Tag Archives: Cooking

TBC Crafter 75 – Handmade Citrus Enzyme Cleaner

Two three years ago, I was addicted to making fruit enzyme. I made a new jar almost every week. The process was actually pretty interesting, observing the bubbles increased, loosening the cap, hearing the gas released, taking pictures to record the daily difference, testing with different kinds of fruits… all those were adventurous and rewarding. At that time, I had a lot of lemon peels and/or orange peels left and most of them ended up in the composite bin. Sometimes, I might use the orange peels to make confection and my daughter loved so much.

Making fruit enzyme requires a lot of work and it is not cheap. The quality of the fruits is important. I wished to have a lemon tree in my backyard so badly. My hubby always said,”Why don’t you just eat fruits everyday? Easy and convenient.” Later, I became so busy and did not have much time to spend on making fruit enzyme. After I finished the last jar, I used all the storage jars to keep kitchen ingredients and started making more plum wine.

One of my friends told me that she used scraps of vegetables and fruit peels to make enzyme cleaner. Her 2 daughters have bad eczema. All cleaners, detergents and soaps that contain fragrance and/or chemicals can cause outburst. She is a pharmacist and started to make her own soap, chapstick and cleaner 2 years ago. She introduced the idea to me but soap-making needs space for processing and drying. I cannot have space for making a work room hence, I am hesitating to start. Instead, making enzyme cleaner seems to be much easier and feasible for me, except it takes 3 months to be ready to use!

In last month, my whole family was sick. Hubby made everyone in the house eating oranges everyday. All a sudden, I need to peel off a few oranges at one time and a good pile of orange peels left in the kitchen. An idea flashed on top of my mind and I started making my very first citrus enzyme cleaner.

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TBC Crafters 52 – Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Although Easter has just passed, I still want to share this craft that parents and kids can work together. I have dyed some Easter Eggs with my kids in the past Sunday and my 2 kids enjoyed so much – not just the dyeing part but also the eating part.

In Chinese culture, when baby is 30 days old, the family would prepare some eggs dyed in red to distribute to relatives and friends. Relatives and friends would visit the family in the first month of the baby born. The family would serve a special dish – pig’s limbs and eggs with vinegar and ginger. The red eggs would only distribute on the 30th day after the birth of the baby. In the old days, the dye used was beets or red food coloring. Concerning the health of my family, I don’t use artificial coloring, msg or food with a lot of chemical substances. To dye Easter Eggs, I have searched for information and looked up in internet/youtube. There are some videos teaching how to dye Easter eggs with natural ingredients. I reviewed some and experimented trying to make blue, orange and green eggs.

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Ingredients: Continue reading

Midnight Cafe – Egg Sandwiches

The story of egg sandwiches in Shinya Shokudo (Midnight Cafe) was a sad one. Young girl dreamed of being a movie star and she worked towards it when she met a young man in Shinya Shokudo. They always bumped into each other and soon they became closer and closer. However, their career paths did not cross as of their hearts. The young man worked several jobs because his family has a big debt and he needed to help out. The girl became more and more popular and her agent manager asked for her hands. With all the family obligations, young man could not answer the girl with his real passion and he had to let her go as he knew that he could not offer what she wanted and what she deserved to have. At last, the 2 young souls went to 2 different directions but it is just life. If you really love someone, you will do everything to make him/her happy including letting him/her go.

My top-of-mind memory of egg sandwiches is about my childhood. When I was a little kid, my family was really poor and egg sandwiches were something luxurious. Mom could make it when she had time and she added water into the egg mixture so that she could feed more kids (I have 3 siblings). My mom’s recipe is very simple, just a bit of salt, whipped eggs and some oil, cooked in a wok, then “sandwiched” in 2 pieces of bread.

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I have made 3 different types of egg sandwiches this time. First one is my mom’s recipe. 1 egg, slightly whipped, add a bit of salt…oil added to the frying pan, then egg, fry until well done. Add the well-done egg on a slice of bread, covered with another one, then cut into half.

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The 2nd one is similar to the Japanese Dashi-Maki (thick roll of egg). Firstly, beat the egg with a pinch of salt, slightly whipped to keep the texture of egg white and egg yolk. Add oil in a rectangular shaped frying pan, add egg mixture in, turn the stove to medium low heat and stirring the egg mixture with a pair of chopsticks until one side of the egg starts to set. Roll the egg from one side of the pan to the other side using the chopsticks. Turn the fire to medium and fry both sides of the egg roll until it turns golden. “Sandwiched” the egg roll with 2 pieces of bread and cut off the excess.

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The last one is egg salad sandwiches. Cook 2 eggs in a covered pot of cold water until the water boils. Water needs to cover the eggs totally. Keep cooking for another 2 minutes after the water boils, turns off the heat and then let the pot covered for another 5 minutes. Take out the eggs and let them cool down (or you can put them in a bowl of cold water to speed up). Peel off the shell and chop the eggs into small pieces. Add salt, pepper and mayonnaise into the chopped eggs and mix well. Scope the egg mixture on top of a slice of bread and cover with another one. Cut the sandwiches into 2 or 3 pieces. Ready to eat…

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There are other options of egg sandwiches. Toast the bread, add tomato slices, add lettuces, add bacon……Just test it out! Enjoy!

Midnight Cafe – Macaroni Salad

Midnight Cafe time again! Let’s have a simple one – Macaroni Salad. I really fall with the Hawaiian macaroni salad. It’s very simple but not easy to get the taste right. The secret is grated onion, not minced because it needs the liquid to make the salad tastes good. I have tried 3 different styles this time but all base on the basic Hawaiian mac salad.

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Ingredients: (basic Hawaiian mac salad)

2 cups of elbow macaroni
1/5 onion (grated)
2 baby carrots (grated)
2 Tbsp of mayonnaise

Steps:

1) Cook the elbow macaroni in a pot of boiled water for 10 minutes, then cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes. Macaroni will expand in size, drained and let it cool down.

2) Grate the onion and baby carrots, then add into the cool macaroni and mix well.

3) Add mayonnaise and mix well, taste before adding more seasoning. Sprinkle with grated baby carrots on top to serve.

2nd style: add cooked corns and sprinkle with a bit of black pepper on top.

3rd style: add 1 diced apple and sprinkle with a punch of cinnamon and brown sugar.