Archive for March, 2008

Of Buffalo Wings (& Legs, too) :D

Hello there, dear friends 😀

I have just finished cooking dinner and have some time to relax in front of the comp, while waiting for my husband and daughter to come home from work. So, I thought I would tell you what we are having for dinner tonight. Maybe this will give your some ideas for dinner next time. 😆

I cooked a giant batch of Buffalo Wings,  put together a large bowl of Coleslaw and baked lots of Potato Wedges – wow, you would think I was cooking for a family of 10! 😆

Hehe, in case you are thinking we are having buffalo meat or daging kerbau (Malay word for buffalo) tonight …….no,  it is not that. 😆 

 But Buffalo Wings tastes absolutely delicious as they are actually deep fried chicken wings and drummettes, smothered with smooth, aromatic barbeque sauce. Do read HERE on how a dish called Buffalo Wings came about.  Errr….today we are having “Buffalo Legs” as well because I didn’t have enough chicken wings in the freezer and I had to use chicken legs. 😳 It took me an hour just to finish frying the chicken pieces – that was how much chicken pieces I cooked since my family really go crazy over this dish!  We would order this everytime we go to Friday’s Restaurant for dinner. 😆

Below is a picture of Buffalo Wings (from Specs Deli.com), traditionally served with carrot stick, celery sticks and a bowl of sour cream for dipping.

I will post shortly the recipes and pictures for my version of Buffalo Wings, coleslaw and baked potato wedges….so, do stay tuned for this posting to come out if you are interested to try cooking some Buffalo Wings for your family.   😉

I have to go now…talk to you later.. 😀

Good night and sweet dreams from KL! 😀

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A Simple Hokkien Lunch – Porridge & Side Dishes

Happy Sunday to all! 😀

My late father-in-law was an immigrant from the Fujian (in Mandarin language, with a dialect known as Hokkien) province in China, and he came to work in Malaysia when he was a young man. In those times, there were boats full of Chinese people who came to the South East Asian countries to look for jobs and they came with very little money and belongings. My husband always like to remind our children of the hard but successful life of their paternal grandfather, who at times didn’t have much money to eat and lunch was often just a huge bowl of watery plain, white porridge and a preserved salted plum. He would bite off a tiny bit of the plum and because it was very salty, he has to down a few spoonfuls of porridge.

My husband grew up in a family that has a tradition of having simple lunches consisting usually of plain white porridge together with two or three side dishes like fried fish, pickled lettuce and preserved bean curd. They didn’t have rice for lunch like my family did, and other than porridge, lunch can also be noodles.

As the weather has been extremely hot and humid these few days, having porridge for lunch was ideal and I took some pictures of our typical Hokkien meal to show you. Only thing was I forgot to buy those orange sweet potatoes to add into the porridge today, and so it was just plain white porridge. 😳

A few hundred years ago, sweet potato was brought over from the Philippines and introduced to the Fujuan province in China, where it was planted as a successful crop. Then, when there was a shortage in the supply of rice due to a drought, sweet potatoes (which was a very hardy crop) were added to their watery, plain porridge to make up the bulk.

These days, plain white porridge is usually given to young children, the elderly or convalescents as it is easy to eat and digested. There is another popular version of white porridge known as Teochew (another province in China) Porridge which has more water in it and the rice grains are not as soft as the Hokkien type.

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My husband loves this porridge so much that he will have a huge bowl of this 😆

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I had some Red Snapper fish steaks frying in a skillet. They are served with some of the leftover oil and a good splash of good quality soy sauce. Fried fish is everyone’s favourite dish to go with their porridge.

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A very typical Hokkien accompaniment to porridge – Preserved Radish Omellete a.k.a. “Chye Poh N’ng” in the Hokkien dialect, or “Choy Poh Tan” in the Cantonese dialect. A must-have.

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Crispy fried small salted fish, with some sprinkles of sugar. Small bites of salted fish are taken with each spoonful of porridge. My youngest son’s favourite with his porridge. 😀

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I like to have a vegetable dish as well and this is a simple stirfry of French Beans and julienned Carrot with Soft Tofu slices.

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A small bowl of braised, soft peanuts

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Some pickled lettuce

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A 1-inch piece of Fermented Beancurd, known as “Tau Khiam” in Hokkien. As it is very salty, we would just take a pinch of it to go with each spoonful of porridge. 😀

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She’s A Lady

Good evening, dear friends 😀 

I was driving my kids to school early this morning, when the DJs of a radio station played this old song. It was funny that they mentioned Tom Jones was really popular in those days and had a lot of ladies throwing their lingerie at him! 😯 🙄

This song came out around 1974 and back in those days, we didn’t really have much entertainment – we were watching very few TV programmes that were shown in black and white (colour TV only started appearing around 1978 or 1979 in Malaysia), and so,  people would tune in to the radio most of the time.

