Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Happy Chinese Valentines! ♥ Double Seven (Qi Xi) Valentine

i am so so sorry. this post is 2 days late.

The chinese valentine's day falls on the 7th day of the 7th month on the chinese lunar calendar, hence the term qi xi (double seven). This special occasion relates to a beautiful and romantic legend about the forbidden love of Niu Lang (an orphaned cowherd, literary means ox boy) and Zhi Nuu (the 7th daughter of the Emperor of Heaven, literary means weaving maiden after her talent in weaving). The Emperor was not happy to see his youngest daughter in love with a worthless cowherd so he cruelly separated the two by forcing Zhi Nuu to move to the star Vega and Niu Lang to the star Altair.

The are only allowed to meet once a year on the 7th day of 7th lunar month. I find this fact particularly strange. Not entirely sure why they were allowed to meet once a year. Anyway, on this day each year, the gap between star Vega and star Altair is diminished by magpies lining up the sky thereby forming the milky way.

It is said that the Chinese Valentines is usually a rainy day from the happy yet sorrowful tears of Niu Lang and Zhi Nuu when they finally reunite but not for long...

Legend from: http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/77a.htm

The Chinese Valentine's falls on Aug 23 this year.
Oh, by the way, this also indicates that it is now the ghost month (the 7th month) in the lunar calendar. Just a word of precaution from the elders: do not stray on the street when it's late at night. *shiver*

foodies date: 23 August 2004
where: pinkcocoa's kitchen and ShinChan's kitchen

We dont actually celebrate the Chinese Valentine. But this year, a few friends in Taiwan reminded pinkcocoa about this important date. Ha! Just another reason to celebrate and eat more! ;-) To celebrate this special day and to be fair, ShinChan cooked up dinner (yes! Finally, I got my man in the kitchen not washing up but cooking!). Me? I was in charge of the dessert. I baked a cake.

♥ lovely dinner: kare raisu (curry rice)
ShinChan decided to cook up one of his best dishes: kare raisu (Japanese curry rice). It was yummy though ShinChan complained that the curry is a little too mild.

In the kare raisu were:
chicken thigh, diced
potato, diced
onion, sliced
carrots, diced

Serving together with the rice dish was a Japanese yogurt drink that is specially formulated to go perfectly with curry (Said so on the pack). I think it is called "miruku yoku" (milk yogurt drink). It comes in sachet. Simply add ice and 150ml milk to the syrup from the sachet then stir and it's done! Easy as that.

The drink is creamy with a lemony, acidic flavour. Very refreshing and kinda appetizing.

♥ Valentine's Pound Cake
I have been wanting to try making pound cake for a while now but I have been super lazy. Guess the special day just gave me enough motivation to get into the kitchen and messed with some flour and eggs and milk and butter. Oh hm, this is a low-fat pound cake by the way.

The recipe originally comes from Alice Medrich's Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Dessert. Thanks to Renee who kindly post up the recipe for everyone to share. By now, you should have noticed I like to use Renee's recipe? She has really great yummy and easy to follow recipes;-)

I baked my cake in a 23cm springform pan. It took about 40min at 160c. We could smell the vanilla aroma from the oven long before the cake was cooked!

♥ low fat buttermilk pound cake
My cake didnt rise evenly. *sigh* I wonder what I did wrong. One side of the cake was higher than the other. It might be me fiddling with the cake for a bit before putting it into the oven. I wanted a flat top so i decided to make a trench in the centre of the cake batter. Maybe i overdid my scrapping or did it unevenly without knowing so.

Luckily, the uneven rise didnt affect the tenderness and texture of the cake. The crust is crunchy. Just the way I like it. Dont really know how to decorate the cake so I came up with the simplest solution. Use Nutella. *yum*

pinkcocoa: is the cake nice?
ShinChan: ya
*chomp *chomp *chomp
pinkcocoa: you like it?
ShinChan: ya
*chomp *chomp *chomp
pinkcocoa: so....would you believe it if i tell you this cake is low fat?
ShinChan: what? low-fat? no way!
pinkcocoa: it is really low fat. only 75g butter!
ShinChan: no way. i dont believe.
pinkcocoa: ......
ShinChan: .......
ShinChan: can i have more please?

♥ Slowly the cake diminishes
Ihad about half a slice, mainly the crust. ShinChan had about 2.5slices. He kept eating and wanting more and more after he was told the cake was low fat.

It was 1am in the morning when he asked for another slice and said 'it was low fat right?'