Deep Fried Salt & Pepper Prawns

Ok, so either I’ve totally caught your attention with the words “deep fried” or I’ve sent you running in the other direction. Those of you still here with me, you’re definitely my kinda eating buddy. And if you’re still here but you really dislike deep fried foods, I now luv ya even more. Besides the fact that this is a deep fried dish, it’s actually not all that unhealthy, and very quick and easy to make. So enough with the jibber jabber, let’s get started, shall we?

Deep Fried Salt & Pepper Prawns

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of prawns (Shell on and deveined. Headless or not is your choice.)
  • oil for deep frying (enough to cover about 6 prawns at a time)
  •  3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 and a half table spoons spice salt
  • 4 stalks green onions finely chopped
  • 2 red chili peppers finely chopped

In a bowl, mix together the cornstarch and spice salt. This is the type of spice salt I like to use:

Spice Salt

If you don’t have this, you can definitely use 1 tablespoon salt and half a tablespoon ground pepper.

Coat the prawns with the cornstarch and spice salt mixture either one at a time ( which is my preference because I’m so OCD like that :P) or by dumping all the prawns into the bowl with the mixture and mixing them around untill they’ve all been coated. Heat up a pot of oil to 350 degrees fahrenheit and deep fry about 6 prawns at a time. When the prawns have completely curled (about 1 to 2 minutes), they’re ready to take out. Do not deep fry the prawns for more than 2 minutes or they will start to dry up and be overcooked. Drain the prawns on a piece of paper towel. In a strainer, deep fry the green onions and red chili peppers for about 20 to 30 seconds. Drain and sprinkle them over the prawns.

This is one of my favorite dishes to order at a Chinese restaurant. Now I’m not going to tell you how to eat this, but after discarding the head and the tail, did you know some people actually eat the shells and legs too? That’s right, just like popcorn shrimp. Give it a try, you might actually enjoy the crunch. I used to peel off the shells and just ate the meat, until I tried eating it with shells and all one day and really liked it. Even though I discard the heads while eating, I chose to leave them attached here because that’s how I’ve always seen them being served at restaurants. But if the heads freak you out, you can definitely use deveined headless prawns.

Halloween is coming soon again so I want to take this time to remind everyone to please take caution when driving and watch out for all the little ghosts, goblins, and Supermans out there. Here’s a link for 13 Halloween safety tips for kids. I hope you’re all doing well and that you have a safe and happy Halloween. Thank you for taking the time to drop by again. Until next time, friends and family :D.

A Most Memorable Scotland Trip

Hi everyone! How are you all doing? Hope you’re enjoying your summer (or winter, depending on whichever part of the world you’re in). So the last time I left you, I told you I was taking a mini vacation. I got back a while ago but have been experiencing troubles with my internet so wasn’t able to blog. The problem just got fixed yesterday so now I can fully enjoy visiting your blogs again….yippee!

I was off in Scotland visiting and meeting two dear friends whom also happen to be bloggers. If you haven’t already visited their blogs, then please let me introduce you to the lovely Mary of Keep Learning Keep Smiling and her lovely daughter Sharon of Fun and Life. Mary is as friendly and sincere in real life as she is on her blog. If you’ve visited her blog before, you’ll also know what an amazing cook she is. If you haven’t visited her blog then please do drop by and say hi, you won’t be disappointed. Just look at some of the delicious dishes she made for me while I was there.

Seafood Risotto

Recipe found here.

Paris Brest Puff Ring

Recipe found here.

Delicious noodles!

Beef Dumpling in Turkey Soup

I love all kinds of soup and this was one of the best dumpling soups I’ve had. I’ll definitely be trying this delicious and healthy recipe.

Aside from making me all sorts of delicious dishes, Mary and Sharon were wonderful tour guides; taking me to the many beautiful places that Scotland has to offer so that I could get some lovely shots on my camera. Of course I’m not going to share them all here or we might be here all day, so these are some of my favorite shots. By the way, the first photo was taken by Sharon. Girl sure knows how to use a camera properly (unlike me…haha)!

