Wednesday 29 May 2013

Crave Pure Spiritual Milk

When there are 3 types of milk to clear in your fridge, you do not waste them.To clear all at one go, you think of Tres Leches Cake (say trey ley-chays) or 3 milk cake. Three different milk products: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream are combined and pour into a baked cake, and leaving it to soak in the milky goodness for 30 minutes.

Pioneer Woman has a good Tres Leches Cake recipe but as I have less than half of each of the 3 milk, I used the 1/3 recipe adapted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

Tres Leches Cake
Pioneer Woman, 1/3 recipe adapted by Kitchen flavours

For the batter:
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 whole eggs
scant 1/3 cup sugar, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla
80ml milk

For the milk mixture:
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup condensed milk
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp rum

For the frosting:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp caster sugar


For the batter:

  • Preheat oven to 350F(170C). Grease and line a 8 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.(I used 9 x 5)
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate the eggs.
  • Whisk egg yolks with the sugar (leaving about 2-3 tbsps to use for the egg whites later), on high speed until yolks are pale yellow.
  • Stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
  • Whisk egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  • Fold egg white mixture into the  batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes (25mins) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out into a rimmed platter and allow to cool.

For the milk mixture

  • Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and rum in a small pitcher. Whisk the mixture lightly. When the cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the cake - try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
  • Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes.
For the frosting:

  • Whisk heavy cream with sugar until thick and spreadable.
  • Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped glazed cherries.

When the cake was in the oven, I thought I have forgotten to add in melted butter or vegetable oil in the batter. A quick check at the recipe found there is no butter and oil needed. When typing out this recipe, I also realized I have forgotten to add in baking powder!

This is a lovely cake. I was worried it will be cloyingly sweet. No, it is not. It has a nice milk flavour and cake is light, moist and not 'wet' from soaking. I also like the retro look of  maraschino cherry topped cake.Now, this is also a kind of cake where you do not have to worry about smooth frosting.

Have You Got The Best Real M.I.L.K?

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
1 Peter 2:2

We all know milk is for nourishment of the body. It also provides immune protection and for bone strengthening. But have you got the best real M.I.L.K? This milk(God's Word) can sustain us, and can keep us both physically and spiritually.If we drink this milk everyday, it will cause us to grow up and become mature in our faith in Him. Sadly,many people don't see the need and so they never grow strong :(  

Monday 27 May 2013

Do Your Best, Give Your Best

This is only a part of the 30-minute meals from Jamie Oliver.
30- minute meal? You're pulling a fast one, Jaime. Your book, Jamie Oliver 30-minute Meals has made your fans feeling flustered, stressed and panicky.  Many of them couldn't complete the cooking in 30 minutes. However, all agreed that the meals are delicious, restaurant quality.
Well, I know you didn't promise we can cook within 30 minutes.  If we have read your introduction, we would have  known this is about training and organizing in the kitchen, and with practice we can do a meal in 30 minutes.

I am not a very competent cook albeit an avid one, there is no way I can prepare a 3 course meal in 30 minutes.  I am going to pick some of the recipes from the book to cook at my normal pace and not turn my kitchen into Hell's Kitchen. With practice, I might be able to do it one day.
Today, I am cooking Jamie Oliver's Cypriot Chicken with Pan Fried Asparagus. To complete the meal, Fresh Tomato Soup with Basil from Delia Smith, adapted by Eat your heart out and Focaccia with Onion and Rosemary, a Gary Rodhes recipe adapted by Sonia from nasi lemak lover. .

This soup is incredibly easy to prepare. Delicious and healthy.

Stuff Cypriot Chicken
serves 2
Adapted from Jamie Oliver 30-minute meals


1/2 small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 small bunch of fresh basil
4 jarred sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
50g feta cheese zest of 1/2 a lemon 2 x 180g chicken breasts, preferably with skin on and bone in
olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary


  • Pile the parsley,basil and sun-dried tomatoes on a chopping board with a pinch of pepper and a drizzle of oil from the jar of tomatoes Crush over the garlic and then finely chop everything together, mixing as you go.
  • crumble over the feta cheese and mix altogether again along with the lemon zest.
  • Tear off a big sheet of grease proof paper and line up the chicken breasts on it, skin down. Using a small and sharp knife, cut into the chicken breasts to make a small opening where the stuffing can hide. You want to be able to fit quite a bit in there, but  also make it so it can close back up and not fall apart.
  • Divide the filling into the chicken breasts, squashing it in and folding the chicken over to cover it.
  • Put a large frying pan over medium heat with a lug of oil. Place the chicken breasts in skin side down.
  • Take a new piece of grease proof paper slightly bigger than the saucepan. Scrunch it up into a ball, rinse it under the tap, and then tuck it over the chicken  as a cover.
  • After about 5-10 minutes in the frying pan, the chicken should be golden underneath. Carefully turn the chicken breasts over and throw the rosemary on top. Cover again with the grease proof paper.
  • After chicken is done, place on a chopping board and carefully slice the chicken. Pour any leftover pan juices over the chicken slices and serve.

I never like chicken breast, but this is very tender and really soft and flavorful from the cooking method (wet grease proof paper cover) and herb stuffing. You can use any herbs you like with the stuffing. It is best not to serve on a wooden board because the board absorbs the pan juice quickly. I cooked half recipe.

I recorded this because the foccacia was so crispy outside but soft and moist inside. I used red onion because that was what I had and also ran out of fresh rosemary.

Do Something Beautiful For Jesus (Sunday sermon)
Mark 14:1-9

I ponder on my best offering to Jesus.

Is my best offering of Sunday School lessons thoughtfully, carefully and prayerfully prepared?

Is my best offering of witnessing fearful, hesitant and uncomfortable?

Is my best offering of walking closely irrelevant, inessential and at random?

Are all my best offerings for own gains, pride and glory? Are all my best offerings strained, burdened and wearied?

I am comforted to know in Colossians 3;23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

2 Timothy 2;15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Monday 20 May 2013

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

Grilled Flat Mushroom and Pancetta on Toasted Brioche with Welsh Rarebit. A rather long name for a quick dish. What is Welsh rarebit? Welsh rarebit or rabbit is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese that pour over slices of toasted bread.
This is taken from Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Heaven. I made this for son's breakfast. This is also the first time I am cooking a Gordon Ramsay's recipe. My children had asked before why I have never cooked anything from Gordon Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay is well known for his short and fiery temper and frequent use of profanity on his TV shows. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I am not drawn to his cooking.  But I must respect and give the man credit where credit is due. Gordon Ramsay has won 15 Michelin stars and owns many award winning restaurants. Besides best selling cookbooks, he has many top rated TV cooking shows and also produced and judged the American Masterchef.
I  am exploring his recipes right now and if you know of a good Gordon Ramsay's recipe, do share with me.

Grilled Flat Mushroom and Pancetta on Toasted Brioche with Welsh Rarebit
Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Heaven
serves 1(2)

3-4 flat mushrooms, peeled and trimmed (4 Portobellos)
olive oil
4-5 slices good smoked pancetta
1 slice large toasted brioche (4 slices)
25g  strong cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon English mustard
4-5 dashes worcestershire sauce
2 small egg yolks
2 tablespoons whipped cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Fry the mushrooms in olive oil until cooked and drain on some kitchen paper.
  • Grill the pancetta until crisp.

  • Lay the mushrooms neatly on the toasted brioche, with the pancetta on top.

  • Mix together the cheese,mustard,Worcestershire sauce and egg yolks and then fold in the cream.
  • Season well and spoon gently over the pancetta. Place under a very hot grill until golden and bubbling.

This is Yum! Gordon Ramsay says brioche is the ballerina of all breads - light and subtle. He is right! Do not use other bread. Whip the cream and fold in with the yolk and cheese mixture. I forgot the whipping step. The mixture was runny and flooded the brioche base, creating extra layer of egg which is also just as nice.(not supposed to have the egg layer below brioche). The sweet and buttery toasted brioche(store bought), juicy portobellos, top with salty, smoked pancetta and creamy welsh rarebit make this an indulgent breakfast dish.  This is an ideal breakfast/brunch food for al fresco dining. Imagine fresh morning air, chirping birds and blooming flowers. Alas, twas not to be, we did not have the luxury.  My son was rushing out for his morning class "sigh..."

The Beatitudes

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God    Matthew 5:6

No one has ever seen God with all His glory and holiness displayed. The bible tells us that on one has ever seen God except the Lord Jesus Christ. Some had, in appearances of the Lord in various forms.

