Friday, December 30, 2011

Almond Choc Chip Cake

After one long month of marking English Language scripts, yesterday it finally came to a conclusive end.  Sighs of relief could be heard and constant chatting by my fellow examiners were rife; all planning what to do with the remainder of our holidays.  It also marked something special at this juncture of my service in the teaching profession and as always, I am happy to share goodies with my friends.  As usual what better way to make friends smile than to offer them some home-cooked food, and in this case I made for them, this Almond Choc Chip Cake!  Well, the recipe called for a 9-inch cake tin which I didn't have, so I made twelve huge cupcakes instead!   I am happy to note here that one of my colleagues even asked for seconds!  Fortunately there was an extra one left for him!  As with any other cake recipes, I especially adore this one because it is all in one!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fried Glass Noodles

My kids are currently crazy about anything that has to do with glass noodles!  Last week I made Glass Noodle Salad and that triggered their memories about the dish I used to make many months ago using this ingredient.  Actually, I saw this recipe being prepared by a cook at a Chinese restaurant and so I decided to replicate it at home and to my surprise, the kids loved it.  I guess they like it because of the texture of the glass noodle is a bit chewy compared to vermicelli.  Kids love chewy things I guess, so I made this for breakfast :-)

Penne Bolognese

I'm learning to be a bit adventurous with the dishes that I prepare and the one I prepared today is no exception.  You may know this recipe better by it's usual name that is Spaghetti Bolognese but I've decided to replace the spaghetti with penne.  And instead of putting the meatball sauce on top of the spaghetti and served, I've tried to layer the different ingredients of this pasta dish.

Actually the missus has been asking me to prepare Spaghetti Bolognese for quite some time now, but I have always found some excuse or other to get out of preparing it.  But since today is such a wonderful day and I'm in such a wonderful mood, I've decided to do it.  I did, however, tell her that I'm giving the dish a twist and she said it's okay.  Everyone loved the dish actually, except my second daughter who thought the tomato sauce was a bit sour (how many kilos of sugar did she expect me to put in the sauce??)  The preparation and ingredients are the same; only difference is the assembly!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rainbow Cake

I think it's a bit ironic baking a cake so named because of the very wet weather we've been having for this past week.  Irony or not, we all could do with a little more sunshine and not the odd half an hour or so rays and on odd days at that.  Then again, I am very thankful, nonetheless, that this wet weather is happening during the school holidays because at least we (teachers and students only; sorry!) can all cuddle up and keep ourselves warm at home.  And for me, baking is one way for me to keep warm, not least because I've got the oven on!  

Back to this Rainbow Cake; this recipe was shared by a colleague of mine, Cikgu Zubaidah Said who initially got it from her sister.  I think it's nice that people share things that they like and not keep it to themselves.  So, in the spirit of sharing, here's the recipe!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Potato Rosti

What can I say?  I had the oven out and there were some ingredients in the fridge and larder plus every body was hungry, so this is what I came up with.  I used to make potato rosti, but they have always been fried and in fact, I've never tried this one.  But it turned out just nice, a little tricky getting them out of the cupcake pan though, so next time I'll grease it with a little more margarine!  My kids loved it with some chili sauce (of course, to them, everything would taste better with some chili sauce!)  I only made a small batch of twelve rostis (enough for the cupcake pan) and it was gone before I know it!  And it didn't take long to put together either!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sheldon Shines Brighter!

After Sidney Sheldon passed away a few years back, I was left with a huge void as to whose novels would ever hope to replace his books as my favourite read.  I confess that I have grown up reading his books ever since I was in form four, thirty four years ago and had been collecting each and every one of his novels ever since.  It all started when I was waiting for a friend at the Loke Yew Building in Kuala Lumpur one day after school, and it had been pouring like mad.  I took shelter in a small book store in that building and at first, only wanted to browse around when my eyes caught sight of this rather plain looking book with a single black rose tainted with blood.  That was the first thing that caught my attention about the book.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Puding Som-Som

Another long, cold rainy day and the kids are hungry again.  Not that it's a bad thing because I know that they will like anything served to them when they are hungry; well almost anything.  Anyway, it's been raining for two days in a row and I'm too lazy to go to the nearest grocery shop to buy ingredients in order to make something for tea.  So, once again we (this time, my wife and I!) raided the larder and found ingredients to make this old traditional dessert, Puding Som-Som (in Malay).  Just four basic ingredients!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gifts For The Groom

The theme for this set of gifts was gold!  However, I had to offset the glitter of too much gold with some soft yellow and white.  Of course the main trimmings for any wedding gift decorations would be the ribbons and for this I used a couple of sizes of ribbons including the ones with the wired edges to ensure that the ribbons remain puffed up when arranged on top of the gifts.

