Thursday, October 31, 2013

My First Halloween Treats

Did these two as requested by the kids for Halloween this year
Confession: As I do not really celebrate Halloween, I never bake anything related to this spooky day in my life! LOL

Spider cupcakes.. does it look like spider? LOL
I made half recipe and I got 8 big cupcakes

Frosted the cupcakes with Nutella, sprinkled with chocolate rice, pasted M&M as the eyes, black fondant for the legs and pink fondant for the mouth

My Halloween ghosts
Frozen bananas dipped in plain low fat yoghurt, pasted choco chips for the eyes, back to freezer and that's it :)

Ready to go party tonight!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Milo Chocolate Chips Cookies

If you like crisp, crunchy and crumbly kind of cookies, you'll love these. If you love Milo, you'll love these even more :)
I myself is a die hard fan of soft chewy cookies, but I don't mind having them
They taste delicious and the taste developed even more after a few hours. Yum

Recipe is from Melly from Masakan Melly

What you need:

200g butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp chocolate emulco
2 1/2 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup milo

  1. Preheat oven to 170degC
  2. Beat butter and sugar til creamy. Add in egg yolks and chocolate emulco
  3. Add in flour in a few addition in low speed, followed by milo and chocolate chips
  4. Drop a tbsp of dough each into lined baking sheets and bake for 18-20mins

Real easy, isn't it? :)
I made full recipe and I got 75 cookies!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

AFF Japan - Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles)

Love this! Always do!
Soba noodles is made from buckwheat flour, well known for its healthier option in eating noodles
Ideally served with tempura. However, take out tempura from the picture, with minimum ingredients to go along, it's a surprise that people can enjoy eating this dish on its own

Recipe is from HERE

What you need:

200g dried soba noodles

Dipping sauce:
Soba sauce (Mentsuyu) - store bought or homemade:
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 cup soya sauce
  • 12 x 2 inches kombu (kelp)
  • 1 cup packed Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
In a medium saucepan, add sake and bring to boil (high medium heat). Let the alcohol evaporate for a few seconds
Add mirin and soy sauce. Then add kombu and katsuobushi
Cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside until cool down
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve***
The sauce is ready to use
(You may dilute the dipping sauce with dashi stock or water if you prefer less saltier version. To me, just like what Nami described, the sauce is for alright since it's used to dip the noodles, not to soak)

finely chopped spring onion
wasabi paste
finely shredded nori sheets

  1. To prepare for soba noodles: boil a lot of water in a large pot. There's no need to add salt to the water. Add dried soba noodles in the boiling water in circulate motion, separating the noodles from each other. Boil soba noodles according to the package instructions (each one is slightly different) (mine is 4-5 minutes). Once in a while stir the noodles so they don’t stick to each other. Check the tenderness and do not overcook
  2. Drain the noodles into a colander and wash the noodles in a cold running water (I kept the noodles in the fridge for a few hours as well as the dipping sauce)
  3. Serve the noodles with topping and dipping sauce

***The used kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) after you make Mentsuyu can be used to make delicious furikake (rice seasoning). HERE is the recipe
Mix everything

Ready to eat! Slurp!
I'm also submitting this post to Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich from Piece of Cake at this post

Monday, October 28, 2013

AFF Japan - Yakisoba

A simple dish and very easy to enjoy. I love it. The whole family does, too. I can't be happier :)

Recipe is from HERE

What you need:
(with some modification to suit my preference)

5 large shitake mushrooms (or 8 medium)
1/2 onion
1 medium carrot
2 spring onions
5 cabbage leaves
200g chicken breast meat
2 tbsp oil
ground black pepper
8 tbsp homemade yakisoba sauce (***see note below for the recipe)
1 package (of 3) yakisoba noodles
Topping: dried green seaweed powder (aonori)

  1. First, quickly run hot water over the noodles if they are stuck together from the package (mine was not so I skipped this step)
  2. Cut meat into 1 inch cubes. Cut mushrooms as you prefer (I cut into 3 or 4 depending on the size). Julienne onion and carrot. Cut spring onions into 3cm strips. Chop cabbage leaves into pieces
  3. Heat oil in the frying pan (medium high heat). Add in chicken and cook til change color and no longer pink
  4. Add in onion, stir and cook for 30 secs. Add in carrots and continue to cook til soft
  5. Add in mushrooms, stir well and cook for 30 secs. Add in cabbage, stir well and cook til soft
  6. Add black pepper and 3 tbsp of yakisoba sauce, mix well
  7. Lower heat to medium. Add in noodle and separate each other with wooden spoon or chopsticks. Keep stirring and make sure not to burn the bottom of the pan
  8. Add more yakisoba sauce, adjust the amount of sauce according to your preference. Mix all together using a tong (I used 8 tbsp as instructed)
  9. Serve on a plate and garnish with dried seaweed powder. Serve immediately

