Friday, November 27, 2009

Chocolate Chips Cookies

My eldest son and his High School friends are planning to spend a night at Port Dickson ( a beach front along the coast of Peninsula Malaysia) for BBQ tomorrow. He is 18 years old and has just completed his Pre-University studies this month. I know his friends well as they used to frequent my home when they are in High School. They love to visit me as I always stuff from with my bakes. So, it was not a surprise that they requested that I bake them something to munch when they have their night out tomorrow. The consensus was "Chocolate Chip Cookies".

Chocolate Chip Cookies it shall be. Baked a batch (just the way they like them... gooey inside and crispy outside) so that the boys can fill their tummies tomorrow.

Chocolate Chip Cookies


230gm butter
200gm brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon powder
360gm low protein flour (cake flour)
1 tsp sodium bicarbonate
1/2 tsp salt
200gm chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven at 170 degrees C.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Add in eggs (1 at a time) and continue creaming.
  4. Add in vanilla essence.
  5. Fold in flour, cinnamon powder, sodium bicarbonate and salt till well combined.
  6. Add in chocolate chips
  7. Scoop out the batter with an ice-cream scoop onto a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanks Giving

It's Thanksgiving Day today in Malaysia. Despite the fact that it is not a National Holiday here, Thanksgiving is still celebrated especially amongst the American community here.

This year my Hubby and I were invited by his colleague (an American) to his Thanksgiving Dinner (this is a yearly affair for us). It is tonight and I have been requested by the host to bake a Cherry Pie. Everything was set and the ingredients were bought. However, early this week, Dearest Hubby was informed that he had to attend to an urgent
meeting in Beijing. Had to fly off to Beijing, China on Tuesday night and could only be home by Friday. That means... we have to miss the Thanksgiving Dinner. It was so last minute. Felt bad for disappointing the host (especially not being able to bring the Cherry Pie there). Sorry, Miriam and Bill. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving party.

Anyway, since the ingredients are prepared, I decide to go ahead and bake the Cherry Pie. This is my 1st attempt to bake a Cherry Pie (as Cherries are had to come by here). Found this wonderful and extremely easy recipe in Recipezaar called " Best Cherry Pie" This recipe has won a blue ribbon at the county fair in Vicksburg, MS. It turned out well and taste delicious.
Here's the recipe:

Best Cherry Pie (by Luby Luby Kuby, Recipezaar)

Ingredients :
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter, softened
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans pitted tart cherries, drained and reserving 1/2cup juice
1/4 tsp red food colouring (I omitted it)
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp lemon juice
short crust pastry for a double crust 9 inch pie

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degree C
  2. Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice
  3. In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt
  4. Mix together cherry juice, food colouring, almond extract and lemon juice in another bowl.
  5. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Add in cherries and mix well.
  7. Add in butter and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
  8. Pour the cherry mixture into the pie crust and finish top with lattice pie crush.
  9. Bake for 50 minutes or till crush is golden.
Gonna have this Cherry Pie with my children tonight for Thanksgiving.
To those celebrating... Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fatt Koh (Steamed Rice Cake)

Fatt Koh (Steamed Rice Cake) or Huat Kueh in Hokkien is a must for Chinese during prayers. Every 1st and 15th of each Lunar month, the Chinese will offer this cake at the altar for prayers. "Fatt " or "Huat" means prosperity while "Koh" or "Kueh" means cake. It is made from rice flour like muffins and normally pink in colour. A good Fatt Koh is one that cracks in the middle resembling a "smile". It is sold in abundance on the eve of the 1st or 15th of each Lunar month in shops or stalls as not many people make them by themselves. My children like them but I hardly buy them as I find store bought ones too sweet for my taste. Moreover, I do not like to consume the colouring that is used to made them sweet pink.

Thanks to my gym buddy, Fiona, I am now able to make my own Fatt Koh that is less sweet and no colouring added. This is a foul-proof recipe that her mother-in-law perfected after 3 years of experimenting!!!. She has been using this recipe every month and I have tried it many times too!. Result has always been PERFECT!!! My children will be smiling from ear to ear everytime I make them.

Huat Kueh

Ingredients :

1 bowl cooked rice

½ pc crushed wine yeast biscuit (chow paeng)

2 tbsp water

1 ½ cup sugar

4 ½ cup water

500gm rice flour (1 packet)

1 ½ tsp – 2 tsp ENO fruit salt


1) Cool cooked rice in a container.

2) Add 2 tbsp water and sprinkle crushed wine yeast biscuit on the rice.

3) Stir until thoroughly mixed and leave to ferment for 3 days 2 nights (ie if mix on Monday it will be ready on Wednesday)

4) Blend fermented rice into blender with sugar and 1 cup water.

5) Add in rice flour and the rest of the water.

6) Be sure that there is no lumps in the mixture.

7) Keep in airtight container for 7 hours for fermentation.

8) Sprinkle ENO on batter.

