Monthly Archives: January 2013

Goat Cheese, Arugula (Rocket) & Caramelised Onion Quiche

a18 Goat Cheese, Arugula (Rocket) & Caramelised Onions Quiche

Quiche is slowly making a comeback to my repertoire ever since I made the bite-sized quiches in July last year.  For me, it often is an overlooked savoury item in a bakery and a cafe. I would rather pick a delectably stacked vegetable and cold meat sandwich or a good ol’ fashion meat pie or a salad. If I crave for eggs, then I’ll go for a poached egg. Hence, quiche is an awkward bakedgood to me. Neither a pie nor a sandwich nor … I don’t know.

Having said that, I’ve started to appreciate quiche for what it is. One thing I truly love about quiche is it is delicious whether it is hot or at room temperature. It defintely makes an ideal party food.

This quiche was made when I had friends over for a card game. Any card game has always turned out to be a long (but fun) session and it  was a wonderful tummy filler in between breaks. :)

a21 olive oil shortcrust pastry

{olive oil shortcrust pastry}

Goat Cheese, Arugula (Rocket) & Caramelised Onion Quiche

What you’ll need for a 20cm (8 inched) quiche:-

  • A baked 20cm (8-nched) pie crust (mine was the olive oil shortcrust pie crust as seen here)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp plain greek yoghurt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste (I added about 1/2 tsp)
  • 60g (2 ounces) goat cheese, diced in fairly large chunk when it was just out of the fridge
  • 1 red onion (pick a small one), sliced
  • A handful of arugula (rocket leaves), torn by hand into smaller pieces

b7 Goat Cheese, Arugula (Rocket) & Caramelised Onions Quiche

Method:-

Prepare a pie crust and blind bake it (click here for more instructions for the olive oil version). While blind baking the pie crust, saute the onion until caramelised. Set aside. In a 2-cups sized measuring jug, add eggs, yoghurt, black pepper and salt and beat until the ingredients are well combined.  When the pie crust is cooled a little, layer the filling with arugula (rocket leaves), goat cheese and caramelised onions.  Then pour the egg mixture over the filling and bake in the oven at 180C/356F for 30-40 minutes or until the surface appears to be golden brown and the filling is just set. Serve with a scattering of arugula (rocket leaves).

a20 Goat Cheese, Arugula (Rocket) & Caramelised Onions Quiche

a19a Goat Cheese, Arugula (Rocket) & Caramelised Onions Quiche

 

Green Juice (without a juicer) + An International Giveaway

a2 Green Juice

January is an interesting month. For me, it’s filled with the anticipation of what 2013 will have in store for me. It’s exhilarating and I am keen to start off 2013 on the right foot. With that being said, January is not only the month to kick start your healthy resolution, it’s also a perfect time to get your life organised.

How do you feel about a PRETTY and PERSONALISED planner from Personal-Planner to start your 2013?

a8 personal-planner

If the idea of customising your planner excites you, the Personal-Planner will be your playground. And this is why:-

  • You can change colour, text and design on front/back cover as well as inlay.
  • There are also clever boxes for to-do list, gym session, preschool, idea of the week and weather.
  • Friend’s and family member’s birthdays can also be added to the inlay directly from Facebook.
  • Choose between 4 different sizes
  • You pick the start date.
  • Ship free of charge internationally.

Essentially, their planners provide you with endless design possibilities. They print and deliver the finished product directly to our your doorstep. ·

a9

Thanks to the folks at the Personal-Planner, one lucky Fuss Free Cooking reader will receive a Personalised Planner. The winner will receive a gift card (via email) from Personal-Planner and he/she will choose any planner in any size, and the shipping is already paid for.

To enter:-

Just write “enter me” in the comment box below AND “Like” their Facebook page.  I will select a winner randomly.

Guidelines:-

  • International entrants are accepted
  • Prize can not be exchanged for money
  • One entry per person
  • Entry is open from 28th January 2013 to 11th February 2013.

a4 Green Juice

Being organised and maintaning a healthier lifestyle have been on my mind towards the end of last year and I felt that I’ve made fairly good progress. Needless to say, I hope to continue the good work in 2013. ;) Whilst juicing was not part of the equation last year, I was tempted to hop on the green juice bandwagon.

I decided not owning a juicer shouldn’t be the reason to keep me away from green juice. So I improvised. I was happy to stick to the makeshift method (using a sieve and a cheesecloth) until I am serious about incorporating juicing into my lifestyle. In terms of the ingredients, I added coconut water in an effort to make green juice tastes better. :p

Green Juice without a Juicer

What you’ll need to make 2 cups:-

  • 1 cup, tighly packed, baby spinach
  • 2 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 350ml (12 fl ounces) coconut water (choose a brand that is organic and no artificial flavour)

Other: Stick blender, jug, cheese cloth and a sieve

a7 Green Juice

Method:-

In a tall tumbler, pack the spinach and celery, then add the lime juice and coconut water. Then blend over the low speed (be careful to avoid splashing) until the vegetables turn into really fine particles. Set up the “juicer” station by placing a sieve over a jug and a cheese cloth over the sieve. Slowly pour the mixture into the cheese cloth for the juice to go through the sieve (the process didn’t take long). Transfer the green juice into your favourite glass and enjoy! :)

a3 Green Juice

 

 

Picnic with Samsung Galaxy Camera + Homemade Cold Peanut Noodles

Sponsored by Nuffnang

samsung galaxy camera 1A

As part of Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy Camera in Australia I was invited to review and write my thoughts on this exciting new product by Samsung. Some of you may be wondering how a food blogger who predominately writes about simple recipes would be qualified to write about an unreleased (well at least here in Australia) new technology product.

