Mamaku Koki Handal and Lock & Lock COOKING CHALLENGE: Potato “Lasagna”

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Having homemade food stocks neatly stored in my freezer really helps to lower my tension every morning. As I’ve told you in my previous post, I had cooked big amount of Bolognese sauce last weekend. This versatile sauce is ready to be “transformed” to many delicious meals 😉

I usually prepare a quick-cook meal for my son everyday to be eaten during his snack time at school. I remember when I was at primary school, I used to have my lunch box and shared the contents with my friends. There was a great pride to unpack the lunch box and find my mother’s homemade foods inside it. I promised myself that when I became a mother, I was going to carry on this tradition. I thought that a homemade meal inside my kid’s lunch box is a simple gesture of my love and care for him to carry off to school.

Yesterday, my son had a field trip with his schoolmates. I planned to prepare him a bigger portion of his usual meals, so that he could share them with his friends during the trip. Considering that I still had some Bolognese sauce in the freezer, I suddenly came up with this recipe. At first I wanted to make baked lasagna, but I didn’t have the lasagna sheets at the moment 😀 So I replaced the pasta with whatever I had in my kitchen: potatoes! I thought it would work wonderfully well. After all, they’re both carbohydrates! 😀

So then, early in the morning I boiled the potatoes and made some mashed potato out of them. I intended to have layers of mashed potato between the Bolognese sauce, as substitute for lasagna sheets. Once again, I used my trustworthy Lock & Lock glass in cooking this meal. Maybe some of you wondering why I trusted my 3-year-old son to carry a glass food container. Actually, my son is taught to use glass tableware at school, so I guess he could handle the Lock & Lock glass well enough and it’s safe to be carried by him. His teachers are also always there to supervise the children anyway. After all, Lock & Lock glass is made from high quality borosilicate glass, which is stronger than normal glass. It’s designed to go through temperature extremes and if broken it shatters into pebble pieces rather than shards. Lock & Lock glass is also 10% lighter than other tempered glass product, so it will not cause too much trouble if it’s carried inside my son’s school trolley bag.

It took only 15 minutes from mashing the potatoes till the assembly of the “lasagna”. Once the mozzarella topping melted and browned, I simply removed the Lock & Lock glass from the oven to cool it down a bit (I was surprised it didn’t take a long time to cool the surface of the Lock & Lock glass so it’s safe to be put inside my son’s bag!), put the lid on, and it’s done! Super quick, super easy, super tasty! 🙂

 

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Ingredients:

–       3 medium-size potatoes

–       1/4 recipe of my Bolognese Sauce (more or less)

–       2 tablespoons butter

–       ± 4 tablespoons cooking cream/milk

–       80 gram grated Cheddar cheese

–       80 gram grated Mozzarella cheese

–       ground white pepper and salt to taste

 

How to cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
  2. Peel the potatoes, put them into a saucepan. Add water until potatoes are covered and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, lid on, for 15 – 20 minutes, or until they’re done (a fork can easily be poked through them).
  3. Drain water from the potatoes. Put them into a bowl. Add cream and butter (room temperature), and use potato masher to mash the potatoes until well mashed. You can add cream/milk to achieve the consistency you desire. But remember to not over-beat or your potatoes will get gluey. Add the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Rub the Lock & Lock Glass with olive oil, arrange 1 layer of mashed potatoes, and spread it evenly to cover the bottom of the container. Pour the Bolognese sauce to cover the mashed potato layer. Repeat steps for second layer. You may have two or three layers as you like, but you have to have the Bolognese sauce on top of your layer. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese on top of your layer.
  5. Put it into the oven, and cook for around 15 minutes just until the mozzarella melts and the top gets brown.

 

Check out the video here!

 

 

 

Mamaku Koki Handal and Lock & Lock COOKING CHALLENGE: Baked Spaghetti with Cheese Sauce Topping

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Being a working mum “forces” me to make extra efforts in cooking homemade foods for my son. In this kind of situation, I always use weekend as my “stocking up” time. Because in weekend only, I could cook big batch of chicken/vegetable stocks, meat sauce, or sorts of homemade frozen foods (like chicken nuggets or beef/salmon patties) supply for the next week. All stock, sauce, and frozen foods are packed up in individual portions (I pack them in separate freezer bags) and kept in freezer. This food-arrangement helps me a lot in preparing my son’s meals everyday. For instance, I just have to thaw and reheat one bag of meat sauce, cook some pasta, and voilà! One dish is effortlessly served! 😀

Talking about meat sauce, ah, this is my favourite! I always looove one staple recipe that can be transformed into zillion possibilities. Once you can cook this sauce, you can always use that same sauce for many other things, i.e.: pouring over pasta/rice/baked potatoes, layering up lasagna, or using this sauce as filling to make meat pies. As I cook this meat sauce for my kid, I usually “hide” some veggies into the sauce. That’s why, I use Bolognese sauce recipe in making my meat sauce. Originating from Bologna, Italy, Bolognese sauce itself is a meat-based sauce that contains onion, celery, tomato, carrot and cheese. I thought that’s healthy enough for my son’s diet 😀

