Kam

SUCCESS – Achieved through Effort, Destination and Perseverance.

Keep Organized ^v^

I love to keep everything organized as I don’t want to waste any second to look for anything.

I think I am an organized person. Thanks God for giving me opportunities to be trained like this. I had to learn the hard way, by making tons of mistakes, living with clutter and junk that ran my life and no system to undo my mistakes. I have read many books teaching how to be an organized person. The best way to succeed is to learn through the frustrated experience. The following tips help me become an organized person.

1. Set the goal

I always THINK before I take action. I usually think out what I am going to do, how I carry out it, when I am going to do it, and how long time I will spend on it.

2.   Make a list

I always have lists to keep track of everything what I plan on doing for every task, when they are going to get finished, and how I will do these tasks.

3.   Keep a schedule

This calendar is just like my wallet. It stays with me all the time. I put every tasks, appointments, meetings, etc. on the schedule so that I don’t forget. I always check and look at it to see what tasks are still pending.

4.   Rank the tasks

I will categorize the tasks into the following types:

1)        Urgent and important;

2)      Urgent BUT NOT important;

3)      Important BUT NOT urgent; and

4)      NOT urgent and NOT important.

I will try my best to do the first 2 tasks first then the other.

5. Advance the deadline

I hate doing things at last-minute, so I attempt to complete them ahead of schedule as possible. Mark the advance deadline on a post-it and place everywhere that can remind yourself, eg. on the fridge door, on the mirror in your bathroom.

Although I did all the above tips, I still miss the deadline sometimes. In order not to miss the deadline again, I will rank the tasks. I do it at the beginning of the day. I sit down, take a breath, make sure my brain is here. Then I open my schedule, generate a list for a day, prioritize the tasks and set the time frame for each task. The most important thing is to advance the deadline. I treat this presumed deadline as a real deadline of the task. In my mind, over deadline means YOU ARE DEAD, NO EXCEPTION for making up once more. I can’t let it happen :D, so I always plan the schedule is 2 days ahead before the original deadline.

These are some simple steps that forming habits and that can change our rest of lives. I can do it. You can DO it too!

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Egg Tarts

Egg tart is one of the Hong Kong classic. Everyone in Hong Kong loves egg tart. They like to eat it for breakfast, brunch as dim sum or tea time snack. An egg tart is a baked egg custard in a pastry. There are mainly 2 types of egg tarts. One with a shortcrust pastry and the other with a puff pastry. This recipe is the shortcrust one. I personally love this crust the most. It is buttery with a hint of savory, which is perfect with the smooth and lightly sweetened egg custard. Whenever I am baking these little egg tarts at home, the house just smells incredible. It is hard to eat only one. Maybe, I can sneak in two in my stomach before anyone found out.

Egg Tarts

7 tarts

Required tools:

–   7 (3-inch wide, 1 ½-inch deep) tart tins

Ingredients:

Egg Custard:

–   2 large eggs (room temperature)

–   45g sugar

–   40g evaporated milk

–   145ml water

Pastry Crust:

–   115g cake flour (sifted)

–   70g butter (room temperature)

–   20g powdered sugar

–   10g evaporated milk

–   ½ large egg yolk (room temperature)

Directions:

  1. For the pastry crust, in a large mixing bowl with an electronic mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add ½ egg yolk and mix together. Add the evaporated milk and beat well. Slowly add the flour. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Form the dough into a round disk with hands. Wrap it in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  3. Meanwhile, for the egg custard, in a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, add the sugar and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  4. Back to the crust, divide the dough into 7 portions. Roll each portion into a round ball. Flatten each ball into flat disks with hands. Place a flat disk into a tart tin and mold the dough into a tart shape. The dough should be about a ¼-inch below the top of the tart tin edge. Poke at few holes at the bottom of the tart with a fork. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat 2 eggs with a hand whisk. Add evaporated milk and beat until combined. Stir in the syrup. Strain the mixture and remove bubbles with a spoon.
  6. Line the prepared tart tins on a baking sheet. Fill the tarts 80% full with the egg mixture. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes until the egg custard is puffed up a little, and the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Tap the tart tin bottom lightly on the table. Turn the tart tin over and remove the egg tarts carefully. Serve immediately for best taste.
  7. For storage, let the egg tarts cool completely. Put them in a plastic container for up to 2 days. Eat at room temperature or bake in a 300˚F pre-heated oven for 5 minutes.

