Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

Cheers,
Babe_KL
16 Oct 2012

Friday, 31 August 2007

Merdeka Open House 2007: Muhhibah

UPDATED 3 Sept 2007 to add in a couple of pics
UPDATED 1 Sept 2007 for late entries


This year's National Day is indeed very special, for our country, Malaysia is celebrating its Golden Jubilee today. No different from last year's inaugural virtual open house, let's just pay respect to the country by singing the National anthem - Negaraku first.

NEGARAKU

Negaraku
Tanah tumpahnya darahku
Raykat hidup
Bersatu dan maju
Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta

Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta



Last year, we did a run on dishes long forgotten and this year, our theme chosen was Muhibbah but with a twist to it. Participants need to pick their favourite dish of a different ethnic and this particular dish has to be something original and not fusionised or tweaked to fit the modern age. They will then need to explain in detail how this particular dish was introduced to them and why and how this dish became their favourite. Participants are encouraged to post a bit of history of the dish if possible but then I know it's very very difficult. Those who can cook will need to cook this dish up, otherwise they are allowed to pick their favourite place to dine on this dish but they'll need to write about this dining place, a bit of history and so forth.

I would like to thank you all for being such a sport to make this virtual open house another success. Let's not hold on any longer and bring in the dishes... (in no particular order).

Kong Kay from Kuching, Sarawak, raved about it's favourite Melanau cuisine - Sago Worms. These worms are cleaned and then fried before serving with sago corns but I'm not sure if its the same as sago pearls. These worms can be eaten alive too but one would need to break off its head before devouring otherwise... ermmm you click the link and read the consequences!

The Drool Team from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, submitted a very unique wild mango called Bambangan. The flesh of Bambangan is then served with the gratings of the inner seeds! Wow this totally blew me away for I've never eaten, seen nor heard of this fruit until now! This virtual open house is certainly an eye opener for me.


Daphne who is currently located in Perth, Australia cooked up a storm of Chicken Biryani served with Dhall. Now, this is very interesting, she's actually a Singaporean but her dad's a Malaysian and she's currently dating a Malaysian with Chinese and Indian blood. The best part was this recipe was adapted from her boyfriend mother's cook book "Traditional Malaysian Cuisine".

Hijackqueen Jessie, from Kuala Lumpur submitted a type of Malay kuih called Kuih Keria. This recipe is so yummy and easy that you can see a little helper giving her a hand in forming the rings for this kuih.


Penangite, Bee, currently residing in California, US but flies back occasionally to devour all the yummy goodies at home. Bee of Rasa Malaysia fame made a Nasi Kandar dish synonymous to her hometown. She took us down memory lane of a must have dish - Gulai Sotong, whenever her family visit a Nasi Kandar restaurant/stall.

I'm glad that Little Corner of Mine joined us this year from Colorado, US. Check out the hearty stack of Murtabak she had cooked!!! She had discovered this delicacy during her search for dinner at the pasar malam (night markets) and I'm pretty sure she missed Malaysia's most unique "flea" market around the neighbourhood.

Foodielianne from Kuala Lumpur made one of my favourite dish - Sambal Petai. She told me during our cooking lesson about how good this recipe turned out. Her account of mixing around with friends from other races in school did pointed out what I've experienced back then too. I got to learnt so many things from my friends of other races about their culture, customs and religion. They were utmost understanding and were ever helpful.

The taikarjie of floggers, wmw, dugged up her Ayam Percik post from her Kota Bahru trip. You must read the comments made by Michael, an American who could still remember this dish even after 10 years have gone by. Thank goodness Ramadan is coming and this Kelantanese delicacy can be savoured at major Pasar Ramadan around town.

passionfordecor at My Gastronomic Adventure managed to join us in time this year unlike the last. She had made a stack of Chapatis in memory of her grandfather whom she fondly referred as Tok Ali. Even though there isn't any recipe posted but the story is so sweeet.




