Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh, I love Betty Crocker... especially their free stuff

If you're subscribed to Betty Crocker's e-mailing list, then you know what I'm talking about. I just love being surprised every season with their digital magazine. They're just great and full of wonderful ideas for baking in the season to come. If you don't subscribe that okay, just follow this link and you can view their magazine online with the rest of us :) Birthday Parties Digital Magazine

I don't quite know how Betty Crocker new it, but there are a lot of birthdays in my life that occur in May... my best friends, mine, my dads and let's include mother's day in there as well. So, that means that there's a lot of baking to be done! It's so exciting to think that I have so much baking ahead of me (and even more exciting to have Betty Crocker and her marvelous ideas to help bolster my crazy kitchen ambitions). Anyways, that's all I really wanted to say :P I guess I just enjoy hearing myself... um... type?! Hehehe... enjoy May! The month of baking.

Oh... before I forget, you can also check out the past issues of Betty Crocker's Digital Magazines. So here's the links to those as well...

Sugar High Friday #42: Round-up

My second SHF, man I'm on a roll... okay Joanna, don't get too ahead of yourself :P So, after finishing my creation of Matcha Tortellini I saw my beautiful food pictured in the SHF roundup which you can find here:

It was so much fun, I can't wait to do it all again for this month! I wonder what the theme is going to be? The suspense is killing me :) <-- hmm, don't know whether I should be smiling about that

Monday, April 28, 2008

Soon Kueh

Yeah! Time for more kueh. So here's the deal, I had a bunch of spring onions left over from making jambalaya the other day (because I kind of forgot to garnish the jambalaya :P oops!) But that's okay, because that gave me plenty of onions to make Soon Kueh! I was craving some savory kueh for lunch today and it worked out perfectly, so I was glad. Anyways... here's the recipe

Soon Kueh (yield 8 pcs)

Dough Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup wheat starch
- 1 tsp salt
- 150mL water
- 2 tsp oil
- Filling (recipe follows)

Dough Method:

1. Mix together all the flour and salt.
2. Remove 1/4 cup of the mixture and set aside.
3. Place remaining flour in a small saucepan and add the liquid, stirring continuously to prevent clumping. Cook over medium heat until the dough begins to firm up (approx 2mins).
4. Remove dough from heat and dump the dough onto a generously floured (tapioca) surface.
5. Add the 2 tsp oil to the dough and add the reserved flour mixture from step 2.
6. Knead dough for 5mins, until it is no longer sticky and forms a nice ball. Add more flour if necessary.
7. Divide the dough into eight equal portions. Shape the dough portions into circles and roll out into an oval shape. Add 1 1/2 tbsp filling to the center of dough piece, fold over and seal shut.
8. Steam for 10mins, or until the dough is cooked and "transparent". Serve hot with chilli and soy sauce.

Filling Ingredients:

- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 cup frozen cooked shrimp, defrosted (if large, chop them into small pieces)
- 7 stalks of spring onions
- 1/8 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup beef, uncooked and minced, marinated in soy sauce for at least 30mins
- salt + pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped chilies (optional)
- 4 tbsp hoisin sauce

Filling Method:

1. Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant.
2. Add in the spring onions, continue frying for 1 min. Add in the beef and continue to fry until beef is no longer pink. Add in the shrimp and cilantro, continue frying for 3mins.
3. Remove filling from heat, add salt + pepper, chilies, hoisin sauce and mix well. Use to fill your soon kueh.

These were surprisingly good. Hehehe... yeah, I didn't know whether the kueh would turn out nice and soft or hard and chewy, but the end result was somewhere in between the two. The meal was nice and small and just what I was looking for, and now I'm off to my philosophy summer course... wish me luck!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Knorr's Tamarind Soup

Knorr rocks my socks. I never knew how many different varieties of soup bases they made. At Henlong the other day, I went out in search of nothing in particular but I came home with a bunch of great goodies. I've already posted about the teocheow that I found in their frozen food section and now it's time to talk about their awesome Knorr soups. I bought a couple cubes of the Tom Yum flavor, chicken pulao flavor and the yummy and tangy Tamarind soup.

