Lemon cheesecake

Recipe and cake from my baking extraordinaire friend, N. Things go into a bowl, into a cake tin, and an hour later, there’s something delicious to be had.

This recipe uses a biscuit-base, probably the easiest cheesecake base around. Unless it doesn’t have a base, in which your cheesecake is most likely a fluffy Japanese-style cheesecake. For most of the time, I stood around and took pictures. But the recipe looks straightforward, and forgiving (provided everything is measured out right, and directions are followed correctly).

BISCUIT BASE
1 cup crushed plain sweet biscuits (We used Marie.)
80 g butter

FILLING
250 g cream cheese
3 eggs, separated
65 g white sugar
65 mL double cream
zest of one lemon
3/4 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
20 g melted butter
2 tbsp plain flour

Before you bake cake/ Line and, or, grease a cake tin/

Make the biscuit base first.

Hey you, get smashing/ (But more a rolling motion)/ Smash them biscuits good

1. Crush biscuits. Put the biscuits into a clean bag, and use a rolling pin to crush them. Don’t tie the bag up as shown in the picture, if you smash too hard the biscuits puncture through the bag, and you will have a mess. Keep the bag untied, and keep the crumbs and biscuity bits in the bag.

Microwave beams, go!/ Vibrate, water molecules!/ Warm up my butter

Add butter to mix/ Here comes my favourite part/ Mix it ’round and ’round

2. Melt the 80g butter. Mix the biscuit crumbs and butter in a bowl. Press the base mix into a greased and/or lined cake tin. Use the base of a cup or spoon to press it down if you want a smooth and even biscuit layer.

Put the cake tin with the biscuit base in the fridge. Onwards to the cheesecake filling!

3. Preheat to 160 degrees Celcius. Arrange the racks so the cake tin can sit in the middle, and a baking pan of water can fit in the oven with the cheesecake (on a lower rack).

Magic stuff in bowl/ If I didn’t know better/ Sugar and cream cheese

Handy dandy tool/ My buddy the eggbeater/ Whip that cream cheese good

4. Cream the cream cheese, and half of the sugar first. Then slowly add cream and beat until thick. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.

Even more butter/ Add some flour to the mix/ Even more beating

5. Stirring/beating more slowly now, add the melted butter and flour. Stir to incorporate.

6. Making sure the egg beaters are clean, and free from any yolk, cream cheese mixture or water, beat the 3 whites (in a big bowl) until they are frothy. (This takes less than a minute.) Then add the other half of the sugar.

One tip for one whites/ No oil, and no water/ Will not get stiff peaks

Egg white is protein/ Whipping makes a protein net/ Capture air bubbles

7.  Beat until stiff peaks form.

Add an egg white cloud/ Aeration comes from egg whites/ For fluffy cheesecake

8. Fold the egg whites into the lemon-cream cheese mixture.

gently mixed batter?/ Now plonk into your cake tin/ No ceremony

The less-tasty cake/ Magical transformation/ Ta-da! Tasty cake

9. Pour into cake tin. Hopefully the biscuit base will be a bit more solid by now. Doesn’t matter if it isn’t, but it helps the base stay together after baking.
10. Bake for an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. It is very important that a baking tray of water is in the oven with the cheesecake. Otherwise it will dry out.

Baking does wonders/ Magical transformation/ actually science

Cool before serving. Chill if you can.

Just a little slice/ A proper serve for photos/ Larger serve for me

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Cherries and inappropriate watermelon*

(* We had summery fruits at the end, namely cherries and watermelon. We’re good at sculpturing body parts out of watermelon–with a spoon. Most of them looked like ovaries or eyeballs.)

First of all, happy birthday! You know who you are. If it happens to be your birthday too, happy birthday to you too.
Secondly, mexican food is on the agenda and has been for a while. This post will be very much like this post, with copious amounts of food photos. I’ll warn you now it’s not purist mexican, but it is damned tasty and closer to mexican food than most ‘mexican’ restaurants in Melbourne. Most things are kind of mexican?

On the menu:

  • Tortillas
  • Cornbread
  • Mashed avocado
  • Black beans (frijoles negros)
  • Coleslaw
  • Green chilli
  • Pulled pork
  • Pork crackling
  • Spicy cumin prawns
  • Salsa verde
  • Skirt steak
  • Tomato salad
  • Fetta cheese made from goats milk
  • Cherries
  • Watermelon

Table full of food/ Always more dishes than space/ The best table size

There’s a lot to get through. Hope you’re feeling hungry.

