Monday, December 22, 2008

Nut and Chocolate Chip Brownies

My apologies for being so dormant for > 2 weeks. It's the school hols & have been busy with activities with kids & cousins alike. Honestly didn't realise how "busy" I would be during this Year End Holidays ;) for that reason, I've not been able to try any new recipes /dishes much.

Finally got the baking mood due to X'mas round the corner. Tried this recipe from "THE COOKIE AND BISCUIT BIBLE" by Catherine Atkinson with recipes by Joanna Farrow and Valerie Barret.

I used slight different ingredients from the original recipe on page 358. Here's what I used :


150g Cooking Chocolate - Nona Brand

120ml or 1/2 cup Butter (instead of sunflower oil ~ only had groundnut.. so didn't want a differing smell, I used Butter)

215g or scant 1 cup Fine Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

5ml or 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

65g or scant 2/3 Self Raising Flour

60ml or 4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

75g or 3/4 cup Walnuts chopped

60ml or 4 Tbsp Chocolate Chips

Method :

1. Preheat Oven to 180'C/350'F. Grease square cake tin approx 7.5in or 8.5in. Melt cooking chocolate with butter in heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water (Alternatively, microwave it for 2 mins & stir after that to smoothen it)

2. Beat the brown sugar, eggs & vanilla essense together.

3. Stir in the melted cooking chocolate & butter, then beat well until well evenly mixed.

4. Sift the self raising flour & cocoa powder into the bowl and fold in thoroughly. Stir in the chopped nuts and milk chocolate chips, then tip the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly to the edges.

5. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the top is firm and crusty. Cool in the tin before cutting into the squares.

Looks close to picture in the recipe book if I do say so myself ;)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baked Pasta & Baby Portebello Mushrooms

It's been a long time since greenhoihoi has been over to my place (due to lack of transport). So I was thrilled to have her & her 2 boys over for our usualy Friday chit-chat & playgroup meet. I decided to whip up a Baked Pasta.
1 Bottle Leggo's Baked Pasta Sauce

300g Minced pork/beef/chicken
2 Saugages
4 Crab sticks
1/2 Carrot - chopped finely (to get my son to eat his veggies mainly)
1 Red Onion
1 Tbsp Garlic = chopped
3 Cups of uncooked pasta - to be cooked as instructed
Grated cheese

1. Preheat oven at 180'C

2. Cook pasta as directed on the package and let it drain.

3. Use Olive oil to stir fry chopped garlic, onions, carrots, mince meat, & crab sticks. Then add the Pasta Bake Sauce & stirring occasionally until meat is cooked.

4. Layer your pasta in an oven proof bowl (Pyrex) with the sauce mix. When you reach the top, pour in all the sauce mix and decorate the top with the sausages. Sprinkle as much cheese as you like.

5. Put in your pasta & allow it to bake at 180'C for 20 minutes or till the cheese turns a bit brown.

Half eaten already :)

The other dish I decided to whip up was Baked Baby Portebello Mushrooms! I just couldn't resist buying them from Cold Storage when I was doing my grocery shopping.

1 punnet of Portebello Mushrooms - remove the stems & give it a quick rinse. Lay them on your oven proof dish. Sprinkle Olive Oil, crab stick shreds, diced sausages & loads of grated cheese (whatever toppings you like).

I baked them together with the Pasta at 180'C but only for 5-10mins... the mushrooms would be cooked by then.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pope's Housewarming Tea Party

Popes & SRM invited over to their house for a Tea Party last Sunday. The main purpose for the little get-together was "Housewarming". They have moved into their own place not too long ago. The bunch of close friends that we are decided to have a Pot-Luck do so not to burden Popes too much.

Look at our spread! Simply delicious & satisfying time we had eating & catching up :)

L-R:Green bean Thong Sui (Charbo), Acar + Cocktail Sausages + Fried Mee Hoon + Cucumber & Tomato salad (LSM), Bread pudding Sandwich (Popes), Chocolate Raisin Brownies (yours truly ;p)... and Pulut Inti [SRM - he can cook? ;)]

Another closer shot... the late entry... Mini Quiches (LFN & fiance)... we thought our dearest career woman that hardly cooks did this herself (she tried very hard to convince us actually.. but pecah lubang herself! hahaha! Typical LFN ~ really) These were really yummy & made by her fiance's Aunt who is a caterer & professional cook!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shanghai Siew Long Pau

Fantastic Siew Long Pau in Shanghai. Each level you go up in this Restaurant, the minimum amount spent per head increase. As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for" . My dearest hubby was nice to belanja me to the highest level for the best Siew Long Pau in the restaurant.