Their Tom Yum flavor is surprisingly authentic. I couldn't believe that they packed so much flavor into two tiny cubes.

The Tamarind Soup base was good too, especially when I added in the veggies and the seafood.

There was a recipe on the back of the soup package; it basically said just to add vegetables of your choice and seafood of your choice. I did just that and I also ate it with some rice to make a really quick and simple lunch for myself. Next time I will try out the chicken pulao soup base, I can't wait... to eat it and also be lazy :P

Lunch-time Delights: Lazy Tostada

What do you do when you don't feel like cooking? Personally, I get up and scream "How can this be!" Jkjkjk... I just tell myself that I've gotta eat and there's only one way to do that, and it's by cooking. Albeit, it doesn't have to be the most elaborate meal in the world, it just has to taste yummy! So for lunch today, I decided that I wouldn't dwell on "what would I make" and I just grabbed random leftovers that were sitting in my fridge. And this is what came out of it...

Jo's Lazy Tostada (serves me)

- 1/3 cup chicken, shredded
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp bbq sauce
- 1 tsp louisiana hot sauce (optional)
- a couple pickled jalapenos
- 1 kraft cheddar "singles slice"
- 1 6-inch corn tortilla


1. Toss the chicken with the sauces and mix well.
2. Place a good dollop of your chicken onto the corn tortilla.
3. Top with the jalapenos and cheese.
4. Place in the oven at 325F for 15-20mins or until the tortilla is nicely browned and crispy.
5. Enjoy being lazy and eating your lazy meal :P

It sure did taste good, and it also felt good not having to contemplate what I would be eating that day. I just love relaxing and doint absolutely nothing... sadly, I have summer school starting up on Monday! Philosophy... hm, hopefully all goes well.

Time for More Fresh Bread!

Yes, I know... I'm becoming a bit ambitious with my yeast-utilizing skills, but the fact of the matter is that I have yet to actually make a true "loaf" of bread! And that my friends, is unacceptable :P So here' my attempt at making a real loaf of bread...

Yeay! It looks good, eh? And it tasted even better coming fresh out of the oven. I used the recipe I found on Florence's blog and I think it worked out pretty nicely. Although, after the first proofing I think I realized that my dough needed more flour and more kneading. So my end result was a bread loaf that was a less fluffy and airy than I would have liked. And while the dough smelled heavenly, I'm still going to try and make that "perfect" loaf... sorry guys, you're probably going to be seeing alot of bread posts in the future :P

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Almost Banh Mi

At T&T the other day I purchased a Banh Mi... aka Vietnamese Sub. It was delicious! I had not clue what was in it, but I quite enjoyed stuffing it in my mouth :P That's me! Sadly, I did not take my camera with me and thus I will not be posting photos of that Banh Mi. So let me describe it... this sub sandwich was filled with bbq pork, pickled daikon and carrots and lettuce, all stuffed inside a mayo+fish sauce+butter smothered soft-vietnamese bun. The only thing I think it was lacking was some cilantro, that would have been delicious. So, after I got home I decided that I'd have this sub for lunch the next day; but I wasn't going to spend money on it when I had the basic ingredients at home. It's time to make some Banh Mi!

Pickling the Veggies

Well, you've got to pickle your veggies before you can put pickled veggies in the sandwich... duh! So here's the recipe I used for my pickled daikon and carrots.

1. Cut half of a medium daikon and 2 carrots into juliennes and place in a large jar (I used a pasta sauce jar, i.e. Ragu).
2. Pour in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup white vinegar.
3. Shake it all around and let sit for at least 1 hr, overnight is best.

For the Banh Mi filling I used whatever I had on hand, so it's not the traditional vietnamese sub. I filled it with cilantro, my pickled veggies, some chicken, hoisin sauce, sambal oelek and some sliced chinese mushrooms. And sadly I did not have the nice chewy submarine sandwich bun, so I had to make due with regular sliced bread. Well, here's a pick of the real Banh Mi if you're interested in seeing what the real thing looks like. Much different from my poor excuse for a viet-sub, but they were both equally delicious... in their own way.

