Thursday, 5 June 2014

Refreshing Water Chestnut Barley Dessert

Water Chestnuts have slightly sweet flavor and crunchy texture. It's also a hallmark of Asian cuisine and popular ingredient in the Chinese cuisine. Water chestnuts are known to posses a remarkable nutritional composition, which makes them an excellent food source. The best part is that they are free of any cholesterol and are almost fat-free. They are also gluten-free. They stay crunchy even after they’re cooked or canned.
Nutritional & Health Benefits of Eating Water Chestnuts

1) Water chestnuts are just the perfect choice of food for those who want to lead a healthy life as half a cup of water chestnuts contains only 0.1 g fat.

2) It is an excellent source of potassium. Half a cup of water chestnuts contains 350 to 360 mg of potassium.

3) Water chestnuts are known to have cooling properties and as such, they are just perfect to beat the summer heat. They are also known to have numerous curative and supplementary properties. 

4) Drinking water chestnut juice can help alleviate the problem of nausea and bad appetite in kids.

5) Water chestnuts are also known to contain detoxifying properties and are considered to be good for people suffering from jaundice.

6) Water chestnut powder helps to relieve cough. Grind water chestnuts to make powder and consume this powder with water twice a day. This dosage will bring quick relief in cough.

7) Most Chinese believe that water chestnuts are also good in treating conditions like measles. Boiling them in water makes the best drink for the measles patients, which can be given from the third day till the ninth day of the cycle. Know what? It's very refreshing and yummy too!

Selection & Storage Tips
- When selecting water chestnuts, look for the ones that are firm and have unwrinkled skin. Also, check that there are no soft spots. 

- Fresh and unpeeled water chestnuts can be kept for two weeks, in a plastic bag, inside the refrigerator.
Peel off the skin and cut off the top of water chestnuts, before you start cooking them.

Serving Tips
1) If you can get fresh water chestnuts, they must be peeled and rinsed well. Whether you use them raw, boiled or from a can, sliced water chestnuts work well in soups and any type of salad, including egg, tuna or chicken salad. They’re classically used in stir-fried dishes, where they can be mixed with any type of meat or vegetables. Add some flavor by marinating them in low-sodium soy sauce, ginger and garlic, then make a lettuce wrap with water chestnuts, carrots, mushrooms, chicken and cashews.

2) When make into dessert, it's very refreshing and cooling especially during summer and it's very effective in cooling a 'heaty' body.

As the current weather over here (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) is rather hot and humid, having a bowl of water chestnuts with barley acts as a 'coolant' to our body.

Ingredients : (to taste)
- 1 cup of barley (washed)
- 15 pcs of water chestnuts (peeled and diced)
- 1 cup of candied winter melon (diced)
- few cubes of sugar cane candy (to taste)
- 1 block of honey grass jelly/chin chow (cubed)
- some pandan leaves
- water (enough to boil 1 cup of barley)

Method :
1) Boil water and barley together.

2) When the barley is almost cooked or soft, add chopped water chestnuts and continue to boil at low medium heat.
3) Add screw pines (pandan leaves), candied winter melon and sugar cane candy. Continue cooking until the barley is fully soft and cooked.
4) Serve it warm with some grass jelly.
Refreshing and rejuvenating dessert
One bowl is not enough....
This simple dessert is simply slurpylicious....
Most kids love this....
Have a fabulous week ahead :)

To receive new updates, do LIKE SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING on FACEBOOK. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me comments. I really appreciate all your visits and comments! Have a nice day :)

Monday, 5 May 2014

Elvis Presley's Favourite Pound Cake

Are you a fan of Elvis Presley???? I AM!!! Yes, I AM a big fan of Elvis Presley… Who else??? Wow, clap, clap , clap!!!! I can see all hands are high high up!!! Ok, ok, ok…. I see all your hands…! Yes, I think it’s almost impossible to see anyone, who is in that era, not a fan of Elvis Presley. He’s our evergreen idol but too bad, he left us at the age of 42 on August 16, 1977 in the bathroom of his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.

