Saturday, May 21, 2011

Farewell Dinner...

Farewell Dinner: 20-May-2011

I found this cake idea & wanted to try to reproduce it... & here this is the result, my version of it anyway (which is pretty close, I think... don't you... *hehe*)

Baked this cake to share with the lovely ladies (& hubbies who came too) of the FGA ladies' group who attended the farewell dinner for Aunty Breda & Uncle Koo...
We will miss you both greatly! Come back for visits soon!

 I baked chocolate cupcakes and the Asian cotton soft cheesecake as the cake in the middle. Both the cupcakes and the cheesecake was covered in Vanilla Butter Cream Cheese Frosting that was absolutely yum... (btw, the chocolate version of this frosting placed ontop of the chocolate cupcakes will be the best ever combination!!) 

The farewell dinner was held at Ma Brown Restaurant. Details as follows:

Ma Brown Restaurant
Shop 6, 188-190 Belmore Rd,
Balwyn 3103.

Tel: 9816 3755.

Cutting the cake...

We had a great time there. The company was great & the food was EXCELLENT! It isn't a big restaurant and can get awfully crowded so it would be good to call & make a booking if you wanted to dine there. Just a word of caution, they do try their best but they are rather understaffed so many times you'd need to help yourself to things like tea refills, etc. It is best to book & pre-order your dishes as well as they will take awhile to attend to you when the restaurant gets super busy. Their signature dish is the spicy quails which I've been told you'll have to order at least 3 days in advance but it was totally YUMMY!

The cake was transformed into a
"tears of joy" cake by A. Breda! :-)

FGA Ladies' Group with A. Breda & U. Hock Poo

Here are pictures of what was ordered for that night...
Specialty Spicy Quails - we ordered 2 each! Yummy!!
Yummy crispy duck... Mmmm...
(but help yourself to sauce coz we asked for plum sauce
& chillie oil too, both of which never came!)
Braised Pig Trotter with Herbs
Teow Chew Steam Fish
(sauce is slightly sourish because of the sour plums used)
Sambal Long Beans - YUM!
Prawns with special sauce
And, just for the ladies who attended -
Red Bean Soup for Dessert...


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Birthday Soccer Cake

Birthday Celebrations: 15-May-2011

We celebrated little Josh's b'day yesterday with a little surprise birthday party... His mum, Mary was most delighted & happy... Yay! :-D Blessed Birthday little Josh... :-)

Yummy Caaakkkkeeee!!!  :-)

The most moist delicious chocolate cake
I baked the case (the green field) as a chocolate cake and the soccer ball as an Asian cotton soft cheesecake. Both the base and the ball was covered in Vanilla Butter Cream Cheese Frosting that was absolutely yum... (btw, the chocolate version of this frosting is absolutely the best ever!!) - Part of the frosting was dyed with green & yellow dyes to the right color, then used to cover the base of the cake followed by a healthy sprinkling of rough coconut shavings that had also been dyed with green & yellow dyes.The other part was left as is to cover the "white" part of the ball. The small amount left was dyed with black as dark as I dared go without altering the taste of the frosting resulting in a dark grey instead of a black. If black was absolutely necessary, try using gel or powdered coloring, the colors will be much more intense. The little flower rosettes that made up the soccer ball, giving it color & shape was done using a #5 tip on an icing gun...
The Asian Cotton Soft Cheese Cake
Contrary to belief, I had an absolutely great time decorating this cake! I find it relaxing & fun...  *hehe*  Thanks heaps Anne for providing me with yet another perfect excuse to bake & decorate more cakes... LOL!

Blessed Birthday to you once again Josh... We love you heaps! :-)


Monday, May 16, 2011

Egg and Bacon Pies - Lunchbox Idea!

Lunch Box: 11-May-2011

This is excellent for lunch boxes (& picnics) because they can be eaten cold too! :-) Plus my fussy daughter actually loves it! I'm shocked as she doesn't like eating hard boiled eggs on their own... Hmmm funnily enough though, my normally not fussy son doesn't like this... Odd...

