Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies

Here's a great recipe to try this Christmas.

Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies

150g dark cooking chocolate, broken into pieces
175g butter
175g soft brown sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs Sifted twice:
135g plain flour
80g cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g roasted hazelnuts, very coarsely chopped

Line a 21cm square baking tin with lightly greased aluminium foil. Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt butter and chocolate over simmering hot water until both chocolate and butter melts into a paste.

Remove from heat and add in sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Leave aside to cool.

Add eggs, one at a time into the chocolate butter paste and add in essence, sifted flour and cocoa mixture.

Stir in hazelnuts.

Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes.

Allow brownies to cool for 10–15 minutes then cut into slices.

Source: Kuali...The Star

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

50 things to eat before you die

In March 2004, BBC conducted a survey of the top 50 things everyone should try a bite of in their lifetime. Below is the pick of the crop.

The top 50 are:

1. Fresh fish
2. Lobster
3. Steak
4. Thai food
5. Chinese food
6. Ice cream
7. Pizza
8. Crab
9. Curry
10. Prawns
11. Moreton Bay Bugs
12. Clam chowder
13. Barbecues
14. Pancakes
15. Pasta
16. Mussels
17. Cheesecake
18. Lamb
19. Cream tea
20. Alligator
21. Oysters
22. Kangaroo
23. Chocolate
24. Sandwiches
25. Greek food
26. Burgers
27. Mexican food
28. Squid
29. American diner breakfast
30. Salmon
31. Venison
32. Guinea pig
33. Shark
34. Sushi
35. Paella
36. Barramundi
37. Reindeer
38. Kebab
39. Scallops
40. Australian meat pie
41. Mango
42. Durian fruit
43. Octopus
44. Ribs
45. Roast beef
46. Tapas
47. Jerk chicken/pork
48. Haggis
49. Caviar
50. Cornish pasty

How many more to go for you?

One-pot cooking

One of my favourite food is the claypot rice. The meat used is chicken mostly but other meats can also be used. Claypot rice with toasted salted fish gives added aroma and taste.

When time is a constraint or something simple is preferred, I would do the one-pot cooking routine with the rice-cooker. Rice, vegetables and meat can be put in together at one good and voila! you have everything ready to eat after some twenty minutes or so. How convenient.

There are some great one-pot cooking recipes here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Buffet Club

Buffet lovers will find it hard to say no to The Buffet Club card

A special card to enjoy food

The Star

A BUFFET is one of the best solutions to group dining where every one has differing tastes.
Buffet Club started in Hong Kong in 2001 based on this concept.

The Buffet Club card is now available in Malaysia, benefiting both restaurant operators as well as buffet lovers.

Members enjoy a 20% discount on the total bill when the card is used at selected restaurants all year round. This card however is not just a discount card per se.

At present, there are 15 hotels participating in the programme, including Palace of the Golden Horses, Dorsett Regency, Eastin Hotel, Maya Hotel, Cititel Mid Valley, Holiday Villa and Sunway Lagoon Resort with a price range between RM35 and RM65 per buffet.

The Buffet Club is currently offering its annual membership for the promotional price of RM398.

For information, call 03-2166 8185 or visit

Source: The Star...A special card to enjoy food

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Terengganu dishes

Text and pictures by HANNAH ABISHEGANADEN
The Star

MENTION Terengganu and at once you think of keropok, fish and turtles. It is a state that has lots to offer tourists, especially its rich culinary heritage. Traditional is the way to go. None of the fancy fusion stuff which can lead to confusion. Chefs and homemakers take pride in preparing their specialities the old fashion way with all its proper traditional ingredients and no substitutes. Given the abundant supply of fish, it is small wonder that most of these recipes are fish-based.

With the festive season approaching you might like to try something authentic and different. Some are easy to prepare and you will be amazed at the results. Others may take more time and patience as there are no shortcuts. The sweets can be a little tricky and you will need a bit of practice.

Try these Terengganu dishes:

1. Laksa

2. Nasi Dagang

3. Gulai ikan nasi dagang

4. Otak-otak ikan (grilled fish paste)

5. Sata (another type of otak-otak)

6. Mas sejemput

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Queen of herbs - Turmeric

Turmeric is used in many dishes to add colour and flavour

By Chia Joo Suan
The Star

In recent years, turmeric, known as the queen of herbs, has become known for its healing powers following much research on its therapeutic properties. Curcumin, the yellow pigment in the root, is the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric.

Benefiting our brains
Turmeric has been used extensively in traditional Indian medicine to treat a variety of ailments. It is also a spice commonly used in cooking.

Interestingly, in the elderly Indian population whose diet has turmeric as a common spice, they have very low incidence of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s (online edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Dec. 2004).

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that occurs gradually and results in memory loss, unusual behaviour, personality changes and a decline in thinking abilities.

Research has narrowed down to curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, which could work by inhibiting the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brains of Alzheimer patients.
Curcumin has a low molecular weight and polar structure, which allows it to penetrate the blood-brain barrier effectively and binds to the harmful beta amyloid. Curcumin is also capable of break up existing plaques.

Traditional practice
The powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can explain why turmeric is used in folk cures and as a spice in food.

A teaspoon or more of the extracted juice is effective for treating diarrhoea, flatulence, colic or jaundice. Turmeric is a popular herb for postnatal care to stimulate milk flow and production of red blood cells, dissolving blood clots, easing pain in the abdomen and to treat irregular menstruation.

