Friday, December 23, 2016

My dear family, friends and blog readers, May God bless you with a festive, loving and peaceful celebration this Christmas and all throughout the year of 2017.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Spicy Salted Eggs/Sambal Telur Masin

This is another dish that I learned from Shereen. She is so amazing that she even brined her own salted duck eggs. I enjoyed eating this simple ‘kampung’ (village) dish with rice.


3 Salted eggs, hard - boiled and cut into wedges ( remove the shell )
1 Onion, thinly sliced
Salt to taste / if necessary

What exactly are all natural ingredients and how easy is it to eat natural products?

There is no doubt that the interest in eating natural products continues to increase. There is a general distrust of genetically modified foods and synthetically produced foodstuffs. The general public has become more aware of the effect eating habits can have on health and well-being and people are making more informed choices when it comes to their diet.

It’s not just when buying food for the home that people have become more conscious of what they spend their money on; it’s also when eating out at a restaurant. You can click here for an example of local fresh products being used in restaurant meals. This is something that people are now finding more important when they decide where to eat out. We are going to take a look at what it means when products are labelled as all natural and how knowing the source of products can make eating naturally easier.
What does an all-natural ingredients food label actually mean?
It may interest you to know that there is no legal general definition for what an all-natural ingredients label actually means. That being said, the FDA defines such products as being those that are obtained directly from plants or animals without the use of synthetic materials or additives. This is not the same thing as saying a product is entirely natural.

You can buy chicken nuggets that are labelled as all-natural but they obviously do not occur in nature as they are. The USDA does have a definition in place for natural but the definition only applies to meat and poultry. This definition is “A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. ”

Whichever way you look at it there is a good chance that a food product marked as all-natural may not be a product that has come from nature exactly as it is. You do have the comfort of knowing that foods labelled in this way should not have been exposed to petrochemicals and harmful additive.

How knowing the source of your food can help
One of the best ways of knowing exactly how natural the food you are eating is to know where it has come from . If you know that the eggs you buy have come from a local producer then you can research exactly how that producer works and what the environment is like.

Many restaurants use local sourcing so that they know exactly what quality of produce they are using and how it was grown or obtained. They also know that they are able to obtain fresh produce which makes it easier for them to produce dishes that keep diners satisfied.

You can see that just because a product is labelled as all-natural this does not necessarily mean it is a product that occurs completely naturally, although it is not synthetically produced. One of the best ways of being sure of exactly what you are eating is to know where your food is sourced from.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Prune and Walnut Butter Cake

It has been awhile since I post a recipe for cakes. I baked this cake a few months ago to take it with me to a gathering. The brown sugar and chopped prunes gave this cake a very nice caramel fragrant.
It goes really well with a cup of coffee or tea.

The Beautiful Influence of Coloring and Drawing in the Creativity of the Child

A young mind could not develop more in his childhood than while he draws and colors, while he brings to a piece of paper the realm of creativity and imagination, the infinite in color and joy, spread through a simple line, a simple splash of paint. Numerous studies have repeatedly proven that the coloring and drawing has a great impact on the development of a kid as it improves physical and cognitive evolution, while at the same time encourages creativity, confidence, autonomy and social interaction.Simple things to draw from time to time can form the children today for tomorrow, sculpt a personality, nurture a mature, capable yet creative mind.

Artistic Action in Child Development
The public opinion often expressed states that drawing and coloring are beneficial for the child`s imagination and while that is true there is much more to it, follow the article and share this article with a fellow parent.

Motor Skills Progress
Scribbling and similar artistic endeavors encourage the dreams of the little ones, nurture imagination, create social interaction and in the middle of the act the suite of actions that require motion fine tunes the coordination between tool and mind, with every paint brush and every pencil line the child is closer to reaching full control, body and mind coordination.

Language Skills Fundamentation
One`s expression through drawing can be read from an early age, the colors used the stroke intensity and the gesture that comes along the act can be interpreted. Moreover, while drawing the child attempts to explain itself, to communicate and share the story on paper with the loved ones surrounding him. A parent by his child in these dear moments is crucial, ties are being tied, the connections for a lifetime.

