Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fried Bee Hoon (Rice Noodle) with Turkey


My friend was wondering if a 10lbs of turkey for a small family like us would be too much. We didn't finish it all at once, there are many ways for us to consume a turkey, so, I don't have to worry too much about the left over. In fact, I can skip cooking for few days. :-)

I can make turkey sandwich, fried noodle or rice with turkey, and the turkey bones will be used for porridge or soup.

Fried Bee Hoon :
1. 200g rice noodle - presoaked
2. 1/2 sweet onion - sliced
3. 4 mushrooms - sliced
4. 1 ~ 2 cups cabbage slices
5. some snow peas or desired vegetable
6. 1 cup bowl of turkey meat & some dripping
7. Some water

Seasoning :
1. 2 tsp oyster sauce
2. 1 tbsp soy sauce or to taste

Steps :
1. Grease the heated frying pan, fragrance the onion slices over high heat.
2. Add in mushroom slices and 1/2 of cabbage, stir for 30 seconds.
3. Add in rice noodle and seasoning. Sprinkle some water and stir fry for 2~3 minutes.
4. Add in snow peas, turkey meat, sprinkle some water. Continue to cook for another 3~4 minutes.
5. Serve with warm with some sambal chili. :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

My First Baked Turkey

My very first attempt!!! Whew....finally..

I have had a terrible sore throat these few days, it was getting worst since yesterday. I didn't sleep at all. Tom took me to the urgent care the first thing in the Merry Christmas day --- in urgent care! :-( . The doctor gave me some antibiotic (pretty strong one) and pain killer - it helps a little bit, but still very painful when I try to swallow even just liquid...

Tom told me to hold off my turkey adventure as he saw me so sick. I didn't want to because I already started the marination yesterday, and I wondered if it may not turn out right if I change my plan.


So, in this post, I have to give credit to 3 people. The first person is my honey - Tom. He helped me most of the baking process ( I was asleep after taking medicine), and also making the mashed potato. Yummy! Love ya!

Another 2 people are Joanne and Sherry. I got to know them from Tzu Chi. They are very good and experienced in culinary arts and are very kind to share a lot of recipes and tricks with me. I am glad to know them.


Here's the recipe and steps I would like to share. My first turkey turned out tender, juicy and delicious! Whew!!!! I would definitely cook this again in special occasion celebration.

A) 1 X 10lbs turkey

B) Marination :
1. 5tbsp salt (every 2 lbs = 1tbsp)
2. 1 tbsp fresh ground white pepper
3. 1/2tbsp corn pepper (crushed)
4. 1 inch ginger - crushed
5. 3 star anise
6. 6 greed onion - cut to approx. 3in strips
7. 5 quarts water (or enough to cover the whole turkey)

C) Vegetable base - any kind of vegetables you like. I used baby carrot, cabbage and sweet onion slices. You may add some celery strips too.

D) Some honey for glazing (optional)

E) Gravy - the gravy pack came with the turkey, I just added some dripping and bring to boil.

F) Serving with some boiled brocolli and baby carrot seasoned with some salt, garlic powder and parsley.

Steps :

1. Defrost the turkey according to the packing instruction.
2. In a non-stick pot, sauteed the salt, white pepper and corn pepper without oil over medium heat.
3. Pour in the water and the rest of the ingredients, bring to boil.
4. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool COMPLETELY. (I cooked the marination one day ahead before I start the marination process).
5. Slowly place the turkey into the marination water, make sure the turkey is completely soaked in the water.
6. Marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.
7. Remove the turkey from the fridge 2 hours before cooking. Discharge the water.
8. Preheat the oven at 350F.
9. Place your desired vegetable at the bottom of the pan.
10. Place the turkey, breast side up on the pan.
11. Cover with rather loose aluminum foil. Don't let it touch too much or it will stick. Or use a pan with a cover.
13. Bake at 350F for 2.5 hours, then 250 for 2.50 hours.
14. Scoop the dripping and pour over the turkey every 1 hour.
15. Glazing (optional) - remove the aluminum foil, brush with some honey, baked for another 30minues at 350F, un-covered. I think I will skip this steps in future, because it will dry out the turkey a bit. I did that just for better color for the photo presentation.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!


