Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rice


Rice
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This is something that I am familiar with. My mother would usually mix the steaming hot plain rice with lard, egg and light soya sauce. ER has used lard and dark soya sauce only. I had tasted his and well, really yummy! ER and I have this whim and thus this occasional indulgence! “Using lard is indulgence? You may ponder?” Well, lard is unhealthy food and it is reserved for use in our walnut cookies made only for the Chinese New Year!

Radish Soup And Rice


Radish Soup And Rice
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Stir-fried Bamboo Shoots II


Stir-fried Bamboo Shoots
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

ER’s initial intention of having these boiled bamboo shoots for popiah/spring rolls made good in this stir-fry dish instead. Other vegetables include carrot and soaked dried mushroom. The addition of dried shrimps had added the much desired flavor, simple and yummy. These vacuum-packed bamboo shoots ER bought from the neighbourhood supermarket have a nice fragrance, something that I like :)

Stir-fried Bamboo Shoots I


Stir-fried Bamboo Shoots
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Herbal Chicken Soup


Herbal Chicken Soup
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Chuan xiong [川芎]: This Chinese herb has many uses and it sure fascinates me. When I opened a packet of this herb, the distinctive fragrance it exudes delighted me. I like it instantly!

From what I read, it promotes the circulation of blood and vital energy; expel wind and alleviate pain and lower blood pressure. It is used for relieving abdominal pain after childbirth, menstrual disorders, chest pain, recurrent headache, and rheumatism.

Ingredients that used to double-boiled this herbal soup: wolfberries, "dang shen", "dang gui", "huang qi", "chuan xiong", "gan cao", "wai san", "yoke chok", a whole chicken, 1.6 litres of boiling water and seasoning like salt and ajnomoto.

For information of "huang qi", click this: Astragalus

Poached Egg


Poached Egg
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

In order to have a poached egg like this, the egg must be very fresh and the egg white should be thick and not runny.

Making Aloe Vera Dessert


Making Aloe Vera Dessert
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Aloe vera is rich in minerals, vitamins and fibre. The green sap from the peeled aloe vera gel was rinsed away with water. The chunky cubes were then boiled and sweetened with rock sugar. This above is chilled aloe vera served with ice cubes and lemon.

My family found this dessert so refreshing that has generated much interest with questionnaires.

Rika asked: Where did you buy the fresh aloe vera? How did you cook it? Where did you find the information on cooking? With all her questions answered, she concluded: We shall cook our own dessert from now on! Oh yes, serving aloe vera with lime is her suggestion. But, we only have lemon so we used it. The juice and fragrance of lemon has made it delicious and refreshing!

Later YH came up with similar questions when he came home from work and he said: Tonight it is a bit cooling. This is a very refreshing dessert to serve on a hot day! Shiok!

Actually, it was my sister PG who introduced cooking fresh aloe vera to me over the phone. I think she asked me to boil it with honeyed dates. But on 2nd thought I cooked it with rock sugar. This will make it versatile if we want to make aloe vera with tea.

Making Aloe Vera Dessert I


Making Aloe Vera Dessert
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Fresh aloe vera

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bento


Bento
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Home-packed meal

Bento


Bento
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Home-packed meal

Steamed Mince With Chicken Broth


Steamed Mince With Chicken Broth
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

For the 1st time I have added a small amount of chicken broth to the above steamed mince. The cooked mixture of mince and eggs turned out to be lighter, juicier and yes delicious.

Sambal Eggplants II


Sambal Eggplants
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Sambal Eggplants I


Sambal Eggplants
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

The extra sambal blachan that I made for “popiah lunch” rendered a good flavour in this dish. And what’s cooking next? May be I will cook sambal streaky pork, another old delicious spicy favourite.

Bento


Bento
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

To prepare this home-packed meal as well as cheese and ham toasts for Rika; I woke up a little earlier.

Cheese And Ham Toasts


Cheese And Ham Toasts
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This is another nice breakfast to take along to work.

ER and I went out to do amendments on travel insurance this Monday afternoon. After which we headed to a hobby shop to look for buttons for my woolen knitwear which was the very 1st piece I knitted. As I couldn't find any suitable ones, we took a train ride to Plaza Singapore and were happy to pick up the buttons that ER chose for me at Spotlight. Actually I had sought the opinions of two ladies before deciding on them :)

Next, we went browsing for a mini hi-fi set in Best Denki, but the models are not appealing at the moment! So we adjourned to Carrefour, the French supermarket where there is a good range of cheeses to choose from. I still love the taste of black pepper and aged Gouda that ER once brought back from the Netherlands. Today we bought some young Gouda cheese instead of the aged one, love it! Together with the apple baked ham in these sandwiches, they were so delectable! Really, I felt as though I have not had such good cheese for so long although ER is always buying other cheeses for breakfast!

