Saturday, January 30, 2010

Off Track # 3 ~ The Great Southern Holiday Photos

We are back from our short break.....
Albany and Denmark were fantastic... weather was fabulous, the places were just like 'out of the postcards'. Took so many photos and just don't know which to choose...Hope you are able to view my puny snapshots of Albany and Denmark...

'Our Home' away from home.... very neat, clean and chique....

 The quick view of Albany


Frenchman Bay, Albany

Denmark Markets (open 4 times a year) along the Denmark River....very scenic...

Denmark is a beautiful place with white sandy beaches, turquoise bay...
the place where Forest meets the Sea

Fun activities around Denmark

must not forget the highlights of the holiday ~'Food'


We ended our short break with a big bang!!!
Watching the fireworks displays over Albany Sky on Australia Day... :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Short Break~ January 2010...

Some of the flowers around our garden ...from my 'Spring 2009' folder ...
From top left (clockwise): English Seaside Daisy, Bee pollinating Lemon meyer flower, Boronia Alata, native ground cover.

We are off... to the Great Southern ~ Albany,
No Desktop..No Laptop..No Broadband = No Articles...
"From My Lemony Kitchen" will be back on Saturday 30th
Hopefully there'll be loads of nice holiday pictures to share... :) 

Have a wonderful
'AUSTRALIA DAY' on the 26 January 2010

Miss E playing 'Apologise' by One Republic ...she learnt this piece two weeks ago... there may be some 'oops' here and there... ;)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spring Rolls

Fresh yam bean (sengkuang or bang kuang) is not easily available here, if there is - it is so expensive... So we  use...  frozen yam bean for the spring rolls.
Now that we are only less than a month away to celebrate Chinese New Year... even frozen yam bean will be difficult to find.... so next best thing to use...tadaaa... bamboo shoots... but be warned of the strong 'amonia'ish smell...'the smell' will put you off ... and your first reaction would be "bin the shoots" ~ Don't!! What needs to be done is to soak the bamboo shoots for at least an hour, then rinse well and drain off the water... and voila!! the smell will be ..Gone!!... 
  • Spring rolls skins - from Asian grocer
  • a packet or can of bamboo shoots (from Asian Grocer....)- julienne
  • 2 cloves of garlic - chopped
  • 200g mince chicken
  • 3 thinly sliced chinese mushrooms
  • salt and white pepper
  • oyster sauce
Saute garlic, add in mince chicken and mushroom. Stir until the chicken is cooked. Then add in the bamboo shoots. Season with sauce, salt and pepper. Leave it to cool. Wrap the filling in the spring roll skin. Seal the edges with cornflour mixture (1 teaspoon cornflour and 2 tablespoon water). Deep fry until golden in colour. Serve with sweet chilli.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prawns, Kumatoes and Pasta Salad

I was fascinated with Kumatoes when I first saw them in the market. We love all kinds of tomatoes (with the exception of Mr H Jr!!)... cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and now kumatoes...
Kumatoes ~ a new breed of tomatoes, with its deep brownish red almost black in colour... originated from Galapagos. Apart from its intense's an aphrodisiac....hmm...before anyone goes out and buy crates of kumatoes ... ehem... hold your horses, mate and please read on....
Its a natural aphrodisiac for giant tortoises!!! :)
So be quick... I think kumatoes are in seasons during summer months only... the giant tortoises need their 'boost' too!!!
  • 400g dried pasta - cooked as per packet instruction
  • 1 kg of cooked prawns - shelled an deveined
  • 1 punnet of kumatoes - halves
  • green salad
  • 2 cloves of garlic - crushed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
Mix all in a bottle and shake well.

Pour the dressing onto the pasta and mix well. Add a salad bowl..season with salt and pepper.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mud Cake

 When asked what type of cake he liked best for his birthday.... Mud Cake says Mr H.

Miss E and I are supposed to bake the cake together....however according to the weather forecast on was supposed to be another hot I decided to bake as soon as Mr H leave for work, after 7 am (while Miss E was still in slumberland)...
Dearie me... I had one grumpy girl when she woke up from her dreamland... but she is easy to pacify... gave her a big bear hug with a promise that she could make or bake something for Mr H Jr's forthcoming birthday next month... and she is all smile again...

