Sunday, July 31, 2005

Chloe, too plump??

I told Big King not to say anything about Chloe in front of her because I scared 'pantang' (Chinese superstitions).
Since last week he keeps whispering in my ear, ''She's so fat, like Michelin baby." Then indicated not once, not twice but many times that I like to force her eat banyak banyak.
So angry >:-<, that means I look after her well 唄, 好呷好睏 (good eat good sleep) just like I look after Big King until his stomach protrude liao.........yikes!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Snacks I love currently

This is a seasonal limited edition. Kettle chips are delicious, thick cut and cooked in sunflower oil. This limited edition is equally tasty, however, both the mango taste and fragrant does not pervade, a little disappointment there.

Right: Varlhona Vintage 2004
Each year Varlhona scour the earth for the best chocolate beans and produce a vintage edition. This 2004 vintage lends a note of honey and nut, delicious as expected as it is after all Varlhona.

Left: AMEDEI Chuao dark chocalate.
Amedei allegedly produces the best chocolate in the world. I was a little sceptical when first hearing this claim. Nevertheless, I picked up this Chuao bar when I saw it at Harvey Nicholas. On first taste, the chocolate was bitter but exploded with notes of berries and plums as it slowly melt in your mouth. Truly amazing! It is by far the BEST chocolate I have ever tasted in my whole life. Forget Godiva, forget Varlhona, forget Neuhaus, forget Royce Nama, this Chuao is truly legendary. Wow is the only word for it.

Egg Tarts

I have lots of dough left from making pineapple tarts, can't think of anything better than egg tarts to make use of those delicious dough. I think they will make fabulous short crust.

I haven't use any recipe, just make normal custard and pour into the prebaked tart shell. I have previous experience of cooked custard in undercooked pastry, so this time I prebaked the crust first, brushing it with eggwash before putting in the oven (it helps to seal the crust so it doesn't get soggy with the custard).

Verdict: OK lah, delicious to me and Big King.

Pineapple Tarts

The other day I saw these little babies at Pinkcocoa's and decided to have a go myself.

I used the recipe at Jo's. Since Big King only bought a miserably small pineapple for me I halved the recipe, even then it was too much it for other use......

這是媽媽的最愛, 希望過年回家可以親手做給媽媽吃.

Big King said 好吃, 好吃. :-)

Vietnamese Noodle Salad and Steamed Spare Ribs

Here are some dishes I cooked last week.

Vietnamese style vermicelli salad.

Vermicelli 粉絲, cooked in boiling water and drained
1 egg, make into omelette and cut into thin strips
1 chicken breast, boiled and shredded
½ cucumber, cut into thin strips
½ carrot, cut into thin strips

4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp water
1 chilli, cut into thin strips
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cm ginger, minced
Juice from 1 lime

Arrange ingredients on a plate and pour sauce over. Serve.

This salad is very addictive and serves very well in a hot day.

Easy peasy, it's just steam marinated spare ribs with black bean.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Princess start weaning today

I start to wean Chloe with baby rice today. She sure can eat banyak banyak. Slurp, slurp, slurp, very fast all gone liao.

Big King wanted to have a go at feeding her so I took photo lor.

Friday, July 22, 2005

My Princess has eczema...........

Sorry for the absence the past few days, my Princess has this nasty eczema all over her tiny body, head to toe.

It's been keeping her (and me) awake at night, her tiny hands frantically trying to scratch her little little face all the time. Screaming her head off when the itch becomes too intense............

So I have not enough sleep, no mood to cook and blog.......

Monday, July 18, 2005

Buttermilk bun

I missed buttermilk buns. Cannot find in UK, the closest thing is the cocktail bun, but I want buttermilk bun.......What to do? DIY lor...........

'Soup' dough:
90g strong white flour
65g water
35g salted butter
5g sugar

Main dough:
210g strong white flour
56g cake flour
20g skimmed milk powder
42g castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6g instant dried yeast
30g whole egg
85g water
84g 'soup' dough
22g butter

For 'Soup' dough:
1. Put flour in a big bowl.
2. Put the remaining ingredients in a saucepan, heat under a low flame until simmering. Turn off heat and pour into 1. Stir with chopstick quickly.
3. Shape into dough and refrigerate for 24 hours.

