Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vanilla Fleur De Sel Macarons with Nutella Filling

This month Aspiring Bakers theme is March Macaron Madness . I was thinking of not participating as I always have love hate relationship with macarons. I baked them few times but it don’t always turn out right. Something always went wrong like cracked tops, over baking it, under baked, sometimes no feet appearing and etc…

This batch of macarons was no exception. I have to throw out the first batch because it was under baked. I am still learning the temper of this oven. Thank God I still have some aged egg whites left from my Pineapple Rolls and I am able to start all over again. It turns out ok but still need some improvement. Nevertheless, I like the taste of these macarons. I particularly love the sprinkled of the glorious Vanilla Fleur de Sel as the saltiness of the salt compliments so well with the sweet macaron.

Fleur de Sel ("Flower of Salt" in French) is a gourmet hand-harvested sea salt that is formed at the surface of salt beds and collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt. Rich in minerals with superior flavor qualities, Fleur de Sel is one of the most expensive salts in the world.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gong Pao Chicken

Gong Pao chicken is a very popular dish here in the American-Chinese restaurants. It is marinated diced chicken cooked with dried chili, Szechuan peppercorn, peppers, celery, and carrot along with peanuts or cashew nuts. This is an easy recipe and you can replace the vegetables with any type of vegetables of your choice and the level of spiciness can be adjusted to your taste.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lime Bundt Cake

The great things about living here in CA are the weather and also I am able to get produce at a very cheap price. The nearest supermarket is just 6 minutes away and I go there at least twice a week to get fresh produce. We have tons of citrus fruits, lemon and lime is just $0.10 each. With such a cheap price I can’t resist buying it and use it in my baking and cooking. The limes were so fresh and hard that I can hardly get any juice out of it. I end up zapping it in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften them up. I have to squeeze 8 limes in order to get half a cup of juice for the glaze. As usual I like plain cake with citrusy flavor and this cake is just perfect for me. But don’t worry I didn’t have the whole cake for myself; I shared it with my new neighbor. Sorry for the grainy looking pictures. I took it with my old point and shoot camera.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pandan Briyani Rice/Nasi Briyani Pandan

Since yesterday was Saint Patrick's Day let me serve you some green rice. Carlos is not a fan of plain white rice so if I cook rice for our dinner I always flavor it with some spices. Instead of using the regular long grain rice I used Basmati rice as I prefer less starchy rice. This rice is great to go with any type of curry. I added a few drops of green coloring to it and Carlos said the rice looks kind of funky ha ha... oh well, he always think the green color food I made like Kueh Ketayap , Pandan Chiffon Cake , Pandan Kaya Cake , Kueh Bakar and etc are funky. Anyway, I adapted this rice recipe from my friend Shereen’s Briyani Rice with some minor change.


500 gram Basmati rice
2 tbsp butter
2 ¾ cups water
¼ evaporated milk
1 tsp salt

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rum and Raisin Cake

I always like some dried fruits in my cakes. Normally I will add some raisins or dried cranberries to it. I like the taste of this cake as the raisins soaked up all the rum and gives this cake a very nice flavor. You can always adjust the amount of rum that soak the raisins to suite your taste. Soaking the raisins in rums keeps them moist and soft. The rum is not too overwhelming but you will know it is there when you bite into it and it goes perfectly well with a cup of coffee.


1 cup raisins
¾ cup dark rum

Soak the above for an hour. Strain the raisins, set the rum aside to be use later.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dong Po Pork/Dong Po Rou


My laptop has been giving quite a bit of problems lately. It’s a relatively new machine and hopefully Carlos is able to fix it this weekend. Before he does that I better put up a post or two but if you see no posting here that means I don’t have access to my laptop.

This dish has been on my to –do list for the longest time since I've seen it at Wendy’s blog and I finally made it when Diana came home to celebrate Thanksgiving last year. Yeah I made this dish a few months ago only get to post it now. I wish the meat was a bit leaner as we are not a fan of fatty pork. Nevertheless we totally enjoyed it (we removed some of the fats) especially when we ate it with homemade Mantau . And the gravy goes really well with rice too. I am going to cook this again and this time using a leaner cut of meat.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Pineapple Rolls

I know I bit late in making these as CNY was long gone. I actually made these 3 weeks ago as I don’t have the time to make it for CNY. We were moving from PA to CA during that time so I don't have time to bake anything. Instead of the using enclosed or cut out pineapple tarts I made them into rolls. This time I used the recipe from Jun of Indochine Kitchen with very minor changes and I like it a lot. I made 1 ½ recipe as a recipe don’t yield too many pieces. I re-post the recipe here so I can refer to it whenever I want to make this again. You can go to her website and check out the step by step on how to do this.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Green Onion and Cilantro Flat Bread

I like this type of flat bread with curry. Normally I just get the readymade ones from Trader Joe’s but this time I try making it myself. I started looking up for some recipes online and there were so many versions out there. Some add ghee to it, others add milk and some added chick pea flour to it which I don’t have in my pantry. So I came up with the simple version of flat bread. I think I roll them too thin so it resemble more like tortilla than flat bread ha ha…nevertheless, it taste pretty good especially the crispy edges and dipping it into curry. If you like the thicker version you can always check out the Paratha Bread here .

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Hayward Farmers Market.

I am taking a break from food posting today. My camera went kaput on me so I have to send it to Canon for repairs. I am not sure when I can get it back from them. So from now on most of the pictures I took will be from my good old point and shoot camera.

What I like about living in California is the weather. It is always sunny even though the temperature can get quite chilling during the winter. When the weather is nice we like spending time outdoor. One of the things we like to do is visit the farmers market. Most of the vendors bring in the produce from their farms every weekend. I know their prices can be a bit more expensive compare to the supermarket but we like to support our local farms and small businesses and most of the vendors take great pride in bringing you their best quality produce. We like to stock up on weekly necessities like veggies, fruits, eggs, bread but most of the time we end up buying other things like flowers, pastries, olives, homemade pasta, olives and puffy bags of kettle corn. It is still winter so we don’t see much fruits yet especially the berries. I can’t wait for spring where fruits and berries are abundance. Here are some pictures I took to share it with you.