What I cooked today – 30-4-2013

WHAT I COOKED TODAY SERIES – 30-4-2013. I have been contemplating whether I should start blogging about what I am cooking for my kids. This is not a fancy food blog but a summary of the dishes prepared in the kitchen to satisfy the stomachs of my 2 little monsters aged 9 and 7. I hope this is not boring and I welcome your suggestions on anything from dishes combinations to nutritional aspects.

On 30-4-2013:
– mixed fried rice from yesterday leftover rice and dishes;
– sweet corn soup
– kailan vegetable with chicken meat
– seaweed chickens
– fried eggs (as a trade-off of eating leftover food)

Creative Food Series – Cookie Puddings 1

YOU DARE TO TRY series

Cookies Pudding

For Malaysian and Singapore Chinese, it is a tradition that during Chinese New Year, cookies and other delicacies were being prepared for purposes of entertaining visitors. Families either bought ready made cookies, or as gifts from friends and relatives or prepare themselves. Usually, after the festival, lots of cookies were left untouched. For most family, it is practically impossible to finish all these cookies within a reasonable period of time and before the qualities were compromised. Most families resort to throwing away the cookies.

Looking at the cookies that are sitting in my shelves and realizing it wouldn’t take long before it turns bad, I have decided to try baking the cookie pudding based on the principles of preparing the bread pudding.

I started by layering my cookies (actually, everything that I found from marshmallow to tidbits of my kids). I then prepare a liquid mixture of sugar, eggs, butter, and fresh milk . Pouring the liquid mixture over the biscuits or cookies layer by layer. I let it soaked for a while and used forks to press the mixtures until I am convinced that all the cookies were fully soaked. It should then be moist and soft. I then steamed baked the mixtures until set which took approximately 1 hour. Finally, I have my cookie puddings that resemble the bread puddings.

You dare to try?

National Flower Series – South East Asia 8- Vietnam

National Flower Series – Socialists Republic of Vietnam (Nelumbo Nucifera)
Pink Nelumbo nucifera or lotus (莲花、荷花,古称芙蓉) is the national flower Socialists Republic of Vietnam. It should be noted that though Sri Lanka and India also declared lotus as the national flowers, but Vietnam specifically choses pink lotus as its national flower.

Nelumbo nucifera, known by a number of names including Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus, is one of two species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favorable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lake bed in northeastern China. A common misconception is referring to the lotus as a water lily (Nymphaea) or 睡蓮 is an entirely different plant, as can be seen in the center of the flowers, which lack the structure that goes on to form the distinctive circular seed pod in the Nelumbo nucifera.

The Vietnamese Government disclosed that lotus was chosen as the national flower of Vietnam because it has origin from Vietnam and has been grown in most parts of the country for a long time to embody both cultural identity and national spirit. Lotus also has a pleasant fragrance and made appearance in many traditional literatures, cultural and architectural works of Vietnam. In Vietnam, lotus represents the noble mind and pure spirit of Vietnamese and is the best symbol to characterize Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines, the national airline has adopted lotus as its airline symbol.

As lotuses live near the mud but they still have a dainty beautiful flower coupled with a pleasant smell, as such, some people thinks that this best describe theVietnamese people – though faced with many hardship, Vietnamese people still maintain their purities and beauties inside their souls. Note: In Chinese literature, lotuses were also being appreciated for its ability to produce beautiful flowers in a less than desirable living environment. (周敦颐的《爱莲说》写到“予独爱莲之出淤泥而不染,濯清涟而不妖,中通外直,不蔓不枝;香远益清,亭亭净植;可远观而不可亵玩焉”)

Source: adapted from www.en.Wikipedia.org, www.vietnamonline.com

National Flower Series – South East Asia 4- Brunei Darussalam

National Flower Series – Brunei Darussalam – Dillenia or Simpoh

Dillenia or commonly known as Simpoh or Simpor orSimpur is a genus of 100 species of flowering plants in the family Dilleniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of southern Asia, Australasia, and the Indian Ocean islands. The genus is named after the German botanist Johann Jacob Dillenius, and consists of evergreen or semi-evergreen trees and shrubs.
It is widespread in Brunei and can grow in various habitats including white sands where other species can not live. Dr.s Idris M. of Brunei Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources once said: “the unique blossoming of the flower and the green color of its leaves symbolizes the development” of the country’s “economy investment (from fruit) towards better economic growth (to flower).” The plants blends well with the daily lives of the people, its large leaves are used to wrap food such as tempeh (fermented soya bean cakes),nasi lemak and tapai (fermented rice) or rolled into shallow cones to contain traditional ‘fast food’ such as rojak. The plants have very deep roots to tap the underground resources hence people used that as a guide to locate dig a well. In addition, the mature or old leaves of some species contain silica deposit can can be used as a substitute for sandpaper. Its values extends to its medicinal value whereby young shoots were used to staunch bleeding wounds and fruit pulps were used to wash the hair. Source: adapted from Science 2011edu.blogspot.sg

National Flower Series – South East Asia 3- Indonesia

National Flower – Indonesia There are three categories of floral emblem that symbolize Indonesia; puspa bangsa (national flower) of Indonesia is Melati (Jasminum sambac), puspa pesona (flower of charm) is Anggrek Bulan (Moon Orchid) (Phalaenopsis amabilis) and puspa langka (rare flower) is Padma Raksasa Rafflesia (Rafflesia arnoldii). All three were chosen on World Environment Day in 1990 and enforced by law through Presidential Decree (Keputusan Presiden) No. 4 1993. On the other occasion Bunga Bangkai (Titan arum) was also added as puspa langka together with Rafflesia.

Melati (jasminum sambac), a small white flower with sweet fragrance, has long been considered as a sacred flower in Indonesian tradition, as it symbolizes purity, sacredness, graceful simplicity and sincerity. For example, on her wedding day, a traditional Indonesian bride’s hair is often adorned with arrangements of jasmine, while the groom’s kris is often adorned with a lock of jasmine. However, jasmine is also often used as floral offering for spirits and deities, and also often present during funerals which gave it its mystical and sacred properties.
Moon Orchid was chosen for its beauty, while the other two rare flowers,
Rafflesia arnoldii and Titan arum were chosen to demonstrate uniqueness and Indonesian rich biodiversity.
Source: wikipedia