More Tasty Nonya Treats

Today I decided that I needed to step out of my house and away from the computer (no offense, my beautiful box of wires and plastic). So, I went out for a little shopping escapade... where to? T&T? Alas, I did not go to my favorite supermarket (I had already been their a couple days ago and hadn't found anything that caught my eye). So where then? ... Henlong!! Yeah! My favorite "mini-market" :) And boy was I excited to spend my cash there...

I had seen these Teochew Kueh (also known as Peng Kueh) many times online, but had yet to actually taste this savoury Nonya delight. This kueh came packed in pairs of 2 and was in the frozen food section, along with some of the other sweet rice cakes. When I got home, I couldn't wait to try this kueh so I prepped all the things I needed for steaming it. I cleaned and greased a piece of banana leaf and steamed the kueh for about 15mins. I served it with a mixture of hoisin sauce and sambal oeleck (the best sauce in the world :P). The outside wasn't very flavorful, but the gooey glutinous rice filling was quite tasty. There was some ha mei, some chinese mushrooms and peanuts... the combination was delicious.

I found a few recipes online at wokkingmum and roseskitchen and myzest and simcooks and cuisine-asia. With so many recipes to try out, maybe I'll try making it next time. There's gonna be a lot of kueh going round my house!

Yeay! Dinner-time Fun

So, my dad asked me if I would mind whipping up dinner for the family tonight. I, of course, couldn't wait... but now I had to actually think about what recipes I would use. Hmm... well, we almost always eat "asian" style meals so I wanted to try cooking up something different. So, I decided to try some down-home Southern cooking. I would still be using rice and a lot of the vegetables that we had hanging around the house, but the taste would totally be different! I was so excited.

First off, I decided to try cooking some chicken-seafood jambalaya. Yup, I figured that since we've never eaten jambalaya/gumbo etc we had to try it out at least once. The recipe is basically an amalgamation of the one from,1745,RC.html and the one from Smashed together, this makes one great jambalaya (but then again, I've never had real jambalaya so I'm not too sure if it was great-great.

As the sides, I thought I needed to make some veggies. So, I sliced up some zucchini and made zucchini-chips; and then I steamed some broccoli and made some creamy cheese sauce. This meal was really to-die-for :)

Easy-Peasy Cheese Sauce

- 1 can evaporated milk
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Melt the butter in a small pot, add in the flour and mix until there are not clumps.
2. Add in the evaporated milk and cook over medium heat for 2mins, allowing it to thicken and watching that it doesn't burn.
3. Add in the cheese and stir until it melts.
4. Remove sauce from heat and serve with steamed vegetables.

Cheese Sauce
Mmm... the Jambalaya
Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips

- 1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg, beaten + 1 tbsp milk


1. Combine the parmesan, panko, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Place the egg and milk in a separate bowl.
3. Dip sliced zucchini into the egg mixture, and then into the panko mixture. Ensure all sides are well covered.
4. Place in a 350F oven and bake for 30mins or until they are nicely browned and give off a nice auroma.

All in all, the dinner was a success. I got my sisters to eat their veggies! So, the trick to getting kids to eat their greens is not hiding them in recipes like muffins and cakes... it's smothering and dousing them in CHEESE! Cheese makes everything delicious. Oh, and the jambalaya was a hit too; the chorizo sausages were a beautiful pairing to the chicken, seafood and tomato rice. Try it yourself and I guarantee you'll never see rice the same way again :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

After a Great Race... Zebra Cake

Yeay! I can't believe it, my months of hard work and training finally paid off today! I finished the Sun Run with my head held high and my heart racing. I was so proud of my dad who decided that he'd support me by running it with me :) I love him *hugs*. I've been "training" since November of 2007 and have been feeling great about it. I finished the 10k run in 54:55!!! There were a couple times when I thought that I would slow down my pace but then I realized that this was it, this was the big day and there was no way that I was going to slack off now... not when I was so close. So, I didn't break down and I kept running and I beat my own personal best! Anywho, the best part is that it's now... time to celebrate! And celebrate I shall... I felt like making a tasty, yet healthy cake and so I settled on this recipe that I'd been keeping in my back-logs on my computer for a loooooong time. It's retro and funky and uses 500g of egg whites!! (That's equivalent to 16)

I used the original recipe from: but varied it a bit to my liking. Since I didn't have ovalette/sponge-cake stabilizer, I changed the flour measurements. I used 220g of all-purpose flour (approximately 2cups) + 95g of self-rising cake flour (approximately 1cup). And, instead of using 6 colors, I only alternated between 3. The coloring I used was pandan paste (green), pisang paste (red) and pineapple paste (yellow). Other than that, I pretty much followed this recipe to a "T".