For those of you who are in the 40’s, this song will bring you down memory lane………. enjoy…. 😆

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Oh no, I’ve been Tagged! LOL!

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Hello there, dear friends 😀

It’s been such a long, long time since I played TAG as a kid and now, I’ve been tagged online by my dear fellow blogger friend, sweetosie. The objective of this Tag is to tell you 5 things about myself that you don’t know yet –

1) I am not afraid of rats/mice, lizards, cockroaches nor snakes …… but I am terrified of worms…..any type….from teeny, weeny ones found on vegetables to those hairy, slowly crawling caterpillars…eeeewww!! 😯 🙄

2)  I usually don’t eat much of my own cooked food or enjoy it as much as my family do, but I would go crazy over anyone else’s cooking – it can be just a bowl of rice and a simple fried egg but to me, they will taste absolutely heavenly. 😆

3) when I was a kid, I literally grew up on Maggi mee (a popular brand of instant noodles), and I would have it everyday for breakfast because I just love its taste! In those days, the Maggi chicken flavour mee soup used to have wonton skins which tasted so smooth and good. I know, it was not a very healthy way of eating then but I was ignorant. Hehe, these days, my hubby only allows me to have instant noodles occasionally. 🙄

4) I simply love the arts of healing – I am a retired Usui Reiki Master and very recently, I am very honoured to have my healer lady friend teach me her ancient art (her healing abilities was inherited from her late grandmother) of foot reflexology free of charge,  but I have to build up my “inner strength/stamina”  first by practising on my family members. When I learn more, I will post some of the basic techniques here – I know there’s one which most of you will be excited to find out ===> which point to activate on our feet to lose weight! 😆

5) when I was in school, I was also a member of St.John’s Ambulance and was trained in the basic first aid skills and used to volunteer as  medical aid at football matches on weekends.

There you have it – now you know a little more about me. Now, I have to look for 3 other bloggers to tag …… hmmmmm…. 😆 …

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Easy Yummy Garlic Bread or Garlic Toasts

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Good morning, dear friends 😀

I have a few versions of garlic bread or toasts recipes. But I really like this one a lot since I like the goodness of eating lots of garlic for health. ,I serve it with my stews, pasta, soups and it is always a hit with my children. 😀

The first recipe here was taught to me by my childhood friend who showed me a new way to make garlic bread that is soooo good that I have to use up 3 whole baguettes to make this for my family of 6. 🙄

The best part of this garlic bread recipe is that the skin is so light and crispy, whilst the inside is warm and soft, and the garlic butter actually packs a zing! I mean, the garlic is really spicy and some of my kids could hardly take the spiciness…..well, in a way, it is like a cross between eating wasabi and a hot chilli, but the heat is all on the tongue! 😆 Best of all, the recipe is so simple and there is a neat trick to making the skin extra crispy and light. 😉

Warning – some of you not used to taking a lot of garlic may find this too “garlicky” and this is very “buttery”. Not for the faint hearted! 😆

RECIPE 1 – Easy Perfect Garlic Bread With A Zing

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Ingredients –

* 1 loave baguette (about 2 ft in length)

* 1 cup or 150 gm butter, softened

* 1 large whole garlic (or more if you dare to take this much, I actually used 1 1/2 whole garlics)

* 1 tsp of chopped parsley or green onion, just for colour (optional)

Method –

1) Cut baguette diagonally into 1 cm thickness, but don’t cut all the way through to the bottom, i.e. the baguette is still left whole

2) Peel garlic and use a pestle & mortar to pound garlic into a paste, or chopped really finely in a food processor or sharp knife.

3) Mix garlic paste with butter thoroughly.

4) Spread garlic butter onto both sides or just one side (your preference), of the baguette slices.

5) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

* * 6) Trick – use your fingers to flick some water all over the skin of the baguette (not inside)….or you can use a spray bottle instead to do this. This method will make the bread skin extra light and crispy, but leaving the inside moist and soft.

7) Divide the baguette into 2 half rolls, and wrap them in aluminium foil.

8 ) Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove and serve immediately with your favourite pasta or soups or stews.

Wow, when you take your first bite of this hot garlic bread, the outside is so crispy and light, and when you are savouring the warm soft part of the bread, the strong garlicky taste will suddenly knock your socks off! Hehe, my kids had to drink lots of iced water when they had this! 😆

I would love to hear your comments if you do try this recipe out…..especially on the strength garlic taste and if you like the crispiness of the garlic bread skin. 😉

Here’s the recipe for my crispy Garlic Toasts –

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RECIPE 2 – Thin Crispy Garlic Toasts

Ingredients & Method –

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2 Baguettes or French Loaves – sliced into 1-cm slices with a bread knife

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250 gm of soft butter, 6 cloves garlic (chopped), 2 tbsps of parsley flakes – all mixed evenly like this ===>

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Butter the bread slices on one side, place them on a baking tray and bake in a preheated 180 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven until they turn golden in colour and crispy.

