25 December 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a Jolly Christmas and Happy Holidays. May this Christmas be bright and cheerful and may the New Year begin on a prosperous note!


I am off for a three day family gathering with my in laws and extended families. It’s going to be a fun holiday. :P
Anyway I promise to update on the blog once I’m back. It’s been a while!

26 November 2009

Banana Walnut Cake & missing my dear old laptop

Honestly I’ve never thought I’ll feel so attached to a device as I’m not really a gadget person. I try not to because devices tend to wear out or spoiled or even stolen and I don’t want to feel all that bad when it does. I don’t even have the latest phone model! But ever since I left work to be stay home to be a mommy, my laptop has been my trusted companion. It connects me to the outside world, help me meet new friends via forums, enlighten me about parenting from the world wide web. And it’s even my very own DJ console as I have more than 6000 songs stored in it. After I started blogging it’s becomes even more valuable to me.

Sadly, after nearly 3 years of heavy usage, it begins to break down, starting with a crack on the casing and eventually the monitor cease to function. It’s been a week since I sent it for repair and no news yet. I just hope the hard disk can be salvaged so that I can transfer all my stuffs to a new laptop ( that is if I’m getting one! aiihhh) So at the moment I've to make do with my hubby’s super high end PC.  Honestly I prefer my own laptop even though his much faster and has more storage, but beggars can’t be choosers right.

Oh well back to food, I still cook just that I couldn’t upload and write recipes as often as I want so at the moment it’s mostly just photos until I get the laptop only I’ll update with recipes. So do bear with me till then ya! This afternoon I dreamed a funny dream, about me helping Santa Claus to save the fairy and magical kingdom by baking a tray of sugar cookies! And all these was in a Harry Potter inspired background. How weird! So feeling slightly disoriented after a weird and not to mention exhausting dream, I decided to bake banana walnut cake, only because I had a few left and they are about to go bad.  Recipes would be up real soon! :)


You Need   
1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans,
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter melted and cooled plus extra for greasing
3 ripe large bananas , peeled
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

How To 
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius / 350 degree Fahrenheit. Lightly grease and line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf tin / bread pan or in my case two small loaf tins. Set aside.
2. Place the nuts on a baking tray/sheet and bake for  8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and chop coarsely
3. Sift the flour, sugar, salt and the spices into a large bowl. In a separate bowl mash the bananas, stir in the eggs ,melted butter and vanilla essence. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Test to see if the loaf is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean, the loaf is done. If not, bake for a further 10 minutes and test again.
5 Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Turn out the loaf, slice and serve


10 November 2009

A.W.E.D An almost perfect Sago Gula Melaka

Why I said almost perfect? Because the pictures doesn’t do any justice to this yummy delectable sweet dessert! It’s been raining nearly everyday and gloomy weather makes ugly pictures and plus I’m not very good with external flash. But while I’m writing this and eating these sweet goodies, it made up for the not so nice pictures heh!
If you’re wondering why am I reposting this again just when I posted this not too long ago, well a foodie couple whom I’ve always admired way before I started this blog suggested that I should submit this recipe for a food event called A.W.E.D (A Worldly Epicurean Delight) hosted by another wonderful foodie, Annarasa.
This event was first created by DK of Chef In You (what a small world!; you’d remember him as I used one of his recipes to make pumpkin puree for my Pumpkin Pound Cake) and what this event is that every month, a different kind of cuisine would be chosen as the main theme and anyone even if you don’t have a blog can cook up a dish from that cuisine and showcase it to others. And this time A.W.E.D has arrived in Malaysia! A chance to showcase our country’s best dishes :)
I think it’s a very good effort in introducing different kind of gastronomical delights around the world and the best part of this event, you don’t have to step out from your house to enjoy the yummy food. Kitchen travel at its best! :)
You can get the recipe here along with step by step how to

Edit: Decided to take another shot at my Sago Gula Melaka since the weather’s sunny today and the pictures turned out great! Now my Sago Gula Melaka’s perfect :D


29 October 2009

Fried Bean Curd with Sweet Chilli Sauce

I made this way before I got inspired to be a food blogger and it’s possibly one of my early attempts at photographing food with a SLR camera. So do forgive me for the not so nice pictures.

Before this when I cook the thing that matters most would be the taste of the food, but after sitting at home thinking what to do aside from looking after a baby, slowly I learned about the art of food styling and photography. And I have my husband to thank for letting me play with his SLR :D
Anyway back to the dish, it’s quite easy to make and it’s great as a starter or appetizer even as light bites when you’re entertaining . It mainly consists of tofu, seasonings, flour and egg to bind everything together. You can put in minced meat, prawn, fish or diced water chestnut for crunchiness, chilli for heat, anything at all. Be creative :)

You need
1 piece soft bean curd(I usually use organic soy bean curd, will update with picture the next time I go for my grocery shopping)
1 stalk of spring onion, chopped
1/2 small carrot, julienned
1 small egg
2 tbsps of corn flour
flour for coating

½ tsp salt
1 tbsp of oyster sauce (omit this if you are on a vegetarian diet)
½ tsp pepper

Sweet Chilli sauce
4 red chillies, minced
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Rice vinegar
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice

How to
1. Mash soft bean curd in a mixing bowl and strain using a strainer to remove excess liquid. Add spring onion, carrot, egg, and seasoning. Mix and stir until well combined and lastly add in the corn flour. Mix well
2.Pour the ingredients into a lightly greased square tray. Steam for 15-16 minutes or until set and cooked. Set aside to cool completely.
3.Cut into squares or rectangular pieces then coat with flour. Deep-fry in hot oil until crispy and golden.
4.Dish out onto several layers of paper towels. Serve immediately with the chilli dipping sauce.

