Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sorry! And here are my excuses....

I know, I know, I've been absolutely shocking with my bogging! But I do have good reasons! Something has seriously preoccupied ALL my time for the last few months, and that is.....

Butters! I was originally going to name him Butter, but I've probably watched a bit too much South Park and keep calling him Butters, so Butters it is! Originally I had wanted a Male Chocolate Labrador, who I was going to name Snickers. You know, chocolate...packed full of nuts? hehehe But I absolutely fell in love with Butters and couldn't wait to take him home!

This is a photo of Butters when he was just 6 weeks old. Since I couldn't pick him up until he was 8 weeks, I put his photo onto my desktop and just drooled over him! hehe

This is what he looks like when we finally picked him up. Very "Marley and Me" isn't it?

Its been a good 10+ years since I've had a puppy, and I basically had to relearn everything all over again. When to feed, medicate, train, toilet train etc etc. I basically rush straight home after work, dump everything and grab my camera before running out to the yard. No time for cooking, no time to make bentos, and I stopped going out for awhile to spend time with my baby! Its only been 2 months, but he's grown up so much since then! I didn't realise how much until I compared the photos!

But enough of the excuses, how about a bit of food porn?

First up, my first attempt at ever making an Okonomiyaki from scratch.

I've cooked them at a restaurant where everything is prepared and all you need to do is slap it on a hot plate. But to make from scratch it also unbelievably easy!

The basic batter is:

1 cup Okonomiyaki Flour (Or just plain flour if you don't have any)
3/4 cup Dashi stock (Water with dashi powder mixed in)
1 egg

Mix the batter together and add enough chopped cabbage to taste. I like my Okonomiyaki with heaps and heaps of cabbage. I also added some chopped bacon in this one. You can always add seafood, veggies or other meats. I put enough ingredients so there is JUST enough batter to bind it.

Throw onto a hot pan, form a circle and flatten. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes until the bottom is golden. Flip and repeat. Just make sure the batter is cooked through. Drizzle with heaps of Okonomiyaki sauce (Bulldog sauce), Kewpie mayo and garnish with bonito flakes. I also had some seaweed flakes, but I couldn't find it!

Gyoza. Another incredibly easy thing to make. The wrapper is a store bought Gow Gee wrapper. The filling can be anything you want. I use pork mince, heaps of diced wongabok or other green veggies. Throw in some diced mushrooms, black fungus or water chestnuts. Add any herbs you like i.e. Shallots, Coriander, chives etc. Season with salt, pepper, sugar, soya sauce or fish sauce. Wrap them however you want.

To cook, have a hot pan with some oil in it. Place the gyoza into the pan and pan fry for a minute or so. Add in enough hot water (maybe 1/4-1/2 cup depending on the pan) to create heaps of steam. Cover and turn down the heat. Let the steam cook the Gyoza. When its cooked, take the lid off, crank up the heat again and let the bottoms crisp up and go golden brown. You can add extra oil if you need. Flip onto a plate so everyone can see its beautiful bottom!

Ever since my trip to Houston, I've been absolutely fascinated with American food. Nothing can be more American than a good old burger. So I decided to make my own version!

Looks like an ordinary burger until you bite into it.....

Do you see it yet?

MmMMmm Cheesey.....By stuffing the meat patty with a nice wedge of cheese, means you get to bite into a pocket of oozey melty cheese! Just be careful, it is really really hot!

I've also been messing around in the dessert arena. My new favourite is a green tea red bean cake:

I'm still trying to perfect this dessert. I want to achieve the texture of the Bread Top version of the cake. I'm going to need guinea pigs to try this out!

That's a simple chocolate mousse topped with macadamia nut brittle for texture.

My bentos haven't been forgotten either, I just don't make it as frequent!

Check out my penguin sauce container! Open the "head" and the beak becomes a sauce spoon!

Xmas was also insanely hectic. We had a family vacation organised which severely limited when I could do my annual xmas bake! Unfortunately, the only weekend I could do it also clashed with the big Bloggers xmas meet! *cries*

I was glad it was much cooler this year, compared to the 34 degrees last year. 34 degrees is bad enough, but combine that with a solid 12 hours infront of an oven and its just hell! Anyway, so what did my friends get in their xmas goodies bag this year?

Cranberry and Pistachio biscotti

Orange Almond Biscotti

Rocky road in the making - Check out the size of my bowl!!

Peanut butter cookies


Rum balls

Rum balls all packed

Some of the goodies all packed

Phew! That was a crazy few months! I've still got heaps of blogging to catch up on, so lets hope to see more posts from me!


Betty said...

so many goodies!

and your okinomiyaki looks AWESOME

i'm totally bookmarking the recipe- thanks for sharing :O)

SoRMuiJAi said...

No problems! Let me know how it goes! I'm still experimenting with the recipe to try and replicate what you find in Japan. Will definitely post another recipe up once I refine it!