Sunday, August 29, 2010

Egg Fried Rice

DH was away in China and I had to take over his daily chores, that includes walking the dog at night, sweeping and mopping the floor.  I was already up to my neck with my daily chores and with the additional work, I had merely 4 hours sleep each night.  Totally completely exhausted...  I'm glad DH is finally home ;-)

During this period, I cooked very simple meals and this was what we had on one of the nights, Egg Fried Rice.  I have carbo, protein and greens, good enough to pose off as a complete meal :P

Egg Fried Rice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cloves shallot, chopped (I used more shallot as I can't take too much garlic)
3 cups cooked rice
2 - 3 eggs
some corn/sunflower oil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat up some oil in a wok and add garlic and shallot, cook till fragrant.
  2. Add in rice and let it sit for a minute without disturbing. Using medium high heat, stir fry rice (you will hear the hissing sound), add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Crack in 2 eggs, gently break the egg yolks with a spatula, then let is sit for a minute without disturbing.
  4. Using a spatula, flatten the rice a little and flip over like a pancake (similar to cooking okonomiyaki) to cook the eggs.
  5. Cook for about 2 minutes before breaking up the rice with a spatula.  Dish up and serve with desired vegetables.
And before I end, please allow me to brag :P

DD3 folded her own clothes!  If you have been following my blog, you know I involve my kids alot in my day to day chores and clothes folding is just one of them. She has been observing me and when requested to do it herself, I usually wouldn't reject unless I'm pressed for time.  I always give her simple tasks like folding the hankies or her brother's boxer shorts.  But this time, she wanted to fold her own clothes and I just let her be.  I was busy folding the rest of the clothes and didn't pay much attention to her.  Within minutes, she carried this stack of clothes to me, smiling.  Happy.

Though there were only 3 pieces (2 tees and 1 skirt), I think she did a great job.  A little messy from the top view but then again, how much can I expect from a  2.5 years old toddler, to be able to fold and stack them up like this?  My life as a SAHM is truly worthwhile ^-^

Friday, August 27, 2010

Matcha Ice Cream

With my balance whipping cream from making Strawberry Mirror Cake, I made ice cream as I've promised my children I'll make them some when they recover from their cough.  And with an expiring matcha (green tea powder) in my fridge, I went to my Favourites and found over 7 matcha ice cream recipes.  Among the several recipes, most call for 1 portion cream and 1 portion milk.  I decided on Grace's recipe as the ratio is 2:1, and that's exactly what I wanted, to quickly finish up the whipping cream!

Feedbacks from testers were it was way too creamy to their liking and matcha flavour was too mild, could have added more matcha.  Oh well, it is never easy to please everyone when it comes to food as taste is very much acquired.  Nevermind, I have more matcha on the way from MO (he's my regular matcha supplier :P) and with so many recipes on hand, I can always try out all the recipes ;-)

PS: My apologies for the poor quality picture as this is the only photograph left in my SD card.

Matcha Ice Cream
(adapted from The Perfect Scoop, recipe seen here)
250ml whole milk
100g sugar
Pinch of salt
500ml heavy cream
4 teaspoons matcha
6 large egg yolks

  1. Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk in the green tea powder. Set a mesh strainer on top.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
  4. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan. 
  5. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
  6. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream, then whisk it vigorously until custard is frothy to dissolve the green tea powder. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
  7. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
    * I do not own an ice cream maker so I freeze it in the stainless steel mixing bowl, sealed with cling wrap.  After 3 - 4 hours, remove from freezer and beat once with electric mixer.  Return to freezer for another 3- 4 hours, beat again.  Pour into ice cream tub and freeze overnight.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Strawberry Mirror Cake

I first saw this Strawberry Mirror Cake in Tartelette's blog a few years ago and I went "WOW" when I saw her pictures.  I never expect myself to make this cake as it seem so complicated.  When I started blogging, a very good friend recommended Wendy's blog and I saw this cake again.  Months passed but I wasn't tempted to try until last month for I needed to bake a birthday cake for DD1's 8th birthday.

As usual, I used my regular chiffon cake recipe and baked it a day in advance.  The next day was basically cooking the cream and assembly.  It took me a whole day to complete this cake with lots of breaks in-between the process as I was in and out of the house several times to send and fetch kids, grocery shopping, walk the dog etc...

The original recipe uses gelatin powder but I replaced it with gelatin sheets.  When I first read the recipe, I wonder if it was a typo error as the cream calls for 2 1/2 Tbsp gelatin powder to be used.  I followed the recipe in Wendy's blog, which is 2/3 portion of original recipe but further reduce the gelatin sheets from 8 to 6 sheets.  And yes, they did set, phew!  I was very sure the cream has already set after 3 hours in the fridge so I poured in the jelly layer.  Everything was so perfect, the cake looks beautiful and it went back into the fridge.  30 minutes passed and when I opened the fridge to get something, I saw some cream floating in the jelly layer.  I always have this problem whenever I make jelly layer cake and after consulting Aunty A, I believe I wasn't gentle enough when I was pouring in the jelly layer.

