Monday, 30 May 2011

Butter-less Walnut Brownies


We ran out of butter and our eager husbands were expecting dessert after their game session. My dear baking partner did a quick check with her baking enthusiast  friends and landed with this lovely recipe without the use of butter. Everyone loved it! Enjoy!


In my opinion, the pistachios not only made the brownie looks pretty but enhance the overall taste of the brownie. So .. please do not skip the nut toppings!


My baking friend just couldn't resist!..... Served hot! Yummy!

Makes 20 small squares
Recipe can be doubled


Ingredients:
For brownies
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
5 tbsp milk (I used low fat)
1 tsp baking powder
50 g walnuts - chopped


For cocoa sauce topping
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cocoa powder - sieved
1/2 cup icing sugar
3 tsp milk
2 tbsp chopped pistachios 


Method:
For brownies
Preheat oven 190 degrees C
1) In a large mixing bowl, whip oil and sugar in medium speed.
2) Add egg one at a time. Whip in high speed till well combined then add vanilla. Whip for another 3 minutes on high speed.
3) Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa powder twice before folding into the wet mixture. Whip on medium speed clockwise for 2 minutes.
5) Add milk spoon by spoon and continue whipping clockwise for 1 minute. Add walnuts and mix with cooking spoon.
6) Lightly grease baking tin with oil then line with baking paper. ( I used 9" baking tin)
7) Bake for 20 minutes. Test with tooth pick. Ready when toothpick comes out clean.




For cocoa sauce topping
1) Place a medium skillet with oil on medium heat.
2) Stir in cocoa powder till combined.
3) Remove skillet from heat then stir in icing sugar.
4) Place back skillet to heat and add milk.
5) Keep stirring until mixture turned into dark thick liquid. DO NOT BURN!
6) Let cool and pour on brownies. Top with chopped pistachios. Served warm!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Moussaka Recipe Wanted!! Please?


I have heard a lot about the wonderful Greek Muossaka but till today I have no idea which recipe is authentic and which tastes the best!??!!!

So I am here asking if any of you have got a delicious Greek Moussaka recipe that made from minced beef (I saw some made from lamb)? Please HELP? I am excited to try making them for my husband :)

If the recipe is one of yours I will feature the chosen recipe in my blog mentioning the contributer? 


THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FELLOW FOOD BLOGGERS!

XOXO


(p/s: photo taken from http://www.evernewrecipes.com . Is this how moussaka looks like?)

Friday, 27 May 2011

Chocolate Chip Hard Cookies


Well again it's baking session with my dear friend. This time we had chocolate chips in mind and we decided to try the cookie recipe from one of the my chain emails. We were rather skeptical at the beginning as most cookie recipes required larger quantity of butter but this is otherwise! It turned out alright if you like its harder texture with a crunch.


We had so much fun rolling the dough. These make smaller cookies but later we made some larger ones (2 times bigger). The smaller once are crunchier and the larger once are chewier (I love the later)

Makes 30 small cookies or 20 large cookies
Recipe can be doubled


Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter - Cut into small cubes
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tbsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup oatmeal - blended to powder
170g semisweet chocolate chips
130g milk chocolate bar - grated (I used Cadbury)
1 cup chopped nuts (your choice) - I used walnuts


Method:
Preheat oven 375 degrees F
Step 1) Cream butter and both sugar well
Step 2) Add egg then vanilla
Step 3) Mix in flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well.
Step 4) Fold in chocolate chips, grated chocolate bar and nuts. Mix evenly.
Step 5) Roll into small balls and place 2 inched apart on baking sheet. (Larger balls in you wish to make larger cookies)

Bake for 10-15 minutes. Larger cookies takes 15 - 20 minutes. They are basically done once the cookies are cracking.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

AWARD TIME!

I

It has been a while I have not posted anything on my blog if some of you noticed. I have been experiencing technical problem posting but thankfully all back to normal yesterday!

Even after my long absence, I was wonderfully surprised by receiving an amazing award from our dear blogger-mate, Mary from Inside a British Mum's Kitchen. Sweet lady with wonderful space  even though she just started posting her wonderful recipes a few months back! My personal favorite is Quick Fix Roast Lemon Chicken Thighs with Garlic,   - quick and delicious!

By accepting this award I am required to list down 7 things about myself so here goes:

1) I love dessert with nuts! Any type of nuts!

2) I love quick and easy recipes as I have a full time job with little time of leisure.

3) I love learning and exploring new recipes from all ethnic and culture.. no borders!

