Monday, November 29, 2010


These two awards have been graciously extended to me by these two lovely ladies.  I would like to say thank you for your sweet gestures and would like to combine and forward these two awards to the following fabulous blogs that are truly an inspiration for their dedication and love for food. 

One Lovely Blog Award

This Award has been forwarded to me by the lovely and cheeky love2cook. Peek into her blog and you will know why I say "cheeky"! Thank you love2cook, for this lovely award.

Happy 101 Blog Award

Rules of Accepting This Blog Award :
1. Post who passed on this Award to you.
2. List 10 things that you like.
3. Name 10 Blogs who have inspired you.

This Award has been passed to me by the lovely and charming Miz Helen of Miz Helen's Country Cottage. Visit Miz Helen's blog and you can see how charming and welcoming her blog is.

List of 10 things that I like. 
I have posted them here before.

I would like to combine and pass on these two awards to these 10 lovely blogs
Here they are in random order :
9. Ker Yng - Life Is Full
10. Velva - Tomatoes On The Vine

You may forward these two awards separately or combine them both, it's entirely up to you. Congratulations, friends!


The entry to the "Culinary Smackdown Lets's Get Tangy With Citrus November 2010" is now closed. I would like to thank the participants for their fabulous entries.  The winner will be announced on 1st December 2010. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1 More Day Left To Submit Your Entry For The Culinary Smackdown Challenge



Come on, everyone!
You have 1 more day left to submit your entry! 

For more details and to submit your entry please click HERE. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysia time. Good luck!

Friday, November 26, 2010

3 Days Left To Submit Your Entry For The Culinary Smackdown!!



Come on, everyone!
There's only 3 days left to submit your entry! 

For more details and to submit your entry please click HERE. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysia time. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

5 Days Left For Culinary Smackdown / Banana Pancake



Come on, everyone!
There's only 5 days left to submit your entry! 

For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysia time. Good luck!


This is a great tea-time snack. It is really easy to make and a pleasure to eat. Get the small bananas for easy wrapping. And I would advise on using the grated white part of fresh coconut. Do not substitute with desiccated coconut, as desiccated coconut are dry and do not have the chewy milky moist texture of the fresh ones.  I have not tried with the flaked coconut, perhaps it will be better than the desiccated ones but again, nothing beats the fresh ones! This is a hit with my kids and myself too!

Banana Pancake
(source from : Patsie Cheong, one of our well-known local chefs)
(You may refrigerate and serve these cold)
Ingredients :
For the batter
150gm plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
70gm caster sugar
1 tsp pandan essence
1/4 tsp green food colouring
1 egg
250ml water (or slightly more)

For the filling
10 bananas
about half a coconut, grated
pinch of salt (my add-on, tastes better with salt added)

  1. Mix batter ingredients well and stir into a smooth batter. (Use a whisk)
  2. Add salt to the grated coconut and stir till evenly combined. The coconut should have a slight hint of saltiness. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Grease a medium-sized round pan lightly with some cooking oil. Heat pan and scoop about slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Tilt the pan till surface is evenly coated with batter. Cook each side about 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Dish out to a serving plate and cool. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. Arrange a piece of pancake on a big plate.  Scatter some grated coconut on pancake. Put a piece of peeled whole banana on pancake and roll in up. Repeat with the rest of pancake and bananas. 
  5. You may serve it at room temperature or cool it in the refrigerator until serving time. Enjoy.
(my notes : I like it best at room temperature)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Red Plum Ice Cream / 7 Days Left For Culinary Smackdown

Mmmm. what can I say? It's a David Lebovitz ice cream... mmm... The tartness of the plums makes a very flavourful ice cream. 

Plum Ice Cream
(adapted from "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz)
1 pound (450gm) plums (about 8)
1/3 cup (80ml) water
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (180gm) sugar (I use 150gm, depends on the sweetness of the plums)
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon kirch (I omit this)

Slice the plums in half and remove the pits.  Cut the plums into eighths and put them in a medium, nonreactive saucepan with the water.  Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the sugar until dissolved.  Let cool to room temperature.

