Showing posts from March, 2011

Zwetschenkuchen / Plum Flan

March 30, 2011
March is supposed to be the beginning of Autumn, but it appears that summer has yet to take its bow. We are still experiencing soaring 30's temperature. Some love it but I am exasperated begging for Autumn... The heat, flies, no rain and soaring electricity bills annoys me !!! The only part of that brings a smile are the Summer fruits ... apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums...mangoes..I love Summer fruits. This year... we have Plums bumper crop ... walk in any supermarket ... I will see PLUMS... PLUMS... and more PLUMS; all varieties; greens, black, dark red ... some are sweet and some will make your face cringe with its tartness and sourness ... I prefer the black plums.. Big chain supermarkets like Woollies, Coles and IGA do have some weekly specials on these fruits and the pricing is reasonable for the big juicy fruits, cheaper than last year, which is the BIG PLUS point for me, Mr H and Miss E ... This is my second time... baking with Plums ... my first bake  wa


Spicy Celery Stir-fry

March 27, 2011
Celery~ sometimes used in salad, dip in peanut butter sinful... but nice , or crunch away as snacks. Have tried stir-fry celery? Well... I have not... Many times... I would flipped over the pages of my Japanese cookbook, looking for some mouth watering Japanese dishes to cook and of course to blog about ... and many times this Spicy Celery Stir-fry  page would 'stare up' at me...  and again... on numerous occassion... I would just turn the pages over ~ giving it a miss. And over  a period of time... the brain ' bookmarked' the page and starts to be inquisitive... sending signals to  all my senses... finally, I cave-in to the page.... and decided to give it a go ...  I have a bunch of celery in the crisper...that I have exhausted with ideas, what to do with it!!!... To our surprise!! not the kids though, celery and them are not in sync ... the stir-fry is really ... really good... salty, sweet and spicy and still have that celery crunchiness... Say no


Grilled Chicken Salad with Lavender

March 23, 2011
Lavender ... hmmm... I love the smell of lavender... with the exception of Mr H ... Lavender has that calming aroma... suppose to shoo away our stress. First  heard  the word Lavender ~ when I was in kindy... singing Lavender's Blue, dilly dilly, Lavender's green...  Image ~ from Google First scent of Lavender would be from  my mom's  Yardley English Lavender Perfume Talc ~ a gift from my cousin who was studying in the UK in the 70's. I would discreetly sniffed and at times would try it on... often got caught and told off by mom ..  trying without mom's permission of course  ... First taste of Lavender would be in 2004, Aunty Helen baked  Lavender Butter Cake for our 'Bon Voyage' Party. First  touched and set eyes on Lavenders would be in spring 2005, my front garden, Lavender bushes that would make my heart sings every springs... I once cried when the builder conveniently parked his 4 wheel drive on top of my Lavender bush


Guest Post #1 ~ Bihun Sup (Rice Vermicelli in Beef Broth)

March 21, 2011
I am honoured to be invited... by Leemei of  My Cooking Hut  to be her guest...  my first Guest Post ... Lets hop on here ... to read my post on Bihun Sup/ Rice Vermicelli in Beef Broth.   Thank you... Leemei. Recipe Ingredients : Yellow Vermicelli: 300-400g dried vermicelli 2 tsp turmeric powder Beef broth : 1 kg shin boneless/gravy beef (or 500g shine boneless/gravy beef and 1 kg chuck bones) 1 cinnamon stick 2 star anise 6 cloves 25g of ginger, bruised 150g shallots, blended 15g garlic cloves, blended pinch of salt Sambal (chilli paste): 2 tbsp chilli powder 5 tbsp of cooking oil 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 3 tsp brown sugar 3-4 tbsp tamarind paste pinch of salt Garnishes: 2 spring onions, chopped some coriander leaves, chopped some pickled radish Directions: 1. Place the dried vermicelli in a pot or suitable heatproof container. Fill up the container to submerge the vermicelli. Then, add the turmeric powder, Mix well so we will n


