Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #5 : Sauteed Chayote

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 


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Cookbook Countdown #5 : Recipe No. 5 - Sauteed Chayote with Pork
from my selected cookbook for this month, Wild, Wild East by Bobby Chinn


Chayote squash

Have you tried Chayote squash before? Chayote squash is similar to the fuzzy melon in taste, but it is more sweet and firm in texture. Makes a delicious stir-fry savoury dish, great as part of a meal to eat with rice. According to Bobby Chinn, they use this veggie as a base for grilled fish served at his restaurant. The beef can be replaced with prawns or crabs. I have cooked this with prawns and again, with pork. Both are delicious. You would only need two Chayote squash, medium to large sized ones, to cook a large plateful. 




I have sliced the Chayote squash to thin julienne pieces and have cooked them a little longer. They have a firm texture. After cooking for about 10 minutes or so,  they would be tender but with a little crisp bite. Really quite delicious! 


Sauteed Chayote with Beef
(adapted from "Wild, Wild East" by Bobby Chinn)
Serves 4
Marinade
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 lb (200gm) beef, thinly sliced (I replaced with pork)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb (600gm) chayote squash, peeled and cut into slices about 1-in thick (I sliced to thin julienne pieces)
1/2 tsp fish sauce
3 scallions, cut into 1-in pieces

In a mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients with the beef (pork) and let it stand for 5 minutes.
Heat half of the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until slightly golden. Add the marinated meat and stir-fry rapidly to ensure the meat cooks evenly. When the meat is lightly cooked but still rare, transfer it to a warm bowl. 
In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and add the chayote and fish sauce. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. (I stir-fry the pork slices for a few minutes until fully cooked, then add the chayote and seasoning. Pour in about 1/4 cup water, cover the wok and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, did not add the scallions. Serve hot or at room temperature with rice).
Add the scallions, toss well, then add the meat back and cook for about a minute or until the scallions are slightly wilted.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 


Friday, May 27, 2016

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme is "May Potluck". Sometimes potluck week can be the most challenging, at least for me.  Why, you may be wondering! Because fickle-minded me can't decide which IHCC's featured chefs' recipes that I want to make, I have so many on my list!

For this week's Potluck theme, my kids sort of took care of that for me, no need to change my mind many times. They requested for Ellie Krieger's, Chocolate Chunk Cookies, which I have made before when Ellie Krieger was the featured chef at IHCC a couple of months ago. I did not post about it, as I did not have a chance to take any photos, the cookies were all gone by the next day. 



Cookies with chocolate chunks on the left and with coffee choc chips on the right.

So these cookies are back by popular demand! Really super easy to put together. And they are a little healthier than most cookies. It has whole-wheat flour, with a small amount of butter (only 3 tablespoons!), and a little canola oil (2 tablespoons). You do not even need the stand mixer to mix the dough. I made two batches. The first batch, I've used dark chocolate chopped to chunks. And the second batch I've made with coffee chips. The only changes I've made, was to reduce both the sugars to half, even healthier, we do not need all that extra sugar! I baked them for 3-4 minutes longer than the recipe states, as we love  crispier cookies. 



These cookies are lightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy in the centre. 
As Ellie says "Eaten them while they are still warm for their full gooey, melted impact".  They make the perfect snack with a glass of cold milk. I like having the one with coffee chips with a mug of hot coffee. 


Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(adapted from "Comfort Food Fix", Ellie Krieger)
Makes about 20 cookies
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (loosely packed 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (1/8 cup)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70% cocoa solids), chopped into chunks

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until well combined. Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Stir in the vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Gently fold in the chocolate.
Scoop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 1-1/2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake until the cookies are just set, about 12 minutes. Transfer the cookies on parchment to a rack and allow to cool. The cookies will crisp as they cool. Store at room temperature in an airtight container, where they will keep for up to 4 days.


I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs, theme for this week,
May Potluck





Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #5 : Bananas In Coconut Milk

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 


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Cookbook Countdown #5 : Recipe No. 4 - Bananas In Coconut Milk
from my selected cookbook for this month, Wild, Wild East by Bobby Chinn



I have seen this dessert on the menu of one Vietnamese restaurant a few weeks ago, but unfortunately they do not serve this dessert on that day. Found the recipe in Wild, Wild, West and gave it a go. This is similar to our local Bubur Cha-Cha which uses taro and sweet potatoes. I have not tried with bananas before, which is indeed a very nice change.

