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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

May the true meaning of Christmas 
And the Hope prevail in all of us
As we wait for Christmas to happen again some day... And that some day will come.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Granite Tang Yuan 石头汤圆 - Balls #3

I saw this special form of tang yuan many years ago and had been hoping to try it out. Finally I did.
Every year, I do hope to make some  for the winter festival (although there's no winter here), but I just never made some, because no one bothers about it and just end up only me "shiok sendiri".

I was lazy to wrap fillings and decided to serve it 'muah chee style'. Now it looks like pebbles on sand...
I am thinking whether I can construct an aquarium bowl to serve it, complete with aquatic plants, fish and maybe prawns, haha, but that will be sooo big. It's just a crazy idea.

Mine look more like marbles and if you take a look at my source's granite balls, they look sooo real and nice.

I kept mine for more than 6 hours, soaked in room temperature water, waiting for my hubby to come home from work. I reheated the granite balls in the microwave, still submerged in water. Drained them and put them on the peanut sand. He enjoyed his after dinner dessert, saying the peanuts were the loveliest touch.

Granite Sticky Rice Balls
Idea adapted from: maimaidejianguo

200gm glutinous rice flour
14gm or 1 Tbsp butter
90ml boiling water
1-2 Tbsp water

1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bamboo charcoal powder

3/4 cup ground roasted peanut + 1/3 cup castor sugar (roughly 2:1 ratio)

1. Bring 1/2 cup of water to boil on a saucepan.
2. Measure the flour and butter and put it in a bowl. Make a well and when the water has  boiled, measure 90ml water into the well. (You can either use  6 Tbsp or a measuring cup, or weigh 90gm of water with the mixing bowl directly on the scale)
3. Mix it with chopsticks or a fork. Add in 1 Tbsp of room temperature water and knead (it might still be very warm, but it won't  burn your hand). Add  more water if it's needed and knead until a dough forms.
4. Divide  dough into 4 parts  and  knead 1 part with  charcoal powder and 1 part with cocoa  powder.
5. Roll each part into long logs, with equal length. flatten them and stack. Cut the stack into half and stack.
6. Cut the stacked dough into smallish pieces, it's ok if they are not in exact sizes.
7. Roll them into pebble shapes.
8. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Put the balls of  dough into the  boiling water. Let them boil until they float. Lower the heat to medium low and let them simmer for another 2-3  minutes.
9. Remove the dough balls from the water and serve with peanut sugar.

You can serve these in light syrup too, of which is the usual way.

Blog on Break :)
See you in January for AFF Hong Kong Macau with a chicken week.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shredded Egg Ball 金丝球 - Balls #2

Chinese New Year is coming soon. Haha, Christmas isn't over yet.
This dish taste pretty good and it feels like eating dimsum. You can prepare the egg balls earlier and steam it or just reheat when it's almost dinner time.

I think I bought the wrong vegetable for garnish. Everything looks too shreddy. I think baby bokchoy or nai-bak will look better. I only realised that when I plated it. But oh well... can't do anything about it. Just went ahead.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dawood Basha @ Lebanese Meatballs - Balls Week #1

I once had these in Suria KLCC's food court and fell in love with it. But that version didn't come with pine nuts. I was searching for the version that matched my memory, and it was served with a tomato sauce that was spiced.

When I found a seemingly matching recipe, I was elated.

Dawood Basha actually meant High Ranking Officer Dawood (David).

Lebanese 7 Spice Mix

The middle eastern countries have different favourite spice mix recipes that makes the flavour of similar dishes distinguish from each other.

Read this site to see all the different types of spice mixes in the region. There are a few types of 7 spices, so, don't get confused with the composition.

To make this spice mix, you need

1. Ginger powder
2. Cinnamon powder (not cassia)
3. Fenugreek
4. Cloves
5. Allspice
6. Black  pepper
7. Nutmeg

Mix using equal propotions.

In my case, I had these in powdered form:- ginger, cinnamon and allspice.
The others were whole spices. Take note that whole spices after ground were left with slightly more than half the amount in volume.

