Showing posts with label cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cooking. Show all posts

My Thai Culinary Adventure with Thailand Consulate

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When I think of Thai food, the first thing that comes to my mind is Pad Thai, my favorite Thai noodle dish and the artistic garnishes in Thai cuisine.

The recently concluded Amazing Taste of Thailand 2014, a 10-day event saw me through the tastiest Thai food, astounding Thai music, incessant Thai creativity, and unabating hospitality of the Thai people here in Dubai. The experience got even better when I was invited to a cooking class organized by the Royal Consulate of Thailand in Dubai with the Thai diplomatic wives and ladies. Myself among other participants were given the opportunity to learn how to cook three famous Thai dishes the Pad Thai, Tom Yum goong (spicy and sour chicken/prawn soup) and Tub Tim grob also know as the red ruby (water chestnut in coconut sauce.) 

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Baking at 10

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as in at 10 pm. Mica whose on school vacation is into baking. Her requests to bake at past 10 pm sometimes gets into me but yes I am a mom who would not forsake her children request to learn so yeah we were mixing and folding batter at suppose to be bedtime. And note I am awake since 6:30 am which means by 10 pm I am already a zombie. To add up to that, the little guy seems to be so enthusiastic about her sisters qualms of me not diving into their fits tugs me forcibly into the kitchen. Pulling and pushing and wet kisses and big hugs is how they entice me to pull out the ingredients from the pantry.

What did we bake? Banana and Nutella Muffins

If you want to make a batch of 12 of your own banana nutella muffins you will need
1 3/4 cup of flour (better if you have self raising flour)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
3 ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
nutella - depends on how rich you like your muffins

Pre-heat oven to 180C or 350F. Line your baking pan with muffin liners. In a bowl mix flour, sugar and salt and in another bowl add eggs, butter, vanilla and mashed bananas. Tip wet mixture to dry mixture and fold. Divide mixture into twelve cases half full. Add warmed nutella in each batter in the case and swirl. Swirling is the fun part for the kiddos but be sure not to turn the whole thing chocolatey. Do this for all and then pop it into your over and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the middle of the muffin and when it comes out clean it is done. Let to cool down and serve while still warm

The little helper can't wait and was telling me to take the semi cook muffins out of the oven and look there he was after I serve it on the table. It was still hot that's why he could not touch it but boy he was the first to taste it.

Trivia: Nutella is a brand name of hazelnut chocolate spread.
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Look who's baking!

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Mica is trying her hands on baking and she's baking here her favorite walnut chocolate chip cookies. Ingridients and procedure are Mommy's Cookbook

She watches All For Kids and Lindsay-the little chef is her favorite. With my supervision, she made these cookies herself. Please have some :)

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Food Photos-Feast For Your Eyes

As much as I love cooking and eating, I also love taking photos of the food I cook for my family. I love to look at food photos because it looks more appealing and appetizing.

When I do not know what to eat and what to cook, I browse the Internet for ideas and I experiment in the kitchen like a scientist in his lab.  I use ingredients available in my kitchen. I love herbs, only in Dubai that I learn to use spices on food so when I cook something with herbs my in-laws would simply call it "Arabic" taste. I have basil and oregano for my pasta and pizza, I have rosemary for my grills, I also have cinnamon powder, chili flakes, turmeric powder, thyme and sumac powder and the list is still growing.

Some photos saved in my computer is still waiting to debut here at Yellow Bells. You have to forgive me as I am not able to provide the recipes since I do not cook as per the given quantity on the food sites I am visiting, I only get the idea and I am off to the kitchen for my food experiments. My family loves what I cook for them even most of the time they call it "pacham" meaning pa-tiyamba-tiyamba lng. (*wink)

Below you will find photos of our sumptuous Noche Buena last December 2009

Pork B-b-q, yes that's right pork is available in UAE but it is sold separately in a designated room in supermarkets and it is not allowed to be serve at restaurants however it can be serve at "Hotel" restaurants. I  use pork belly and I grill it using my George Foreman lean mean fat grilling machine.

Everyone loves spaghetti

Prawn in butter-garlic sauce. hmmmm heavenly!

Lumpiang Shanghai-do you know that this dish is more tasty when you add red capsicum on the meat filling?

This one is Crema de Fruta courtesy of my sister

It looks like I am having a food series here in my blog, well I am enjoying it. I hope you like it. More Food entries coming soon.
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Lye Water

Pichi Pichi is another traditional Filipino dessert, it is made of grated cassava, flour water and sugar, in some recipes that I have found over the internet, it says to use lihiya (lye water).

