Woman's Weekly: Chocolate Temptations

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I know i've been MIA in the blog world...in fact i've been MIA in the internet world for some time now *awkward smile* ermmm been busy with Eid, then i had company training in Singapore ( i was recently recruited) for about a week then i had to rush finish my MBA assignment and in between i had to cater for our office presentation for JKR (one of Malaysian Government body). well i didn't cook or anything i just out sourced it and it was only for 60 people. i don't have the time to do it all on my own *sigh* but anyway from my 'break' i'm still lazy to cook...oh yeah did i mentioned that i had food poisoning and still recovering? yeah there's that too.

heheehhe and with all that i'm still in the LAZY mood so for this N3 i'd like to feature a  couple of recipes from Women's Magazine Malaysian edition May 2010. I've tried it and its WONDERFULLY FANTASTIC! heeheh well simply put I liked it and my family loves it too so I thought that it is worth mentioning/ recommending it here. if you have the magazine, by all means try it other wise have a looksie here I've scanned it and i'm posting it here hehehe (it really shows that i am that lazy) lol

My Fave Products (Food & things alike)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Salam Ramadhan my Muslim friends. i know i should probably post about ramadhan dish or desserts...the truth is that this ramadhan i feel so lazy to cook, that and also because i am now house sitting for my parents....its one of those thing when you're not in your own turf you just don't have the mood (well mainly coz i'm not familiar with mom's kitchen equipment since she renovate her kitchen a while ago)

So anyway for this N3 i thought that i just share with you my favorite products...products that we keep buying coz we love it (rather than keep this blog idle for a month)....ok the 1st on the list is :

First Pride Chicken Nugget (obviously this is not my pic credit to the owner) i love this nugget its exactly like McD's nuggets...its by Mac Food Services and when i search the net, i think it has something to do with McDonals...i believe it coz the nugget is EXACTLY like it! so don't buy your nuggets @ McD buy these uncooked ones..its cheaper!

Beryl's Chocolate Compound. I love Beryl's chocolate for cooking and for eating! they are Good quality chocolate. For cooking/baking they make your food taste better and their retail chocolates are extensive too (i live near its factory) and i've tried all of its production i love it....they sell it about 10% cheaper @ their factory so perhaps if you are interested you can drop by. They have 2 factories one in Seri Kembangan and the other (new factory) is in Bangi. They also have a chocolate house in KL.Another plus side is its Malaysian !
p/s: compare to the commercial cooking chocolate Tulip, Beryl's are way better!

Kenwood mixer. I absolutely love this mixer/brand as it is sturdy! I have exactly like this one at home and once it fell of the kitchen counter while i was kneading/mixing bread mixture. i think its a good 2.5 feet - 3 feet high fall. i almost cried and panicked, it only suffers from a hairline crack but it is still working as it is suppose to be, thank God! its still my trusted Betty i love it!
Tatura Butter (unsalted). This is probably the best butter I've ever consumed. its creamy and light at the same time..you just have to try to know what i'm talking about. Unfortunately i only use this butter on special occasion as it is freaking expensive for a daily baking routine. But i do have a fall back butter....that is quite OK and way far cheaper in some shops they were sold only RM2.9 but in average it is more or less RM3.50 still way more cheaper than tatura that sells around RM10 and above

Saf Instant Yeast. This is probably the best instant yeast ever! it never failed me before and its really fast acting yeast unlike Mauripan which is also Ok but i find it takes more time than saf instant. My bread always looks fluffy and soft, yes i always look for this brand when ever i want to bake bread

ok i guess thats all for now....my sandpaper throat is killing me and i think i need to rest or take a nap or something....*sigh* so bye for now...

Food for Kids: Oreo Medallion Pancake.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This is a very clever way to jazz up your ordinary pancake and the best part is KIDS WILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

My children is a very picky eaters....hmmm they would eat almost everything but not the same thing example: if i make them pancake today they won't eat them again next morning. this attitude my children have is a nuisance to me coz i would have to think all the different ways to serve the 'same' recipe to them. you get what i'm trying to say here? so you can imagine me cracking my brains just to get them eat. my inspiration for 'creative' kids cooking mostly were from Gourmet-mom-on-the-go she's damn creative and i love her ideas you should check her blog up!

