Tuesday, 14 June 2011

3D Bunny & Lamb Cookies 3D版小兔小羊曲奇

Rezept auf Deutsch - 3D Kaninchen und Lamm Plätzchen
中文食譜 - 3D版小兔小羊曲奇

3D Bunny & Lamb cookies
Ingredients for ~40 cookies

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoon (125g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (384g) all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Decorations: red color food dye, sugar toppings, chocolate pen

  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter till light, beat in sugar until fluffy and pale yellow.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
  • Mix the salt and flour together, add the mixture into the batter by 3 additions. After all the ingredients are well blended, it will form a breadcrumb like dough.
  • Take out the dough and knead into a ball shape, wrap with cling film and chill for one hour.
  • Pinch about size of tablespoon of the chilled dough, drip a tiny droplet of red food dye and knead until pink. 
  • Preheat the oven to 165°C / 350 °F / Gas mark 3, Line two baking papers on the baking tray. 
3D Bunnies
  • To make the bunny body, take about size of a tablespoon dough, roll into a one side fuller, one side thinner oval shape, then lie on the baking tray.
  • Now make the bunny ears, pinch very tiny bit of pink dough and roll into strip, then press it lightly on the rabbit body.
3D Lambs
  • To make the lamb body, take about size of ¾ tablespoon dough, roll into one side fuller, one size side thinner oval shape, then lie on the baking tray.
  • Pinch super tiny bit of the dough and roll into several balls, press them one by one on the lamb body except the face.
  • Now make the lamb ears, pinch very tiny bit of pink dough, roll into a teardrop shape, then press it lightly on the lamb body.
  • Bake the cookies for 15~18 minutes until pale golden then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to leave cool.
  • Melt the chocolate pen in hot water, paint two small dots on the faces to make the eyes, drop another dot on the bottom and stick the sugar topping to make the tail.
  • After the eyes and tails appear. Look! Your super adorable little bunnies and lambs. These little fine works are truly irresistible to anyone.
Ingredients checklist: Butter, sugar, flour, salt, egg, vanilla extract, food dye, sugar topping and chocolate pen.
Utensils checklist: A scale, a measuring cup, measuring spoons, a mixing bowl, a hand mixer or electric mixer, a spatula, a baking tray and parchment paper.

Cream the butter and beat in sugar until fluffy.

After the egg and vanilla extract are added, the batter become moister and creamier.

Now add the flour,  the dough become breadcrumb like texture.

Hong Kong's summer is very hot, it is better chill the dough for a while first.

Just a very small amount of food dye already good enough to turn the dough pink. I'm sure you don't want leave any dye on your worktop, prepare it on a piece of cling film.

 Rolling the dough gently to shape the body, a sharper nose, a fuller hip, make it fun by your hand.

After the pink ears are given, the bunny shape is starting to appear : )

So much work to make the lambs!!! I am so exhausted to make just less than 10.

The cookies are cooled. Let's make the eyes and tails.

A close up... how cute they are! All my efforts are really worth it.

 Are you cruel enough to put us into your mouth >_<

Special thanks to tofu girl for her lovely recipe from "Open Mouth Insert Cookies".

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Homemade Organic Strawberry Jam 自家製有機士多啤梨果醬

