Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oreo Orange Cheesecake 香橙乳酪蛋糕

Its been a while since I baked a cheesecake as my baby girl had developed allergy reaction the last time I offered her a slice of the Japanese Soft Cheesecake. She is fine with Cheddar and Parmesan cheese but unfortunately not cream cheese.

Anyway, I decided to bake again as my little boy really enjoyed the cheesecakes I used to bake. I baked this Oreo Orange Cheesecake with drops of fresh blueberries, there is a fine balance of cheese and the zesty orange juice that made the cake turned out really nice. My little boy absolutely loved it, even Big Guy gave me that satisfying hmmmm and asked for more slices instantly.

While variety of cheesecakes are easily available in the bakery stores, making it fresh from home allows me to decide on the ingredients used. I will usually replace the white sugar with organic raw sugar or brown sugar as a healthier replacement (where the recipe allows) and I'll reduce the amount of sugar used by 30-40%, especially when I am using other ingredients that are sweet in nature, such as fresh orange, baking chocolates, chocolate chips etc.

Anyway, lets take a look at the recipe, shall we? 

Preparation Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serving for: 1 8" x 8"square cake

(A) For the Crust:
150gm Oreo cookie crumbs 
50gm unsalted butter, soften at room temperature & cut into cubes (I heat it up in microwave for 10 seconds)

(B) For the filling:
500gm cream cheese, cut into cubes (see foot note)
80gm organic raw sugar (you may used normal sugar and increase the amount if you like)
1 tbsp all purpose flour

Zest of a lemon
Zest and juice of a medium size orange
2 medium eggs
80gm sour cream (I used light sour cream)

1 palmful of fresh blueberries / raspberries (optional)

Making of Oreo Orange Cheesecake

The Making:
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C / 325°F. Line an 8"x 8" square baking pan with aluminium foil on the base, ensure the foil is spread out smoothly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the Oreo cookie crumbs and butter cubes. Mix well using a spatula until butter all melt in. Using a spoon, press them into the base of the  baking pan and spread out evenly. Leave it to chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Using a clean mixing bowl or electric mixer, gradually add all ingredient B into the bowl and mix well, in sequence as listed above, make sure you add the sour cream last. Constantly stirring the mixture until it is smooth and no lump observed. It took me about 10 minutes with a manual hand mixer.
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking pan with the Oreo crumbs base, sprinkles some blueberries / raspberries if desired but it is really optional. Tap the pan on the table top lightly to ensure the mixture is evenly spread out and the berries sink in.
  5. Bake the cake for 1 hour. Leave the cake to cool on a rack before chilling it in the fridge for at least 2 hour or overnight before serving.
This cheesecake should be eaten chilled. Serve it with a cup of coffee or a mug of fresh milk and enjoy the creamy, cheesy sensation that is oh-so-satisfying!

The mixture, right before entering the oven..

Fresh from oven! Tangy cheesy aroma filled the air..

Ta-da, nicely removed from the tray!

Useful Tips!
  • The Oreo cookies crumbs can be found in most bakery supply store. However, if you are not able to buy the ready crumbs, just get a large packet of Oreo cream cookies, remove the cream filling, place the cookies into a ziplock bag and crust them using a rolling pin until fine. Easy peasy!
  • Before removing the cheesecake out from the pan, run a knife along the 4 sides of the cake before pushing it out slowly, this is to avoid cracks on the cake surface.
  • Some oven temperature may varied after using for some times, like in my case it was off by 20°C and I used to puzzle why my cake came out overdone. So invest in an oven thermometer so your bake your food at the right temperature, even an low end one will do.

A Note About Cream Cheese...
When offering cheese for the first time to your little one, do watch out for potential allergy reaction. My little girl for one, is allergic to cream cheese where she suffered skin rashes on her body for over 2 weeks. If you would like to find out more, read about the types of cheese and the nutrition content in my earlier article, Cheese & Little Ones.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Roast Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes 烘酿小番茄

Most Sunday we opt to stay home, enjoy some home cook meals and spend qualify family time together instead of rustling with the crowds in the packed shopping malls or the congested streets... I like that as little ones and I can have bonding time together and I get to do my crafting as they nap, on the flop side, I have to keep thinking of new recipes and new food, forced to be creative...

