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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, 27 March 2011

Earth Hour 2011 Makan Makan in the Dark

Earth Hour? Hype? Maybe... I guess we can all do more than just turning off the lights for one hour but it's great that many people do their part during that hour, at least it is a good start especially if you have kids, be it to create awareness or just symbolic. It is so important to teach them to do their part for Mother Earth. It is unfortunate that we have witnessed so many catastrophes around the world. I believe as parents, we share the same worries on what is in store for our kids? No one knows but let's try our best not to aggravate the situation at least for the sake of our young ones...

This year, just like what we did last year, we had a family candlelight dinner alfresco (in our car porch, the only space that I have to put a table outside the house) :) Being typical Malaysians, any excuse is an excuse for a makan event. This time around everything was home-cooked. We purposely waited until it was that hour, switched off our lights and started digging in.

A full course dinner (must have enough to last an hour :)). The photos were take prior to the darkness, with my limited skills, those taken in the dark are just not blog-worthy :)

Starter ~ Strawberry Cream Cheese Orange Salad (inspired by Table for 2)
A refreshing salad with olive oil and orange juice as the main dressing. Some cubed cream cheese if you like the creamy effect which I think is optional otherwise. I threw in some strawberries, pieces of orange flesh, romaine lettuce and pieces of cubed toasted crunchy garlic bread (basically, it's what you have plus a little creativity to have a balance in taste and colour effect). You can add some freshly grounded black pepper to spice it up a little.

Main ~ Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken and Spaghetti Oglio Olio
This combination was inspired by what we had at an Italian restaurant in LA. Though we were hurrying to catch our flight back home, the spaghetti that BIL ordered left a lasting impression and cravings too (maybe because I took only a little from BIL to try it)! It looked so simple and yet tasted so good. At that time I didn't know it was called Oglio Olio. Only upon doing some research on the Net, I learned it's name and got to know that it's just olive oil and garlic. Actually, I am not convinced, I have tried it twice but nowhere is it near what I tasted. Something is missing, I just don't know what it is...tell me please if you do

I used Herb de Provence plus some lemon zest to marinate the chicken.

As for the spaghetti, it was basically olive oil, chopped garlic, sea salt and black pepper with some fresh mushrooms. I added some chili to spice it and garnished it with parsley and a little grated cheese. That's all!

Dessert ~ Pineapple Jelly

Some good family time we had :)

Here's to a better earth for our future!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Pizzas, Original or Oriental?

Hawaiian, little one's favourite pizza topping. Made this for lunch and delivered it to school for him and his friends now that they have to stay back twice a week for extra classes in preparation for the 'big' exam this year. Some bribe food to make the little ones happy and to motivate them :) They enjoyed it and asked for encores in the future :)

This extra class thingy also means I will have to crack my head a little extra to think about what to make for him that will make him happy and once in a while have a little extra for him to share with his friends. It must also be something that can be easily handled and finished quickly because of the short break. While surfing the many fabulous food-blogs, I came across this one, Noodle Pancake. Yeah, that was the name given, I made up that Oriental Pizza nickname, it looked like Pizza to me and since it was made from instant noodles, it's Oriental . Hence, I nicknamed it Oriental Pizza, moreover, I felt that the name will have a bigger appeal on little one because of his love for pizza.

Looks cute doesn't it?
Verdict : Interesting. Little one and his friends were surprised and thought that it looked funny :) The kids loved it, they just love everything instant noodles. The first question that he asked me when I picked him up from school was how did I get the noodles to stick together?? He said he wants to make it on his own the next time.

How to make it?
Here's the recipe.
  • 1 pack instant noodles
  • 2 eggs
Ingredients (There's no hard and fast rule, just use whatever fillings that appeal to you, just like pizza toppings)
  • Some ham/sausages/bacon
  • Some shredded carrot
  • 1 piece of cheddar cheese (chopped)
  • Some spring onions or whatever vegetables preferred by your little one (I used romaine lettuce)

Use salt and pepper or a little of the flavourings provided with the noodles (1/2 teaspoon)
  1. Cook the instant noodles in boiled water. As soon as noodles loosen, remove and drain water.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, add in the ingredients, seasonings and the noodles.
  3. Heat and oil and a shallow, non stick frying pan.
  4. Pour in the egg mixture. Spread it out like a pizza.
  5. Fry over slow fire. Close lid.
  6. Flip over only when the centre looks cooked. You can have it slightly crispy if preferred.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Happy Food

Little one was down with a throat infection over the last few days. He was so upset because it had to happen during school holidays! There goes his plans for all the fun and whatever mischief he had up his sleeves :)

His appetite was also poor during that period. He hardly ate. I made this jelly for him in order to get him to eat something easy but nutritious and to cheer him up.

This is really easy but is a very nice, cooling and tasty dessert. Something fun but nutritious as it's main ingredient is soya milk.

