I Like My Cookies To Look Like Flowers During Chinese New Year–Plum Blossom Cookies (梅花饼)

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梅花开五福 – A Plum Blossom Will Bless One With Five Fortunes

‘长寿’是命不夭折而且福寿绵长 – “Longevity” means not to die at the young age and have a long life
‘富贵’是钱财富足而且地位尊贵。- “Rich” means have abundance of wealth and respectable position
‘康宁’是身体健康而且心灵安宁。- “Healthiness” means a healthy body and a peaceful mind
‘好德’是生性仁善而且宽厚宁静。- “Generosity” means is benevolent and of generous character
‘善终’是能预先知道自己的死期 – “Hospice” means ability to know in advance the date of death

Source: http://iask.sina.com.cn/b/11547911.html

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INTRODUCTION

First of all, I have to say that it is intentional to have the cookie cracked because I want the cracked cookies to resemble the petals in a plum blossom. Because of this, I have to make my dough slightly harder such that when the dough was pressed, it will be cracked into this shape. If you want to have a nice shape like the traditional thumb print cookie, you can adjust the butter quantity by another 20-30 grams and reduce the cream  cheese by the same quantity. In this way, your dough will be greasier and moister, it will be a round shape and not cracked like flower petals.

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During the Chinese New Year, Chinese like to have auspicious cuisines including cookies. They will give their cuisines (both savoury dishes or sweet cookies ) some special names or special looks just specifically for the festive seasons. Most cookies will have names that linked to prosperity, joy, happiness and other positive greeting words.

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Though this cookie is a traditional thumb print cookie, however, because of Chinese New Year, I will love to have my cookie  look like a plum blossom (梅花)。 Plum blossom is a flower that thrives well in the cold weather and when it blossoms, it signifies that springs have arrived and time to celebrate Chinese New Year (Spring Festival). To Chinese, it also signifies hopes and the abilities to endure hardship. If you wish, you can read a bit more about this flower in one of my older postNational Flower Series–East Asia 5–Taiwan Republic of China– Prunus Mume.

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Preparation is definitely not difficult but a bit laborious. If you have the patience, it will definitely be a good cookie that can impress your guest. The inclusion of cream cheese make it creamier but will not be as crispy as compare to pure butter cookies. Response from relatives and friends are positive, a nice cookie and we have finished all the cookies even before I issued this post, which is rather unusual.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 450 grams of plain flour (about 3.6 cups)
  • 110 grams of cream cheese (about 1/2 cups) (at room temperature)
  • 200 grams of butter (about 7/8 cups) (at room temperature)
  • 150 grams of sugar (about 2/3 cups)  (not in picture)
  • 1 hard boiled egg yolk
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 0.5 cups strawberry jam

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the hard boiled egg yolk. Stir until well mixed.

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  • Sift in the plain flour and use the slowest speed to stir until well mix. Take the dough out and lightly knead until well mixed.

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  • Take some dough (about 10 grams each) and shape it into a ball. Use the end of the wooden ladle to make a cavity on the ball (vertically from top).

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  • Put the strawberry jam into a piping bag and pipe the jam on the cavity. Bake in the oven at 175 degree Celsius for 10-12 minutes.

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CONCLUSION

I like this cookie because of the shape and colour that resembles a beautiful flower. I am sure it will stand out in a tray of golden looking cookies during Chinese New Year. The taste of the cookie is definitely delicious.  As it is rather easy, I will encourage reader to try preparing this traditional cookie for the coming Chinese New Year.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers.

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For your convenience, this recipe has been included in the E-book Page 37-38 (Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by Step Guide). The e-book was packed with 30 Chinese New Year recipes and you can get hold of a copy of the E-book HERE or by clicking on the picture below.

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For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  

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If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 1000 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD. You can also join the Food Bloggers and Foodies United Group Facebook Group to see more recipes.

