• Jun
  • 07
  • 2014

satay sauce | peanut sauce

My sister has been asking for satay the past few weeks, and it just never happened. So this week, she firmly said “I’m making satay!” and I told her I’d make the peanut sauce to complement her satay. I’ve never made peanut sauce (kuah kacang) ever, but I was excited to give it a go. Although I’m not a huge satay fan, I do love my satay sauce and we usually eat it with nasi impit (rice cubes). You know how westerners love their dipping sauce? Well, I smother my rice cubes in this peanut dipping sauce. So, I was up at 1am (dont ask why!) cooking this. And I’m glad it turned out delicious!

*excuse the dark poor quality pic, it was taken at night*

I went on google and typed ‘kuah kacang’ and clicked the first link I saw. I’m glad it had really good photos (because we eat with our eyes right?) so I used this recipe.

 

RECIPE FOR SATAY SAUCE/PEANUT SAUCE/KUAH KACANG

Adapted from this recipe with slight adjustments
Makes: a big work!
Prep & cook time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

600 gm peanuts
3 onion, finely diced
½ cup dried chillies -soak in hot water for 30mins & blend
1 cup palm sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2-3 cup water
Salt to taste

Method

1. In a large wok, dry fry the peanuts, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn easily. This would take about 10 minutes.

2. Remove from wok and soak with cold water. Using a food processor, process the peanuts. The consistency you’re looking for is not smooth like a paste, but more texturally lumpy. Just make sure all the peanuts have been processed thoroughly & there are not huge bits.

3. Heat up wok again with oil and then fry the onions until aromatic. Add in the blended dried chillies and cook until the oil separates. This should take 15-20mins.

4. Add the processed nuts and 2-3 cups water. Bring to a boil then add in palm sugar, brown sugar and salt. Simmer on low for another hour.

5. Once the hour has reached, you’ll notice the sauce thickening up and has darkened in colour. The oil should also separate and you’ll know its ready. Serve with satay and/or rice cubes (nasi impit)

 


  • May
  • 05
  • 2014

shepherd’s pie | cottage pie

When you’re a busy mumma to 3 small kids, sometimes you just need a quick meal, but tasty of course. A lot of shepherds pie that I’ve had in the past, seem to have too much meat and very little mash. In my family, shepherds pie is made with a ratio of 1:1. Equal amount of meat to potato, can never have too much mash?!

 

RECIPE FOR SHEPHERD’S PIE/COTTAGE PIE
Serves: 4 in a 13x22cm (5×9″) oven dish
Prep time: 30minutes
Cook time: 20minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g beef mince
1 carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup peas
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp stock paste (If using liquid stock,add some flour to thicken it)
A couple of pinches of mixed herb
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
500g potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/4 cup milk
50g butter
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Then saute  onions & garlic.

3. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until tender (10-15 minutes).

4. Add beef mince, a couple of pinches of mixed herbs and cook until mince is brown all over before adding the vegetables.

5. Once vegetables are added, put some stock, worcestershire sauce & tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes making sure to stir every few minutes.

6. Back to potatoes: Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add milk & butter then mash until smooth. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

7. In an oven dish, layer the pie filing and then mashed potatoes, and top it off with some mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot with some garlic bread!


  • May
  • 05
  • 2014

pumpkin soup

 

Its been very cold lately in Melbourne and its not even winter yet! Particularly in the past week, it has been raining everyday so my husband has been asking for winter comfort food-pumpkin soup! He absolutely loves pumpkin and especially that we’ve grown our own pumpkin this season, he was very excited almost like a little kid receiving a present, lol!

This is a very simple and easy recipe, but according to my husband, superbly tasty!

 

RECIPE FOR PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
400g pumpkin, peeled roughly cut into cubes
1/2 tsp cummin
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 cups stock (or I use a homemade chicken stock paste and use 2tsp)
2 cups water (add more water if you’re using a stock paste)
salt and pepper to taste

Method

1.Heat butter and saute garlic.
2. Add the pumpkin pieces, cummin, stock and water.
3. Cover with a lid and bring it to a boil. Then let simmer for 20minutes.
4. Using a handheld stick blender, blend all the ingredients thoroughly in the pot. If you’re using a blender, wait a couple of hours until all the ingredients have cooled down before putting it in your blender.
5. Once blended, add salt, pepper and thickened cream and let simmer again for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with some bread on the side!


  • Apr
  • 30
  • 2014

cekodok pisang | banana balls

cekodok pisang | banana balls

IMG_20140430_103241

 

My morning tea today with my lovely girls, while watching them colour in and do some paper activities. They even helped me with making the banana balls, though flour fight everywhere… but thats alright, as long as they are having fun!