Dunnottar Castle

Shot taken from inside Dunnottar Castle

See my very slanted horizon? LOL! To my defense though, I WAS half way leaning out of the castle to get this shot. Plus, the world is round isn’t it? Teehee.

The Scottish Thistle - the national emblem of Scotland

These were actually smaller in real life than I thought they’d be.

The streets of Edinburgh

Love their buildings!

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

This is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen. Unfortunately we weren’t permitted to take photos inside. It was way too quiet in there for me. Drove me a bit crazy. Once outside, I had to release some of that energy…see?

So then they took me to a beach to try to calm me down. Haha. (It didn’t work. ;)) I’m just kidding. We went to the beach on my last day there.

Aberdeen Beach

Stonehaven

We also visited Stonehaven. I was told that “it’s a place where you go and see lots of stones”. Lol.

Stonehaven

I’d have to agree though.

The Glenfiddich Distillery

My trip also involved going to the Glenfiddich Distillery where I got to taste their 12, 15, and 18 year old whiskey. WOOT! :P

Inside the Glenfiddich Distillery

I’d have to say, the best part of my trip was getting to know Mary and Sharon better. Honestly, I would’ve been perfectly happy sitting at home eating and just chatting up a storm with them. We definitely shared many many laughs together. May (from Mary’s ladies lunch group) if you’re reading this, you have GOT TO play Taboo with Mary – HILARIOUS I tell ya! I also got to play some badminton with Mary, and boy oh boy can this woman own the badminton court. Trust me, you sure don’t want to be playing against her. As tough as she is on the court though, she’s as sweet as can be and a total joy to be with off the court.

The apple definitely doesn’t fall far from the tree because Sharon is also an absolute joy and pleasure to be around as well. Taking amazing photographs is just one of the many great attributes of this lovely girl. If you know her in real life, you’ll agree that she is absolutely one of the nicest and most sincere people you’ll ever meet. She shines with true beauty, both inside and out. Not to mention, she’s one heck of a Taboo player as well!

Thank you so very much Mary and Sharon for welcoming me into your home, introducing me to the rest of your lovely family (and friends), and taking me around to see the many fascinating sights of Scotland. Most of all, thank you both for your beautiful friendship. Yes, Scotland has some beautiful views, but it was the people who made this trip so memorable and special. These memories will forever be engraved in my head. I truly really hope that I will be able to return the favour to you and your family here in Canada some day. Until we meet again my dear friends.

Before I leave, I’d also like to wish a very happy belated birthday to one of my dear blogger friends, Veronica of Quay Po Cooks. Ever since I first started following her blog, Veronica has been nothing but a sweet, kind friend and one of the most supportive bloggers around. She truly has a heart of gold and it definitely shows in this post here. Veronica, happy belated birthday to you and I hope you have many many more blessed ones to come.

K is starting kindergarten soon so between packing her snacks and lunches, taking her to and from school, and taking care of my two year old little monkey at the same time, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for blogging. I will try to blog and visit your blogs when time allows me to, but just a heads up before you start wondering if I’ve given up on blogging. Wishing you all a great rest of the summer. Thank you again for dropping by and visiting. Until next time, friends and family. :D

Helloooooo……?

Helllloooooooooo………anybody still there? Yes, I know it’s been almost two months since I’ve last posted. I must apologise for my disappearance. Sorry for leaving for so long. With the short two months of summer that we get here in Canada, I’ve been trying to take full advantage of the summer-like weather. The kiddies and I have been enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.

Going for walks.

Man-made lake by our house.

Going to playgrounds.

No that doesn't move, it's just for climbing.

Wheeee......!!!!!!

Getting unexpectedly splashed at the spray park.

SPLASH!

Cooking outdoors.

Moms are some of the best multitaskers ;)

We even enjoyed some baking together.

The kiddies always have so much fun helping.

More about this baking adventure in another post though. So basically we’ve been trying to soak up as much sun as possible and enjoy being kids. Amongst that, I’ve also been busy battling a prisoner, a panda, and even a doughnut. Don’t ask, just don’t ask. I’m just happy that I’m surviving and am still alive sitting here blogging about it. With all that battling though, a girl needs good food to help keep her energy up. If you’re a long time reader, you’ll know that I love seafood. Prawns are one of my favorite seafood to cook because they’re so quick and easy, not to mention delicious also.

