Archive for Kitchen Adventures

Mulberry Leaf Tea Part 3 – Fresh vs Dried

Mulberry tea series : Part 1 – Fresh, Part 2 – Dried, Part 3 – Fresh vs Dried

Now that I have tried both versions of mulberry tea, it is time to make a comparison.

Mulberry tea – fresh vs dried

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Mulberry Leaf Tea Part 2 – Dried

Mulberry tea series : Part 1 – Fresh, Part 2 – Dried, Part 3 – Fresh vs Dried

Preparing my own mulberry tea leaves turned out to be easier than I thought. All I needed were fresh leaves and lots of hot sunshine. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mulberry Leaf Tea Part 1 – Fresh

Mulberry tea series : Part 1 – Fresh, Part 2 – Dried, Part 3 – Fresh vs Dried

My first encounter with the word Mulberry came from the nursery rhyme “Round the mulberry bush” in preschool. I always had this vision of strange waist-high rounded bush.

In my twenties, when I was busy devouring documentaries and obsessing about the origin of every items we take for granted, I found out mulberry is what you feed silkworms. Mulberry was transformed from a European to a Chinese flora. Even so, I still had no idea what Mulberry, both tree and fruit look like. There must be a berry kind of fruit, right? It’s in the name. I imagined it would be round, like blueberries or cherries.

A few years ago, my dad planted a tree and called it mulberry tree. Mum went on about the manifold benefits of mulberry, from fruits, to leaves, to bark, and even the white mold that grows on it. Traditional Chinese medicine had been using mulberry for a long long time.

Now, I know what mulberry looks like. It’s not a waist-high round bush. It’s a tree, with small hairy elongated clustered fruits. What strange transformations mulberry had taken to get to the real thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apong Balik (Malaysian-style pancake)

Apong Balik (Malaysian rice pancake)

Apong or apom or apam is a rice flour, coconut milk based pancake. It can have fillings, such as sliced banana, brown sugar, palm sugar, margarine, ground peanuts, etc. I don’t like banana, so this is one way I would choose to eat banana.

It is a street food, commonly found in Kedah and Penang. It is popularly eaten as breakfast or snacks.

Image

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Extended tools – Muffin cups

I bought my first set of muffin cups when I was still a student back in 1995. It used it once to cook blueberry muffins in a toaster oven. I was the best muffin I ever had.

Muffin cups

Muffin cups

Then, the cups went into storage and stayed there till 2011. Just taking up space and adding to clutter. That’s how much use I made of my muffin cups. Well, this year, I vowed to make the most of my kitchen tools. Use them lovingly and as insanely often as I can. So when I move, I can trash them with a clear conscience that they had served their purpose in life and deserved their space in the landfill. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flour Tortilla

Flour Tortilla

It occurs to me that recipes normally contains list of ingredients and steps. But usually, they do not contain the ‘reasons’ or explanations for those ingredients and steps. And for a newbie cook, the recipe can be quite indecipherable.

This is my first time making tortilla in my room without proper kitchen. And it was so easy and wonderful, I made it again. I went through several recipes and several online videos and combine their wisdom into the process.

That’s why the reasons for the ingredients and steps are important to me. I need to know which attributes are key ones, what I can substitute for due to my space and pantry variety constraints and the fact that I do not have a flat pan. I do have a flat bottomed thick pot.

So, here’s the summary of what I found out and what I did to make it work.

If it’s too confusing, the normal format recipe is in bold.

You can ignore the ratio & reasons section and the non-bolded text in the steps.

They are only important if you want variation, alternatives or troubleshoot.

Based on Jason Hill’s video and ifoodtv.com.
Easy enough that it was successful on first try and the measurements are flexible and forgiving, so no need to be too exact.

Homemade Tortilla

Homemade Tortilla

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Leftover Evolutions Part 2: Mutation

I have been dealing with the challenges of leftovers last week that has rolled over into this week. In case you missed the first part, check out Leftover Evolutions Part 1.

I’ve been thinking about how to use up my leftover potatoes and onions. I was vaguely toying with the idea of baking them in toaster oven. I’ve just bought 3 aluminium foil disposable bread tins with no real idea what to do with them.

I had originally thought of throwing one large onion and one large potato into the oven (whole, with skin) and let it char-bake. Then again, not so good idea. It could get messy. Wrapped in aluminium foil then? But I don’t think I want to peel hot onion and eat it like oranges. So I thought, why not cut it up in rings and bake that with herbs. So as I was mulling this while walking home, a friend asked what I was having for dinner. So I just said baked potato and onion rings. Then I did a double take and said, not that onion rings. What was it then?

It’s still baked potato and onion rings, just not what you’d normally think as baked potato AND onion rings. I swear I didn’t plan this till I was arranging the onions and spicing them up for baking. The onions infected the potato!

Mutated baked potato and onion rings

Recipe:

  • 1 Onion – cut into thick 1/2 cm rings
  • 1 potato – diced small 1/2 cubes
  • Separate onion rings and put into baking tin
  • Olive oil – Drizzle over onion rings (extra virgin if possible, use butter for unhealthier yum)
  • Italian herbs – Sprinkle generous amount over onions.
  • Stir and mix well.
  • Arrange onion rings to line the bottom in several layers.
  • Toss potato in olive oil.
  • Put potato cubes on onion rings, arrange evenly.
  • Sprinkle more italian herbs.
  • Sprinkle salt over dish.
  • Cover with aluminium foil
  • Put in toaster oven and bake (top and bottom heat) for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and check potato is soft and cooked.
  • Take fork/spoon and mix potato and onion up.
  • Sprinkle more salt if not salty enough.
  • Squeeze some lime juice over all.
  • Cut chunks of Laughing Cow soft cheese and sprinkle on top.

This time it’s a rather colourless dish compared to the flamboyant earlier incarnations. So I decided to add the cheese for accents when I decided to take photos.  So this dish is a study of subtle tones and shades. It’s not only pretty, but very yum!

Oh! On the plus side, I didn’t buy ANY new ingredients hence no new leftovers.

Current leftover survivors – 1 potato, 1 onion, 1/4 lime, 1/2 bottle spaghetti sauce.

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