Saturday 22 February 2014

A sweet weekend ... Fruit tarts & fruity fondue dinner

Today is my 22nd wedding anniversary.  I sent an ecard to my hubby this morning... Hopefully he remembers this special day. Well, there is no celebration for us as he works overseas. The usual weekend for me to cook some homemade dishes for the family.
The morning groceries shopping as usual and bought some fruits ... Banana, strawberry, blueberry, honey melon ... Yeah a fruity day and decided to make fruit tarts. I have not tried baking fresh fruit tarts.  Hmm... There are many fruit tarts recipes ... Decided to use the recipe with easy to follow instructions.  As I have baked pies, so think I should be able to handle the baking of tarts though it is my first attempt. Yummy ! A thumb up from my son! The tarts are delicious !
Sweet fruity tart and a cup of hot coffee for my quiet afternoon break.

So, what's next for our dinner? 
Ham & mushrooms creamy cheese macaroni plus a big platter of fruits fondue!
Well, it's a sweet quiet and peaceful weekend afterall ...

Sunday 16 February 2014

Double M : Mango Muffins

It has been quite sometime (more than 4 months, I think) since my last baked muffins for our weekend snacks. My teens love muffins and cupcakes. With some mangoes 'sitting' amongst the oranges, apples and persimmons in the fruits basket,  I decided to bake some muffins with mango which was quick and easy as compared to baking cupcakes.  We spent an afternoon to enjoy the yummy moist muffins with hot coffee or tea.  There were some leftover ... Saving them for our breakfast.
I adapt the recipe from Joy of Baking with slight modifications on the reduced sugar quantity. The original recipe used banana and strawberry ... I tried with mango instead, since I had attempted using the banana and strawberry.

Mango Muffins 
Recipe (12 muffins) :
110 grams unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large mango (about 250 grams) peel skin, cut big chunks and lightly mashed 
290 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1) Preheat oven to 177 degrees C. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
2) In a small saucepan melt the butter. Let it cool to room temperature.
3) In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and mashed mango Add the melted butter and stir to combine.
4) In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
5) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result.
6) Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, using an ice cream scoop. 
7) Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or a tester (tooth pick) inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Can be stored for a few days at room temperature.

Saturday 15 February 2014

Double 'V' occasion ... Dinner for 4

14 Feb is known around the world as the "day of love" - Valentine's Day. This year 14.02.2014 is also the Chinese Lantern Festival (元宵节), the Chinese Valentine as well as marking the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration. The two celebrations fall on the same day only once every 19 years. 
For me, it is not an occasion to celebrate Valentine as my hubby works overseas. But since it is the last day of the CNY, I decided to cook some simple 'east meets west' dinner for the family.
I reached home almost 6pm after knocked off immediately from work.  I have to start the preparation and cooking immediately ... Plus a request from my teens to make some sweet dumplings dessert (汤圆), a traditional Chinese dessert symbolizes sweet reunion as a family.  Well, good thing is that these dumplings could be bought from the supermarket frozen section. All I need is just to make the soup base with some rock sugar, ginger and pan dan leaves. It really saved me the time.
To have some festival mood for the menu, I decided to bake some Quiche with BBQ sliced pork (bak kwa) toppings, fried egg noodles with BBQ and sweet dumplings dessert. Well, as usual, we enjoyed a wonderful meal ... on the double 'V' day.

quiche & sweet dumplings dessert
A friend of mine shared a recipe for Quiche, I made some slight modifications :-

Quiche (makes about 12 muffin foil case)
Flour 190g (multi-purpose or plain flour)
Cold butter 90g
Water 35ml

1) Sift flour & a pitch of salt in large bowl.
2) Cut cold butter in small cubes or pieces, pour into flour.
3) Rub the butter with flour (rub in method using fingers not palm) till crumbly consistency.
4) Add in water to desired consistency.
5) Mix into dough - a light smooth paste and rest it least 30 mins before cutting/dividing the dough into smaller portion. Prepare the *choice ingredients and set aside.
6) Divide and weigh dough into smaller balls. {27g each for muffin foil case}
7) Fill dough into foil case. Rest 5 - 10 mins before tidying the edge.  While waiting, prepare the **quiche filling**.

Fill the case base with cheese and choice ingredients (slightly 3/4 full).

Pour Quiche filling into case 3/4 full. Top with some cheese and bake about 35 mins at 180 degree pre heat oven.

**Quiche filling**
1 egg
Fresh milk 75ml
Whip cream 60ml
Beat egg, liquid and sift. Set aside.

Mozzarella cheese & choice* ingredients like ham, bacon, button mushrooms, onions <*all cut in small pieces and set aside>