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Archive for February, 2011

‘Royal’ Layout

It has really been a long time since I do a scrapbook layout. This is for participation of Prima Feb BAP.

This layout is made with all latest Prima CHA products. Love love them. The stamp used on the heart is also from Prima. 

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Ondeh Ondeh

Hubby was overseas last weekend for work. Had actually planned for a meet up with 2 of my close friends with their boys over at my place but it had to be called off at last minute. Luckily, my parents were free to come over and my mother in law and neighbor were fortunately around to help me eat the 40 over ondeh ondeh that me and Zachary has made.

 This little sweet treats are best eaten the very day itself as the grated coconut will just turn bad fast. I have attached the recipe here, adapted from seasaltwithfood blog. I have not used the pandan extract as the sweet potatoes I bought has a nice orange color.

Ingredients

500 g White Color Sweet Potato Flesh (3 Medium, about 720g)
150 g Glutinous Rice Flour
20 g All-Purpose Flour

2 Tbsp Pandan Extract (8 Pandan Leaves, pounded)
150 g Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar), finely chopped
150 g Grated Coconut

A Pinch Of Sea Salt

Method

Boil the sweet potatoes in a medium pot until tender, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size of potatoes.

When cool enough to handle, mash the potatoes in a potato riser or masher. (If you are using a masher, you will have to peel the potatoes first)

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato with glutinous rice flour, all-purpose flour, and Pandan extract and with knead well to form a soft dough.

Mix the grated coconut with a pinch of salt and steam for about 2 – 3 minutes and let it cool completely

Bring a pot of water to boil. Pinch a small piece of dough (about 15 g each) and flatten lightly. Fill the center of the dough with palm sugar. Roll them in your palm to form a smooth ball and cook the ondeh ondeh in the boiling water. When the ondeh ondeh float to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and shake off the excess water.

Coat the ondeh ondeh with grated coconut and serve immediately.

Makes about 40 balls   

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Featured on Today

Was happy to see myself being featured once again in Today papers today. Would like to thanks Elisabeth, senior editor of Today for the wonderful interview session and also her kindness for informing and forwarding the pdf version of the article to me.

Here’s the article:

I hope this short interview article of mine will help inspire more of you to take up this wonderful hobby of photography. As like scrapbooking, photography is one great channel of capturing and recording the wonderful moments that you do not wish to forget. Another beauty of a picture is that it can tell a story without words.

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Happy valentine

Happy Valentine day to all of u here.

Would like to share with you here the Valentine Day present I made for my hubby this year.

I have finally dug out my long-bought printer tray for this project. Also, I have used mainly Prima products for this. I am truly captivated by the huge range and variety of the new Prima CHA releases especially the vintage trinkets.

I bought the chain and flower base plate and notions from local jewellery findings shop and then happily attached the trinkets and the new range of Prima flowers and also the photo mat with the beautiful dollies packaging backing from Prima.

Have distressed the tray with brown stazon for a vintagy look and go round the borders with lace.

A simple project that took me just 4 hours but I am so glad with the results because I really love all the trinkets especially the heart padlock and birdcage. Talking about birdcage, my hubby asked me why the obsession with birdcages (as he saw most of my projects carry them like a trademark). 😛

I am hoping to find some time to make a key charm, bracelet and necklace with these beautiful trinkets and flowers. Haha, time to dig out all my jewellery stash in the storeroom.

Other than this present, I made him the pig trotters bee hoon for lunch yesterday which is something that we both like. My first time making it. Thought it was little too salty.

Recipe from buttermoon blog:

Fried Bee Hoon with Canned Pig Trotters

Ingredients (serves 4)

200g Bee hoon or rice vermicelli (soaked in cold water)
1 can Braised pig trotters (chilled)
Half a Cabbage (cut into thin strips)
3 cloves Shallots (chopped)
3 cloves Garlic (chopped)
1.5 cups Water
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Salt

Preparation

    1. Soak bee hoon in cold water till it turns from translucent to opaque white.
    2. Chill the entire can of braised pig trotters. Let the layer of oil in the sauce harden and turn white. Remove the hardened oil. Remove the bones of the pig trotters. Place the meat and the sauce in different bowls. (I skipped the step of removing the oil; sinful me :P)3. Mix pig trotter sauce, water, oyster sauce, soy sauce and salt in a bowl.

Method

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    1. Fry shallots and garlic till light golden brown.
    2. Add de-boned braised pig trotters and fry with the shallots to draw out the fragrance from the pork.
    3. Add cabbage, bee hoon and water-oyster sauce mixture and turn down fire to let it simmer. Allow bee hoon to absorb the liquids (takes about 5 minutes).

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CNY Dresses

I have made 2 dresses for Chinese New Year this year.

One of them is a cheong sam for which I have set myself this tradition of wearing cheong sam on every first day of the Chinese New Year.