Tips:

  1. When molding the dough into the tart tins, remember not to make the tart side too thin. If not, the egg tart will break very easily when finished.
  2. If you prefer a thicker crust, you can make 6 tarts with the same amount of dough.
  3. Try to remove all bubbles in the egg mixture before baking.
  4. During baking, keep an eye out for the egg tarts for the last 5 minutes. Some of them may finish earlier than the others.
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Classic Hong Kong Waffle

Are you tired of the normal strawberry or maple syrup waffle? A classic Hong Kong waffle will give you an exciting twist. It is like a normal waffle, but with peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk and sugar as topping. It is a great snack in Hong Kong, and children love this. You can always find this waffle on the street. When I was in high school, I used to go and get this waffle for lunch. This recipe is very good. It tasted almost like the ones in Hong Kong. The waffles were light and crispy on the outside. They were savory from the peanut butter, sweet from the condensed milk, and crunchy from the sugar and crust. Yum… I love them! I am glad that I have found this recipe, so I don’t have to wait until I visit Hong Kong. I know it sounds weird, but give this a try! I hope you will like it.

Hong Kong Street Waffle

2 servings (4 waffles)

Ingredients:

–   1 ¼ cup cake flour

–   ½ cup milk or reduced fat milk

–   ¼ cup unsalted butter (melted) plus 3 – 4 tablespoons (for finished waffle)

–   2 eggs (beaten)

–   5 – 8 tablespoons peanut butter

–   3 ½ tablespoon sugar

–   4 – 6 teaspoons sweetened condensed milk

–   ½ teaspoon baking powder

–   1 teaspoon vanilla extract

–   water

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs with 1 ½ tablespoon sugar. Add the milk and vanilla extract, and mix well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and combine together. Add the melted butter and mix well. If the batter is too thick, add little bit water in the batter. The batter should be thin enough to drip down a spoon continuously. Set aside and let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Preheat the waffle maker. When the maker is ready, add ½ cup batter. Cook until the waffle is golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  3. Spread butter, 1 – 2 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 ½ teaspoons sweetened condensed milk on each waffle. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar. Fold the waffle in half and enjoy.

Tips:

  1. You can definitely switch to the regular topping, like strawberry, banana, maple syrup and chocolate syrup for an American classic waffle.
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Swiss Sauce Chicken Wings (Dark Soy Sauce Chicken Wings)

This is a classic Hong Kong dish. Swiss sauce has nothing to do with “Switzerland”. The chicken wings are marinated in sweetened dark soy sauce. The urban legend behind the name, was a miscommunication between a Chinese waiter and an English-speaking customer in a Hong Kong cafe. The Chinese waiter told the English speaker the dish was called “Sweet wings”, but the English speaker thought it was “Swiss wings”. But again, this is only a story. No matter what the name is, these chicken wings are just delicious. Bryan loves them on the first try. The chicken wings were savory with a hint of sweet. They were perfect to serve with steaming hot white rice.

Swiss Sauce Chicken Wings (Dark Soy Sauce Chicken Wings)

2 – 3 servings

Ingredients:

–   20 chicken wings

–   400ml dark soy sauce

–   800ml water

–   250 – 300 grams rock sugar

–   6 green onions

–   5 ginger slices

–   15 – 20 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and combine with the ice cubes. Set aside.
  3. Finely dice 1 green onion. Set aside.
  4. Once the water is boiling, add 2 ginger slices and 2 green onions. Add chicken wings and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and place the chicken wings into the ice water. Let sit until the chicken wings are cold.
  5. In a large pot, bring the 800ml water to boil over high heat. Add dark soy sauce, rock sugar, the 3 green onions and the remaining ginger slices. Cook unit the rock sugar has dissolved. Reduce to low heat. Add the chicken wings and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Cover the pot with a lid. Let stand for 20 minutes. Turn the heat back on and cook for 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken wings to a serving bowl. Top with extra swiss sauce over the chicken wings and diced green onions. Serve immediately.