When using bananas, be sure to slice them thick, as they gets soft and mushy rather quickly during the simmering. I have used more coconut milk and water. This dessert is served with some garnishing which I have omitted. I was lazy to toast the sesame seeds and we do not like peanuts. Did not have shredded coconut either. So we had it plain as it is, which is quite delicious!



This dessert may be served either warm or cold with crushed ice. We prefer it warm. And when it is at room temperature, it sets a little thicker. A tablespoon or two of hot water may be stirred into the bowl before serving.  Very nice dessert, a good one to enjoy with the family on weekends.



Bananas In Coconut Milk
(adapted from "Wild, Wild East" by Bobby Chinn)
Serves 6
8 tbsp very small tapioca pearls
1 cup (240ml) coconut milk (I use 2 cups)
1-1/4 cups (225gm) sugar (or to taste)
4 large bananas
crushed ice to serve (optional)
4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp toasted chopped peanuts
4 tbsp shredded coconut
a pinch of salt (my addition)

Place the tapioca pearls in a bowl and cover with warm water. Soak for about 20 minutes until they are slightly translucent. Drain under cold running water and reserve.
In a pot over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and 1 cup (240ml) water (I use 1-1/2 cups water). Bring to a simmer, but do not allow it to boil. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Peel the bananas and cut them into 2-in (5-cm) chunks. Add to the coconut mixture with the tapioca pearls. Simmer the mixture for another 10 minutes or until the tapioca pearls are perfectly cooked. Remove from the heat.
Serve hot in individual bowls, or chill and serve in a glass with crushed ice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, and shredded coconut.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 




Friday, May 20, 2016

Ham, Blue Cheese and Pear Quiche

Cook The Book Fridays, a group of foodie bloggers, is currently cooking from David Lebovitz's cookbook, My Paris Kitchen. This week's assignment is Ham, Blue Cheese and Pear Quiche, and it is extra special this week, because CtBF is participating in Food Revolution Day. As everyone knows, Food Revolution is created by Jamie Oliver.  A food movement which aims to inspire people to learn about food and how to cook good, honest and affordable food.

This week, CtBF has selected this quiche recipe, as Mardi Michels, who is the Food Revolution Ambassador for Canada, says, " we're all going to be cooking the dish we've deemed a "must know" starter French recipe - QUICHE!".  


Ham, Blue Cheese and Pear Quiche for Food Revolution Day at CtBF.


We love quiche and I've made them many times, but have never made the pastry with a mixture of flour and cornmeal before. I've always use a tart pan to bake quiche, in this recipe, DL has indicated to use a springform pan instead, so I figured that the filling for this quiche must be quite thick compared to others that I've made, especially so when I've read that the dough is to be pressed halfway up the sides of a springform pan.  The springform pan that I've used is 9" diameter, and I did not wrap the pan with aluminium foil around the outside, since it is going to be placed on a rimmed baking sheet before baking. The dough breaks in some places when I transferred the rolled dough into the pan, but the tears are easily patched up by using some of the dough pinched from the sides to cover the tears.

I've made a few changes to the amount of ingredients used, as folllows :
For the crust : use 1/4 tsp of salt instead of 1/2 tsp. The pastry needed less than 1 egg for it to come together. I beat the egg lightly in a small bowl and added a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. There's about slightly more than a tablespoon of the egg left.
For the filling : 1 cup heavy cream instead of 1-1/2 cups, 5 ounces cream cheese instead of 8 ounces, 100gm crumbled blue cheese instead of 150gm, 4 large eggs only and did not include the extra 2 egg yolks.
Use fresh oregano leaves from my garden pot, and bake the quiche for 70 minutes. 



The amount of filling fills the pan exactly to the level of the dough top. I sprinkled some black pepper over before baking. 



I was afraid that the taste of the blue cheese might be too strong. But the taste kinda mellows out during baking, mixed with all the other flavours in the filling. The pear makes an interesting addition, with a nice light crunch, and would not have guessed that there's pears in the quiche. With cream cheese and heavy cream in the filling, this is one very rich quiche. And very, very filling! Nice quiche, but not our favourite. As for the cornmeal crust, I like it.  Tender, flaky, and buttery. 

To know more about Food Revolution, click on the following link :

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/foodrevolutioncommunity
Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/foodrev
Google+: http://www.google.com/+foodrevolutioncommunity
Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/foodrevolution
Instagram: @foodrev


Stop by Cook The Book Fridays to see everyone's take on this quiche.



