Friday, April 07, 2006

salads, mains and desserts

Since i have been quite lazy and not doing the daily posts, I have decided to put everything i have been cooking on one post....i have since started in the gym (I think i celebrated my 3 week anniversary this week) I have tried to avoid eating too heavy in the evening...which means...
none of this

or this

These really great Italian dishes (Fettuncini Alfredo and Chicken Caciatore) were made by our house guest Dom, who happens to be Italian American and is the son of a restaurateur.
But i have been busy experimenting with Chinese vegetables, one of these being tanghao (Chrysanthemum leaves) to be used as a salad, two salads i tried with it were
Tanghao with a honey walnut dressing (tanghao has a rather bitter taste similar to rucola so the crunchy sweet dressing balanced the flavours)

The second was walnut chunks, goats cheese and tanghao with a walnut oil and balsamico dressing.

As i mentioned i have been experimenting not only with tanghao but also duck eggs (which i have never eaten previously and fava beans, which i love love love, they cook so quickly and are so tasty:
Warm salad of fava beans and poached duck eggs with tuna balsamico dressing

Three other very simple salads
Wasabi cucumber salad (spicy and cooling)

Tropical fruit salad

Warm roasted eggplant salad with Italian herbs

On the subject of simple cooking...I love sun-dried tomatoes and have always wondering if i could do the same thing at home...now i will wonder no more...i made oven-dried tomatoes which were just as good as any store bought item..i am so proud of myself.
spinach and carrot quiche served with oven-dried tomato on rye toast.

And now on to the mains....
this delicious Salmon dish was inspired by a recipe from bon appetite, it was prepared for me by my darling chef.
Lemon-honey rosemary crusted salmon on a bed of warm tomato salad, it was absolutely delicious, every single bite, the salmon was crisp in all the right places.....

and since we are talking about seafood....juicy spicy crab marinated for 4 hours and baked in the oven, saipin and i had this and we ended up licking everything, plates, fingers even the shells!!

and on to desserts ....i tried my hand at carrot cake and i guess i can honestly say i was presently surprised...the carrot cake was everything a carrot cake should be moist, rich, carroty and absolutely delish!! I tried two shapes in a 9-inch pan which was good except for the part that was still uncooked!!!

and then mini cupcake size...perfect..two bites and finished..of course all of this topped with creamy rich and fattening cream cheese frosting!!

I also made orange pudding cake, this seemed as though it was going to be difficult, but turned out relatively simple, and i served it with an orange sambuca honey sauce

very elegant and easy...definitely somethig to try again.
I know that mass blogging is probably not so great..but for right now i think it is the only way i will be actually updating my pages:)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

and the Oscar for best fun goes to....

us girls...for the first time ever we decided to have an after oscars party...reason being the oscars were shown on star movies 2 days later and we also just wanted to have a mid-week hangout. There was plenty of food for snacking on: chicken drumettes and winglets, tomatoes stuffed with tuna and mini pizzas...i made just over 60 pizzas for 7 girls...i know...but i thought everyone was hungry...obviously not!!
That day the 8th of March was also International Womens Day..hurrah for us!
We watched all 4 hours of the show, had a good laugh and a good chat! and of course a brillant dessert...poached pears and creme brulee.
Pizzas in the making


all done yummmy yummy

Chicken drumettes (whats a gathering without chicken to nibble on?)


tuna stuffed cherry tomatoes and shrimp and mushroom quiche made oh so lovingly by Sof...

and dessert......my special and absolutely tasty creme brulee

We had lots of fun, ate alot laughed alot and i think we really do deserve the oscar for most fun had at an after oscar party!!

Monday, February 27, 2006

the deadly sin of the blogger

Laziness....yes forgive me.....i have been very lazy and have not posted anything, but i have been very busy, cooking and eating and really enjoying it! and of course being cooked for...over the last two weeks we have been having the best Italian home cooked food everything from pasta to roasted peppers to Italian sausage made from start.
But back to what i have been so busy doing, first.... fast food part 2: spicy chicken pizza

to freshly baked breakfast rolls


Deliciously rich chocolate cake with freshly whipped cream


Jack Daniel's Apple Pie....

