Since 2010, I started to include more food entries as an attempt to document the recipes I have browsed through cookbooks, magazines or classes that I have attended. The interest for cooking and baking then ballooned into something bigger; it became my passion.
From a young age, I have been fascinated by my mom who was ever so eager in learning to cook and bake. She would tune in to ‘Fang Tai’ on television, copied the instructions and try out the dishes and we were the recipients of all things yummy. At times, she would bring me to some cooking/baking class and soon after I would see her working in the kitchen.
Being a Cantonese, she would always prepare soup for us and the most delicious Cantonese food at home. She was a keen learner and even went on to attempt Hakka food (my dad is of Hakka background). Now that I’ve married a Peranakan, I was introduced to yet another cuisine. It helps a lot too that the auntie-in-law is a passionate Peranakan cook herself!
I hope to learn the secrets of cooking/baking through intensive reading and self-study and of course, working in the kitchen! I
have relocated to Boston where my main purpose is to be a homemaker and I would have much time to think about FOOD! Hope you’d have fun too trying out the various recipes and do give your comments as we embark on this learning journey together!
The must-haves in my kitchen, in no particular order of preference.
#1 KitchenAid Standmixer
My hands are free to prepare other stuff while this machine helps to complete its assigned task. Good companion!
#2 Rachel Ray Basic 3-knife set
Sharp knives are good friends and knife skills are a must in the kitchen. You don’t even need any slicer when you have acquired the skill. I love this set because they are so sharp that I was cut a few times by them, normally as a result of carelessness when I washed them or brushed against them. I also own a kyocera ceramic knife. After they are worn out, I would buy Wusthof knives. A good investment they are, for any cooks!
From the Notes on Cooking, never scrape the sharp edge across the cutting board. To gather food bits – either waste or choppings – turn your knife over and scrape with the spine of the blade. I’m guilty of that. =(
#3 Electronic scales
Precision. Precision. Precision. What more can I say? This is crucial in baking and this scale has travelled miles with me.
#4 Cuisinart Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 3 Qt
Love this because it can be used both on stovetop and in the oven. Food cooks evenly in cast-iron and is particularly useful when roasting chicken. My only complaint? I should have bought a bigger one. A 5 Qt is essential to cook a whole chicken in it.
#5 Le Creuset cast-iron skillet
Same reason as above for its material. Anyway, I love anything by Le Creuset.
#6 Martha Stewart Magnetic Measuring Spoons
I love them for their colours and that I could still use the other side of the spoon if one side has been used. Useful especially when I have no time to wash and dry it. The magnets help a great deal because I could just stick them onto the oven or my sink. Space is a constraint in the kitchen and this is great!
#7 Rachel Ray bakeware
I only have the loaf pan and round cake pan. Love the fact that they have handles at the sides, making it easier for me to remove from the oven. Love the orange too!
#8 Silicon Baking Mat
I adore this! Traded parchment paper for this. My cookies do not stick to it, making it so much easier to remove from the mat. I could just picked the cookies up by the fingers! In the long run, I think it helps me to save more as compared to using parchment paper.
#9 Non Slip Flexible Pastry Mat
I don’t have a good open space to knead my dough, only one kitchen table which I share with the hubs for his studies. So this comes in handy. I love the measurement guide on it too! Aiming for a granite/marble tabletop in future!
#10 Le Creuset Spatula
I love the silicon spatula spoon because it can both be used in cooking and baking and I love the feel of the handle. It is heat resistant up to 250C and is stain-resistant and non-abrasive. Moreover, it is resistant to odor and flavor absorption. Good!
Useful words to describe food
Taste and Smell:
Acrid Cooling Peppery
Bland Fruity Perfumed
Buttery Herbal Piquant
Bright Mellow Robust
Briny Nutty Creamy
Brittle Foamy Slippery
Chewy Gelatinous Velvety
Blanketed Melted Sprinkled
Caramelized Mottled Stuffed
Crumbled Murky Syrupy
Crusty Plump Tired
Drowned Sheared Trembling
Lackluster Shiny Wet
Leafy Smeared Wimpy
Bubbling Fizzy Sizzling
Crackling Popping Sputtering
Alluring Denuded Impeccable
Comforting Depth Liberal
Complemented Dispirited Satisfying
Food adjectives (from Notes on Cooking)
Acerbic. Acidic. Acrid. Aged. Aromatic. Astringent. Biting. Bitter. Bland. Blunt. Brackish. Bright. Briny. Browned. Bubbly. Burnt. Buttery. Caramelized. Caustic. Charred. Cheesy. Critic. Clean. Cloying. Creamy. Crisp. Cruciferous. Crunchy. Dark. Deep. Delectable. Dry. Doughy. Dulcet. Earthy. Fizzy. Flaky. Floral. Forward. Fragile. Fresh. Fried. Frosty. Fruity. Full-bodied. Gamy. Glazed. Grassy. Greasy. Gritty. Hearty. Herbaceous. Hot. Icy. Juicy. Layered. Leathery. Lean. Light. Loud. Luscious. Mashed. Mellow. Mild. Milky. Minty. Moist. Musky. Nectarous. Nutty. Oily. Palatable. Peppery. Pickled. Piquant. Potable. Prickly. Puckery. Pulpy. Pungent. Quiet. Rancid. Rich. Ripe. Rubbery. Rustic. Saccharine. Salty. Satiny. Savory. Scrumptious. Seasoned. Sharp. Silky. Sinewy. Sizzling. Smoky. Smooth. Smothered. Soft. Sour. Spicy. Spongy. Steamy. Sticky. Stinging. Stuffed. Succulent. Sugary. Supernacular. Sweet. Syrupy. Tangy. Tantalizing. Tart. Tasteful. Tasteless. Tender. Tepid. Thin. Tough. Treacly. Toothsome. Umami. Unctuous. Velvety. Verdant. Vibrant. Warm. Waxy. Wet. Whipped. Woody. Yummy. Zesty.
Use medium eggs unless otherwise stated. Try to buy free-range and organic is possible.
American cups/ conversions
Butter 225g/8oz 1 cup/2 sticks
Flour 150g/5oz 1 cup
Nuts, chopped 125g/4oz 1 cup
Rice 200g/7oz 1 cup
Sugar 200g/7oz 1 cup
UK TERM US TERM UK TERM US TERM
aubergine eggplant iceberg lettuce crisphead letuce
baking tray cookie sheet icing sugar confectioners’ sugar
caster sugar superfine sugar kitchen paper paper towel
clingfilm plastic wrap mandarin mandarin orange
coriander cilantro minced pork/beef ground pork/beef
cornflour cornstarch pak choy bok choy
courgette zucchini pan/frying pan skillet
double cream heavy cream plain flour all-purpose flour
edamame bean young soya bean prawns shrimp
French bean green bean soda water club soda
fresh root ginger green ginger spring onion scallion
golden syrup light corn syrup spring roll egg roll
greaseproof paper waxed paper stone pit
green/red/yellow bell/sweet pepper tiger prawn jumbo shrimp
pepper wonton wrappers wonton skins
groundnut oil peanut oil wood ear cloud ear
ham cured pig meat mushroom mushroom
Huang, C.H. (2008). Chinese food made easy. HarperCollins: UK
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