DOM Steamed Chicken

My grandmother will be proud of me with this post. She bought me 2 big bottles of DOM which still sits in my laundry cupboard, hardly used. I read Little Corner’s post on Dom with Salmon a while back and suddenly realised what potential DOM has that is sitting at the back of the cupboard! I dusted it, took it out, and da tuh, instantly, it became my friend in the kitchen.

Marinating some chicken with sesame oil and soy sauce with a dash of  DOM and pepper. I steamed it with ginger and soaked re hydrated wood fungus. The result was a light and nourishing dinner. I used chicken thigh meat given that I usually have less than 30 mins to create a meal and meat with bones would have taken too much time. Served with rice and some veges, it was such a comfort meal! I even added an extra dash of DOM after I steamed it!

Edit: Dom or benedictine DOM is a herbal liquor beverage. For more information about DOM check out here and here
 
DOM Steamed Chicken (Serves 4)

400 grams chicken thigh meat chopped
1 knob of ginger sliced
1/4 cup of DOM (+extra)
1 tsp seasme oil
2 tablespoon of soya sauce
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
pepper
1 cup of re hydrated wood fungus trimmed and washed

Marinate chicken with sesame oil, DOM, sauces and pepper. Arrange on heat proof dish. Prepare wok/deep pan for steaming. Place ginger and wood fungus on chicken. Steam for 20 mins or so. Keeping the pan covered. Wait for 10 mins before lifting dish out. Dash of DOM on the chicken. Serve with rice and veges.

Marriage and Gifts

I have been thinking of writing more thoughts about marriage- simply because I think that we experience and learn so much from it on a very day basis, and it will be a waste not to pen it down. Abit of it is humour, and abit of is just pure fun and frustration. Just to add a dash of sweetness and kindness to the mix as well.

Marriage is like a book of good recipes. You want to keep the good ones and learn from the mistakes/challenges. There is no such thing as a bad recipe isn’t? There is always something to learn from.

It’s funny. This blog has followed through on my journey in my studies all the way to us getting married. It has also followed through quite a few of my birthdays too. Since I was 21 actually. Which make it…. a decent amount of time!

Which brings me to my birthday that happened about a month ago. The day went really sweet. Hubby made me breakfast in bed, brought me a bunch of flowers and we had the most awesome Jap buffet dinner ever.

But he didn’t get me a birthday present.

He tried. He really tried very hard.He wanted to get me a car charger massager thing to help with my bad back while driving. Apparently it doesn’t deliver to Australia. And while that thought was sweet AND practical, I was actually thankful that he didn’t get me a gadget that may not work……

Then he tried looking for a bag, nothing that caught his fancy.(he bought me a beautiful Oroton bag last birthday! and a little clutch a few years back and it was the most successful gifts ever!)

He tried thinking outside of the box, he tried to ask me. But I joked around and said “Tiffany, or anything belonging to the apple range of products” (which I know it is out of our household budget at the moment. given that we are building and wanting to save those shiny new products for our new home). So that was out as well.

He tried to hint at getting a ice cream maker or hair straighter or something to that effect. I said we are only married for 17 months hon, not 17 years! Couldn’t you leave appliances out? So that was out of his list too. 

So I became the not so grateful wife who said no to any suggestion.. and ended up with..

no gift. 

Which surprisingly, I was quite ok about. In fact, I think he was more upset that he didn’t get me anything. I, on the other hand, didn’t put too much emphasis on it because he chose to spend the day with me and he respected me enough to give me what i want..which was…rest. 

But I got really nucky when he suggested using funds from my birthday gift to buy a coffee machine for the household… I was really really angry!

Which means I was fine with no gift, but not ok if the same funds are directed to elsewhere-no matter how practical it is.

My poor confused husband.