And pineapple upsidedown cake.......a bit sweet.....very dense and absolutely delish...before and after flipping photos


I have tried lots of other new stuff besides these like pita bread which i must say was very sucessful, i will be busy again next week as we plan on having an "academy award" party ie another excuse for the girls to get together and gossip and have bit of delish canapes after all if we are going to watch a stylish fashion event we might as well eat stylish food:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

the slowness of fast food part 1

Anyone who has ever tried making pizza from scratch will know the time it takes, making the dough, the toppings...i am very proud of myself because last night i attempted to make Flammenkueche or Alsace Pizza (compliments a Martha Schulman recipe)and I succeeded...yes even with the pizza dough..everything was perfect....even though i made some substitutes like lean bacon instead of the fatty not by choice but because that was what was in the fridge.
All the ingredients waiting to be made into a thin crispy pizza....

the fruits of my labour... crispy, thin and creamy...perfect!

...and since we had a bottle of the sparkly stuff from new years eve we had this with the pizza...who's says fast food has to be washed down with soft drinks!!

tomorrow on the menu....spicy chicken pizza

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

cooking together

There is a saying...no correct that...my saying is the couple that cooks together stays together...it is well into the new year and this is my first post ...shame, shame...i cant even say that i have been soo busy so no time to write cause this would have been definitely not true...i think i am just lazy....the curse of Garfeild!
Even though i have been lazy i have still been cooking and enjoying it even more since i have my darling in the kitchen and to make matters even better we go food shopping together...very sweet.
Sunday night our cable was down so we decided to stay in and enjoy a movie night and of course a delicious meal, on the menu that night....
Baked snapper on Fennel

Baked Endives in an orange reduction

Red cabbage salad

and penne pasta (for my darling)
The food was really tasty and fresh...thanks so much to the wonderful wet market at Xin Yuan Li....
I am looking forward to a wonderful year of cooking and eating with my darling...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Here's to a happy Gorging!

Merry Christmas to everyone...or rather i hope you all had a merry christmas...i had the good fortune of being in Hong Kong for 4 days to experience a quiet Christmas with some friends and their 2 wonderful daughters...very nice and relaxing...for 4 days all we did was eat. As our friend is an executive chef in a famous Hong Kong hotel so we were treated to self-made foie gras, smoked salmon (less than 4 days old, also smoked by him), juicy boiled ham, succulent roasted pork and i've-died-and-gone-to-heaven prime rib....it was fabulous..i unfortunately didn't get to take any pics of the food but take my word on this it was excellent.

Under the tree this year for me was an ipod nano (in black) which i can see keeping me company while i use my new kitchen center (also a very thoughtful gift) and alot of love and more importantly health two things which are essential in life.
Hope 2006 will be a good year for all concerned!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Punch a creme (my way...)

This is a popular Christmas drink served throughout the caribbean at this time of year (along with sorrel), it is very potent...but absolutely delish...this is the original recipe for Punch a creme (thanks to www.barbados.org)

3 eggs
1 wineglass rum
1/2 tin (175g or 7oz size) evaporated milk
Piece of orange or lime rind
1 tin (325g or 12oz size) condensed milk
1 teaspoon bitters
Method:
Beat eggs well with the rind. Remove rind. Add milk. Stir well. Add rum and bitters and mix thoroughly. Bottle. Chill and shake well before serving. Makes 12-16 servings in liqueur glasses.

This is ordinarilly really nice but as i live in Beijing...you have to be careful with raw eggs so i made my own version of Punch a creme also with a nice kick!
For 2 liters
10 tins Coconut juice (Coconut tree brand)
1 tin condensed milk
1 tin evaporated milk
1/2 bottle white rum (i used bacardi)
nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice to taste
Method: Mix all ingredients and leave at least 36 hours before drinking...serve on the rocks.



Picture of fab punch a creme a la moi to come shortly....