Monday, 29 December 2008

Hooked On Macarons

Macarons au chocolat. Have not been able to find red nor yellow food colouring, will have to stick with green for now. Recipe as in my previous post except that I aged the eggs for 48 hours and changed the oven temperature to 160 degree Celsius. Observations: The batter was slightly thicker this time i.e. less runny; macarons have bigger "feet"!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Brussels Sprouts II

Stirfried with garlic and oyster sauce.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Peace And Joy To The World!

More gifts - spiced cookies.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

It's Gyoza Time!

Shown above is a more elaborate ginger-vinegar dipping sauce with sesame seeds, fried garlic bits, chili and soya sauce.

These are great for entertaining, they are always the first to go. I would normally serve them with 2 different types of sauces: finely slivered ginger in black vinegar and sriracha chili sauce.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Favourite Lunch Food

Good old fresh fresh salad with vinaigrette dressing. I could polish up an enormous plate of this stuff in one go! My preferred ingredients would be: baby spinach, rocket leaves, mushrooms, tomatoes, poached/fried egg with runny yoke (miam! a must!), parma ham and parmesan cheese. No lettuce nor coleslaw type of thingy (yeeks!) for me please!

As a side dish, a simple salad of rocket leaves, musrooms and red capsicum with vinaigrette dressing.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Sambal Fried Rice With Minced Meat And Brussels Sprouts

It is interesting how a vegetable could have such a nutty flavour. I like my brussels sprouts best when simply boiled and buttered or stirfried with oyster sauce and garlic. However, this time round, I have added them to my sambal fried rice! Haha, everything tastes good sauteed in lots of sambal belacan.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Christmas Gifts Ready To go

In my Chocolate Coated Coconut Macaroons post (, I mentioned that I liked the recipe so much that I am going to make a bunch of them for Christmas. So here it is, all packaged and ready to be given away. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Joyeux Noel a tous!!!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Kong Bak (Braised Soya Sauce Pork)

Slice fatty pork (with skin), simmer in mixture of light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, wee bit of oyster sauce, some white pepper, star anise, cinnamon sticks and cloves, and lots of garlic. Bring to boil and simmer till you attain that melt-in-your-mouth goodness when the fats and skin have become translucent. Great with steamy plain rice.

Friday, 12 December 2008


My yummylicious banana cake, thanks to the recipe from The Cooking Ninja (

I have left out the nuts but note the large chunks of chocolate I have added which I will triple next time!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

My Macaron Experiment

Much like all you curious souls out there who have read so much about these elusive babies, and inspired by Gertrude's post (, I finally took the plunge. However, I refused to give it its royal treatment and treated it just like any other new recipe that I am testing for the first time... that meant no extra care in weighing the ingredients, etc., oh ok, I did seive the almond meal and icing sugar twice. So here's how it all went...

I followed the recipe from Tartelette given on Gertrude's blog except for an addition of 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. Nothing unusual from the beating of the egg whites to the incorporation of the almond meal, although I wasn't sure if I had gotten the whites to the right consistency - due purely to my own inexperience.

First red flag: tiny bubbles on the batter after piping. Hmm, at which stage of the mixing did they get trapped in there, how are they going to affect the results, I wondered. And geez, I need to work on my piping skills.
The results....

My first ever macarons - complete with feet!!! The bubbles only formed tiny bumps and didn't have any major effects on the end product. I'd still like to not have them at all though. Any advice, anyone?

These ones were pandan-flavoured and sandwiched with creme de marron (chestnut cream) which I have a weakness for. Taste and texture-wise, just like the real thing. What I would like to improve on though is the uneven colouring... could my oven have been too hot?

Moral of the story: never be intimidated.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Sweet N Sour Pork

There, my sweet and sour pork with... potatoes! Only because I didn't have capsicums and pineapple on hand. This dish pretty much can't go wrong, can it? I love the bite of the pre-fried starch-coated chunks of meat.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Almond Cookies, Anyone?

Makes 14
Ingredients :
150 g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
150 g icing sugar
an equal volume of ground almond (vis-a-vis volume of flour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
White of 1 egg
100 g sunflower oil (may need more to form a dough)

Glaze : 1 egg yolk for brushing

Method :
1. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and icing sugar together.
2. Add ground almond to flour mixture and mix well.
3. Add vanilla essence and egg white to sunflower oil and stir well.
4. Pour oil mixture into flour mixture and combine well to form a dough. Add more oil if necessary.
5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, flatten slightly.
6. Brush with egg yolk and bake at 170° degree Celsius for 20 minutes or till golden brown.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Chocolate Coated Coconut Macaroons

These babies turned out unexpectly good. Crispy and fragrant on the outside and moist on the inside, plus very pretty to look at ... mmm.... I am going to make a huge bunch of them for Christmas.

