Thursday, 31 October 2013

Mary Berry´s Swiss Roll

This Swiss Roll recipe is a gem.  All it need is 4 eggs, whipped till soft peak form, than add 100 grams sugar in followed by 100 grams of self raising flour.  Mix them well, spread them onto your baking sheet and bake them at 200C for 7 minutes.  Thats it.  I love it when some recipes works and its easy to remember!

German Breakfast

Ideally, breakfast for me would be something best when its prepared but not by me.  I´m not a morning person mind you, and breakfast would be the last thing on my mind when I spring out from my bed.  Last weekend, we decided to take a slow stroll to town for breakfast.  We know that the breakfast serve there would not derail too much from what we eat at home except for the bread variety where you will get a brotchen (a bun) instead of toast which we prefer at home.  But its nice neitherless to be able to enjoy them while people watch at the same time.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Stir Fry Beansprout with Salted Fish & Prawns

Warm lunch is a must nowadays.  With temperature dipping, not to mention the occassional storm hitting this part of Europe pretty aggressively, keeping myself warm and safe seems to be the motto of the day.  Sometimes I seek comfort in a hot bowl of soup.  Other days like today, I´ll just whip up an easy vegetable stir-fry to fill up my tummy.  Stir fries are amazing.  There isn´t any hard rule about it and its quick.  Here´s to warm lunch week ... stay safe everyone :-)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Easy Nutella Brownie, Again ...

Hubby would inevitably grin from ear to ear whenever he comes home to some cakes after work.  I do enjoy pampering him when time permits, and seeing this is my week off, I´ve decided to whip up an easy brownie recipe using a cup of nutella, 2 eggs and 10 tbs of flour.  This recipe is so easy, even  my 6 years old niece can do it.  What I did this time was pour the batter into some lovely mold instead of usual baking pan.  And voila ... tea-time!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Candles & Scenting Rituals ...

Autumn to me is not just about the weather and seeing the changes of colour outside.  It is to me where it had became a ritual on its own to start lighting the candles around the house around 6.30pm.  I have been scenting the home with Scentchips and other scented candles too, and it surely does make one feel warmth and comforting during such season of the year ...

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Nasi Kerabu (Vegetarian Version)

Apart from the rice which I warmed up in a rice cooker and turning two eggs into finely shredded omelette, this bowl of Nasi Kerabu needs not much skill except patience in slicing an array of herbs, shallots and chilli finely.  I have with me in here Bunga Kantan, Kaffir Lime Leave, Basil, Laksa Leave, Chives & Mint.  Such a sumptous meal on its own without any meat to welcome weekend.

Saturday, 26 October 2013


Its Friday! And that means coffee and cake session for our household.

Yesterday, I´ve decided to make use of our apples, again.  There are lots still hanging on the tree and honestly, I am getting a bit overwhelmed eating them day in day out.  My MIL is feeling the same way too and due to this, we have been thinking if we should invest in a good juicing machine to turn them into juice instead of eating them whole or baking them.  There´s only that much one can eat a day, or so much time one can spent baking something out of it.  One of the recipe´s I´ve been wanting to try out is Apple Strudel.  It is a fairly straightforward to make, if one has supply of filo pastry.  Can you believe it that there isn´t any around my area until recently?  Amusing I know but instead of dwelling in the shortcomings of what this country does not have, I´m happy that we are getting more choices coming into the market each day.

Here´s to a lovely weekend all of you :-)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Heide, Apples, Chestnuts & Candle Decorative ...

Autumn or Halloween, Autumn or Halloween?

With choices comes fun for me each time the season changes.  I´m into anything to do with home interior and seen here is a small decorative planter vase I´ve put up to welcome autumn.  Some colourful Heide, a few apples, some chestnuts hidden underneath and a candle holder to bring a little light to our little corner.

Halloween project would be something I wish to embark on too.  But first, lets see if I can get some lovely inspiration around ...

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Vegetarian Schnitzel

Not eating meat for a day ain´t as bad as I thought.  One just need to get use to it.  Its been months since I pledge myself to go vegetarian every Friday.  When I got started, it was tough because I was not use to not having my meal lace with some kind of meat or seafood ingredient or even flavour.  I was in lost of what to prepare.  But after awhile, I´m getting the hang of it.  Vegetarian can be delicious too, if not interesting if one look hard enough.  Seen here is my Vegetable Schnitzel meal served with a sunny side up egg, fresh seasonal beans, and a simple onion gravy pasta.  It is nothing to shout about in terms of appearance but taste wise is what that matters, right?  Both of us agreed that eating less meat does not have to be boring.  I couldn´t agree more.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Apfelmus Swiss Roll

Something rustic looking which was not planned, is this Apfelmus Swiss Roll.  I love a good swiss roll and decided to make one today for hubby.  Its Friday and he comes home early, so just in time for some lovely cakes and a good cup of coffee.  Our apple tree is still treating us abundantly with harvest and I get a feeling hubby is tired of eating my Dutch Apple Cake already?! So here´s to another apple variation.  Recipe was adapted from DH Southlake´s Chestnut Swiss Roll recipe.  Sorry, I can´t share the recipe here unless she gives me a green light.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Drink to Strengthen Lung ...

