Dec 25, 2007

SYMPTOM CHECKER

Do you need more information regarding any symptoms about your health? There is a great site in WebMD where you can check. You just need to select parts of the body of your symptoms. Try it now.

Dec 19, 2007

HOME REMEDY FOR FACE

Apple-cider vinegar
Use it to: Fight breakouts

Why it works: Its high acid content makes skin inhospitable to blemish-causing bacteria. How-to: Place a handful of parsley (a skin-clarifying herb) into a French press and cover it with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, and then plunge and let the liquid cool. Transfer to a spray bottle along with a splash of vinegar and 4 drops of tea tree oil (an antiseptic), shake well, and spritz on a freshly cleansed face. (Store the spray bottle in the fridge.)

Dec 17, 2007

CHEMPEDAK



Fried Chempedak and Chempedak Seller

Chempedak... oh you probably asked What on earth is that?!
Well they are Jackfruits. The fruits are large as a whole, inside has individual fleshy, sweet, fibrous with seeds in each. They are lovely when fried with batter. Served hot and crispy is popular in Asian countries.

Dec 16, 2007

PENANG CHAR KOAY TEOW


Penang is a popular destination for its hawker food. You can find any coffee shops and hawkers almost every where you turn. If you visit Penang, you must try out their Fried Koay Teow. It tastes just heavenly. For those who would like to try frying the dish at home, here is a recipe.


600gm Koay Teow (flat rice noodles)
500g Bean Sprouts
200g Chye Sim (cut into 4cm lengths)
250g Prawns 200g Cockles (without shells)
2 Nos Chinese Sausages (sliced thinly)
Sliced Fishcake (optional)
Chilly Paste 8 Cloves Garlic (chopped fine)
8 Tablespoons Lard (may substitute with Vegetable Oil for the health conscious)
8 Tablespoons Light Soya Sauce
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce Pepper
Water
4 eggs
Garlic Chives (cut into 2cm lengths)



Heat oil on a wok. Saute the chopped garlic till slightly browned. Add some sliced sausages, fishcakes, prawns, chye sim, beansprouts, and a little chilly paste (optional), all in this order. Push the fried ingredients to the side of the wok and fry the koay teow. Add soya sauce, fish sauce and pepper to taste. Add a little water. Mix thoroughly all the ingredients. Spread them all and make an empty space in the centre of the wok. Crack the eggs, scramble very briefly and mix together with the fried noodles. Add the garlic chives and cockles last, do a quick stir (do not over cook it). Serve it hot. This recipe can serve about 4 persons. Halve the recipe if you are cooking for less.


Tip: You can mix the sauce seasoning ingredient together in advance. This way you can control the preferance of individual taste as some may prefer it less salty

Dec 14, 2007

MINT JULEPS

Last Christmas, my friend made this and it was very good. It was my first try then and I've been trying to look for this recipe for months. This one has been improvised. It suits a hot day especially. Great for barbeques parties. They look simply refreshing too. Serve in tall cool glasses if you can..

INGREDIENTS
500ml water
200gm white sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
32 ounces bourbon
8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish

DIRECTIONS
Combine water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour. Add bourbon and mix them well. Pour syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves

Pre-chill frozen goblets half and hour before serving. Add crushed ice and pour the bourbon mixture in. Garnish with a mint sprig. Serve juleps on a silver platter.

SWEET AND SOUR FISH

1 whole fish weighing about 1 kg
(Red Snapper, Sea Bass, Pomfret)
2 tbsp cornflour
Oil for frying
Salt and Pepper
Marinate the fish with some salt and pepper, sprinkle some cornflour and deepfry in oil for about 10mins. Transfer it onto a serving dish.


Spice Paste
2 cloves Garlic
2 stems of Lemon grass (lower part)
2cm of Lengkuas
2cm Ginger
Some tumeric powder
2 pcs candlenut
Crush garlic, slice the lemon grass, slice the lengkuas, ginger, candlenut and add in the tumeric to form a fine paste with a pestle and mortar or food processor.

Garnishing
2 lime leaves
3 shallots, chopped
2 tomatoes (skinless, wedges)
Wedges of green capsicum
Wedges of large onions
Shredded slices of Red Chilly
Small cubes of Pineapple

Sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp of plum sauce
1 cup water (or slightly more)

Add the spice paste to the sauce above.
Saute shallots in hot oil. Add the mixed spiced to liquid mixture and let if boil briefly. Stir in the capsicum, onions, and tomatoes. Then add the lime leaves, chilly and pineapple. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the hot gravy over the fish and serve.

CHRISTMAS CAKE AT HOME




Christmas is just around the corner. What better way in entertaining friends would be to do your own homemade X'mas Chocolate Cake.



This picture was taken last Christmas. My fridge had no space for a large Log Cake, so I'd decided to make little ones. Yes, homemade ones. It was pretty easy. You can use the previous Chocolate Cake recipe or you can get buy some plain Chiffon or Chcoolate Sponge for this.


I made the Icing Sugar, by mixing 80gm of butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence, some melted chocolate and a little milk. You can add some brandy if you like. Beat them well till they are creamy, tasting it at intervals to make sure it doesn't taste powdery. Cut your Chocolate Sponge into rectangular shapes and in between two layers, add the Chocolate butter icing. Sprinkle some of those snow icing on top and add the decors and serve! You can serve smaller size if you are serving it on a last course for dinner. Add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream as a lovely dessert!

