Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pizza Cups

I received some cheese sample from Marcus of Ile De France and Carlos absolutely loved it. I didn’t nickname his Cheese Monster for nothing. He just loves his cheeses. I am actually pretty familiar with Ile De France cheeses as I am able to get from the supermarkets here but if you can’t you can always get in online. Ile de France Cheese has been importing gourmet French brie, goat cheese and camembert since 1936. They were the first importer of French brie to the United States. The company uses the Ile de France name to promote Ile de France brand cheeses as well as other types of gourmet-quality French cheese that are sold under different labels and owned by the same parent company.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Black and White Jelly

Summer is just around the corner and we are having over 90’s degree temperature. Man, it is warm. I just hide inside the house most of the time and if I need to go out to run errand I will go out really early and be back home by noon. Even though I grew up in a tropical country but I still can’t stand the heat. I will stay indoor in an A/C room most of the time. In the heat like this it is nice to have something cooling like grass jelly. In Malaysia we usually eat this type of grass jelly with syrup or mix it with soy bean milk. I made this little cute dessert with both the grass jelly and soy bean milk.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken with Spices

Do you ever have problem deciding what to cook for lunch or dinner? I always do. This is what I normally do. I will see what meat I want to cook for that day. Then from there I will check what I have in the vegetable compartment. Then from there I will come up with something. This dish was one of them. I just take a few ingredients, blend it, marinate it and cook it and voila!! A delicious dish for our dinner for that day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Japanese-Style Sweet Bun Dough

I’ve tried quite a few Water Roux/Tang Zhong methods for making cotton soft sweet bread but by far I think this is the best one. It produces super soft bread and I stay that way for a few days. This time I tried out the recipe from Corner Café website. This is the recipe for basic sweet dough and from the dough you can fill it with all kinds of sweet and savory fillings. This is my simplified method of making the dough but do refer to Corner Café website for his details version.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Outrages Brownies

This is another one of Ina Garten great recipes. Just as the name said these brownies are outrages. It is rich, chewy and fudgy. I think the original recipe is way too much for us so I halved the recipes and bake it in a muffin pan. I original recipes call for a lots of butter but I reduced it to only one stick and it tasted just as good. For the full recipe please refer to here .

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pan Fried Bean curd Rolls

Who can resist these crispy rolls? It is a must order dish for me if I go for dim sum restaurant. I just like the crispy skin made out of bean curd skin and the fillings of ground meat, carrot bits and crunchy water chestnuts. Since I still have bean curd skin leftover from my Yong Tau Foo I decided to make some.


16-17 pieces of 5 1/2” x 3 1/2” bean curd skin
3 tbsp of flour + 4 - 5 tbsp of water – mix into a paste for sealing the rolls

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coconut Filled Lemon Cake

Summer is just around the corner and we have bountiful of citrus fruits here. The lemons that I bought that day were huge and I used it to make this cake. I got this recipe from King Arthur Flour website. This cake is perfect in many ways. It has golden brown crust, fine crumbs and the coconut filling is a nice surprise. If you don’t fancy coconut you can just omit the filling and have a lemon cake instead.

Ingredients for the Filling:

2 large egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup powder/confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp of coconut flavor or 2 tsp vanilla (I used vanilla)
2 tbsp flour
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut (I used only 1 ½ cups)

1. In a clean mixing bowl, whisk egg white, salt and cream of tart until soft and fluffy. Add in the powder sugar and continue to whisk on high speed until stiff. Stir in the vanilla.
2. Toss the coconut with the 2 tbsp of flour. Add into the egg white and mix well. Set it aside while you make the cake.

