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Chinese Crispy Roast Pork Belly or Siu Yuk

It has been quite a while since I last updated!  Just too busy with work and with my life at the moment!  Well I had a bit of time to whip up something gorgeous and that is really close to my heart lol...........CHINESE CRISPY ROAST PORK BELLY! or Siu Yuk 烧肉. You will see these piggys hanging next to roast ducks display windows at pretty much any chinese butcher.....and I can't resist but looking how yummy and bubbly the crispy crunchy crackle looks on the pork meat.  YUMMMMMMMMMMM.

It looks hard to make but oh my it was so easy to make!  The ingredients are already available in my pantry so all I needed was the pork belly!

What you need:
2kg of young pork belly
1TBS of rice wine vinegar
1TBS of salt

1 TBS of salt
1 TBS of sugar
1 cube of preserved or fermented bean curd
1 TBS of Chinese five spice powder
1 TBS of chopped garlic


Boil water and mean while clean pork belly and poke holes or incisions all over the skin with a knife or anything that is sharp.   Lay pork into a deep tray/bowl and pour the boiling water over the pork belly and blanch quickly.  Take it out and submerge into water or ice to stop it from cooking.   Dry the pork with a clean towel and put in fridge to dry out even more.

Meanwhile, add all the marinade ingredients together into a mixing bowl (except for vinegar) and make sure to mix the bean curd thoroughly.

Okay now with the pork, lay skin side down onto a baking tray and rub the marinade all over the meat (not the skin....the skin has be dry).  Marinate for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to about 220c for 20 minutes.  Lay the pork skin side up.   Rub skin with some salt (not too much).   Put into oven for about 25minutes and you will see it turn brown and start to crackle and bubble.  Take out and poke more holes/incisions into the skin and brush it with rice wine vinegar.  Careful at this stage cause it will pop/bubble more.   Put the tray back into the oven and roast for another 20 to 35 minutes.

Tap the pork skin with a spoon and when you hear that 'sound' it is sure ready!   If it looks charcoal then just brush/scrape it off with a knife.  Let it rest for 15minutes or so and cut it up and eat immediately!


Steak, Chips and Salad

The good ol' Steak, Chips and Salad is one of my favourite dinner meals!  I think the sauce makes the dish very satisfying and my favourite sauces to go with the steak is either diane sauce or pepper sauce.

All you need to serve 2 people:
2 good quality rump steaks
half packet of frozen chips
mixed salad of your choice

for the sauce:
2 onions sliced finely
clove of garlic crushed and chopped
2 tomatoes chopped/diced 
1 pkt of pepper sauce (any brand)
1- 2 tbs of worcheshire sauce
some red wine - i use a glug or 2..or 3...
1 tbs of butter (depending how glossy you want the sauce to look)


Preheat oven at 220C and bake frozen chips are per packet instructions.  You can deep fry this at the end but I prefer my chips baked.

Meanwhile melt butter into skillet, add in onions and garlic and saute.  Next add in the tomatoes and cook til soften.

Add in the pepper sauce, worcheshire, and red wine.  Simmer for 15 minutes and taste.  If the sauce looks too thick for your liking, you can thin it down with some water.  Stir.
Put the skillet aside.

Next oil or butter another skillet and cook your steak to rare/medium or cooked.  Depending how you like your steak.  I like mine just pink in the middle.  Watch your steak otherwise it might end up tasting tough and not tender.

Put the steak on the arrange plates and ladle the sauce over, arrange salad and hot chips on the side (should be done by  now)  and serve immediately!....with a bottle of red.. :)


Chicken with Soy Sauce and Shao Hsing Wine

 Chicken with Soy Sauce and Shao Hsing Wine

I remember watching The Cook and The Chef (Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant) one night late last year and this one recipe they were making  (Chicken Braised with Soy Sauce and Shao Hsing Wine) made my mouth water instantly. 

I was thinking of following the recipe but I made mine different anyway.  Instead of putting all the ingredients in a stock pot and poaching it, I marinated chicken wings/drumsticks over night and baked it in a roasting pan in the oven at 180c for 30 minutes to 35 minutes.  My goodness it tasted so delicate and juicy!   I have marinated the chicken overnight so you get that depth of flavour of the wine and soy sauce through the chicken.   You have to be careful not to put so much soy sauce into the marinade otherwise it will turn out pretty salty and it wouldn't be nice.

Chicken with Soy Sauce and Shao Hsing Wine
(adapted by Kylie Kwong's original recipe) (baked)

2kg of drumsticks and chicken wings

Marinate/Stock Ingredients
1 cup of shao hsing wine
1/2 cup of light soy sauce
3 garlic cloves crushed
10cm of ginger finely sliced
3 tbs of light brown sugar
1 to 2 cups of water
some oil

Mix all marinate ingredients in a small bowl.   
In a big bowl add the chicken wings and drumsticks and pour in the marinate and coat evenly until well covered.  
Cover with cling wrap well and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven at about 180c
In 2 roasters/roasting trays (I used 2 pyrex glass rectangle roasters) spread out the chicken evenly pour in stock evenly in both trays.
Transfer both trays into the oven and cook for at least 30minutes or til done!
Serve immediately with hot jasmine rice!  


Stuffed Beef Capsicum

Stuffed Beef Capsicum is what I had for dinner several weeks ago but didn't have the time to update yet again!   Usually at the end of the week I have left overs of unused frozen beef mince, capsicums, carrots and mushrooms and anything that I haven't really used when I buy fresh groceries on the weekend.  In the pantry I would have bits and pieces of shitake mushrooms, clear vermicelli noodles, onions and garlic. 

I could of chopped all of the vegetables up and stir fried it with clear noodles and eaten it that way but I chose to use the capsicums and stuffed it with leftovers.  It looks more pretty that way and surely it tasted great too hehe.  I know that most stuffed capsicum recipes use rice to stuff but I just used lots of clear vermicelli noodles!

I didn't really measure the ingredients (yet again).  I just pretty much worked with what I have :).

Stuffed Beef Capsicum

* 2 to 3 red or green capsicums
* 300 grams of beef mince
* half pack of vermicelli noodle, soaked and chopped roughly 
* handful of shitake mushrooms, soaked and chopped roughly
* oil
* 3 cloves of garlic chopped
* 1 onion diced
* 1 carrot grated
* 1 egg
* oyster sauce
* soy sauce
* dash of sesame oil
* white pepper and salt to taste

Firstly, de-seed the capsicums and scoop out the membrane bits and wash.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to about 180 degrees
Mix all the ingredients above until well incorporated.
On a large sized pan, cook the beef mixture halfway (til looks like it is nearly done).
Transfer the beef mixture into the capsicums and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in a baking tray for about 30 to 40 minutes til done


Cooking with Kids: Marshmallow Rice Bubble Slice

kids love eating and licking the spoons!

Today this kids and I made Marshmallow Rice Bubble Slice.   I made rice bubble slice before but that one didn't have the marshmallow in it. I like this version better. It's softer and chewy than the one with copha in it.   The recipe I have used is from kidspot a popular Australian parent resource site.  I added some chocolate chips in it too to make it a bit more fun for the kids.   Well at the end they picked into the slice and went for the chips instead lol.  Oh well!  At least they had a good time learning how to cooperate and work together by mixing, patting and taking turns in the kitchen.

Marshmallow Rice Bubble Slice (adapted from kidspot.com.au)


* 75g butter
* 1 ½ packages Black and Gold brand Marshmallow puffs (pink and white)
* 6 cups rice bubbles
* optional:  1/2 cup of chocolate chips


Butter a large lamington or slice pan and set aside. 

Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan to a medium heat and melt butter.

Add marshmallow puffs and allow them to melt completely until you have a smooth cream. Be sure to stir constantly so the bottom does not burn.

Add rice bubbles quickly and continue to vigorously stir.  Add in the chocolate chips.

Once all ingredients are combined, place the mixture into prepared pan and press down using the back of a clean spoon until even.

Allow to cool and cut into slices. Serve or store in an air-tight container for up to one week.

I didn't take a photo of it first and this was the very LAST piece.  It was pretty good despite that fact it didn't look that nice cause of the pink melted marshmallows!

Well I hope everyone has a great weekend!   I have been so busy and haven't had to update or check anything!  Til next time :)


Papaya Smoothie/Milkshake

I love papaya.   It's so refreshing and healthy to eat.   I love it eaten green when cooked in soups and I like it in desserts like jelly.   This time I have a Papaya Smoothie/Milkshake to share.  It's quite simple to make and very healthy for you.  In fact it is the most super fruit on the list!  It's a very rich source of vitamins C, A, E, folate, fibre and potassium!  Papaya also is commonly known for its use as a natural digestive aid which breaks down protein and cleanses the digestive tract.  So this is a good way for people who want to lose some weight!

To find a nice ripe papaya.....you will need to look for a nice golden colour skinned fruit and the inside flesh should be smooth and silky and golden yellow in colour.  It also should smell sweet!

I don't really measure but this is just approximate!  Put as much milk in the smoothie if you want it sweeter or thicker/thinner.   Work with what you have.

Papaya Smoothie/Milkshake

1/2 of a papaya (seeds out, skin off and chopped into cubes)
1 cup of milk
3 tbs of condensed milk
1 to 2 cups of crushed ice

Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend til smooth.   Serve immediately!


Mixed Berry Banana Smoothie

Mixed berry and banana smoothie such a healthy snack that is pretty much a meal itself!  It is such a fantastic combination that can be alternated with different types of ingredients such as different types of yogurt, how much ice you want to use and how much banana or berries you like to add.  It's the same with every other type with smoothies that you can personalise.

I have used frozen berries since it is so hard to find fresh ones here.  Does the same trick :).

Mixed Berry and Banana Smoothie

This is my combination (alternate as you would like it)

1 cup of mixed berries
2 bananas
1 cup of milk
5 spoonfuls of yogurt (I used plain vanilla yogurt but you can alternate)
2 cups of crushed ice (to make it thick consistency)
optional: splash of coconut milk (I just like adding coconut milk to every smoothie I make)

Add all ingredients together and blend til smooth to your consistency.  Add more ice to get thick or add more milk to get it more thinner consistency.

Serve immediately.


Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary and Mint

There is something about the combination of lamb with rosemary and mint -  it's just tastes so delicious and makes you want to go "mmmmmmm!" after every bite.    I made rosemary and mint marinade (or jelly) that was initially for lamb chops but since the lamb shoulder was on special I grabbed this instead.

This dish is so good and while cooking in the oven the smell just traveled throughout the house!  So yummy!

I don't really measure when I am cooking....I only measure when I bake :).  So these are approximate measures of the recipe.

Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary and Mint

1kg of lamb shoulder
1/2 cup of mint jelly
3 tbs of mint chopped up (i just used Vietnamese mint in the garden)
3 tbs of fresh rosemary (or you can use the dry ones)
1 tbs of vegetable oil or olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl transfer all ingredients (except for lamb) in a large sized bowl and mix well.   Transfer the lamb shoulder into the marinade and rub the marinate into the lamb on all sides.

Refrigerate over night to get the deep flavour.  You can marinate for one hour but I like to marinate overnight so you get that mint and rosemary flavour absorb through the meat.

Preheat oven at about 180c for 10 minutes and transfer the marinated lamb onto a baking tray making sure all sides are covered with the marinate.

Cook for at least 35minutes in the oven or until cooked through.  It can take longer or less depending on your oven.

Rest for 10 minutes and so and cut into slices and serve with veges, salad or hot chips!  YUMM!


Sinh To Bo (Vietnamese Avocado Milkshake/Smoothie)

Sinh To Bo (Vietnamese avocado milkshake) is my favourite Vietnamese milkshake/smoothie!   And since it's in season where I am I thought I would make some!   It's so delicious yet so healthy besides the condensed milk.   The combination of the condense milk and the avocado gives this really nice smooth, rich and creamy consistency that you would think there was ice cream in it!

Sinh To Bo (Vietnamese Avocado Milkshake/Smoothie) (makes 2 serves)

2 ripe avocados (skin off and seed out)
1/4 (or more depends on your sweet tooth) of condense milk
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of coconut milk
2 cups of crushed ice

Blend all ingredients together til nice and smooth.   Add more milk (less thicker) or add more condense milk (sweeter) to get the consistency you want.  Serve immediately!



Pineapple and Lychee Colada

Pineapple and Lychee Colada is such a wonderful combination together with coconut milk.  Lychees are my favourite Chinese fruit and I love it as tea and on it's own all to myself!  Since lychee season isn't here at the moment I just opted for a can instead at my local Asian grocers.

Pineapple of Lychee Colada

500mls of pineapple juice
4 rings of canned pineapple
500g of canned lychees
150mls of coconut milk
crushed ice

First put all the pineapple juice and pineapple, and lychee in blender and blend til smooth.
Add the coconut milk and ice til smooth and thick.
Serve immediately.


Grilled Chicken with Tomato Fried Rice

This is a nice healthy dish that was easily whipped up using only one chicken breast fillet, ginger and garlic, tomato sauce and yesterday's rice!  Tasted so good I think I have to make another next time.  So this was my breakfast this morning.......looks like it was made for dinner :).

Grilled Chicken with Tomato Fried Rice (serves 2)

1 chicken breast fillet (flatten it out with mallet til tender and cut in half)
salt and pepper to taste
ginger julienne
1 tbs of butter

Fried Rice:
2 cups of cooked rice (1 day old)
minced garlic
1 onion sliced
1 tbs of tomato sauce
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites 
1 tbs of butter
salt and pepper to taste

coriander leaves
ginger julienne

Bring wok to medium heat and add butter and egg whites.  Cook the egg whites and set aside.  While cooling down cut them into strips. Leave aside.

In the same wok, add butter, garlic and onion.  Saute til brown.  Add in the rice and tomato sauce.  Mix the rice and tomato til incorporated and add in the egg yolks.   Stir and mix the egg yolk through the rice til the rice turns all crispy and golden.   Transfer this to plates.

Bring a grill to medium high heat and add butter and ginger.  Lay chicken and grill for 6 to 8 minutes.  To check when ready, put a skewer directly into the middle of the breast and if juice flows clear it's done.

Rest chicken and cut into strips.  Transfer onto prepared rice plates.  Garnish with coriander and serve immediately.

Pineapple and Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie

I went up shopping today and picked up some watermelon and strawberries and decided to whip up this smoothie today with a can of pineapple I have already at home.  It is simply called a Pineapple and Strawberry Watermelon smoothie.  It's so yummy!   When choosing watermelon choose one that feels heavy for its size.   The cooler months tend not to be that sweet but sweeter in the warmer months.  I just add honey for a sweeter taste.

Pineapple and Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie  (serves 2)

1 cup chopped watermelon
1/2 cup of strawberries halved and hulled
about 3 rings of canned pineapple
1 cup of coconut milk/milk or even yogurt (optional)
1/2 tsp of honey
1 cup of crushed ice

Put the watermelon, strawberries, and pineapple in blender and blend til smooth.  Add the coconut milk or milk/yogurt, honey and ice.  Blend til thick or til ice has broken down.


Ginger Chicken

Ginger chicken is such a home-y recipe.   I love it with a side of hot jasmine rice and some steamed Asian vegetables.   I got this idea off  No Frills Recipe which is steamed.  I don't really have a steamer (I only own an electric one) so I used a wok and fried all the chicken pieces til browned.  Then I added some water and steamed it for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced.  I enjoyed this so much I am going to make it a regular :).

Ginger Chicken (adapted from No Frills Recipe)

1kg of chicken breast fillets chopped into bite size pieces
116g of prepared ginger paste (the fresh one in a tube in the vegetable section in Woolworths)
3 tbs of corn flour
dash of sesame oil
1tbs of oil
some ginger julienne
1 clove of garlic silvered  
1tsp of sugar
2tbs of light soy sauce
pinch of salt
optional: coriander to garnish


In a mixing bowl combine prepared ginger paste, sugar, corn flour, sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce and pinch of salt and mix til the sugar dissolved.  Coat the chicken pieces and marinate it covered and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Then in a large saucepan or wok to medium heat, add oil, ginger julienne and garlic and fry until fragrant.

Then turn the heat on high and add half the chicken pieces and seal all sides til brown for 2 minutes each.  We are cooking 2 batches.

Add some water and cover the saucepan or wok with lid and cook on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes and until you see that your sauce is reduced to a nice gravy consistency.

Transfer to a medium sized bowl and repeat for the second batch.

Serve with hot jasmine rice and Asian greens.  Can also garnish your dish.


Pork Ribs with Chilli Garlic and Lemongrass

I love pork ribs and especially when it is made Vietnamese style.  My favourite is Pork Ribs wtih Chilli Garlic and Lemongrass which is so easy to make.     My mum usually made this for me when I lived at home and now since I moved out it has become a regular dish at mine :).   It's so satisfying with hot jasmine rice on the side and also you can add some Asian vegetables with it like bok choy or even mustard greens topped with light soy sauce.

I used a lot of chill in this dish cause I love my dishes really spicy.  If you are not a chilli fan omit it.  And don't add anymore salt cause the other sauces are pretty salty anyway.

What you will need:

1 kg of pork ribs
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs of light brown sugar
2 tbs ketchup manis (sweet soy sauce)
3 cloves of garlic, diced chopped finely
2 stalks of lemon grass, diced and chopped finely
2 chillis (chopped lengthways) or just use 2 tsps of already minced chilli from a jar
glug of oil (any)
coconut juice (clear not the coconut cream/milk) or you can use stock (unsalted)


Cut the pork ribs into sections and put aside
Combine fish sauce, ketchup manis, garlic and lemon grass (which is smashed flat with the outer leaves removed and slice it thinly), sugar, garlic and chilli and mix well to form a syrupy kind of paste.
Then mix the pork ribs with the mix you just made and leave to marinate for at least an hour in the fridge or better over night for deeper flavour.
Heat a wok and add oil.   Add in the marinated pork ribs and fry until brown each side.  Add in the stock or coconut juice and cover for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked.
Serve with hot rice and vegetables.


Cooking with Kids: Masterchef Scones

I got this recipe off the Australian Master Chef site which was a previous recipe from masterclass from last year's series.  The recipe is originally dates and lemon but I just added sultanas instead of those ingredients.  Every Friday I have little helpers that are more than eager to help me measure, pour, mix, knead and help me eat the finished product!

These were so good!!!

All you need is:

150ml-175ml milk
150ml cream
1 egg
3 cups self-raising flour
2 tbs caster sugar
1 cup chopped, dried dates
Finely grated rind 1 lemon
Cream & jam, to serve

My little master chefs hard at work!


Makes 12
1. Preheat oven 200°C fan forced. Line large flat oven tray with baking paper.

2. Whisk 150ml milk, cream and egg together until well combined. Combine flour, sugar, dates and lemon rind in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and stir gently to a soft dough, adding remaining milk if necessary. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough comes together.

3. Press dough out to 2cm-thick. Cut scones from dough and place onto tray flat-side up. Press dough together gently and repeat using the remaining dough. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden and well risen. Serve hot with jam and cream.

For a video tutorial head to:http://www.masterchef.com.au/date-and-lemon-scones.htm


Pepper Sauce Tofu Puffs with Couscous

This is something I whipped up in a few minutes.  I had left over tofu puffs in the fridge, pepper sauce from the steak (previous entry), some bean sprouts and herbs and was too lazy to make rice so made 5 minute couscous instead.    I thought it would of tasted weird but turned out pretty good!

All I did was cook the couscous in boiling water for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Meanwhile, I cut up the puffed tofu into slices and then added it on a hot pan with oil....stir fried it and then added in all those ingredients and voila...a 5 minute meal!  It was very tasty and filling.

I think the point to this post is that you can whip up anything in the fridge even though "you have nothing to eat".   I could of went out to Maccas but decided to make up something with leftovers which became a satisfying meal.


Steak with Pepper Tomato Onion Mushroom Sauce and Couscous and Salad

I love steak and I have it at least once a week usually on the weekend.  I love it done medium rare with a nice peppery tomato mushroom onion sauce on top and couscous and salad on the side.

All you need to serve 2 people:
2 good quality rump steaks
1 cup of couscous
1 cup of water (for couscous)
mixed salad of your choice

for the sauce:
2 onions sliced finely
clove of garlic crushed and chopped
500 grams of mushroom sliced
2 tomatoes chopped/diced 
1 pkt of pepper sauce (any brand)
1- 2 tbs of worcheshire sauce
some red wine - i use a glug or 2..or 3...
1 tbs of butter (depending how glossy you want the sauce to look)

Firstly melt butter into skillet, add in onions and garlic and saute.  Next add in the tomatoes and mushrooms.  Cook til the mushrooms and tomatoes soften.
Add in the pepper sauce, worcheshire, and red wine.  Simmer for 15 minutes and taste.  If the sauce looks too thick for your liking, you can thin it down with some water.  Stir.
Put the skillet aside.

Next oil or butter another skillet and cook your steak to rare/medium or cooked.  Depending how you like your steak.  I like mine just pink in the middle.  Watch your steak otherwise it might end up tasting tough and not tender.

Meanwhile, add boiling water to your couscous into a bowl and cover.  It takes about 5 minutes for the couscous to be light and fluffy.  Add in butter if you want and mix.   Arrange couscous and salad on plate.

Put the steak on the arrange plates and ladle the sauce over and serve immediately!

This is a simple yet healthy dish to make.  You can have hot chips on the side but I like to keep the food a bit healthy hehe.  Remember you don't have to add any butter to any of the ingredients here.  I just like the butter to give it more flavour!


Combination Laksa

Laksa is my favourite spicy noodle soup dish and nothing beats a good soup like this during winter to warm up the body :).  It's a lovely dish that is full of contrasting flavours and the soup is attractive itself!  I usually go to Malaysian restaurants to eat this when I am not in the mood to labour in the kitchen.

In this noodle soup I have used laksa paste bought from my local asian grocery store.   To me it works as well as the paste made from scratch.   And I love very spicy dishes so I added 2 more teaspoons of grinded chilli with seeds to top it off.    For the broth I used chicken stock,  added in cans of coconut milk and ginger slices!   I have also used store bought frozen fish balls, meat balls, quail eggs, tofu puffs to soak up the yummy flavour, sliced carrots, sliced capsicum and chicken drum sticks.  To garnish it off I used coriander leaves, Vietnamese mint, bean sprouts and last and not least fried onion!  It's so delicious!

To make about 8 large bowls of noodle soup you will need:

glug of vegetable oil
1 kg of chicken drumsticks (for the stock and meat)
slices of ginger
3 cans of coconut milk
2 jars of laksa paste (any will do - you can get this at the Asian grocers)
1 red capsicum sliced and halved length ways
2 carrots halved and sliced length ways
1 can of quail eggs
fish balls (cut into halves)
meat balls (cut into slices or halves)
tofu puffs (cut into halves)
juice of lemon or lime

thick egg noodles
rice vermicelli noodles
the chicken from the broth
spring onions
deep fried onions
Vietnamese mint
bean sprouts
coriander leaves


In a large pot, heat oil and add in ginger slices and stir until fragrant.  Next add the chicken and fry until slightly brown.  Add about 2 to 3 litres of water and cover.  Put on medium high and cook til chicken is cooked.  Take the chicken out and set aside.   Add in coconut milk and the jars of laksa paste.   Add in chilli paste to give it a nice kick!  Optional of course.   Simmer for about 15 minutes on medium. 

Next add in the sliced capsicum, carrots, fish balls, meat balls, tofu puffs, lemon juice and lastly add in the prawns and quail eggs.

While the broth is simmering, blanch white and egg noodles in boiling water and transfer half each into large noodle soup bowls.  Then pour the broth over prepared noodle bowls and top with chicken drum sticks (2 or more if you want).  Garnish the bowls with bean sprouts, coriander, mint and deep fried onion.  Squeeze lemon or lime juice and serve immediately!


Cooking with Kids: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Today the girls and I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies!  The cookie photo on top is by one of the girl's....she did go over board with pushing the chocolate chips in didn't she?  I am a big fan of oatmeal cookies because of it's crispy texture on the outside and the chewiness on the inside.  However, I don't like how much butter goes into it but that's why it tastes so nice! lol.

 Little fingers hard at work!

What will you need:
  • 250grams of softened butter, cubed
  • 1 cup of brown sugar (I prefer light)
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1.5 cups of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 cups of oats (rolled or quick oats)
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • Optional:  for more chocolate I just cut up 1/2 cup of a chocolate block in little pieces.


  • Firstly preheat your oven at 170 C degrees
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth
  • Then gradually beat the eggs one at a time and then add in vanilla
  • Add all the dry ingredients and combine til well blended
  • Mix in the chocolate chips and chocolate pieces until well combined
  • On a lined baking sheet tray, drop spoonfuls and decorate with a chocolate chip on top (if you want).
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes
  • Cool on rack and enjoy!

On a different note:

 Check out what I got delivered last night!  A new masterchef kitchen!  It's got a fridge, an oven, a microwave and accessories and a kitchen sink to wash all the dirty stuff after cooking a big pretend meal lol.

It's not for me really...it's for the kids that cook with me hehehe


Spaghetti Marinara

Spaghetti Marinara is my favourite spaghetti dish mainly because its spicy and its a mix of seafood!!  YUMM!!  I usually eat this at a Fasta Pasta restaurant but since Woolies had a special on their seafood marinara I thought why not make this instead of a traditional beef spaghetti?

Seafood Marina from Woolworths

This is a very simple and yet delicious dish to make.

All you need is:

  • 1 tbs of oil.
  • 2 onions sliced finely
  • clove of garlic sliced finely
  • 1 packet of fettucini 
  • 1 cup of red wine (I used shiraz)
  • spaghetti sauce of your choice (I used a standard size jar of leggos sauce with chill)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I used ones with basil and garlic in it)
  • chopped chilli (use as much as you want)
  • Italian herbs (i just used basil) 
  • 700 grams of seafood marinara (you can get this from Woolworths, in frozen aisles of supermarkets or at seafood markets)
  • Parmesan cheese

  • In a medium sized pan, heat the oil and add the onion and garlic.  Cook til tender/softened.
  • Next add in the can of tomato, red wine and herbs and simmer.  Stir.  Cook for about 15 minutes til reduced or til it gets a bit saucier.
  • Next cook the fettucini pasta as instructed on the packet.  Drain.  And put equal small portions on plates.
  • Then back to the sauce base, add the seafood marinara mix and cover on medium heat.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Stir.   Please do not over cook because the seafood will go all tough and rubbery.  
  • Then lastly, ladle the seafood marinara sauce over the plates and serve with Parmesan cheese on top!


Cooking with Kids: Chocolate Patty Cakes

Hello! I am back after a month and something :).   Been quite busy with work and all and it has been so much fun I forget to blog.........but the thing is I have been making the same thing every single week and I guess there is no point to blog about the same thing?

I have been baking with little ones and she is one of them in the photo lol.  Look at her tongue licking the chocolate off her chin!    We were making chocolate patty cakes and these are one of their favourites!!

Look at these girls have skills already! And they are only 2 and half years old :).

 I only helped them with the baking and mixing of the batter.  They transferred all the batter by themselves!!!

I just took this recipe off taste.com.au!  It is called the QUICK MIX CHOCOLATE CAKE.  But I made it into little patty cakes.  And takes about 20 to 30 minutes in the oven.

  • 270g (1 1/3 cups, firmly packed) brown sugar 
  • melted butter to grease
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) milk
  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 50g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked

  • Chocolate icing

  • 195g (11/4 cups) pure icing sugar
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 10g (2 tsp) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbs boiling water

Nom Nom Nom :)


It has been a while since I have updated and really I have been so busy to cook up something nice and show it off.    I received this "beautiful blogger" award from bittersweetthings!   Her blog is also beautiful with all the sweet things she makes and the comments she leaves. Thank you very much! 

There are a few very important things to do in order to accept the award:

1. Thank and link the person who sent the award.
2. Pass on the award to 15 bloggers.
3. Contact said blogs to let them know they've won
4. State 7 things about yourself.

7 Things About Me:
  1. I love custard desserts
  2. I have pet fish
  3. I am very big on respect. 
  4. I put everyone first then myself (I know it is quite bad sometimes!)
  5. I love seeing children grow and develop
  6. I hate going to the doctors
  7. I hate needles and drawing of my blood!
 I am passing this award to:

  1. http://www.bos-bowl.com/
  2. http://3hungrytummies.blogspot.com/
  3. http://anncoo.blogspot.com/
  4. http://kennychiceats.blogspot.com/
  5. http://honeybeesweets88.blogspot.com/
  6. http://brisbanebaker.blogspot.com/
  7. http://fulltimedhousefly.blogspot.com/
  8. http://girlwhoatetheworld.blogspot.com/
  9. http://nasilemaklover.blogspot.com/
  10. http://limsharon.blogspot.com/
  11. http://ch3rri-blossoms.blogspot.com/
  12. http://freddie-joss.blogspot.com/
  13. http://food-thought-for.blogspot.com/
  14. http://ritasbasket.blogspot.com/
  15. http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/


Puffs (profiteroles)

I made choux pastry again but in puff form today!  They are called profiteroles.  I love these! I am so addicted to them!  This time I covered the top of the buns with chocolate!  I <3 french desserts.   I love it with custard cream filling.  Mmmmmm


Choux Pastry with Custard Cream Filling

Choux pastry is so easy to make than puff pastry!  A million times easier!   Choux pastry is a basic French bun that is used to make with eclairs, profiteroles or croquembouche.  The pastry rises three times its size in the oven which creates this airy, light and crisp texture.    All you need is some basic ingredients that you can find in your pantry and fridge and its just beating the mixture up and then filling it into a piping bag and piping it out onto trays into whatever shapes you like.   Then see it rise from a small ball to 3 times the size!

I had a hard time piping the pastry dough onto the tray because I did not have a proper piping bag!  I instead used a sheet of baking paper and made it into a piping bag and cut the tip to about 1cm.   It worked but then I had to use too much baking paper so I just dropped teaspoons of balls.   This recipe makes about 10 -15 eclair shapes or balls.  Depending how much you put into the shapes.  I attempted to do eclair shapes but I instead did big buns.

Filling the pastry was the best part.  Every single bun was gone in 15 minutes!

You will need:


75g of butter
180mls of water
3/4 of plain flour sifted
pinch of salt
4 eggs


2tbs of custard powder
2tbs of caster sugar
1 cup of milk
300ml of thickened cream

icing sugar for dusting

Choux pastry.
Preheat over to 240C

In a saucepan, combine butter and water and cook until the butter has melted.  Don't boil.   

Immediately add the sifted flour and salt and stir vigorously until you see a smooth dough ball form.  Take off heat immediately.

Transfer into a small bowl and add 3 eggs (one at a time) and beat with mixer til smooth.  Add the last egg and this will form a nice glossy thick dough  (should be a very very very thick consistency).

Use a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle and pipe small mounds on the tray or just use 2 table spoons to shape large buns.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or another 5 to 10 minutes if you have bigger buns.   When cooked make a hole in each bun to release any steam.  Cause once cooled the buns will go soggy so you need steam to escape.

Cool and set aside.


Custard Cream Filling.

Combine the custard powder and sugar into a small saucepan and add the milk on low heat.  Whisk til it goes thick.

Add the mixture into a small bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap to prevent skining.

Refrigerate for half an hour or til cool.

Then in the same bowl add the thickened cream and with a mixer, mix til it goes thick and forms peaks.

Now for the yummy part!

To serve the buns, cut in halfway and then just before serving spoon the custard cream filling and dust with icing sugar!


Choclate Cream Puffs

Hi guys! I have been away for a while!  I have been working on this huge project so I haven't had time to really cook something special until yesterday!

I love love love pastry desserts and especially these cream puffs!  They are so yummy you could finish a whole batch under 30 minutes!  You can buy these at bakeries for around $2.50 each depending on the size but I decided to make these at home.  It did take a while but the effort was pretty worth it!

I got this recipe from http://www.tasteofhome.com and it turned out great.  I did not use strawberries since I did not have any on hand but without it tastes as good too.  I am wondering if I should put custard in the puffs next time?

For the puffs I did not cut it in half and put the cream in that way.  I just inserted the cream into the puff balls instead with cream.  Turned out messy though :P.

You will need:

Chocolate Cream Puffs


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries



  • In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Add the flour and cocoa all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth and shiny.
  • Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 3 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until set and browned. Remove to wire racks. Immediately split puffs open; remove and discard soft dough from inside. Cool puffs completely.
  • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream and strawberries. Fill bottom halves of puffs; replace tops. Serve immediately. 

Yield: 15 servings.


Rice Bubble Slice

Rice Bubble Slice is my favourite childhood treat that can be made with variation.  You can add choc chips, mm's, coconut, honey and add butter or copha to hold the slice together.  Mmmm fatty goodness!

I got this recipe from Kellog's website.  You can make your own variations as mentioned.  You can make 24 little crackle cup cakes or into slices like I did.


To make you will need:

  • 4 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Bubbles® (or any rice puff brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa (optional)
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 250g cophaTM*

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Melt copha gently.
  3. Cool slightly
  4. Pour into dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spoon into paper patty cases or line them into a square cake pan.
  6. Chill until set or cut into slices.


Rich Beef Casserole

Rich Beef Casserole
It is getting cooler and I thought "well time to make a yummy casserole dish!"  I love how this rich beef casserole is full of flavour and it makes a nice winter dish and the best comfort food.   Slow simmering the beef makes it nice and tender and you can use cheaper cuts of meats.    I like this with rice (yeah Asian styles lol) but traditionally you eat this on mashed potatoes, greens on the side and bread.  It is easy to make and if you are on a budget try this!


To serve 2 to 3 people you will need:
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 500 diced beef
  • 2tsp of corn flour
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed or silvered 
  • 2 cups mushrooms cut in halves
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 4 TBS of tomato paste
  • 500 ml of beef stock
  • 1 TBS red wine vinegar or red wine (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of herbs (thyme or oregano whichever you prefer)


In a jug, mix together corn flour, tomato paste, red wine vinegar/wine, herbs and stock.  Set aside.

In a casserole dish (crock pot/ heavy based sauce pan),  add in beef, onion, garlic, mushrooms, oil, carrots and herbs.

Add the stock mix into the casserole dish (1st step).

Add all the ingredients together and stock. 

Put the casserole dish on high heat then bring to medium low.   Simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the beef is tender making sure in between times stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste (if you think its not salty enough for you).

When the sauce has thickened it will be done!  Serve over rice or mash potatoes and green beans.

Mmm too easy!  One pot!