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Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies {revisited}

Thin an Crispy Oatmeal Cookies (with a hint of saltiness)

It has been since 2009 I made these delicious Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies and while I was baking the chiffon cake (previous post), I wanted to fill up the second shelf in the oven with these cookies.   I had all the ingredients I needed plus the load of butter in the fridge that was sitting there for weeks.

These cookies are great if you are into a crispy edge, crunch and a moist middle.  However, when reading the ingredients on Cooks Illustrated it says to use 14T of butter and when I converted it to grams it ended up to nearly 200grams of butter which is a bit much?  But I digress :).  I don't care cause butter sometimes makes food taste good :).

14t equates to approximately 200grams.  For conversion go here

I made about 24 to about 28 cookies off the Cooking Illustrated recipe and this time my cookies are a bit more flatter than the last ones I made in 2009 which were a bit thicker.  If you want the cookies to be real thin you would have to press the dough ball down further to about 1.5cm (not 2cm) and with a fork (I find it better) and bake for a further couple of minutes.

Cookies can last for three days in an air tight container and still maintain their crispness the day after - that's if the dough ball is pressed down pretty thin before baking and baked a bit longer.

You can add raisins, choc chips or nuts if to give it a bit more variety.
Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies
by Cooks Illustrated

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 14 T unsalted butter, softened, but still cool (65 degrees)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl.

2. In standing mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth, 10 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated, 20 seconds. Give dough final stir with spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain.

3. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 T, then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet. Using fingertips, gently press ball to 3/4 inch thickness.

4. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, and centers yield to slight pressure when touched, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack;cool cookies completely on sheet.

Poh's Orange Chiffon Cake {inspired}

My Chiffon Cake inspired by Poh's Orange Chiffon Cake Recipe

Chiffon cake.  I love this cake but every time I attempt to make it again it makes me nervous.  The reason?  Well I have had epic failures baking the chiffon cake.  How many failures?  FIVE times.   During these five times the chiffon cake either collapsed or was really wet inside.  When making this cake again today,  I thought to myself if I fail once again after five times I will really throw out that chiffon cake tin and scream my lungs out.   I was persistent to be successful this time - I measured correctly and took care with the way I folded the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture.  I really suck at baking but I felt so much victory today because of this cake! :).  Thanks to Poh's Orange Chiffon Cake" recipe I am pretty happy.

While watching the segment  I noticed that she did a couple of things quite differently from the written recipe.  She tipped her egg yolks in the flour mixture instead of the beating the egg yolk with sugar til light and fluffy (like a commenter on the board noticed).  Also when she 'folded' both egg and egg white mixture she mixed it gently with a whisk (to incorporate more air) not a spatula.  I did these two steps and my chiffon cake turned out airy and moist and did not collapse.  It did rise more than other times I baked chiffon cake!  I was a very happy girl today.

Cake wasn't high since I used a 25cm tin instead of a 22cm tin

I used a 25cm angel cake food tin that I bought from Matchbox in Brisbane for around under $30.  They didn't have any smaller so I opted for the bigger cake tin.   This is why I think my cake didn't rise to a complete height.

Finished product

Also instead of using Poh's ganache recipe (I am not a very big chocolate fan on cakes), I opted to dress up the whole cake with whipped cream, toasted desiccated coconut and used macadamia nuts instead of hazelnuts.

Cutting in three layers was quite hard.

Since my cake wasn't at full height cutting it in three layers was quite hard!  It wasn't as straight as Poh's but nevertheless it wasn't quite noticeable :).  It did give the cake extra height but I wished that I could of made more whipped cream to make the cream layers thicker! 

The verdict?  It was so yummy!  The orange citrusy flavour went well with the coconut!  It was very light and airy.  I am so going to make this again in a few more weeks and make other flavours like durian :) hehe.