TORTILLA

Straight from a packet/ Vehicle for mexican/ Better when heated

CORNBREAD

Corn meal in bread form/ Good with stewed black beans/ Or in buttermilk

While corn is one of staples in Mexico, cornbread is not a mexican food. However, it is an important part of soul food in the southern states of the US. I find cornbread a tad dry and plain to have by itself, but it is very good with mashed avocado or beans.

MASHED AVOCADO

Mashed avocado/ Basis of guacamole/ Good in sandwiches


A bowl of mashed avocado with some chunks for texture. Though, if you did want guacamole, you all had to do was eat it with tomato salad.

BLACK BEANS/ FRIJOLES NEGROS

New fav'rite bean dish/ Rich in folate and iron/ As well as protein


Black beans (phaseolus vulgaris) in a tomato based sauce. In addition to being nutritious (lots of folate), it is also delicious. It’s slightly sweet from the tomato, a bit acidic from tomato and a bit of vinegar and naturally savoury since it’s a bean. In no way is it bland. This can be a meal on its own. It was particularly good in a soft taco with pulled pork, mashed avocado and tomato salad.

COLESLAW

Not your average slaw/ It does not swim in dressing/ Still tastes like cabbage

While coleslaw isn’t mexican, there is a similar dish called ‘curtido’. According to wikipedia, it is a “type of cabbage relish, lightly fermented. … In Mexican cuisine, curtido consists mainly of pickled carrots mixed with onions and chile [sic] peppers” (as an addition to pickled cabbage).
This coleslaw has cabbage, carrot, red onion and red capsicum, lightly dressed with homemade mayonnaise. It is sour, but not quite pickled.

GREEN CHILLI

For those chilli buffs/ For more burning sensation/ Complete with the seeds

Not a dish on its own, but a condiment. I enjoy filling up these posts with pictures.

PULLED PORK

Ingredient list/ Spices, oil and good salt/ Pig not pictured here

First, obtain your pig. Season with powdered corriander seed, cumin seed, chilli flakes and a cinnamon quill. Olive oil, and some salt. Add some water too.
The water is what separates this dish from other roast pork dishes. It will make the meat more tender (increased moisture content, but not so much that it boils the pork) and increases the crunchiness of the surfaces. The same trick is used for french baguettes for the characteristic crust.

It has a name: Pig./ But not 'Some Pig', that'd be sad/ Charlotte's Web ref'rence

Pulled pork for the win/ 'Pulled' meats are generally good/Sign of tenderness

The result is roasted pork so tender that its meaty fibres are easily prised apart with a fork.

PORK CRACKLING

Well-salted crackling/ Crisp, buttery and salty/ Waste no part of Pig

Pork crackling needs good salt. Preferably salt flakes. Salt flakes sound fancy, but it does yield a much superior result when making pork crackling. It tastes different too. For me, sea flakes are essential for two things. Pork crackling and sea salt caramels.
Pork crackling was great with pulled pork, or just by themselves. It was so good that the room fell quiet and not a peep could be heard… ‘cept for the -crunch!- of pork crackling.

SPICY CUMIN PRAWNS

Marinade and prawns/ Leave in fridge to absorb stuff/ The worst waiting game

Get your prawns and de-vein them. It’s not the most glamorous job in the world, but it’s well worth it. Marinate with olive oil, salt, juice of  lemon, juice of  lime, red chilli (however much you want) and cumin seeds. Let it sit and soak in delicious marinade for at least 30 minutes.

End of waiting game/ Soon, there will be chilli prawns/ Always a winner

Heat up your pan, and put all the prawns and marinade in. Let them sizzle, let delicious smells waft through your window, and earn well-deserved food envy from your neighbours.

Hey, is it a bird?/Not a plane, not bowl, nor plate/ A measuring cup

We didn’t have any bowls, so a measuring cup will do.

SALSA VERDE

Spicy green chillis/ Finely diced green capsicum/ Don't confuse the two

Green salsa is green/ No surprise, made from green things/ Add ALL the green things

Green salsa was made with canned tomatillos (never seen a fresh one, and the canned ones were disappointingly mushy), but tomatilos can be substituted with green tomatoes. We used raw canned tomatilloes and 2 green chillis. We also used a food processer. Salse verde is good with pulled pork, and prawns. Looks like it’ll be good as a dip too, like regular salsa.

SKIRT STEAK WITH CHILLI AND LIME

Big chunks of skirt steak/ Simple, flavoursome beef steak/ How can it go wrong?