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Another Lapis For Your Consideration–Cream Cheese Chocolate Lapis Cake

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INTRODUCTION

During Chinese New Year, lapis has recently become one of the essential cakes in Singapore and Malaysia. If you are looking for a healthier version, you can consider the following lapis because the butter and eggs are much less than the traditional lapis.: For most traditional lapis, the butter used can range from 350-500 grams whereas for this lapis, the butter used is only 100 grams. Another big difference is the eggs used, only 5 whole eggs were used as compared to the other lapis that can use 10-30 egg yolks per lapis.

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The taste is definitely acceptable  and it is full of variations as you can base on this recipe and tailored to the type of flavour that you want.

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But I have to be frank that it is not as fragrant and moist than the traditional lapis due lower eggs used and fat (butter) contents. Having said that, the texture is still soft and I would definitely opt for this simpler, healthier version of cream cheese chocolate lapis.

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If you are looking for other lapis, you can try this rich and dense version of lapis or  layered cake – HORLICKS LAPIS CAKE. In that post, you can also read more about lapis as defined by Wikipedia.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Serving: One 9” x 9” cake

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  • 150 grams of butter – softened at room temperature
  • 150 grams of cream cheese
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 250 grams of self raising flour
  • 230 grams of icing/powdered sugar (not in picture)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (not in picture)
  • 75 grams of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (Not in picture)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Lightly grease a 9” x 9” square baking tin.

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  • Cream the cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and pale. Add in vanilla essence, followed by one egg at a time and ensure that the egg and cream cheese mixture are well mixed.

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  • Take out the mixing bowl and fold in 1/3 of the flours followed by 1/3 of the milk.. Repeat for the other 2/3 portion. Divide the batter into 2 equal portions. For one portion, add in 3 tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder and stir until well mixed.

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  • Heat the greased baking tin for about 1 minute and turn the oven to top grill mode. Put 2 ladles of chocolate batter in the tin and ensure that it is equally distributed in the tin. Bake for 4-5 minutes or until the surface has dries up. Take out and use the fondant icing smoother to roughly press again the cake (to ensure that it is flat). If you note of some bubbling, use a toothpick to poke the hole and let the trapped air escape. For this lapis, you need not to wait until the top layer of lapis turned brownish since the layer is already very obvious.

  • Put another 2 ladles of beige batter, bake until dry and press it slightly. Repeat the same procedures until all the batters are finished. After all the batter have finished, for the last layer, reduce the oven to 170 degree Celsius and resume to the “top heat and bottom heat” mode, bake for additional 10-15 minutes. For the last layer, you can create some pattern of your choice. Cooled completely (best to rest overnight) before cutting into smaller pieces. Can keep in refrigerator for at least up to 2 weeks in an air tight container.

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CONCLUSION

If you are adventurous enough, try this recipe. I have given some to my friends and asked them to assess objectively. The general comments are that it is a nice and tasty cake. Do try this healthy alternative of lapis or layered cake during this Chinese New Year. At least I need not to enjoy this traditional cuisine in guilt.

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Hope you like the post today.

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For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  

 

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If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 1000 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD. You can also join the Food Bloggers and Foodies United Group Facebook Group to see more recipes.

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Lets Try Roasting Some Shark Fin Melon–Shark Fin Melon Spaghetti With Shrimp Marinara

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INTRODUCTION

I got the idea of preparing this dish from two sources. One was Spaghetti Squash With Pesto And Fried Eggs from Play Party Pin and the other was Easy Shrimp Marinara from Le Monine Family Kitchen

When I was visiting Play Party Pin, very frankly, I didn’t read in detail. Looking at the title, I thought it was spaghetti cooked with a type of squash. When I scrolled down her post, I started  to see the picture of a big melon and Ms. Britni Vigil was using a fork to take out the flesh. I was shocked as the way she prepared this melon looked really familiar to me. It was just like the way my mother in law prepared the shark fin melon. I read in detail and I noted though the colour of the skin is different, I am rather sure shark fin melon can be used for the dish too.

