Tuesday 25 February 2014

Keep This Book Of The Law

Every Friday, I have bible study at a relative's house. I also have my lunch there and everyone takes turn to cook a main course or bring a dessert. This Friday, I will be cooking and I have just made hummus dip and flatbread for starter. I am planning to cook Beef Tajine and thought this appetizer is a good start to a Middle Eastern theme lunch.

One of the key ingredient in hummus is Tahini. Tahini is an important part of the hummus recipe and cannot be substituted. However it can be omitted. Hummus gets some kick with lemon and garlic, and also with ground cumin, a traditional spice to add in hummus. This recipe uses canned chickpea.

This is not a traditionally made hummus but I like the creamy texture and taste in this recipe.

Smooth Hummus Dip
Created by Joanne and Adam Gallagher


425g chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
1/4 cup tahini
half of a large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons water
Dash of ground paprika for serving


  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl then turn on process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps 'whip' or 'cream' the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.
  • Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and the salt to whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.
  • Open can of chickpeas, drain liquid then rinse well with water. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth.
  • Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpeas. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.
  • Scrape the hummus into a bowl then drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
Store hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

As an appetizer and dip, hummus is scooped with flatbread, such as pita. Here, I made flatbread using Jamie Oliver's recipe.

Linking this post to Little Thumbs Up "LEMON" hosted by Grace, Life Can Be Simple. Organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lip; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

Sunday 23 February 2014

Take Delight In The LORD

Ina Garten's Chicken Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette on Greens is simple and quick to prepare. I cooked this for my younger son and he gave the thumbs up. The dressing and salad are also delicious and the combination is really good.

I love Ina Garten's way of plating this dish, I think the fresh greens on the chicken makes a striking presentation. Many chefs in the restaurant usually do it the other way round. If I have the freshest mesclun mix, it will certainly enhance this presentation more, but I have to make do with this heap of rather sad arugular leaves.

Parmesan Chicken and Lemon Vinaigrette on Greens 
Barefoot Contessa
serves 6


6 boneless,skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs (panko with pinches of dry basil,oregano,thyme,rosemary and lemon zest)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
  • Combine the flour,salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On the third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, than dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread crumb mixture, pressing lightly.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.
  • Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.
For the Lemon Vinaigrette

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice,olive oil,salt, and pepper.

Note: I cooked for 2 servings with potato gratin on the side.

This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up "LEMON" hosted by Grace, Life Can Be Simple. Organised by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from My little Favourite DIY.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Thursday 20 February 2014

Hear My Prayer

Madeleines are little French butter cake that most people think of more as a cookie. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, it is a perfect accompaniment to your afternoon cup of tea.
David Lebovitz in his madeleines post, gives precise instructions on how to bake the perfect madeleines.

  •  Follow his recipe.
  •  Use double acting baking powder (optional)
  •  Freeze the prepared molds.
  • Chill the batter for at least 3 hours in advance.
  • Do not spread the batter once you scooped it in.
  • Use a non stick pan.
Well, I did follow his instructions to the T, with care and patience, and was duly rewarded with these delicate fluted shaped buttery cakes.

The history of madeleines and their name is much debated. One story was told of a young girl named Madeleine who baked these scallop shelled cakes for pilgrims to pay their respect at the burial site of Saint Jacques in Spain. The scallop shell  is the traditional symbol of Saint Jacques. You could use another pan if you like,  but then they wouldn't be madeleines.

Whatever the history is, madeleines are simple and elegant cakes which would not be lost in the company of many lavish and elaborate pastries of today.

Lemon Glazed Madeleines
24 cookies

3 large eggs, at room temperature
130g granulated sugar
1/8 rounded tsp salt
175g flour
1 tsp baking powder, optional
zest of one small lemon
120g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds.

