Thursday 22 December 2011

My First Event : Chocolate Lover

Dear All,
Every February 14th love-struck men and women spend more than 1 billion dollars on chocolate products. Blame Cupid for the love-struck part, but why chocolate? What does chocolate really have to do with the most romantic day of the year? Here’s a brief history of chocolate and Valentine’s Day.

Our infatuation with chocolate first began 2,000 years ago when it was discovered in Latin America. The Maya and Aztec elites infused cocoa beans with water to form frothy chocolate drinks – the first frappuccinos, if you will – for special occasions and as sacrifices to the gods. The Aztec ruler Montezuma believed that chocolate was an aphrodisiac and routinely drank it before entering his harem, thus increasing chocolate’s popularity and its association with love and romance. As it turns out, he was ahead of his time. Modern-day scientists have linked the chemical phenylethylamine in chocolate to feelings of excitement, attraction and even pleasure.

The rest of Aztec society used cocoa beans as money and were unable to afford to drink it. Thus “gifting” chocolate for consumption was the Aztec version of John Cusak standing outside of your window with a boom-box. Christopher Columbus saw how the Aztecs revered cocoa when he entered the picture in the sixteenth century and immediately took the luxury product back to Queen Isabella of Spain. Chocoholics sprouted up all over Europe, sharing the legend of their new obsession’s alleged mythical powers. At one point in time, chocolate was believed to be so potent that nuns were forbidden from eating it and French doctors used it to treat “broken hearts.”

By the 1800s, the Cadbury Brothers set up shop in England and began packaging candies to sell to a mainstream audience. In 1861, in a genius marketing move, Richard Cadbury created the first ever heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day, spurring the commercialization of the holiday. To this day, every February 14th we all still have a sweet spot for the sweet stuff.

(picked from History of Valentine's Day-Chocolate)

So, I'm sure all of us are Chocolate Lovers, aren't we.......
In conjunction with the coming Valentine's Day 2012.....I am organizing my first event and its called 'Chocolate Lover'.and when I thought of Valentine's Day, the two things that came to my mind : roses and, now you know how my logo came about....
This event will run from 1st Jan 2012 to 15th Feb 2012.

To participate, it's really simple...
1. Create a chocolate could be a chocolate cake, mousse, cookies, pudding, jellies, brownies etc....if it has a Valentine's theme, it'll be even more marvelous.
2. Follow my blog.
3. You may send in as many links as you want but only posts posted from 1st Jan 2012 link it using the linky tool at the end of this page.
4. Use of above logo is mandatory and your post should link back to this event.
5. To those who do not have a blog, do send your entries to Pls include your name, pic, recipe and 'Chocolate Love'r as the subject.
So, go on...create a dish with love....;)

Check out thefoodblogdiary for more events...
In order to participate,

Easy Banana Dessert

Need to get a dessert done in 5 minutes?....Here you go...this is a ice-cream like dessert and yummy to be served with choc sauce or toasted nuts....

You need about 2-3 ripe bananas (not over ripe)...I used Cavendish bananas....Remove the skin, slice them up, place in a freezer container and freeze them for a few hours or overnite.....

When ur ready to serve dessert, remove the bananas from the freezer, put them in a blender, add 1/2 tbsp sugar (optional), 2 tbsp of thickened cream (I used Paul's Thickened Cream) and blend them. You may add a little UHT milk if it's difficult to will be creamy a thick....Serve immediately with sliced bananas, nuts or choc sauce...

Tom Yam Fried Beehoon

I used the paste I made earlier for this easy Tom Yam Fried Beehoon.

Ingredients :

1/2 packet beehoon (soaked)
1 big onion
1 carrot (shredded)
1/2 chicken breast meat (cubed)
sawi / mustard greens (cut into 1 inch pieces)
tom yam paste (see homemade-tom-yam-paste)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
fried egg (shredded)

method :
Heat olive oil in a wok, fry onions till golden brown, add carrot and cook a little, add tom yam paste and chicken meat.
Add light soy sauce and salt.
Stir in the beehoon and mustard green and mix well till the paste is evenly coated.
Cook and serve hot with shredded fried eggs.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Homemade Tom Yam Paste

Homemade Tom Yam Paste

This is a homemade tom yam paste that I made for tonite's Tom Yam Fried Beehoon..

This is an easy way to make your own tom yam paste as long as you have all the ingredients you go...

Ingredients :
2 stalks lemongrass (cut into small pieces)
4 kaffir lime leaves (cut into small pieces)
5 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp taucu
2 tbsp or more dry chilli paste (as desired)
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tamarind water
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp dry prawns
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Put all the above mentioned ingredients in a food processor and blend to make a smooth paste. Then heat a wok with some olive oil and fry the ingredients till fragrants and keep aside. You can even make in a bigger batch and refigerate once it's cool.

For those who want a vegetarian version, do not add the dry prawns and fish sauce.
This paste is good for Fried Beehoon, Fried rice or Seafood Soup

First Event 'Chocolate Lover'

Dear Friends...I'm organizing my first event next year in conjunction to Valentine's all lovers out there,stay tuned for more updates on this event soon.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Pepper Chicken Masala

This is a spicy dish and goes well with Dhall, rice or even chapati....

Ingredients :
1 kg chicken (cut into desired sizes)
2 onions (sliced)
2 sticks cinnamon
4 cloves
curry leaves
2 tomatoes (diced)
1 tsp turmeric powder

For masala:
5 cloves garlic
2 inch ginger
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp cumin
3 dried chillies
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp black pepper

Method :
1. Fry and grind masala ingredients to make paste.
2. Heat a large wok, add olive oil and saute onions, curry leaves, cinnamon and cloves till onion is golden brown and fragrant.
3. Add turmeric powder, chicken and masala paste.
4. Cook for about 5 minutes and add a little water, salt and tomatoes.
5. Cook covered till chicken is tender.

