Monday, 1 February 2016

Warm Scallops with Asparagus Fruity Salad & $500 Paypal CASH Giveaway!



Scallop is one of our favourite CNY home-cooked dishes as it sounds auspicious like (带带)'代代平安' "peace to every generation" in Mandarin and Cantonese.  I usually make stir-fry scallops with asparagus for our CNY celebration dish. With my previous attempt in making warm salad here and Abalone Salad, so I tried out and 'agak-agak' guesstimate the taste and ingredients for this Warm Scallops with Asparagus Fruity Salad.


I like that this salad dish serves during CNY celebration that's full of auspicious symbolic:
Asparagus & Pear 芦笋 & 梨  = '顺顺利利' proceed smoothly in whatever you do
Scallop 带子 = '代代平安' peace to every generation
Pineapple 黃梨  = 旺来 <ong lai in dialect> wealth bestowed 
Pomelo 柚 = 有 / 又 again & again ... thought to bring continuous prosperity. The more you eat, the more wealth it will bring.

Warm Scallops with Asparagus Fruity Salad
Serves 4
Ingredients :
Baby Asparagus 120g
Large Frozen Scallops about 18 pcs
Pineapple 2 fresh large slices (use canned pineapple if you prefer)
1 large China Pear - cored and peeled
Dash of pepper & salt
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salad dressing: Lemon Honey Vinaigrette
Juice of 1 large Lemon
1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon wholegrain mustard
Dash of pepper & salt
Pomelo - some for garnishing

Method :
1) To save time, thaw the scallops (in steps 3 & 4) and prepare the salad dressing in advance. Put all the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with pinch of salt and dash of pepper. Chill for 1 - 2 hours.

2) Cut the fruits (pineapple and pear) in bite sizes. Chill the cut fruits in fridge.

3) Thaw the scallops. Rinse well and pat dry with few layers of kitchen towels. Do not cover, refrigerate the scallops for 30 minutes to dry.

4) Season the scallops with dash of salt and pepper to taste.

5) Saute non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan. Add in the scallops, set in a single layer in the pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until bottom of each scallop is nicely browned. Turn scallops over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until they're firm and nicely browned.

6) Wash, rinse and drain the asparagus in colander.  Trim and discard about 1/2 inch of bottom stalk. Cut length wise about 2 inches long.

7) Meanwhile, prepare a small pot of boiling water and an ice bath (a bowl full of ice and water). Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for about 1 minute and quickly remove them from the boiling water and plunge them into the ice bath for about 15 seconds and drain.
(this act is called “shocking”). 
Blanching and shocking allows the partially cooked vegetables to cool quickly so they retain their crunch. 

To serve the salad, arrange the cut fruits and asparagus on a big serving plate. Top with the scallops and garnish with some pomelo. Pour the chilled lemon honey vinaigrette dressing and gently toss until just combined.


Warm tangy salad with natural juicy fruity sweetness.  My big kids gave big thumbs up for this :) Happy ^-^! I'm sure this salad will be well liked by everyone (from young to old) in the family. Do give it a try if you intend to dish up for CNY celebration.
Enjoy !


Counting down to CNY2016 ... here's a gentle reminder ... a chance to *win a S$500 Ang Pow as we usher into CNY2016 ^-^!



To welcome the Year of the Red Fire Monkey, 10 cooking bloggers have come together to bring you the chance to *win a S$500 ang pow! (Terms and Conditions Apply).

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter below : 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is brought to you by :




Alvin from Chef and Sommelier
Ann from Anncoo Journal
Charlynn from My Baking Cottage
Karen from Luvswesavory
Sharon from Delishar
Victoria from Victoria Bakes
Weilee from Wei Lee's Passion

*One Prize of SGD500 will be sent to one winner via Paypal (or bank transfer within SG). An email will be sent to the winner to notify him/her of the win. Should the Organiser (Diana) not receive a reply within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.

This giveaway is opened to ALL International participants! Take part and maybe you will be the lucky winner ! 
Closing on 3rd February !

祝大家:
大吉大利  万事如意
猴年行大运旺来发大财 ! 

☆☆《《《☆》》》☆☆
Linking this post to Cook & Celebrate Chinese New Year 2016 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Blackberry Chia Jam & $500 Paypal CASH Giveaway!