Turmeric’s combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects explains why many elderly women with joint problems or rheumatic pain find relief when they use the spice regularly.

Fine properties that work
Curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects, which help to neutralize free radicals and prevent damage to healthy cells and cell membranes.

When patients with rheumatoid arthritis were treated with curcumin or drugs such as phenylbutazone, curcumin produced comparable improvements in terms of shortened duration of morning stiffness, lengthened walking time and reduced joint swelling.

As a strong antioxidant, curcumin protects cells from free radical damages, plus its ability in destroying mutated cells provides protection against cancer, especially of the colon.

Turmeric improves liver function in detoxifying xenobiotic (toxic) chemicals and may reduce the effects of dietary carcinogens.

Read full story: Queen of herbs...The Star

Monday, October 10, 2005

McDonald's Special Ramadan Buffet

This is one Ramadan buffet that will surely please fastfood lovers.

This is from 11 - 31 October and from 6:30pm to 8:00pm only.

Applicable for eat-in only.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ramadhan treats

The fasting month of Ramadhan is an exciting month to explore food outlets to take your family and friends to. One can savour home-cooked style kampong delights; there is the expanded buffet line; food cooked in Mediterranean style; a variety of fresh seafood and classic Chinese dishes; a selection of speciality teas and coffees, juices, wines and champagnes, cold cuts, smoked seafood, herbs, spices, pastries, cakes, breads and chocolates as well as homemade pasta and lots more. This list has the best restaurants in town. Selamat Berpuasa.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Curry feast

Whenever I feel I need some oomph! in my meals, I'd always cook up some curries. Here are three recipes that you may like to try out. They're from Amy Beh of The Star.

1. Lentils and vegetable curry

2. Dry Indian curry

3. Indian chicken curry

Monday, September 12, 2005

Scrambled eggs - a la James Bond

I didn't know in one of James Bond books, there is a recipe for Scrambled eggs. Did you? Seriously. It's in Octopussy and the Living Daylights. Here's the recipe. Simple.

Scrambled Eggs James Bond
For four individualists:

12 fresh eggs [or 3 eggs per person]
Salt and pepper
5-6 oz. of fresh butter [about a stick and a half, or 3 tbsp. per person]
Chives or fines herbes

Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well with salt and pepper. In a small copper (or heavy bottomed saucepan) melt 4 oz. [half a stick] of the butter. When melted, pour in the eggs and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously with a small egg whisk.

While the eggs are slightly more moist than you would wish for eating, remove the pan from heat, add the rest of the butter and continue whisking for half a minute, adding at the same time finely chopped chives or fines herbes. Serve on hot buttered toast in individual copper dishes (for appearance only) with pink champagne (Taittinger) and low music.

Source: theurbanpossum

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Drink it

Heard of Blue Hawaii? Nope, it's not the Elvis movie I'm talking about. Rather it's a drink, a cocktail if you like and it's very simple to make. Here's the how-to from Drink It - a very refreshing site of drinks.

1 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

You will enjoy the site. Look at these pictures. See what I mean?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Recipe for Strawberry pie, Sesame Chicken Strips and Banana bread

Here's a really cute and informal recipe for strawberry pie from Jamie of "10 Signs Like This".

Here's a recipe from "PsychoCuisine" for Sesame Chicken Strips.

Sweet Misa's Banana Bread recipe.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Pickled chillies

I love wantan mee. I would enjoy it even more if the pickled chillies are more to the sweeter taste. I would also prefer if the pickles are crunchy. Older pickles lack this crunch.

I was delighted when I came across this recipe for Pepper Sauce which is similar to the method we use for pickled chillies. I've always been fascinated by those pretty and colourful bottles of pickles on store shelves and in cookery books.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Getting the real taste of India

Palace d' India designed to depict an ancient Indian palace

If you're in Penang and looking for Indian food, Palace d'India is the place to head to.

BBC’s Good Food World-wide Magazine cookery writer Barney Desmazery said it best – Penang’s Palace d’ India does offer “the best In-dian food in Malaysia.”

When the Sizzling Mutton was served, the smell of the still sizzling capsicum and onion gravy was impossible to resist.

The succulent mutton slices were juicy and tender – a lovely dish marinated to perfection.

Read article: Getting the real taste of India...The Star

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Vegetables and Steaming times

Nutrients in food are often lost during cooking more so if food is overcooked. Steaming food is preferred to retain the flavour and nutrients. Below is a guide on steaming time for vegetables.

o Artichokes: Medium 35 to 40 minutes
o Asparagus: Thin spears 3 to 4 minutes. Thick spears 5 to 6 minutes
o Beans: Green, yellow 4 to 8 minutes. Fresh shell 10 to 40 minutes, depending on variety
o Beets: Medium 30 to 35 minutes
o Broccoli: Florets 4 to 5 minutes. Spears 5 to 7 minutes
o Broccoli rabe or rapini: Thick stems removed, leaves and florets cut into 2-inch pieces 5 to 9 minutes
o Cabbage: 1 ½-inch thick wedges 6 minutes
o Carrots: ¼-inch thick pieces 5 to 8 minutes
o Cauliflower: Whole head 15 to 20 minutes. Florets 4 to 6 minutes
o Corn on the cob: Husked 5 minutes
o Greens (chard, kale): Thick stems removed, leaves sliced into ½-inch wide strips 8 to 10 minutes
o Parsnips: ¼-inch thick slices 6 to 8 minutes
o Peas: Green, shelled 5 to 8 minutes. Pods (snow, sugar snaps) 2 to 5 minutes
o Peppers (hot and sweet): Stemmed, seeded and halved 5 to 7 minutes
o Potatoes: Whole new 15 to 20 minutes. Whole red or white 30 to 40 minutes. 2-inch chunks 15 minutes
o Winter squash, seeded: 1-inch peeled cubes 12 to 15 minutes. Small halves 15 to 20 minutes. o Large pieces 25 to 30 minutes

