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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pepperoni Pasta with Tomatoes & Basil

Time files!! I can't believe Christmas is over & we're now welcoming year 2010! The past week was busy busy busy; Busy buying presents, busy cooking, busy celebrating, busy entertaining Fat Cheeks. =) Last week I made Light Chocolate Cheesecake & also Roasted Chicken. Unfortunately with all the flurry going around, I didn't have time to take any pictures. Anyways, after stuffing up ourselves with all the good food, we wanted something simple for dinner last night. Pepperoni was on sale, I coupled it with basil, tomato & pasta. Simple yummy savoury pasta! Taste even better if you throw in a few dashes of Tobasco sauce.

Here's what I did:

Ingredients
- Pepperoni (I think I used about 100g)
- 1 bunch of fresh basil, torn into pieces
- 2 tomatoes, cubed
- 1 med onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- pasta of your choice
- 1 chicken cube
- a few dash of black pepper

Method:
- Heat a few tbsp of oil & stir fry onion
- add pepperoni, tomatoes then garlic
- throw in basil
- cover & allow basil to wilt
(once basil has wilted, off fire & cook pasta)
- boil water, add 1 chicken cube & a few dashes of salt
- cook pasta as per instructions
- when pasta is cooked, reserve a few tbsps of stock & drain pasta
- add pasta & stock to pepperoni
- add a few good dash of black pepper
- mix well & serve hot


Friday, December 18, 2009

Banana Cake


Every week when we return to our in-laws place, we always come home with bags full of fruits & food. This week Dad in law gave us a bunch of bananas. Hubby was going to Manila for work for a few days so I knew we wouldn't be able to finish it. With that in mind, I went to dig up any recipes that had to do with banana & I found this Banana Cake recipe from Baking Mum.

The cake turned out really fragrant & yummy. I always had the impression that banana cakes are dense & heavy but not this one. It was light & crumbly with a hint of buttery fragrance. I totally love it. I visited my friend Debbie at the hospital today & brought some over for her to try. Am so glad she loved it too.

Here's the recipe to share:

Ingredients:
- 180gm butter
- 150gm sugar
- 2 large egg lightly beaten
- 250gm cake flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 220gm banana mashed (I added a tbsp of orange juice to the mashed banana)
- 50gm evaporated milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 banana sliced

Method:
- preheat oven to 175deg c
- cream butter & sugar till light & fluffy
- add eggs gradually
- add milk, mashed banana & vanilla essence
- add shifed flour & baking power
- mix well
- pour into 8inch cake pan
- arrange sliced bananas on top
- bake at 175deg c for 50 to 60mins
.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuna Potato Salad

Finally I'm back to cooking! I was very occupied with my driving lessons the past few weeks & guess what?! I passed my driving test on my 1st attempt! Yes! I've earned my Class 3 licence! The test was nerve wrecking...in fact the week before my test I was already tense & agitated all the time. Woohoo! It's a great accomplishment for me! Close friends will know that I'm terrified of driving & in fact I never had the interest to learn at all. Now however with Fat Cheeks, I do see the convenience. This is the best birthday present ever! Now I have to build up confidence to drive hubby's car.

OK, back to food. Today I made Tuna Potato Salad. Very simple & pretty yummy too. I steamed potatos, added a small white onion (chopped finely) , cherry tomatoes, a can of tuna, 2 tbsp of mayonnaise, salt & pepper to taste. Mix well. Serve with plain or buttered toast...tada, simple lunch. Next time can add hard boil egg too. Oh ya, this salad tastes better chilled. Yumz. =)
.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies


It's the holidays. There's so much fun stuff to do with Fat Cheeks. Today I brought her to Compass Pt coz they brought in Seaseme Street with a special 10min musical show 3 times daily till end of this week. Fat cheeks was all excited to meet Elmo & Cookie monster. It was pretty crowded at ground level, so we watched from the 2nd floor. She enjoyed it tremendously & was actually sad when the show was over. I will be bringing her back again & this time probably try to que for the show early so that we'll be able to sit infront of the stage & take pics with the characters. Anyways, to cheer her up a bit, I made her chocolate chip oat cookies. It's a slightly healthier version with oats added into the cookie & it's less sweet. She was all smiles by the time she was munching into her cookies. =)