So today we had our usual stir fried noodles, but served with these tasty cherry tomatoes that are cute looking at the same time. I topped them with natural cheddar cheese for the natural saltiness (so no salt needed) and extra calcium supply for my growing duo.

I promise thus is a really simple recipe, get your toddler to join you in the making if you don't mind a little bit of mess :) 

Preparation Time: 8 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Serving for: 30 small bites

15 cherry tomatoes, washed

1/2 cup of tuna chunks in olive oil, drain the oil
2 table spoon of shredded cheddar cheese (I used Bega Cheddar cheese block) 

Step-by-Step Guides:
1. Preheat oven to 320°F/160°c.

2. Cut the tomatoes into half, scoop the middle empty and stuff with some tuna chunks. Put them in a glass baking tray (if using normal baking tray, line with a layer of baking sheet).

3. Add some shredded cheese onto each tomato, once ready, roast them in the middle tray of your oven for 15minutes.

Little stuffed tomatoes, ready to enter the oven...

Thats it, your roast stuffed little tomatoes are ready. Serve them warm, drizzle with few drops of fresh lemon juice if you like. 

Both my little ones love these little stuffed tomatoes, had 3-5 each, while my big guy helped to finish the entire tray of them. Action speaks louder than word huh. 

Simple no sweat recipe, who says cooking has to be complicated. ;)

Serving suggestion!
Serve as side dish alongside your spaghetti, rice, or just serve as finger snacks, perfect for party! You may refer to the stir fried noodle recipe here, I just used Yan Chun (阳春面) instead of spagetthi, which only requires 3 minutes of cooking.

Homemade Garlic Bread 香烤蒜粉面包

Garlic bread, hmmm.... I like! 

I love warm, fresh garlic breads that are filled with the the right balance of roasted garlic; just the right amount of butter, not too oily to the point it drips; fresh garlics are no-no as I do not like the pungent scent. I'm glad I have managed to make the garlic breads to my exact liking. Crunchy & aromatic in every bite. This will be a usual on our menu from now onwards, Ho Ho.. 


I used the garlic powder & anchovies powders I made for my baby meal, you can check out the methods here (garlic powder) and here(anchovies powder). Theses powders are ready handy to keep around the kitchen.

Preparation Time: 3 min 
Cooking Time: 3 min

6-8 soft round buns
Some butterSome garlic powder
Sone anchovies powder

The Making:
Slice the buns into half, spread of desired amount of butter over the bun, the sprinkle with some garlic powder and anchovies power. Press the bun face down onto a heated pan (no oil required), just grill the bread for about 2 minutes until it turns golden brown. Flip to the other side, grill or about 1 minute then turn odd the heat.

For the extra crunchiness, put them into the hot oven for about a minute (I had my stuffed tomatoes roasting in there). They will come out real crunchy!

The simple family brunch on a lazy Sunday.... My little boy took a bite of the garlic bread and instantly chewed up the whole slice. Ran over to hug me and said "I love you mommy". That feels good!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stir Fried Organic Soy Noodle

Ok, first of all let me clarify, this is not a new recipe, it's the exact same method with the stir fried spaghetti I posted last week but with different ingredients. I had only 30 minutes to prepare everything and serve before leaving the house, so this is a really quick serving but nonetheless healthy, as only fresh ingredients are used.

Here's the portion for my little boy, he finished the entire plate and asked for some to take away so he can eat more after his piano class. :)

The serving for 3 adults. My little girl was awake so I gave her a small bowl, she ate them all and kept saying "好吃" (delicious), well this is definitely more tasty compare to the salt-free porridge I usually serve her.

Refer to the recipe here,the only variation is I added fried omelette, replaced broccoli with French beans and added a small teaspoon of black soya sauce which is rather optional. Oh, and I sprinkles some garlic powder onto the noodle for added flavor too. 