I wonder what lye water was and so I check it @ Wikipedia

Do you know that lye water is actually poinsonous? Yes, if not use properly, and it must be used in controlled and small quantity. Read below as it is important that we know what we are adding to our food specially when we are serving it to our love ones.

Lye is a corrosive alkaline substance, commonly sodium hydroxide (NaOH, also known as 'caustic soda') or historically potassium hydroxide (KOH, from hydrated potash). Previously, lye was among the many different alkalis leached from hardwood ashes.[1] Now, lye is commercially manufactured using a membrane cell method.
Solid dry lye is commonly available as flakes, pellets, microbeads, and coarse powder. It is also available as solution, often dissolved in water. Lye is valued for its use in food preparation,
soap making, biodiesel production, and household uses, such as oven cleaner and drain opener.

Food Uses

Lye is used to cure many types of food, such as lutefisk, green olives, hominy, lye rolls, century eggs, pretzels, zongzi (Chinese glutinous rice dumplings), and Chinese noodles. In the United States, food-grade lye must meet the requirements outlined in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC),[2] as prescribed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[3] Lower grades of lye are commonly used as drain openers and oven cleaners and should not be used for food preparation.[3][4] Lye is a strong alkali, producing solutions of about pH 13.0.

Some manufacturing processes of lye include the processing of salts in mercury vats to create lye. Lye manufactured using this process has been used to make food, such as
High Fructose Corn Syrup as outlined in published reports.[5][6] The concern is that mercury from the vats would find its way into food products, which could lead to mercury poisoning.

Both solid dry lye and lye solutions are
corrosive and will degrade organic tissue.
Hazardous reactions
Chemical burn caused by exposure to a sodium hydroxide solution.
sodium hydroxide or solutions containing high concentrations of sodium hydroxide may cause chemical burns, permanent injury or scarring, and blindness. Lye may be harmful or fatal if swallowed. Solvation of sodium hydroxide is highly exothermic, and the resulting heat may cause heat burns or ignite flammables.

Avoid all contact with
aluminium. The combination of aluminium and sodium hydroxide results in a large production of hydrogen gas: 2Al(s) + 6NaOH(aq) → 3H2(g) + 2Na3AlO3(aq). Hydrogen gas is flammable; mixing lye (sodium hydroxide) and aluminium in a closed container is therefore dangerous. In addition to aluminium, lye (sodium hydroxide) may also react with magnesium, zinc (galvanized), tin, chromium, brass, and bronze to produce hydrogen gas and is therefore dangerous.
Lye may react with various
sugars to generate carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas; mixing sodium hydroxide and sugar in a closed container is therefore dangerous.
Lye intoxication can cause
esophageal stricture.

Personal protection for the safe handling of lye includes safety glasses, chemical-resistant
gloves, and adequate ventilation. When in the close proximity of lye dissolving in an open container of water, a vapor-resistant face mask is recommended.[7]


Lye is a
deliquescent salt and has a strong affinity for moisture. Lye will deliquesce (dissolve or melt) when exposed to open air. It will absorb a relatively large amount of water from the atmosphere (air) if exposed to it. Eventually, it will absorb enough water to form a liquid solution because it will dissolve in the water it absorbs. Lye should be stored in an airtight resealable container. Hygroscopic substances are often used as desiccants to draw moisture away from water-sensitive items. Desiccants should never be placed inside a canister of lye because lye has much stronger hygroscopic properties than activated carbon and silica gel (the most common ingredients in commercial desiccant packets) and will pull and absorb the water from the desiccant packets.
Lye should be stored in air-tight plastic containers. Glass should never be used for storage as lye will slowly eat away at this material. The containers should be labeled to indicate the potential danger of the contents and stored away from children, pets, heat, and moisture.

OMG!!!! So after learning what lye water was, I am now contemplating whether to use it as an ingredient to the pichi pichi that I wanted to cook this weekend or simply omit it. I still do not know why it has to be added and how does it affect the flavor, can anyone tell me? I’d better be careful about it. It is my first time to cook pichi pichi and I don't want it to go to waste, normally, we buy this delicious kakanin from the market whenever we crave for it, honestly, and it is one of my favorite Filipino dessert.

Good luck to me...I hope it will be successful.

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