Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pineapple Tarts/Pineapple Rolls - Revisited




















This is the rolled type of pineapple tarts aka known as nastar ( Indonesian style ) . Melts in the mouth and addictive too if you are not on a sugar free diet :p   CNY is just around the corner and time to be busy baking these tarts for the coming  CNY.  
























































Back to this tarts, it is actually not that hard to make.  Just that the pastry dough has to be rested awhile before it can be put into the nastar mould and press out. And the pastry will not be too soft to handle. This , I discovered after many attempts. I won’t say that I am good at it but at least for this attempt , the pastry was easier to handle and I managed to do one load in two hours and it turned out nice and I had a wonderful time making them.

This is truly one tart that melts in the mouth and you won’t realize how many you have taken… the first thing WB  told me was “ this is really good ” . ^ * This recipe is adapted from Amy Beh second cookbook.



















Pineapple Tarts/Pineapple Rolls

Ingredients

150g butter
100g margarine
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt

Sift:350g plain flour
50g cornflour

Pineapple jam:

300g grated pineapple
150g castor sugar
1/2 tsp pineapple essence
1/4 tsp lemon essenceEgg

Glaze:

1 egg yolk
1 tsp condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt
l/4 tsp water

Method

To make the pineapple jam: Place grated pineapple and sugar in a heavy-bottomed aluminium saucepan and cook over moderate heat until it begins to boil. Add essences and lower the flame, then continue to cook until mixture is almost dry and thick. Keep stirring all the time (this takes about an hour). Leave aside to cool.

To make the pastry:

Cream butter, margarine and sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add essence and salt and beat until fluffy.Fold in sifted dry ingredients and mix to a firm dough. Put mixture into a nastar mould and press out into strips 6cm to 7cm long.Place 1/2 tsp of pineapple jam filling on the edge of a strip and make a small elongated roll. Cut off excess dough. Put nastar rolls on greased trays. Brush with egg glaze. Bake in preheated oven at 180ºC for 20 minutes or till golden brown. Cool on wire racks before storing.

Note: To make egg glaze, lightly beat the above glaze ingredients together.


Enjoy!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fruit Tarts With Low Fat Custard




















Imagine what can be made out of just the basic ingredients like flour, butter , eggs and sugar…..cakes, pies, tarts, buns , breads etc etc. Without these ingredients, these delectable desserts would not materialised. I love tarts especially egg and fruit tarts. Try this recipe if you love tarts with custard filling and top with your favourite fruits .  This tart is best eaten chilled. It is healthy with low fat custard.  These tarts are good for afternoon tea treats mmmmm nom nom nom and WB's favourites too.


I promised WB that I will make some super nice fruit tarts for him after he finished working on our bathrooms.  We have two bathrooms and normally he will help clean up the bathrooms while I clean up my work area , my kitchen counter tops and to organise the fridge space. I do a check on all the ingredients I have...checking their expiry dates, etc.  Those expired, I will throw them into the bin and restock whatever has expired.  This is our normal weekend chores. He works on the bathrooms and I will work on the kitche :p  A very fair deal, isn't it ? I will bake for him while he cleans the bathrooms with cleaning liquids . This cleaning liquids that we bought for the bathrooms has helped scrubbing and cleaning  much easier. It has 5 times power action.  After the cleaning, the bathroom has a fresh clean smell. And WB will make a check list on all bathroom product so that whatever needs to be replaced, we can shop for them when we go grocery shopping on Sunday after church . To me washing the bathroom is a man's job and he can really do a good job cleaning up the toilets :p  I am proud of him and he really deserves all these fruit tarts :) after all  the tarts are super healthy...packed with low fat custard...so you tell me ...healthy anot ? :)   I allowed him to eat as much as he wants after all he did a great job on the two bathrooms ! 


nom nom


Yummz....best eaten chilled...served as after dinner dessert



Fruit Tarts With Low Fat Custard


Ingredients:

Pate Sucree

125 gm salted butter – chilled
60gm. Icing sugar
½ egg white
1 egg yolk
200 gm plain flour
½ tsp vanilla essence

Method:

Beat butter and icing sugar till well mixed.
Add in egg white and yolk till incorporated into the butter mixture.
Add in vanilla essence and blend in the flour into the mixture
till it becomes a dough. Rest the dough for 10 mins .
Divide dough into 35 gm balls.
Press dough into smart tart moulds.
Bake the tart shell at 175C till brown. Take it out and cool it on the
rack .  Store in air tight container.

