Lovesick Cass

Cass is lovesick ever since her 2 sisters and grandma left for Auckland yesterday morning.  She  was down and broody the whole day and kept asking me whether her che ches have reached NZ.

I made her favorite grilled herbs and turmeric drumsticks for dinner but even when she savored the drumstick, she put one hand on the side of her face and appeared dreamy.

While at the dining table, she kept telling me this: “why does it feel so different without che che and er che?”

I asked her if she is happy that her sisters are not around since there was now no one to fight with her over the iPad, laptop, TV and food but she shook her head and said that she is not happy.  I asked her if she misses her che ches and she said yes, very much.  Oh dear, that really put a lump in my throat!

Cass gave me an A++ for the chicken drumsticks and commented that they tasted even better than KFC, wah!!! :D

The both of us shared this plate of 2 drumsticks, a butter bun, baby tomatoes, avocado and veggies (there was a big plate of veggie though).  Cass is not a rice lover and so am I, so yay, no need to cook rice!!  Yup, we are that small an eater, thus our size.

And I must say that cooking for only 1 child is SOOOOO easy peasy!!    So little to cook, and so little to wash up and clean up!  Even boiling the radish soup was SO easy!

 

 No. of times viewed = 157

Breaded Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs

I have been wanting to try grilling breaded boneless chicken thighs for the longest time and finally tried them last week.  I googled around to get an idea of how to prepare this dish and then adapted the recipes that I found online to my kids’ liking and to the availability of my ingredients. For families with hungry meat-loving children, these Breaded Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs (you can use breasts too) are the answer to your prayers. Quickly bread and bake them in a large batch. Then store them in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to warm in the micro or pack in their lunch bags.  Perfect for a busy weekday dinner too.

For a first-timer, I would say that I aced in this dish with an A+++!  ;)

INGREDIENTS:
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts.  I like using boneless chicken thighs as the meat is smoother and juicier and not as dry as breasts.  I used 6 boneless chicken thighs.
3 eggs, beaten
Multi-purpose flour. The only flour that I could find in the kitchen cabinet was my MIL’s cake flour, so yep, I used cake flour :)
Bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese to coat the chicken
Cooking oil.  I used Knife sesame oil + peanut oil.

MARINATE INGREDIENTS:
I pre-marinated the chicken thighs in the morning with my usual spices and seasonings such as soy sauce, pepper, coriander seeds, turmeric powder and garlic steak seasoning.    You can use garlic salt or whatever spices and seasoning you fancy or have in your kitchen.

Grill in oven for about 20-25 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius or until the coating turns golden brown and the meat inside is thoroughly cooked.

METHOD

I pulsed 6 slices of bread in my Blendtec blender.  I used Gardenia wheat and bran bread.

 

Make sure you toast your bread lightly in the oven/toaster, else the bread will stick to the blender and blades. You need dry and toasted bread so that the crumbs are light and easily poured out from the blender.  Make sure not to over-toast your bread or your coating will be dark/burnt later.

 

Below are the raw marinated chicken thighs,  flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs with parmesan cheese.

Dip the chicken first into flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip it into the egg, shaking off any excess. Finally, dip it into the bread crumbs + parmesan cheese.
Lay the breaded chicken on a greased baking sheet (I used a few tablespoons of oil to grease the baking sheet).  Sprinkle some drops of  oil over each chicken piece so that the chicken will be crispy.

 

Fresh from the oven. Oh my…. the aroma of it!! Can send you to food heaven instantly!

 

Using a pair of scissors or knife, cut the chicken thighs into smaller pieces.

The chicken tasted so so so good!  The outside was crispy and inside flesh was very juicy.  My kids commented that it tasted even better than KFC!   As I had  removed the fatty skin of the chicken, my girls and I ate the coating of the chicken without guilt.  Since the coating comprises of flour + bread + egg + cheese, this meal is complete on its own and can fill you up easily.  A piece of chicken is more than enough for your kid. It is an all-in-one delish meal with protein and carbs.

I had a piece of leftover chicken that night and I kept it for lunch the next day.  To reheat the chicken, just wrap it in a piece of aluminum foil and heat it in the oven covered for about 15 minutes.  Then unwrap the aluminum foil and heat for another 5-10 minutes.  The overnight chicken tasted even more like KFC.

