December 18, 2015

Stained Glass Cookies

candy center, christmas cookie, cookies, ornament, recipe, Stained Glass, 彩色, 玻璃, 餅乾

Dear readers, in this Christmas season, I'm going to have to admit that I've got cookies on the brain, a veritable cookie fever, if you will.  Cookies, cookies, cookies everywhere!  What can one do, though, with Christmas parties coming up one after another and a little girl at home that loves her cookies and milk?  

Our latest discovery of fun cookies to make and bake for the holiday season are these wonderfully fun and amazingly beautiful Stained Glass Cookies.  I can't believe that I had never seen these cookies before!  Where the heck have I been?  Who would have thought that one could make cookies that let light in through a colorful candy window?!  Amazing cookiness, if you ask me.  And you can even hang them on your Christmas tree!

December 12, 2015

Chinese Sweet Potato Ginger Dessert Soup 番薯姜糖水

Chinese, yam, Sweet Potato, Ginger, Dessert Soup, recipe, traditional, classic, sweet soup, warming, 番薯, 姜, 糖水

Brrrrrr! All day long a chilly autumn wind has been blowing in through the crack in my window, outside its been raining on and off and the world is all wet and dreary.  On days like this there's nothing that warms you up better than a touch of the right kind of traditional Cantonese sweet soup.  

And the right kind of sweet soup, at least for me, is the kind of sweet soup with a bit of ginger in it, no, no, I must be upfront, a darn boatload of ginger in it.  Yummm...that delicious spiciness of ginger!  How good this Chinese Sweet Potato Ginger Dessert Soup 番薯姜糖水 is, soft comforting pieces of luscious yams floating in a sweet and fiery soup that warms you right through to the tips of your toes!

December 6, 2015

Snowball Melting Moments Cookies

christmas cookies, cookies, cornstarch, Melting Moments, melt in your mouth, recipe, Snowball, 融化時刻, 雪球, 餅乾

Yeah, it's that time of the year!  The countdown to Christmas is here!  I love the Xmas season despite all the rampant commercialization of it these days.  There's always been something really wonderful, warm and fuzzy to me about it all.  And now that we've got a little girl it's even more fun to celebrate Christmas, there are gifts to hide, decorations to put up, christmas carols to sing!  

We kicked off the season this year by making these yummiliciously fun Snowball Melting Moments Cookies; a cookie easy enough for my little girl to make, mostly, by herself and good looking enough to give away as a gift.  I mean who wouldn't want to make and eat cookies that look, taste (in my imagination, at least), and melt deliciously in the mouth just like real snowballs!

December 1, 2015

Chinese Ma Lan Tou (Kalimeris Indica) Tofu Salad 涼伴香乾馬蘭頭

chinese, dried tofu, indian aster, indian kalimeris, kalimeris indica, malan tou, ma lan tou, recipe, salad, tofu, 涼伴, 香乾, 馬蘭頭

This special little dish, the Chinese Ma Lan Tou (Kalimeris Indica) Tofu Salad, or 涼伴香乾馬蘭頭, is one of my personal favorite vegetable dishes of Shanghainese cuisine.  It reminds me, in its simple yet very presentable ethereal grace of those Shanghai ladies of old, so classy with their beautiful cheongsams, not a permed hair out of place, delicately floating by trailing scents of flowers and soap. Never before and since have Chinese ladies looked so good! (In my humble opinion, that is.)

November 20, 2015

Stir Fry Beef Udon Noodles 牛肉炒烏冬面

Stir Fry,  Beef,  Udon Noodles,  牛肉, 炒, 烏冬面, recipe

Sometimes there's nothing you want so much as a good heap'in plate of steaming hot stir fried noodles.  Yuummmm...  Noodles are a great all in one dish!  

You've got your long twirling noodles that you can slurp or suck up, your various bits of lovely vegetables (healthy!), and your lovely splash of marinated meat (scrummy!).  Everything you need for a super tasty all in one dinner or lunch.  

We love to use udon noodles to make our stir fry noodles cuz you get the added perk of the udon oozing just enough starch to make a deliciously sticky, oh so satisfying! sauce that juicily coats all your stir fry.  So good!  Try this Stir Fry Beef Udon Noodles, it's an easy, throw together leftovers kind of dish that makes a lovely, tasty, saucy plate of delicious noodles.