We finally got our Christmas tree set up yesterday night, whew!!! Another busy month almost gone with full of parties and joys!! This year is a very different and challenging year for me. I am very grateful for everything that happened to me, no matter good or bad, I have learned something from it. Year 2009 seemed to be a tough year to a lot of people due to the economic crisis. I wish the tough situation will recovery soon and everyone is strengthen to overcome the problem. I wish every one Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May everyday in the new year glow with cheer and happiness.

My new challenge in Christmas holiday is --- fixing a turkey!!! This will be my first attempt. Never deal with turkey before. Wish me luck!!:-)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fried Rice with Chinese Leek

Slowly...everything is getting back on track. This month is going to be an extremely busy month with parties! LOL, we have at least 5 parties to go for the next 10 days. Not sure how many more will be held until the end of the month!

As such, I won't cook too many complicated meals - got to let our stomach take a break after being stuffed with a lot of goodies from Penang and get ready for the marathon party.


Here's one of my meatless but tasty meals for our 2 vegetarian day practice every month. It is not Buddhism vegetarian, so, you will still see garlic and onion in my ingredients. For those whom just want a meatless meal, this might be one of your choices.

Ingredients :

1. 3 eggs - beat with 1~2 tbsp fresh milk or water and a dash of white pepper
2. 1/2 medium sweet onion - sliced
3. 1 stalk Chinese leek - sliced (split the white and green portion)
4. 2.5~3 cups overnight cooked rice (cooled)
5. 1 tbsp oyster sauce
6. 1 tbsp soy sauce or to taste
7. some salt to taste
8. Some water
9. some green onion or cilantro, red chili for garnishing

Steps :

1. Heat up a greased frying pan, scramble fry the beaten eggs until just cooked, remove from heat and set a side.
2. Heat up the pan again with some vegetable oil, sautee the onion slices and white portion of the Chinese leeks until fragrance.
3. Add in rice, oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt and the green portion of Chinese leek.
4. Sprinkle some water and stir fry for 3~4 minutes
5. Add in scramble egg and stir fry for another 2~3 minutes.
6. Garnish with green onion and chili slices.
7. Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

3.30a.m Bread

I'm back!!!!!!!Tired!!!Exhausted!!!

Many people are wondering why did I take such a short trip back to Penang. The main purpose for this trip was bridal photo shooting. We had to save some vacation time for next longer trip for the wedding ceremony. I know it sounds weird. We should have it done long time ago. But due to the visa, green card restrictions, working problems, vacation timing...etc, and also I didn't find the right bridal shop earlier, so......"sigh" long story!!
The second night we got home, I woke up at 3.30am and couldn't get back to sleep anymore. We had not got a chance for grocery shopping yet, so, I made an easy bread with my bread maker for Tom's breakfast. Both of us finished the whole loaf of bread in that morning.

The texture of this bread is similar to "Bengali Roti" in my home country, light, soft!! Best eaten with soft boiled egg.

I am still un-packing and cleaning, but will slowly catch up my blogging...! Stay tuned ya!!


Recipe for the bread (use basic regular function) :

1. 150g water
2. 25g egg
3. 25g salted butter - cut to small cubes
4. 13g sugar
5. 3g salt
6. 250g bread flour
7. 3g instant yeast.

Method :
Put all the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed as above (DO NOT let yeast directly contact with salt and liquid). Select basic regular function, press start. The bread will be ready in 2 hours 40 minutes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Party Season!!!

