Nasi Goreng For Dinner

Rice is something that we always have at home, whether uncooked and stored in the pantry, or cooked and on the kitchen counter top or dining table. There’s usually a pot of steamed rice in the kitchen, waiting to be devoured at the next meal. But steamed rice can become a bit boring sometimes, so occasionally, we’d have something different, like Nasi Goreng.

Nasi Goreng is a very popular Indonesian dish. It is fried rice mixed with a bit of meat or veggies, so it can be a complete meal by itself, especially when seasoned perfectly.  If you have cold cooked (not freshly cooked) rice in the house, that would be perfect for this dish, and if you have some bits of veggies in the fridge, you can prepare this dish for tonight’s dinner.

(Note: I’ve added a few substitution ideas, in case you do not have the fresh ingredients on hand, but have the preserved versions in your pantry.)

Nasi

NASI GORENG

INGREDIENTS:
Olive oil
4 eggs, beaten lightly
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
25g ginger, finely chopped (or a generous dash of ground ginger)
2 long red chillies, chopped (or a dash of ground cayenne pepper, to taste)
200g chicken fillet, sliced 1 inch squares or short strips
1 chicken cube
A handful of oyster mushrooms (or 184g can of champignon pieces and stems)
1/2 green capsicum, chopped coarsely
1/2 red capsicum, chopped coarsely
200g fresh baby corns, chopped coarsely (canned version will also do)
4 cups (cold) steamed jasmine rice
2 cups bean sprouts
3 green onions, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons soy sauce (or adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons kecap manis (or adjust to taste)

PROCEDURE:
In a wok, heat oil. Add egg to make a thin omelette. When cooked, remove omelette and let cool.

Saute brown onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Add chicken and chicken cube, and stir fry until chicken is cooked. Add mushrooms, capsicums and corn and cook until tender.

Add rice, bean sprouts, green onion, soy sauce and kecap manis. Stir fry.

Cut omelette into strips. Add omelette strips to the mixture in the wok. Mix well. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Chicken Pasta Soup

A friend of mine makes this lovely chicken pasta soup and posts it online for others to salivate on. It always looks so irresistibly good, so I decided it was time to cook some at home too. After all, a nice bowl of delicious soup fresh from the stove is always good to have these cold winter nights.

Because this soup has meat, veggies and pasta in it, you can eat it by itself and it’s a complete meal. The first few times I made this, I cooked a lot. But as is common with pasta dishes, it’s always not so great anymore if you try to reheat it for the next meal. The pasta is already soggy or bloated, and the soup has mostly disappeared. So, recently, I came up with an idea on how to enjoy this dish for more than 1 mealtime, without compromising the pasta.

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CHICKEN PASTA SOUP

2 cups chicken fillet, skin removed and cut to cubes
8 cups of water
Dash of salt

4 tablespoons butter
1 brown onion, minced
6 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1 large carrot, diced
3 stalks celery, minced
1 cup ham, chopped
1 chicken cube
Boiling water
1 ½ cups chopped cabbage (optional)

225g elbow macaroni (can be substituted with any similar pasta)
1½ cup thick cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Grated/shredded cheese (optional topping)

Instructions:

Heat water in a pot. Add chicken and salt. Let boil until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

While the chicken is cooking, melt butter in a separate pan. Sauté onion and garlic until they are cooked, then add carrot, celery and cabbage. Cook for about 3 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pot once cooked, but let the pot remain on the stove. Cook pasta in the same water and pot for 10 minutes.

Quickly shred cooked chicken into strips. Add chicken, ham and chicken cube into the pan with the veggies. Cook for 2 minutes.

When the pasta is almost cooked, carefully add the veggie-chicken mixture into the pot containing the pasta. Stir well.

Add cream, salt and pepper into the soup. Cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to get the pasta overcooked. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with grated cheese on top.


It’s best to eat this soup in one sitting, otherwise the pasta will absorb the soup and become bloated and dry by the next meal time.

