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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lunch: Grilled Pork chops w/ broken rice and Nuoc mam (fish sauce)

Looks a bit plain because I made the pork/egg meatloaf the night before and it failed very badly! The recipe I used it had a typo and had 2 tablespoons of pepper and a tablespoon of salt when it was meant to be a teaspoon >.<

However, I still wanted to make the pork chops. I love ordering the Broken rice dish at the vietnamese restaurants~ And I have a specific way of eating it too lol.

but OMG the pork chops are the best ever!! Better than some restaurants where the meat is dry. Mine were soft and very juicy! I can still smell the marinade as I type lol. I used the recipe that uses 6 pork chops so I had to cut it down at a ratio.

Marinade (for 6 pork chops)
3 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs dark soy sauce
1 tbs oil
1 tbs minced garlic

marinate the pork chops for at least 2 hours.

I was excited whilst cooking and being nervous knowing that I might overcook or undercook it. It's also my b/f favourite dish so I HAVE to do it justice! I failed the meatloaf although not all restaurants serve that.

I stared at my plate knowing something else was missing... our tomatoes were old and the meatloaf was fail... we were both happy with the pork chop that we forgot that the egg was missing!

Also can't have a vietnamese dish without the fish sauce (Nuoc mam) which I made! I didn't cheat and buy this time!The first batch I thought I killed it as soon as I added lime juice. It smelt funny too... but apparently it's still a sauce but used more for seafood and green mangoes. So I just made another batch but without adding the lime juice

Nuoc Mam:
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
carrots, grated
2 tablespoons lime juice (optional)

Combine the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and 125 ml (1/2 cup) of water in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir well and cook until just before boiling point is reached. allow it to cool and add grated carrots and garlic.

You might wanna find jars to store them in... I was almost tempted to use a Bundaburg glass bottle... or a soft drink bottle.. which would be weird especially if someone wants to open your fridge and find that they think is a drink, pull it out and drink out of the bottle.... no... just... no...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dinner: What to do with leftover jap curry

Had so much curry leftover last night and I had another crazy thought of having "curry udon" Although my b/f wanted "curry don" so I made rice for him. But it's still one way to use leftover curry since it's simple and it just needs heating up again.

However to make a curry broth, I needed dashi with the curry. Which is only sold in rare places so I just had a cheap substitute. heated up chicken stock and added a splash of soy and water and added lots of curry.

First time I used leftover curry was when I chucked in instant noodles instead of Udon xD

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dessert: Baked apple with Bacon & Saltana crumble

(again apologise for the quality of the photo... I let my mum borrow my camera for her holiday... phone camera is all I got unfortunately *sad face*)

This dessert doesn't really have a name... it was just something my boyfriend invented. he cooked it as part of our 6 month anniversary candlelit dinner and it was my favourite part of the dinner. Wanted him to make it again lol.

Now I know you think bacon and apples taste weird together but it's when I bite into the warm and juicy apple that reminds me more of myself eating an apple pie or an apple crumble.

He showed me how to make the dish and it was quite simple. Just need to make the crumble, put them on the apples and put them in the oven for 15 mins.

bread crumbs
bacon diced (depending on how many apples there are)
a bit of saltanas

granny smith apples decored and cut in half

more butter to coat the "stuffed" apples so apple doesn't dry out in the oven.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sushi: Inari - plain

Omg the asian grocery I always go to finally stocked up new items and one of them was Inari Beancurd pockets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy!!!!

So I saved the inari making for my 6 month anniversary at a picnic. What perfect food to take to a picnic but sushi?? I'm not a big fan of sandwiches cos I'm not good at making them lol but I'm hoping to have more picnic outings like this.

the instructions to using the Inari was all written in jap but with the help of a friend, Its just basically soaking them in hot (not boiling) water for a minute or 2 until you can open them.kinda hard when dipping fingers in hot water so had to work fast. I had a bowl of cold water to dip in afterwards and stuff rice in it too.

I just used plain rice, I kinda like just the plain rice because it's simple.

sushi rice (made 9 inari but 8 for due to the size of my bento box)
rice vinegar
Inari Fried beancurd pockets

I left them in the fridge overnight so they can stay cool for our picnic~

Monday, August 29, 2011

Breakfast: Eggs Benedict

Made Eggs Benedict as a surprise for my boyfriend~ practised making poached eggs before attempting this. I wanted to buy english muffins but all of them were going to expire in a few days =( as inspired by our bed n breakfast in Weeroona.

toasted bread
shaved ham
Gravox Hollandaise sauce

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lunch/Dinner: Banh Xeo

My boyfriend finally made Banh Xeo~~ either translated as "Vietnamese pancake" or "Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes".

