Friday, 30 November 2012

ChocoNuts Cookies

ChocoNuts Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup walnut, toasted and chopped
300g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
200g peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 175 C.
Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. 
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. 
Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. 
Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. 
Drop by large spoonfuls onto baking parchment.
Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I Feel Like Chicken Today!

So, we're having lunch at Mary's

The order of the day was food, fun and laughter.
I've never laughed so hard in my life.
Funny little life anecdotes were shared among friends, stories that should never be repeated...
oh, maybe one more time wouldn't hurt :)

Since it was a potluck lunch, everyone brought along a dish each
As if it were planned, we each brought a chicken dish
So what started out as a no-theme Bring-What-You-Like lunch had become a
So-Many-Ways-To-Cook-Chicken lunch!

My own Murgh Makhani (Spicy Indian Butter Chicken)

 Cecilia's Chicken Curry with Aubergine and Beancurd skin

Mary's Chicken Curry

 Gaye's Chicken in KachangMa

 YinYin's Chicken and Potatoes in Dark Soy Sauce

 Mary's Omelet with Sambal Tumis

For dessert, we had the delicious Miss Cecilia...
I'm sure she is delicious, but I was eyeing those scrummy Miss Mary's Seri Muka

Enough with the picture-taking nonsense, ladies!!
Now, FEED ME!!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

White Bread

White Bread

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups strong flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin C (optional)
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

In a microwave-proof container, heat the milk with butter  and honey on High for 1 minute.
Mix flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the warmed milk.
Turn mixer on low. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.
Turn the dough onto the work surface and knead for a minute or so by hand. Knead by folding the dough over itself and pushing out with the heel of your hands, not down. Rotate the dough and repeat. The dough is properly kneaded when you can pull it and it stretches without breaking. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Test the dough by pressing 2 fingers into it. If indents remain, the dough is adequately risen.
Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. 
To form a loaf, pat the dough into a rectangle, fold the long sides to the middle then fold under the ends. Pinch the seams closed and place in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam side down. Make sure the dough touches all sides of the pan. 
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise a second time for 20 minutes or until the top of the dough is nearly level with the top of the loaf pan. 
Preheat oven to 200C, place a large pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bring 3 cups water to a boil on the stove. Pour the hot water into the preheated pan to create a steam bath for the bread. This will make a crisp crust.
Slash dough down the middle of the loaf with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape during baking. Brush the top with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes until crust is golden. The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Immediately remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Country Life

Yeah, it's that time again...

Farmhouse #1

or Farmhouse #2

perhaps, Farmhouse #3...

I think I had enough.
I'm not gonna look no more.
Will have to make a decision sooner or later

Can't wait!!!

Just watch this space :)

Friday, 23 November 2012

Girl Friday

It has been awhile since we last met up for anything.

The girls decided to try out a new Indian eatery in town.
Judging from the online reviews this restaurant had been getting, we were set for a great lunch buffet.
On the food front, we were not disappointed.
But a lot had to be said about the ambience, or the lack of it.

Anyways, we made that up by cutting loose and just enjoying each other's company.

Cecilia enjoying her masala chai served the traditional way

Like as if lunch was not good enough, we proceeded to a nearby cafe for some desserts and coffee
after a quick visit and run-through at the nearby art gallery.
There never seemed to be enough time for us to do the things that we want to do together....
but, as I always say, there will always be time for a slice of cake!

some photos courtesy of Mdm Cecilia

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sunday Roast

on a Wednesday

Roast Beef

1 kg topside of beef

2 carrots, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp thyme
fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Pile all the chopped vegetables and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil, apple juice and balsamic vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place the vegetables into an ovenproof casserole dish.

Next, mix a little olive oil with salt and pepper and thyme, then rub all over the beef.
Heat a pan and sear the meat; turning the meat so all sides will be nicely browned and sealed. 
Then put the meat onto the the casserole dish with the vegetables and loosely covered with aluminium foil. 

Place the roast in the oven for one hour (this will give you rare meat).

Remember to remove the foil halfway through cooking so that the meat and vegetable will caramelised.
For medium-rarecook for a further 15 minutes  or a further half an hour for well-done.

When the beef is cooked to your liking, remove the beef from the oven, cover with foil and allow it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables into a serving dish.
Reserve the pan juices and reduce further to make the gravy.
Check the seasoning.

Carve the beef thinly.
Serve with the gravy  along with the roasted vegetables.