Thursday, July 30, 2015

[Recipe] Braised Yong Tau Foo in Bean Paste Sauce

This dish is one of my favorite childhood dishes. If I remember correctly, it was almost considered a luxury when my mum cooked this for us. Servings were always not enough but it was good that we got to drizzle the sauce on the rice. Who can forget the taste of mum's cooking? It's so very simple and  filled with lots of love which warmed our hearts!

Quite naturally, this has become one of our family's favorite dishes too! Yong tau foo is inexpensive and it didn't even cost any more than S$8 to cook this for dinner. Comfort food has never been better.

One thing about this yong tau foo dish is that there's no restriction to what type of yong tau foo to use. Choose those that you and your family like to eat. This recipe served 4 of us. Just in case you want to know the portioning of yong tau foo I put in mine, here's what I bought :

- 1 packet of fresh fishballs (about 10 pcs)
- 1 packet of fish dumplings or herh kiao (about 10 pcs)
- 4 pcs of triangular tau pok (fried beancurd puffs) with fish paste filling
- 6 pcs of tau key (beancurd skin) with fish paste filling
- 2 pcs of bittergourd with fish paste filling
- 1 green chilli with fish paste filling
Here's other ingredients you need :
- a bunch of chinese parsley, cut to pieces (the more the merrier for me!)
- a few stalks of spring onions, cut to pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp of sugar (I use brown ones for my cooking)
- 1 tbsp of ground soy bean paste or tau cheo* (see picture below)

*do note that it is a fine paste.

Before I start cooking, I would cut the yong tau foo to bite sized pieces and then blanch them with hot water for about 5 minutes minutes so that it's partially cooked. This helps to ensure that the fish paste will be thoroughly cooked through during the cooking process and it also helps lessen cooking time. Also, set aside about 3/4 cup of the water that you use to blanch the yong tau foo for the sauce.

Method : 
- Heat up your pan with about a tbsp of cooking oil, stir fry the garlic with the bean paste till fragrant.
- Add the yong tau foo and stir fry them for about a minute.
-  Then add the water and sugar, cover the pan to let it simmer for about another 2 minutes.
- Do a quick taste of the sauce here, if it's too salty for your liking, add more water. 
- Lastly, add the parsley and spring onions. Give it a good few seconds stir before turning off the fire.
- Serve and enjoy!

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

[Recipe] Thai Style Grilled Chicken On Sticks

I'm a big fan of Thai food. I love it when a dish is a little salty, sweet, sourish and spicy, all rolled into one. It tantalizes the taste buds and makes a very satisfactory meal. (psst, if you enjoy looking at pictures of the food that I cook or what we fill our tummies with when the family eats out, do follow me on instagram!)

I bought a Thai cookbook recently, Nong's Thai Kitchen - that features more than 80 easy recipes that I could whip up from home. And this was one of the recipe that caught my eye. Though there are many variations of grilled chicken recipes, I was curious to try this particular one because the marinade called for coconut milk. I never knew coconut milk would be part of any marinade! I learnt from the author that adding coconut milk to this originates from the south of Thailand.

We were all surprised how it actually turned out! It has to be the coconut milk that made the difference. It was pleasantly appetizing and out of the chunky 14 sticks I made for dinner, I managed to savour only 2 sticks while the family wiped out the rest. This is definitely a keeper and absolutely something I could use for future party or picnic food too!

Preparation time : 5 minutes  
Marinade time : at least 4 hours but I recommend at least 6-8 hours for the flavors to absorb better.
Cooking time : 30-40 minutes
Serves : 4-5  

Ingredients :
1. 4 pcs boneless chicken thigh, sliced into chunky pieces (or you can substitute with breast meat, though it may not turn out as juicy)
2. 1/4 cup coconut milk or cream
3. 1.5 tbsp dark soya sauce
4. 1.5 tbsp sugar or palm sugar
5. 1 tbsp fish sauce
6. 1.5 tbsp tumeric powder
7. 1 tsp salt (I opted out of this since fish sauce is salty in itself)
8. 1 tsp ground black pepper
9. 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves/stems

Method :
- combine the ingredients from numbers 2 - 9 in a large bowl and mix well. 
- Marinade the chicken into the mixture for at least 6 hours.

- when ready to cook, set your oven temperature to 180 degrees. Or better if you can grill it over charcoal or gas grill. 
- Skewer the meat on sticks, about 2 pieces if your pieces are sliced chunky like mine. It would yield about 14 sticks.
- Place the chicken on sticks onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper (I prefer this over foil).
- Grill in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the skin turns golden and chicken is cooked.
- Serve and enjoy!

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jewelry Crafting with Handmade Felt Beads

Last year, I started working with felt materials, incorporating them into my jewelry creations. I was very pleased with the end product of the several custom made pieces. Though it took so much more time to complete, it was certainly gratifying to see a vision in my head coming to life.
These are the few pieces I had created, working with felt based material.
 Recently, I began to dabble with felt again. But this time, I made the felt beads from scratch. Using the wet felting method. If you are interested, here is one of the many tutorials I have come across and picked up tips from.

These are some of the plain felt beads I had made.
And these are some of the creations I've made recently, using my own handmade felt beads.

A bag charm I made for myself, with purple felt ball and mixed media components.

A customized order that came through when I showcased my completed felt beads. With matching swarovski crystals.

This pair is currently for sale HERE
Remember seeing the plain felt beads at the top part of this post? Well, I decided that plain is just too boring so I got down to sew some simple designs on it! Sewing on these beads took a lot of my time so you can say this is a very labor intensive jewelry. I spent at least 30-45 minutes on each one. Here's my end product.

And what did I do with these beads? I made a piece of jewelry art. Something that I've always challenged myself to do and showcase that the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating!

Wired together with folded leaf shape blue felt fabric cuttings, white riverstone beads sewn on each "leaf" for added weight. Strung together with black lava textured stones and held by suede strand.

A close up of the necklace.
I am truly filled with satisfaction upon the completion of this piece which I had worked on the past few days, piecing the ideas in my head together and making sure the design would work. I have not priced this piece of art yet and I am not so sure if I will be selling it or keep it as part of my personal collection. (Latest update : it's sold!!) Perhaps you may like to customized something to your preference? Just drop me an email!

It would certainly help me, to know what you think of such designs? Would you be game to wear something artistic like this? Would you like to see more of such unique piece of jewelry at Adeline's Loft? Your thoughts are much appreciated!

I am an independent jewelry crafter at Adeline's Loft and have been doing so from home since 2005 - something that I have been pursuing on the side while taking care of the family. Do drop by my facebook page and give me a 'like' to show your support for handmade craft! Thank you!


Till the next post, have a wonderful day!


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