I don’t even know where this came from. (presumably from a cow) One minute there wasn’t a steak to be seen marinating, or grilling or frying up in a pan, the next there was a steak being carved up. Steak well rested, and served medium.

TOMATO SALAD

It is near Summer/ Time for tomato salad/ Wish I had some now

Plain and simple. Good tomatoes, red onion (invisible in photo. They are sitting on the bottom) and parsley. Something to freshen up your palate after spicy food and meats.

Here’s a folded taco. Don’t fold them to make a ‘double taco’, the fold will just rip and be messy to eat. It contains pulled pork, pork crackling, mashed avocado, black beans and tomato salad. There is some coleslaw and tomato salad in the background.

Too much stuff inside/ There is only one problem/ Taco won't stay closed

An artists' palette/ Colours to mix together/ Where 'colours' is food

Here’s a plated up version of different things (Taco deconstructed?).
Back row (left to right): Coleslaw, tomato salad
Middle row (left to right): Whole prawn, half-eaten prawn, frijoles negros, mashed avocado
Front row: Goats fetta, skirt steak

Absent: Tortilla, cornbread, salsa verde, pulled pork, pork crackling, sliced green chilli

CHERRIES

Cherries are pretty/ Yet another summer fruit/ Best washed and served plain


WATERMELON

Watermelon face/ Addition to carrot face/ Faces everywhere


Some people see a watermelon. Some see a face too. Others see it crying tears of juice (and seeds).

Enjoy. (Recipes will be up when I get them. Most items above are just about preparation and adding enough spices as desired, but some dishes don’t have an obvious ingredients list.)

Chinatown festival: Photography practise 01

I have no idea what festival this is, or it was happening. I just happened to stumble upon it with a friend and have a camera on hand. Recently, I’ve been trying to learn how to take photos with a DSLR camera. The first step is to take non-blurry pictures. The second is watching the exposure and making sure the camera settings are right.

An overexposed picture, touched up in Photoshop with warm tones.

I learnt a handy tip with the coconuts. Tip 1: When taking a picture of a group of large objects, focus on one of these rather than taking a macro shot. The rest of the objects will be blurred into the background.

A bunch of things.

Focusing on one aspect on the many things.

Dimsum and rice noodle tubes with prawns.

A bunch of things. I like these prawn meatballs.

Yellow corn with yellow bars of the barrier gates. I didn’t see the colour association and the pattern in real life, but it works out well on camera.

Huzzah for getting some photography practise! Now we’re off to Oldtown Kopitiam Mamak in QV for lunch.

Fruit infused vodka

This is not an instant noodle post, nor a places-for-eats post. It would almost be a recipe post, except for the fact there is no recipe. I wanted to share the colourful photos of fruit-infused vodka.
Vodka comes in many flavours nowadays. Most of time as alcopops, but sometimes as fruit-infused vodka. Unfortunately, many of these fruit-flavoured vodkas are simply that. Fruit- FLAVOURED vodka. So, we set out to infuse vodka with real fruit.

We made four different infusions:
1. Vanilla pod. The palest of them all, a pale yellowish colour.
2. An apple infusion with Pink Lady apples. A pale yellow colour, a warm tone.
3. Orange and lime. Another yellow, but tinted green.
4. Strawberry. Red. A bright pinkish red.

A rainbow line-up/ So, can you taste the rainbow?/ A Skittles reference

After 10 days or so, we took the fruit out and strained the vodka to remove any fruit bits. The question may have occured to you: what do you do with the fruit? The answer is: We ate them and enjoyed their sweet booziness in a drunken afternoon. (Only without the drunken afternoon part.)

Onwards to making a quick fruit relish/jam or making the vodka-filled fruit edible as a food item. The cream cheese pancake batter was made beforehand so that there may be eating as prompt as possible.

One, place your vodka-fruit dregs into a pan. Notice how washed out for colour these strawberries are. Some colour will return once they are heated and cooked through with sugar. Add however mush sugar you think it needs.

Strawberries are red/ There is no blue in the fruits/ It's still a poem

We also sliced up the apple into small chunks and cooked those with the strawberries. We started off with around 3 tablespoons of white sugar and added sugar as we went. While the fruit is slowly heated through with sugar to cook out some alcohol, we added some knobs of butter to another fry pan for pancakes.

Cooking out vodka/ A case of multitasking/ Cooking up pancakes

The cream cheese batter is lumpy, as you can see. But fear not! The lumps are from the cream cheese, and add an element of surprise to your pancakes. I like different textures. Homogeneny is good in supermarkets, but that can get boring.