But this one was my sister's idea. she told me that she made fried oreo using tempura batter and serve them as snacks with ice cream. For me i'm never good with tempura batter it always ended up soaking more oil then it should but it does give me an idea. Instead using tempura batter i use pancake batter. Genius!
Its so simple...all you need is store bought pancake - i use pillsbury buttermilk pancake and oreos. dump the cookie in the pancake batter then pan fry them as you would with pancake! How simple is that? the result is horrifyingly addictive. the cookies will be soft almost cake like in the center of the pancake batter. i made a lot of those my kids ate them up like there is no tomorrow. You can eat it plain or with your favorite ice cream.

frozen food tips

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

complete packed cottage pie . storing in ziplock bag is a good idea coz you can seal it then mark the dates and label it. otherwise a simple plastic would suffice but you'll need to seal it with a heat sealer.

Freeze Well Recipe: Cottage Pie Lasagna

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fasting month is coming and I am amp-ed up for my rainy days....hahahaha well not so much of rainy days but more of lazy days especially when you'd have to wake up at 4am to prepare a meal for 'Sahur'

what is Sahur? Suhoor (سحور lit. of the dawn), also called Sehri, Sahari and Sahur in other languages, is an Islamic term referring to the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting, sawm, in daylight hours during the Islamic month of Ramadan. The meal is eaten before the fajr or dawn. When its in the weeeeeee hours in the morning, most often then not you'd feel the lazy bones in you and sometime you even over slept and have not enough time to cook anything from scratch (i know some of us did either pre-cook or get the ingredients ready to cook the night before but even that i sometimes failed to do coz too tired from cooking 'breaking fast meals') so this recipe is perfect for that lazy or slipped up moments you might have (i know i always do).

For this recipe you only need about 10minutes for baking time (probably less if you pre-thawed and store it in the fridge the night before) coz the dish is already cooked, all you need is to brown the crust and let the cheese melt a little and you are ready to dig in!

I personally LOVE this recipe because it does freeze well and make life a lot simpler especially when you are not in the mood or lazy or whatever.... once frozen, its life is extended to 1-2 months...you can actually keep it up to 5 month maximum in a freezer but you may loose its flavor over that time so the best time to consume is within the 1st and 2nd month.

For this recipe you need a good baking potatoes. I'd say Russets or Idaho are good. I'm using Russets and you can buy them at Cold Storage in a pack for RM10 (9.90). Its a good deal considering that Russets, if you were to buy them individually by grams, they are quite expensive.

What you need:

about 5 med to large sized potatoes skinned, boiled and drained. - set a side.

25o g minced meat
1tsp ground black pepper

salt to taste

a pinch of sugar
1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 large onions sliced thinly.
1tsp balsamic vinegar
1 chopped carrots

1tsp soy sauce *optional

1 tsp paprika

1 can of mushroom
a pinch of dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 knob of butte

1 tbsp olive oil

shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
1 tub of yogurt (small tub)
salt to taste

1 1/2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

3tbsp flour

1 knob of butter

1 1/3c of water (plus minus)

1- heat a know of butter then add in sliced onions. Caramelized the onion. then add in the balsamic vinegar. cook through for a few minutes. then set a side. this will give the sauce a nice flavor of onion sweetness. Set a side.

2- season the minced meat with a bit of salt and paprika and olive oil. Mix well. then with some left over butter from cooking the onion cook the minced meat. once the meat is cooked add in the caramelized onions, mushrooms and carrots. Cook for another 10 minutes or so in a med to low heat. then remove from heat.

3- in a sauce pan. brown flour until it is brown in a med to low heat.. hehehe~ then add in another knob of butter and make a rue. Then add in water and slowly mix it until it is no longer lumpy.

4- then add in the meat mixture. cook through. if the gravy/sauce is thick then add in another 1/4 cup keep adding water until all ingredients are all cooked.

5- season the mixture with black pepper, salt, Worcestershire, soy sauce, sugar, thyme and bay leaf. The gravy should be some what loose and not to thick. a consistency of a loose custard? here's the reason why. because you want to freeze them, if the gravy is too thick, when you bake them the filling inside will be somewhat dry so its a good idea to make sure the filling's gravy is in the right consistency.