One of the things I told myself again and again to bring over to Germany from Malaysia was chinese herbs.  I grew up with it and swear by its medicinal value.  Every single year since arriving here, I have been plaque by acute cough and at times asthma attack.  The healthcare here is fantastic by providing me all sorts of inhalation device from preventive to as needed basis, but I thought there´s no harm putting some goodness into ones body before it strikes, no?  So what I did during my last trip was I carted some home.  Some were unrecognisable herbs, but some are those I grew up with.  Boil them with pear with skin on as instructed by the chinese medicine man, and drink them as how I would enjoy a glass of sweet drink.  It seems to work.  I cycled to town past week and by any means around this time of the year, I would be huffing and puffing already, but I seem to be getting on alright.  So here´s to a little nature´s wonder ....

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Braised Salted Mustard with Pork (Mui Choy Kau Yok)

Back in action, but this time I have left my french food craze aside.  The past week had been busy.  It is the last week before autumn school holiday and this means, I will be able to enjoy 2 whole weeks of holiday free!  Before doing so, the centre where I work for, has a tradition of throwing a little celebration before the kids goes off.  Its lovely for the kids, but for the teachers, it simply meant more work! Yes, its a complain but I should not really, and instead should concentrate on the two lovely weeks ahead.

This is a stew of chinese mustard and pork slices.  It is something I grew up eating.  Pure comfort food in a cold day, it taste saltish but what the recipe calls for is to balance the saltiness of the salted mustard vegetable with a cup of coconut juice.  Mine is with apple juice and worked just as well.  But for those who enjoys my western inspired cooking, afraid not because I´ve been skimming lately and all I need is time, time, time.  Which will be SOON!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Cold Vegetable Terrine

Eat your vege! 

Those were ringing words my mum drilled into me since young.  I am used to eating stir-fry vegetables since young since I grew up in a chinese family. 

Sometimes too, my mum would cook them in stews or curries, but never eaten cold like how I eat them here in Germany.  My meal were always hot back then and it took me a while to adapt eating something cold during winter here. 

Its Autumn now but strangely, I wanted to try out this Cold Vegetable Terrine.  It looked terribly attractive to say the least with its colours all perking thru the jelly stock. 

Quite easy to make but to set the stock was quite tricky since it was not from any recipe book but simply a creation I whipped up suddenly.  2 more gelatine sheets were needed on top of the four used earlier, just to get this small mould set!

But alas, it did set .. and it is sitting prettily in our fridge right now and am thinking of what main course to go with it tomorrow :-)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

American Pancake Brunch

Another lazy sunday brunch, but this time instead of enjoying a loaf of freshly baked No-Knead Bread, it is American Pancake stack with yummy Rasberry Syrup.  Patience is indeed needed to make these little fluffy babies, and to get them golden brown colour evenly every single piece, observing the amount of bubbles that formed on top of the batter before turning them over is so necessary.  Two got burned but ten pieces were serve-worthy.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Simple Fried Rice

A plate of fried rice.  So simple but yet, so fulfilling during cold autumn month here.  I will be lying if I said I don´t enjoy my bowl of fried rice.  Fried rice to a Chinese is like sushi to a Japanese, a burger to an American, or a sausage to a German.   It is staple food which comes in so many variation and uses mainly leftover rice and variety of vegetables or meat as seasoning.  In China, there´s the famous Yong Chow fried rice or Fujian fried rice.  In Malaysia where its multi-cultural, the Malays and Indians also has their own intepretation of fried rice due to their other counterparts influence.  The Japanese who neighbours China also owes up to this fried rice phenomenon, infact, some of the most amazing I´ve tasted are actually from Japanese restaurant.  It is usually very simple with 3 ingredients - rice, egg and garlic and that´s about it.  I tried replicating this simple taste today but I reckon I need to practise them a bit more.  This fried rice was made using 1 bowl of leftover rice with 2 eggs, so you can imagine how fragrant that is but I do suspect that Basmati rice is a no-no when it comes to frying rice.  It is too thin, too hard hence not abling to achieve the fluffiness needed.  Fried Rice 2.0 then ... :-)

Friday, 11 October 2013

Dutch Apfelgebak with Cointreau

This recipe is a keeper. Its my third year making this classic Dutch Apple Cake whenever our apple trees start rewarding  us with abundance of it.