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Crispy Tortilla with Ham, Chile, Kale and Fried Eggs

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme is "Sunny Side Up!". Anything that is suitable for breakfast or brunch! I've made Crispy Tortilla with Ham, Chile, Spinach and Fried Eggs for brunch. 


Crispy Tortilla with Ham, Chile, Kale and Fried Eggs, with some Cheddar cheese scattered over the top, broil until the cheese melts, for the two kids.


I've used Wholewheat Tortillas, which are first lightly toasted in a griddle pan until just lightly crisp on both sides. For the ham, I've used Honey Glazed Ham. In the recipe the side veggie used is spinach which is sauteed lightly with some red jalapenos. I have however used Kale and Hot Cherry Bomb Pepper, both from my garden pot. As for the fried eggs, I've used only one for each serving (instead of two). Place the ham on the lightly crisp tortilla, top with an egg and scatter some cheese over, then broil for a minute or two until the cheese melts. Place some of the veggie at the side and serve.


This is mine, without any cheese, but with some sprinkling of black pepper and hot sauce. Yummy!


Hot Cherry Bomb Pepper


Crispy Tortilla With Ham, Chile, Spinach, and Fried Eggs
(adapted from "Relaxed Cooking With Curtis Stone")
Serves 4
Four 10-inch flour tortillas
8 thin slices Black Forest Ham
3 tablespoons butter
1 small red jalapeno, finely chopped (I've used Hot Cherry Bomb Pepper)
8 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach leaves (I've used Kale)
salt
8 large organic free-range eggs
1-1/3 cups (about 5 ounces) shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
Hot sauce (such as Cholula)

Preheat the broiler. Heat a flat griddle pan over medium-high heat. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, cook the tortillas for 2 minutes on each side, or until they are hot and slightly crisp (do not allow the tortillas to become too crisp at this point, since they will continue to crisp under the broiler). Set 2 tortillas on each of 2 large heavy baking sheets. Lay 2 slices of ham, overlapping slightly, on each tortilla.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno and stir to coat with the butter. Add the spinach and saute for 2 minutes, or just until it wilts. Season to taste with salt, squeeze out any excess moisture, and spoon the spinach atop the ham, dividing it equally. (I've added the spinach/kale on the tortilla after the broil, just before serving).
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter on the griddle pan over medium-high heat. Crack 4 eggs into the pan, spacing them evenly apart, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the whites are set and beginning to brown around the edges. Using a spatula, carefully set 2 eggs atop the spinach on each of 2 tortillas. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 4 eggs.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the eggs, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the egg whites are set on top and the cheese has melted. Transfer to plates, and serve with the hot sauce.


I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week 
Sunny Side Up!





Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #5 : Stir-Fried Cabbage

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 


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Cookbook Countdown #5 : Recipe No. 3 - Stir-Fried Cabbage
from my selected cookbook for this month, Wild, Wild East by Bobby Chinn



A simple and quick stir-fry dish. It is quick because lazy me has skipped the step where the cabbage leaves are blanched in boiling water, then plunge into cold water and drain. I cooked the cabbages without blanching them in hot water, cook as per the recipe, and the dish is just fine. Very tasty stir-fry dish, that is good as part of a meal with plain rice alongside other main dishes.


Stir-Fried Cabbage
(adapted from "Wild, Wild East" by Bobby Chinn)
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 small green cabbage (about 1 lb (500gm))
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp very finely chopped shallots
1 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 small tomato, cut into 8 wedges
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (10gm) cilantro leaves

Halve the cabbage, separate the leaves and tear them into small bite-sized pieces. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the cabbage, and cook until just tender. (Be careful not to overcook as the cabbage will be cooked again in the next step). Drain the leaves, plunge them into cold water and set aside to drain fully. (I skipped this step, did not blanch the cabbage.)
Put a wok or saute pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the vegetable oil. Stir-fry the garlic and shallot until translucent and tender. Add the blanched cabbage, fish sauce and salt, and stir-fry for 5 minutes, until fragrant.
Add the tomato and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring so that the flesh breaks down a bit. Throw in the scallions and stir-fry briskly until wilted.
Transfer everything to a serving plate and garnish with the cilantro.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 


Cookbook Countdown has a new website :
We are happy to inform everyone that Cookbook Countdown has it's very own website blog, which you can find here. Effective from May 2016, please link your posts at the Cookbook Countdown new website, in the linky provided. We hope to see you there! Thank you!



and I'm sharing this post with Cookbook Wednesday @ Months of Edible Celebrations

Cookbook Wednesday Share Your Favorite

Monday, May 9, 2016

Baked Okra With Tomato and Ginger

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme is, "Monthly Featured Chef : Yotam Ottolenghi".  It has been awhile since I last cook with Ottolenghi's recipes. This monthly featured chef theme is a great way to revisit these chefs again.