This one is one of my favorite prawn dishes. I call it Stir Fried Tamarind Prawns.

Stir Fried Tamarind Prawns

Stir Fried Tamarind Prawns

Ingredients:

450 g package of tamarind (made into tamarind paste)
2 TBS white sugar
1 TBS fish sauce
1 and 1/2 lb prawns deveined (shell or no shell is up to you, but if leaving shell on, devein, butterfly, and leave tail on)
garlic minced (I use a lot, sometimes a whole bulb. Amount is up to you)
2 stalks green onions cut into thirds
2 red chili peppers chopped (optional)

Instructions:

Soak tamarind in hot water (just enough to cover all the tamarind) for about an hour and a half. When time is up, take the tamarind out (with as little water as possible) and push it all through a strainer into a new bowl. This will remove all the seeds and threads. Measure out about 6 tablespoons tamarind paste and mix that with sugar and fish sauce in a bowl and set aside. Heat up oil in a wok and stir fry garlic till just about to brown. Add in shrimp and stir fry till just starting to turn pink.. Add in green onions and red chili peppers (I left out chili peppers because of my kiddies.) and stir fry for about another minute or two. Add in bowl of tamarind sauce and mix around until all prawns have been coated.

Note: If the tamarind sauce is too sour, adjust by adding more sugar or fish sauce or both to taste. It should have a sour and sweet taste to it.

I’ll be off on a mini vacation soon to visit some dear, dear friends. I’ll try to visit you all when I get back. Thanks for dropping by again! To one of the dear friends whom I’m visiting, I look much forward to our battle(s). ;)

BRING IT!

Take care everyone, and enjoy the rest of your summer! Until next time, friends and family! :)

Hainanese Chicken Rice at Cafe D’Lite

Back in April when we visited my in-laws in Vancouver, Cafe D’Lite was one of the top restaurants I really wanted to try. A dear friend and fellow blogger (one of the sweetest persons you’ll ever meet, by the way)  had recommended it to me a while back.  

My main purpose was to try their Hainanese Chicken. So the second day we were in town, Hubby and I met up with one of my friends from elementary and gave this place a try, and boy were we glad we did.

We arrived about 20 minutes earlier than our meeting time. Yes, I was THAT anxious to try this place, but also because we’ve never been there so I wanted to make sure we weren’t late in meeting  my dear friend. If you know me, you’ll know I’m very prompt. Since we were a bit early and K was getting a little hungry, I ordered (actually she chose) the fish balls vermicelli noodle soup. L was napping so we left him with Grandma.

As you can see, it came with ample amount of fish balls with some Asian veggies (yu choy) and bean sprouts. The broth was very tasty and I appreciated the fact that it came out piping hot. I cannot stand warm food when it’s supposed to be hot. K finished about half the bowl and also had some of the other dishes we ordered. I finished the other half and thought it was pretty good. Not the best I’ve had, but good enough for me to order it again.

My friend and I decided to share the large chicken rice with soup ($11.95).

The menu didn’t state and I forgot to ask, but I’m pretty sure it was free range chicken. The meat was quite juicy, not dry at all. I don’t eat chicken skin (unless it’s deep fried…teehee) so I gave that to the hubby, but from the pieces I ate, this was THE BEST Hainanese Chicken Rice I’ve ever had. Most of the Hainanese chicken rice I’ve had were very bland and the chicken depended on the dipping sauce for flavour, but both this chicken and rice were exploding with flavour. The dish also came with a garlic chili sauce and cucumbers on the side. I’m more used to the ginger sauce I get at most places and prefer that more. Didn’t matter much though because the chicken didn’t even need the sauce to taste good, it held it’s own very well.

This was a definite 9 out of 10 for me. It only lost 1 point because I thought the chicken pieces could’ve been a tad meatier. I’m a breast type of gal (never thought I’d say that…haha) and there just wasn’t enough well, breast meat for me due to the fact that the pieces were a bit small.

Not only was the rice and chicken exploding with flavour, but so was the soup. What is their secret? I need to know.