A fluffy batter/ The thickness is deceiving/ Cream cheese makes it light

Back to the stewing strawberries and apples. See how the strawberries regain some colour? I have no idea how that happens, but I can put out a few theories. None of them involving aliens or magic. You can cook the strawberries and apple for as long as you like. We waited until a large portion of the alcohol cooked out for the ones who are light-weight drinkers. (Namely, myself. I can’t bring myself to drink anything that smells too strongly of something I use to wipe down benches in a science laboratory.)

So, back to the pancakes.

An observation/ Why do pancakes have a rim?/ A nearly-burnt rim

You can use vegetable oil to fry your pancakes if you don’t want to use butter. We’re fairly decadent when it comes to dessert. ;D

Speaking of decadence, we opted to use more of the vodka fruit. Meet our new contestants. Oranges and limes. Sprinkle some brown sugar over those and wait for it to caramelise.

Citrus caramel/ Candied vodka citrus rounds/ One can only dream

Pancakes onto a plate for sharing.

Plate up the pancakes/ Stewed fruit and buttery noms/ It's also boozy

Plated up for your viewing pleasure.

The side with stewed fruit/ How is the presentation?/ Stripey board as prop.

 

See the sliced pancake/ Soft, fluffy and cream cheese-y/ Much like buttermilk

My, oh my. Fluffy cream cheese pancakes are delicious! Buttermilk brings pancakes up to another level of fluffiness, but cream cheese is the level above that. The strawberries remind me of jam, but no surprises there. They are both basically fruit and sugar stewed together. Except this one has vodka in it. I suppose jam could also have vodka in it, but I’ve yet to see it. (But is it a good idea to start the day with boozy jam on toast?) The apples are even better than the strawberries, for they are still crunchy. The strawberries are just soft and pulpy.
With the oranges and limes, the pancakes take me back to primary school. Back in the good old days where we had pancakes with lemon juice and sugar. I enjoy pancakes with lemon and sugar, but this, this! This would be the adults-version. Save it for your next dinner party.

Dining in 01

I enjoy cooking and eating. As do my friends, so here’s to a night in with copious amounts of food.

On the menu:
Strawberries
Fish nuggets/goujons
Indonesian corn pancakes (didn’t end up making this)

Slow-cooker beef stew
Lamb in 2 variations: grilled, and panfry with bokchoy
Chilli broccoli and okra
Fried chicken
Pork and prawn wontons: 2 variations
Potato gratin

Brunetti’s coffee cream mousse cake
Green tea jelly with lemon-flavoured coconut jelly and pineapple-stuffed rambutan
Apple tart tatin
Bavarian cheesecake (didn’t have any survivors from food coma for another dessert.)

STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries are delicious. Even in the middle of winter. Good with yoghurt too.

Accessory fruit/ Not a real fruit or berry/ Strawberries are strange

FISH NUGGETS
This is essentially fresh fish cut into chunks, floured, egged and breaded, then fried until golden brown. Add salt and pepper in your flour for seasoning.
A firm white fish should be used. Firm, so it doesn’t fall apart when fried and flipped in a pan. I think ‘white fish’ is unnecessary, as all fish is good when fried. We used rockling, but any fish should be okay. Ask your fishmonger.

Tip: When making nuggets with rockling, ask your fishmonger to remove the skin. Or buy a fillet that’s deboned and de-skinned. This’ll make your life easier.

Suggestion: Use panko breadcrumbs  instead of the regular breadcrumbs. So crispy. So  good.

Hey fishy, fishy/ Wriggle to my chopping board/ Then swim in fryer

Into the flour/ Then into the beaten eggs/ Crumb generously

Hey fishy fishy/ Sizzling in my hellish pan/ You look so damn fine

Blot excess oil/ This will give you cooling time/ So you don't burn mouth#

CORN PANCAKES
We didn’t actually make this. We didn’t have a grater on hand. Or we used a peeler to peel little bits off, and that was…. unsuccessful. On the up side, we made an adorable turnip-shaped carrot. I added a face.

CARROT FACE
D’awwh. Look at the eyebrows.

Meet the carrotdude/ Turnip-shaped, broccoli brow/ Good sense of humour#

LAMB IN TWO VARIATIONS
Due to a communication failure, we had 2 sets of lamb. Can you say ‘cumminication’? That’s right. I made a bad pun. But cummin and lamb is delicious.

