Wednesday, 30 June 2010


While tending to my garden, I noticed that my two elderflower trees were in full bloom with white cheerful bunches of sweet-smelling flowers. I could not help myself but to pluck some to try out this recipe that I've been dying to do....

Elderflower Cordial

10 elderflower heads
1 liter boiling water
600g caster sugar
1 lemon, sliced

Gently rinse over the elderflowers to remove any dirt or little creatures.
Pour the boiling water over the sugar in a very large mixing bowl. Stir well and leave to cool.
Add lemon slices and then the flowers.
Leave in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Strain through some muslin and bottle.

Monday, 28 June 2010

For the Cool in You

Nectarine Elderflower and Rose-scented cordial.

A refreshingly cool drink made from what was left of the nectarines poaching liquid.
All natural. No preservative. No colorant. Totally Delicious.

Poached Nectarine with Creme Fraiche

Poached Nectarine with Creme Fraiche

3 nectarines
1 cup water
1 cup elderflower cordial
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp rose water
crème fraiche
vanilla wafers (kammerjunkere) - optional

Put water, elderflower cordial, sugar, and rose water into a saucepan just large enough to hold the nectarines. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently to ensure 
all the sugar dissolves.

Reduce the heat and add 
the nectarines to the pan. Poach gently for 10-12 minutes, turning every so often, until 
they are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly before carefully peeling away 
the skins, cutting the fruit in half and removing the stones.

Increase the heat once more and boil the poaching liquid until it has reduced by two thirds and is syrupy. Allow the syrup 
to cool, then pour it over the nectarines. Chill until you are ready to serve.

June Blooms

A walk in the King's Garden.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Midsummer (Sankt Hans Aften)

In Denmark, it is a tradition that stretches all the way back to pagan times, when it was considered a celebration of the solstice. It is celebrated by lighting a large bonfire on the beach.
Historically, it was also a time when healers gathered medical supplies for the remainder of the year.

Instructions on how to celebrate Sankt Hans Day
taken from e-How

You will need:

* Blanket
* Chair
* Twigs and old clothes (optional)
* Picnic food
* Picnic basket

1. Head to the beaches on the night of June 23. Traditionally, the fires lit for Saint John are built all along the Danish coastline.

2. Purchase food and drink for a Danish picnic. Picnicking on Sankt Hans Aften remains a popular way to celebrate the holiday. Many cultural institutions, such as the Danish Museum, even host picnics on their grounds.

3. Build a witch effigy by tying sticks together in the shape of a person, and then placing clothes over the frame. Many Danes today have adopted the German tradition of placing a scarecrow-like effigy of a witch into the bonfires on the night of June 23.

4. Learn the lyrics to "Vi Elsker Vort Land." This is the national song of Denmark, and is sung while around the fire at nearly every Sankt Hans Aften celebration around Denmark.

5. Bring a chair and a blanket with you to the bonfires, as the beaches in Denmark can get quite cold in June.

6. Seek out a group of Danish teenagers who have recently graduated from high school. These kids participate in a new tradition in which they gather up all of their school notes and burn them in the Sankt Hans Aften bonfires to celebrate graduation.

7. Arrive at the coast early to select an area for yourself close to the fire. Before the fire is lit, there will likely be a speech by a local politician or writer, which means many people will arrive late, after the speech is over.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Celebrating Summer

Celebrating the long days of summer with friends.

