Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ground Beef Chili

The weather here in PA is telling me it’s time for some Chili. For anyone who is not familiar with the cuisine of the Southwestern United States, this stew-like dish called Chili may be a bit puzzling. Yes, it does usually contain green hot peppers as well as chili powder. The Chili has meat in it and it could be ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, but Chili can be a vegetarian dish too. You can replace the ground meat with tofu cubes. There are Chili recipes with or without beans, but if you use beans any type of bean will work, including red beans, black beans, white beans, pinto beans, and more. This is an easy, healthy, hearty and inexpensive meal and everyone will love.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Almond Pandan Cookies

It has been a long while since I bake any cookies. The last cookies I baked were Chocolate Chips, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Cookies and that was in May. I baked this batch this batch of traditional pandan flavor cookies during our Hari Raya celebration and gave some to Zue.


200 grm butter
120 grm sugar
200 grm flour
50 grm ground almond
80 grm cornflour
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp of pandan paste

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Herbs Fried Rice

I think everyone knows how to make good plate of fried rice. I’ve fried tons of it my life using different type of ingredients and by far I think this is my favorite. My friend Richard told me one day he uses herbs like kaffir lime leaves and curry leaves from his garden to make his fried rice and it turn out really good. What a great idea for a change from our regular fried rice. Inspired by his fried rice this is something I came up with. I hope you try this out as I am sure you are going to like it too.


3 cups of cooked rice – overnight rice prefer
1 piece of chicken breast – cut into small cubes
10 pieces of shrimps – peel and deveined
2 eggs - beaten
2 shallots – sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 lemon grass – removed the hard outer layers and slice thinly
3 bird eye chilies – cut small
1 sprig of curry leaves – remove rib, roll it up and sliced thinly
3 kaffir lime leaves – remove the rib, roll it up and sliced thinly
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Weather is getting cold and the day is getting shorter. What is it that makes the fall such a beautiful season? Is it the cooler air or the shades of red, yellow, orange and pink coloring the world around you just come to life? And the pumpkins!! Who can miss that? With so many pumpkins all around me I just have to cook something with it. In the cold weather what can be better than a bowl of sweet hearty soup. The different with this soup is that I roasted the pumpkin first. Roasting the pumpkin for the soup encourages the natural sugars to caramelize and enriches its flavor creating a more complex soup.


1 ½ pound of pumpkin – remove skin, seeds and cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic - whole
1 small onion – peels and cut into chunks
4 cups chicken stocks
Salt and pepper to taste

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Classic Yellow Cake with Dulce De Leche Frosting

I made this cake for Carlos birthday a few weeks ago. I asked him what cake he likes for his birthday and all he wants is a simple yellow cake with Dulce De Leche Frosting. Carlos (from Argentina) grew up eating DDL with all his dessert so it is his all time favorite. But for me when I heard DDL I already can imagine how sweet the cake will taste which I am not a big fan of, but since it is his birthday I can’t say no to his request. Then I remember seeing Wendy made frosting out of fresh cream and DDL and decided to use that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Baklava is a delicious phyllo pastry popular in Middle Eastern countries. Its supposed origins are Turkish, dating to the Byzantine Empire (or even further), though many cultures claim it for their own. Many Greek and Lebanese restaurants do serve this. Baklava is usually layer with crispy phyllo dough alternate with sugary spiced nut mixture, and the whole thing is then soaked in fragrant sweet syrup made with honey, lemon and cinnamon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guiling Gao/Black Herbal Jelly

This herbal jelly also known as Guilin Gao is made of Chinese herbs. It has been treated as medication in the ancient time in China. It's also said to help nourish our yin and clear body heat, while cleansing the body blood of toxins, help improves or cures skin disorder, improving the metabolism rate, relieving cough. I am not sure how true this is but I like it a lot especially the refreshing and slightly bitter taste and the cooling effect. Now this herbal jelly has become a popular dessert and it is usually serve with sugar syrup or honey.