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On the next trip to the market, I purposely went to look for a whole shark fin melon and I used her way to prepare this dish on the next day. As for the sauce, since I did not know what Pesto sauce was, I have resorted to the use of  marinara sauce with shrimps. I have never had any spaghetti that have shrimps in it. I thought it might be a good idea to give it a try when I saw Le Monine Family Kitchen posted her Easy Shrimp Marinara in my Food Bloggers and Foodies United Group.

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Subsequent read up showed that spaghetti squash and shark fin melon both belong to the same family Cucurbita pepo., however, spaghetti squash belong the species Fastigata whereas shark fin melon belong to the Ficifolia species. In Chinese cooking, shark fin melons were commonly used to prepare soup. After steaming and de-seeding, the flesh were used to make into some type of starchy soup resembling the real shark fin soup. In fact, it is the alternative of shark fin soup in vegetarian meals. If you are interested, you can refer to  Vegetarian Shark Fin Melon Soup (素鱼翅瓜羹).

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It was fun to roast the entire melon. It never came across my mind that whole melon “may explode or burst” as questioned by my Facebook friends subsequently. I just roasted the melon in accordance with the instructions. After 45 minutes, the melon was done. I let it cooled and I asked my kids to help me took out the flesh and threw away the seeds. It did took quite a while to do this. After half an hour, I have 1 large container of shark fin melon fleshes. It must be at least 1-1.5 kg of pure fleshes. As I can’t finish it in one meal, I used half for shrimp marinara pasta sauce. On the next day, I stir fried the other half with hot chlli  shrimp paste (belachan) to go with white rice.

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I was rather surprised  that the fleshes from roasting and steaming shark fin melon yielded rather different textures and tastes. The fact that it was commonly used in the soup was because when steamed, the flesh was very soft and smooth.   On the other hand, when it was roasted, the fleshes were a bit crunchy and sweet.. In the process of de-seeding, my kids kept popping the flesh into their mouth claiming that the unseasoned fleshes were very sweet. In fact, I agreed with them and I am very pleased to have embarked in this adventure.

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What I am sharing in this post is more of a concept and the recipe is just for your reference and the servings will very much depends on the size of shark fin melon . Dish is full of flexibilities. In the very minimal, you will just need a can of pasta sauce, some shrimps and a shark fin melon.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED 

Servings : 6 adults

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  • 1/2 whole shark fin melon flesh  (you have to roast in whole)- about 600 grams fleshes
  • 1 can of tomato based pasta sauce (about 750 grams)
  • 500 grams of shrimps (shelled and de-veined)

Optional

  • 3 large tomato chopped
  • 3 onions cut into big pieces
  • 200 grams of mushrooms
  • Few cloves of garlics cut into slices
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Some shredded parmesan cheese/cheddar cheese (not in picture)

(Note that you can just buy 2 cans pasta sauce of your choice if you do not plan to cook the sauce yourself. This recipe uses 1 can of pasta sauce and the above the ingredients to boost the volume and enhance the taste)


STEPS OF PREPARATION

Roasting of Shark Fin Melon

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  • Roast the shark fin melon (in whole) at the oven for 180 degree Celsius for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the melon. Towards to end of the last 15 minutes, you will start to smell the familiar aroma of roasted vegetables. My kids said it smelled like roasted sweet corn. Turn sides after 30 minutes of roasting.

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  • Let the roasted shark fin melon cool to room temperature. Cut the shark fin melon into halves. Use a spoon to dig out the flesh and a fork to take out the seeds. (You can take a few pieces to try the taste, it is sweet and fragrant).

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  • The figure above show the seeds, skins and the white membrane that should be thrown away.

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  • What is left is the white strings of shark fin melon fleshes. Unlike steamed shark fin melon fleshes that are soft and smooth, these fleshes are rather springy or crunchy. It will be an ideal choice of Chinese style of stir frying vegetables.