Although I've made Pumpkin Kaya and Mango Jam (but didn't post) sometime ago, I've never imagine myself making homemade fruity jam could be that easy ^-^! What I love about this is the use of all natural fruits/juices with no sugar added.  With the added Chia Seeds (packed with omega 3 fatty acids), these tiny chia seeds thickened the mixture and transformed a jar of spreadable healthy jam ... fast & easy, no sweat !

Spread on bread, rolls, digestive biscuits, pancakes ... anything that you could find at home to make some healthy brekkie, tea/coffee snacks with this Blackberry Chia Jam.
Enjoy !


Recipe source : Thekitchn
Below my slightly adjusted version on the ingredients.
Blackberry Chia Jam
Fills a 250ml jar
Ingredients A
170g Blackberries (nett weight of a punnet bought)
1 medium Peach - peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice - from half a lemon

Ingredients B
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (adjust the sweetness to your preference)
1.5 tablespoons Chia Seeds

Method:
In a small saucepan combine all the Ingredients A and cook with medium flame. Stirring occasionally.

Once the fruit mixture heats up and begins to boil, mash the fruit using the back of a fork till they break up. This takes 3 to 5 minutes.

Sweeten the mashed fruit with 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey. Lastly, add the chia seeds and stir once. Off the flame. The mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.



Once cooled, transfer the fruit mixture to a jar or airtight container and refrigerate. Fridge for up to 2 weeks.



Of course, mixed berries or just strawberries would be my next "Berry Berry Chia Jam" !
But before that, here's a gentle reminder ... a chance to * win a $500 Ang Pow as we usher into CNY2016 ^-^!





To welcome the Year of the Red Fire Monkey, 10 cooking bloggers have come together to bring you the chance to *win a S$500 ang pow! (Terms and Conditions Apply).

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter below : 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is brought to you by :




Alvin from Chef and Sommelier
Ann from Anncoo Journal
Charlynn from My Baking Cottage
Karen from Luvswesavory
Sharon from Delishar
Victoria from Victoria Bakes
Weilee from Wei Lee's Passion

*One Prize of SGD500 will be sent to one winner via Paypal (or bank transfer within SG). An email will be sent to the winner to notify him/her of the win. Should the Organiser (Diana) not receive a reply within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.

This giveaway is opened to ALL participants! So, what are you waiting for ?! Take part and maybe you will be the lucky winner ! 猴年行大运发大财 ! "Huat ah" !

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Abalone Salad with Lime Chia Vinaigrette & CNY2016 Giveaway

Canned abalone is rather expensive here but a lot of people love to buy canned abalone for CNY celebration as it symbolizes abundance of auspicious feasts, wealth, luck etc. etc. (“年年包有余”). Hence, it’s a trend for 'a must have' abalone during CNY celebration for my family... to indulge the luxury dish once a year ... hee .. hee ! There are many ways to enjoy this delicacy … braised abalone with mushrooms & vegetables, add sliced abalone to treasure pot (pen cai) or prosperity toss “Lo Hei Yusheng” etc. etc. Somehow, I like abalone salad ... Abalone and Asian Slaw with Oriental Dressing shared last year.

When I saw the recipe shared by Angie's Recipes - Frisée, Artichoke, Sweet Pointed Pepper Salad with Lime Chia Vinaigrette, I know I must make the lime chia vinaigrette for my abalone salad ! Why ... somehow the pieces of artichoke looked like abalone at a glance ... hee .. hee!
Now, who's with me to feast this quick & easy luxurious abalone salad ?



Recipe source : Angie's Recipes
Slightly modified on the ingredients below
Abalone Salad with Lime Chia Vinaigrette
Dressing :
20 ml Extra virgin olive oil
50 ml Vegetable broth
20 ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon wholegrain mustard
1/2 teaspoon Chilli flakes (omitted as don't have any on hand)
1 teaspoon Maple syrup
1 tablespoon Chia seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

Salad:
Red & Green Coral Lettuce
1 canned Abalone (drained and sliced thinly)
Capsicum - sliced
Pomelo - any amount to your preference

Method:
Put all the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least an hour to thicken slightly.

Arrange the lettuce, abalone, capsicum and pomelo in a big bowl.

Pour the chilled lime chia vinaigrette dressing and gently toss until just combined.

Ready to eat ! Enjoy !
Ta da ! A big bowl of abalone salad ... taste tangy refreshingly good ! Enjoy !
Let's toast to abundance of wealth and good health in the Year of the Red Fire Monkey!

