ABC Soup

~ Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 8:00 AM ~

I had earlier confessed that one of my 2013 resolutions (I rarely made them in my life so when I made it for this year, I'm trying to stick by it!) is to learn to cook for the family and also shared a recipe I tried out, the Szechuan Vegetable soup and Lotus Root soup. For this post, I am sharing my third soup recipe which is also taught by my dear hubby (yes! You read it right!) and one of my favorite soup since my childhood which my late mum used to make, aka the ABC Soup!

I remembered I used to love putting this soup in my plate of rice and just plain eat my rice and drink the soup as it is. Oh, that and eating the soft mushy potatoes of course!

Btw, just in case you are wondering why is it named ABC soup when there is nothing resembling the letter A, B or C found on the soup... it is because ABC in this sense actually meant the vitamins A, B and C where you get vitamin ‘A’ from the carrots, ‘B’ vitamins from the potato, and ‘C’ from tomato. Tadaaaaaa! Mystery solved!

Ingredients:

1. Pork bones (boiled for about few minutes) (** You can also use kampung chicken)
2. 1 carrot (remove skin and chopped into half inch thick).
3. Dried scallops (optional - this will add sweetness to the soup)
4. 1 potato (remove skin and sliced or chopped into chunks - based on your liking)
5. 1 tomato (quartered)
6. 1 big red onion (remove skin)
* Not in picture: Salted/preserved vegetable (called 'Tai Thou Choi' in Cantonese)

Methods:
* Clean the pork by blanching in boiling water for few minutes, then drain off the water.
* Remove the skins for the potato and carrots and then chopped them into chunks or slices depending on your liking (I sliced them about half inch thick) Do note that the potato should not be too thin as it might crumbles off and muddied the soup.
* Quartered the tomato.
* Add all ingredients into slow cooker, add enough water to cover the ingredients with about an inch more.
* Put on high for an hour, before switching to low settings for about 6-7 hours.
(Note: If you use gas stove to boil this soup, you can simmer for 1 or more hours until the pork is tender.)

Picture below with ingredients just before adding hot water into slow cooker.

Outcome:

Hubby gave me 8/10 for this soup and said it should be saltier. Confession time: I forgot to put in the salted/preserved vegetable (called 'Tai Thou Choi' in Cantonese) when I dumped everything into the slow cooker! Only realised my mistake about 5th hour into the slow cooking in low mode when I tasted a sip and found the soup to be totally bland. Immediately went to the fridge and grabbed an inch thick of the salted/preserved vegetable, sliced it thinly (so that the salty-ness can seeped out to the soup faster) and put on high temperature for my slow cooker for an hour. Thank God the soup turns out fine, though, yes like hubby said should be saltier. Whooppsss...

I drenched a few soup spoons of the ABC soup into my kiddos plate of rice and hubby asked my almost 4 years old boy what he thinks of the soup mummy made and he went 'Mmmm it's yummy!' Ahhhh... The happy feeling you get when your child tells you your cooking (and soup) is yummy and better than grandma's! Ahhhhhhh.... *floating*

Ben had a bowl of the soup the next day when I made noodle soup with it and this time, both my kiddos guzzled all the soup after whacking their noodles. so I guess it's good, just need to remember MUST put salted/preserved vegetable before start making soup! Overall, I'm very happy with this attempt and very motivated to continue practising the Lotus Root soup and also ABC soup, especially after getting compliments from my kiddos (children are innocent and they don't lie!)

Also, just want to share some tips from my hubby on soup making:

1) The meat used in the soup here is actually pork bones, there is no need to get pork with lots of meat on it if you are not going to eat it after making the soup. Best is to use pork bones with bits of meat on it so you get the nutrients out of the bones and meat.
2) Making soup using slowcooker or stove is the same contrary to many beliefs that soup made using stove tastes better. Most important is you need to blanch the meat prior to cooking else you will get the so called different taste versus stove cooking.
3) It is good to put in the meat early as we want the nutrients when we drink the soup. Some people thought of putting the meat in the final hour of making the soup so that the soup is clear and sweet but in actual fact, there is no point drinking soup that is clear and not as nutritious since there is not enough time to cook the meat to allow the nutrients from the meat and bones to seep out into the soup.
4) When you make soup in a slow cooker, you need the ingredients to be in chunks size. Too small cubes in slow cooker (especially potatoes) will end up all broken and mashed after 6-8 hours in the slow cooker.

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!

Lotus Root Soup

~ Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:57 AM ~

I had earlier confessed that one of my 2013 resolutions (I rarely made them in my life so when I made it for this year, I'm trying to stick by it!) is to learn to cook for the family and also shared a recipe I tried out, the Szechuan Vegetable soup. For this post, I am sharing my second soup recipe which is taught by my dear hubby (yes! You read it right!) and one of my favorite soup since my childhood which my late mum used to make, the Lotus Root Soup!