Tofu With Meat Sauce


Tofu With Meat Sauce
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This tofu dish was prepared in one of the new hard anodized set of wok and frying pan ER and I bought from Robinson Department Store recently. The liquid I added in evaporated so quickly! Thus this dish looked a bit dry, without the gravy. Anyway, I am still learning to use these cooking utensils correctly!

Although there are enough of cooking utensils for use, we still buy the anodized set for simple reason: the materials used are suitable to make toasts which Rika often likes to do. Prior to this, she uses Tefal non-stick pans to toast bread as well as warning up leftover pizza. BUT, the non-stick coating of such pans will just rough up over time and the surfaces looks a bit coarse after that rendering the pans losing their non-stick properties! At least two Tefal pans had ended up in this state! In the long term, it is more economical to have anodized kitchen cookwares around for such purposes.

Popiah Lunch - Chicken Curry


Popiah Lunch - Chicken Curry
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This is a welcome dish that always adds jest in any gathering, in my opinion.

Popiah Lunch - Fried Wonton


Popiah Lunch - Fried Wonton
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Popiah Lunch - Popiah Condiments


Popiah Lunch - Popiah Condiments
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Filling for popiah/fresh spring rolls, besides the condiments shown here, we also have sliced lettuce.

Popiah Lunch - Popiah Skins


Popiah Lunch - Popiah Skins
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Popiah/fresh spring roll skins bought from the wet market.

Popiah Lunch - Braised Turnip


Popiah Lunch - Braised Turnip
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Filling for popiah/fresh spring rolls: It was a little labourious to prepare this. The turnip was shredded manually and ER had a blister on his left index finger after shredding 2 whole turnips. Most probably it was caused by the way he handled the knife. Well, I helped out the rest.

In fact, it was a lot of work to make popiah and this explained why I was not keen to prepare it whenever ER wanted to. BUT, today was special enough to go for it. It was the main item on the menu and we were eating it as a main course and no rice was served in this meal :) Like ER remarked, "I have been talking about making popiah for at least 15 years!" He was happy to have it today! With hands on and folding our individual popiah was an experience to be remembered. It came with all shapes and sizes and had generated much laughter! At one time Rika made it into a California roll look-a-like. With no photos taken, I shall leave it to your imaginations.

Oh yes, ER told me about how his grant aunt prepared the filling. She braised the shredded turnips with fried tofu and there were streaky pork among other condiments. I was told by MY, that was Hokkien style popiah.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sambal Cockles


Sambal Cockles
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This is my version of sambal cockles after eating them in KL, West Malaysia. Really, this turned out to be pretty good. I had used some of the pre-prepared sambal blachan that ER and I cooked for “popiah” lunch.

Stir-fried Bean Sprouts With Mustard Green


Stir-fried Bean Sprouts With Mustard Green
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

The stall holder’s approach at our neighbourhood wet market was a put off! She wanted me to buy other things before selling me the small amount of bean sprouts I needed. In the end, I decided to buy half a kilo. But, when ER saw this dish, he remarked, “Her reluctance to sell you small amount of bean sprouts for cooking fried fritters has made you innovative!” True, I had used the extra bean sprouts left in this mixed veggie dish! The idea of mixing bean sprouts with the small bundle of mustard greens and half a carrot just came along when I looked into my fresh box.

Crispy Pork Fats


Crispy Pork Fats
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Irresistible fried crispy pork fats that we consciously avoided and yet succumbed to eat...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Egg Toasts


Egg Toasts
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

A hearty light meal to start the day~

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bento


Bento
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Home-packed meal

Stir-fried Peas With Mushrooms II

Stir-fried Peas With Mushrooms I


Stir-fried Peas With Mushrooms
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Button mushrooms and portabella mushrooms leftover from cooking “tom yum kung” went into this dish with some sweet peas and king oyster mushrooms added.

Braised Bitter Gourd With Mince


Braised Bitter Gourd With Mince
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Bitterness of bitter gourd does not deter my family’s love of either having it stir-fried with eggs or braised with meat and salted preserved soya beans. Anyway, an idea has just ticked; I think stir-fried bitter gourd with bacon chips added would be nice too.

When using bitter gourd in cooking, after slicing always sprinkle some salt and mix well and let stand it for a while. After which, just rinse, drain and use as required. This process will remove some of the bitterness.

At the supermarket, an unknown lady wanted to buy a bitter gourd and she approached me if I could share a packet of two with her when I was choosing mine. But, I needed both gourds for my cooking and she went away without buying any although I informed her that she could get the sales attendant to unpack a package and just buy one.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Chives And Prawn Fritters II


Chives And Prawn Fritters
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Crispy and yummy when eaten hot!

Do remember though, discard oil after using it for shallow or deep-frying because re-using such oil in our food is bad for health!

Chives And Prawn Fritters I


Chives And Prawn Fritters
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Finally I have cooked this with bean sprouts added after a long break since we had eaten this: Carrots And Chives Frittes Great finger food!