And I admit that even I think it looks confusing after re reading this post. But it is the principle isn’t it? He did get it in the end and I explained to him by saying…

“How would you feel if I saved up the money to buy you a brand new computer, but you didn’t want it so asked me to wait for a while until something interesting/new came up. So instead, I suggested taking the money and using it for a spa retreat. For myself. I will bring home a small bottle of vanilla massage oil for you”

He got it. ;P

No gifts aside. He got me this awesome durian cake. It’s not quite the same as the one my parents used to bring back for my grandmother’s birthday. But it will do..because it is in PERTH and beggars should not be fussy.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Nearly always, I go for the dark chocolate. It is rare that I reach out for white or even milk. I was sure though that dark and white chocolate will complement each other-with the colours and sweetness/bitter tone. Having spot this recipe in a recent Real Living Magazine, I decided to give it a go.

The result is a crisp and chewy cookie. I love what the golden syrup adds to it- just the additional flavour and sweetness. This recipe is certainly a winner in my hunt for the best home made chocolate chip cookies!

note- it says made 16 giant cookies- I shaped them to smaller ones and it yielded 36. 

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies (36 tsp size cookies)

2/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
pinch salt
100 grms butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bicarb soda
1.5 tsp milk (or soy milk)
150 grams of white choc bits
150 grabs dark choc bits

Pre heat oven 180C. Line 2 cookie pans with baking paper.

Place butter, syrup and vanilla in sauce pan over medium heat. When mixture is bubbling n melted, remove from heat and add bicarb. Stir.
Place all other ingredients (but milk and choc chunks) in a bowl. Add the butter mixture and fold. Add milk. Fold in choc chips.
Place tsp of cookie dough on tray and flatten them. Bake for 15 mins. 

Teriyaki Meat Loaf

I am very much in love with my oven. I love the ease of it- just placing something in a hot oven and out comes a hearty hot meal (or dessert!we win either way). Having some left over teriyaki sauce in the fridge, I tipped the rest of the bottle out to marinate our meat loaf. Talk about Asian influence in our styles of cooking! It wasn’t anything too fancy but enough to survive another night of dinner- and left overs to boot for the next day.

To add more veges in our diet- I mixed in some shredded carrots and chopped onions. Does the treat I say. I love the texture and would not hesitate to make this again! 

I served these with stir fry veges.


Teriyaki Meat Loaf (Serves 4-5)

500 grams lean beef mince
1 egg
1 cup of bread crumbs- fresh or from packet
2-3 tablespoon of teriyaki sauce
2 tsp of chili powder (because I like it hot!)
1 carrot shredded
1 red onion chopped
2 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
pepper

Line loaf pan. Pre heat oven 200C. Mix everything in a bowl. Spoon and press mixture into loaf pan. Bake for 30 mins. Serve with salad or stir fry veges.

Cheats Pandan Cake

Oh so I resorted to using a cake mix for Pandan chiffon cake. One day I will have the guts to make it from scratch but I argue that we all have to start somewhere…..  This is more of an ease and curiosity since I have noticed the packet in our local oriental store for years.

The brand that I used was Primamix and surprisingly, the final result was close but not a winner yet. It does have a pandan taste but it lacks the chiffon or soft cottony feel of the cake. It could be my fault as well as I do not owe a chiffon cake tin-just a fluted one.  Hubby was satisfied though and best of all, it was cheaper than getting the whole cake. All I needed was 6 eggs and a cake mix….

Mini Cornish Pastries

Sometime back, I was sick and at home…. doing some ironing while watching TV- Huey’s Cooking Adventure to be exact. He was attempting to make cornish pasties which of course, means a light bulb went on in my head thinking that I could do this in my home kitchen too.

My cornish pasties turned out to be… like CHINESE DUMPLINGS! except it is beef and baked. I can’t help but have a giggle when I saw them.

Since I have no idea how to fold the corners and I used my dumplings cutter to cut the circle out of the shortcrust pastries…that was what I got. It was tasty though and I dipped it in some chutney. Hubby loved this! That batched lasted us for 3 meals!