For main dough:
1. Put all ingredients except butter in a big bowl (or in breadmaker, selecting dough function) in the order specified, knead into a dough. Add in butter and knead until smooth and elastic. Cover with clingfilm.
2. Prove for about 40 minutes or until dough has increased twice or three times it's original size, see picture 1 below. (I put it in oven and sit it above a baking tray filled with hot water)
3. When ready, punch into the dough to let air escape. Divide into about 60g (9) small balls. Roll into balls and prove for another 10 minutes.
4. Flatten dough and put filling. Roll back into ball. Put on baking tray and prove for another 40 minutes or until it is twice it's original size. See picture 2 below.
5. Bake in 180°C oven for 15 minutes.

70g butter
30g icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
30g whole egg (about half)
1 tbsp cornflour
80g skimmed milk powder

1. Cream butter, sugar and salt until creamy.
2. Add in egg in batches mixing well each time.
3. Put in cornflour and skimmed milk powder, mix well with rubber spatula.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Steam Chicken, Won Ton Soup and Tofu Meatballs

Big King is sick. What do sick people eat? Cannot cook porridge, not filling. Cannot fry stuff, heaty. Braised chick wings, cooked already so left steam dishes lor.

Steam chicken

2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into broad strips
4 dried shitake mushroom, reconstitute
a handful of black fungus
ginger, sliced

1. Put all ingredients in a big bowl and marinate with salt, pepper, rice wine, light soy sauce, a little sugar, sesame oil and 1 tbsp of cornflour. Mix well.
2. I arrange the fungus at the bottom, followed by chicken, then ginger then mushroom. Fungus have no taste so it will absorb all juice while steaming if lined at bottom.
3. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Steam tofu meatballs

2 pieces pork chop/shoulder chop, minced
150g tofu, mashed
minced ginger

1. the above ingredients and marinate with salt, pepper, light soy sauce, sesame oil and 2 tbsp of cornflour. Leave for at least 2 hours.
2. Shape into balls.
3. I line a bamboo steamer with iceberg lettuce and put the meatballs on top to steam.
4. Steam for 10 minutes.

Serve plain or you can cook sauce to pour over. Oyster or sweet and sour sauce is good with the meatballs.

Note: Tofu should be as dry as possible. I sit my tofu on top of several layers of kitchen paper, put them in a container and leave in the fridge overnight.

Won Ton soup

I normally make a lot of won ton in one go and freeze them in batches of 10 or 12. Just cook them in boiling water directly from frozen until they float to the top of water.

The filling is the same as the Tofu meatballs above minus the tofu with added chopped spring onion.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Tan Tan Mien, Avocado Milkshake, Soy Sauce Pork and Mock Crabmeat Stir Fry


I normally don't cook for lunch, just chuck things in oven and ready in no time.

One of Big King's favourite eat at our favourite Singapore eaterie 'La Mien Xiao Long Bao' is tan tan mien. Lately he has been craving for it and even bought a jar of sesame paste and noodles from Chinatown. He's downloaded recipe and said he'll cook.

'Ghost shadow also don't have' (Chinese saying - 'kwai yeng do mou') :s

I really cannot tahan so I experiment with a recipe I saw on a gourmet programme from HK.

Tan Tan Mien and avocado milkshake

To prepare tossing sauce:
4 tbsp dark soy
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dark vinegar
1 tbsp water
minced garlic
few dash sesame oil
chili oil to taste
sesame paste (dilute with water if too thick)

Put sauce (except sesame paste) in bottom of bowl, topped with cooked noodles. Spread sesame paste on top of noodles. Can also add chopped spring onion and crushed peanuts. Toss. Eat.

I don't like ╯~╰ but edible.

Saw avocado sui sui and ripe so I buy lor, whizzed it up into avocado milkshake.


Soy sauce pork

2 pieces chop cut into thin strips
2 inches ginger cut into thin shreds

1. Marinate pork with salt, pepper, rice wine, sesame oil and cornflour for at least 2 hours.
2. Heat up sesame oil and vegetable oil (half each) in a wok and fry ginger until crispy (in low heat). Drain and set aside.
3. Leave oil in the wok and turn on high heat. Stir fry the pork until cooked and add in sugar, dark soy and water to taste.
4. Garnish pork with the crispy ginger.

Quick. Easy. Tasty.

A while ago, Big King attempted to make ice cream. Failed lah of course. He had cooked the yolk and asked me how come his custard never thicken *~*
The leftover egg whites I freeze and think lor what to do with SO MANY (all 5 of them).

Finally took them out of freezer on Thursday and decided to cook 賽螃蟹 (direct translate: compete with crab). This dish allegedly mimick the taste of crab and shouln't be able to tell the difference from the real McCoy, IF COOK WELL. Ah really?? I try lor.