Preparing the Marinara Pasta Sauce

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  • In a hot sauce pan, sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil until fragrant. Add in mushrooms and chopped tomatoes and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add in canned pasta sauce and let it simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Add some cheddar/parmesan cheeses.

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  • Once the cheeses  melt, add in the shrimps. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the shrimps turn  opaque white. Off the heat.

Assembly of the Shark Fin Melon Spaghettis

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  • In a serving plate, place some shark fin melon fleshes. Topped with some pasta sauce and place the shrimps on top of the sauce. Garnish generously with additional cheeses or desired herbs.

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CONCLUSION

I have to thank Play Party Pin and Le Monine Family Kitchen for giving me this inspiration. Roasting shark fin melon is not only new to me but also among my circle of Chinese friends. As the texture of roasted shark fin melon is different from steamed shark fin melon, Chinese home chefs shall start to have a new array of culinary adventures.. Do try and it is fun, at least for once… Before I end, see what I did with the other half of my shark fin melon flesh? Shark fin melon stir fried with chilli sauce and shrimp paste (belachan). It is really a hit during the meals

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  

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If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 1000 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD. You can also join the Food Bloggers and Foodies United Group Facebook Group to see more recipes.

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Need To Go To A Party? Try Preparing This Party Snack : Bacon/Tuna Tortilla Cups and Pizza Snack

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UPDATED POST on 13-11-2014

I have some homemade flour tortilla wraps left and I have decided to prepare this snack for kids….

The last attempt shaping in a cups is a hit in my family gathering, however, it is rather time consuming to cut the pizza into round shape as flour tortilla is rather difficult to cut. I have decided to change the shape into a rectangular shape which is much easier.. In addition, for those so called crispy pizza recipe, most have opt to use flour tortilla as well..

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Please scroll down for an updated recipe of how to prepare the crispy tortilla pizza strips.

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INTRODUCTION

New year eve is approaching. I know that there will be many pot luck parties where readers may be required to contribute a dish or two.  I made these tortilla bacon/tuna cups for one the family gatherings during the Chinese Winter Solstice festivals and it was rather well received. Since kids are still on holiday, you can always asked them to join you to prepare this simple snack.

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Honestly, it is a simple recipe of my own adventures starting with 2 leftover tortillas in my fridge. On the day before the gathering, I have used these 2 leftover tortillas to make about 6 tortilla cups with bacon fillings and baked in a mini oven. My  family members loved it.

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The next day on the day of the gathering, I have prepared more than 50 tortilla cups with tuna fillings, using muffin trays and baked in the conventional oven. You can use exactly your prefer pizza toppings for this tortilla cups. In addition, you can use  baking tins of any shape  that you have.

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The recipe is full of flexibilities be in in terms of ingredients used or the quantities.Therefore, just follow some of the simple steps in this recipe and you will come out with some presentable snack that impressed your guest. It is a one bite size snack, be prepared to do a bit more as one is definitely not enough for your guest.

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WHAT IS NEEDED

No detail measurement will be provided in this post as the dish is full of flexibilities.

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  • Some tomato sauce/pasta sauce (not in picture)
  • Some tortillas
  • Some cherry tomatoes/tomatoes cut into slices
  • Some coriander/parsley
  • Some bacons/tuna
  • Some mozzarella/parmesan/cheddar cheeses

Others (not in picture)

  • A round ring cutter
  • Some muffin cups/trays

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Use the ring cutter (about 1cm bigger than the muffin tin diameter) to cut the tortilla into round shape and press it down either into the tarts tins or muffin tins. Spread the tomato sauce or pasta sauce. Add in shredded/chopped cheeses, tuna/bacons and tomatoes.

