Tag Archives: food

Review: Zojirushi Food Jar 

Shortly after we had Ollie, I was getting all excited about starting him on solids when he was about 4mths old. I had just bought the Philips Avent Steamer and Blender and was thinking about all the types of puree that I could do with it. Haha. Kan cheong much?

Of course, we would progress from purees to rice porridge right? So I did a little research and read about a couple of food jars available on the market. Basically narrowed it down to the three popular brands: Tiger, Thermos & Zojirushi. All three brands had their pros and cons, namely price and how long they could keep food hot for. I was toying between Tiger and Zojirushi, mainly kinda baulking at the price of Zojirushi food jars. Long story short, I did end up getting the Zojirushi at a hefty $65 for a 350ml jar.

my 3yo food jar

my 3yo food jar

3 years on, how do I feel about it? I absolutely love it. It has kept Ollie’s food piping hot for 8 hours (longest). I kept porridge in there for more than a day and it was still hot. It packs a fair bit of food tho QT is proving me wrong with his mad appetite. I had to buy another 450ml food jar as a spare to keep up with his food demands.

L to R: 350ml, 450ml, lunch warmer

L to R: 350ml, 450ml, lunch warmer

Apart from these two food jars, I also own a Zojirushi lunch combo set, consisting of three microwave safe containers, one large cylindrical container and two smaller boxes. I won it so it was a major bonus!! Haha. The cylindrical container sits in a metal case which helps to keep food warm, and I have been able to keep freshly cooked porridge warm in that container for a good 4-5 hours.

Now, what prompted this post is that I recently discovered one other thing I could do with my food jars! I can cook porridge in them! OMG *mindblown*. I had read about it somewhere but never thought much about it until we planned to make a trip to the West to visit some family and do some travelling. Thing is..QT doesn’t have much teeth and I am not very hopeful he is going to be able to eat much other food with just 5 teeth. So I have to be prepared to bring cook him some porridge whilst we are travelling. And I am NOT gg to buy a slow cooker just so I can cook him food lor. I need luggage space for shopping!!

So…off I went testing the “urban legend” or not. Put the washed rice in, filled the jar up with boiling hot water, close and wait. Well..the thing is I didn’t know how long it would take to cook. So we just left it on the countertop and promptly forgot about it. We only remembered it 1.5 days later, and even then we couldn’t remember why we left porridge sitting in the jar. Hahahaha #FAIL. We had to restart the experiment again. FOL.

cooked porridge in a jar

cooked porridge in a jar

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consistency without the excess liquid

This time we checked back at 4 hours and the porridge was cooked! The porridge was a teochew muay consistency, which was suitable for 11mo QT. Major yay! A quick check with my sister who bought the jar for me from Japan, there are some recipes that one could try “cooking” with the jar but most of the ingredients had to be pre-cooked. I did try adding in some uncooked pumpkin to see if it would cook together, but nope. AFter 4 hours, the rice was half-cooked and the pumpkin was barely cooked. Boo.

What I have done so far was to continue pureeing the veggies and meat, and freezing them into ice cube portions. I would take cubes out with me in a separate container with the porridge still cooking. Once it was cooked, I would throw in the half-frozen puree cubes into the jar. This would heat up the puree and help to cool down the cooked porridge. Win!

I will probably try to see how else I can add in ingredients to “cook” in the jar to make it a truly one pot meal. Just need to find the time to experiment!

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Bar-bie-que

filled swiss brown mushrooms

filled swiss brown mushrooms

it’s been a while since I had a last bbq, think the last one being in July. And even then..fellow SAHM, D, and I swore off bbqs for a long while. Haha..seriously I think it is the lack of enthusiastic participants which made it hard for us to enjoy. Baah.

This time round, I suggested a bbq with my cousins. I was craving sausages, onions, red meat..etc. The works. It helped that my cousins were interested in more not-so-local kind of bbq. Of course we needed the stingrays, sotongs and satays. But we were cool without the chicken wings and hot dogs. We preferred the more gourmet kind of sausages, oh us young people with atas tastebuds. =P

Yours truly was in charge of marinating the meats and making a salad with some dressing on the side. Here was what I prepped:

1) chicken kebabs with morrocan seasoning
2) chicken kebabs marinated with olive oil & thyme (I forgot about the lemon juice..dammit)
3) beef eye round kebabs with salt & coarse ground black pepper
4) beef sukiyaki slices marinated with garlic, dried rosemary & olive oil
5) beef yakiniku slices marinated with salt & coarse ground black pepper
6) pork belly sukiyaki slices marinated in a bulgogi marinade
7) pork belly sukiyaki slices marinated in a kimchi marinade
8) mesclun lettuce, baby spinach & butterhead lettuce salad with pistachio, avocado & dried cranberries
9) balsamic vinegar & olive oil salad dressing
10) honey mustard & herb salad dressing
11) swiss brown mushrooms topped with garlic, mozarella cheese and chopped fresh italian parsley.