I remembered I used to love putting this soup in my plate of rice and just plain eat my rice and drink the soup as it is. Oh, that and lots of peanuts of course! Used to fight with my elder brother for as many peanuts as we could find in the soup hahahah...

Ingredients:

1. Lotus root (skinned and sliced - thickness depends on your preferance)
2. Dried scallops (optional)
3. Ground peanuts (boiled and removed skins after) (optional)
4. Salted/preserved vegetable (called 'Tai Thou Choi' in Cantonese)
5. Pork bones (boiled for about few minutes)
6. Red dates (big sized about 12-14 pieces, deseeded)
7. Soup beans (it looks like Pinto beans) (optional)


Methods:
* Clean the pork by blanching in boiling water for few minutes, then drain off the water.

* Rinsed lotus roots, red dates and soup beans.
* Boiled ground nuts for a few seconds and remove the skin layer (my own preferance to have white smooth peanuts).
* Add all ingredients into slow cooker, add enough water to cover the ingredients with about an inch more.
* Put on high for half hour, before switching to low settings for about 6-7 hours.
(Note: If you use gas stove to boil this soup, you can simmer for 1 or more hours until the pork is tender.

Picture below with ingredients just before adding hot water into slow cooker.

Outcome:

Hubby said he likes how the soup turns out muddy looking as I told him I preferred clear looking soup similar to the one my late mum used to make. Hubby also commented that I need to reduce some more water because I'm using slow cooker instead of gas stove to boil this soup (I actually put in a lot of water, almost about 80% full in the slow cooker).

Nevertheless, hubby whacked 3 big bowls of the soup and Ben had a bowl of the soup the next day when I made noodle soup with it so I guess it's good, just need to reduce water next time. Overall, I'm very happy with this attempt!

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!

Product Review - Claire Organics

~ Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM ~

I received a total of 4 handmade soaps from Claire Organics for my review and this post will be touching on the first 2 that I tried: Guinness with Raw Honey and Mulberry Yogurt soaps. Here goes the first part of my review for Claire Organics soap:

I'm a full-time mummy

Claire Organics

Description from the product page:
"Guinness with raw honey - signature product - unscented: Gentle care for baby eczema, soothing for sensitive skin.
Guinness Stout made with hops and barley which are both extremely gentle and wonderful to use from head to toe. Barley contains minerals that preserve the skins elasticity and protect it from free radical damage. Hops have a relaxing effect on the body, are skin soothing and have natural anti-septic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Brewer’s yeast kills the bacteria associated with acne.

Mulberry Yogurt Soap - Whitening, Anti-Aging
Fresh from our organic home garden, Mulberry is a great whitening agent that naturally diminishing dark spots and remove blemishes. Their rich source of anti-aging antioxidants effectively fights off wrinkles and tightening opened pores. Mulberry makes a great facial bar for glowing, flawless skin."

I'm a full-time mummy

I would like to apologise for the lack of pictures taken on this post because I got really excited in trying out handmade soaps and did not snap much pictures before I use it. Whoooopss...

# 1 : Guinness with Raw Honey (Signature product)

Claire Organics

The first time I tried out this soap, I was wondering to myself this soap smells a bit alcohol-ish but I couldn't make out what type of alcohol it is as I'm not a person who drinks any alcohol. I found out later that this soap contains Guinness Stout with added raw honey.

Claire Organics

Upon using it for about 1 week, I feel my skin smoother and I also use it a few times on my girl who had a mild rash on her tummy during that time. The soap did not leave any irritating sensation on her skin and I also noticed her rash is less reddish and less sore after bathing my girl.

I do however do not like that the soap crumbles easily and upon giving back my feedback to the sponsor, I learned that handmade soaps also tend to 'melt' a little faster than commercial soaps because of the more moisturising oil used in the soaps. Now that explains this phenomena as I do tend to leave my soap wet after shower hehehehe...

# 2 : Mulberry Yogurt

Ooo... I love this soap! In fact, I use it sooooo slowly and with gentle care, trying to conserve and preserve the soap as long as possible! I can feel that my skin is gently covered and lathered with the smooth yogurt texture and I also noticed that my skin is not as dry as it used to be. Love this! I would totally recommend this soap!

Claire Organics

I'm a full-time mummy

You can browse for more handmade soaps at Claire Organic's Facebook page.

I'm a full-time mummy

Yes, yes, we are all waiting for this glorious moment!

3 lucky winners will EACH get to win a bar of Claire Organics handmade soap!

Giveaway opens for Malaysians only! Just read below for the giveaway terms and entry form, OK?

I'm a full-time mummy

To enter the giveaway, kindly read and follow the instructions as stated in the Rafflecopter form below.

  • You can enter either via login through your Facebook account OR just key in your name and your valid email address. 
  • Please also leave your valid email address in the post comment so that I can contact you if you win this giveaway.
  • To enter the giveaway, you need to answer the mandatory question which is shown in the giveaway widget below.
  • Please take a minute to read the Terms & Conditions listed in the Rafflecopter widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm a full-time mummy

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the products in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

I'm a full-time mummy