Friday, May 22, 2015

[Recipe] Stir Fry Fish Maw

Initially, I didn't think of sharing this recipe on my blog because I was trying to re-create it after I remembered trying it at a teochew restaurant in Bangkok more than 30 years ago. But at a prompting by a fellow foodie after I uploaded this photo at a food group, I guess I should because I really love this dish to bits! An appetizing dish that you should try if you are a fish maw fan and thought that it would only be best eaten in a soup based dish!


I did a quick search on google for this post and it didn't reveal many stir fry fish maw dishes that originate from Thailand except for this one that spoke to me. (Now I know it's called ka por pla phad hang in Thai!!) I noticed that there are very similar sauces that I used in mine too! And I am so glad that it's quite closed to how it looks as well! *super pleased* 

Here's my version, just slightly different from the one in the link.

Yields : portion for 2   Preparation time : 15-20 minutes

Ingredients :
- 1 rice bowl of soften fish maw. I usually blanch this in hot water for a few minutes.
- 3/4 rice bowl of cleaned bean sprouts
- 4 large pieces of hydrated black chinese mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
-  a few sprigs of spring onions, cut to length (add more if you like this)
- 1 egg, beaten
- coriander for garnishing
- 1 tbsp cooking oil

(Optional : you can also add meat to this dish. I would have used minced pork.)

Sauces :
- 1/2 rice bowl of chicken stock
- 1.5 tsp of light soya sauce
- 1 tsp of fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- a dash of worchestire sauce (optional, though it brought out the flavor. Or you can add vinegar.)
- 1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
- pepper

Method :
-  heat the oil and fry the garlic and mushrooms together till fragrant.
- add the fish maw, bean sprouts, spring onion and all the sauces mentioned above. Continue to stir fry.
- finally, add in the beaten egg and let it cook through. This shouldn't take more than half a minute.
- give it a final mix, dish out and top with coriander.
- serve hot and enjoy!



Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 8, 2015

[Recipe] Peach and Blueberries Melba Cake

If you know me by now, I hardly bake... cakes or muffins or cookies. There are a few reasons :

- I have to have the mood to bake. Which rarely comes.
- I have a family that isn't into such desserts so it doesn't make much sense to bake just for myself.
- It has to be really easy peasy because it will be a complete waste of time and effort if I don't get the consistency right.
- and lastly, the washing up of the stubborn greasy tins.

And then, this melba cake recipe caught my eye as I was browsing through some food magazine at the library one day. I glanced at the familiar ingredients and super doable method. I was motivated! Now seriously, if I find it really easy to make, trust me, it's really easy.

The texture is like pound cake and with the tangy pieces of fruits in each bite, makes it really refreshing to have. Even my not-a-really-big-fan-of-pound-cake-husband enjoyed it and went for.... 2, no 3, no 4 helpings! I'm a happy wife. Consider baking one this weekend!



For this bake, I actually halved the recipe because I really don't need a big portion of cake to satisfy my cravings. But I will be sharing the full recipe that I read in the magazine (dang, I wish I remember what it's called so that I can give proper credit. Will make a trip to the library to find out and update it here.)

Preparation time : 10-15 minutes    Baking time : 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes

You will need a 10" square tin or similar for the full recipe. I used a 6" for half of the recipe.

Ingredients :
- 250g unsalted butter
- 300g caster sugar (I chose to reduce this by one quarter so that it's less sweet)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 50g ground almonds (Optional. I did not add this into mine)
- 2 peaches, sliced into wedges. (I used canned ones though fresh is recommended)
- 100g raspberries (I used blueberries instead)
- a handful of flaked almonds (I've opted out from this)
- 1 tbsp of icing sugar, to finish (I've opted out from this)

Method :
- butter the baking tin.
- set the oven to 180 degrees celcius
- melt butter in a large pan and let it cool for a few minutes.
- add sugar, vanilla and eggs.
- beat the mixture with wooden spoon till smooth
- stir in the flour, ground almonds (optional) and salt.
- pour the mixture into the tin and scatter the berries and flaked almonds evenly on the top.
- lay the peaches on top as well.
- bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes, covering with foil after 40 minutes.
- using a skewer to test, the middle should have a hint of squidgyness.
- cool in tin for 20 minutes then lift it onto a cooling rack.
- once cooled, you can dredged it with icing sugar (optional), then slice into portions before serving.