I will be away from my computer for a while. Going back to my home country - food paradise - Penang. Meanwhile, my "ON DIET" plan will be on hold until next year. Hahahahahaa...because I have too many parties to go (family and friends gathering, food hunting, Thanksgiving, year end pot luck, Xmas, New Year..bla bla).
I think I will keep a record for the goodies that I am going to eat from now until new year. It will be a lot!!!!! I believe! :-p
Till then, HAPPY THANKSGIVING, feel free to eat and have fun!! :-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Harmony Place


I am taking a break for cooking. Too busy and also because of Tom was out 2 weeks to China for a business trip. I felt so down for being home alone and got no motivation to cook at all. Fortunately, Cici volunteered herself to keep me accompanied, she is really a sweet pretty girl. Anyway, I kept myself really busy to clean the house, re-arranging some furniture and getting some home decors to surprise Tom when he is back.

That wasn't cost me too much for this project. I searched over all the places that got the best deal and good quality stuff, browsing on the internet to get some extra discount coupons. Tom is quite satisfied with my arrangement. I made it a little bit like Balinese style as I like bamboo and natural wood a lot!!!

I forgot to take the photo before I do the decoration, but managed to find some old photos taken about 1 year ago for the comparison. It was fun and satisfied to make our home nicer.

I picked up a Chinese character 和 (means harmony) wall decor for our entrance. For me, have a harmonious family is very important. Old people said "家和万事兴" - means a harmonious family is a sign of prosperity (not sure if I translated it correctly, no matter what, it is a good sign.. lol).

I didn't want to spend too much money right now because eventually we will be tearing a lot of things for remodeling, our first project will be the master bathroom, I think we will do 95% of the work by ourselves (have to hire someone for the plumbing). I will try my best to post the progress pictures to share.

I moved the tea table that was sitting beside the couch to the entrance, hang up a piece of bamboo panel to hide the ugly window.

Moved a rack to this place and set it up with a pot of plant and some essence flowers.

I am so happy that I found these bamboo panels on sales (50% off) at JC Penney and got another 15% off with online coupon, it is supposed for window panel, but I used them as a divider of our living room and dining room, that really gives our room looks like a little bit Ballinese effect! LOL!! I re-arranged the table that was at the back of the love seat to side at the wall and put a pot of silk orchid on it. Just love it!

Got a new set of table cloth, place mat, bamboo runner and curtain from ROSS ( a place you could get a very good deal for some unique home decor and small furniture).

Do you like my decor?? Look at below photos that were taken before...

Tom and Cici were playing guitar hero....LOL!! You can see the plain entrance behind them.

Tom set up a welcome home banner when I got back to US last year. This photo was taken from living room, we just had a love seat and coffee table set up as a divider between living room and dining room, I didn't quite like it as you can look through all the rooms...

This is the dining area taken on Chinese new year, we had Hot Pot in new year eve..., curtain was plain white and everything not quite well arranged yet.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lemon Grass Pork Skewers


I have a big bunch of lemon grass growing perfectly in my back yard, besides just using it for curry and sambal prawn, I guess I could use it for something else. Like this lemon grass pork skewer, just something which came into my mind while I was looking at my lemon grass and wondering what else I could make.


The pork skewer is full of lemon grass aroma and delicious. I may use ground chicken or beef for the same recipe someday. I just used what ever seasoning I have and feel might be a good match with lemon grass - nothing complicated - just be creative and follow your taste buds.

1. 220g ground pork
2. 3~4 stalks lemon grass - pre-soaked for at least 1 hour, lightly crush the end of the stalk.

