Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Braised Mushroom Meat Sauce

Today I tried out Shirley's Braised Mushroom Meat Sauce.
It has a similar taste to a dish which I cook quite often minus mushroom and spice powder.
I used sliced pork fillet whereas she used minced pork.
Well I thoroughly enjoyed the dish.

Thanks Shirley for sharing. :)

Visit her blog for the recipe :

I made extra gravy to soak my rice!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Steamed Tofu with Scallop and Salted Egg

This is one of the dishes for lunch today.

It's a very easy dish to prepare that does not require a fixed recipe.
Anyone can prepare this. Just play around with whatever ingredients and seasoning you have available.

Bottom layer - Tofu
Middle layer - Scallop
Topping - Salted egg yolk with a pinch of finely chopped garlic

Sauce preparation is a little of the salted egg white, garlic, chinese wine and a dash of light soya sauce.
Pour over the tofu.
Steam for 10 minutes and garnish with spring onions.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apple Carrot Oats Cupcakes

( From Lifestyle website) Other sites gave more details on its nutritional value.

Nutritional Value of Oats
Given below is the nutritional value per 150 gm of oats:
  • Water - 12.82 gm
  • Energy - 607 kcal
  • Protein - 26.35 gm
  • Total lipid (fat) - 10.76 gm
  • Ash - 2.68 gm
  • Carbohydrates - 103.38 gm
  • Fiber - 16.5 gm
  • Calcium, Ca - 84 mg
  • Iron, Fe - 7.36 mg
  • Magnesium, Mg - 276 mg
  • Phosphorous P - 816 mg
  • Potassium K - 669 mg
  • Sodium Na - 3 mg
  • Zinc - 6.19 mg
  • Manganese Mn - 7.689 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0.0 mg
  • Thiamin - 1.190 mg
  • Riboflavin - 0.217 mg
  • Niacin - 1.449 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 0.186 mg
  • Folate - 87 mcg
  • Vitamin B12 - 0.0 mcg
  • Fatty acids - 1.899 gm
Health and Nutrition Benefits of Eating Oats
  • Oats comprise of one of the best sources of Inositol, which is very important for maintaining blood cholesterol level. In other words, eating oats regularly can help keep your cholesterol in check.
  • They contain very high levels of calcium, potassium and magnesium, coupled with Vitamin B-complex. All these vitamins and minerals are very essential for the nervous system.
  • Cooked oats can help relieve fat from the body, while unrefined oatmeal can reduce stress.
  • Because of the high fiber content present in oats, they are said to be helpful in preventing bowel cancer.
  • Since oats have lots of fiber, having them regularly can help cure constipation.
  • If consumed on a frequent basis, they can help lower the chances of having heart disease.
  • Apart from being a good source of protein, oats also provide vitamin E, zinc, copper and iron to the body.
  • They have also been proven to act as an effective anti-depressant. In other words, having oats can calm you down and help treat depression as well.
  • Oats, with more soluble fiber than any other grain, can slow down the digestion process and provide an extended sensation of fullness. This makes them good for people who want to lose weight.
  • If you eat regularly, the rise in blood sugar level gets spread over a longer period of time. This helps prevent many of the complications associated with diabetes.
  • Oats contain phytochemicals (plant chemicals), which are believed to protect the body from chronic diseases, such as cancer.

So these cupcakes are definitely healthy. Not only are they healthy, they are moist and tasty.
They are great for breakfast or a light lunch snack!

The Recipe:

200g oat bran (I used instant oats)
75g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 large egg
3 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
350 ml milk (I used HL)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

270g grated carrot (I grated them coarsely)
135g apple, coarsely grated or chopped
175g raisins

1. Combine all dry ingredients in A. Set aside.

2. Mix all ingredients in B till well mixed. Then stir in C.

3. Add the dry ingredients and mixed well.

4. Fill mixture into cups and baked in preheated oven 160 deg C for 20 to 25 minutes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Viennese Chocolate Sables

This is another of Pierre's recipes. These cookies are soft, crumbly, buttery and chocolatey. They have the melt-on-the-tongue texture. Truly delightful which I couldn't help but ate several when they were partially cooled.
I made half of the recipe which I regretted after taking the first bite! To add to my woes of making less, I practically burnt the first batch! :(

Charred and Bitter!