However, if you are time or energy poor (as many of us are) and wish to prepare this soup for two meals, but don’t want to compromise the quality of the cooked pasta, prepare the dish as is, BUT cook only half of the pasta required. Then, add only half of the veggie-chicken mixture and cream to the cooking pasta, reserving the other half for the next meal.

For the next meal, boil the remaining pasta, then add the reserved half of the veggie-chicken mixture when the pasta is almost cooked. Add the remaining cream and season according to taste.

Know Your Ingredient – Borage

Borage

General Description

A type of herb with edible leaves that is native to the Mediterranean region. Its seed is also cultivated commercially for extraction of borage seed oil. It grows up to 60-100 cm tall. This is also known as “starflower”.

Nutrients and Health Benefits

Borage is the highest plant-source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is a type of fatty acid. Its seed oil contains stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and nervonic acid, which are vital supplements for our body.

Medical Use

This herb is used to treat hyperactive gastrointestinal (cramps, colic, diarrhea), cardiovascular (hypertension) and respiratory (bronchitis and asthma) disorders. It can also help in correcting urinary problems.

Culinary Use

Borage can be used a fresh vegetable. It has a cucumber-like taste which makes it fit for making salads or garnish. The flowers are also edible which are often used as cake toppers or decorations. They can also be made into sweet syrups.

Italian Desserts

So, you’re planning a party with an Italian influence. What are you having for desserts?

To help you out, here are some of the well known Italian desserts. And nope, you just won’t be able to stop your mouth from watering, so you might as well get some tissues. 🙂

Gelato

Image by By Filipe Fortes from New York, United States

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, so this should be a hit at kiddie parties. In traditional Italian style, though, a gelato is a soft ice cream with at least 3.5% butterfat and contains a small amount of air. Milk, cream and sugar are the main ingredients of this cold sweet.

 Spumoni

Spumoni, as you can guess from the photo, is another ice cream sort of Italian dessert. But what makes it distinct is that it is made of layers of various flavors and colors of ice cream and also contains nuts and candied fruits. Pistachio, cherry and chocolate or vanilla are the most common flavors combined to make spumoni.

 Panna Cotta

Image from Toscana City Centre website

Panna cotta means ‘cooked cream’ and it is so because this dish is composed of thick cream, honey and egg white. With careful monitoring of time and temperatures, this dish could indeed taste like cooked cream. Later versions of panna cotta contain gelatin. This yummy pudding can be served with fruits and syrup.

Cannoli

Image by William Meppem

 Cannolo is the singular form of this word, which means “little tube” in Sicilian language. In plural form, they’re called cannoli. They’re made of tube-shaped pastry dough with a creamy filling (usually with ricotta content). They’re often served dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Semifreddo

Semifreddo means “half cold”.  Most often, it is made by combining equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream, which gives it a similar consistency to a frozen mousse.

Lemon Slice Recipe

Someone once said “When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade.”

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But in case you don’t feel like having some lemonade, you can also consider making a yummy lemon slice. This is one of the desserts I prepared for a recent birthday celebration.

LEMON SLICE

Ingredients:
(For the bottom layer)
150 g salt-reduced butter
1/2 t vanilla essence
1/4 c caster sugar
1 T cornflour
1 1/3 c plain flour
Icing sugar

(For the top layer)
4 eggs
1/3 c plain flour
3/4 c caster sugar
2/3 c lemon juice

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 160 deg C.

Prepare the bottom layer by melting butter in a bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well. Sift the flours on the mixture, then stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Set aside.

Line pan with baking paper. Transfer the bottom layer mixture to the pan. Spread it evenly and press to compact. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the top layer by whisking eggs, flour and sugar until smooth. Add lemon juice and continue whisking.

Pour the top layer mixture over the cooked bottom layer. Bake for 20 more minutes and let it cool in the pan. Dust with icing sugar, slice and serve.

36 Harry Potter Inspired Food Ideas

One of our favourite wizards will be celebrating his birthday this end of the month! Hmmmm…who is it?

Is it Gandalf? Well, we do love him, but he’s not the one having this birthday soon.