(Makes 16 tarts )

For The Low Fat Custard
2 cups low fat milk
2 tbsp custard powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the custard
  1. Mix the custard powder in ½ cup of milk and keep aside.
  2. Heat the remaining milk with the sugar and mix well.
  3. Add the custard powder mixture and vanilla essence and cook over a low flame, stirring continuously till the mixture coats the back of the spoon.
  4. Cool and divide the custard into 8 equal portions. Keep aside.

How to proceed

  1. Fill each tart with a portion of the custard and refrigerate until the custard is set.
  2. Just before serving, top each tart with mixed fruits and serve immediately.




*           *           *

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cheesy Button Mushroom Spinach Quiche



I love quiche .....button mushroom and spinach fillings is my all time favourite and especially if the crust is packed with cheese :p  The dietician from the hospital told me to be careful with my diet.  Eat healthy and lots of exercises :p   Cheese is my favourite dairy product and I have to reduce them from my bakes and if I need to eat I have to go for the low fat one.  I managed to get the low fat one from the supermart thus making it possible  for once in a blue moon indulgent.  I feel blessed to be able to at least have a slice or two at one sitting :p unlike my friend KC who suffers from acid reflux and indigestion.  She is 60 years of age and she is not able to eat her favourite Thai food :(  She loves spicy and anything sourish, and today she has to abstain from eating anything spicy , but she can tuck in a slice or two of my quiche ! 

I have another friend who suffers from heartburn and indigestion.  She is pregnant and is in her trisemester. She loves to eat but after eating a full meal she suffers from heartburn and indigestion :(   Her gynae gave her medication for relief from heartburn and today she gets to enjoy some yummy food like my Cheesy Button Mushroom Spinach Quiche :)  At first I do not know what is heartburn for when I was pregnant, I do not suffer from heartburn only my legs were swollen during the last two months to the due date :p  But after my colleague gave me the link to this website that I know what is heartburn and what are the symptoms of heartburn!   

I know I have digress but sometimes we do need to know , not just food and recipes , but also symptoms of side effects that is connected to food :)  I am glad that thus far I do not have acid reflux and heartburn . Only occasionally suffers from indigestion though , LOL ! and that is due to indulging in too much of glutinous rice dumplings !  But today I am sharing a wonderful recipe on quiche with lots of low fat cheese...mmmmm lets forget about indigestion for a moment and lets enjoy this delectable cheesy quiche :)


love the fresh brown button mushrooms in the quiche :p


look at the crispy cheesy crust ...yum!


I can eat up the whole quiche if not forbidden :)



Cheesy Button Mushroom Spinach Quiche

Quiche Base

Ingredients:

For the crust
100 gm grated cheddar cheese
120 gms plain flour
120 gms butter ( melted )

For the filling

3 large eggs
80 ml fresh cream
40 gms grated cheddar cheese
120 gms grated mozzarella

250 g brown button mushrooms - sliced
1 clove of garlic - chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil
120 gm cooked spinach - squeeze off water and cut into 1/4" lengths
a dash of ground black pepper
a few sprigs of dills

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 200 ̊ C

2. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil on a non stick pan and when it is hot saute chopped garlic and stir fry til fragrant. Add in the sliced mushrooms and continue until the mushrooms is cooked.  Drain off liquid.  Take it out and leave to cool.

3.Melt the butter.

4.Mix the grated cheese with the flour , add the melted butter and knead it into a ball

5.Grease the 9” tart pan with a detachable bottom .

6.Put the dough in and press till the whole tart pan is lined with the dough.

7.Beat the eggs together with the fresh cream , add in the mozzarella cheese, grated cheddar cheese and add cooked and cut spinach to the egg mixture and mix together till well combined. Add in black pepper and mix well.

.8.Pour the filling mixture on the crust and spread out evenly.  Add a generous amount of dill on top .

9.Bake the quiche for 30 minutes or till evenly browned. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then serve with salad of your choice.

Happy Baking !




Canapes For Your Event

This article provides you with a whole range of information on canapés, where the name originated from, the types available and how to find a company offering these services. It also includes some tips on choosing the right caterer for your needs to ensure it’s the perfect fit for your event.

Both personal parties and formal business events often require a form of catering to keep guests happy throughout their time at the venue. If you do not wish to opt for a formal sit down meal for example, or feel it is not suited to your event, then finger foods could be the perfect alternative.


Fingers foods such as canapés can provide an ideal form of cuisine for your event, as they allow guests to mingle and enjoy themselves whilst drinking and eating. Canapés originated from the French word for ‘couch’, as basically the toppings are spread out onto the base like a person on a couch.
Canapés are small, easy to eat without the use of cutlery and come in a variety of different shapes, colours and toppings. Most of these are savoury and include foods such as cheese, meat, fish, puree, relish, foie gras and caviar, to name just a few. They are decorative and often eaten in just one bite. The base is usually based of crackers, puff pastry, toast or bread.

A vol-au-vent is a particularly well-known type of canapé and can often be seen served at cocktail parties. Canapés go well with cocktails and are usually spicy or salty in order to encourage guests to drink more, which venues with bars often make use of. They provide a sophisticated form of dining and still allow guests to choose which dishes they try. Dessert canapés are also becoming increasingly popular and many party planners like to serve these towards the end of the evening as a special treat for their guests.

Most caterers can offer canapés and deliver them to your event for you to store until serving time. There are so many professional caterers available to hire that it can be overwhelming when trying to choose the right one for you. However, it does not need to be difficult. Simply use a search engine to bring up a whole range of results in your area, pick a few and compare quality and prices against each other in order to find the best value for money. Be sure to ask if you have any questions regarding particular types of dishes or dietary requirements, for example, as each caterer will have different policies. It is also worth checking out past client’s testimonials and any recommendations from local businesses or friends to see if they can point you in the right direction.


Canapes can be fancy and include unusual or prestigious ingredients, such as caviar and foie gras, or they can take inspiration from everyday typically British dishes and come in the form of mini jacket potatoes or cheese straws for example. You may even want to have a theme throughout your event and have all American or all Italian style canapés. 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Gluten Free Mint Chocolate Almond Cookies


These cookies are not just gluten free but there are healthy cookies too.  There is no butter in these cookies and they are made purely from ground almonds and Lindt Mint Intense Dark Chocolate.  I can munch on it whole day and yet without having to worry so much about calories.  At least they are butter free and flour free.  I reduced the sugar to as low as I can go.  Over all it was not that sweet ...the chocolate was not sweet and has a strong minty flavor.  I added almond slices for the extra crunch.  This is thus far the best cookies I have baked that is gluten free and butter free.  Lovely and I can munch on them without feeling guilty :p  Packed with chocolates and almond slices.  Great for the coming Chinese New Year festive if you still have not decided what to bake for the coming festive, of course other than the traditional CNY cookies :)  Easy to prepare and you can make them in just 30 mins.  I made these for my cell group but I used a different flavor. I gave them sea salt chocolate instead of mint intense.  I love Lindt chocolate and thank you Piggy Jo for buying so many bars back for WB and myself :) 

you need only 8 ingredients for these cookies
ground almonds, sugar, a large egg, almond slices, chocolate,
lemon rind and cinnamon and salt


























I like the rustic look of the cookies


























no rolling needed...scoop and drop scoop and drop ..simple as ABC :)


Gluten Free Mint Chocolate Almond Cookies

Ingredients :
(A)
2 cups ground almond
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp castor sugar 
4 tsp grated lemon
dash of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

one large egg- beaten
Lindt Mint Chocolate - chop into tiny pieces
almond slices

Method:

Preheat oven to 170C

Mix Ingredients A evenly with a whisk,  add in  beaten egg until  it forms a soft and sticky dough. Add in almond slices and chopped chocolate.  Gently mix into the ground almond dough.  Use two spoon and scoop up a ball of dough as big as moth ball size and arrange the moth ball size cookie dough half an inch apart on a greaseproof paper lined tray.

Bake for 16 mins until edges are golden brown.  Let cool completely before storing in air tight container.

Enjoy!

Wedding Plans...So Much To Do !

Okay, okay , I am eager to have a daughter in law.  My mind is just full of wedding plans and anxiety of the whole planning.  We had a busy schedule...looking for wedding photographer, booking the wedding venue and checking out the place.  Designing the wedding invitation cards and looking for the best printer and checking out the prices and to make sure everything fall into place...gosh it is not easy planning a wedding !

But I really admire my boy who ,with the help of his big sister :p managed to get everything done in such a short time.  Now is to pray for fine weather , as it is going to be a garden wedding.  This weekend , he will be meeting the decorator and to make sure the decorator knows what is required.