I should have known my oven's performance and gone with my experience. But I thought there could be a reason why Pierre recommended the baking temperature of 180 degrees C and the baking time between 10 to 12 minutes. I guess the short baking time threw me off my guard! Barely into 6 to 7 minutes of baking, the smell of burnt cookies pervaded the air in the kitchen. Sob! Sob! The whole tray of cookies was ruined and ended up in the bin!
Once bitten, twice shy! I reduced the temperature to 150 degrees and baked for 10 minutes. The second batch turned out fine. Phew! (wipes sweat)

Just right!

The Recipe:

260g all-purpose flour, sifted together with cocoa
30 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder or Valrhona ( I used Valrhona)

250g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g icing sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons egg whites (lightly beat 2 large egg whites and measure out 3 tablespoons)

Extra icing sugar for dusting (optional)

1. Lightly grease baking trays and preheat oven to 180 deg C (original from book, but I adjusted to 150 deg C). Prepare a pastry bag fitted with an open star nozzle.

2. Cream butter, salt and icing sugar till light and creamy. Stir in the egg whites (it's okay if mixture curdles).

3. Gradually add in the flour and cocoa and mix well. Do not overmix.

4. Fill up pastry bag and pipe out "W" shapes.

5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Crumbly morsels!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moist Nutty Brownie

This is one of Pierre Herme's recipes which I tried out today, using my new toy - kenwood chef.

I have two majors which are already more than 30 years old. One of them had decided that 'Enough is enough! I want to retire!' And so it did after going through numerous corrective surgery!
Well, I still have one faithful noisy major left, still going strong and not wanting to retire.

I used to bake daily in bulk because of the many orders I received from friends, colleagues and even strangers who came to know about my cakes by word of mouth. I had people whom I did not know, calling up to ask if I had cakes available for sale. I had to tell them that they had to place their orders. There was also a pastor who came all way from the western part of the tiny red dot, thinking that he could buy some cakes on the spot.

I have completely retired from the baking business. Now I only bake for pleasure which was why I bought the chef this morning. It's smaller and suits my baking needs which means I bake smaller portions!

Here's the recipe:

145g bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona (66.5%), finely chopped (I used cadbury)
260g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
250g sugar (I used fine sugar)
140g all-purpose flour
145g pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (I used 1/2 pecans and 1/2 walnuts)

1. Grease and line a 24 x 30-cm tin. Preheat oven at 180 deg C.

2. Melt chocolate in bowl over simmering water or in a microwave oven. Set aside.

3. Beat butter until smooth and creamy but not airy. Stir in chocolate. Gradually add eggs and then sugar. Stir only to incorporate each ingredient. Finally add flour and nuts.

4. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 19 to 20 minutes. The top of the cake will be dry, but a knife inserted in the centre will come out wet. Remove from oven.

5. Remove from tin and paper. Cool on rack. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.

Tsk! Tsk! Bad slicing job! That's for being impatient!

It's not as moist as I expected. I had overbaked it. I should have taken it out of the oven when I tested the centre which was slightly wettish and going by the book, it should. It could have been more chocolatey if I had used Valrhona. Okay, lesson learnt!
But the nuts were super!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Leek Omelette, Taukwa and Chives & Soya Bean Paste Fish

Today's lunch menu is :
1. Leek Omelette
2. Stir-fried Taukwa and Chives
3. Soya Beanpaste Fish

Leek Omelette

1. Slice thinly 2 to 3 stalks of leek and chop half an onion.

2. Beat 2 to 3 eggs lightly and season with salt or light soya sauce to taste.

3. Heat frying pan with a little oil and stir fry leek and onion. Add a little water to cook the leek.

4. When water has dried up, pour in beaten egg and let it cook on one side before turning over to cook the other side.

Stir-fried Taukwa and Chives

1. Shell and devein 8 medium prawns. Set aside.

2. Slice 2 to 3 taukwa or beancurd thickly. Pat dry and shallow fry taukwa slices till slightly golden. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Wash 5 to 6 stalks of chives and cut them into 3-cm lengths.

4. Slice a small portion of carrot into strips.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in frying pan and saute 2 cloves garlic(minced) and carrot.