Linking this post to Cook & Celebrate Chinese New Year 2016 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids

~~~~~《《☆☆》》~~~~~

To welcome the Year of the Red Fire Monkey, 10 cooking bloggers have come together to bring you the chance to *win a $500 ang pow! (Terms and Conditions Apply).

So join us in ushering the new year and maybe you will be the lucky winner this year!

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is brought to you by:



Alvin from Chef and Sommelier
Ann from Anncoo Journal
Charlynn from My Baking Cottage
Karen from Luvswesavory
Sharon from Delishar
Victoria from Victoria Bakes
Weilee from Wei Lee's Passion

*One Prize of SGD500 will be sent to one winner via Paypal (or bank transfer within SG). An email will be sent to the winner to notify him/her of the win. Should the Organiser (Diana) not receive a reply within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. This contest is also opened to overseas participants. 

祝大家:
猴年大吉  万事如意
心想事成  年年有余
Wish you luck, happiness, prosperity and abundance of blessings !

Monday, 18 January 2016

Strawberry Mille Crêpe Cake

Still counting my blessings ... glad that I'm one year older and still surviving ... ^-^!
Made this Strawberry Mille Crêpe Cake for my birthday and a small 'tribute' for my blog turns 2-year old in January.



Recipe modified slightly from Milo Mille Crêpe cake
Strawberry Mille Crêpe Cake
Ingredients for Crepes:
(A)
250g cake flour - sift and set aside
50g caster sugar

(B)
2 eggs
30g melted unsalted butter
250ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream filling:
350ml heavy whipping cream
25g caster sugar (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry (1 punnet 250g)
Some cooking oil for greasing the pan.

Method :
1) Combine and mix ingredients (A) in a clean bowl.

2) In another bowl, make ingredients  (B) : whisk eggs with a manual whisk and mix in the melted butter. Next, pour the milk in and continue to whisk till combined.

3) Add in (B) to (A) mixture and whisk till a smooth batter.

4) Heat the non-stick griddle or pan with low flame. I'm using a 20cm non-stick pan. Dap a little cooking oil with kitchen towel and lightly grease onto the non-stick griddle or pan.

5) Pour crêpe batter using a small soup ladle or big ice-cream scoop, swirl to cover the surface of the pan. Cook about 1 minute. Using a chopstick to tip the side, with your fingers, gently and carefully flip the crêpe over, continue to cook for about 30 seconds.
Remove the cooked crêpe. Repeat this process till finished the batter.

For the strawberries:
Reserve about 10 whole strawberries, cut each halves for decoration.
For the filling, hulled and slice each strawberry thinly into 4 slices vertically.
Pat dry with kitchen towel and aside in the refrigerator.

To make the whipped cream:
Freeze the cleaned mixing bowl for about 10 minutes.  Take it out from the freezer, immediately put all together the cold whipped cream, caster sugar and vanilla extract in the cold mixing bowl. Use the electronic mixer to whisk till stiff peaks form (about 4 - 5 minutes).

To assemble the crêpe cake:
Place one crêpe on a large plate or cake board.

With a small spatula, spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on the crêpe. Place about 6 - 7 slices of *strawberries. Spread another thin layer of whipped cream. Next, top with another crêpe and repeat the same process till finished the filling. For the final top layer, spread some whipped cream and decorate with some strawberries as you like.

Chill the crêpe cake for a few hours before cutting/consuming.

Dust the decorated strawberries with some icing sugar or snow powder  when serving. (optional).

*Note: 
I didn't fill every layer with strawberries. Filled the initial 4 layers and alternate the last 2 layers. Feel free to fill each layer with sliced strawberries but you'll need to add more quantity.

I ran out of all-purpose plain flour, replaced with cake flour.





Happy Birthday to me ^-^!
Happy 2nd anniversary to Luvswesavory :D

♡♡~~♡~~♡♡
Every blessing You pour out 
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
~~♡♡♡~~

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Fruited Friands

Baked some mini French cakes -  Friands for our weekend afternoon tea.

According to information :
"The friand is a small French cake, often mistaken for a muffin.  Friands are little cakes typically oval in shape originally from France, made using ground almonds and melted butter. Having icing sugar and egg whites instead of whole eggs and very little flour, makes them light, while the ground almonds keep them chewy and moist. 
A friand is a French term for a little cake eaten with the fingers."


My previous 1st attempt in baking friands (Lemon Friands). Glad to be able to use muffin tin as I don't have the dainty pretty oval shaped friand tray.

Fruited Friands (Makes 12)
Recipe adapted from the cookbook Just 5 Ingredients Cakes & Desserts Published by Hamlyn.
My slight modifications made in blue below.
Ingredients :
175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
75g dried strawberries, sour cherries or cranberries roughly chopped  (I used 50g cranberries)
2 tablespoons orange juice
6 egg whites
125g ground almonds

Storecupboard :
225g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (I used 190g caster sugar. 
