Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Coffee- The international beverage

Just realise I had left this blog untouched for so many months!! @@
I haven't been cooking much nowadays unless when I invite friends over for dinner, moreover, I try to post only recipes thought up by me and not dishes that I cook using other recipe for reference.(thats what JK creations is all about isn't it?) So the hanjuku egg, taiwanese wine basil chicken are not posted here. If anyone who is interested to know how those are cooked, you can just watsapp me for the recipe.

This morning while I am preparing for work, the radio (FM 88.3) DJ was talking about coffee from all over the world. And this inspired me to write this entry.

I am an coffee addict, no kidding, without coffee,I am a zombie!!! I need at least one a day as if its medication. During MJ sessions, if i start behave like a blur sotong, K never fail to ask " do you need your coffee??" LOL all the Mahjong Kakis sure have heard that before.I started drinking coffee since primary school days. This runs in the family, I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Everyone in my family drinks coffee, even my 80 year old grandma.. she drinks that everyday! And K has tasted the coffee she made, she is so proud of it! ^^

I am so glad that coffee is a worldwide commodity and I can get it almost everywhere in this world. I have no problem getting my coffee fix when I went travelling. (not that i travel often though..) But, what's the difference in the coffee around the world?


Year 2009 in Penang

Having coffee in penang is zero challange. Most/all of the coffee shops sell coffee the singapore style. Old town, georgetown coffee is sighted everywhere and you can easily get your coffee fix. I even loot back lotsa coffee from 'the coffee tree'. Its coffee heaven in penang!

Hongkong- Year 2010

There are lotsa 茶餐厅 (tea house) in HongKong, and it seems like their speciality is their HK milk tea, lemon tea and warm coke with lemon. Coffee don't seem to be in their culture. Either that, or I went to the wrong place for my coffee, the coffee tasted sour, and there is no aroma at all. I added sugar and it doesnt taste like coffee either. If I am not wrong, that was the first coffee I had, and the last thru out the 4 days trip. The other days I depend on milk tea to wake me up. My upcoming trip, I guess I will rely on starbucks and pacific coffee.. haha..

Taipei- Year 2011

I was lucky, the two minsu i stay in the first two days had a expresso machine in the house. Its superb good expresso coffee!

Other days of the trip I have tried coffee from the breakfast stores in the neighbourhood which is really nice and have a unique fragrance.. ( i just realise i did not take any photo of my take-away coffee as it was a very rush breakfast in the cab) and I also get my coffee from the bubble tea outlets. They have this 微醺咖啡 which is so bitter that my face twisted.... but i swear that the bitter has a v pleasant taste to it which i like. hahaha..

Bitter face with bitter coffee near 师大。。

And did i tell you that this morning the radio also reveal that Taiwan is ranked one of the top countries that serve good coffee? I must agree on that!!! *thumbs up!!* Now I still craving for that coffee that made my face twisted!

My liking for coffee is so strong that I even choose to hold our ROM ceremony in a cosy cafe at Haji Lane. too bad its closed down already.. :(

And they even use our ROM photos to decor their wall..(can you find us in the photos? ^^)

Maybe its time to cook up some coffee recipe now, coffee pork ribs maybe??

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Glimpse of JK Herb Garden

Those who have eaten at JK Kitchen would have know that I am a fan of culinary herbs. Basil, corrainder, rosemary, parsley , garlic (is garlic considered a herb?) you will find these in my dishes without fail. And i have always wish i have a herb garden (simulated) where i can just pluck whatever i need to cook, and to proudly tell my guest "this is home grown and organic ^^!!". However, to face the cruel truth, how do we have a herb garden in HDB? I only have a miserable not- so -much of a corridor (as i am staying in a door to door unit) and the only way to lengthen my "corridor" is to wait till the lift upgrading project which is a few years down the road.. "_"|||. So now i have to make the best out of what i could now.. We count our blessings we have a very sweet neighbour who offered her aphid spray when my chilli plant got infested, water my plants when we are away for holiday, offered to catch the caterpillar who ate my mandarin orange leaves. Where can i find myself such nice neighbour? We are so blessed! All thanks to her that our mini herb garden are in safe hands. :) One sunday morning K found this in my chili plant.. and ask me what is that..
This is so cute.. although i am not sure what it is actually for.. but it certainly made my plant look more lively. Immediately i know my neighbour place it there and meant it to be a surprise.. and i check her flower pot and found two of it in hers. one lady bug and one tortise.. (i forgot to take a picture) i immediately watsapp her to thanks her for that little pleasant surprise. hehe... Ok.. glimpse of my 'herb garden' as promised.. its nothing close to a garden yet but i will try my best to grow more stuffs in that little tiny corner.. this is just a start up...
the plant where the lady bug lies on is a chilli plant, a gift from mummy which she lovingly grow from seed. It has been flowering recently but no chilli fruit spotted so far. The one on the right is indian borage, which is the first plant i bought for my mini herb garden. K has had a few foot spas with the leaves infused in warm water. It emits a very fresh minty fragrance and soothe the tireness. Last but not least, my two baby basil sitting at the window of my kitchen.
I have sowed more than 10 seeds in my planter at the corridor and 5 in this little container which i placed at the window of my kitchen. only 5 survived in the planter and only 2 layers of leaves spotted. They did not grow nicely thus i did not take photo.. What you see here are the 2 that survive out of the 5 seeds i sowed in the batch i grow in the kitchen. Seems like 'fengshui' in my kitchen is better? **Those red pellets are fertilisers. Will update more and I wish for those in the kitchen to grow faster and hope the next post will be a step nearer to my dream herb garden! Thanks for reading!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Friends in JK Kitchen on Xmas Eve!! - Jumbo Tiger King Prawn Dinner