 Huey’s Cornish Pasties (Recipe from his website)

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 smallish potatoes, peeled & cut into about 1 cm cubes
  • 1 small turnip, peeled & cut into about 1 cm cubes
  • 300 gm rump steak, trimmed of fat & sinew, cut into about 1 cm cubes
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • a splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2-4 shortcrust (or puff) pastry sheets
  • plain flour

 

  • Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced (200°C normal). 
  • Combine the onion, potatoes, turnip, steak, seasonings and Worcestershire with your hands. 
  • In another bowl, whisk the egg with milk. 
  • Cut a large round in a pastry sheet and place it on a lightly floured workbench. Spoon a quarter of the mixture in the centre, brush around the edges with egg wash and bring up the sides to meet in the centre. Then crimp the edges to seal and place the pasty on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat the process. 
  • Make a small cut in each side of the pasties, brush them all over with egg wash and cook in the oven for about 35-40 mins. (If browning too much, loosely cover with a piece of foil.) 
  • Serve with a good dollop of your favourite pickles or chutney.

Country Women’s Association Cookbook- Seafood Cornflake Bake

 My colleagues and I-we are obsessed about food. There is something about food that brings different cultures together. It is also a stress-relief. It is a talking point of what to bring for our weekly morning tea (to sweeten our long meetings and calm our hungry tummies), or to discuss where can we find good value and fresh sushi (I can have it for lunch and dinner every day I think). Strangely, most of us are not even born in Australia.

I noticed a Country Women’s Association Cookbook lying around and asked my colleague what is this about? She replied that Country Women in Australia often needs to be creative in their cooking- given the time and lack of resources sometimes. Not to mention, good value for money. I like the sound of it already. I quickly flipped the pages and this recipe caught my attention-really, it’s the cornflake crust. I don’t have the “proper” recipe and chose to recreate it from memory. I think it is even called something else! But I can assure you that it features tuna in it and cornflakes. Doesn’t that combination sounds yucky?I can assure you that it turned out delicious!

Having a better understanding of the Country Women’s Association, I appreciate their recipes even more. For the past few weeks, I have been struggling with meals and time. You may have probably even read what I mentioned before- cooking a few meals in one setting to make sure we have something warm and fairly nutritious when I return home late at night. It’s starting to show and I even went through a period of time where I actually thought I lost my mojo in cooking and baking! Horror of all horrors!

I started to re-create some earlier recipes that I have blogged prior and reminded myself to be kind… to myself. That was why I started the blog, to show that meals can be quick and most of the time, healthy and low in fat and calories. It is OK not to have home cooked meals every day. It is OK not to re create something new every few days.

It is ok to be kind to myself 😉

Seafood Cornflake Bake (Serves 4-6) 

2 cans of tuna in spring water
150 grams of prawns shelled (I happened to have some prawns in the fridge)

2 tablespoon of spread
1 tablespoon of flour
1 cup of soy milk (I might have put around 1.5 cups)
1/2 of low fat cheese
around half a cup of corn flakes crumbs (u can buy them in a box!)
2 cups of frozen veges (I used peas and corn)

Melt spread. Add flour and cook till golden. Add milk and whisk till it thickens. Add cheese. Season. Add tuna, prawns and frozen veges. Spoon into a casserole dish. Top with corn flake crumbs. You can spray it with some oil to make it more crispy. Bake in a pre heated 200 C oven for 25 mins.

Peanut Butter Criss Crosses

I am a big fan of bakes from Piggy’s Cooking Journal. Grace participates in Tuesdays with Dorie events regularly, where bloggers test and attempt recipes from her recipe books every week. Sometime back in September, Grace posted her version of Peanut Butter Criss Crosses and that got me intrigued immediately. Not to mention, hubby loves anything cookies…and I haven’t been making any for months!

I didn’t change anything except not chopping the peanuts (lazy + I like the crunch). The sugar coating gave it this extra texture-not to mention it looks so pretty. It has a melt in your mouth texture, and perfect with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee for morning or afternoon tea. A batch of these made around 70 cookies for me though and needless to say, it lasted for my office morning tea, a week of hubby’s snacks and I even brought it to a friend’s place! Woah, it went a long way.

I didn’t press my cookies as flat as Grace- and perhaps it will be more crispy if I do. But nevertheless, it’s an additive cookie with the crunch that Hubby and I love.