Tips:

  1. Don’t use regular soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is less salty with a hint of sweet. It cannot be substitute.
  2. It is important to put the chicken wings in the ice water to keep the chicken skins firm.
  3. You can adjust the taste of the sauce with regular soy sauce and extra rock sugar. The sauce should taste a bit saltier than normally how you would like you food, because that is the marinade.
  4. Reserve half of the remaining swiss sauce for other great recipes. I will post one recipe using swiss sauce later.

Where can you buy dark soy sauce and rock sugar?

99 Ranch Market

Shun Fat Supermarket

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Fried Chicken with Lemon Sauce

My mom gave me some of her old recipe books a few weeks ago. But, I have only tried this chicken with lemon sauce. The chicken was crispy, and the sauce was very creamy and lemony. It is a very good dish. And, it is definitely easier to make than I would imagine.

Fried Chicken with Lemon Sauce

2 – 3 servings

Ingredients:

–   2 pounds chicken thighs

–   2 eggs

–   3 ½ tablespoons corn starch

– 1 – 2 lemon slices (garnish)

–   1 tablespoon vegetable oil (plus more for frying)

Marinade for chicken:

–   5 teaspoons soy sauce

–   4 teaspoons sugar

–   4 teaspoons corn starch

–   4 teaspoons Shaoxing wine

–   1 teaspoon salt

–   1 teaspoon sesame oil

–   ground white pepper

Lemon sauce:

–   1 cup water

–   4 tablespoons lemon juice

–   2 ½ tablespoons corn starch

–   2 tablespoons sugar

–   1 teaspoon salt

–   2 egg yolk

Directions:

  1. Clean and remove bones and skins from the chicken thighs. Cut the thighs into small strips. Transfer the strips into a medium size bowl. Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken. Mix well and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the lemon sauce, except the egg yolks. Set aside.
  3. Right before frying the chicken, add 2 whole eggs to the chicken strips and mix together. Put the corn starch in a plate, and coat the chicken strips.
  4. In a large pan or wok over medium heat, heat up the vegetable oil. Fry the chicken strips until both sides are golden brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate that is covered with paper towels. Then, place the chicken strips in a serving plate.
  5. In a medium pan over medium heat, heat up 1 tablespoon oil. Add the bowl of lemon sauce. When the sauce is boiling, remove from heat. Stir the sauce and add in the egg yolks at the same time. Pour the sauce over the chicken strips. Top with lemon slices. Serve immediately.

Tips:

  1. If the sauce is too thick when cooking, you can add extra water to thin out.
  2. When adding the egg yolk to the sauce, make sure to stir at the same time. If not, there will be pieces of eggs in the sauce. That will not look nice.
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Creamy Pasta with Peas and Carrots

This pasta is absolutely delicious! The sauce was the secret. It was made with mascarpone cheese and cream cheese. I actually like this sauce more than a simple bechamel. The cheeses made the sauce very creamy and flavorful. With a tons of vegetables and some shrimps, this pasta is a good balance meal. And, it is very easy to make. Hmmm…… Yummy!

Creamy Pasta with Peas and Carrots

2 – 3 servings

Ingredients:

–   ½ pound shrimps (optional)

–   ½ pound small-shaped pasta (farfallini)

–   2 medium carrots (peeled and diced into pea-size pieces)

–   1 cup frozen peas (thawed)

–   1 small onion (diced)

–   1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

–   ½ cup (4 ounce) cream cheese (at room temperature)

–   ½ cup (4 ounce) mascarpone cheese (at room temperature)

–   2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)

–   olive oil

–   salt

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water (salted) to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil. If using shrimps, add them now. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the shrimps are pink and cooked through. Take out and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook for 2 more minutes until the peas are warmed through and the carrots are tender.
  4. Add the cooked pasta. Add the cheeses and stir until the mixture is incorporated and forms a sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some pasta water. Toss in the shrimps. Season with salt, to taste. Transfer to serving plates and top with chopped basil. Serve immediately.

Tips:

  1. If you don’t like shrimp, you can use chicken.
  2. If the sauce is too thin, you can also add some more cheese to thicken up.
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