***Homemade yakisoba sauce:
(makes 9 tbsp) from HERE

9 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tsp soya sauce
3 tsp sugar
3 tsp sesame oil
3 pinches of salt
ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Adjust the sauce according to your liking (I didn't do any adjustment as I find the taste is good enough)


I'm also submitting this post to Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich from Piece of Cake at this post

Saturday, October 26, 2013

AFF Japan - Chicken Teriyaki

When I cooked this dish, Ian's complaint was why the chicken wasn't crispy
I discarded the skin, perhaps that's why this chicken teriyaki lost its cispiness
He always prefer those not so authentic kind of chicken teriyaki sold in many places in Singapore where the chicken is deep fried and then drizzled with teriyaki sauce
Despite the comment, he ate a big plate of it twice - lunch and dinner
He said, it's nice. I asked him, I thought you prefer the crispy type? His answer was, I like both LOL
Abby is not a fan of Japanese food. She doesn't even eat sushi at all
She'll eat only those deep fried kinds and also ramen or udon soup. Those don't smell or taste 'too Japanese'
But this time she ate a lot, twice too - lunch and dinner. I asked her, is it nice? She answered, oh yes, it's yummy. I said, that's Japanese chicken teriyaki, you know. She said, I like!
Looks like this dish gonna be served regularly at home from now on :)

Recipe is from Nami from Just One Cookbook

What you need:

2 chicken thigh and 1 chicken breast (skinless and boneless) (original recipe uses the skin to get some crispiness, I usually cook chicken with no skin for healthier option, also DH and I do not really like the texture, but the next time I cook this dish again I'll try to use the skin - crispy chicken skin should be good hehe...)
2 tbsp sake (for steaming)

Marinade sauce:
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
1 small onion (or 1/4 from a large onion), grate and include the juice
1 inch ginger, grate and include the juice

  1. Rinse chicken and cut into small pieces. Prick the chicken with fork (not the skin side)
  2. Cut the chicken thigh into 4 pieces
  3. Combine marinade sauce ingredients into a ziplock bag. Add in the chicken and marinade for 3 hours (store in the fridge)
  4. Heat oil on medium high in a large skillet. Place the chicken (skin side down). The marinade will burn easily. Don't add any liquid. Don't throw the marinade sauce
  5. When the skin side is nicely browned, flip the chicken (skin side up). Add in sake, cover up the skillet and cook for 8-10mins
  6. Remove the chicken to a plate and clean the skillet (mine was too difficult to clean just with a kitchen paper so I used another frying pan)
  7. Heat a little bit of oil and put the chicken to the skillet, skin side down to make it crispy
  8. Then flip again (skin side up) and pour marinade sauce. Cook until the sauce reduced a bit. Use spoon to pour on top of chicken a couple of times while you are cooking
  9. Serve the chicken and pour sauce on top of the chicken (mine only had very little thick sauce leftover) 

Ian loves to have lots of teriyaki sauce whenever he eats this dish, hence I made homemade teriyaki sauce, too

I know that the general rule to make homemade teriyaki sauce is to combine same amount of soya sauce, sake and mirin and add sugar to our preference. Grated ginger and garlic can be added too
But I saw this recipe Nami shared, she mentioned that this one is more similar to American store-bought teriyaki sauce. Curious about how different it is from the original recipe
It's a kind of similar, actually - maybe a little milder. Perhaps only Japanese can tell the difference LOL

Recipe is from HERE

What you need:

4 tbsp soya sauce
4 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp corn starch
2 tbsp water


In a small saucepan, combine sugar, mirin and soya sauce, bring to boil
In a small bowl, combine corn starch with water till well mixed. Add the mixture into the sauce
Quickly whisk the sauce to evenly distribute the corn starch mixture
Stir the sauce while it's being reduced to the consistency you like

Also, since this dish used up 2 tsp of soya sauce, I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich from Piece of Cake at this post

Friday, October 25, 2013

AFF Japan - Soboro Donburi

This dish is so easy to make and so delicious, too!
When you have no idea what to cook and don't have enough much time for cooking, this dish is must be considered! Both young and old will definitely enjoy :)

Saw Veronica from Peng's Kitchen cooked this inspired by Nami from Just One Cookbook

I love to see the pea on top, I found it cute :P
Oh yes, I'm left handed LOL

What you need:

2 cups japonica (Japanese rice), cook according to the instruction
3 eggs
salt, pepper
200g minced chicken
1 tsp grated ginger with juice
1 tbsp sake
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soya sauce
cooking oil
some defrosted green peas
shredded dried seaweed for garnish