During one weekend a few weeks ago while I was at my sister's house, I was browsing through her cookbooks shelves and was so jealous that she has a copy of "Ottolenghi, The Cookbook", that I sneaked it home! Haha! OK, so I borrowed the book from her, since she is not using it at the moment. After looking through this book, I knew which recipe I wanted to try first, Baked Okra With Tomato And Ginger. 




I had another round of okra harvest, and their productive stage is coming to an end soon. Okra is one of our favourite and we have been enjoying them, cooked in various ways. Last month, I've made Madhur Jaffrey's, Okra with Potatoes. This month's Ottolenghi's okra dish is a new favourite.

According to Ottolenghi, in this recipe, the sliminess of the okra is minimized by removing the stalks carefully, without exposing the gloopy seeds, and by baking the okra whole rather than stewing it.




The okra are first baked in the oven with some olive oil, salt and black pepper. The sauce is cooked over the stove and the baked okra are then stirred into the sauce and simmered for a few minutes before serving. I've added more ginger and red pepper flakes. Adjust the amount of sugar to taste, as I've added a little more sugar to balance out the sourness from the tomatoes.

This dish is delicious! I have never baked okras before. I think that it is a wonderful way of cooking okra, so that when it is cooked and tender, it only needs a quick cooking over the stove, especially when there's just enough sauce that you would not want it to dry out with long simmering. I have however cut the cooked okra into half by using a clean kitchen scissors just before serving. Eating them, cut into halves is so much easier! 


I could eat these baked okras just like that, baked with just salt, pepper and olive oil. They are tender, sweet and delicious. While these are really good, when cooked them in the tomato and ginger sauce, it is another delicious level altogether. 


Baked Okra With Tomato And Ginger
(adapted from "Ottolenghi", Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi)
serves 2 to 4
1 lb/500gm okra
5 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 knob fresh ginger (scant 1/2oz/12gm) finely chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tsp superfine sugar
1-1/2 tbsp cilantro leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. To prepare the okra, take a small, sharp knife and carefully remove the stalk end. Try not to cut very low; leave the end of the stalk to seal the main body of the fruit, so the seeds are not exposed.
  2. Mix the okra with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Scatter on a baking sheet in a single layer, then place in the oven and leave for 15 to 20 minutes, until just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and fry for about a minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, and some salt and pepper and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly.
  4. When the okra is ready, stir it gently into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes. To serve warm, spoon the okra onto serving plates and scatter the cilantro on top. If serving at room temperature, adjust the seasoning again before serving and garnish with the cilantro.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
Monthly Featured Chef : Yotam Ottolenghi



Saturday, May 7, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #5 : Caramel Ginger Chicken


Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 


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Cookbook Countdown #5 : Recipe No. 2 - Caramel Ginger Chicken
from my selected cookbook for this month, Wild, Wild East by Bobby Chinn



While browsing through this cookbook for recipes, I noticed that there are quite a number of recipes using Caramel Sauce. I am not a fan of sweet dishes, but I like the sound of this dish. Firstly the caramel needs to be cooked first. I made the full recipe of the caramel but ended up using only about a third of it. The chicken thigh meat are first marinated and then stir-fry briefly before it is cooked further in a claypot with the rest of the ingredients. I did not use all of the Caramel Sauce as we prefer savoury to sweet dishes. I've added about a third of the Caramel Sauce and find that the dish is rather sweet! 



This is quite a tasty dish (even though it is a little sweet for me) and it goes well with plain white rice. The kids seems to like it, but both hubby and myself would prefer if it is less sweet. A good thing I did not use all of the Caramel Sauce! 


