Archives for posts with tag: for the first time

Had lunch with my sisters today at a Vietnamese restaurant. My sisters each ordered a bowl of pho which came with a bundle of basil. One of them didn’t bother putting in the soup, so quickly I grabbed it and thought of using it for tonight’s dinner -Thai basil chicken.

Thai basil chicken is something I’ve always ordered when dining at Thai restaurants. Never knew how easy it is to make and the taste was also amazing! The recipe calls for Thai Holy basil, but since those are hard to find, I substitute with the basil I got from the Vietnamese restaurant. It could be a tad bit spicier (didn’t want to go too far in fear my boys can’t handle the heat). I made a lot more so we can save some for tomorrow’s lunch. There’s so much to play with this recipe I can’t wait to try again.

IMG_6232IMG_6226

 

Using the slow cook to make the Vietnamese beef stew (Bò Kho)  for tonight’s meal. Popped in beef brisket, potatoes, carrots, lemon grass, bay leaf, anise seeds, a can of coconut water and plain water. Set slow cook on low in the morning, come back and dinner is ready. This is the best kind of dinners.

Get Ready:IMG_6084

Start Cooking:IMG_6087

And EAT:IMG_6210

Ginger milk pudding (姜汁撞奶), a Chinese (Cantonese) hot dessert, is believed to be very beneficial to the body: such as

  • improving the body complexion because of the milk protein,
  • helping in blood circulation because of the ginger effect,
  • Reducing coughing and avoid flu,
  • Inhibiting fats absorption and
  • Calming effect and hence reducing insomnia problems.

I prepared three times and the first two attempts weren’t successful. Well, do not worry, even if it failed, you can just drink your milk instead of eating the curd using spoon. Taste is exactly the same. I finally figured out it was the milk I used. It needs to be whole milk (was using 2% or 1% milk fat and that didn’t work).

Basically, this dessert is so simple only requires 3 ingredients: milk, sugar and ginger. Though simple, there are some tricks to making it the way it should be:

  • be sure to use the ‘old’ ginger (grated to get the juice only)
  • use whole milk
  • warm up the milk to 176F (or 80C) before pouring it into the bowl with ginger juice

img_6011

Boys are huge fans of teppanyaki. That’s the food they always suggest if we don’t have a place in mind.Seriously, it requires no work to make it, that’s why I don’t know why restaurants charge so much for this. I’ve had the iron griddle for years and love using it for other dishes. So I decided to make one for Ah Lo last night. He was so happy, he lit up! Even gave me a huge hug for this which makes all the “hard work” worthwhile.

Dai Bee was choir rehearsal, so he didn’t get to try. I’m sure I will be making this again.

img_5846

Instead of passing out the traditional red envelopes this year, I’ll be handing out these chicks! I started out with one, and then a brood of them came into life. I’ve only made enough for my nephews and nieces. Not sure if they will keep it, but I had fun making it.

img_5742img_5743

img_5993

These are marbled tea eggs (茶葉蛋) are one of the more popular dishes on the table during Chinese New Year, but can be consumed all year long! The eggs symbolize prosperity and wealth. Sometimes when I crave for it, I  would buy them as snacks. This year, I found simple recipes online and made a few as one of our dishes for meatless Monday meal.

img_5821

Here’s the CNY version of meatless Monday meal.IMG_5812.jpg

Recipe for tea eggs:

  1. boil 6 eggs
  2. in a pot fill up:
    • 2-3 cups of water
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 stick of cinnamon
    • 2 bags of black tea, any kind you like. Pu-erh is traditionally used.
    • Soy Sauce, about ½ cup
    • 1 teaspoon of pepper corns
    • 1 small rock sugar
    • dried orange or mandarin peel (optional)
  3. gently crack the hard boiled eggs
  4. put cracked eggs in the pot and bring everything to a boil. Close lid, simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Using the traditional Chinese simmer method, I tried making the cold cut spiced marinade beef shin for the first time. Had time to marinade it the night before so it was ready by the time we got home. Needs a bit more juice, but the flavor is there.img_4800

Trying out a new recipe today! Winter melon (冬瓜) is a versatile fruit, very delicious made as savory soup. This time I made it to a savory dish with shrimp, mushrooms, dried scallops and snow fungus. It’s healthy and very light. I will definitely try it again.

img_6421

Ah Lo’s class/school is participating in the annual LEAP’s sandcastle building this year. We’ve gone to it in the past but this is our first year we get to be a part of it. I was skeptical about going in the morning since it was drizzling and cold. I’m glad we went because it was a lot of fun. Working with teams of engineers, contractors, engineers and designers, each school works with together to build giant sand sculptures. This program fundraises for the art programs in local public schools. We didn’tstay for the award ceremony, but I heard our school won the “Best Show.”sandcastlesandcastle2

Introduced the boys to a new sport today in a {free} tennis clinic. This was a class designed for ages 6-12. Group was divided by age and level. First time Dai Bee tried it and he loved it. Didn’t realized Ah Lo tried it before during summer camp.