April 29th, 2013
We were out and about yesterday and Little Bee put two broccoli heads in my shopping basket. We passed the cheese aisle and I put a bag of grated cheese in the basket. All we wanted to get really was glue stick but there wasn’t glue stick on the shelf! We did get the glue… but from another shop!
Since we had broccoli and cheese, might as well make something out of them
170g broccoli florets, steamed for 5 minutes
2 slices of bread (blitzed in the blender to breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, lightly whisked
A handful or more of grated mature cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven at gas mark 5 or 190C
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and scoop spoonfuls of mixture on to the tray. You can use your hands and make it into a ball but I didn’t feel like getting my hands dirty.
- Put the tray in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes and voila… you can let it cool or if you’re like me and can’t wait, just pick one up and keep blowing on it until it’s cool enough to be popped into your mouth
This recipe is adapted from here
April 28th, 2013
Unlike home… as in Malaysia… if I need to use pandan, I would just go to my mom’s back garden and cut one out.
Here, in the UK, you could use pandan essence or pandan paste or buy a big bag of pandan leaves and keep them in the freezer. I had a bag in the fridge as I didn’t have space in the freezer and for the last two weeks has been figuring out dishes to make with pandan. The more pandan leaves I need to use the better. Not that I am complaining as I love the smell and taste of pandan.
Anyway… I saw a picture of a banana and coconut cake and don’t ask me why as they do not resemble or even taste the same, I suddenly thought of kuih dadar. I haven’t had it for ages and the last time I was in Malaysia it wasn’t even on my food I have to eat list. But I do remember my mom made this for me a long time ago and I remember buying it from the school canteen when I wanted a sugar fix and I remember loving the sweet taste of gula melaka mixed with the smell of pandan… and with all these memories, I had to make it as I wanted a little taste of home.
5 pandan leaves
50ml water (to blend the leaves with)
120g plain flour
250ml santan (coconut milk)
100g palm sugar
1 pandan leaf
100g desiccated coconut
1tsp corn flour
- Put the 5 pandan leaves into a blender with 50ml water and blend into a pulp. Strain it through a fine sieve and put it aside.
- Add flour, santan, water, egg and 4 tbsp of the pandan juice into a bowl and mix well.
- In a saucepan, add the palm sugar, knotted pandan leaf, water and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolved. Add the desiccated coconut and corn flour and stir for another minute. Set it aside.
- Heat up a frying pan and lightly grease it with oil. Pour in about 3 tablespoon of the pancake mixture and swirl the pan to form a thin layer of pancake… almost crepe like.
- When it is cooked, transfer it over to a plate or chopping board and spoon on about 2 teaspoon of the filling mixture on to the pancake and roll it up like a spring roll.
Just another Malaysian flavour that I am happy to share.
April 22nd, 2013
When it comes to food, I am easily influenced. My friend Jue put up a photo of kuih bakar (burn cake… literal translation) and I went all excited and started to think ‘I HAVE TO MAKE THIS’!
So I did. Big muffin tin for me and little cupcake tin for Little Bee.
And I am lucky that I have Little Bee by my side who is always willing to give a helping hand.
6 pandan (screwpine) leaves
160g caster sugar
250g plain flour
250ml santan (coconut milk)
- Heat the oven at 180C or gas mark 4.
- Put the water and pandan leaves in a blender and whiz. Pour it into a bowl through a fine sieve to get the pandan water. You can also use 1/2 tsp pandan paste if you have it and add about 50ml water.
- Add sugar, flour, coconut milk and eggs into the bowl and whisk. You can also just whizz them in a blender but my Little Bee insisted on whisking
- Oil the cake pan, muffin pan or cupcake pan (whatever you choose to use) and put it in the oven until the oil is nice and hot. Take the pan out and pour the mixture in. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and put it in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes. Let it cool and it’s ready to eat
March 5th, 2013
Sometimes, you open your cupboard and discover it bare. No bread, no cereal… no breakfast unless you get out of your pyjamas and put layer upon layer of clothings as it is cold outside just to walk five minutes to the shop to get bread and cereal. Sometimes, you think I really cannot be bothered.
Hey! Look! There’s a sweet potato.
And that one single realisation has saved you from getting out of your pyjamas and suffer the empty tummy syndrome.
Sounds familiar? No? Oh well… it must be only me
Anyway, it was lucky that I did have a large sweet potato, coconut milk, tapioca pearls and pandan leaves. I had a lovely breakfast… but I’m not too sure if Little Bee liked it and hubby didn’t even touch it. Not that I’m complaining as it’s more for me.
1 large sweet potatoes diced to your preferred size
400ml coconut milk
50g palm sugar (molasses would be good too)
2 pandan leaves
1/2 cup tapioca pearls (soaked, rinsed and drained)
- Put the diced sweet potato and water in a pot. Let it simmer until it is soft right through.
- Add the coconut milk, sugar, pandan leaves (tie them into a knot) and tapioca pearls. Once the sugar has dissolved, the pudding is ready.
Seriously, it is that easy.
Add more water if you think that it’s too thick. Add or reduce the sugar depending on your taste.
December 2nd, 2012
As it’s really cold outside and Little Bee was very bored, I thought it was time that we bake something. Little Bee’s been watching ‘I Can Cook’ on the CBeebies website and I thought we could try one of the recipes from there.
Little Bee is not very keen on vegetable and if there’s a way to make her eat her vegetable, I’ll give it a try and see if it works so I chose to make carrot and squash cookies. Since Little Bee has watched that episode at least 10 times, she could tell me what to do… which she did with confidence.
