Thursday, 31 May 2012

Chicken With Mushroom & Cordyceps Militaris Soup


Blogging world is full of excitement and fun where flow of inspirations are always being circulated around through all kinds of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and etc. Recently while I am on holiday mood and feel so "lost" on what to prepare for our daily meals, I managed to pick up some really good ideas from friends' photos over at instagram. And without hesitate I tried this Cordyceps Militaris Soup shared by Julia, Aromacookery photo (link here).

Although this was not my first time using Cordyceps Militaris in soup but after seeing Julia's post, I decided to try out her version by adding in some dried shiitake mushrooms to enhance the taste of this nourishing soup.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

{With Recipe} Eat With Your Family Day!


As most of us has read from newspapers or online media(s), the Singapore government has designated last Friday, May 25, as Eat With Your Family Day. This is to urge people to strengthen family ties through the "simple act of sitting down and taking a meal together" more frequently despite of each other busy schedules.

The annual "Eat With Your Family Day", is always falls on a Friday before the start of the mid-year school break for students. And this event is not only about food and eating but it also about relationship building and enjoying relationship as 'a family that eats together stays together’. In order to show supports to this annual event, some of the participated companies also allows their employees to leave work at 5pm on the last Friday on school term in May to have dinner with their family in order to promote strong family ties.


STEAMED EGG WITH HUAI SHAN AND LOTUS ROOT


Although our family often eats together during most of the mealtime, but in order to support and promote this event, I have made a new "Steamed Egg" dish using Huai Shan And Lotus Root instead of the usual minced meat, seafood or century egg.


(Serves: 2-3        | Preparation: 5 minutes       | Cooking: 15 minutes)

Ingredients:
100g of Fresh Huai Shan, grated/jubilee
50g Fresh Lotus Roots, thinly sliced
2 Egg(55g) Each,
50ml Drinking Water
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries
Dash of Sesame Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Method:-
1. Remove the outer skin of the huai shan, rinse and pat dry. Using a grater to either grate or shred it like what shown on the above picture. (squeeze off any liquid from the grated huai shan and set aside)

2. Next repeat the same procedure using a slice grater to cut thin slices off from the lotus root. (If you don't have any slice grater, you can use knife to cut thin slices from the lotus root too)

3. First arrange half the amount of huai shan in the steaming bowl, cover it with a layer of lotus root then top with the remaining huai shan before arrange the rest of the louts root on it.

4.Whisk the egg in another bowl together with dash of sesame oil and salt plus 50ml of water till combined.

5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve gently over the prepared steaming bowl with huai shan and lotus roots.

6. Arrange the wolfberries on the lotus root, cover the dish with cling wrap or aluminum foil. Steam the egg custard over medium high heat for about 15 minutes.

7. To test if the egg mixture is cooked, insert a chopstick or skewer into the mixture, if clear liquid flows out means it is cooked. Remove and serve with steamed rice.

This is how my "Steamed Egg With Huai Shan and Lotus Root" look when scoop out from the dish. It has a combination of soft custard like egg plus a bit of crunch from the lotus root and huai shan. Perhaps if you prefer a more thicker egg like dish, you can increase the number of egg to 3 and water to 70ml to have a firm steamed egg dish.

This is one of our family favourite vegetable dish, "Stir-fry Broccoli And Cauliflower with Walnuts". As each of us have our own preference, I decided to combine both broccoli and cauliflower together so that we could pick up what we like. Adding of either walnuts of pine nuts for this dish gives it a nutty flavour and as well as enhance the texture of the dish with some crunchy bites.

Hope you would like my quick and simple homecook dishes. Remember even a simple dish makes a happy family when everyone gets to sit and eat together at least once or twice a week. If proper mealtime is impossible, try to start off with breakfast, tea-break or even supper.

Sweet And Savoury Rice Dumplings From Din Tai Fung

To celebrate the coming Dragon Boat Festival(端午节), Din Tai Fung(鼎泰丰) has introduce a new fragrant and succulent Rice Dumpling with Flavoured Pork(五香肉粽) as well as their popular Red Bean Rice Dumpling(豆沙粽) which will be available at all Din Tai Fung restaurants from 04 - 23 June 2012.

With just pork and Taiwan pearl rice as it's main ingredients, this new Din Tai Fung's "Rice Dumpling with Flavoured Pork" has do away with our local dumpling fillings such as "salted egg, mushroom, chestnuts and etc", emphasising the taste and texture of only two simple ingredients.

The flavoured pork is marinated for 2 hours using their secrete marinade before wrapping together with the pearl rice using Taiwan bamboo leaves which allowing the rice to adsorb the fragrance of the leaves and tender pork in order to create heavenly aroma and flavour in each bite.