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  • Add in more cheeses and chopped herbs and baked in the oven toaster for 3-5 minutes. If using the conventional oven, baked at 160 degree Celsius for about 5 minutes or until all the cheeses have melted. You may want to try baking a cup to get the correct timing as every oven toaster can be different.

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PREPARATION OF CRISPY PIZZA

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  • Have some pieces of flour tortilla, spread some tomato sauce  followed by your desired filling (i have used canned tuna in this illustration). Sprinkle with some chopped tomatoes and grated cheese of your choice (I have used mozzarella cheese). Bake in the pre-heated oven of 160 degree Celsius for about 10 minutes or until your desired crispiness. When cooled, cut into your desired sizes using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

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CONCLUSION

An extremely short post. Easy and presentable finger snack. It will be well liked by both kids and adults..Remember do prepare a bit more and if you can’t finish it in the dinner, continue having this as your breakfast…It is worth  a try..

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Hope you like the post today Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

 

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Chinese Braised Noodles (Lor Mee) – 卤面

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INTRODUCTION

Sour and starchy are the two main characteristics of this bowl of noodles. I do know among my circles of friends, most of them craved for the gravy rather than the noodles. For me,  I like to add in some home made chilli sauce, when it become spicy, sour and starchy, it will definitely wake up my palate. 

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I was told that this is a Hokkien dish, but varies from regions to regions. This is the type of braised noodle that are common in Singapore hawker stalls.

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This post has been queuing up in my list of posts to be issued for quite a while. I did not issue because it will be quite a long post and preparation is rather laborious. However, if you separate the entire preparation process into 2 sessions, it will be more manageable. That is what I was doing all this while. I will braise my meats and eggs today for dinner and use the meat broth to prepare the noodle dish the next day. Of course reserve some meat and eggs for the noodles..

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I learned how to prepare this dish from my neighbour and prior to this, I have never ever tasted this noodle dish until I came to Singapore more than 15 years ago. This dish is not common in my hometown, Sarawak…

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Though it is not a dish that grows up with us, my wife was “hooked” on this noodle dish because of the sour starchy gravy.. She will definitely order a bowl of this starchy noodle whenever she saw stalls selling this noodle. She will order a bowl with extra vinegar and minced garlics. My love of this noodle was influenced by her.. She “forced” me to try the noodles…. After a few tries, I gradually get used to the taste and started my own adventure of cooking this noodle dish…Whenever I cooked, I will gave my neighbour (master) some and general feedback is  a good bowl of noodles…

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 5-6 adults servings

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For braising of eggs and meats

  • 500 grams of sliced pork belly meat
  • 2 pieces of dry bean curd (optional)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 5 cloves of garlics cut into slices
  • 2 cm long gingers cut into slices
  • 1 medium size rock sugar (about 4 cm in diameter)
  • 1 cup of dark soya sauce
  • 3 cups of water (or water adequate to cover the meat)
  • 1 teaspoon of 5 spice powder

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Preparing the gravy

  • 3 cups of Meat broth (from braising of meat above)
  • 3 cups of plain water
  • 1 cup of Chinese black vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of tapioca/corn/sweet potatoes starch
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten

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For assembly and garnishing

  • Braised eggs cut into halves (as above)
  • Braised meats cut into slices (as above)
  • 500 grams of yellow noodles
  • 250 grams of rice vermicelli (optional)
  • 100 grams of beansprouts
  • 100 grams of fish cake cut into slices (ready made)
  • 200 grams of deep fried fish fillets (optional)
  • 6 deep fried wantons (ready made)
  • 1 Chinese meat roll – cut into slices (Ready made)
  • 1 whole garlic – minced
  • 2 stalks of Chinese celery – minced
  • Some deep fried shallots (not in picture) (Ready made)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

Braising The Meats

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  • In a sauce pot, put the water (estimated to be 3 cups to cover the meat), the garlics and gingers, dark soya sauce, rock sugar, five spice powder and bring to boil. Add in the pork belly meat and let in simmer for 15 minutes or until the meat is soft. How long it needs to be simmered will very much depends on the thickness of your meat. The thinner it is, the faster it will be.

