Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trying to do everything simultaneously

Firstly, I'm  trying to post something hastily before I go on to other must dos tonight.  Enjoying my semi sweet cocoa butter Belgian chocolate at the same time.  I ate a few packages already and this is the last one.  Its anti oxidant and really very creamy and tasty.  After all, they are Belgian chocolates, not the ones you see everyone trying to make in fancy shapes and colours, some being sold on line.

Go for the real thing

Not criticising others but commercial chocolate for making fancy chocolates at home are not the same as fine chocolates that you see over the speciality counters.  Of course the prices are also very special. Too costly,. That's why people resort to making their own, even though it does not taste like the real thing.

Satisfying Dinner

 Today we had a fairly interesting dinner.  Made the beef stew at midnight.  Today made chicken soup with lots of vegetables.  Just great for a cool rainy night.  Actually it was not raining when I prepared my fruit starter. Its mango season so I had been using a lot of mangoes.   It had been rather warm in the day and I made more of the mango and red seedless grape dessert with ice cubes Drizzle some honey if you wish for a fruity honey drink when the ice melts.  Actually I also like it with watermelon, kiwi, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, apple and banana.  Any combination.

Simple Beef Stew with tomatoes 

I browned the beef which was coated with some flour to seal the juices.  Then added water, onions and cooked it for a while to soften the beef.  Did not take long , depending on the cut of meat.  I then added some cloves, cinnamon, a star anise, lots of carrots.some potatoes and tomatoes.  Made lots of gravy for soaking the bread.  Garlic bread would be lovely.

Did not want to use tomato puree from the can as I was feeling guilty.  I just read again that its not too safe to use canned ones. Went to the shop to buy a large glass bottle of tomato puree which I can also use to make my chicken pilau.  Added button mushrooms but forgot to add a little celery which  would be tasty and extra nutritious. Anyway it turned out well and we enjoyed it with bread. Thick canned tomato paste would make the dish seem  more tastier.

I just realised that I only paid RM9 for the piece of chick beef but today I paid RM14 for beef of almost the same weight.  Mmmm RM5 more  for the same dish.  Plus vegetables etc my stew costed around RM20.  The good news is it can serve 4 persons whereas  a beef pie that is so very tiny cannot even satisfy a child and it costs around RM5.50 without any salad. That means I would have to order 2 tiny pies and an extra salad .  So we still save and have better food at home.  But who wants to cook all the time?  Not me.

Simple Nutritious Chicken soup

Chicken soup was the usual style. with lots of onions. some tomato, potato, carrots and Tientsin cabbage (the long light green leafy Chinese  cabbage)  Its  extra sweet when cooked in soup. Just throw in a few chicken pieces , simmer for at least 2 hours on very  low flame and its done. You can also use this as a stock base for cooking noodles, other soups or place some in the crock pot to make some all day broth.  It can be so concentrated and delicious and ready anytime.  Will post more later.

We love fried rice

We all love fried rice.   For lunch I made very quick fried rice with lots of garlic, onion, crispy prawn sambal,  chicken and frozen mixed veggies. I only had half a bowl of rice while my son finished 2 whole plates. Just  serve with lettuce.

I normally love basic Yang Chow fried rice with scrambled egg but the prawn sambal was calling me today so we had spicy rice instead.  Can't have too much of that as its really fiery and spicy. 

I do not mind cooking a quick meal as its better than eating out all the time.  It gets boring sometimes as we do not have the time nor mood to go hunting for a nice place to eat, its warm outside, hard to find parking and the worst is its really costly.  A simple fried rice dish with no nutrients would cost at least RM5.50 to RM12.  And often its oily and  they may also use inferior quality oils and hastily washed vegetables etc. We may get a really nice plate with fried crackers and salad if we pay more.  Well, I would not want to pay more when its a quick half hour lunch.