6. Add taukwa and toss gently to prevent it from breaking. Add prawns and a little water, cover to cook the prawns.

7. Add half a tablespoon oyster sauce and half a tablespoon abalone sauce to a little water to mix and then pour into the pan, followed by the chives.

8. Stir to mix and dish up to serve.

Soya Bean Paste Fish

1. Rub salt and ginger juice onto fish(about 800g) especially the gut area.

2. Slice 2 medium-sized onions, 2 chillies and 3 slices ginger. Chopped 3 cloves garlic.

3. Heat 1 and a half tablespoon oil and saute onions, ginger, garlic and chillies.

4. Add 1 and a half tablespoon soya bean paste and saute for a while.

5. Add 400ml water or more and bring to boil, then put in the fish. Cover to cook the fish. Turn the fish over to cook the other side. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes depending on thickness of fish.

6. Add 2 tablespoon of chinese wine and a little sugar to taste, mix by swirling the pan. Dish up fish, garnish with spring onions and serve.

I used a 800g grouper and cut into 2 parts.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pierre Herme..... Martha Stewart...........

I hardly shop and when I do, it's with a vengeance.

Today I had steamboat buffet lunch with some friends who had retired. We would try to meet for lunch at least twice a year. Lunch was at Coca, Takashimaya. Though it was a buffet, we couldn't eat as much as we wanted - you know the eating capability and capacity reduce as one gets older! ;P
But eating wasn't the main agenda. It was more to catch up with one another and perhaps sometimes to reminisce about old times.

After lunch, we went window shopping and I strayed into Kinokuniya Bookstore. I made a beeline for the food and drinks book section. Shelves of cooking and baking books were beckoning to be touched, to be held, to be browsed and to be bought. I spent about an hour and a half looking around. And with very eager hands, I flipped the pages of the books.

To cut the story short, I bought 4 baking books and they cost me $176.97!!

Check out the chocolate! Absolutely decadent!

Sinfully scrumptious!


Pure Delight!

These books will be my bedtime stories and I'll be dreaming sweet dreams! :)

I am looking forward to trying out the recipes and shall be posting them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

These cupcakes are for sale at my church's breakfast sale this Sunday to raise funds for the poor and needy.

Look at the different 'volcano' tops!

What I Used:

200g butter, softened at room temperature
180g caster sugar
50 ml milk (any liquid milk)
3 to 4 bananas (delmonte) If they are ripe, don't mashed.
100g plain flour
150g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
4 large eggs
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

What I Did:

1. Sift flour and baking powder and bicarbonate soda. Set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar at medium speed till light and fluffy.

3. Add milk and beat for a while. Then add eggs one at a time. Mixture will curdle with addition of egg. Add one or two tablespoons flour each time it curdles.

4. Add whole bananas and essence and beat to mix well.

5. Lastly add flour in two parts, mixing well with each addition. Then continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes. Mixture is quite runny.

6. Fill cup cases up to two-thirds and put a couple of slices of banana (if there is spare) on top.

7. Bake in preheated oven 160 deg C for 15 to 17 minutes.

Moist and soft texture!

Baked in a loaf tin

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Hari Raya Treat

For the past twelve years our friendly Muslim neighbour , a family of five, has been generously giving us delicious Hari Raya food. On the eve of every Hari Raya, we would be given a tray of a few dishes. We appreciate their gesture very much. They are very nice and friendly people.
Sometimes, I want to reciprocate by baking them cookies or cakes. Unfortunately I can't because my kitchen isn't halal. So I always end up buying them fruits.

This year, this is what we just had for our dinner - Chicken with turmeric and tamarind juice, beef heart sambal, beef rendang, potato patties and rice with serondeng and fried shallots.
Dinner was yummy and we practically clean up every dish!

So to all my Muslim friends and all other Muslims, I wish you all a

Buboh Cha-Cha

When I was much, much younger, I enjoyed shopping very much. I love window shopping, browsing through things and I would end up buying 'want' things, 'need' things and 'maybe I'll use in the near future' things! As I grew older or aged, my shopping and buying frenzies tamed down a lot. It was partly due to my work (it was getting more demanding) and the 'other job' that kept me too busy and also got me too tired to think of shopping. How I wished they had online shopping then! ;P

Nowadays my shopping is controlled with a list of what-is-necessary-to-buy things and they are mostly groceries and household stuffs. So the only places that I frequent are supermarts or hypermarts. I hardly shop for clothes, beauty stuff etc...