Lebanese 7 Spice Mix
1. Measure 1.5 tsp of fenugreek, cloves, black peppercorns and 1 nutmeg (shell removed). (Or any other whole spices that you have)
2. Lightly toast them in the oven at 140C until you can smell them. Let them cool down and grind  them finely in a mill.
3. Measure out 4 tsp (tap the spoon on the counter to compact) of the milled spices, there wasn't much left in the mill, and then mix with 1tsp each of the powdered  cinnamon, ginger and all spice (or any other powdered spices you have).
4. Final amount is around 7tsp.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Goiabinhas @ Brazilian Guava Cookies - Cookies #4

baked and lightly golden :)

Someone close to me went to Brazil on a business trip and asked me if I needed anything. The first thing that sprang to my mind was Goiabada, the pink guava paste that I once read about on Lena's Romeo and Juliet cake.

When  this person went there.... the hotel he was staying was just right beside a supermarket, and so he tried to find it  for me. He told me, "You are soooo lucky. These are the last 2 packs on the shelf".

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Toffee Oatmeal Cookies - Cookies #3

I forgot where I took this recipe from! A thousand apologies, but it's not mine. I didn't realise I didn't note down the source when I was to blog  about it. All the conversions that I weighed from  measuring with cups earlier were written down...but the source was forgotten. So sorry!

I also forgot how many pcs this recipe yield, maybe around 40 pieces. But then again, it depends on big you make them

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hamantaschen @ Haman's Hat with Apricot - Cookies #2

Hamantaschen means Haman's hat,  a traditional Jewish cookie that is eaten during Purim festival  to remember the defeat of their enemy named Haman. Read  story here.Haman wore a triangular hat, and so.. that was the reason for the shape of the cookie. In Israel, they are known as Oznei Haman, as in Haman's Ears.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ghraybeh Fustok @ Pistachio Shortbread - Cookies #1

I made this cookie twice in a day.

First I tried the one that I think is more traditional, with ghee and rosewater. I wasn't too happy with it and I tried another version that is more  modern I think, as it uses butter, vanilla and has cornstarch in it.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Armenian Boorma - AFF West Asian Pastry #5

Another pastry using the versatile Phyllo. The texture is so  delicate, but yet it doesn't break easily.
For Chinese New Year this year, I posted a peanut roll, that has almost the same concept, that is  baked rolled pastry that has been brushed with ghee and filled with sugary nuts. If a comparison needs to be made... I think the peanut version smells much better. Maybe it's because the peanuts weren't raw.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kiymale Pide @ Turkish Minced Meat Pita

Pita as known by many  is as round flat bread with a pocket inside.

But in Turkey, the local pita known as 'pide', is a pizza like food with toppings.One can use Turkish wind dried beef, Turkish sausages, chicken, minced beef or lamb, cheese, potatoes and many other ingredients.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bourma - AFF West Asian Pastry #3

Bourma is a rolled pastry made with kataifi/kunafeh.

Quite a challenge to make, haha.
I didn't want to deep fry in oil, but the original way, like how I ate it before, is in fried in ghee. Yummy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turkish Borek - AFF West Asian Pastries #2

Börek in Turkish language is any pastry made with yufka or commonly known as phyllo/filo. Borek comes in many forms and can be filled with a variety of fillings, but the traditional ones are usually spinach, cheese and minced meat.They can be either fried or baked. You can read about the different types of Borek here

The one I made today is kol böreği and it means 'arm borek' or arm pastry. It is rolled long and can be coiled or shaped into zigzags on the pan. I will go for coil as I like anything that resembles flowers.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Esh Al Bulbul @ Nightingale Nest - AFF West Asian Pastry #1

This month, AFF  brings you West Asia! A total of 19 countries in the group.
Most of us are more familar with the term Middle East, but because Egypt is not in Asia, that is why we cannot use the term Middle East but Western Asia of which includes Turkey as well.

Do visit Shannon's blog to read the introduction post. And don't forget to drop by Lena's for her round up!

Rosewater Shira for Middle Eastern Pastries

This syrup is essential to be used with Middle Eastern pastries.
It is meant to be thick and sweet. The lemon juice helps prevent crystallization and and the rose water adds some mild fragrance.