For the potatoes:
nice and smooth mash

1- mash the boiled potatoes. with a stand mixer with a whisk paddle. - to do this make sure that the potatoes are boiled thoroughly i.e soft or you'll spoil your whisk paddle.

2- then add in the yogurt, Parmesan cheese and salt. whisk until all incorporated.

I lined my cups with left over lasagna sheets uncooked. for some extra bites.
Pipe away!

1 - prepare a foil cups. add in the meat feelings them pipe out the mashed potatoes on top of the fillings making sure that its all covered. then sprinkle the cheese.

2- freeze the pies then individually pack them. I sealed them with aluminum foil first them pack them in a clear plastic and sealed them.

Its important to freeze the pies first or you'll ruin the swirl piped mashed potatoes with cheese on top.

1. add in some leftover lasagna sheets, it'll make the pie more filling and kids will love it too.
2. if adding lasagna sheets make sure that the gravy is loose.
3. Make sure that you use CLEAN utensil to avoid contamination.

Semolina Honey Almond Pudding

Monday, July 4, 2011

I have a kilo of semolina that i 've only used about 100g + for a failed cake recipe and a traditional kuih talam ( i got the kuih right but the portion of it is big for my small family size. i had to 'donate' it out for the thankful neighbors). So what else is semolina flour is good for? other than cake, & traditional kuih, apparently its pudding. But obviously the recipe DID NOT call for a 900g worth of semolina flour. Again we are only using it for about another 100g, it seem like its gonna take forever to use up all the semolina flour, right? I keep my semolina left over flour in the fridge so that i can hold on to its 'freshness' longer or at least until figure out what to do with them.

I came up with this recipe inspired by the middle east dessert of rice pudding, the texture and taste i basically based on the 'cake' and 'kuih' i supposed and that is why i have the idea of the honey and almond in the mix. its good combo i must say and i must add that its a VERY comforting food (*whispering* and filling too) well at least to me it is.

if you ask me about its origin, i'm not sure but i think its probably be Greek? coz if i am not mistaken, the word semolina derived from a Greek word 'semidalis' weird huh? well more directly it was from Italian word 'semola' that was borrowed from a latin word 'simila' which means flour that borrow from the Greek word....heh am i making any sense? well if you don't just google semolina origin i'm sure you'll get the appropriate info about this.

anyways...my dessert is inspired by the middle east rice pudding. I suck at making rice pudding and hate tasting it coz its just weird having rice as dessert. I am pretty sure that Malaysian palate is not accustom to sweetened rice *blurgh* but then again maybe its just me.

Ok Ok moving on...here is the recipe:

500ml milk (this is a plus minus please add more if the mixture is too thick)
knob of butter ( i actually put in about a table spoon of quality butter it really makes the difference)
60g semolina
1c water
5tbsp honey
11/2tbsp ground almond
a tiny pinch of salt

- soak semolina in 1 cup of water. until it swollen and less watery. this should take about 10-15minutes. but if your mixture is thick after few minutes of mixing, add in a couple table spoon of water.( the idea is to swollen the grain,this step will make the cooking time a lot faster)

- heat milk & butter until it gently simmering. then add in the 'swollen' semolina mixture.

- cook it until it have that ALMOST 'custardy' texture then add in the ground almond, honey, salt. Stir and mixing it thoroughly under a med-low fire.

- the mixture texture should be thick but slightly runny. the pudding will set further after chill time. So your mixture should not be too tight and thick. you get what i mean? if you don't just ask, i'll be happy to help. ;)

- place your mixture in a ramekins of your choice and let it chill! well i personally like it when its still warm ^_^

I'm not an expert of everything...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Salam & Hi to all...