Teckiee rushed to made some Kaya for this event haha poor girl! She did pretty well even though it's her first attempt. Of late kaya seems to have revolutionalised where upmarket kopitiams mushroomed in the city serving Kaya Toasts!

Next up, Pachadi Cili Muda is served by Boo_licious. She had highlighted this dish done by a little-known race known as the Indian Chittys from Malacca. Head on to her blog to find out more about this race and interesting dish.

Jason, Ipoh mali but currently working in Kuala Lumpur went back to his hometown and got his mother to cook up Nasi Lemak. The pictorial guide really made one drool over the sambal ikan bilis and the condiments. This Malaysian open house would not have been "complete" if not for this dish heh.



As for myself, I've came out with Chapati Served with Keema and Vegetable Dhal. Not an easy feat for someone who dislike long list of ingredients but just for the spirit, I just did it!

I have to salute Sarawakian Cooknengr who is now living in US for his numerous attempts to tebar (toss) or rather knead Roti Canai!!! Up till his submission, he has yet to be able to make his roti canai successfully. I don't care but I will still lay this out just to show the Malaysian spirit of never give up! Thanks Eddie for your efforts.


This year, Audrey is serving us something sweet of Sago Pearl Dessert served with coconut milk and palm sugar. Her definition of this dessert is very apt for this Merdeka indeed. Her sago pearls are so perfect that they glistened like shiny pearls.


I can't help but to insist Su-Yin who is currently studying in Sydney, Australia to submit her adorable cupcakes for this event. Well, it did skewed from the theme but then again... looking again at her cupcakes, you'll understand why. This talented young lady had sculpted 3 cute girls of the 3 major races in Malaysia namely Chinese, Indian and Malay. They all looked too good to be eaten!

Ok, I have another 2 submissions and here they are. Another Kuchingite, Fish Fish who is now working in North Carolina, US, received a pack of goat meat and turned it into a Goat Curry filled with Thai eggplants and basil leaves. It's fun to see how innovative Malaysians can get with the substitutes with the various ingredients.

Just Nad from Kuala Lumpur made Dim Sum for her Merdeka breakfast yesterday!!! Amazing, how meat is being sub here as well. According to Nad, the steamed one didn't turned out looking good but the fried ones is another story. (Will update the pics here later as I'm rushing to go out like now!)

I apologise if I have left out any of your entry. Please drop me a mail to let me know. I'll update your entry ASAP. I'm very happy to have received so many entries for this year's open house. I wished I could sit down and enjoy every dish laid out for real... errr but I'm not too sure about the sago worms though but if Kong Kay is around to prod me, I think I might give them a try.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thank you once again for participating and also to those of you whom have dropped by to devour (by your eyes instead of your mouth haha) these special dished laid out on the virtual table. Selamat menjamu selera...

Wishing all Malaysians, Selamat Menyambut Hari Merdeka Ke-50!!!

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Thursday, 30 August 2007

Merdeka Open House 2007: Entry is Closed!

Dear all,

I've stopped accepting entries to the Merdeka Open House BUT if you don't mind a late addition (your entry will be posted at a later time) please feel free to submit your entries. Thank you.

Updated at 17:38

By the way, you'll need to email me your entries as per my instructions posted in the announcement.

Merdeka Open House 2007: Chapati Served with Keema and Vegetable Dhal

This year's theme, Muhibbah, is a tough one for me as I have many favourite food from a different ethnic of my own. Living in colourful Malaysia, you tell me if it's possible to pinpoint one food to be your favourite? Seriously, for myself, it's really impossible!

I had to narrow down my pick eventually and sort of like thinking of cooking nasi lemak since it is possibily Malaysia's national dish. I've never made nasi lemak before LOL and kinda panic thinking I had to cook so many condiments, sambal and curry. When I saw Jason's comment somewhere that he hinted that he gonna submit that, I had to crack my head again. If you have been following my blog, you would noticed that I have this issue of tackling complicated recipes with long list of ingredients. So there was I, flipping thru all my local cookbooks and magazines sourcing for inspiration and recipes that have little ingredients and simple to prepare. Can you imagine how difficult it is for me? LOL darn!