Thanks to Wendy for her kind sharing, I was able to produce a decent looking cake, minus the ugly looking jelly with polka-dots :P

These are the only decent pictures I have as the rest are of very poor lightings because I took pictures at night with no natural lightings.  And there are no pictures of the whole cake as I had accidentally deleted 1 months' pictures from my SD card and that includes the main bulk of DD1's birthday shots, even her videos are gone :"(

I received good reviews from my family and some other testers but I don't think I'll make this cake again (at least not in the near future) as it is too time-consuming for me.  Taking care of 3 kids is no easy feat and any time-consuming baking is a no-no for me now.  However, my next challenge will be DS2's birthday as he has requested for a few theme cakes (in case I couldn't deliver).  Fingers crossed.

Strawberry Mirror Cake Recipe
(Recipe seen here and here, adapted from here)

Basic Chiffon Cake (recipe from here)
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
20g castor sugar
40ml corn oil
70ml water
75g cake flour
1/4 baking powder
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
20g castor sugar

Strawberry Bavarian Cream
6 gelatin sheets, soak in some water till soften
150 gm fresh strawberries + strained strawberries from preparing the mirror.(pureed)
2 egg yolks
50gm sugar
180 ml milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
200ml dairy whipping cream

Strawberry Mirror
250 gm fresh strawberries
120 gm sugar
180ml water
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 gelatin sheets, soaked in some water till soften


The cake

  1. In a bowl, using hand whisk, whisk yolks and sugar till sugar dissolves.
  2. Add oil and salt, whisk and add water. Stir well.
  3. Fold in sifted flour and mix well.
  4. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat till the whites are frothy. Add in Cream of Tartar and beat till soft peaks.
  5. Add in sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  7. Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter into 7" round pan. Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.
  9. Bake at pre-heated oven of 170 deg.C for 15mins.
  10. Turn down the temperature to 160 deg.C and bake for another 20 mins.
  11. Reduce the temperature to 140 deg.C and bake for a further 5 to 10mins to brown the surface.
  12. Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it's completely cooled.
Strawberry Mirror

  1. Chop strawberries into large chunks.
  2. Place strawberries, sugar and water into a saucepan. Lightly press the strawberries to release juice. Bring to a boil.
  3. Strain the juice with a strainer and don't press the fruits at this point.
  4. Bring the strawberry juice that was prepared earlier to a boil. Remove from fire. Add in gelatin sheets and stir to ensure the gelatin has melted (* this step to be done only after bavarian cream has set on the cake).
  5. Put in lemon juice. Stir. Wait for it to cool down and turn syrupy.
Bavarian Cream
  1. Blend strawberries together with strawberry pulp from strawberry mirror and gelatin sheets till well blended.
  2. Whip egg yolks and sugar until pale and light.
  3. Bring milk to a boil and pour in 1/4 of the milk into the egg yolk mixture while still beating with a mixer. Pour in the rest of the milk slowly. Mix well.
  4. Return this mixture to the fire and cook with a low fire, stirring constantly, until your finger leaves a clear trail in sauce when drawn across the back of the spoon.(Do not boil or mixture will curdle.)
  5. Imnmediately remove from heat and stir in strawberry mixture.
  6. Pour into a stainless steel bowl and place over a bowl of ice water. Stir in lemon juice. Stir once a while to prevent the sides from solidifying.
  7. While waiting for the strawberry custard mixture to cool down, whip whipping cream to soft peaks.
  8. When strawberry gelatin mixture has cooled and thickened to the consistency of softly whipped cream, fold whipped cream into strawberry custard mixture.
  1. Slice cake into 2 layers.
  2. Place 1 layer of cake into a 8" cake ring/springform pan.
  3. Pour 1/2 portion bavarian cream onto cake.  Level the cream.
  4. Place another layer of cake on top of the cream.
  5. Pour balance bavarian cream onto the cake.  Put in the fridge to set.
  6. Prepare strawberry mirror and when mirror mixture has turned syrupy pour onto the bavarian cream layer. Place cake in the fridge to set.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Preserved Sour Plum Konnyaku Jelly

I'm in a love-hate relationship with preserved sour plums.  I love it because it's very refreshing and soothing on the throat but hate it for the sourness.  I can't stomach eating it on it's own so I usually add boiling water to it and drink it chilled with some lime juice (optional).  Besides drinking it, you can make it into jelly too.  You can either use agar agar powder or konnyaku jelly powder, but I personally prefer the texture of konnyaku jelly :-)

These are the preserved sour plums I used.