Making Decisions Early Art is powerful and beautiful but in no way is it easy to grasp, regardless of age. A question that artists of all ages get stuck on at a certain point is “What color should I use? “; this very questions is often troubling for the little one and as he progresses in his artistic endeavors he makes decision, he creates association between needs and possibilities and progresses in the decision making skill early, sculpting it early, one that will become extremely important further on in life.

Conceptualization and Shapes
The child will start resembling the reality from an early age in his drawings, he will try to draw his family with simple lines and circles, conceptualize, the most common fridge heirloom that every parent adores. This small action ought to capture the attention of the natural mind, ought to receive encouragement as this can become the seed point of a very important life skill: conceptualization. At the start of each week the parent envisions his entire schedule in a matter of seconds or minutes, he conceptualizes at a larger scale his needs and program, simple and efficient.

Encourage Your Child to Draw and Color
To encourage the little one to pursue his artistic endeavors and beautifully naturally develop, a few tips and tricks have been put together, cast a glance.
• No space for critic, no errors ought to be pointed out. The imagination and creativity of the little one can be easily shattered, communication is key, discuss with the little one, ask him to explain his drawing and you`ll notice he would be thrilled to talk about it.
• Boost confidence through encouragement. No artistic act is too small, no act in this realm should go unnoticed.
• Always be ready for drawing and coloring. The little one need to draw when they need to draw and whether it`s during dinner time or a long trip, you need to be ready. A parent should always have his color set by him, ready for coloring and drawing.
• Be prepared to have the furniture painted if there is no drawing wall designated. Have patience and create art mediums to avoid surprises, children get bored easily and having a huge chalkboard wall on your household can help a whole lot.

Photo courtesy to Homesthetics

Friday, September 23, 2016

Chili Char

This is by far one of my most favorite Nyonya dish. I learned this dish from my good friend Shereen when I visit here in NZ. She is such a great cook and all her dishes were so delicious. This is not the only dish I learned from her but a few more and I will be sharing it here with you. With only this dish I can eat 2 bowls of rice. It is that good. It might looks like a very simple dishe but trust me, they were packed with great flavors. Please give it a try if you can get some nice good green chilies that are not too spicy.

Essay about Kitchen Tools

The popularity of channels showcasing chefs and their culinary expertise is on the rise. People enjoy watching the likes of Ree Drummond and Bobby Flay. They are enamored by Guy Fiere and Anne Burrell. This love of culinary artistry is being translated to the kitchen and more people are becoming interested in the kitchen tools that modern day chefs utilize.

Of course, not every homemaker and wannabe cook has the finances to acquire the high tech gadgetry provided for these famous chefs. But that does not mean the kitchen has to stay sterile and bland. There are a number of great kitchen tools that are readily available to those who would like to add a little flair to their kitchen accomplishments.

Top 10 Kitchen Gadgets for Daily Living
These tools will help when one is trying to live holistically. They are essential to the preparation of a number of healthy dishes and can certainly make the kitchen look a lot more like those seen on TV. Obviously lesser known brands are available, and can provide nearly the same quality for considerably less money. That said, here are the top 10 kitchen gadgets for daily living:

1. Blender - Get your money’s worth out of a high speed blender. Yes, these are more expensive than traditional kitchen blenders, but if you use it on a regular basis you will be glad you opted to put out a little more cash. You will be able to make soups, nut butters, smoothies, homemade mayo, and a host of other silky delicacies with the assistance of this little gadget.
2. Knives - If you have ever had to saw through a piece of meat, or hack at one, you will recognize the import of good knives. We recommend acquiring chef grade knives. Additionally, we suggest that you have an 8 or 10 inch butcher/chef’s knife, an 8 inch serrated knife, and a 4 inch paring knife. If you have cheaper versions of everything else, these should get you through all the restaurant quality cooking you intend to do.
3. Cast Iron Skillet - These are durable and when seasoned properly they are the only truly non-stick cooking utensils on the market. Today’s non-stick pots and pans are actually guilty of releasing some serious toxins into your food when you cook with them. You should definitely consider getting rid of them and replacing them with cast iron cookware.
4. Storage Containers - Make sure you stock up on glass storage options to eliminate the potential for toxic exposure via plastic versions. You can use them for salads and make ahead oatmeal/yogurt breakfasts. And, when you employ that high speed blender to make nut butters, these glass storage containers will be your best options for longevity.
5. Lidded Sauce Pans - Get a number of different sizes. These are useful when you are making homemade soups and sauces. Since they do come in a variety of sizes and money might be limited, we suggest you at least have a 1 ½ quart and a 3 quart version.
6. Cutting Boards - You do not want to do all your cutting on your countertop. You will inevitably scratch it or damage it in some way. Therefore, it is imperative that you get a cutting board. These are made out of various materials and can be relatively inexpensive depending on the material you choose. Keep in mind that some materials are actually really good at holding onto germs and bacteria, so do your research before you make a purchase.
7. Crockpot - These slow cookers are absolutely necessary in any kitchen. They can help you prepare meat while you are at work. They are also phenomenal when it comes to making homemade chili and soups. People also use them to make stews, overnight oatmeal, and fruit butters. They are invaluable in the kitchen.
8. Baking Pans/Sheets - You can get these in full and half size. They are excellent for baking. They can be round, square, rectangular, or any number of shapes. Plus you are going to want to make cookies at some point and the baking sheets you own will undoubtedly get plenty of use.
9. Measuring Tools - You cannot bake without the assistance of measuring tools. Like many kitchen utensils these tools come in a variety of materials. And sometimes they are even in different shapes. We have seen square, round, and heart shaped measuring cups and spoons. Our preference is almost always metal versions because the likelihood of germ contamination is considerably less. Wood and plastic have their own issues, but glass works well too.
10. Mixing Bowls - Glass and stainless steel bowls are always better than the plastic variety. There will be times when you want to keep your mixing bowl on the stove and if you are not careful a plastic bowl will melt. We know this from our own experience. And, as we have said previously, utilizing glass and metal is a better option for keeping your foods toxin and germ/bacteria free.

While stocking your kitchen with these highly recommended kitchen tools is certainly a good idea, there are some other steps you should take to ensure you become the best chef of your home. Consider investing in some well-known and highly regarded cookbooks. You could purchase books by the people we listed in the introduction. These chefs are revered for their extreme giftedness in the kitchen.

And, if you need a few more kitchen tool suggestions we would recommend you consider purchasing a bread maker and a pizza stone. When you start to delve into the world of homemade bread you will wonder why you ever bought store bread. Additionally, if you purchase a pizza stone you will be better prepared to make that cauliflower crust pizza you have been considering. Who knows, you might even be able to learn a thing or two about pizza dough amidst your bread making endeavors. The kitchen tools included in this article will certainly get you well on your way to having an enviable culinary space.

This kitchen essay is provided by Cheap Custom Writings company.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What is a reverse osmosis water filter?

People are becoming increasingly concerned with the quality of water that they are drinking – particularly when it comes to tap water. As we learn more about the potential dangers, such as the lapse in regulations and the chemicals that manage to slip through the cracks, people are looking at different ways to stay hydrated and one of these ways is reverse osmosis.

This is a process in which dissolved inorganic solids, such as salts, are "removed from the water with a reverse osmosis water filter , leaving it much cleaner and better for you. By removing the fluoride, lead, and pesticides, what you are left with is something that is much better for your body.

It works by pushing the water through a semi-permeable membrane, before it gets to you. This membrane, or screen, traps all of the negative aspects of water that you don't want, leaving only the quality water to get through. The system uses a selection of high pressure pumps and filters to make this happen, as shown by the diagram found here.