The nearest supermart is ntuc. On Tuesdays, any senior citizen or elderly like me will get a discount of 2% if we shop there. I do my grocery shopping twice a month, on Tuesdays.

Last Tuesday's shopping was slightly different because my husband didn't accompany me. It meant that while I had a shopping list to go by, I had time to do a little browsing. Usually when my husband is with me, I will just 'zero in' on what's on my list and my shopping is done in 45 minutes to an hour.
While browsing, I came across a packet of pre-cut buboh cha-cha ingredients consisting of sweet potatoes, yam and pandan leaves. I was hooked (cos it's convenient) and bought a packet.

Anything coconut or lemak is my husband's favourite. While I am aware of the health implications consuming such foods, a once-in-a-while treat is okay.

What I Used:

1 packet mixed sweet potatoes and yam (about 700g, I used half)
4 to 5 pandan leaves
water (enough to cook the sweet potatoes and yam)

sugar to taste
pinch of salt
coconut milk (I used 1 small packet kara)

Starch Dough (I omitted this, not fond of this)
80g tapioca flour or more
enough boiling water to make starch dough
*Add boiling water to the flour a little at a time and mix to a dough. Take care when handling hot dough. Divide dough and add any preferred colour. Roll out into strips and cut into small pieces.
Boil a small pot of water, add the dough pieces when water is boiling. Let it cook and when the dough pieces start to float, remove and dunk in cold water. Leave it aside.

What I Did:

1. Cook sweet potatoes and yam in enough water with a couple of pandan leaves till slightly soft.

2. Remove the sweet potatoes and yam and put aside. Do not discard water.

3. Add more water, coconut milk, salt, sugar and pandan leaves. Bring it to a partial boil.

4. Add sweet potatoes and yam and dough pieces(drained). Let it boil and then turn off stove.

5. Serve hot or cold.

The brownish look on the sweet potatoes is gula melaka syrup that I drizzled on it.

The yellow blob is...............DURIAN! Yum!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fried Kangkong with Otah

My family loves this vegetable, kangkong or water convolvulus cooked in shrimp paste chilli.
Whenever we eat out, this dish is always first on the order list. BUT I usually eat very little because the veggie comes to us swimming in oil and tasting very salty! (Guess that's what makes it so tasty!)

Today is one of the rare occasions that I cook this veggie. Reason being, I dislike having the whole house errr.. flat, smelling like sambal belachan. Besides that, the odour clings to the hair and clothes!
However, I have managed to resolve this problem quite significantly. I sauteed the spices on low heat till the oil showed and then added the rest of the ingredients. Tastewise, it's still good and smell-wise, the odour was cut down by more than half! Hooray!

What I Used:

2 packets kangkong (I got them from ntuc)

3 teaspoons coarsely ground dried prawns
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 or more red chillies (depends on preference for spiciness)
1 teaspoon belachan

1 packet otah, cut into chunks (bought from jb)
1/2 packet kara coconut milk, diluted with some water (optional)

salt (optional)

What I Did:

1. Grind all spices together.

2. Heat some oil and saute spices till fragrant or till oil shows.

3. Add otah chunks and let fry till 3/4 cooked.

4. Add coconut milk and bring to semi-boiling stage and then add veggie. Mix quickly.

5. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. Do not overcook this veggie.

I gave it extra gravy so that I could drench my rice in it! :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nutella Cupcakes

I baked some nutella cupcakes for my church breakfast sale for this Sunday.

What I Used:

140g butter, soften at room temperature
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt

120g plain flour
80g cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder


What I Did:

1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

2. Add vanilla extract, salt and yoghurt and cream to mix well.

3. Add one egg at a time, beating well to mix. If mixture curdles, add some flour to mix.

4. Then add sifted flour and baking powder. When flour is thoroughly mixed, beat on high for a couple of minutes.

5. Fill cupcake cases halfway and put in half a teaspoon Nutella. Top up with cake mixture leaving 1/4 space from brim. Add another 1/2 teaspoon Nutella on top. Use a toothpick to swirl the nutella.

6. Bake in pre-heated oven 150 degrees C for 15 to 18 minutes depending on the size of cupcake.