9) Stir well and pour into moulds (with paper cups).

10) Steam for 15minutes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Garbage Enzyme

I have always been an advocate when it comes to greening the earth. I would play my part (even though it is small) in minimizing my carbon foot prints on the earth. To me the 3R's (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) is most important when it comes to waste management. I keep a container by my kitchen to collect the water used for washing the rice, vegetable and fruits to be used to water my plants. I would also collect rain water for the same purpose. (since rainfall is abundant here in Malaysia). I also diligently segregate my garbage for recycling.

Apart from the many efforts I do, I have found that making garbage enzyme is a very beneficial and effective way to greening the earth. It involves fermenting fruit peels or vegetable with sugar and water to produce and enzyme so powerful yet safe for household use. I made my own garbage enzyme from citrus fruit peels (as I like the citrus scent) .
I have been using it since the beginning of this year. I am using it for mopping the floor, washing dishes and fertilizing my plants. Its many uses are :
  • as a household cleaning liquid - mix a small cupful of enzyme with a bucket of water when mopping the floor. The floor will be squeaky clean. No floor cleaner needed.
  • removing odour, mold and grime from kitchen and toilets
  • Insect repellent - spray small enzyme mixed with water onto your plants or around the house and you will see the insects running away.
  • Make the laundry cleaner without excessive use of detergent
  • Can be added to the shampoo
  • makes dish washing a breeze


Dilute with water

Enzyme for fertilizer1:100 or 1:500 or 1:1000
Enzyme for insecticide1:1000
Enzyme for pesticide1:100
For anti odour / air freshener1:200
As plant hormones to get more flowers and fruits1:500

When the enzyme is diluted with water, it becomes more effective.

Explanation: When diluting with water for the above ratio of 1:1000, it means
1cc of enzyme is added to 1000cc of water

To enhance the nutrients and reduce the side effects of the chemicals in shampoos, dish-washing liquids, detergents:
Add one teaspoon of enzyme to every 500cc of shampoos, dish-washing liquids, detergents.

What is Garbage Enzyme?

Garbage Enzyme is a complex organic substance of protein chains and mineral salts and juvenile hormones.

Functions of Garbage Enzyme is to
- resolve / decompose
- transform / change
- compose / make up / combine
- catalysis

As a result of catalysis, ozone is produced which can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and this in turn reduces global warming.

This enzyme can be produced easily with the organic waste from our kitchens.

During enzyme production, O3 + NO3 + CO3 are generated and these could help purify and whiten the clouds in the sky. Those clouds that trap lots of heavy metals appear dark. Those dark clouds cause more heat to be trapped on earth due to the greenhouse effect. O3 (ozone) from the garbage enzymes could reduce the heavy metals in the clouds and this would reduce global warming.

More NO3 (nitrite) in the air is useful as nutrients for the plants and soil.

Use Enzymes to Reduce Global Warming

If every household makes and uses enzymes, it would help tremendously in the reduction of global warming.

Here is how you can make your own garbage enzyme.

enzyme production ingredient 1

Black sugar is needed for making garbage enzyme.

Brown or any raw unprocessed sugar can also be used but never use white sugar.

enzyme production ingredient  2

Kitchen waste is another ingredient used for the production of garbage enzyme.

Leftover cooked food from meals like vegetables is usable too but rinse off any gravy or sauces from them first before using. Never use any kind of meat! Fruit skins should be taken from fruits like apple, orange, pineapple, pear, watermelon, grape, lemon, guava but don't use durians!

** I only use orange and lemon peels as I prefer the citrus scent***

enzyme production process
An example: Add 300g of sugar + 900g of fruit skins + 3000g of water and mix well in a 5000cc plastic bottle and cap tightly. Keep in a cool dry place at room temperature. Release the gases formed once a day for the first month. Make sure it is re-capped tightly each time after the gas release. For the 2nd and 3rd months, only release any gases if necessary. Sometimes, there is a white layer on the surface of the enzyme solution during fermentation. Should worms appear in your enzyme solution, don't panic. Add in a handful of sugar, mix well and cap the bottle tightly. They will disappear overnight!
enzyme production in bottles

These bottles contain kitchen waste with sugar and water.

Fermentation will take place in the bottles for 3 months. Then after filtration and removal of the residue, garbage enzyme is obtained. The residue can be used again for a new batch of production by adding fresh garbage. The residue can also be dried, then blended and buried in the ground as a fertilizer.

enzyme produced and ready for use

These bottles of garbage enzyme are ready for dilution with water to be used.

Give it a try!!! Garbage enzyme is now sold commercially. However, why pay for it when you can make your own!!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Purple Rice Buns

Sometimes, I would make plain buns (without fillings). The buns can be eaten plain or with butter, jam or kaya.