This mud cake recipe is from Janelle Bloom's book... with slight modifications... I replaced 1/4 cup of black expresso coffee with extra 1/4 cup of sugar*. I can't take gives me headache and the kids are not allowed to have coffee (until they are 18 yrs old... :p)!!
And I used the 72% cocoa content instead of the usual 60%!!
  • 250g of 72% Dark Ghana Chocolate from Whittakers (or any good quality 300g dark chocolate)-chopped (reserve at least 100g to sprinkle over the mixture)
  • 200g butter - chopped
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup caster sugar*
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • thick cream to serve (optional)
Pre heat oven to 160C (no fan). grease and line any size baking mould... (ideally 6cm deep x 20 cm base).
Chopped 150g of chocolate and place it in a microwaveable dish with chopped butter. Microwave uncovered for 1 minute HIGH (do check every now and then...) Stir with metal spoon until smooth... repeat the process if it is still lumpy... Add cocoa powder while warm and whisk until smooth.
Whisk in vanilla, eggs and sugar. Add flour into the chocolate mixture and stir gently to combine.
Pour half the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the mixture and pour the remaining mixture over the chocolate.
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until skewer comes out with some moist crumbs clinging. Stand in the pan to cool completely.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Passionfruit Icecream

    Our passionfruits vines had given us abundance of fruits last season... about 100-150 fruits (my estimation!!). Gave some away to friends and neighbours. The remaining .... we just freeze them in small plastic packets and bottles.
    Since summer in Perth can be unbearably hot and humid, and its schools holiday as well... so my little Miss E is as busy as a bee... wanting to make desserts...
    This was supposed to be a 'fast' dessert... but then we 'over freeze' the ice-cream...and we couldn't scoop it up hence it became cube ice-cream or ice cream potong....
Image by Miss E
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup of caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup of passionfruit pulps
  • 300ml thickened cream
Beat the egg yolks and sugar... using electric mixer until its creamy. Bring milk to boil and then remove from heat. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the creamy egg-sugar mixture. Return to heat and stir over low heat until mixture thickened slightly (without boiling).
Transfer into a container and leave it to cool. Place Gladwrap over the hot mixture to avoid 'skin' forming.
Place in the refrigerator until cold. Stir in passionfruit pulps and thickened cream. Pour mixture into a suitable container, cover and freeze for 3 hours or until almost set. Beat coarsely the 'nearly' set ice-cream again until smooth. Return to the container and freeze it until firm.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Prawn Salad

Cooked prawns aplenty...and can be bought for $7/kg (on offer) at the supermarket.. Super easy, no problems of 'overcooked' prawns... so sweet and fresh....afterall it is still summer in OZ...

Looks like a "joker's" hat...hahaha...yet to get a nice 'cocktail' glass...
  • cooked prawns - shelled and leave the tail intact
  • 1/2cup corn kernels
  • 1 lebanese cucumber - diced
  • 1 can of water chestnuts - diced
  • 1 carrots - diced
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • salt and pepper
  • sliced avocado
Mix the diced vegetables and mayonaise... season with salt and pepper. Spoon into cocktail glass and decorate with prawns... and avocado..

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poached egg and smoked trout salad

Nice to have in summer... not too heavy for the tummy and didn't involve a lot of  slaving over the stove. Sorry mate ~ no close up photo of my salad... my poached egg is far from perfect... ;)

  • 4 eggs - poached
  • 200g smoked trout - flaked
  • mix salad
  • 4 brussel sprout -thinly sliced
  • 2 field mushroom - thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic - crushed
Garlic dressing: crushed 2 cloves of garlic with sea salt into a paste. Add 1/4 olive oil, and add in juice of 1 small lemon...

In a frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and saute the garlic until golden brown. Toss in the thinly sliced field mushrooms. Give a quick stir...until mushroom is cooked.

