what’s for chinese new year?

By , January 23, 2009 3:42 pm

pineapple tarts that’s what!

although i use the same recipe every year, i still find myself surprised when it turns out good and meltsinmymouth (that’s exactly how slushy it sounds when i say it immediately after popping one *roll eyes at myself*).

a friend who came over to help coined the new house “the ong factory” and i was of course head of the factory and all us factory girls were beaming with our baked goods at the end of the supremely tiring day.

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these bite size tarts are so easy to eat it’s dangerous to start. what hits you first is how the pastry crumbles in your mouth, and afterward, the soft texture of the sweet pineapple within that binds the flavour of the two together.

i’m all ready to enjoy the festivities and lotsa good food. hope you are too!

Happy Chinese New Year!

instant foods

By , January 16, 2009 1:34 pm

shame on me i know. the first few things i make in my kitchen are of the instant variety. dan made the real deal (roast beef and spaghetti) but i Did make cupcakes… why do i feel like i have to justify myself?

anyway, i thought the experience worth sharing :

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bought it at ntuc for 7.50 (individually packed)

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the concentrated herbal soup lies paste-like within a brands essence looking bottle. i followed the super simple instructions and added some veges (cai xin) for a nicer presentation and a more complete taste (vegetables does that!)

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i’m not sure i’d be able to tell that this is instant food if i didn’t make it. it serves four, and the others thought that i brewed it for a long time (i might’ve kept quiet but my innate instinct is to share a good thing). there was a slight taste of chicken essence (which i like!) so for a soup lover like me, this is a gem of a find 🙂

next up – some cheese cake dessert dan picked out cos it looked easy even tho the only instructions were in japanese.

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with some guesswork, we figured that we’re meant to mix 7.5cc of milk with the crumbs, press it into a 15cm foil(which i substituted with a rectangular one cos i couldn’t find a round one) and then pour in a mix of milk (100cc) with the cheese/milk powder. open both packets – the crumbs are a darker shade.

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slight problem – after pouring the crumbs out and mixing in 7.5cc of milk, it still looked crumbly. i just did my best to press it down.

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after adding the whipped cheese mixture, it didn’t look more hopeful.

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after letting it sit in the fridge for 2hrs, it came out like this. didn’t like the artificial cheese taste. in fact, i thought it tasted more like cheese jello (altho i have never tasted cheese jello before).

fail.

you win some you lose some  – and that is the attitude you have to take with you when gambling over chinese new year (hurhur)

sliced fish steamboat

By , January 10, 2009 10:18 am

an old favourite revisited just before the close of the year : 556 Balestier Road

this is called the batam fish (or at least that’s how i order it everytime). my mum told me before that the poor orders this and the rich orders the pomfret. i must be blessed with a taste for cheap food cos i like the texture and taste of this fish, esp the no bones bit. 

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the broth is flavorful without me thirsting the rest of the night from MSG. there’s also an ever so slight aftertaste of tang kwei (see last picture). i like too. They use charcoal instead of gas and i’m including it cos it sounds noteworthy. i haven’t yet figured out why this is supposed to be a plus since everything in the soup is cooked before being poured in.

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this is the deep fried prawn coated in salted egg. VERY yummy. there’s a very light batter covering the prawn so it’s slightly crunchy when you bite into it. it’s only coated with salted egg on one side so the balance of the different tastes comes together perfectly. i’ll say it again. VERY yummy.

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fried dou miao – a tad too salty but compliments the rice very well.

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chilli padi with soya sauce and the special chilli garlic mix. i choose the former because it’s spicier and because the latter will remain in my mouth til the next day (yes i’ve tried it before) 

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following ‘tradition’, we fished out what was inside the steamboat at the end of our meal. from left to right, there’s salted fish, some plum, tang kwei and yam. the reason why i took this picture, is so that you will recognise the plum. now, wait for the plum to dry and then press it gently with one finger. it’s a very strange but nice sensation. now you know the inane things i do to my food other than eat it. but really – try it if you eat there ok?

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9 days into 09

By , January 9, 2009 10:07 pm

i must say it’s been a productive 9 days because i have moved!!! 🙂

the new place boasts a bigger kitchen which is very timely for chinese new year – more space for more hands to help me make pineapple tarts! Plus i recently went to club med in bintan and made a new friend who’s into baking – that only means more new recipes to share later when i break in the new oven.

am loving the new year already – hope your 9 days into 09 has been as joyful!

ps: dan and i went for a prata supper along upp thomson road. it says crispy prata but tasted more like a pastry than prata – too sweet, too oily and the curry was too starchy. i wouldn’t recommend this serving of heart attack. (oh and dan didn’t like the crispy (re)fried chicken served there too.

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