Gary ordered the regular Hainanese chicken rice with soup ($8.95). It came with the exact same items as ours did except it was a bit smaller. I actually thought it wasn’t that much smaller, but just arranged differently. So in other words, I think the regular is a better value. That’s just my opinion though.

Gary also ordered a lamb curry. I don’t eat lamb so I didn’t try any. From the mmm’s at the table, I’d say it was very good. This came with white rice that I forgot to get a shot of.

I LOVE Laksa, so when I saw Seafood Laksa on the menu, I had to get it. Didn’t matter that I was already sharing the chicken with my friend, nothing comes between me and my food :-P.

The Laksa came with imitation crab meat, deep fried tofu puffs, shrimp and vermicelli. To be honest, I’ve had better and will not be getting it again the next time I visit. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, but I’d rather try other stuff on the menu next time.

To end the meal I ordered the Bo Bo Cha Cha. That’s what it was called on their menu, but I’ve heard so many different names to this dessert including Mo Mo Cha ChaMo Mo Ja JaBubur Cha Cha, and Bo Bo Cha Cha. Funny thing is that they all look different, which confuses me even more, and they didn’t look anything like the one I had.

Bottom line, not good at all, don’t get it here. I found it quite bland, and dessert simply shouldn’t be bland. 

So if you were keeping track, you would’ve noticed that I shared 3 different dishes with 3 different people and I had my own dessert. Hey, what can I say? I luvtoeat ;-). In conclusion, I’d give this restaurant an 8 out of 10 just based on the food quality alone. This was a very small casual dining restaurant so I didn’t review about their service and decor. I’d definitely come back to try the other dishes on their menu. Thank you for the great recommendation Sharon! If you ever visit Vancouver, I’ll meet you there and we’ll go to this place together, but I’m not sharing this time. Haha, just kidding.

Thanks for visiting again, everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful, fun-filled weekend. Until next time, friends and family :-D. Do you have any pet peeves about food or anything in general?

Steamed Eggs with Silken Tofu and Conpoy

 Hi everyone! Sorry I’ve been posting a lot less lately. Here in Canada when we have beautiful weather, we need to take advantage of it because it’s all over in the blink of an eye. I’ve been trying to spend as much time outdoors with my kiddies as I can. Speaking of kiddies, look what they received in the mail.

Veronica from Quay Po Cooks was sweet enough to send these “yins” to them! She called them yins (Chinese name), but upon googling Chinese hacky sac it lead me to the name Jianzi. I still couldn’t find a proper English name. Oh well, I’ll just stick to Quay Po’s version and call it a yin. Her version sounds better anyways ;-). Sorry, Quay Po, I tried looking for the proper English name for you, but no luck.

Look at the beautiful vibrant colours. As soon as I opened the box, my kids’ eyes lit up. “Mommy, Mommy, what’s that?” To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how to explain it to them. I told them it was a kicking toy. Haha. I know you’re shaking your head right now, Veronica. To be fair though, growing up in Canada most of my life, I had never seen one of these before.

So the next day I took the kiddies and their yins to visit my parents. My Mom and Dad knew exactly what they were right away. Although I don’t think Mom’s teaching them to play it properly in this picture. Haha.

 

As Quay Po stated in this post, “To play the game, we needed to kick this up in the air with one foot and continue kicking as many times as possible without letting it drop on the ground.” Don’t worry, I’m teaching them how to play it properly now, Quay Po.

Quay Po is one of the sweetest bloggers you’ll meet in the blogosphere. We’ve been conversing through email on and off and also stalk one another on twitter and facebook. She has many amazing dishes on her blog. If you haven’t visited her blog, please do so, you won’t be disappointed. Thank you so so much for these lovely gifts, Veronica! My kiddies loved them and are still enjoying them. I’m so touched to have found such a wonderful and sincere friend like you. If ever I visit Malaysia, you’ll be the first person I call up. Another example of how real bloggie friendships are :-D.

Now for a simple recipe. A friend requested this recipe not too long ago on facebook, so this one’s for you dear friend.