And once the cookies were cooked… she took off her apron and went to play in the front room. I guess disguising carrots and squash into cookies did not fool her. *sigh*
The cookies are good! They’re not too sweet (maybe that’s why Little Bee rejected it) and was served with the roast dinner… and again Little Bee just had a bite but at least she ate everything else on her plate *sigh*
roasted butternut squash and grated carrot
420g plain flour
180g butter (room temperature)
120g grated carrot
300g roasted butternut squash
sprigs of rosemary
- Pre-heat oven at gas mark 6.
- Put the flour, butter and sugar in a bowl and mix together to make a crumbly texture. Add the carrot and squash and mix it into a ball of dough.
- Divide the dough into 18 pieces (or more) and shape them into carrot shapes. Put them on a baking tray and flatten them down. Press the sprigs of rosemary on top of each dough and put it in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Little Bee’s creation ready for the oven
I didn’t listen to Little Bee’s instruction properly and the cookies were a bit thick. Next time, mama will listen properly!
April 14th, 2012
Little Bee has been ‘helping’ me lots in the kitchen.
Yesterday, she cut up the green beans for her bubur (Malaysian rice porridge) for lunch and then mix the ingredients for Thai fried corn patties for her dinner.
This morning, she helped me with making cookies. I found this recipe here… and it has no flour for Little Bee to mess. Perfect!
260g creamy peanut butter
90g brown sugar
- Preheat oven at gas mark 4.
- Put all ingredients and mix them well.
- Make about 24 balls from the mix, put them on a baking tray and flatten them with a fork .
- Place it in the oven for 18 minutes. When that’s done cool it on a wire rack.
Seriously… that’s it.
April 5th, 2012
I found this recipe on justbento.com (currently my favourite site). I don’t eat pork or anything that comes out of a pig but I don’t mind finding alternatives to feed my little family. So, now I am quite happy that I’ve found a substitute when a recipe has ham in it.
I have to say that my first go was OK but verging to disaster as it was a bit salty. My fault for being lazy and not rinse the chicken breast properly. But I am getting better at it and am happy to share my take on the recipe… as I decided to use what is in the cupboard, I don’t have sea salt as in the justbento recipe, I just used normal salt. It might taste better with sea salt… I’ll try it one day..,. when I remember to add sea salt to my shopping list.
1tbsp clear runny honey
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 freezer/ziplock bag
- Put the honey and salt in a freezer bag and squish the bag around to mix it.
- Add the chicken breast into the bag and squish it around again to coat the chicken breast with the mixture.
- Add thyme and pepper and squish the bag again to evenly coat the chicken.
- Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it and leave chicken to marinate in the fridge for 48hours.
- After 48hours, take the chicken out of the bag and rinse well under the cold water tap. Leave it to soak in plenty of cold water for an hour to desalinate.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, take the chicken out of the cold water and wipe off access liquid with paper towels.
- Lay the clingfilm down and roll the chicken breast tightly. Seal the edges by twisting them like a candy wrapper. Then take a smaller piece of clingfilm, roll it around the chicken again to secure the edges.
- Reduce the heat and let the water simmer. Drop in the wrapped chicken and let it simmer for five minutes. Take it off the heat and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and leave it to poach for at least an hour.
- After an hour, you can take it out and slice it and it’s ready for your sandwich or bento box
I tend to make more than one chicken breast at a time but when I do this, I still put each chicken breast in separate bag and cling film.
March 25th, 2012
These are some of the cute sandwich cutters I bought from Japon Mania and I do think they are worth it!
We were sitting in the back garden Saturday afternoon having a picnic and I made her some jam sandwiches. She loves the bunny shaped sandwiches.
And today, she made her own mini sandwiches. Well, I spread the soft cheese and jam on the slices of bread and then guide her with the sandwich cutters and stamps.
Soon, she’ll be able to make her own little snacks
February 25th, 2012
I got this recipe from one of my Periplus Mini Cookbooks that I bought when I was in either Malaysia or Singapore or Bali. I have always been interested in cooking Thai but kept thinking that the dishes are complicated. Silly me… they are no more complicated than Malaysian cooking.
The recipe used pork, but obviously as I don’t consume pork, I changed it to chicken breast and omitted the 1/2 tsp of salt as I feel the soy sauce and fish sauce is salty enough.
2 fresh coriander stems and roots
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp white peppercorn
1 chicken breast, minced
1 can (300g) corn kernels, drained
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
5 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
Vegetable oil for frying
- Pound the coriander stems and roots, garlic and white peppercorn using a pestle and mortar until fine. Put the pounded ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir and mix well.
- Heat oil in a frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Scoop tablespoons of mixture and carefully slide each patty off the spoon into the hot oil. Cook on both side until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen roll. It’s nice on its own or serve with some chili sauce, hot or cold.
January 18th, 2012
This so very simple. Minimum ingredients if you cheat and just buy ready made shortcrust pastry like me
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
300g lamb, finely sliced – bite size
1 potato, peeled and diced
300ml lamb stock
1tbsp French mustard
500g ready made shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven at 200C/gas mark 6.
- Heat the olive oil on moderate heat and add the onion and lamb. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potato, reduce heat and cook for another 2 minute until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the lamb stock and add mustard. Cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potato and lamb are tender. Set aside to cool.
- Divide the pastry into six and shape them into balls. Roll out each ball into 15cm diameter circle, about 5mm thick. Divide the lamb mixture into six and place in the middle of the rolled out pastry. Fold and pinch the pastry to seal it.
- Place the pasties on a baking sheet and brush each one with beaten egg. Place the tray into the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisps.
I prepared the lamb mixture the night before and and rolled out the pastry and filled in the mixture first thing in the morning. This is to save time so when I get home in the evening with Little Bee, I just glazed the pasties with egg and bang them in the oven and gave Little Bee her bath, so they were ready by the end of her bath and cooled down when she’s all dressed in her pyjamas.