4) I love watching Japanese Anime

5) I eat noodles all the time but you never see me posting any of them :)

6) I am crazy about shoes and handbags

7) I am a clean-fanatic! I clean all the time!

That's it! Hope you know me a little better by now :)


THANKS AGAIN TO MARY for the GRACIOUS AWARD! 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Quick Buger with Sautéed Onion Rings

Burgers! Couldn't live without it when I was a child. I try not to eat too much of it ever since friends and family kept telling me that burgers are junk food with no nutritional value and it makes me fat!!  But you just need that little treat after a long hard day! Totally satisfying with some fries and a chilled coke.... Aahhhhhhh..

Fortunately I came to realize that  there is a better substitute for drive-thru burgers... Burgers that can be somewhat homemade with healthier ingredients. ... and this is my version of a LESS GUILT BURGERS!

Serves 2 person


Ingredients:
For the burgers
200g lean minced beef
1/4 small red pepper / capsicum - chopped
1/4 small yellow pepper / capsicum- chopped
1 small onion -  chopped and sauté on a small pan on medium heat with some oil till very soft or caramelized. Let cool. 
2 tsp plain yogurt
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp freshly grind black pepper
2 tbsp cooking oil


For the Sauté onions
1 large onions - cut into rings
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp cooking oil

Method:

1) Combine and mix well first 8 ingredients. Divide into 2 equal portion and shape then by hand to no more than 1 inch thick pâté.
2) Place a griddle pan on medium high heat and brushed with cooking oil. Cook them for 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare burgers or longer if you like it  to be done.
3) Place a small skillet on medium high heat with cooking oil and sauté onions with say sauce and Worcestershire sauce till soft. 
4) Serve burgers with sautéed onion and freshly sliced carrots lettuce sprinkled with balsamic vinegar if you like.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Basil Kalamata Lemon Sole with Spinach


Today is fish day again! Lemon sole is my recent favorite as I can get them real fresh from the supermarket. This time I am going to have it with spinach - extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when steamed or quickly boiled. 


This is a simple fish dish that is low in fat and high in nutritional value which everyone can cook at home. My husband and I totally loved it! Try it out!


The recipe serves a couple... my husband and I :)

Ingredients:
2 lemon sole 
fillet - seasoned with salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 cups baby spinach -trimmed away the hard stalks
2 cups sweet basils - thinly chopped
2 pips garlic - coarsely chopped
10 Kalamata olives stuffed with minced pimento  (or olives of your choice)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Method:
1)   Place large skillet with 2 tbsp EVOO on medium low heat.
2)   Fry fish until golden and cooked. Set aside and keep warm.
3)   Microwave spinach for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes on High or until soft. Drain, divide into 2 portions and place it on the plates.
4)   Transfer fish on to the spinach.
5)   Add remaining EVOO onto the same skillet on medium high heat
7)   Cook the garlic until frequent. Add in basil and olives. cook for another 3 -4 minutes until basil is cooked trough. 
8)   Add lemon juice and simmer for 2 minutes. Top basil sauce onto the fish.


>> Tip to note : 
- You can substitute lemon sole with any other firm white fish
- Add chili flakes together with basil and olives if you like it spicy.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Thank you for the lovely Awards

My deepest gratitude to Deepthidigvijay for passing these wonderful awards to me :) xoxoxo. I am rather new to blogging and incredibly motivated by this pleasant surprise!



I wish to share these lovely awards to those who continuously inspired me with their great yummylicious ideas :



Rules to claim and share these awards:

Ø      Thank and Link the blogger who has given you the award.
Ø      Copy and paste the Logos in your blog.
Ø      Pass these on to 10 other Great Blogger friends.
Ø      Comment on the most recent post and let the nominated blogger know of the award.
Ø       Leave a Comment in this post after you posted the awards in your blog.
















Saturday, 14 May 2011

Herbed Lamb Schnitzel


It is common to have chicken schnitzel from where I live but NEVER a LAMB Schnitzel. My fridge has nothing left but LAMB until my next grocery shopping routine on Sunday. I had no other option.. so why not a LAMB schnitzel instead? There is always a first time on everything I guess... and it turned out just Great!