5 eggs (yolk and white separated), add salt

Sauce (I agak-agak the amount):
Dark vinegar
Minced ginger
A little sugar

1. Cook the whites and yolks separately. Stirring all the time while frying so they become shreds like.
2. Assemble sauce in bottom of plate, put whites on top followed by yolks.

The whites mimicked the crabmeat while the yolks mimicked the crab roe.

Toss before eat.

Verdict: My skill not good enough, doesn't taste like crab but nice to eat leh.

Hot off the press!

Package arrived at 9.25 am delivered by Royal Mail.

Stores open at 9.30 am so I'm one of those who received it early!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Hardcover edition

I pre-ordered from Tesco at 40% off RRP!! Got delivered to my address so no need to beat the queue at the store and pay full price!

Also ordered the following which arrived 3 days ago.

Left: "New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner"by Annabel Karmel

Right: "The Roux Brothers on Patisserie"

Saturday, July 16, 2005


To all friends and family who leave comments please put your initials/nickname at the end of your message so I don't scratch my head botak trying to guess who you are.

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcake

I have never baked a successful chiffon cake before. It was no exception yesterday. Find out why..........

5 big eggs (yolk and white separated)
icing sugar 110g (divide into two equal halves)
Self raising flour 130g + salt ¼ tsp (sieved together at least thrice)
vegetable oil 50g (use groundnut or sunflower)
Strawberry flavouring 2/3 tsp
Strawberry milkshake 130g (strawberry 60g+milk 60g+icing sugar 10g - whizz in blender)
Strawberry 60g (diced) ← culprit >_<
Cream of tartar 1/3 tsp

1. Line mould with paper case.
2. Cream yolk and sugar (55g) until thick and creamy. Add in strawberry flavouring and blend well.
3. Add in oil, blend well then followed by strawberry milkshake blend well.
4. Add in flour in batches, fold and press mixture against wall of container until there is no lump.
5. Egg whites + cream of tartar, beat till soft peak. Add in remaining (55g) sugar in 3 batches and beat till stiff.
6. Take 1/3 egg white and mix into cake batter, whisking for 30 to 40 seconds. Pour batter into (5) and fold in gently using cut and fold method. Fold until no egg whites visible.
7. Tip diced strawberry into (6), mix well.
8. Pou batter into mould, about 60% to 70% full. DO NOT overfill.
9. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 20-23 minutes, test cake with a skewer, it should come out clean.
10. Remove immediately from oven and invert the cakes on a cooling rake (this is to prevent water condensation at the bottom which will "pull down"the cakes and make the cakes shrink in the middle).

NOTE: My strawberries were too ripe and when cooked turn mushy which make my cakes wet and I have "heavy-bottomed" cakes. But the cakes hold up well at the top. And those without strawberries were fine. This recipe is actually a success but I would omit the diced strawberries next time but instead increase the amount in the milkshake.

Happy baking :)

My Favourite Toy by Chloe

Today is our Sultan's birthday, I want to share my favourite toy with him, not that I need an excuse to show off my toys ;-)

I can turn the flower, turn the ball and pull the handle. Yay!

This is my favorite mobile, love the tune, lalala.......

These are me best frens, they all sleep with me. *_* zzzzzz

Friday, July 15, 2005

Shopping 敗家

I promised to blog some of my bargain hunts and so this post is dedicated to my sister who shares the same fashion passion with me.

I have wanted a tiered skirt and scoured real hard for this baby. Tiered skirt is oh so pretty and feminine and best of all hide a multitudes of sins like fat thigh and fat bum. Saw this lovely skirt on window display at Whistles and immediately went in try it on and buy. Cannot remember the exact price but roughly reduced from £65 to £45. Love the embroidery work and the detail motif at the back. src=

The jean jacket was from Earl Jean, a surprise find at TK Maxx as the brand is endorsed by star like Kate Moss and Mrs Beckham, got money also difficult to buy. I was so excited when I saw this lone piece hanging on the rail. I tried it on and it fitted me perfectly. Reduced from £135 to £29.99. What am I waiting for? Buy! Buy!

Saw the Ted Baker skirt at 50% off, choose one lor. Lovely bright colours, put it on and spirits also get lifted.