Once cool, puree in a blender or food processor with the cream and kirsch until smooth.

Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.




There's only 7 days left to submit your entry! 

For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysia time. Good luck!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Steamed Pork Ribs with Fermented Black Beans

This is really delicious with plain white rice. Rice is a staple food and an absolute must, for Asians. Of course, we do go for noodles and sometimes fast food too, once in a while, but rice remains the main staple food for Asians. One may sit at a dinner table with lavish spreads of delicious meats and vegetables, but it will not be complete without the bowl of rice.  So in almost every home, you can find a bucket of uncooked rice and a rice cooker in the kitchen.  Usually, when it is time to prepare for dinner, the first thing we do is to reach for the rice cooker and put it on, while the rest of the dishes for dinner are being prepared.  

In my home, rice is usually eaten with two or three different type of dishes which could be either meat or fish, a vegetable dish usually stir-fry and perhaps a dish of tofu, egg or soup.  For dinner a few days ago, I cooked this dish, Steamed Pork Ribs with Fermented Black Beans, one of my family's favourite.  It is really delicious eaten with plain white rice, even my hubby and son had second helpings with their rice!  If you like Chinese food, then do give this a try! 

I'm linking this delicious dish with Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story

Steamed Pork Ribs with Fermented Black Beans
Ingredients :
600gm pork ribs
3 cloves garlic, minced
30 gm ginger, minced
2 fresh red chili, chopped or sliced to small pieces
2 tbsp fermented black beans
a small bunch of spring onions, chopped
some cooking oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

To marinate the ribs :
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp ginger juice (pound some ginger and extract juice), or water
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
dash of ground white pepper
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine

Method :

  1. Marinate pork rib with the marinating ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat about 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil. Saute chopped garlic, ginger and chili until fragrant. Add in fermented black beans and stir for about 1 minute. Add the oyster sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil, stir well.  Add the pork ribs together with the marinating juices and stir well to combine.  It will be dry. During steaming, the pork ribs would release its own fats and juices. 
  3. Transfer pork ribs to a deep steaming plate, making sure the plate is able to hold the juices accumulated from the ribs during steaming. Steam over high heat for about 25 minutes or until pork ribs are cooked and tender.
  4. Remove and garnish with freshly chopped spring onions.  Serve hot. Enjoy!



For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysia time. Good luck!

9 days left to submit your entry!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Gifts And A Happy Rainbow Cake!

My gifts has arrived! This is the prize that I have won in the Culinary Smackdown Battle Chile October 2010 courtesy by the gracious Rebecka of At Home With Rebecka. My kids are extremely excited that mommy has received a big package from the mailman! My eight year old son said, "Wow!", you would have thought he won this instead of me!

The teapot and cup set is really sweet and pretty. I absolutely love it! The apple spice tea has a light pleasant fragrant aroma. This would be perfect for my tea in the afternoons. I would usually have my cup of coffee in the morning, but in the afternoons, I would have my daily cup of tea, and this is perfect!  Another pleasant wonderful surprise from Rebecka is a jar of her homemade Habanero Peach Salsa. Thank you Rebecka, for all this wonderful gifts. 

I baked a Rainbow Chiffon Cake the next day, and enjoy it with my new teapot set and the fragrant Apple Spice Tea.  Even my son asked me whether can he have a sip of the tea in my new cup!

The Rainbow Chiffon Cake, goes with my happy mood, is a delight. It is really good, perfect with a cup of tea (Apple Spice Tea, for me!). It has a really soft, spongy texture, moist and delicious.  If you like chiffon cake, I urge you to give this a try. Here's the recipe :

Rainbow Chiffon Cake
(adapted from "Chiffon Cake Is Done" by Kevin Chai)
Egg Yolk Batter
6 egg yolks
4 tbsp cooking oil
60ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
50gm caster sugar
110gm self-raising flour
few drops green food colour
few drops pink food colour
few drops yellow food colour
1 tsp cocoa powder (I use 1/2 tsp chocolate paste)

