Monday, May 3, 2010

How to Cook Perfect Fried Dumplings with Frozen Dumplings

What is wrong with frozen food?  According to me there is nothing wrong with frozen food.  It's convenient and keeps food from going off and its much healthier than takeaway.  I always have a few packets of these frozen dumplings in my freezer for snacking or emergency dinner.  

How to Clean your Water Kettle!

Do we ever open our water kettle to just have a look inside because we have nothing better to do...  

Well, on a bright and sunny day, I decided to look into my kettle.  I was disgusted to find this black mouldy looking ring had formed inside my kettle.  I had been boiling and drinking water from this kettle all this time and it had something growing inside.  Please readers do not be too disturbed by my ugly kettle because if you look inside your own kettle, you will probably find the same thing.  I don't know the reason behind it but thankfully I do have a solution.  

Monday, April 26, 2010

Japanese Night... OISHII!

Make your own sushi

YaY to theme parties!  Our theme parties usually consist of food, food and more food.  Tonight was no exception.  When Ms C* suggested Japanese Night, She smartly sold the idea to me by mentioning that it would be wonderful for my blog.  And yes indeed it was!  Now looking back at the photos, it makes my mouth water and my heart warm from remembering the happy memories.  I would say yes in a heart beat next time without a thought of my blog... because I truly had a wonderful time!

 There was alot of preparation because we wanted people to make their own sushi from the ingredients on the table.  So we provided every imaginable fillings that we could think of that was Japanese.  The girls went to buy the ingredients in the afternoon and I met up with them to prepare the filling.  It was a team effort which consisted of chopping, peeling, frying, and simmering.

Canton Noodle, Burwood and a not so good cafe

Before I start writing about the food, I am going to apologise to my dear friend Spud.  This horrible photos were taken before I had the photography lesson with you.  So please excuse the flash (because its a big no no) and kindly look beyond the flaws.

Canton Noodle is one of my family's favorite eatery.  It's great value for money, the serving is always huge and the taste is always pretty good.  Mr ITF and I met up with two of my high school friends, lady Gu Gu and Ms U for dinner.  

When you are seated, the waitress would usually put down several menus on the table.  Unless your familiar with this place, it would usually take you a good 10-15 minute to go through all the menus plus the menus that is stuck all over the walls.  We notice there was a new menu consisting of only set menus.  It was written in Chinese, so I asked the waitress if we could have an English menu.  Unfortunately they don't but fortunately we had one person who could read Chinese, which was Mr ITF.  So he translated the whole set menu for us!  Since we had only four people we choose the 4-people menu which cost a total of $88.80.  It consisted of a shallot and ginger crab, 8 pcs of curry puff or 8 pcs of vegetarian spring roll, three dishes of your choice from the set menu and rice.  We added noodles for our crab which was an extra $8.00.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

I adore Spring Rolls especially vegetarian spring rolls.  So I picked the vegetarian spring rolls without a second thought at the puff pastry.  The spring rolls were really good except it was a tad oily and if they had drained it a bit longer, it would have been perfect.

Deep Fried Salt and Pepper Calamari 

I have always picked this dish when I come.  This dish have never disappointed us.  As you can see from the photo, the serving is huge and it is unbelievable value at just $12.80.  

Egg Plant and Pork Mince Hot Pot with Special Spicy Sauce

I realise the photo does not do any justice for this dish and it is 101% my fault.  It is a beautiful dish and you could end up having 2-3 bowls of rice because of the sauce.

Stir Fry Sin Qua (aka Luffa), Beef and Black Fungus

I love this because it is simple and healthy.  Its hard to recreate this dish at home because you need alot of wok power (i.e. strong fire and lots of tossing power).  The name Black Fungus sounds a bit wrong but it is really healthy for you and apparently lowers high blood pressure.

Ginger and Shallot Crab with Noodle Base

We always order our Ginger and Shallot Crab with noodle base.  The noodles soaks up the crab sauce and they complement each other so well.  

Monday, April 19, 2010

No Effort Dinner Parties! aka HOT POT or Korean BBQ!

How do you organise a dinner party without sweating it out in the kitchen all day long?  The answer is Hot Pot or Korean BBQ.  It is super easy to buy the ingredients and to prepare the materials.  It is also fun for the dinner guests as they get to cook and eat what they want.  Stop slaving away in the kitchen and try these out!

Korean BBQ

I love this pan to death.  I found it at a Korean grocery shop and I rave on about it to my friends.  Its non-stick and really easy to clean.   It's also great if your watching your weight, because the pan has been designed like the George Freeman Grill where it is slanted so the oil from the meat drips out. 

Korean Chilli BBQ marinade

Chilli BBQ marinade goes really well with chicken or pork.  I have tried it with beef but it doesn't taste as good as chicken or pork. 

Chicken marinated in the chilli BBQ sauce

Korean BBQ marinade

I have made Korean BBQ marinde from scratch and it taste very similar to the purchased ones but it does take effort and I am blogging about a no effort dinner party so I just bought the marinade.

Beef ribs marinated in the Korean BBQ sauce

YAY to sliced meat

Straw mushroom


Sesame Oil with salt flakes and black pepper

Chilli Bean Paste

I love using sesame oil with salt and pepper as a dipping sauce.  Just don't marinade the meat and cook it in the pan and dip it into the sesame oil.  It's my favourite way of having Korean BBQ.  Make sure you cook lots of rice for your guests and put it in the middle of the table.  Eat this like San Choy Bow by using the lettuce as a bowl and add rice, meat, straw mushroom and your favourite dipping sauce.  

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dear Readers, if you have been reading this blog, you would have notice an absence in new postings. It's not because my creative juices have stopped flowing but it's because of my dilemma of how I should prioritise my jobs. I teach, tutor and blog and each job requires a lot of preparation and planning. I am very passionate about all my jobs and I may have overworked myself in trying to perfect everything. I made the decision to give myself a break in blogging for two weeks. I want to sit back and reflect on why I started blogging in the first place. I never ever want to feel like this is a chore. In a week's time, I will start my hobby again and I hope when I come back, you will sense a refresh me!

Monday, March 29, 2010

I heart MKR and Veronica and Shadi!

I never like following the recipes rigorously step by step. It's not because I don't respect the chef who created the dish but it's much more interesting and fulfilling to add your own touch to the dish. Veronica and Shadi were recently featured on Better Homes and Garden and I fell in love with their grilled Mediterranean vegetable and haloumi salad. So I decided to recreate it with ITF own special touch. Another reason for tampering with the recipe is the fact that I didn't have the haloumi cheese, the red onion and the balsamic vinegar.  The dish turned out fine and I am sure Chef Veronica and Shadi would have been proud of my version.