Archive for November, 2011

  • Nov
  • 21
  • 2011

back entry 101

back of house

Welcome. This is the back entry to our home aka the shoe room. Yes, we go in and out through the back door. Its much easier as this is where we store all our shoes. The front entrance has not been touched yet as we still need to figure out what we want to do with it.  We’ll come to that soon…the joys of renovating are never ending!

photo before

This picture was taken just after my husband started ripping out the 40 year old wallpaper (that was glued on the brick masonry wall). Sorry for the poor quality photo, it was taken with an iPhone (of course). I am pretty dissapointed that I didn’t get a photo of the wallpaper while it was still attached. This shoe room/entry reno was a spur of the moment thing. I walked out one day and realised he started ripping it off. No time to get the camera out!

back entrance

A bit of scavenging from the garage and we have ourselves a wooden welcome rustic sign. Now this area has definitely brightened up 10 times more than what it was before.

Catch more glimpses of our home renovation with before and after photos, here.


  • Nov
  • 19
  • 2011

curry laksa version 2

curry laksa

Yet another laksa post from me because I am a fanatic laksa fan. Here is the original post, I posted a few months ago when I first learnt how to make it from scratch-no bottle paste anymore yee-ha! This time, I made a few extra changes.

If you love cooking malaysian food, you most probably have all these ingredients sitting at home in your pantry/fridge. All you have to do is get the fresh stuff like boy choy, bean sprouts etc. The only downside is probably having to toast the belacan (shrimp) which is super smelly-makes-you-want-to-gag, but because I’m all-things-malaysian, I absolutely love the smell! Though, hubby’s orders: please toast them outside. And yes, please do. You do not want your house smelling like off shrimps ;)

 

RECIPE FOR MALAYSIAN CHICKEN CURRY LAKSA
Adapted from Almost Bourdain, with slight modifications

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 50 mins

Ingredients

For the paste:
20 Asian shallots
10 cloves garlic
10 dried chillies, soaked in warm water for 30mins
3 tsp toasted belacan
3 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked in warm water for 5 mins
6 candlenuts (buah keras)

Other ingredients:
3 tbsp curry powder (I used Baba’s Meat)
1 kg egg noodles (hokkien noodles), blanched
24 shelled prawns, deveined
2 chicken breast, cooked and sliced
2 big bunch of choy sum, cut
3 stalks lemon grass, bruised
2 sprig curry leaves
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 can coconut milk
200 g tofu puffs, halved
300 g bean sprouts, blanched and tail removed
3 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 packet fried fish cakes, sliced thinly
5 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Fried shallots, for garnishing
Spring onions, for garnishing

Method

1. To make the paste: Mix ingredients and pound into a paste using a blender.

2. Heat up oil in a medium sized pot, and stir the prawns for 5 mins until cooked evenly. Remove prawns and set aside.

3. Saute the blended paste, lemon grass, curry powder and curry leaves until the oil separates and is fragrant. This should take about 7 – 10 mins.

3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

5. Add the coconut cream/milk and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly to prevent it from curdling.

6. Turn of the stove and add tofu puffs, fish cake, choy sum and some salt to taste then give it a final stir to coat all the ingredients.

To serve:  Divide noodles into individual bowls. Pour the hot curry laksa evenly ontop of the noodles into each bowl and then spread the prawns, chicken, eggs and the garnishes. Serve immediately.

Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.

 

 


  • Nov
  • 17
  • 2011

apple crumble cake with vanilla custard

apple cake
We always have granny smith apples in our fruit basket at home. Heaps of them. 1- Because they are cheap and 2, because we love eating them just like that. So whenever I’m invited over to someone’s place for tea and need to make something easy/quick, this cake is exactly what comes to mind.

apple cake1

I think from memory, I’ve made this cake 4 times over the last few months and everytime it has been a hit! And here is where I stole this fabulous recipe from, My Recipe Stash. But of course, with my own slight variations to it.

apple2

It is very soft, crumbly and deliciously good when served with a dash of vanilla custard or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And don’t forget the cuppa, they go hand in hand :)

 

RECIPE FOR APPLE CRUMBLE CAKE WITH VANILLA CUSTARD
Cake recipe adapted from My Recipe Stash with slight variations

Serves: 12
Prep time: 20 mins
Bake time: 60 mins

Ingredients for the cake batter

1.5 cups self raising flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
2 granny smith apples, skin and core removed and cubed

Method for cake batter

1. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients such as oil, vanilla essence and yogurt with a manual whisk. Then gradually whisk in the eggs one at a time.