Egg White Foam
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
100gm caster sugar

Method :

  1. To make egg yolk batter, combine egg yolks, cooking oil, milk, vanilla essence and sugar in a mixing bowl. Fold in sifted flour until forms batter.
  2. Divide batter into 4 portions. Add in the different colour separately, mix until well blended.
  3. To make egg white foam, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until mixture forms soft peaks. Gradually add in sugar, whisking at high speed until frothy and stiff peaks form.
  4. Divide egg white foam into 4 portions. Gently fold into egg yolk batter separately, mix until well blended.
  5. Pour the green, pink, cocoa and yellow batter into ungreased 9 inches (22cm) tube pan by sequence. Bake in preheated oven at 170C for 30-40 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Remove from oven, invert cake onto table until completely cooled. 



For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysia time. Good luck!

11 days left to submit your entry!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hello Ladies! Aren't We Beautiful!

My sister sent me this email and I simply got to share it with all you beautiful women out there! Yes, this is for you!

Hi , Ms . B e a u t i f u l !!! 


Did you know that it's Beautiful Women Month? 


Well , it is and that means you and me. 
I'm supposed to send this to FIVE 
and you are one of them!!! 
~~ Beauty of a Woman ~~ 
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears , 
The figure she carries , or the way she combs her hair. 
The beauty of a woman must be seen from her eyes , 
Because that is the doorway to her heart , 
The place where love resides. 
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole , 
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. 
It is the caring that she lovingly gives , 
The passion that she shows. 
The beauty of a woman 
With time , only grows.. 


The I mages of A Mom 

4 YEARS OF AGE Y My Mommy can do anything! 
8 YEARS OF AGE Y My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot! 
12 YEARS OF AGE Y My Mother doesn't really know quite everything. 
14 YEARS OF AGE Y Naturally , Mother doesn't know that , either! 
16 YEARS OF AGE Y Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned. 
18 YEARS OF AGE Y That old woman? She's way out of date! 
25 YEARS OF AGE Y Well , she might know a little bit about it. 
35 YEARS OF AGE Y Before we decide , let's get Mom's opinion. 
45 YEARS OF AGE Y Wonder what Mom would have thought about it? 
65 YEARS OF AGE Y Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Red Bean Loaf

This bread is so good spread with butter, or just eat it as it is. The texture of this bread is really, really soft, moist and soooo... good! Need further convincing? Go make one and find out yourself!

Look at the top of the bread. I almost burned it! Alright, maybe I burnt it a little! Other than this, this is one beautiful bread!

Look at the beautiful soft and moist texture of this bread. This recipe is from my favourite local chef, Alex Goh. I love his bread recipes. I wanted to make a plain bread without the red bean,  but I do have a small can of red kidney beans in my pantry and I'm trying to clear my pantry, so I used this instead. It turned out great! I baked this the day before and sliced it the next morning, spread with some butter, and of course, with a cup of coffee, makes a really satisfying breakfast. I even saved a slice to keep for the third day, just to see how long it stays soft and it is as gorgeously soft as on the day it is baked! My hubby really, really love this bread! Looks like this bread will be a regular "visitor" in my kitchen!

Can you see how soft the bread is by the way the slices are resting, drooping down?  I use the breadmaker machine for the dough. Refer to my steps after the recipe. Well, if you are convinced and would like to try it, here's the recipe : 
Red Bean Loaf
(adapted from "Magic Bread" by Alex Goh)
Ingredients A :
120gm bread flour
85gm boiling water

Ingredients B :
380gm bread flour
60gm sugar
6gm salt
8gm instant yeast

Ingredients C :
120gm cold milk
100gm whipping cream
1 cold egg

Ingredients D :
40gm butter

Ingredients E :
180gm red bean filling (I use canned red kidney beans, washed and drained)

Method :