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil on a frying pan over medium heat. Add in minced chicken and cook until almost cooked through. Using wooden spoon, break the chicken into small pieces
  2. Add sake, sugar and mirin, soya sauce and lastly, grated ginger with the juice
  3. Continue to cook until liquid is 98% gone. Transfer to a bowl and set aside, wash the pan
  4. Break the eggs in a bowl, sprinkle salt and pepper and beat with fork
  5. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and pour egg mixture. Using several chopstick held together, break the egg into small pieces. Transfer to a bowl and set aside
  6. Serve rice in a bowl and put the toppings on top of the rice. Garnish with dried seaweed
  1. Nami used 1 tbsp sugar to mix in 2 beaten egg for the scrambled egg. I omitted the sugar and replaced with salt and pepper
  2. Garnish can be anything that you like.. shredded seaweed, pickled ginger, furikake, or anything you prefer

This post is for Asian Food Fest October 2013: Japan hosted by Alan from Travelling Foodies

Also, since this dish used up 2 tsp of soya sauce, I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich from Piece of Cake at this post

Thursday, October 24, 2013

No Bake Tofu Cheesecake - Happy Birthday To Me :)

Yesterday was my birthday and I was not in the mood for any cake decorating thingy, but I was for sure craving for cheesecake

I've been curious about tofu cheesecake for a long time, always wonder how the texture and taste
So here it is, my healthier kind of cheesecake, yum yum yum...
I made it a day before my birthday, for the overnight refrigeration
Thanks Ann from Anncoo Journal for the wonderful and easy recipe :)

I replaced green tea powder with cocoa powder since I don't really fancy green tea in my bakes. I mixed 1/4 of the batter with the chocolate and poured at the centre of the batter. After that I had no clue how to make nice swirls, so this is what I got. It looked like sun to me, but my kids said it's giant tick with lots of legs LOL

Cutting my first slice after waiting overnight :)

This cheesecake is so light and refreshing, taste really good, too
I just couldn't stop at one slice! It's a scary fact to eat more than one slice of cheesecake, but this one makes an exception. Less guilt attack haha....

Having said that, as much as I enjoyed this cake, I would still crave for those creamy NY style cheesecake LOL Perhaps next time *wink*

Recipe as follows...

What you need:
(for 8" round springform pan)

For the base:
100g Marie biscuits, crushed
80g melted butter
Combine crushed biscuits and melted butter in a bowl. Press onto the base of the pan and keep in the fridge for later use
For the filling:
300g pressed tofu
15g gelatine powder
70g water
2 tsp cocoa powder and 1 tsp chocolate paste mixed with 5 tbsp of hot water
250g cream cheese (room temperature)
200g plain yoghurt (I used low fat, or can use sour cream)
60g reduced sugar soya milk
100g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Wrap tofu in cheesecloth (I don't own one, so I used thin tea towel) and place a heavy object on top for about 15 mins to press out water from the tofu
  2. Soak gelatine in water for 5 mins
  3. In a food processor, blend cream cheese, tofu (I broke it apart), yoghurt, soya milk, icing sugar and vanilla til very smooth
  4. Heat gelatine powder in double boiler til melted, add to cream cheese mixture and mix well
  5. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan with the base, and mix the remaining 1/4 with chocolate mixture
  6. Pour the chocolate batter at the centre of the plain batter in the pan and then do the swirls as desired with chopstick
  7. Chill cake in the fridge, minimum of 4 hours (I did overnight)
  8. Cut the cake with hot knife to get a nicely cut slice :)
I still couldn't get it so smooth like what Ann did. You see the little holes? I wonder why
I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich from Piece of Cake at this post
I saw Ann did the baked version too. Looks really good! Now that's another one to be curious about :)

Who said only nicely decorated cake will make a birthday girl happy? I was real happy with this cake :P
Happy Birthday To Me! :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

AFF Japan - Japanese Salt Grilled Eryngii Mushroom (Kinoko no shioyaki)

Do you love mushroom? I do. Very much. All kinds of mushrooms
If you are like me, you will enjoy eating this dish

Recipe is from Sonia from Nasi Lemak Lover
Thank you for sharing. I always see this mushroom in the supermarket but never try it
No clue that it's a popular dish in Japan during autumn

Also well known as king oyster mushroom, I bought two packs, each pack of 2 (200g) is $1.85
It's really yummy and oh so simple to make
Indeed the texture is like eating abalone :)

What you need:

2 pcs of eryngii mushrooms, slice each piece into 3 thick slices
2 small cubes of salted butter
sea salt
crushed black pepper
1/2 tbsp sake

  1. Heat pan over medium high heat. Place butter and let it melt. Arrange sliced mushrooms - cut side down, and let cook for 2 mins for each side. This is to get a nice golden brown color on the mushrooms
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover pan and let cook further for another 2 mins
  3. Sprinkle with sake, leave it for 30 seconds
  4. Dish out and serve