With spiritual growth, our hearts become more pure and we will meet and see God in Heaven.

These are the Flower pot Cupcakes made by the children on Mother's Day. They also made for themselves a cup of gummy worms You can see from the children's neat handwriting that they made these flower pots with lots of love and respect for their mums. The mothers were very appreciative and called to thank us.

This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up 'Mushroom" hosted by Joyce from kitchen flavours. This blog hop is organized by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My little favourite DIY.

Thursday 16 May 2013

You Are Blessed

When life gives you lemons, make Lemon Lemony Brownies!

This Lemon Lemony Brownies recipe was shared by my pen pal. Pen pal??? Yes, we were pen pal during primary and secondary school days and thanks to Facebook, we are connected again. She was from Auckland, New Zealand and now lives in California. I met her several times when I was in Auckland in the 80s and had stayed at her place once when I was touring New Zealand with my cousin.
She had posted this recipe on FB asking anyone to make for her. She loves all lemony desserts but she doesn't bake. Well, I did that and posted the pictures to her. I made this in the wee hours of the morning and when the first morning ray shone through the house, my brownies were already cooled and glazed.
Don't you love the color of these brownies? A sunny twist to old boring muddy brown! I love everything about this lemon brownies. The light texture, sourish sweet taste and best of all the lingering lemony fragrance. Simply delicious on its own.!

Lemon Lemony Brownies
Original recipe source: unknown

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened(113g)
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs, large
2 tbsps lemon zest
2 tbsps lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 tbsps lemon juice
8 tsps lemon zest
1 cup icing sugar(1/2 cup)


  • Preheat the oven to 350F(170C).
  • Grease an 8 x 8 inch  baking dish with butter and set aside.
  • Zest and juice two lemons and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined. Pour it into the flour mixture and beat for 2 mins at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 mins (20mins), should turn golden around the edges.
  • Allow to cool completely before glazing. Do not OVER BAKE or the bars will dry.
  • Filter the powdered sugar and whisk with lemon zest and juice.
  • Spread the glaze over the brownies with a rubber spatula and let glaze set. Cut into bars and serve.
Note: The sweetness is just right. I didn't want a thick glaze, so I reduced the icing sugar.I dusted snow powder and scatter extra lemon zest over the glaze.

What Do You Do When Life Gives You Lemons?

Life is never fair. Sometimes even under the best of circumstances life will give us a bunch of lemons. Do you expect something good when you do good? Do you squeeze those lemons to make sweet lemonade?
Are you adding God to the sweet mix of lemonade?

1 Peter 3: 13:14
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened."

1 Peter 3:17
For it is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.


Tuesday 14 May 2013

Blessed Are The Merciful

Since I have about 1 cup of arborio rice and homemade chicken stock left after making seafood paella, I made myself mushroom risotto for lunch. This one got a big thumbs up from me.
To make a good basic mushroom risotto, a good chicken or vegetable stock is essential. You also need dried porcini, mixture of wild mushrooms,  and a  good splash of dry white wine. I did not have these at home, so I adapted from simplyrecipe simply because the recipe calls for any flavorful mushrooms and brandy.  This is the first time I am using brandy for  risotto and the brandy definitely makes the rice more flavorful than white wine!
Some people do not have the patience to stir risotto. I was listening to Norah Jones 'Don't Know Why' while doing the stirring.  I would like to say that it is quite therapeutic to do this. To me, it is like culinary therapy to soothe and calm the mind and body.

Mushroom Risotto
serves 4-6

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups flavorful mushrooms such as shitake, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces. ( white buttons and shitake)
2/3 cup brandy, vermouth, or dry white wine (brandy)
5-6 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots ( OR 1/3 cup of yellow or white onion, finely chopped)
1 3/4 cups arborio rice or other risotto rice (3/4 cup arborio)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper'2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives


  • Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
  • Melt the butter in a deep, heavy, medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and saute about 5 minutes (if using chanterelles, dry saute first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before  adding the butter). Add the rice and stir to combine.
  • Add brandy, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Add simmering stock, 1./2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Stir the rice almost constantly - stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice, making the creamy sauce you're looking for in a risotto. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.

Note: The exact amount of chicken stock you need will vary depending on how hot your stove is, how much you stir the rice and how wide your pot is. I drizzled truffle oil just before serving. Risotto is best served immediately.