Price:
~ S$5.50 per dumpling at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa;
~ S$5.30 per dumpling at all other Din Tai Fung outlets.


For your information, their popular Red Bean Rice Dumpling(豆沙粽) is specially air-flown from Taiwan. It is made using top grade Taiwan pearl rice together with generous filling of fragrant red bean paste in a pillow-shaped. As someone with sweet-tooth this is definitely one of the dessert to order for tea-time snack.

Price:
~ S$5.00 per dumpling at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa;
~ S$4.80 per dumpling at all other Din Tai Fung outlets.


DBS/POSB Card Members' Special

Between 04 - 30 June 2012, DBS/POSB Credit and Debit Cardmembers can enjoy a complimentary Red Bean Rice Dumpling with a minimum spending of S$70.00, while members of the public can enjoy a complimentary Red Bean Rice Dumpling with a minimum spending of S$80.00


Lastly I would like to thank Din Tai Fung and Leen from Touch Communications for the above.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Good Life iPhone App From Standard Chartered Bank

As one of the cardholders from Standard Chartered Bank, I am delighted to know that they have offers "The Good Life" exclusively to its credit and debit cardholders, with over 1,000 great deals, ranging from dining to shopping, travel and lifestyle, island-wide every day.

Simply locate the "The Good Life" iPhone Apps by Standard Chartered Bank from the App Store by doing a search through the search menu or look under the "Finance" Category. For your information this Apps is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with iOS 4.0 or later.

From the App "Home" screen, you can browse in five different categories such as "Coupon, Deal, Nearest To Me(meaning deals or discounts nearest to your current location), Categories(dining, rest and relax, retail) and Search" according to your preference.

As you can see from the above, Coupons are valid for certain numbers of days shown on each link. And since it is only for one-time usage, redeem only when you are ready to use it together with your Standard Chartered Credit or Debit Card.

The Good Life iPhone app also makes it easy for cardholders to locate ongoing promotions at their favourite dining, retail and lifestyle establishments through their mobile phone instead of the monthly information booklet in hard-copy form.

Here with the new iPhone app, cardholders like me can search for deals which is available near my location or through category, merchant name or keyword as well as favourite the "stores or deals" by adding them to into my “Favourites” tab.

Cardholders can also share the deals and coupons with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, Email or SMS(short message send).

On top of the above, the app’s new “I Free Monday” coupons also allow cardholders to receive a free item from outlets such as McDonalds where a Free a la carte Filet-O-Fish can be redeemed. Other partners include Swensen’s, Starbucks and Marble Slab Creamery – that’s 32 Happy Mondays till the end of the year. So keep a look out every "Monday" for the special deal.

Note:-
~ Some of the related photos used are credited to Standard Chartered Bank.


Friday, 25 May 2012

Hearty Meal With The Family @ Swensen's

Swensen's, a household name in Singapore has bought many memories to me and my family over the years. I remember during my school days, I used to visit Swensen's with my classmates to enjoy their ice-creams and food during weekends gathering where we often share the "Huge" Earthquake ice-cream together.

Recently, Swensen's has just revamped their menu with new and exciting treats such as Spiced King Prawns and Chips, Laksa Aglio Olio with King Prawns, Crabmeat Fried Rice and etc. Here we have ordered the "Laksa Aglio Olio with King Prawns" shown above as I am curious with this East And West fusion taste. The al dente pasta is infused with Laksa flavored pesto, chilli padi and served with succulent king prawns which gives us a Wow!

{S$5.00 Top Up} With additional $5.00 top-up to any Main Course, we can enjoy additional soup of day which I always look forward to, a complimentary hot/cold beverage plus a scoop of ice-cream of our choice to end the meal.

For starter we order Ocean Crunch Salad with served with fresh greens topped with fish bites, calamari, breaded shrimps and refreshing pineapple BBQ dressing.

This Black Pepper Seafood Pasta is one of my mum's favourite pasta from Swensen's. She loves the taste and fragrant of their black pepper sauce which is not too spicy, salty or neither overpowering the overall taste of the dish. I would recommend this if you are a fan of black pepper sauce.

Although Chicken Baked Rice is always on my ordering list, but that day I have a craving of trying their Beef Stroganoff Baked Rice which served in chunky beef slices that saute in onion and brown sauce. Although the sauce is a bit too rich and salty towards my liking but overall it still quiet a good try. 

My boy's Fish Nuggets with Star Munchy And Sweetcorn kid's meal set which he often order serve with either cold Milo or Apple juice. A plus point for kid's meal is although it is deep-fried but for the few occasions that we ordered it is always nicely done without drip/trace of oil on the nuggets or munchy.