Poh's Orange Chiffon Cake



Serves 8-10
  • 5 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 tbs (100ml) coconut milk
  • 4 tbs (80ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar, extra
  • 4 tbs (80ml) orange juice
  • 1 tbs finely grated orange zest
  • 150g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • pinch of salt
    Roasted Hazelnuts
  • 150g hazelnuts
  • 400ml pouring cream
  • 3 tbs icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract
  • 150ml pouring cream
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate chopped or broken into small pieces


  1. Preheat oven at 170°C (160°C fan forced).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition until you achieve stiff peaks. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks with extra caster sugar until thick, pale and fluffy. Add coconut milk, vegetable oil, orange juice and zest, flour and baking powder, and whisk until combined. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture three batches.
  4. Pour into a 22 centimetre angel cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes on the middle shelf, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the oven on to roast the hazelnuts.
  5. When cake is out of the oven, immediately invert the tin and leave the cake in the tin to cool completely (about two hours).
    Roasted Hazelnuts
  1. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for seven minutes, or until the skins are splitting and flakey. Remove from the oven and pour into the middle of a clean tea towel, wrap up and gently rub the skins off. Place the nuts on a chopping board and chop to desired texture.
  1. Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until stiff, be careful not to overbeat as the cream will split. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
  2. When the cake is cool and ready to be assembled, run a knife around the edge and base of the cake and invert to release. Slice the cake with a sharp chef's knife into three equal layers. Spread half of the filling and a third of the chopped hazelnuts on each layer.
  1. Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, add chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and well combined. Place the cake on a wire rack and, using a spatula, spread the ganache evenly over the top and side of the cake and sprinkle with the remaining chopped hazelnuts.


Burlington BBQ Restaurant, Sunnybank

Burlington BBQ Restaurant Shop 42, Market Square
341 Mains Rd
Sunnybank QLD 4109

I just had the most satisfying and most homey meal tonight at Burlington BBQ Restaurant at Market Square in Sunnybank.   I come here occasionally because it offers a variety of authentic Hong Kong style meat dishes such as BBQ roast pork, roast duck, soy sauce chicken, cha sui pork to name a few.   Each meal comes with a full sized plate of the meat, rice and green vegetables which I quite like.  Also as a side dish they offer a small nice hot bowl of pork bone soup with carrots and potatoes while you wait for the main meal.  The thing that I like about this place is that they offer huge servings (you can easily share between two people), it's very inexpensive and very filling.

Inside Burlington BBQ Restaurant

The atmosphere of the restaurant is pretty average when you walk in but I can say that the waft of BBQ roast duck in the air really balances out the decor they have currently in the room.   The tables and chairs are quite sturdy - not like the typical Asian ones that feel like they are about to break.   On each table of course there are spoons, forks and chopsticks already available and only a jar of ginger chilli - not typical Asian condiments that you would find at other Asian restaurants.   The reason why is that they have soy sauce poured on your main dish already for you.

The people that work there don't really smile at all but I guess it's because of the hard work they put in every day to make pretty darn good roast duck and meats.   The service is always efficient and our meals came out in about 10 minutes since the meats are already available at the window.  Sometimes the atmosphere is buzzing with lots of noise and sometimes it is very quiet like tonight -  I could watch and listen to the wide screen tv the owners have on the back wall.   The television is usually playing lots of Chinese programs especially drama.

The menu offers a wide range of roast, pork and chicken dishes that you can either have one range with rice and sides or a combination with rice and sides.  You can also order 1/4 or 1/2 or whole duck or chicken as take away.  And if you can't finish your meal just ask for a take away box and they will gladly give you one (without a smile lol).

Roast duck, bbq pork and soy chicken with sides

My friend and I picked the combination roasted duck, pork and soy chicken.  The chicken was a bit tough and dry but on the other hand the roasted duck and the pork was very delicious.   The meats were very tender, juicy and the skin was shining with fatty goodness.  The fat just melted straight in my mouth.  And then having a nice sip of the hot soup just finishes the meal off quite well.  It was very very satisfying.   It was so big I couldn't finish it all so I got a take away box.