Marinate :
1. 1 tsp turmeric powder
2. 1 tsp curry powder
3. 1 tsp corn starch
4. 1 tsp oyster sauce
5. 1/8 tsp salt
6. 1.5 tsp soy sauce
7. 1/8 cup of finely chopped onion
8. 2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
9. 1/8 cup chopped green onion
10. Some red chili flakes

1. Mix all the marinate ingredients and finely chop again with the ground pork until well combined.
2. Marinate for at least 1 hour or longer for better better taste.
3. Rub the marinated ground pork on the end of the lemon grass stalk.
4. Grill over the pre-heated grill at medium high heat for about 6~7 minutes for each side.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Steamed Scallop with Mung Bean Vermicelli (蒸鲜贝粉丝)


Long story cut short, I am in a hurry, just wanted to share this recipe really quick! This is one of my favorite dishes whenever I dine in seafood restaurant. I couldn't get the small fresh scallop with shell here. So, made it with the giant scallops just to satisfy my crave. :-p


1. 280g scallop (about 6pcs)
2. 30g or as needed mung bean vermicelli
3. Sauce :
i. 2~3 cloves of garlic
ii. 2~3 ginger slice
iii.2~3 chili padi
(finely chop # i~iii)
iv) 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
v) 1/2~1tsp tsp soy sauce or to taste
vi) 2~3 tbsp water (add more if extra mung bean vermicelli is used)

4. Garnishing
i. 1 tsp shao xin wine (optional)
ii. 1 tsp garlic oil
iii. green onion and cilantro
iv. crispy garlic (蒜油酥)

Steps :
1. Boil the water in the steaming pot/pan.
2. Arrange the scallops on a bed of mung bean vermicelli in a steaming dish
3. Mix well all the ingredients # 3, and pour into the scallops.
4. Steam in high heat for 8~10 minutes.
5. Before remove from heat, add in garnishing ingredients # 4.
6. Serve warm.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Messy Garden 2

It is time to update how is my very first vegetable garden going on. Bad news and good news. The bad one is about 20 of my pumpkin were killed by a pile of bugs, we didn't know what kind of bug was that, but, there were too much of them just covered up the whole patch of pumpkin and killed it.

The good news is we have about 7~9 water melon growing now!!! And more winter melon too. Yay!!!! Tomatoes are growing out there, that was accidentally planted from the seeds in the compost made from vegetable scraps and egg shells.

More pictures here!!


Jalapeno pepper

Water Melon

Winter Melon - harvest soon. The size is perfect for me to make 冬瓜盅

Monday, October 5, 2009

Grilled Chicken Calzone


Tired of pizza? Lets try some calzones! It is an Italian turnover made from pizza dough stuffed with fillings like cheese, ham, vegetables or other varieties of ingredients. I had my first calzone many years ago, it was stuffed with baby spinach and cheese. I liked it so much but didn't know what was it called because back at that time, I was still very new to western meals.


I described what it looked like to Tom recently and he told me it is "calzone". I immediately checked it out from wikipedia and found that it is quite simple to make.
Since I had some leftover canjun style grilled chicken, I decided to make some grilled chicken calzone with my pizza dough recipe. It turned out great. :-)


Here are the ingredients and steps :

1. 1 Pizza dough cut to 4 portions (please click here for pizza dough recipe)

2. Filling (according to your preference)
a) Canjun grilled chicken - cubed
b) Grilled green pepper and onion - sliced or cubed
c) some shredded cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese
d) pizza sauce
e) some black pepper
f) some butter
g) some Parmesan cheese powder

Steps :

1. Pre-heat the oven at 450F
2. On the floured surface, roll each portion of the pizza dough to approx. 6" circle.
3. Spread about 1.5 tbsp pizza sauce on the half circle, leave about 1/3 edge.
4. Add in chicken, pepper,onion slices shredded cheeses, sprinkle some black pepper.
5. Fold dough over filling to form a half moon shape.
6. Seal the edge with a fork.
7. Baked in preheated oven for 30~35 minutes or until it turns golden brown.
8. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese when serve (optional)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dong Gui (Angelica sinensis) Chicken Soup

I am being overloaded - feel really exhausted. I am working a few extra hours per day for the past 2 weeks(wanna save some flexible vacation hours for my days off to go back to Penang at the end of Nov.) I need some energy enhancement food - tadahhhhh -I need some energy enhancement food - tadahhhhh - Dong Gui (Angelica Sinensis) Chicken Soup. I didn't put too much Dong Gui as I wasn't sure Tom would like it or not, fortunately, that was not too hard for him to accept it.


