December 2013 - Narcissism is Necessary

Archive | December, 2013

What I cooked for Winter Solstice dinner celebration 2013

My family decided to celebrate Winter Solstice earlier this year because of its proximity to Christmas. I was in charge of cooking, while hubs was in charge of cleaning the house.

I made a 9-course dinner.

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For appetiser, I made a cold dish called Chicken Crystal Jelly, which is an aspic. I added blanched prawns and baby corns to make it look more pretty. To make this was very simple, simmer 3 chicken thighs in seasoned boiling water for about 30 minutes, like making chicken soup. Skim the gunk off the surface of the soup while it’s simmering, this will help make the stock clearer. After 30 minutes, remove cooked chicken thighs from soup, let cool and debone. As for the stock, strain it (I used those paper made specially for straining oil, bought from Daiso) to achieve an even clearer appearance. While the soup is still hot, mix in gelatine or agar-agar according to instructions.

Arrange chicken meat, prawns and baby corn in the jelly mold, then pour in the stock and chill in the fridge overnight or at least 5 hours. To unmold the jelly, place the mold in hot water for a few minutes, put a plate over the mold, then turn it upside down…the jelly should pop out effortlessly.

# – 1. Chicken Crystal Jelly.
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Second dish was steamed prawns with egg white and wine. The easiest of the lot. Arrange prawns on a plate, plate ginger slices and spring onions on top. Mix 2 tablespoons of ShiaoXing rice wine and 1 tablespoon of soya sauce then pour it over the prawns. Steam on high heat for 4 minutes and just before you turn off the fire, pour in 3 egg whites all over. Voila, done.

# – 2. Steamed prawns with wine and egg white.
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Easy stir-fry vegetable medley. Dump everything into oiled wok and flip em around till everything’s cooked.

# – 3. Sauteed vegetables.
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Poached chicken. Stick chicken into boiling water for 30-40 minutes, take it out and them brush skin with sesame oil (3 tablespoon) and salt mixture (1 teaspoon). Let cool for a couple of hours then chop it up and serve. I also used the stock from boiling chicken as a base to my soup.

# – 4. Pak Cham Kai in cantonese.
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Dry bak kut teh. The BEST of the lot. Basically make stock with store-bought bakkutteh soup spice. Boil a head of garlic, pork belly, spare ribs and porn neck in the soup for 30-40 minutes. After that fry 10 pieces of dried chillies, soaked dried squid and chopped up bird’s eye chillies in oil till fragrant, make sure in a wok or a wide saucepan. Remove the meats and garlic from soup and add to the frying. Add a dash of dark soya sauce and a dash of oyster sauce. Then, ladle the BKT soup in and simmer for 30 minutes or until the soup thickens to a consistency of your liking. Chopped up ladies fingers and throw it in a minute before you turn off the flame. I think I will start making this pretty regularly…

# – 5. Dry BKT.
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Suan pan zhi or hakkan yam abacus. The last time I made this dish was back in 2008, when our kitchen was basically a little corner in the apartment with the floor as the work area. This year, making this dish was a lot easier as I am better equipped. The hand mixer was very useful, so I didn’t have to stick my hand into hot yam to knead it hehe. This time I added sliced tofu and slices of chillies too.

# – 6. Hakkan Yam Abacus.
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Easy pan-fried threadfin steaks, just finished with a dash of soya sauce.

# – 7. Pan-fried kurau/threadfin fish steaks.
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Soup base was stock from cooking the poached chicken. Added handful of boxthorn berries, handful of red dates, handful of peanuts, a few pieces of pork neck and chopped arrowhead tubers. Boiled for an hour, yummy yumyum.

# – 8. Arrowhead and peanut soup.
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Of course, glutinous rice balls is a must for Winter Solstice dinner. These are homemade with gula melaka and peanut butter fillings. Click here to learn how to make tong yuen my way. Broth was made by boiling gula melaka, few slices of ginger and a handful of red dates.

# – 9. Tong Yuens.
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Of course I made too much food. What’s new? Luckily my youngest brother and mom were willing to take the leftovers.

Posted in: Chicken, Dessert, Homemade Recipes, Pork, Seafood - Continue Reading

The Secret Garden of Crabtree & Evelyn

I was in Pavillion KL recently, the Christmas decorations at Pavillion were mind-blowingly gorgeous!

Besides enjoying the festive atmosphere at the shopping complex, I also checked out one of the roadshows for Crabtree & Evelyn’s biggest campaign for 2013 – “A Secret Garden Adventure”.

Love, love, love the array of products available!

There’s also a roadshow special, perfect for Xmas gifting!

Part of its Secret Garden Holiday 2013 Collection, the campaign gets fans to unlock the magical world of a Secret Garden through stimulating activities at all Crabtree & Evelyn’s stores and selected roadshows.

An activity called “A Secret Garden Adventure” was particularly exciting to me because it gets people to experience the festivity and excitement of the Secret Garden Collection through an interactive photo-taking activity, and standing to win wonderful prizes while at it!

Interested in winning the one of the 5 grand prizes of iPhone 5c or one of the 20 Crabtree & Evelyn RM50 vouchers? Go to any Crabtree & Evelyn stores or selected road show, then:

  • Pick favourite Crabtree & Evelyn Secret Garden items, backdrops or props available at all stores and selected road shows.
  • Snap a creative photo with the props with your mobile phone. Like this:

  • To participate, simply post the photo onto your own Facebook and set it as your Facebook profile picture until 25th December 2013.
  • Submit your Facebook Profile link by visiting the contest entry submission page on Crabtree & Evelyn Malaysia Facebook Fan Page before 25th December 2013. Like this:

Announcement of the most creative picture will be made on the first week of January 2014 through Crabtree & Evelyn Malaysia Facebook Page so make sure you stay tuned. By the way, those who submit entries before 15th December will be entitled to a surprise participation reward!

 

Posted in: Advertorials - Continue Reading

Happy 9th Anniversary to us!

Today marks the 9th anniversary of the day we officially set eyes on each other.

We have had our challenges through the years, but we always emerge stronger and better.

Looking forward to many more years with you, Gareth. I love you so much.

# – Making our 9th Anniversary cake. Hehe.
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Posted in: Babber Boo Boo - Continue Reading