3 packet/30 gram of the guiling gao powder
½ cup cold water
800 ml boiling water
Some sugar/honey syrup

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stone Fruit Tarts

The last batch of peaches I bought tasted like potato. They were not juicy and tasteless. I was pretty upset with it as I bought it from Wegmans. Normally they sell the top quality produce but I am not sure what happen to this batch. I even went back to Wegmans to complaint about it and they were pretty apologetic about it. Anyway, since we won’t be eating it fresh I decided to make some tarts out of it with some leftovers plump and nectarines. If you are looking for a quick and easy dessert to serve up, this tart is for you. You may use any stone fruit for this recipe like plums, cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches, etc.

Ingredients for the dough

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
some ice water

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Braised Mushroom Meat Sauce

Weather is getting cold now and the days seem to be shorter, dark and dreary. Today is another cold and rainy day here in PA and it makes me crave for some comfort food. What can be more comforting than a bowl of meaty noodles? When I first saw this interesting recipe at Kokken 69 back in August I was intrigued by it and bookmarked it right away. Since I have all the ingredients in my fridge I cook this for our lunch. Just like Shirley said this sauce is meaty, flavorful and versatile. You may used the sauce on your steamed rice, noodles, blanched vegetables, porridge, etc. This is my quick version of the meat sauce but for the original recipe and version please refer here .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cendol Jelly/Agar Agar Cendol

Our Malaysian ladies gathering were having steamboat for lunch this month. Since it will be a hot meal I wanted to make something cooling for our dessert. It has been a while since I made any jelly so I decided to make some cendol jelly. Cendol is a street food dessert and its base flavors are coconut and palm sugar and of course the funky looking green strips of cendol. In Malaysian we are able to buy the readymade cendol from the wet market or supermarket but over here I can’t find any so I have to make it from scratch. For the cendol recipe you can refer to my previous posting here. The texture of this agar agar is great. Not too firm or overly sweet and with great flavor of the palm sugar and coconut milk. This recipe is adapted from Wendy’s blog with very minor changes in the ingredients and method of preparing it .

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

I used to be intimidated by bread making as usually I can’t seems to get it right but now I just love making bread. I guess practice makes perfect. I had a great time making this bread especially the anticipation on how the swirl will look like. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. The swirl were beautiful, the crust had a lovely, deep golden color as a result of the egg wash, and the inside was rich and soft. We enjoyed this bread for our breakfast.

For the dough:

1 package/7 grm active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (~100°F)
3 tbsp sugar
3 3/4 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
additional softened butter for greasing bowl and pan

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Fruit Pastry Cake II

This cake is very popular among bloggers awhile ago. The last time I baked this cake was in 2007 for a gathering. This cake is very versatile and you can actually put any type of fruits you like on top of it. In my opinion this cake taste better the next day as the juices of the fruits really seeps into the cake. It is light and not greasy. I am not going to post the recipe here as I am sure most of you already have it but if you want you can refer to my old posting here .

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Szechuan Peppercorn Chicken II

My friend Roselind prepared this dish for lunch not too long ago. She used to live in China for a few years and she learned to cook this dish from a friend of hers there. I just love this dish as the chicken pieces are so flavorful and well blended with the spicy condiments and the generous amount of dried chilies. You might just find yourself tearing from the hot numbing sensations but still wanting more of this addictive dish

I cooked a similar dish before and you can check out the recipe here . This is Roselind recipe for Szechuan Peppercorn Chicken. Do give it a try as I am sure you are going to like it as much as I did.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Parsley and Garlic Knots

These piping hot knots are pizzeria classic and are unbelievingly addictive. They are called "knots" due to their shape resembling that of a square knot and about the size of a golf ball. They are chewy, garlicky and loaded with fresh parsley. I actually forgot to sprinkle some parmesan cheese to it but even without them they are still good. If you're tired and busy and just don't have time to make your own dough you can always buy some dough from your favorite pizza joint or even buy the frozen dough from the grocery store. You can either brush the garlic coating on before baking or like me I just tossed it in after I baked the bread. Either way they will be good.

For the dough:
Recipe adpated from King Arthur Flour with some changes.

3 cups bread flour
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. dried yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup milk
1 cup lukewarm water (you might need 1-2 tbsp more)