Apparently the 'Banh' part means 'cake' and the 'xeo' is just the sound it makes when you cook it.

The batter is pretty much rice flour and turmuric powder mixed in with water and coconut milk and spring onion. and the filling is usually pork, shrimps, bean sprouts and mung bean. But for dinner we had leftover minced beef that we didn't want to waste so we experimented what it was like with beef.

And we used the leftover batter for lunch the next day and used minced pork (1. it was cheap and 2. Apparently I'm not allowed a cleaver to chop up pork belly because I cut myself recently)Used:
The Banh xeo batter packet. (picture above)
water (instructions on the packet)
400mL coconut milk
spring onions

mix them all up and set aside to prepare the filling

Pork Belly (minced pork also works. if you don't have pork, use beef)
bean sprouts
mung bean (soak overnight and boil for a few minutes until they split)

cook the pork and the shrimps and set them aside.

Pour 1/3 cup of the batter onto a frypan on Medium heat (so it doesn't spitter and spatter on you so much) and quicky turn the frypan around so the batter can spread into a thin crepe.

Add the mince, shrimps, bean spouts and mung bean on one side of the pancake. then cover the frypan with a lid.

Let the pancake cook for a few minutes until the edges turn golden brown. Fold the pancake in half and serve
The pancake is even tasty to eat by itself!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognase

Dolmio bolognase sauce
minced beef
Parmesan cheese

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dinner: Bun Rieu

Remember that pork broth I made? Well this is one of the noodle dishes I used it for. I never made Bun Rieu or any vietnamese dish so I did a bit of research. Having being raised in a family where they like to experiment with their ingredients and replace some, I wanted to make sure that I want to make it authentic as possible.

I used the recipe from The Ravenous Couple but I halved the quantity as it was only for 2 people. The butcher gave me an odd look when I requested 60g of pork mince. He gave me 90g. oh well more meat. Unfortunately Coles didn't have the tofu I wanted and the asian grocery stores were closed, But it would've been tastier with tofu in the dish.

90g pork mince
1/2c crab meat
1 teaspoon Shrimp Paste in soya bean oil
2 eggs
10g sugar
2.5g pepper
1 teaspoon shallot
2 teaspoon fish sauce

pork broth
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
fish sauce to season
Fried Tofu

Vermicelli noodles- cooked and set aside

Fried shallots
bean sprouts
spring onion

Bring the soup to the boil and turn the heat down to simmer. scoop out the meatball mixture and slowly allow it to cook in the spoon. Turning up the heat will make the meatball to break into tiny pieces..

when the crab mixture is cooked, you can then add the tomatoes and tomato paste to give the broth a pretty orange/red colour. You would add tofu in this step too.

Once the soup is done, you can scoop it out and serve it with the vermicelli noodles and top it up with garnishes.

For the first attempt, it was nice. Tho I had better.... Too much of the meatball mixture tho.... But I love the shrimp paste meatball soup aroma hovering around in the kitchen still.

DInner: "taco/leftover" pizza

had so much leftovers from making tacos that I had this crazy idea to use the leftover as pizza toppings. Imagine the meat with the taco seasoning with tomatoes and cheese like every other taco drizzled in salsa sauce. We also added mushrooms in there just for fun.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pantry: Pork Broth

A new tag "pantry" is inspired by a masterchef who basically prepares his stocks every Sunday and stores them in the freezer so he can use them whenever he wants at his convenience during his busy life.

And because some vietnamese dishes take hours to prepare, I thought of making the broth, which can be used to make different noodle dishes. Also inspired by a new food blog I added "The Ravenous Couple". Do have a look if you love vietnamese food like I do~ I want to make recipes they make.

Unfortunately the butchers has less than the intended amount I wanted (2kg) but I settled with 1.5kg of pork soup bones. The Ravenous Couple used spareribs but pork bones are cheaper (also I found out I can save money on dog food food by feeding these to the dogs). Anyway I managed to keep to the pork/water ratio and only managed to make about 6 cups of stock. Which is odd cos I put in 9 cups.

Well I simmered it for 1.5 hours and I had to skim a lot of fat and oil, which took some "liquid gold" with it and they must have evaporated while I was skimming.

What noodles recipes am I gonna make with this? You'll find out soon.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dinner: Lasagna

before it goes in the oven

Made Lasagna last night.

Dolmio LASAGNE - Bechamel sauce
Dolmio LASAGNE - Thick Tomato
mince beef
lots of cheese
Latino fresh lasagna sheets

there was a photo of the cross section but the stupid uploader keeps automatically flipping it that I dunno how to switch it back.