Menu for the evening

Ayam Percik (Spicy Roasted Chicken)
Daging Dendeng (Spicy Beef in Sweet Soy Sauce)
Labu Udang Masak Lemak (Tiger Prawns and Butternut Squash in Coconut gravy)
Stir fried Chicken and Asparagus in Oyster Sauce
Pineapple and Cucumber Salad
Char Kuey Teow (special request from Mr Fauzi)

Chocolate Caramel Fudge Cake
Rhubarb Bread and Butter Pudding
Curry Puff (courtesy of Mak Siti)

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining,
the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing,
and the lawn mower is broken. "

~ James Dent

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Rhubarb Bread and Butter Pudding

Rhubarb Bread Butter Pudding

8 slices bread
3 eggs
3 tbsp sugar
300ml cream
Rhubarb jam

Preheat oven to 180C.
Spread bread thickly with butter and rhubarb jam.
Cut the bread into triangles and arrange them in a greased oven-proof dish.
Whisk together cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Pour over the bread and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Bali Hej

An annual event organised by the Indonesian Embassy here in Copenhagen.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Char Kuey Teow

There's nothing better on a summer day sitting out in the garden and whipping up some char kuey teow with some friends.

Char Kuey Teow
Stir-fried flat rice noodles

500g flat rice noodles (kuey teow)
3 cloves garlic. minced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
300 g prawns, shelled but leave the tails intact
150g boneless chicken breast, cubed
150 g mussels, shelled
150 g bean sprouts
100 g chives, cut into 3cm lengths
chili paste
2 eggs

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
a little sugar
1 tablespoon chili paste

Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed pot over high flame.
Fry shallots until fragrant. Add the garlic and chili paste and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add chicken stir fry until chicken is almost cooked through.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in the rice noodles, tossing them to heat through.
Then stir in the seasonings and stir thoroughly making sure the noodle is well coated with the seasoning. Add mussels and prawns.
Set the noodles away from the center of the wok and pour the beaten egg into the cleared space. Let the egg cook until just set, and then stir into the noodles.
Add the sprouts and chives and turn off the heat. Adjust seasoning and serve.

African Queen(s)

It was a fun day today having the ladies over.

We had planned a brunch over at my place and since the weather was nice and sunny, I thought it would be great fun to have it alfresco.
We had char kuey teow along with Janet's delicious scones, lemon curd, pineapple chutneys and rhubarb jam.

After the meal, Folake demonstrated the art of tying a traditional African headgear. It has been a long time since I played dress-up with my friends, and we had a great time indeed.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Banana Cake

Recipezaar's Banana Cake

1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed,
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven 180C.
Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
Stir in banana mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A Family Outing

A Magpie family taking advantage of the warm weather and the full sun...

In China, the magpie is a symbol of happiness and its song foretells prosperity; in Korea, it delivers good news and in Mongolia, it's a clever creature that controls the weather.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Canadian Buttermilk Pancake

Canadian Buttermilk Pancake
adapted from Delia Smith's recipe

120ml buttermilk
75 ml cold water
150g plain flour
½ level tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 large eggs, beaten
about 25-50g butter

Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
Whisk the buttermilk and cold water together in a jug and gradually whisk this into the bowl, slowly incorporating the flour with each new addition of liquid.
Finally, add the eggs a little at a time until you have a smooth batter.

Now place a large, solid frying pan over a medium heat, add 2 teaspoons of the butter. Then, using a tablespoon of batter per pancake, place 2 or 3 spoonfuls into the pan.
They will take about 1 minute to turn golden brown, then turn them over using a spatula and fork. Give them another 45 seconds on the other side.

Serve with lashings of pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausages and beef bacon.

Saturday, 12 June 2010


Rachel Allen's Scones
450g flour
Pinch of salt
20g baking powder
25g caster sugar
75g butter
2 eggs
200ml milk

Preheat the oven to 230°C.

Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl, add the caster sugar and mix. Rub in the butter and make a well in the centre.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the milk. Pour all but 60ml of this liquid into the dry ingredients and, using one hand, mix to a soft dough, adding more liquid if necessary.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until a dough is formed. Sprinkle with flour and gently roll out until it's 2-5cm (3/4-2in) thick. Cut with a round 5cm (2in) cutter into scones. Place on a lightly floured baking tray.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 7-10 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack. Serve split with butter and jam or with jam and a blob of whipped cream.