A step by step guide to this process can be found at Wikipedia :

• a sediment filter to trap particles, including rust and calcium carbonate
• optionally, a second sediment filter with smaller pores
• an activated carbon filter to trap organic chemicals and chlorine, which will attack and degrade thin film composite membrane reverse osmosis membranes
• a reverse osmosis filter, which is a thin film composite membrane
• optionally, a second carbon filter to capture those chemicals not removed by the reverse osmosis membrane
• optionally an ultraviolet lamp for sterilizing any microbes that may escape filtering by the reverse osmosis membrane
• latest developments in the sphere include nano materials and membranes

This type of system isn’t only for home use – it has found its way into many other industries that need top quality water including; water waste, the food industry, the military, aquariums, just to name a few. This show how successful a system it is, and what a difference it can make to the quality of water.

Here are just a few reasons why you might wish to consider installing one of these systems in your own home:

1. Better taste
Not only does the reverse osmosis water filter get rid of the waters impurities, it also leaves a much nicer tasting drink. Without any of the chemicals that result any of the funny smells or tastes, the water you’ll be getting is as pure as you can get,

2. Easy to clean
Unlike other water filter systems, the reverse osmosis water filter isn’t filled with fussy parts. It’s actually really easy to clean and maintain – leaving you with a system that lasts for years.

3. Saves you money in the long run
Using a system like this saves you cash on bottled water and other filtration system. If the quality of the water in your home just isn’t good enough for you and your family, this could be the most cost effective way to overcome that.

What kind of materials are chef aprons made of?

All chefs must wear and apron to protect their clothing from spills. Keeping clean in such a messy job is challenging enough, but it also helps keep everyone looking as professional as possible while they work. The image of the kitchen is just as important as what comes out of it, especially when it comes to keeping all of your customers happy, so you need to select the clothing that best helps with this.

The top requirements for the material used in a chefs apron are as follows:
• A material weight of 240gm, to offer the best protection from spills and stains.
• A higher poly-cotton content (65% polyester, 35% cotton, offers the best defence).
• Something that will wash well – check the cleaning requirements before buying to see if it is going to be practical.
• Sewn in ties for extra strength.
• Reinforced seams for greater durability.
• Pockets – as a side note, the apron also needs to have a lot of pockets for storing things such as towels and tools. Work can get done much quicker if everything is to hand!

As you can see, the material needs to as strong as it is easy to clean, which may take some research to discover what is best for you. Here are the most common materials currently used for producing aprons, to give you an idea of what you will be searching through:

Cotton or muslin is the most common material seen in shops, but it isn’t the most practical. It is cheap to produce, but will need to be replaced regularly as it won’t be able to handle too much damage.

Rubber or nylon is heavier, which makes it better for a chef’s needs. It can handle more industrial issues, which gives it a much better chance in a hot and busy kitchen.

This is a surprisingly good material that can withstand the heat of the kitchen and the stains really well. It also lasts for a very long time, meaning you don't need to consistently fork out for replacements. It may be more expensive in the first place, but it will save you money in the long run.

There are many other options that you might like to consider too when buying your own chef aprons, such as rubber coated cotton or even thin plastics as the material – just be sure that whatever you choose is fire resistant!

Other variations for the apron include the colour. White has always been seen as the traditional option, but black aprons are becoming increasingly common because being dark means that it hides more stains, whilst still looking professional and smart within the kitchen environment. The possibilities are endless when it comes to your aprons, as long at the material is suitable for the hot spills that it will undoubtedly endure. The kitchen is a crazy place where anything can happen, and your clothing needs to be prepared for that!

Why is bottled water so bad for the environment?

As people become more aware of the chemicals that can be found in tap water, they want to find something to replace that, to ensure that they remain hydrated. The obvious choice to help overcome this is bottled water – after all, that is produced in a way that rids the water of anything bad, and it’s preserved well making it much better for us... isn’t it?

