Monday, November 10, 2008

Candied Orange Peels

To make candied orange peels, cut the ends off of each orange. You will need 1.5 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water for 2 oranges.

Make four slits in the orange peel, then peel the skin off into four pieces.

Slice each quarter peel into four strips.

Boil strips of orange peels in plain water for 2 minutes. Then drain. Rinse under cold water, then boil again for 1 minute. Drain, then rinse under cold water.

Add the sugar and the water to the orange peels and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, remove the orange peels to a piece of parchment paper. Allow them to dry for at least 1 hour.

Melt your favorite chocolate (approximately 1 cup of chocolate per 2 oranges), and dip the candied orange peels until they are covered 3/4's of the way in chocolate. Line a large plate or baking sheet with a fresh piece of parchment paper and place the dipped orange peels on it. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. The chocolate should now be set and the candied orange peels are ready to be enjoyed!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wonton Soup

Wonton Filling

Wrapped wontons befor they are cooked.

Chicken Stock

Wonton soup is one of my favorite soups. It is warming and perfectly tasty, especially in the winter months. It is quite simple to make and can either be a meal starter or an actual meal .
150 grams of ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey

1 green onion, chopped

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

1 small egg

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 package of wonton wrappers (usually about 24)

6 cups chicken stock

1.To make the wonton filling, mix the first 7 ingredients together a bowl.

2.Using 1 wonton wrapper at a time, moisten any two edges with cold water. Place 2-3 teaspoons of the filling in the centre of the wrapper, and fold over into a triangle.
Firmly press the edges together to seal them. Join the two outer points together and squeeze until they are stuck together.

3. Repeat step 2 until all the wonton wrappers are filled.

4. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and place the wontons into the boiling water. Reduce the heat and let the wontons simmer until they float to the surface. This should take approximately 3-4 minutes.

5. In another pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil, then turn off the heat.

6. Carefully remove the wontons, dividing them into individual bowls.

7. Ladle the chicken stock into each bowl to cover the wontons.

I like to garnish mine with finely chopped green onions and cilantro. I also add a little bit of garlic chili oil for some spice and extra flavor.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are one of my favorite comfort foods. I usually make them to serve alongside steak and shrimp.

When I first made them, I noticed that the potatoes were not tender no matter how long I kept them in the oven. That is why I started to boil the potatoes first. It also cuts down on the baking time.

6 potatoes (peeled and sliced)
1 small chopped onion
2.5 tbsp. flour
2.5 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1.5 cups shredded cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)
1.5 cups milk

1. Mix the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder together in a small bowl. Put aside.
2. Boil the sliced potatoes for 3 minutes. Drain and layer half of the potatoes into an ovensafe dish. (9"x12")
3. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture, half of the onion, 1/2 cup of cheese and 1 tbsp. of the butter over the layered potatoes.
4. Layer the remaining potatoes on top, then sprinkle with the rest of the flour mixture, onion, and butter. Pour the milk on top, then lastly sprinkle the cheese on top to cover.

Bake in a 375 F oven for 25-30 minutes. Then broil for a few minutes if you would like the top of the scalloped potatoes to be crispy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are one of my favorite side dishes. They are so simple to make and taste absolutely delicious.
To make these roasted vegetables, I simply peeled and sliced a few carrots and zucchini, then tossed them in olive oil. I also sprinkled a dash of salt, basil and oregano on them before putting them in the oven at 375 F for 15 minutes.
The roasted carrots were so sweet and the zucchini was the perfect crispness.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Honeydew Dessert

This honeydew dessert is very refreshing and easy to make. I first tried it during dim sum one afternoon. It was so sweet and tasty that I had to start making it at home.

I had to guess what was in it, so it may not be exactly the same as at the restaurant, but it was definitely close enough for me.