Ingredients:
- 115g butter
- 115g soft dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 60ml milk
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 150g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 115g oats (I used Quakers instant oats)
- 175g choco chips

Method:
- cream butter & sugar till fluffy
- add beaten eggs, milk & vanilla essence
- shift in flour, baking powder & salt
- stir till well mixed
- fold in oats & chocolate chips
- chill mixture for an hr
- preheat oven to 180deg c
- grease trays
- place mounds of cookie dough on tray & flatten with fork
- bake for 10 to 12mins till edges are just colouring
- cool on wire racks

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Baked Potato Pumpkin & Cod Fish Croquettes

The title alone sounds complicated but it's not at all. Hubby is away at work in Taiwan. This weekend, it's just me & Fat cheeks. I wanted to make her something she likes but yet nutritious. So I came out with this croquette which encompasses all the above ingredients. It turned out to be pretty yummy. Nice & crisp on the outside with savoury softness inside. We had it for lunch & when dinner came, she asked for more & both of us fought over the last morsels of it. =) Next time I'll try substituting cod fish with mince chicken, tuna or ham.

Here's what I did:
Ingredients:
(I manage to make 10 med sz patties)
- 4 med potatoes (steamed till soft)
- 1 small wedge pumpkin (steamed till soft)
- 1 small white onion, chopped finely
- 1 tsbsp mayonnaise
- 3tbsp of grated cheddar cheese
- 1 small pc of cod fish, steamed & flaked (about size of my plam)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 egg for coating
- Japanese breadcrumbs
Method:
- Mash potato & pumpkin with fork
- Add all other ingredients except eggs & breadcrumbs
- shape potato mixture, coat with eggs, then with breadcrumbs
- place on tray lined with baking sheet, bake at 200deg c till light brown
- serve warm

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cheese Cupcakes

Today I'm visiting a friend & her son with Fat Cheeks so I thought I'll bake something simple for all to enjoy during tea time. I came across this recipe from Berryfood. & I think it's just ideal. Great for adults & children. I had some fondant leftovers, so I decorated the cupcakes a bit. =)

Ingredients:
(Makes 8 cupcakes)
- 2 eggs
- 65g sugar
- 90g cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 20g grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp milk
- 90g melted butter

Method:
- pre-heat oven to 190deg c
- shift flour & baking powder
- use hand whisk, beat eggs & sugar till sugar dissolves
- add cheese, milk & flour, stir till smooth
- add melted butter & stir till well blended
- pour into greased cupcake mould till 70% full
- bake for 15mins
.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fish Cutlet with Japanese Curry

This is really yummy. I love japanese curry & decided to try this out. The curry seasoning is easily available at NTUCs. All I did was fry some onion, added potato, carrot, oyster mushrooms (just coz i happen to have some leftovers), water then lastly the curry seasoning. It comes in a block, so just chop it up into small pieces and add to the pot. I chose mild curry & it was mild enough for fat cheeks to enjoy. You can choose to add meat into the curry but I complimented my curry with fish cutlet. Delicious. =)
.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Almond Peach Tart

It's been quite some time since I've baked something. Today I happen to crave for tarts and so I decided to try this. Thus far, I've never done any tarts since I've started this blog. I have to say, it's really not bad. A nice change from cakes. I've also added wholemeal flour to the base & that gives it a really nice nutty flavour. Yummlicious. I should have sliced the peaches to make it look prettier but was too lazy. =)

Ingedients:
(Makes a 7 inch pan)

Pastry:
- 70g plain flour
- 30g wholemeal flour
- 50g unsalted butter
- 30g sugar
- pinch of salt
- a few tbsps of cold water

Almond cream:
- 25g powdered almonds
- 1 egg
- 40g sugar
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 30g unsalted butter, melted
- few drops of vanilla extract

- 1 small can of peaches

Method:
- mix both flour in a bowl, rub butter into flour with fingers till resemble breadcrumbs
- add a few tbsp of cold water till dough comes together (do not over work dough, just mix till it comes together, wrap in cling wrap)
- rest dough in fridge for 1/2 hr
- mix powdered almond, egg, sugar
- add cream, melted butter & vanilla, set aside
- roll dough out & fill pan
- prick holes & bake at 180deg c till light brown (approx 10mins)
- fill half the tart with almond cream, arrange peaches in tart
- fill with remaindng almond cream
- bake at 180deg c for 20-25mins, till almond cream sets



Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chocolate Banana Cake


Since I've been feeling down these days, I thought I'll cheer myself up with something really sinful. Presenting my chocolate banana cake! Yumz. I adapted the recipe from one of my cut outs from Woman's Weekly years ago. It's really simple & easy to clean up coz it only involves 1 mixing bowl. Such a breeze to make & delicious too. I slice the cake into 2 and sandwich it with banana slices & chocolate ganache. Unfortunately being the ken cheong spider I am, I didn't wait for it to cool sufficiently before removing it from the mould. As a result, huge cracks appreared. Bah!! Nevermind la, didn't intend to share it anyways. As long as it's yummy. =)

Ingredients:
(makes a 20cm cake)
- 125g butter, soften at room temp
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 cups self-raising flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
- 1 cup milk
- 2-3 bananas

Chocolate ganache:
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 cup whipping cream

Method:
- grease 20cm cake tin, sprinke base with baking powder
- combine butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cocoa, soda bicarbonate & milk with an electric mixer on low until just combined
- then beat on medium speed till smooth
- pour into pan & bake at 180deg c for 45 mins
- cool before unmoulding cake
- heat up whipping cream over hot water, stir in chocolate
- stir till smooth
- slice cool cake into 2
- arrange banana slices then top with chocolate ganache then replace cake layer
- spread balance of chocolate ganche on top
- serve cold

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A dedication to my friend Debbie.


I've been feeling rather down lately hence the lack of baking & blogging. I have been receiving bad news one after another the past weeks. Firstly, hubby's godma fell and broke her hips and injured her shoulders, then my uncle met with an serious traffic accident, followed by nanny's relative who is only in her 40s passing on, leaving her 2 young sons (who are fat cheeks holiday playmates) age 9 & 10 behind and lastly, the one that affected me most is that my dear friend Debbie has been diagnosed with myeloid leukemia.

Debbie now going through chemotherapy treatment in SGH and I pray that all will go well. She loves oranges so when I went down to visit her last week, I made her orange chiffon cake. I knew she wouldn't be able to eat much but I do hope the lovely citrus aroma will brighten her day just a little.

Life is really too short & unpredictable. Seeing the pain & loss that others go through reminds me how blessed I am, how sometimes we take the simpliest things which mean so much to others for granted. It reminds me to love and appreciate all the ones around me. Thinking back, I'm really glad I took this few months off to spend time with hubby, fat cheeks and messing around the house. These months have been truely priceless. There were so many times when I was unsure...

Sorry for the major emo entry. I just had to get it off my chest. =)

I'm not very good with words but found this get well poem for Debbie.
.
A Get Well Prayer by Elizabeth Ann Biggs from Poems from my Heart.
This get well prayer is sent with love
A special request to Father God above
That His healing touch, soon be on the way
bringing you well and brighter days.
May your loving heart once again
there flow with happiness a joyous song.
May all the days ahead for you be kind
blessing you with a healthy body, soul and mind.
Please know my dear friend
That for you with love, always I am here
God bless you abundantly, is my prayer
Always safelty to be kept, in His loving care.
.
I will be praying for you Debbie. Be strong. =)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thin Crust Pizza


I made pasta last night with my homemade tomato sauce. This morn, hubby requested me to use the left over sauce to make him a pizza and I found this recipe in one of the chinese cookbook I've borrowed. It looks very simple so I decided to try it. Turns out that the crust is thin and crispy but it tasted more like a pie crust. I think I prefer the slightly thicker more bread like version. I topped my pizza with tomatos, beef sausage, olives, onions and red/white cheddar cheese. Yummzzz...

Here's the recipe for the crust:

Ingredients:
(makes 3 20cm diameter pizza)
- 200g all purpose flour
- 4g salt
- 105ml water
- 12g unsalted butter (I replaced this with olive oil)

Method:
- Add flour, salt & water & mix till combined
- Add butter & knead to from a smooth dough
- wrap dough in plastic wrap & rest for half an hour
- grease pan, divide dough into 3 & shape dough into a round 20cm diameter pan
- Spread sauce & sprinkle toppings
- bake 10 to 12 mins till crisp & brown
.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Orange Chiffon Cake


Last weekend we stayed at the Safra Changi Chalet. We were really looking forward to this coz the only other time Fat Cheeks had stayed out was a year ago at Sentosa with my in laws. This time round my bro in law organised this so everyone went! Imagine all the food, the majong & poker sessions. I do not know how to gamble, so for me, I was just excited to bring fat cheeks to the beach to build sand castles & of course swimming in the pool!! We both had loads of sun & fun. She also basked in everyone's attention. Everyone brought a little something special for her, little packs of chocolate, jelly beans, chips...u name it, she has it. She was really spoilt for choice! Hahaha.

