Saturday, 28 February 2009

Beef with Dried Chilli

Tried a new dish the other day, because I haven't got any ideas of what to prepare for dinner. I was flipping through my recipes list, read the ingredients and found that I have all the ingredients required in my fridge.

The dish calls for cubed beef. But being me, I used sliced beef instead. Actually, this helps in cutting down the cooking time as sliced beef becomes tender faster.

2 tsps oil
8 shallots, sliced finely
300g tomato, sliced
6 dried chillies, sliced lengthwise
500g beef, cubes
4 tblsps sweet dark soy sauce
800ml coconut milk (from 1 coconut)
3 cloves
1/2 nutmeg, grated (I use powder)
3 cm cinnamon
Salt to taste
Fried shallots for topping

Spice paste (blended):
4 cloves garlic
3 candlenuts, roasted
2 cm ginger

1) Heat oil in a pan over medium fire. When hot, stir-fry shallots for 1 min. Add spice paste and continue to stir-fry till fragrant, about 3 mins.

2) Add tomato, dried chillies and beef. Toss for 5 mins or till beef is just cooked.

3) Add sweet soy sauce and mix well. Gradually add in coconut milk, stirring to mix well.

4) Add cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Lower fire and simmer till beef is tender and oil separates from gravy. Season with salt to taste. Sprinkle with fried shallots before serving.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Honey Nut Granola Muffins

I'm always getting distracted whenever I'm logged in to post.

Not distracted by my kids, but other food sites which always manage to attract my attention.

Anyways, spent the morning baking oat muffins. I didn't actually use the original recipe (but I'll include it anyway) because I've been wanting to finish this -------------->

I used the Honey Nut Granola instead of rolled oats & almonds (which are in the original recipe), as the Granola already comes with almonds. I originally bought this to overcome my hunger pangs at work (cos my meal times can get a bit abnormal). But I didn't get to finish it. So instead of keeping this in the fridge & waiting for the expiry date, I might as well use it for the muffins.

Ingredients (original recipe): Makes a dozen

1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup rolled oats*
1/2 cup ground almonds*
(I replaced * ingredients with 1 1/2 cups Honey Nut Granola)
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup honey
60g low fat butter, melted
1 egg
Icing sugar, to serve

1) Preheat oven to 180C. Line 12-hole muffin pan with muffin paper cups.

2) Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix in oats, ground almonds and raisins. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients.

3) In a jug, whick together milk, honey, low fat butter and egg. Add to dry ingredients, mixing lightly until just combined.

4) Spoon mixture into muffin paper cups until two thirds full.

5) Bake for 20 mins, until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in pan for 5 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6) Serve dusted lightly with icing sugar.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Japanese Cheesecake

Tried making Japanese Cheesecake. Verdict: Successful.

This is taken from one of my list of food bloggers - Cookbake Legacy aka Chawanmushi. I've always wanted to try baking a light cotton cheesecake, and chance upon it when I browse through her blog.

Looking at the recipe, I think it seems less complicated as compared to the traditional cheesecake recipe, which requires you to leave the cheesecake in the waterbath for an hour, in the oven after baking is completed. Then you have to let the cheesecake cool completely before chilling it in the refrigerator overnight. Then your 'misery' over when you FINALLY get to cut the cheesecake (like really finally!) the next day.

But good things happen for those who waits (is that the saying??) That's the traditional cheesecake. This is Japanese Cotton Cheesecake, which lighter & spongier.

I don't mind baking this again. Next time, with a little twist to the recipe (winkz!).

Spicy Potato Salad

I have completely forgotten to post this recipe, as I was busy trying to figure out whether this recipe is better with or without chillies.

Since I like spicy food, I have to add chillies into the original recipe. (you can always opt the chillies out & eat the potatoes with chilli sauce).

The recipe is quite similar to my Potato & Egg Salad, but this one is without any dip. Plus I'm using blended ingredients & method of cooking is frying instead.

Boiled potatoes (cut into cubes)
Seasoned minced meat (fried with a bit of ginger, garlic & curry powder)

Blended ingredients: (Blended to become a paste for frying)
Dried shrimps (not paste)

Chopped red chillies
Chopped celery
2 eggs (beaten)

Oil for frying
Salt to taste


1) Heat (about a quarter cup) oil. Fry blended paste until fragrant. Add a little bit of water if necessary.

2) Once fragrant, add in the chopped red chillies & celery & continue to fry until paste becomes a bit dry.

3) Add in cubed potatoes & mix paste & potatoes thoroughly.

4) Beat eggs & let it sit in the pan for a while before mixing the potatoes again.

5) Add in the minced meat & salt to taste.

6) Serve hot.

Friday, 13 February 2009


I've always wanted to make a Mango Cheesecake, but after a trial once I was so disappointed with the result that I thought I'd never try to do it again.

But dear hubby knows I'm someone not to give up easily until I get things right. So he knew that I am gonna give it another go. It's only a matter of time.