This is a very refreshing dessert, I just can't stop eating it :P

Preserved Sour Plum Konnyaku Jelly
6 -  8 preserved sour plums
250ml water

1 packet Konnyaku Jelly Powder (10g)
100g Sugar
800ml Water

  1. Bring 250ml water to boil.  Remove from heat and add in preserved sour plums, let it stand for at least 1 hour.
  2. Remove seeds and blend the sour plum with the water it was soaked in.
  3. In a small bowl, mix konnyaku powder and sugar together.
  4. In a medium pot, bring 800ml water to boil. Pour the konnyaku mixture into water gradually and stir till sugar dissolved.
  5. Add in sour plum mixture and stir well.
  6. Pour the Konnyaku solution into the moulds.
  7. Leave to cool and chill in fridge before serving.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Apple Drink

Sister E cooks this for her family very often.  She usually cooks a big pot and they drink it as drinking water.

This is very similar to what I've cooked before, the savoury version (but still sweet), minus the meat.

DD3 kept pointing to the pot and said something I couldn't understand.  After some serious conversation, I finally understood what she said.  She had wanted me to take a picture of her pointing at the pot. 

I cooked this with lesser water as I wanted it to be consumed as a soup instead of a drink.

Apple Drink
2 red delicious/gala apples (don't use China Fuji apples)
2 green apples
30g apricot kernels/chinese almonds (南北杏) *
8 - 10 dried figs (无花果)
1.5 litre water

* I bought the premix pack, if you are mixing on your own, use 2 南杏 : 1 北杏

  1. Core apples, cut into wedges.
  2. Rinse chinese almonds and dried figs.
  3. Bring water to boil and add all ingredients. Using medium fire, bring water to boil again, reduce to small flame and simmer for 2 hours. Serve.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tomato and Egg Stir Fry

Tomato and egg stir fry is a common dish in my family. I always stock up on tomatoes and eggs so when I run out of ideas what to cook, this is it.  I removed the skin of the tomatoes prior to frying as it is simply too chewy for the little ones and it takes them ages to swallow.  Pampered?  Maybe...

I used to cook this with garlic but due to health reasons, I have to cut down on garlic intake so I replaced it with shallots instead and added some dried shrimps too.  Dried shrimps really helped to flavour this dish further and the kids prefer this version too.

Tomato and Egg Stir Fry

A handful dried shrimps (soaked in water to soften and minced/pounded)
2 - 3 shallots, sliced
2 Large tomatoes, peeled and sliced/cut into wedges
2 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp Light soy sauce (salt may be used as an alternative)
dash of pepper
some vegetable oil

  1. Prepare a pot of boiling water.
  2. Make a cross-shaped cut on the bottom of the tomatoes.
  3. Add tomatoes into boiling water, cook for 1 -  2 mins.  Remove to cool and peel the tomato skin.  Slice or cut into wedges.
  4. Heat up wok with some oil.
  5. Toss in shallots and dried shrimps, stir-fry till fragrant and a light golden brown on the shallots.
  6. Add beaten egg and scramble till 70% cooked. 
  7. Add in tomatoes and give it a quick stir.
  8. Add light soy sauce and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Baking with Kids

I'm "stealing" the title from HHB's blog.

If you've been following my  blog, you will know I like to involve my kids in my bakes, especially in pizza making as they can contribute so much.  They have been helping me out constantly, from household chores to cooking and baking.  In the kitchen, they are constantly seen plucking vegetables or removing roots of bean sprouts (they just love doing these).  When it comes to cake making, I refuse to use the electric mixer (unless I'm making chiffon cakes) and prefers to cream butter and sugar by using a wooden spoon.  And yes, the kids enjoyed that moment too.

Back to pizza making, they have been helping me all along, just that I didn't have a chance to take pictures of those precious moments.  But now, I finally did :-)

I usually assign simple tasks to them, thus minimal supervision is required.

DS2 cutting the canned pineapples into smaller pieces.  DD3 standing beside observing the process.

Now it is DD3's turn to try her hands on it, with her brother assisting her.

Poking the dough with fork, another simple yet enjoyable task for them.

The kids went for their shower while I pre-baked the dough.  I helped them spread the tomato paste as the pan was still hot.  DD3 couldn't resist feeding herself some cheese in the process of helping.  And of course, her brother followed suit.

Spreading some sauteed mushrooms with a spoon but DS2 prefers to use his hand.

Spreading more cheese on top

Placing the ham

Told them no more pinching food else there'll be nothing left for their pizzas.  DS2 decided to smell the pineapple instead *eyes rolling*

The pizza, yum!

It is supposed to be a thick crust pizza but I didn't double the recipe and used a 2 x 10" pizza recipe for a 1 x 10" and a 11" x 14" pan.  Nevertheless, it tasted good.