Panfry lamb with bokchoy

Tip: Don’t overcrowd the pan when frying. As we discovered later on, marinated lamb chunks just boil in their own broth when the pan is overcrowded.

Sizzle those onions/ Add marinated lamb chunks/ For easy dinner

Add some leaf greens/ Throw onto a plate and serve/ The one-plate wonder

Roasted lamb
We were very much aware that there would be plenty of leftovers tonight, but we roasted some lamb chunks nonetheless. (What else do you do with another kilogram of lamb?) Roasted lamb leftovers are wonderful in a stew for the days after.

Garlic and cumin/ Basic flavourings for lamb/ Then add other things

FRIED CHICKEN
Gotta love fried chicken.

Equipment needed: / Deep fryer just for chicken/ Or use KFC's

PORK AND PRAWN WONTONS

Variation 1: boiled in chicken broth, with chopped spring onions.

Ode to the wonton/ Served in delicious hot broth/ A winter comfort*

Variation 2: Deep fried

Wokful of hot oil/ Keep turning for even fry/ Golden brown wontons*

CHILI OKRA AND BROCCOLI
Okra is a fruit, and broccoli is a flower, but we still call them vegetables for culinary purposes.

After golden brown/ Rest your eyes on verdant lush/ Cut vegetables#

Broccoli in first/ Okra only needs short time/ Season and plate up

Limited clean plates/ A bowl or two will suffice/ Eat your vegetables

I haven’t had okra before, and I have heard all sorts of culinary nightmares about it. Its tale begins with a dark and stormy night, with the windows open and its curtains flapping to the breeze…. Suddenly, an okra! A green finger curls over the wooden framework of the door, and splits itself in half releasing its little seeds and covers your door with vaguely green mucinous secretions. You grab it, slice it diagonally, fry it with some chilli and garlic, voila, delicious meal. Too bad about your imaginary door.
There is slime when you cut a 500g worth of okra into slices. But when cooked properly, it is crunchy with a soft centre. It has a texture similar to green beans that have been fried and then braised.
Everybody knows what broccoli is like, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. You need to try this dish, it is delicious.

POTATO GRATIN
Who doesn’t love potato gratin?

Waxy potato/ Baked with creamy cheesy sauce/ Yum, starchy goodness#

SLOW-COOKER BEEF STEW
I will include a recipe with step-by-step photos in a separate post.

APPLE TART TATIN (THE CHEATING WAY)
Apple tart… did not turn out the way we expected it too. The apples were cut too thin, and caramelised too well in the pan. It’s probably the ugliest cheat’s apple tart tatin you will ever lay eyes on, but by the gods, the caramel is good. It’s very dark, apple flavoured caramel with a bit of tartness that the granny smith apples offer.

Tip: Cut apples into 1/8s, and core them. Chunks of apple is the way to go. Also, creme fraise is the way to go for apple tart tatin.

Prod them apples good/ Thin slices already done/ Need thicker slices

Ugly apple tart/ Dress it in crenelled creme fraise/ There is no problem*

GREEN TEA JELLY (with coconut gel and rambutan)
Okay. So what? Green tea jelly. I ate jelly as a kid, but as an adult, I’ve outgrown jelly? Wrong. I love jelly and all its gelatiney-sugary-food colouring goodness.
Green tea jelly was homemade with real green tea (steeped from loose leaf green tea with rose petals), with a bit of honey, and set with agar. It’s served chilled, and a very welcome relief from cream and buttery pastry. It’s still astrigent from the tea tannins, only mildly sweet from honey and the brittle texture of agar refreshes the palate for more dessert. In other words, it’s a great amuse-bouche in between courses.
The coconut gel has a jelly-like gel-like fibrous sort of texture. It’s weird, but fun to eat. The pineapple-stuffed rambutan (the only rambutan we could find) add more texture and some sweetness to those who want a fragrant fruit to go with tea jelly.

BRUNETTI’S JAFFA COFFEE MOUSSE CAKE
It’s cake time! There is always room for dessert. My apologies for not having a photo of the cut cake, it disappeared too quickly before it occured to me I should take a photo. From top to bottom, the cake layers are: white chocolate curls, coffee cream, chocolate-orange cake, coffee liquor frozen mousse and chocolate-orange cake. The cake, cream and mousse are great, but the white chocolate is a let-down. It tastes entirely of sugar and stuff to hold it together instead of ‘white chocolate’. But the coffee cream is very very good. It gets an 9/10.  (Minus one point for the white chocolate.)