Eggless Fruit Cake

Looking for a vegetarian, dairy-free yet moist fruit cake? it is....I've been wanting to make a fruit cake for some time now and yesterday I dropped by DoReMi, a baking ingredients shop just 5 mins drive from my hse and got all that I needed to make this moist, fruit and nut cake with just the amount of sweetness that will make you indulge in another slice....I got this recipe some time ago from the net (sory, I forgot to note the blog when I took down this recipe) you go....Eggless Fruit and Nut Cake

Ingredients :

250gm mixed fruits
150gm walnuts / pecans (chopped and roasted at 180degrees for about 6 minutes or till lightly browned)
1 cup muscovado / brown sugar (I used Organic Muscovado sugar)
1 cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp orange zest

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Put the fruits, water, orange juice in a pan. Add sugar, orange zest, mixed spice, salt and oil. Bring to a boil...let it simmer for about 5-8 minutes.
2. Turn off the heat, let it cool a bit and add lemon juice and vanilla extract. Leave it for about 20 minutes. Add in flour, baking soda and nuts and mix well.

3. Heat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a bundt pan and spoon the mixture in. Bake for about 40 minutes or till the cake tester comes out clean.
4. Cool over a wire rack before removing from the pan and slicing......:)

Sending this recipe toBake Fest and Bake-fest-2 
Linking this to Winter Carnival ,Holiday BakingServe It-Baked Sweet, Baked Goodies, tea-time-treats-blogging-challenge, Cakes For Christmas, Eggless Cake


Friday 16 December 2011

Our 1st year Wedding Anniversary- weekend outing

We went on a weekend outing for our 1st year anniversary and hada enjoyable, relaxing time....we started with Breakfast at Sravana Bhavan at Bangsar and trust me, food was for me to start my day...
Later, we went to The Gardens, Md Valley as I wanted to get a gift for my husband......he liked the Marks and Spencer perfume and after shave set...and I loved the, he got his gift......

Later, we had lunch at Amarin, Heavenly fav Thair restaurant..they had done some renovations and the place looks good with a modern was as usual, lovely...

We had lots of time so we went to GSC Signature an dwatched New Year's Eve....I thought it was a really nice movie, a good one to end a year and start a new one with... and GSC Signature is a nice cinema without the usual buzz but tickets cost RM25 each.....overall, a good outing with my loving hubby :)

Plans for the weekend ...

Ive been busy at work and studying this past, it 's time to cook again....I was at bangsar last week and managed to visit Pantry Magic...and got a bottle of pure vanilla there for RM30....I find that reasonable as I've always been looking for a nice vanilla extract and it's always very expensive....I cant wait to use it and see whether using pure vanilla really makes a difference...

For this weekend, I plan to make Pepper Chicken Masala and bake a fruit cake (my dad loves fruit cake and since we're planning to visit home this Sun...i really wanna bring something for him). I'm still finding a good moist fruit cake recipe....well, hope i'll succeed and post my weekend recipes soon...have a wonderful weekend everyone :)

Sunday 4 December 2011

Baked Raspberry Cheesecake with Strawberry Coulis

Tonite's dessert for some guests at our house...recipe coming soon as I'm too tired tonite...and got to go to work tmrw....nitez

I used a 8' tin and it easily serves 4....

Ingredients :
5 digestive biscuits
25 gm butter (melted)
250 gm cream cheese
1 tbsp flour
85 gm castor sugar
150 gm raspberries
Vaniila extract
1 egg
70 ml sour cream

Strawberries and 3 tbsp icing sugar
Method :
Crush digestive biscuits (place in a bag and crush using a rolling pin or a pestle). Mix with the butter. Press firmly on a 10’ buttered springform pan and bake at 180 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Beat cream cheese, flour, egg, castor sugar, sour cream and few drop of vanilla till fluffy. Mix in the raspberries. Pour mixture into pan and bake for about 40 minutes.
The middle might still be a bit soft. Let it cool completely and refrigerate (makes it firmer) till it’s ready to serve.
For the strawberry coulis, Heat the strawberries in a pan until soft, mash to bring out juice. Push through a sieve to drain the juice. Keep to serve with the cheesecake.

This is indeed a wonderful, easy dessert to do...for those celebrating Christmas, do give it a double the recipe and use a 20' springform tin as it's a real crowd pleaser
I am submitting this to the Christmas Giveaway in The Sweet Spot

This also goes to Bake Fest and Bake fest # 2, Yummy desserts
Linking this post to Baked GoodiesServe It-Baked Sweet, Sinful-delights,

Also sent to Love Lock with Sweets 

Saturday 3 December 2011

Herb Roasted Chicken Breast with Veggies

Tonite's dinner....Herb Roasted Chicken Breast with Roasted Vegetables....took me less than an hour to do....tasted and smelled superb....this recipe makes 2 so double it according to ur easy recipe for get-together and entertaining guests

2 chicken breasts
turkey bacon or turkey slices (cut lengthwise to wrap around chicken)
green or red capsicum (cut lengthwise)
small potatoes (sut into thin slices)
cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic (sliced)
mixed dried italian herbs
dried oregano
black peppercorns
salt to taste
Sour Cream (to serve with)

Preheat oven 220 degrees
Pour olive oil or a baking dish
Place chicken breasts in the middle
Place veggies surrounding the chicken
Add garlic, herbs, black peppercorns, salt and give a stir to mix well.
Bake for about 25 minutes
Serve hot with sour cream