This entry is more like a rambling entry...i hope you don't mind. no recipes here just ramblings but not just any random ramblings (that i some how always to ramble away) but this time i thought of writing *ehem..ramble* about stuff that revolves around kitchen/cooking of baking....because like i say i'm no expert...

and again, like the title i'm not an expert of everything but i make my business (most of the time) to know or try to know about cooking and baking. The knowledge i have about baking and cooking are mostly from friends & families and also from some cooking & baking gurus - this include Anna Olson and her husband Mike Olson....seriously i literally 'stalk' them =p well i believe that asking and learning informally like that is the best way to acquire some of the BEST cooking and baking tips and stuff...right?

ok anyway i'm no expert (how many time have i been repeating this?) so there are some stuff that i manage to screw up baking.....believe me or not thats the truth... i think i have few on top of my head right now...its probably a list *lol* but it really KILLS me from the inside that i can't seem to do it RIGHT. do you know what i mean? its frustrating REALLY frustrating...

so here i'd like to reveal some of the stuff that i somehow effortlessly screw up the recipe/baking
Here goes...
10 - Semolina Cake
I know i know laugh if you will but for some reason i often fail to bake this wonderful cake....it always comes out dense and somehow 'uncook' God knows why...maybe its the recipe?

9 - dim sum dumplings
the dumpling that i meant is not those made with wonton skin but ones with wheat starch etc...yeah from scratch kind and make all the cool shape. made these several time but the skin ended up very hard to handle...well at most times sticky so i'd usually gave up half way.

8- decorative layer jelly
this one does gets on my nerve. the recipe is all good (it taste wonderful) but the layers it didn't stick together, it always separates and its annoying.

7 - layered cake
this is another type of cake that i can't seem to get it right....was it the recipe or just me? i don't know

6- Angel Cake
hahahahaah this one....its a love and hate relationship. there are times that i can get it right but
there are also times that it deflate on me after baking

5- scone
yeah yeah ....it didn't fluff or puff after baking either that or it simply turn out hard VERY hard.

4- pita bread
this is also one of those love hate relationship thingie hmm....it never pocketed

3- puff pastry
have you ever try making this from scratch? its not that easy but it is simple (steps) am i making any sense? we're better off using store bought pastry

2- apam mekar
heheeheh this one i failed making it because the cake didn't blossom (tak mekar langsung) maybe its the heat....i didn't get the temperature right yeah maybe....

1 - macaroons

this is my no 1 on the list i've tried so many time but failed every time! tried every recipe on the net but it never grow its feet....then i gave up making it.....because it cost me a whole lotta egg whites!

there you go my top 10 fail list *lol* i'm not perfect but working on it. but if any of you know any tips or recipe that can help me out with my list above please please do comment. i appreciate it very much.

Best Ever Sticky Buns

Monday, June 13, 2011

lovely ain't it? we all went primal the second I serve this buns on the table

all sticky and lovely

sticky buns not yet sticky

Today, i have the baking urge although i am still tired from my fully loaded week from last week. It all started last night when i saw food network when they had this commercial about 'the best ..... I've ever ate' and last night particularly it was about sticky buns. sure enough the featured buns looks so tempting and so VERY sinful looking....

they drench the buns in their specially made 'goo' OVER NIGHT! how crazy is that??? then bake them to perfection (at least that is how it looks like) it really looks tempting but looking at all those 'goo' drenched in the buns i'm thinking 'that buns is going to be SUPER DUPER SWEET and we are not a big fan of Super sweet let alone the super duper sweet. So i though why not just drizzle the 'goo' instead of drenching it? then let it sit for a while then reheat it for a bit and wallah!

And so I did!

And it is Awesome! So here is my version of sticky Bun

7.5g instant yeast
212.5ml luke warm milk
397g flour
1tsp salt
3tbsp sugar
3tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1/2c brown sugar + 1tsp cinnamon powder + a handful of chocolate chip= mixwell set aside

mix instant yeast into the milk and let it rest for 5 minutes. set a side.

then mix all other ingredients in your mixing bowl (kitchen aid or kenwood mixer with hook paddle) mix it up as you pour in the milk mixture then the oil.

Mix will until smooth and elastic. then knead it with your hand for 2 minutes then shape it into a ball and let it rest in a greased bowl then cover it with cling wrap/film.

Let it rise in a room temperature for 2 hours. then roll out the dough into a 1/4" thick sheet and lightly brush the dough with water then generously sprinkle brown sugar mixture.

Then roll it tightly to form a roll, with the seam down cut about 1" with a sharp knife. Place the individual rolls into the baking tin. Make sure to leave some space between rolls as it will spread and rise!

cover the baking tin with cling film/wrap to avoid dry skin. Let it rise again for an hour.

just before baking, brush the buns with egg wash. bake at a preheated oven at 180c for 15-20 minutes.