Mango in season now! Mango Pudding

Mango Pudding

I lived near a large Asian community called Roundhay (in England Asian means Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lankan/Punjabi/anyone from near that area), that means lots of takeaways and a few groceries shops dotted along the area.
I would occasionally visit 1 particular grocery store called Noshi for fresh fruits, theysome fruits are cheaper than supermarkets by a lot.
Asked husband to buy a box of mangoes as they are in season. We had bought Alphonso mangoes before but I don't like :-r , now no more liao season is from April to July so he brought back a box from Pakistan. They are deliciously sweet and fragrant but still cannot compare with Phillipines mangoes, they are the best!
Let's look at the ingredients:

Mango pudding ingredients


1. Diced mangoes and puree them, reserving some to line bottom of mould.

2. Measure cream, water and puree make sure they make up to 550ml (I used half cream half water). The amount of water depends on your gelling agent please adjust accordingly.

3. Dissolve the vege-gel/gelatin in 200ml of the liquid in 2 above. Add to 2 above and heat to near boiling point in a saucepan (make sure all gel has dissolved), stirring all the time. Add sugar and lemon juice to taste.

4. Cool quickly and pour into moulds lined with the reserved diced mangoes. Cool completely before chilling in fridge.

Verdict: I prefer the texture made with milk and egg.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tuesday dinner - Rabbit's special grilled chicken, 青江菜 and miso soup

I marinated the other half of free range bird left from brewing soup on Sunday.

Rabbit's special grilled chicken

Marinate for the chicken for half a bird:
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 onion
half inch ginger
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 chillies
salt and pepper to taste
Whizz everything in a processor and spread over chicken, let marinate for at least overnight. Grill at high heat or bake in oven at 200°C for 25 to 30 minutes.
Some greens to go with the chicken.
Fried 青江菜 with fresh shitake mushroom and egg
Easy peasy.
Since there is no gravy in the chicken, I also cooked miso soup.
Miso soup with beancurd and wakame.

Monday dinner - tomato fried rice and smoked ham & cheese chicken kievs

I really crave tomato fried rice.........Craving started after watching Japan's soap ''午餐女王'' the soap featured Omuraishi (蛋包飯) but my skill not good enough to enclose the rice in the omu.

Tomato fried rice with smoked ham & cheese chicken kievs

Chicken kievs is store bought £3 for 2 packs (1 pack 2 pieces), cheap, buy.

Ingredients for fried rice

Tip: Use a mixture of butter and olive oil to cook onion first, DO NOT burn or let onion become brown, cook gently on low heat until soft.

Disastrous coffee cheesecake...or so I thought

Coffee cheesecake
Originally uploaded by Rabbit Sim.
I hesitated about blogging this when the cheesecake came out of oven on Sunday evening.
The surface of the cake is covered with many fine cracks with several deep cracks slashed across.
Big King called it 'The Grand Canyon'
:( I have put in a lot of effort and sweat like a pig over it (weather very hot, 31 degrees, we have no fan in the house).

But when I tasted it yesterday afternoon, I was delighted. It was delicious -D! Yay! Texture of the cake was smooth with no grainy bits, the base still retain some crunch and not soggy. The cake really benefits from long baking in the oven.

Sister might be interested in the recipe, here comes:

8 digestive biscuits
50g butter
600g cream cheese
2 eggs
170g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml cream
2 tbsp grounded coffee beans ( I used Lavazza)
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
2 tbsp cornflour

1. Finely grind biscuits in processor and add butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together. Alternatively put biscuits in a bag and crush it with heavy object. Transfer crumbs to an 8 inch springform baking tin and pressed down onto bottom of pan. Refrigerate until needed.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C. Combine cream, espresso powder and vanilla in small bowl; set aside.
3. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar, then eggs 1 at a time. Beat in cornflour.
4. Stir espresso mixture until powder dissolves; beat into cream cheese mixture.
5. Pour batter over crust. Cover tin with double layer of foil and bake in bain marie (water coming up halfway of the tin).
6. Bake cake until edges are puffed and beginning to crack and center is just set, about 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the oven for another hour with the oven door closed. Take out of oven and cool completely on wire rack. Cover; keep chilled at least 1 day and up to 2 days.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sunday Dinner - Herbal Soup & Fried Kway Teow

Big King is feeling unwell since back from Windsor, so bought a free range bird yesterday intending to cook herbal soup for Sunday dinner.

Herbs for the soup

Upper row (left to right):

Black dates - 補陰養血, 益脾

Red dates (pitted) - 补益脾胃、调和药性、养血宁神

Kei chi - Good for eyesight

Lower row (left to right):

Tong sum king - Improve 'chi' in the body' 增強機體抵抗力

Dongguai - Improve blood circulation

Put all herbs except kei chi into herbal bag and chuck into a slow cooker together with bones from half chicken (still got some meat attached). Sprinkle keichi around and cook on high setting for 3 hours. Season with salt to taste.