Is it Merlin? We do agree he is one of the greatest wizards in literature, but no, not him.

Why, it’s that cool bloke with a funny scar on his forehead, of course – dear ol’ Harry Potter! Yay!

harry potter figurine

Many Potterheads out there will probably be celebrating in one way or another, but what’s a celebration without food, right?

So, we have composed a list of delicious Harry Potter inspired foods that you might consider having at your celebration of Harry’s birthday. Clicking on the links will take you to the recipes or more detailed information about the dish. Have fun!

Golden Snitches from The Quirky Briars

Butterbeer Cookies from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Harry’s Birthday Cake from Diamonds For Dessert

Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes from Sugar and Soul

Butterbeer Cupcakes from Pastry Affair

Butterbeer Hot Chocolate from Bakingdom

Canary Creams from Woman And Home

Butterbeer Ice Cream Floats with Coconut Caramel Ice Cream from Gringalicious

Fizzing Whizbees from In Literature

Harry Potter Butterbeer Pancakes from Sugar and Soul

Weasley’s Fever Fudge from Instructables

Candy-Coated Roach Control from Heather Bailey

Cornish Pasties from In Literature

Double Double Chocolate Cauldron Cake from Bakingdom

Polyjuice-Potion1

Polyjuice Potion
(Image credit: Pepper)

Polyjuice Potion from Pepper

Licorice Wands from Pastry Affair

Liquid Luck / Felix Felicis from In Literature

Harry Potter Polyjuice Potion

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Witches Brew
(Image credit: Taste of Home)

Witches Brew from Taste of Home

Bat’s Blood Soup from In Literature

Madam Pomfrey’s Pumpkin Juice Smoothie from Gringalicious

Sugar Quills from A Tale of 2 Foodies

Treacle Tart with Brown Butter, Rosemary, and Lemon from The Sugar Hit

Hogwarts-House-Pride-Cake

Hogwarts Cake
(Image credit: Bakingdom)

Hogwarts Cake from Bakingdom

Steak and Kidney Pie from In Literature

Golden Snitch Pops from With Sprinkles on Top

Pumpkin Juice from Favorite Family Recipes

Hagrid’s Rock Cakes from Pretty Geekery

Cheesy Witches Broomsticks from Cakes Cottage

Harry Potter’s Butterbeer Ice Cream from The Tiptoe Fairy

Sorting Hat Cookies from Housewife Eclectic

Molly Weasley’s Rock Cakes from Bakingdom

Harry Potter Pumpkin Howlers from Food and Wine

Pumpkin Pasties from Bijoux & Bits

Dumbledore’s Sherbet Lemon from In Literature

 

Weasley Sweater Cookies from Bakingdom

Curried Carrot Soup

Don’t you just love a bowl of warm vegetarian soup on these cold Australian winter evenings? Ooh, and pair that with crusty bread fresh out of the oven. Yum!

Here’s one of those delicious vegetarian soup recipes you might want to try. Quite easy to prepare and will be ready in less than an hour.

Carrot Soup

CURRIED CARROT SOUP

Olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
500 g carrots, chopped (approx. 7-8 medium sized)
1 potato, chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
100g split red lentils, washed
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 cups water
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 lime

Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté onion and garlic over medium heat for around 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add carrots, potato and curry powder. Stir well.  Add lentils, stock cubes, water, salt and black pepper. Stir well to dissolve the cubes, while allowing to boil. Simmer over low heat for approximately 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a bit.

Transfer soup to a blender and process until smooth. Then, return soup to saucepan to reheat.  Drizzle gently with juice and grated rind of lime, before serving with warm crusty bread.  Enjoy your yummy soup!

Know Your Ingredient – Nutmeg

nutmeg-2427844_960_720

Description

This is a brown-colored hard seed from the nutmeg tree that gives a spicy sweet taste. This originates from Indonesia but can also be found in the Caribbean (Grenada).

Nutrients and Health Benefits

Nutmeg has anti-oxidant, health promoting and disease preventing properties. It’s a good source of minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. It has also B-complex vitamins and vitamin C, and folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and vitamin A.