It took me many days until I chanced upon a Flavours magazine pull-out - Flavours of Malaysia which was distributed with the Jan/Feb 2007 issue. I was overjoyed to see amongst the many, a complete meal staring at me. They are one of my favourite meal definitely. Boy, I was soooo glad!

I am submitting Chapati served with a Lamb and Pea Keema Curry; and Vegetable Dhal for this year's virtual open house. These are typically Punjabi's traditional home cooked dishes in northern India and Pakistan. Chapati is a roti or unleavened bread made from atta flour (finely ground wholewheat flour), water, a bit of ghee and water; cooked in a cast iron girddle. Keema is usually minced lamb curry cooked with peas or potatoes. The original meaning of Keema means minced meat, hence this dish can be made using mutton, lamb, beef or chicken but it is usually made using lamb. These are cooked with spices until they're dried out which is perfect to be eaten with chapati. Other than Keema, a vegetable dhal is usually served together with the chapatis. I was informed by my Indian colleague that Indian restaurants' dhal is usually vegetarian of nature where else the Indian Muslims or commonly known as Mamak version are cooked with bones for a better flavour.

Chapati

I got to like these 3 items when my foodie colleague brought me to Santa Chapati at Jalan Tun HS Lee many years back. Later on we found out the tasty treats at TigerJit's at Jalan San Peng. We managed to discovered Tarmesh at Jalan Berangan (one of the road behind Istana Hotel) as well that serves excellent Punjabi cuisine.

This recipe for the keema is certainly for keep. The spices are not overly strong and I can't help myself from eating spoonfuls of this alone! Excellent indeed. The chapati is nice and fluffy, best to mop up the keema!

Lamb and Pea Keema Curry 01

As for the dhal, it's somewhat very different in terms of the flavouring and it's very very pale in colour. Hubby said it was totally off which I think so too but the taste is great with the infusion of the aromatic fried shallots, garlic and chillies towards the end. This recipe came out to be somewhat like a vegetable stew or thick soup. Instead of the vegetables specified in the recipe, I've used eggplant, cauliflower, carrot and white raddish. I totally loved this, slurping them up as if it's a thick soup. I would like to rename it though, perhaps Lentil and Vegetable Soup would be more fitting. Looks like I'll need to look for another recipe to create a better dhal.

Vegetable Dhal 01




Chapati

300g atta flour
1 tbsp softened ghee or butter
1 tsp salt
water to mix (approximately 275ml)

Mix together the flour, ghee and salt. Add enough water to work into a soft and smooth, but not sticky dough. Cover with damp cloth and set aside for 30 mins.

Divide dough into 8-10 balls. Coat lightly with flour and flatten with rolling pin forming a thin circle. Remember to lightly floured surface before rolling out.

Heat girddle or a heavy non-stick pan over medium flame. Slap chapati in between palms to get rid of loose flour and place on pan. Flip chapati over, press down around the edges with a folded paper towel. This will encourage it to bubble up. Cook no more than 20 seconds on each side to prevent drying it out.

Place chapatis on a cloth-lined plate, stacking them as you go along and cover with cloth to keep warm and prevent them from drying out.


Lamb and Pea Keema Curry

2 tbsp ghee, butter or oil
2 medium-sized onions (100g each), quartered and thinly sliced
20g ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 piece cinnamon
3 cardamoms
300g lamb, minced or cubed
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp chilli powder
2 tomatoes (250g), roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped

In a pan, heat the ghee and fry half the onions until they begin to brown. Add ginger, garlic and green chilli and whole spices.

Cook 2-3 mins and add the lamb, stirring until meat browns. Add ground corriander and chilli powder and cook for 1-2 minutes, add chopped tomatoes. Cook on medium heat until the tomatoes break down, then add a cup of water.

Lower heat, stir in the salt and simmer, partially covered, until lamb is tender - about 20 mins. Add peas and cook for a few minutes. Stir in corriander and mint, remove from heat.