Last weekend I cooked a big pot of Bolognese sauce and at the end of the day I had 4 medium-size freezer bags containing this wonderful sauce, ready to be happily frozen in my freezer 😀 . Last Sunday, my family actually planned to have an out-of-town family outing, so I used this Bolognese sauce to make some baked pasta. Baked pasta is a one-dish meal, which is convenient and simple to be carried on. And when I cooked the baked pasta, I knew I could really make a good use of my beautiful Lock & Lock Glass. Made of borosilicate glass which withstands high heat and sudden cooling, Lock & Lock Glass could be used not only in a fridge, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher, but also in a 400ºC oven! Unlike other normal glasses, Lock & Lock Glass uses strong heat resistant properties which could withstand sudden change in temperature, so it can be heated straight from the refrigerator, and when it’s broken by physical shock, it doesn’t break into numerous fragments and scatter, therefore it is a safe and suitable choice for food container. And oh, please don’t forget that this IS Lock & Lock, people! Of course the product itself is well equipped with the famous four-lock mechanism lid. This is one feature that makes my life so much easier. After using it as an oven cookware, I just have to put the lid on and we’re ready to go! No need to “transfer” the food to another food container. Ah, simple things that make me happy 😀

Okay, without further ramblings, here is the recipe for Baked Spaghetti (the only pasta left at my kitchen storage! 😀 ) with the additional-but-hard-to-resist cheese sauce on top! 😀

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Ingredients:

–       200 gram dried spaghetti, cook until “al dente” according to the package instructions

–       1/4 recipe of my Bolognese Sauce

–       2 tablespoons margarine or butter

–       2 tablespoons plain flour

–       400 ml milk

–       100 gram grated Cheddar cheese, or as many as you like 😀

–       ground white pepper and salt to taste

 

Ingredients for Bolognese Sauce:

–       500 gram good-quality minced beef

–       2 cans Italian chopped tomatoes (@400 gram) or 800 gram fresh chopped tomatoes (choose the very ripe ones)

–       water, the amount will be explained later

–       1 large or 2 medium onions

–       2 cloves of garlic

–       2 carrots

–       1 stick of celery

–       2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano

–       small bunch of fresh basil (if you can’t find it, feel free to substitute with the dry one)

–       salt and freshly ground black pepper

–       50 gr grated Parmesan cheese

–       Olive oil

 

How to cook the Bolognese sauce:

  1. Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery.
  2.  Add some olive oil into a big pan, and then add the veggies. Cook and stir them until softened and lightly colored (for around 5 minutes)
  3.  Stir in the minced beef and chopped tomatoes. Fill the empty cans with water and add back the water from the cans into the pan. If using freshly chopped tomatoes, add about 800 ml of water.
  4.  Finely chop the basil stalks (keep the basil leaves in the fridge for later), then add them into the pan.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano, then bring the sauce to the boil.
  6. Turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on for about an hour. Don’t forget to stir it every now and again.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat, and add grated parmesan.
  8. Stir in some basil leaves, and have taste (add more salt and/or pepper if needed).

 

How to cook the Cheese sauce:

  1. Melt the margarine/butter in the pan, then add the flour.
  2. Stir them for a while until well combined, then quickly add the milk into the pan.
  3. Mix thoroughly, and add the grated cheese.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring the sauce to the boil (when it starts bubbly, remove the pan immediately).

 

Final Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
  2. Rub the Lock & Lock Glass with olive oil, and place the cooked spaghetti in the bottom of the container.
  3. Pour the Bolognese sauce on top of spaghetti; spread it evenly to cover the spaghetti.
  4. Finally, pour the cheese sauce on top of the Bolognese sauce.
  5. Put it into the oven, and cook for 30 minutes or so until the top gets brown.

 

Don’t forget to watch the video here! 😉

Mamaku Koki Handal and Lock & Lock COOKING CHALLENGE: Classic and Strawberry Tiramisu

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I was beyond happy when my Lock & Lock Glass arrived!! In addition to the heat resistant feature, this versatile glass storage container is equipped with the famous Lock & Lock airtight silicone sealed lid that seal in flavors and keep air out. This revolutionary four-lock mechanism and resilient seal is a perfect way to keep the freshness and hygiene of food (and also zero spillage!!), which is stored inside the container. The lid is also BPA-free, so I don’t have any concerns using this product.

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The first recipe idea using Lock & Lock Glass that came up in my mind is my no-bake tiramisu. I always “assemble” (because the word “bake” is not suitable since it requires no baking whatsoever 😀 ) my no-bake tiramisu in a porcelain container. But my container doesn’t come with the lid. Hence, I always have to cover the container with plastic wrap to maintain the food hygiene and to seal the flavor from fridge odor. Now that the Lock & Lock Glass is provided with airtight lid, I don’t have to use plastic wrap to cover my tiramisu when it’s refrigerated. And there’s one more thing that I looove from this product: Its clear body! I can easily see my beautiful layers of tiramisu with no need to remove the lid. Lock & Lock heat resistant glass also contains low sodium oxide (Na2O), so the surface will remain clear even if it’s frequently used or stored for long periods of time.

