Stir in the mustard powder and season well. Finally, combine the thickening ingredients and stir in. When the sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat.

Serve Mustardy Sweet and Sour Chicken with hot piping rice.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Mahisha Turns 3 Part II

Today was another busy day. Assembling and decorating another cake for Maylisha's birthday celebration at the Day Care Centre was today's task. Yesterday, I had already baked a very simple chocolate cake, prepared chocolate mousse filling and butter cream. I did not plan ahead of how to decorate the cake. Just simply wacked it. I came out like this.....

Also made a few party packs filled with some chocolates and sweets. Once a upon a time, making paper bags used to be a passion of mine.

Finally, all the tasks for Maylisha's birthday celebration has come to an end. I am now on with my normal routine.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Maylisha Turns 3 Part I

It seemed liked I just gave birth to her but my little princess has turned 3 already. Its unbelievable how fast time flies. At times it scares me as well. I has been a custom that I always bake the cake for her birthday. Her past 2 birthdays were also the same. Maylisha loves Spongebob Squarepants and never misses the cartoon show. Therefore, the father insisted to have the cartoon character on the birthday cake. We planned to hold a small birthday party. My hands were tied the whole week preparing for the party.

Being a food lover, I prepared quite a number of food items. Ya.... ya.... all by myself. I was so very tired and exhausted. "Though small, it was a grand birthday bash." That was what my guests said. It made my tiredness to eclipse. The work does not end just there. Today I am busy preparing another cake and some party packs for the Day Care Centre as they will be celebrating Maylisha's birthday on Monday evening.

Spongebob Squarepants Cake

Chocolate Sponge Cake with Chocolate Mouse Filling and Buttercream Icing

Clockwise from top: Vegetable Briyani, Sticky Chicken,
Cheesy Vege Murtabak, Acar, Pineapple Pajeri, Prawn Sambal, Zuchini Sambar
Middle: Onion Pickle

Clockwise from top: Kuih Lapis, Sweetcorn Pudding, Tiramisu and Chocolate Sponge Cake

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

A Caramelized Success

I love those little steamed buttery caramel cupcakes sold at the stalls in KL, Malaysia during teatime. I have always wanted to make them by myself. First time tried, it was not so successful. Now, after a year’s gap, tried making them again. This time, it was a great success. Hubby wouldn’t stop eating them. He told me to make another batch for Mahisha's nursery's potluck party the next day. Made them, and everybody liked the cakes as well.

Steamed Caramel Cupcakes

What do we need:

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water

1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup milk

How do we do it:

Melt the sugar on very low heat. When the colour turns golden brown, immediately remove from heat and pour in the boiling water. Return to the heat and stir until the caramelized sugar dissolves in the water. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Mix cooled caramel syrup, egg, sugar, melted butter and milk. Stir well until sugar dissolves.

Combine the wet ingredients to the sifted flour mixture. Whisk gently until it is lump free. Pour the batter into greased little moulds until 3/4 full. Steam on high for 15 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool.

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