Vegetable Dhal

100g yellow dhal (split yellow lentils, Toovar or thoor dhal)
300ml water
3 tbsp oil (or 1 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp ghee)
1 small onion, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced 1 cm thick
1/2 small white raddish, sliced 1cm thick
100g vegetable gourd (Indian bottle gourd) or zucchini, sliced 1cm thick
1 small wedge pumpkin (120g), peeled and cut into 1cm slices
1 tomato (120g), cut into wedges
3-4 tbsp milk or coconut milk, optional
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 fresh red chilli, sliced (or 2 dried chillies, cut into 2cm lengths)
salt to taste

Rinse dhal in water several times. Place in saucepan, add 300ml water and bring to boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until dhal is tender but not broken. Set aside.

Heat half the oil in roomy saucepan and fry onion till translucent. Add carrot, raddish and vegetable gourd and cook until they begin to colour around the edge.

Strain the dhal cooking water into the saucepan, reserve the dhal. If necessary, top up with water - there should be just enough liquid to cover the vegetables. Bring to boil and bring down the heat.

Simmer until vegetables are tender (about 8 mins). Add pumpkin and tomtaoes, season with salt and continue cooking for another 8-10 mins, adding reserved dhal towards the last 5 mins. Stir in milk if using.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil and fry the shallots and garlic separately until golden brown, adding the fresh or dried chillies towards the end, so that they do not burn.

When the dhal is cooked, add the fried shallots, garlic and chillies. Cover pan and allow flavours to infuse. Stir through before serving.

Ref: Flavours of Malaysia, Jan/Feb 2007 Flavours pullout


Well, I have great fun this year and enjoyed those anxiety plus panic attack going round like a headless chicken searching for an item for this event. Come to think of it, instead of one item, I now have 3 items that compliment each other as a fullfilling meal.

Please come back tomorrow for the virtual party ok.

Saluting Malaysia's Golden Jubilee, I wish all Malaysians - Selamat Menyambut Hari Kebangsaan, hoping to see more peace, racial harmony as the country prosper on. Terima Kasih.

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Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Dressing Up Banana Cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes Without Icing

Oh my goodness, I'm beginning to sound like 500 Cupcakes & Muffins spokeperson!!! Here's another quickie post of yet another cupcakes created with recipe from this book. From one simple recipe, you can actually dressed them up with a simple cream cheese icing or a crumble. This banana cupcakes recipe is certainly for keeps as it produces a moist and soft cake base.

Banana Cupcakes

225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
4 eggs
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
225g mashed ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 175C and place 18 casings in muffin trays.

Combine butter, sugar, flour, eggs and nutmeg powder in a mixing bowl and beat with electric whisk until smooth, about 2-3 mins. (You'll noticed that majority of the recipes have the same ingredients and steps up till here. So you can actually make a few types of cupcakes by using the basic ingredients.)

Stir in mashed bananas until well combined. Spoon batter into cases and bake for about 20 mins. Remove tins from oven and cool for 5 mins before removing the cupcakes and cool on rack.

Ref: 500 Cupcakes & Muffins, By Fergal Connolly book (published by PageOne Publishing)


Banana Cupcakes

For icing, slowly beat 200g cream cheese with electric whisk until soft and smooth. Add 175 g sieved icing sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp vanilla essence. Beat briskly until combined. Swirl icing onto cooled cupcakes and topped with thinly sliced banana that have been brushed with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Cinnamon & Oats Topped Banana Cupcakes

For a cinnamon and oats crumble topping, combine 3 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon powder, 2 tbsp softened unsalted butter, 4 tbsp porridge oats and 1 tbsp flour in a bowl. Sprinkle crumble on top before baking. (Personally I feel 3 tbsp sugar is wee too sweet and next time I'm gonna use brown or demerara sugar for a better flavour.)

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Tuesday, 28 August 2007

REMINDER: Merdeka Open House 2007: Muhibbah

Just a reminder that you'll have exactly ONE day to submit your entry for this year's Merdeka Open House 2007: Muhibbah.