Ingredients for the Cake:

2 stick/1 cup/226 grm unsalted butter – room temperature
2 cups sugar (I used only 1 ½ cups)
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 cup milk
Zest of two lemons


1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup sugar (I used only 1/3 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" to 10", 9 to 10-cup capacity Bundt-style pan, or a 10" tube pan. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and set it aside.
2. Beat together the butter, sugar, and salt, first till combined, then till fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after adding each egg.
3. Add in the flour alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in the grated lemon zest. Mix well. Spoon about 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
4. Distribute the filling atop the batter, centering it within the ring of batter so it doesn't touch the sides of the pan. Pat it down gently. (I put the filling in a piping bag and pipe it to the center of the batter) Dollop the remaining batter on top, again smoothing it with a spatula.
5. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the lemon juice and sugar. Set it aside.
6. Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack. After 5 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen, and turn the cake out onto a rack. Poke the hot cake all over with a cake tester or toothpick. Stir the glaze to combine, and immediately brush it on the hot cake, Let the glaze sink in, then brush on more glaze, continuing until all the glaze is used up. Allow the cake to cool before cutting into it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fried Glass Noodles/Fried Tang Hoon

One noodle that I haven’t had in a long time is ‘glass noodle or Tang Hoon’. I never thought of cooking this until I saw it at Belachan's blog. I remember when I was young I had problem chewing and swallowing this type of noodles. I guess it is the chewy and slippery texture of it. You can either make soup or stir-fry this type of noodles. There is no right or wrong to this recipe and basically you can add whatever ingredients you have in hand for this stir-fry noodles.


3 small bunch of glass noodles – soak in warm water until soft. Drain dry
1 piece of chicken breast – cut into thin slices and season with some salt and pepper
1 carrot – peel and julienned
1 small onion – slice thinly
3 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 cup of bean sprout
2 eggs
10 shrimps – peel and deveined
Some spring onions for garnish


2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of chicken stock

1. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set it aside. Heat up about 3 tbsp of oil in a wok. Add in the garlic and onion and stir-fry until fragrant and lightly brown.
2. Add in chicken and stir fry until it changes color. Add in carrot and stir-fry for a minute. Add in the shrimps and continue to stir-fry until the shrimps turn pink.
3. Add in the soft noodles and the sauce. Continue to toss and stir-fry until the sauce evaporate. Move all the noodles to the side of the wok add a bit of oil to the bottom of the wok and crack in the eggs. Scramble the eggs until half cook.
4. Toss back the noodles on top of the eggs. Add in the bean sprouts and continue to toss until well combined. Check seasonings. Dish out the noodles and garnish with some spring onions.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Grilled Mayonnaise Black Pepper Wings

When I saw this recipe at my friend Shereen's blog I know I have to try it out. Shereen used chicken pieces for this but since I am a big fan of wings I used that instead. The wings turn out really yummy! The wings were full of flavor; just melt in your mouth, fall of the bones and finger liking good.


8 – 10 pcs chicken wings
1 tsp black pepper
4 cm fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sweet soy sauce/kicap manis
2 ½ tbsp of mayonnais
salt to taste

1. Clean and wash chicken wings and pat it dry.
2. Put the rest of the ingredients into a blender and blend into a paste.
3. Marinate the wings with the paste for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degree F. Line a sheet pan with some aluminum foil. Drizzle it with some olive oil. Spread wings over the base.
5. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the wings half way through the baking. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Sorry I can’t put recipe blog link here as it is a private blog. Thanks Shereen for sharing this great recipe.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Healthy Banana Bread

We love banana bread! Baking this bread is a great way to get rid of over-ripe bananas. This bread is healthy and packs with potassium. It is dense, moist with sweet bananas flavor and most of all I don’t feel too guilty indulging it with a cup of hot Milo (hot chocolate)


1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup low fat yogurt
1 tsp of vanilla
4 tbsp vegetable oil/melted butter
1 ½ cups mashed banana (about 4 bananas)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup walnut – chopped

1. Prepare a loft pan, greased and line it with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together and set it a side.
2. In another bowl, combined sugar, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, oil and mashed bananas. Mix well. Add in the dry ingredients into the eggs mixture. Mix until combined
3. Lastly add in dried cranberries and walnuts. Mix well and pour it into the baking pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: This bread taste even better the next day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yong Tau Foo/Stuffed Vegetables

Yong tau foo (酿豆腐) is one of my favorite foods from back home. It is a popular dish in Singapore and Malaysia and literally translates as 'stuffed tofu’ with fish paste. Soy products like tofu, deep fried tofu puffs and bean curd sheets are often used and vegetables like okra, bitter melon, chilies, sweet peppers and eggplant are common choices too. These stuffed tofu and vegetable pieces are pan fried and usually serves in clear broth or simmers in bean paste sauce.