*Note:
All photos in this post is taken with my iphone as this is a leisure family meal.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Feet Haven Reflexology @ East Coast Road

Take a moment to rest your feet with a soothing massage can be a powerful brief solution to loosen the nerves in the leg. Recently I have visited "Feet Haven Reflexology" which is a premier foot reflexology spa located at 136 East Coast Road (about 5 - 7 minutes walk away from the new 112 Katong Shopping Mall). And since my brother and his friend are regular customers who shared good feedback about their services, I decided to join them for a session too.

{Luxurious Ambiance} Feet Haven has established in April 2011 and customers can choose from its many services such as Foot, Shoulder and Neck or Body massage to cater for individual needs and preferences. Upon entering the shop, I am captured by its luxurious ambiance, calming fragrance and soothing music as well as their friendly greeters. And the place give me a very smooth and relaxing feeling which I am comfortable with.

{Plus Points} There are also some cards with words like ‘I like it hard’,’ Soft touches’,’ moderate please’, ‘Silence is golden,’ ‘I don’t mind small talk’’ extended to customers where we could pick  our preference for the level of strength and whether we wish to be disturbed during the massage. And on top of that,  all customers also gets to enjoy free flow of hot tea or Pineapple juice of their choice during the massage session.

{Skillful Masseurs} From a glance and a friendly chat with the person in-charge, it is said the company has a hire local and senior policy, where seniors and locals are given priority when recruiting masseurs and these masseurs are very experience in their skills which received much praises and good feedback from customers. I, myself has experience the before and after effect from this foot reflexology massage as I could feel the different and changes in my body, as in my gastric and aching problem shows improvement after the session.

Feet Haven Reflexology
136 East Coast Road
#01-01 Singapore 428821
Telephone: 6344 7311
Website: www.feethaven.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FeetHaven

Opening Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 12 noon - 10.00pm;
Friday to Saturday: 12 noon - 11.00pm

Prices:
Feet Haven Basic Foot: S$28.00 / 45 minutes session
Feet Haven Shiok Basic Blend: S$38.00 / 60 minutes session
For more other prices, discount or packages, please refer to their website for more details.

Chicken Rice Using Happy Call Pan


My inspiration of this dish came from my boy who loves to eat chicken rice but he hates those bits and pieces of crashed garlic or ginger that are hidden in between the rice which some of the chicken rice stalls added. So in order to let him enjoy his favourite food and at the same time prepared it in a more healthier way by reducing the oil and salt used, I decided to incorporate my HCP Claypot Rice method into this cooking this dish.

And to cut short the cooking process and get everything ready for meal in a quicker time, Happy Call Pan (HCP) method definitely comes in handy for those who owns one. But don't worry if you don't because you still can apply this recipe using your rice cooker(use broth according to rice cooker method) as well as normal claypot which would produce similar result too.


STEAMED CHICKEN RICE
(using Happy Call Pan)


My Happy Call Pan version of Steamed Chicken Rice which is done in less than 30 minutes.


(Serves: 2- 3 |       Preparation: 5 minutes |        Cooking: 25 minutes)

Ingredients:
1/2 Portion of Chicken, around 500 - 550g
3/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
3/4 - 1 Tablespoon of Ginger Juice
1.5 Cup Cooked Uncooked Long Grain Rice
3 Cups Chicken Broth(refer to the broth recipe below)
1 Stall of Lemon Grass, cut into 2 sections and lightly pound
4 Garlic Cloves, lightly pound
3 Slices of Ginger
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
2 Knots of Pandan Leaves

Method:-
1. Clean and rinse the chicken, pat dry with kitchen paper towel and rub the sea salt all over the chicken together with the ginger juice(the marinade helps to tenderise the meat of the chicken during cooking).

2. At the meantime, rinse the rice thrice and drained well. Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in the Happy Call Pan (HCP), saute the garlic, ginger and lemon grass till fragrant, stir in the drained rice together with the pandan leaves, 1/4 teaspoon salt and continue to pan-fry for another 1 to 2 minutes till the rice is fragrant and dry(grains can be seen separated individually).

3. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and give the mixture a quick stir. Cover the pan(don't lock) and let the mixture simmer on the lowest heat for about 3 - 5 minutes till the soup broth reduce by half.

4. Next open the HCP, place the marinated chicken on top of the rice. Cover(lock) and continue to simmer for another 15 - 20minutes depend on the size of the chicken. (try pushing a skewer or chopstick into the flesh of the drumstick if the juices run clear out of the hole its cooked)

5. Off the heat and the chicken rest in the HCP for another 5 minutes before serving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tips:-
~ Use the same measuring cup(from the rice cooker) to measure both the rice and broth for this recipe.