Caramel Ginger Chicken
(adapted from "Wild, Wild East", Bobby Chinn)
Serves 4
Marinade
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp chopped shallots
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
freshly ground black pepper
1 green chile, finely chopped
juice squeezed from 2-in ginger

900gm boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-in cubes

Caramel Sauce :
1 cup (200gm) packed brown sugar
4 tsp fish sauce
3 cups (750ml) hot chicken stock or water
1 chile, cut in half
1 tsp lime juice
1 small cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp black peppercorns (optional)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Garnish
1-in piece ginger, cut into julienne strips
2 scallions, cut into 2-in lengths
8 sprigs of cilantro
steamed rice, to serve

Combine all the marinade ingredeints in a mixing bowl, reserving the chopped ginger, and mix in the chicken well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.
Make the caramel sauce; put the brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and cook it slowly until melted, making sure it does not burn at the edges. Once fully melted, turn the heat up and stir, making sure the sugar browns equally and uniformly. Be very careful, as the sugar can cause a wicked burn.
Once the sugar is just a little bit darker, turn the heat off to prevent overcooking of the caramel, remove your hand and spoon from the pot, and quickly pour the fish sauce into the caramel. (The sauce should be at room temperature, not chilled). Do this very carefully, as it will splatter violently. Add about 2 cups of hot stock or water to thin the sauce, then add the chile and lime juice. The hot liquid will prevent the sugar from crystallizing, but if it already has, just cook it longer until it dissolves. Reduce the heat and add the reserved chopped ginger. You can also add the cinnamon and peppercorns if you wish a little heat.
In a separate pan, place the vegetable oil over medium-to-high heat and wait until it is close to the smoking point. Add the marinated chicken mixture to the saucepan, stirring well to prevent burning (the sugar helps caramelize the chicken, but it is at risk of burning if it is not stirred). This is a quick stir-fry, as you only cook the outside of the chicken in the pan for approximately 2 minutes, and the majority is cooked in a pot.
Transfer the chicken to a pot (ideally a clay pot) and deglaze the pan with the remaining stock, transferring all the caramelized juices to the pot. Simmer the chicken in the pot until cooked and the liquid has reduced by one-quarter to a half. You may also reuse the sauce, but store it in the refrigerator and bring it to the boil again first.
Serve garnished with ginger julienne, scallions and cilantro, and accompanied by rice.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 



Cookbook Countdown has a new website :
We are happy to inform everyone that Cookbook Countdown has it's very own website blog, which you can find here. Effective from May 2016, please link your posts at the Cookbook Countdown new website, in the linky provided. We hope to see you there! Thank you!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bake-Along's Anniversary and Farewell Bake : Lady Bird Lemon Bundt Cake

It's Bake-Along 5th Anniversary! And Bake-Along is saying goodbye! 

It seems like only yesterday when we, Lena, Zoe and myself, started Bake-Along. I remember how excited we were, with dozens of ideas and suggestions on how to make Bake-Along a fun event. We did not expect that it would last for 5 years. Well, this month of May, marks Bake-Along's 5th Anniversary, five full years of baking together with friends. And now, a farewell post as well. It has been a great, wonderful, fabulous 5 baking years. We have done some bakes that we would never have thought of making on our own. My heartful thanks to everyone, for the support and encouragement, particularly to Lena and Zoe, my wonderful baking buddies, for the glorious 5 years of Bake-Along. We have done well indeed!  



I've made a lemony bundt cake, Lady Bird Lemon Bundt Cake. This cake is the recipe of Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. Her recipe is so popular that it has been passed around thousands of time over the decades, and there are many versions of it.  If you google for info from the web, you would find many similar recipes to this.



Thank you, Bake-Along for 5 delicious years !




A moist, lemony cake with close tight crumbs. Do not skip the lemony frosting, it is good with the cake. Don't forget that pot of tea!


The recipe below is my measurement for half a recipe. I've used a small bundt pan with a 6-cup capacity. For the full recipe to make in a 10-inch Bundt pan, please refer here.

Lady Bird Lemon Bundt Cake
(adapted from "Cake Simple", Christie Matheson)
100gm butter, at room temperature, plus melted butter for greasing the pan
160gm cake flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
120gm sugar
4 egg yolks
90ml whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 325F (165C/gas 3). Brush the inside of a 10-cup Bundt pan thoroughly with the melted butter and dust it lightly with flour. (Use a pastry brush to help distribute the flour and tap out any excess).
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are light and lemon-coloured, then add them to the butter-sugar mixture and beat until just blended.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three increments) alternately with the milk (in two increments), beginning and ending with the flour and beating until thoroughly incorporated after each addition. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice, beat for 2 minutes.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for about 1 hour, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool completely. Pour the icing over the cooled cake and serve. The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. (The un-iced cake will keep, wrapped well in a layer of plastic and a layer of foil, in the freezer for up to 2 weeks).


