Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Daring Bakers #11 Tiramisu...

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

WOW... that's what I call challenge. You have to prepare few different things and after all that hard work you just mix everything together!



How to make it...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon by Julia Child...

I got Julia's book as a Christmas present from my Hubby and it was high time to do something from it. As my Hubby had a deciding vote he choose Bouef Bourguingon. It's amazing recipe - the best ever!!! You have to prepare to do a lot of work but it's SO worth it!!! We started making it after 2 pm and it was served as a late dinner (around 8 pm) that evening. I'm posting the recipe exactly as I have it in my book - don't want to miss something or give you wrong instructions... I hope you will try it and if you have a chance buy the book! It's officially my bible from now! :)




How to make it...

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Hubby's first cake creation!...

Yesterday was an amazing day. My Hubby made his first cake, in whole life, all by himself... He got this recipe from his Mum and decide to bake. I have to admit that the result was really good! The smell in whole house was great too :) He was eating it with a tear in his eye saying: "a taste of my childhood"... This cake is a sponge like and actually is better on the second day. It was a success but I won't give up 'my fortress' without the battle ;) Baking is my domain and it will stay that way!
P.S. He just told me I have to write that - this cake is the best in the morning with a glass of fresh milk.



How to make it...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fried tofu & rice noodles...

Finally! I've made something from Ching's cookbook (review of the book in the previous post). I had a pack of organic tofu and nothing for the dinner ;) The original recipe from the book is for whole dish 'Northern-style bean curd tofu' but I served it with something completely different - although also a Chinese style. The tofu for me generally is very blend ingredient and needs good seasoning or accompaniment to taste good. This way of preparing tofu is amazing - quick and delicious! I'm sure you can use it then in many types of different dishes with a great result each time.



How to make it...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Homemade muesli...

I eat porridge / cereals etc., every morning. In my opinion it's the best start of the day. As all my cereals were used I needed something new. I went to the supermarket and was shocked! Ready made, prepacked muesli are SO expensive! There are maybe 3-4 ingredients and you have to pay for it minimum double the price of a normal cereals! Just because it says 'healthy choice / good for you' on the pack... No way I'll be paying that! That was the moment when this idea came to me. Muesli is nothing else than oats, some dry fruits, raisins and nuts - why not make it/mix it myself!? I had all the necessary ingredients already at home - if you bake a lot you'll know what I mean ;)



There's no recipe as such for it - depends what you like. This is another advantage of making your own muesli mix. You add what you like, not what is the best seller in the supermarket ;) Try and play with it! - I know I will. You can also add fresh fruits just before eating (banana, strawberries or even sliced apples will be great). My muesli consists of: oats, almond flakes, desiccated coconut, raisins and I'll sweeten it with honey just before eating. Not too much - but no plain porridge anymore!

"Muesli is a popular breakfast cereal based on uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts. It was developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital. It is available as a packaged dry form, or it can be made fresh." - by Wikipedia.org

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chinese Food Made Easy (book review)...


"Chinese food made easy"
by Ching-He Huang

Hardcover (191 pages)

Chapters: Notes from a Chinese kitchen, Takeway favourites, Spicy Sichuan dishes, Dumplings, dim sum and noodles, Fish adn seafood dishes, Street food, Celebration food for family and friends, Desserts and drinks, Side dishes, Cooking techniques and storecupboard, Ching's menu planner.

This is a wonderful book writen by Ching-He Huang, who is one of the 'new stars' in modern Chinese cooking and she became a celebrity chef (thanks to the BBC series under the same title). She re-invents the nation's favourite Chinese dishes, 'upgrading' them with fresh, easy to buy ingredients and offering simple practical tips and techniques. Her style is unique and is visible throughout this book, which accompany the TV series. Book is full of delicious, yet very easy, recipes. You don't need a cupboard full of Chinese ingredients - basics will do!

I love Chinese (and Asian in general) cuisine. I really rarely attempt to cook something myself thinking it's really hard work and too complicated... This book is different though. It is written in easy style with plain language. I love just fliping through the pages, looking at those great, colourful photos and reading about those yummy dishes, ingredients and lots of handy tips when preparing Chinese dish. This book will be a great present idea for someone who likes/loves cooking and is passionate about Asian cuisine or just want to try something new, but not too difficult or time consuming.
The recipes which caught my eye straight away are: Northern-style bean curd dofu (p.135), Fruity sticky rice with toffee sauce (p.150), Egg fu young (p.109), Marbled tea eggs with oyster sauce (p.101) or Egg flower drop soup (p.22).

To urge you even more to buy/read this great cookbook I will use Ching's own words: "Cooking and eating wonderful food every day to me is more pure joy and a sign of our wealth. This does not mean that every dish need be extravagant or expensive - a well-cooked stir-fry or fried rice can give great satisfaction. in my opinion often the best tasting dishes are those simple classics cooked from the heart and given plenty of love and attention."

Som of the recipes I've already tried:



Northern-style bean curd dofu








About the author:
Ching-He Huang (Chinese: 黃瀞億) (born 28 November 1978) is a Taiwanese-born British food writer, food entrepreneur and TV chef who has appeared in a variety of television cooking shows. Ching has starred in three popular TV series and is the author of five best-selling cookbooks. She has developed a range of Ching-branded Woks, tableware, Chinese cooking and preparation utensils marketed by Typhoon Housewares, as well as branded exotic mushrooms grown in the UK  - by amazon.com

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Daring Cooks #7 Mezze...

The 2010 February Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

The challenge is to prepare a Mezze (pronounced “mez-ay", although many people seem to pronounce it as "mezz”) Table including, but not limited to, homemade Pita bread and Hummus. If you’re not familiar with mezze, it’s more of a style of eating than a specific recipe or recipes. Mezze is a bunch of small dishes served all at once—sort of like the Middle Eastern version of Spanish Tapas. It can be served as appetizers before a meal, or as the meal itself.



I have to admit it was my first time doing 'mezze'. I had Hummus or pita bread before, even so other Eastern dishes but never combined together, on one big table.
It was fun preparing something different, maybe more of a different way of serving rather than anything else. Didn't make Hummus though (I'm posting the recipe anyway for those who may want to make it) I completely forgot about Hummus in this challenge! And it was already late at night (yesterday, by the way...) and I didn't have a chance to get the ingredients.
Pita bread was fantastic - it puffed beautifully and was very tasty. This recipe is definitely a keeper for me! (I won't buy ready made pita anymore!)

How to make it...