~ 4 Chicken Drumsticks or 6 wings can be used to replace 1/2 portion of the chicken according to your preferences.




CHICKEN CABBAGE SOUP


This is one of my favourite childhood soup which my great-grandmother used to cook together with her signature Hainanese Chicken Rice. Often she would choose between using Napa Cabbage or just normal Cabbage together with some minced meatballs or fish balls to enhance the flavour of the soup. And since then, this is one of my favourite soup which I would cooked to go with my chicken rice.


(Makes: 1.5 Litres      | Preparation: 5 minutes         | Cooking: 20 - 25 minutes)

Ingredients:
1 Medium Size Napa Cabbage (Chinese Cabbage)
2 Chicken Drumstick or 3 Sets Chicken Bones
2 Slices of Ginger
4 Garlic Cloves
2 Stall of Spring Onion, cut into sections
1 Teaspoon of Cooking Oil
1.8 Litre of Water
Some Fish balls, optional

Method:-
1. Remove the leaves of the Napa Cabbage, rinse with water and cut it into thick slices. Set aside.

2. Using a medium stock pot, saute garlic, ginger and spring onion with 1 teaspoon of cooking oil until fragrant. Add in half portion of the Napa Cabbage and fry till almost wilted.

3. Add in water and bring the mixture to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes and you can use some of the stock for cooking the chicken rice above and reserve the rest for later use.

4. Before serving the soup with the chicken rice above, bring it to boil and add in the remaining cabbage and fish balls if using and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, season with salt and it's ready to be served.


In about 30 minutes of time, you can enjoy a pan of quick and easy homemade chicken rice which is healthy, less greasy and plus points are you don't need to do a lot of washing for this. For more short-cuts method, you can even replace the chicken broth with water or ready bought stock broth(eg: Swanson Chicken Broth) from the supermarkets.

Hope you would enjoy my version of Steamed Chicken Rice which is prepared using Happy Call Pan. For more recipe on using Happy Call Pan you can refer to the link HERE.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Homemade Pandan Waffle


In Singapore it is quiet easy to find freshly made waffles that are available in different fillings from most of the neighbourhood bakery shops. I remember a few years back a piece of "plain" waffle cost around 70 cents compared to now which is about S$1.00 - S$1.20 depending on the shop. And my favourite place to grab a piece of crisp and hot waffle is always at PrimaDéli where they used to make delicious waffles many years back during my school days.

Recently I have seen quiet a number of people in my facebook timeline sharing photos of either the  Taiyaki(Japanese fish pancake) or Waffles that they have made for breakfast or tea snack. So without hesitate, I also Google to read more on the related recipe and I have found one which I think is pretty easy to follow using electric Waffle Maker.


HOMEMADE WAFFLES
(Pandan Flavour)


This recipe requires separate whisking of egg yolk and white before folding the mixture together to form a waffle batter. Base on the positive comments and feedback shown on Annie's site,  I decide to give this recipe a try since it is quiet similar to the recipe I have which included together with my Waffle Maker.


Recipe adapted and modify from House of Annie, Pandan Waffles.

(Makes: 4 pieces | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

Ingredients:
125g All-purpose Plain Flour
50g Caster Sugar
1.5 Teaspoon Cornflour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Egg, yolk and white separate
100ml Coconut Milk
80ml Drinking Water
1/2 - 3/4 Teaspoon Pandan Paste
30ml Salad/Vegetable Oil


Method:-
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk in coconut milk, pandan water(pandan paste mix with 80ml drinking water), oil and egg yolk till well-combined.

2. Using another bowl, sieve in all dry ingredients such as flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cornflour.

3. Next using a whisk, stir in wet ingredients into the flour mixtures till the batter is slightly lumpy and thick.(do not over mix at this stage)

4. Whisk Egg White with pinch of cream of tartar on medium speed using electric whisk till stiff peaks.(done is about 3 - 5 minutes. To test overturn the bowl and the white should remains without falling)

5. Gently fold white into the flour better till incorporate.

6. Preheat waffle iron and ladle 1 to 1.5 scoop(depending on the size of the scoop) of batter onto hot waffle iron. Cook according to the machine instruction manual until golden brown.

7. Serve hot with honey, jam, kaya, chocolate and etc.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE:-
~ You can replace Pandan Paste and 80ml drinking water with 50ml Fresh Pandan Juice and 30ml drinking water.

~ Coconut milk can be replace by fresh milk if you prefer a healthier version.


I love to have my waffle with lots of unsalted butter and honey whereas my boy prefer to have extra spread of his favourite Nutella. No matter which is your choice of spread I am sure nothing beats a pieces of freshly homemade waffle to perk up your day together with a cup of coffee or tea.

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