Sources: "Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion"; "Field Guide to Produce" by Aliza Green

Pizzas easy to make at home

Try your hand at making pizzas at home with this recipe from Lucy Wong of The News Straits Times. Lucy recommends using pita bread so as not having to wait for a long time for the pizza dough to rise.


6 pita breads (15cm in diameter)
2 tsps olive oil
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 medium size onion (finely chopped)
1 can (400g) whole peeled tomatoes (finely mashed)
3 Tbsps tomato paste or puree
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

100g button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
3 Tbsps green capsicum (finely diced)
3 Tbsps red capsicum (finely diced)
50g olives (finely diced)
3 pieces canned anchovies (drained and chopped)
4 slices chicken ham (cut into thin strips)
2 chicken sausages (finely diced)
50g canned pineapple (finely diced)
250g grated mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan cheese mix (as in Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus available in supermarkets, or you can make your own)Tabasco sauce (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add chopped garlic, stir-fry for a minute and add diced onion. Fry for two minutes or until the onion is soft.

2. Add mashed canned tomatoes (include the liquid in the can), tomato paste or puree, oregano, basil, pepper and salt. Bring the mixture to boil, then simmer on low heat. Stir to prevent it burning at the bottom, stir for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thick like paste. Leave it to cool while preparing the topping.

3. Spread the sauce evenly over the six pita bread bases.

4. Sprinkle half of the cheese mix over the bases.

5. Add sliced mushrooms, diced capsicum, olives, chopped anchovies, chicken sausages and chicken ham strips on top of the bases. It is not necessary to use all the ingredients for the topping, you can always choose the ones that you like.

6. Lastly, add the remaining cheese on all the six bases evenly.

7. Bake the pizza in a pre-heated oven at 200¢ªC for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the base is golden brown.

8. Sprinkle with tabasco sauce (optional) before serving.

1. Bread can also be used as a pizza base too.
2. You can also create your own toppings e.g. seafood, vegetarian, etc.

Source: Lucy Wong...NST...Pizzas easy to make at home

More than a garnish in coriander


CORIANDER leaves are also known as cilantro and Chinese parsley. It’s indispensable as a garnish in Chinese dishes, especially for steamed fish, soups and stews.

The Thais use a lot of it in their salads. They also add the roots of coriander to their wonderful sambal, as well as to their green curry pastes. The Vietnamese use a lot of it in their cooking too.

More on Coriander...NST

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Potatoes, potato chips and french fries

Potatoes are nutritious so one would assume that any french fries and potato chips would be too. Unfortunately, this is not true as chips and french fries are now believed to be unhealthy from a study indicating that very young children who eat French fries frequently have a much higher risk of breast cancer as adults. Read article: Children who eat fries raise breast cancer risk

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Waiter in New York City

Stumbled on this interesting blog by a waiter from New York City.
He's funny and entertaining. You'll appreciate the life of a waiter
more as well as learn stuff about waiting at tables.

Only female contestant bags grand win

Siti proud winner – Siti does her hotel proud with the recent win.
The Star

THE only female contestant in a recent culinary contest bagged the top prize and left her all-male opponents awestruck.

Second Commis Siti Arini Darso made headlines at the hotel she works with, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel when she became the maestro in the 2005 Best Commis Rotisseur Competion.
The win will take Siti to Bermuda in September to display her skills at the Inter-national Competition.

There were two stages to the competition, held at Sunway College.

The first was a menu-writing competition held at Westin Hotel Kuala Lumpur where she competed with 30 others before moving to the second stage.

The second leg was a practical cooking session on modern fusion where participants were evaluated on presentation, taste and style.

Combining Asian and Classic cooking prepared a three-course meal that included appetiser Pan-seared Duck Liver Millefeuille, main course Oven-Baked Pigeon en Croute and Chocolate Risotto stuffed in Sugar Bird’s Nest for dessert.

Siti attributes her success to Joeri Schreurs, Med@Marche’s chef de cuisine.

A keen learner, Siti hopes to continue expanding her knowledge in the culinary art and hone her skills through her daily work with the hotel.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Seafood - Cockles

I enjoy cockles. It is an acquired taste really. I like them raw either in curry laksa or in char koay teow or just by themselves dipped in a chili sauce of chillies and garlic with lime juice added.

Many of us do not know how cockles are farmed. It is hard work for
the farmers, if you could call them that.

Read The Star's story..For most farmers, it is a big haul
Photos by JOEL CHAN
The Star

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Champagne, Wine or Beer?

Many of us are not too concerned or simply ignorant about picking the right beverage to go along with the right food. It is said that having the right beverage or drink does enhance the taste of the food. The article below on "Choosing Bottles to Face the Heat" is enlightening.

