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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

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

Relief! Relief! Little one's final exam for this year is now over! Try as much as I could not to be stressed by his exams, I found myself pushing him to the limits. Of course to make it easier for him, I made him nice treats along the way to bribe him :) and tried my best to help him.

Since Halloween is around the corner and now that he has all the time for fun plus he had always felt that it's a pity we don't celebrate Halloween where we are, I thought why not make it up by letting him have some virtual Halloween fun. I got him to put some Halloween effects on the photo of one of the bribe food that was prepared for him during the exam. Hence, creepy crawlies, eyeballs, skeletons and all on my rice. It's nothing compared to his idea of Halloween fun, he would really love to dressed up in some creepy costume, go trick- or-treat, play pranks and frightening others...boys being boys

It was seafood baked rice actually. Rice which was fried with choice of seafood (I used prawns, cuttlefish, mussels and fish paste), some mix vegetables and cream. Topped it with cheese and baked it. Simple one-dish meal that was fast and delicious but fattening. Good for little one but not for me :-(

Anyway, Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sambal Haerbee (Dried Prawn Condiment)

This is the first time I am posting something which did not come from the oven. :)

I believe the term Sambal Haerbee instead of its English translation (thanks to Google:) ) would sound more familiar to those who the share the same motherland with me, especially those from the Hokkien clan.

This dish has been around for awhile. Do not underestimate this humble dish, it can really go a long way. Goes very well with almost anything that one can think of, it's the imagination that is the limit. Among commonly known usage are having it as a condiment for rice or noodles (dry, soup based or even instant noodles) spice for stir-frying vegetables, meat or even as a dish on its own. It's also good on breads, a sprinkle on top of whatever sandwich spread will give the sandwich an extra umpph. This is also something that many of us will sneak along during overseas trip just in case the local food becomes a little difficult to appreciate :) Having said that, I have to admit that the taste is acquired, it's not something that one will like instantly due to the strong scent from the dried prawns.

Back then, I remember it was always prepared by one family member and shared among the rest. This makes sense because it takes quite some effort and sweating due to the amount of time required to stand beside the burning stove to fry it until it is dry.

Nowadays, it is found in stores but it is difficult to get some decent ones. Maybe because of the hike in the price of dried prawns, you get very little of it in them. It's just not sambal haerbee when there's no haerbee :( What one gets is mainly shallots and chilly seeds.

This dish is made by frying blended dried prawns with a spice base. For this version, I added in some small anchovies for extra bites.

Have sambal haerbee will go a long way...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Happy Birthday to the Greatest Man in My Life

It's the birthday of the person who means the world to me.

I decided to bake him a cake instead of getting one from the bakery like in past years. Felt that I should take this opportunity to go an extra mile for him. This will be my first attempt to bake a birthday cake ever since I started this baking journey. Started browsing for something nice, simple and along flavours that will appeal to him. For fear of failure, I did a trial run before the real day. It was too important to take it as another one of my baking adventures. I know I cannot afford any failures for this one. A big thank you to my dear friends who graciously became my testers and provided feedback based on the first run.

I settled for a Coffee Walnut Yoghurt Cake. This cake had a crumbles topping instead of cream which I thought he would prefer. It took some extra effort to prepare the crumbles, a combination of crushed biscuits, walnuts, coffee, butter and sugar. The cake itself was quite simple though.

The cake tasted great although it didn't look as good as I would have wished for it to be. As this is a very rich cake, it was naturally soft and moist with a strong coffee flavour.

Birthday boy was indeed happy. It made my day!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Chocolate! Chocolate!

This is indeed chocolate heaven! Cocoa powder and occasional burst of melted chocolate from the chocolate chips! As a bonus, there was mashed bananas mixed in plus a whole piece of banana wedge right in the centre. It is really delicious, good ratings from family members and friends whom i shared it with. Personally, I love it!

This recipe was courtesy of fellow blogger, Honey Bee Sweets. The way a piece of banana was hidden right in the centre was a very nice and creative breakaway from the entirely monotonous chocolate taste, something that was different, sweet, soft, moist and fragrant . The texture of the muffin itself is very soft and moist too. Best eaten warm for the hot, melting chocolate chip effect.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Treasures in a Bun (Chicken Curry)

Something Asian, if not wrong this is Malaysian (I had better unclaimed this as it can potentially spark another debate on food origin :)) The first time I tried this was from a shop in Kampar, Perak many years back. This is a definite pleasure for chicken curry and bread lovers. They go really well together.

