Monday, December 31, 2012

Kaya Puffs/Kaya Kok

It has been many years since I had kaya puffs. This is one snack that I will ask my sisters to bring if they come to visit me but I totally forgotten about it when my youngest sister came to visit in July. In order to get over the craving and also used up my homemade kaya I decided to make these. For non Malaysian/Singaporean readers, kaya is a jam made from coconut milk, sugar and eggs. It is eaten like regular jam or sometimes make into these puffs.

I used the recipe from Kuali but the result was not the same like the one I had back home. The pastry is flaky but on the dry side as I prefer the pastry to be on the tender side but nonetheless it is good enough to get over my craving. I have to try out another recipe soon.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fried Sweet Potato Balls

This is a well-know snack in Malaysia and mostly sold by the street vendors. These deep-fried sweet potato balls are called ‘fan shu tan’ in Cantonese and it is slightly smaller than the size of a ping pong ball. They are cruncy and golden brown on the outside,soft and sweet on the inside. I remember eating this ages ago at Cameron Highlands. Cameron Highlands is a highland region located around 200km from Kuala Lumpur at the state of Pahang. It is well known for its agriculture and also cool weather which is very popular among tourist. Due to its weather, tea and strawberries, which are rarities in the places under the Equator, are substantially planted here. There is this one street vendor that sells these sweet potato balls at the market and we have to get it each time we visited this place.

I Google for the recipe and there are a few version of it. I finally settle with the one by Angie of Seasaltwithfood . This is a full recipe but I did only half of the recipe which yield about 24 balls


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

I know it is a bit late to post Christmas cookies this but I am trying to make it on time for Aspiring Baker’s event. I have wanted to make this cookie for many years but just never get to do it until this year. I will normally bake simple cookies for Christmas with requires minimal work but because of the Aspiring Baker’s Christmas Motif Bakes I decided to attempt to bake something a bit more challenging. One of them was the Snowflake Sugar Cookies with requires decorating it with royal icing and this one.

First I thought it might be difficult to make but they’re not. Basically it’s a sugar cookie recipe with a little bit extra in it. The dough freezes well too so you can make it earlier and bake it whenever you want. Don’t they look festive? If you are looking for a unique and delicious addition to your traditional Christmas cookies this might be the one.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pistachio Linzer Cookies with Strawberry Filling

I love making linzer cookies as I think they are the most beautiful I ever made. Beside the look, I just love the taste of this light shortbread combined with a tiny dollop of jam in the middle. They are just perfect with a cup of coffee and tea. They might look delicate but they are quite easy to put together. It just involves a few extra steps compare to the regular cookies but the end results are all worth it. I made quite a few of these to give it out to my friends and neighbors.

To my dearest family, friends and blog readers,

May peace, happiness and goodwill be with you not only on Christmas, but throughout the year and beyond. Wishing you Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

I know I’ve been posting a few sugar cookies here but this time I tried out Alton Brown of Food Network recipe. I think I like this recipe better than the previous one. Since I will be submitting these cookies for the Aspiring Baker # 26 Creative Christmas Motif Bakes hosted by Alan of Travelling Foodies I decided to use snowflakes cookie cutter and decorates it with royal icing. I am not a fan of decorating cakes or cookies but after doing it a few times I got the hang of it. I kind of enjoy doing it now :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pekan Beef Curry/Opor Daging Pekan

PAHANG is the largest state in Peninsula Malaysia and is situated in the eastern coastal region. The cuisines of Pahang were influenced by the Indians, Chinese and Arabs, who came as traders during the busy spice trade days. I am not too familiar with their cuisine actually. I’ve been to a few beach resorts there but that was a long time ago and during that time I never take note of any of the food served but with this MFF event I am learning more about the cuisine of other states in Malaysia.

