28 March 2013

Spinach Spaghetti with Sun-dried Tomato

I actually cook lot of spaghetti at home because this is one of Gabriel's favorite food. He loves to have spaghetti with carbonara sauce, but today I twist my recipe a bit to let him try sun-dried tomato which I bought from Costco the other day. Surprise, surprise, he ate the spaghetti without carbonara sauce...of course Gabriel didn't take the basil :D

It has been some time since I join any bake-a-long or cooking with a theme, I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up which hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui from My Little Favourite DIY. The theme of the this month is tomato.

Is lovely to know we are eating lot of vegetables!

Recipe from Ah Tze's kitchen play

2 tbsp olive oil
300g angel-hairs spaghetti pasta
a few leaves of fresh basil from my garden
1 big tomato, diced
2 tbsp can bought sliced sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
some english spinach, washed and drained
50 ml water
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt

1. Boil water and add 1 tsp of salt in water, place spaghetti in boiling water, cook as according to the packet direction. Drain well.
2. Heat oil in a large pan, add garlic and onion, still fry for a few mins. add carrot. Stir fry for 2 mins. add spinach and diced tomato and water, stir fry over medium heat for 3-4 mins. until the carrot turn soft. Add sun dried tomato and stir fry for another min.
3. Add spaghetti and salt to pan and toss to combine evenly. Garnish with fresh basil and parsley flakes, serve warm.  

27 March 2013

Crispy BBQ Chicken Bun (Siew Bao)

Today I bake one of my favorite snack ...crispy bbq chicken bun or siew bao, again. Really boring for you huh?! :)

First time making mini size siew bao, 20 pcs. a bit difficult to squeeze in big spoonful of filling. Glad that no crust open up but lot of gravy oozing ... lovely snack! Initially plan to freeze some for Friday LG but eventually make another batch as my hubby gobbled up most of them. Is nice to have this type of bite size snack. 

Recipe and method is here.    

26 March 2013


I started to like shopping here because there are lot of unfamiliar ingredients for me to explore, discover and learn how to use them. Last two weeks, I went to Melbourne CBD, Dockland. At Costco, I found out they are selling many types of salt!! not the usual white and sea salt but many more. One of the salt I bought is Himalayan Pink Salt as in the photo. Interesting right? :) Is light pink in colour and I'm going to find ways of using it. 

Gabriel, Gabriel you are 5!

little shoes...

Gabriel was 5 last week, this year I break the tradition on baking cake for him. We bought two sponge cakes for him, one for celebrating at school, one for a garden party at home. However, as I'm not familiar with the places, we didn't get a good and pretty cake for him, the normal sponge cake from Michel's Patisserie actually disappointed me, the chocolate cake sponge is not nice :( and because of the cake shop didn't provide a cake knife and candles, we have to buy the candles and search for the cake knife and finally landed on a knife which cost us AUD 24.90! Anyway, this year is a good year for Gabriel, as...he didn't fall sick during his birthday. Happy Birthday Gabriel!

one week young.

One year old

two years old

three years old

four years old

five years old, so excited to cut the cake with long silver cake knife!

party bags for Gabriel's classmates

silver cake knife

five years old

19 March 2013

Hong Kong Flaky Egg Tarts 酥皮蛋塔

I have been eyeing Lena's flaky egg tarts since she posted it many months ago, her egg tarts was so gorgeous and the tart is close to the restaurant standard in term of the taste of filling as well as the flakiness of the crust. It is delicious! Thanks Lena from Frozen Wings for the beautiful recipe. This recipe is a sure keeper!

As you know, my current rented place oven is not working well, once turn on the oven, lot of carbon crumble dropping down from the hot grill. As I'm so desparate to make the egg tarts for Gabriel, I leap into this recipe and make it the open ceremony of my first baking journey in Melbourne. There was obstacle in the begining, beside need to tackle the issue on oven, I couldn't locate the shortening! My first batch of egg tarts came out using butter and oil instead of shortening and the crust was...a bit hard, not flaky enough. It got layers but is not the perfect crust texture. Then after asking around and google about it, I found the vegetable shortening which we Asian usually keep on the shelves they Aussie kept it in the fridge!! It is with the brand Copha, they treated it like butter, so it is found on the fridge section in Coles! Initially I still wonder whether this is the same stuff as what I usually used in Singapore, I leave the Copha on the table for two days and it is still in solid form like what we get in Singapore, haha.. it can be kept on shelves not in fridge! (note on 26 Mar 2013: the Copha became soften after a few days on the shelves, when press on it, the texture is pliable to work with)

For my bake, there is still room for improvement, I burnt the crust a bit, still need to familiar myself with the oven temperature.

