Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year's Eve Party Special

Hello Whimsical Readers,

F~ OMG!! A year come has and go, just like that! Time flies and waits for no man, so don't be left behind. Enjoy life while you can or you might start regretting it in the future. I never think it is too early for us to enjoy and appreciate what we have in life, I may be young now, but sooner or later I will grow older and I have a wish to grow old with grace and not a grunge of bitterness in my soul because I am regretting what I did not but could have done in my youth.

Even though most people would make a "New Year's Resolution" instead, I unfortunately find that I would not follow it, especially once I have written it down and made it sort of "official". Therefore I thought it's high time I made myself a Bucket List. It is a list of things you want to do before you die or as they say "kick the bucket". I have always wanted to make one and I finally got around to do it. A tip for those of you who like to try it, find a friend to do it with you, its more fun when you have a "witness". Haha. You can always change and or add more to your list as you go.

Most of the things on my list at the moment has something to do with outdoor sports as I'm quite an outdoor junkie. So I have things like Bungee jumping, which I've done at the Diga Verzasca or James Bond Damp in Switzerland (which was totally exhilarating!!) Sky diving, climb Mount Everest Base Camp, get a kayaking instructorship etc. So don't wait til you're in your late 30's, 40's or 50's start now and enjoy life to the fullest.

Write us a comment of 3 things what you absolutely want to do before you die, we're looking forward to see what you've got.

But for now, let us welcome the new year of 2011!!! I've got to run again, got to go catch me some fireworks and party!! Wohoo!

Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas Special

Hello Whimsical Readers, 

F~ First off, MERRY CHRISTMAS from us to you!!! It's that time of year where presents, holidays, parties and of course more food! I hope you are having a great time enjoying yourself, don't think about your work that's piling up in your work tray when you return (ok, bad..that doesn't' really help, does it..haha) ANYWAY, even though I'm suppose to be getting ready in a bit for my christmas dinner party, I'd thought I'd  best give you a recipe now since I'm probably going to be waking up with a hangover from too much fun..Haha! So here's something short, easy that doesn't require too much time even if you are planning to do it on Christmas Day itself. Christmas Butter Cookies!!

Ingredients: Makes 80-90 pieces
6 Egg Yolk
250 grams Butter (room temperature, cubed)
375 grams Flour
125 grams Sugar
1 packet Vanilla Sugar
Cookie Cutters
Rolling Pin
Baking Paper

1. Have the required amount of Flour and Sugar & Vanilla Sugar ready separately on the side beforehand as your hands will be covered in Butter when you need them. On a clean and dry surface, knit with your hands the Butter until you do not feel anymore knobs but a smooth texture.
2. Add the Flour in 3 parts, this makes the process of knitting the Butter and Flour together easier and allows you to see if you have enough Flour and can stop adding before it is too late. (when the Dough starts breaking up easily instead of stinking together, means it is too dry and has to much Flour)
3. Followed by the Sugar and again knit them well before adding in the Egg Yolks.
4. Once the Dough is knitted, roll it into a ball and wrap them in a plastic kitchen wrap and place them in the fridge for at least an hour. This is so the dough can settle. Not doing so can cause the cookie to deform in the oven.
5. After an hour, preheat the oven to 190° celsius, take out the Dough and ready the oven tray with Baking Paper. Sprinkle some Flour on a dry and clean surface and also on your Rolling Pin. Roll the Dough til it is flat, do not make it too thin about 8 mm should be fine.
6. Taking the Cookie Cutter, cut the Dough and take out the shaped Dough and place it onto the oven tray.
7. Put the Cookies into the oven for about 10-11 minutes.
8. Once the are done, let them cool down before putting them into a jar.

Enjoy!! p.s freshly baked cookies when they're still hot are the best! just be sure not to burn your tongue. =D

You can also get creative by adding by Lemon Juice (Lemon Butter Cookies), Raisins, Chocolate Rice/ Sprinkles. 

Alright so no more guilty conscience hanging on me, now I really must dash, Merry Christmas again and see you next week!

Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Tarte Flambée "Flammkuchen"

Hello Whimsical Readers,

F~ Christmas is within the week!! I'm so excited, I have my christmas tree all decorated but somehow I still canoot get them to look like the ones you see in the movies. (oh well, i tried) Moving into the kitchen, I am busying myself with sweets and christmas biscuits since I am on holiday so I have the time. =D

Today's recipe will be something very simple because I am somewhat tied up with the holidays, so I will show you how to make a Tarte Flambée. I learnt the german name "Flammkuchen" before I did the english name so from what I understand from a Tarte Flambée is that it is not a tart and definitely not a flambée-ed with fire. Haha! It is actually something very similar to a pizza, you could say it is a healthier version (at least to me) because it uses quark or yogurt and sour cream instead of a tomato base and cheese toppings.

A Tarte Flambée is a Alsatian (located in Northeast France in the Region Alsace) dish. The most traditional recipe consist of onions and cubes of port fat with only sour cream as a base. However today, you can more of less create any combination you like. So I have 2 recipes; the traditional recipe #1 and my recipe #2. Unfortunately, I have only one picture to show you.

My Tarte Flambée/ Flammkuchen (german name)

Dough Ingredients: Or buy the ready-to-bake dough
380 grams Flour
150 ml Water
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
Pepper (to taste)
Rolling Pin

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the Dough. Be sure to mix it well.
2. Then, divide the Dough into smaller portion (you can choose to already portion them out into the number of  servings).
3. Taking the Rolling Pin, roll and flatten the Dough until it is quite thin. And Carefully place the Dough onto the Baking Tray and leave it aside.

#1 Traditional Recipe
Ingredients: Serves 6
1 1/2 Onion (halved and thinely sliced)
300 grams Bacon cubes
150 ml Sour Cream
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

1. Putting the Dough aside, preheat the oven to 230° Celsius (446 F).
2. In a heated Pan/ Wok, stir-fry the Onions followed by Bacon cubes. Once they are cooked, leave them aside.
3. Spread the Sour Cream onto the Dough using a spoon. Sprinkle some Salt & Pepper and herbs of your choice. (e.g Oregano, Basil) Then, spread a generous amount of the ingredients onto the Dough
4. Put the Dough into the oven for 12-15 minutes.
5. Take out and slice into smaller pieces if preferred (a pizza cuter is very handy here) and serve!

#2 F~'s Recipe
Ingredients: Serves 6
1 Onion (halved and thinely sliced)
200-250 grams Bacon cubes
1 medium to large Pepperoni/ Bell Pepper (small cubes)
100 grams Mushroom (preferably fresh, not canned. small cubes)
130 grams Quark/ 1 Plain Yogurt
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
Paprika Powder (to taste)
Oregano (to taste)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1. Putting the Dough aside, preheat the oven to 230° Celsius (446 F).
2. In a heated Pan/ Wok, stir-fry the Onions and Mushroom, followed by Pepperoni and lastly Bacon cubes.
3. Once they are cooked, leave them aside.
4. In a bowl, mix the Quark/ Plain Yogurt and the Sour Cream, before adding in the Salt & Pepper, Paprika powder and Oregano. (Tip: 2:1 Quark/ Plain Yogurt to Sour Cream, I find it slightly too sour for my liking otherwise)
5. Spread the Quark Mixture onto the Dough before adding the ingredients.
6. 4. Put the Dough into the oven for 12-15 minutes.
7. Take out and slice into smaller pieces if preferred (a pizza cuter is very handy here) and serve!

This recipe also makes a very good party food! Its easy and they don't cost a bomb, plus they're healthier than Pizzas so no Calorie-Worries! Enjoy!!

Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Roast Chicken

Greetings Whimsical Readers,

Have you ever asked yourself when you make your way into a house and wonder "Hmm where's that smell coming from?" Well it happens to me all the time! Especially during Chinese New Year or any special occasions where I am invited as a guest. I grew up in a typical chinese family, so the food I always eat is obviously chinese food. I love chinese food, no doubt about it! I am very versatile, I am open to any style of food. Don't be surprise, I didn't know how roasted chicken smells like till I met my boyfriend's mom! Every time I enter her kitchen, it's always the distinct smell that makes my nose go WOW. It's her signature dish. Roast Chicken! Well this is how it goes~

1 Tbs Soy Sauce
3 Tbs Oyster Sauce (always more than the soy sauce)
2 Tsp Sugar
Salt and Pepper
5 Chicken Drumsticks

1. Marinate the chicken! (at least 1 day before)
2. Rub the sauces all over the chicken with your Clean hands!
3. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top.
4. Put them into the chiller (at least 1 night)
5. Place them in a nice flat pot, roast the chicken at about 200°C, for 1 Hour (turn over the chicken after half an hour)

Hope you enjoy the recipe.

The Whimsical Buddies

Sunday, 5 December 2010

2in1 Beef and Bamboo in Oyster Sauce

Hello Whimsical Readers,

F~ So its that time again, when bare trees and the streets are covered in white, the heaters are turned up, warm clothes, hot chocolate and of course presents!! Yes, its winter and christmas is just around the corner (unless you're in Aussie) I love winter! It can be terribly cold compared to where I'm from but nevertheless I absolutely love it! You see, I'm a jacket, scarf and boots person. I'm totally crazy about jacket; winter, spring, summer, autumn jackets one for every season! The same goes for scarfs and boots are especially gorgeous and even more so when you don't the opportunity to wear them. As the saying goes, people always want what they cannot have.

OK, so that's about winter, now about food! I don't know about you but when it's cold, I tend to be a little lazier so I sometimes prefer to cook a bit more so all I have to do for my next meal is to just pop it in the microwave..TING* and its done! So here's a 2in1 recipe for you lazy-bums ;P A warm dish perfect for giving you that warm feeling inside like after taking a hot bath; my Beef and Bamboo in Oyster Sauce dish. You can either eat it like that with a side of steamed white rice or you can make it into a dish on it's own if you're cooking for one. However instead of adding rice, I find that egg-based Noodles are a good match for this dish.

#1 Beef & Bamboo in Oyster Sauce

Ingredients: Serves 2
300 grams Beef (sliced, marinate with 1 Tsp oil, 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce 15 minutes before cooking)
65 grams Bamboo (thinly sliced)
2 Tsp Ginger (thinly sliced)
1 Tsp Garlic (thinly sliced)
70 grams Carrot (thinly sliced; for colour)
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
3-4 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
Salt & Pepper

#2 Beef & Bamboo Noodles in Oyster Sauce

Ingredients: Serve 2
85 grams Egg-based Noodle
220 grams Beef (sliced, marinate with 1 Tsp oil, 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce 15 minutes before cooking)
55 grams Bamboo (thinly sliced)
2 Tsp Ginger (thinly sliced)
1 Tsp Garlic (thinly sliced)
70 grams Carrot (thinly sliced; for colour)
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
3-4 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
Salt & Pepper

Egg-based Noodle 

1. If you're making this dish with the noodles, cook the noodles accordingly and set aside in a bowl, keeping it warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a heated Pan/ Wok of Cooking Oil, add in the Garlic, Ginger and Carrots and stir-fry for a couple minutes.
3. Then, adding in the Bamboo sliced and cook them well for about 5 minutes. (Bamboo gives off a rather pungent smell, ginger helps soften the smell, so add more ginger if you want to)
4. Followed by the beef for another 3-5 minutes, be sure not to over cook your meat.
5. Now, add in the Oyster Sauce, Soy Sauce, Salt & Pepper according to your taste, add about 80ml of Water if you don't like your dish so dry. Let the dish simmer for 2 minutes before dishing out.
6. For this dish to be combined with the Noodles, make sure you add about 1 Tsp of Oil to your Noodles so they do not stick whilst you are cooking the Beef & Bamboo. Also be sure to make your dish slightly saltier so that when you mix the Beef with your Noodles the taste would be just right. Dish out your Beef and mix well with your Noodles in the bowl and serve hot.

I hope you like this recipe I made, Enjoy!

I find that if you use noodles that are already portioned-out, the chances of you cooking too much of noodles and over-eating are lower. ;)

Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies