vendredi, juin 27, 2008

Fishballs are Waiting

The cake I am supposed to make at Kuidaore's Baking Class

Will be going home on Sunday. Am scheduled to attend a baking class at Shermay's when I'm there, btw.

See you all in 3 weeks. Have a hot and fun Summer!

jeudi, juin 19, 2008

Lychee and Coconut Cheese Cake

Lychee and Coconut Cheese Cake

This cheesecake is not for the faint hearted. In fact you'll either like it or you won't. The Hub who loves cheesecake didn't (said it was too exotic for him), while I who dislike cheesecake do. Suspect that most cheesecake lovers prefer their cheesecake simple. But whatever it is, here's my Lychee and Coconut Cheese Cake.

For the biscuit base :

250g Digestive biscuits
100g Brown Sugar
150g Butter

For the Lychee Coconut Cream Cheese filling :

750g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
50g Roasted grated Coconut
200ml Coconut milk
4 Eggs
150g Sugar
400g canned Lychees

Prepare biscuit base, spread it on springform mold and chill it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC.

Basically just cream cheese, sugar, coconut cream and eggs together. Then fold in the lychees and roasted grated coconut. Bake for 1 hour.

I've been very busy buying gifts and trying to figure out who to give them to when I return to Singapore. I organised them this morning and was a little surprised that they should be so bulky. Now I wonder if I'll be able to pack and transport them after all. Maybe it's not such a smart idea the Cappucino Moka machine for dad (plus a huge supply of coffee), the remote control Ferrari, or the bottles of pasta sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil etc.

The last time I went home I focused mostly on Ferrari gifts and they didn't take up alot of space. This time I had the smart idea to go for food, Italy being famous for that, and for something that goes in and comes out quickly, it certainly takes up alot of space. And I'll still have to worry about them breaking in the luggage...

Otherwise I have a really busy calendar with school finishing for the kids this week and them having end-of-unit presentations almost every day. This evening the school will even have a celebration that the Hub wouldn't be able to come since he's up to the neck getting ready for Ferrari's Podio. A few families will be leaving the school (or Italy) so a few farewells are in store. And then we leave next weekend! I'm still debating whether I should start watching the Korean TV serial "Princess Hours" (and risk getting stuck to the sofa for a week) so that I can return the DVDs to SIL, or wait till I return home to do so. Decisions decisions.

mardi, juin 10, 2008

Fried Shrimp and Pork in Bean Curd Skin

Fried Shrimp and Pork in Bean Curd Skin

Dear E from Torino brought me some soft bean curd skin when she visited me a few months ago and I have finally done something with them : Fried Shrimp and Pork in Bean Curd Skin. For the Grades 3 and 4 Traditional Foods presentation - even though I have no children in the 2 classes...

Very easy to make and a little too oily for my own good but Oh! so yummy. And of course, the same thing can actually be steamed instead of fried.

The filling :

Raw peeled Shrimps
Raw minced Pork
Chinese Mushrooms
Fresh Coriander
Water Chestnuts (optional)
Light Soy Sauce
Dry Sherry or Chinese Rice Wine
Oyster Sauce
Ketchup Manis
Sesame Oil

Offered a few of the Bean Curd parcels in exchange for the right to taste the goodies that the other moms made for said presentation. Sh made a really hot and spicy Chicken Biryani and needless to say I wasn't shy, helped myself to 3 servings of the good stuff. And straight after I had lunch (Tex Mex) with Rb and the new mom J. So much (as usual) for my diet.

Part of the Traditional Foods Spread

lundi, juin 09, 2008

Pricked & Possessed

MCQ Big Leather and Canvas Bag

At this time of the year when we're much infested by our flying friends, one is bound to be pricked, stung or whinged at some point in the day. I for one experienced all of the above with the additional pain of being possessed - by the Shopping Bug.

