Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happy Belly Pork Braised

The family very seldom eats pork belly cos' of the fatty layer. Nevertheless I tried doing this recipe and it was good. We ate everything up except the fatty layer.

Recipe was adapted from Kitchencapers.


Pork belly 500 gm
Cloves with skin 4 nos.
Ginger, smashed 2 nos. thumbsize
Rock sugar 1 tbsp
Dark soya sauce 120 mls
Oyster sauce 1 tbsp
Cinnamon stick 1 nos.
Star Anise 2 nos.
Hot water half cup


Fry the cloves and ginger with 3 tbsp of hot oil.
Add in the rock sugar and a little water and heat till it caramelises.
Add in the cinnamon stick, star anise and the pork belly.
Coat pork belly with the caramelised sugar.
Add in the dark soya sauce, oyster sauce and water.
Simmer for about an hour and then check if meat is tender.
Cool down and chop meat into pieces.
You may want to retain the gravy for other dishes.

My minimum cream loggie

Presenting my first log cake. It's made of chocolate sponge sprinkled with walnuts and the filling is buttercream. I decorated it with snow powder and the X'mas figurines were from last year's log cake.

Ingredients for the chocolate sponge....

Eggs 4 nos.
Caster sugar 80 gm
Cake flour 80 gm
Cocoa powder 20 gm
Cornoil 60 gm
Walnuts chopped 50 gm


Whisked eggs and sugar till light and fluffy.
Gently fold in sifted flour and cocoa powder.
Add in cornoil and mix well.
Sprinkle on top of the batter with chopped walnuts .
Pour batter into 10" by 14" baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake at 190 degree C for 10 mins.
Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack.
When sponge is cool, spread with buttercream and roll a tight roll from the longer side. Leave roll in fridge for about an hour.
Decorate with snow powder.

(Chocolate sponge was adapted from the Tiramisu Swiss Roll from yochana's blog)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Finesse .... Fish head curry without the head.

I managed to cook this today using the Sheen fish head curry paste. I prefer to use the tail section of the white snapper cos' it definitely has more meat to eat.
Instructions are easy to follow and I just needed to add in the onion, tomato and brinjals. This time round I used the coconut milk from the packet to make the gravy more lemak and the family loved it. Here's sharing with you the dish ...

Blissful .... Banana Muffins

A rainy afternoon and I had some bananas left . I decided to make use of the bananas before they over ripen and turn black. Anyway dd has also been asking for banana muffins eversince Charlie of Hi-5 mentioned them in one of the cds that she had watched. I used the recipe that LeeLee had shared in m4m.
It's a really good recipe. The muffin is nice and soft and dd and I had a whale of a time decorating them with choco chips and koko crunch. Presenting them as ...Teddy bear banana muffins....

For the next batch I had sprinkle them with chopped walnuts.

Here's sharing the recipe with you ....

Plain flour 150 gm
Caster sugar 100 gm
Baking powder one and half tsp
Egg 1 no.
Salted butter 50 gm
Milk 75 ml
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Bananas 3 nos. mashed
Walnuts 50 gm

Pre-heat oven to 190 degree C.
Sift flour, baking powder into a bowl.
In another bowl, whisk butter and sugar together.
Add in egg and vanilla and beat till fluffy.
Mix in the mashed bananas.
With the mixer at low speed, add in the flour alternating with the milk.
Spoon into prepared muffin cups filling them till two thirds full.
Bake until golden brown. (Mini muffins about 15 mins. and regular size ones require 20-25 mins.)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Definitive ... Dinner Collages

Presenting photos galore......

Rapturous...Red Bean Paste in Buns

Finally, I managed to completely use up the one kilo of red bean paste that I bought sometime ago. All the red bean paste went into the three kinds of buns that I baked below using the Sweet Bun Dough recipe.

An Pan Buns.

Caterpillar Buns.

Red Bean Bun Twist.

Kinky...Kai Yang Chicken

This seasoning is one of my family's favourite. Just need to add a couple of tbsp of oil to the seasoning to one kg. of chicken parts and marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight. Grill chicken at 200 degree c for 40 mins and the dish is ready to serve. The seasoning is heavy on tumeric and tends to stain the tablecloth yellow.

Blanching Mustard Greens ....