When I was a child, my Grandma used to steam eggs for me to eat with rice for a few simple reasons:

1. I was a really picky eater who hated to eat meat, so this was her way of getting some protein into me.

2. It was quick and easy.

3. I liked my food piping hot (and still do).

I absolutely loved that dish because it was so easy to eat and I could eat it for days straight. Now I make a slightly different version with silken tofu and conpoy (dried scallops).

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 pack/tube silken tofu (edited to add)
  • 3 dried scallops
  • 1 to 2 stalks green onions chopped
  • half a rice bowl of “scallop water” (water from soaking the scallops)
  • 1& 1/2 TB fish sauce

Instructions:

Soak dried scallops in warm water over night. Take scallops of out of the water and chop into very small pieces. Save the water for later use.

Place steamer on stove and turn heat to high.

Slice tofu into 1 inch thick slices and arrange in a shallow dish suitable for steaming.

In a large bowl, crack in eggs and add in all other ingredients including scallop water (except for the tofu).

Give everything a good whisk making sure all ingredients are mixed well together. Pour contents of the bowl into the shallow dish that the tofu was arranged in.

Once the water for the steamer boils, turn heat down to medium high and steam eggs for 5 minutes. This part is crucial —> At the 4 minute mark, check to see that the eggs are not puffing up and keep a constant check on them. If the eggs begin puffing, turn down the heat and continue to cook. Continue to keep an eye on the eggs. Eggs are cooked when you stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean, not liquidy. This should take about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the intensity and power of your stove.

My family and I enjoyed this with white rice along with some stir fried shrimp and a plate of veggies. This dish is great for kids as it’s healthy and easy to eat. If you’re feeding young children, please allow optimum cooling time as the eggs are piping hot on the inside. Hubby said he could’ve done without the silken tofu, but I liked the addition of the tofu. The option is yours, but I definitely recommend the dried scallops.

I probably won’t be blogging as much as I’m trying to take advantage of the minimal summer-like weather we get here with my kiddies. I’ll try to visit your blogs as much as I can. Before I leave, I also wanted to let you know that I FINALLY put up a recipes page. You’ll find a link at the top on the header. There are a lot of things I want to change with the blog, but now is not the time. Kiddies and family time will always have to come first. Thank you for reading again. I hope you’re all having a wonderful week. Until next time, friends and family :-D.

Happy Mother’s Day Mommies!

 Hi everyone! How are you all doing? I hope everything is going well. Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. Sorry I’ve been away for so long, I’ve been trying to deal with some personal business. Add motherhood into the mix and blogging just had to take a back seat. I promise to try to make it around to all your blogs as soon as I can, but today I’d like to take the time to wish all these wonderful blogger moms a very Happy Mother’s Day! In no particular order of course:

Mary of Keep Learning Keep Smiling 

Valerie of A Canadian Foodie

Ameena of Fancy That… Fancy This

Veronica of Quay Po Cooks

Denise of quickies on the dinner table and bread expectations 

Shirley of Shirley’s Luxury Haven!

Patty of Patty’s Food

Biren of Roti n Rice

Alisha of The Ardent Epicure 

Natasha of 5 Star Foodie Culinary Adventures

Devaki of Weave a Thousand Flavors

I’m sorry if I’ve missed anybody, you’ll have to forgive me as I’ve got lots on my mind right now.

Instead of sharing a food recipe with you this week, I’d like to share a playdough recipe. I got this recipe from K’s school and I’ve already made 2 batches of playdough for my kiddies. They love playing with playdough.

You can somewhat tell from this picture how big a batch of playdough this recipe makes (enough to fit into that yogurt container).

Playdough recipe:

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c salt
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 c water
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp food colouring (1or 2 packages of unsweetened Koolaid can be substituted for food colouring)

 Combine two cups flour, 1 cup salt and 4 teaspoons cream of tartar in a lagre saucepan. Gradually stir in 2 cups water with 4 tablespoons oil and food colouring. Cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Remove from heat, cool and knead until smooth on wax paper. Store in an airtight container.

Note: Cream of tartar is a white powdery substance. Please DO NOT confuse it with tartar sauce!

Looky here, my very first Mother’s Day gift that K made for me in school :-D :-D :-D.

