French Toast with Nutella
30 December 2009, 8:55 pm
Filed under: Bread/Pasta

My 8-year old son requested French toast for breakfast yesterday.  My son lets me know what food he wants which I appreciate, as I usually run out of ideas on what to cook and prepare.   I make an effort to cook what he asks for – that is if I have the ingredients in my pantry or fridge.

1 egg
60ml milk
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 slices wholemeal bread
1 tbsp of Nutella (optional)

Place egg, milk, sugar and vanilla in a dish, whisk with fork
Place bread into egg mixture and leave for 2 minutes
Heat non-stick frying pan, place the bread into the pan and allow to brown before turning to brown other side.

My son requested his favourite Nutella spread on top.


Mango Icebox Cake and Cassava Cake
30 December 2009, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Sweets

I have done several attempts to polish these delightful sweet desserts. The cassava cake recipe was given to me by my older sister with a warning not to reveal her secret recipe. The mango icebox cake I found in a Filipino cookbook will be kept as my own secret recipe. On this note, I might hide the recipe book to make sure no one stumbles on it.

Sayur Lodeh (Coconut Vegetable Stew)
30 December 2009, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Food, Vegies

Any chance I get to visit the City is a chance to visit Sari Rasa, a small Indonesian restaurant which offers authentic Indonesian cuisine.  They offer a variety of halal dishes such as chilli chicken curry, beef curry, chilli eggplant and chilli egg.  During my last visit two weeks ago, I noted down the name of the coconut vegetable dish I had — sayur lodeh – the dish I order each time at Sari Rasa.

I remember they used to include other vegetables, but now the French or green beans are consistently used, which is why other patrons call the dish chilli beans.

Again, the Internet provided a variety of sayur lodeh recipes: Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Australian variations.  An Indonesian workmate who regularly visits the restaurant commented that majority of the dishes there are Javanese.

My first attempt to cook it was what I call a weak version but I will try again to, hopefully, make it a Javanese version, and not a Cebuano one.

Recipe by: Juandy Liem, Javanese Recipes (http://original-javanese-recipes.blogspot.com/)

1/2 head cabbage
2 carrots
1/2 turnip
250gr firm tofu
1 1/2 cups cut green beans
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water

Spice blend:
•    2 tablespoon chilli paste
•    2 teaspoon shrimp paste (belacan)
•    2 medium onions
•    4 garlic cloves
•    2 stalks lemongrass
•    17 small dried shrimp, soaked in hot water to soften
•    1 inch fresh ginger
•    1 teaspoon coriander powder
•    1 teaspoon turmeric
•    1 teaspoon cumin
•    1 tablespoon chilli powder
•    4 tablespoon oil

Chop all the spice blend ingredients and add them to the blender, except the chilli powder.
Blend it into a paste.
Combine coconut milk and water to form “thin coconut milk”.
Cut all the vegetables into small cubes and sticks.
After all the spices are blended, add chilli powder according to your tastes.
Fry it in oil till the oils in the paste ooze out. Don’t burn it.
Add thin coconut milk and bring it to a gentle boil.
Dump in all the vegetables and tofu and simmer it till the vegetables are tender.
Add salt to taste.
Serve Sayur Lodeh with hot rice.

Note: I have added 1 kaffir lime leaf (thinly snipped into strips)

30 December 2009, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Sweets

Yema Balls
by: Connie Veneracion, Home Cooking Rocks! (http://pinoycook.net/)

1-1/2 c. of sweetened condensed milk
2 c. of powdered full cream milk
1 50-g. pack of coconut cream powder
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. of butter, softened
a cup of white sugar
small paper cups (bottom should be 1-inch in diameter)

Pour the condensed milk into a small saucepan. Set the stove to medium and heat gently. Do not boil.
Beat the egg yolk in a bowl.
Pour in the half of the heated condensed milk into the bowl and stir to blend in the egg yolk.
Add the coconut cream and stir until smooth.
Pour the egg-milk-coconut cream mixture into the saucepan and continue cooking.
Stir, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. When the mixture thickens a bit
Turn off the heat and cool for about 5 minutes.
Place the powdered milk in a large mixing bowl.
Pour in the egg-milk-coconut cream mixture.
Add the softened butter. Stir until smooth.
Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill for about 45 minutes. After chilling, mixture will thicken and shaping will be easier.
Place the white sugar in a wide shallow bowl.

Using two teaspoons, form the yema mixture into balls. They won’t look like perfect balls at this point. You will shape them later with your hands. Drop each ball onto the white sugar. Using you hands, roll it gently on the sugar then shape them into balls. Drop gently into a paper cup. Repeat for the remaining mixture.

my two daughters rolled the mixture into balls

For best results, chill the yema balls before serving.

Two more bottles for the fridge
30 December 2009, 3:46 pm
Filed under: General, Wine/beverage

Two bottles of red wine are joining previous year’s Christmas gifts — one from hubby’s friend and one from my boss. The fridge door is incapable of holding eight bottles any longer so I tenderly laid them down on their side on the first level in the fridge.

We received a few wine bottles as gifts over the years and we store them to preserve their goodness for when the desire to consume them occurs. We have a bottle each of red and white half consumed which I use for my cooking experiments. I searched on the internet for tips on how to store wine at home. Wines have been stored in wine caves and underground cellars for hundreds of years. Wine vault, wine cellar, wine cooler, wine rack, and wine cabinet are the many ways to store wine for aging purposes and to conserve their goodness. It is also advised to always store bottles on their side, to keep storage temperature moderate, to avoid spots with constant vibration and light — simply to keep it cool, keep it in the dark and keep it still to safely store wine at home. An article warned that storing wine in the kitchen refrigerator for more than week or so is not a good idea as the temperature may flatten the taste of wine. There is also consideration on other smells – smells from left-over food, fruits, vegetables & cheese – which could affect the taste of wine.

As acquiring wine vaults, cellars, coolers, racks and cabinets are not at the top of our shopping list, my bottles of wine are in danger of losing flavour.

Christmas gift by the big boss
15 December 2009, 9:25 pm
Filed under: General

The big boss at work has scheduled for a short meeting on Thursday, 17 December. Another wine?

Greek Salad
15 December 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Salad

Lettuce and dodoni feta cheese at first…

and the lot.