November 6, 2015

Chocolatey Chocolate Ice Cream

chocolate, classic, dessert, ice cream, recipe, 冰淇淋, 巧克力, 雪糕

Yum, yum, yum, my favorite flavor of ice cream!  Chocolatey chocolate!  No matter how many new and exotic flavors appear on my ice cream horizon, I always float back lazily to that rich, velvetly, creamy, uniquely chocolatey taste of chocolate ice cream.  (Well, that, and also my other classic childhood favorite ice cream, Strawberry Ice Cream!

We always like to have some homemade ice cream in the fridge and this Chocolatey Chocolate Ice Cream 巧克力雪糕 is a great favorite of ours for eating and for dressing up to make fancy ice cream cones!

October 30, 2015

Chinese Daikon Brisket Stew 清湯蘿蔔牛坑腩

beef, Brisket, chinese, daikon, recipe, Stew, 清湯, 牛坑腩, 蘿蔔

Finally we here in Hong Kong have felt the cool soothing touch of the occasional autumn breeze!  As usual, it's been a long, hot, humid summer and we're just crazy glad that the weather has cooled down enough to allow us at times to live with open windows and no air conditioner blasting away.  

The change in the weather been so uplifting in a way (silly me, I know!), that I have been inspired to start dreaming of warm, fortifying autumn dishes for our dinner table.  This Chinese Daikon Brisket Stew, or 清湯蘿蔔牛坑腩, is one of those comfort dishes that fills you up heartily, tastes just yummilicious with tender beef and meltingly soft daikon swimming prettily in a clear soup that will give you strength to fight against the autumn chills.

October 19, 2015

Chocolate Ganache

chocolate, chocolate ganache, filling, ganache, Macaron, macaroon, recipe, 巧克力伽納徹

I don't know about you dear reader, but I love me my chocolate.  And if at all possible I like to have chocolate...with chocolate!  So these little Chocolate Ganache filled Chocolate Macarons are a great favorite of mine (see our recipe for Chocolate Macarons here).  This creamy, soft yet solid ganache filling is super yummiliciously chocolately and a great filling for macarons.  

Try this super duper simple to make Chocolate Ganache that dries to a perfect semi solid state, creamy when you bite into the macaron, but solid enough to keep its lovely round edged shape.

October 15, 2015

Chocolate Macarons

Chocolate, macaroon, Macaron, recipe, ganache,  蛋白杏仁餅, 馬卡龍

In Hong Kong there are many places nowadays selling this very frenchie delight of the macaron, one of the many of the patisserie of that nation that has traveled far in fame and glory.  I have bought them as a treat for my little girl and she was ever so delighted with them, these light, airy, sweet, nutty, colorful little delicacies that look almost too pretty to eat.  But they are so expensive!  And my girl was always longing for them!  

Then I got addicted to watching The Great British Baking Off, the most delightful baking show ever, and I noticed that the home bakers on the show often made macarons for decorating their luscious creations.  They made it look so easy that I thought, if these folks can do it so can I!  So I made these elusive Chocolate Macarons.   And to be honest these lovely chocolate delights were not as hard as I thought it was going to be!

October 5, 2015

Homemade Mung Green Bean Flour 自製綠豆粉

Homemade, Mung bean, Green Bean, Flour, chinese, recipe, 自製, 綠豆粉
Mung beans skins off

When making our Macau Almond Cookies 澳門杏仁餅 during the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival I discovered that I could not find one vital ingredient for the cookies: mung bean flour also known as green bean flour or starch.  So I thought to use some elbow grease and just make it myself.  

It turns out that it is not so hard, just needing a bit of time and patience to make this nutty, roasty, aromatic Homemade Mung Green Bean Flour 自製綠豆粉.

September 27, 2015

Macau Almond Cookie 澳門杏仁餅

Macau, chinese, Almond Cookie, almond, cookie, macanese, pressed, recipe, traditional, wooden mold,  澳門, 杏仁餅, mid autumn festival, festival

Chinese Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節 is just around the corner and my little girl is beside herself with anticipation!  (It's her favorite holiday of the year plus she gets to stay up late!)  

The yearly celebration of the biggest moon of the year, the harvest moon, Mid Autumn Festival so much fun here in Hong Kong! There are moon cakes to make, shopping expeditions to make, lanterns to light and little children to dress up in festive Chinese attire , moon gazing outings to plan!  

After an early preparation of our traditional double yolk lotus seed paste mooncakes and our five nut mooncakes, I thought why not make an extra traditional treat to have on hand in case of the extra munchies?  I ended up making some of these delectably light and flavorsome Macau Almond Cookies  澳門杏仁餅, quite easy to make and delightfully easy on the eyes.