  • After 15 minutes, add in dry bean curd and hard boiled eggs and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Close the lids and let it rest in the pot for another 15-30 minutes.

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  • Cut the eggs into halves and the meat into small slices.

 


Preparing the Gravy

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  • In the same sauce pot, add about the same quantity of water (about 3 cups) to dilute the meat broth. Add in one cup black vinegar (Note that you may want to gradually add in the vinegar if you are concern it may be too sour for your taste buds). Bring to boil.

  • Beat the eggs lightly, when the gravy is boiling, gradually add in the beaten eggs and use a big ladle or spoon to stir it in a circular motion as fast as possible. It will become an egg drop or egg flower soup. Put about 1 cup of cold water into the starch to form a solution. Stir well and gradually pour to the hot boiling gravy. Keep an eye on this process. If it is too sticky, stop the addition. If it is too watery, add in more starch. Remember to stir the gravy continuously. Add seasonings such as salt and sugar and off the heat. Set aside for later assembly.

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Preparing for Assembly

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  • In a pot or sauce pan, bring some water to boil. Add a few drops of cooking oil. Blanch the bean sprout (about 1 minute), rice vermicelli (about 3 minutes) and yellow noodles (about 3 minutes) in this order. Drain and set aside.. If you wish, you can wash your rice vermicelli and yellow noodles with cold water to prevent it to become soggy.

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  • Minced your garlic and Chinese celery. Cut your eggs into halves and meat into slices. Sliced your meat rolls (ngoh hiang) and fish cake into small slices. If you want to prepare your own ngoh hiang, please refer HERE

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Assembly the Noodles

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  • In a serving bowl, put some yellow noodles, rice vermicelli and bean sprouts. Add in the gravy just enough to cover the noodles and bean sprouts. Put some braised eggs, wanton, meat rolls, fish cakes on the noodles. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic, some minced Chinese celery and deep fried garlics. Based served hot with some chilli sauces..

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CONCLUSION

Preparation is not difficult but a bit laborious. If you just braised the meat and buy all the others from the stores, it will save you a lot of time. It is my sincere advise to braise a bit more meat and eggs for the dinner the day before and reserve the broth, some meats and eggs for the next day’s noodle dish… The broth will also be more tasty..

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This recipe was included in Page 26-29 of the “One Pot Noodle E-book”. For more One Pot Noodle Dishes, you can have a copy of Easy One Pot Noodles  – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD5.00. The recipes covered various recipes from curry laksa, prawn noodles to fish head beehoon and etc. Of course not forgetting the well like Economy Bee hoon and Mee Rebus . You can purchase by clicking the link above.You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  

 

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If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 1000 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD

Four Seasons Blog Hop #31 (Dec 23 2013)

Four Seasons Blog Hop - Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

Welcome to the Four Seasons Blog Hop

A party where we can celebrate the greatness that each season brings to our lives.
Wishing you a beautiful holiday and a New Year of peace and happiness –  May the Spirit of the Holidays be with you throughout the New Year

                       Betty, Kenneth, Lynn, Sandra, Shawna & Terri

 Thank you to everyone who shared their wonderful creations last week and to all of you who are joining us new this week!

Meet Our Hosts:

NOTE: To accommodate everyone’s busy schedules during the holidays, this party will remain open through January 5, 2014 at 1:00 P.M. You are welcome to share numerous posts throughout this period. After January 5th we will resume our regular schedule.

So Let’s Get This Party Started!!Let's Get this Party Started Share your  food creations, gardening, clever projects, tablescapes, decorations, party themes, and inspirational knowledge … Ok, you get the point.  Join us every Thursday (opens Wednesday evening at 6:00 pm). Please stay for awhile and show some love to the guests, join us in the fun and grab a button.