The Beatitudes

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7

Those who show mercy are called blessed because they place showing mercy above their own rights; They are the people who understand mercy for they know their own inadequacies and weaknesses. When they have received grace and mercy from the Lord, they in turn know to show mercy to others. It is an act of forgiveness of the people who do us wrong and compassion for the suffering and the needy.

I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up 'Mushroom' hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, and organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui from My Little Favourite DIY.

Friday 10 May 2013

Her Children Arise

There is something about cupcakes that always bring smile to my face and they make me happy. I don't really eat my own cupcakes but enjoy baking for friends and relatives. It is my way of sharing love and joy with people I know.
This coming Sunday is Mother's Day and I am helping my Sunday School class to do Mother's Day gift. This is the sample I made. A Flower Pot Cupcake.


To keep things simple and budget friendly, I am using my opened bottle of Nutella to coat the Oreo crumbs. Styrofoam cups will be used as flower pots and my leftover paper doilies as decoration.. A straw is inserted in the middle to hold the stalk. The children will assemble them and write a short bible verse on the doilie and a message on another card.
These chocolate cupcakes are from Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake. I chose this recipe because it is so fast and simple to do. You can always depend on Miss Lawson's "never fail, ever delicious" food. The best part of this recipe is the minimal washing up, just food processor and spatula! Isn't this brilliant? Oh, need to wash the ice cream scoop too.

I did half recipe(decreased sugar) and got 8 cupcakes. I made one sample flower pot and inserted a stalk of a week old gerbera and frosted Nutella Buttercream on the rest. This is the first time I am doing this buttercream and it turned out pretty good, not too sweet. Usually, I frost all my cupcakes with Italian meringue buttercream.

Nutella Buttercream

8-10 cupcakes

90g unsalted butter, soften
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoon double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 tsp salt


Cream the softened butter until creamy. Add in the icing sugar and continue beating butter and sugar till thick. Add in the cream, vanilla extract, Nutella and salt. Beat until cream is thick and spreadable.

                                 HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:28

This post is linked to Bake-Along 2nd anniversary: Celebration Cupcakes hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavors, Lena from Her Frozen Wings and
Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger

These Savory Mushroom Palmiers (Elephants Ears) are scrumptious. When you mix mushrooms and onions together,you get this unbeatable combination of flavours that is so savoury good.  A perfect cocktail bites for your party that you can prepare easily and well in advance.

Savory Mushroom Palmiers
(Elephants Ears)
 Company's Coming Starters

2 tsp cooking oil
1 cup finely chopped onion(food processor)
1 tsp butter
2 cups finely chopped fresh mushrooms (use shitake) (food processor)
4 tsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt (omitted)
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder( use garlic salt)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 (397g) pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets of Pampas Puff Pastry, ready rolled)


  • Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Saute until soft. Spoon into a small bowl and set aside.

  • Add butter and mushrooms to pan. Saute until golden. Add onion to mushrooms. Sprinkle with flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well. (garlic salt and pepper)

  • Stir n sour cream until mixture is thickened. Cool

  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to rectangle measuring 11 x 13 inches. Cut lengthwise down the center, forming 2 long rectangles. Divided mushroom and onion mixture between the 2 rectangles. Spread evenly, leaving 1/2 inch space down each side.(Pampas Puff Pastry ready roll, baking paper)

  • Roll each long side to meet in center, just touching each other. Dampen pastry along each edge and press together lightly. (eggwash)

  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 to 40 minutes in the refrigerator.(baking paper)
  • Preheat oven to 375F (200C). lightly grease a baking sheet (not necessary)

  • Cut each chilled roll into 24 slices, each slice about 1/2 inch wide. Arrange on prepared baking sheet, cut side down. Lightly press with a spatula or your fingers.(less than 24 slices)
  • Bake in upper third of preheated oven for about 12 minutes until golden(20mins).  Serve warm.

Note: I have about 2 tablespoons excess filling, which I spread on a buttered toast. For palmiers to look more palm like, fold and press pastry instead of rolling. I find it difficult to do so with the mushrooms filling. My palmiers are more like Elephants Ears.

The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.

A spiritual hunger for the bread of life and thirst for the living water, our life will be filled with the love of Christ. 

This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up 'Mushroom' hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui from My Little Favourite DIY
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