September 26, 2008

Dinner: Roasted Ribs and Sauteed Veggies

Green beans and sugar snap peas sauteed with garlic and some chicken.
Ginger + Five-Spice Ribs Roast, and spicy hoisin sauce glaze.

Also along with these is a mixed salad of cucumber, lettuce, and tomatoes. (Hehe.. No, I did not eat this dinner. Maybe the tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce sandwich.)

September 24, 2008

Smarties Cookies

Smarties cookies, with some almond pieces (for crunch). I also used almond meal too, to make a softer cookie, rather than just flour.

I will need to experiment more with this! Maybe add rolled oats? Additional dark chocolates? Hmm...

September 22, 2008

Healthy Oat Cookies

The healthy oatmeal cookies- no added sugar, no butter, no flour, no eggs.

I didn't think these will be good, but they are! The sweetness comes from the ripe bananas and chopped chocolate, and they are just right. If you prefer a little bit more sweetness, then add a bit of brown sugar or honey.

Here's the recipe:

Banana Oat Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

almond slices, sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. In a large bowl, combine bananas, vanilla extract, and oil. Set aside.
2. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips and walnuts.
4. Spoon the dough out, about a tablespoon each. For each one, you can roll it in sesame seeds if you like, or put almond slices on it too, to make it look nicer.
5. Bake 15 minutes for a soft cookie, or 25 mins for a crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside cookie.

September 15, 2008

Sweet Tapioca Balls- Chè Xôi Nước

Secret dessert! Secret dessert!

Check out the texture of these balls! :D

What are inside these balls? And what's that on the outside?

This is chè xôi nước. It's like dumpling balls in a lightly sweetened ginger syrup. Inside these balls is mashed mung bean, and on the outside are tiny tapioca pearls.

The tiny tapioca pearls are mixed with some water first to make a paste, and then form into a shell of tapioca. This creates a very good chewy texture to it, as opposed to making the shell with normal glutinous flour (See second picture).

September 9, 2008

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Bisque

With French influence, Vietnamese people also have bisques.

This is a vegetarian version I made with sweet potato, butternut squash (although kabocha squash is better), long beans, tofu, batata, carrots, (raw) peanuts, and peas.

For flavoring, I used curry powder, milk (because bisque needs to be creamy), ginger, and kaffir lime leaves.

I think cooking raw peanuts with pumpkin soups are very good. It is the special local way of cooking these kinds of soups from where I live in Vietnam. I remember, I was really suprise when my uncle said he'd never heard of cooking peanuts with pumpkins. I thought it was a common thing to do.

Anyway, with the peanuts, you have to roughly ground it up in a mortar and pestle or a machine. This infuses the peanut flavor into the soup more, as opposed to leaving them whole. I had the bisque with some seeded bread and a sourdough toast, but a french baguette would be just as good!

p.s. Cooking this bisque with cream, creamed corn, and or coconut milk would definitely be extra delicious... But I'm making it the healthy way!

September 3, 2008

Pork Fried Rice

Golden corns...

Sweet peas...

Crunchy green beans...

Spicy eggs...

Flavorful rice...

Juicy BBQ pork...

Oh wait, I got the wrong bowl of fried rice! This is the meat version!

One of the things I did with this fried rice is, instead frying up the egg whites+yolks together, I used the yolks to mix into the hot steamy rice. This gave the rice a nice yellowish color to it, as well as making it very tasty. I used only 1 yolk and the rest egg whites for the chopped egg pieces. Add in a little chili flakes when you eat, and it's very good.

p.s. One of the things I'm liking more and more is using basmati rice for making fried rice. It has a soft and nice texture to it.

September 2, 2008

A messy cake, a messy kitchen

This was one of the earlier cakes I baked (in my baking mode)- a dark chocolate cake with banana and nutella filling, topped with chocolate ganache.

For some reason, this cake was better overnight. It tasted more fudgey, rather than light and fluffy when I made it. The melted chocolate might've soaked into the cake part, making it more dense.

I'm not a big fan of chocolate cake, unless with some hidden booze (like at Petit Robert). Hence, I like this one okay. But I really had a messy kitchen by the time I finished making it, chocolates everywhere!

Sticky Rice with Peanut-Sesame Topping

It's not a good idea to be posting up pictures of food at night, especially at 2am. Because I'm hungry!

This is sticky rice I cooked with split mung beans, and topped with a roasted sesame peanut sugar salt mixture. Sounds odd, since the Thai sticky rice with mango is more well known, but I really like the combination of eating sticky rice with a salty-sweet peanut topping. It's the Vietnamese way.

The mung beans add a buttery texture to the rice, and also making it not as sticky and heavy. Sticky rice is also served at weddings and New Years (artificially colored pink) because I think there is a special meaning to it.

Quail Egg Noodle Soup

There wasn't anything much going on this weekend, except some noodle soup for me. Ah! I forgot about the hot sauce until halfway chowing down.

I made this soup with a vegetable broth consisting of carrots, chayote, charred onions+ginger, and mushrooms. Other ingredients along with the vermecilli were quail eggs (which I love!) fried tofu, vegetarian ham, bean curd, and enoki mushrooms.

I'd actually love some snow mushrooms in this soup too, and maybe make an omlette to put in the noodle. I was lazy and hungry. :(