September 14, 2015

Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam

fruit, easy, homemade, Jam, recipe, strawberry, 士多啤梨, 果醬, 自製, no pectin

Recently I've happily discovered an important fact.  It turns out that you can make your own homemade fruit jam pretty easily and quickly!  Wow, oh wow!  

I've always hankered after making my own fruit jams, dreaming of the fresh, sweet sticky goodness that I could feed my family (and myself, of course!) if only I could make my own jam.  But I was intimidated by all the talk of canning jars and sterilization and super large pots of boiling fruit.  It all sounded so serious and ultra time consuming!  

And then I found out (by finally watching the amazing Great British Bake Off, OMG I'm totally obssessed with that show!) that if you only wanted one jar of jam to eat, why, that was easy peasy to make!  And so I tried it out and made my first jar of Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam.  Just like that I was in jammy heaven, sunshine and happiness in a jar! 

September 6, 2015

Asian Chili Hot Oil Sauces 辣椒醬

asian, chili oil, Chili sauce, chinese, hot oil, hot sauce, indonesian, recipe, thai, 辣椒醬, 辣油

We reviewed the cookbook The Asian Kitchen - Fabulous Recipes from Every Corner of Asia by Kong Foong Ling (see our cookbook review here) and here we present the recipes that we used in our review.  
As you can probably see we decided to make a smorgasbord of Asian Chili Hot Sauces, one from each of three different countries.  What a fun idea it turned out to be!  Easy to make, gorgeous to look at.  And best of all, you can travel around the world with the tip of your tongue, all while eating a home cooked meal!

Cookbook Review - The Asian Kitchen - Fabulous Recipes from Every Corner of Asia

cookbook, review, hot sauce, hot oil, hot paste, chili paste, chili, asian, recipe, chinese, thai, indonesian

We recently got an opportunity to review The Asian Kitchen - Fabulous Recipes from Every Corner of Asia by Kong Foong Ling, a cookbook packed with recipes from the many fabulous cuisines of Asia.  Not only recipes from Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, but also packed with interesting introductions into the food culture of each country, suggestions for planning meals and a handy pictionary of the more exotic food items and kitchen utensils required for the recipes.

I have to admit that at first I was not sure how to go about this review, there was so many recipes to look at!  But then once I had settled into my comfy chair with the cookbook I found myself quickly lost in the delights of the specialities of each cuisine.  As I'm sure many of you have, my family and I have traveled here and there in Asia and we have delighted in good food wherever we found it.  Fond memories of yummilicious foods that we had eaten in distant lands danced through my mind as I turned the pages.

But what recipe to review?  I wanted to make everything at first but finally decided on a smorgasbord of Asian Hot Chili Oil Sauces.  What could better showcase the similar yet unique variations that are celebrated by The Asian Kitchen?

(We have a special treat for our dear readers, a giveaway of two copies of The Asian Kitchen - Fabulous Recipes from Every Corner of Asia.  See the end of this post for details on how to enter. )

August 20, 2015

Chinese Pickled Yellow Mud Clam 黄泥螺

Chinese, Pickled, Yellow Mud, Clam,  黄泥螺, wine

This rather strange looking tidbit is actually an incredibly delicious and addictive delicacy from the sea.  Or rather from the windswept tidelands of Ningbo 寧波, Zhejiang 浙江 (my 媽媽's home province!)  Only here are found these little mud clams, these innocuous and plain looking burrowers of wet mud that are used to make these famous Chinese Pickled Yellow Mud Clams 黄泥螺.  This Chinese delicacy can be traced all the way back to the Song Dynasty (that's around 1000 years of eating these delicious clams!)

August 10, 2015

Steamed Pork Patty with Salted Duck Egg 咸蛋蒸肉餅

chinese, pork, recipe, salted duck egg, steamed, steamed pork patty, 咸蛋, 咸蛋蒸肉餅, 肉餅, 蒸, 鹹蛋, 鹹蛋蒸肉餅

A dear reader reminded us that we have not yet posted this classic Chinese dish, the Steamed Pork Patty with Salted Duck Egg, or 咸蛋蒸肉餅 (thanks H Gotts!)  We make this all the time!  

Actually this comfort dish is probably prepared in Chinese family homes of the South on a weekly basis.  A quick easy to make dish full of strong savory flavors, filling to the stomach, with the delicious treat of salted duck egg on top.  A taste of Steamed Pork Patty with Salted Duck Egg is a taste of home!

July 28, 2015

Strawberry Ice Cream

雪糕, 士多啤梨, 冰淇淋, 草莓, strawberry, ice cream, recipe, homemade, cream, dessert

There's nothing like strawberry and cream.  It's truly a combination made in heaven.   Nowadays we get luscious ripe strawberries in the middle of the summer thanks to modern farming technology so what the heck, gotta take advantage! We chanced upon a bonanza of sun ripened long stemmed strawberries and swopped them all up.  Whoopee!  What a grab!  