I don’t make this dish often because it is labor intensive. Whenever I make this, I will make a bit more so I can freezer some of it. . During our Malaysian ladies monthly gathering we decided to make some since there are a few of us to help out. We are able to buy ready made fish paste here so it makes life so much easier for us. All we have to do is add some ground meat, spring onions and some seasonings into it and the paste is done. Here are some of the pictures I took to share it with you.

Ingredients for fish paste:

1 pound fish paste
½ pound ground pork or chicken
3 spring onions – cut small
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
Salt to taste

For Stuffing:

4 pieces of tofu
1 big piece of beancurd skin
1 packet of tofu puffs
10 ladies fingers
1 eggplant
1 bitter melon
10 sweet peppers
6 red or green chilies


2 tbsp of fermented bean paste
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 cloves garlic – chopped
2 ½ - 3 cups of water or chicken stock
1 tsp of cornstarch + 3 tbsp of water
sugar to taste

1. In a mixing bowl, mix all the fish paste ingredients together and mix well and set it aside.
2. Prepare ingredients for stuffing. Wash all the vegetables. Trimmed okras and make a slit in the center. Slice eggplant, sliced the bitter melon into rings and discard the seeds. Stuff it with the paste.

3. For the chilies and sweet peppers, trimmed the steams, make a slit and try to discard as much seeds as possible. Stuff it with the paste.

4. Cut the tofu into triangles, make a slit in the center, wash and squeeze out all the water from the tofu puffs and cut into two, cut the bean curd skin into 4” x 5” pieces. Stuff it with the paste.

5. Heat up some oil in a frying pan, pan fried and sears all the stuff vegetables and tofu’s until lightly browned. Remove and set it aside. (at this stage you can freeze some of it for further use)
6. In the same frying pan, remove most of the oil and leave about 2 tbsp in it. Stir fry the chopped garlic until fragrant and lightly brown. Add in the black bean paste. Stir fry until fragrant and add in the chicken stock.
7. Add in the oyster sauce and bring it up to boil. Add in all the seared ingredients. Bring up to boil and simmer for a few minutes. Add in some sugar to taste. Taste it first as you might need to add some salt to it. Add in the cornstarch and cook until sauce thickens. Remove and serve warm.
Note: I didn't add any salt to this dish since the bead paste and oyster sauce give this dish enough of saltiness.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls Using Tang Zhong Method

I just love this Japanese style bread. This cinnamon rolls are made from the water roux or Tang Zhong. From this basic dough you can make it into any Asian style buns. Tang Zhong method produce soft and moist bread and therefore you don’t have to add any artificial bread softener or improver to your dough.


250 grm bread flour
2 tbsp of milk powder
80 grm Tang Zhong/water roux - recipe here
105 ml warm water
½ tsp salt
40 grm sugar
7 grm dry yeast
30 grm butter

For the fillings:

4 tbsp of soft butter
½ cup of brown sugar
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 cup of raisins

1. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and put all the dough ingredients into the mixer bowl and work it on medium speed until it comes together and forms a nice ball of dough. Continue to mix for 10 minutes on medium speed.
2. Cover the dough and let it rest and rise until double it size. Roll it out the dough into rectangle about 1/3” thickness, brush with softened butter and sprinkle it with cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins
5. With your palm lightly press the filling ingredients into dough and then roll them up like a jelly roll. Secure the roll by pinching both ends of the roll. Cut the rolls into 1” pieces and line them with paper cups and place it on a mufin tray.
6. Place them in a warm spot and let them rise for an hour or until they are doubled in size. Bake them at 350°F for about 15 – 20 minutes or until they are golden
7. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.