He's actually pointing at Goose Liver Siew Long Pau ;). We ordered a mixture too which consisted of Sharks Fin, Mushroom & Crab Roe. The one with the Straw is actually soup inside.. & also has Crab Meat & Roe. The brown colour appetiser is a cold radish pickled.

These are the Fried delicacies. The round one is covered with small bread pieces and contains Crab Meat, Prawn & Fish paste. The triangular one has Crab Roe included. I liked this the best, even when eated cold. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dinner combination ... # 35?

Tuesday's menu :

Baked Beans with Egg & Fresh Tomatoes

Fried Baby Bawal

Stir Fried Spinach (Bayam) with Anchiovies (Ikan Bilis)

Fried Soft Tofu with Minced Meat Special

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pizza shortcut

This was one of the snacks I whipped up with greenhoihoi during one of our Friday girly meetings with our kids running havoc ;)

We used Lebanese Bread as our Pizza base. Bought some Pizza sauce by Del Monte (not bad), sprinkled chopped ham, pineapple, cherry tomatoes & grated cheese.

Toast it in the oven until just cheese is melted & it looks just about right. The kids enjoyed themselves eating :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brownie Cookies

After my successful 1st attempt in doing Chocolate Brownies.. thought of doing Brownie Cookies from the same recipe book "Brownies, Fudges & Toppings" by family circle mini cookbooks

Sheer happiness in being involved & "helping" :)

from this photo you can tell something isn't really right ... :p

hahaha! see? It really didn't turn out like the recipe book's photo at all even though I followed every word of the recipe :p

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sweet November ~ Tau Fu ... Take # 4?

It's the 1st Tuesday of the month of Nov'08 & am on Chef Duty yet again. I've sort of reduced my initiative to really put my thinking cap on to decide what shall I cook for this family of 8 adults (including myself)... the reason being was :-
1) MIL somehow still likes to contribute to the dinner menu
2) Inlaws not used to non-Chinese cuisine ;)
Hence, this is MIL's suggestion for tonight's menu :-
  • Stir Fried Tau Fu with Leek/Spring Onions with Siew Yuk ("roast pork")
  • Stir Fried Japanese Cucumber with Har Mai & Egg
  • Stir Fried Spinach
  • Stir Fried Fish with Ham Choi ("salted veggie")
Ok-ok, Chinese home cooking is mostly Stir Fried or Steamed or Deep Fried. Today everything seems to be stir fried.

Stir Fried Tau Fu with Leek/Spring Onions with Siew Yuk ("roast pork")
This is my special impromptu dish. Wanted to do a simple sambal but there was no chilli giling (grinded) in the hse. So I dug out curry paste instead & fried it with carrots, big onion & red capsicum. Not bad :p

Friday, October 31, 2008

Brownie - Chocolate Basic

My very 1st attempt in baking... Brownies! Almost every Friday, the kids & I will head over to greenhoihoi's place for play, chit chat & tea time snack. Usually it's greenhoihoi who will provide something for tea eg. muffins, custards / bought cookies. This time I made the effort & time to bake something for us & kids to enjoy our tea time.
Can see how untidy I was while whipping everything together ;)
Taa-dah! Final product.. smells great just out of the oven
I searched high & low for my MIL's baking paper/ grease proof paper and just could not find it! So I improvised by greasing the baking tin with lots of butter. Didn't help much I guess, you can obviously see bits stuck to the tin :p

Kids & I having some fun dusting caster sugar on top & sprinkling hearts over it.

I did the Brownies from this book called "Brownies, Fudges & Toppings" family circle mini cookbooks (pg 14 & 15). It was a gift from Popes when I started my SAHM tour of duty in Jan'08. Am ashame to admit it.. but I've only just got inspired to try the recipes out (it's now Oct'08). Oh well! as the saying goes ~ 'Better late than never'
150g butter ~ chopped
125g dark chocolate ~ chopped
3 eggs
1.5 cups (375g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essense
1 cup (125g) plain flour
1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder
icing sugar ~ to dust
1. Preheat oven to 180'C (350'F/Gas 4). Brush a 20cm (8 inch) square cake tin with oil or melted butter. Line the base with baking paper, extending over 2 sides.
2. Melt the butter & chocolate in a heatproof bowl, over a pan of simmering water, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat & allow to cool slightly.
3. Use a wire whisk to beat the eggs, sugar, & vanilla essense together in a large bowl until well combined. Sift the flour & cocoa together. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture & stir in the sifted flour & cocoa; do not overbeat.
4. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 40 minutes, until slightly risen & just firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin (it will sink back down to form a flat surface) then lift out & cut into squares when completely cold.
Dust icing sugar to serve.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Custard Friday

Today the kids & I had a nice treat of warm custard prepared by greenhoihoi :) Thank you very much for the lovely tea time we had today.
Hope you'll post the recipe up for us ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Disappointment #6 ~ Peppercorn Chicken ~

I got inspired by

Her's looked and probably tasted much better. My chicken pieces don't look as evenly brown or crispy as her's. I didn't know where to find Szechuan Peppercorns.. so I just used whatever type of Peppercorns that was in my MIL's kitchen.

