Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sharing Food with Friends

Cooking for Friends

One of life's pleasures, sharing at the dinner table.

Today my friend Farah visited me to return some cooking trays and my heavy European metal 4 tier cake stand. she had kindly kept them for me when I was moving house. Sis Farah always cooked healthy meals for me whenever I visited her. Today I though I should at least make the effort of cooking her a simple healthy lunch.

Winter Melon Soup, My Usual Soup

I already had some left over winter melon soup with dates and wolfberries which was made the day before. It was simmered for a long time and was light but flavourful.

This time I added extra water, some chicken and shredded wood ear fungus. I threw in some fish paste in beancurd skin for variety That was easy. Its also nice with some finely julienned carrot and onions. Just a pinch of salt and pepper to give it some extra flavour. Try to avoid stock cubes unless necessary.

What Soups Do I Like to Make?

Farah asked me what soups do I normally make. Usually the really quick and simple ones that need only simmering, no need to check on them. Like Old Cucumber soup, Lotus root soup, ABC potato chicken soup, Watercress Chicken soup, Mushroom veggie soup, Winter melon soup and Spinach soup. I also like to make Pumpkin Cream soup but its a lot of work peeling the pumpkin. But its economical, makes quite a lot and we enjoy it for 2 days. Best thing is it is really tasty and nutritious! Really satisfying comfort foods.

What are your favourites family dishes? Every family has its own signature dishes. Our best childhood memories always include eating together at the dinner table. Alhamdulilah.

Quick Stir Fry

I then hurriedly cut some fresh mushrooms, capsicums and carrots, onions, cabbage and Japanese green peas and stir fried them with some olive oil , garlic and a dash of sesame oil, pepper and rock salt .

We had a nice simple lunch with parboiled rice. Alhamdulillah! All Praise to God for His blessings.

Icy Cold Blended Fruit Drink

She was in a hurry and I forgot to make some ice blended mango and red dragon fruit juice. Can be sweetened with sweet fruits or honey. Molasses sugar is also an alternative or gula melaka or palm sugar. Its really refreshing when ice cold though its actually not too healthy to swallow icy cold drinks. That may solidify all the oils and fats lurking in our bodies. Hot green , flower or herbal would be better but sometimes the afternoons are so very warm.

Our Favourite Mapo Tofu for Dinner Last Night

These days I always make double boxes of soft tofu. Its too much trouble cooking just one tofu and sometimes its not enough if we did not have an extra meat dish. I do add some chopped chicken or lamb when I brown the garlic. For convenience, I simply buy some mapo tofu chilli paste from the shops. Just add extra seasonings to suit our taste. We can also make our own.

We love the dish but the sodium content is quite high. We need to drink more water and reduce our salt intake the next few days. At least remember to use sea, rock or mountain salt. No processed table salt for us.

Pan Fried Chicken Fillet

I also made some pan fried chicken fillet, cut in cubes. That way it will cook more evenly. Its great for eating with rice and veggies or diced and mixed into fried rice or even served on skewers with cucumber, pineapple, tomato and soft fruits like mango and orange. Fusion fruity chicken sticks. MMmm can make that for my next dinner party.

Dinner Tonight

Tonight Sara wanted to visit me unexpectedly. I asked her to join us for dinner as it was near maghrib already. Just simple food as usual. Even more simple as I was out half the day doing some errands and came home in the jam around 5.30 p.m. Already drizzling and I was feeling so sleepy as I had another late night.

Store Roasted Chicken

It would have been just store bought roast chicken with fresh salad and bread from the supermarket.. Sometimes the chicken can be so juicy and tender. Other times they are hard and dry like leather. I bought lemon and herb chicken but actually there was no taste of lemon or herb at all.

I thought of serving it with mayonnaise, bread and kidney bean salad. I was still sleepy but now that I invited a guest, I had to make a bit more effort.

Egg Drop Soup

Made egg drop veggie soup. That was nice and hot. Also whipped up some lemon honey olive oil dressing for the salad and kidney beans. Its some kind of vinaigrette but I did not add any mustard. Ran out of it and I do not use it often. Trying to be frugal. Even veggies are getting so costly!

Mustard Chicken Wings

Actually deep fried marinated chicken wings with mustard, salt, pepper and some soy sauce can be quite delicious. Learnt it from my friend whose mother used to operate a Szechuan Restaurant. No chicken wings so did not cook any. I am also too lazy to deep fry food. Have to clean up the place after that. Too messy and not so healthy but tasty. Most of us however do enjoy some fried food.

Durian Cake Dessert

Served some store bought durian cake. It was quite tender but I am more used to home baking. Maybe that would be my next cake as a treat when I have time to bake it. Durian cake is rather fussy to make, having to remove the durian flesh from the seeds and also to whip the dairy cream to make the filling. Farah was just mentioning about learning how to make choux pastry and cream puffs with durian cream filling. Yummm but so sinfully rich and decadent. Quickly... gimme some already!!!

Belgian and German Cocoa Butter Chocolate Chips

I served some chocolates of the healthy kind. 53% cocoa butter chocolate chips and some dark chocolate discs. These are not confectionery and do not contain milk or additives. Only pure cocoa butter which is highly anti oxidant and good for skin and nutritious and delicious. Also less sugar so insha Allah healthier to eat and enjoy.l They come in 200gm packs for only RM18 to RM20.

Quite delectable and I am already addicted to them. Will try to upload some photos. Waiting for my son to transfer the photos from the camera. He is asleep already.

I still feel so fresh, must have been the new coffee I bought today. White coffee. Must try to sleep.


  1. salam kak Norshin.Thanks for sharing all those wonderful chinese recipes.Please upload the photos I'm still trying & learning how to improve chinese cooking:)

    1. Salam my dear sis, actually I did take some pix but my son had not uploaded them yet. Also took some just now. Insha Allah by next week. Pls do comment as its nice to have some feedback. And tell me when you tried or improvised upon the recipes.