Well let me tell you that this Camera is meant for people like me. With all the social networking available nowadays, I have a myriad of accounts with Instagram, Pintrest, Facebook, Google+ and probably some I’ve even forgot about (like you Tumblr! ;)) The problem is that I have to take photos, connect my camera to my computer and then upload them directly to my various social networking sites. It’s a time consuming process and there’s a lot of time wasted in duplicating my uploads.

{photos courtesy of Samsung.com/au}

That’s where the Samsung Galaxy Camera comes in. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about it at first. I already own a Samsung Galaxy S2 and I am familiar with Android. I don’t particularly like phone photos unless I have no choice because they just don’t seem to come out with the same quality as my normal cameras. The Galaxy Camera though is like a combination of a great point and shoot camera with the software of a phone! What this means is that you have all the power, flexibility and software that you would normally have on your phone. It runs all the Android apps that your phone does. Even better it even runs the latest version of Android (called Jellybean) that my Galaxy S2 doesn’t, and boy does it run it well!

{an overview of the surrounding using the Panoramic mode}

I thought I’d give this Camera a test by taking it out for a picnic (well it and some of my friends) at the Orange botanical gardens. I prepared cold peanut noodles for the outing which was a great choice really…you’ve got the carb, veggies as well as it is cold. Very appropriate for the summer heat at the moment. ;)

{testing its Macro mode}

I started off by popping a sim card into the camera. My sim card had data plan. The connectivity I got on this camera was just as good as my Samsung Galaxy S2, which really impressed me. As I took pictures all my friends wanted to have a look, so I decided to try a test, and I used the MMS function of the camera and sent the pictures right to their phones! All while walking around and setting up the picnic.

The social sharing features on this camera were really great. I took pictures, and backed them up to my dropbox account, uploaded them to facebook and even emailed them to my friends. I even put a GPS app that I had on my Galaxy S2 on the camera and briefly used it for directions to a friends house. I could also check my email, all while looking for the perfect pictures. It was great that I could be connected to my friends and family as well as the internet and my website while taking pictures, and unlike my phone camera this camera had a really great zoom function. Take a look at some of the pictures of this bird I got, which was approximately 10 metres away from our table.

samsung galaxy camera 5

samsung galaxy camera 8

{Is it just me or it is common that people test the zoom function by taking a photo at the moon? :P}

Since the picnic was in the evening (starting from 6.30pm to 8.30pm), I have been loving the SUNSET smart mode. Think of it like the instagram filter but the effect is more subtle. This particular mode is helps to emphasise the sunset by making the colours more intense.

samsung galaxy  camera 6

I am also intrigued by its Rich Tone smart mode where it takes and merges pictures in various exposures to create soft and rich colour. The effect is definitely subtle with this one…but noticeable at the same, no?

samsung galaxy camera 7

What I didn’t like about this camera was the battery life. Unfortunately with a 3G connection, a great screen and all this amazing software the battery life is not as good as other point and shoot cameras I have used. It is about on par with my phone though, and can last you probably half a day of constant use. If you’re travelling make sure you bring extra batteries!

Overall this was a great camera with many useful features which I found really useful. :)

Oh wait, you aren’t leaving without the amazing-and-easy-to-whipped-up cold peanut noodles recipe!  If you and your guests aren’t allergic to peanuts, I highly recommend this dish as one of your picnic food.

a11500 cold peanut noodles

{the cold peanut noodles shot was taken in Automatic mode + was edited in Photoscape i.e. white balance, contrast enhancement, out of focus filter etc.}

Cold Peanut Noodles

(recipe from www.food.com, tweaked slightly }

What you’ll need for 4 servings:-

  • 300g/10 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • Boiling hot water to cook the pasta
  • Salt to add in the hot water for cooking the pasta
  • 2 carrots, shredded or julienne into matchstick-sized
  • 1 medium sized red bell pepper (capsicum), deseeded & julienne
  • 2-3 scallions (spring onions), thinly & diagonally sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:-

  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsps sesame oil (add more at the end if you prefer a stronger taste)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (plus extra for garnishing)
  • 4 tbsps water from cooking the pasta (but reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, in case you need more)

Method:-

Cook spaghetti according to the packet instructions in salted water. While waiting for the spaghetti to cook, you can prepare the vegetables.  When the spaghetti is al-dente, reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining the  water. Rinse the spaghetti under cold running water and set aside. Add the prepared vegetables and spaghetti into a large mixing (or salad) bowl.  Toss gently to ensure the vegetables are nicely distributed amongst the spaghetti. Set aside.  In a measuring jug, mix all the dressing ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE WATER until well combined. Then slowly incorporating the water into the mixture until the texture is a little loose (so that it is easier to mix with the spaghetti and vegetables). Using a pair of tongs  and a fork, mix in the dressing with the spaghetti-vegetables mixture until well combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and black pepper. Store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.