For the state of Pahang I am making this dish called Opor Daging Pekan or in English Pekan Beef Curry. This is a traditional dish of the people of Pahang especially in the kampong/village around the royal town of Pekan. It is usually served at traditional Malay weddings or festival. The taste of this dish is pretty similar to Beef rending because of coconut paste/kerisik also slight tangy with the editions of tamarind paste in it. I really like this dish and planning to cook another big batch of it so I can freeze it up. Besides using beef you can cook it with chicken or mutton/lamb. It goes really well with rice, nasi impit/ketupat or even bread.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ikan Balado/Fried Fish in Tangy Chili Sauce

Balado is one of the sambal from West Sumatra (a.k.a Minang) Most Indonesian know how to make balado. The basic ingredients are shallots, chilies, tomato, lime juice, salt and sugar. I learned this version of balado from our Indonesian helper in Malaysia many years ago. I like it on blanch vegetables or just simple fried fish like this. The fish tasted so perfect with the tangy sweet balado.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Nutella Swirl Thumbprint Cookies

Christmas is just around the corner and I am sure many of you are busy baking cookies now. I won’t be baking much this year. I asked Diana what cookies she wants me to bake for Christmas and as usual she wanted Chocolate Chips cookies and this Thumbprint Cookies. These cookies are one of the classic cookies that I made every Christmas. I think we like it a lot because of the combination of buttery cookies and sweet jam.

Making these cookies is a bit more work if you are doing it alone as it took me a couple of hours just to roll them and filled them up with jams. Feel free to get your family or friends involved if you are making this. I add some Nutella to the dough to make it look a bit more attractive. I just mailed them to Diana and another friend of mine in PA and I hope they like it.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I don’t normally make breakfast but if Diana is around I will try making it for her. She came home for Thanksgiving so I made these for our breakfast one morning. Since I don’t have any chocolate chips in pantry I just added some chopped chocolate to the pancake. To serve we had it with some butter, sliced bananas and maple syrup,

Monday, December 03, 2012

Szechuan Style Eggplant

I made this dish when I was under the weather not too long ago. With the medicine, coughing and stuffy nose and all, my taste bud went haywire. No mood to cook or appetite to eat anything except for rice porridge and soup. There were 2 eggplants in the vegetable compartment and it is going soft and wrinkles on me. I always have this habit of buying egg plant but never cook them so it always end up in the garbage bin but I am not going to let that happen this time.

Since I like eggplant a lot I convinced myself to cook it and 20 minutes later a plate of aromatic, spicy and sweet dish to have it with my porridge. This is exactly what I needed to clear up my nose and head. I made this dish with hot bean paste which is commonly used in Szechuan cooking. You can get it any Asian store and some supermarket even carries it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Focaccia with Sweet Berries

I just realized it was my blog anniversary two weeks ago. How time flies!!! It has been 6 years since my first posting on November 2006, 915 posting later and still going strong. I can’t believe that it lasted this long. I thought I would have given up blogging in a year or two. Blogging has been an outlet, a growing and stretching experience, and a lot of fun with some headache along the way. I’ve been blessed to get to know many dear friends, and I miss many who are no longer blogging. Thank you to all my faithful supporters and readers for journeying along with me! Your comments have been encouraging and enlightening and you’ve made blogging immensely more enjoyable for me.

I baked this focaccia using the leftover berries from the Mini Fruit Tartlets with Mascarpone Cheese Filling . Since I run out of flour, I just used the whole wheat flour for the dough. It is not a very good idea as Carlos doesn’t really like it as he said the smell and taste of the whole wheat overwhelms the sweet fruits. As for me I don’t mind having this once a while. Anyway, this isn’t a dessert but more for breakfast or maybe for brunch along side with some other savory spreads.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sugar Cookies

I like baking with kids especially with my nieces and nephews. I’ve been doing it with them for years when I was in Malaysia. We will usually baked cookies, cupcakes and sometime pizza. I think it is a wonderful way to bond with them and also encourages creativity and gives kids a real sense of accomplishments when they eat what they made. It also created a lasting and loving memories for all of us. I miss them a lot and sometimes I do wish they don’t grow up so fast.

Anyway, I made these cookies with my friend daughter Isabel a few months ago. She helps cutting and decorates the cookies. I think she enjoyed doing it and not to mentioned eating all the cookies. Her mom told me that she refused to share it with her parents ha ha.. These are just simple sugar cookie decorated with some colorful sprinkles and some royal icing.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kari Udang/Prawn Curry

I bought a box of large prawns from the Filipinos supermarket the other day thinking of using them to cook Sang Har Mee for Diana. On the packet it says 9-10 prawns in it but when I open it I found there were about 18 of them in it. So I decided to use half of it to cook this dish so I can submit it to MFF.