Overall the food is big and tasty and the service is efficient, most of the staff can speak English so no communication barrier and pretty good value for money.   I spent about $35 on a two big satisfying main meals with sides and half a roast duck to take home.  It's pretty cheap and very tasty so if you like to spend less on eating out I do recommend this place even though the servers don't smile.  I make this exception since I just love their BBQ meat dishes!

Overall rating:

Affordability: CHEAP!
Eftpos/Credit card: tba

Food: 8
Ambience: 6
Service: 6
Value: 9

Open: Everyday
Menu costs:  Main meals with sides under $20 (contact the restaurant for their whole roasts/chicken/pork etc)
Takeaway: Yes

Contact: Burlington BBQ Sunnybank
Phone: (07) 3219 6128

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Sunny Breeze Japanese Restaurant, Sunnybank

Photo Credit:  Sunny Breeze

I usually head to a typical Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant on a Friday night.  Well not this time because last night my sister Miss. Y took Mr. V and I to Sunny Breeze, a nice little Japanease restaurant in Sunnybank - formerly known as Oshin Japanese Restaurant.

When we walked inside it felt very warm and cosy and I just loved the way the restaurant was laid out.  I think it was warm lighting effect and the warm yellow tones of their classic Japanese decor and fittings.  It felt very welcoming and relaxing.  A friendly male waiter seated us down in the corner and given us a menu each.  So the menu was quite different from one another.  I was pretty confused by this........and  I was taking my sweet time because I am so foreign to this type of food (besides the sushi rolls and tempura).

I was flipping and flipping back and forth the menu to see what's offered.  Hmm..so they have appetizers, bento, sashami, sushi rolls, set meals and the teppanyaki sets, vegetarian meals and the main meals.  There was so much to choose from....I felt quite overwhelmed.  I was having a little panic moment (I panic easily if people rush me) because a female waiter kept on insisting that we should order (maybe to hurry up)...she returned to our table 3 times within a 6 minute interval lol.   It wasn't like the restaurant was busy.   So she insisted for the second time to get our drinks.  We ordered the lychee drinks and it funny cause Mr. V did not get a straw in his glass?  Was it a man thing to not have a straw? lol.

Miss Y liked this restaurant so I asked her what she would recommend.   She recommended me one of the main meals which is all served with rice and miso soup.  I ordered the Wafu Steak which is quality beef cooked in red wine served with teriyaki sauce and salad and Mr. V ordered the Salmon Steak which is a salmon fillet cooked in teriyaki sauce served with salad.  Miss Y had the Wafu steak too.  The meals cost $25.50 which is reasonably priced.

Wafu Steak served with rice and miso soup $25.50

The Wafu Steak tasted pretty good although it was already served and cut up into portions like this.  I actually like to enjoy my steak by cutting it myself and enjoying it that way.   It was suppose to be done medium rare but it looked rare but that's okay - the meat was so tender and moist.   However,  I found it very hard to maneuver my rice bowl around next to the steak.......do I have to put my rice bowl in front of the long plate or on the side or just uncomfortably holding it up to my mouth that way? lol  I feel so traditional :P.  Well maybe I was too accustomed by eating everything on one plate - I mean it's so much easier that way.  Not to worry the food tasted good and the salad was very refreshing.  I quite liked it.

Salmon Steak served with rice and miso soup $25.50

The Salmon Steak that Mr. V had smelt so good when it arrived to the table.  Maybe I should of ordered that one.  I had a quick bite of this and it was not over cooked.  Mr. V had no problem with this meal.  No complaints about this meal at all. He just said "it's good".

The overall experience of this place I say it was pretty fair to be honest.   However, I felt that we were rushed into ordering our food and when cleaning up I was still sipping on my miso soup *sigh*.    If I did come back here one day (or to any new restaurant),  I am going to make an effort and actually looking at the restaurant's website online first and see what I want to order instead of having panic sessions every time a waiter says "Order now? Now?" a million times.

So would I come back?  Yes I would since I am looking at their site menu now, I feel like a SHABU SHABU on a Sunday night.