A pretty psychadelic cake if you ask me... next time there's a retro themed party I'm definitely making this one.

The cake tasted very eggy and just like ma lai koh, only better! It's impossible to describe... you'll just have to make it yourself, or come over to my house before we devour it all :P Mmm... my dad and I enjoyed our victory cake, and we let the rest of the family indulge in some of this cake as well... we're all winners here :)

Korean Dining

Rating *** out of ****
Yeah! I'm finally finished all my exams, and you know what that means?!? You probably don't, but it means that I have a reason to celebrate... and a reason to go out to eat with the family. I would say that we tend to eat out a little too often, but then again I am a foodie and I need to have a taste of something different every now and then (preferably now :P). Anyways, we decided to try something a little different. At first my dad wanted to take us to Hon's, and while I do love that noodle house, I was craving something less regular. So, my mom proposed that we try out this Korean noodle house that she had been to a month ago with some friends. I jumped at the idea of eating real Korean noodles (and not that Kimchi stuff in our pantry) and my sisters were also thrilled to be eating out at a non-regular place. So off we went...

The place was called Hong Ma No, and the moment we walked in we could tell that the food would be good. How? Well, for one thing, the place was run by Korean speaking people and not a bunch of Chinese people operating a Korean noodle house :P. The hostess actually addressed my mother in Korean, which I thought was strange (I don't think my mom looks Korean... but then again, I guess I've grown accustomed to her face). We then proceeded to be seated and were ready to take a look at the recipe.
There wasn't a wide selection of foods to choose from. They either had individual dishes of noodles with soup, sauced noodles, rice with sauce, fried rice, a couple appetizers and some combo dishes. A lot of their foods have seafood in them (in fact, they only had two dish and one appetizer without seafood) and since my sister is allergic, we ended up getting all of those... plus one seafood one for me, mom and dad.

Appetizers of Deep-fried dumplings; no seafood in these, they were nice and crispy and very tasty. Also, the salad dressing and cabbage in the middle added a nice touch. 10pcs for $7.99

Spicy, Crispy Chicken. These were also fried to perfection. It wasn't as spicy as I would have liked, but the sauce was nicely sweet. This came in a combo with 1 soup noodle (pictured below) and 1 sauce noodle (picture below) for $37.99

Mmm... this was probably my favorite dish. It was a spicy, seafood noodle dish. There was sadly, very little seafood, a couple pieces of squid and a few scallops. But the soup was tasty and the noodles were something different.

This dish, believe it or not, is a noodle dish. The noodles were smoothered (and completely hidden) beneath the splatting of ooey-gooey black bean sauce. The noodles were chewy, and the black bean taste was very strong; my dad really enjoyed this one.

Overall the experience was pretty good. I enjoyed the prompt seating and service, and the food was definitely different. I think I may go back, but it would be hard to order something different considering their menu isn't very diverse. The only comment I would make is that the "seafood" dishes need more seafood and that they should have more dishes catered to those who may not enjoy (or cannot eat seafood). Aside from that, we had a blast... yummy food, and a great celebration of my being free from my 2nd year of university! (At least until summer courses :P)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Corn-dog Reworked

Okay, so I didn't have all the oil necessary for deep-frying these bad boys :( I know... but I was sooo craving some cornmeal-something for lunch and the best recipe I had was for corndogs! What was I to do? *Light-bulb* I'll just have to bake them... after all, I'm sure that's what the traditional cornmeal eating natives did before the white man came along and introduced them to deep-fried turkey :P (That's my take on the first thanksgiving). So bake them I shall... and that's what I did

Corn-dog Muffins (yields 10 muffins)

- 1/8 cup chopped jalapenos
- 2 hot dogs, chopped into tiny chunks
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup flour
- 2/3 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup milk


1. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend well
2. Make a well in the center and add in the eggs and milk. Stir
3. Add in the hot dogs, jalapenos and peppers.
4. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, filling about 2/3 of the way. Place in a 350F oven for 15 minutes, or until a tooth-pick inserted comes out clean.
5. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Eat them nice and hot! With lots of butter.