  1. Add the boiling water from A into flour, mix into a dough. Cover and set aside to cool. Keep refrigerated for at least 12 hours.
  2. Mix B until well-blended.  Add in  C and knead to form rough dough.  Add in A and knead until well-blended.
  3. Add in D and knead to form elastic dough.  Set aside to proof for 40 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, 250gm each and mould it round.  Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll it flat and place 45gm of red bean filling over the dough.  Roll it up like Swiss Roll. Place 2 pieces of dough into a greased 20x11x11cm loaf tin. Make 2 loafs. Let it proof for 50 minutes.
  6. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes.
(my notes : Using the breadmaker ~ Put the cold milk, cold egg, whipping cream and butter in pan of breadmaker. Add the bread flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. Set to basic dough setting. After mixture has come to a rough dough, add in ingredients A (I cut the dough from ingredients A into quarters and add in one at a time). Let the machine do the rest of the kneading until a smooth dough is formed.  Take the dough out and set aside for about 40-50 minutes.  Continue from Step 4.  I baked mine as one loaf in a 23x8x13 cm loaf pan, letting the dough rise to just above the pan level before baking.)


For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysia time. Good luck!

15 days left to submit your entry!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tiramisu Roulade

Found this recipe at Cakes, Biscuits and Slices from Australian Women's Weekly.  There's  no oil or butter in this cake. The texture is soft but not as soft as other swiss roll I've eaten before and it is a little bit too sweet for me. This is quite a nice cake, but I would prefer if it is a little more spongy with a softer texture. But my hubby seems to like this cake. He says this cake is really nice and the sweetness is just right, and he usually doesn't like anything that is sweet! Or perhaps it is just me! Has anyone tried this recipe before? What do you think? 

I'm sharing this with Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story

Tiramisu Roulade
(adapted from "Cakes, Biscuits &  Slices" from Australian Women's Weekly)
2 tbsp coffee-flavoured liquer (I use Kahlua)
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 tbsp boiling water
3 eggs
1/2 cup (110gm) caster sugar, extra
1/2 cup (75gm) plain flour
2 tbsp flaked almonds

Coffee Liquer Cream
1 cup (250gm) mascarpone
1/2 cup (125ml) thickned cream
2 tbsps coffee-flavoured liquer

  1. Preheat oven to hot (220C/200C fan-forced).  Grease 25cm x 30cm swiss roll pan; line base and two long sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm over long sides.
  2. Combine liquer with the water and sugar in small saucepan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, without stirring, about 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly.  Remove from heat, stir in half of the coffee; reserve syrup.
  3. Dissolve the remaining coffee in the boiling water.
  4. Beat eggs and extra sugar in small bowl with electric mixer about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick; transfer to large bowl, fold in dissolved coffee.
  5. Meanwhile, sift flour twice onto paper.  Sift flour over egg mixture then fold gently into mixture.  Spread sponge mixture into pan; sprinkle with almonds.  Bake about 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, place a piece of baking paper cut the same size as swiss roll pan on bench; sprinkle evenly with about 2 teaspoons of caster sugar.  Turn sponge onto sugared paper; peel away lining paper. Use serrated knife to cut crisp edges from all sides of sponge.  Roll sponge from long side, using paper as guide; cool.
  7. Meanwhile, beat ingredients for coffee liquer cream in small bowl with electric mixer until firm peaks form.  Unroll sponge, brush with reserved syrup.  Spread cream over sponge then re-roll sponge. Cover roulade with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.


For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysia time. Good luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Angie's Pumpkin Yeast Bread and Mary's Zucchini Muffins

Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Made this delicious, soft bread a couple of weeks ago but never got round to post it! This recipe is from Angie's Recipes, as many of you already know, Angie's breads are all outrageously gorgeous, stunning, simply beautiful to look at. When I saw this pumpkin bread made by Angie, I simply got to try it. I followed the recipe exactly as given, except that I use instant yeast instead of fresh yeast. Angie advised to use about 7gm  of instant yeast. The result is a beautiful loaf of such gorgeous colour. I eat it plain with lots of butter and toasted it the next day spread with butter and jam. For the full recipe and beautiful pictures, please visit Angie's Recipe ~ Pumpkin Yeast Bread.