Peanut Butter Criss Crosses

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg (I used grounded cinnamon)
  • 1 cup / 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, I used crunch)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups chopped salted peanuts (I didn’t chop them, it so much better when it’s crunchy!)
  • About ½ cup sugar, for rolling

Preparation:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for a minute or two, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear. Mix in the chopped peanuts. You’ll have a soft, pliable (mushable, actually) dough.

Pour the ½ cup of sugar into a small bowl. Working with a level tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms into balls and drop the balls, a couple at a time, into the sugar. Roll the balls around in the sugar to coat them, then place on the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them. Dip the tines of a fork in sugar and press the tines against each ball first in one direction and then in a perpendicular direction – you should have a flattened round of dough with crisscross indentations.

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. When done, the cookies will be lightly colored and still a little soft. Let the cookies sit on the sheets for a minute before transferring them to cooling racks with a wide metal spatula. Cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.

Storage:
The cookies will keep for at least 5 days in the cookie jar. Wrapped airtight, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Playing Around:For a chocolate version, reduce the flour to 2 cups and sift 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder into the dry ingredients. Use 1 cup chopped salted peanuts and add 1/3 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips, preferably minis) along with the nuts.Preparation: 10 minutes
Baking: 12 minutes per batch
Portions: 60 cookies

Chicken and Leek Pie

There is something about Spring and Autumn that makes me want to make pies. Moreover, I love cooking with the oven. It’s really time saving- and easy. I like to roast some vegetables with it usually. Again, just marinating the vegetables with some olive oil or even some sweet chili sauce makes it tasty.

This time round, I made a one dish chicken and leek pie. It’s much easier than making them individually. One thing though,  making pies individually makes them more freezer friendly (easier to defrost one at a time).However, by making a one dish pie, there is less wastage. Often, I find myself lost on what to do with those leftover ends of the pastry! LOL

As usually, I added some chili flakes for abit of a zing. I don’t think I can do without chili flakes these days. I like my food spicy! Must be something to do with my grandmother teaching me how to enjoy spicy food since I was 5 years old.

Chicken and Leek Pie (serves 4-6)

500 grams trimmed and diced chicken thighs
2 leeks washed and sliced
1 red onion sliced 
1-2 tsp chili flakes
white pepper
salt
dash of white wine if you have
1/2 cup of water
1 piece of puff pastry defrosted

2 cups of soy milk or milk
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoon of spread
1 cup of low fat cheese

Preheat oven 180C.

In a separate pot, melt spread. Stir in flour till it becomes golden brown. Add milk and whisk in low heat till smooth. Add cheese. (add more milk if mixture is too thick)

In a pan, saute leeks and onions. Add chicken and cook till brown. Season with chili flakes, salt, pepper and white wine. Add some water if mixture appears too dry. Add the bechamel sauce and simmer. Do a taste taste. Spoon into oven proof dish. Line with puff pastry, scoring the top and then placing pieces of pastry in a cross action on the top. Bake for 25 mins. 

Simple Comforts- Ham and Egg Roll

So I like to go simple sometimes  nearly all the time. After church, AR asked me “sooo..what’s for lunch?” In reply, I bought bread rolls.. and said “Ham and Egg roll!”  Nothing pretentious about it, just a good old classic that is cheap to make. Besides, how can one resist the gooey egg yolk running down the bread roll?

Ok, so I jazzed up the burger by adding a slice of cheese and some chutney on it. Spicy Mango Chutney to be exact. Abit of tang on a usual ham and egg roll. Toasted of course. I like my sandwiches abit on the crisp side.

oh oh! and look at how sexy the yolk is. I couldn’t help but give it a light poke….

Ham and Egg Roll  (Serves 2) 

5 slices of honey baked ham 
2 eggs-pan fried sunny side up 
2 slices of cheese
1 tablespoon of spicy mango chutney on each
2 bread roll-toasted halves

Grill half a bread roll with the cheese. Top with ham and the chutney. Place egg on top. Serve with side salad