Published: August 17, 2005
The NY Times

WHAT do Thai, Japanese and Chinese food have in common? Not to mention Indian and Mexican food, Middle Eastern andHaitian, and, as long as we're at it, barbecue?
When deciding what to drink with any of these cuisines, the reflex is usually to grab a beer. Or a Coke. Or water - lots ofwater.

I have no problem with any of those choices. Beer in particular is especially appealing with all of these cuisines, although mostrestaurants serving these foods have been the absolute last to discover the world of great craft beers.

Wine - the right wine - can go beautifully with any of these foods. It's not necessarily better than beer, but if you love wine whyshouldn't you be able to enjoy it with Thai, Haitian and anything else? The key is choosing the right wine, because when you aredealing with foods that are forcefully spiced, and often with lots of chili heat, many wines can easily be overwhelmed.
It's understandable that people rarely select wine with any of these cuisines. These foods do not come from wine-making regions. They are made for beer or even whiskey.

Cultural attitudes can also play a role. As Americans are in the habit of associating beverages with social aspirations, well, let'sjust say that you have a better chance of finding wine at a Nascar race than you do at a barbecue pit.

So what is the right wine to go along with these foods? More often than not, it's Champagne. No wine, believe it or not, is asversatile with so wide a range of food as Champagne, and that especially includes foods that are assertively spiced. Chickenchaat with chili, cilantro and that icy feeling in the top of your mouth that comes from coarsely ground Indian black salt?Champagne is your baby. Griot, the Haitian dish of pork chunks that are marinated in vinegar, chili and lemon juice, then fried?You won't go wrong with Champagne. Sichuan twice-cooked pork? Champagne, definitely.

Champagne is a great choice with sushi. And if you go to Blue Smoke in Manhattan, a barbecue pit mutated into an urban NewYork restaurant, where you will actually find a wine list, go directly to the Billecart-Salmon. It's the perfect, and perfectly ironic,choice with the smoky pulled pork. Can it be mere affectation that R.U.B., the barbecue joint on West 23rd Street, offers DomPérignon with its Taste of the Baron, a big sampler special for two, all for $275? Well, maybe it can, but if money's no object,you would not be sorry.

On first glance, it's obvious why Champagne would go so well with beer cuisines. It's the bubbles. But that doesn't explain all ofit. Cava and prosecco have bubbles, but they don't have the intensity of Champagne. California sparkling wine has bubbles, butit often is a little too heavy to refresh. I recently tried a sparkling shiraz from Australia with falafel and hummus with hot sauce,and frankly, I wish I had used more hot sauce to drown out the thick, sweet yet bitter flavor of the shiraz. No, the bubbles areimportant, but Champagne also has a crucial element that the other sparkling wines too often lack: high acidity.

Acidity gives wine snap and zest. It gives it a sense of freshness and helps to stimulate the palate. Even sweet wines, like aGerman riesling auslese, when balanced by acidity, can be thoroughly refreshing. Good acidity in a wine is essential if it is toaccompany foods that aren't typically thought of as good with wine.

Thai food is generally ceded to the beer camp. It's hard to beat a great pilsner with a spicy Thai curry, but you know what? Agood Bourgueil comes awfully close. Bourgueil, a village in Touraine on the Loire, produces reds from the cabernet franc grapethat can be raspy with acidity, but when the acidity is balanced by sufficient fruit you have a delicious wine. Are Bourgueils,along with similar wines from the neighboring villages of Chinon and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, great wines? No, but they aregreat food wines.

If you don't believe me, have a meal at Holy Basil, a Thai restaurant in the East Village. Pimnapa Suntatkolkarn, the chef and anowner, has constructed a wine list that I wish could be a model for every moderately priced restaurant, and she always offers agood Loire red. At a meal there I tried a 2002 Bourgueil "Les Galichets" from Catherine and Pierre Breton, as well as a 1995 Rioja Reserva from López de Heredia. The Rioja is wonderful, and about twice the price of the Bourgueil, but with a pungent,tart yet balanced dish like crisp duck with panang curry and kaffir lime? The Rioja had no business on the table. The Bourgueil,though, was perfect - refreshing and stimulating. The Rioja no doubt would receive a higher score in a blind tasting, but at aThai dinner, the Bourgueil blew it away.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Diners enjoy bigger savings when eating out

Diners enjoy a maximum of 70% discount from their total bill when dining using the Flavors card.

The Star

THE recent introduction of a new discount card called Flavors will mean bigger savings for diners in the Klang Valley.

Targeted at diners who eat-out frequently, Flavors offers up to 70% discount from the total dining bills at more than 70 selected outlets in the Klang Valley.

Priced at RM48 apiece the card is valid for 18 months and expires on Oct 31 next year.

Flavors is available to Malaysians and foreigners alike. Customers enjoy unlimited visits to the participating outlets within the card's validity period.

A majority of the participating outlets are located within the city centre although those in areas like Ampang, Bangsar, Damansara, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya and Kajang are also in the list.

Flavors has been circulating in the Klang Valley since May this year and more outlets will be added into the list.

It's easy to sign up as a cardholder and one of the ways was by logging on to

Read story: Diners enjoy bigger savings when eating out

Friday, August 12, 2005

Post-funeral meals

Came across this interesting article on post-funeral meals of the different ethnic groups. Did you know that in New York, food is not allowed to be taken to the funeral home? The New York state law prohibits the "preparation, sale, service, or distribution of food or beverages in any part of a funeral establishment to or by friends, relatives, mourners, family, visitors or next of kin of any deceased person."

He Would've Wanted Everyone to Eat
Published: August 10, 2005
The NY Times

VERTAMAE GROSVENOR said she always wondered why she and her relatives ate so much after funerals.
"Even people on diets just ate plate after plate," Ms. Grosvenor, a cultural correspondent for National Public Radio, said about postfuneral meals in South Carolina, where she grew up. "My theory was, we ate so much because that's how we knew we were alive."

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Funeral meals have always meant to assuage grief and to honor the dead and their beliefs about the hereafter. In America these meals also reflect ethnicity, health trends, state law and contemporary funeral practices.

But feeding the grieving also has a fundamental aim, said Dr. Holly Prigerson, a bereavement specialist.
"You can't be noshing when something's chasing you," said Dr. Prigerson, director of research at the Center for Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. She said C. S. Lewis was right when he wrote, "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."

Read article: He Would've Wanted Everyone to Eat

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Just thinking about cookies and cakes and all those tea-time
goodies sure make me happy. Not forgetting muffins. Here's
a recipe from Foodcourtrecipes for double chocolate chip muffins.
Happy baking.

2 eggs1/2 cup oil (125ml)
1 cup milk (240ml)
1 tsp. vanilla1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
1/2 cup sugar (85g)
1/4 cup cocoa (35g)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (85g)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and prepare muffin pan.

2. Grease muffin pan or fill with paper liners. A nonstick pan
requires no greasing.

3. In large bowl add and combine well eggs, oil, milk and vanilla.

4. In smaller bowl combine well flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder,
salt and chocolate chips.Combine wet and dry mixtures and fold
together gently until just mixed.

5. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 20 minutes.

6. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top of each muffin before baking.

7. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


How much do you know about shrimps other than that they are
yummy?. Did you know that shrimps are a source of protein, low
in saturated fat and calories, excellent source of iron, selenium
and vitamins B12, D and B34, quick and easy to prepare and
can be used in a main dish or appetizer? Learn more about
shrimps from the

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Party Ideas

Planning a party? has ideas for adult parties,
bridal showers, sushi parties, practically any party.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The King of Fruits - The Durian

According to the Lunar calendar, last Tuesday, Jun 21, was the
first day of Summer and here in Malaysia though we do not have
the four seasons, the dry weather is synonymous with the fruit
season. The one fruit that comes to mind is of course the durian.

Visitors to the country especially Westerners will shun the fruit.
It's the aroma or shall we say the smell that's the culprit.

For the locals, it's a real treat and a must-eat whenever the durian
season comes around.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

How to make yogurt

If you love yogurt and would like to make your own,
here's a recipe from 101cookbooks posted on June 18.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Muar Chinese food

Muar, which is about 45km south of Malacca city, is a town
most well-known for its Otak-otak, its O-chian (fresh oyster
omellete), its mee rebus along the Muar river banks, the part
which is referred to as Tanjong, and its assam fish in Patang
(not Patong).

I know of friends who travel all the way down from KL (a two
and a half hour trip) just to satisfy their yearn for the O-chian
and Otak-otak. The best O-chian is found along Jalan Haji Abu,
the food street in Muar. This melting pot of all sorts of food
is smack in the center of downtown Muar. Any visitor to this
coastal town once known for its bicycles will not miss it.

A trip to Muar without tasting the O-chian and Otak-otak is
definitely not complete.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Cornetto, Wall's Ice-cream and Nasi Lemak

It's a known fact that we do take things for granted and don't
appreciate things that we have around us. A visiting colleague
from the States was having a great time tucking away the
Wall's ice-cream, Cornetto - on a daily basis too. He had some
extra pounds to show for it.

The Cornetto is a mouth-watering ice-cream topped with
crunchy nuts and luxurious chocolate sauce - all contained in a
marvelously crispy cone. They come in a few flavours too -
plain vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. Delicious!

And that's not all. He loved the nasi lemak too and also had
that for breakfast every day.

Nasi lemak with sambal ikan bilis and sambang udang

Monday, June 06, 2005

Hale & hearty soups

Beef and lentil stew


SOUPS. It's one of those all-time favourites that can be served
all year round, either hot or cold. It can be made with almost
any ingredient as long as you’ve got some good stock. Some
cooks choose the easy way out and just add water with lots of
seasoning, or crumble the ever-popular stock cube into boiling
water. Stock cubes are fine if you’re in a hurry, but these cubes
do contain monosodium glutamate.

Article and Soup recipes...(The Star/Clove)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dim Sum Guide

No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without trying the dim sum. These are delightful, mouth-watering snacks normally served in threes in steaming bamboo baskets and eaten with pots and pots of Chinese tea for breakfast or lunch. Popular dim sum items include steamed pork buns, shrimp dumplings and beef ball. Dim Sum literally means touching the heart in Chinese so let the Dim Sum Guide take you on a virtual tour of dim sum in Hong Kong.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Coffee Drink Basics

Have you ever been to Coffeebean or a modern-day coffee-
house and had to struggle to order coffee? I have. Fret no
more as the article below will give you a lesson on the
different types of coffee available.

When you enter a coffee house, you have a multitude of drink
choices like latté, cappuccino, straight shot and caffé mocha
just to name a few.

Sometimes knowing what to order can be overwhelming
unless you know what you are getting. After all, who wants to
pay an outrageous amount of money for a mystery drink that
you may not even like?