150g icing sugar
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water


  • Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.
  • In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.
  • Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you).
  • Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
  • To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to  425F (220C).
  • Plop enough batter in the center of each indentation with enough batter which you think will fill it by 3/4's (you'll have to eyeball it, but it's not brain-surgery so don't worry if you're not exact). Do not spread it.
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the icing sugar,lemon juice, and water until smooth.
  • Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they're cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with a dull knife. After dipping,rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.
Storage: Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped;they're best eaten the day they're made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary. I don't recommend freezing them since the glaze will melt.
Batter can be kept in the fridge for two days.

Linking this post to Little Thumbs Up "LEMON" hosted by Grace, Life Can Be Simple. Organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY.

Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Came To Serve

Light,fluffy melt-in-your mouth whipped cream makes a delicious topping for cakes. Unfortunately, It can also pose a challenge for an amateur home baker like me. It always seems impossible to have whipped cream hold up to the job of decorating cake.

I have tried my utmost best to frost this Lemon Chiffon and this is as good as it gets. What matters is the taste of this finished product after all. Moist and airy cake filled with a thick,soft and creamy lemon curd that has a wonderful tart yet sweet flavour.

Lemon Chiffon
23cm tube pan

120g cake flour
80ml homemade lemonade, slightly sweetened
zest of 1 lemon
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
80g castor sugar
60ml corn oil


  • Preheat oven 170C.
  • Whisk egg yolk with 30g sugar until creamy and light in colour.
  • Add in corn oil,lemonade.
  • Add in flour into yolk mixture lightly.
  • Add in lemon zest. 
  • Whisk egg white until frothy, add in sugar in three addition and whisk until stiff peaks formed.
  • Add one third of white into yolk mixture. Mix and fold the rest of egg white into the mixture.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.

Lemon Curd

2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
165g caster sugar
80g chilled unsalted butter
zest and juice of 2 lemons


  • Whisk whole eggs,yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. 
  • Add the butter,juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened.
  • Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar.

Whipping Cream

300ml thickened cream
1 tablespoon castor sugar
2 tablespoon lemon curd

Whipped thickened cream with sugar and lemon curd until soft peaks from.

Note: I used Meyer Lemons for both cake and curd. 

Linking this post to Little Thumbs Up 'LEMON' hosted by Grace Life Can Be Simple. Organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My little favourite DIY.

Christian Ministry

Matthew 20:28
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Christian Ministry is service to God and to other people as Christ himself provided the pattern for Christian ministry. Jesus came, not to receive service, but to give.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Praise To God

 Lena of  Frozen Wings cooked and posted this dish to Asian Food Fest (Hong Kong and Macau) and Amy of  Amy's Baking Diary also cooked this for her children.

In her post, Amy said that it is a dish good for working mother like her. She can prepare this dish in advance for her boys' lunch and put them in the fridge. When they are back from school, they just need to add in the pork cutlets, ,ketchup sauce, cheese topping and leave the dish in the oven to bake. When they have bathed and changed, they can have their lunch. How wonderful!

This is great for me too! I like a one dish meal which I can prepare in advance. This is also good for a house pot luck party.

焗豬扒飯 Hong Kong Style Baked Pork Chop Rice
Adapted from herfrozenwings


3 bowls of cooked rice
2 pieces of pork chop,pork cutlet (I used 8 small pieces of pork loin)
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1 medium sized onion, cut into wedges
2 eggs, lightly beaten (3 eggs)
3 tbsp plain flour ,heaped
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper for seasoning the meat
oil for frying

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 of anchovies stock (or chicken stock) (used 1 tsp chicken seasoning + 1/2 cup water)
1 tbsp sugar, or to taste
1 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  • In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
  • Pat dry the pork chops and season with salt and pepper, leave for 30 mins.
  • In a large pan, heat up 1 tbsp of oil and pour in 1/2 of the beaten egg.
  • Scramble the eggs until almost cook through, add the rice and stir fry with a spatula. Add in 2 tbsps of beaten egg into the rice, season with some salt. Transfer the rice into a baking dish.
  • In 2 plates, place flour and the balance of the beaten eggs separately. Pour enough oil into a lage frying pan. Dip the pork chop into the beaten egg and then into the flour and fry the pork chop till they are cook through. Drain with paper towels. Cut them into strips and place them onto the baking dish on top of the fried rice.
  • Lastly, heat up some oil in the pan and cook the onions till they are slightly softened. Add the tomatoes and, stir and cook till they are softened. Pour in the sauce and let cook for about 2 minutes. Taste and see if more sugar and soy sauce are needed.