I was shopping at Chinatown and happened to come across the beautiful eastern style fabric designed by Robert Kauffman. It was a very pleasant surprise to find this fabric which is so suitable for making cheong sam and I love this color.

The fabric is of a good quality cotton and the thickness is ok to actually do away with lining. But as I want to make some slits at the legs which mean the inner would be shown, I decided to still go with lining. There was no problem cutting or sewing the fabric generally as it is cotton (I have hard time cutting fabric for my other blouse I made previously of slippery material).

The most difficult part was the standing collar. It was not easy to sew as like sewing sleeve to the main bodice. And I was constantly fearful that it may not stand nicely. But was glad I did make it stand at the end after all hard work of hand basting meticulously for the collar and sleeves too before the actual sewing.

And most importantly, I am glad my design for the cheong sam worked out fine. I drew inspiration from blogs and shops selling cheong sam. But this is not a perfect piece as I did notice some excess clothes at the sides and back. Though I have lots of assurance from my colleagues who saw me wearing it to work that it is already very nice and amazing to know I sew it, I am still not satisfied. I wish for a perfect fit one.

And the second one, I decided to go for a mix of fabric. After much thought, I decided to have organza for some revealing top portion of the bodice and the beautiful cotton lawn from Liberty of London for the main fabric. It is called cherry blossom. I love the silky feeling of the cotton lawn from Liberty and is so comfortable to feel but it comes with a heavy price to pay for. It costs nearly $50 a metre and I bought 3 metres to make this dress with a full circle bottom.

This was quite an easy dress. But it was a little tricker for me as I was trying to make the finishes look nice with a see through fabric the first time. And it was my first time cutting bias and sewing them. So end up, my bias finishing was bit fat. Practice makes perfect I guess.

I going take a break from sewing after these so as to prepare for my audit exam in April. But meanwhile, I hoping to steal some time here and there to do a crochet top. J

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CNY Goodies Part 2

And during the few days of the New Year, I made some New Year dishes. On the first day, I made the Japanese New Year dish which is basically a chicken stew. Usually, the Japanese will use Konnyaku, lotus,bamboo shoots but I have none of these at home. So, I used carrot, potato and shitake mushrooms. The sauce was made of mirin, soy sauce and sugar.

And on second day, I made dan dan mian for lunch. I love the sauce which has rice vinegar and home made chilli oil in it.

And then on the third day, I made this cabbage with mushroom and ‘fa cai’. I invented the recipe for this one. I love the gingerly taste of the cabbage and the oyster sauce taste for the mushroom and fa cai.

Here’s the recipe:

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    1. Blanch the cabbage slightly to soften it a little.
    2. Fry ginger slices and garlic with oil and later add around 200ml chicken stock, a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp sugar.
    3. When boil, add cabbage and simmer for around 1 minute.
    4. Take out the cabbage and add shitake mushroom and fa cai to the remaining stock.
    5. Add 1 tbsp oyster sauce mix with 2 tbsp water and fry the mushroom. Add some cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken the sauce.

And on the fourth day, I made the mango sticky rice to bring over to my friend’s house. I am glad that they like the rice.

Am really happy to meet up with friends and some of the relatives during this festive season and also to be able to find some time to cook for my family and friends during these few days amidst these new year visits.

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Wishing everyone here a Happy Chinese New Year and a prosperous year ahead.

I am more or less done with home visitation except for maybe 1 or 2 more visits to friends’ ones. This year, I realized quite a lot of us made new year cookies for ourselves and family members. I think this is a good tradition to keep and to pass on.

As for me, the weekend before last, I was also occupied with preparation of 2 new year cookies and the Chinese dumplings.

The first one I made was the almond cookies. I decorated with cashew nut on top as I have forgotten to get the almond chips.

Recipe as follows (one i got from a class I attended few years back at CC by chef Koh Bee Yen):

300g plain flour

100g icing sugar

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

180 ml veg oil

1/2 tsp salt

100g toasted almond powder

1 yolk + 1 tsp water

1. sieve flour, soda, baking powder and icing sugar.

2. add salt and almond powder

3. mix in oil and form a dough

4. roll into small balls and decorate with almond chips and brush the top with yolk

5. bake at preheated oven (180) for 15-20 min. 

The second one was Kueh Bangkit. The recipe was adapted from ‘Food and Travel’ magazine (Jan issue) and was my first time attempting this notoriously temperamental cookie. It was a failed attempt as I was not able to achieve the melt in the mouth texture. It has something to do with the dough as I could not achieve the look and texture as described. And then I realized I have used thin coconut milk instead of thick one. But nonetheless, still taken some pictures of them (look quite nice but don’t taste nice at all).

As for the dumplings, I have cut down the number by half this year. It was far too tiring doing around 100 dumplings myself last year. My hand ached after rolling out all the dough skin. I was glad that the dumplings made this year tasted nicer and I have also managed to roll the skin a little thinner this round

Look out for my next post for more New Year dishes I made.

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