Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Greek Meatballs

aka the best meatballs that i've ever tasted!

but no pictures just yet...

The strangest thing about these meatballs is that they tasted as if they have coconut milk in them but there is none…and it’s quite low fat…it’s made with lean turkey mince and has no added oil..

Modified from ‘mince and rice dumplings with dill, egg and lemon sauce’ from ‘Apples for Jam’ by tessa kiros.

Ingredients:
500g turkey mince
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
3 tsp dried dill
3 tsp dried parsley
80g rice
½ red onion, grated
1 garlic, minced
handful of water chestnuts, chopped finely
75 ml milk (i used skim milk)
1/2 tsp salt/ to taste
sprinkling of black pepper
method:
combine all ingredients together and roll into balls. Place on a microwavable dish (as many as u can fit, leaving 1 cm around each meatball) and cover tightly with cling film. Cook at 100% for 1.5- 2 minutes. (depending on the power of ur microwave. Better to undercook than over cook.)

After microwaving the meatballs, I saved the juices and allowed the meat balls to cool and then froze them as I just wanted to cook them cos they looked so good in the book. A few days later, I finished cooking them in the microwave by adding them to raw medium grain rice, capers and a canned of tomatoes plus sufficient water for the rice to cook and they were really lovely. One of those dishes which make u close your eyes and go ‘mmmMmmm’..
alternatively...u could use cooked rice instead of raw rice in the meatballs and then just pan fry them and dish them up straight as an appetizer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The inside of a tulip...



This is how the inside of a tulip looks like..beautiful isn’t it?

When I moved into my new place, there was a vase of orange tulips and a card on the table from my landlords to welcome me!!! So sweet of them!!

Baked Bananas in Rum Sauce

My younger sister is a fashion designer by trade and usually spends up to an hour in the front of the mirror doing her hair, makeup and matching accessories etc every morning. We used to be really close and she followed me everywhere mainly to keep me company and most of my friends, if not, all know her quite well. The first thing people notice about her, after her glamourous appearance is her voice…they are usually quite shocked that her voice is so ‘little girl’ and think that she is acting but that’s her real voice and it’s quite funny cos it doesn’t quite match her ‘look’…
The following video is of my two new best friends…Eskimo and Ellie…and the reason I got all nostalgic about my sis is becos my pretend voice sounds exactly her usual voice… :P

video

Ellie is the brown dog and she is very affectionate and a big fan of licking and gentle bitting…Eskimo is much more reserved and in the video, u can see him turning away..he’s a very timid little one….still got a long way to go before gaining his trust! They are my landlord’s sister’s dogs who are here on holiday til next week…and my landlord is planning to get another dog soon..a schnauzer..yippee!!

Cooking wise, I have become a new fan of the microwave!!! I love 'The microwave gourmet by Babara Kafta'!! And I got it together with another microwave cookbook by Margaret fulton for 99 cents on Ebay!! (Postage was 12 bucks but that still works out alright!!) The book is a godsend!! So many recipes to try and lots of interesting ideas…drying orange and lemon zest (I usually don’t have those on hand and sort of searching for dried zest but didn’t realise they do exist and u can make them at home!), making stocks and stock concentrates (gotta try!) and steaming various vegetables…aubergine, artichokes and sweetcob…for instance, a whole corn cob just takes 2 minutes…compared to the usual method, there’s so much less clean up and the colours of the veggies are more vibrant as well!

The microwave recipe that I m going to share today is super simple and extremely comforting..
Made it when a friend came over for dinner and there wasn’t a lot of time to prepare anything…and this dessert was done in less than 8 minutes..!!



Baked Bananas in Rum Sauce
(for 2)
Ingredients
2 bananas, sliced and arrange in small ramikins
5.5 tbs dark rum
30 g brown sugar
30 g butter
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tbs lemon juice
zest of ¼ lemon
1 slice fresh ginger

method:
Combine rum, sugar, butter, lemon juice, zest and ginger in a 1 litre glass measuring jug. Cover tightly with microwave cling film. Cook at 100% for 2 minutes. ( my oven is 800 watts- if urs is higher or lower, pls adjust the cooking time..)
Add vanilla essence and pour mixture evenly over the bananas. Cook at 100% for 2 minutes.
Optional: serve with a dollop of yoghurt/ whipped cream/ ice cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.



Instructions were also given for a six portion serve…which was 6 bananas and double all the other ingredients…with the cook time at around 4 minutes 30 seconds…I m still not too sure about how to approximate cooking time with the varying power of different microwaves and it doesn’t make sense to me how making 6 would lower the calories in the recipes due to the reduced proportion of the rum mixture….
But yeah, this is an awesome recipe which will leave you feeling very at ease with the world and perhaps just a little less homesick...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cold Rolls



I love cold rolls!! very easy to prepare and highly interactive..!
basically you find some vegetables which you like, a protein of choice, a sauce and rice paper rolls and off you go...!!!
the meat can be left overs or something really simple like blanched prawns. veggies typically are bean sprouts, cucumber, carrots, coriander...and there's also some rice vermecelli and toasted peanuts involved...



here's the rice paper soaking in hot water with a pinch of sugar added. What's the sugar for?? Hmm...read somewhere (can't remember now) that it gets rid of the slightly off taste of rice paper or something like that?



Usually i lift it out of the water with a chopstick or fork and lay it on the plate..


pile on the filings..


roll!


ready to eat!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kindness of friends..



is this some sort of a helmet??




no, not really...

it's Aunty Yochana's pandan chiffon cake cooling in my chiffon cake tin... i bought the tin around 1.5 years ago and have only used it once!!

so what is the special occasion??

THIS!!!!

A PORTABLE OVEN!!!




YES!! My kitchen is FULLY equipped now... Lalalalalala...

A friend who reads this blog (I didn't know that she does) gave it to me!!!!!! YIPPPPEEEE!!!!

The oven is BIG enough for ALL of my cake pans...and even the big-ish chiffon cake pan which I thought i'd never have the chance to use again....!!!!!!!!

So I baked the cake to thank her....still waiting for the cake to cool down before I can know whether it turned out well...(no qualms about the recipe, just worried that i didn't do it properly..)

Thank you Angie and ZH!!!! You have no idea how happy your gift has made me!! :D

Hi Monkey!

When quizzed about my hobbies, i used to answer mindlessly: "cooking.."

but now it seems another activity has over taken my first love ..and it is food blog surfing...!!! (spectator cooking...)

here are a few blogs which i can spend all day browsing...

A Year of Crockpotting is written by a lady whose new year's resolution is to use the crockpot for this year...she has many interesting recipes which i can't wait to try out...cakes, muffins and puddings!!! (i really don't have a sweet tooth..serious...)

'Cooking with Monkey'..absolutely adorable food blog written by a monkey..i was so inspired that i made his apple crumble immediately..and it was not mind blowing but good enough...i would make it with more apple next time....

'Do what I like'- one of Aunty Yochana's friends (i think!) who resides in HK...lovely lovely cakes and very creative recipes..love her mousse cakes..and her osmanthus coconut milk jelly..! Her orange chiffon cake is legendary...have to try it out soon..!

(by the way, to the friends still having exams- all the best...!!!!!! Not long now...!!)