I made assortment of wholemeal buns & orange chiffon cake to share at the chalet. I love the orange chiffon cake. It was really soft & moist.

Here's what I did:

Ingredients (A):
- 4 egg yolk
- 85g orange juice
- 3 tbsp corn oil
- 15g caster sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1/2 tsp orange essence
- pinch of salt
- 95g cake flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder

Ingredients (B):
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 70g caster sugar

Method:
- preheat oven to 175 deg c
- use hand whisk & mix egg yolk, orange juice, corn oil, 15g caster sugar, zest, essence & salt well
- shift in four & baking powder
- in seperate bowl, whisk egg whites & cream of tartar till foamy
- add sugar gradually till stiff peaks form
- fold egg whites into yolk mixture in 3 portions
- bake 30 to 35 mins




Monday, October 12, 2009

Chocolate Macaron with Vanilla Buttercream


I've heard so much about macarons but I've never tired some. I read that they are not easy to bake, in particular to achieve the skirting round the macaron. But they look so pretty I just had to try to bake them. For starters, I decided to bake Chocolate Macarons with vanilla buttercream. I goggled abit and found this recipe. Let me warn you, they are really sweet!! I halved the sugar in my buttercream but it was still toothachingly sweet for me. According to my read ups, reducing the sugar will jeopardize the macarons. Maybe when I'm feeling adventurous, I shall try this again but with less sugar in the macaroon itself & we'll see how it turns out. For now, I'll just enjoy them as it is...crunchy on the outside, chewy & sweet on the inside. Hubby who has a major sweet tooth loves it much. =)

Ingredients:

Macarons
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup almond powder
- 3tbsp coca powder
- 2 large egg whites at room temp
- 5 tbsp caster sugar

Method:
- beat egg whites till frothy
- add caster sugar & whisk till stiff & glossy
- fold in dry ingredients (icing sugar, cocoa & almond powder)
- pipe approx 1 inch circles onto baking paper & let it sit for 2 hrs
(apprently this is very crucial to achieve skirting! I didn't wait for the full 2hrs, so my macaroons has got a tiny mini skirt)
- preheat oven to 180 deg c
- bake 15-18 mins
- cool compeletely before removing from baking sheet
- pipe buttercream onto one shell then sandwhich with another

Vanilla Buttercream
- 4oz butter
- 10oz icing sugar (I halved this)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
- cream butter & salt
- add 1/2 sugar & milk, cream well then add balance of the sugar & cream again



Friday, October 9, 2009

Gula Melaka Chiffon Cake



I've been under the weather lately. Cold chills & body aches but thankfully nothing serious. I didn't have much appetite to eat but yet I was craving for chiffon cake. I rummaged through my kitchen & found the ingredients for this cake. I was too lazy to go get coconut milk, so I replaced it with low fat milk. It was still yummy but I can imagine how rich it would be if I used coconut milk. Very soft, moist & fragrant. The crust was especially tasty. Needless to say, Fat cheeks loves it. =)

Ingredients:
(makes a 21cm tube pan)
- 4 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp corn oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 95g cake flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 95g gula melaka (chopped into small pcs)
- 65g coconut milk

- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 30g caster sugar

Method:
- Preaheat oven to 175 deg c
- Melt milk & gula melaka then cool
- Shift flour, salt & baking powder
- Mix egg yolk, oil, gula melaka with milk & flour till well blended, put aside
- Whisk egg white & cream of tartar till frothy add sugar gradually & whisk till stiff peaks form
- Fold 1/3 of egg whites into flour mixture, then fold in the balance
- bake for 40 to 45 mins
There are dark brown specks in the cake coz I didn't dissolve the gula melaka properly. There were still bits & pieces here & there. But I kinda like it, it tasted like caramel.