Without the deep-frying, you would think that the taste would be a little bland. Actually, the "muffins" turned out very nicely. I really enjoyed the spice that the jalapenos add, but I always add more tobasco sauce to everything. The best part of baking them was watching my sisters' faces as they exlaimed, "Are those peppers in your muffins!?" I laughed and said yes and one sister dove right in. The other was a little apprehensive, but I think she'll come around.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lunch-time Delights: Coconut Lemongrass Noodles

I felt like using some coconut milk and noodles to make a yummy soup for lunch. So, I scoured my cookbook-full shelf in search of the perfect recipe. I finally settled on this recipe from "Cooking Smart for a Healthy Heart"... an amazing book that I had purchased at Winners quite a while back, but had not used before. Well, it's never too late to make something new...

Chicken with Lemongrass (serves 4)
Adapted from Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart

- 1 small red chili, split open but left whole (I used 2 dried red chilies that had been soaked in hot water for 10mins)
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- 1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 4 slices
- 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised and cut in half
- 1 cm piece of galangal (my addition to this recipe)
- 650g bone-in chicken pcs (I used chicken breast)
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 250g green beans, trimed and cut into bite-sized pcs
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- grated rind and juice of 1 lime
- salt + pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped (garnish)
- 200g uncooked egg noodles (or whatever noodles you like)

1. Boil 4 cups of water in a large saucepan over high heat. Spear chili, garlic, ginger and galangal on a skewer and add it to the pan with the lemongrass. Continue boiling for 1 minute, remove from heat, cover and set aside to infuse for 30mins.

2. Return liquid to a boil, reduce heat to low. Add chicken, shallots and green beans; poach for 12-15mins or until chicken is cooked. Add in the zucchini slices for the final 2 mins of cooking.

3. Transfer chicken, beans and zucchini to a warmed bowl. Add a little of the poaching liquid to keep them moist, cover tightly and keep warm.

4. Return liquid to a boil and add the coconut milk, stirring until it dissolves. Continue boiling for 5-6mins, or until liquid has reduced by 1/3rd.

5. Remove chicken meat from bones and shred it. Return chicken, beans and zucchini to the soup and stir, reheating briefly. Add in grated lime rind and juic, season with salt and pepper.

6. Cook the noodles as directed and divide them amongst your serving dishes. Divide the chicken and vegetables amongst the 4 soup bowls, spoon the liquid over the noodles and meat, discard the lemongrass and skewer. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.

I was a little disappointed with the taste of this dish. I was expecting something very strong, sour, savory and coconuty. But instead, this dish was far from rich, not spicy enough and lacked the strong tang of "real" thai food. Alas, I will have to search for a better recipe next time... oh well, at least this recipe's healthy for my heart.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Getting Fresh... with the bread

I'm so excited about today! Today I not only made bread (with my current best-friend Yeast) and had it rise beautifully, but I also made it without a recipe! *Gasp* I know... it blows the mind. I was just really sick and tired of sitting at my computer and studying, and with my kitchen just sitting there and not being used I thought I would make myself useful and bake some bread. I wasn't sure if I wanted something savory or sweet, so I just randomly decided I would make an all-purpose bread that could be used for both. I would never have thought the day would come when I would make bread from my own recipe, but it has and now I must reveal to all the amazing recipe I used. I'm so excited to call this recipe my own.