Arrange the mix salad and the thinly sliced brussels sprouts, top with smoked salmon. Add some garlic dressing. Then add on the mushrooms, and finally top with poached egg.. Add the remaining garlic dressing. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and some parmesan cheese.
~west australian newspaper

Monday, January 11, 2010

Braised Lamb Shanks

We celebrated Mr H birthday last week.... He is nearly half a century old... but still not eligible to join the "Hawaii Five-O" club just yet...
Baked him his favourite mud cake (will be published soon), cooked him his favourite dinner...Braised Lamb Shank with Saffron Rice ~ adapted from Janelle Bloom's cookbook...she used 2 cans of diced tomatoes but I substituted 1 canned tomatoes with 3 large tomatoes (chopped)...
I did what Nigella did in one of her shows..."leave the kitchen" while braising the shanks on the stove...It looks like a lot of work involved, but it was a 'piece of cake'...
Mr H, Mr H Jr and I love lamb... and even Miss E who is not very keen on lamb ~ enjoys this dish.. but must serve with rice and not couscous (according to the little missy!!!)
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas - rinsed and drain
  • 1 brown onion - finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves - crushed
  • 2 tablespoon cimun seeds - ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds - ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large tomatoes - roughly chopped
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
Place the plain flour with freshly ground black pepper into a snap-lock plastic bag. Place the shanks and give the bag a good shake... shake off the access flour.

Heat up the olive oil in a heavybase saucapan. Add lamb shank and cook for 5 minutes until brown. Transfer to a plate.

Using the same pan, add olive oil if required, saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the spice and cook until fragrant. Return shanks into the pot, and add diced tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and chicken stock. Cover and bring to boil for 5 minutes.

Leave the shanks to simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours on slow fire, until the meat nearly came off the bone. Scoop shanks with slotted spoon and place onto a plate. Increase the heat and leave it to boil for 10 minutes or until the gravy thickened. Add in chickpea and cook for another 3 minutes. return shanks to the pot. Serve with saffron rice or couscous.

Saffron Rice

Saffron Rice... to serve with Braised Lamb shanks or any Indian cuisine...Lovely aroma ....

  • 1/2 teaspon saffron - soaked in 1 tablespoon of hot water
  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 3 garlic- crushed
  • olive oil.
  • about 2 1/2 cup water
Wash the basmati rice and soak with salt for 20 minutes.
Saute the garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add the saffron.
Assemble all ingredients into a rice cooker... and "pressto" the button....
You can garnish the rice with almond or raisins...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Summer Fruits Jelly

It has been very hot here in Perth since Christmas... sometimes the humidity is at its worst!! Little pearls of sweat starts to make its debut... eventhough one has just stepped out of cold shower at 7.30am in the morning!!! Unbelievable...can't wait for autumn..

Miss E decided to make this simple summer fruits jelly to 'cool' down....
This recipe was adapted from Fast Dessert Cookbook, where white wine was used but here we used sparkling apple juice instead... love that 'tingly' taste .....

Photo by Miss E

  • 1 large peach
  • 2 apricots
  • 2 nectarines
  • 8 cherries - halved
  • 1 tablespoon agar-agar powder or 2 tablespoon gelatine
  • 3 cups sparkling apple juice (or white wine)
  • 1/2 cup water

Slice the fruits thinly (except the cherries), arrange in a 4 x 310ml glass.
Using double boil method, mix the agar-agar powder with water, and stir until the powder dissolved. Mix in 1 cup of apple juice. Stir over the heat. Pour the dissolved agar-agar powder into the remaining apple juice. Stir well.... and pour the jelly mixture into the 4 glasses of summer fruits... chill for at least 3 hours....and serve.

Summer fruits are in abundance.... peaches, apricots, nectarines and especially cherries....we love cherries... they are gorgeous!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Kerabu Mangga/ Mango Salad

I can never get enough of mangoes...growing up in Alor Setar surrounded by various types of mangoes in our compound...  my parents used to grow... pelam epal(apple mango), harum manis- had that gorgeous smell and many more that I can't remember the names...we used to have 12-15 mango trees.... Now they can only manage 3 mango trees.
    the basic ingredients for mango kerabu...
  • 4 chutney mangoes - peel the skin and julienne
  • 1 red chilli - chopped or thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon dried prawns-soaked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts - roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion - thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon (or slightly more) nampla or fish sauce -
  • 2 tablespoon raw sugar
  • Fresh coriander leaves
Mix everything in .... and add more sugar or nampla if required to mask the sourness of the mango...

I did not add lime juice as my chutney mangoes are sour!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nasi Ulam / Rice Salad

We enjoyed having Nasi Ulam especially in summer. Adapted from Nonya cookbook...since we can't get hold of 'daun cekor' or 'daun kadok' (type of leaves that can be found in Southeast Asia!!) ... we have to use whatever herbs that are in shown in the second photo...
Don't worry... I can assure you that there'll be no visit to the doctor the next day!!! we survived.....