Sweet Chilli Sauce*
1.In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the chillies, sugar, water, vinegar, and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
2.Stir to dissolve the sugar and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the liquid reduces slightly and thickens to a light syrup.
3.Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce and lime or lemon juice. If you want a thicker sauce you can stir in a 1/2 teaspoon of corn flour mixed in with some water towards the end of the simmer.
4. Cool to room temperature before serving. Keep the cooled sauce in a tightly sealed jar.

* I’ve made the sauce a few days ahead to keep, hence there is no step by step tutorial for the sauce

Cooking tutorials

How to

28 October 2009

Sago Gula Melaka

Being a Malaysian, I find myself very lucky because there are so many types of food especially desserts thanks to it’s multi-ethnic population of Malay, Chinese Indian,Eurasian, Nyonya etc. And having a sweet tooth, this means I’m in heaven, heaven of yummy delectable desserts. And did I mention that I simply love anything that has santan (coconut milk) and gula melaka (palm sugar) so this dessert is the perfect one.

You need
200 sago, you can also use pearl sago
250 gram coconut milk (I used packet coconut milk which is available at supermarkets and hypermarkets, even grocery stores)
1/2 cup of hot water
4 pandan leaves, knotted
150 gram of gula melaka, crushed (but as you can see, I didn’t crush the gula melaka but it would take longer time to dissolve)
a pinch of salt
Yields 4
How to
1.Soak pearl sago in water for 5 minutes.
2.Bring 5 cups of water to boil in a large pot along with the pandan leaves*. Once the water boils, remove the pandan leaves then add sago and keep stirring till sago turns transparent. (Initially I only use 150g of sago and midway I realized it’s not enough and added the remaining sago. That’s why you see white dots amongst the transparent sago. Bad move)
3.Pour into a strainer and rinse under a running tap till cool.
4.Drain excess water and pour into a bowl. Mix well to prevent the sago from curdling and scoop into individual moulds to set. Chill in refrigerator.
5.Dissolve palm sugar with 1/2 cup of hot water in a saucepan together with pandan leaves*. Bring to boil and stirring in between to prevent the syrup from burning.Remove the pandan leaves, remove from heat and chill in refrigerator.
6. Mix the coconut milk with a pinch of salt and chill in the refrigerator.
7.To serve, spoon the palm sugar syrup and coconut milk over the chilled sago.
*I recycled the pandan leaves after scenting the pot of boiling water for the sago.

Cooking Tutorials
How To


23 October 2009

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Icing Glaze

I wrote earlier that I would be sharing the recipes of these delicious food for my next post but this recipe clearly takes the cake (no pun intended) and therefore should have the honours of being my latest post after a short break :D
Adapted from this recipe.

You need
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
250 grams of butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree*
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Icing Glaze
2 tablespoons milk
cups of icing / powdered sugar sifted
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
How to
1. Heat oven to 160°. Grease and flour a 8 inch cake pan*.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices; set aside. In mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly beat in dry ingredients. Continue beating on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Spoon into the prepared cake pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in center.
3. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a rack; invert onto a serving plate to cool completely.
4. For the glaze, just mix the sugar with essence with milk poured in bit by bit until it’s well mixed and thickened slightly. Drizzle the glaze over cooled cake and set aside for 1-2 hours before serving or you can also dust the cake with powdered sugar instead
*To make pumpkin puree
I had a medium sized pumpkin sitting in my kitchen for sometime not knowing what to do with it as I’m not really a fan of pumpkin. After seeing a few friends’ pumpkin dishes, I googled for a recipe and I decided on making Pumpkin Pound Cake, which is something different as I’ve never tasted Pumpkin Cake before. So back to the puree making, I read many recipes that requires baking for at least 90 minutes! and I don’t want to overwork my oven and was on the verge on switching to another recipe when I stumbled upon this wonderful
site. To summarize, simply clean then half your pumpkin, scrap the seeds (they make really healthy and yummy snacks s don’t throw them away) and fibre. Next cut the halves in two and place the pieces (flesh facing down) on the roasting pan along with 1 cup of water. Bake them in a preheated 225° oven for 30 minutes or until it’s tender. Once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop up the flesh into a bowl or food processor/blender to make a smooth puree. I skipped the straining steps though as the puree looks pretty smooth to me. I used all the puree about 21/2 cups in this recipe but it still turned out delish!

Taste                       :   5/5 I love it because it’s very fragrant due to the spices of course pumpkin
Preparation              :  4/5 the recipe’s pretty easy to follow, although I got confused on the butter stick part
Ingredients               :  5/5 available at hypermarkets, supermarkets & baking supplies stores    
Cooking time           :  3/5 due to the puree making and a long baking time, longer than 40 minutes.

Cooking Tutorials
Pumpkin Puree