  • Remove from heat and pour the sauce over the pork chop and fried rice. Scatter with shredded cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 220C for about 15 mins or until cheese is golden brown.

Note: The next time I cook this dish, I will add more sauce and cheese.

Susan Boyle
Listen to Susan Boyle's version of Leonard Cohen's classic "Hallelujah"

Saturday 15 February 2014

Have An Everlasting Life

I bought a bag of Meyer Lemons yesterday and used 3 of the lemons to made these lemonade popsicle.. Meyer lemons have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the common supermarket varieties. Though they are more expensive and less commonly sold in supermarkets here, I prefer to use them for tarts, cakes, lemon curd and lemonade.

Meyer lemons are sweeter and juicier than regular lemons and they also have a beautiful floral aroma that add a wonderful note to the lemonade..

I have some leftover canned peach and pineapples slices which I used and also some strawberries and blueberries I found in the fridge.I mixed some of the pineapple syrup with the freshly squeezed juice. Pour into molds and freeze.

Fruity Lemonade Popsicle
makes 4
3 freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
A few tablespoons of pineapple juice
canned peach,pineapples
Popsicle mold

Happy Valentine's Day!

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Give To The One Who Asks You

Parsley,sage,rosemary and thyme...refrain from the song Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel was playing in my head as I was preparing the marinade for this pork tenderloin. I love this song when I was teenager.. It was probably through this song that I first learnt the names of the herbs in the verse. I don't think I knew they are herbs and their uses then.

However, I am not using all the herbs in the song but the last two, which are rosemary and thyme. And LEMONS! Zest and juice. Dijon mustard and garlic are also added to the marinade, but the way I see it, lemons really, really bring out the best flavor in any dish.

This is a dish that requires minimal effort but produces great result. I am pleased the way the pork turned out, moist and flavourful. Pork tenderloin can be quite dry and most people shun to grill or roast the meat. This dish is a good alternative for my many relatives and friends who do not take beef and lamb.

Herb Marinated Pork
serves 6


1 lemon, zest grated
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 good olive oil
2 tableespoon minced garlic
11/2  tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoon Dijion mustard
kosher salt to taste
3 pork tenderloin (1 pound each, 454gms each)
freshly ground black pepper

Lemon and Thyme Jus
Recipe source: Own

1 cup chicken broth
1 clove minced shallot
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon roughly chopped thyme
black pepper to taste


Herb Marinated Pork

  • Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
  • Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat.
  • Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium high heat. Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until golden brown.
  • Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloins for 10 - 15 mins or until the meat registers 137 degrees at the thickest part.
  • Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminium foil.
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes./ Carve in 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it's just fine) and the thinnest part will be well done.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.

Lemon and Thyme Jus

  • In the same pan, add minced shallots in a pan and cook until softened. Stir in broth, thyme and accumulated juices, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of pan Simmer until sauce has reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 3-5 minutes. Turn heat to low and whisk in butter. Off heat, stir in lemon juice and season pepper
  • Strain, serve, pouring sauce over pork slices.

Note: I cooked one portion of the recipe,  500g of pork tenderloin. This serves approximately 2-3 persons.
This is a versatile dish where you can cook for two or twenty. It can be served hot or cold. Good with leafy salads. Use a meat thermometer to check doneness.

For dessert, I made Fruity lemonade popsicles using freshly squeezed Meyer lemons.