Followed the instructions on the jar. It was pretty fun to make and it was tasty too. the wait was long tho... 45 mins.

made about 6 slices. So it's leftovers for the next day. No need to cook.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Breakfast: Quick Foods

waking up to go to uni and wanting to sleep in combined means that I can't always have bacon and eggs with toast as it's time consuming.

So here's a list of the foods I usually make cos it's quick and simple.

1. Passionfruit and yoghurt - inspired by the B&B whilst on holiday. Just scoop the passionfruit out into the yoghurt. So delicious and healthy too!

I have a jaffle maker and it's really handy during the cold winter mornings. Sandwich maker works perfectly too. the following is what I made in the past

2. nutella - my favourite simple. Who doesn't want to bite into the warm nutella and crunchy toast?
3. canned spaghetti - boyfriend's favourite. Not really my thing tho.
4. Tuna - Tho i always get leftovers....
5. Spinach and cheese - a bit more effort because I have to wash the leaves

I used to eat cereal but I prefer to have that in summer. But I stopped since the shops don't sell Special K: Chocolatey Flakes anymore. I loved that so much =(

I'm aiming to make the breakfast broth I read from Adam Liaw's cookbook "Two Asian Kitchens" Looks soo yummy and delicious!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dusty Kitchen

Haven't used the kitchen for a while cos I was on holidays from uni.

This next few months, I aim to learn to cook a few of my favourite vietnamese foods like Bun Rieu, and hopefully my boyfriend will make me banh xeo. Hopefully there will be more dishes I have yet to try!

I even bought lasagne sauce so hopefully I get to use that in the near future~

And I have yet to bake chocolate brownie cupcakes...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Breakfast/Brunch: Buttermilk Pancakes w/ Peaches and cream

Finally made peaches and cream buttermilk pancakes. I did buy berries but the peaches were so yummy~

the first few pancakes got burnt so we tried lowing the heat down and we made better looking pancakes and they had a nice golden-brown colour. the recipe I used made 7 pancakes

First time making pancakes. I grew up with the "shake N pour" pancake mix, which in my opinion, isn't as good as homemade ones (or even Pancake Parlour). still haven't eaten dinner yet. Still full from the pancakes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baking: Blueberry Muffins

Made Blueberry muffins to share as we were invited to dinner at a friends house.

fresh from the oven

the recipe I used makes only 6 muffins apparently. But I think that's cos they used the massive Muffin tin. I managed to make 14 cupcake-sized muffins. and I used canola oil instead of vegetable oil.

But they're still irresistable.

Puffy Cheesy Omelette

just a photo of the omelette. you can see the egg whites whisked to soft peaks.

but for some reason, it keeps deflating as soon as i remove it from the pan. still trying to find a solution to that ^.^"

Friday, June 3, 2011

Failed Foods part 1 and Future recipes part 2

sorry I haven't posted much dinners... i did make dinner.... they just..... failed......................

Fail 1: Creamy mushroom chicken - we left it to simmer for too long and on medium heat that the chicken kinda burnt....

Fail 2: Korean chicken curry - we added too much water to the curry sauce it wasn't spicy at all.

recently we've just been eating instant noodles, fast food and desserts in the city lol!

food I wanna make in the future:
1. buttermilk pancakes
2. blueberry muffins
3. chocolate brownie muffins (centre nutella)

Breakfast: Sausage, Bacon and puffy cheesy Omelette

No pics again >.< cos it was my first omelette made.

Yesterday was our 3rd month anniversary and I want brekkie to be a lil different that's not bacon and eggs like we ate everyday (=.=) So the night before, I found my old recipes I collected while I was in high school and i looked through it. I found a puffy cheesy omelette recipe and thought I should give it a try.

with the sausage and bacon, we had a funny inspiration from Youtuber EpicMealTime and they pretty much make epic meals. And basically, they love their bacon and wrap meats in bacon (even a freaking pig!)

So from that I wrapped a sausage in bacon after they were both cooked lol!!!

back to my omelette, its not like any other omelette. It's puffy cos I separated the egg whites and yolks, whisk up the egg whites to soft peaks, season the egg yolks and milk and add it back in the egg whites and cook it for 2 minutes, then add grated cheese and cook it for another 2 minutes.

my first omelette deflated T.T but the second one was better. it's because the recipe was meant to be for one serving, so I doubled it... but I couldn't halve it lol! So yeah... It would be better to cook them separately.

other than that, we have a fantastic time yesterday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Midnight Snack: choc-chip cookies

made choc-chip cookies as a surprise for him~ he never tried my cookies before

and cos it was a surprise, I had to hide my cookbook hehe XD.