15 March 2013


这是这里的平凡日子中,所能为我带来的惊喜 。人为了平平凡凡生活,付出代价去追逐,谁会懂了?

偶然发现陈绮贞,她的蜉蝣 是那么的亮丽,让我听了一遍又一遍。

14 March 2013

Chwee Kueh (Steamed Rice Cake 水粿)

One of the popular breakfast in Singapore is...Chwee Kueh. It is a steamed rice cake which topped with preserved radish, usually it go with chili sauce. I bought my small cup shape containers from Singapore and today it is just right to put them into good use. I have a few recipes with me on how to make chwee kueh, eventually I landed on Anncoo Journal recipe. Thanks Ann for sharing her recipe and the problem she encountered, I changed the water content a bit and added wheat starch, it makes my first chwee kueh a successful one. The texture of the chwee kueh is soft and smooth! I think I'm lucky!

06 March 2013

Hokkian Style Deep Fried Nian Gao

I bought a medium size Nian Gao for AUD 5 from Glen Waverley before CNY and leave it on the shelves until white fungus crawled all over it. Then I bought another one from Box Hill and this time I leave it in the fridge to prevent same thing happen to the Nian Gao.

I cut the Nian Gao into small sliced and keep half to prepare with another recipe. For this post, I'm using my previous recipe which is from my mother. The crispy fried Nian Gao, and the sticky gooey filling with the taste of sweet potato, always make me think of home.

Recipe from Ah Tze's kitchen play
1 medium size Nian Gao, sliced into thin slices.  
50g plain flour
a pinch of salt
100 ml water, or lesser
sweet potatoes, sliced into thin slices.
oil for deep frying

1. Heat oil in wok.
2. Mix the flour and salt, add water and stir into a smooth sticky batter. (gradually add water)
3. Sandwich nian gao into two pieces of sweet potato, dip into the batter and fry over the medium heat until golden brown. (Remember not in high heat to prevent the nian gao from burning and the sweet potato undercook) 
4. Test the softness of sweet potato with a chopstick, it should be able to prick through the sweet potato easily. Drain on kitchen paper before serving.

05 March 2013

Clitoria Flower Glutinous Rice Cake (Pulut Tai Tai 3)

Do you remember that I bought the blue pea flower or clitoria flower from my trip to Malacca sometime in Nov 2011? yes... it comes with me too ... hehehe! I place the dry flowers in zipper bag and keep it in the freezer, this is the way to let it stay in good condition for long period :) 

I'm glad that I have these flowers with me or else it will be very difficult for me to get it here. This is the third time I make the glutinous rice cake and I'm using my previous recipe which is original from My Kitchen Snippets

600g glutinous rice, wash and soak overnight
350ml coconut milk (I used 200ml)
150ml warm water
4 pandan leaves 
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
10 blue pea flowers, soak in warm water, crush it to extract the blue colouring

1. Wash rice and divide it into two equal portion. Soak one part in water and another part in the blue pea flowers juice. Leave them overnight. Soak the rice overnight will help in steaming process.
2. Drain both the rice, put them side by side on steaming tray. Warm the coconut milk, sugar and salt in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and mix well.
3. Drizzle in about half of the coconut milk into the rice. Arrange the pandan leaves on top of the rice and steam the rice over rapid boiling water for 10 mins.
4. Remove the steaming tray, put the pandan leaves aside, mix both rice together and drizzle the balance of the coconut milk, put pandan leaves back on top of the rice again and continue to steam for another 15 mins or until the rice is done.
5. Remove the steaming tray, discard pandan leaves, even out the rice with a spoon and using a banana leaf or aluminum foil press down the rice until well compact.
6. If possible put something heavy to weigh down the rice. Leave it cool.
7. Slice the rice cakes and serve it with coconut jam.