A big thank you to those of you who have submitted your entries earlier. Do come back to party and salivate over this year's spread on 31st August 2007. I can promise you that there are some really exotic fare on the table which you would never even have heard of even if you're a Malaysian!

Do join us ok.


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The Cooking House Experience

With the generousity of Edyth Ban of The Cooking House, I got to attend my first cooking lesson ever in my entire life on Sunday. LOL very funny huh?? Read on ok...

A wee bit about The Cooking House - this place was established at the end of 2006 and located in a very convenient Desa Sri Hartamas. The Cooking House holds leisure cooking classes in a very condusive and spacious kitchen studio (read - we, the gals, loved the kitchen... a lot!!!), and classes were done informally in a fun and interactive environment. I liked the type of classes available here as they varied from fun food, children classes, thematic ones like those designed for the singles, cake baking and decorating, and right on to fine dining!

A few food bloggers (floggers) namely Teckiee, Jackson, Lianne, Fat Boy Bakes and myself were privileged to be able to attend a lively Salad Turned Around session conducted by a *ahem* delish looking (in my book, can or not?? LOL) Ryan Khang. Ryan is actually a nutritionist and it was great to have him as our instructor as he was so cool in handling a boisterous 19 participants crowding around the cooking island. During his intro, he mentioned that he was kinda nervous having a bunch of floggers around but hey Ryan, you did handled us very well ranging from answering our never ending questions and having to put up to our constant photo shoots.


The Cooking House's Ryan Khang in action

The kitchen studio is spacious and looked clean and bright in pristine white! Have I mentioned that we gals loved the kitchen?


The Cooking House's Kitchen Studio

The ingredients for the 4 salads were presented on one corner of the cooking island. We can't help but bombarding Ryan on where the heck he had gotten those so fresh looking ingredients which he replied tongue in cheek... from his garden. Duh! LOL but in actual fact he advised us to get them from the wet market.


The Cooking House - Ingredients

Ryan showed us how to prepare the dressings for the 4 salads, meanwhile some of us helped out in stirring the reductions, roasting peanuts, squeezing limes and slicing vegetables. He also showed us how to pan fried duck breasts and we were told to get French ones as they're meatier. Later on, he coated the tenderloin with assorted herbs and seared it to medium. I am not sure who assisted him in cooking the seafood as I was at the other corner slicing vegetables taking care not to slice my ownself with the sharp knife where else Lianne told me her knife is not sharp enough to handle the tomatoes hahaha...

You can check out Ryan and some participants helping out with the Mango, Avocado and Prawns in Passion Fruit and Chardonnay dressing - served with radicchio, iceberg lettuce and rocket leaves and Pomelo; Duck Breast in Tangy Kaffir Lime and Palm Sugar Vinaigrette - served with lettuce, mint and corriander; and Thai Seafood Salad With Zesty Kasturi Lime, Lemon Grass, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dressing - with tomato, onion and multi greens.


Ryan and participants in action

Mango, Avocado and Prawns in Passion Fruit and Chardonnay Dressing 02

Thai Seafood Salad with Zesty Kasturi Lime, Lemongrass and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dressing

Pomelo and Duck Breast in Tangy Kaffir Lime and Palm Sugar Vinaigrette 02

Next on Ryan prepared the Pan Seared Tenderloin in Balsamic, Red Wine Vinegar and Maple Syrup Vinaigrette - with seared peaches and swiss brown mushroom. He flexed his muscles by pounding the garlic together with the ingredients that made up the vinaigrette ala Jamie Oliver.


Preparation of Pan Seared Tenderloin in Balsamic, Red Wine Vinegar and Maple Syrup Vinaigrette - with seared peaches and Swiss Brown Mushroom

Pan Seared Tenderloin in Balsamic, Red Wine Vinegar and Maple Syrup Vinaigrette 02

Needless to say, we got to taste all these at the end of the 2 1/2 hours session which seems to have glided thru quickly. The first one was a firm favourite with almost everyone, it's sweet with a slight tang dressing went well with the mangoes and avocados. Ryan was persuading us to literally drink the dressing up to taste the reduced chardonnay. Since I was the last to leave, I cleaned out the remainder mangoes and avocados on the plate :p

For the duck breast salad, I personally feel that the duck breast ought to be on the pan a few more minutes to cook a bit thru as the center portion was kinda too chewy and to drain out the pomelo juice after skinning them as the juice sort of diluted the dressing.