It takes some extra effort to make this. This is not the first time I've made it due to popular demands. The chicken curry will need to be prepared separately. Furthermore, it is really important to ensure that the bread is soft and pillowy to make it a nice dip for the curry. For this, I diligently followed a sweet bread dough with overnight sponge dough recipe (by Alex Goh). Which means, one has to start yearning for it at least 8 hours in advance to make this happen! The sponge dough really made a lot of difference to the texture of the bread and it was well worth it.

The chicken curry is then wrapped with some foil before it is wrapped with the bread dough. I eggwashed the top of the bun and sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds to give it a nice crunch although the original version of the bun does not have them (think hamburger buns :)) I remember that the original version was a lot bigger too but I made mine a lot smaller, individual portions so that everyone has one to dip and eat it in their own way...

Step by step guide on how to eat this bun (or maybe I should I say it is a loaf as it is quite big to be called a bun?)
  1. To be eaten hot.
  2. Cut through the top of the bun to reveal the nice little package of chicken curry.
  3. Open up the foil for the yummy curry. I think the heat makes the curry creamier and increases the ability of the meat to absorb the flavour of the spices and also becoming more tender , in short it became tastier!
  4. Tear the bun and dip into the curry
  5. Indulge!

Truly finger licking good, hats off to the one who first thought of eating curry and bread in this manner...:)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Early Christmas Mood

Made another oreo treat over the weekend. What motivated it? Nothing in particular, I guess one never gets bored of those cookies and of course the other reason was nothing other than little one. This time it was a cream cheese version by Martha Stewart. It was something which was highly recommended.

Apart from the recommendations, the push factor was because it sounded too easy to be true. There was no need to crush cookies for the base (quite a norm for cheese cakes), a whole oreo cookie was used instead, a very innovative idea. Cream cheese and cookies were all that was needed to make this treat. Simple isn't it? I just had to try it out. I halfed the recipe and it yielded 15 of those cute little things. Dropped additional bit of crushed cookies in the centre for extra oreo ummph and make it look prettier, i hope :)

While lining them up for a photo shoot, i felt a rush of the christmas mood cheer. I know it's still early but then it's nice to be in that mood...warm overflowing love, spirit of giving, kindness, family, happiness, laughter, gifts, parties, great food and yes snowy cold weather (hopefully we will have a white one this year), hence hats and all in the photo! I hope I got all of you in a little christmas mood now :)

Lovely bottoms!

Verdict? Sinfully delicious! It is definitely something to put on the year end christmas party table :)
Try it, it's simple enough for everyone!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Peach Moist Cake

I was captivated by the photos of fellow bloggers who are just so incredible, among them Ancoo, whose original version used blueberries. With no blueberries on hand and fear of facing the guilt of wastage just in case my cake didn't turn out well, I used canned peaches instead which I had in stock.

I was initially quite skeptical because of the amount of cream used, not doubting what it can do to the cake but more on the damage that it can create to my weight watch mission. But the photos looked so tempting, I gave in...evil mind found excuses to indulge... after all we all need some sweetness in our lives, at least once in awhile...

I was pleased with the taste and the texture. It was really soft and moist. The peaches gave a nice scent and taste to it. When little one asked for a second helping, I take it as a stamp of success :) I used cake flour and I used a few extra peach slices to decorate the cake.

Good, but should never do this too often...not for the extra effort that it will take to sweat it off !

Sunday, 3 October 2010


I never seem to get strawberries which are sweet. They are either sour or worst still, very sour. How I wish I could get hold of some big, sweet and juicy ones which I always see 'the faraway princess' sure they are sweet because she seems to be really enjoying them, without the slightest twitch on her face :)

As for me, some are bound to end up in the bin when they start turning mouldy after everyone hesitates to eat them. Quite a waste as they don't come cheap but I like buying them because they look so tempting with their bright red colour especially those with little leaves still intact giving a sharp contrasting colour with the fruit, their shape and those small little seeds...aww

As usual, this box that I bought was from Australia and again it was sour. Referenced some berry recipes, made some adaptations and these were the results. It was definitely better than eating those berries raw. I tossed some sugar over the berries to make them less sourish. The muffin was soft and the juice from the berries overflowed giving random red spots and a jammy feeling. Quite nice :)

It only made up 5 muffins. Finished them over tea, at least the berries didnt go to waste. Happy Ending!


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