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Girls' Best Friend

Bright and sparkly. Gemstones came to my mind when I was removing this Dragon Fruit and Orange jelly from the mould. Like a combination of gemstones...rubies, amber and diamonds, all in one!

Dragon's Eyes

The literal translation for the name of a small brown, juicy exotic fruit from the lands of Asia, known as Longan in Chinese, packed into these muffins


A taste from the humble beginnings, the Long Bean Rice brings back beautiful memories of the yesteryears

Light and Fluffy

Lemon, Yogurt and Cranberries~a nice blend of flavours in a light and fluffy chiffon cake

Bread Stories

Asian style buns ~ Popular as breakfast food or snack, sweet/savoury fillings wrapped in soft, cottony bread

Sunday, 15 April 2012

When Mum Gets Even Lazier...

Of late lunch boxes seem to becoming an 'in' thing. A trend worth catching up with for all the goodness that comes along, healthy and easy on the pocket.  Noticed quite a few recipe books featuring dishes for lunch boxes in the bookstore too.  I love browsing through these recipes, simply because they are normally simple, fast and catch all (if not as much as it can) nutritional needs.  Just the type for lazy me :)

I came across a dish with green beans, pumpkin and chicken while browsing through one of these books.   I looked at it and thought it was quite simple, no problem remembering it (instead of buying the book) I thought.  So, that weekend, I bought some pumpkin.  It was also my first experience with pumpkins.  I never quite like the taste but I was captivated by the photo of the dish that I saw in the  bookstore.  Then, came the challenge, I couldn't quite remember the ingredients used!  So, when in doubt, one googles!

There are not that many dishes that comes with this combination.  I used this as reference. Surprisingly, it turned out very well despite an interesting combination of  eastern and western ingredients, butter, sherry  vinegar with fish sauce and soy sauce?? Clashes or complimenting, give it a try to find out...:)

  • 500g pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 30g butter
  • 500g chicken
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 300g green beans
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp thick soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Cut pumpkin into 1’’ chunks. Toss with oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place on a baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender.
  4. When there are about 10 minutes left on the baking of the pumpkin, heat up the wok.
  5. Add in butter and let it melt.
  6. When the butter begins to bubble and lightly brown, add in the chicken and brown it.
  7. Add in garlic, onion and ginger followed by fish sauce.
  8. Add in green beans, rice wine and soy sauce.
  9. Squeeze in the juice from lemon once beans are cooked.
  10. Remove pumpkin from oven.
  11. Add pumpkin to the beans and chicken.
  12. Dish up and serve with rice.

  1. I didn't use as much butter as the amount called for in the original recipe.  The recipe added butter in 2 steps.
  2. Recipe stated soy sauce, not sure if just normal or thick.  I added 1/2 tbsp thick soy sauce, didn't like the pale look.
  3. I used homemade rice wine instead of sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar.
  4. Instead of sprinkling raw onions (I don't like raw ones), I cooked it together with the garlic.
  5. Obmitted basil leave because I had none!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Hot Cross Buns with a Tropical Twist

It has been awhile.  Happy that thoughts of giving this up are not harbouring in my mind still.   I hate half way jobs, but technically, there is no end to this is there? I am still making stuff for the family, that part I strive not to compromise.  At certain stages in life, it just gets tougher leaving one with lesser time for indulgence.  Time and again I remind myself that when the goings get tough, the tough gets going and I am not going to let myself be the weaker one..So, go, go, go it shall be for now!

So, with Easter around the corner one sees, eats, bakes or come across mentions about Hot Cross Buns somewhere or another.  My earliest encounter of them would be Mum reading "Hot Cross a penny, two a penny..." talk about lasting impressions that parents leave in their children... Then I got to know more interesting stories about these buns.  Traditionally eaten on Good Fridays and it dates back to ancient times... symbolic reminder for Christians of Christ's crucifixion ...and there are some superstitions around them too, like sharing them ensures continued friendship, kissing the cross before eating them...and one very interesting one that may intrigue bakers is if you hang one of these buns in the kitchen it will ensure all bread made year round will turn out perfectly!...maybe that's one to be considered... 

I thought I would attempt these ancient buns...But then, I was craving for Coconut Buns not spiced buns with dried fruits.  For some reason memories of the Roti Man coming by on his motorbike with lots of bread hanging around a big metal box on the passenger seat reminded me of the coconut buns that Mum used to buy.  So, I ended up making more coconuts ones than spiced ones :)  So, here are my Hot Cross Buns with a tropical twist.  To be exact, they are actually coconuts buns but with a cross on them :)

I used the Tang Zhong method (for bread dough recipe, refer here) added with a teaspoon of mixed spice.   As for the coconut filling, fry some shaved fresh coconut with palm sugar and rock sugar.  

So, here's Hot Cross Buns with a tropical twist!

Hmm, should I go with the cross or my green belt??

Easter Blessings Everyone!


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