Merry Chirstmas to all readers!!

I just realised it has been so long since my last entry.

Have been quite busy lately and haven't been cooking much. Also busy with my new hobby- Gardening. Currently I have only 2 plants and I am waiting for 3 others to sprout seedlings. Will share about it when the herb garden takes shape. ;)

It's boxing day today and I hope everyone had a very fun and memorable Christmas celebration!

I am going to introduce a v simple yet 'exotic' recipe today. Had this idea from the prawns i had for CNY reunion dinners at Granny's before I am married. My uncle will steam prawns stuffed with minced garlic and garnish it with very generous amount of chinese parsley. When i mean generous, its REALLY generous!! I really miss that dish now while i type.. slurp!!!

Ingredients (serves 4):

8 Big prawns - Jumbo tiger king prawns or those normal tiger prawns
Garlic ( i think i used at least 12 cloves?)
Butter ( you can substitute with margarine if you haven't got butter, thats what i did and it turns out not bad too)
Salt (sprinkle to taste)
Garlic Powder (from the brand Masterfood)

First, you need to cut a slit at the back of the prawn like how you remove its intestines/insils normally. The shell is a bit hard so I did that with the help of a pair of scissors. Cut the shell from the back of the head all the way near the tail then make an insert on the spine with a small knife. Remove the black intestine inside and run it under tap water. Flatten the prawn to shape like a 'butterfuly" with the back of the knife.

Mince the garlic as fine as you can, add in appropriate amount of butter, garlic powder, pinch of salt and mix it well.

Stuff the garlic mixture into the slit of the prawns.

Grill the prawns in a pre-heat oven of about 170 degree celcius on middle rack. When the prawn turns orange you can lower the temperature to 150 degree celcius for another 5-10mins for the garlic to turn golden brown. (Total grilling time about 15-20mins, use own estimation as different oven works differently, i keep watch on the prawns and don't dare move anywhere in case it got burnt)

Serve with Aglio Olio Spaghatti and pan fried sausages.

Aglio Olio

Olive Oil
Chilli padi
Dried Chopped Coriander leaves
Fresh Button Mushrooms

1) Boil the spaghatti with enough salt to taste for 8 mins or until Al Dente. (you have to put enough salt as this dish is not served with any sauce so this is the only time for seasoning)

2) Drain the cooked spaghatti well for later use.

3) Cut the garlic into pieces and sauteed lightly with chopped chilli padi in half cup of olive oil over a large frying pan.

4) Pour in the cooked pasta and toss it well with the Olive Oil mixture.

5) Fry the button mushroom with the same Garlic mixture you use to stuff the prawns. ( I have leftover mixture so i use that.)

6) Serve the Aglio Oilo by pouring the mushroom mixture on the pasta and sprinkle dried chopped coriander leaves . There you have mushroom aglio oilo!! (this is my first attempt and its quite a success just that i broke quite a lot of the spahagatti during tossing and you can't really wind it round your fork LOL!)

Table setting

P.S-I seriously stink after cooking. LOL!!!


Friday, 29 July 2011

Aunty or SIA girl? Your choice.

When K suggest to buy this trolley bag from cold storage for our groceries, i was thinking why is he so "aunty" and so keen about a trolley bag? I even told him, "WOW lau so aunty, you pull the bag yourself k.. i am not going to pull the bag to NTUC or market".:p

However,I change my mind about this trolley bag today. :)

I have invited my friends over for steamboat dinner this evening, and since K is working and I took leave, I have to go to the supermarket for steamboat ingredient shopping alone. I need to bring the trolley bag in case I bought too many things and cant manage.

How to not look like aunty when pulling that bag

1) Wear something that makes you look younger. I wore a pink top with a big smiley face and match with black shorts. (no photo as i am very bad at cam whoring..)

