Thursday, 19 June 2014

Basil Leaves(九層塔 jiǔ céng tǎ) in Caramelized Prawns - The Picnic Game 2014 (1)

Time really flies.  It has been a year since I first joined The Picnic Game 2013 hosted by a very sweet lady, Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations. Since then, I have been waiting for the next Picnic Game and am glad that this year is my 2nd time joining in the fun.  The rule of the game is each participant is to choose an alphabet and to prepare a dish starting with the chosen alphabet.  Well, this year I have chosen the letter B and T.   For a start, here I have prepared Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns.  Do stay tuned to know what is in stored for T.

To know more about the game, do please visit her Picnic Game 2014's rules.
I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing ....
B - Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns
C - Chicken Piccata
D - Darned Easy Potato Salad
E - Eccles Cakes filled with Leeks, Spinach and Blue Cheese
F - Fourth of July Picnic S'more Tartlets
G - Gluten-free & Eggless Chocolate Steamed Cake
H - Ham Cheesy Patties
I - Italian Frittata with Vegetables
J - Jelly Roll
K - Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Bread
L - Lemon Lavender Cupcakes
M - Meringue Roulade with Raspberries
N - Nutella Rice Pudding
O - Old-Time Favorite Iced Red Bean Popsicles
P - Pickles
Q - Quinoa Blueberry Mango Salad
R - Raspberry and Fig Cobbler
S - Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
T - Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread
U - Uninvited Smashed Potatoes
V - Vegan Mango Salsa
W - Watermelon Salad
X - X'mas Coconut Wreath Cake
Y - Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche
Z - Zucchini Cake-Double Chocolate

Why Basil Leaves?
I have abundance of basil plants in my garden and I used to have it in my cooking and even made dipping sauce out of it.  Thai basil is very easy to grow and if pruned regularly, it encourages speedy sprouting and you can even have some extras for your neighbors and friends!

Benefits of  Eating Thai Basil Leaves (九層塔 jiǔ céng tǎ)
Thai Basil Leaves are dark in colour.  The leaves are rich in Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, beta carotene, calcium, flavanoids, folate, zinc iron, magnesium, selenium, niacin, lycopene, thiamin, riboflavin and potassium  among others.

Thai Basil leaves are widely used in traditional medicine for its healing benefits. They are used for common cold, influenza, cough, fever, sore throat, mouth infections, teeth and skin problems, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, earache, headache, stomach upset, heart disease, viral hepatitis, malaria, and tuberculosis. It is also used for mercury poisoning, to promote longevity, as a mosquito repellent, insect stings and to counteract snake and scorpion bites.

It is also used as a nerve tonic, memory empowerment, phlegm removal, respiratory problems, kidney stone, heart problems, blood cholesterol reduction, and reduces stress.

Ingredients :
- 500gm big prawns (cleaned and snipped off the sharp points. Marinate with pepper)
- 1 tsp pepper (for marinate)
- 2 big onions (sliced)
- 1 tbsp shredded ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- a handful of Basil leaves
- 2 tbsp cooking oil

Seasonings Sauce (to taste) :
- soy sauce 
- salt
- 1 tbsp thick caramel sauce
- 1.5 tbsp palm sugar/gula melaka (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp plum sauce

Method :
1)  Heat oil in wok and pan fry prawns.  Drain and set aside.
2)  Leave the remaining oil in the wok and saute onions, ginger and garlic till fragrant.
3)  Over low heat, stir in the seasonings until it is almost caramelized.
4)  Return the cooked prawns into the wok and stir fry until the sauce is well mixed and coated with the prawns.
5)  Lastly, add in basil leaves and give it a quick stir.
6)  Serve immediately with hot steamed rice.
This caramelized prawns with Basil leaves is so flavorful and full of sweet aroma
You can add some bird eyes' chilies for a little bit of 'oomph..' if you like.  However, I omitted this as my girls can't take spicy food.
Make sure to suck out all the caramel juices from the shells..... slurrppp.....
This is finger licking good!!

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

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 :)