You can use orange blossom water too, but it's harder to find in Malaysia.

Weirdly, ants don't get attracted to this.

Rosewater Pastry Syrup

250gm sugar
200gm water
1 Tbsp lemon juice (strained)
2 tsp rose water

Put sugar and water into a saucepan. Cook it on medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and stop stirring. When it boils, lower it to medium low heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes, lid off. Put in lemon juice and rose water and let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
Let the syrup cool down before use

Friday, November 29, 2013

Light Rye Bread - Loaves #3

My first bread with the crippled mixer. I was so happy when I made this. My first pullman loaf!

The bread is not light, but kind of heavy, like how rye bread should be. But the texture is tender and spongy, with a bouncy mouth feel. I don't know how to describe it the best, but it's quite unique. This recipe is inspired from KitchenAid's cookbook, but I twisted it as I didn't have quite a few of the ingredients.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wholemeal Cream Bread - Loaves #2

I've  been chatting with my friends on FB  about getting a Made in China mixer known called B5 or B7. Still thinking thinking.. another US KA or China B5/7. Decisions decisions.

If not bread baking will retire in my home. Or maybe partially retire because bread made with all purpose flour could still be managed with manual kneading

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread - Loaves #1

The texture was  better after some tweaking with the yeast

I made this almost 2 years ago. I never posted this as I was still looking for the perfect shot, but after  6 months with the new mixer (that time), my mojo for baking bread loaves fizzzled. The shots weren't as nice  as I wished because I just moved in the house that time. I wasn't very sure of the  lighting spots and my use of the camera is very different than now.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Orange Cream Cake - Orange #3

This recipe is from one of my cookbooks that I have to use with caution.
I like the idea of this cake and wondering how will the taste be like... with that amount of cornstarch.

Actually I used a combination of meyer lemons and orange for this cake. The meyer lemons had been with me for a very very long time and I am soooo sorry Alan, LOL. I finally used them up in this cake. I do find meyer lemons to taste similar to a sourish orange, that's why I combined them. The original recipe used orange only.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blood Orange Almond Cake - Orange Week #2

Alan gave me some Moro blood oranges some time ago.

Lately in current years, we do get blood oranges here, but mostly of the Cara-cara variety. Moro is hard to get unless you go to Indulgence,Ipoh where they sell it for RM6/100gm. It's a cut throat price.

I decided to turn some of  them into a visually appealing bake to make full use of the vibrant colour that is sooooooo pretty.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Orange Pound Cake - Orange Week #1

This is a very old recipe that I learnt from school's home science class.
Looking back.. it's been 20 years  since I last made this.

Memory of the wonderful smell emitting from the kitchen drawing the boys to peek into our  kitchen whenever they go to pee was funny, as the male students' toilet was not far from where we were.
When we got back to class, the boys even tried to snatch some of our cakes, but we all protected them well.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Khao Soi @ Northern Thai Curry Noodle - Thai Curries AFF #5

Khao Soi or sometimes written as Khao soy is a Burmese influenced dish that is  popular in northern Thailand.

I wasn't sure if the recipes in English were right on the I referred to one that made from scratch. I believed that the north and south's curries will be very different and hence refused to believe there will be any red curry paste. I also refused to believe that there is curry powder.,.. or maybe not the type of curry powder we have here that is Indian curry powder.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shark and Pumpkin Thai Red Curry - Thai Curries AFF #4

When I saw this recipe.. the slices of chicken looked sooo enticing, and the pumpkin just sends my Ooo-Lala siren going off.

But I wanted to try something different, and changed the chicken to shark as I happened to have it. Red curry is very versatile and you can use any type of protein.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thai Red Curry Paste - Thai AFF #3

For this month's AFF, It's Thailand. The land of smiles.

Thailand is famous for its curries of which is different from Indian curries that uses a lot of spices. Instead Thai curries uses herbs and aromatics as well on top of some spices.

The Thais have red, yellow and green colours for their curries, differentiated by the colours of the ingredients. The use is also different for each type. Red curry is one of most versatile curry pastes and can be used for meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables.