So PerfectCoffees.Com has come to the rescue, and after you
read this, you'll have a basic understanding of how the most
popular coffee drinks are made and what they are made of.

Most coffee drinks start with espresso and espresso is just
coffee that is brewed a certain way. It is finely ground to
almost a powder then very hot water is forced through the
grounds under intense pressure. The brewing process is
timed so that the flavorful and aromatic oils are extracted
from the coffee and not the bitter components. This produces
a strong flavored, but not bitter, concentrated shot of coffee.

Straight Shot
The straight shot refers to espresso coffee and the secret to
good espresso is the extraction time, volume, and golden
crema which is a thick light brown layer of frothed coffee oils
that float on top of a properly extracted espresso.

The short shot or ristretto is extracted to a volume of three-
quarters of an ounce. The shorter restricted pour magnifies
the essence of the coffee and the chance of any bitter
elements being extracted is minimized. If you have ever
ordered an espresso shot in Europe they usually serve the

The long shot or lungo is extracted to a volume of one and
one-half ounces. The double shot is a 2 ounce shot using twice
as much coffee in the portafilter. The correct way to serve a
straight shot is to extract it directly into a warmed demitasse
cup. The warm demitasse cup will keep the straight shot warm
and prolong the crema. A straight shot is best enjoyed
immediately after brewing. It is rare to see people drinking
straight shots of espresso in the US. Most people here drink
variations using steamed milk mixed with the shots to make
the different coffee drinks listed here.

Espresso Macchiato
The Espresso Macchiato starts with a shot of espresso and
then a small amount of foamed milk is spooned over the shot.
Macchiato in Italian means "marked," as the espresso is
marked with foam.

Espresso Con Panna
This is an Espresso Macchiato using whipped cream in place
of the foamed milk. The drink gets its name Con Panna which
means "with cream."

Caffé Americano
The Caffé Americano is a drink similar to American brewed
coffee. It is made with a single or double shot of espresso
combined with 6 to 8 ounces of hot water out of an espresso
machine. The result is a very smooth cup of coffee that is
much hotter than brewed coffee.

Cappuccino is made with a fluffy, wet foam, mixed with
espresso coffee upon the pour to create a blend of the two
flavors. Cold milk is essential, as is expertise in the foaming
process. Cappuccino has a large volume of foam making it a
lightweight drink and less filling.

Caffé Latté
Caffé Latté is similar to the cappuccino but with much less
foam and more steamed milk. A latté is made by holding back
the foam with a spoon while pouring the frothed milk from the
steaming pitcher. The caffé latté is completed by being topped
with a small amount of the held back foam. Caffé latté gets its
name from the addition of coffee to milk. For an iced latté,
cold milk is combined with the espresso and then the ice is

Caffé Mocha
A caffé mocha is made by adding powdered or chocolate syrup
to a hot shot of espresso and blended. Steamed milk is then
added to the espresso-chocolate mixture and usually it is
topped with whipped cream. Iced mochas are made with cold
milk and the ice added after the coffee and chocolate have
been blended.

Flavored Coffee Drinks
Some popular coffee flavors are: vanilla, Irish creme, almond,
hazelnut, caramel and fruit flavors such as orange and
raspberry. These drinks usually start with a flavored syrup
that is mixed with hot espresso and stirred. Then steamed
milk is stirred in like in a latté. An iced version of these
flavored coffees made with cold milk instead of steamed
makes a delicious cold drink in the summer months.

So now that you know what's in the basic coffee drinks, try
one you haven't tasted yet. Who knows, you might find a new

Copyright © 2004 All Rights Reserved.
About The Author
Gary Gresham is the webmaster for
where you can purchase quality coffee, tea, cups & mugs,
coffee gifts and delicious desserts online. He offers a free
monthly coffee newsletter at

Monday, May 23, 2005

Cooking - a chef's delight

How would you like to know 101 ways of cooking chicken
or have access to a shopping site for anything related to cooking
or get yr hands on ethnic cuisines by region or recipes by type
of dish or participate in a food lovers site? Well you can.
Just check out these cooking sites for more information.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Cocktail Is Not A Cocktail Without Lime

(NC)-Citrus is the fruit of good health and well-being - and
indeed, for many of us there is nothing more rejuvenating than
the taste and aroma of freshly squeezed lime. It makes for great
cocktails too.

Vodka cocktails are very popular at any time of the year and
the makers of Finlandia, who have been producing vodka for
more than 400 years, tell us that the next time you plan to mix
your Limosa - or your Lime Mary, your Limedriver, Limetini,
or Key Lime Smoothie, and others - they now have the perfect
shortcut to the right taste every time.

New on the shelves this year is Finlandia Vodka Lime. You will
recognize it by the familiar red dot on the ice-crafted bottle,
except this new brand of icy-white vodka features a touch of
lime, on both the outside, and inside the bottle. Mix it with
soda, tonic, cranberry, grapefruit juice, or use it in any number
of vodka cocktails. The lime flavour required is already evenly
blended into a vodka that is hailed for its premium quality,
promising quick, less fuss, bartender-style results.

It would appear that making a premium vodka is far from
easy work however.

"The goal when distilling vodka is to produce a totally pure
spirit, one without the slightest trace of anything else," says
Corey Ball, group brand manager for Finlandia. "Ours follows
a set of rigorous steps, of which the most important include:
using the purest, glacial spring water; using six row barley,
the most expensive distillers grain; using home-grown yeast
to ensure freshness and consistency; and applying a
continuous, uninterrupted distillation process.