Jimmy Choo Leather Slingbacks

Alexander McQueen Leather Heeled Sandals

Salvatore Ferragamo Cloth and Crocodile Leather Heels

So if I looked kind of distant and distracted lately, please do excuse me. I've been spending all waking and sleeping moments thinking and living shopping and repose can only arrive when the credit card has been zapped to its limit as would the Hub's tolerance for this viral madness.

BCBG Maxazria Silk Chiffon Dress

Zara Silk Dress

Burberry Pink Candy Mini Bag

And true madness it was as most of the objects of my obsession are thoroughly unsuited to my daily life and would probably never see the day once they enter my closet - to spend the rest of their days with the moth balls. Fitting end for the Buy Buy Bug?

Gucci Sunglasses

Just Cavalli Sunglasses

No more shopping for the rest of the year. Pity since the Summer Sales would be coming up soon, no?

Asparagus and Porcini Risotto with Safran

This evening's dinner : a simple Asparagus and Porcini Risotto with Safran. Found those really thin asparagus that do not require any peeling and absolutely love them.

dimanche, juin 08, 2008

Grilled (Satay) Beef on Glass Noodles

Grilled Satay Beef on Glass Noodles

I was listening to Danny Chan in the car when suddenly I couldn't stop sobbing. Was I sad that my favourite HK singer died young? Probably, but I do have a very nice CD compilation of his best songs (offered to me by a Secondary Schoolmate whom I've since lost sight of). But hearing him sing in Cantonese was surely more the cause of this feeling of sadness, it brought to mind the nearly 13 years I've been away from home and nowadays it is starting to feel like 13 years too long.

You can take this girl out of Asia but not the Asian out of her. In my (now lost) youth, I had this dream : to learn many European languages. Looking back, I think I haven't done too badly. I'm fluent in French, know enough Spanish and German and am currently learning Italian. But somehow nothing gives me greater kick than hearing someone speak Cantonese or doing some cursing and swearing in Hokkien. Knowing that those kids of mine wouldn't be able to do any of that saddens me further.

E's Hub came back from a business trip in China and kindly gave me a pack of Mung Bean (aka Glass) Noodles. I thought of cooking them in a soup at first (they were quite large) but finally decided upon a Grilled Satay Beef on Glass Noodles.

Basically did the dish in 5 parts :

1) Sliced the beef (I used onglet/lombatello) and marinated it in light soy sauce, kecap manis, oyster sauce, sherry and sesame oil for a few hours. The same sauces and adding in corn starch and water or stock will use to fry the glass noodles with later on;

2) Immersed the dried glass noodles in hot water the time it took me to prepare the rest of the ingredients;

3) Cooked a thin omelette and shredded it;

4) Prepared and stir-fried some vegetables e.g. zucchini, carrots, asparagus, Chinese mushrooms, red peppers, a fragrant ginger-garlic-sesame oil base;

5) Made satay sauce (actually quite optional) for the beef that I would have nicely-grilled (but still rare) on my iron grill.

Then I assembled them (glass noodles, vegetables, omelette, beef...), sprinkled some sesame seeds, fried shallots and fresh coriander leaves on top of everything and served the dish hot.

samedi, juin 07, 2008

Konnyaku Jelly with Lychees

Konnyaku Jelly with Lychees

The kids love this (well, so do I) and I would have spent quite a fortune each time we were back in Singapore buying them this Japanese Jelly usually made with real fruit. I couldn't possibly bring too many of the ready-made jelly back with me so I've decided to buy the jelly powder and make my own Konnyaku Jelly.

This time around I made it with canned lychees. Very versatile and easy to make and absolutely refreshing. And what I like about konnyaku is its heavier consistency and the shorter time it takes to set.

Meanwhile, with Spring here (albeit a wet one), the Modena Golf and Country Club where the Hub and Eldest Son play golf is starting to look quite nice. Especially its swimming pool and comfort zone (where on weekends you can buy yourself a massage). Still, I wish they serve other stuff than pasta and risotto in their restaurant.

Pool at Modena Golf and Country Club