This is another way of cooking vegetable.
Add one litre of water to a pot, a tbsp of cooking oil and a tsp of salt. Boil the water. Add in the mustard greens (one packet) and leave it in the boiling water for a minute or till the stems soften. Take care not to boil too long or else the vege will turn yellow. Switch off the fire and leave the vege in the hot water for another minute. Drain the veges and put on a plate. I'll then drizzle onion oil (about 2 tbsp) and add a tbsp of kikomon light soya sauce and a dash of pepper and sprinkle a handful of fried shallots. Ta-dah and it's ready to serve :-)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

It was from HERE that I learned about the recipe for the pumpkin roll. This roll has walnuts and pumpkin puree on it and it was a challenge to make a roll out of the sponge. The recipe doesn't have oil or butter but the sponge turned out soft and it was so soft that it cracked terribly when I rolled it. The reason could be that I didn't follow exactly what the video demonstrated and tried to short-cut the process. Nevertheless, the result of the recipe tasted good and the walnuts and cracks made the roll look a lot like a true log. Will be trying this recipe again and this time I may want to do some things differently.

The recipe was taken from the Kraftfoods website and I followed the recipe using the same amount of ingredients. The only exception was that I used only one tsp of cinnamon spice instead of pumpkin spice and used buttercream for the filling instead of creamcheese.

Seductive ...Shrimp Paste Sutchi Fish Fillet

What else can I do with shrimp paste? I tried it on the fish next but pan-fried it instead. This was what I got ..... and it was nice eating the fish with Japanese mayonnaise.

Sutchi fish fillet 2 pieces (400 gm) cut into cubes
Marinade fillet for an hour with ....
1 tbsp Chinese wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
half a tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp shrimp paste powder

Pan-fry in about 8 tbsp of hot oil and several pieces of ginger slices.

When fillet pieces turn golden brown, remove from oil and place on dish with shredded carrot.

Serve hot with white rice and a Japanese Mayonnaise dip.

Gorgeously.....Grilled Shrimp Paste Chicken

You know how I dislike to deep-fry food in the kitchen. I remembered Zu had shared her grilled crispy chicken in her blog and I adapted her recipe using the following seasonings below. The result is a crispy skinned chicken and ds B enjoyed eating it.

1 kg chicken mid-joint wings
4 tbsp shrimp paste powder
1 no. egg
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp crispy fry mix
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
2 tbsp sesame oil

Mix all the ingredients above and marinade the chicken parts with it for an hour or more.

Lay out chicken parts on an aluminium paper lined baking tray.

Bake at 200 degree C for 40 mins or until chicken parts turn golden brown.

Monday, November 20, 2006

18th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations

How time flies and it's already 18 years. Now with 2 teenagers, a pre-teen and a three year old, I was wondering how to cater to everyone's need to eat and enjoy themselves. So after Mass at 9 am. we drove down to SAFRA Tampines as we wanted to have our lunch at the Sakura Buffet Restaurant. We were a tad too early for them as the restaurant only opens at 12 noon. so with an hour to kill, I suggested to dh to go to the bowling alley to have a game. The Cathay Bowl was not crowded as we were early. We managed to have 5 games and the boys played snooker for a while. I can see that they really enjoyed themselves except for dd who cried her heart out cos she couldn't wear a pair of bowling shoes as her feet were too small. For that moment, I regret not having put an extra pair of shoes in the car. Other than that, all went well and we were really hungry after the bowling games. We headed down to the restaurant and there was already a queue forming. Howere we didn't need to wait long cos' the place had a huge seating capacity. Here's sharing with you some of the food pics and also the play pics I took during the day.

Do you recognise some of the family's favourite food taken that lunch?.
I realised that I missed out taking pics of the whole lot of sushi variety that dh was eating.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Zizzer-Zazzer Zu's Rainbow Steamed Cake

Finally I managed to sum up enough courage to attempt this recipe which I found in Zu's blog. This was because , after two bouts of making cheesecakes I had enough egg whites from 8 eggs to do this. I have no regrets cos it turned out to be a wonderfully smooth and soft cake. However, I did wish that I had taken more pains to do the layering a little thinner to achieve the "kueh lapis" effect. I halved the recipe cos I was using a 6 inch heart shape cake pan and there was still enough to make about ten "chew kueh" size ones.
Thanks to Zu for sharing this recipe cos now I know what I can do with my left-over egg whites.

Click HERE for the Original Rainbow Sponge Cake Recipe.

Vanilla Honey Cupcakes Pressies ....

Dd's kindy was going to have a class party on the last day of kindy school. I volunteered to bake a batch of mini cupcakes for her to share with her classmates. On baking day itself dd helped me out in the kitchen from placing the paper cups into the mould and decorating the batter with hundreds and thousands to becoming the official taster of the vanilla honey cupcakes. She is surely one happy girl.