Linking this post to Little Thumbs Up, 'LEMONS' hosted by Grace, life Can Be Simple. Organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy kids and Doreen from My little favourite DIY

Matthew 5:42
Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Surely Your Goodness and Mercy Will Follow Me

 Lemon Meringue Pie is just one of those classic show stopping desserts that is almost always guaranteed to be met with a chorus of 'oooohs' and 'aaaahs'.  This is a type of baked pie made with a crust usually made of shortcrust pastry,lemon custard filling and a fluffy meringue topping. If you are like me who love all things sweet and tart, you will love a lemon meringue pie. This pie is not so perfect but is still delicious. It has a buttery crumbly crust, tangy lemony filling and  soft fluffy meringue with sweet crisp top.

One look at my lemon meringue filling, you will know it is not done well. The curd is too soft.. A perfect Lemon Meringue Pie has glossy and translucent lemon filling which is firm enough to cut yet melts in your mouth. Although cornflour is the thickener of choice here, it is also a risky one because heat and acid in the lemon juice can destroy cornflour's ability to thicken or stay thick.

The meringue saves the pie. It is fluffy and crisp on top, and it sits firmly on the soft filling. To prevent the meringue from slipping off the pie wedges, the filling should be hot when you top it with the meringue.

Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie
BBC GoodFood


175g plain flour
100g cold butter, cut in small pieces
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 egg yolk

2 level tbsp cornflour
100g golden caster sugar
finely grated zest 2 large lemon
125ml fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
juice 1 small orange
85g butter, cut into pieces
3 egg yolks and a 1 whole egg

4 egg whites, room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
2 level tsp cornflour



  • For the pastry, put the flour, butter,icing sugar,egg yolk (save the white for the meringue) and 1 tbsp cold water into a food processor. Using the pulse button so the mix is not overworked, process until the mix starts to bind. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather together until smooth, then roll out and line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottom fluted flan tin. Trim and neaten the edges. Press pastry into flutes. The pastry is quite rich, so don't worry if it cracks, just press it back together. Prick the base with a fork, line with foil, shiny side down, and chill for 1/2 - 1 hour or overnight. (mix by hand and press pastry dough into 2 small flan tins, 10 x 2.5cm).
  • Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C fan or 180C. Bake the pastry case 'blind' (filled with dry beans) for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake a further 5-8 mins until the pastry is pale golden and cooked. Set aside. (can be done a day ahead if you want to get ahead.) Lower the oven to 180C fan 160C.
  • While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling: mix the cornflour,sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Make orange juice up to 200ml with water and strain into the pan.(store bought 200ml no sugar added). Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted. Beat the egg yolks and whole egg together, stir into a pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens and plops from the spoon. (It will bubble, but doesn't cuddle). take off the heat and set aside while you make the meringue.
  • Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add half the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition without over beating. Whisk in the cornflour, then add the rest of the sugar as before until smooth and thick. 

  • Quickly reheat the filling and pour it into the pastry case. Immediately put spoonfuls of meringue around the edge of the filling (if you start in the middle the meringue may sink), then spread so it just touches the pastry (this will anchor it and help stop it sliding). Pile the rest into the centre, spreading so it touches the surface of the hot filling (and starts to cook), then give it all a swirl.(piped with 1M nozzle).
  • Return to the oven for 18-20 mins until the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured. Let the pie sit in the tin for 30 mins, the remove and leave for at least another 1/2 - 1 hour before slicing. Eat the same day.

Note: I made half of the filling and meringue to fill in a 10cm tart tin.

Linking this post to Little Thumbs Up 'LEMONS' hosted by Grace, Life can be simple. This is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My little favourite DIY.

Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Psalm 23:6

May we be able to say with David that goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives!  This is how and who our Shepherd is! Our Lord is constantly watching over us and His grace is always working in us. It is His nature to love us sacrificially,selflessly, extravagantly....and much, much more we can imagine and beyond our wildest expectations.

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