For the Lovely Goo

5tbsp of brown sugar
3tbsp of sugar
a pinch of salt
2tbsp of butter
1/4c roasted walnuts - roughly crushed
1/4c light golden syrup
1tbsp water

on a medium heat, heat brown sugar, sugar and a table spoon of water until slightly caramelized. then add in butter, let it melt thoroughly then add in the golden syrup, walnuts and a pinch of salt. cook for a while until it slightly thickens.

once the buns has been baked, drizzle on it and let it sit for a bit. reheat the buns in the oven at low temperature before serving.

Kitchen Tips & Fixes

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hi...I just found a great book about kitchen tips & fixes. Its really interesting and enlightening. This was a loaned book from Taylor's Library not mine to keep...

But in the light of sharing and as barney the dinosaur say " sharing is caring" ^_^ so I'll be writing some of the 'interesting' ones here (while i still have the book)

This ones are particularly about KNIVES

A Stiff Knife is a SAFE Knife

A flexible knife is a DANGEROUS knife. This is because it can twist while cutting, change direction unpredictably and you could possibly hurt yourself. So test your knife!

Use the Sharp "heel" of the Knife
If you find that you have a blunt knife try using the 'heel' of the knife. the heel, is the end of a knife near to the handle. that area is usually sharper than the rest of the knife coz we don't use that part as much as we do with the mid section of the knife.

This is a tip to keep your knife shape a little bit more longer. you know that sometimes after we do our cutting and chopping we tend to scrape the chopping board with the knife? yeah instead using the sharp end use the 'spine'/back of the knife to scrape the board.

Grapefruit Knife for Easy Bagel Cutting
Ok this one is a bit random coz we Malaysian don't eat bagel as much but to you bagel eaters, this might be helpful. Grapefruit knife is usually curved and serrated and this makes bagel cutting easy, the curve blade keep the bagel in place while cutting it.

There are more other interesting tips and tricks but I'll have to read the book 1st then translate it here in this blog so stay tuned!

Homemade Cracker

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Light & Crisp Fish Crackers

Hi, before i blog about my next recipe i just wanna apologize for not blogging with pictures. I've been having problems with picture uploading. it kept saying server rejected...what ever that means. I wrote to blogger and blogger replied saying that the problem is not from them its from picassa and that i should deal with them. But don't you think that blogger should be able to assist the problem even for a bit? i am disappointed with that. coz its been day that i've been trying to upload my pictures...blogging is no FUN with out pictures right?

anyway at the 'discussion board' someone replied and gave me the solution and surprisingly it worked (finally!). my assumption is that the 'new' up loader by picassa is faulty and apparently i was not the only one that have this kind of problem. this means that this is not a remote case. the old up loader works just fine. now i'm using the old uploader to up load pictures, its a bit of a hassle but it'll have to do.

ok back to my recipe...
I learn this from Ibu Jameela. I always wanted to make my own cracker with whatever flavor that i like...all MSG-less ...I made these with sardines and even corn beef hahah yes corn beef...it tasted soo beefy =p...i was just experimenting as i have corn beef leftovers. according to Ibu Jameela you can even use just chicken cubes, or anchovy cubes for flavoring its be as good. But unfortunately my family don't do MSG.

btw, this recipe is different from the 'keropok leko' this is the cracker variety not the sausage variety.

the recipe is more on the estimation side. eg: if you like more fish then by all means but my ideal is like 2:1 of fish and starch. and just about 1/4 of rice.

sardines - about 200g take the flesh only
tapioca starch - 100g (this is a plus minus thing if the end dough is loose just add a little bit more)
rice - about 1/4cup meshed or blended
1clove garlic - meshed
a pinch of white pepper
salt to taste (can't remember how much i put in i just estimate and taste along the way) but you should get it slightly saltier than normal.

mix everything in until it becomes a dough. then mold it into a log. a medium size log is best, coz if its too big it'll take longer to cook. once that done boil the log for about 40minutes or so. the bigger the log the longer you'll have to cook it. Then let it cool over night in the fridge preferably 24hrs. by then the log will harden and it'll be easier to slice. A tip for slicing, you'd need to oil your knife before slicing so that you'll be able to slice smoothly. After slicing, sun dry it until its really really REALLY dry. this usually takes about 3-4 days under the sun. then its ready to fry!
meshing the rice with pastel and mortar.
mixing in the fish flesh and starch and meshed rice
the cracker log

the cracker log after boiling it for almost 1 hour.