Optional to dust with some icing sugar or Snow Powder when serving)
75g plain flour, sifted

Method :
1) Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.

2) Preheat the oven to 200°C. (*I adjusted to 180°C).  Position the rack in the centre.
*The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

3) In a small saucepan, combine the dried cranberries with orange juice. Heat until hot and pour into a bowl and leave to cool.

4) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites till foamy using the electric mixer. Add the caster sugar, plain flour and ground almonds and stir in until almost combined using a manual whisk. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture, then stir together gently until just combined.

5) Evenly fill the lightly greased muffin cups using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Scatter the dried cranberries on top and bake for about 20 minutes until golden and just firm to touch.

6) Leave in the tin for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.
When serving, dust a little icing sugar or Snow Powder.

Enjoy! Happy baking & have a great weekend !


Cookbook Countdown #1, recipe no.1

"I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Simply quick & easy some warm freshly baked muffins for our brekkie .... nothing special but these are my family's favourite ... banana muffins with some added oatmeal :)


Recipe source : Joy of Baking
Slightly modified version below as I've replaced the nuts with rolled oats and halved the recipe.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Ingredients:
35 grams instant rolled oats
100 grams all-purpose plain flour, sifted
45 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
50 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 ripe bananas, mashed well
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Position the rack in the center. Grease a 6 holes muffin pan, or line with paper liners.
(The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly).

2) Dry ingredients : In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and instant rolled oats.

3) Wet ingredients : In a large measuring jug or bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Fold in with a rubber spatula and stir only until the ingredients are combined and the batter is thick and chunky. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result.

5) Pour batter into a prepared muffin tin or paper liners. Bake for 25 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin if it comes out clean.

6) Place on a wire rack to cool for five minutes and then remove muffins from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

We never get tired of banana muffins. With any combinations ... they always taste great. With the added rolled oats, definitely a healthier brekkie to kick start our day!

Love these slightly crispy crust with fluffy soft texture and full of banana sweet aroma ! Happy Baking ^-^!


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Chamomile Apricot Overnight Oats

Well, there's really nothing to shout about as I've seen many bloggers made this easy yet healthy and nutritious overnight oats.

Cultivating healthy eating habits don't seem to be easy for me due to the lack of determination and disciplines to do that. (Ya excuses and excuses again...).  Anyway, MUST MUST MUST .... start with a healthy breakfast meal ! So here's the overnight oats ... with added chia seeds and infused with calming cold Chamomile tea !
Click here to know more about the benefits from eating chia seeds. Needless to say, I'll be trying out some recipes with chia seeds.


Recipe source and adapted from: Breakfast drama queen

Below my slight modifications as I've changed white peaches to apricots, and replaced some ingredients that I could find in the pantry/fridge.

Chamomile Apricot Overnight Oats
Serves 4
For the overnight oats
55g rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240g Low-fat yogurt
50g cold Chamomile tea (replace it with milk if you don't prefer tea)
2 small fresh apricot, stoned and diced

For the mix-ins just before serving:
1 tablespoon dessicated coconut
2 tablespoons crushed walnuts
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1.5 tablespoons dried cranberries
Fresh apricots, few slices
2 tablespoons milk (if the oats are too thick, add more milk)
Honey

Method:
Make a cup of tea with 1 Chamomile teabag, set a side and obtain about 50g cold tea.

In a large bowl or clean container, put together the rolled oats, chia seeds, vanilla extract, yogurt and tea. Add the chopped apricots and use a spoon to stir and mix well all the ingredients.
Cover the container with lid and leave in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, stir in approximately half of the dessicated coconuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts and dried cranberries into the oats mixture. If the oats are too thick, add a little more milk to it.

Divide the overnight oats amongst 4 small bowls. Top with the remaining mix-ins, some fresh apricots and lastly about 2 teaspoons of honey.

Do feel free to add/use your preferred berries or fruits as toppings for the overnight oats.

Indeed, a small bowl of this nutty fruity overnight oats is so fulfilling and a great start for the day ! Hopefully, a great start for a healthier me in the new year too ^-^! Enjoy!