Just the thing to make one of our favorite homemade fruit ice creams, the absolutely delectable classic known as Strawberry Ice Cream 士多啤梨雪糕.  I know, I know, everyone's had strawberry ice cream a million times already.  But trust me, you haven't had strawberry ice cream until you've made some fresh for yourself at home!

July 19, 2015

Rainbow Finger Jello

Rainbow, Finger, Jello,  彩虹, 果凍

Lazy, slow and hot summer days...looking for ways to fill the endless time, desperate for ways to cool yourself down.  Jumping into a blue, blue square of pool, water splashes high into the hot, hot air.  Tearing greedily into an ice cold slice of the reddest, sweetest watermelon you ever had.  Running squealing with happiness through the sprinklers on a green patch of lawn.  Catching the rainbow in the air as you jump high through the cool water.  

And best of all, having some of the most yummilicious summer treats of all, those cool, wobbly, translucent blobs of pure glowing color that you can hold in your fingers and bite right through and let slide down, cool and sweet, right into your tummy.  Rainbow Finger Jello is summer in a bite...the magic of rainbows cast into jingly, wobbily delicious life as a cool, fun to play with and super easy to make jello-y summer treat. 

July 4, 2015

Stir Fried Ketchup Shrimp 茄汁蝦碌

Stir Fried, Ketchup Shrimp, ketchup, shrimp, recipe, chinese,stir fry,  茄汁蝦碌

We love shrimp!  It's got to be one of our favorite seafood items of all times.  What's there not to like, fresh shrimp is the most amazingly, succulently sweet meat that has an amazing crunchy yet tender bite to it.  

We have to careful when eating shrimp, however, as my little girl and I both struggle with eczema and shrimp unfortunately is one of those things that can cause the skin itchies.  But boy, oh, boy do I enjoy it the every once in a while we allow ourselves to indulge.  

This time around we made one of my childhood favorite stir fried shrimp dishes, the delectable Stir Fried Ketchup Shrimp, or 茄汁蝦碌.  This shrimp dish is sooo good that you'll find yourself licking the plate clean (like I do every time!)

July 1, 2015

Lychee Time of the Year! 荔枝 - 糯米糍

Lychee, 荔枝, 糯米糍, chinese, fruit, season, summer

Hey everyone,  the Queen is back, it's lychee time of the year!  Those gorgeous, sexy, succulent, rose tinged fruits of the the Chinese summer.  Lychee is one of our favorite summer fruits, so juicy, so luscious, so distinctive in taste that 'lychee' has become a flavor in its own right.  

We have noticed the lychee's appearance for a couple of weeks, a bit small and green tinged at first, and we've been waiting for them to get bigger and rosier.  Well, we finally went for a batch yesterday and boy, oh boy, they were perfect!  It's Lychee Time of the Year!

June 24, 2015

Chinese Almond Cookies 杏仁餅乾

almond, chinese, Chinese Almond Cookies, cookies, recipe, 杏仁, 杏仁餅乾, 餅乾

I remember one of our family's special treats growing up was when 媽媽 and 爸爸 would come back from a long freeway drive to Phoenix Bakery in Chinatown with a pink box packed to the brim with deliciously fragrant crumbly yet crunchy Chinese almond cookies, each with a toasty almond in the middle.  

These golden delights were eagerly snatched up by us three girls, each having our own style of devouring these almond scented treats.  My special method was to nibble away all around until only the almond was left on its own island of cookie.  Yummilicious!  

June 19, 2015

Sweet and Sour Pork Chop Onion 糖醋豬排洋蔥

Sweet and Sour, Pork Chop, Onion, chinese, recipe, pork, pork butt, pork steak, 糖醋, 豬排, 洋蔥

This easy to make Sweet and Sour Pork Chop Onion, or 糖醋豬排洋蔥 is a great all in one dinner type of dish where you've got your delicious meat, a heap o' tasty vegetables, tangy sauce and rice all in one!  

This was something my 老公 whipped up the other day in the kitchen after we discovered some really nice pork chops.  It's an easy all in one dish.  Nothing like saving some time in the kitchen, especially during this heat wave we've been having in Hong Kong.  (Meltingly hot...uck!)  We've almost lost our appetites from the unrelenting heat and, well, there's nothing like a tangy sauced dish to perk up your tastebuds and get you hungry again!