Overall rating:

Affordability: $$ Moderate
Eftpos/Credit card: Mastercard, Eftpos, Cash, Visa

Food: 8
Ambience: 8
Service: 7
Value: 8

Open: 7 Days Lunch and Dinner
Menu costs:  Look at Sunny Breeze's Menu

Address: Shop 24, Sunny Park Shopping CentreCnr Mains Road & McCullough Street Sunnybank QLD 4109
Parking: If you want to come here the parking is free and it's easily accessible at Sunny Park. 

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Pho Hien Vuong, Sunnybank

Pho Hien Vuong, Sunnybank

Who doesn't love a piping hot bowl of Pho or Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup?!  And since the weather is getting cooler grabbing one of these will fill you up and maybe even warm you up a bit!

Medium bowl of Pho at Pho Hien Vuong
Shop 21h Cnr Mains Rd & McCullough St

Sunnybank, 4109

The best pho in Sunnybank has got to be at Pho Hien Vuong in Market Square.  I think because it's of the balance of flavours and the pho bowls come in small, medium or large.   It's not too salty or too bland which I quite like.  Go for medium because large is humongous!  I think it's enough for 2 people to share between themselves. 

When you walk inside you will (well sometimes) be greeted by a Vietnamese waiter (yes Vietnamese not a Chinese lol) and be seated in those typical cheap tables and chairs.  Okay so the decor is very medicore but the food balances that out.   On the table you will see typical condiments such as chilli, chilli sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce to name a few and a complimentary flask of tea :).   But I like to have a coconut juice with my pho - always....it's a tradition!

The menu is the same like every other Vietnamese restaurant but I don't look at it because I know what I want - special beef noodle soup!  So ordering is quick.  I don't have time to really check myself out on their mirror walls lol.  It takes about 10minutes for our order to come out and it's piping hot!

Large bowl of pho

Of course there is fresh thai basil and bean sprouts on the side.  Put as much in and add as much condiments that you like and then devour into the rich meaty tasty broth itself.  It's so good and it satisfies the hungry tummy.

I always go to Pho Hien Vuong and I am never ever was disappointed with the food.  The food on the menu is inexpensive, the food is packed and it's normally busy.  However the downside of getting to this restaurant is the parking.  Parking is always busy at Market Square.  I usually park at Sunnybank Plaza and walk over instead -  lose those calories and then put it on again:).

Overall rating:

Affordability: CHEAP!
Eftpos/Credit card: Cash

Food: 8.5
Ambience: 4
Service: 7
Value: 9

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Oldelpaso Crispy Chicken Soft Tacos

I remember I had my friend's mother's tacos and boy it was scrumptious.   She served us home made soft tacos, fried beans, friend chicken and salsa ....and sour cream and avocado was on the side.  It was so yummy.  It was nice to have something different from Asian food that I have most of the time.

Well last night I made this quick meal with Oldelpaso's chicken seasoning  topped with their mild taco sauce.    It's not authentic as my friend's mother's tacos but it was all good!!!!!!


Saucy Pork Spare Ribs

I love this Saucy Pork Spare Ribs dish cause it reminds me of home and it takes me back wanting more all the time!

Enjoy this with a side of greens like steamed bok choy or chinese cabbage and over a nice bowl of steamed jasmine rice.

What will you will need:
  • 1kg pork spare ribs
  • 1 tbs of oil
  • small sized ginger sliced in thin julienne strips
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 2 tbs of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbs of chilli sauce
  • 1 tbs of brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • shallots
  • steamed jasmine rice to serve 


1. Add oil into wok and let it heat.  Add the spare ribs and brown

2. Add the sauces, ginger and sugar and coat the ribs well.  Add water and stir til it becomes a thin sauce.  Taste and add more soy sauce / chilli sauce or hoisin according to your preferred taste.

3. Cover and let the ribs simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes and then add the shallots.

4.  Serve over jasmine rice and eat immediately.