Lemon Icing
1 cup (90gm) confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup (28gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon heavy cream, plus more as needed

Combine the confectioners' sugar with the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cream in a small bowl and stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth, thick, and pourable. Add more cream if needed to obtain the desired consistency.



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If you would like to join Bake-Along's last bake, you may bake any Bundt Cake, leave a comment below and we shall mention the link to your post. Thank you!



Please visit the following links for more bundt cakes!

Veronica of Peng's Kitchen has made a lovely Rainbow Bundt Cake



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mint Lime Surprise

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme is "Wet Your Whistle!". It's a week of cocktail, mocktail, iced tea, fruit juices, smoothies.... a fun and slurpingly refreshing week! 



I've made Mint Lime Surprise, a very refreshing drink. I've used fresh mint leaves from my garden pot, and wanted to use my calamansi limes, but they are not quite ready to be harvested yet, so I bought a few limes from the market instead. Slice the mint leaves thinly, juice the limes and mix everything in a jug. I've added a little more sugar to taste and press the mint leaves lightly with a spoon to extract the lovely minty flavour. The fresh mint leaves, the lime juice with the carbonated sparkling water, and with heaps of ice cubes, would perk you up on a hot, humid day. Made this as an after dinner refreshment drink, and it was welcome with huge grins! 


Mint Lime Surprise
(adapted from coles.com, Curtis Stone)
1/4 cup mint leaves, thinly sliced
Juice from 2 limes
2 cups sparkling wateer
1 tbsp sugar
Ice cubes, to serve

Place all ingredients into a jug, stir and serve. As an alternative to limes, try another citrus fruit or give melons and berries a go.


I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Wet Your Whistle!





Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #5 : Ground Pork Omelette

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 


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My selected cookbook for this month, 



Cookbook Countdown #5 : Recipe No. 1 - Ground Pork Omelette


Omelet is one of the favourite dish to serve at dinner time. We love omelet, a great dish to eat with rice along with other dishes. A simple and easy dish to prepare. This omelet has ground pork and cilantro, and it is very delicious. The ground pork is mixed into the egg mixture, make sure to break them up evenly, and then cooked over low heat until golden brown on both side and the ground pork is cooked through. According to the recipe, there's no seasoning in the egg mixture, but after the omelet is done cooking, it is served with fish sauce. I have however, prefer my omelet to be seasoned well. So I have added half the amount of fish sauce into the egg mixture before cooking. Go easy on the fish sauce as it is very salty. Test on the seasoning, by frying about 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture, adding more fish sauce to taste if necessary, before cooking the rest of the egg mixture. I have used much, much more, of the chopped scallions, about 1 very full cup!



A delicious omelet dish. The omelet is very tasty, so I have omitted the extra fish sauce during serving.  


Ground Pork Omelet (Trung Duc Thit)
(adapted from "Wild, Wild East by Bobby Chinn)
Serves 4
9oz (250gm) ground pork
4 scallions, chopped
6 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
dash of ground white pepper (my addition)
bunch of cilantro, to serve
1/2 tsp chopped chile, to serve
2 tbsp fish sauce, to serve

In a large bowl, mix the pork, scallions, and eggs well (with 1 tbsp fish sauce), breaking up the pork into smaller pieces; a fork is quite useful for this task, or chopsticks are traditionally used, whichever tickles your fancy.
Place a saute pan over medium heat and coat it well with oil. Slowly pour in the egg mixture. Move the mixture around by tipping the pan, ensuring that it cooks equally. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes more. The eggs should be cooked, but check by putting the fork into the mixture; if it is still soft and undercooked, remove the cover and cook for another 2 minutes.
Using a spatula, free the eggs from the bottom and sides of the pan. It is key to make sure that nothing is sticking, so that it will be easy for you to flip it over onto the other side. If the eggs stick, just pour a little more oil into the pan to help it cook a little more, making it easier for you. If you do not have enough confidence to flip it over, simply place a plate above the pan and turn both pan and the plate over together, and then slide the eggs on the plate back into the pan, to cook the top side of the omelet. Continue to cook until both sides are golden brown and the sides are firm.
To plate, simply slide it out of the pan, and cut across in 5 slices and then again at right angles to the first cuts. Serve scattered with the cilantro and chile, and sprinkled with the fish sauce.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 




Cookbook Countdown has a new website :
We are happy to inform everyone that Cookbook Countdown has it's very own website blog, which you can find here. Effective from May 2016, please link your posts at the Cookbook Countdown new website, in the linky provided. We hope to see you there! Thank you!


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