I like to make a big batch of the garlic butter and keep the extra in an airtight container in the fridge for my kids to spread on their toasts with it.

Hope you like these garlic bread recipes. 😉

Bon appetit!

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Easy Yummy Spaghetti Bolognese

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My son’s plate of Spaghetti Bolognese with 2 slices of crispy Garlic Bread on the side and a few shakes of Parmesan Cheese on top

Happy Saturday to you, dear friends 😀

For the past few weeks, although it has been raining almost daily, the weather has been very hot and humid in between the rain. This type of weather usually cause body heatiness, sore throats, and dry coughs. It is difficult for me to cook when everything tastes the same to me due to lack of appetite from body heatiness, and most times, sour and spicy foods only can whet the appetite.

So, I decided to make a big pot of spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce and everybody in my family was delighted with it. 😀

Here is my pictorial recipe Bolognese Sauce – it is really easy to do and I would freeze the extra sauce for my children. Please note that this recipe makes a really big batch of sauce and you can adjust the ingredients accordingly. Sometimes, I also add in chopped celery. 😉

Ingredients & Method –

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2 cans Tomato Puree, 1 cup olive oil, 3 tbsps Spaghetti Bolognese or oregano herbs

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1 kg red and yellow onions, peeled and chopped

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3 kgs ripe, firm tomatoes. Washed clean and frozen whole overnight. This saves time in chopping them as I would just drop them straight into the pot. The skins are eaten as fibre. But if you prefer to remove the skins, just squeeze out the tomato pulp when they are thawed. 😉

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2 cans button mushrooms, sliced

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4 whole bulbs of garlic, skinned and chopped coarsely (I like to put lots of garlic as they are good for health)

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2 large sweet bell peppers, chopped

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2 packets of 500gm spaghetti – cooked as per packet instructions

Method –

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1) Heat up the olive oil in a non-stick pan and fry chopped garlic until it is aromatic.

2) Add in 1kg of minced beef to brown it. Tip this into a very large pot, but leave some oil in the pan.

3) In the same pan, add in chopped onions together with 1 tbsp salt and cook onions until they are fragrant and almost caramelized. This makes the sauce more aromatic. Tip into the pot.

4) Add in the rest of the ingredients into the large pot (see picture below).

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5) Bring ingredients to a boil and lower heat to medium to simmer the sauce gently ===>

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6) I simmered my spaghetti for 2 hours and remember to keep stirring it every few minutes to prevent burning at the bottom. The sauce tastes better the longer it is cooked, but I have done it in just one hour when I was short of time.

7) Meanwhile, prepare your garlic toasts (recipe will follow tomorrow 😉 ) and cook your spaghetti. The sauce in this recipe is enough for 1kg of dried pasta. Season your sauce to taste.


Please CLICK HERE for the recipe of Garlic Toasts  or Garlic Bread 😀

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Bon Appetit! 😀

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A Cooling Red Sugar Cane, Water Chestnut & Barley Drink To Counter Body Heatiness

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A delicious, cooling drink

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Ingredients (clockwise from top left) – 15 water chestnuts, 4 cups of Chinese mixed barley, some rock sugar, 2 bundles of red sugar cane

Hello there, dear friends 😀

The boiled sugar cane drink is one of the most popular cooling drinks or herbal teas (known as “leong char” in Cantonese) that can be easily purchased from herbal/cooling tea stalls or coffee shops. Children love it for its pleasant taste and this is one of the cooling “teas” that I can get my kids to drink with a smile, instead of a grimace (when they are asked to drink bitter teas 🙄 )

I would boil a giant pot of this and store it in a few jugs to be kept in the refrigerator, to be drank over a few days. It is especially refreshing when served in a tall glass with ice cubes and drank on a really hot day! 😀

There are 2 main types of sugar canes used for its cooling properties – the red or the bamboo variety. I prefer the red sugar cane because it also has medicinal benefits and is known to be especially good for people who suffer from migraines (which I had a few years ago). If I want this drink to be more “cooling,” then I would add 2 cups of dried bamboo leaves.

Water chestnuts are also cooling in nature and the barley acts as a diuretic and helps the body system to get rid of heatiness through the elimination process.

To prepare the ingredients – just scrub clean with a brush the sugar cane and water chestnuts. Cut the cane into shorter lengths to fit your pot. Smash the sugar cane and water chestnuts with a heavy knife/chopper or a pestle.

Put all the ingredients into a large stock pot, add in about 7 litres of water and bring to a boil. Reduce fire to small and simmer for 4 hours.

There you have it….a wonderful, refreshing and cooling drink for a heaty body or for a hot day. It is also good to have this drink go with your meals that contained heaty foods (that are fried, roasted, baked, or grilled) to balance things together. 😉

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