The seafood salad is very appetising indeed due to the zesty dressing which is soo sooo simple to concoct. Best to bring to a Malaysian potluck party to relieve a heavy meal ahead.

Since Teckie and myself did not get to taste much of the Tenderloin salad, we can't really say much about this one except that it's a wonderful meal on its own. I did sample the dressing earlier one and I liked it a lot. Best to go with red meat.

As we floggers were busy to be in the thick of actions - listening, writing, questioning, volunteering, smelling, tasting, stirring, squeezing, sampling, chopping, messing, shooting, joking, pretending (to be Nigella Lawson) and etc... I really pitied the rest of the 14 attendees. I know some of them were like death serious in getting the techniques right and jotting down the important tips that Ryan imparted but the 5 of us were literally having fun and fooling away. I hope they are not offended. I've read what Lianne had wrote about her experience and I can't help but to quote Lianne for I share the same sentiments as hers...

I learned a lot from the class - from a food nutritionist whom is a lot younger than many of us "oldie" food blogger. While the rest of his student paid attention to what he'd said, the foodbloggers can't help multi-tasking to learn, taste, hands-on, trying hard to think of question so that to appear smart (hehehe), and lastly, tool of the trade - clicking away with our cameras.

Thanks Ryan for putting up with our antics and most importantly, Edyth, for accommodating us.

Did you know that other than learning and having fun, it's a great way to meet new friends AND bump into old!!! FBB discovered that Edyth's sister was his classmate whom had inspired him to be a great baker as he is now and they managed to catch up with each other. Teckiee recognised one of the participants was her tuition classmate! Talk about coincidence.

So now, if you guys or gals are interested to have fun like we did, do check out the schedule and sign yourself up but hey, it's best to bring along friends and/or family. More fun that way. I know for sure I'm gonna attend more! Not only that, I'll enrol my boiboi in one of those children classes and let Edyth handle my mischievious son hehehe... good luck Edyth!


The Cooking House
20-1, Jalan 31/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-2300 1070
Email: thecookinghouse(at)gmail(dot)com for further enquiries
URL: http://www.thecookinghouse.com/

Click here for map. The Cooking House is located at the row behind Souled Out. You can't miss the red signage.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Merdeka Ice-Cream Goodies

Just a plug for ice-cream lovers, New Zealand Natural Ice-Cream (pssst the Malaysian site is wayyy cooler than NZ's!) is giving 50% discount for it's ice-creams and sorbets by the scoops, pints or quarts from 27th till 31st August 2007!!!

I just had 3 scoops of them earlier and packed a quart back hohoho... so hurry and rush to the nearest kiosk for your fix!

McDonald's is offering its sundae cones at 50 sens each on the 31st (except 2am - 7am)!!!

As for Baskin Robbins, purchase any double scoop ice-creams, you can have dry toppings added for 50 sens each.

That's all the scoops I've received, anymore do let me know!!! Whoopeeee... this Merdeka, a lot of Malaysians will be on a sugar high Friday!

Yahooo!!! I Made My First Loaf of Bread!!!

I was at Chun Yip the week before last getting some bakery supplies and I saw they're selling some cake and cupcakes premixes which is something new in Chun Yip. On top of these, I saw packets of Low GI Multiseeds bread mix. Gosh it's something that I really fancy being a bread lover. I still remember many years back when BreadTalk hit Singapore by storm, I always have standing instructions for hubby to bring back that lovely and crusty multiseeds buns topped with seeds instead of what other who were craving for Floss! Haha... those were the days. So I happily placed one packet of the bread mix in my basket, with some hesitation of course since I've this phobia working with yeast!