Red curry paste is the basic ingredient for making Thai Red Curry.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pork Panang Curry - Thai Curries AFF #2

We seriously love this!

If you avoid consuming coconut milk, then it's hard for you to make this because I used 350ml coconut milk to cook this plate of curry. Personally, I love coconut milk for it's health benefits with all the short and middle chain fatty acids that used to be confused as BAD. Rich with lauric acid that benefits the heart. It helps with weight loss and I will need it desperately if I ever get Alzheimers. Read here . 

If you have never drank freshly squeezed coconut milk, you don't know what you're missing. That's why you always see coconut trees in places that people nickname as Paradise! Joking.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mieng Kham - Thai AFF #1

Mieng Kham is a traditional snack from Laos and Thailand.

Miang originated in northern Thailand near the border with Myanmar. The original miang consisted of fermented and or pickled wild tea leaves.Over time, other ingredients were included in the snack. The name can be interpreted as meaning "eating many things in one bite" - from miang (เมี่ยง), meaning "food wrapped in leaves", and kham (คำ), "a bite".

In Laos, this is also made with leaves of spinach, cabbage or lettuce. But in Thailand, it is usually with the leaves of Piper sarmentosum, or wild betel/pepper leaves, locally known as daun kaduk.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Duck Breast with Pickled Ginger and Pineapple - Pineapple #3

I went into a bookstore looking for my sister in law who went in earlier and passed by some cooking books in Chinese. I saw one dish on the cover looking kind of attractive and quickly flipped it. Ah,… the dish is duck with pickled ginger and pineapple… but I didn’t go through the recipe because I needed to be quick.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pineapple Lattice Tart - Pineapple #2

There are times  when I am totally craving for pineapple tarts and it's not Chinese New Year.
And those times, I am not that diligent to form bite sized ones.

With this big big tart (If I made a tighter lattice, I'll call it pie), I can eat a lot of pineapple filling and pastry with a lot less work. That's total satisfaction!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Crab Curry with Pineapple - Pineapples #1

I happened to see some crabs at the wet market near my mom's place and so I bought some.

I learnt during MFF Kedah and Perlis that seafood can be cooked with pineapple. So I tried it out myself.
The pineapples added a lovely flavour dimension to the curry. We loved it.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cabbage Salad with Chuka-fu Dressing - Easy Japanese Fare #3

About 10 years ago, when I was still in Klang Valley, I frequent this Japanese eatery Ryu Men Tei in Subang Jaya on a weekly basis. I have roughly eaten about 90% of what is on their menu. My then bf, now husband, loves the restaurant as well. The restaurant was always packed, even on weekdays.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Saba Shio @ Salt Grilled Mackerel - Easy Japanese Fare #2

I love grilled saba and I do order this quite often whenever I eat at Japanese restaurants.

It's actually a lot cheaper if you grill this at home. When I dine at the restaurant, I get 1/4 of  the fish, but if I cook at home I get one whole fish for the same price. Wow, isn't that very "dai" (means worth it in Cantonese)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Kurigohan, Japanese Chestnut Rice - Simple Japanese Fare #1

My blogger friend cum old school mate Annie gave me some beautiful delicious koshikahari rice.
I want to make full use of it, and so, I tried cooking chestnut rice.

That time, I haven't bought my mirin, so I used rum to replace.
I'm not sure if I will submit this to AFF, haha, I used rum.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Mango Cheese Charlotte -No Bake Cheesecake #3

MIL suddenly asked us out for dinner with a newly wed couple who are relatives. And asked me whether I can make a cake for them. 22 hours notice!

To make a cake for the newly wed couple as a simple dinner celebration, is not like a birthday cake or a regular cake, I have to incorporate romantic elements into it. I can only make do with whatever I have in hand. I have mangoes, limes, chocolate, coffee and no berries at all in the fridge. So, it's either I make a mango cake or a mocha flavoured cake.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rainbow Fruit Cheesecake - No Bake Cheesecakes #2

All natural no food colouring, no artificial flavouring, all fruits! It's one of my crazy projects that I made out of the quest for new ideas.
It's quite an expensive cake to make,but worth it, if you are not into food colouring but yet want to make a surprise for kids.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pistachio Lime Cheesecake - No Bake Cheesecakes #1

This cake was a feat!

