Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Let's Have Some Snacks: Baked Seaweed Fish Fillet
吃点儿零食吧: 烤海苔鳕鱼片

 
Participated in New Year Delights 2013 organised by Sonia, I am happy to "meet" so many bloggers who have passion in baking.  Browsing through their attractive posts as well as their blogs, I am like a book lover who is in a library :  running my fingers along the spines of books, stopping to pull titles from the shelf and reading them diligently.  I have saved several recipes from this event and plan to try them someday (click here for the post I submitted for this event). 

Several of my cookies jars are empty now, but I have no time to bake more.  Seaweed Fish Fillet caught my eye as it appears in several posts , and it's easy to make!  I decided to bake this snack to top up my empty jars.

They turned out as nice as expected. Crispy with slightly salty and spicy taste, seaweed fish fillet is a great snack you can eat when sitting on the couch and watching T.V.  Since it's not deep-fried but baked, maybe it's a relatively healthier choice than potato chips? Let me know...



BAKED SEAWEED FISH FILLET
(Recipe adapted here)

INGREDIENTS:
 
- 1 pack of dried fish fillet (250g)
- 1 pack of roasted seaweed (25g, 10 sheets)
- 1 large egg white (lightly beaten)

 
 
DIRECTIONS
  1. Apply some egg white evenly on the surface of fish fillet.  
  2. Lightly press the roasted seaweed on top of the fish fillet.  
  3. Cut the seaweed fish fillet into slices (2x5cm), and place into a baking tin. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 180 DegC for 8-10 minutes. 
  5. Turn the seaweed fish fillet over, and bake for another 8 minutes, or until fish fillet turns light brown.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Simple Coconut Cookies, Mother Tongue, Valentine's Day
简单的椰丝饼干,简简单单的心意

This morning, I went to my daughters' school as a parent volunteer to support Chinese Mother Tongue program. 

I was tasked to manage Quiz Corner. Teachers have prepared some quizzes related to CNY. Girls are required to pick one question from a box, and answer in Mandarin. The reward is a sticker. It's interesting to see the girls queueing for the quizzes, trying to figure out the meanings of the Chinese words. Some of them gave the answers in English or dialect spontaneously rather than in Mandarin. Seems girls don't use common Chinese words such as “柑”, “压岁钱”,“元宵节 ”,“除夕”,“春联”, “腊肠” etc so often at home.  It's said that almost 80% of the pupils in this school come from English-spoken family.
 
I am proud that Mandarin is my mother tongue, also my daughters'.  Even if it's not, it's an asset if we have a good command of a language like Mandarin, which has nearly one billion native speakers. Some people belittle Mandarin simply because it's not linked to academic performance. *无语* . Anyway, hope the girls have learned something while having fun today.
 
CNY celebration lasts for 15 days. Today is the 5th day and it happens to be Valentine's Day!  I baked heart-shaped coconut cookies and packed them nicely for all the ladies in the office.  It's a small token for Valentine's Day.  May this Valentine bless us with warmth of love and endless joy as we journey through our lives!


COCONUT COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

- 125g unsalted butter (softened)
- 90g Icing sugar
- 1 egg
- 220g self-raising flour
- 80g dessicated coconut















DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven at 180 DegC.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add butter, egg and icing sugar.  Mix with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  3. Add flour and dessicated coconut, mix well.
  4. Roll out the dough until 8mm in thickness. Cut out the cookies with a cookie cutter.
  5. Place about 2cm apart on a lined baking tray.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Recipe adapted here.


Monday, 11 February 2013

Baked Rice Cake with Red Dates and Walnuts
烤核桃红枣年糕


It's a tradition to have nian gao (steamed rice cake) during Lunar New Year. It has an auspicious meaning of promotions or prosperity in work and life year after year (年年高升). 
 
Baked nian gao brings a nice change to the traditional steamed one. Garnished with generous amount of walnuts,  it's crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Sugar is omitted in my recipe as red dates have natural sweet smell. In addition, I spread a layer of red bean paste in the middle, which enhanced the sweetness of the rice cake. With fresh milk, eggs, and vegetable oil, every bite of  baked nian gao is like an explosion of flavor in your mouth.  Absolutely sinful!  

I served this baked nian gao to family and friends during today's gathering.  It's indeed a popular snack that no one wants to give a miss.




BAKED RICE CAKE (NIAN GAO)

INGREDIENTS:

Batter:
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour (160oz)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup fresh milk
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)

Fillings:
- red bean paste (optional)
- seedless red dates, coarsely chopped

Toppings
- 100g walnuts , coarsely chopped
- dessicated coconut (optional)






DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix glutinous rice and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Add in egg, vegetable oil and fresh milk.  Mix with a whisker until well combined. 
  3. Add coarsely chopped red dates. Mix well.
  4. Pour half the batter into a greased baking tin. Spread a layer of red bean paste evenly on the surface.
  5. Pour the other half of the batter on top.
  6. Sprinkle walnuts and dessicated coconut on the surface.

     

  7. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degC for 30 minutes. Do a skewer test, if the skewer comes out clean, it means that the rice cake are cooked through.
  8. Remove from oven, cool on a wire rack.
  9. Cut into small pieces and serve.
Note:

  1. I double the batter to fit into my 8x8 inch tray, the baking time is also adjusted to ~40mins.
  2. The rice cake can be stored in a refrigerator up for one week. Best to steam before serve.

Recipe adapted here.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

New Year Goodies Box: Mozzarella Cheese Cookies
新年礼盒:奶酪酥饼

 
Don't have sweet tooth for traditional CNY cookies? Try Mozzarella cheese cookies! They are easy to make yet addictive. Soft and fluffy with pure cheese and butter taste make them another must-have during Chinese New Year.

I made two batches of them yesterday after work. It took me less than an hour to prepare the dough, cut out the cookies and send them to oven. When the first batch came out of the oven, the whole kitchen smell heavenly. My daughters kept running into the kitchen for another bite while I was busy baking the second batch.  Eventually, I could barely store one jar of these cookies out of 60+ pieces I baked. Hope there are still some left on new year's day, which is just 3 days away from now.

Unlike other cookies, Mozzarella cheese cookies do not have added sugar in it. This is definitely a bonus point for people who concern about blood sugar level, especially during festival seasons.
 

With these savoury cheesy cookies, my new year goodies box is now filled with five types of home-made cookies : Mozzarella cheese cookies, Pineapple tarts (open-version and closed-version), Almond cookies and Peanut cookies. I call it Little Joy Factory's Five-Blessings Goodies Box (五福临门礼盒).

Here wish all my Chinese friends a Healthy and Prosperous Lunar New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai !




MOZZARELLA CHEESE COOKIES

* I am submitting this post to New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover *


INGREDIENTS

- 175g salted butter (cold)
- 250g plain flour
- 175g Mozzarella cheese - grated
- 2 egg yolks


DIRECTIONS
  1. Add flour in a mixing bowl.
  2. Remove butter from refrigerator and cut into small cubes.
  3. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  4. Add egg yolks and grated cheese. Mix with hands until a dough is formed.
  5. Roll out the dough until it's about 5mm in thickness. Cut out the cookies with a cookie cutter.
  6. Place about 2cm apart on a lined baking tray. Brush with egg wash.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 200 DegC for 18-20 minutes, or till golden in color.

Note:
  1. Mozzarella cheese can be replaced with Cheddar cheese as you like.
  2. If unsalted butter is used, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the flour.


Recipe adapted here .
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