Phew. It took me two days to do all of that stuff, buying the groceries, marinating and skewering. I wish I took a picture of all that food..haha. And mind you, this was only what I prepped. There were also other food prepped by other cousins (or their moms..-_-” haha). The two things that caused me some grief was searching for a kimchi marinade recipe and a honey mustard and herb dressing that I would be happy with. See..I had a really really really good honey mustard & herb salad dressing when we were holidaying in Houston, TX. The recipe I was searching for had to be close enough to that taste..or what I remembered was that taste. Guess this salad dressing was good enough was my family was raving about it. It was still a tad tart for me, and I probably should have added a bit more honey and dijon mustard. Otherwise, it was still pretty good!

Here are the recipes for the both as adapted from their respective websites:

Kimchi meat marinade by sportsglutton

Ingredients

fresh kimchi (cabbage based)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp Korean hot pepper paste (gochu-jang)
1tbsp + 1tsp honey
1/2 juice of a lemon

Note: I did not add the lemon juice as I felt that the vinegar would have made the marinade tart enough. Also I added the kimchi when I was bbqing the pork belly slices on a tray rather than marinating it together.

Raw Honey Mustard Herb by Sara of Me, Redone

Ingredients

2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp Herbes de Provence (I used 1 tsp dried thyme & about 3-4 sprigs of fresh italian parsley)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil (I used normal olive oil)
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper

duck day

Totally ducked out. Yup, I reckon I overdid the duck today, with duck soup and pan-fried duck breasts with an awesome sauce.

And I am exhausted. It is one of those days where..I am tired, lethargic, don’t feel so good, and I think my right eye is kinda bruising from one of the random many headbutts I received from Ollie whilst co-sleeping. And one of those days we run out of 五香卷 *gaaaasp!* So off it was to the market to grab some ingredients and breakfast before heading home to do the rolls.

It was one of those days where I felt I was constantly picking up toys after toys, books after books and foam alphabets..urggh. Didn’t help that I had family coming over tonight so I had to make sure the house was in some kind of decent condition. Can’t have family thinking I am a lazy bum at home, can I? Not that they do..but yeah.

Anyhoos..I leave you today with the soup of the day, 雪黎炖鸭汤 / Double-boiled Snow Pear with Duck Soup, and the duck dish, pan-fried duck breast.

雪黎炖鸭汤 / Double-boiled Snow Pear with Duck Soup (adapted from Xin Flavours, No.4, Mar-Apr 2011)

Ingredients

1/4 duck
1 snow pear
8g bei qi (I used about 4 pcs)
20g huai shan (Chinese yam)
8g wolfberries
1.2l water
salt to taste

1. Remove skin of duck and cut into chunks. Blanch and set aside. (As with the other soups I cook, I don’t blanch the meat and just throw everything in frozen. I also did not remove the skin of the duck, and got a slightly more oily soup).

2. Cut snow pear into 4 pieces. Set aside.

3. Add bei qi, huai shan and wolfberries in a double boil pot. Add duck meat, snow pear, water and seasoning. Cover and double boil for 2 hours.*

*Anyone would be hard pressed to find a pot that can fit into another pot to double boil. I did not double boil the soup and used a claypot. Worked fine. =)

Pan-fried Duck Breast (adapted from Food & Travel magazine, Feb 2010)

pan-fried duck breast

pan-fried duck breast

Ingredients

2 pcs duck breast fillets
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 stalks fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup water

1. In a non-stick pan, dry-fry the duck breasts for 5 minutes on each side. The meat will render out its own fat.

2. When most of the fat is rendered, remove duck breasts from the pan and set aside.

3. Remove half of the fat from the pan.

4. Add garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Then add oyster sauce, coriander leaves, dark soy sauce, honey and water.

5. Simmer for 3 minutes, then add black pepper.

6. Return duck breasts to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens and reduces by half.

7. To serve, slice duck and pour the remaining sauce over.

I have a love-hate relationship with dark soy sauce, because there are two kinds in Singapore: the syrupy kind and the fluid kind. And whenever a recipe calls for dark soy sauce, I am in a conundrum as to which kind I should use. For 三杯鸡, I discovered that using the syrupy kind worked really well and gave me the kind of consistency I wanted for the dish, meaning lesser water. So I am guessing, where the dish needs to have a thickened kind of sauce/gravy, the syrupy kind should be use to reduce the amount of liquid in the dish; where more liquid is required, then I should use the fluid kind. In this case, I should have used the syrupy dark sauce sauce so I would have lesser sauce in my dish.

Who would have thought soy sauce would be so complicated. *grumbles*