I do not have a bread maker at home but someone had been giving me the itch for the past few months to consider getting one myself but I'm still dragging my feet! Thanks Stupe for the temptations! Nevertheless, the instructions seems simple, just mix equal amount of the Multiseeds bread mix and normal bread flour. Add water and yeast. Then knead your heart out. Heh thank goodness I had a heavy duty mixer which allowed me to knead dough, I managed to saved some elbow grease there.

Since the weather had been a bit cold of late, I placed my dough above a heated pot of water to help in speeding up the proofing. It didn't take that all long to proof it but since it's my first it sort of like ages. I peek into the bowl ever so often haha well just to check if it's raising or not! Well it did of course and boy, I was very happy indeed.

After the dough doubled up, I punched down and shaped half into a loaf before placing in a tin. The remainder, I shaped them into buns. Waited for the next round of proofing before baking them. I sprinkled some water on them before placing some seeds and oats all over.

Multiseeds Loaf - doubled on 2nd proofing

20 minutes later, these babies came out... my first homemade bread!!!

Multiseeds Loaf

They tasted superb when fresh, great to dip in soups or extra virgin olive oil with some balsamic vinegar! I've tried it buttered after light toasting, superb!!! My boiboi had them dipped in half boiled eggs.

Multiseeds Buns

Seems simple and easy but an automatic bread maker would be great to churn out loaves and loaves of bread without having to watch over it heh! My friend, Yozora NiteSky, is on standby too to have a look at some bread makers, well let's just see what's coming our way soon... to invest or not to invest??? Anyone wanna share some thots over this bread maker thingamajic???

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Friday, 24 August 2007

August is a Month Full of Birthdays

I doubt I would have the time to update the next few days so let's do a Birthday roll call to the remaining August babies who are celebrating their special occassion in the next few days...

First up, today is my boiboi's 5th Birthday. I can still clearly remember him, presenting himself 2 weeks early, 5 years ago, just to be on time to give me an early and surprise Birthday present. Yup, if he could like wait another hour plus, we would be sharing the same birth date.

Next up, on the 26th is the new daddy, Dafthamsta's Birthday. Followed by my mom's on 29th and finally, Malaysia's 50th Birthday will be on 31st!


May Lord Buddha bless all of you with lots of love,
peace and happiness.
Have a blessed Birthday!



bd cake


To those of you who are participating in the Merdeka Open House, please remember to post and submit your entries by 29th August!

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Triple Whammmy! A Birthday Cake Story...

Due to hubby's extremely busy and erratic schedule, we did not manage to plan ahead for boiboi's birthday this time round. We were supposed to have a party on his birthday (today) but the daddy have to go outstation on that very day hence we celebrated early. We had celebrated my boiboi's last Sunday, only after deciding the date last Wednesday. So there is no way that poor boiboi gonna get his dream cake this year as promised for the mummy have called Nigel way too late to order a cake topped with a sugar paste sculpture of a Subaru Impreza WRX STI as promised to boiboi. What a whamy!

So the "clever" mummy decided to bake him a cake just like last year but we did not get any toy Subaru to top the cake since boiboi have so many of them in different colours and sizes. As there isn't much time to plan for the cake, the mummy decided to make a Chocolate Truffle Cake, for the very first time! And guess what??? The second whammy came when the sponge cake came out all deflated!!!! Instead of getting 2 nice layers, I got one instead LOL!!! Lesson learnt - NEVER EVER bake something new for important occassions. I noticed that I have heavy hands hence I could never ever fold in the flour as lightly as I should could. Sighhh...

However the sponge did tasted great though. In order not to let it go to a waste, I decided to turn them into tiramisu the next day. Again, this failed! OMG... triple whammmy! Blame it on my heavy hands again for I did not fold in the egg whites light and fast enough. So everything all gone down the drain!