I don’t have a green thumb so I’m hoping to keep this plant alive for as long as I can. Hopefully that’ll be more than a week.

These words melt my heart everytime. When she gets older and starts wanting more expensive stuff, I’m going to be in a lot of trouble ;-).

Mothering has been the toughest job I’ve ever had by far, but definitely the most rewarding as well. I’m off to spend quality time with my babies.

Wishing all the wonderful moms out there a very Happy Mother’s Day from luvtoeat – momoirs of a food enthusiast. Until next time, friends and family :-D.

You’re All My Inspiration

Today I’d like to talk about something most of you can relate to: blogging. What an amazing journey this has been for me. From getting one or two comments (sometimes no comments) per post, to falling into the blogging abyss, to finding, making, and meeting amazing friends. Blogging definitely has its ups and downs, but until you finally blog for yourself and not for comments, can you truly enjoy it.  

 The David K. Stack (made with Nutella and drizzled with honey)
http://thewitchykitchen.blogspot.com/2010/08/david-k-stack-everyday-tings.html

I think there is a difference between commenting for comments and commenting to support your fellow bloggers. In the latter, you’re not trying to receive a comment in return, but solely commenting to support a bloggie friend. As much as we hate to admit it though, bloggers love comments. It’s almost as though the number of comments you have depicts how popular and successful you are —> SO NOT true. I would rather have 3 sincere comments than 300 “yummy yum yum” comments. If you’re going to comment, comment because you want to, not because you feel like you have to.  That is why I put effort into every one of my comments. In order to sincerely comment though, you also need to READ the whole post. If someone is going to just skim through my pictures to make a comment, then I’d rather you not comment.

Baked Eggs in the Basket:
http://www.anediblemosaic.com/?p=4877

Then there’s the camera and photo obsessions. Yup, don’t deny it guys, you know exactly who you are. I have so so much to learn from many of you. Honestly though, I started out blogging not caring whatsoever about photography. At times I would take photos from my phone and post them (did I just hear some gasps?). Now I actually take the time to take a decent photo and to make my dish somewhat presentable. Who knew photography could be so much fun? Ok, everybody but me. Hey, at least I finally caught on.

Delicious butternut squash soup: http://sharonmoh.com/2010/11/butternut-squash-soup/

How about the amazing friendships you make along this wonderful journey? When you take the time to get to know the blogger and sincerely comment, you WILL find beautiful friendships, I know I have :-D.

Healthy Miso Wild Alaskan Salmon:
http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com/2011/01/03/healthy-miso-wild-alaskan-salmon/l

The first step in getting to know a blogger is to get to know their name (if they reveal it). You’d be surprised what an impression it makes on the person reading your comment to know that you took the time to get to know their name.

Strange-Flavor Chicken: http://thehappinessinhealth.com/prickly-ash-and-strange-chicken

Then there’s the food porn, the oh so torturous food porn. Yes, you people torture me with your delicious, over the top of my skill level recipes and photos. I just have one word for those of you —> ARGH! And my stomach would like to add in her two cents too —> GRUMBLE GRUMBLE!

Baby Spinach and Wasabi Puree: http://annajohnston.com.au/a-lesson-with-chef-adriano-zumbo/

On a more serious note though, thank you all for sharing your lovely recipes. I have bookmarked so many of them to try, but just haven’t had time to try them yet. These photos you’re scrolling through are just some of the recipes I’ve had time to try recently. I enjoyed every single one of them, so please click on the links to check them out if you’re interested.

http://www.burpandslurp.com/2011/03/20/ooh-ching-chong-mapo-tofu-tong/

To all of you who take the time to get to know me every week, visit, and comment (or not comment), I thank you very much. Every single one of you have made this quite the blogging experience for me. To those of you whom I keep in contact with through email often (you know who you are), you’ve been the best part of this blogging journey for me. Thank you for your beautiful friendship.

Laksa, inspired by: http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com/2010/05/31/malaysian-curry-fish-laksa/

The luvtoeat family is on a little mini vacation right now. I’ll be sure to visit all my bloggie friends once I get back. Thank you for being such inspirations! So tell me, is there anything you love or hate about blogging? Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Until next time, friends and family.



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