Both Big King and I hate the taste of dates but this soup is very fragrant and all the taste of the herbs blended well together so the taste of dates is not very pronounced. Very nice to drink and good for the body.

Since it is summer here in England, after drinking the soup, we perspired for a while. This soup is meant for winter .........

Fried Kway Teow with 青江菜, crabstick, 2 eggs and fresh shitake mushroom

I have wanted to cook tomato fried rice but forgot to put the rice into fridge the previous night. So have to buang cos got bacteria liao now that weather's warm. So I cooked fried kway teow lor.

Slurp, slurp slurp, all gone liao..............

Sunday lunch - Burgers!

I always watch cookery programme on Saturday morning on BBC. Beefburgers were on the menu last week. It just happened that Big King was sitting on the couch feeding Chloe when Rachel (the programme host) present her version of the burgers. Big King's eyes were glued to the screen :-o , uh oh, I know what's coming liao.

Big King: My love, that looks absolutely delicious.
Rabbit: Errr.......yes indeed my love.... :-/
Here comes
Big King: If making these burgers at home, one can choose what meat, porklah, chickenlah, also can omit all the fatty meat, more healthy you know.
Rabbit: :-T , yalor you can make for me ;->

Later that evening we went for our routine Sainsbury (local supermarket)visit.

Approaching the meat section.........
Big King: Oh, the pork looks lovely, little fat and cheap, I think it will be good for mince.
Rabbit: :-, ya buylah buylah, tomorrow I make burgers..........(bay tahan)

Big King carefully select one good looking packet and put into trolley with a big grin on the face =^D

Sunday woke up and straightaway start making burgers.

Ingredients (make six portions):
4 pieces shoulder chop
1 onion
2 cloves garlic

1. Finely chop onion and garlic (or if you're lazy like me, process them in a blender), stir fry in a little butter and olive oil until fragrant and soft. Putaside and leave to cool.
2. Mince the chop (I use blender again). Put into a big bowl. Add the cooled onion into mince.
3. Marinate the meat with salt, pepper, 1 tbsp sweet thai chilli sauce, 1 tbsp ketchup and few dash of worchestershire sauce.
4. Add in enough beaten egg to bind the meat.
5. Grill or pan fried until cooked.

Leftover egg I fried and add to burger. I spread my toast with mayonnaise, then squirt French mustard and Maggi chilli sauce on the burger.

Start eating, yummy, lot's of juice in the meat...............Big King very happy that morning...........hehe

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and sour pork

After all the shopping and admiring them when got home (a long time OK, also include photo taking time), I have no mood to cook.
But the pork has been marinating in the fridge for 2 days, no choice. Wanted to cook broccoli
(I hate >:-< ) also, got it out of fridge, hah?? the top all yellow liao >_<, try to chop off the yellow bit but left stem only, so chuck away. No vege, gotlah, all in the sauce mah, carrots, green peas, tomatoes and onion. Canlah, enough nutrition liao, don't want 2 much nutrition also later cow, rabbit and chicken all become one big PIG family and living UNHAPPILY ever after......

Saturday Shopping

Been nagging at Big King to buy a new filter kettle (currently using cheap/no brand from Tesco). The water is hard with lots of limescale where we live. I made lots of research on the net before buying, ngam ngam also got sale on the model I want.

So off we went to a retail park just off city centre.

Got the kettle from Argos (see above), a large catalogue superstore that sells just about anything you want except food.

The kettle sports a stylish stainless steel exterior, illuminates when switched on, telling you it is boiling which comes in handy as it virtually makes no noise while boiling, cool. Base is 360 degrees rotational, handy for left or right handed. All in all, very pleased with the result, the filtered and boiled water finally does not have weird taste. Also bought cartridge, got GBP2 off if buy together so buy lor. One cartridge will last 4 weeks.

We actually stopped at TK Maxx first when arrived at the park. Just want to go one round see whether got bargain. It sells past season designer stuff at knock down prices and recently opened just a week ago. I got an EARL JEAN jacket, happy :) I will blog later on together with my other fashion buy.

After Argos, we proceeded to Mothercare situated at the end of the park (no photo, forgot).

Bought casual clothes for Chloe to wear when we go home in January and a nice set of outfit for new nephew.

Not much sale going on inside the store except for clothing but still bought a toy for Chloe (no sale, see first pic). A very cleverly designed development toy. It consists of two sides, one side is for 3+ months and the other side 9+ months. It will aid her in discovering colour, noices, shapes, even trains the use of hand, amazing stuff!