1 honeydew

1/3 cup of sago (small tapioca)

1/2 cup of sugar

4 cups of water

1/3 cup coconut milk

1.Soak the sago (tapioca) in 1 cup of water for at least 30 minutes.
2.Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Drain the sago and put it into the boiling water.
3.Simmer until the sago is transparent.
4.Drain the sago and run cold water over it. Put it aside.
5.Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the 1/2 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved.
6.Peel and cut half of the honeydew into small chunks. Cut the other half of the honeydew into chunks and puree them.
7.Mix the sago, honeydew puree, honeydew chunks, coconut milk and sugar water together.

The honeydew dessert is best served cold, and can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sticky Rice Wrap

1.5 cups glutinous rice soaked in cold water for at least one hour

5 lotus leaves, soaked in cold water for 1 hour

2 chinese sausages, steamed (for 5 minutes)

1/4 cup yellow mung beans soaked for 2 hours

1/2 cup pork cut into small cubes

1/3 cup dried shrimp (blanched)

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. grapeseed or vegetable oil

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pepper

Drain the water from the rice and the yellow beans, then transfer both to a heatproof bowl. Pour one litre of boiling hot water over the rice and beans. Let stand until cool.

Slice the sausages, then put aside.

Drain the rice and beans, then add the remaining ingredients (except for the lotus leaves). Stir the ingredients until they are well mixed.

Remove the lotus leaves from the water, and pat them dry. They should be soft and flexible. Fold each leaf in half, ensuring that the ribs are facing inward. The central stem and ribs should be cut from the leaves to make them easier to work with.

On a flat surface, lay the leaves with the cut stem side facing you. Divide the rice mixture evenly between the five leaves, piling it into the centre of each leaf. Take one leaf at a time and fold the two outer edges over the rice mixture. Next fold the bottom, then the top over to completely enclose the filling.

Steam the wraps, seam side down for 40 minutes.

Serve on individual plates.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lotus Balls

2 cups glutinous rice flour

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

1 cup of sweetened lotus seed paste

vegetable oil for deep frying

Combine flour, sugar and water in a large bowl and stir until well mixed. Knead the dough until it is soft and smooth.

Place the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and roll the dough into a 16 inch log.

Cut the dough into 1" pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Roll out each ball into a flat circle. It should end up being about 5cm in diameter.

Divide and roll out the lotus paste into 16 balls.

Place each lotus paste ball in the centre of each round piece of dough. Then draw the dough up, pinching the edges together to form a ball.

With lightly greased hands, roll each ball into a smooth round circle.

Deep fry the balls in 325 F vegetable oil until golden. (About 2-2.5 minutes)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fried Chinese Doughnut Sticks

Fried Chinese Doughnut Sticks are not your typical doughnut. They are in the form of sticks rather than round, and they are slightly salty. Not at all sweet. The one thing that they do have in common with the traditional doughnut is that they are fried. These doughnut sticks are one of my favorite snacks, especially when they are fresh. I hope you enjoy them too!

2 cups self-rising flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup warm water
vegetable oil for deep-frying

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together into a bowl. Form a dip in the centre of the flour mixture and pour the cup of water into it. Mix well with a wooden spoon, and add a teaspoon of water at a time if mixture is too dry. Gently knead the dough in the bowl for half a minute to form it into a soft ball. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about one minute, then divide it into two balls. Roll out each ball into a 4" by 16" rectangle. Cut the dough into 1" by 4" strips. You should get 16 strips from each ball. Press one pair of strips together at a time. Then, gently stretch the dough lengthwise to 10 inches long.

Fry 2-3 doughnut sticks at a time in 350 F vegetable oil for 1-2 minutes. (Until they are golden)

The fried chinese doughnut sticks are perfect alone as a snack or served with Congee.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shrimp Sushi

I usually just buy a shrimp ring and serve shrimp cocktail as well as dips and sandwiches for appetizers. However, for a recent birthday celebration I decided to change things up a bit and make shrimp sushi. It definitely took more time to make than shrimp cocktail, but was well worth it. The sushi was delicious and I also got to try making a new sauce.

I mixed equal parts of soy sauce, wasabi and cocktail sauce to dip the shrimp sushi into. The sauce did not look very appetizing, but tasted good.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sweet and Sour Fish Sauce

Below is a simple recipe that I use to make sweet and sour fish sauce.

