Baked Rice and Orange Butter Cake

With more cheese in stock, I instructed my helper to prepare Baked Tomato Rice for dinner one evening. She used the leftover tomato paste I prepared from the pizzas last week. It was really nice with the tomato and basil leaves. I think I should ask her to bake this more often as it was very well received by the children.
Whenever I see some recipes with bananas or oranges, I just cannot resist the temptation to bake them when I have one of these fruits at home. So the moment when I saw Ju with her Orange Butter Cake, I just had to bake them. It just can't go wrong to give this as a gift for a friend. The zesty orange fragrance that filled the room when it was baking made me want to eat it once it was baked! I used 1.5x of the recipe, three oranges, reduced some sugar and baked it in a 9" round pan. I still find the cake a bit sweet. Shall reduce it the next round I bake again.
The texture, the fragrance and the taste of this cake is really wonderful! Everyone who tried this cake just raved about it! Hop over to The Little Teochew to try this out! Thanks Ju!
I got a bunch of these citrus fruits from my father-in-law lately. I have no idea what this was. It looked to me like over-ripen limes. Anyone has any idea what this is? :p

Cheese it all

Salmon was on sales. Button mushrooms were on sales. Bulk discount for Meiji cheese. No prize for guessing what I made for Saturday lunch. The theme for lunch was, anything that can use cheese.

It all started one day when one of my dear friend informed me that there was someone in a particular forum trying to clear stock of Meiji cheese because they were expiring real soon! And since it was going at rock bottom prices, and I really mean BOTTOM, I decided to get some. She knew that I like to use cheese in my baking, so she informed me of such good deal. Isn't it nice of her? ;)
I also had a new "toy"- grilling pan, which I bought from Tangs quite some time ago. So I decided to use the grilling pan to grill my salmon fillets. I thought there will be splashing all over. However it didn't. Probably because I used butter? Maybe it won't splashed in the first place. I love the grilling marks it left on my fillet.

Here was the menu for lunch.

1) Salad - coral lettuce, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, raisins, onions, olive oil, pepper & rock salt.
2) Caramelised onions
3) Stir fried button mushrooms with cheese.
4) Garlic toast - fried garlic with butter and toast.
5) Grilled salmon - Marinated with rock salt and rosemary. Use butter to grill the salmon, then add the cheese after it's cooked.

My children loved the garlic toast amongst the food. Luckily I didn't make a lot, otherwise, they won't finish my salmon. Heehee... :p

A Simple Giveaway

I have a nice Selbourne photo frame key chain which I would like to give away. I wanted to keep it initially, but thought that since I do not need it, I might as well give to someone else who might use it. I hope I'm not viewed as cheapskate as I really thought this key chain is very nice. It really looked very classy and elegant.
To win this photo frame key chain, I would like you to share with me what or whose photo you would want to put into it. Maybe a picture of one of your lovely bakes? Or your beautiful family photo?

Please take note that "Selbourne" is printed at the back of the photo frame key chain. The closing date for this giveaway will be 31 July 2010. I will use a random number generator to select the winner. This is only for residents in Singapore. Sorry to my blogger friends in Malaysia. :p

To start the ball rolling, if I were to keep the photo frame key chain, which only has a 3.3cm x 3.7cm dimension, I'll probably put my daughter's lovely face into it. Call me biased if you want. That's what I'll do! :p

Can we eat to starve cancer?

This is something that I would like to share, and hope you will spend some time to view this video. Lately, I heard many unpleasant news about people having cancerous cells. I hope after viewing this video, we'll be more selective about our food intake.



This is the list of food which we should consume, extracted directly from the video, for ease of reference.

Wholesome Wholemeal Pizzas

Being ill at home is no joy, and to be socially responsible, I can't step out of my house! :(
So, I had to rest and drink more water, rest and drink more water!

Feeling slightly better, and just don't want to laze around too much, I decided to make dinner for the family today. Even though I knew that I don't have enough ingredients for pizzas, I still decided on pizzas. Having learnt that there is a wholemeal version of the pizza from Grace previously, I decided to try it. I also tried my hand at making the pizza paste from scratch, with some reference from here.
Here is sharing how I made the Wholesome wholemeal pizzas.

Wholemeal Pizza Base Recipe, modified from Kitchen Corner.

Ingredients
100g Bread flour
100g Wholemeal flour
10g Caster sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2tsp Instant dry yeast
110g Water.
10g Olive oil

Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients together, except olive oil.
2. Knead until they become a crumbly consistency, then add in 10g olive oil.
3. Continue to knead until smooth springy soft dough.
4. Cover it with cling film and let it rest for 1 hour.
5. Divide the dough up into two equal portion let them rest for 15 minutes.
6. Roll out the doughs onto two round greased pans.
7. Then spread the pizza sauce onto the pizza dough then sprinkle with some freshly grated cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese.
8. Add your toppings and sprinkle again with mozzarella cheese.
9. Bake the pizza at the lowest rack in the oven at 220C preheated oven for 10 minutes.
10. Then reduce the temperature to 190C and transfer to the centre rack and continue baking for another 10mins.

Pizza Paste Recipe
Ingredients:
7 medium Tomatoes, cut
A few cloves of garlic, cut
Fresh basil leaves
Some olive oil

 Methods:
1. Heat the olive oil in a tall saucepan, then add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Do not allow the garlic to brown. Add the tomatoes and basil leaves and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid cooks out.
4. When there is still some liquid left in the pan, carefully puree the sauce using a hand-held blender.
5. Bring it back to a boil, and continue simmering until desired consistency.
6. Let it cool, sieved out the tomatoes (if there is still too much water), then spread on pizza dough.

Pizza Toppings
Pizza 1:
Minced meat and spinach
Pizza 2:
1 can of tuna, 1 small red onion and spinach

I love my tomatoes with lots of basil leaves. Ever since I started using basil leaves for my salads, I've fallen in love with (sweet) basil leaves, truly truly in love! I'm so glad my family love the pizzas. Maybe they were hungry?

Rosemary Chicken Frittata

"Frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelette or quiche, either simple or enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. It may be flavored with herbs." - Source Wikipedia.

I never knew there was such a thing as Frittata until I saw The Little Teochew posted up her Mini Veg Frittata. It looks really easy to prepare, delicious to eat and a full dish to please. Therefore, without hesitation, I decide to prepare this for our Saturday lunch. I found that such baking dishes are really versatile. Why did I say so? Because you add whatever you have in the fridge, or whatever you would like to have, change and tweak the ingredients to your liking. Furthermore, the taste won't be compromised (as long as you followed the fillings).

It was very well received by my family, especially my children as they are egg lovers. Here's the recipe on how I made them.
Recipe for Rosemary Chicken Frittata
(Makes approximately eight 3.5" x 3.5" tart dish)

Ingredients:
300g Chicken breast meat, diced

1 medium Carrot, diced
2 stalks of Celery, diced
10 French beans, diced
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary, chopped finely
Some soya sauce
Some olive oil
Dash of pepper
Some garlic

Fillings:
11 Eggs
220g Whipping Cream
1 packet (250g) Mozzarella Cheese
1 packet Yellow tomatoes, halved
Dash of pepper
Dash of rock salt

Method:
1. Marinate chicken with rosemary, olive oil and soya sauce.
2. Heat a saucepan. Add some olive oil, then add garlic and stir fried till fragrant.
3. Then add in all the vegetables, and cook till soft.
4. Add in the chicken and stir fried until about 3/4 cook. Off the heat.
5. Prepare the tart dish.
6. Scoop the cooked ingredients into the dish evenly.
7. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the cooked food.
8. Arrange tomatoes evenly on each of the dish.
9. Fill up the dish with the eggs, whipping cream, pepper and salt mixture.
10. Bake in a preheat oven of 190C for 20mins, or until browned.
11. Serve while hot.

Feel free to change the ingredients anyway you like, or add any other ingredients. I supposed the essential ingredients are pepper, salt, eggs and whipping cream.

Well, if you want to know where I got all these pretty little baking dishes, they were from Daiso. I love to use them as they were just enough for a serving each.

Awards

Thanks to Jess, who passed the following awards to me. It was truly a pleasant surprise!

For 10 things about me, you can find it here.

10 things that make me happy:
1. My three wonderful children and my spouse
2. Being with my family members: parents and my sisters.
3. Holidaying
4. Baking out food successfully
5. Ability to impart my baking knowledge to others through workshops
6. Attending workshops
7. When I get compliments for my bakes
8. After exercise and sweating all out
9. Baking
10. Shopping for baking ingredients, appliances and accessories

Winner for Food Chopper

It's usually not difficult to get people to participate in simple contests or giveaways. There'll be many responses or so. However, it seems that I only have five responses for the giveaway sponsored by CSN Stores. Somehow, I felt that my blog is visited by locals more than overseas readers. Should that be a consolation for me?

Anyway, I would like to thank those who took the effort to leave your comments and take part in this giveaway. The winner has been picked by Random.org.
Congratulations to Happy Home Baking! Please drop me an email (aloyallyanders@gmail.com) to provide me with your US address. Thank you to the rest who had participated. I wish you all the best in your next contest!

Madagascar Vanilla Extracts

A friend commented that my blog was getting more boring as there were fewer posts and fewer updates. Well, I might have to agree to that as
(1) I haven't been baking as often as I want to,
(2) even if I bake, they were repeated recipes,
(3) I was testing out some recipes for my workshops, therefore, it won't be appropriate to post them up here.

So, with all these valid reasons, I supposed I can be excused from the long lapse of posts? :p

Anyway, this is also nothing new. I thought I just want to share that since making my own vanilla extracts, I've not looked back. And friends whom I have given them my vanilla extracts have raved about the quality of it. So with more vanilla beans on hand, since I don't know how else to make use of them,  I've decided to make more vanilla extracts! Even The Little Teochew has made her own vanilla extracts!

I bought these colourful glass bottles from a shop in JB when I was there lately. They were rather huge, and I was simply happy! It cost me only RM5.00 each! Each bottle contains about 600g of vodka, so you can imagine how much vanilla extract I'll be getting? And not forgetting my previous two smaller bottles of vanilla extracts! Gee, I think with all these bottles, it's really going to last me a lifetime supply! I'll have to be contented, wouldn't I?

Blueberry Bakewell Tart

Blueberries seems to be in season now. In our local supermarket, they have been on offers for these two weeks. I didn't hesitate to buy them whenever they are on offers. With abundant blueberries on hand, I didn't hesitate to bake the Blueberry Bakewell Tart, as shared by Grace, last weekend. I had the opportunity to try it previously and I fell in love with it.

The ground almond, mixed with blueberry and the crispy crust was truly heaven. As I didn't have blueberry jam, I used chocolate ganache to brush the crust base instead. However, when I tried it, I thought the taste wasn't as good as it is with blueberry jam. Hmm...still the original taste better. :) Do try it if you have blueberries to spare!


With the leftover dough, I baked them and made them into dark chocolate cherry tarts. I used the cherries from the Griottines that Doris gave me previously. I mixed some cherry liquor into the dark chocolates and topped it with a cherry. It was another indulgence. However, this is only limited to six tartlets that I made. I love this crust as it's really crispy!

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