Thinly sliced crackers

my homemade cheese...

Friday, May 27, 2011

the cheese texture..like cottage cheese no?...but you can packed/compact it if you like abd drain off moisture.

This is what happens when i tried to fluff it....it fluffed! whoaaaaaaaaaa isn't it awesome ?

gorgeous !

frost the cake!

it tasted so smoth & velvety and i'm not talking about the cake ;) its creamier too. but i made this with a low fat milk so i supposed that this is a low fat cheese?

Homemade Cheese!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

last night i had to do a emergency cheese frosting...it all started when i decided to bake a red velvet without checking if i have any cheese for my frosting....like you can't have a red velvet without the cheese frosting, right? after baking then i realized that i have no cheese, my daughter then saw...and smell the cake and she wanted to eat the cake so bad....and i don't want to disappoint her but there's no cheese baring shop near by.

then i took a risk and make my own cheese and what do you know its wonderful and i must say more creamier...interesting. the recipe is not mine i you tube it and follow the instructions....its easier than it looks! really for real.

here's the link i use to make my cheese...http://youtu.be/tAoSoadLEag

the cheese tastes creamy and some what like cottage cheese...but you can press and compact it and it'll be like any other compacted cheese (i'm no good with cheese names)
here's how my cheese is like..

*I am sorry for the no pictures...i do take pictures of them but i can't seem to upload them perhaps you can view the picture at my FB but until then i will keep trying to upload the pictures..sorry again*

Oh by the way my Red velvet cake is Paula Deen's recipe, you can google them. But my personally, I prefer Stephanie Jaworski's better.

Chicken Jalfrezi recipe

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken Jalfrezi

this is actually a Northern Indian food that is actually very famous in the UK. My batch mates once told me like tikka masala, this too is considered as the Brit's national dish... Since my husband and I was educated in the UK there will be a time where we would reminisce our student days *day dreaming* sigh~
anyway...this dish does reminds us of the UK so perhaps its true that its their national dish...
This dish is very simple and easy to make. Your KEY ingredients are natural yogurt, masala spice and bell peppers. The yogurt give the dish its sour note and at the same time tenderized the chicken meat. Masala spice is a must and so does the bell peppers as both will give the dish the wonderful aroma. The coriander leaves are optional but i love to have loads of it coz its so fragrent - i simply LOVE it.

anyway here's the recipe:
3-4 large chicken breast meat - cubed
1 small tub of 200ml natural yogurt
1 green bell peppers - cut in chunks - you can use combination of yellow and red for some colors
1 large bombay onion
2 clove of garlic - just crack it but basically keep it whole
salt to taste
3tbsp tomato puree
2large ripe tomatoes - cut into cube
coriander leaves for garnishing
**some bird's eye chili-mashed*** this is optional, but frankly i think this dish taste best HOT!
for marinade:
1/2 of the yogurt
masala spice - store bought at supermarket
salt to taste
1tsp sugar
2tsp paprika

>>>Mix all the marinade ingredients and marinade the chicken for about 15 minutes or so. set a side.
>>>Then mix all veges with the other 1/2 of the yogurt , set a side.
>>>You can use ghee for a more fragrant feel but olive oil or what ever oil you have is just fine too. heat the oil then saute the cubed tomatoes and tomato puree. keep cooking it until it become some what like a paste (naik minyak kot) then add in the marinated chicken. cook until the chicken almost cooked through then add in the veges. keep cooking until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

what i would do..
>>>>I would separate the coriander leaves and its stick (batang) then i'd add in the stick in the dish while i'm still cooking it.
>>>You can actually substitute yogurt with sour cream.
>>You can eat this with a nice steamy hot rice of with naan bread
> You can actually make your own blend of garam masala spice if you can't find the pre mixed.