Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Cordyceps Militaris aka 虫草子实体

Cordyceps Militaris (虫草子实体) is a parasitic ascomycetous mushroom that has long been used in Chinese medicine to treat Numerous illnesses, Promote longevity and Relieve exhaustion. As opposed to the wild ones, cordyceps militaris are artificially grown and yet they are similar to wild Chinese Cordyceps in terms of medicinal value. They are also rich in protein, zinc, vitamins A and E and microelements that are essential to human body.


Functions: It protects the Lungs, benefits the Kidney and also defy aging.

Helps: To relieve cough due to Lung-Asthenia; strengthen Yang and body essence.

Where To Buy: You can purchase this Cordyceps Militaris from local Chinese Medical Shop such as ZTP, Hock Hua Tonic(福華), and etc. It cost about S$6.00 - S$10.00 per packet which could be used for about 5 - 6 times serving 4 person each recipe.



RECIPES USING CORDYCEPS FLOWER


Cordyceps Militaris Chicken Soup

Chicken, Mushroom And Cordyceps Militaris






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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Waffle Maker

Recently I have seen quiet a number of people in my facebook timeline sharing photos of either the  Taiyaki(Japanese fish pancake) or Waffles that they have made for breakfast or tea snack. Without hesitate, I also Google to read more on the related recipes and I have found one which I think is pretty easy to follow. If you are interested to find out more on making your own Waffle, you can refer to the recipe post HERE.

Below are the two different types of Waffle Maker that I own.



WAFFLE MAKERS


There are many different design of stove top waffle makers (also known as waffle iron) which are ideal for creating deep-holed Belgian waffles for a special dessert. And recently I have bought a "four hearts" Clover Shaped Waffle Iron from one of the online spree which is quiet similar to my Taiyaki Pan as both can be used over at the stove top.
Price: S$35.00 each


For those who don't like to stand by the side of the stove and keep watching the heat of the pan like a hawk to prevent burning of your waffle, perhaps a modern electric waffle maker is a good investment for you. There are quiet a number of brands and size available in the department store depending on your budget. I bought the above from Carrefour a few years back which cost around S$19.90 at that time. But recently I saw another design(rectangle) available at Harvey Norman selling at a price of S$29.90.



WAFFLE RECIPES


Homemade Pandan Waffle








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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

IKEA Kitchenwares - 365+ Pot Plus Stabil Accessories

IKEA always has a wide range of kitchen products such as cookwares, ovenwares, utensils, food storage and etc. And recently I have just got a set of this 365+ Pot(5 litre)boiling insert as well as steamer insert to replace my old soup pot in order to help me reduce the time in preparing quick and healthier meals within 30 minutes to an hour.


IKEA 365+ POT AND STABIL BOILING INSERT


There are many different type of pots, saucepan and casserole available at the IKEA cookware section where you can take a look from their on-line category (HERE) before heading down to one of their outlets. This 365+ Pot comes in two different size such as 3 or 5 Litre both with lid cover.

The stainless steel lid on the 365+ Pot helps to reflect heat into the cookware which therefore brings the contents to the boil more quickly. Furthermore the steam vent on the lid cover also helps to reduce pressure so that food does not easily boil over.

Prices of the items are:-
~ 3 Litre 365+ Pot with Lid @ S$35.00
~ 5 Litre 365+ Pot with Lid @ S$39.00
~ Stabil Boiling Insert @ S$8.00


As for the "boiling insert" it helps to save time by separating two different type of vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower where you can put one of those into the boiling and the other inside the pot. In this way, you get to boil two items without mixing them together due to the difference in cooking time. And also the detachable handle which still remains cool while cooking, makes it easy to move the insert half way through cooking.
Price: S$8.00  each


I personally dote this "Stabil Steamer Insert" which helps to save energy where I could use the same pot for both steam and boil food at the same time. For example you could refer to my recent post here on how I managed to simmer soup(below) and steamed egg(on top) using this steamer insert. For your information, this steamer insert can be used with most of the 4 - 5-litre pots and up to "three" inserts can be placed on top of one other in the same pot.
Price: S$13.90  each



RELATED RECIPES USING 365+ POT AND STEAMER


Steamed Egg with Minced Meat

Steamed Egg Cakes

Steamed Red Grouper

Huai Shan Lotus Root Soup






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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Taiyaki (たい焼き) Pan Plus Recipe

Taiyaki (たい焼き) is a Japanese fish shaped pancake which is commonly filled with red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. But in these day, there have other fillings such as custard, chocolate, cream cheese or even sausage in it.

Taiyaki is made using regular pancake or waffle batter which is poured into a fish-shaped pan on each side, top with desire filling before closing the pan. The batter is then cooked on both sides on medium heat until golden brown.


MORINAGA PANCAKE PREMIX


Morinaga pancake premix is one of my favourite brand when comes to premix choice. It has a few packaging from 2 - 4 individual sachet per pack or in box form. I love those that are individually packed as to prevent wastage and freshness of the premix. Each sachet can make about 4 pieces of standard size pancake or 5 - 6 Taiyaki with fillings.

WHERE TO FIND:-
~ Taiyaki (たい焼き) Pan: Some leading department stores (such as Giant, Carrefour, Isetan or Gmarket). Price range from S$19.90 onwards.

~ Pancake Premix: Can be easily found in major supermarkets (such as Fairprice Xtra, Carefour, Cold Storage) depending on the brand. Here I am using Morinaga Pancake Premix. Price range from S$6.80 onwards.



TAIYAKI (たい焼き)


Above are some of the Taiyaki (たい焼き) that I have made using the Taiyaki Pan and Morinaga Pancake Premix. You can read more on it with the step-by-step recipe HERE.


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Saturday, 12 May 2012

Madagascar Vanilla Beans And Pure Vanilla Extract

Nothing beats a premium quality of vanilla beans when it comes to baking "Creme Brulee" or churning some delicious "Vanilla Ice-Cream". In this case choosing some top quality Bourbon vanilla beans would be a great ingredients to invest on.

A few months back I have received a pack of this precious "Madagascar Vanilla Beans" plus some other baking goodies from one of my blog friends, Gertrude from My Kitchen Snippets. All the while I have the intention make my very own "vanilla extract" and bakes using some good grade vanilla beans so this useful gift from Gertrude do comes in handy for my pantry.

In Singapore you can purchase vanilla beans or extract from some of the local baking stores such as Phoon Huat, SunLik, Bake King and etc. A good vanilla beans should be soft, oily and have an intense vanilla aroma.

Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans are long and slender with a very rich taste and fragrant. The bean is cover with a thick and oily outer skin which contain lot of tiny seeds and strong vanilla aroma. In order to maximize the bean:-

~ you can cut the pod in halve, length wise with a paring knife.

~ scrape out all of the oily seeds from the pod to use for the recipe.

~ throw the leftover pod into dish which infuse with vanilla aroma or wash and dried it before storing with caster sugar to make vanilla sugar.

Other than vanilla beans this "Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract" is also another most commonly used vanilla among bakers and a small bottle like this cost 5 - 6 times the price of the normal vanilla essence. But I think it's worth investing a bottle of this to make a perfect Vanilla fragrant cake or pastry. I bought this from Shermay's Cooking School but you can get it in some other baking stores too.



RECIPES USING VANILLA BEANS AND EXTRACT


Orange Vanilla Loaf Cake








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