I also did some bigger cupcakes and frosted them with buttercream to give them to the bus auntie and bus driver as well as the teachers of dd's class. This is just a little something to thank them for the year. The funny thing was when I showed them to dh, he asked me whether the bus uncle and auntie will eat these cupcakes? I really couldn't answer him. I supposed it's the thought that counts ......

Here's sharing with you the recipe that was posted by a mom at M4M
I adapted it a little by using Self-raising flour instead of plain flour.

Salted butter 115 gm
Caster sugar 115 gm
Eggs 2 nos
Self-raising flour 240 gm
Milk 125 mls
Honey 3 Tbsp
Vanilla essence 2 tsp

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs, one at a time.
Make hot the milk and add honey into the milk to melt and mix it.
Add the mixture of milk and honey into the creamed butter and sugar.
Add in vanilla essence. Mix well.
Add in the flour and mix well.
Spoon into mini muffin pan and bake at a pre-heated oven of 180 degree C for 15-20 mins.
Cool and store in an air-tight container.

NB: This is enough to make 48 pieces of mini cupcakes.
CLICK HERE for frosting ideas.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Soothing ...SOUPS

My family is into occasional soup drinking only even though we are Cantonese. The main reason is because I find that after boiling the ingredients for two hours, I've got to throw away the ingredients and it's such a wasteful act. No one in the family likes to eat the boiled meat eventhough I try to entice them to eat the meat by dipping the meat into sauces. So here is sharing the occasional soups that I've made .....

Watercress chicken soup.
This is one of my favourite and dh's too cos I will eat the watercress while dh and dss will eat the chicken. This soup is easy to make......
Boil 1 litre of water in a pot, put in 300 gm of fresh chicken drumsticks (blanched with hot water first). Add 5 slices of old ginger, 8 nos. red dates and a bunch of watercress. Boil and then simmer all together for about two hours. Season with salt according to your taste.

Bak Kut Teh.
I cook this using this brand of seasoning. Just need to follow the instructions given behind the package. This soup, everyone eats the meat cos it requires only 45 mins of preparation time, so the meat still retains it's taste. We like the one with the tradtional taste and usually dip the meat in black soya sauce to eat with white rice. Sometimes the soup also goes into the rice.

Kindred Kiwi Cheesecake with Fruits Cocktail

I learned how to do this particular cheesecake from a Phoon Huat demo. class but adapted the recipe cos I had to make my own kiwi puree using fresh kiwis. Make the kiwi puree a day ahead.

Kiwi Puree
7 to 8 nos. kiwi fruits, skinned and diced.
Blend them up till smooth in a blender.
Sieve the blended puree to take out the black seeds and larger bits of fruit flesh.
Using a double boiler, mix in 60 gm. of caster sugar with the sieved puree and mix till the sugar dissolved.
Cool and keep in the fridge for next day use.
You may keep kiwi puree in the freezer for a longer time if you're not using it the next day.

This recipe uses a 9 " by 9 " square baking pan.

Ingredients and method :

Baked crust layer :
140 gm almond ground (toasted)
100 gm digestive biscuits (grounded & toasted)
60 gm brown sugar
90 gm unsalted butter (melted)

Mix all the above ingredients together.
Press the the mixture evenly into a baking pan.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree for 10-15 mins.
Cool and then chill in the freezer for 15 mins.

Cheese layer:
500 gm cream cheese (soften)
80 gm caster sugar
400 gm kiwi puree
4 nos. egg yolks
4 tbsp gelatine powder (36 gm)
120 gm water
300 gm Millac cream
160 gm tropical fruits cocktail

Beat the cream cheese and sugar till smooth.
Add in the egg yolks, one at a time and combine till smooth.
Add in the kiwi puree and mix well.
Dissolve gelatine in water using a double boiler.
When it's warm, add into the above mixture.
Whip up the millac cream till soft peak.
Add in the millac cream into the mixture above.
Use a whisk to blend in everything.
Take the chilled base out and put in the tropical fruits cocktail on the biscuit base.
Pour the mixture onto the chilled biscuit base.
Put in freezer for about two hours or put in the chiller overnight

Monday, November 13, 2006

Appealing Apple Pecan Quickbread

I did this sometime ago for a small gathering and had good feedback about it. Now sharing this with you ....

This recipe was taken from Quick Breads by Liz Franklin


250 g butter
300 g self-raising flour
300 g sugar
150 g pecans, chopped
3 apples (green or red) cored and chopped with skin
2 eggs, beaten


1. Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
2. Rub butter, flour together till they look like breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in the sugar.
4. Add in the pecans and apples.
5. Stir in the beaten eggs.
6. Spoon into a 900g loaf tin and bake for 1hr. 10 mins.
or until loaf is golden brown.
7. Leave to cool in pan for about 20 mins and then
turn onto wire rack to cool further.
8. Store loaf in air tight container.
9. Loaf can be frozen up to three months in the fridge.