A matching white queen/ To go with the chocolate prince/ Equally creamy*

*: Photos marked with an asterisk are photos taken by a friend. You probably noticed that these photos are markedly better than the others, and that is because I mostly use a digital camera, and these photos are taken with a real camera.

#: Also taken with a SLR camera, but I get to claim these.

Dumplings

Just about every continent has its own kinds of dumplings. I am including those that are fillings enclosed in a thin layer of (usually unleavened) dough, and those which are balls of dough that have been boiled or steamed, or even fried.

There are the European dumplings, including those of Britain and Ireland (balls of flour and fat half-boiled half-steamed into a stew to extend a meal), Italian ravioli and tortellini (pockets of pasta with fillings inside) or gnocchi (balls of potato/flour, more similar to the UK dumpling), Scandinavian potetball, nockerl or klopse, Central European potato dumplings or fruit dumpings, Polish pierogis, Russian pelmenis, Middle-eastern shishbarak, Jewish kreplach and matzah balls, and Turkish manti. The dumplings of the United States, as found in chicken and dumpling soup. Carribean dumplings to be served with ackee and saltfish or chicken, and those in chicken soup. Or even Chilean pantrucas, a flat parsley dumpling served in a soup.

Now heading to the Himalayas for their momo, steamed pleated dumplings popular as a snack. Mongolian buuz and khuushuur. Or the Indian dumplings, with their savoury and sweet varieties. There are sweet gujhias, karanji and ada, or if savoury dumplings tickle your fancy there are pitha and kozhakkattai. If you prefer the southeastern asian dumplings, there are the Indonesian fish dumplings with peanut sauce (Siomay), Korean mandu and Japanese gyoza and takoyaki. After this list, we finally reach the dumplings I am most familiar with: Chinese dumplings. There are jiaozi, potstickers, wontons, zong zi, tangyuan and dimsum.

Dumplings are a comfort food (just see how many of them are in chicken soup or in stews or in a thick sauce, or eaten as snacks) made with delicious starchy goodness, and are a general crowd pleaser. They’re easy and fun to make (as long as you aren’t too fixated on them looking great), cheap, good food to share, can accomodate large numbers of people, and the filling can be altered to your tastes or whatever you have in your fridge. So, I made some dumplings. More specifically, potstickers in a southern chinese style.

Potstickers is the affectionate name given to a kind of jiaozi, because they stick to your pot. Jiaozi are pleated dumplings with a savoury filling inside. Just about every region in China will have its own specialty. There are different ways to pleat them, different filling preferences, flavourings used, spiciness, thickness of ‘skin’ around the filling, the cooking method, and size of dumpling. Above all, it’s really up to you. For me, potstickers should have a thicker, more doughy wheat flour ‘skin’ to accomodate for the panfrying cooking method and for maximum crunchiness of the dumpling’s base.

There were both chicken and beef dumplings, each extended with vegetables. Here’s a picture of the chicken dumplings.

Shoot before eating/ Two dumplings left on the plate/ Just made in time

Potstickers are cooked by mix of steaming, boiling and panfrying. How does this work? You can steam your jiaozi dumplings beforehand, then do a pan fry to get a crispy bottom. Or do it the lazy-one-pan-wonder way. Add a couple of tablespoons oil into a hot frying pan (make sure you have a lid to cover it with), place dumplings into pan, give the pan a shake to make sure the dumplings aren’t stuck to the bottom, add a cup of water (or enough to cover the pan by a centimeter or so. The water should be all evaporated near the end.), place lid on pan, turn down the heat and let the dumplings steam/boil for 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the skin. You want to cook them through.), lift lid and let the dumplings sizzle for a while to get a crunchy base. There should be no liquid at the bottom when the dumplings are sizzling. Once you feel the base is done, slide dumplings onto a plate and serve. I enjoy potstickers with a little side of sweetened red vinegar with very finely julienned ginger.

You can find recipes of potstickers at tastespotting.com, so I won’t place a recipe up here. But here is a picture of the one-pan method:

One pan potsticker/ Sizzle, boil and sizzle/ Eat, and don't burn mouth

Moving to wordpress

I moved to wordpress from tumblr for the comments option, as well as the neater presentation of pictures. This blog will contain a lot of food reviews, which will be image intensive. (Don’t worry, the images used will be around 300 KB so it doesn’t take too long to load.) WordPress has the option of editting alt text, as well as placing images into a box, and letting you add commentary inside the box.

This strikes me as a neater and more personalised way of doing things. So here’s to wordpress.