Zucchini Muffin
This recipe is from Mary at One Perfect Bite. I have seen many recipes using zucchini back in September, that I simply have got to try at least one. Zucchini is not a common everyday veggie over here in Malaysia. I have never tried zucchini before, even though I have seen them in TESCO.  There are lots of delicious zucchini recipes from so many of you, that I couldn't make up my mind which one to try! I finally chose this muffin from Mary who got it from King Arthur Flour.  It took me two whole weeks to find a zucchini! The morning market which I go to for my daily veggies does not sell zucchini. The only supermarket I found selling this is TESCO, but on two occasions that I went, the zucchini really have seen better days! They are not fresh and already starting to go soft. I finally found a very nice firm zucchini on one of my grocery shopping trips there. Bought it and made this muffin on that very day. These muffins are wonderful, they are really moist, soft and delicious. The only changes I did was to reduce the sugar to 140gm instead of 1 cup as indicated, but that's just my preference. For the full recipe, please visit Mary at One Perfect Bite ~ Zucchini Muffin.

Thank you Angie and Mary for sharing these two fabulous yummies!


For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysian time. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dimply Plum Cake

This recipe is definitely a keeper! This cake is moist, tender, with just the right amount of sweetness and it is delicious! It makes an 8" square cake, just the right size for my family. I like the texture of this cake. It is very moist and very tasty, perhaps from the combination of butter and oil. I think the butter makes it really yummy and the oil helps to keep it moist and tender. 

I only use 5 plums instead of 8 as suggested, I couldn't fit all 8 in the pan. The arrangement will be 3 half plums in rows of three, making it a total of 9 half plums, with 9 servings. Dorie says that on day 1, the texture is slightly crumbly, on day 2 and 3, it is soft and moist. I couldn't decide which one I prefer, I love them both!

These plums are sweet and a little tart, just right.

The recipe calls for cardamom spice, but I substitute it with about 1/8 tsp of ground ginger instead, as I'm afraid that my children may not like the cardamom.  I really think the ground ginger is a lovely combination to the flavour of this cake, it is not overpowering, with just a slight hint of the ginger, that the kids did not even notice! I did tweak the sugar a little. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup tightly packed, I loosen the brown sugar to make it more fluffier and then scoop into the cup to make a 3/4 cup, lightly packed, not tightly packed. It turns out just right.

I would definitely make this again, perhaps with combination of other fruits and spice, as suggested by Dorie Greenspan. 

If you do not have plums, you can always substitute with other fruits, as suggested by Dorie in "Playing Around".

I'm sharing this yummy cake at :

Dimply Plum Cake
(adapted from "Baking From My Home To Yours" by Dorie Greenspan)
Ingredients :
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional) (I use 1/8 tsp ground ginger)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (about 160gm)
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar 
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as conala or safflower
grated zest of 1 orange
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 purple or red plums (in the fall, use Italian prune plums), halved and pitted

Getting Ready :
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom, if you're using it, together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition.  On medium speed, beat in the oil, orange zest and vanilla. The batter will look very light and smooth, almost satiny. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.
Run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.  Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter - I usually make 4 rows of 4 plum halves each - jiggling the plums a tad just so they settle comfortably into the batter.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes - during which time the plums' juice will return to the fruit - then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.

Serving : You can serve this cake while it is still warm or wait until it reaches room temperature.

Storing : The cake can be kept well wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days, though its texture will change (not unappealingly) over this time.  On day 1, the cake has somewhat firm, slightly crumbly texture - reminiscent of corn bread; on days 2 and 3, after some time under wraps, it is soft and moist. It does not freeze well.

Playing Around : This cake works well with several other kinds of fruit. Apricots, peaches, nectarines and cherries are all good.  If you'd like, omit the cardamom or substitute another spice.  Similarly, you can trade in the orange zest for lemon, lime or even grapefruit.  Here are some of my favorite combinations : apricots with orange zest and a teensy pinch of ground star anise; peaches with lemon zest and a little finely chopped fresh basil ; nectarines with orange zest ; and cherries with lime zest.


For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysian time. Good luck!