Recipe from: recipes+ mag, May 2011 issue, pg 15.

Yummy... what's on the inside...
To freeze: Wrap, individually, in a double layer of plastic food wrap; freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw: in fridge overnight.
Reheat pies on a baking tray covered with foil. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/160C fan forced for 15 - 20 mins or until heated.
DIY idea: Replace bacon with ham, salami or pastrami.

Pies can be eaten cold and are great for picnics and packed lunches.

Makes 8
Preparation: 20 mins
Cooking: 20 mins
2nd batch I made 12 pies!!

2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
3 bacon rashers, rind removed, finely chopped
2/3 cup grated tasty cheese (I used mozzarella cheese)
8 eggs, at room temp
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Cut pastry into quarters (squares). Line 8 holes of a 12-hole (1/3 cup) muffin tray with pastry squares.
2. Sprinkle bacon & cheese into pastry cases.
3. Carefully crack 1 egg into each case.
4. Bake for 20 mins or until egg is set & pastry is golden.

Optional extra: Top with more cheese after 10 -15 mins of baking then carry baking till pastry is golden & egg set & cheese on top has melted.

4 Remove from oven. Stand in tray for 5 mins, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.
[If freezing freeze at this point, see tips above]

5. Serve pies sprinkled with parsley.

Chicken Pasta Soup with Mozzarella Toasties

Dinner: 10-May-2011

My MIL has declared this the best ever chicken meatballs... so it has to taste pretty good, even though my daughter declared she didn't like it (I think it was the presence of onions & vegies that she didn't like, really... LOL!)  They were really easy to make & tastes real nice too... without all the added yucky stuff you find in commercial chicken meatballs...

Recipe from: recipes+ mag, May 2011 issue, pg 13

DIY idea:
1. Replace meatballs with sausages. Trim ends from casings & squeeze meatball sized balls into pan.
2. Use spaghetti instead of angel hair pasta.
3. Process 1 slice day-old white bread for crumbs.
4. Halve quantities if you have little freezer space.

Note: If not freezing soup, omit step 3 below.

serves 6
Preparation: 30 mins
Cooking: 15 mins

Meatballs to be cooked
For Chicken Pasta Soup:
700g chicken mince
1 clove garlic, crushed (or 1 tsp bottled garlic)
1 large brown onion, finely grated (diced finely)
Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
3/4 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs (I used a wholemeal bun & processed it myself)
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
1 litre (4 cups) salt-reduced chicken stock
2 cups frozen vegetable mix
Meatballs cooked! Yum!
100g angel hair pasta, broken into 6cm lengths

Mozzarella Toasties:
12 thick slices white bread (I used Turkish buns cut into half)
1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese

For Chicken Pasta Soup:
1. Combine mince, garlic, onion, chilli, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup parsley and 1/3 cup parmesan in a medium bowl. Mix well then shape heaped tablespoons of mixture into 36 balls.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over moderately high heat. Add meatballs; cook and turn for 5 mins or until browned.
3. Place stock in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over moderate heat. Add vegetables. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 mins or until veggies are just tender. (If not freezing, go straight to step 5).
4. [TO FREEZE] Layer rows of meatballs between sheets of baking paper in an airtight container; freeze (for up to 3 mths). To reheat, thaw meatballs and stock mixture in fridge overnight. Place stock mixture in a large saucepan.
Finally all done! Dinner!
5. Bring stock mixture to the boil over moderate heat. Add pasta; gently boil for 5 mins or until pasta is tender. Stir in meatballs; cook for 2 mins or until heated. Season. Remove from heat. Stir in extra parsley.
6. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle with extra parmesan. Serve with mozzarella toasties.

For Mozzarella Toasties:
1. Preheat sandwich press (or grill).
2. Sprinkle half the bread with cheese. Top with 1 remaining slice.
3. Cook toasties in batches, in sandwich press for 2 - 3 mins or until mozzarella melts & bread is golden.