Think I failed the frying technique / skill with this dish. Somehow my version turned out to look like Kong Po Chicken instead ~ only less dark.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chow Faan a.k.a. Fried Rice

The most common dish around, Chow Faan (cantonese) a.k.a. Fried Rice / Nasi Goreng (malay). Had so much left over rice from over a week, left over fried fishes here & there, a few sausages, crab stick, frozen peas, few strands of long beans etc. Think you get the picture. So much left overs here & there, had little choice but to cook Fried Rice for dinner.

Ingredients : Left over rice, sauages, crabstick, deboned fried fish meat, chopped carrots, frozen peas, chopped long beans, chopped garlic, & 4 eggs.

Little Chef's handy helper couldn't resist beating the eggs
The final product. Served with chilli, tomato ketchup if you like.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nasi Lemak

I haven't had a chance to try it out myself just yet. But here are some simple recipes from our very own Malaysians. This is for the benefit of my dear frens living abroad & craving some good old Nasi Lemak :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pan Mee Homemade Style

Forgive the poor photography... was starving & trying to snap a shot of it ;)

This is my MIL's homemade recipe. The normal Pan Mee available at the hawker stalls usually flatten their noodle dough with a little noodle make machine. It's either flat like Fettuccine or round & slim like Spaghetti. Ours at home is just pinched & flatten with our fingers ~ hence, homemade.

To make the dough, just use normal wheat flour (tepung gandum) about 1 kg can make enough for 10 large bowls of noodles.

Sieve the flour into a large round & flat stainless steel pan, add 1 egg & mix it. Then slowly pour in salted water into the dough. It shouldn't be too wet. So just slowly add as much salted water until all dry flour becomes a sticky dough. Then you'll have to knead it like making bread.

Boy! Speak about inexperience : it took me 40mins to actually knead the dough into shape. It was tiring! Sorry, my hands are not that strong :p

Leave the dough to sort of soften / expand.

Our soup base is made of anchiovies (ikan billis). Then we used already sauteed mushrooms which were previously steamed. Sliced them to desired bite size pieces. Pork slices were marinated with L&P sauce, Xiao Shing Wine, Dark Soya Sauce & Light Soya Sauce ~ stir fried with chopped garlic.

Start pinching & flattening out your Pan Mee dough into bite size pieces. Don't allow it to be too thick as it'll be uncooked in the middle. Throw them into your pot of Anchiovie Soup Base together with some Choi Sum (or any favourite veg) and let it come to boil. When your Pan Mee pieces start to float.

Dish your desired amount of Pan Mee & Choi Sum into bowl & add sliced mushrooms & pork slices. Garnish with fried shallots. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pork Ribs Special

This is a slight variation from the Pork Ribs in Special Sauce per "Dinner for 6" blog

600g Pork Ribs

1 Egg White
Sprikles of Masterfoods All Purpose Seasoning
1 Tbsp Xiao Shing Wine
1 Tsp Sesame Oil

3 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1 Tbsp Xiao Shing Wine
2 Tbsp Lee Perrins Sauce
2 Tbsp Teriyaki Marinade Sauce
1 Tsp Dark/Sweet Soya Sauce

1. Wash pork ribs and add in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or longer.
2. Heat your frying pan with just enough oil for deep frying. I personally prefer to use a non-stick for this. Keep the flames at medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough, start to deep fry your pork ribs. Put them aside.
3. Remove the access oil from frying pan. Pour in your sauce mix & heat it up. Taste it to your liking ie salty enough or not. Then add the fried pork ribs & just stir it into the sauce.
Ready to be served. ~ this seems to be a favourite base on feedback of Inlaws :p

Mushroom Chicken Tau Fu

Wasn't sure what to do with the tau fu (beancurd) initially. Then I thought, why not cook it with minced chicken & dried shitake mushrooms. Didn't really have a recipe to follow but did get an inspiration from Popes Minced Pork with Potatoes dish which I had for lunch last week.

