Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This blog is now retired...

I've decided to migrate my blog to http://cookingheals.wordpress.com/, I find the word press interface more appealing! Please visit there for new recipes and food photographs!

Warm regards,
CY Phang

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day 2009!

I thought I would have time to blog more this year...apparently I spoke too soon! After my trip from Saigon (which I couldn't find time at all to blog!) I have been seriously and crazily busy engaging in a food styling/photography shot for some marketing campaign for Unilever Malaysia. It's a lot of work I tell ya!

Anyway, just dropping a quick note to wish all of you Happy Valentine's Day 2009! Even though I do not have anyone to celebrate with, that doesn't mean I don't love myself as much! *click on the above photo for a larger view*

Grandma has been admitted to the hospital yesterday, she's in a coma and the doctor asked us to be mentally prepared...So we're gonna go back to my hometown tomorrow and spend time with her...

There will be not much time for me (again) to blog it seems....But hopefully the madness will reduce soon!

Once again, Happy Valentine's to everyone, whether you are celebrating with someone special or yourself!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009 celebration

The past one week or so have been madness, though I could still find time to make cookies for Chinese New Year and photograph a few of them, but generally I have been busy with rushing all workload off before the Chinese New Year celebration started. Was even shooting some conceptual shots for Unilever Malaysia for their new recipe/marketing campaign before I left for Saigon this morning! (Just check out my flickr album to see my recent photos if you do not see me posting here...)

As I am typing now, I'm in my hotel room in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) at almost midnight, arriving today around 4 pm. I just thought I should kick my ass off to write something or I would keep procrastinating again!

I'll start by posting some photos of the cookies/goodies that I have made for Chinese New Year, some for myself, while others for clients and friends, to thank them for their friendship and support throughout the Rat year.

Here I have cream puffs filled with strawberries and cream, and another one filled with creamy corn custard. Really to die for!

On the day before Chinese New Year eve, I made some Ladies Kisses (made with ground almonds) and bought some flowers to decorate the house:

And the most important day for Chinese New Year - the reunion dinner on the eve, which I have decided to set up as a candlelight ambience...I made Hainanese Chicken Rice for lunch, and then followed by a simple menu for dinner: Steamed grouper; poached broccoli with crispy fried shallots and soy sauce; steamed Chinese sausages; braised pork ribs and mushrooms (not shown in picture); and radish, carrot & pork bones soup.

It's almost midnight and time to say good night! My friend and I are taking a Mekong River day trip tomorrow so I hope to post more on my Saigon holiday soon!

Wishing all of you a great,healthy and prosperous Chinese New Year, and the courage and strength to overcome any challenges in the year of the Ox!

I'll end with a family photo taken today (first day of Chinese New Year) with my parents and sister, my uncle, his wife, my aunt and my cousins and nephews/nieces...and my dog Sunnie of course!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Vanilla Poached Forelle Pear and Apricot Mini Tartlets

This is my favourite among the lot. I love the "fresh morning" look and the texture on the wood.

I figured I had to find a way to consume the pears and apricots aside from them eating raw. So here's what happened to them, inspired by the recipe from here. I modified the recipe to make it easier for me, and put in a small piece of dark chocolate under the pears before baking. Aesthetics results not as good as I wanted it to be...but taste wise is okay. The apricot on the tartlets turned out way too tart (and soggy), so they went all to Sunnie's (my dog) tummy. She loved them though! (She loves any fruits in the stoned fruits family)

This is quite a tedious recipe as I had to poached the pears and apricots first. Puff pastry was store bought. Even then, it was a chore rolling them!

All photos taken around 10 am with natural morning light coming from back of the tartlets. Styrofoam used as reflector on the bottom right of photo.

Food Photography: Mini Forelle Pears and Apricots - playing with textures

The apricots looked so beautiful that I couldn't resist buying them! I love the texture of everything in the photos, from the skin of the pears, the velvety soft skin of the reddish orange apricot skin, to the folds of the napkin and bowl, and the wood below the bowl.

Lighting info: Afternoon sun (shaded porch) at around 2 pm. Light coming from back of the bowl.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Garlic Pepper Grilled Lamb Cutlets

My itch for cooking and photographing seem to have bitten me fully today, I just HAD TO MAKE SOMETHING or I would go mad...:-S

I bought half a dozen lamb cutlets before Christmas and never got to them as I was away in Koh Samui, then troubled by my right leg and depressed. As I also newly bought a cast iron grill pan that's worth close to RM 150 (for the sake of food styling...sigh...), I figured today would be a good day to make and photograph the lamb cutlets.

I just wanted something really (and I mean REALLY REALLY) easy to make and taste good as well. So back to the basics...salt and pepper, and finely crushed garlic, to marinate the lamb cutlets for about 2 hours. Nothing else was really needed as I bought the lamb cutlets really fresh (from Mr Ho's Fine Foods in Bangsar Shopping Center), all I needed was to taste the TRUE flavour of the meat. Grilled with 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.

Turned out quite good really, though I really didn't have time to style and photography properly, as I am still not that mobile yet due to my right foot still in pain...

Lighting details for above photo: Natural lighting through window from top of photo.

Lighting details for above photos: Tungsten softbox on left, reflected by gold foil on right.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photography: Mini Forelle Pears

They looked so beautiful that I just had to bring them home to photograph! Inspired by this image taken by Tarlette.

I have not been inspired to cook anything lately. Still trying to recover from my post-holiday and troubled leg depression lol...But thought I'll just take a few photos to feel alive!

Lighting source: Natural afternoon light from left of photo through the window. Mirror used as reflector to lighten up the front parts of the pears.

Lighting effects: I wanted the lighting effects to be dramatic so I played with the shadows and texture, with natural light shining over the top of the pears, especially near the peduncle.