Rezept auf Deutsch - Hausgemachte Bio Erdbeermarmelade
中文食譜 - 自家製有機士多啤梨果醬

Homemade Organic Strawberry Jam
Ingredient for ~800ml Jam

  • 1kg Strawberry 
  • 750g sugar
  • 3 lemons

Stage 1: Jam Making
  • First, place a clean plate in the fridge.  Soak the jars and lids in a pot of warm water and set aside.
  • Juice the lemons, reserve the seeds and tie into a cheesecloth bag. Clean and hull the strawberries, cut them into half and place in the soup pot.
  • Gently heat the strawberries for 5 minutes to vaporize the excess water. Pour in the sugar, lemon juice and cloth bag, bring to boil in high heat. Stir gently to the bottom of the pot to avoid burning. The jam will start to thicken after 30 minutes.
  • Use a spoon to check the consistency again and again. If you see the jam can jell the spoon instead of dripping down quickly, then take the cold plate from the fridge for the jam test.
  • After the jam test is passed, ladle into cleaned jars and close tightly. The first stage of strawberry jam is done. 
Stage 2: Preserving 
(If the jam will be eaten right away, you can skip these steps.)
  • Reheat the hot water, put the bottle jam on a steam rack and boil hard for 15 minutes. The water level should be higher than the jars.
  • After sterilized, line the jars on upright on a table to cool down for 24 hours, and don't distribute the bottles during this period.
  • Next day, check the bottles one by one. Press the lids with your finger, if the lids don't pop up, they are vacuumed successfully. If you find the jars which failed the vacuum, put into the fridge for tomorrow's breakfast : )
Your homemade strawberry jam is full of fruity aroma. Why only eat as a bread or cracker spread? How about as the filling of your favorite butter cookies and spongy cakes? Or pour over vanilla ice-cream and cheese cakes? I am sure it is the best gift idea for your family and friends, let's discover more together!

Descriptions Automatiques - I. Sur Un Vaisseau - Assez Lent - Erik Satie

The super fresh and yummy strawberries. All picked from an organic farm located in Yuen Long.

Ingredients checklist: Strawberries, lemons and sugar.
Utensils checklist: A scale, a plate, a big soup pot, a cheesecloth bag, a ladle, a spatula, a spoon and jam jars.

Strawberries for jam sounds pretty certain. In fact, all berries are low in pectin and not ideal for jam making. But lemon, especially it's seeds are rich in pectin, which is the best natural ingredient to balance the consistency.

Hull the strawberries one by one and cut into half.

Pour in sugar, lemon juice and seeds. You are right, it's a lot of sugar. Apart from providing the sweetness taste, sugar is also a natural  preservative. This is the wisdom from the people of former times in fresh fruit preserving.

At the beginning, the liquid is still very thin. Stir gently and watch the changing consistency.

The jam become thicker and thicker. Stir to the bottom gently to avoid burning. Nevertheless, stir too frequent may delay the jam setting point.

The jam should start to jell after 30 minutes. Use a spoon to check the consistency. From each time of checking, you should able to see the jam become more jell and sticky.

The Jam test - It is very hard to tell is the boiling jam already jelled, now the prepared cold dish become very helpful. When the hot jam meet the cold plate, it should shows how it's look like after cooled. If the jam is still runny, continue boiling and test it again.

Ladle the finished jam into the clean jars.

The first stage of strawberry jam is finished. If you will eat it right away, then store in the fridge after cooled.

Second stage - Preserving: Place jam jars in water bath. After sterilize, the jam will able to keep for one year in a cool dark place. After opened, please store in your fridge.

If you don't have jars special for canning.  Store the bottled jam upside down can prevent air run into the jars and affect the original quality. Design your favorite labels with the canning day.  Now the flavor of strawberry season is sealed.

Mini Tips:

  • Jam Test - Coz it is too hard to describe, so I decided to show you my video. Spoon the jam on the cold plate, you will see the jam is set.
  • Use a stainless steel pot to boil the jam.
  • Use glass jars and lids coated with plastic. The jam should not direct contact the metal lids, as the acid content will corrode the metal and become inedible.


Sunday, 23 January 2011

Visiting Organic Farm - The Beautiful Strawberry Garden 探訪有機農莊 - 美麗的士多啤梨園

December to April is Hong Kong strawberry season. Spare a weekend and head to the countryside, to enjoy the gift from the nature. Compare with supermarket shopping in your daily life, it is a totally difference body and mind experience.

A perfection of outer and inner beauty, strawberries are gorgeous. Pick them down, splash under running water and of course... into your mouth. Hmm... how is it possible to describe this pleasant feeling.

A baby pumpkin, still take a while to grow up.

The farm owner Mr. Law said that the tomatoes will be ripe in two weeks. I can't wait to see the big big red tomatoes!

Just few simple tools, already good enough for our farmers to cultivate the healthy fruits and vegetables.

Lastly, I wanted to buy some flowering chinese cabbages and lettuces, so the farmer cut and collected for me right away. The fresh vegetables were so crispy and full of natural taste. I simply cooked in boiling water with little bit of salt and oil, and it was already an extraordinary dish for supper.