2)Tie up hair into a ponytail. (a very high one that swings as you walk)

My wallet/wristlet is tucked neatly into the back pocket of the trolley bag..

and I am all ready to go.:)

Head up, chest out, stomach in ,ponytail swinging and lugging the trolley bag behind me, I walked down a distance of about 2 bus stops to the NTUC.
I don't know if i am sensitive or what but i saw a lot of aunties and uncle who are on the way back from the NTUC,hands full of plastic bags looking at my bag.. Do they wish they have one of this too? :D

At the NTUC, i put the whole trolley bag into the shopping cart.. and push the cart around to get my stuffs. At the cashier, i load all the groceries which are packed into the plastic bags into the trolley bag (still on the cart). After i am done with payment, i just push the whole cart with the trolley bag on it to the shopping cart station where all the carts are parked. I met an aunty who doesnt have a dollar coin and saw me coming she paid me 2x50cent coins to get my shopping cart. haha.. i just unload the trolley bag and that's it. :) Feeling almost hands free, i lug my trolley bag to MOS burger for breakfast while it sits neatly on the ground beside me and i happily go home with my trolley bag without any sweat. When the wind blow my fringe i can even swept it away easily. LOL!!

My purchases:

My grocery trolley bag is also a "stair climber". As my unit is not on the lift landing, we have to get this type.

Look at the wheels:

I have tried going both up and down the stairs and it works! But the trolley cannot be too heavily loaded as i feel the wheels may not last long if the weight is too much for it. (its a "first choice" brand, so you know you cant expect too much)

You do not have to feel like aunty to bring a shopping trolley around, you can imagine yourself to be like SIA girl. I used to work in a co for corporate training and i am suppose to bring training props in satchi luggage trolley bag down to trainer. And i remembered the trainer commented, " wow you look like SIA girl when you pull that bag". LOL

Look forward to our steamboat dinner tonight!!! :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Cookie Baking (rubbing in method)

Found my very first recipe book (my secondary school home economics recipe book) from my mum's place and decided to do some baking at home.
Since i have quite a lot of ready ingredients at home, i decided to make cookies using the simplest method - Rubbing in method. And also, not forgetting to give my neighbour some, since they have been giving us egg tarts very often and its time we return them something. hehe..

Choco Mint Cookies

I have no choco chips at home so i improvise using the choco mint sticks. Cut into small pieces as shown:

Then add 50grams of butter into 150gram of plain flour, and cut the butter into the flour.

When its in small pieces, you can start to rub the fats (butter) into the flour. (Make sure you trim your nails botak to do this step. Not advisible for ladies with nicely manicured nails.)
While doing this step, raise your hand up higher to "incorporate air" into the mixture.
The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs before you stop rubbing. ( it also look a bit like those yellowish milk powder, you will see the difference in colour when you doing it. My camera not good enough to capture that..)

I swear this mixture is more yellow than before the fat is being rubbed in... u will know when u do it...

Next, pour in the 'choco mint chips and  sugar. The sugar should be about 75-100gm.. i using my own estimation.. (note that during this step its up to you what kind of flavour you want the cookies to be. IF you using savoury items for this e.g peanuts, pistachio, add some salt to taste)

Mix the mixture well.
Next, make a well in the centre of the mixture, add in some egg and milk to make it into a dough. Egg and milk should be added bit by bit while kneading the mixture into a dough with your hand.. by doing this you can know when to stop adding. The dough should not be too dry or too wet.

Next, roll the dough into balls of same sizes.. ( the size of a fishball) You can get your kids and hubby to help you.. it will be fun. :)

Flatten the balls with the fork.. ( as i do not have cookie cutter at home, this is the best way to shape the cookies)

Bake in a preheat oven at 180 degree celcius for about 20 mins. (you should be able to smell the cookie by then, beware not to burn your cookies and watch your oven and do not left it unattended for too long.)

End product:

The neighbour has nice feedbacks on it. But i  find it a bit dry.
you can add more butter than me and see if it turns out well. I made pistachio and sunflower seeds cookies as well. Same method. (did not take photo of the end products though)

Happy Baking!!! ^^

Monday, 28 March 2011

荔枝,梅子绿蒟蒻果冻- Konnyaku Jelly

This is one fast to prepare and healthy to eat dessert. It clears your intestines and make passing of motion very much a breeze... :)

Properties of Konnyaku Jelly (quoted from Phoon Huat Website)

High in fibre, Konnyaku helps to activate the function of the intestines for detoxification which can go a long way to prevent intestinal cancer. The weight conscious will love the fact that Konnyaku is low in calories while the fast expanding substance helps to give the feeling that the stomach is full. Health, taste and texture, it's jolly good jelly!

Lychee Konnyaku Jelly

First,prepare the jelly moulds by putting in the lychee pieces.

