Monday 25 August 2014

Looking For That Blessed Hope

My husband ate one of the Plum Tartlets which I baked last night.  He thought it was for his morning breakfast and commented that it was too crumbly and dry.

"Hey! You took the best looking of the lot, and these are not breakfast muffins, they're meant to be eaten with ice cream!" I exclaimed.  I have not even taken photos.

I didn't think much of these tartlets when I saw the Bake Along link. I said to myself, "No, I'm not baking these.".  But I'm kinda into this Bake Along ever since joining hosts Zoe, Joyce and Lena.  I have enjoyed Bake Along tremendously and have challenged myself to bake things which I normally dare not do. It is always the same chiffons, sponge and butter cakes.

Plums are in season, and are selling cheaply in supermarkets everywhere. What kind of plums to buy? I'm spoilt for choice here. We have the Spanish and American varieties. I bought the red plums because I think they're prettier for baking.

Plum Tartlet
Adapted from Bake for happy kids, from the book Back in the Day Bakery.
6 small tarts

150g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (cinnamon powder)
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature (salted)
1 large egg yolk
40g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or exract)
lemon zest from 1 lemon
2 plums, pitted and sliced (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp brown sugar
icing sugar for dusting


  • Preheat the oven to 350F or 160C fan forced. Lightly butter 6 cups of a muffin tray and line each base with a circle of baking paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the egg yolk, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zes and continue to beat until the mixture is light in colour.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add sifted flour mixture in thirds, mixing just until incorporated; be careful not to over mix.
  • Divide the dough evenly among muffin cups. Place plum slices in each cup,lightly pressing the slices into the dough with your fingers. 
  • Sprinkle the tops with brown sugar.
  • Bake for 25 mins, until the tartlets look set and the tops are bubbly and caramelized to a golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
These are best served warm, but they can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Surprise, surprise, I like the tartlets! This is great and fuss free way of making tarts without crust. Taste a little like crumbles and this would be great with vanilla ice cream.

This post is linked to Bake Along hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Lena from Frozen Wings and Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.

Sunday 24 August 2014

Let Us Go To The House of the LORD

Salmon en croute is much easier to prepare than its elegant name suggests. It can be prepare hours ahead, making it great for entertaining at home.

This is not my first time making salmon en croute.  I have done one by Laura Calder, one which has layers of asparagus on the salmon. This recipe by Gordon Ramsay is easier and much faster to prepare,  about 10 mins of preparation, if you're using ready rolled pastry.

The dill and basil butter spread, and wholegrain mustard add lots of flavour to the salmon. You can also use puff pastry if you do not have ready short crust pastry. I prefer this salmon en croute to the previous one, one which I did not even bother to put up.  If the dish is not much to my liking, I would normally not blog about it. This is different, this is THE Gordon Ramsay's recipe. This is much simpler and more aromatic.
 I made one serve for two small eaters. This dish can also be sliced to smaller portions to serve as first course.

Salmon en croute
Gordon Ramsay
Serves 4
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes(30 mins)


1 side of salmon, about 900g, skinned
A little olive oil
60g unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Generous handful of basil leaves
Small handful of dill leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
500g shortcrust pastry, (ready rolled)
Plain flour, to dust
1 egg yolk, beaten


  • Check the salmon for pin bones, removing any that you find with tweezers, then cut in half. Line a baking tray with a lightly oiled piece of foil.
  • mixed the softened butter with the lemon zest, basil, dill and some salt and pepper in a bowl, to make the filling.
  • Pat the salmon fillets dry with kitchen paper, then season lightly with salt and pepper.boned side, and the mustard evenly  on the other fillet. Sandwich the two salmon fillets together, in opposite directions so both ends are of an even thickness.
  • Roll out  the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle the thickness of a £1 coin and large enough to enclose the salmon. ( I used a square ready rolled)
  • Put the salmon parcel in the centre of the pastry and brush the surrounding pastry with egg. Bring up the edges, trimming off any excess, and tuck them in before folding the rest of the pastry over to form a neat parcel.
  • Carefully turn the whole thing over so that the seam is underneath and place on the prepared baking tray.
  • Brush the pastry with beaten egg. Lightly score a herringbone or cross-hatch pattern using the back of a knife. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover loosely and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C. 
  • Bake the salmon for 20-25 minutes,until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. To test if ready, insert a skewer into the middle. It should feel warm for medium cooked salmon. A piping hot skewer indicates that the fish is done.
  • Rest the salmon for 5 minutes, then cut into portions using a serrated knife. Serve with Hollandaise sauce,new potatoes and broccoli or minted peas. (no sauce, served with plum and arugula salad)

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star 'Gordon Ramsay' hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids,
Mich of Piece of Cake and Yen off Eat Your Heart Out.

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20
The church is not a building. It is the people who gather together as one body, in Jesus Christ. We go to church because we love Jesus and choose to follow Him. We go to worship Him in heart,songs and praises. We listen to the message that God has directed His servant to deliver.

I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." Psalm 122

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Because Of The Service

Salmon is one of my favourite fish to eat. I enjoy eating it raw, cooked or cured. I like to do my own curing because it is simple and cheaper to do at home.

Beetroot Cured Salmon gives the cured salmon a subtle earthly flavour and when combines with orange zest and crushed coriander seeds produce a lovely essence. The beet juice tint the edges of the salmon slices a bright rosy red colour which looks lovely on a bed of green salad.

The method of curing is from Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Home Cooking video but I couldn't find the exact recipe. This is my estimated version.

Beetroot Cured Salmon
Gordon Ramsay


1 piece of salmon, 300g
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 beetroot, grated
1 big orange zest
1/3 cup rock salt
1/4 cup sugar
ground black pepper


  • Combine and stir beetroot, orange zest, coriander seeds,ground black pepper, rock salt and sugar together.
  • Pat the mixture on the salmon and cover tightly with cling wrap. Place a heavy bottomed pan or pot to sit on the salmon and leave in fridge to cure overnight.(not more than 48 hours)
  • Remove the beetroot mixture and rinse under cold tap. Pat dry the salmon with kitchen towel and slice thinly. The salmon is ready to eat.

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star 'Gordon Ramsay' hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids,
Mich from Piece of Cake and Yen from Eat Your Heart Out.

Sunday School

Most Sunday school teachers don't expect much when it comes to appreciation. Many are teaching because they feel called to serve. They are willing to serve with little recognition and appreciation.
Last Saturday, we had our Sunday school retreat cum appreciation lunch. It was a time to evaluate progress and effectiveness and look into the new curriculum of study.

Appreciation gift

Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 2 Corinthians 9:13

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Love The Lord Your God

Steak Diane is a classic restaurant show stopping dish usually prepared and flambé at the table.
A steak Diane sauce is typically made of shallots, mustard, cognac, butter and cream. The flambé is for caramelizing and browning sauce.

I have never done a flambé before but by accidents on a few occasions. I was so panicky that I doused the flame in water and ruined the dish! So how was my first real flambé experience? To be honest, it was still as scary as those accidental flambés. I have fear of singeing hair and eyebrows.
Despite my flambé fear, I will definitely make steak Diane again. This dish is a classic and retro. Serve with sautéed potatoes and peas, you have a timeless dish.

I love the sautéed potatoes too. It is soft inside and crisp on the outside. Traditionally, the steaks are rolled thin to cook quickly. I cooked for two using sirloin steak of about 230g each and one big russet potato for side.

My thanks to Linda, a blogger friend for giving me the idea to cook this dish. Do visit Linda's blog for some laughter and inspirations.

Steak Diane with Sautéed Potatoes and Peas
Gordon Ramsay
serves 4

4 x small sirloin steaks, approx 200g each trimmed of rind and excess fat
3 shallots,peeled
100g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned
1 garlic clove, peeled
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
50ml brandy
200ml single cream
Small handful of flat leaf parsley
300g peas
Approx 30g salted butter
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the sauteed potatoes
Approx 500-600g small Charlotte potatoes, cut in half
2 garlic cloves,peeled
few sprigs of rosemary (thyme)


  • Parboil the potatoes in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes or until just tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the steaks to flatten and cut off the rind of fat. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a little olive oil in a heavy based pan. Quickly saute the steaks on both sides for approx 1 minute to colour, then remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
  • Bring the same pan backup to temperature and add a little more oil if necessary. Slice the shallots and mushrooms add to the pan, season with salt and pepper and saute briefly. Crush in the garlic and stir.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard and heat through for 1-2 minutes. Tilt the pan away from you, pour the alcohol has burnt off, swirl the juices around the pan. Pour in the cream and add the juices around the pan. Pour in the cream and add the steaks and any resting juices back into the pan.Allow the steaks to heat through for 2-3 minutes.Chop the parsley  and sprinkle itinto the pan.
  • Introduce the steaks back into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes (depending on how well done you like your steak)
  • Heat a little oil in a separate pan and add the potatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper and add the rosemary.Crushing two garlic cloves and saute. Toss the potatoes, add a knob of butter and saute for a further 1-2 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  • Cook the peas for 2-3 minutes, in boiling salted water with a little butter. Drain, and keep warm.
  • To serve, transfer the steaks to serving plates and spoon the sauce over. Arrange the sauteed potatoes and peas alongside.

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star 'Gordon Ramsay' hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy  Kids,
Mich from Piece of Cake and Yen from Eat Your Heart Out.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Matthew 22:37

Sunday 10 August 2014

This Is How We Know What Love Is

Great food doesn't have to be complex, as these simple Chilli Beef Lettuce Wraps shows. Fast, fresh and simple party food to prepare.  It won't break your bank too if you have a large crowd to feed.

I halve the recipe because I'm not sure if my younger son likes the food. Huge mistake. This is so appetizing! I like the accompanying sauce too. Sweet, sour and spicy. As I was chowing down the wrap, I thought of the Orange and Ginger Caramelised Chicken wings just made by Zoe. This is also another Thai inspired dish by Gordon Ramsay. How nice if I can have the wings too! That would make a very satisfying meal complete!

Ultimate Cookery Course Ep 2 Chilli Beef Lettuce Wrap

Its really important to get a good colour on the mince(mine is slightly unevenly browned). Strain the mince too after frying to keep it crisp

Chilli Beef  Lettuce Wrap
Gordon Ramsay
serves 4


olive oil, for frying
200g lean minced beef
200g minced pork
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sesame oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1-2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped'1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
Zest of 1 lime, juice of a lime
3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
2 little gem lettuces, separated into leaves, to serve

For the Dressing
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 red chilli, thinly sliced
Small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
1-2 tsps fish sauce, to taste
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil


  • Heat a large fring pan and add a little oil.
  • Mix the minced beef and pork together. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed.
  • Fry the mince in the hot pan for five to seven minutes until crisp and brown and broken down to a fine consistency. Drain the crisped minced in a sieve - this will help it stay crispy. Set aside.
  • Wipe out the pan and add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. Add the garlic,ginger and chilli. Fry with a pinch of salt and the sugar for two minutes. Add he drained mince and stir to mix.
  • Add the fish sauce and heat through. Stir in the lime zest and juice, then add the spring onions, stirring for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
  • Mix all the dressing ingredients together and adjust to taste. Spoon some of the mince mixture into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with a little dressing and serve.

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star 'Gordon Ramsay' hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy kids,
Mich from Piece of Cake and Yen from Eat Your Heart Out.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus  Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our  brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

Friday 8 August 2014

Every Word of God Is Flawless

Tray baked food are great food to prepare. Usually quite economical, it saves you time to prepare, and is also versatile to feed for one or a crowd.
This is a tray baked pasta that I come up with for the Bake Along. I have all the ingredients needed and it takes about 10-12 minutes of preparation and 20 minutes cooking time.