I got to know that my BIL’s birthday was on the day itself at 1.30pm. I asked him whether he wants a cake, and he said yeah, cheesecake but egg free please. Then I searched for some cheesecake series and passed the phone to him, asking him to select the one he wants. He chose a lime and strawberry cheesecake.

I had no strawberries on hand but I happened to have some homegrown limes from my brother’s neighbor. That’s perfect! I don’t have limes at home usually and he’s one lucky man! And I also bought a good sum dairy products in baking the day before, so, making a cheesecake will not be too hard. A baked one will take too long as I had to get the cake ready that day itself and ah-ha, since he wanted it egg free, let’s just make a no bake cheesecake, a lime flavoured one.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Buta Kakuni - AFF Japan Butakakuni # 3

My husband loves buta kakuni. He will order this whenever possible during out dine outs at his current fav Japanese restaurant in Ipoh. Of which is why I wanted to cook it.

I went through a few recipes and found Nami's recipe to be quite similiar to what we ate as I knew the meat was once fried.
The preparation take a lot of time, as said by Nami herself, the result is worth it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rolled Chashu - AFF Japan Butaniku #2

The 2nd Butaniku (Pork in Japanese) dish I am posting :)

I wanted to complete my tonkotsu ramen with chashu and I love how it looks like when rolled.

I did a bit of mistake. I think I should cut the corners off the belly where the ends meet, so that when rolled up, it will be a nice cylinder. I only realised that when I have tied up everything.
A bit lazy to open up the whole thing and wrap again, so I just let it be

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tonkotsu Ramen- AFF Japan Butaniku #1

Asian Food Fest starts today! And it's Japan month this time. Visit Alan's blog for the introduction post

I love tonkotsu ramen.
That thick sticky broth that makes my lips feel smackingly yummy.
I read up a few recipes and there are many many versions around. Some are very very basic and some with more ingredients.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Remove Almost Bourdain-- IMPORTANT

Dear all friends,

Almost Bourdain by Ellie was a very popular blog few years back. She stopped blogging actively in May 2012 and the blog was closed down almost half a year ago due to her own reasons.
Recently in August, the blog has been revived.... And there were postings.

Don't be happy.
It's NOT Ellie there. 

Ellie's screen shot of the "new" Almost Bourdain in Sept 2013
It is Ellie's old posts..... resurrected

According to Ellie," Someone knew how popular this blog was, and waited for the blogspot name to be available again and snapped it. The new and old Almost Bourdain operate with the same URL and so, all the links from everywhere who have once linked to Almost Bourdain will still land on the homepage.

This person also posted old blog posts from Almost Bourdain into the 'new' Almost Bourdain. To be able to post it word for word, with the same format , the person must have downloaded them long ago, in anticipation for this moment."

Now I won't want to dwell into more details. But just to tell you Ellie's is not the person behind Almost Bourdain now. It's someone else.

Ellie has written to the blog owner and the posts were removed, and the blog's new owner deleted it. But Google allows the blog to be revived by the same owner within a short period of time. Few days later the stolen recipes were replaced with a pretty girl's face. The blog is republished so that all redirecting and landings will still go there. The new owner  has locked the blogspot and the traffic.

As seen on 27th September 2013

In order, not to let this person gain from Ellie's work, and traffic from the old Almost Bourdain's readers,
PLEASE DELETE ALL LINKS to Almost Bourdain. Ellie's recipes aren't there anyway.

All recipes that you once tried and linked to Almost Bourdain, DELETE THE LINKS
If you followed Almost Bourdain and linked up, REMOVE IT. Not nice to confuse people if they think it's Ellie there.

It's NOT a coincidence that this person became interested in the same blogspot, as this person once tried to republish Ellie's work there, word for word, without her permisson. Suspiciously like a planned, awaited scheme.

If you loved the Almost Bourdain by Ellie,
If you were thankful for her sharings,
Please do this for her.


Ellie's  posts, but it's not Ellie

No need to go to the blog and give the new owner a piece of your mind. The new owner will be happy that you visited. 


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