Dec 11, 2007

HOME REMEDY FOR BODY

Walnuts are quite expensive, actually. But the oil in them is very moisturising. If you have very dry skin, this is very good. It is also good if you have stretch marks from pregnancy that wont go away... I usually get the walnuts after no one wants to eat them after Christmas. Go around and ask if your friends and family wants to throw them out too. Don't be embarrassed!

Walnuts
Use it to: Exfoliate hands and feet

Why it works: Rich in oil, walnuts make for extra-gentle sloughing.
How-to: Blend 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil (for extra emollients), and a tablespoon of honey (to seal moisture into your skin) in a food processor set on a slow speed, creating a fine-particle scrub. Standing in the shower (if you’re scrubbing your feet) or over a sink (if it’s for your hands), work the mixture thoroughly over your skin for a couple of minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Dec 8, 2007

THE NEW MRS LEE'S COOKBOOK

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


If you love nyonya cooking, this book is a must have!
It has very good recipes I'm sure you would love to try it out.


Singaporean authentic Peranakan recipes with tastes similar to Penang food that I miss since my younger days. It has a useful glossary section that explains briefly the ingredients used in this cookbook with a little picture of it. Handy for domestic cooks and professional chefs who aren't familiar with Asian spices or common names used in Singapore/Malaysia.

The food shots are done up very beautifully and the text and layout is simple and easy to read.



The New Mrs Lee's Cookbook
written by Mrs Lee Chin Koon
Updated by her granddaughter Shermay Lee

Published by Times Editions

SLICED FISH SOUP

There are times when you don't feel like having a heavy meal. At times like these, I like to cook a fish soup. Sliced Halibut with Spinach Soup.

This recipe, I used the Halibut Fish. Slice the fish carefully not to break the fragile slices. Useful tip: To prevent the fish from flaking, you can coat it with a little corn starch. This will ensure that when it is cooked it will not flake easily.

You will need a litre of stock. (here, I used Chicken Stock that I've boiled from the bones of leftover fresh chicken with some onions, carrots and a thick slice of ginger) When the stock is boiling, add seasoning of salt and pepper and more ginger slice if you like. Add a dash of sesame oil or you can toss some garlic over some hot oil and add that in the soup. Slowly add in the sliced fish that has been seasoned with salt and pepper when the soup is simmering. After about 5 mins (the sliced fish will cook very fast) you can add some spinach leaves (leave the bigger stems out) cook another 5 mins or less.

You can serve this with rice or just on its own. It can be a good light meal for someone recuperating from flu too.

Dec 6, 2007

THREADFINS SO LARGE


Look at the size of those Threadfins! They probably weigh a few good kilos! I usually buy Threadfins for my kids, for porridge and steaming. Some say that the large ones are better since they are from the open sea whereas the smaller ones are bred in fish farms thus they aren't as nutritious.

Threadfins are quite expensive spanning from about $28 to $32 per kilo. Fillets of it is very nice if you fry them in batter like the fish and chips. Yummy!

Dec 3, 2007

HOME REMEDY FOR SKIN

This is a very useful article of which you can find a lot of natural ingredients from your kitchen. An orange is easily found so no worries. I love the smell of oranges! Don't throw away after u squeeze juices from them. I will put them in a little dish bowl of dishwashing liquid for that extra tangy smell.

Also, try this. Microwave them for 15seconds and you will have your microwave smelling so nice. Do the same with Lemons too. Yummy and Fresh!

Orange
Use it to: Slough dry skin off heels, knees, and elbows

Why it works: The fruit acid loosens dead skin cells.
How-to: Cut a fresh orange in half and squeeze the juice of one half into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil and then blend into a moisture-rich scrub. Next, rub the exposed side of the other half of the orange over knees, elbows, heels, and any other dry spots. Last, rub in the sugar mixture to slough off dead skin. Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry.

Milk
Use it to: Soothe and soften dry, sensitive skin

Why it works: The lactic acid in milk serves as a gentle skin exfoliant, while its natural fat content acts as a body moisturizer.
How-to: Add 1 gallon of whole milk to a tubful of warm water and soak. It’s a great alternative to sugar and salt scrubs, says Perillo, which may be too abrasive for people who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or sensitive skin. If you prefer a fragranced bath, add 10 to 20 drops of an essential oil such as lavender.

Dec 2, 2007

ALCHEMY IN FOOD

Alchemy is a word I so often get confused. Is it Science? Or purely Philosophical?


How do you define Alchemy.
Do you liken it to the effort or pursuit of metaphysical aspects like the transmutation of common metals into gold? In the earliest times, Alchemy has been related closely to astrology. In psychology, it is viewed as comparable to analytical psychology of which the act of Alchemy aids in the enlightenment process and improves the mind.

The search of the true meaning of an Alchemist, leaves alot to be desired. My views of an Alchemist is purely us, as human - the matter - achievement of our desires to learn, improve our mind in life matters. In the old days, we adopt many teachings in the orthodox era. In the modern times, we break them apart and study them and understand what led it.

Chinese Physicians practises Food Alchemist. They use traditional medicine, by the pharmalogical as well as spiritual techniques to accessed the nature of a herb or food by its temperature, taste or toxicity. These are still being adopted till today.