The bride had also decided that the pedestals on which the gifts would be placed ought to be square(ish), which made putting the gifts on top a bit more challenging.  I decided to put the floral arrangements on one corner of each of the pedestals and using the gifts to cover the other three quarter part of the pedestals which were empty.

The bride also requested a place (or 'tepak') on which the ring for the groom would be put.  It was a last minute thought for me to come up with something to match the other gifts.  The initial one was rather simple, but adding ribbons and some crystals around the base, made it look more presentable.  I am happy to note that the relatives from the grooms side were all smiles when told that were allowed to take the decorated pedestals home with them, and not just the gifts as is normally the custom.  Here's wishing, may the bride and groom live a long and happy life together!

Pan-Fried Steak

In the west, having steak for lunch is not something out of the ordinary, but having steak in the east, especially here in Malaysia, calls for a special occasion.  As usual that special occasion for me and my family is when all of us are home, plus the fact that all my children has been hankering for us to prepare steak.  Of course, it is not difficult to prepare, but our society has always looked at meat as something of an accompaniment to rice, which means it does not take center stage.

Anyway, for a juicy result, of course the only choice for steak is rib eye.  I cut it to about 1 centimeter thick then marinate with chopped garlic, ginger, some pepper and olive oil overnight.  Make sure the meat has come up to room temperature before you start cooking it.  I fried it in olive oil for one minute a side because I like my meat medium rare.  And make sure you rest the meat before serving. And steak is nothing without the gravy.  Do adjust the flavoring to your personal taste :-)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Persona Layered Cake

No, I didn't try this recipe because its name is similar to the brand name of the car I'm driving.  However, I did try it out (the cake that is!) because ryo@Ryoazhar has put it so simply that I had to give it a go.  Plus the fact that all my kids are at home (the eldest is back for the weekend!) so shrieks of sibling teasing one another had to be silenced a bit by filling their mouths with food, aside from the fact that the cold weather is running havoc on everyone's meal time!

The result was a bit like Tiramisu.  Only thing, if I were to make this again, I'd leave the milk out or I'd dunk the biscuits in milk for a much shorter time!  But, my critics were kind to me as they devoured the whole batch of pudding in one go amidst  high tones of conversation and laughter.  My pudding didn't manage to silence them.  But at least they enjoyed the pud, and that was more than I could as for.  So, if you want to unsuccessfully keep your kids quiet, give this recipe a try!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Zucchini Loaf

Moody weather we've been having of late and the fact that it is cold does nothing to rid me and my family of our hunger pangs.  So this evening, my daughter has been ranting for something to eat for tea insisting that her tummy is making all kinds of noise.   So, again, I raid my fridge and my larder, and lo and behold, I have just enough ingredients to make this loaf that I made many years ago when I was living in Mary Morris International Residence in Leeds.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Creme Caramel Comel

Today was team building day.  Well, at least where cooking was concerned.  Since one of my daughters wanted Creme Caramel so I decided to delegate the tasks of assembling the dessert.  I started the ball rolling by searching for the recipe from old cookbooks in my collection (but ended up asking one of my colleagues for it!) after which the missus sorted out the ingredients and my daughter mixed everything up and poured the mixture into individual containers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cupcake Makeover!

Taking time out for a while, and as usual, checking out the fridge.  I have quite a few cupcakes given to me during my wife's niece's wedding reception.  They're nice just as they are, but I thought I'd give them a make over by putting some frosting and for the purpose of presentation, tie them with tiny ribbons.

It didn't take me long to whip up the frosting because all the ingredients are in the larder, including the silver thingies!  After piping the frosting onto the cupcakes, the kids had just enough restrain to hold back from devouring the cakes to give me just enough time to snap the pictures!  After that, they went like hot cakes (actually they were cold!) and the frosting made them even more irresistible (no modesty here!) 

Well, guess it's back to marking until the next time out!  Ciao! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Polka Dot-Dot-Dot

It's the school holidays and there's a lot of things to be done (by the parents!) and things that children need to do to keep them occupied in order to keep boredom at bay.  It's quite surprising to note that kids nowadays (pardon me for saying this) lack the imagination to do things to occupy their free time.  Children nowadays need, shall I say, things that are bought to amuse themselves like computer or video games, comics or even board (bored!) games.  Quite different from the days when I (and my siblings and other children our age) would look around us for things, like discarded tins, rubber bands, boxes, slippers, rubber seeds or even mere pebbles, then create games that would make us forget about our boredom.  The key word here is creativity!

Well, recently I noticed a bit of that creativity when my girls helped the missus make Apam Polka Dot.  The Apam did not just end up with polka dots on them but the girls made swirls and squiggles and even did some writings (note the ones in the middle!)

I am not sharing this recipe (hehe!) because if you want it you can ask the missus (it's hers!)  If not, you can always surf the net for the many cooking blogs for the recipe!  Happy surfing! :-)