Here´s what you do :

1) Mix 300 grams flour, 125 gram sugar, 200 grams cold butter (cubed), pinch of salt and 1 egg yolk in a bowl and blend till it comes together.  Keep in fridge for 30 minutes.
2) To prepare the apple filling, place 100ml orange juice, 100grams raisins, 2 tbsp custard powder, some cinammon powder, 1 tbs Cointreau and 1kg apple cube in pan, and cook till the sauce thickens.  Set aside to cool.
3) Heat oven to 175C.
4) Line a tart baking pan with 2/3 of the dough (roll them out to circle and cover the whole base evenly.
5) Pour the apple filling in.  Sprinkle your choices of chopped nuts if you wish.  Sprinkle some brown sugar and cinammon for extra flavour on the crust.
6) Roll the remaining 1/3 of the dough flat and cut 10 horizontal stripes (estimate).  Lay them out criss-cross and seal the corners tightly.
7) Bake for 40 minutes, or until brown at the top.  Brush the top with apricot wash (apricot jam + water).
8) Cool them.  Ready to serve.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

White Wine Mussels

I took the chance to pamper myself with  more seafood dish before hubby gets back, and this time, I´ve got to enjoy the whole pack of 500 grams mussels all by myself!  Not wanting any carb for my dinner, I simply sautee some chopped up onions, carrots and celery before pouring in half a bottle of white wine leftover from the night before.  In goes the white mussels with lots of dill into the pot.  Lid on and voila, in less than 5  minutes, dinner´s ready.  Last night had been fantastic.  I´ve started burning this wonderful Scent Chips I recently acquired from Netherlands, and boy, it does smell heavenly in the livingroom!  I tuned onto my favourite programmes, had the mood lamp all one, my dinner on my lap, a glass of white wine and .... stayed up till 1am just like that ... that I nearly doze off on the sofa :-)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Chicken Fricasse

Chicken Fricasse or Hanchen Fricasse as its known here is a pretty popular dish.  When I first heard them from my MIL, I thought what a strange name for a german dish!  As it turns out, its not German.  Its french and the method itself is halfway between saute and stew, but generally is white sauce base.  My version here is from Jamie Oliver.  As strange as it sounds, it contains cumin seed and thyme as its seasoning base.  Cumin seed?!  No idea how authentic that is, so I´ve vouched to go search for an authentic recipe to cook them one more time.   Oh, I read up something about this dish.  Apparently, this is one of Abraham Lincoln´s favourite dish.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Art of Flower Arrangement

Dark Pink Dahlias, White Dahlias, Pink Hibiscus and a mauve sprinkly perennials from the garden which I have no idea what its called.  Flower arrangement is something I´ve always dreamed of doing when I was young but back then, the variety available were and still is not as vast as compare to country of four season.  It would be lovely to learn the art of it though but not at such high level of intensity.  Over here, its a great profession and people make a living or even carve a name out of it and I do admire these people who follow their heart and go after their passion.  As for me, I´ll start small and enjoy them as they come ...

Monday, 7 October 2013

Duck Al Orange

I can´t get enough of french food. Evidently here, another lovely and well liked combination known all over. Duck slices served with a tangy orange sauce, and here, I serve them on a bed of cabbage. I have a confession to make. The sauce ought to be improvised with perhaps orange peel in it, to lift it up another notch because duck as one knows has an intense odour to it.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sichuen Pepper Spiced Up Chocolateria

A simple dark chocolate pudding turned into a kick-ass, mouth watering dessert. If you´ve not noticed, I´ve been getting adventurous with my dessert. Experimenting can be fun and sometimes, rewarding and this is one of them :-)

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Lyon´s Poulet Au Vinaigre

Lately, we have been enjoying lots of french meal at home. Not the haute cuisine kind of french meal but more homely, provencial kind where a cast-iron pot is called for and I loveee cooking in them. They are easy and locks in the most wonderful, intensive aroma as compared to the other pots we have in the house. This is one of our `chicken stew`meal last week. It is basically a red wine vinegar and white wine base stew, with chicken meat, shallots, butter and variety of herbs thrown in. Its getting cold here so looks like stews will be showing up more often on my post here.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Spring Bulb Fetish ...

I have tonnes of old bulb still unmaned in my greenhouse and here I am with new ones for next year! The problem is this. I realise that prepacked ones promising multi-hues bulbs can be pretty unreliable. This year, I vow to get them individually and planting them in the alloted space as how I would imagine them to be. Lets see if this way works out. What do you think of my bulb collection for next year? Good?

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Prawn Aglio Olio with Bonito Flakes

Hub will be away for couple of days with his buddies and these means, I could have all the seafood meal I want 3 times a day! Woohoo!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Basil Pannacotta

If only I could capture the look on hubby´s face when I announced to him what flavour pannacotta I´m serving for dinner that night.  Basil, as one know is a well known herb.  Its intense, lingering flavour is best known to dress up various delicious pastas, and to Caprese lover like me, what is a caprese salad without basil.  I´ve heard of Basil Ice Cream a while back and had been wanting to try them.  Just out of curiosity and nothing to difficult for just the two of us so I decided on pannacotta instead. 200ml cream, 50 grams sugar, 120ml milk and 3 sheets of gelatine plus juices from a handful of basil leave which I pureed finely.  I then let everything cook for some minutes before cooling them in room temperature.  Then transfering them to the fridge to set them further.  I think this dessert is an elegant way to serve your guest, it is intriquing and at the same time, taste lovely!  Who would have thought that Basil could make a memorable dessert flavouring :-)