The heart shaped one is for K... a good idea for V day gift if its too last minute or inconvenient to bake a cake. :)

Next, prepare the water in a saucepan, add in konnyaku jelly powder, the lychee syrup water from the can and sugar. The ratio of water to powder is use is 700ml of water to half packet of powder.  Switch on the gas and start to stir the mixture with a whisk until it boils.

Off the gas once the mixture boils , continue stirring till there is no bubbles. Pour mixture into jelly moulds, 1/3 of the mould at a time. Chill in fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.

Plum Green Tea Konyyaku Jelly (J's invention)

What you need:
Plums, Green tea (bottled), Sugar to taste

Cut the plum pieces into the jelly moulds

Same thing as per above, mix the konnyaku jelly powder, sugar and green tea in the saucepan and bring to boil. Off gas after mixture boils, stir until bubbles disappear.

Pour mixture into prepared jelly moulds. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Alternative for the plums, you may want to make it more 'exciting' by using the plum in the choya plum wine. ;p

Personally i have not tried it, its just a wild idea... if you lao sai don't look for me. I am still thinking what to do with those plums, guess will treat them as tidbits. Slurp!

End product:

The Jellies

The lychee martini looking jelly in the dessert cups (look like hotel buffet dessert?)

Last but not least... THE HEART ( actually not really recommended cos konnyaku taste better in bite sizes. However, i just wanna add nolvelty. :)

Have a SWEET weekend!! Hope you like this! :)

Monday, 7 March 2011

Fuzhou Fishball Kueh Teow + Fried Kueh Teow

Not sure what gave me the idea to cook fishball kueh teow. But on friday i just told K i wanted to cook lunch for him on sat, so friday nite we went supermarketing for our fav Fu zhou fishball. (福州鱼丸) Its the fishball with minced meat inside. Bought some small cai xin (菜心)and minced pork as well.
Sat morning while K is at work i went to the wet market to get the Kueh Teow. Had fun 'shopping' in the wet market, it just bring back a lot of childhood memories. (haha i already v aunty when i young? )
I bought some 冬菜 ( those chinese preserved vegetables meant for soup and porrige) from a indian stall, v interesting eh? The indian uncle ask me what i want in mandarin, when i was looking at all the spices on display.. and i tot that is so impressive, i ask him if he has dong cai and he immediately know wat i want. I bought some tau geh and a piece of fishcake and i am all ready to cook my Fuzhou Fishball  Kueh Teow Soup!



Wash and prepare all ingredients ready. Marinate the minced pork in sesame, soya sauce, corn starch and a pinch of salt.

1)Bring a pot of water to boil, add in vegetables, boil till its soft, remove.
2)Add in shredded fishcake and beansprouts until all floats to the surface, remove.
3)Add in fishball, boil till all float to the surface, remove.
4) Add in mince meat bit by bit using a spoon, it should look like small meatballs
5) Add in dong cai 冬菜 and cook till meat is cooked, add a bit of salt and soya sauce to taste.  ( i washed the dong cai before i put into the pot so its not that salty, and its also more hygenic. )

The cooked fishballs, fishcake and the vege

the soup (with just meat and dong cai)

The reason why i separate the ingredients is because i want the noodle to taste fresh. (
 like when you eat outside, they cook as you order)

Last but not least, the fresh kueh teow i bought from the wet market:

The kueh teow is very oily so when you handling it, you can use a clean plastic bag as a glove.

To serve the fishball kueh teow, basically blanch/boil the kueh teow in another pot of hot water, ( to cleanse and remove the grease) drain it and put on your serving bowl. Top with the cooked vege, fishballs,fishcake beansprout, and pour the hot soup over it.

End product:

Its very nice.. K love the soup base. And i love the fishballs!!!!

The next day, we have leftover Kueh Teow, so I fried them.

I did not take photos of the processes cos i am not sure if it will turn out well.. the end product went well so i share with you. (ha i do not share unsuccessful attempts.. i DO have unsuccessful attempts!)

Cai xin ( i only use half pkt for the fishball noodles, so here is the other half)
Beansprout and fishcake ( the leftover)
Red pepper chill (leftover fr the chicken essence chicken cube dish as i only used half of it)
Minced meat (marinated just like the one used for the fishball noodle)
Stock- left over soup base from the  fishball kueh teow
Oyster sauce
Dark soya sauce
Light soya sauce

Fry the chopped garlic till fragrant, add in vegetables and oyster sauce, cook till soft, add in beansprouts,fishcake, diced red pepper chilli and minced meat and stir fry till meat is 3/4 cooked. Add in some stock ( left over soup) and let it simmer.
Pour in fresh Kueh teow and fry. When the mixture is even, pour in soya sauce and toss evenly. Put in 2-3 drops of dark soya sauce for the colour, cook till its about to dry, serve.

Note: beansprout is essential for frying noodles, good texture to bite. ^^

Hope you like this! If you ever try what i have shared, let me know k?