My daughter-in-law to be is busying getting the right wedding gown that will make her the best looking bride :) of course every bride to be will want to look the most beautiful bride on that day and she has to arrange for the bridemaids dresses too.  She found http://www.dress4australia.com.au/ that offers beautiful gowns and she was super duper happy that they are having sales and not just 10 % but some are going for 85% off !!! Woo hoo , no wonder she phoned Josh that everything is falling in smoothly.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Spiral Curry Puff


















Curry puffs are the family favourite snack food.  Used to buy ready fried ones from the hawkers :p  Wanted to try my hands at making the spiral ones.  It is good that we can make our own puff  :)   Saw this spiral curry puff recipe from Sonia's blog and I know I had to make them for WB.  I am not good at making snack food but I know that with many practices , I can make the puff perfect :)  Not much spirals can be seen this time ...I won't give up that easily ! Will try again until I get the spiral rings that can be seen prominently :p   The taste was good and I love every bite. The skin is crispy and filling is flavorful.  Will try making this again...hopefully the next round the spiral rings can be seen more prominently.  I was greedy and made a big load ( the unfried ones ) for keeping in the freezer , so that WB can have his puffs whenever he is hungry.  




I substituted chicken for beef for the filling coz
WB prefers beef to chicken


the plait looks nice here but after 
frying..cant see the plait much :p

















WB loves the skin and the fillings..ask to make more next time :)


Spiral Curry Puff  - adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover
make 15 pieces

Potato And Chicken filling

250 g potato, diced
150 g chicken, diced
1 tbsp chili paste
2 tbsp meat curry powder
1 big onion, chopped
3 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp salt to taste
1 tsp sugar or to taste
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp or more vegetable oil

Method:

Heat oil in wok, saute chopped onion till aroma. Add in chilli paste, curry leaves and curry powder and still fry till fragrant.  Add in diced chicken and diced potato and stir fry till well mixed.   Add in some water and simmer for 10-15 mins. Season with salt, sugar and light soy sauce. Cook till potato is tender and mixture is dry.  Dish out to cool.

Pastry
Water dough

200 g all purpose flour
90-100g water
3 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp salt
25 g caster sugar

Mix all the dry ingrediens together in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour in water and oil mixture and knead till a soft dough is formed.  Cover and set aside to rest for 20 mins.

Oil dough

90 g all purpose flour
45 g Crisco shortening

Put the flour in a mixing bowl.  Rub in shortening and slowly combine into a soft dough.  Set aside and rest for 15 mins.

To make the spiral skin

1. Flatten the water dough and wrap the oil dough inside. Pinch the edges to seal it nicely.
2. Dust some flour on a work surface, gently roll dough into a rectangle.
3. Fold the rectangle from one long end by 1/3, and fold the other long end over the top.
4. Rotate the dough 90degree, gently roll the dough into rectangle again and repeat the folding process twice more.
5. Once the dough has been rolled and folded 3 times, slowly roll up tightly into a swiss roll.  (Apply some water on the dough ) while rolling and rest for 20 mins.
6. Use a sharp knife, divide the dough into 15 pieces of small dough. ( abt 30 g each )

To fill and shape puff

1. Take a small dough ( spiral face up ) and use a small rolling pin, roll into a circle disc.
2. Put 1 tbsp of filling in the center, press the edges together and seal it.
3. Pinch the edge of the puff with your thumb and make plait on the edge.
4. Heat oil in wok or a deep fryer, oil must be very hot before putting in the puff and enough to cover the puff.
5. Deep fry the puff on medium heat until golden brown.


Enjoy!  


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New Hair Style For Me :)

As many of you know that I have changed my hairstyle from long to short.  All thanks to my WB's best friend Joe. He did a marvelous job on giving my hair a new look.  Now I do look more neater and edgy . Josh insisted that I should have a complete restyling .  Before that, we were comtemplating whether I should have a perm or have hair extension or have my hair dyed.  He logged in to Pinterest and searched for a short hair style that would would look great on me.  Josh really took an interest in helping me  looking at hair extension website at http://www.micvirginhair.com/   which showcase many types of hair extension. 

He thought maybe I would look nicer with some hair extension as my hair was getting thinner and it would be perhaps give some body to my present hair style.  We look through the website and to my surprised finds that they have many lengths available. Seeing that the hair extension is not synthetic but real hair was what made me think again.  Maybe I can have hair extension done and have my hair tied up into a bun., but that would give me a much older look.  My hair stylist told me that short hair would suits me better. I listened to him and finally have my hair cut short :) Even though I have cut my hair short but I still think hair extension is so cool !