There are a lot of myths when it comes to bottled water, and it’s important to know the truth with what you are putting into your body. For example, Food and Water Watch suggests that more than half of bottled water comes from the tap anyway, making it a completely pointless transition. Not only that, it can cost $0.89 per gallon to $8.26 per gallon, compared to fractions of a penny for water from your tap., making it much more expensive. On top of that, Health News research shows that the water inside the bottle can be so much worse for you because the plastic leaches into the liquid, leading to health and reproductive problems. When you combine this with the fact that most tests have shown that in blind taste tests, people cannot tell the difference between tap and bottled water, it hardly seems worth it.

And that’s before we even get to the environmental issues bottled water causes.

The Water Project suggests that bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. While they can be recycled, a lot of them end up in the trash with US landfills overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles. They are also one of the most prominent issues when it comes to ocean trash – plastic is the most common item found in the Earth’s water, which is a worrying trend that can be prevented.

People often don't realise that oil is also used to produce water bottles too – with over 1.5 million barrels used to meet the demand of U.S. water bottle manufacturing. Then you need to factor in the delivery impact on the environment, with 40 eighteen wheeler trucks used to make these deliveries every single week (source). There are a lot of factors that go into making bottled water, and that negative impact they are all having on the environment affects us all.

So what can you do to stop this from happening?

There are other water sources that you might not have considered yet, such as a water filter. This will clean out the tap water within your home in the most environmentally friendly way, saving you money in the long run. There are many variations of systems available to you, so you can pick the filter that suits your needs best. For business buildings or larger homes, you may even consider an indoor fountain. These are mounted to the wall and offer clean, environmentally friendly water to everyone.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Spinach Parcels in Filo Pastry

I have a packet of filo pastry in my freezer from God knows when. I thought of making Baklava with it but change my mind when I saw some leftover roast chicken in my fridge. I gather a few extra ingredients from the fridge and decided to make these parcels. It is not that difficult to make these. The only tricky part of this is working with the filo pastry but once you get the hang of it – it’s easy. You can serve this as an appetizer or like us have it for our dinner with some salad.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Savory Plantain Pancakes/Fritters

We can’t get good bananas here for frying like our goreng pisang back home. I tried using the regular Dole kind but they were not good for frying. They became so soft and watery once it hits the hot oil and it will start spattering all over. I tried it once and never attempt frying it again. Once awhile I will use plantain. Plantain is like our pisang tanduk and I usually slice it up and pan fried it with a bit of butter. This time I mashed it up and made it into pancakes like. Man, were they good. The pancakes were sweet and savory at the same time. Since plantain is pretty starchy you don’t need to add to much flour to it. I used only 3 tbsp of it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Laced Rice Crepes/Appam

When I saw my friend posted an Appam making video of Cooking with Thas on FB I know I have to try it out. Ingredients are relatively easy. All I have to do and just blend it together and let it ferment overnight. Since I don’t have the appam making pan I just used my non-stick pan cooking it. Well, as you can see it is rather flat but taste wise it is pretty good. I remember eating it at one of the Indian restaurant and it has a sourish taste to it. I guess I have to try out another recipe that uses yeast since this recipe doesn’t.

So what is Appam? Appam is a very popular and traditional breakfast of State of Kerala. The Appam or Palappam is also a specialty in Sri Lanka where it is known as the Appa. Appams are soft and spongy in the center and has a lacy border. It is very good for health as it does not require much oil and it is gluten free too. It can be served with the potato/chicken stew, any type of curries curry.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cherry Blossom/Sakura Cookies

I’ve seen many people making dessert with the preserved sakura for the past few years and they were so pretty. I found them online but there were not cheap so I waited until Diana went back to Japan and she bought some for me. My two good friends Linda and Maria got me some too when they were holidaying there. So I’ve been using it to make moon cakes, macarons and now these cookies. Diana is in Japan again now so hopefully she is able to find more for me.