Inspiration got the better of me and I thought of trying Durian Cheesecake. How do you think the combination taste will be like? Hmmm.... No harm trying, it might turn out good; as according to hubby.

Besides 'dealing' with chocolates, I love fruits in cakes & cookies. There's a whole lot of goodies I wanna try but just don't have the time (or energy) to do it. But that's not an excuse for me not to explore this gastronomic adventure. I will eventually... it's only a matter of time. It is my kitchen where I escape to from stress anyway.

So hang around people... a few new stuff coming your way...

P.S: I need to bake a brownie for a very kind & friendly neighbour, who lives on the 15th floor. She has been so nice whenever we bumped into each other at the void deck & giving advice when Zinedine was down with high fever for a week last week. She even went out of her way to buy me Rock Honey to dissolve in water for Zinedine, which is good in reducing heatiness from the body. Problem is..... I'm not sure which unit she's staying in... (LOL!) But I'm gonna find out anyway...

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Spicy Honey Chicken

I decided to cook 2 dishes today. Just to make sure that I still have the 'touch' (wink).

First I cooked Sambal Goreng, which is a Javanese dish consisting of soy tofu, fermented soy beans, long beans, prawns and beef; all semi-fried before putting them in spicy gravy. It is always recommend that this dish to be cooked at least one day in advance, keep it in the frdige or freezer & re-heat the next day. It will be tastier as all the ingredients would have been mixed thoroughly together. I'll try to put the recipe in soon.

The second dish I cooked today was Spicy Honey Chicken. The recipe calls for chicken cuts, but I decided to use chicken breasts instead. Then I cut them up into cubes, so that it's easy for the kids & everyone else to savour.

This dish is part spicy, part sweet. So when you fry the ingredients till fragrant, be sure to have a balance of those.

When I cook, I don't have specific measurements. So sorry for that. But I believe you'd trust you own taste & judgement to make it the best to your liking.

Here it is:

Part A:
Chicken parts (or in this case I use 3 pcs chicken breasts cut into cubes)
Tumeric powder
Oil for frying

Part B (blended ingredients):
Dried chillies
Shrimp paste (just a tiny bit)

Part C:
Oyster sauce
Salt (optional)


1) Heat oil in frying pan. Meanwhile mix chicken with salt & tumeric powder. Fry till only half-cooked. Set aside.

2) Using the same pan (or if you prefer to use a pot) & oil from frying the chicken, fry the blended ingredients untill fragrant. This should take about 10 mins.

3) Then add a little bit of water just enough to make a thick sauce. Add the oyster sauce & honey. Mix till the sauce is part spicy, part sweet. If required, add a little bit of salt to taste.

4) Finally put in the chicken & mix thoroughly. Let the chicken cook till tender & turn off the heat.

5) Serve hot with white rice.

P.S: I thought I'd make Nasi Ayam Berempah (Spiced Chicken Rice) this weekend... Hmmm...

Friday, 6 February 2009

Desserts.... & my cuppa

This week I made desserts for Siti Farhana. She requested for a dozen Chocolate Mousse & Strawberry Cheese Cups.

The Chocolate Mousse are for an anniversary, whereas the Strawberry Cheese Cups are for a belated birthday celebration.

I hope she will enjoy these goodies desserts, as I find it hard to resist them myself ; ).

I tried to upload this entry earlier but there were some technical problems with IE. I got frustrated & ended up baking Butter Cookies for the kids (the kids? yeah right... I think I ate more than them, since I have my coffee to dip these cookies into).

Recipe for the Butter Cookies have been uploaded in my previous entry. You can find the recipe here.

Meantime, I'll enjoy my cuppa...

Monday, 2 February 2009

Birthday Cuppies

It has indeed been so long since I update my blog. What else but work is the cause of it. I've even come to a point where I get so tired by the routine that at about 7pm everyday I'd just switch off. Bad, isn't it? By the time I get home I just wanna lie down & sleep and then the next day, back to the routine again (not that I'm looking forward to it).

But now (I really really hope) it's back to the normal schedule. At least I've got my life back. Not that I hate my job so much, but the schedule can get really crazy sometimes.

So this week I've a baking schedule. It's from my very regular none other than Effa. As I've mentioned in my previous post, I took this project as a way to relax. Think of something fun & bright. It's just great that I took this request in (which came very early) just as when I ended my 'nightmare' at work.

This time it's a request for individually-packed cuppies as birthday favors for kids at school. The birthday boy, Arian Danish, is turning two. These cuppies are for his school friends & teachers. That's why it has to be fun, bright & attractive.

So what I did to the Double Chocolate cuppies was to topped them with chocolate buttercream - white & cocoa. Before that, I added a hint of toffe in the cuppies. "Hint" because I added just a tweeny bit, so that the overall taste of the cuppies would not be too sweet. Especially not for the kids.
Then I deco it by using what-I-have-in-my-fridge to make it as colourful as possible. Here they are...

To Arian - Happy Birthday sayang! (Anyway, I heard you had a blast). And to Effa, thank you so much for your continued support. Get better soon & take care.