Stir-fried Bean Sprouts II


Stir-fried Bean Sprouts
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Stir-fried Bean Sprouts I + Recipe


Stir-fried Bean Sprouts + Recipe
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This is a nutritious simple dish. If you like what you see here, recipe is just a click away…enlarging the above photo will link you to the preparation directions.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bento


Bento
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Home-packed meal

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Meatball And Tofu Soup


Meatball And Tofu Soup
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This is a bowl of all all-in-one soup with tofu, meatball, cabbage, celery and carrots cooked in chicken broth that was served with rice. The bite-size blenched tofu was strong in soya taste, which YH took awhile to accept.

Tom Yum Kung II


Tom Yum Kung
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Tom Yum Kung I + Recipe


Tom Yum Kung + Recipe
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

“Tom yum kung” is a spicy prawn soup of Thai origin and one of the most famous dishes in Thai cuisine. This hot and tangy soup is flavoured with chillies, lemon juice, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and lemon grass etc.

Interested to find out what went into this soup, simply click on the image~

Pulusan II


Pulusan
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Pulusan I


Pulusan
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Today on August 8, after a lapse more than two decades at least, there was a strong urge of wanting to eat pulusan after seeing them in the fruit stall. Hence I bought 3 kilograms from the wet market for S$4. This fruit is known to me as "hong mao li zhi/紅毛荔枝" when I was young. Pulusan is its name in Malay. To be frank, I had already forgotten about its taste! My friend MY said this fruit is too sweet for her. However, after eating a few today, I still like them. The flesh is soft, white and sweet.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Stir-fried Glass Noodles II


Stir-fried Glass Noodles
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

ER picked up a bundle of glass noodles when we shopped at the supermarket yesterday. The 1st thing he thought of was stir-fried glass noodles. Yes, I have wanted to do this long ago but have been postponing it for so long. Today, finally I realized that stir-frying glass noodles is not that complicated. Just like ER put it, “Cook it like you would do with fried kway tiao/flat rice noodles and use chicken broth instead of water.” Yeah! It was pretty easy!

The 1st plate of fried glass noodles appeared slightly light in colour, so for this subsequent one on 2nd attempt, I had added a little more dark soy sauce. In the midst of cooking this dish, YH remarked, "Hao xiang o!" Those words were very encouraging especially when I was trying out a new dish :)

Guess what I told YH on his birthday? “This plate of stir-fried glass noodles will be longevity noodles for you!” With a hint of innocence and smiling, he asked, “Really, longevity noodles look like this meh?” Of course not but I continued, “There are noodles and eggs and it fits to be.” :) In the end, he agreed to it. Anyway, he had asked for herbal drink again and wanted to have it tonight when he returns from work.

I showed this photo to Rika when she was home after work, she remarked in a mixture of Mandarin and English, “Man hawker style de…” “This is hawker style? No, no, this is home cooked and better!” I replied.

Stir-fried Glass Noodles I


Stir-fried Glass Noodles
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

1st attempt

Stir-fried Kangkong With Fish Sauce


Stir-fried Kangkong With Fish Sauce
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

I would certainly prefer Sambal Blachan Kangkong BUT, ER wanted to eat this.

Fish And Mince Patties


Fish And Mince Patties
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

These patties are firm, a little springy like fishballs and offer good bites and pretty flavourful with chopped onion and spring onions added in the meat-fish mixture. The ground pork and fish have to be really fresh to achieve this result.

Double Joy Soup


Double Joy Soup
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Handmade fishballs and meatballs

"Mi Tai Mu" Soup / Rice Noodle Soup


"Mi Tai Mu" Soup / Rice Noodle Soup
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

The delicious soup made with spareribs plus the tanginess from the salted preserved vegetables and fresh tomatoes made this lunch simply appetizing!

Sparerib Rice Vermicelli Soup


Sparerib Rice Vermicelli Soup
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Simple yummy lunch~

Fried "Mi Tai Mu"


Fried "Mi Tai Mu"
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Double-boiled 6-Herbs Chicken Soup


Double-boiled 6-Herbs Chicken Soup
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Clicked on the image will link you to the tags…read them if you are keen to know the herbs used in this soup.

Braised Spareribs With Eggs + Preparation Directions


Braised Spareribs With Eggs + Preparation Directions
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Click on the image itself will link you to the preparation directions if you are keen to try out this dish.

Stir-fried Mustard Greens


Stir-fried Mustard Greens
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

With seasoned minced meat and some shelled prawns added, this dish is really delectable.

JenzHomeKitchen Welcome to my food blog, happy browsing and enjoy!

Glad to say, due to the long period of exposure to wholesome home cooking, inherited some of my mother's skills and coupled with further enhancement of adapting to established recipes, I am delighted to be able to concoct some recipes that I named: My version, which is bundled under "assortment of recipes" in this homepage :)



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