To my mom in Malaysia and all Mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day!!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Simple Herb and Garlic Breadsticks

I had never made breadsticks before but once I started thinking about them I couldn't get them out of my head. So I set out to make something really easy and simple. By the way did you notice I like to make easy and simple food ha ha… that shows how lazy I am to make anything elaborate. Anyway, I don’t feel like making the bread from scratch so I just used the store bought dough. I must say the breadsticks turn out really soft and garlicky and it is lovely dipped into soup or side dish to any meal.


1 tube of breadstick dough
1 tbsp of melted butter
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbsp of chopped herbs (thymes, rosemary and oregano)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combined all the ingredients except the bread dough in a small bowl. Mix well.
3. Take out the breadsticks dough out of the tube, unroll it and separate the dough. Take a strip of the dough, brush it with the garlic mixture on one side of the dough. Take both ends of the dough and twist it.
4. Place the twist on the baking sheet. Do the same to the rest of the bread dough.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Stir-fry Okra with Eggs

When Zue came the other day we went to the produce place together and we bought some Okras. The okras here are so much smaller than the one from Malaysia. One thing good about it is they are very tender and you don’t have to cook them for too long. This is something that I like to cook for my lunch. It is quick and simple and goes well with white rice.


½ pound of fresh Okra
2 eggs
3 tbsp of Sambal
2 shallots – sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
Salt and sugar to taste

1. Wash and dry the Okra. Cut off both ends and cut into small bite size pieces. Put it into microwave safe dish, cover and cook it on high for 2 minutes. Remove and set it aside.
2. Heat up about 2 tbsp of olive oil in the wok. Stir fry shallots and garlic until fragrant and lightly brown. Break in the 2 eggs into the work. Scramble the eggs until half cook.
3. Push the eggs to the side of the wok, and then add in the sambal and okra. Stir them together for a few seconds and combined everything. Add in salt and sugar to taste. Continue to stir-fry until everything is well mix.
4. Dish out and serve with warm rice.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Chocolate Chips, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Cookies

Carlos loves these cookies. It has a great combination of sweetness from the cranberries and the saltiness from the macadamia nuts and the chocolate chips just added an extra richness to the cookies. They are perfectly crispy at the edges and slightly chewy in the center.


3 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks/226 grm butter – room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted salted macadamia nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into medium bowl. By using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until combined and slightly fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time and then vanilla. Mix well.
3. Add in the shifted ingredients and mix just until blended. Using spatula, stir in cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts.
4. For large cookies, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, as for smaller cookies, drop dough by level tablespoonfuls onto sheets. Bake cookies for 20 minutes of until golden brown. Remove and cool the cookies before storing.

Note: You can replace the cranberries with raisins, chocolate chips with white chocolate chips and as for the nuts it can be any kind of nuts to your liking.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Stir-Fry Szechuan Preserved Vegetable with Meat

This is my sister Elizabeth favorite dish so my mom cooked this pretty often in our home. Zha Chai or Szechuan preserved vegetable is easily available at the Asian store here in the US. It either comes whole in a can or ready shredded in a vacuum packed. In Malaysia it’s sold whole and coated with chili paste. Zha chai is very salty so I will usually cut and soak in the water for a several hours before cooking it. This dish is spicy, salty and sweet and it goes well with rice or rice porridge.

1 packet (8 oz) preserved vegetables
1 chicken breast/4 oz of pork – Slice thinly
3 cloves garlic – chopped
1 shallot – sliced thinly
1” ginger – julienned
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar

1. In a frying pan, heat up about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add in the garlic, shallot and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant and lightly brown.
2. Add in the meat; stir fry until the meat changes color. Add in the shredded Szechuan vegetables, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. Add in about ¼ cup of water and bring it up to boil.
3. Continue to stir-fry for a minute or two or until all liquid evaporate. Check seasoning. At this stage you can adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your liking.
4. Serve with either rice or rice porridge.

Note: If you use the whole preserved vegetable, julienned it thinly and soak it in water for a couple of hours. If you use the pre-shredded kind with chili, it is up to you if you want to rinse or soak it or not.