Four Seasons Blog Button

We will share your posts in a variety of ways on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.  We will also have features of the week! Be sure to follow our Four Seasons Board on Pinterest!
 

By participating in this linky party, you agree to have your posts shared on social media and Pinterest and to receive email and Google notifications for reminders about the party. If you don’t want to receive notifications, please let us know.

If you are sharing on this party and have a linky party that you host or co-host, we would love to have you link it at the end of this post (after the Four Seasons Blog Hop)!  Your linky party will show up on the Four Seasons Blog Hop for the next month – just a small way in which we can show our appreciation and support to you!

FEATURED

 
 
The next two weeks are going to be really hectic and of course then 2014 arrives and we are all thinking about eating healthier, exercising more or losing weight so this week we have a special “Featured” section just to address these issues.
 
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Easy Peasy Lasagne…….

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INTRODUCTION

There is nothing to shout about this post. A simple lasagne tailored to meet my taste buds. Since young, I am not taking beefI do not have many chances to eat lasagne because it was usually served using beef.. Looking at the ingredients, I knew I will like it. I decided to try, but instead of beef, I have substituted with pork and I believed minced chicken is equally applicable.

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On one of the trips to a big Singapore supermarket, I saw this semolina lasagne sheets, I decided to try making it for our dinners.. I have prepared this based on the normal way of spaghetti preparation. Instead of using beef, I used minced pork. Preparation is very easy as I followed exactly the instructions as in the package and what came out is a delicious “tin” of lasagne. (Note that as I do not have any casserole dish big enough for the lasagne, I have used an 8” detachable baking tin instead.) Please follow the packaging instructions in the lasagne sheets that you have purchased as every brands may be different slightly.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings : One 8” baking tray (5-6 adult servings)

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All quantities listed here are for reference as variations are many and the dish is full of flexibilities

  • 500 grams of minced meat (beef, pork or chicken)
  • 2 tomatoes cut into cubes (optional)
  • 5 sausages or chicken franks cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion cut into small pieces
  • 200-300 grams of shredded mozzarella/ricotta/parmesan/cheddar cheeses
  • 100-200 grams of mixed vegetables (peas, corns, carrots) – optional
  • 250 grams of lasagne sheets
  • 1 bottle of ready made tomato pasta sauce (about 500 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Some Italian herbs mix (optional)
  • Some aluminium foils

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

This set of instruction is from the lasagne sheets packaging. Every brand may have different instructions. Therefore, prepare it in accordance with the packaging instructions. This post aims to give readers some pictorial illustrations to complement your packaging instructions.

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Lightly greased an 8” square baking tin or your preferred casserole.

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  • In a hot sauce pan, put the olive oil and onion. Stir fry until the onion are soft. Add mixed vegetables, tomato cubes, minced meat and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add pasta sauce and cut chicken franks. Let it simmer for about 3-4 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are soft and soak all the pasta sauce.  Should the need arises, add some water.

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  • Add half of the cheeses and let it simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Off the heat and set aside.

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  • Lightly grease a baking tin. Put a few pieces of the lasagne sheets to cover the bottom. Add in some pasta sauces, level it and sprinkle generously the cheeses on top of the pasta sauce.

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  • Put another layer of lasagne sheets followed by pasta sauce and cheeses. Do the same for the remaining until the pasta sauces have finished. On the last layer, sprinkle generously with Italian herbs and cheeses. Add about half a cup of water in the baking tray.

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  • Use an aluminium foil to cover the baking tin. Bake in the preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 45 minutes.

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  • After 45 minutes, open the aluminium foil, and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Best served hot with additional parmesan cheeses and desired fresh herbs.

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CONCLUSION

Again, a simple dish to prepare. Nothing to shout about. Just follow the packaging instructions and you can have some delicious lasagne. I will definitely prepare this again as it is well liked by my family members.

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Hope you like the post today. Have a nice day and cheers.

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