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Monday, July 29, 2013

Careen Cooks: Recipe #1

Cooking has never been my forte. Unlike some who have a natural flair in cooking, that even if they simply cut veggies and just randomly throw stuff into the pan, the dishes will turn out scrumptious anyhow. Think: Loveen Tan the sister

Unfortunately for me, I'm not that gifted in this area. Everything that I put into the pan/wok has gone through numerous considerations. I have this fear that if I put the wrong stuff/amount into the wok, it'll screw the whole dish up in the end. It's like a life and death thing. So cooking has been quite a stressful thing for me.

BUT, having said all that, I have always wanted to be a wife & mum who cooks healthy food for the family. It's just liberating to know that YOU have the final decision on what your family eats (muahaha sounds like a control freak), and that you can cook only the food that you love :D

It's also extremely fulfilling to know that whatever you cook is healthy healthier than outside food, and knowing that all the food that your loved ones are consuming are healthy and clean just makes cooking much more enjoyable :)

Something like that. Except I look nothing like this while cooking.

So on Friday, we had a rare evening that we could spare time to have some home-cooked food. Started preparing the dishes, cutting the vegs and everything at 4.30pm. Dinner was fully served at 7.30pm. See how amateur I am? Hahah anyway, this was the 4-course meal that we had! :)

Posted this photo up on my Insta and Facebook, and received a lot of encouraging comments and compliments on my dishes :)) Maybe my photography skills made the food seem more yummy but, thank you guys. I feel totally...

And for the FIRST TIME in 23 years of my life, people actually asked me for recipes! Revival is happening in my life...

Thank you, people.

So I figured instead of writing them all down at Facebook comments which will be ridiculous, it'll be great to just blog them all down. Afterall, it'll be good for me to keep track on my cooking journey as well :)

So here we go!

Dish #1: Salmon with Orange Butter Sauce

This was my mummy's winning Emerge Masterchef recipe!

Step 1: Marinate
-I was told to marinate the salmon with salt and pepper together with some marinating powder (see I'm so amateur I don't even know what it's called hahaha), but I couldn't find that particular powder in the whole of Jaya Grocer, so I proceeded with just salt and pepper.

Step 2: Prepare the orange sauce
-Next, mix both orange and lemon juices, and store them away from ants (I kept mine in the fridge. Damn you ants)

Step 3: Start cooking!
- Heat the pan, pour a little bit of cooking oil and add butter. Stir.
- Insert salmon onto the pan, let it cook and keep flipping the salmon til you're tired. Nah, just kidding. Til it's ready to be served :)
- Remove salmon from pan onto plate. Add some more butter into the pan, pour in the pre-mixed orange and lemon juice.
- Stir til you're tired. Pour the sauce onto the dish.

*Tip: Don't pour all the sauce onto the salmon! Just pour them onto the plate to avoid not being able to taste the original flavour of the salmon :) (i hope this makes sense)

 Dish #2: Sautéed Mushrooms

Step 1: Cut the mushrooms
I personally love white button mushrooms, and I always buy them pre-packed from Jaya Grocer. Cut them into slices.

Step 2: Prepare minced garlics
I used half of a small clove. Cos I'm not a big fan of garlics to be honest :/

Step 3: Cook!
- Heat the pan
-Add: 2 tablespoons of butter, half tablespoon of olive oil, half tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon of dried oregano. Stir.
- Insert all sliced mushrooms into pan. Stir, let it cook, and you're done!

*Tip: The longer you leave it cooking, the more moist it's gonna be. If you like your mushrooms to be drier, don't leave the mushrooms cooking for so long. Mine was a wee bit too moist :(

Dish #3: Stir-fried Cabbages

This dish needs no recipe. Next.

Dish #4: Layered Eggs with Carrot and Spring Onions

My mum taught me how to make this dish as well! Thank god for mums.

Step 1: Prepare the carrots and spring onions
-I like my eggs to be the star of the dish and not the carrots and spring onions, so I only had 1/4 of an average sized carrot, and probably 2 strands of spring onions only.
- Cut the carrots into real tiny cubes, and the spring onions into tiny....errr....square pieces?

Step 2: Crack the eggs!
For 2 pax, 3 eggs were just nice. Crack and mix the eggs in a bowl together with the cut carrots and spring onions. Don't over-mix as we want the 'whites' of the egg to pop from the egg whites. 

Step 3: Flip it!
-Heat the pan, pour a little bit of oil will do.
-Section your egg mix into a few portions. For the first portion, pour 1/3 of the entire mix into the pan. Spread them out, and then once it's cooked, flip the egg bit by bit from the top to the bottom, and let them roll.
-Once you're done flipping, you'll get something that looks somewhat like an omelette. Push that omelette to the top part of the pan, then add in a little bit of your remaining egg mix. Make sure they touch the sides of your omelette as you want to 'connect' the new mix with the omelette.
-Wait for it to cook a little, then flip the existing omelette onto the new layer of eggs.
-Repeat process until you have no more egg mix left.

Step 4: Cut the eggs!
-Now, you'll have a giant omelette. Cut them into your desired shapes and sizes.
- Food is served!

Oh, I made fresh squeezed orange + lemon juice for dinner too! Hand squeezed them and it took a toll on my physical and mental being. Time to get a blender.

Good news is that the husby was pleased with the meal :D Gives me real joy knowing that my cooking is edible and enjoyed by others. Hahaha.

Give me a few more practices, and I shall start hosting dinners at the crib :)

After the meal, it was Wolverine taime!

Hope you guys can understand my recipes. Hahaha!
Til then :)

love, Careen


  1. Woot nice that you have shown the recipes! :) but to note, mushrooms don't get more moist when you cook them longer. To get dry and aromatic mushrooms you should preheat your pan on high heat and then add in the mushrooms. by nature mushrooms have a lot of water in them. if the wok/pan is not hot enough the mushrooms will not be sauteed nicely rather it will be boiled in the pan. Hope that clears up some misconceptions about shrooms!

    1. Hi Chinway! Wow thanks for your input! I've observed that mushrooms do get wetter the longer I keep them, but I guess that's cos there's already quite a lot of liquid in the pan? Will try turning up the heat the next time and see if it's different! :)

    2. Next time try taking a raw piece of mushroom and squeeze it! You will realize alot of water is in it! So when you want to saute them, do heat up the pan to a proper temperature before adding in the shrooms. And if the pan is too small, add in in batches! It will help intensify the flavors better!


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