Purple Rice Buns


500gm High Protein Flour (Bread Flour)
60 gm Low Protein Flour (Cake Flour)
10 gm instant yeast
40gm purple rice powder
30 gm Horlicks
60gm sugar
9gm salt
1 egg
250ml fresh milk
150ml whipping cream

Method :
  • Mix all ingredients in a mixer.
  • Knead till gluten is fully developed and dough is elastic, smooth, non sticky and does not stick to the sides of the mixing bowl.
  • Cover with a damp towel and allow the dough to prove till double in size (about 60 minutes)
  • Punch out the dough and divide it into balls of 50gm each.
  • Shape them into balls and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Flatten each dough and roll to your desired shape. (at this point, you can add in fillings of your choice)
  • Place all dough in a baking tray (lined with parchment paper).
  • Prove for about 45minutes or till dough double in size.
  • Brush with egg wash and top with black and white sesame seeds.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of
  • 180C for 13-15minutes
  • Remove buns immediately from tin onto a cooling rack. Serve.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Colour coding

I am not Martha Stewart nor am I one in the making. Nevertheless, as a homemaker, I am always looking for ways to make my life easier. Call it home improvement.

Many of you will be shocked to hear that I enjoy ironing clothes. (a chore that many prefer to put aside if given a choice). I find it therapeutic. The joy of seeing how a creased shirt magically turn smooth and crisp when the iron glides over it always bring a smile to my face. With a family of 5, I do have quite a lot of ironing to do. I would iron clothes almost everyday. To ensure that the clothes that have been ironed are sorted and ease for the owners to claim them is maximized, I resort to colour coding the hangers. I assign a specific colour for each member of the family. I use blue hangers for my eldest son, green for my second boy, pink for my girl, black for my hubby and purple for myself. Just like the picture below.

So, clothes are hung according to the colour of the hangers. I will make it a point to arrange them according to the colours during my ironing routine. In this way, once ironing is completed, all that is needed to be done is for the owner of the clothing to come and scoop up their clothes and keep into their own wardrobe. No more running through the line of clothing looking for their belongings and have each others clothing in their wardrobe by mistake. On top of that, their wardrobe looks good too (with one a single colour range in each wardrobe). If there is an odd one out, it can be easily identified and returned to the rightly owner.

Simple yet effective.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

You Are My Sunshine

Some time back, Mommy Dearest gave me 5 seedling of sunflower. Planted them in the planter in front of my house. Initially they were striving well in their new home until one day a neighbour's cat came and stepped on 2 of my seedlings... killing them instantly.
Left with 3 seedlings, I was pretty skeptical if they could survive another invasion by the nasty cat. Luckily, they did and grow into 3 lovely sunflower plants with many blooms. Each one of them had a flower blooming since last week. They were so cheerful and bright that I have decided to take pictures of them daily to record their majestic display of vibrant yellow.

Day 2 - after bloom

Day 3
Day 4
Day 6
Now that they are a week old, they are starting to dry up. Soon it would be time to harvest these wonderful flower. Can't wait to feast on the home grown sunflower seeds!!!
Reckon I will be able to have plenty of sunflower seeds to feast on as there are still many blooms on those 3 plants that I have!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Marbled Green Tea Chiffon Cake

Today I had the urge to bake something different. Instead of the normal green tea chiffon cake that I would bake once in a while, I decided to tweak it a little. (trying to be adventurous).

So.... I considered baking a green tea vanilla chiffon cake. Since I only had an 18" chiffon cake tin, I will have to use the same amount of ingredients and then divide it into half for green tea and the other for vanilla.

The end result was pretty good. See the lovely pattern on the cake.

Marbled Green Tea Chiffon Cake (18cm chiffon cake tin)

Ingredients :
  1. 4 nos. egg yolk (size : grade A)
  2. 40ml corn oil
  3. 100gm superfine flour
  4. 1 tbsp green tea powder
  5. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  6. 70ml milk
  7. 5 nos egg white (size : grade A)
  8. 45gm sugar (add more if you prefer)
  9. 0.5 tsp lemon juice

Method :
  1. Preheat oven at 170 C.
  2. Combine egg yolks, oil, flour and milk. Mix till well blended and divide into 2 different bowls.
  3. In one bowl add in the green tea powder and blend well. Set aside.
  4. Add vanilla essence to the other bowl, blend well and set aside.
  5. Whisk egg whites till frothy.
  6. Gradually add in sugar and lemon juice. Continue whisking till stiff peak is formed.
  7. Divide the mixture into half.
  8. Mix 1/3 of the egg whites (from one half) into the egg yolk batter with the vanilla essence with a whisk.
  9. Fold in the remaining egg yolk batter. Set aside.
  10. Repeat steps 8 & 9 for the green tea batter.
  11. Pour batter (alternating the green tea and vanilla essence ) into a chiffon cake tin and bang the tin a couple of times to release the trapped bubbles.
  12. Bake in the oven at 170C for 30- 35 mins or till cooked.
  13. Remove cake from oven and invert it immediately to cool for 30 mins before slicing.