NB: Instead of using a single loaf pan I divided
the batter to bake in 4 smaller loaves.
The baking time is reduced to about 50 mins.

Captivating Cheese Swiss Roll

I made these especially for my parents to celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary in a small way. Cos my papa is mildly diabetic and mummy doesn't fancy anything too sweet, I searched the Elegant Swiss Roll book and came upon this cheese swiss roll. I adapted it to make the roll seen below and the result is a savoury sweet roll with the aroma of Italian herbs.


6 nos. eggs
120 gm caster sugar
1 tsp Italian herbs seasoning
130 gm plain flour
10 gm parmesan cheese powder
80 gm salted butter (melted)
A sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese to
decorate the top of the sponge batter .

Filling is plain buttercream.


Pre-heat oven to 200 degree C and line a 10" by 14" baking pan.

Using a mixer, beat eggs and sugar till light, fluffy and thick.

Add in the Italian herbs, flour, parmesan cheese and melted butter and mix untill well combined.

Spread mixture onto baking pan and sprinkle with cheedar cheese.

Bake for 10 mins. and leave to cool.

Turn cake onto sheet of paper and spread with buttercream filling.

Roll gently from the longer side using paper to guide roll.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fantastically Simple French Toast.

This is the family's favourite breakfast and ds J has been asking for it for the umpteenth time since the exams were over. I just need to dip day old bread into an egg and sugar mixture and fry the battered bread in either oil or melted butter/margarine. It goes nicely with a cup of coffee or milo. The prepared toast is usually eaten with golden/maple syrup or honey.
I usually use 3 eggs and 3 tbsp of sugar and whisked them for a minute.
This is enough for about 12 slices of plain white bread.
Then I'll fry each piece of bread with a tbsp. of oil. I need to do them one at a time cos my frying pan size is just enough to hold a piece of bread.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Pan fried tumeric fish steak (Seri-Aji seasoning)

This is what I used to season 400 gm of batang fish steak. Add in a tbsp. each of cooking oil , chinese wine, corn flour and juice from a lime.
Marinade for an hour and pan fry the fish steaks in hot oil.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rice and fish ...please.

So far, she never gets tired of eating rice and steam fish. She can eat this twice a day five days a week. Come weekends, she'll ask for chicken rice.
For variation, sometimes I fry fish for her cos I get tired of eating steam fish five days a week ;-)

For this simple dish, I'll use either sutchi or dory fish fillet and sometimes I'll also use threadfin fish. For 200 gm of fish fillet, I'll marinade the fish with a tbsp. each of chinese wine, sesame oil,cooking oil, light soya sauce and sprinkle with a dash of salt, pepper and sugar.
I'll also put three slices of ginger, juliened and smash a couple of garlic to put on top of the fish. Then I'll add about 6 to 8 tbsps of water to the dish and marinade for about half an hour. After that, just need to cover with a glass cover and pop the whole dish into the microwave.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Half a naked chef curry chicken.

Curry chicken is my family's favourite. Everyone will eat it, including my dd who is only three years old. I'm thankful that technology in food preservation has advanced so much that it has made curry pre-mixes easily available at the supermarkets. Also simple instructions are available at the back of the packaging to make cooking curry so easy. Gone are the days when I saw my grandaunt had to slave literally overnight to pound her curry mix and cook curry the next day.
I've used many brands of curry premixes like As-Sufi, Hai's, A1, Prima but the family only likes the curry when I cook it with the Sheen's curry meat premix. This has a more spicy and tangy taste when compared with the rest that I've used.Here's letting the photos do the talking ...

Cos' ds B loves his curry chicken so much, he asked me to teach him how to cook it. Using the Sheen curry meat pre-mix, I just added potatoes, tomatoes, onions and curry leaves to cook the curry. Sometimes I may also add cabbage or carrots to the dish.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Effortless ...Egg Tofu

Egg tofu is very easy to use. Most of the time I'll just dip the cut egg tofu into corn flour and pan fry it with a little oil. In the first dish below, I just stir-fry minced meat and chopped garlic with oyster sauce and added the pan fried egg tofu to it. In the second egg tofu dish, I used the left-over soya sauce chicken gravy and added the tofu to it with a handful of mixed vegetables. Sharing pics of the dishes here with you ....

Magnificent ....Mango Cheesecake

This is my ds B's favourite comfort food.
Today, I made enough to share some with my parents. The recipe is adapted from a chill cheesecake recipe from a Phoon Huat demo class which I attended.

