Archives for posts with tag: cooking

Overheard the boys’ conversation last night:

Ah Lo: I am fat, I need to lose this (pointing at his belly) so I can run faster.

Dai Bee: Me too. (Raises his shirt and slaps his belly). But I just need to exercise more. I can’t go on a diet. Mama’s cooking is too good.

Ah Lo: Yeah, and we eat it pretty much every day too.

Dai Bee: Yeah, I just can’t give up on that.

This makes me happy. It inspires me to keep making more healthy and delicious food for the kids.

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Tomorrow is mid-autumn festival, so I invited my inlaws to come over for dinner. Back in the days, my MIL would cook up a storm and make sure the entire family comes home. Knowing how much of a pain for her daughters (and their significant others) to come to the city during weeknights, my MIL is a lot more casual about special occasions like these. That’s why I cooked an extra dish or two and invited them over.

These are not something you’ll see on their table. My MIL will make the exact same dishes for all the Chinese holidays. So I thought to make something besides the usual so they can try out something different – ha! Big mistake! I can’t say they enjoyed this meal much. Normally they would have two bowls of rice, but tonight they only had one. They hardly picked on the food. They are so set in their ways, even when it comes to food…LOL That’s ok. I have accepted that’s the way they are.

We (my boys and I) loved it and cleared most of it. IMG_0009

I have always loved the chewy and slightly spongy texture of the braised EFu noodles (yee-meen 伊麵). They are very common in Chinese restaurants. These noodles tend to go with straw mushrooms and Chinese yellow chives (or sometimes with crab meat). They are supposed to be dry, and not all restaurants make it right (tend to bring it out with sauce). This dish is on the higher price mark on the menu. Today, decided to make it and can’t believe how easy to make them. I’ve added some homemade XO sauce to give it a little kick.IMG_9994

Dinner tonight. Made a huge mess when I topped over the plate of spare ribs. Half the sauce spilled over the table. That’s why the plate looks a bit messy. LOL IMG_9943To get that tenderness from the spareribs, make sure to soak it with generous amount of corn starch. I soaked it for a few hours stirring it every now and then. Afterwards, rinse well and dry them. I steamed the spare ribs using this sauce. I used to make it from scratch – buying the ingredients separately. When I saw this in the supermarket, I thought to give it a try. It was delicious considering I didn’t pre-marinate the ribs in advance. I used two heaps of tablespoons of this plum and soybean sauce and lather all the spareribs. Steam it for 20 minutes in high heat. Garnish it with some green onions.

李錦記梅子排骨醬

This is what we’re having tonight: steamed chicken in lotus leaf plus some greens. This is the first time I’m steaming chicken wrapped in lotus leaf, together with dried lily buds, wood ear and dried red dates. IMG_9821The lotus leaf helps transfer the fragrance to the chicken, with all the other dried ingredients, this turns out to be a deeply flavorful and nicely-scented dish. The explosion of fragrant steam from the lotus leaf will definitely get me to try another dish using it. It’s a winner since the boys approved it!IMG_9822

Simple but flavorful meal tonight – lotus root cakes, garlic lemongrass salmon and eggplants over minced pork. Been trying forever to find ways to keep the hue of the eggplant. It seems every time when I stir fry or deep fry the eggplants, they turn out brown. With the less appealing color, I’ve tried many ways to work around it (adding salt to the water, adding oil, not covering lid, blanch it cold water, boiling water). This one is the best I did so far using this method: right after cutting it, I dumped it (2 at a time) in boiling pot of water, with white part facing up. I used the ladle to hold the eggplants all the way down until it’s soft enough. I don’t know if there’s a better way, but so far, this is the most color I’ve seen cooking the eggplants.

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Meatless Monday is serving garlic chayotes, oyster mushrooms and chestnuts over a head of lettuce, and finally, stir fry enoki mushrooms, wood ear, with bean curd skin. Luckily, I always have the last couple of items at home which is a great help on meatless Mondays!IMG_9756With three dishes and a pot of soup, we still don’t have much leftovers for the boys to pack lunch the next day. They are making their own lunch after dinner (for those days we don’t have leftovers). The thought of me making cute little bento boxes for them not too long ago, shows that times have changed for sure. IMG_9761Untitled.png

If the boys had the choice, they’d probably chow down a box of cereals every morning, because it’s the easiest. On weekends, I would show the boys make simple breakfast. Today, they learned how to make omelette with bell peppers, bacon and onions. Ah Lo decided to add some ground peppers because he knows best.breakfastcooking

Another one pot wonder today for dinner! This is my first making jambalaya. Sure it’s not the most healthy meal (sausage and bacon), but hey, I skimped on the butter, so that makes a bit better? I guess? Not sure how it suppose to taste like (since I’ve only had it once). Will give it a try next time I see it on the menu (when we go out).

Boys approved it. I made a big pot so Dai Bee packed some for lunch tomorrow. IMG_9569

So great this summer the boys are helping out with dinner. Today, they are pretty much the lead cooks for making our meatless Monday meals. IMG_9093IMG_9092Meals made from the heart always taste so much better.IMG_9090