This is a very successful recipe and I will definitely try it again and this time, I will use chicken wings and drummets.

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 510

Cheat Pizza With Wendy’s Fried Chicken

Hubs bought a box of Wendy’s fried chicken home on Sunday night. The RM10.99 for 6 pieces fried chicken is an on-going promotion at Wendy’s.  But the girls and I had already eaten our dinner.  So I refrigerated the fried chicken.  The next day, I gave the fried chicken a make-over and dished up a cheat  pizza for Cass…

Baked wrap pizza with Wendy’s fried chicken (de-boned and de-skined), cherry tomatoes, cheese and tomato paste.

 

This is the lazy mommy’s way of tricking a kid that this is pizza ha!  But it is healthier than store-bought pizzas as it is free from deli meat and is low in sodium.  In our household, deli meat is a prohibited food item as is deep fried food. The girls and I only get to eat deli meat once in a purple moon during hotel stays or when we eat out.  Deep fried chicken is allowed occasionally but with the skin (the culprit!) removed.  Yeah, you can rightly call me a health freak mommy! :D

 

Lately, Cass is into writing me sweet appreciation and thank you notes during meal times when she likes the food that I cook.  After wolfing down the pizza, she wrote me this little note…

 

Can you see how high my score is for this pizza? WOW, the pizza must be really yummy!

And I scored an A+++ with 4 stars!

And a ‘very good’ too.

Go to My Kitchen Rules! Again, Cass asked me to take part in My Kitchen Rules TV reality show.  My girls think that their mummy is the best cook in the whole wide world and have even asked me to open a restaurant!  To an outsider, this is the ultimate joke.  I won’t even call myself a good cook.  I only cook for the love of my angels.  But in the eyes of my girls, their mummy’s cooking rocks! :)

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 310

Crispy Beef Taco

Alycia had been bugging me to get some taco shells ever since she saw a taco recipe at her daddy’s Flavors magazine.   Taco shells are not as common as pasta, spaghetti or tortilla chips where you can easily get them from mini marts and supermarkets.  They can only be found at places like Jaya Grocer or Village Grocer.  I finally got a pack of taco shells and her wish was my command, I whipped up a crispy beef taco, about 2 weeks ago.

 

 

The girls wolfed down the crispy beef tacos like some feral dogs.  I think each of the girls devoured at least 3 tacos and I was left with only one!  One of the pros of having kids with ravenous appetite is that you eat less, thus have a svelter frame :D

 

It is pretty simple to dish out crispy beef tacos.  Just toast the taco shells briefly in the oven or toaster.

The beef filling is cooked ala bolognese.  You can cook a big batch of beef bolognese and store them in containers in the freezer.  You could use them for crispy beef tacos, spaghetti or for wraps.   Deep-freezing beef bolognese is very handy for busy weekday dinners.  Just defrost the container of beef in the morning.  In the evening, pop it into the microwave oven or pan, boil some pastas or toast up some wraps or bread and you’ll have a great dinner in a jiffy!

 

 

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 310

Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks

I stumbled upon this recipe at skinnytaste.com while searching for some recipes to dish up. Chicken drumsticks cooked with maple syrup and dijon mustard in a crock pot seems pretty easy and delish. Best of all, not many ingredients are needed for this dish.  I was excited and very eager to try out this dish, so  off I went grocery shopping for maple syrup (this ain’t cheap ok!) and dijon mustard.

I adapted the recipe (can’t help it. I am too adventurous when it comes to cooking!) with an oriental touch by adding a few tablespoons of organic soy sauce and some freshly cut garlic.

As you can see from the picture, the chicken literally falls off the bone and is so delish! Kid-friendly, healthy and very easy to prepare too.

I hate Mondays as they are hectic for me. I need to pick up the Drama Queen from the enrichment center at 5ish pm, then cook, serve kids dinner, send Drama Queen for hip hop dance class, dinner myself and fetch Drama Queen back from dance class. So this dish is easy and fast enough for me to dish up on a maniac Monday. I started preparing at 3pm. Preparation only takes about half an hour. Once the drumsticks are cooking in the crock pot, I am free to do other stuff.

The fried rice was cooked by the girls’ grand aunt.

Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks
Recipe from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

8 skinless drumsticks
1/4 cup pure Maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp garlic salt
Fresh cracked pepper

The above is the original recipe from skinnytaste and I adapted it by adding some honey, soy sauce and garlic. I also seasoned the chicken with garlic steak seasoning. No marination is required.

Directions:

Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Combine maple, balsamic, and Dijon in a small bowl and whisk until smooth (I only used a spoon to mix all the ingredients). Pour over the legs, making sure the chicken is covered.

Left to right: Dijon mustard, balsimic vinegar, honey, organic pure maple syrup, pepper and the combined mixture in the bowl.

 

The original recipe uses garlic salt but since I only had garlic steak seasoning, I used whatever that I have.

 

 

Before cooking…

 

After 3 hours in the crock pot in high temp setting…

 

 

Do give this recipe a try. It is easy to prepare and perfect for a weekday dinner. You can dump  the drumsticks into the crockpot and set in low temp before you leave the house for work in the morning. By the time you are back in the evening, your entire house will be wafting with the sweet aroma of chicken, waiting for you to dig into :)

No. of times viewed = 595

Wednesday Night Dinner – Healthy Fried Rice

My part-time maid, M screwed up my day again yesterday.  I have always reminded her that should she be unable to come in for work, she has to send me a text message latest by 12 noon so that I can start doing chores myself.  But she just can’t seem to take instructions well and only messaged me at 5pm again yesterday!  What is wrong with her flipping mind?!  So at 5pm yesterday, I quickly started to work myself up like those hourly paid maids, rushing to complete every single freaking chore within 2 hours.  Thank God we have a small yet cozy condo unit that is pretty fast to clean up. Within an hour, I  accomplished quite a bit from sweeping and mopping the floors, washed 2 bathrooms and ironed a few pieces of clothes.

I could not decide yesterday whether to go ahead to cook fried rice or to eat out.  I had planned to cook fried rice, thinking that M would come to help me clean up.  But Alycia who is revising for her exam did not feel like going out.  So just like Nike’s tagline (which I like), I  ‘JUST DO IT’  and whipped up Alycia’s favorite food – fried rice.

So here’s my healthy fried rice with garlic, tomatoes, cauliflower, sweet corn kernels, crackling minced pork, lots of scallions and eggs.

 

I added 2 big organic tomatoes and sweet corn kernels into my  jar rice cooker just when ‘holes’ started to form on the rice.  By doing so, the rice will be more aromatic and the skin will peel off effortlessly from the tomatoes when in contact with heat.   I mashed up the tomatoes and mixed everything  well before dumping the rice et al into my wok of garlic + minced pork + cauliflower.

 

The minced pork this time was crackling and tasted like bacon bits (brown meat bits in the below pic). This added intense flavor to the fried rice.  And the secret to getting crackling bacon-like minced meat?  Just fry it long enough in the wok and make sure the minced meat does not get burnt or stuck to the base of the wok.

 

Seasonings used for fried rice are a few dashes of Lea & Perrin sauce, few dashes of organic soy sauce, pepper and garlic steak seasoning.

 

Composition of Mc Cormick garlic steak seasoning: salt, onion, garlic, sugar, black pepper, mustard flour, ginger, bell pepper and parsley.  I love to add a few shakes of this seasoning to marinate meats and fried rice – adds so much flavor to my food.

 

Raw of the day was alfalfa and radish sprouts and cucumber slices.

 

Salad dressing used was tangy Citron Sesame sauce from Japan.

 

I was totally knackered by 9pm after a hard day’s work slogging in front of the computer, chauffeuring the princesses and sweating it out in the kitchen.  All the hard work put in to dish out the fried rice was worth it when my three rascals commended how tasty it was.  And Miss Drama Queen gets to bring a portion to school for recess today :)

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 379

Monday Nite Dinner

Dinner whipped up in a jiffy yesterday – fried organic spinach noodles with minced pork, meat balls, garlic, a whole head of Chinese cabbage and 5 eggs (free-range ones).

 

We had dinner at 6pm yesterday, which was earlier than usual as the girls had an extra Mandarin tuition class for the tutor to help them revise for their exam.

I used a packet of 6 organic spinach noodles.   As it turned out, there were more ingredients than noodles.  Next time, I will add in 2 more pieces of noodles since the girls seem to love the noodles more than the trimmings.

