Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Mum and Dad prepared this delicious dinner of
soup with fish ball, pork ball, minced pork, beancurd
and chicken with leek.
I was very happy savouring every bite :)
Agatha has asked for the recipe of my shepherd’s pie but it was in my head :) So now I'm writing out the recipe. I have actually gotten the idea from a recipe in Today’s newspaper column some time ago and just made my own version. The pumpkin adds sweetness to the otherwise savoury dish. Joan and Mom suggested that sweet potato could be an alternative too but I have yet to try that.
The ingredients are:
- Minced beef (about 400g) – You can substitute this with minced chicken
- Fresh button mushrooms (a handful and cut into small chunks) – you can use shitake mushrooms too.
- 1 or 2 carrot (cut into small chunks) – you can use celery or your favorite veggies or even frozen vegetable but I didn’t use that as Sis doesn’t like green peas.
- 1 or 2 tomatoes (cut into small chunks)
- 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (I only use about ¾ can)
- 1 teaspoon of Maggi Chicken stock granules
- 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
- Pepper (amount as you desire)
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of cornstarch (mum said it helps to make the filling moist)
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
On top of the fillings:
- 3 or 4 large potatoes
- Pumpkin (about ½ the amount of potato)
- Grated cheese (I bought a packet containing a mixture of Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan)
How to make your own shepherd pie:
- Marinate the minced meat (a few hours before the stir-frying) with the sugar, chicken stock granules and cornstarch and refrigerate it.
- Steam the pieces of carrot, pumpkin and potato. As I want the carrots to be cooked and not as soft as the pumpkin and potato, I remove the carrot once it is cooked and leave pumpkin and potato to continue being steamed. If you like your carrot to be crunchy in the fillings, you can stir-fry it with the other ingredients later instead of steaming it.
- Mash the steamed softened pumpkin and potato together and set it aside.
- Heat up oil in frying pan, stir-fry tomato pieces (be careful of the initial spluttering due to the water content in tomato), followed by mushroom, carrot and meat. Add in the light soya sauce (this wasn’t added in marinating of the meat as Mum said the soya sauce will turn sourish).
- Beef: Don’t overcook the meat as it will be in the oven later and you don’t want the beef to taste dry. The cream soup can be added almost immediately after you manage to mix the beef with the earlier ingredients. When the cream is well mixed in (don’t wait till the beef is fully cooked i.e. no redness detected), pour them into a tray (aluminium or pyrex). The filling should reach half of the tray, as there are still pumpkin, potato and cheese to go on top. Chicken: The meat needs to be cooked longer than the beef. When it’s half cooked, add in the cream soup and follow the rest of above steps.
- Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius. Use a fork and spoon to cover the fillings with the pumpkin and potato followed by a thick layer of grated cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or more until the cheese has melted and turning brown and giving a nice aroma.
Let me know if any of the above is unclear and tell me what you think after trying the recipe. Happy cooking and baking!
Saturday, November 25, 2006
I was quite worried when the sky turned dark and it started to rain. Sis and I left the house, hopped onto the cab when it stopped raining around 4 pm.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
It is nice to catch up with Joan. We always have a lot to talk about and she always has interesting stories to tell me and make me laugh. She also makes me feel good about myself and inspires me to try new things but whether I follow up on that inspiration is another matter.
An hour or so of the evening was feeding Noisy at one corner of the void deck of our block and in the park with the other community cats in the park with mum. Then back home it was to help mum with cleaning the hamsters' home and also carrying Pip and Peanut out for a short while on my hands and let them take a short walk on the sofa or on my tummy and legs.
Tomorrow will be another busy day @ work but I'm happy I have spent today with my dear friend, my mum and my furry friends :)
From 2pm to almost 7pm today, I heard quite a number of nice Mandarin and Cantonese songs crooned by my 2 friends. I only sang a Mandarin song called Tong Hua (and quite badly as I normally sing English songs and my recognition of Chinese characters is not good). Maybe I should start listening to Mandarin and Cantonese songs to improve my spoken Mandarin and Cantonese. Sometimes I think it's quite sad that being a Cantonese, I couldn't hold a conversation with my grandmother in that dialect. I could only understand and say basic words. My spoken Mandarin is barely functional too, so when I speak to some of my friends and other people who are more comfortable with Mandarin, it's normally a mixture of Mandarin and English words. I guess it's never too late to start learning :)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Last night when I was out with my family @ Orchard Road at the junction near the Hereen and Meritus Mandarin, I whipped out my camera too like the other Singaporeans. Of course instead of posing with the lighted up "trees", I just took a few photos of the light-up. This one is the clearest shot.
Most of the time whenever Dad is free @ home, he would be doing some DIY projects. Yesterday morning, he was cutting some plastic for the kitchen toilet to complement the shower curtain. Dad is really creative and use old shower curtains hooks (or whatever you call that) to hang up the plastic sheet to the shower curtain railing. And I think it looks pretty neat.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
We headed back to meet Tan Yoong @ his shop @ Lucky Plaza. He and his assistant were very friendly. He could recommend a few nice gowns for Psychedelichic based on her built and figure. We were impressed and Psychedelichic looks great in the gowns he chose for her off the racks. Getting married is not cheap though. The packages offered by the bridal shops start from $4k and above. My friend said I should start saving. Haha.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Tonight's dinner was to celebrate our friend, Michelle's birthday. It is always nice to see the face of a friend lighting up, the smiles and hear the laughter from everyone. This is the chocolate hazelnut banana fudge cake that Dawn had to order from the restaurant 3 days in advance. It's decadent with yummy pieces of banana between the layers.