All time favourite - Hawaiian pizza.

Check out the "cheese pull" effect!  Kids were thrilled to see this everytime they bite into it!

DD1 pretended to use her fingers to "cut" off the cheese.

I managed to capture this shot!  He just bit off the cheese and it came falling down.

Thick Crust Pizza
Recipe  seen here
Source: adapted from 美食新煮张, 手工面包&三明治

(make two 10" pizza dough)
250g bread flour
50g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
180ml lukewarm water

  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Knead using dough cycle. If the mixture is too dry, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to form dough. 
  2. After the kneading cycle is completed, let it proof in machine for 30 - 45 mins or till double in size.
  3. Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock it down to release the air. Give it a few gentle kneading. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape into two balls, cover loosely with cling wrap and let the doughs rest for about 10mins.
  4. Roll or press out each portion to a round, about 12" in size. Place dough on baking tray lined with parchment paper or on a greased pan.
  5. Dock with a fork all around the crust.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 8 - 10 mins. Set aside till further use.
  7. Spread some pizza sauce over the dough to within 1 cm (0.5 inch) of the edge. Arrange a layer of grated cheese (I used grated mozzarella), followed by preferred toppings. Sprinkle the top all over with grated cheese.
  8. Bake in a preheat oven at 200C for 12 - 15 mins or until the crust has turned golden and the cheese has melted. Serve warm.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Zucchini Soup

Some weeks ago, I made creamy zucchini soup to go along with roast chicken.  The 2 elder ones didn't like it on it's own but when eaten with toast, it was alright for them.  Despite using only 2 zucchinis instead of the recommended 4pcs, DD1 commented it was still too thick .  I may add more stock next time to dilute the soup.

Zucchini Soup
(serves 4)
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 large zucchini, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled, chopped
1L chicken stock
3/4 cup cream
salt and cracked black pepper


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 coarsely chopped onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, 4 large chopped zucchini and 2 large peeled, chopped potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, making sure vegetables don't brown.
  2. Add 1L chicken stock and 1 cup water. Bring soup to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth. Return soup to the heat and add 3/4 cup cream, salt and cracked black pepper. Serve warm.

Great Singapore Cook Off!

A few weeks ago, someone left me a comment inviting me to take part in a television baking project.  I thought it might be a spam so I didn't make any effort to contact the organiser.   Last week, the organiser left me another note with more details.  Oops, it's genuine :P

Anyway, I don't have time to commit to this but I'll like to share this invitation to all my readers and fellow bloggers.  I had wanted to do a write-up about this but I just don't have the time so I'm just going to copy and paste the organiser's message here.

Message from Talya
Hi Blessed Homemaker,

I didn't get a reply to my last message so I thought I'd drop you a line as this campaign is now live and we would love to still have your support and hope that it would benefit your readers.

Just to recap, the first element is an online jingle contest - SIS Jingle Jam - where families record their own version of the original SIS Sugar Jingle. I hope this would appeal to your readers as there are on offer a range of premium Philips equipment and tools to help them with their culinary pursuits. For more information about the Jingle Jam and prizes up for grabs see the Facebook fan page

The second element is a bit of a celebration of all things sweet down at Palawan Beach, Sentosa on 7th & 8th August being held in conjunction with the filming of the Great Singapore Cook Off!. The day will include mixing and icing demonstrations for mums and kids - to try their hand at mixing and decorating with prizes for creativity, cupcake decoration contest, sampling of nostalgic treats and more. We would love for you to join us as our guest on one of the days if you would be free and able. If of interest I can forward you the schedule.

Lastly, we would love for you to guest post a favourite sweet recipe of yours to the SIS Sugar Fan Page and perhaps even provide us with a sweet tip of the week. We really hope this become a great place where people come together and share their recipes and love of sweet things. We would hope that this would help you attract some new followers. The page can be found here:

These are all just ideas are none are by any means obligatory! It would good to hear your thoughts on what you think would work for you, your blog, and your readers.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


And below is the email I received from the organiser on the schedule of events.

Date: 7 – 8 August 2010
Time: 1000h – 1600h
Venue: Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island

~ Icing demonstration: 10 – 20 kids can participate in this
~ Registration for Cupcake Decoration contest opens

~ Cupcake Decoration contest begins

~ “SIS Jingle Jam” competition – live performance (spot prizes)
~ Candy floss
~ Giveaway Kids making sprinkle messages on Sticky lollipops

~ End of Cupcake Decoration Award for most decorative cupcake

~ “SIS Jingle Jam” competition – live performance (spot prizes)

~ SIS Trivia: fact-sharing session about SIS Sugar (spot prizes)

~ Kids making sprinkle messages on Sticky lollipops

~ “SIS Jingle Jam” competition – live performance (spot prizes)

~ End