I enjoyed mine served slightly warm. It was heavenly! And I'm also pretty sure that it will go very well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! This will be my go to fail proof cake recipe if I ever have any gatherings to contribute to. 



Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

[Blog Train] Making Good - Replacing A Broken Clasp on Necklace or Bracelet

It could be a new necklace you just bought or a favorite versatile piece that you've been wearing for the longest time. Then the inevitable happens! The spring clasp break and you aren't sure whether to chuck it (that would be such a waste!) or where to find help to get it fixed.


As far as I am aware, most bead supply shops in Singapore do not cater to helping you fix such dilemmas. Approaching a professional at a retail shop may set you up between S$10-S$20 for this service. As for me, truth be told, when my clients approach me to fix a straightforward broken jewelry like this, there will also be minimal charges to cover workmanship, materials, postage and packaging which would be between $4-$6. This of course, also excludes the (hassle) to and fro mailing plus the waiting time.

So with just a little investment on your end, I hope this post will help you make good your own broken jewelry without the need to part with so much cash just to get a broken clasp replaced. Here's a quick list of what you will need :

Lobster clasp or spring clasp
You can buy a small quantity of this at any bead supply shop. A small packet would usually consist of 4-6 pieces which should cost you no more than 40 cents a piece. They come in various sizes and shapes too! Get one that you are comfortable with handling.

Jump rings
These round little loops are required for connecting parts together, in this case, the new clasp. A small packet would usually have at least a dozen pieces which should cost you no more than 10 cents a piece. They come in various gauge (thickness of wire) and sizes. Ask the staff at the bead shop to help you select the appropriate one. Or better yet, ask them to help pick out the components you need to get your item fixed.

Pliers
To help with the opening and closure of the jump rings. I don't suggest you buy them but if you do, a mini set would cost you no more than $9.  A standard set will comprise of a flat nose pliers, sharp nose pliers (both shown in the photo below) and a cutter. Or look around your dad's or hubby's tool box for something similar because you basically just need them to help open and close the jump rings. Alternatively, you can also try using tweezers.


*Please note that the above pricing of components are in Singapore dollars and serves as a guide.*

Here's a little video tutorial I took using my mobile phone, of how a broken clasp is replaced. Or if the existing jump ring holding the broken clasp is not damaged, you can recycle it.


Just a couple more tips to note :

- in the video, do observe the proper way of opening up the jump rings. Using both pliers, twist one side open toward you and the other away from you. There's no need to open up too wide lest it gets distorted. Do the same when closing the ring till the ends meet. It is wrong to open jump rings apart by pulling the ends away in a left and right motion as it will cause more distortion and may result in breakage.

- using the same method in the video, you can also do the same for replacing extension chains in your accessories, connect broken chains or even earrings.

Do you have any questions for me regarding this post? Let me know and I'll be most happy to help!

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I hope you are having fun checking out all the other bloggers that are on this blog train so far too!
Did you manage to check out Stella's make good post about fixing a shoulder strap bag with yarn? Read about how she went about perfecting it at Purfylle.com 

I'm also excited to introduce the next blogger, Nueyer, on board tomorrow's train!

 http://angelheartscrafts.blogspot.com/Nueyer is from sunny Singapore and started crafting/sewing from young.  As school and work commitments came along, the crafting got less and less until it disappeared.  However, when there was a need to sew an odd-sized pillow case for Big One, the crafting bug came alive!  Now, I can't stop crafting and hope that one day, I'll be able to make some change to this world, no matter how small. 
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Till the next post, have a wonderful day!


This post is part of a blog train hosted by Agatha from Green Issues by Agy on "Making Good". What is repair, and why do we even bother to repair the things we have? Some see repair as a way of reconnecting with our possessions as we extend their lives. Others see it as a form of creative potential and an avenue to express their craft. The rewards for mending varies from feeling immense satisfaction to prolonging the life of the product. Follow the “Making Good” blog train this month and see what we have repaired and reconnected with. 

Have you mended anything today?

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