 

 RECIPE FOR CEDOKOK PISANG/BANANA BALLS

Ingredients

400 grams very ripe bananas
400grams plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups oil

 

Method

1. Heat the oil in a wok.
2. Mashed the bananas thoroughly and then add the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.Combine until evenly mix.
3. Once the oil is heated, drop in about a teaspoon of the mixture to form a ball shape (or somewhat similar)
4. Deep fry both sides until golden brown and remove and let cool.


  • Apr
  • 27
  • 2014

raspberry, almond and white chocolate tea cake

In our family, we love berries. My girls can eat a whole punnet of berries in 1 sitting.

A few weeks ago we made a blueberry lemon butter cake, so this weekend, my eldest and I made this lovely rustic raspberry, almond and white chocolate tea cake.

All the ingredients needed to make this cake.

RECIPE FOR RASPBERRY, ALMOND AND WHITE CHOCOLATE TEA CAKE
Adapted from this recipe
Slices: 12 (20cm springfoam pan)
Bake time: 50 mins

Ingredients
150g (5.3oz) softened, unsalted butter
2/3 cup (150g/5.3oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
50ml milk
1 cup (150g/5.3oz) self-raising flour, sifted
150g  (5.3oz) almond meal, sifted
3/4cup (135g/4.75oz) white chocolate chips
150g fresh or frozen raspberries
2/3 cup (50g/1.8oz) flaked almonds
icing sugar, to dust

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F). Grease and line base and sides of a 20cm springfoam pan.
2. Beat the butter and caster sugar until thick and pale.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the milk, then beat to combine.
5. Fold in the flour and almond meal, then fold in the chocolate chips and raspberries.
6. Spoon into the pan, and smooth flat.
7. Bake for 50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
8. Cool cake in pan for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
9. Sprinkle generously with a layer of flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar.


  • Apr
  • 22
  • 2014

{giveaway} submit your creative work!

 

I absolutely love creative work! Drawings, paintings, model making, soap making, digital illustrations, photography, patchwork etc- pretty much anything pretty gets me excited. I also love seeing creative designs out there and encourage everyone to get crafty and imaginative.

So… I thought hey won’t it be cool to showcase your work with in my studio! If you’ve got talent, and would like to share your creative work, please email or message me your photos and you’ll be entered into our competition for a chance to win 2 wall decals courtesy of Simply Impressions! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any background in design! You can be a mum, a student, a lawyer…everyone’s invited to participate. Lets make this fun! So what are you waiting for? Look through your art piles or creative something new; you have until Sunday 27th April to send in your work to me. All the best and I’m super duper excited to see your creations xx

PRIZE INFO

Winner will receive 2 wall decals, chosen by Simply Impressions worth up to $30. This prize is not redeemable for cash. This competition is sponsored by www.Simplyimpressions.com and is not affiliated with Facebook.

 

SUBMISSION

Terms and conditions:

Submissions are open from 22nd April to 27th April 2014. You MUST own copyright to the work, meaning, the work was made by YOU and not someone else.

All submission photos must be emailed to iva [at] inmystudio.com.au OR send via Facebook message.Do not upload it on Facebook and tag us. Strictly via email or message.

Entries are open worldwide. More than 1 entry per person is welcomed.

 

VOTING

Terms and conditions

Voting will commence on 28th April to 2nd May 2014.

All photos will be published on In my studio’s Facebook page  and the public may vote.

The photo with the most amount of ‘likes’ will win the prize.

Only 1 Winner will be chosen & will be announced on Saturday 3rd May AEST.


  • Apr
  • 17
  • 2014

creamy garlic butter prawns


When you have 3 small kids, making dinner can be quite tough when you have 1 clingy baby, 1 throwing tantrum toddler and 1 demanding little girl. Some days, I just want to get dinner over and done with, so this is a perfect meal to make in just under 15 minutes.  Although it looks simple, its packed full of flavour! If I find I have a bit extra time, I’ll make some steam veges on the side, or whip up a quick soup to go with it.