1 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup boiled water
3 cloves minced garlice
2 sliced chili peppers (optional)

Mix the sugar and water in a bowl until the sugar is melted. Let the mixture cool, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Pour into small, individual bowls for dipping.

The chili peppers can be added if you like a spicy sauce. I usually divide the sauce in two and add chili peppers to half of the sauce so that there is a spicy sauce and a mild sauce.

I keep unused portions of this sauce in a jar in the fridge for about a week.

This sweet and sour fish sauce is wonderful for dipping spring rolls, poured over vermicelli noodles or other items as well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rice Flour Pancakes

Pancake Shell:
1 pkg. (400 grams) rice flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. turmeric powder
3 cups coconut milk

Mix rice flour, salt and turmeric powder together. Stir in coconut milk.

Pancake Filling:
400 grams of ground pork
400 grams of peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup of bean sprouts
1/2 cup of cooked green beans
1 onion, minced
1 green onion, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Cook the pancake filling ingredients together in a pan, then remove from heat.

Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a pan, and pour a ladle full of pancake mix into the pan. Spread it to cover the base of the pan, then sprinkle a layer of pancake filling on top of the mix. Cover the pan for one minute or until the pancake is cooked. Then fold the pancake in half using a spatula. Slide the pancake onto a plate and serve with lettuce, basil and cilantro.
Pieces of the pancake can be wrapped in lettuce leaves with basil and cilantro, then dipped in sweet and sour fish sauce.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Maki Rolls

These are some delicious smoked salmon and avocado maki rolls that I made when some friends came over. I don't often make maki rolls and they are best served fresh and that is not often easy to do when making everything from scratch.

All I needed to make them was:

1 sushi mat
1 package of seaweed paper
4 cups of cooked sushi (japanese) rice
1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
5 slices of smoked salmon

To make each roll, I placed one piece of seaweed paper onto the sushi mat and spread a layer of sushi rice onto it. Remember to leave an inch of the top of the seaweed paper uncovered.

I then placed smoked salmon and slices of avocado in a horizontal line across the middle of the rice.

I rolled the sushi, removed it from the mat, then cut the sushi into 1" rolls.

The salmon and avocado maki rolls were delicious served with soy sauce and wasabi.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bruschetta Bites

Bruschetta bites make a great appetizer for any party. You simply mix together:

1 medium fresh chopped tomato
1 tbsp. of olive oil
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. minced red onion
1 tbsp. crumbled feta (optional)

Put the mix on fresh french bread slices or your favorite crackers and serve. If your guests are helping themselves, then it may be best to serve the crackers on the side so that the crackers stay crisp.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Seafood and Bacon Penne

Seafood and Bacon Penne

2 cups cooked pasta
16 raw, peeled, deveined shrimp
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup of frozen corn and/or peas
4 slices of cooked bacon chopped
3/4 cup of alfredo or tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add shrimp and cook thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients and mix in pan for a few minutes. Put pasta onto plates and serve with bread if preferred.
Makes 2-3 servings. bn

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Icing Cookies

This flower shaped cookie cutter cookie, was decorated with Betty Crocker icing that I usually use to decorate cupcakes when there isn't any time to make homemade icing. My neice and nephew wanted to decorate cookies, so I baked the cookies, found some jelly belly beans, icing and sprinkles and helped them decorate! It was a lot of fun.
The icing comes in different colors and flavors. We happened to have the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry frostings on hand so we were able to decorate using three different colors. The frosting saved us time and was easy for the kids to use and it is soft and creamy. It dried nicely as well, so the cookies were actually stackable afterwards. We kept the cookies in the fridge to keep the frosting from softening too much.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Simple Spaghetti


1 lb spaghetti (uncooked)
1 can of whole tomatoes (approximately 500ml)
1 head of garlic, peeled
3 tbsp. basil
2 tbsp. oregano
3 tbsp. olive oil

Boil spaghetti noodles to your liking.