Joanna's Own All-purpose Bread

- 3 cups ap flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 7g dried active yeast
- 200ml milk
- 1/4 cup cream cheese (and then some... seriously, just go crazy with the stuff)
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 egg
- 1 egg + 1 tbsp milk (for eggwash)

1. Heat milk, cream cheese and butter until all ingredients are blended together without clumps.
2. Mix in the sugar until it dissolves; when mixture is warm (but not hot) sprinkle in the yeast and stir. Let stand for 10mins.
3. Sift together salt, baking powder and flour in a separate bowl. Set aside
4. Once milk+yeast mixture is foamy, mix in 1 egg until well incorporated.
5. Remove 1/2 a cup of flour from the bowl of dry ingredients and set aside.
6. Stir milk mixture into bowl of dry ingredients, adding the "removed" flour as needed. (Dough should be soft, but not stick to hands and not too dry)
7. Knead dough for 5mins; place in greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1hr.
8. After rise, work gently with the dough and shape it into whatever you like.
9. Place shaped portions of dough on baking sheet, cover and let rise for 15mins.
10. Combine ingredients for egg wash and brush a generous coating on each portion of dough. Bake in 350F oven for 10-12mins, or until golden brown.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Lunch-time Delight: Cilantro Pulao

Having bought 3 bundles of cilantro and wondering what to do with them, I hit the web. And what I found was a plethora of great cilantro recipes. But which one would I choose? I was kind of craving rice and the image that popped up on the first page of "google images" was that of Sugar and Spice's cilantro pulao. The beautiful photograph had me drawn in, and reading the recipe, I was to whip up this delightful dish. It was truly amazing, the flavors that arouse during the cooking of the rice were incredible. You will probably think I'm joking, but I literally stood behind my rice cooker and inhaled the steam that was coming out of the vent :P (I'm pretty sure that ain't too healthy, but it was amazing). The rice was very aromatic and the color (although not as green as Priya's) was very inviting. Thanks for sharing your recipe, I will definitely be sharing this with all of my friends

Simple Apple Crumble

For some reason I really felt like treating myself to apple pie, sadly we only had one apple in the house and it was too late for me to go shopping, let alone apple-picking. So, I decided to improvise... and I mean improvise. I grabbed the lone apple, sliced it in two, shoved each half into a ramekin, topped it with a handful of good ol' fashioned rolled-oats, raisins, 1 tsp brown sugar and a healthy drizzling of maple syrup. I then proceeded to stick the ramekins in the oven at 350F and let them cook until the juices flowed (approx 15mins). Topped the whole thing off with a beautiful scoop of ice cream and enjoyed the dessert that would satisfy my apple craving.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Lunch-time Delight: Tuna Fettucine with Red-wine & Garlic Sauce

Going crazy with trying out different types of vinegar (*drool* vinegar is so tasty); last time I used Balsamic, but this time I decided to use red-wine vinegar. We had some left-over fettucine hanging out in the fridge and I wasn't really wanting to go through the hastle of making an entire meal from scratch (shame on me, I know!) and some canned tuna left-over from Macaroni Bake last Monday. My mind was racing with different combinations of ingredients, and as I tossed the carefully chosen ingredients into the sizzling pan I felt just like a real italian chef. I was frying the aromatics in the tangy sauce, adding in the pasta and tossing it around in the pan with (and without) my fancy cooking tongs. Oh what fun can be had in the kitchen!

Fettucine with Red-wine and Garlic Sauce

- 2 cups cooked fettucine pasta
- 1/4 cup canned tuna, flaked
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, sliced

- 1 small onion, very thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar


1. In a bowl, toss together cooked pasta, tuna and cilantro until well combined
2. Heat mustard, honey, vinegar in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Mixing well to blend the ingredients
3. Add in shallot, garlic and onions; frying for 1 minute, or until raw smell is removed
4. Add pasta mixture to pan and toss until pasta is well coated with the sauce. Continue to fry pasta just until heated through.
5. Remove from heat and serve.