Got the recipe (by David Lebovitz) from this blog: If you are like me - who prefer quick easy recipes, you may be tempted to skip the last chocolate coating step, but I have to say that it is worth the effort as they do taste and look a lot better with the chocolate.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Lamb Tagine With Prunes To Die For

I had a gorgeous lamb tagine with prunes the other week and just had to try making it at home. Was skeptical with this recipe at first due to its relatively large amount of cinnamon but it turned out simply awesome, not exactly what I had at the resto but still absolutely delicious. This is not the kind of dishes I would normally cook given the required 1.5 hours of simmering, but it is definitely well worth the time as a special treat. If you are looking for that melt-in-your-mouth wonderfulness, then this is it. Serve hot with a simple couscous.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Sinful Mocca Pudding

Warning: This is NOT for the faint-hearted, nor those with clogged up arteries or weight issues.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Cabbage Soup

What does one do when it is 1 degree outside and snowing cats and dogs? - Blog! Haha!

Cabbage soup is one of my comfort foods. I throw everything into the pot and let simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Healthy and delicious.

Ingredients: Garlic, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, salt, pepper and an enormous pork bone (optional) for a fuller flavour.

This must be the most beautiful cabbage i have ever seen! Every leaf is prefection.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Couscous - My New Found Super Fast-To-Cook Staple

I just discovered that it takes less time to cook instant couscous than instant noodles! This stuff is so going to be my next staple. Equal parts of couscous and stock flavoured with your preferred herbs and spices. Serve warm with spicy marguez or tagine, or cold as a salad with lots of chopped fresh tomatoes, parsley, onions, cucumber,... you name it, and dressed with your best vinaigrette.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Chocolatey Chocolate Cake

This is really quite scrumptious... a keeper. The cake part of it is a lot more chocolatey and a little denser than most chocolate cakes (I absolutely detest those with a good icing but a disappointing lack-lustre inside). Thanks to the recipe from bbcgoodfood: It was too much fuss for me to slice and layer the cake... I just topped the whole thing with ganache... the more, the merrier, yummm!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Pasta With Crispy Spicy Chorizo

I had a party and this dish went fast. Al dente pasta with olives and crispy spicy chorizo, tossed with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, chili flakes, garlic, paprika, and good old oregano and thyme. Serve warm or cold. I think I will use pasta of a different shape next time 'coz these ones look like super-size maggots, no? (lol)

Monday, 17 November 2008

A Lazy Girl's Rice Cooker Salmon Paella

This is a real shortcut, great when you do not have time 'coz nothing is simpler. Dump everything into the rice cooker: rice, water, paella seasoning, large chunks of salmon, peas, tomatoes, ... and some leftover artichoke hearts in this case. Once cooked, add more salt and pepper to taste, mix it all up and it's good to go. Now what would we do without our rice cookers!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Fried Rice Noodles - My Style

I like very much ketchup and would add it to almost everything! One of my favourite ways to fry rice noodles a.k.a. "kway tiao" is with lots of garlic, green leafy vegetables or bean sprouts, and bacon or taiwanese sausages and season with ketchup, sriracha chili and fish sauce.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Quick N Easy Chicken Meal

Cut potatoes in thick chunks. Marinate potatoes and chicken breasts/legs (fish works well too) with a generous amount of cajun seasoning, top with fresh rosemary, wrap everything in foil and bake at 190 degree Celsius for 50 minutes. Voila.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Inverted Sushi - My First Try

I have made many times makis but this is my first try at inverted sushis! Thought I'd make a mess of it but it actually turned out pretty well. It's harder to cut the rolls though as the rice sticks.

Shown above is a roll of inverted chicken katsu sushi. Yummmm!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Why Is My Peanut Sauce So Light In Colour?

I have tried several recipes for satay/peanut sauce but none has come close in taste to those authentic ones we get from the satay man. The last batch I made (photo above) was a light yellow colour rather than a deep reddish brown... probably due to the lack of dried chili? (I added only 1! From my previous experience, it would have been way too spicy for mes amis francais otherwise, lol.)

Now, here's a photo of the "rempah" before the addition of crushed peanuts...

There are shallots, garlic, dried chili, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, belacan, coconut milk, salt and sugar. The batch before had galangal which was overwhelming in taste (I put too much perhaps), hence I omitted it this time. It tasted not bad at all but just not like the real thing. If anyone has an authentic recipe from the satay man, pleeeeeease post. Thanks!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Recipe For Macau Walnut Cookies?

I am hooked. This stuff is soooooo good, I can't stop at 3! According to the label, they are called "Li Li Xing Ren Bing", made in Macau. Dry and grainy in texture, not at all greasy like some of the chinese peanut cookies I had eaten before. If you have a recipe for it, please send it to me! Merci beaucoup.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

"Lazy" Hot Meal #2

Any kind of meat will do. Slice meat, throw into pan with some dark soy sauce, black vinegar, chinese rice wine, sugar, slices of ginger, garlic and green onions. Heat and stir till cooked through and enjoy with hot steamy rice. Voila.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Crumbly Almond Loaf

If you like rich dense cakes with a crumbly texture, this almond loaf is for you. I've especially enjoyed the browned top and sides.

Crumbly Almond Loaf

120g butter
150g sugar
2 tsp lemon extract
3 eggs
1.5C almond powder
4Tbsp self raising flour
2 heaping Tbsp yoghurt

Cream butter and sugar together. Mix in lemon extract and eggs one at a time. Fold in almond powder and flour, then yoghurt. Bake in loaf pan at 180 degrees C for 45 minutes.