Each finalist received Lock & Lock Glass package which contains two 630 ml glass containers. So I decided to make two flavor of tiramisu: classic tiramisu and strawberry tiramisu. Since this tiramisu recipe requires no raw eggs and no alcohol (rum), this is suitable for your little ones (but please consider that this recipe contains dairy products, which are suitable for 1+ year-old).

Ingredients

–       150 ml strong brewed coffee, room temperature

–       150 ml strawberry juice (I prefer homemade strawberry juice since it is so easy to be made. You just need to chop 100 – 150 gram strawberries, blend them with small amount of water until smooth. Pour the strawberry juice into a pan and heat until it starts bubbling. Put enough sugar and water to the juice as you like.)

–       1 tsp rum essence (I don’t use any alcohol in this recipe, but sometimes I want the “flavor” of rum, so I use essence instead. If I make this tiramisu for my kid, I’ll skip this ingredient.)

–       250 gram mascarpone cheese

–       125 gram cream cheese (I like to combine mascarpone and cream cheese because I love the tangy taste of cream cheese)

–       250 ml whipping cream/double cream

–       8 tbsp castor sugar

–       2 packs Italian lady finger

–       cocoa powder

–       100 gram strawberries, thinly sliced

–       50 gram sliced almonds (optional), roast them in moderate oven to give extra flavor and “crunch”

 

How to Make

  1. Whip the whipping cream with sugar until it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate the whipped cream while preparing the next step.
  2. In another bowl, mix well the mascarpone and cream cheese.
  3. Mix together the cheese mixture and whipped cream until well combined. Since we will make two kind of tiramisu, it will be easier if we split this mixture into two equal parts.
  4. Add the rum essence (if using) into the coffee, mix well and set aside.
  5. Prepare the first Lock & Lock Glass container to assemble the classic tiramisu. Dip both sides of the lady fingers into coffee mixture. Remove the lady fingers quickly (as they get soften really quick) and arrange the soaked lady fingers in the bottom of Lock & Lock Glass container. Spread enough amount of cheese mixture to cover the lady fingers. Repeat steps for second layer. You may have two or three layers as you like, just remember that you have to have the cheese mixture on top of your layer. Dust the top layer (cheese mixture) with cocoa powder.
  6. Then prepare the second Lock & Lock Glass container to assemble the strawberry tiramisu. Dip both sides of the lady fingers into strawberry juice. Remove the lady fingers quickly and arrange the soaked lady fingers in the bottom of Lock & Lock Glass container. Spread enough amount of cheese mixture to cover the lady fingers. Arrange sliced strawberries to cover the cheese layer. Repeat steps for second layer. You may have two or three layers as you like, but you have to have the cheese mixture on top of your layer. Sprinkle the top layer (cheese mixture) with sliced almonds (if using), or you can decorate with sliced strawberries.
  7. Put on the silicone lids to the Lock & Lock Glass containers, and refrigerate them at least 8-10 hours to let the flavors blend.

  

classic tiramisu

classic tiramisu

Strawberry Tiramisu

Strawberry Tiramisu

Check out the cooking demo here! 😉

Mamaku Koki Handal and Lock & Lock COOKING CHALLENGE: An “Introduction”

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When I started this blog, my only aim was to preserve my recipe collection. I used to jot down the recipe on any random papers, and sadly, these papers were not collected properly. Much to my annoyance of the disorganized situation, I tried to gather all my recipes that can be found and re-typed them. And to make it even easier for me in looking for any recipe that I need, I made this blog and posted the recipe here. Never in my mind that my blog could be useful to enter some kind of  “cooking competition” 😀 . Remember about MpasiRumahan Mailing List? I once mentioned about them in this blog as one of my baby’s food recipe source. Well to be honest, I learned a LOT from this community about baby/toddler foods. They’ve been inspiring me in preparing my son’s dishes everyday. This community (also known as “Mamaku Koki Handal”), together with Lock & Lock (as the sponsor), held a cooking challenge specially appointed to members of the community who have cooking-related blogs. Luckily I have! 😀 In short, I was chosen as one of 10 finalists who could participate in the next step.

The next step is the most exciting one. Firstly, Lock & Lock will send all 10 finalists their newest product: Lock & Lock Glass. Lock & Lock Glass is made of high quality borosilicate glass. Borosilicate contains boric acid, which is highly heat resistant. Thus, borosilicate glass withstands sudden change in temperature. Lock & Lock heat resistant glass container can withstand temperatures up to 400℃ and can be microwave or oven heated straight out of the fridge. This allows for easy cooking, storage and reheating of food and leftovers.

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After receiving this product, all finalists are obliged to make their review using Lock & Lock Glass. We must post in our blog at least 3 recipes in which we will cook using the Lock & Lock Glass. Ahh… I’m so stoked!! Can’t wait till my Lock & Lock Glass arrives so I can start doing some cooking experiments using this product! 😀