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Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 Christmas & Ash's 5th Birthday

December 25th, 2009


Frosty the Snowman, la la la la ...
It's Christmas where the house is abuzz with activities especially in the kitchen. The aroma of whatever is baking in the oven or grilling on the stove will fill the air. The old and the young, no matter at what age, will feel the excitement.

This year, we didn't put up a Christmas tree in our small living room (actually more of laziness. haahhaa). So we made do with making the outline of a Christmas tree on the wall with the twinkling bulbs. Idea from my creative hubby, off course! See? Nice?


I'm pretty smart this year. Instead of slogging in the kitchen all alone in preparing Christmas dinner as I usually do every year, I got myself a helper. My 17 year old nephew. A cheeky nephew that is! Since he's interested to learn how to cook, he's ever willing to come and spend a day in the kitchen with me. If anyone needs a helper, you can 'rent' him. Just feed him and he's happy!

For the past 5 years, all our Christmas were spent with added joyous moment as our little girl's birthday falls on the 23rd. So every year, we have double celebration and this makes her a very happy child as she gets double presents too! Our little Snow White!


Ok, here's the Christmas menu:

Caesar Salad
Roast Turkey with Apple n Raisin stuffing
Roast Lamb
Mashed Potatoes
Pasta with Tomato & Celery
Pie Tee
Ice-Cream Birthday Cake
*Thong Yin
*(The Nyonyas call this Kueh Ee which is served during the Winter Solstice Day. It's made of glutinous rice and shaped into small balls in white and red and served in sugar syrup. The Winter Soulstice Day falls on every 22nd of December every year).

Here are the pictures of our 2009 Christmas & Ashleigh's 5th Birthday Celebration.
Caesar Salad anyone??



This is how you stuff the turkey and how it looks like while waiting to be roasted. For the stuffing, heat some olive oil and butter. Add in chopped onion and garlic. Then add the chopped celery, followed by prunes and raisins. Fry for a minute or two, then add the chopped apple and pear. Take off heat, let cool and add in croutons. For the turkey, rub salt and butter all over the turkey and inside the cavity. Just before roasting, pour a generous amount of olive oil and juice of 1 lemon.

As for the gravy, pour the sauce from the turkey after it's baked, into a saucepan. Heat it up over a medium fire, add 400ml of chicken stock. Let boil and add a little cornflour to thicken the sauce. Then add a little red wine, salt and pepper to taste.

Voila! Roast Turkey with Apple & Raisin Stuffing. And the rating? Well I leave it to you..hardly any leftovers!









Roast Lamb

Marinate: Seasoned Salt, Black Pepper and Garlic. Before roasting, pour a little of olive oil and brush some mint sauce all over and bake for about 2 hours at 200 degree celsius.



There you go! A wonderfully tender piece of lamb! And the rating is...no left over. In fact, there's a request for repeat performance. Hmmmm....









Here's my cheeky 'little' Elf hard at work in peeling the potatoes! And the hardwork paid-off! Delicious mashed potatotes ever. And guess who finished it off? The 'Elf' himself..haahhaa.

Recipe? Well, boil the potatoes (without skin) in a pot of boiling water. Once soft, drain, and mashed it with a fork. Melt a little butter and mix together with the mashed potatoes. For added flavour, add in black pepper and a little of salt as desired.


Pie Tee contributed by my sisters who are superb cooks in their own ways, Joyce and Joslynn. Joyce, who is my 4th sis, is a very good cook and this is proven by her healthy looking family! She's also a good baker and she makes and sells cookies as well. I highly recommend that you try her cookies. It's like chipsmore, now you see it, now you don't. She can be contacted at joyceeong@yahoo.com. My youngest sis, who is quite a good cook and baker herself. She's very good at cake decorating and she writes her own blog. She has many interesting recipes in her blog www.nyonyapendekmelaka@blogspot.com. Basically, my sisters (5 of them) are very kitchen savvy! All thanks to our dearest Mom, nyonya pendek Melaka, Madam Tan.


2009 Christmas Dinner. Secret ingredient is, prepared with lots of love!!
And here's to proof a good meal for everyone!
Tummy full of food, now impatiently waiting for the presents!


Ashleigh's 5th Birthday Celebration!




Happy 5th Birthday, Darling Snow White! We all love you very much!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Buffalos & Wings

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Yesterday celebrated my little girl's birthday who turned eight years old on November 6th. Felt like it was only yesterday that she came into this world and now she's already 8! How time really flies...before I know it, she will be 18 all too soon!

Don't grow up too fast, ok, my darling Cait.

She was very excited to celebrate her birthday with her cousins and had waited for 12 months for another round of presents! Every present that she opened, she squealed with excitement. It's such a pleasure just watching her. My sweet, sweet dear Caitlyn!


This is the birthday cake which I baked and decorated with fondant & image icing. If you look closely, I have her pictures at various ages at the top and around the cake.

Fresh Strawberry Cake w Fondant Icing and Hannah Montana/Caitlyn Image Icing



I wanted to serve Buffalo Wings (TGIF's style) at Caitlyn's dinner party. Googled for the recipe and there are hundreds of recipes to choose from. Finally, I came up with my own recipe. With a little bit of sense and creativity, here's Jen's Buffalo Wings which was (proudly may I add) a success!

Jen's Buffalo Wings

Marinade chicken wings with:
Salt, cornflour, worchestershire sauce.

Seasoning sauce: Melt 50g butter and add in tabasco sauce (suit your taste) and a little dash of worchestershire sauce.

Preheat oven and line baking tray with foil.
Place chicken wings on tray and bake till half done. Take out of the oven and place the chicken wings in another baking dish without any lining. Pour sauce over chicken wings and bake till done.