I cooked this dish twice, once for dinner and another time for breakfast - yes, breakfast :)
And I still crave for more. Yum! :)

This post is for Asian Food Fest October 2013: Japan hosted by Alan from Travelling Foodies

Friday, October 18, 2013

ABC October 2013 - Crusty Apple Pie

This bake is for Avid Baker's Challenge October 2013, a baking event hosted by Hanaa from Hanaa's Kitchen where we bake recipes from King Arthur Flour for this year

Another keeper recipe. I love it!
Not only it's delicious, but it's easy to make, too. It's so me, huh? :)

Fresh from the oven
After 1 hour of anxious waiting - time to slice!

Yum yum yum!

I make half recipe using 6 inches pie pan
For full recipe, you may view in Hanaa's blog HERE

I omitted buttermilk powder and for the cinnamon sprinkle I used a mixture of cinnamon and packed brown sugar
I used 3  medium organic New Zealand Fuji apples, mixed with a dash of salt and a tsp of lemon juice
Sprinkled the top of the pie with demerara sugar (inspired by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours)
Oh, and I used my ten fingers to do the mixing for the crust :P
Baked in preheated oven of 240degC for 15 minutes and reduce the temperature to 190degC for 35 minutes

I cut the first slice after 1 hour and oh my, it's so good!
The crust was so crusty (explained the name LOL), flaky, buttery and crisp, too
The demerara sugar added a nice crunch in every bite
The apple filling was soft, sweet and mixed with cinnamon, it's just perfect!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fried Tofu Balls

This can be eaten as snack dipped in Thai sweet chilli sauce or eat as a dish with rice and soup. Here I made cabbage soup - the simplest of all :P

Recipe is from Indonesian recipe book by nutrition and healthy food enthusiast Wied Harry

What you need:

150g prawn (just the meat)
100g minced chicken
150g firm tofu, mashed
3 tbsp grated carrot (or turnip)
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp fried onion, pulse in a chopper
1 tsp fried garlic, pulse in a chopper
2 tbsp finely chopped chinese parsley
4 tbsp tapioca flour
1 egg, beaten
vegetable oil for frying

For the soup:
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil, for sautéing
1L chicken stock
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp light soya sauce
half small cabbage - sliced

For garnish:
chopped chinese parsley
chopped spring onion

  1. Mix prawns, chicken, tofu and carrot. Add in pepper, salt, fried onion, fried garlic, parsley, flour and egg. Mix well
  2. Heat oil on a wok. Spoon batter (a tbsp each) and deep fry til golden brown. Drain
  3. For the soup: Sautee garlic til fragrant, set aside. Boil stock, add in sautéed garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and soya sauce. Bring to boil and remove from heat
  4. Arrange tofu balls in a bowl, pour the soup over. Sprinkle with parsley and spring onion
  5. Serve immediately

I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich from Piece of Cake at this post

This post is also for Cook-Your-Books #5, an event hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bake Along #53 - Brown Sugar Raisins Bread (Williams-Sonoma)

Raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar
Another lovable combination, easily lovable :)

I baked only 1/4 recipe after I found out even half recipe still uses almost half a kg of bread flour. I guess it's pretty wise since the bread is best eaten on the baking day itself
It's still great to be eaten the next day by microwaving it about 15 secs. Throwing them in the toaster was great, too
To me, this bread is flavourful enough to eat on its own. Texture wise, it's not so fluffy but it's soft with a little chewiness. Nice!
Thanks for choosing this recipe, Joyce :)

Recipe is from the book The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

What you need:
1/4 recipe (for 1 20x10cm loaf pan)

1/4 tbsp active dry yeast
3/4 tbsp granulated sugar
75ml warm water (40-46degC)
60ml warm milk (40-46degC)
3/4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
1/4 tbsp salt
1/2 (30g) large egg, lightly beaten
240g bread flour
35g golden raisins (sultanas)
35g dark raisins

40g firmly packed light brown sugar mixed with 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  1. In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the granulated sugar over 25ml of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes
  2. Using breadmaker, add in the remaining water, milk, egg, and yeast mixture
  3. Followed by sugar, salt, flour and yeast
  4. Start dough cycle and after 5 mins kneading add in butter
  5. Let it knead and do the first proofing - total is 1 hour 30 mins
  6. Lightly grease and line the pan
  7. Take out the dough from the breadmaker and flatten using rolling pin
  8. Brush lightly with butter (my addition) and sprinkle with filling
  9. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up each rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place each log, seam side down, in a prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, about 1 hour
  10. Preheat an oven to 175degC. Bake until the loaf are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto wire rack and let cool completely

This is for Bake Along , a baking event organised by  Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids



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