It is quite commonly available in dim sum restaurants and even the night markets. They usually make them in small microwavable cups. I used the jelly moulds that were meant for mooncake jelly. I find the size quite right for individual servings albeit a little on the generous side :)

I used fresh unsweetened soya milk that I bought from the wet market. The recipe used is actually courtesy of the soya milk seller plus a little research for confirmation.

(yields 12 pieces plus 3
17*12*5cm microwavable boxes )

Note : This is a very soft jelly (as soft as beancurd) and meant to be eaten with a spoon.
  • 1.5 liter water (with sugar syrup from soya milk seller and some syrup from longan to make up volume)
  • 13g Agar-agar powder
  • 150g castor sugar or to taste
  • 2 pieces of pandan leaves - knotted (optional)
  • 1 liter unsweetened soya bean milk
  • 400ml canned evaporated milk
  • A tin of canned longan
  1. Mix water, agar-agar powder, sugar and pandan leaves (if available) into a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add in soya bean milk and evaporated milk and stir. Lower fire and switch off when near boiling stage. Do not allow it to boil.
  3. Put longan into moulds.
  4. Pour jelly mixture.
  5. Cool to set in refrigerator.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Bake a Loaf...While Sleeping #1

Yes, bake a loaf while in bed :) No, going to bed is not part of the steps BUT one can afford to go to bed while it's baking. Thanks to modern technology. I thought I would share a series of loaves that are baked by itself while I am in deep slumber. Simple steps that can leave one with some freshly made bread every morning. Life is stressful enough, there's no need to complicate it by adding failed breadmaking attempts to it. Just dump all the ingredients in the correct order in a breadmaker, set the timer and hey presto, your loaf will be waiting for you the next morning! One of my friends asked if it's foolproofed?? Err, I would say almost :)

The best thing about baking your own loaves is waking up to the smell of it. Definitely more pleasant than waking up to the annoying shrill from an alarm clock. Add in a little bit of imagination, it makes one feel pampered to have fresh bakes waiting for you every morning! So, why not pamper yourself and your loved ones??

At #1, Raisin Oatmeal Loaf

Wait, please don't laugh, I know it doesn't look pretty. But please don't judge a loaf by its looks! :) Even a loaf of bread deserves to be judge from within :) Ultimately, it is what's within that matters, isn't it?? This is one healthy alternative with instant oats, raisins and brown sugar in it. Until now, I still can't confirm why it doesn't come with a nice dome (remember, I won't be able to know unless it finds its way into my dreams) but I have a feeling it's because it rose so high that it hit the roof of the oven causing the bread to puncture, hence the exploded look. But this one actually tastes good, look at the photo of its slices. It has a very nice texture, mildly sweet and with occasional burst from the raisins. Even little one doesn't mind eating them because he can't spot any trace of oats within it (he is normally resistant if he finds it). What more can I ask for?

Recipe (Adapted from Betty Crocker)
1 1/2 pound recipe

1 1/4 cup water
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
30g butter
2 1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup instant oats
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp yeast

1. Put in ingredients following recommended sequence of breadmaker.
2. Set to Basic Loaf program.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

God Bless the Victims in Japan

News on the devastation in Japan after the worst earthquake in history is so heartbreaking. God, I pray have mercy on your people, give them the courage and strength to overcome it... Let's all keep them in our prayers

I quote this prayer from the Church of England

O loving Creator,

Bring healing and hope to those who, at this time, grieve, suffer pain, or who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

We remember those who have died and we pray for those who mourn for them.

We pray for those who may be affected as the tsunami spreads across the Pacific.

May we all be aware of Your compassion, O God, which calms our troubled hearts and shelters our anxious souls.

May we pray with humility with our troubled and struggling brothers and sisters on earth.

May we dare to hope that through the generosity of the privileged, the destitute might glimpse hope, warmth and life again.

Through our Saviour Christ who lives with us, comforts us and soothes us.


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Tutti Frutti

This was meant to look like a leaf :) Bought the mould from Crate & Barrel. Not too sure if it was meant for buns, all I knew was I thought it looked pretty. Hence, it travelled all the way from California to settle down in this humble kitchen of mine. Doesn't look like a leaf? A little maybe, with those jagged edges? The bun rose so much that it had to swell up from the centre, causing it to lose its leaf shape. I guess one just can't have everything. I rather have it soft and fluffy than just a nice shape? Actually I made 2 of these leaf shape ones only, the rest were round, so shape wasn't an issue after all :)

This is a tutti frutti bun. They were loaded with dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, blueberries and orange zest), with some orange juice, topped with pistachio plus streusel topping. It was yummy. This bread was also made using the sponge dough method, giving it a very soft and fluffy texture.

Recipe was adapted from Alex Goh.


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