Now back to the birthday cake, I baked the simple fool proof Mississippi Mud Cake with the little time left. Topped with a chocolate glaze and simply tossed in the rainbow coloured sprinkles, candies and kisses. Thank goodness boiboi was still excited when he saw the cake, well all because of the candies that he liked are on it!

bd cake

So darling boiboi, when you could understand what you read when you're older, that's how your mummy AND daddy (must drag the culprit in the water as well) screwed up did a boo boo on your supposedly dream cake. I guess you'll just have to wait another year then...

Have a blessed 5th Birthday, my darling! *MUAKS*

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Low Fat Carrot and Nut Cupcakes

Low Fat Carrot and Nut Cupcakes Without Icing Low Fat Carrot and Nut

Another recipe from 500 Cupcakes & Muffins, this one is certainly a keeper! Moist with the addition of banana... which gave wonderful aroma and flavour to a normal carrot cake.


Low Fat Carrot and Nut Cupcakes

Cupcakes:
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
150g brown sugar (I've reduced this to about 100g)
100g grated carrots
100g roughly chopped walnuts
200g mashed bananas
2 lightly beaten eggs
175ml vegetable oil

Icing:
200g fat-free cream cheese, softened (if can't find fat-free cream cheese, use fat-free plain yoghurt)
115g icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp chopped walnut
12 walnut halves

Preheat oven to 175C. Place 12 baking cases in a muffin tray. In a large bowl, combine all the cupcakes ingredients. Use an electric whisk and beat on low speed until all ingredients are combined.

Now this is the part I loved most for the recipes in this book haha... easy peasy just mix in everything at the same time. For this recipe, I didn't even need to use electric mixer, I just used my balloon whisk to incorporate them.

Spoon mixture into cases till 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove tray and cool for 5 mins before removing the cupcakes to cool on a rack.

To make icing, combine cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence with electric mixer until smooth. Fold in chopped nuts. Smear on cupcakes and garnish with walnut halves.

Store without icing in air tight container for up to 3 days, or freeze up till 3 months.

Ref: 500 Cupcakes & Muffins, By Fergal Connolly book (published by PageOne Publishing)


I'm off the whole of this week hence updates will be sporadic as access to the net is limited. Thousands of apologies if I reply your emails late.

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Friday, 17 August 2007

3-Course Dinner at KLCC

I met hubby at KLCC last evening. Before heading home, hubby said may as well have our dinner first. Since it was still early and both of us are not hungry, I suggested to check out Taiwan House at Signature Food Court after Boo_licious mentioned that in her blog.

For appetiser, we have one Taiwanese pancake that came very crispy and served with a tub of chili sauce and another tub of soy sauce with chopped garlic. The pancake have a sprinkling of spring onions and we both like the crispiness and best eaten with the chili sauce.

TH - Pancake

We shared a main of Jar Jiang Mien which we have before at their Ampang Point outlet, hence not going to elaborate further.

TH - Jar Jiang Mien

For dessert, we took the escalator up one level and stopped by Vienna Bagels which was also highlighted by Boo_licious and teckiee recently. Since she did a detailed post, do head over there for more information. We found out that it is owned by Auntie Anne's Pretzels that used to occupied the same spot. They must have decided to catch on with the current doughnut fever by introducing these baked bagels. However when I checked their official website there is no mentioned of this bagel at all. So I guess this must be the work of the local franchise.

Hubby picked one with white chocolate topped with toasted almond slices. The server heated it up for us without asking, hence the chocolate sort of like melted. The texture of this so called bagel is totally un-bagel-like. I supposed they did not boiled it before baking. Errr... if this is the case, does it still qualified as bagel??? It's dense and chewy; and I feel it's the same dough used in their pretzels.

Vienna Bagels Vienna Bagels - White chocolate Almonds

We also have 2 scoops of ice-cream from New Zealand Natural Ice-cream which is located at the same floor, a stone throw away from Vienna Bagels. This round I asked for matcha ice-cream which I had always liked and hubby got a mango passionfruit sorbet. A sweet ending to our simple, fast and relatively reasonabily priced dinner at KLCC.

New Zealand Ice-cream


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