Adapted from

10-12 large prawns
½ fresh pineapple – removed skin and cut into 1” chunks
500 ml coconut milk
2 stalk lemongrass – smash
2 tbsp fish curry powder
Salt to taste

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mini Fruit Tartlets with Mascarpone Cheese Filling

Holiday season is just around the corner and I am sure some of you are planning on what to cook and bake. I just baked some fruit cakes over the weekend and now it is aging in the fridge and I will douse it with a bit of brandy every now and then. I will be giving it away just before Christmas. Hope it will be ready to eat during Christmas.

I am a bit compulsive when come to buying fruits especially when I see nice and plump blackberries or raspberries even though I have no plan to bake anything. Then it will be sitting in the fridge for a few days and then I have to crack my head on what to do with it before it goes bad. So I made some mini tartlets with it. I think these dainty little tartlets are ideal for entertaining; and you can garnish it with any fruits you like. I gave some to my neighbor and she told me that she ate 8 pieces at one go and I told her it is not as bad as they were very tiny ha ha..

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kanji Kedah/Kedah Rice Porridge

I was talking on the phone with my good friend Shereen last week and we were discussing MFF theme for this month and I told her I don’t really know much about food from Kedah or Perlis. She gave me a few suggestions including this rice porridge. Well, since I have all the ingredients in hand I decided to do just that.

Every state in Malaysia will have its version of Rice Porridge also known as Bubur Lambuk. What make this heartwarming dish so popular? It is available during the Ramadan month and it is prepared and distributed to the public for free throughout the whole month of Ramadan in the spirit goodwill. Usually this rice porridge would be cooked at the mosque compound for easy distribution. Cooking this involves a lot of effort and many volunteers will help stirring many big pots of this rice porridge. This rice porridge is very similar to Chinese version except for the addition of coconut milk, lemongrass and fenugreek in it. I actually like it a lot and will definitely cook this again.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kuih Lepat Liat/Steamed Glutinous Rice Cake in Banana Leaf

When I saw Wendy post this up I knew I have to try it out. I am a sucker for dodol and she said that the texture of this kuih is very similar to it so I gather all my ingredients and made it the same week. Like she said it is sweet, sticky, chewy and coconutty. I made a bit more so I can freeze them up and have it whenever I want to. Half of it I wrapped it with banana leaves and the other half I just steamed it on silicon muffin moulds. I find it is easier doing it that way as the banana leaves here are a bit hard and tough and it tear easily when I tried wrapping it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dulce De Leche and Banana Cream Cheese Cake

I made this cake using all the leftovers ingredients I have in the fridge. I have some leftover dulce de leche left from the Argentinean Bread Pudding and also some cream cheese. Since there are some over-ripe bananas on the kitchen counter I decided to incorporate it into the cake too. While baking the house was filled with the fragrant aroma of banana and DDL. I really miss that smell as I didn’t do any cake baking for over a month. As for the taste of the cake, it turns out really moist, buttery and delicious. It tastes even better the next day.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Lempiang Ikan/Fried Fish Cake

I am missing out quite a bit on the MFF for the past 2 months because of my travelling and being sick so for this month I will tried my best to participate and submit more than one dish. Let’s start off with this fish cake. This fish cake is one of the many dishes from the Northern part of Malaysia. I am not familiar at all with the food for the state Perlis and Kedah but since they so near to Thai I presume there are some Thai influence in their cooking. Like this particular dish it has Kaffir Lime leave in it and as your know Thai love using Kaffir lime in their cooking.