Put the remaining ingredients into a blender. Pulse until the sauce is as chunky or as smooth as you want it to be.

Pour the sauce into a pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes.

Mix pasta and sauce together.

Top the pasta with cooked shrimp or chicken if desired.

*You can add more or less of each ingredient depending on the amount of each flavor you prefer.

*Also, if you want the garlic to be less chunky, blend everything except tomatoes in the blender first. Then add tomatoes and pulse.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Stir-Fried Lobster

Peel and slice a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger. Slice 2 green onions into 1.5 inch pieces. Cut a medium sized onion into quarters. Put these items aside for now.

Cut edible parts of lobster into pieces.
Put lobster pieces into a mixing bowl and add:

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

Mix well.

Fry lobster in a large wok containing 2 cups of vegetable oil until lobster shells are orange/red in color and the flesh is white.

Lift pieces of lobster out using a wok strainer (we did not use a wok strainer, but it would have been much easier if we did) and place onto a plate. Put the oil in a heatproof container.
Place 2 tbsp. of the oil back into the wok, and add the green onion, ginger and onion. Stir fry for a couple minutes. Place lobster back into the wok and add:

(Pre-mixing the following ingredients in a bowl and adding them all at once is a good idea)

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. cornstarch,

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp. oyster sauce (replace with soy sauce if you don't have oyster sauce)

Mix well and stir fry for a few minutes.

Serve on a plate on its own, with rice or another side dish of choice.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Coconut Pecan Squares

I usually use a shortbread cookie recipe as a lemon meringue pie crust, but this time I used it to make these coconut pecan squares instead. They turned out very well, and were much easier to make, because all I had to do was push the crumbled cookie mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan to create the crust.

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
¾ cup margarine

Or use a shortbread cookie recipe as the crust

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
¼ cup melted margarine
1 ¼ cups coconut flakes
1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped pecans

Crust: Combine all ingredients, mixing until crumbly. Press firmly into 13”x9” greased cake pan. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes or until light golden.

Topping: Beat eggs, sugar, corn syrup, and margarine together until blended. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour evenly over crust. Bake about 30 minutes longer, or until set and golden. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Note: Pecans can be replaced with walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mushroom Salad

This is a mushroom salad that my Dad made as an appetizer. It contains mushrooms, shrimp, cilantro, shallots and a very light dressing. I am not sure what kind of mushrooms they are exactly, but they have a texture that is very similar to wood ear mushrooms.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

We didn't know what to have for dessert so I made these homemade chocolate dipped strawberries as a quick and easy dessert for Mother's day. To make easy chocolate covered strawberries, all that is needed is fresh, wash and dried strawberries and some of your favorite chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate and usually use a quality brand such as Lindt chocolate.

How to make chocolate covered strawberries:

Line a plate or cookie sheet with some parchment paper (depending on how many you would like to make)

Melt some chocolate in a fondue pot or double boiler.

Dip clean and dry strawberries in the chocolate and place each dipped strawberry on the parchment paper lined plate or cookie sheet to dry.

*If the weather is warm and I need to speed up the drying process, I usually put the chocolate covered strawberries in the fridge to dry.
Once the chocolate dipped strawberries are dry, remove them from the parchment paper and serve on a nice plate or gift them placed in paper cupcake liners and a box.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fried Shrimp in Honey Mayonnaise Sauce

This is a favorite dish my sister made as part of Mother's Day dinner. It is lightly fried battered shrimp, surrounded by steamed broccoli and topped with a honey mayonnaise sauce. It is delicious on its own or accompanied by rice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vermicelli Noodles with Spring Rolls

Vermicelli noodles mixed with shredded carrots, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro and mint, topped with spring rolls is one of my favorite meals. I usually use a fish sauce recipe for the "dressing", but lately I have been mixing in some sweet chili sauce as well.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Crab Rangoon

Crab rangoon is a good snack or appetizer that I like to make when having friends over. It is a wonton shell with a cream cheese and crab mixture inside. It is deep fried to make it crispy and served with a sweet and sour dip.
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