"And when you go looking for our newest family member,
Finlandia Vodka Lime," says Ball, "not only will you have
little trouble recognizing the bottle, but as it stands right now,
it is the only vodka on the shelves to offer this popular blend
of lime. It is the only one, we say, to give you a taste of the
arctic but with a hint of the tropics too."

About The Author
News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-
use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print,
Radio, and the Web.
News Canada is a niche service in public relations, offering
access to print, radio, television, and now the Internet media,
with ready-to-use, editorial "fill" items. Monitoring and
analysis are two more of our primary services. The service
supplies access to the national media for marketers in the
private, the public, and the not-for-profit sectors. Your
corporate and product news, consumer tips and information
are packaged in a variety of ready-to-use formats and are
made available to every Canadian media organization
including weekly and daily newspapers, cable and commercial
television stations, radio stations, as well as the Web sites
Canadians visit most often.
Visit News Canada and learn more about the NC services.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Balance Your Moods With Food

Here is an interesting article on balancing moods with food.

(NC)-Here are some helpful hints on the nutrients you need
to stay "emotionally fit" and help prevent mood-swings. These
foods help keep you "hormonally" healthy - see Canada's Food
Guide to Healthy Eating to ensure that you get all of the
nutrients needed to maintain a well-balanced diet for optimal
overall health.

Before breakfast:
Start your day with greens+™, a balanced formula of 23
herbs, vitamins, minerals, organic and nutrient-rich foods to
help boost motivation and energy levels.

This should include about one-third of foods that are high in
lean protein such as eggs, grains or low-fat yogurt and two-
thirds of low-density complex carbohydrates such as
vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Mid-morning snack:
Reach for some raw, very low-density complex carbohydrates
such as carrots, celery or zucchini.

Eat a balanced lunch including lean protein such as chicken or
fish with complex carbohydrates from veggies and leafy greens.

Mid-afternoon snack:
Choose fresh fruit as a low-density complex carbohydrate snack
to increase the level of serotonin in the body and help curb that
3 o'clock sugar craving.

This should be high in complex carbohydrates and low in
protein to provide enough serotonin to help calm hormones
during the evening for a good night's sleep.

About The Author
News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use
copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print,
Radio, and the Web. News Canada is a niche service in public
relations, offering access to print, radio, television, and now
the Internet media, with ready-to-use, editorial "fill" items.
Monitoring and analysis are two more of our primary services.
The service supplies access to the national media for marketers
in the private, the public, and the not-for-profit sectors. Your
corporate and product news, consumer tips and information are
packaged in a variety of ready-to-use formats and are made
available to every Canadian media organization including
weekly and daily newspapers, cable and commercial television
stations, radio stations, as well as the Web sites Canadians visit
most often. Visit News Canada and learn more about the NC

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Healing power of natural juices

From time immemorial, many cultures have used fruits and
vegetables as health drinks. Many of these treasures of the soil
also have healing properties. They are used as alternative
treatments to detoxify the body, and also to assist in the
treatment of many ailments.

Most fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Recipes Goldmine

I don't know about you but for me it sometimes is difficult
to think about what food to lay on the table for the family.
Not anymore. I've found a few sites here with loads of recipes
that I could try out any time I'm in a fix. Happy trying.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Using the right wine glass

For the average wine drinkers, their main concern is the taste
of the wine and not so much the type of glass used for drinking
the wine.

But glasses are, in fact, the key player in determining the
outcome and taste of the wine, according to tableware and
glassware distributor New Convox Sdn Bhd marketing manager
John Teo.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Malaysian Satay

When Malaysians think satay, the place that comes to mind is
Kajang. This is the town in southern Selangor that serves the
best satay.

Monday, April 18, 2005

New food culture

It's a new dawn for the eating scene in Malaysia. Kopitiam
theme eateries and Hong Kong char chan teng (teahouses)
are taking Klang Valley by storm. Business is so good that
these outlets look set to flourish outside Kuala Lumpur.

All time favourites – local coffees and roti bakar with
butter-kaya – are so popular that customers are raving
about them.

There's even one that captures the heyday of Ipoh kopitiam
of the 50s and 60s by offering hor fun, white coffee and
Wu Yee herbal tea.

Hong Kong culture has also crept into Malaysia especially
with the popularity of Hong Kong movies over the years.
Some teahouses offer a set meal of unbelievably low rate
of RM4.50. The main reason attributed to the popularity
of Hong kong char chan teng has much to do with the vast
variety of food at affordable prices.

Fast service is also reason enough that draws the crowd
in today's fast-paced lifestyle. Having the outlets open from
10am to 10pm adds to the pull.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Milwaukee Steak Corner

I found a new steakhouse worth checking out. It's called
Milwaukee Steak Corner. It's in Kepong, opposite Jaya Jusco.
We (my family and I) have tried several items from their
menu and they are worth seconds. Personally, I enjoyed their
chicken chops. I like the salads and stuff that go along.

Ambience-wise, the place is nicely decorated - with huge
koi fish in a stream that runs smack in the center of the outlet.
There is even a shark tank with two or three baby sharks.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Vegetarian curry

Once in a while, you get tired of eating meat but you want
something with a little kick. In times like these I'd go for
vegetarian curry. Here's something from Amy Beh.