I made these cookies for a birthday tea party for a very good friend last week. Turns out really pretty and everyone goes oooh and ahhh over it and said they look too pretty to eat. I got the recipe from Daily Delicious with a tiny change. I added some almond powder to it and increased the flour by 20 gram as I find to dough too wet to handle. I think it might be the size of the egg yolk I used.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Stuffed Onion Rings

I came up with this dish on the day that I ran out of idea of what to prepare for our dinner. I have some ground meat in hand and decided to mix it up with a few other ingredients and stuff it in some onion rings. Turn our pretty good to have it with rice.


2 medium size onions – cut into ½” rings
3 tbsp of flour
2 eggs - beaten

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Salmon Patties

I know I have been neglecting my blog for awhile and I hope there are still people stopping by here. I am so sorry about that. Well, I have been very busy for the past 6-7 months, with my home business, then my trip back to Malaysia and after I came back I have to preparing for our moves to another house. So, that was what happening to my life all within a few months. With now settling at a new place hopefully I can get back to my routine of blogging and cooking again. I was just telling Carlos how much I miss doing it.

Anyway, here I am trying to catch up with all the backlogs. There are so many pictures to edit, so many recipes to type out. Let’s start with these Salmon patties which I made some time ago. I like making these patties when salmon fish goes on sale. I will grill a few extra pieces just so I can make these.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Spaghetti with Easy Cherry Tomatoes Sauce

My cherry tomato plants gave me some bumper crop last season. Carlos is not a fan of cherry tomatoes so I am the only one eating it. I like eating them raw and sometimes I just cut them up and put it in my pasta. This is a very fast and easy meal to prepare. While you are boiling the pasta you can prepare the sauce and when pasta is ready all you have to do is mixing it into the sauce. The juicy sweet cherry tomatoes burst open in warm olive oil, creating a luxuriously silky sauce and voila the meal comes together in less than 20 minutes.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cream Buns (Not oven bake)

What do you think of these custard buns? They look good isn’t it? Well, I didn’t bake these in the oven. I bake/pan fried it on a frying pan. I found this recipe on YouTube and was intrigued by it. I have some leftover custard cream from my fruit tarts and decided to use it up to by making these. The buns were really soft and good and I will definitely make this again. So if you don’t have an oven you can still make this bread. No excuses :)

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Wishing family, friends and blog readers, Gong Xi Fa Cai/Keong Hee Huat Cai. May the year of Monkey brings all of us joy, happiness, peace, good health and prosperity

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Gula Melaka Kaya/Palm Sugar Coconut Jam

Making kaya takes time so I don’t make it often and if I do I will make a big batch of it. I will mail some to Diana and keep a couple of jars for myself. It usually will last me a couple of months. I usually will make the regular caramel or pandan kaya but this time I tried using gula Melaka or palm sugar. Since I have a lot of egg yolks leftover from my macarons I decided to use only that in this kaya. It gives the kaya a thicker and richer consistency. For those who are not familiar with kaya you can read about it here .

The kaya turns out really good. It is thick and creamy with the heavenly fragrant of the palm sugar.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Taiwanese Pineapple Cake/Cookies

I always like this cake. I am not sure why they called it cake as it tasted more like cookies. I bought it a few times from the Asian supermarket and also once at Hong Kong airport but they were not good. The pastry was so dried and the filling doesn’t taste like pineapple at all. I found out that they added winter melon to the filling….mmmmm no wonder it is not good. Anyway, I always wanted to try making these and finally did it a few months ago after buying more moulds from eBay. My friend Alan gave me some too. It cost me quite a bit of money and in order to justify spending so much I should make it more often :)

I used only pineapple for the filling instead of adding winter melon to it. I coarsely grated the pineapple so that I can still feel the bite of the filling. I tasted one once it cools down but the pastry was more on the crunchy and dry side so I let it sit for a day and the pastry turns out soft, rich and very buttery. It was really good. I think it tasted much better than the one I bought. As CNY is just around the corner, maybe you can making this instead of the usual pineapple tarts.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Wishing you and your family a wonderful year ahead. Happy New Year!!