This recipe uses a 9 " by 9 " square baking pan.


Baked crust layer :
140 gm almond ground (toasted)
100 gm digestive biscuits (grounded & toasted)
67 gm brown sugar
90 gm unsalted butter (melted)

Mix all the above ingredients together.
Press the the mixture evenly into a baking pan.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree for 10-15 mins.
Cool and then chill in the freezer for 15 mins.

Cheese layer:
500 gm cream cheese (soften)
80 gm caster sugar
400 gm mango puree
4 nos. egg yolks
4 tbsp gelatine powder (36 gm)
120 gm water
300 gm Millac cream
160 gm mango cubes

Beat the cream cheese and sugar till smooth.

Add in the egg yolks, one at a time and combine till smooth.

Add in the mango puree and mix well.

Dissolve gelatine in water using a double boiler. When it's warm, add into the above mixture.

Whip up the millac cream till soft peak.

Add in the millac cream into the mixture above. Use a whisk to blend in everything.

Take the chilled base out and put in the mango cubes on the biscuit base.

Pour the mixture onto the chilled biscuit base.

Put in freezer for about an hour or put in the chiller overnight

Monday, November 06, 2006

Muah Chee Adventure ....

I remember the day when dh returned from work and asked me if I knew how to make muah chee. I said I didn't but I could search for the recipe from the cooking websites that I frequent. He then shoved a piece of paper into my hands and said that his colleague made muah chee with the recipe given. I looked at the recipe and realised that the instructions given were very simple. My boys overheard our conversation and immediately got all excited. I managed to get hold of the ingredients the next day and here's sharing the pics of our Muah Chee Adventure.

Muah chee, finally steamed in the onion oil and checked that it's done.

My dss A and B couldn't wait to roll the muah chee in the peanut sugar mixture.

Here's ds getting hold of the muah chee in his hands to roll in the peanut sugar mixture. That's for him to eat only ;-p

Presenting...... the muah chee.

Recipe for Muah Chee
500gm of Glutinous rice powder (elephant brand)
800 mls of water
Mix them together to form mixture A .
Grease a tray with about 4 tbsp of Onion Oil (bought mine from NTUC) .
Pour mixture A into the tray.
Steam for about half hour (use chopstick to test for firmness when it's done).

Cut out the muah chee when it's warm and roll the pieces onto the prepared sugar/peanut powder(also bought from NTUC).
Ratio 1 sugar : 2 peanut powder Or adjust the sweetness according to your taste.
NB: We did only half recipe and already ate till jelak yum, yum.
Muah chee tastes best when freshly made and eaten the same day.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pleasing ....Plum Sauce Chicken Grilled

I like using plum sauce for cooking chicken and fish. It gives a different taste compared to the usual oyster sauce that I use.Try it and you may like it ....Both recipes were adapted from Kitchencapers.

Grill chicken drumsticks in plum sauce mix.

1 kg chicken drumsticks
Pound together 5 slices of ginger and 3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp plum sauce
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp honey
half a tsp salt

Marinade the drumsticks with all the ingredients above for about an hour or more.

Grill in a pre-heated oven at 200 degree C for 40 mins or till chicken drumsticks brown.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My favourite Beef Stew ....chinese style.

I suppose when I cook this dish using this recipe eight out of ten times, I could say that it has become my favourite. It's adapted from the Pregnancy & Confinement Cookbook by Ng Siong Mui. This book is actually my favourite cookbook bought during the time when I had my dd. I am cooking quite a number of recipes here up until this very day.

500 gm beef flank
2 potatoes, wedged
2 tomatoes, wedged
1 carrot, wedged
1 spanish/yellow onion, quartered

Marinade for beef: (one hour)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp oil

Heat up 3 tbsp of oil. Add in carrots and onions and fry for about a minute.

Add in the marinaded beef and fry for about 3 minutes.

Pour in about 800 mls of water and bring contents to boil.

Add in the tomatoes and potatoes and continue to cook for about half an hour.

Check for meat tenderness and add seasoning to taste.

(Sometimes to vary the taste, I'll add about 2 tbsp of either rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar. This will make the dish a little more tangy than usual).

More Swiss rolls and Swiss roll tips....

Finally with the Pandan swiss roll I've managed to roll a perfect roll :-)
If you're curious enough, maybe you'll want to try to do one too.

Click here for some tips on making a Vanilla Swiss Roll.

And for the basic sugar roll recipe .... click here

Pandan swiss roll.

Colored swiss roll.

Mosaic swiss roll.