Happy weekends everyone!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tender Stew Beef with Carrots and Potatoes 香嫩炖牛肉

It's been a while since I last cook stew beef, it's one of my big guy's favorites. Since the super market I visited had some really fresh beef yesterday, I choose 2 packs of beef cube approximate 250gm each and cooked this dish the same time I prepare baby's porridge in the morning. It will take at least 1.5 hours to get the soft and tender texture so better to cook it ahead of meal time.

It certainly smelt nice and inviting when I opened the lid, the wonderful aroma of the stew meat and vegetables darted out and was just irresistible, I actually ate a spoonful before serving them. The meat was so tender and juicy as I cooked them up to 2 hours. :)

Here's the stewed beef, I served them with white rice and basil leaves fried egg, and some crispy bacon chips too, simply yummy!

Here's the portion for my big guy

And this was for my little boy. I mixed a big chunk of pan fried punter fish into his rice for the added nutrient (remaining was added to my little girl's porridge).

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 1.5 hours (active cooking 15 min)
Serving for: 4 person

Easy Party Food - Choco Fruitie Lollipop! 简易甜品- 可可水果棒棒糖

On the 15th Day of Chinese New Year, which also commonly known as Chap Goh Mei (which means the 15th Night), most Chinese families will gather together for a reunion dinner as tradition. It symbolizes the end of CNY and life is back to usual again.

We had an early gathering with both side families where everyone brough a dish for sharing. Due to the limited time I had (I was juggling between some errands, crafting and my 2 kids), I had to seek for something that is quick yet decent enough for the reunion. So I decided to makes some healthy homemade dessert that everyone, including my little boy, can enjoy too.

Here they are, took me only 30 minutes from preparation to completion. :)

Multi-flavoured Chocolate Coated Strawberries

Iced Sprinkle Choco Strawberries Lollipop.
This was the special treat for my little boy.

Chocolate Banana Sticks

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Stir Fried Spaghetti with Dory Fillet

My little boy loves noodles and pasta, especially fried noodles. So i thought of cooking some stir fried pasta today since I only have less than 30 minutes to spare in the kitchen. In between cooking, I had to run out kitchen a few times to attend to the duo as they were asking to play bubbles, I am lucky that our kitchen oversees the backyard and the living hall, so I can keep an eye on them while cooking. Being a mom really requires a lot of multitasking, I feel like an octopus sometimes and I'm sure most moms feel the same! 

Here's the simple yet healthy family lunch.

The portion for my 19mo.. I cut everything into bite size. 

This is the first time I'm serving stir fried spaghetti to my sweetie pie, she seem to really enjoy her lunch, fed herself the entire plate of pasta without complaining. Proud of my little baby.. :) 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Double Boiled Pear with Rock Sugar 炖冰糖雪梨

This is one of the traditional Chinese dessert that we often drink during hot weather, it's known to nourish the body and ease long chesty cough. You may serve it hot or chilled, either way I can assure that your little one will enjoy sipping the drink or eating the soft sweet pear. :)

I boiled this today after studying a few recipes, I decided to go with the traditional method of double boiled so the nutrition will be locked in the drink.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Serving for: 3-4 small bowls

1 Pear 雪梨一粒
1 rock sugar 冰糖适量 (adjust according to liking)
3 rice bowl of warm water 温水三碗
8-10 apricot kernel  (optional) 南北杏8-10颗 (可免)

The making:
1. Fill a pot with water to about half the height of the double boiler, boil on stove. The pot itself shall be taller than the double boiler in order to fit.

2. Clean, peel the pear, remove the core and cut into wedges, put the pear and apricot kernels into the boiler except the rock sugar.

3. Add enough warm water to cover the pear (I used 3 rice bowl of warm water), close the lid and boil for 1.5 hours (or you may shorten to 75min). First 10 minutes on high heat then switch to low heat.

4. On the final 5 minutes, add the rock sugar and let it boil for short while before turning off the heat.

My trusted double boiler, a gift from my old ma when we first moved into the house.

Cooling dessert, anyone? 

If you don't have a double boiler, just boil using a normal pot with the lid on. You may reduce the time to about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Important to Note...
While the apricot kernel is known for its benefit in treating cough, it must not be taken in excessive amount. When serving to my little ones I only serve them the pear and the soup, but personally I enjoy chewing these crunchy kernels.