Artikel auf Deutsch - Ein Biohof besuchen - Der schöne Erdbeergarten
中文文章: 探訪有機農莊 - 美麗的士多啤梨園

Reference: The Law's Organic Strawberry Garden

Monday, 10 January 2011

Spaghetti with Clams and Tomatoes - Spaghetti alle Vongole com Pomodorini

Rezept auf Deutsch - Spaghetti mit Venusmuschel und Tomaten
中文食譜 - 蜆肉番茄意大利粉

Spaghetti with Clams and Tomatoes
Spaghetti alle Vongole com Pomodorini
Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 400g Spaghetti
  • 1 small red chile
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 1/2 onion
  • 500g cherry tomatoes
  • 1kg small clams
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • few stalks fresh parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper for seasoning

  • In a soup pot, cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente according to the packing instruction. Turn off the heat and drain the pasta in a sieve.
  • Deseed the red chile and cut into small pieces, peel and mince the garlic and onion, cut the cherry tomatoes into half and set aside.
  • Spread the clams evenly in a large pan. Cover the pan and cook the clams in high heat for 3~5 minutes. Put the opened clams into a bowl and save the juice. Discard any clams that do not open or sandy.  
  • Heat olive oil in a pan, sauté red chile, garlic and onion in medium heat for 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and sauté 2 more minutes until slightly soften.
  • Add the white wine and spaghetti. If the spaghetti seems too dry, then add ¼~½ cup of clam juice. Finally, add the clams, chop and fold in the parsley. Season carefully with salt and pepper. Mix well the spaghetti and serve with a lemon wedge.

Sea Lion Woman - Feist

The clams dig by myself, super fresh and delicious.

Pui O beach in Hong Kong Lantau Island, the clear water and soft sand.

I reserved the big clams as my mother's birthday gift.

Ingredients checklist: Spaghetti, small red chile, garlic, onions, tomatoes, clams, white wine, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cut the chiles open, discard the stem and seeds, leave the meat and cut into small pieces.

Get ready all the ingredients! Cook the spaghetti, cut the garlic, onion and tomatoes.

When you hear the popping noise, it means the clams are opening. I like to transfer them into a bowl once it is opened, and throw away the sandy and close calms : (
The clam juice may contain sand and dirts, drain them away when reserving the juice.

Slightly fry the red chile, garlic and onion to sizzle.

And fry the tomatoes until slightly soften.

My wine guy just arrived. He brought me a vintage 2009 Graves from Chateau Villa Bel Air.
I love cooking with wine, because I am fascinated by the fruity sweet vaporized from the alcohol. 

Add the spaghetti, clams, clam juice, parsley and seasoning. Don't forget a touch of lemon juice can bring up the freshness taste of the clams. 

The Hong Kong local seafood, the original taste from south italy. A perfect combination of Spaghetti alle Vongole com Pomodorini...Buon Appetito!

Mini Note:

Italy is surrounded by sea and gifted from the nature. Since ancient time it abounded with wide range of seafood. Clam digging used to be a poor people activity, cause they could not afford buying food from the market,  and so they dug around in the sand to get their dinner ingredients. Time after time, seafood and clam become a staple of Italian cuisine history.

For example, the Christmas eve dinner "The Feast of the Seven Fishes  - festa dei sette pesci". In tradition holy days, meat and dairy products were forbidden in Roman Catholic, so people prepared their dishes from seafood and vegetables like octopus salad, spaghetti with clams, Crab stuffed mushrooms, dried salt cod, fried eel, shrimps and scallops. After the big seafood feast, the whole family visited the midnight mass at church.

Today, if you order Spaghetti with Clams in a restaurant in italy. The waiter may ask you "without - in bianco" or "with tomatoescom Pomodorini". For sure, both preparations are very tasty.

Mini Tips:
  • For me, I dig my clams from the beach, so I only need to bring a bucket with seawater to bring my clams home. For most of the people who buy clams from the market, just soak the clams in water with added sea salt, and the clams will spit the sands after few hours. Fresh seafood must be eaten within 24 hours.
  • The clams I get from the beach called "sand white - 沙白". In italy, the major species are Vongole, Cozza and Tellina. You can use any type of clams as you like, the most important ingredient is "fresh".
Reference recipe: Italian Food Forever by Deborah Mele