Medical Use

In traditional medicine, it is used as anti-depressant, anti-fungal, aphrodisiac and carminative agent. It also aids digestion and prevents constipation.

Culinary Use

Nutmeg is a popular spice. It can be used in preparing many dishes and recipes. It can be used in making cakes and pastries, and can also be added in making smoothies. Nutmeg is considered a natural flavoring in baked goods, syrups, sweets and beverages.

Fried Rice Last Night!

Hubby came home yesterday afternoon and had a cross between a late afternoon snack and early dinner, then said he probably won’t eat much for dinner because he was full.

With enough leftover boiled jasmine in the cooker, I decided to simply cook fried rice for dinner. One of my ways of recycling food that’s still too good to toss in the bin.

While I didn’t take notes during the preparing and cooking process, I will just do my best to recall how I made it. And since I didn’t really do exact measurements of the amounts of the ingredients I mixed in the dish, feel free to have more or less of the ingredients, depending on how you like it.

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LAST NIGHT’S FRIED RICE

Cooking oil
2 eggs, well beaten
A handful of chicken fillet
50g butter
3 cups cold cooked rice
1 brown onion, sliced
1 piece carrot, chopped to small bits
1 small can of corn kernels, rinsed and drained
A handful of frozen green peas
2 tablespoons fried garlic (we already have fried garlic, so I used that)
A handful of cooked prawns, shelled and each sliced into 2 or 3 parts
Soy sauce to taste
Tomato sauce to taste
Tabasco sauce (optional)
Salt to taste
Ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat oil on pan. Beat eggs in a bowl and season with salt. Fry well beaten egg in the pan until cooked. Take out of the pan, slice to small strips and set aside.

Slice chicken fillet into small parts. Fry in pan until thoroughly cooked. Roughly break up cooked chicken into smaller bits using a wooden spoon. Add butter and onions. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add carrots and corn. Stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add cold rice. Break up rice and mix well with the other ingredients in the pan. Add soy sauce, tomato sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and ground cayenne pepper to taste. (You can skip the Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper, if you don’t like it spicy.) Mix everything well and cook over medium heat.  Continue to stir every now and then for about 10 minutes.

Add sliced cooked prawns, frozen green peas, and fried garlic. Combine well with the rest of the dish. Cook over low heat for another 5-10 minutes, stirring every now and then so the bottom part doesn’t get burnt.  Serve warm.

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Oh, by the way, hubby ended up eating dinner after this. In fact, he had to stop himself from eating much of this so he could still have enough fried rice to pack for lunch at work today. Lol!

Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

When somebody in the house is having a birthday, but work schedule is not letting you have a party, what do you do? In our case, we’ll just have cupcakes!

I found this simple chocolate mud cupcake recipe in one of my books, but as usual, I had to adjust parts of it to suit my preferences. Whatever works for you, right? So, here is how I made the chocolate mud cupcakes:

chocake

CHOCOLATE MUD CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
300g plain chocolate chips or cooking chocolate
300g butter (does not really matter much whether it is salted or unsalted)
5 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup self raising flour

Melt chocolate and butter in a pan on the stove, or in a bowl in the microwave oven. Stir well and set aside to cool a bit.

Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Sift 1/2 cup flour into the egg mixture, then fold. Sift the remaining flour into the same mixture and fold again. Stir in the melted chocolate and butter until well blended.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. (I prefer turning the oven on when I have already finished mixing the batter and just before I transfer the batter into the cake tin, as I find that if I start preheating the oven before mixing anything, it reaches the desired temperature waaaaaayy before I’m finished making the cake batter, so it’s just wasting energy for quite a while afterwards, until I put the cake in.) 

Spoon the mixture into paper baking cases in a muffin tin. This recipe should yield around a dozen cupcakes. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. The cupcakes are expected to be soft and gooey. Remove muffin tin from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the tin.

You can dust the cupcakes with cocoa powder or icing sugar, or decorate them with your favourite icing.