 

RECIPE FOR CREAMY GARLIC BUTTER PRAWNS

Servings: 2
Cook time: 10-15mins

Ingredients
2-3  clove garlic, crushed
1 – 2 tbsp butter
20 prawns, deveined (about 200g)
1 cup thickened cream (or less)
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp stock paste (if you’re using a liquid stock, you might need more cornflour to thicken it up)
Salt & pepper to taste

Method
1. Saute butter and garlic for a few minutes then add the cream and stock, cover and bring to a boil.
2. In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp cornflour with 1 tbsp water then gradually add it to the cream mixture.
3. Add prawns in a single layer and cook for a minute on each side. Stir until sauce thickens.
3. Finally, serve hot with some white rice*

*Making rice will also take approx 15 minutes, so make the rice first before making your creamy garlic butter prawns. Your rice will be ready just in time when you finish cooking the prawns :)


  • Apr
  • 02
  • 2014

malay chicken curry

I love curries. Especially Malaysian curries. There are so many curry variations out there but the ones I love most is this malay curry and mamak curry. Mamak curry is basically Indian curry but the difference is that mamak’s version is darker and spicier whereas malay curry is a lot more creamier and sort of yellowish in colour.

Malay curry goes really well with pulut kunyit (yellow sticky rice) but I didn’t have time to make it, so we just had white rice instead, with some prawn cracker and steamed pumpkins on the side. This recipe was kind of put together instinctively, so hopefully I can do justice with measurements because it tastes absolutely delicious. Its great for those who dont like their curries too spicy and want a creamier texture.

 

RECIPE FOR MALAY CHICKEN CURRY

Servings: 2
Cook time: 45mins

Ingredients
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tbsp Babas curry powder
300grams thigh/maryland pieces (use boneless if you wish)
1 clove
1 star anise
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 potato, quartered
2 tsp chicken stock paste/cube ( I use homemade asian stock paste)
½ cup coconut cream
1/2 cup water (more or less)
Salt to taste (be careful with salt if you’re already using stock)

 

Method
1. Heat oil and saute onions in a small to medium size pot. Add the spices and fry until fragrant for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the curry powder and chicken and cook until chicken is just cooked.
3. Add water, stock and potatoes. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15-20 mins.
3. Pour in coconut milk and season with salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Finally, serve with rice or pratha (roti/bread).


  • Mar
  • 30
  • 2014

homemade chicken nuggets

I was making chicken stock paste today when I realised I minced more chicken that I actually needed so I instantly thought of making some quick, homemade chicken nuggets using the extra chicken mince. Because why not? My kids love them. You can bake it if you want to opt for the healthy version but today I felt a bit naughty so I shallow fried them ;)

But please do not use chicken breast. Its dry! Use boneless chicken thigh or boneless maryland  fillets, please… with a bit of fat :)

Since this recipe was made up by me, I basically just used my cooking instinct and whatever I had in the kitchen to put together this batch of nuggets, which surprisingly turned out better than what I had expected. Its full of flavour! Let me try and put the recipe into proper quantities…

 

RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS
Prep & cook time: 30minutes
Serves: 10 round patties (roughly 6cm diameter)

 

Ingredients

2 stalk spring onion (white part only)
1 clove garlic
1/2 carrot (you can add any type of veges you want)
1 inch leek
1 egg (halved in separate bowls)
300g boneless chicken thigh/maryland
1 cup Breadcrumbs mixed with 1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp mixed herbs (optional)

 

Method

1. In a food processor, add chicken , spring onion, garlic clove, carrot and leek and process until evenly minced.
2. Add add in half egg and salt & pepper then pulse until combined.
3. Heat some oil in a medium sized pan. (If baking, see method below**)
4. Roll and shape the chicken mince into nuggets. I made it into balls and gently flatten them with my thumb.
5. Dip all sides into the egg and then quickly cover it in breadcrumb mixture.
6. Lay them in the hot pan and slowly shallow fry the nuggets until golden brown.

**For a low calorie version, Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Place nuggets on a non stick baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes at 220 degrees Celsius.


  • Mar
  • 29
  • 2014

salted caramel popcorn

 

When my sister in law came over tonight and suggested we make ‘caramel popcorn’, I was reminded of my childhood days in Malaysia when we used to go to the cinemas & buy caramel popcorn. I don’t know why in Australia they only have 1 flavour – only salty popcorn, but in Malaysia they have a few different flavours, chocolate coated popcorn, caramel popcorn…mmm! This recipe is just a basic recipe my sister in law found, but its so gooey, crunchy and delicious!

 

RECIPE FOR SALTED CARAMEL POPCORN
Adapted from this recipe, with modifications

Ingredients
5 tbsp oil
1/2 cup popping corn

caramel:
100g butter
3/4 cup sugar
salt (to sprinkle over)

Method

1. Line a tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of popping corn. If corn slowly turns around in a circle then oil is hot enough.
2. Add remaining popping corn. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. When corn starts popping, shake saucepan gently. Remove from heat when corn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl, discarding any unpopped corn.
3. Make caramel: Combine butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden.
4. Remove from heat. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated. Sprinkle some salt over caramel. Set aside to cool. Break into pieces. Serve.

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