With compliments from Shane Lee :)

We all enjoy Elvis Presley’s music but what about his favorite cake? Well, thanks to my friend, Shane Lee. He seeing my new interest in baking, gave me a recipe to try out.
It was Elvis Presley's favourite pound cake, baked by his mom, Gladys, and later his personal cook.
Overall, the cake was simply delicious and great to have it with a cup of hot coffee and it was even more delicious the following day!
It's just simply delicious

The bottom of the cake doesn't look that nice.

So here's Elvis Pound cake, with Shane Lee’s compliments

- 3 cups granulated sugar (I used 2 cups only)
- 1/2 pound butter, softened
- 7 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted twice, divided
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used vanilla essence)

Method :
1) Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
2) Thoroughly cream together sugar and butter.
3) Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4) Mix in half the flour, then the whipping cream, then the other half of the flour.
5) Add vanilla extract. Pour batter into prepared pan.
6) Set in a COLD oven and turn heat to 350 degrees F. (I set at 160 degrees Celsius as my oven heated quite fast. So, adjust the temperature accordingly ).
7) Bake 60 to 70 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted in cake comes out clean.
8) Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly.

Wishing all of you a very happy and wonderful week ahead :)

Do take note that I am experimenting taking pics with 2 different camera. That's why you can notice the difference tone of the images. Which one do you prefer?
The clear sharp images or....
the special effect with blur background images? 
Your opinion is highly appreciated :) Thanking you in advance!

To receive new updates, do LIKE SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING on FACEBOOK. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me comments. I really appreciate all your visits and comments! Have a nice day :)

Monday, 7 April 2014

My Girl is Leaving Home for National Service Training Program /Pusat Latihan Khidmat Negara (NSTP/PLKN) and Healthy Mixed Congee with Ginkgo Nuts

Finally, my girl has grown up and has been selected for the National Service Training Program. Today (7 April 2014) is her 1st time she is leaving home and away from the family for 3 months. She is posted to Semarak Camp, in Pekan, Pahang. Of course, it’s very emotional for us; sobbing, hugging, encouraging and motivating words, and lots and lots of hugs and kisses.  We are going to miss her and she too.
For my foreign followers' information, the Ministry of Defence Malaysia had implemented National Service Training Program in 2002 and the program was fully operational since 2004. The first targeted group for National Service Program were teenagers born in 1986 or those 18 years of age in 2004. Since then, more and more teenagers who fall in this category are being randomly selected and expected to participate in the National Service Program.
The National Service Training Program (NSTP) is implemented to achieve the objectives as stated below:
1) To develop and enhance the spirit of patriotism among youths
2) To encourage national integration and racial unity
3) To build character through imparting core moral values
4) To instil spirit of volunteerism
5) To develop a young generation that is resilient, healthy and confident.
Her friends came to send her off :)
She is fortunate her good friend is under the same batch and camp as her.
For this posting, I have mixed congee with ginkgo nuts. With the current hot weather, it is great to have congee for lunch. Instead of plain rice congee, try adding your favourite ingredients. I love mixed congee and this time, I have ginkgo nuts added to the congee.

Ingredients :
-2 cups of rice (I used brown rice - washed)
-enough water for congee (add more water if you prefer your congee to be watery)
- 1 cup fresh ginkgo nut (membrane peeled, split and remove the pith/embryo)
- 1 tbsp Chinese Wolfberries
- 1 bowl of chopped kai lan/chinese kale
- 1 cup of mixed vegetables
- 2 thumb sized ginger (crushed)
Seasonings : (to taste)
- 1 tbsp miso
- salt
- soy sauce
- pepper

Method :
1) Add enough water to boil rice. Add ginger. If you prefer watery congee or porridge, add more water accordingly.

2) When rice have split but not fully cooked, add ginkgo nuts and mixed vegetables.

3) When congee is cooked, add Chinese kale and Chinese Wolfberries. Stir and mix well.

4) Lastly, add seasonings to taste.
5) Serve hot or warm.
Just for your info, I won't be available from tomorrow till next week. Till then, have a nice day and cheers :)

To receive new updates, do LIKE SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING on FACEBOOK. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me comments. I really appreciate all your visits and comments! Have a nice day :)