Here's my very simple energy soup.

1. 12g Dong Gui slices (add more if you like it tasted stronger)
2. 1lbs chicken (I used drum sticks as they were available in my fridge)
3. 500ml water.
4. 3~4 dried dates - un-pitted
5. Some wolfberry
6. Few slice of Yok Chuk (Polygonatum odoratum) - optional
6. Salt to taste

1. Gather everything except salt into a double boil dish.
2. Cook for 3~4 hours.
3. When done cooking, skim the excessive oil if necessary.
3. Season with salt before serve.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oriental Grilled Mushroom

It looked ugly, but YUMMY! :-p

It seems like busy moment is never ending. Another week gone, and going to be end of month closing again....., I feel like time flies fast like rocket now!

Fast and easy meal is my priority now. I am still trying my best not to consume too much canned or frozen food. So, I still maintain cooking from fresh produce, but make it really simple. For example, I will marinate the meat or seafood at night, then I don't have to spend too much time on the food preparation when I'm tired from work.


This grilled mushroom was accidentally invented. I had some mushrooms sitting in the fridge needed to finish ASAP before they go bad. While I was going to grill some chicken kabob the other day, I was searching some vegetables in my fridge to put on my grill too, I found I had nothing left but just mushroom. So, I immediately marinated them with some soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and garlic, they tasted so good that was beyond my expectation, Tom even demands more.

1. 230g whole mushroom - remove the stem

2 cloves garlic - sliced
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
few drops of sesame oil and garlic oil
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of white pepper

some pre-soaked BBQ skewer
some green onion strips and garlic slices to skew together with mushroom

1. Rub and marinate the mushroom with sauce B for 30 minutes or longer for better flavor.
2. Skew 4~5 mushroom per stick with onion strip and garlic slice as a spacer in between.
3. Grill on medium heat for 4~5 minutes each side. Brush the remain marination sauce once each side.
4. Serve warm

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009 Summer Camping

I like this picture very much. It was taken at Sunset Crater - where we camped in July. It is a pine tree after being hit by lighting.

Wonder where have I been recently? I am taking a break for my cooking adventures as I am stuck by too many errands and events since the middle of August. I volunteered for the fund raising program at the Asian supermarket here for the victims of Typhoon Marakot in Taiwan for 2 weekends, then helping in Tzu Chi Chinese classes with administration work, then camped at Greer in last weekend, followed by our best friends' wedding this weekend, then training class next weekend... Ooooh Gosh!! I wish I could have 48 hours a day.

We were exhausted from the 3 day camping trip at Greer last weekend. My legs are still sore from the hiking :-p. This hike took us up to the summit of Arizona's third highest mountain - Escudilla Mountain - 10,912ft - an inactive volcanic mountain. We really enjoyed the beauty of the nature, got the see how amazing the climate can change the environment. Along the way to the summit of Escudilla, we passed through 2 different forests - Aspen then Pine and also a lot of unknown wild plants and flowers.

Tom set up our tent.

I would like to share some pictures of our adventure in this post. Some of them are from our camping in Sunset Crater in July. Sunset Crater Volcano was born in a series of eruptions between the years 1040~1100. Although it has been almost 1000 years, the lava flows and cider fields still look fresh. We got the chance to walk through the lava flows and ciders fields. It is pretty amazing.

So, today will be no food pictures, all are the beauty of nature. I like those wild flowers the most.

Sunset Crater, endless volcano lava flow..

On the cinder and lava flow.


Native American Ruins

Cowboys Roping Calves in competition.

Aspen leaf, Aspen trees.


Wild flowers




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