Feta, Semi Sundried Tomatoes Muffin

March 18, 2011
Mr H Jr and Miss E  have subtly hinting that they had enough of me packing them bread/ sandwiches for school lunches.   Starting early this year... I noticed that their lunch boxes would arrived home with the same content... as when I sent them off to school in the morning ... if it is sandwiches . When asked, both would gave some excuses like : I have no time, I wasn't hungry or the real classic is ~ I forgot to eat!!...   My 'Hungry' teens... forgot to eat!! It is not so like them, because whenever they are home ~ I could hear them opening or closing the doors to the pantry or fridge ~ ransacking, rummaging and snacking all the time   ... when they gave an excuse... like 'I forgot to eat' ... I should take heed... and get off my butt... and start planning! Its been awhile since I bake ....One of the reasons is this... Its been so hot .... even Lake Yellagonga has almost dried up Recipe (makes about 8 muffins) 1 cup plai


Kuih Lapis / Steamed Rice Flour Layers

March 14, 2011
I am not sure the origins of this beautifully layered dessert or afternoon snack ... its either Nyonya or Malay. All I know is that my mom used to make this...  or sometimes she would buy from a Vendor, named Ali , who cycled to our village and nearby villages  with his huge stainless steel version of tiffin ... about the 0.5 meter in diameter , strap to the back of his bicycle... He would 'hoot' as he passed by our street... mothers and children would gather around and we would chose our favourite kuih. Ali would have varieties of kuih in his big tiffin.... from sweet to savouries... one of many would be this beautiful layered kuih made from rice flour... I love to have this... either for breakfast or for my afternoon delight...   This is really an easy  kuih to make... all that is required is a steamer,  and steam for 3 minutes between each layers. The layers will not come off clean if  'oversteaming'... That is how I gauge whether the kuih (as I


Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing

March 09, 2011
You can tell that our airconditioner has yet to be fixed.... I am posting salad again... Just 2 more sleeps and hopefully everything will be "peachy rosy" again... This salad was prepared by Mr H  ...  I'm only the photographer and the story-teller for this post... In order to pay for his upkeep as a student ( decades ago... 25 years to be exact ), Mr H worked in various places during his 7 years in Sydney. He once worked in a Japanese Restaurant... as a kitchen hand. This was where he learned to chop everything 'Japanese ' ~ finely, thinly and evenly...  I am no where near as good as him... when it comes to handling sharp knife !!! His all time favourite was Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing...  In his 'reminiscing mood' , he recreated 'almost' similar to the ones served in that particular Japanese Restaurant. I take his word for it...hehehe I love the crunch of the vegetables, the creamy taste of sesame dressing with a tinge of sou


Papaya and Snake Bean Salad

March 05, 2011
We have been enjoying (NOT!!!) Sauna in our house since last Saturday courtesy of Mother Nature... unbelievable... At the height of summer, our airconditioner decided to go on strike !! Our house is like an oven during daytime... and luckily , it was cooler at night...    sigh.... have to wait another week... before the technician will be available to look at the problem...  This Papaya and Snake Bean salad came to our rescue last week... its has a tinge of sour, sweet, spicy, salty with some crunchiness, fresh and best of all ~ can be served COLD ... I'll take it as blessing in disguise... or a sign from up above... that my system needs simple food and at the same time .....detox... and while typing this... I am sweating from top to toe... so I better get out of here... ciao.. Note : I decided not to add beansprouts to the Papaya Salad... Snake beans or long beans on the right Recipe: 3 cloves of garlic 2 red chillies -deseeded 10 snake beans - cut into


Vegetable Couscous with Harissa Sauce

March 01, 2011
Every summer ... and whenever I felt that I have overindulged during the holiday... I would whipped up this vegetable couscous... not that this vegetable couscous would make me lose kgs in an instance... how I wish ... but just to clear the 'guilty' conscience (is this ... the correct spelling??) if you know what I mean...  And every year I would be hunting hi and lo for Harissa Sauce . Worries no more... for I have them both carved in stone ... ehem... typed and posted in my blog... This recipe is taken from Healthy Weight Loss by Fiona Hunter ... basically one can add anything to this dish to make it wholesome and flavoursome, and at the same time clean up my crisper box in the fridge    Just to tickle my tastebuds... I chargrilled the sliced aubergine and capsicum... Recipe: 1 large aubergine (alternative ~ use baby aubergine) - thickly sliced 2 carrots - cut into strips 1 cup of cauliflower florets 1 can chick peas ~ drain and rinse