The recipe serves only 1 person... to my dear husband :)

Ingredients:
2 lamb schnitzels-Pound with a meat mallet to 1/3 inch thick
 
1/2 cup Japanese breadcrumbs or Panko
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 egg white - lightly beaten
4 tbsp oil for frying

Method:


1)   Place large skillet at medium low heat.
2)   Place egg white in a shallow dish and flour on a separate plate.
3)   Combine Japanese breadcrumbs, garlic powder and herbs in a large plate. 
4)   Season lamb with salt and pepper evenly.
5)   Dip each schnitzel into the flour (tapping off excess) then the egg white and lastly press to cover with the Japanese breadcrumbs mixture.
6)   Fry schnitzel on the skillet for approx. 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden. Fry for longer if your schnitzel is thickly sliced . 
7) Drain with kitchen towels and serve with your favorite salad 


>> Tip to note : 
- Lamb leg steaks can be used to replace schnitzel
- You can substitute Japanese Breadcrumbs (Panko) with ordinary breadcrumbs
- Add 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese to breadcrumbs if you like it cheesy! 
- Cook with low heat so that the meat will cook through and the crust will not burn

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Homemade Banana Walnut Apple Pie


My husband and I are big fans of apple pie .. there is an X factor which we can never understand that makes us hooked to it... perhaps it's the aroma of the cinnamon or just the apples itself. What do you think?

Yesterday, again my husband requested for apple pie and this time I have some idea to modify a little from the traditional recipe.. Here comes Banana Walnut Apple Pie - Chunky Homemade style.



Ingredients


For the Pastry we need:
2.5 cups all purpose  / plain flour
220 grams frozen butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp cold water
Some icing sugar for dusting
For the Filling we need:
8 small Granny Smith green apples or 8 if you have the larger ones - cored, skinned and thinly sliced
2 riped bananas - Sliced thinlyHandful of Pecans or Walnuts - coarsely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup brown sugar (Add more sugar : up to 1 cup if you like it sweeter - I like mine just with a little hint of sweetness!)
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flour

Method :
Pastry
Mix the flour, sugar and salt well then grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture with a grater (hand grater / box grater /  potato grater). Toss lightly with your fingers until they are all thoroughly combined.

Sprinkle the cold water to the crumbly mixture until you can form a nice dough ball. Divide the dough into 2 parts - one slightly larger then the other. Larger part will be the base of the pie and the smaller part will be used to top the pie.

Wrap them in a plastic wrap; flatten and leave it for min 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Resting will tenderize the pastry and make it easier to roll.

Remove pastry from the refrigerator and let it to warm slightly. Flour the surface of the worktop, rolling pin, your hand  and the pastry. Roll out the larger pastry in to a disc that is a little larger then the 8-inch pie dish so that it over laps the edges. Place pastry onto the bottom of the dish by folding the pastry in to quarter and  unfolding it into the dish.

Poke lot's of breathing holes on the bottom of the pastry with a fork.

Filling
Preheat the oven 375 degree Fahrenheit or Gas 6

Mix well all the filling ingredients then place them into the baking dish with pastry lining. Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut then into 1-inch wide stripes then place them diagonally with 1-inch gap. Repeat the same horizontally to create a criss-cross basket top as pictured.

Place on the dish onto the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour until the crust is golden.

Rest for 10 minutes. Dust with icing sugar before serving. 

>> Tips to note : 
1) Make sure butter is frozen when grating or else you will be ended up with a pile of buttery mess!
2) Poke some breathing holes on the bottom of the pastry with a fork to let the air out when baking. This is to prevent bubbling of the pastry in the oven.
3) Add more sugar (up to 1 cup instead of 1/4 cup) if you have a sweet tooth as I tend to like my pie less sweet.

Monday, 9 May 2011

3 Steps Walnut Chocolate Squares


I have been very busy and didn't really have time to make dessert for the past weeks. But today after my  early dinner I have decided  to make some really simple chocolate squares for my dear hubby .It's easy as 1 2 3! But really satisfying... Crispy crust...Warm and moist in the inside. Top up with a scoop of ice-cream would have been perfect!

Ingredients:
220 grams unsalted butter - Cut into small cubes
170 grams (6 ounces) Semi Sweet chocolate - Coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla essence 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup walnuts / pecans - coarsely chopped
Icing sugar for dusting


Method:
Preheat oven 325 degrees F ( 160 degrees C)
Step 1) Place sauce pan on low heat and melt butter and chocolate, stirring until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.
Step 2) Beat eggs and sugar with electrical mixer until fluffy then add chocolate mix, vanilla and salt. Continue beating till mixture is combine then fold in flour with spoon. Mix well.
Step 3) Pour batter into a greased 9'x9"x2" non-stick baking pan and sprinkle with walnuts.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely and dust with icing sugar before serving.


>> Tip to note : 
- To ensure the properly baked. Test with toothpick - insert into center and come out with crumbs attached.
- You can substitute walnuts with other nuts of your choice