I quite enjoyed this dish. Anything with vinegar in it, I will devour. The tangy punch of the red-wine vinegar, mixed with sweetness of the honey, adds a beautifully full body to this pasta dish. Again, my mom had come back from work just in time to help herself to some of this pasta. She's not really into the fancy-schmancy dishes of pasta (she'd rather just have alfredo or tomato sauce with meatballs) but she did comment on how unique the flavor was. I suppose that's a compliment, but to tell you the truth, the only opinion that really matters is your own. I loved this meal, and I will definitely be making it again! Bon Appetite

Apple Bread Pudding

I was staring at my ready-to-go-mouldy bag of whole wheat bread (because i'm the only one in my family who will even touch the stuff) and I couldn't figure out how I was going to get the bread to be gobbled up. I knew I couldn't do it all by my lonesome, as there were about 12 pieces of bread that I had to deal with. So, using my sneaky culinary skills I decided to take these pieces of "healthy" bread and disguise them into a sweet-treat that my family would have no choice but to indulge in :P I'm so good that way!

Apple Chai Bread Pudding
- 8 slices of bread, broken up into chunks
- 400ml milk
- 1/3 cup Tazo chai latte syrup (the kind that starbucks uses, and is sold in apple-juice-like cartons)
- 1 handful of raisins
- 1 red delicious apple, sliced into thin wedges
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinammon
- powdered sugar to decorate


1. Place broken bread in a casserole dish, add in the raisins.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, chai syrup, eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
3. Pour egg mixture over the bread chunks. Mix this together, press it down and just try to get the bread soaking up a lot of the liquid.
4. Place casserole dish in the fridge for 30mins. Preheat oven to 350. Once casserole has rested, decorate with apple slices and bake for 40-45mins or until firm and not runny.
5. Remove from oven and slice into generous servings. Dust with powdered sugar and serve to an unsuspecting family :P

My sisters gobbled this up, and my dad helped himself to a large slice. My mom on the other hand decided she would have any becuase she doesn't enjoy overly sweet desserts (which I didn't find this one was, but too each her own). So, I was able to use up those slices of bread and no mold was had! My family ate up some whole-wheat bread and maybe next week we'll run a marathon :P Hooray for health (if you can call this healthy)

Oatmeal, Raisin, Choco-chip Cookie Bars

Well, today was the final day of clinical for my maternity rotation. I'm so excited to be almost finished my 2nd year of nursing... I just can't contain myself. As a clinical group, we decided to gather together a basket of goodies for the maternity nursing staff at the hospital and so I decided to contribute to the basket by baking up some goodies (who would've guessed?). Anywho, here's my beautiful Oatmeal, Raisin, Chocolate-chip Cookie Bars ... boy, that's a mouthful... oh, and the name of the bars is quite something too :P

I got the idea from a recipe at the land o'lakes website but I adapted it to eliminate the nuts. I'm not too sure if the hospital had a policy on preventing food allergies related to nuts... so I simply decided to substitute them for raisins! Everybody loves raisins

Decorating the bars was so much fun. My sisters were quite impatient to let the chocolate set, so I was pressured in to cutting them a little prematurely. Oh well, they still turned out beautifully and really it's the taste that counts! (They were divine)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Lunch-time Delight: Roast Beef Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Mmm... spring is in the air, winter is long gone, the sun is out and it's time for a nice spring salad. Dunno why, but I felt like being uber-healthy today. Notice that I still have those avocados from Seattle... don't worry, it's my last one. Anywho, for lunch today I decided to try out some of my balsamic vinegar (mom always says I buy ingredients and never seem to use them... I'll show her). So here's the recipe for this awesome salad...

Roast Beef Salad with Balsamic Glaze (yields 3 servings)
- Mixed greens
- any veggies you like for your salad (I used peppers, cucumber, avocado, tomato, leaf and romaine lettuce)
- 3 roughly cut, thin slices of roast beef
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Toss together salad ingredients and set aside.
2. In a non-stick frying pan mix together the mustard, honey, garlic, onions, shallot and balsamic vinegar. Turn stove to medium heat and simmer for 1 min.
3. Add in the slices of roast beef and marinade for 10-15mins.
4. Remove beef from marinade, slice into decent sized strips and place on top of salad mixture.
5. Pour the rest of the glaze on the salad and serve.

Note: Depending on how saucey you like your salads, you may need to make additional sauce.