I was worried that it wasn't going well as I hoped cos I used a different form of butter than what I normally used. the dough was more runny and I'm used to.

But in the end, they still turned out the same. I even moulded them differently too see if they were different, but they were still the same.

later he found me making my cookie dough, but he didn't know what it was. I told him to go back and sit down and he just peeked from the side of the wall staring -.- later he went and I thought he was wrong til he gave me a surprise kiss on the other side -.-""" oh he got me good....

as soon as I baked them (and cooled them down for ONE MINUTE! that's how impatient I was) went up behind him, told him to close his eyes, and I shoved the warm cookie in his mouth. and i went back to making more cookies since I can only make them 4 at a time.

Someone wants a cookie............................

Dinner: Bangers and Mash

beef, garlic and herb sausages
Master Foods Brown Onion Gravy

Yay~ made Bangers and Mash~ and he made bacon an eggs this morning~

Dinner: Roast Lamb Shanks

Continental Cook-in-bag
lamb shanks

Made this yesterday cos I bought the veggies a week before and they needed to be used. we were having fun tossing the bag to each other. it smelt really nice but there's a lot of fat and oil. it would be better it more sides.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Breakfast: Sausages and Scrambled Eggs

omg breakfast @home for the first time in years!!! Well with family anyway... Usually we eat out in Box Hill for brekkie.

And normally we don't eat breakfast cos we LOVE our sleep lol. But he has to wake up to go to work. So breakfast is an important start to a day!

I defrosted leftover sausages the night before so I don't have to immerse them in warm water and wait for ages~ I cooked the sausages first and cos I didn't know when they were done..... the smoke alarm I set off tells me that they are cooked LOL (feel bad for waking him up to the sound of the ear-pitching alarm tho >.<)

Then I found a recipe to make scrambled eggs (yes I don't know how to make them... and he doesn't either) and I managed to make it without failing... tho salt and pepper would be nice to add but i don't have pepper ^.^""" besides I love my scrambled eggs in tomato sauce~

No picture cos... the food looked so good we wanted to eat it! and what perfect Sunday morning would be than having homemade breakfast and watching cartoons at the same time. Brings back childhood memories~

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dinner: Continental Chicken Curry

Continental Curry Chicken recipe base
2 carrots
more chicken

someone took a nap so I did the WHOLE thing on my own *_* well he did cook snaggs for lunch while I was napping then.

and there were plenty of leftovers so I can eat them the next day. I personally like the Korean chicken curry. Mum always make that so I'm hoping she will teach me how to make it

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dinner: Burritos

was made to slice the chicken -.-

Old El Paso Burrito Kit
2 tomatoes
~600g chicken

organised bowls for serving

like we were in a buffet and serve ourselves

dogs were somewhat disappointed -.-"""

Monday, May 16, 2011

Baking: Mini Cookie Monster cupcakes!

2 cookie monsters!!

3 cookie monsters!!!!


Vanilla cupcakes with coconut and lime icing. With cookie and while chocolate drops and chocolate writing icing for the eyes.

Dinner: Beef Straganoff + mashed potato

Made Beef Straganoff with Mashed Potato for 3 people. Had a friend over today ^.^ just in time cos I had made lots of cupcakes too! (separate post)

Continental Beef Straganoff recipe base
1 onion
[forgot to add sour cream like the packet said!!)

made Mashed potato on the side... had to google it too lol!!!!!!

still tasted nice without the sour cream~ mashed potato was lil a tad lumpy

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Room for improvement

The past two months of being together, we ate out a lot for brunch.

For dinner, I cooked pasta or pasta bake cos it was easy to make. Or we would order Domino's

It has come to the point where we were getting sick of eating pasta or buy pizza lol. We decided to expand our ideas and cook different meals. and cook breakfast also.... or brunch.

Food's I want to attempt (fail or not):
Scrambled eggs
bacon and eggs
bangers and mash
Mashed potato (shush you! I dunno how to make a good one!)
Mum's asian potato cakes

Saturday, May 14, 2011

[New chapter]

I have now started a new chapter in life, and with him, it has got me to cook again. We discussed yesterday that we should save money together for better things instead of eating out everyday. We were thinking of cooking everyday for a week and see what happens.

I also found out when I'm grocery shopping, most of the food meals are for 4 people. hardly any recipes for 2 people... I even looked for books hoping they say "dinner for two" but no luck.

Since I'm looking at the past posts of this blog, I didn't want to delete this and start a new one. Instead, I'll rename this blog. I shall name this "dinner for two" even tho there is prob lunch or brunch posts.... "food for two" sounds weird....