I actually feature a dish called Thai Fish Cake which is very similar to this in 2008 and you can check it out the recipe here . Taste wise I find them pretty similar.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Cabbage and Corn Beef Fried Beehoon

I always have a can of corn beef in my pantry so that I can use it when my craving strikes. I don’t buy them often as it cost around $5.50 a can and I find them way too expensive for can food. The brand I am familiar with is Libby but I notice they sell so many other brands here in Northern CA especially at the Filipino supermarket. I guess Filipinos like corn beef. I will usually make corn beef sambal or cabbage fried rice with it but this time I decided to use half a can to fry some beehoon. It tasted really good actually as the beehoon absorb all the nice flavor of the corn beef. I will definitely make this again.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Fresh Fig Tarts with Pastry Cream and Walnut Crust

I love the taste and smell of figs especially Mission figs. It is earthy and mildly sweet and I can’t resist buying two boxes of it when I saw them at the Asian supermarket. Then I fall sick and it has been sitting in the fridge for 2 weeks and I finally get to do something with it late last week. Thank god they were all still good except for one of it.

I never tasted fresh fig until I came to America over 15 years ago. It was at the New York Union Square farmers market. I bought a box of it out of curiosity and fell in love with it ever since. I will always buy some when it is in season. Normally I will just have it fresh with yogurt with a bit of honey but this time I decided to make some tarts and garnish it with these fresh beauties. It's almost too pretty to eat but we are not letting this creation go to waste, though and we devour them up in no time ;)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Egg and Tomato Sandwich

Thank you everyone for your get well wishes. I am getting much better but the coughing still lingers around and refuse to go away. Like my mom said it might stick around for 100 days but I hope not. I have not cook anything elaborate except making sandwiches and rice porridge for the past 2 weeks so this is something that I made for our dinner one evening.

I hardly buy any white bread but I bought a loaf just to make Argentinean Bread Pudding and there were some leftovers. When I see white bread I always think of egg or sardine sandwiches that I had when I was young. It has been a long while since I had that until when we went back to Argentina. My SIL ordered some egg and ham sandwiches from the sandwich place nearby and there were delicious. There were some very unique combinations of sandwiches that we’ve tried there and I am going to try to re-creates them myself one day. So let’s start with something pretty common that most of you knew how to make them but this is the version that we like

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Hi everyone, this is what my life has been like for 5 days. I got some nasty virus. It started with a sore throat when I was in Argentina, which I attributed to the cold spring weather there. Took a few aspirin and so I thought I got well. When I came back I start having fever, sore throat, stuffy nose, coughing and now even sore eyes. Normally when I am sick I just take over the counter medicine, stay in bed for a few days and I will be well again. What I got is pretty potent, whatever I took is not helping and I have to go and see the doctor.

She gave me some very strong medicines and I am groggy all the time. She also advises me to have plenty of rest which is hard to do when you keep coughing every minutes. I was up all night. I have made the couch my place of rest. I’ve watch so much TV and it is starting to bore me. Anyway, I will be away from blogging for a while until I am well again. Take care everyone!!

P/s thank you all my FB friends who advised me on what to take for the cough. I will be trying them out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Argentinean Bread Pudding/Budin De Pan

Every restaurant in Argentina will have its own version of bread pudding. Their bread pudding or budin de pan differs from the American version mostly in terms of texture. The Argentine version has a moist, creamy and smoother texture, rather than large chunks bread since the bread cubes are completely broken down before mixing it with the eggs and it will usually have a caramel topping just like flan. Since the bread pudding has very little sugar in it they usually serve them with dulce de leceh or caramel sauce that gets drizzled on the tableside.

Carlos just loves this type of bread pudding and my SIL gave me this recipe to try out and it turns out pretty well. The next time I make this again I need to double up the caramel topping as Carlos complaint that it was a bit too little.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Spiral Curry Puffs/Karipap Pusing

It is good to be home and get back to my regular posting after being away for a while. You might have notice I schedule the posting here as I’ve been so busy for the past 2 months and hardly try out any new recipes or complicated cooking. I still cook but just some simple dishes. For this posting it is something that I made a few months ago and only get to post it now.

Who doesn’t like curry puff? This is by far one of the most favorite snacks of our household. We can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even tea time. I will usually make a large batch of it and freeze them up and will fry a few pieces at a time when craving strikes. I will usually make the one with just the regular pastry but when I am in the hardworking mood I will do the spiral pastry. Well, this is one of them. I posted this recipe in 2008 but that was over 4 years ago and there are so many recipes lost in the archives that I’d love to re-photograph and rewrite some of it. It will take me awhile to do it, but I am placing our favorite ones in the forefront and I am starting with this Spiral Curry Puffs.