 

My most critical and finicky eldest daughter commended that the fried noodles were very yummy and helped herself to 2 bowls!   The drama queen as usual, full of drama, quickly ‘chop’ and kept some noodles in a tiffin carrier for her to bring to school tomorrow.  This morning, she woke up 10 minutes earlier to reheat the noodles in the wok, poured them into her lunch box and  put the lunch box into her new thermal lunch bag.  Full of drama and fiercely independent, this drama queen can do anything if she puts her heart into it.

The remaining noodles will be for our lunch today. My 3-in-1 yummy noodles were good for 3 meals – yesterday’s dinner, drama queen’s snack during recess today and lunch for today.  Good to the last strand! :)

 No. of times viewed = 308

Salmon & Tuna Fish Macaroni

What do you do with leftover salmon fish for dinner?  My kids and I do not like eating overnight fish.  When re-fried, re-toasted or steamed, the meat gets too dry.  So I normally ‘re-cycle’ the salmon fish and convert it into another appetizing dish.  I will add the shredded salmon flesh into fried rice, fried noodles, mix it with mayo for sandwich or wrap filling and the list goes.

Yesterday, I used the overnight grilled salmon to make Salmon & Tuna Macaroni.

 

I stir-fried the shredded salmon flesh with garlic and added a can of tuna fish.  Seasoned with an assortment of dried herbs and a dash of tomato ketchup, my Salmon & Tuna Macaroni was delish!

While the girls ate macaroni, I had my kind of health-freak lunch, consisting of raw broccoli and alfalfa sprouts, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, pumpkin seeds, toasted almonds, cashew nuts and drizzled with goma sauce.

 

The grilled  herbs crusted salmon with crackling skin that I made for dinner two nights ago.   Left-over fish was transformed into another appetizing dish.  Cass once again said this to me “mummy, you must really open your own restaurant one day. You are such a good cook!”  :)

 

 No. of times viewed = 388

Vegatarian Nasi Lemak

Here is yet another post on food and I hope that this  post will not get you rolling your eyes :D

I dished out vegetarian nasi lemak last week, using my favorite Mak Nyonya curry paste.  I added cabbage, puffed  tofu, brinjal, tomatoes, ladies fingers, potatoes and hard boiled eggs.

I used vegetarian mushroom stumps as cheat anchovies and tortilla chips to replace the usual keropok.

Rice is cooked with fresh coconut milk – my absolute love!

 

 

 

 

I made a big pot and gave some to the girls’ grand aunt.

Looking at the pix again now just makes me salivate!

 

I used 2 packets since I put in a big load of vegetables into the wok.

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 378

Health Freak Mommy’s Homecooked Dinner

I have been really busy the past week.  But despite the busyness, I am still not succumbing much to outside food for my girls.  Many times when I was drowned in my work, I was really tempted to just tell the girls  “mummy ain’t cooking tonight, so let’s go out and eat”.  But I know what goes into the food not prepared by ourselves– some ABC brand recycled oil (am not surprise that some eateries use oil meant for lighting up candles at the altar to cook), loads of salt and white sugar and MSG. Not to mention, the veggies and meat may not be washed thoroughly or worse still, totally not washed.

So, I sacrifice an hour  each evening to dish out something easy and yummy for my girls.

Two nights ago, I made chicken chop with orange juice and rosemary, with raw alfalfa and brocolli sprouts, cherry tomatoes and stir fried pea sprouts with garlic as trimmings.

 

I dished up the chicken chop in under an hour.  Then dashed off in my car to fetch Sherilyn back from the enrichment centre.  While she ate dinner, I quickly swallowed mine too.  Next, zoomed off to drop Sherilyn at the dance centre for hip hop dance class.

 

Yesterday, I cooked creamy spaghetti with fresh mushrooms, cauliflower, char siew (bbq meat) and Okinawa luncheon meat.


Okinawa luncheon meat which my MIL brought back from Japan…

 

So… how do you like my kind of  dinner?   In my many pigging out sessions with the foodie hubs, I scrutinized interesting dishes and then back home, I will try to reproduce them ala health freak mommy’s style. Not bad eh? This is what I call picking up culinary skills by osmosis! ;)

 

 No. of times viewed = 322