100g carrot, cut into wedges
100g long beans, cut into 3cm lengths
100g cabbage, cut into 3cm squares
100g brinjals, cut into wedges
6–8 pieces tau fu pok, halved
1 piece fermented bean cake (tempe), cut into 2cm square pieces

Spices (A)
2 stalks lemon grass, smashed
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 star anise
3 cloves
3 cm cinnamon stick
3 cardamoms, split and use seeds only

Spices (B)
4 candlenuts (buah keras)
2cm fresh turmeric
2cm galangal
2 tbsp chilli paste (chilli boh)
2 tbsp vegetarian curry powder
250ml thin coconut milk
100ml thick coconut milk
1 heaped tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 50ml water and
squeezed for tamarind juice
4–5 tbsp oil

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp monosodium glutamate
1 tsp sugar

Heat oil and sauté ingredients (A) until fragrant.
Add in (B) and continue to fry until oil rises.

Add in carrot, long beans and brinjals. Fry well to combine.
Pour in thin coconut milk and tamarind juice. Bring to a
simmering boil. Cook for 4–5 minutes.

Add cabbage, tempe and taufu pok. Add half the amount of
thick coconut milk and cook for 5–6 minutes.

Add seasoning and remaining thick coconut milk. Cook to a
brief boil. Close the pot for 4–5 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Creamy Sauce Butter Crabs

Here's a recipe on a yummy crab dish from Amy Beh'scollection.

Creamy Sauce Butter Crabs
1.5kg crabs, preferably mud crabs
200g margarine
1 can evaporated milk
20-25g bird's eye chillies (chilli padi), leave whole and lightly smashed
4 stalks curry leaves, use leaves only

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp corn flour mixed with 1 and a 1/2 tbsp water
Clean crabs and poach them then drain well. Remove the
pincers and crack with a pestle. Trim the legs and cuteach
into four pieces. Set aside.

Heat margarine in a wok until melted then add the milk.
Gently simmer the mixture over a medium heat. Add the curry
leaves, chilli padi and seasoning. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add thickening and stir gently over a very low heat until sauce
is thick and glossy in texture. Return crabs to the mixture and
cook over a very low heatfor about one minute. Dish out the
crabs with the curry leaves, chilli padi and a little of the sauce.
Serve immediately.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Super Sandwiches

If you're a sandwich lover, here are a few recipes that
you will love. They're from Amy Beh's collection.

4 slices white bread
2 slices wholemeal bread
4 tbsp wheat meat tuna, flaked
1 hardboiled egg, thinly sliced
3 tbsp mayonnaise
Dash of ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped green olives
2 tbsp chopped tomato
2 tbsp soft margarine
Several thin slices cucumber
Several thin slices carrot
Some alfalfa

Combine tuna, olives, tomato, pepper and mayonnaise in
a mixing bowl. Spread soft margarine on one side of the
bread and set aside. Spread the mixture over one slice of
white bread and top up with another slice of buttered
wholemeal bread.

Spread another layer of mixture on top of the wholemeal
bread and top up with another slice of white bread.

Add cucumber, carrot, alfalfa and egg slices. Press on lightly
and cut into a triangle.

Wrap up with cling film wrap. Refrigerate for at leastan hour
before serving or preferably overnight if you are having it for
breakfast. Just before serving, prick a toothpick in the centre
of the triangle, with a cherry on the tip.

Ingredients 4–6 slices wholemeal bread
1 hardboiled egg, sliced
1/2 cup steamed chicken meat, shredded (buy a piece steamed
and cooled drumstick from a Hainanese chicken rice stall,
if preferred)
Several slices cucumber
Several slices tomato

Add a dash of pepper to the chicken. Arrange the shredded
chicken on one slice of bread and top with tomato, cucumber
and egg slices.

Place another slice of bread on top and pack the prepared slices
of sandwich in an airtight container. Chill in the refrigerator for
at least an hour before serving.

4 slices white bread
1 piece cheddar cheese, grated or finely chopped
3 tbsp coarsely grated unripe avocado
1 slice chicken ham
Some carrot slices
Some alfalfa shoots

Pinch of salt and pepper and ground black pepper

Combine cheese, avocado and seasoning in a mixing bowl.
Mix well to blend. Trim off the sides of the bread.
Spread mixture onto one slice of bread and top with another
slice of bread.

Add a slice of chicken ham, carrot slices and alfalfa shoots.
Cut into triangles. Wrap in cling film wrap and refrigerate for
1–2 hours before serving.

4 slices white bread
2 slices brown bread
2 slices chicken ham
2 tbsp soft margarine
2 tbsp grated cheese
1 tbsp chopped olives
Dash of pepper and ground black pepper
Several thin slices cucumber and carrots
Several thin slices tomato
Some alfalfa

Combine margarine, cheese, olives and a dash of pepper.
Spread mixture on one slice of white bread. Add 2 slices of
cucumber and a slice of carrot. Place a slice of chicken ham
over this.

Top with a slice of brown bread. Add some alfalfa and a thin
layer of the margarine mixture.

Top with another slice of white bread and spread with a thin
layer of the margarine mixture. Add a few slices ofcucumber
and tomato.

Top with another slice of white bread, then press slightly to
compress and hold the slices of bread together.

Chill for an hour before serving.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

All about Food

Hi! Welcome to my blog. It's going to be all about food,
glorious, glorious food.