Nasi Ulam is so 'addictive'... I have to cook at least 4 'rice cooker' cups of rice.
  • cooked long grain rice
  • sprigs of fresh herbs: coriander, mint, basil, sweet thai basil, vietnamese mint, parsley - chopped finely
  • young lemongrass stalks - very thinly sliced
  • spring onion - thinly sliced
  • red onion - thinly sliced
  • maggi belacan granules or prawn paste
  • dried shrimp - grounded
  • ginger flower - thinly sliced
  • dried dessicated coconut - roasted and ground
  • sliced chilli - optional
  • pepper
Mix everything in a salad bowl.... and enjoy.

From my garden~ red onion, 3 types of basil leaves, parsley, lemongrass, vietnamese mint and chilli
from market ~ fresh coriander and mint ...

Monday, January 4, 2010

vietnamese prawn wrap

I bought Vietnamese rice papers... I guessed.. a 'millenium' ago.. (could not remember when!!) ...all I know that the packet has been sitting pretty in my larder!! And everytime I venture into the larder... it is there... 'smilling' at me... until one day, Mr H decided to 'get over and done with'... hence he made this prawn wraps...

  • 1 kg cooked prawn - shelled and deveined.
  • 1 packet Vietnamese rice paper - prepare as per packet instruction
  • 1 packet salad
  • hoisin sauce
  • fish sauce with chopped coriander and chopped chilli
Marinate the prawns with pepper and a little bit of maggi chicken stock (or used chicken salt).

Roll the prawn just like 'spring roll' onto the rice paper. Serve with hoisin sauce and salad

Friday, January 1, 2010

Red Ruby Chestnut Morsels/ Thup Tim Grob


Happy New Year to everyone!!!
I shall start the New Year with something sweet...with the hope that 2010 will be as good as ... or better than 2009

2009 was a good year with the exception of the last two weeks of December, I had to make my pilgrimage to the hospital again!! 'Woman - we have a lot of 'tweaking' here and there ... nothing major or cosmetic...
And according to Malay "beliefs", we aren't allowed to consume certain type of food or fruits after having a surgery, be it major or minor!! We aren't allowed to have eggs, prawns, squids as it may cause irritation, inflammation and may leave a nasty scar!!
Anything that is considered 'cold' is a No! No!. Pineapple may cause bleeding and its considered 'cold' fruit. Jackfruit is a definite NO... it is one of the 'cold' fruits and it will cause the patient to feel 'chill' on the inside and bloat!!!
So I made this dessert the very weekend before I went under the scalpel....knowing very well that I will and dare not 'go against' the 'beliefs'...

This is one of my favourite Thai desserts...I love the taste of jackfruit with coconut milk and crunchiness of the red ruby. Never fail to order this delicious dessert ... whenever I visit any Thai restaurants..
Just imagine... me... in Bangkok?? I'll be going round the 'stalls' and 'malls' looking for the best Thup Tim Grob!! instead of shopping!!! Mr H will be very please to read this!!

  • 1 canned jackfruit - thinly sliced, reserve the syrup
  • 20-30 pieces of fresh (or frozen or canned) water chesnuts - diced
  • red colouring
  • 1/2 tapioca flour
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 canned coconut milk
  • optional - syrup* (bring to boil sugar and water with pandan leaves until thickened)
  • optional - crushed ice cubes
For the Red Ruby:
Sprinkle a few drop of red colouring into the diced water chestnuts and toss until bright red.
In a snaplock plastic bag, add the tapioca flour then the water chestnuts. Shake until thoroughly coated. Put the mix in a colander and shake off the excess flour.
Bring 5 cups of water to boil, add the coated water chestnuts and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain water and immediately plunge into cold water (or ice water). Drain again.
Tip: its best to use fresh water chestnuts  in this recipe... if one can't find one, then use the frozen water chestnuts... if neither can be found... no choice but to use canned waterchesnuts(still crunchy but not as sweet)

To serve: put a little red ruby (water chestnuts) into a dessert glass or bowl. Add coconut milk, the reserve jackfruit syrup (or add more syrup*), little jackfruit strips, and crushed ice...
serve them chill