1 Large White Tau Fu
4 Large Shitake (pre-sauteed/cooked with light soya sauce, sesame oil & dash of pepper) ~ sliced
400g Minced Chicken (can always substitute with Beef or Pork)
1 Tbsp Garlic ~ chopped

1 Tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
1 Tbsp Light Soya Sauce
1 Tbsp Corn Flour
Dash of Pepper

2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 - 1 Cup of Water
2 Tbsp Corn Flour diluted in water
2 Tsp Dark Soya Sauce

1. Cut Tau Fu into bite size pieces, coat it with egg yolk/together with egg white & a little bit of flour.
2. Fry Tau Fu in oil till golden in colour. Put aside.
3. Marinade the Mince Chicken & keep refridgerated for at least 2 hours.
4. Heat wok with oil, fry chopped garlic & minced chicken with sliced mushrooms. Add the water & let it boil a bit. Then add the prefried Tau Fu & the rest of the seasoning. Add a little bit more water if it becomes too dry. Let it cook a while for the flavours to be absorbed into the Tau Fu.

Serve with Rice.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lou Siew Peng On & other dishes

This dish is a simple dish which my MIL taught me. It's soft and safe enough for the very old & very young to eat.

3 Eggs
1 Toufu (white)
4 Tbsp Fish Paste (can be bought or home made)
1/2 Cup of Water

1 Tbsp Soya Sauce
Dash of Pepper

1. Mix the Toufu & Fish Paste together.
2. Add the 3 eggs (beaten) & 1/2 cup water together with seasoning
3. Steam over low heat/fire for 20 minutes or so.

Garnish with spring onions & serve

The other dishes that accompanied dinner.

Steamed Lap Cheong with Mushroom

I've never eaten Lap Cheong this way before married. This is how my MIL likes to cook it.


1. Scald the Lap Cheong in boiling water awhile. This is to sort of clean it & also make it easier to remove the skin.

2. Slice the Lap Cheong to desired bite size. Add in chopped garlic, a dash of soya sauce & sliced shitake mushrooms (optional).

3. Steam for 20 minutes

Serve with white rice.

Some vegetable dishes Stir Fried Romanne with sliced garlic, Stir Fried French Beans with sliced ham, and Vegetarian ~ Harm Choi with Vegetarian Fish Balls & Tauhu

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fasta Pasta Vegetarian

I managed to whip up a delicious & nutritious lunch today. It was all cooked with left over veggie & pasta sauce (love the Leggos Primavera flavour) in the fridge & a can of button mushrooms.
I do hope to make more effort in my lunches being healthy.
(forgive the smokey effect of the photo taken, my lense was full of my son's fingerprints)

Simple Dinner

After not having to prepare dinner for the family in 2 weeks due to half of them travelling for work, I'm back to my Little Chef duties.

Didn't really get to plan much, MIL pretty much took out whatever left in the fridge for me to cook. We had just 4 dishes to feed 8 of us. Stir fried Lettuce with Anchovies, Bak Neng (Minced Pork with Egg) ~ all time favourite, Stir Fried Cauliflower with sliced pork & carrots.
There's a 4th dish which was Steamed Fish with Mui Choi ~ sorry no pic of this, the fish was devoured before I could snap a photo :p

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Corn on the Cob with Coconut Dressing

This was published in "Flavours May - June 2008" issue on pg 69. I am a corn a.k.a. Jagung lover! Absolute adore jagung cooked in any style. The photo in that issue simply attracted me to look for it.

It's Mr Benjamin of Delicious Cafe's recipe. So tried to look for it at Delicious last month when I had lunch with a good old buddy but couldn't find it in the menu. Then last weekend, I happened to have tea with my family at D'lish (sister cafe to Delicious) and Lo & Behold! The Corn on the Cob with Coconut Dressing was sitting there in their salad selections! Of course I ordered it to try. I loved every bite of it though found it a bit too oily with too much Olive Oil.

Today's rainy weather somehow inspired me to grab the ingredients at our local grocers. Here is my version as I didn’t have all the said ingredients per "Flavours May - June 2008" issue on pg 69.

I used 4 cobs of corn (grilled), coriander, grated coconut & toasted them myself. I didn’t have shallots so I substituted it with roasted cloves of garlic, as much L&P sauce and also as much of Extra Virgin Olive Oil per my liking. Toss the dressing with the grilled cobs of corn & added pinch of black pepper and salt to taste. I also left out the chilies cause I had none at home.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hummus - 1st attempt

Thanks to my dear friend greenhoihoi, I've been able to successful make hummus! My internet connection was down the whole day & couldn't print out the recipe which I had seen the night before... thanks to her, I got the basic requirement to make my 1st hummus. :)

I took a short cut and used canned chickpeas instead of the dried chickpeas which would have require an entire day of soaking. :p Added my Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, fresh Lemon Juice, Salt to taste, BLENDED them all together... and "taa-dah"! Ready to be served with your favourite cracker, rice cake etc with alfafa & cherry tomotoes.

Simply delicious!

Definately a great snack & healthy too at anytime of the day.