Chicken, Bacon and Thyme Pasta Bake
Recipe source: Whatever You Do
serves 3


250g large spiral tricolour pasta
1 chicken breast fillets, small cubed (150g)
2 bacons, roughly chopped
10 Button mushrooms, sliced
50g butter
1 tablespoons plain flour
11/2 cup chicken stock
1 cups milk
a sprig of thyme
1/2 cup grated cheese, I use mozzarella
ground pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Cook pasta as per directions. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and brown chicken and bacon. Add mushrooms, stir until cooked. Remove pan from heat and set aside. 
  • Melt the butter in the pan, add flour an stir until a paste forms. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in stock until combined. Add milk slowly, stirring until sauce thickens. 
  • Combine sauce, drained pasta and chicken mixture, pour into a baking dish. Top with grated cheese and bake for 20-25 min until golden.

Note: Served with a fresh salad. This tray baked has very little sauce which I like.  It is not dry and pasta is coated with sauce and cheese.

This post is linked to Bake Along 'Baked Pasta' hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy kids, Lena from

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Proverbs 30:5

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Tuesday 5 August 2014

When You Have Eaten And Are Satisfied

In the past, I used to turn off the telly whenever Gordon Ramsay is on. Now, I am one of his biggest fan. I watch and re watch all his shows over and over again.  It started with the Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate cookery course that got me hooked on the man. In this show, he presented 100 recipes that, according to him, you can stake your life on. I'm not sure about the staking part but the show really is filled with cooking tips and techniques, making cooking seems easy.

Episode 1 Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Peppers

The star of this dish is the sweet peppers and onions. It is delicious with the chops. Sweet and sour in taste, it makes a good side to cook for a barbecue party. It goes well with any grilled food.

Having cooked some of his recipes from the show, I am now an ardent fan of Gordon Ramsay! These are some of the dishes here, here from the Ultimate Cookery Course.

Pork Chop with Sweet and Sour Peppers


2 pork chops, about 200g each (4 chops, about 100g each)
olive oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, skin on, crushed
small bunch of thyme

The sweet and sour peppers
olive oil, for frying
1 red onion, peeled and sliced'2 red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
small bunch of basil leaves, shredded


  • First prepare the peppers. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the onion and peppers.
  • Season with salt and pepper, add the sugar and saute over a high heat for 4-5 minutes until soft and coloured. (make sure you can hear the vegetables hissing in the pan. If not, the pan isn't hot enough and you're in danger of boiling the vegetables instead of frying them.)
  • Add the vinegar and let it bubble for a minute or two until has reduced and the peppers are soft. Turn down the heat, add the tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Stirin the shredded basil and continue to cook for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat. Decan into a bowl and set aside to infuse. Wipe the pan clean, ready to cook the pork
  • Using a sharp knife, make cuts into the fat of the chops, about 5mm deep and at 3-4cm intervals, making sure you don't cut into the meat. (this will stop the meat from curling up during cooking and will make it cook more evenly.) Season the chops really well on both sides, pushing the seasoning into the meat.
  • Place the cleaned-out frying pan over a high heat until hot and add a dash of oil. Add the chops, garlic and thyme and fry for 203 minutes until coloured. Turn and fry for a further 203 minutes on the other side, pushing the thyme under the chops and breaking up the garlic a little.
  • Towards the end of cooking time, add 3 knobs of butter and baste the chops with it as they are cooking, to speed up the cooking process and keep the chops moist. (Push the fatty edge of the chops towards the back of the pan to help render the fat.) Squeeze the garlic out of its skin and place with the herbs on top of the chops.
  • Transfer the chops to a plate, and rest for 5-10 minutes, spooning over the basting butter now and again.
  • Serve the chops on top of the peppers with the resting juices and a little juice from the peppers.

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star 'Gordon Ramsay' hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy kids,
Mich from Piece of Cake and Yen from Eat Your Heart Out

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.
Deuteronomy 8:10
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