2. In another large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients and fold them in gently into the wet bowl.

3. Add the apples in and stir to combine.

4. Pour the cake batter into the tin and top it with a crumble layer (see recipe below on how to make crumble)

 

Ingredients for the crumble layer

3 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)
Sprinkling of cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Line and grease the bottom and sides of a 22cm springfoam tin.

2. Mix the crumble ingredients, rubbing together with your fingertips to create crumbs.Sprinkle evenly ontop of cake batter.

3. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the crumble is golden and when a skewer inserted comes out clean.

4. Leave to cool and serve with vanilla custard

 

Ingredients for vanilla custard
Adapted from Taste

1 cup milk
1 cup thickened cream
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla essense)
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup caster sugar

Method for vanilla custard

1. Combine milk and cream in a small saucepan. Add in vanilla essence and place over medium heat. Whisk constantly using a hand whisk for 5 minutes or until thickens. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat.

2.Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Pour hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

3. Return mixture to saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes or until custard thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon (do not allow custard to boil, as it might curdle).

 

 


  • Nov
  • 15
  • 2011

thai inspired pattaya (omelette) fried rice | nasi goreng pattaya

basil pattaya fried rice

Nasi goreng pattaya, or simply nasi pattaya, is a Malaysian dish made by covering or wrapping fried rice, in fried egg (omelette). It is often served with chili sauce, cucumber, and/or keropok. The name comes from Pattaya, Thailand.

Source: Wikipedia

basil pattaya fried rice

In Malaysia, nasi pattaya is just chicken fried rice wrapped in omelette. The flavours are basically the same as you would find in any nasi goreng. This dish was inspired by Secret Recipe (again! My last pasta dish was also inspired by SR) when they extended their menu and included a Thai Inspired Pattaya Fried Rice, it was so irrisistably good!  This is a thumbs up from the hubby!

basil pattaya fried rice

And because I am so in love with chilli, I made my own special batch (aside from my daughter and husband’s) for me to indulge in. If you love spicy food, it taste even better when its hot. You’ll be wiping your nose every second but its all worth it!  Can you spot out those little nasty buggers in there? Don’t bite it of you can’t handle it. Hubby accidentally did and in his words ‘ I felt like a knife was slicing through my throat’. Oops!

RECIPE FOR THAI INSPIRED PATTAYA FRIED RICE/NASI GORENG PATTAYA
Inspired by Secret Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients

3 cups cooked basmati rice (you can also use leftover rice)
16 prawns, shelled and deveined
1 chicken breast, cut into small bite size chunks
1 bulb garlic, sliced
Handful of basil leaves
1 chilli, cut
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup baby peas
1 large red capsicum
4 eggs, beaten (to make omelette)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (for rice colouring)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp basil infused olive oil (optional)
1 tsp chilli oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Heat oil in a wok and fry chicken pieces and prawns until cook. Remove and set aside.

2. Using the same oil, sautee the garlic until slightly brown then add the vegetables and chilli.

3. Add in the rice, dark soy sauce and basil infused olive oil and stir till evenly coated.

4. Season well with salt and pepper.

5. In a large pan, heat up a little oil and add the beaten egg (1 egg for 1 pan, covering the entire pan). Flip once and remove onto a plate. Do this for the remaining 3 eggs to make 4 serves of omelette.

6. Dish the rice from the wok into the middle of the omelette and cover the rice completely with egg. Drizzle with chilli oil and serve immediately.


  • Nov
  • 14
  • 2011

sew your love

cushion love

I like being creative in my spare time, not that I get much time to myself, but when I do, I make use of it even if it means doing something small around the house.

cushion love

A few months ago, we bought a second hand two seater fabric couch on Gumtree Melbourne. It was the perfect couch  and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the ad said ‘Freedom couch $60′. Freedom! Freedom is one of my favourite furniture stores in Melbourne, but with a price tag of course. Our first couch we bought was  from Freedom when they had a massive sale and I vouch its one of my best purchases. If (God forbid) something would happen to my house, I’d drag the couch out with me-darn I love that thing! (pictured above)

So back to this Gumtree couch, its a beigy grey colour and came with 2 matching cushions (seriously, who would put cushions on a sofa in the exact same colour and fabric?!!) Anyhoo, I gave it a good scrub & wash, got out a needle & a thread and started sewing my love on…And of course, filled it with a new fluffier cushion insert!

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