What's the taste like? Buffalo Wings, off course! Slightly sourish and spicy. Wonderful!

I also made this perfect BBQ Honey Chicken Wings for the young ones as the Buffalo Wings might be a little too spicy for the young tots!

Jen's BBQ Honey Chicken Wings

Marinade (2 hours): salt, a little black pepper, cornflour, chinese rice wine (not too much), sesame oil, five spice powder, golden syrup.

Preheat oven and line tray with aluminium foil. Place marinated chicken wings on tray and bake till done. Perfecto!

These recipes are simple and healthier than frying! Have a try.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chocolate Lovers

Friday, October 30, 2009

For all chocolate lovers out there, here's a recipe that is worth trying.

This recipe has been tried and tested and it's simply superb! The best part of this recipe is that if you fall into the group of people where you want to try your hand at baking but don't want to go through all the hassle of beating the sugar and butter with a cake mixer because you are just simply too lazy to wash up, or if you don't have a cake mixer (go get one!) well..here's THE recipe which you might just want to try. No cake mixer is required or any whipping is needed. You just dump everything together and stir to combine. As easy as A, B, C. If this is not easy enough for you, then.....(gosh!)

I baked this cake last night and did some decoration to it too for my son's children party at school today. This Chocolate Mud Cake is not too heavy but rich enough and moist to have the 'muddy' texture. Even after a hearty meal, you will not be able to resist a second helping of this cake. Belief me! I have proof for that! Here's the recipe and for the decoration, you can view my video via youtube from the link which I've attached below. But I must warn you! You may get distracted by my daughter in the video cos' she's simply adorable!



Chocolate Mud Cake
1 1/3 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup castor sugar
200 g butter
250 g dark chocolate, break into pieces
1/3 cup hot water
3 eggs

Icing:
200 g dark chocolate
100 g unsalted buter
2 tbsp cream

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Brush a deep 23cm round or square cake tin with melted butter or oil. Line base with paper, grease.
2. Sift the flours and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center.
3. Combine sugar, butter, chocolate and water in a medium pan. Stir over low heat until butter and chocolate have melted and sugar has dissolved; remove from heat.
4. Add butter mixture and eggs to dry ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon until ingredients are just combined; do not overbeat.
5. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for about 1 1/2 hrs or until cake is done.
6. Stand cake in tin for 20mins before turning onto wire rack to cool.
7. To make icing: combine chocolate, butter and cream in small pan. Stir over low heat until chocolate and butter have melted; remove from heat. Cool.
8. Spread the icing over cake.

And for the decoration part, here's the link. If this link doesn't work, just log-in to youtube from google, then search by typing 'straitsbakes'.......happy watching!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAvsj_uvOac

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=764CM68goPg

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Get Creative

Sunday, October 25, 2009


A lazy Sunday afternoon and just had a hand at new recipe..'Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake'. No idea how it will taste like as it's now in the cooling process but the aroma is just fantastic! Will post the pic in my next blog ok..and yes, with the recipe too!

Ok..apart from food, there are other things in life in case you haven't notice! Haa..haa.. Arts & Crafts! Yes, you heard me right..nothing to do with food.

There are glass painting, embroidery, needlework, quilting, paper craft, sketching and the list goes on. Well, in this area, I do glass painting, some embroidery and sewing stuff. I'm not good at it but I'm not that bad either, if I may say so. Here are some of my 'collections' and tell me what you think.

Here's my son's Liverpool pillowcase which I painstakingly embroidered the Liverpool logo and sewed the pillowcase as well. Like this? There's more. When I did this for him, I've to consider my daughters as well..and hence, the birth of Snow White and Belle pillowcases as pictured below. These 2 princesses pillowcases is a mixture of embroidery and ribbon embroidery. Ribbon embroidery is new to me and where did I learn to do this? YouTube of course!


Before you do any embroidery, you will have to draw the image first and all these images are hand drawn by none other than yours truly..hee..hee..not bad eh!

From these small little projects of pillowcases, I thought to myself...Why not do a Comforter? That is a big project for someone who never sew one in her life at all. So, I gave myself a challenge and did it with lots of help from my 3rd sis who is a genius at needlecraft. She had done so many comforters, dresses, blankets, baby cot bumpers, kitchen stuff ie. coasters, kettle covers, fitted bedsheets, crochet, cross-stitch. You name it and she had done it all! My hats off to you, my dear Julie!

So, I had some sort of a 'crash course' from her on what needs to be done and then I went fabric searching etc. Everyone, this is my first ever Comforter (extra Queen Size) and I am proud of it!


There are over 200 motifs that I hand stitched using various designs in blocks of fabrics. This method is called Applique. Yes, I did this all, complete with batting and the backing as well. And the result is...SELF ACHIEVEMENT! If you think this is good, wait till you see the ones my 3rd sis did. Here are some of her projects..




Hey sis, you Rock! Well done!

What is my current project?
Well, my office friends (the G-Force) and I, almost completing our first project together in making a quilt comforter all in the name of charity. We are all amateurs and every single stitch is hand stitched. No sewing machine what-so-ever! Good job, G-Force!

Ok..now my glass painting. If you have a flair for drawing, glass painting is easy. Be creative and explore your ideas..if it goes wrong, don't worry. Try another one! Here are my creations..





Guess who? Right! Michael Jackson..drawn by my hubby using marker pen on a whiteboard.

Now, before I pen-off, let me treat you to a bowl of Nyonya Laksa Lemak...sorry..can't give you the recipe. It's my family recipe and if I were to tell you the secret, my siblings gonna kill me! Let me treat you to my creation of a basket of flowers & fruits too! Haa..haa..


Happy Drooling!